January 20, 2016
Podcast #344 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/01/344/
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Fish Oil And Fat Loss, Is The Wim Hof Method Dangerous, The Dietary Cure For Acne, How To Fix Damage From A Concussion, How To Increase Your Appetite, 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 for natural movement, get out there! When you’re working 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 podcast is going to be absolutely epic today.
Rachel: More epic than usual? Why is that?
Ben: More epic that usual. Although the ukulele is conspicuously absent. I am…
Ben: I know. I’m sorry. I am holding my brand-new, lucky mug that I got for Christmas, entitled… well, the mug isn’t entitled but the mug actually has the title on it – “Coffee Makes Me Poop”. Coffee makes me poop.
Ben: That’s right.
Rachel: Ahhh, where did you get that off?
Ben: I don’t even remember. If they listen to this podcast, they’re obviously gonna be pissed, but it’s a brown mug with white font on it. You could probably find this on Amazon. Fantastic mug because, actually, coffee does indeed make me poop, but this particular cup of coffee I’m drinking, I’ve added some legal performance-enhancing supplements to it.
Rachel: Such as…
Ben: So, for example, I’ve…
Rachel: What have we got?
Ben: I’ve put some – I’m holding my hands this mushroom hot cocoa. So I put a packet of this, and get to turn it over and read it to you. It says, “Cocoa cordyceps, guarana, and cayenne pepper”, so it’s got a little bit of (sounds) to it.
Rachel: Spice in it!
Ben: Yeah! And we’ve got also – I put some chaga in here, what’s called dual extract chaga, which means the mushroom has been passed through both water, and then also through alcohol. So what you get is both components of a mushroom like if you just boil mushrooms, you get the beta-glucans, but then if you do like an alcohol extraction, you also get what are the terpenes. And so, I dropped the packet of that in there, put that off to the side here. Oh but wait, there’s more. I’m not done.
Rachel: Oh my god!
Ben: I put some lion’s mane in there too. Remember how we talked about how lion’s mane can like increase blood flow to the brain and enhance cognitive performance?
Rachel: Yes, yup!
Ben: So I put some lion’s mane in there, and the lion’s mane has a little bit of minty feel as well. So, it’s a bit of a digestive. So…
Rachel: And – so, how does it taste? Is my fundamental question.
Ben: Oh, it tastes explosively good!
Ben: I will – I’ll trademark that.
Rachel: Pun intended…
Ben: Yeah. So, I put all that in there but – yeah! Coffee! Coffee does make me poop, and as a matter of fact, speaking of things that make you poop, every month or so, I do kind of like a little private workshop for the members of the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle. You out there! You know who you are walking around through mask capes. Mask capes – masks and capes perhaps is what I meant to say.
Rachel: Yeah! Yup!
Ben: And I have a ton of stuff for going – it’s all that stuff that like doctors, and scientifically minded people, skeptics, etc. would get completely pissed about if they heard me talking on a podcast, but it’s all the stuff I want to talk about anyways. So, coming up on this coming one, not only that I’m talking about new ways to poop (chuckles) and I’m serious, I’m doing an episode on like…
Rachel: It’s your favorite topic, yeah.
Ben: Magnesium chloride enemas and butyrate enemas. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! That was the sound of 8,000 listeners just unsubscribing.
Rachel: Right! (laughs)
Ben: I’m also doing – I’m speaking things you can put up your butt. I’m talking about THC enemas, talking about high, high dose fish oil. These are all things that I experiment with and I talk to folks about them on the show, and it’s all stuff that again like people would get really angry if they heard me really going to detail about this stuff on the podcast because they wouldn’t want their kids give themselves THC enemas… What else am I talking about? I said ah, high dose fish oil…
Rachel: Uh-hmm, and so when is that comin’ out?
Ben: I think we’re doing this workshop on February 17th.
I’m talking about topical cannabinoids, and where they can best be used and we’re even going to include a little bedroom talk on that front. I’m gonna talk about something that is legal and that came up in the recent Aljazeera documentary on anti-doping called Buckminsterfullerene C60, which is something that in studies on rats, allowed rats to live up to 3 times longer. I’ve been experimenting with that as well as a special form of pulse-electromagnetic therapy that you put over your collar or– under your collar bone while sleeping to enhance delta-brain wave production. So, I possibly have been stuck inside my house for much too long.
Rachel: (chuckles) You’ve got some crazy stuff there.
Ben: Oh yes! And also…
Rachel: It sounds absolutely fascinating.
Ben: … adrafinil, which a legal over-the-counter alternative to modafanil. All sorts of things that I’ll be talking about, but you can check that stuff out at the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle, but fear not into day’s podcast; there’s also some real goodies. So, what do you think, Rachel? Shall we dive in?
Rachel: Let’s get into it.
Rachel: So startin’ out with news flashes, Ben, what have you got for us this week?
Ben: Well, I have the Consumer Electronic Show. Have you heard of this?
Rachel: Oh! I haven’t. No.
Ben: Yes, so the Consumer Electronic Show is a huge show that I never go to because I’m not a fan of consumer elect – yeah, I know I just talked about putting magnets about my tit, but I’m not really not too enamored with walking around constantly connected to devices like I’ve literally hard-wired my entire home to eliminate all wifi and blue-tooth. However, that being said, I do find some of these stuff quite interesting and I’m going to link in the show notes. So folks, go over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/343, I’m going to link to this very interesting article that highlighted some of the coolest, health and wellness, and fitness devices that were showcase at this year’s consumer electronic show. So for example, one of the things showcased in this article is something called ‘the peanut’. Have you seen this, Rachel?
Rachel: I haven’t. No.
Ben: Okay, so the peanut is this little device, it’s like the size of a quarter and you can put it in different places in your house, or supposed on your body, or on different object, and it gives you information about those things. So, for example, for example, you could put it on like a safe or jewelry box or a money box, and it will automatically buzz or notify you if someone touches or moves that object. Isn’t that…
Rachel: So it’s basically if your kids tryin’ to steal some money, you can smack them on their head.
Ben: Oh yeah! Or somebody’s like – if you have like a hotel room, right, and you set something valuable out, and you wanna know if the cleaners mess around, snooping around, you can do that. Here’s something a little bit more fitness related, you can put it on like a bottle of supplements, or vitamins or pills, or capsules or medications, or whatever, and it will work with any type of regular, old pill container, and then you can set it up for customized scheduling like – ‘alert me if I forget to take this on a Tuesday, or if I forget to take this everyday’. And it will make the pill container buzz and alert you when you miss a dose, or when you forget to take that particular thing. I know!
Ben: It has a smart, wireless thermometer in it so you could put it like in a bedroom. Let’s say like a baby’s bedroom, right? And it alert you of the temperature goes outside of certain range, you could put it in your fridge and it will send you alert if the temperature light goes, you know, like our fridge does occasionally. You open it, and it’s frozen like the milk or something like that which is super annoying. I don’t understand refrigerators. I don’t know how refrigerators work, but they freeze up sometimes.
Rachel: Yes, they do.
Ben: So, it’ll do that. You can use it as a sleep monitor and also as an alarm clock. So it will monitor your sleep and then it’ll awake up at your best optimal sleep time when you kinda get out of your delta brain waves sleep, you know, a lot of these apps will do that. Like it will find when you just kind of like coming out of the deep, deep sleep range in the morning, and then boom! It will wake you up.
Rachel: It’s gonna be a better way to wake up than mid-swayed.
Ben: Yeah., does all sorts of things. You put on keys to help find your keys, so that’s one thing. That’s one called the peanut, the peanut. And again, I’ll link to all these if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/343, and I’m not…
Ben: 344 rather, 344. I’m glad somebody’s on top of things. I’m not financially affiliated with any if these companies by the way. I just think some of these are cool.
Rachel: What else you got?
Ben: They have the hydrate, spark, smart water bottle that ensures you’re properly hydrated throughout the day by sending messages to your phone from the water bottle, keeping track of exactly how much water that you’ve had during the day. So if you’re one of those people who like forgets to drink water…
Rachel: Struggles, yup!
Ben: Or if you’re – unfortunately I don’t think that I could drink my ‘coffee makes me poop’ coffee out of this thing.
Maybe I could. I don’t know, but it’s called the hydrate, h-i-d-r-a-t-e, the spark, smart, water bottle. That one is an interesting one.
Here’s one: they’ve got the level device. This is another one that showcased at the consumer show. It uses your breath to tell you when your body is burning fat. You breathe into it and it monitors – I’m not sure if it’s acetone, or beta hydroxybutyrate, or like ketone bodies of other sorts of what, but you can literally just breathe in to it and tell you whether you’re on fat burning mode or not.
Rachel: That’s super handy.
Ben: So that’s one is called the level, l-e-v-e-l. It manages measure you know, carbon dioxide to approximate your carbohydrate and your fat burning percentages. Whole bunch of other ones, there’s one called the smart sock, so the smart sock is literally a sock with a built-in sensor that tells you like your cadence, your foot landing, you heart rate, all sorts of things while you are running.
Rachel: Oh wow!
Ben: So, yeah! That’s probably not a sock you’d wanna wash. I’m not sure. Maybe you would want, I don’t know how they keep the sock from keeping just super gamey. You can’t wash it.
Rachel: So the information just goes to that point in your phone?
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: So, all sorts of really cool things. So check out this article, I’ll link to it. I only scratched the surface for all you drooling there that’s out there. You wanna check this one out – bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, if you wanna check out that article.
Another interesting news flash that come across my radar this week, so this was a supplement study. They took this supplement and they gave it to women, in this case they were using a population of older females. And in this case, they used this particular supplement and they compared it to olive oil. Just plain old olive oil as a placebo, and what they found was in these exercising females that they gave this particular supplement to (and I’m being super mysterious on this).
Rachel: So mysterious, I’m on the edge of my seat.
Ben: On purpose… So it increased the resting metabolic rate by 14%, it increased their energy expense during exercise by 10%, it increased their rate of fat oxidation during rest by 19%, it increased fat oxidation during exercise by 27%, it lowered triglyceride levels which are big independent risk factor for coronary heart disease by 29%, it increased lean mass by 4%, it increased functional capacity by 7% with zero changes occurring in the placebo group.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And do you know what this was?
Rachel: Wow! I’m gonna take an educated guess based on the title of the show, and say maybe… fish oil?
Ben: (chuckles) You are indeed correct.
Ben: So, they gave these ladies 3 grams per day of fish oil. This was over a 12 week period of time. It is important to know that a lot of these fat-based supplements like vitamin D and fish oil, you have to take them and allow them to build up over time, pretty impressive. One of the more impressive studies I’ve seen on omega-3 fatty acids that you find in fatty fish, based on this you know, I hinted that I am experimenting with high dose fish oil and reporting on the results on the next inner circle episode. I’m taking about 6 grams per day ‘cause gosh, I’m not an older female. I’m a big-o strappin’ boy. So I figured I double dosed with this stuff and throw some enemas and some buckminsterfullerene into the mix.
Rachel: If one is good, then 3 is better?
Ben: Oh of course, that’s always true.
Ben: You know, that’s because science says so. Anyways though, really, really interesting, and again I’ve mentioned that there’s only a few supplements that I’m constantly experimenting with things, but the only things I take regularly are fish oil, creatine, multivitamin, and adaptogenic herbs. And fish oil is definitely, definitely going to stay in my protocol based on the results of the study, so.
Ben: Yeah! Yeah, so if you’re not taking fish oil already or having fish as a regular part of your diet, you should be.
Rachel: What’s the veg – vegan alternative?
Ben: To fish oil?
Rachel: Is there one? Yeah.
Ben: Ahh… you know, chlorella and spirulina has some decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids in it. Walnuts as we mentioned on last week’s show over the seeds and nuts that you could eat are not too bad but the EPA in the ALA in seeds and nuts, it doesn’t get converted into the bioactive of really helpful form of DHA very well, and so…. you may have to bite the bullet and just take some fish oil.
Rachel: Uhmm, so you just to miss out?
Ben: Yeah, yeah, or just become a pesco, a pesco-vegetarian or pesco-vegan.
Rachel: A pescatarian, pesco-vegan, yes!
Ben: Yes. Pesco – the ancient Indian word for fish. You know what vegan means in ancient Indian?
Rachel: Fun fact? I don’t know.
Ben: Crappy hunter.
Rachel: (laughs) taran-ting!
Ben: (laughs) By the way, for those of you listening in, Rachel is vegetarian. I am quite vegan-friendly and eat a high amount of plants. Rachel is a friend of mine, I am in no way have any amount of animosity towards people who eat plants. I just think people who eat plants may benefit from also eating pesco and ovo.
Ben: Okay, that being said. Here is an interesting one that has nothing to do with what we were just talking about, but I thought it was really interesting. This guy, Ryan Hall, do you know who Ryan Hall is?
Ben: Ryan Hall is considered to be one of the fastest American distance runners in history.
Ben: He’s run the Boston Marathon far faster than any American runner. Two hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds. He is 33 years old and he just quit. He just dropped out because he had chronically low testosterone levels and adrenal fatigue. Exactly what we talked about last week, so if people are listening in, you wanted like get your head wrapped around adrenal fatigue and you know, what probably happened to a guy like Ryan, go listen to bengreenfieldfitness.com/343. When I see a story like this though it just – you know, this kind of stuff, yeah, volume combined with intensity of exercise certainly has been shown to be quite draining on the adrenal glands, it can shift a lot of your vitamin D and your other hormone precursors from testosterone which is what Ryan turned out to be very deficient in, into cortisol, because you need cortisol as an inflammatory control, like it assist with repairing some of the damages that occurs from something like high volume intense marathon training, but at the same time it means you’re missin’ out on testosterone. So…
Rachel: Yeah, which is important for life.
Ben: It’s important for life and pleasure. So anyways though, Ryan Hall by his chronic marathon training, you know, and this whole article on New York Times reports how it happened. It appears that he just basically over a long period of time drained his adrenals, drained his testosterone, push through it and got to the point where he basically had to quit. The website Slow Twitch recently had an article about like a cross-country ski guy that this happened too. He got to the point where he couldn’t walk like 15 minutes without getting out of breath, and it just flabbergast me the amount of people who will just forge ahead through adrenal fatigue and hormonal disregulation when in fact this stuff is avoidable. It’s less avoidable if you’re a marathoner, or ironman triathlete but it’s still avoidable with smart training, with close attention to dietary intake, to supplementation, to recovery protocols, but I mean, it’s just – it’s sad. I couldn’t let this one go by without saying something about it just because it’s avoidable.
Rachel: Do you think… yeah. Do you think people aren’t fully educated on it and that’s why they sort of just see these symptoms and push through them, or do you think they’re just tryin’ to go too hard?
Ben: I think it’s both. You know, I think that a lot of these guys don’t have certainly have physiology or biochemistry degrees or anything like that, or they aren’t doing like you know, constant blood monitoring so they can’t get their finger on the pulse of what’s going on with their hormones, or their adrenal glands until it’s too late. But they also don’t know about doing things like smart recovery, and perhaps using passive training protocols that we’ve talked about on the show before like sauna, and cold thermo, and some of these things that can be use to enhance blood flow on a recovery day rather than a recovery day being like a 2 hour run. They don’t know about, for example using high dose vitamin D during tougher training protocols, using adaptogenic herbs to limit the amount of cortisol being produced. They don’t necessarily even tap into – and I know this is gonna gross and aww, and probably make you puke, Rachel but they don’t know about using things like liver, and ancestral organ meats, and stuff like that to support proper hormone formation. I mean you know, there’s a reason that guys who do the Tour de France horse in between stages because of mitochondria and because of a lot of the hormone precursors you find in cute little phonies.
Ben: Anyways though, it’s an interesting article, and I just wanted to throw it out as a word of caution to folks who are out there training with that combination of volume and intensity: be careful, keep track of your biomarkers, and don’t be afraid to really delve deeper into legal science, you know, you can’t get on testosterone supplements, or lotions, or creams, or things like that and ethically compete in sport, but there are other ways that you can support your body.
So, I had to bring that up.
Rachel: There you go.
Ben: And oh – by the way, speaking of volume and intensity, I think I confused a lot of people this morning.
Rachel: Oh? Why is that?
Ben: Yeah. I posted a brand new post to bengreenfieldfitness.com announcing that I have been roped into by the good folks over at the Spartan race organization to be one of the first people to complete their coveted Spartan delta which means that you go and you do a sprint, a super and a beast Spartan, you do an endurance tri-factor which is the Spartan Agoge, the – which is like a 60-hour event in the snow back in Vermont, you do a 12-hour overnight hurricane heat which is literally just like a Spartan at night over and over and over again. You do an ultra-beast, all these different events, and uhmm, I decided to hop into this because…
Rachel: You did?
Ben: Yes. And…
Rachel: I thought we were just going with Spartan sprints?
Ben: Let me explain, let me explain.
Ben: Back off, back off. So first of all, read the article because I go into what? Two reasons: number 1, this new Spartan delta, Spartan Agoge, you can check it out if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/agoge – that’s a-g-o-g-e, bengreenfieldfitness.com/agoge. You can read about what this is, but they’re teaching life’s goals, survival skills, competition skills, social skills, all sorts of stuff over the course of like this 60-hour event in Vermont, and over the course of a lot of these other events that are part of the Spartan delta, it’s designed to make you a better, stronger, more resilient, more greedy, more educated person. It’s not designed to just make you do loops around the race course for an ungodly number of hours as part of some masochistic pointless feat.
Rachel: Yeah, uhmm.
Ben: So, there’s that. Second of all, as I just mentioned and talked about Ryan Hall, the problem and the over-training issue and the injury issue, and the cardiovascular issue with endurance sports has been shown to be the combination of volume and intensity. For me, the way that I’m approaching these events is I don’t plan on going out and doing them hard. All my hard races are gonna me like the short, you know, like sprint efforts, stadium races, sprint triathlon, stuff like that, but for these events, I plan on going out there and operating at low level aerobic intensity building grit, building resilience, learning new skill sets for survival that will help to make me one of the toughest people on the place of the planet, will help to make me a stronger man and to be there for my family, for my kids, for other people. Will help me to inspire the people, teach other people, go out do what I do, like a big part of what I do is I spend time in the trenches, freakin’ out what works and what doesn’t from a training standpoint, a nutrition standpoint, a mental standpoint, you name it. So it goes here not for me to just go out and like crush myself for hours and hours and end on intensity, so. And I go on to this in detail, in the post.
Ben: Go read the post, but basically…
Rachel: So when is it?
Ben: … that’s coming up. It’s in like a month, so I’ve been doing more…
Ben: … more barefoot walks in the snow, let’s put it that way. And, by the way, a little bit of Wim Hof style training, which we are going to talk about in this episode. So, stay tuned because that’s coming up shortly, but first….we bring… What do we bring to folks, Rachel?
Rachel: What do we bring to folks, Ben? I’m blankin’.
Ben: You supposed to know this. The special announcements.
Rachel: (laughs) Oh! It’s time for the special announcements.
Ben: Rachel, this podcast is brought to you by the cutest, two little 7-year old boys on the face of the planet.
Rachel: Stop it. River and Terran.
Ben: Yeah, no, yeah! Well, specifically it’s brought to you by – their new joy – they’re actually upstairs right now as we are podcasting. They’re upstairs cooking a multi-course Israeli-inspired dinner. They’re cooking Israeli cuisine upstairs.
Rachel: Oh! Wow!
Ben: They’ve been cooking almost every single night. They get up in the morning, and they make themselves this elaborate breakfast, but their new thing now is they’re taking this meal kits that we get shipped to our house and they’re learning how to cook using this meal kits. Like a couple of nights ago they made, get this – autumn risotto with butternut squash, sage, and pepitas. I don’t even know what a pepita is, and my kids are making it.
Rachel: Pumpkin seeds!
Ben: Okay well, there you go. You know, so.
Rachel: How are they, how are they – where are the packs coming from?
Ben: Okay. So there’s this company called Hello Fresh, they’re the sponsor of today’s show, and they shipped this kits to our house. They shipped this hello fresh meal kits to our house. The kids open them, they make the meals, they show them exactly how to make them. It’s like Lego kits for cooking.
Ben: And it’s – I mean, they’re not designed for kids, but I mean, they’re working great for my kids.
Rachel: Your kids are like super smart.
Ben: You know, I’ve talked before about how I love for people to learn how to cook. And they deliver all these stuff to your doorstep in this special little insulated box, so you don’t get food poisoning or worms, or anything like that crawling around in your pepitas. But basically what they’re offering – all of our listeners, is if you go to hellofresh.com, just like it sounds – hellofresh.com, and you enter code “Ben”, they give you 35 bucks off your first week of this meal kit delivery service. So, super cool service. I love this kind of stuff. You get to pick which meals you get, like if you wanna go gluten-free, or dairy-free, or healthy, or I don’t know, Japanese, you know, kind of when you get on airplane, whatever you get to pick, so. There you have it, hellofresh.com. But that’s not all, Rachel, that is not all, no.
Rachel: What else we got?
Ben: So this podcast is also brought to you by that same – those mushroom packets, remember I’ve been talking about how I put them in my coffee?
Ben: They’re all made by Four Sigma Foods, and what they’re offering any of our listeners is they’ll send you a full box of all their best selling like coffees, like this hot cocoa I talked about, some of these more hardcore mushroom products like the cordyceps and the chaga, and the reishi, and the lion’s mane, they’ll send you a big sampler pack and it is (it’s actually a pretty good deal) it’s 10 bucks. They’ll send you this full sampler pack and the special URL, they’re giving all of our listeners, and by the way, my apologies to everybody in Ukraine, and Japan, and Australia, this is USA only, unfortunately.
Ben: But it does include free shipping to the USA. So, my apologies to everybody else that the folks at four sigma are racists, but that being said, you go to foursigmafoods.com/sample, that’s foursigmafoods.com/sample. You spell out the word four – f-o-u-r sigmafoods.com/sample, I’ll put a link in the show notes too. You can get this stuff. Well worth it, this is like my new infatuation. I have a big like a section of my pantry devoted to just shrooms, shrooms.
Ben: By the way, have you ever done like a psilocybin or any of these more mind altering mushroom compounds?
Rachel: I haven’t, no. Have you?
Rachel: Ah, are you going to?
Ben: Both that, and ayahuasca are on my list. However, I don’t – a lot of people do this stuff ‘cause they wanna go soul-searching, or have some kind of like creative breakthrough, or you know like find themselves, and that’s my barrier to entry is I have no deep desire to go find myself. I’m pretty happy…
Ben: … with myself and me, and I just don’t – I’m not convinced that it’s worth doing just for fun.
Rachel: For the sake of it, yeah, yeah.
Ben: Right, for giggles. Maybe it is. I don’t know, maybe it’s a lot of fun. They just go to do ayahuasca and throw up in the jungle.
Rachel: I’ll be super interested, Ben for you to do it and see if anything kinda hit you upside the head that you didn’t expect would happen. You know?
Ben: You know, I maybe I go for it.
Ben: Yeah, for hell, for our listeners.
Rachel: For, for person on Youtube. We’d love to see.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so one other thing. There has nothing to do with throwing up in a jungle, that is our final sponsor. So our final sponsor is harry’s. And I wanna point out something I haven’t really talked about too much with harry’s. If you like to own nice things, harry’s has this razor, and it costs $20 actually if you go to harrys.com/ben and use discount code “Ben”, actually you don’t need to have to go to harrys.com/ben, just go to harrys.com, and use discount code “Ben”. You can get one of these razors called the Winston. So, I own one, I own one of these $20 razors. You get 5 bucks off, so $15 for you. It has – it’s basically an ergonomic razor. If you’ve never held an ergonomic razor, you are missing out on essential part of life and shaving. No matter what body part you are shaving, it makes it better. It’s like holding – have you ever held like a really nice pen?
Rachel: I have, yes.
Ben: Or like a – like a craftsman’s knife? That’s just like it feels like weighted in your hands just perfectly. That’s the way that these blades are built like I take it out of the drawer, and it just – I don’t know, compared to like the cheepo-drugstore brands, it has this feel that makes you just wanna shave. I just wanna shave and then grow the hair back right there, and shave again. I could stay in my bathroom all day and shave. Some people get addicted to drugs, some people get addicted to alcohol, I get addicted to my razor. I have a love affair with my razor. My wife is jealous.
Ben: So this one – it’s made from precision-grade aluminum, it’s called the Winston, the Winston. And so, I would just – I would challenge any of you out there, go try a Winston, you can even add engraving to it.
I think I mentioned this last week, you know, if somebody’s stealing, if your loved one is stealing your razor and shaving their crotch with it, you can add engraving to it, just so they know when they’re shaving their crotch with it, that it is yours. Send the money, go trip. So, check that out, harrys.com and use discount code “Ben”.
A few other quick special announcements that I wanted to bring up before we jump into this week’s Q & A, of course, the early bird premier tickets for the best health conference of the year. At least what I consider to be the best conference of the year, PaleoFX. Those are on sale, and you can get them at bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleo16, that stands for 2016, bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleo16. You need to be there. If you’re not there, you’re a loser. There, I said it. So…
Rachel: Oh! You said it out loud.
Ben: So, get your tickets. Get your ticket.
Rachel: You don’t need to be Paleo, just common down.
Ben: Yeah, you don’t need to be Paleo. You can bring your baguette but check it out – bengreenfielfitness.com/paleo16. That’s May 27th through the 29th, but before that March 12th, New York City, I’m speaking in New York City a full day of talks with me, and fellow podcaster, the Nutrition Diva. Have you ever listened to her?
Rachel: I have, yeah!
Ben: Yeah, she’s good, she’s good.
Rachel: That’s gonna be a super fun day.
Ben: She’s like a – yes, she’s like opera singer and she’s also a nutritionist, and a podcaster. She’s really cool and smart. So, that one includes like priority seating, VIP tote bag, a nice breakfast, really kind of like an intimate affair. So you can get it on that at bengreenfieldfitness.com/wholelife, that is bengreenfieldfitness.com/wholelife. That’s one’s March 12th, the other one I mentioned, the PaleoFX, that’s May 27th through the 29th. Are there other events happening? Oh yes, there are!
Rachel: That one is in Austin, Texas, right?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. There are other events but we’re not gonna talk about them now. However, if you wanted to see the full list of goodies, events, places you can go, if you’re bored and you wanna go buy plane tickets somewhere, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, and we’ll link up everything for you using hyperlinks and internets, so. Check it out. What do you think? Q & A?
Rachel: Alright! Let’s do it!
Listener Q & A:
Matt: Hello Ben! So I was wondering if you could answer some questions on the Wim Hof method, and any potential dangers that there are with the lack of oxygen in the brain, and putting yourself, forcing yourself into hyperventilation? Yeah, are there anything, any health risks with this method or what? Thanks a lot!
Ben: Rachel, have you actually ever heard this Wim Hof guy talked? Like have you heard any of my podcast with him, or podcast that other folks have done with him?
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely!
Ben: Yeah, he’s like Polish. He gets very emotional.
Rachel: Very passionate.
Ben: And yeah, he talks like this, mate! He says – “You gotta go out, and you gotta get, you gotta get your feet in the snow, no you just do it! And you just, you just breathe (curse word) just breathe (curse word)…
Rachel: (Laughs) Ben! (laughs)
Rachel: Ahhhh! That was – that was – that was epic. Thank you. I have heard him, yes, and I don’t remember him sounding like that, but he is definitely very passionate.
Ben: That’s how he sounds, and the science is very interesting, you know, and go – if you’re not familiar with the Doody Doll, I’ll link in the show notes with this podcast ‘cause I’d had him in my show twice and we’ve delved into his stuff pretty deeply, and actually in the free diving and breath holding podcast that I just did this past Saturday with my free-diving instructor, we talked about Wim Hof’s methods as well. And we also talked about whether or not some of them might be dangerous, but basically I’ve read all of his books and all of his methods, and the basic idea behind it is this: he has this breathing technique and I’m going to give a very, very brief overview of his breathing technique. The way that he describe it is, quote – “by not breathing out completely, you get to a point at which a residual amount of air remains in the lungs, and you do this about 30 times”. So it’s like (hard breathing sounds) right? So, you’re not breathing out completely, and when you finish that full cycle, you exhale everything. (Hoooooo) You hold, hold, hold. And when you have to breathe, you breathe in (hooooooo) and yes, over and over again. You do it for like 5 minutes. So then you start to get lightheaded, and you start to get tingling, and what’s going on is you’re increasing the oxygen content, but you’re reducing CO2 content.
You’re reducing CO2 content. This is in fact hyperventilation, and what happens is when you reduce CO2, you actually increase theoretically the amount of oxygen being released. It’s known as aerobic dissimilation, if you wanna look at it from a scientific standpoint. And so, in Wim’s case this has been shown to result in an actual increase in the core temperature of the body, a decrease in inflammatory cytokines, an increase in blood flow to specific regions of the brain responsible for focus, and the ability to be able to for example, do what Wim is known to be able to do which is tolerate the cold. Now, when you look at hyperventilation, you’ll see some swimmers getting shallow water blackout from hyperventilation. This recently happened to that Dartmouth swimmer that we talked about a couple podcast episodes ago that died because he’s combining hyperventilation with exertion, with unsupervised underwater swimming. So, hyperventilation is basically breathing off a great amount of CO2. As you hyperventilate, you’re creating low carbon dioxide levels. When you create low carbon dioxide levels, a few different things happen: first of all, your brain’s blood vessels constrict, so that results in that tingling, that lightheadedness because you get reduced blood flow to the brain. Now, yes you do super charge the body with oxygen, and theoretically you increase your ability to for example, be able to hold your breath for long periods of time, you shift your body into a state of what’s called respiratory alcolosis because when you lose a bunch of carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide is normally carried as what’s called bicarbonate in your blood, and when you aren’t carrying as much bicarbonate in your blood, you’ve get less hydrogen ions – what are called protons floating around. Protons are acidic, and so you create this alkalinic state and it’s really that alkalization that causes blood vessels to constrict, and when you get those blood vessels constricting, that affects nerves, it affect muscles, it can affect your awareness, it can affect your ability to basically have – to know when to breathe as what it comes down to because normally it’s the presence of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream that triggers that urge to breathe. And when you blow off all your carbon dioxide, your body’s normal urge to breathe goes away. And when that normal urge to breathe goes away, if you are underwater, you might blackout before your body remembers to breathe. And that is probably one of the more dangerous parts of this method. It’s one of the reasons that doing in an unsupervised situation could cause you to die. Now, there – I like 2 different forms of breathing. I do like this concept of using something like this to – you know, just try this – like, let’s say you live in an area where there’s snow, you wanna go dip in a cold pool, just go through a few cycles of that (hard breathing sounds) and you gonna get tingling, you gonna get lightheaded, remember you end it with a full breath out (hooooooo) hold, hold, hold, and a full breath in, and you gonna warm the body and everything, but be careful combining it with breath holds. It will warm your body and it will help you handle the cold, but you really have to be careful with carbon dioxide levels in the body dropping too low. If…
Rachel: So, does it have any other health impacts that related to blacking out and forgetting to breathe?
Ben: You mean like deleterious health impacts?
Rachel: Yeah, like you know, restricting blood flow to the brain. Is there anything…
Ben: Yeah, long term hyperventilation, long term vasoconstriction would theoretically cause some issues with circulation to the brain if you have like traumatic brain injury, concussion, you know, which we’re gonna talk about later on the episode. You’d wanna be careful with this, but at the same time brief periods of hypoxia are like hormesis just like brief exposure to cold, the heat, etc. you actually enhance your body’s ability to be able to deliver oxygen to the tissues when you are breathing normally. You just have to be careful not to overdo it, and I am just as bigger fan of the opposite of actually retaining CO2 by taking deep breaths (hoooooooo), and short exhales, deep breath (hoooooooo) and short exhales. When you do this, when you retain CO2, you actually cause vasodilation, and when you retain CO2, you also shift your body into the exact opposite of respiratory alcolosis, you shift into the acidosis.
When you shift to acidosis, what happens is oxygen gets release more readily from hemoglobin at the level of tissues, and this means that when you are recovering from an intense muscular effort, and you need to get oxygen back into those tissues, you don’t want to be hyperventilate, you technically wanna blow off less CO2. So there’s 2 different breathing techniques that you can use. And 2 different breathing that I personally use – if I’m gonna go jump into the cold pool, I’ll do the Wim Hof style breathing, but if I’m sittin’ around recovering after workout or breathing during the day, I actually breathe in (h0000000) more might breathe out. One easy way to do this during the day is you breathe in through your mouth (sounds), and out through your nose (sounds), and when you breathe in through your mouth, and out through your nose, you retain oxygen and you don’t breathe off as quite as much CO2.
Ben: Two different ways you can do it, but of course, there is another aspect of the Wim Hof method and that is cold exposure, and this is something else that can be damaging if you’re not careful, and I think everybody – by the way, I’m experimenting with this method and this is a topic near and dear to my heart ‘cause like that ogoge that I talked about in Vermont that I gonna do, that’s gonna be cold. Like you know, their advertisements for it – you know, I saw a banner the other day put up by Spartan and it said “Nothing burns like the cold” and I’ve heard that we’re gonna be sittin’ in the river for like an hour, 2 hours, or somethin’ like that, and walkin’ through the snow, and so it’s gonna suck, but at the same time if you understand cold, it’s really interesting.
There’s 4 phases that occur when you get exposed to cold, and by understanding these 4 phases, you can really equip yourself to handle the cold a little bit better. The first phase is called the cold shock response. It’s very, very similar to that mammalian dive reflex that we’ve talked about before, and that I’ve spoke with the free-diving instructor about when I had him on my podcast this past Saturday. And that sharp gasp reflex that occurs in response to rapid skin cooling and especially occurs if your head goes underwater, it’s what can drive your body very quickly into sympathetic nervous system overdrive unless you’re used to that. How do you use to it? Shove in your face underwater. A lot of people if they can’t do a cold shower, if they got their body use to the cold, the best thing you can do is deactivate that response or down regulate that response by frequently shoving your head into like a sink full of ice, or getting your head cold so that cold shock response is what a lot of times will cause people for example, to go into cardiac arrest because when you get a significant cold shock response, your arteries narrow, you get vasoconstriction, that means your heart has to work harder to pump the same volume of blood through your body, and if anybody has like a mineral deficiency or an underlying heart disease or cardiac arrhythmia, this is one of the proposed reasons why people for example, die in triathlons because people have underlying heart issues go there, hits the cold water, they get the cold shock response, the get the vasoconstriction, they get the sympathetic nervous system overdrive, and they go into shock or heart attack. So…
Ben: One thing you can do is just get your body used to that cold shock response. So, that’s one thing. Another thing that happens as part of the cold shock response is that hyperventilation that I was just explaining. The trick though once you get into the water is not to continue to hyperventilate. You hyperventilate before you get into the water.
Ben: … if you’re using something like the Wim Hof technique, but once you’re in the water, you begin breathing very slowly (slow breathing sounds). I’m also a fan of box breathing because it down regulates the sympathetic nervous system response. That’s a four count in (sounds), four count hold (sounds), four count out (sound), four count hold (sound). So understanding the cold shock response is very important and that will help you with the cold a little bit. Another issue that occurs after the cold shock response is called the cold incapacitation, and that occurs after you’ve been in the water for about 5 to 15 minutes. This is why shrinkage happens. I was explaining shrinkage to my boys the other day when we were out in the cold pool. So vasoconstriction decreases blood flow to the extremities, and does that to preserve heat to the core and protect your vital organs, and still allow your periphery to cool. Now, muscles and nerve fibers as you would guess, they don’t work as well when it’s cold, so you lose movement in your hands and your feet, then you lose movement in your arms and your legs, now cold incapacitation can be staved off to a certain extent by ensuring that you contract and relax the muscles and extremities. So you don’t want to stay in the water completely still, you wanna move your fingers slowly, move your toes slowly, but here’s the key – when water is up against your skin, and you’re underwater, your skin naturally warms some of that water, and that’s why I say slowly, right, you want to basically not let yourself sit completely still ‘cause that cold incapacitation will set in, but you also don’t wanna move too quickly.
It’s kinda like this happy medium between not like makin’ the water move around too much, but also continuing to contract and relax your fingers, your toes, your extremities.
Rachel: So, what does incapacitation literally means that like when you are pass that 15 minute mark, that your body just doesn’t wanna move?
Ben: Aha! And a lot of times that’s when hypothermia can set in. Hypothermia is gonna vary with water temperature, and it’s gonna vary with body mass. They actually did a really interesting study of about 700 people of which they ask them if you fall on ice water which is zero degrees Celsius, 32-ish degrees Fahrenheit while wearing regular winter clothing, how long do you think it will take to become hypothermic? And the response of most people was 0-5 minutes. The actual correct response, what do you think it is, Rachel?
Rachel: Well, past 15 minutes. 20 minutes?
Ben: it’s actually 30 minutes or longer that it takes for hypothermia to set in. so it’s actually – you can last pretty long in freezing cold water before you start to go unconscious, before you cool to the point of cardiac arrest, before you get to the point where you are shivering so hard that your body just kinda goes on to shock. But it takes a while and if you use some of these techniques, these breathing techniques, moving your fingers and your toes, hyperventilating before you get into the water, you know, you look at the guy like Wim Hof, he stayed in like a bucket of ice water. I think he was in there for like 2 hours or something, ‘cause he trained his body to get to that point.
Rachel: Yup. So you recommend box breathing?
Rachel: While you at in that first 5 to 15 minutes?
Ben: Uhmm, yeah, yeah. The whole time if you can. Now, what happens though when a lot of people do cold water training, they know this. The issue is not when you’re in the water, it’s when you get out because when you get out – this is called circum rescue collapse among like cold water rescue people. And what happens is when you’re fighting to stay alive, you’re senses get heightened and stress hormones are surging through your body, and your blood pressure increases, and all these things happen to help keep you warm when you’re in the water, and then when you get out of the water, this mental relaxation occurs, you get a decrease output of those stress hormones and typically this takes about 2-5 minutes to set in. Your blood pressure drops, your muscle starts to fail, you begin to shiver uncontrollable, and you can go on a cardiac arrest. And that’s really what happens is when you get out of the water and you’re standing around in the ambian air and warming yourself, that is when the suckage really starts to happen, and that’s what we need we were is you have to – if you get out of a long period of time in cold water, you gotta get yourself warm quickly or make sure that you actually being supervised by someone. So, those are some potential issues with the Wim Hof method, would be passing out because you don’t have enough CO2, the cardiac shock, and the heart attack that could occur from the initial exposure to cold water, the potential for cold incapacitation if you’re staying completely still in the water, and then finally this circum rescue collapse that can occur when you get out of the water unless you figure out a way to get your body warm pretty quickly.
Rachel: Wow! Those are all crazy risks. (laughs)
Ben: Yeah, but at the same time I mean, I think learning these techniques are pretty good, and for those of you who want to and wanna delve more deeply into these breathing techniques, I’ll link to the 2 podcasts that I’ve done with him. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, you can tune in to those, if you are listening in, I believe Rachel has volunteered to grow a beard, and lead everyone up a quest of Mt. Everest in shorts and barefeet to go practice these techniques. Is that correct, Rachel?
Rachel: That’s correct. I guess. (laughs) I’ll do it.
Ben: So, alright, Rachel has just volunteered. Hold her to it…
Rachel: Uhmm, yup!
Ben: And leave a comment in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, if you either a) have questions about the Wim Hof technique or b) have beard growing tips for Rachel.
Kyle: Hey Ben and Rachel, huge fan of the podcast. Actually listen to the podcast while I’m doin’ manual labor, or when I’m working out, or walking to class, or what have you, so definitely keep it up guys. I did have one question: what are some options for like a healthy cure for acne. I’ve heard about some things looks like some essential oils and you know, using coconut oil but I was wondering if there’s maybe an all natural face wash to make or use or purchase, and if you can give any insight into that, much appreciated. Thanks guys, love the podcast. Keep it up!
Ben: Rachel, I have a great story about acne.
Rachel: Oh you do that. It’s not somethin’ you hear everyday.
Ben: It’s not squeezing your whiteheads at the mirror, even though I was known to do that when I was a teenager. Who has not, right? Did you ever squeeze your whiteheads at the mirror?
Rachel: Right, oh I definitely did. I definitely did.
Ben: Oh! It pop on the mirror?
Rachel: It’s so satisfying!
Ben: But it’s gross, and you get a lot – it’s satisfying and yah you clean the mirror, yeah.
Ben: It’s gross and satisfying all at the same time.
Rachel: All at once.
Ben: And you’re guilty but feels so good.
Rachel: Uhmm, you loved it. Yeah.
Ben: Feel so good to pop those whiteheads. You put a warm cloth on them, and pop them. Anyways though, my wife actually dealt with skin issues way more than I did. It’s like she had acne, and eczema, and I remember like she’s been like a half hour in the bathroom before work in the morning just like doin’ the make-up and covering up the little like you know, the pimples and all that craps that build up from acne, and at that time we were eating a stereo-typical health and fitness healthy diet. Meaning, we were like full on whole grains, bread, you know, like all brand and Kellogg’s cereal, and we would do sandwiches for lunch, and usually like dinner, we do pasta and stuff like that. We are both like you know, died in the woo kinda like. Basically endurance athlete diets, right? Like at that time I was doin’ Ironman, she was a cross-country runner, so that was just how we had learned to eat. Now, she got this crappy little book from the library, and I remember it looked like it had been printed from the library copy machine. It was bound from a little like thick black coil. You know, what I’m talking about?
Rachel: Yeah, I know what’s up you’re talking about, yeah!
Ben: And it’s called “The Dietary Cure for Acne”. It’s like 10 years ago. That’s what she brings us home to our little condo, and she’s reading it at the kitchen table, and she tells me she’s gonna try this book. She’s gonna try this diet. And like I was always the diet guy, like I was the body builder, and I was like messing around with different like-sugar blends for like maltodextrin and fructose for my triathlons, like – she was never the person to even give a crap about diet at all. But she picked up this diet book, it’s called the dietary cure for acne. I remember this guy name Loren Cordain, and basically what this book went into was the concept of what’s called hyperinsulinemia, hyperinsulinemia. Excess levels of insulin in the bloodstream, and what the book highlighted or suggested was that this hyperinsulinemia condition triggers this hormonal cascade, and what’s called an endocrine response that results in unregulated growth and keratinization of epithelial cells. That means like a bunch of growth of skin cells and androgen mediated sebum secretion, sebum secretion – which is basically acne. You know, sebum is all that stuff that we pop in front of the mirror, so.
Ben: And the idea is that this all triggered by what’s called insulin-like growth factor. Also known as IGF1, and IGF1 is basically promoting acne in the same way that insulin does by promoting what’s called follicular obstruction. So, it also causes this androgen mediated sebum production, but it also causes hyperkeratosis which is the thickening on the outer layers of the skin, and also epidermal hyperplasia which is a proliferation of skin cells. So we put all these factors together and we basically have a bunch of skin cell growth, a bunch of sebum production, and this perfect storm for acne, and breakouts to occur. And the idea behind this book was – hey, we limit insulin formation, we limit insulin-like growth hormone formation, and a lot of these androgenic, endocrine based issues with the skin, and we could potentially get rid of things like acne, and perhaps even by eliminating a lot of potential immune system triggers like commercial dairy, and soy, and wheat, we could also get rid of some immune related issues like eczema or redness or swelling. So, my wife starts this diet and within like a month, no problems. Her eczema goes away, her acne goes away, and that was honestly my first…
Ben: That was my first exposure to like, you know, like we mentioned before, I’m not Paleo but that guy Loren Cordain, he’s considered like the father of the Paleo Movement, and that was my first introduction to like eating in a more ancestral way.
Realizing that there’s a pretty significant hormonal response to food, and so when it comes to diet, I mean, the whole idea behind it was you limit insulin production by limiting dairy, which is a huge promoter of insulin-like growth factor production, and you limit wheat – another very high glycemic index food like whole wheat bread can spike your blood faster than white sugar. You limit a lot of like fruits and carbs, and even potatoes and rice, and stuff like that. You save it for post-workout when your body doesn’t have to produce as much insulin in response to those foods, and as a result, it clears up your skin and it – like it worked perfectly for my wife. I’ve recommended it to a lot of people. It works very well for them. I don’t necessarily think that you have you completely eliminate dairy, and that you have to completely eliminate grains, but in the initial phases of it, you may wanna consider doing that – there’s this shutdown inflammation, and shutdown some kind of like hyper-active immune response, but from a dietary standpoint, that book freakin’ rocks. I mean, if you have acne. So, that would be my recommendation from a diet standpoint.
Rachel: And, can acne be a manifestation of anything else other than the things that you just covered?
Ben: I think that’s aside from acne always seems to pop up if you happen to have a hot date planned, that’s another big, big trigger.
Rachel: (laughs) The cure for acne?
Ben: Yeah, exactly…
Rachel: Stay single forever!
Ben: …and then it’d go out with someone who you need to impress, acne will inevitably show up on your skin. Usually your nose, or like somewhere else is really hard to cover up.
Rachel: Really obvious, yeah.
Ben: As far as the face stuff though, so first of all, I should mention before I get in to this face wash thing, for the past about 6 months, I have been developing a hypoallergenic anti-aging skin serum. I am not in a position yet to release into the wilds for people to try, but I’ve been using for about 2 months. And what it is a hypoallergenic formula that I designed to get rid of things like cross-eyes, and fine lines, and wrinkles and scars, and stretch marks, skin discoloration, acne, eczema, you name it. And it’s all organic, it’s aloe vera, jojoba oil, carrot seed oil, triphala, lavender, it’s got wild oregano oil in it, turmeric, lemon, patchouli like pretty much every organic compound known to man that has been shown to rejuvenate the skin, or to be a topical formula that will get rid of like acne, eczema, etc. I’m probably about a month out from makin’ that available to folks, so.
Rachel: That is super exciting!
Ben: I’m pretty excited about it. And like I mentioned, I’ve been using it every single day, super cool stuff. So I had to mention that, stay tuned because that – it’s called the Greenfield Anti-aging Serum. And that will come out soon. It’ very – it can be very, very cool. But in the meantime, do we have a doozy for ya’ – this is a really, really cool recipe that you can make. It’s got natural antibacterial properties, it’s got some enzymes and probiotics that are fantastic for the skin, and it can really help out with acne. You still need to realize acne is an internal hormonal based problem related to insulin and insulin-like growth factor, but this can be a good topical solution until the Greenfield Anti-aging Serum is released. Here’s how it works: you get yourself some manuka honey, manuka honey… ever use this stuff, Rachel?
Rachel: Yeah, I actually bought some recently to have with my breakfast though.
Ben: oh wow, it’s awesome for smearing on your – like for wounds and burns, like MRSA or like friction based issues, like cyclists, or cuts – like it’s really, really almost like magical stuff when it comes to being antibacterial, but what you can do is you can use it as an actual face wash. You can get manuka honey, and you can use it as a face wash. Super-duper simple solution, I know I’ve recommended all sorts of fancy formulas before on the show, but this one is very simple. You take a small amount of manuka honey, like a teaspoon and you rub your hands together with the honey. You wet your face with warm water before you do that, not after you do that. Wet your face with warm water, get the honey in your hands, and then massage the honey into your skin in a circular motion to all the areas of your face, all the skin-based areas of your face, then just leave that on for 10 minutes. Just walk around with honey on your face, stay away from dogs, birds, bees, anything you don’t want eating your face, and then you wash it off with warm water, and you have it dry. Makes your skin super soft, kills bacteria, it’s a really, really cool, quick, easy cleanse.
Tonic, for your face.
Rachel: Very simple. Who would have thought? And it has to be manuka?
Ben: Uh-uhmm. Well, you could use it like raw honey too. Raw honey has some cool antibacterial properties as well, but manuka… by the way, manuka is expensive. It’s like 30 bucks for a ton but like manuka works the best. So that’s my recommendation, again, and try the Greenfield anti-aging serum… is release…
Rachel: Does the Greenfield anti-aging serum have manuka honey in it?
Ben: No, it doesn’t, and there’s 2 reasons: number 1, already with the 15 ingredients I’ve got in there, if we were to add manuka, it cost you like 90 bucks for a little bottle of it. And number 2, I made it to be portable like I want people to be able to like take a true TSA, and have in like a 4 ounce container and be able to spray it, like spraying is very important and you just can’t spray manuka honey, and so it can be messy and yeah, so no, it doesn’t have manuka honey in it but you could get manuka honey and make…
Rachel: And add it to it…
Ben: Make that happen for yourself. So, check that out. I’ll put a link to some of my favorite manuka honeys in the show notes if you wanna get yourself some but there’s one maybe a company called – it’s actually a New Zealand company called Manuka Health. They make a pretty good one. A lot of the manuka honey are found coming out of New Zealand here. You’re neighbors! Do you guys fight for folks in New Zealand or you’re besties?
Rachel: Besties! We love each other.
Ben: Okay. I wasn’t sure if you like a ….
Rachel: According to me, according to me. (chuckles)
Ben: Yeah, if you launch coconut at them, and the launch kiwi fruit at you…
Ben: … across the…
Rachel: That would be a fun wall.
Ben: … across the bay. Alright!
Jimmy: Hey Ben and Rachel, how is it goin’? My name is Jimmy, I wanted to ask you a question Ben about concussions and recovering from concussions. I know you’ve talked a lot about recovering from degenerative brain disorders, and different types of nutrition and fitness things that can help with that, but I’ve had about either 8 or 9 concussions that I know of some of which have involved some pretty significant blackout time, and there’s probably a lot of others in there. And then recently I watched the movie ‘Concussion’ and it just got me thinking about if there’s things I need to be doing to just plain on that since I’m 25, and I still wanna have a lot of healthy brain time ahead of me. And so, yeah, I’d love to get your opinion on addition things other are maybe differently that some of the stuff you’ve talked about previously with brain health. Thanks a lot. Love the show. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Ben: Rachel, I don’t know if you’re aware of this. Jimmy is obviously not aware of it. We have done a lot of episodes on concussions and blood flow to the brain. A lot of ‘em.
Rachel: Okay, yeah.
Ben: Maybe Jimmy is not aware of it because of his ongoing head damage. Sorry Jimmy. Nah, no – I should not make a fun of listeners. Slap my hand. I can’t make ‘F’ word, I can’t make fun of listener’s accents, can’t make fun of questions, so sorry…
Rachel: Can’t make fun of your co-host accent.
Ben: That’s right, that’s right. Sorry Jimmy, but either way Jimmy, I wanna give you a few big takeaways from the top 3 podcasts that we’ve done on brain health, and concussions, and then I wanna give you a few tips from my buddy and physician named Dr. Jack Kruse, who has some really good information out there on concussions. So first of all, one guy that I interviewed was named Mark Tullius. Mark Tullius is an MMA fighter and we went over some of the issues that he’s had with testosterone as well as with head damage from training and fighting. The biggest takeaways from the podcast with Mark Tullius, and I’ll link to his podcast in the show notes for ya’, was he uses a lot of Lumosity brain games and brain training apps. He uses a lumosity and then one called n-back training to ensure that he’s doing activities that increase blood flow to his brain, and he also uses Onnit’s alpha brain to assist with his memory and word recall. So those were his biggies – was Lumosity, n-back training, and this Onnit alpha brain, and I’ll link to his particular episode, but that would – those were my biggest takeaways from his deal. So, there’s that. Now I also interviewed, had a really extensive interview with this doctor named Kelly Ryder, and the title of that was ‘Concussions, and Muscles, and Podcast’, if you were a loved one have ever had head injury. Now, we went into everything from specs scans to scanning the brain for damage, testing the brain, etc. but some of the big takeaways from Dr, Ryder, his recommendation for brain inflammation specifically related to concussions was a supplement called glutathione – that’s one that he use quite a bit with his patients, and then also fish oil. And he used a brain training app called the Muse app which is basically a headband that you wear in your head, and that’s a form of neurofeedback where you have a guided app on the phone like a guided meditation app with this muse headband.
So those are some of his recommendations. So, glutathione, fish oil, and the muse headband, whereas Mark Tullius recommended N-back training, the lumosity brain app, and then also the Onnit alpha brain supplement. Now, what I would say in terms of actual clinical-based research, probably the podcast that we did. Podcast 341 in which we went over a very extensive treatise on Alzheimer’s and cognitive performance. Actually, was it 341 or 340?
Rachel: I think it might have been 340.
Ben: It was 340. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/340, and we’ll link to that in the show notes as well, but in 340, what we went into was a study that they did that was literally showing reversal of some of the cognitive issues that occur with Alzheimer’s and this is also pure gold for any of you out there who want to enhance cognitive performance or reverse some of the hypoperfusion that occurs from head damage. There is a huge, huge list of stuff that we went into in that one, but they included ketosis-based diet. So you’re limiting the amount of glucose and advanced glycation and products that can cause inflammation and damage to the brain. It included intranasal light therapy using something called the Vielight, we talked about using pulse electromagnetic field therapy, which is called PEMF. The list of supplement was pretty extensive that we went through but some of the biggies were again fish oil, but also there’s vitamin D, vitamin K, curcumin which is a very potent neural anti-inflammatory, cannabidiol, using something called CBD just just a legal form of marijuana, high dose fish oil, and then we also even talked about creatine which has some really interesting neuro protective properties. I also have a full list in the show notes of a bunch of like other like face recognition and IQ test, and central nervous system tap test like a huge list of stuff in that one. So that’s pretty extensive but go listen to that podcast episode #340 for that.
Ben: And then finally like I mentioned, there’s this physician who I’ve had on the podcast a few times, Dr. Jack Kruse – he’s a neurosurgeon. So he obviously knows a little bit about the head, or at least he does, and he has a really good article on which he list some of the things that he recommends if you have had a concussion or head injury. One of the things that recommends is that you load with medium chained triglycerides to get yourself into ketosis prior to engaging in the at-risk behavior like soccer, or football, or a fight, or something like that. He actually likes you to get in with limited glucose consumption, and a whole bunch of medium chained triglycerides onboard or some of these ketones to enhance the actual fuel being used by your brain and limit the amount of potential for glycation damage that can go hand in hand with concussion. So that’s one of the things that he recommends. Another thing that he recommends is really interesting, is that you cool your posterior and your lateral neck area if you’ve been concussed or if you had a concussion, or if you’re trying to heal from a concussion like that whole putting your head in the ice water technique I talked about earlier, like a head cooling technique. He’s a huge fan of that to limit neuronal damage, and get that bounce back blood flow to the head that occurs after you’ve removed your head from the cold water. He’s also a huge fan of minerals. He recommends about 25 mg of zinc, and 400 mg of magnesium as minerals to limit neuronal damage or to improve what he calls neuronal energy deficits. So he’s got a very, very extensive article on concussion and concussion management. He calls it the concussion prescription, and I will also link to that in the show notes as well for you, Jimmy. But basically, I just wanted to give you some of the resources that we’ve made available on the past for concussions because it certainly something that I’ve covered pretty extensively.
Rachel: Yeah, I mean between those 4 different things that you just said, there’s probably about a hundred different things to try. (chuckles)
Ben: Yeah, and I mean, let’s put it this way. There are some people who are like in the anti-aging sector, and I know ‘em, and they’ll pop like literally 50 pills every morning. Like if – and we talked about this when we talked about Alzheimer’s and cognitive performance, you want to throw everything in the kitchen sink from a biohacking and a gear in a supplement standpoint, go for it. If you wanna be like me and put you know, 18 different mushrooms in your ‘coffee makes me poop’ mug, go for it. More power to you. It’s better living through science, but ultimately use some of those resources.
I’ll put them in the show notes for you at bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, and best of love.
Michael: Hi Ben, my name is Michael. I’m a hockey player trying to gain weight. I’m 5 foot 10, 160 pounds, and I have a really hard time getting over 165. My goal is to be at around 180 pounds to stay competitive in this sport. I stay pretty active, I lift weights 2-3 times a week, I train for cardio twice a week, and I play hockey probably about twice a week. I’ve tried drinking a gallon of organic whole milk everyday but doesn’t really feel sustainable from a health perspective, and I was wondering what you would recommend to help me increase my appetite in a healthy way. Thank you very much!
Ben: So this is what I call skinny guy syndrome.
Ben: My brother-in-law is a very skinny guy. My wife actually had me for Christmas one year write my brother-in-law a mass gain program, and he played college basketball, and he had worked with all these different strength conditioning coaches and nutritionists to pack of bunch of muscle on his body, and I didn’t really change that much in terms of what he was doing. I had him lifting heavy stuff, but he was already doing that. What I did do was I up’ed him from about 3,000 calories a day which is what he was eating, and I put him on a 6-7,000 calorie a day diet.
Ben: And he began to pack on muscle like crazy, and a big, big part for gaining muscle frankly guys, and this is coming from me, I’m 175 lbs. right now. I used to be 210 pound body builder. I got that way by eating copious amounts of food like every 2 hours. I mean, it takes a lot of food if you’re a hard gainer to put on serious amounts of mass. Listen to the podcast that I did with Dan John, I’ll link to it in the show notes but I mean basically his Mass Made Simple program, you’re lifting for about an hour to an hour and a half a few days a week, and then you’re pretty much sittin’ around, watching football. You’re living like a toad, just like trying to move as little as possible, eat copious amounts of food, and then every now and again, lift heavy stuff. It’s not necessarily heart healthy, it’s not necessarily the best thing for your gut in terms of the strain that you’re putting on your digestive system, but it’s how you build mass, and frankly, if you’re drinking a gallon of whole milk a day, remember what I was just talking about when it comes to insulin and insulin-like growth factor?
Rachel: Uhmm, yup.
Ben: Acne! Have you seen how many body builders and like high school athletes have like acne, eczema, and all these issues related to mass gain? Big reason for it is because they’re using dairy, and wheat to grow mass. There are better ways to grow mass. You can use like really dense source like avocado, coconut milk, and like even like less insulinigenic forms of protein for example, like hemp and pea and rice protein. If you combine those with digestive enzymes, you get just as much as an anaebolic response from them as whey protein, and steak, so that – I mean, there are a lot of ways to reduce the amount of insulin and all the other crap that you get from commercial milk and still put on mass. But, part of this is appetite. Like how do you increase your appetite, how do you keep yourself hungry? That’s the tricky part and believe it or not, there are things that you can do to increase your appetite. So, (drumroll please) here is how you get your appetite up. Number 1, ginger. Ginger tea, ginger extracts – ginger is not only a great digestive but it’s also an appetite stimulant. So, ginger is one thing that you can include. You can get ginger root, you can get ginger supplements. Ginger – that would be number 1. So, another one that can help to increase appetite are what are called carminative spices, carminative spices. So what carminative spices do is they increase – they basically change your appetite or increase your appetite by increasing the production of ghrelin. I like to think of that as some that make your stomach growl. It makes you hungry. So leptin is the hormone that limits your appetite. Ghrelin increases your appetite. Some of the things that can do that – mint, black pepper, cinnamon in high amounts is actually an appetite stimulant. One of the reasons cinnamon is also an appetite stimulant is it can plummet your blood glucose, and make you hungry which is why cinnamon is great for like diabetics too if you can control the hunger response like if you combine cinnamon with like a meal that would normally spike your blood glucose, like oatmeal for example, it’s a pretty good 1-2 combo. So, that’s another one. Certain fruits are also known to stimulate hunger – grapes, apples, and blackberries, all contain a lot of the similar digestives that ginger does and help to increase your appetite. So those would be some other things to include. So you’ve got ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, mint, grapes, apples, and blackberries.
So you can add those to your grocery shopping list. There’s a few others as well. Bitter-tasting foods help to increase the secretion of digestive juices, and so you can eat this before a meal to improve digestion, but they can also increase your appetite. So these would be amaranth, fenugreek, and bitter gourd. You can get those in like herbal form, you can get them something that you can sprinkle over foods, you can get them in teas, but those are three other – amaranth, fenugreek, and bitter gourd, bitter gourd. So if you don’t have any bitter gourd hanging around, now is the time to do it. Now’s you’re excused to go ape nuts on the gourds.
Rachel: I don’t even know what bitter gourd is.
Ben: It’s kinda like bitter melon.
Rachel: Oh, I see. Yup.
Ben: It’s actually a little bit similar to cinnamon actually, it plummets your blood glucose as well. And then you can delve into the body building industry where a lot of these guys are using supplements to increase their appetites. They can eat copious amounts of food during the day, one will cause you to produce a whole bunch of ghrelin, whole bunch of this appetite stimulating supplement or appetite stimulating hormones. If you’re tryin’ to lose weight, don’t use this stuff, but if you’re tryin’ to gain weight, and you wanna eat a crap load of food, take something called plum extract about 30 minutes before a meal to stimulate your appetite.
Rachel: Woah! Is just that plum?
Ben: Plum extract, it’s like concentrated plum, and it causes a big release in its ghrelin.
Rachel: So why doesn’t plum – why do plums make the list of foods that increase your appetite, but then we take plum extract?
Ben: Because plum extract – it’s like eating 20 grams.
Rachel: More concentrated, yeah.
Ben: Yes, extremely concentrated. So…
Ben: So, we got plum extract, another one that you can use believe it or not is, something we’ve talked about before – fish oil. By using a lot of fish oil, that can increase your appetite if you use a whole bunch of it prior to a meal. High dose of fish oil, you take like 6-10 grams of fish oil. So like 3 times more than their using in that study that we talked about, that can increase your appetite. So you like take fish oil before breakfast, like in the morning to get your appetite going and you can get a giant smoothie or giant breakfast to your ‘Man in a can protein shake’. So that would be another, and then of course, there is – weed. However, I’m not going to recommend that you smoke weed to stimulate your appetite because that may not legal where you’re at, may not be something that you want to do, but a very, very interesting thing is that cannabinoids can stimulate the appetite and there is a plant that has cannabinoid-like substances in it, and this specific cannabinoid-like substances that increase your appetite called alkylamides, alkylamides. And the extract that has alkylamides in it, you can actually get what’s called alkylamide extract (can see that 10 times fast) is Echinacea. You can get what’s called an Echinacea alkylamide supplement, and that will stimulate your appetite very much in the same way that weed will without you having to spend your money on weed, or without you having to break the law or get all paranoid or psychoactive. So Echinacea alkylamides.
Rachel: Who would have thought? I had no idea.
Ben: Who would have thought? There you go. I just saved you from having to smoke copious amounts of weed. I will put a link to the fish oil, to the plum extract, the Echinacea alkylamides, and this Dan John ‘Mass Made Simple’, and the program for you Michael, those would be the best resources for ya’ in addition to like I mentioned, grabbing yourselves some grapes and cinnamon, and all that other jazz. So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/344 for that, and if you are listening in, you don’t wanna increase your appetite and get all swole like Michael wants to do, you also find everything else I talked about, the dietary cure for acne, Wim Hof stuff, pretty much everything, that new fish oil study, the consumer electronic show, all of that, if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, but wait… we are not done yet. Are we, Rachel?
Rachel: It’s favorite part of the show.
Ben: Favorite part of the show. This is the time of the show when we leave a review. And – oh! By the way, I should mention. Speaking of reviews, if any of you listening in, you must go to youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness because at youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness, you can witness me doing a fire side unboxing video where I’m revealing boxes of goodies that were sent to my house, and it’s quite an entertaining video, I’m must admit. So go to youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness if you wanna see me unboxing crappin’ and being a weird in front of my fire, almost catching my cardigan on fire. Anyways though, if you hear your review read on the show, if you go to iTunes, you leave us a few stars, you leave us a nice review, and you hear your review read, just email [email protected], let us know your t-shirt size, and we’ll send you a sweet gear pack.
Water bottle, beanie/tuque…
Ben: Ah tuque, and what else? A shirt, a tech t-shirt. Makes your muscles look good. So, we’ve got a review. A 5 star review called Wicked Good Stuff left by Levycb. Rachel, you wanna take this one away?
Rachel: Yes! “After listening to the podcast for only 1 month, I am hooked”.
Ben: Wow! That didn’t take long.
Rachel: “Ben’s enthusiasm for a healthy mind and body is beyond inspiring. Already I have implemented much of his advice and I feel better than I have in years. My wife thinks I’m insane since I started taking ice cold showers everyday.” Good on ya’ mate! “Love the show! Truly transformational!”
Ben: My wife doesn’t take cold showers if that makes you feel any better Levy. She doesn’t take cold showers, she didn’t do the sauna, she doesn’t take any supplements, she rarely exercises, so that’s okay though. We’re like the Yin and Yang, so as long as (quick tip for you) don’t try to boogie with your wife if you know what I mean after you’ve taken an ice cold shower. I have discovered that after cold thermogenesis, no matter how horny you are, you cannot get it up. Just a tip.
Ben: What’s related to the science – it’s because of science. Everything in the science shrinkage episode, it just can’t happen. There’s too much vasoconstriction going on.
Rachel: Oh, poor Jessa.
Ben: Yeah, just sayin’.
Rachel: She’ll have to wait ‘till tomorrow.
Ben: She’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Anyways though, Levycb, thank you for the great review. We love it. We’ll send you a gear pack if you email [email protected]. That being said, I have drink my entire mug of ‘coffee makes me poop’ coffee during this episode which means that it is time for me to poop. And so, that is a great way to sign off for today’s episode. So again if you’re listening in, hit bengreenfieldfitness.com/344, Rachel, you can go poop.
Rachel: Ahh, I already poop but well, have another go.
Ben: Okay, yeah. Have another go! And folks, thanks for listening in. Have a healthy week. Stay tuned this weekend for a fantastic episode. We always have great weekend interviews, and this weekend – I’m gonna keep them mystery, but you gotta lot of listening in. Trust me. So, check it out, make sure you subscribe in iTunes. Rachel, I’ll catch you later!
Rachel: Bye, Ben!
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
January 21, 2016 Podcast: Fish Oil & Fat Loss, Is The Wim Hof Method Dangerous, The Dietary Cure For Acne And 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.
- The coolest health, wellness and fitness gadgets from this year’s CES – geeks, eat your hearts out.
- Yep, fish oil boosts your metabolism. Quite significantly, actually.
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- Do You Have What It Takes To Be One Of The Strongest & Most Mentally Tough Citizens On Earth?
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New course from Ben! The 7 Day Full Body Reboot Program To Get Strong And Fit. Optimal fitness and health are closer than you think. In just one week, you can set yourself up for a strong, long, lean and healthy body.
March 12, 2016: Ben is speaking at WholeLife360 in New York City. It’s a private breakfast, followed by a full day of talks and Q&A’s with me (and the Nutrition Diva)! You get priority seating, a VIP tote bag featuring full of books, goodies and gifts (a $200 value), along with complimentary one-year membership to Thrive Marketplace (a $59.95 value), complimentary full breakfast, lunch and refreshments and a complimentary parking pass. Sound pretty good? Go here to get in now or to get more details: BenGreenfieldFitness.com/WholeLife
May 27-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.
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.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.
Is Wim Hof Method Dangerous?
Matt says: Are there any dangers with the Wim Hof method? For example, lack of oxygen to the brain or forcing yourself into hyperventilation. Are there any health risks?
In my response, I recommend:
–My original podcast with Wim (and his breathing technique)
–My most recent podcast with Wim
–My podcast with Ted Harty
The Dietary Cure For Acne (And A Natural Anti-Acne Facewash)
Kyle says: What are options for a healthy cure for acne? He’s heard about different essential oils but is there a particular all natural facewash you recommend?
How To Fix The Damage From A Concussion
Jimmy says: You have talked a lot about brain health but he’s particularly interested in hearing about how to recover from concussions. He’s 25 years old and has had about 8 or 9 concussions, some have involved significant black out time, and he’s wondering if you can help provide insight into some things he should be doing to help his brain?
How To Increase Your Appetite
Michael says: He’s a hockey player trying to gain weight. He’s 5’10” and 160 pounds, he needs to be over 180 pounds to remain competitive. He’s tried drinking a gallon of whole milk every day but that doesn’t seem sustainable from a health perspective, what would you recommend to help him increase his appetite in a healthy way?