February 17, 2016
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Longevity Hacks, How Much Sleep Is Too Much, Hangovers From Running, How Endurance Athletes Can Gain Weight 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.
Rachel: Ben, you’re back from the Sufferfest. How are you feeling?
Ben: I’m good. Well, I’m beat up.
Ben: And I will tell you right now. I feel like I’m operating it, perhaps 80% or maybe even closer to 80% capacity mentally and physically…
Ben: …but I’m alright. For those of you who are listening in, I just got back literally in the wee hours of the morning from the Spartan Agoge which was a 48 plus hours of extreme racing and suffering at temperatures as low as 38 degrees below zero. Really put my body through the wringer but I came out the other side. I finished it however; I can guarantee you that this podcast could be interesting, it may just be made me drooling and stuttering.
Rachel: So how was it compared to SoulFit? Was it harder?
Ben: Hmmm, here’s the deal.
Ben: Here’s the deal. I know everybody wants to know all the nitty gritty details. I’m working on this big, epic – I love to throw on that word…
Ben: Blog post that’s gonna come out, Monday. At the time you’re listening to this podcast, stay tuned Monday, I’ll write a big blog post on it. I can tell you right now – if you’re into adventure, wilderness, survival, navigation, orienteering, triathlon, obstacle racing, marathoning, anything that would challenge you to pick up a bunch of skills for any of those type of things, while also you know, checking off kind of a big crucible when it comes to a challenge, you’ll definitely wanna pay attention to that blog post and you’ll definitely want to consider doing one of these Agoges for yourself. And oh, one other thing…
Ben: One other thing that may even contribute even more to the drooling and the stuttering…
Ben: …that I’m guaranteed to produce during today’s episode, we interviewed that guy who like, he advises and sponsors electronic gamers – did you listened to that episode?
Rachel: I did, Zach, yes.
Ben: Yes, Zack Burks. He sent me some of these Noopept and some of these Adafinil that he talks about during that episode that these gamers use. And since I’ve been up since about 3:30 this morning, I actually took some… I guess it would’ve been about 4 hours ago, so it’s around 9 right now. So I’ve actually got some actual smart drugs, not herbs but actual smart drugs…
Rachel: And how are you feeling?
Ben: …surging through my system.
Rachel: Tell us everything.
Ben: My liver doesn’t hurt and I’m still awake.
Rachel: Okay, that’s a start.
Ben: So there’s that, anyways though, so this promises to be an interesting show.
Rachel: Good! Alright, well let’s go ahead and get into the news flashes.
Rachel: So remember, you can receive these news flashes and more every single day if you follow Ben at Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness and Facebook.com/BGFitness. What have you got for us, Ben?
Ben: I wonder if anybody actually remembers those URLs.
Ben: When you rattle them off. You know, I certainly don’t. I would say go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/episode-346/, we’ll put a link to all those little social media delios in there, because I know some of you for example listen when you’re swimming or bicycling or running, and you probably don’t do with the note pad; although I had a really good idea, Rachel…
Rachel: You do?
Ben: …that I tweeted the other day.
Rachel: What? Mmm-hmm?
Ben: So they actually…
Ben: …do have things like underwater notepads for swimmers and you know, a lot of cyclists and runners, I used to do this when I train for Ironman. I’d always have a Sharpie up my sleeve or in my jersey that I could write down ideas with on my wrists and my hand.
Ben: But a lot of people go into these float tanks now. Have you heard about those?
Rachel: Yeah. I have. I’ve done it. Mmm-hmm.
Ben: Man, people will take and I’ve done float tanks before, too, right? And some people will take creativity mind altering drug you know, like THC or Mescaline or Psilocybin or something like that go into these float tanks. My issue is when I’m in a situation like that, I have these big brain dumps, right?
Ben: And I wanna be able to remember them and it annoys the heck out of me that I can’t write. So my idea for you float tank owners out there is put like a digital recorder inside the float tank where people can just like speak their thoughts…
Ben: And then when they get out, that’s transcribed for them or sent to them as like an mp3 file. What do you think?
Rachel: That is incredible. I love it! Those smart drugs are working.
Ben: Exactly. So that’s my million dollar idea that I want full royalties on from all…
Rachel: You need a patent on that thing.
Ben: …float tank owners. Anyways though, we digress.
Rachel: News flashes.
Ben: News flashes. So the first thing that was really, really interesting and I’ve seen a lot of articles coming out about this idea of Sirtuins. Have you heard of Sirtuins before, Rachel?
Rachel: I haven’t, no.
Ben: Okay. To me it sounds like some kind of a brand of cereal.
Rachel: It does.
Ben: But it’s not. Sirtuins are actually genes so they’re kinda like these house-keeping genes in your body and they’re proteins – they’re family of proteins. And what they do is they regulate a bunch of different functions in your body like cell death and inflammation and longevity. And what that means is that if you’re able to activate Sirtuins you could produce a better cellular clean-up, supposedly Sirtuin activation also causes increases in brain plasticity and memory formation, and also regulates your telomere length. The idea being that the faster the way that which your telomere’s shortened, the faster you age, so when you activate these Sirtuins, you would theoretically decrease the way which telomere shortened, increase your brain plasticity, increase your memory formation, etc., etc. So…
Rachel: Okay. So how do we activate them?
Ben: I found a really interesting article that actually talks about foods – some foods that activate Sirtuin. And these are foods that you may want to consider making a part of your diet. Many people will eat these foods but thought I will give you the quick list and then you go read the article for more details but few of the foods, one is blackcurrants. Blackcurrants – so there’s currants but then there’s blackcurrants, and apparently blackcurrants are one of the top Sirtuin activators that are out there. And these are just these tiny – have you seen them before?
Ben: The tiny, little berries?
Ben: Yeah, so blackcurrant that would be one. Green tea is one, so there’s that, which is obviously something that’s pretty easy to get in your hands on. Dark chocolate – oh yeah, baby. Dark chocolate is a Sirtuin activator. Kale, kale is actually a sirtuin activator and also of course, something’s that’s great to add to your smoothies to keep you pooping all day long. Olives. Olives and extra-virgin olive oil – those are Sirtuin activators. Parsley, parsley is something that I throw into my smoothies turns out that’s a Sirtuin activator as well. Capers and by the way, another thing that capers are good for, a lot of people don’t realize this: you hear about things like St. John’s Wort for helping with depression.
Ben: Capers actually help with depression as well, capers.
Rachel: I can see that!
Ben: The little happy flower bud.
Rachel: They are delicious.
Ben: You can add to your salads or put on salmon, I like salmon.
Rachel: Oooh, with dill and lemon?
Ben: Yeah. I do that at the like the hotel buffets they have where if you go to the really good like international hotel buffet, you go just like the Japanese section and I don’t know what the caper and the salmon section be. Will they be like the Jew section?
Rachel: I don’t know. They were really seem Mediterranean to me.
Ben: Yeah, Mediterranean. Whatever. Anyways…
Ben: If you know, go to the comments and type in. Anyways, capers though, I’ll go to the buffet like a breakfast buffet, usually it’s with bagels. What do you call it? Lox? When you do the smoked salmon on the bagel with the cream cheese and the capers? So what I’ll do is I’ll just get the salmon and the capers and some lemon, I’ll throw some yoghurt on there and eat that…
Ben: …instead of doing the bagel on the cream cheese so I don’t die.
Rachel: And all along, you’re activating Sirtunins.
Ben: All along the way. Sirtiuns, Rachel.
Rachel: Sirtuins! (laughs)
Ben: Sirtuins. Come on. I’m the person who’s low on sleep and half frostbitten. You gotta deal…
Rachel: It’s true but you’re also way more knowledgeable than me, so.
Ben: Okay. Onions are another one, red onion specifically; turmeric which we talked about quite on the show and we all know who love…and I put on my salad everyday; and then finally, fish oil. So those are all natural food-based Sirtuin activators. So there you have it, and I’ll link to the article if you wanna go read on how these actually work. But I thought that was really cool and there’s a lot of talk right now in longevity research about getting more Sirtuin activators…
Rachel: Well, there you go.
Ben: …into your life. And I’ve got another little longevity hack for you. This was an article that appeared in Fast Company on the Fast Company website, it’s about a new anti-aging startup that is planning on helping to clear out the body’s retired cells.
Rachel: Mmm, interesting.
Ben: So, here’s how this works: there’s this concept called “cellular senescence” that means that your cells can stop dividing but they stay in your body in this kind of a purgatory, and there’s a number of these cells increase that’s theorized that they start to produce inflammatory byproducts that resulted aging. So if you can somehow get cells to be removed from the body, you can prevent this age-related decline from just this mass build-up of cells inside your body. So what they’ve done is research on mice where they’ve actually figured out a way to activate genes that lower the number of cells, the senescent cells that build up in mice. They’re essentially like theory on how to suck away senescent cells.
Ben: I think they could actually call this, this senescent cell sucker. There you go.
Rachel: (chuckles) So I went and checked out exotic books I thought that, well it’s kinda fascinating and I would encourage business to check this one out just to see the difference in the mice in that photo.
Ben: It’s really crazy, like the mice they got the cell sucked out versus the mice that didn’t…
Ben: …it’s a night and day difference. One looks like old and wrinklely, not that mice are that attractive anyways but let’s just say that the mouse that underwent this senescent cell removal is a far more attractive mouse.
Rachel: It is a more attractive mouse.
Rachel: And it looks a lot healthier as well.
Ben: Healthier, cuter, big eyes, furry whiskers…
Rachel: (laughs) Very.
Ben: Anyways though, the interesting thing… (clears throat) excuse me, frog in my throat, smart drugs in my throat, smoothie – whatever is in there, maybe even my throat is frostbitten from the brutal Spartan. Anyways though, the idea is that one of the things that can also clear out senescent cells, should you not want to pay the likely a thousand dollar cost of getting senescent cells sucked out once this does become a widely available technology, one of the things that does the same thing is… what do you think, Rachel?
Rachel: Drum roll.
Ben: Drum roll, please.
Rachel: Uhhh, fasting?
Ben: Fasting. You got it.
Ben: Did you cheat? Did you see my tweet?
Rachel: I always check your tweet.
Ben: Yeah. You can save your money on this senescent cell sucking and every time you fast, you actually clear out senescent cells. So this is why like I personally everyday, I do a 12 to 16-hour fast. For every 24 hour cycle, I go 12 to 16 hours, of course most of this while I’m sleeping without eating. And then like I’ve mentioned on the podcast before and like I encouraged folks to do, 1 or 2 times a month try to go 24 hours without eating.
Rachel: How does fasting clear the map, Ben?
Ben: It’s via this process called apoptosis or programmed cell death and the idea is quite simple. When you aren’t dumping a bunch of nutrients, calories, etc. into your body, then you essentially clean up all the cellular debris that is in there ‘cause you’re not piling calories on top of calories.
Ben: So it’s just the… a cool way to clean up the body.
Rachel: And is that… I mean are we talking like the same level of sucking the cells out as what this is talking about or is it on like more miniscule level but it’s got like it’s more sustainable because you’re doing it kinda frequently versus whatever they’re gonna do with this study?
Ben: Well, to figure that out they’d have to do a study, wouldn’t they?
Rachel: To compare them both.
Ben: They have to compare fasting with senescent cell sucking.
Rachel: Oh my gosh.
Ben: So one other thing I would like to mention in today’s news flashes and that is another kinda cool article entitled “Eat Like Your Grandma: Why You Should Skip the Kale Salad”. And this article goes into ancestral nutrition and how are diets should be based off of what our grandparents and their grandparents and their grandparents would’ve eaten because our genetic are specifically programmed to handle certain types of food. And the article itself is fascinating, well of course what I’ve just described is something that kinda make sense intuitively…
Ben: I really like some of the details that they go into in this article.
So for example, you take like the Cretans, right? Like the Mediterranean diet and you put a bunch of Northern-Europeans on a Cretan diet, and those Northern-Europeans might actually respond to that deleteriously. And here’s why: Cretans based off of the thousands of years that they’ve been consuming like copious amounts of oils especially like olive oil, they’ve developed a genetic adaptation to that oil.
Ben: It’s been shown that they have this thing called the lipoprotein gene that makes it so that they actually don’t experience a really big surge in triglycerides or a bunch of small cholesterol particles in response to this high amounts of oil. Whereas, a Northern-European who tries to suck down as much olive oil as someone from the Mediterranean climate might have traditionally eaten, might actually respond to that with a less than favorable lipid panel or cholesterol panel for example. They also bring up you know, the folks in Thailand and Papua New Guinea who might be eating lots of bananas and rice and how in folks who don’t necessarily come from a population that eats those type of foods, the person whose… who comes from that population is not eating a lot of those type of foods might have a higher blood sugar response to this foods and have a higher amount of insulin produced by the pancreas in response to those foods. So this is yet again why I’m a huge fan of getting your genetics tested. I finally broke down by the way this week and ordered a 23andMe test for my wife who assumes and rarely does any type of self quantification, but I’ve convinced her to at least get a genetic test because I’ve got my genes tested, I know all of the things that I might be prone to from a health standpoint.
Ben: I’m gonna throw this out there right now and this would probably keep me from getting insured or hired by any corporation.
Ben: I’m gonna put it out there anyways. I have a higher than normal risks from three things: prostate cancer, gout and Type 2 diabetes. So what do I do about that? Well, I don’t eat too much meat and red meat because of the gout and the uric acid component.
Ben: I included ton of fresh tomatoes and lycopene in my diet for the prostate cancer component and I personally choose a lower carbohydrate intake due to the diabetes component.
Ben: I also know that I come from a primarily Northern-European and Jewish heritage, and so that can influence my diet as well, right? Like I’m not a person who’s gonna do well with citrus fruits and with rice as in things like that. And the reason that I know that, that I’m not Asian, the reason that I know I’m not African and I’m not a Pacific Islander is rather than looking in the mirror and seeing that my skin isn’t black or my eyes don’t slant upwards, I instead just got a genetic test, so.
Rachel: Right, ‘cause that’s very deceptive anyway, you can’t necessarily tell what’s in your genes basically.
Ben: Yeah. No, I’m actually joking. I would probably know if I was black or Japanese.
Ben: Just saying.
Rachel: Question: why is Jessa apprehensive about getting genetic testing done?
Ben: Yeah, she’s just not like… she… we’re yin and yang, right?
Rachel: I love it. I just love it so much.
Ben: I collect my poop…
Ben: …and send it off in FedEx prepaid labels to metametrix and I clicked my saliva in a tube, and I do my blood testing and do it frequently like every month then and she doesn’t do any of that stuff, so.
Rachel: She’s just not interested?
Ben: She doesn’t do it. I’ve got her blood test once and her numbers were fantastic but she’s not good.
Ben: We’re yin and yang, baby.
Rachel: I love it so much. I love it.
Ben: Rachel, I’ve got 2 pressing, urgent announcements right when you’re listening into this podcast the week that it comes out.
Rachel: Oooh. What are they?
Ben: First of all, tonight, Wednesday, if you happen to be listening in this podcast fresh like right when it comes out, I am teaching in Inner Circle workshop. This is one of those workshops that I teach every month to the folks who are part of my Inner Circle. The Inner Circle means that you get to look at my diet, my exercise plan, you get to have these little private Q & A workshops with me. And tonight’s workshop is going to be an all this French kinda slightly controversial stuff, everything from various forms of enema, to high dose fish oil, to these smart drugs that I’ve been experimenting with, to all sorts of things. We’re gonna be going over all that in tonight’s Inner Circle workshop, so you can get in on that at bengreenfieldfitness.com/InnerCircle. I usually teach those on weekday evenings but recordings are always available.
Rachel: Right. So if they missed it tonight, they can get it again.
Ben: Yeah, as long as you’re an Inner Circle member. Just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/InnerCircle and it’s a… I think it’s… gosh, I don’t even know my own Inner Circle cost. It’s like… I wanna say it’s $15 a month? Something like that?
Rachel: On a 15? 9.99? or 14.99?
Ben: Maybe it’s like… Yeah, I’ll have something 99.
Ben: Anyways, the other things is that there is… this Sunday, I have a group of folks who I mentor: personal trainers, chiropractic docs, physicians, physical therapists, etc. I do business mentoring and we go over everything from like how to build up break in motor business, how to build an online business, how to produce content more effectively, how to podcast all these stuff, and I’ve got a workshop coming up this Sunday for that group. It’s called the Super Human Coach Group, and if you wanna get in on that Sunday workshop or if you need the past workshops I’ve done for that group, you just go to superhumancoach.com – so much cheesy title, I’ll admit.
Rachel: I don’t think it’s cheesy, I think it’s awesome.
Rachel: So can you sign up to be in that program at any point or do you have to follow like the times?
Ben: You can sign up to be in that program at any point, you can access to past content. So I’ve got…
Ben: I’ve got…
Rachel; And how does that work with workshops? So you do them how often?
Ben: We do workshops once a month, sometimes me, sometimes with a special guest and I’ve also got oodles, hour and hours, I’ve got a full year long certification in there from everything from performance, to recovery to digestion, to brain sleep, hormones, you name it, so.
Rachel; Sounds exciting! I wanna get in on that.
Ben: There you go. You probably could. Just talk to me, I’ll hook you up. We also have a few folks who are sponsoring today’s podcast and the first that I want to talk about is – it’s really kind of a cool company. They’ve got adventure racers, they’ve got body builders, they’ve got some of the top CrossFit athletes on the face of the planet. Mixed martial artists, ton of folks; they’ve even got like these fitness models like Monique Ricardo, they’ve got aerialist like Kate Minwegen, some really, really cool people – all of whom used this stuff on a daily basis. So, if you want to use what are the cool kids are using, I’ll tell you what it is right now, it’s Kimera Koffee.
Ben: K-i-m-e-r-a K-o-f-f-e-e, if all these people are using it, and I use it to according to the website, execute feats of Super Human performance. Try the Kimer Koffee, I really am serious, I don’t just talk about this stuff, I use it everyday. You go to k-i-m-e-r-a k-o-f-f-e-e.com and just use discount code “Ben”, so 10% discount code “Ben” gets you this coffee, and if for those of you haven’t heard about it, it’s a coffee that has a bunch of natural, herbal, smart drug components added to it.
Rachel: Mmm, it’s delicious. I got a cup with me right now.
Rachel: And if you want a little bit more behind the scenes insight into it, I follow this dude called Frankie Kimera on Instagram, it’s @frankie_kimera. He shows the superhuman sides of things. So definitely check him out.
Ben: What’s he do?
Rachel: He was at a Fitness Convention recently, I was just… I don’t know, you just check it out yourself.
Ben: Is he this guy who’s like… his only website describes as the Fitness junkie, decorated dance-off veteran, seasoned wine connoisseur and human nutrition journeyman? That guy?
Rachel: Yeah. For sure, that’s him. Yeah and it’s very eclectic, his Instagram account, but I just love following him, he’s hilarious.
Ben: Okay, cool. I might have to go follow him.
Ben: Alright, the next thing I wanna tell you about today is Harry’s. So if you go to harrys.com, you can get $5 off anything there were discount code “Ben” and I realized how much I am missing out on when it comes to the wonderful world of razor burns and cuts on your face when I crashed in Boston after this Spartan Agoge that I did. I hitched to ride in the Boston, I had a night there before I flew home, and I called down to the front desk and asked them if they have a razor kit. And they did – shout out to Godfrey Hotel in Boston.
Ben: They did have a razor, they send it out and I shaved; and I’m telling you Rachel, my whole face is bleeding.
Rachel: Oh my gosh!
Ben: I’m just so used to these fancy Harry’s razors that I literally can’t shave with any other razor at this point. I used their razor called the Winston, if you like to own nice things, then you should have the Harry’s Winston. It’s got five blades on it and these are like German engineered blades with flex hinges on them and a lubricating strip, and they give you this incredibly smooth finish when you shave. It’s got a precision grade, aluminum handle with the weighted core for control, for ergonomics, it’s just like – it’s like having a Ferrari on your face basically.
Rachel: Shaving heaven.
Ben: Yeah. So, you can check that out – that one’s called the Winston, the one I used is called the Winston, I have to remember to travel with it more because I really did like my face is still razor burned.
Rachel: That’s the last thing you want after the Sufferfest, you put yourself through as well?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. You have a nice, clean shave. So go to harrys.com, you get $5 off the Winston and even with the other kits with discount code “Ben’ at harrys.com – that’s h-a-r-r-y-s.com. And then finally, I told you that my wife assues laboratory testing and blood testing but I did catch her with some contraband the other day.
Ben: She went off for a weekend with her girlfriends, and they went and they stayed at this place over in Leavenworth, Washington and she came home and she unpacked and I found a little baggy full of a green substance from a person…
Rachel: Oh no.
Ben: It wasn’t weed. She has been using my organify green juice, so I didn’t know this…
Ben: I’m like, “Babe, is this a supplement?”, ‘cause she just doesn’t take any supplements and she’s like, “Yeah. I liked the way it tastes” and so…
Ben: I have finally identified 1 supplement that my wife use and it is this green juice powder. I use it everyday with my smoothies, its coconut and ashwagandha infused green juice super food powder…
Ben: …with like chlorella and mint and wheatgrass, turmeric, lemon, bunch of stuff in it, really, really, super-duper tasty, and it is called Organify Green Juice. You, if you’re listening in, get a 20% discount on it and all you do is you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/FitLife, use discount code “Ben” and you get 20% off of the FitLife Organify Green Juice.
Rachel: I tell you what, it must be good if it passes the Jessa scale.
Ben: It must be good if my wife is stealing it for girlfriend weekends, yup.
Ben: A couple other things I wanna tell folks about: there is a brand new bio-hacking summit taking place in London and I’m gonna be there speaking, so for all you folks over in the U.K., May 21st to the 22nd is the official Biohacker’s Summit in London. This is put on by the same folks who did the Biohacker’s Summit in Finland and it is everything – it’s digital help, wearable supplements, biohacking, life hacking, quantified self, they’ve got like you know, infrared saunas, smart censors, smart home appliances, wearables, you name it. And granted I’m not in the heaven –like a prosthetic blue tooth, big toe…
Ben: At the same time, there was a bunch of cool stuff like that, for example, the aura ring that I talked about that quantifies everything in your body without producing some nasty radiation like Bluetooth signal on your finger, I found them at the conference in Finland. They have a bunch of like wild forging, they have this big wild forger dinner when you go out, you forge for food, when you come back, they teach you how to cook it. Amazing. So you get 10% discount code when you use code “Ben”, when you register for this, I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/episode-346/ but if you live in or on or near the UK, you should definitely get in on the Biohacker’s Summit in London, May 21st to the 22nd. And then right after that, I’ll be jetting over to Austin, Texas for Paleo Fx and if you are listening in and you’re in the US and you try to think of one health or fitness conference of all of them, one to rule them all that you wanna go to, go to Paleo Fx. So not only do they have May 27th through 29th, kinda like a who’s who gathering of the whole like ancestral Paleo primal movement. You know, pro-athletes, physicians, docs, authors, bloggers, biohackers, you name it – but they’ve also got on May 26th, the day before it starts, the big entrepreneurial convention for all folks who are like health entrepreneurs. So you’ll know Mark Sisson, Craig Ballantyne and Abel James who you may know from the TV show about dieting – I forget the name of the show – who’s diet is best, something like that. Anyways, Abel James will be there, so bunch of folks, and…
Rachel: So it’s the place to be?
Ben: It’s the place to be.
Rachel: May 27 through 29. I’m going. Ben’s going.
Rachel: We’ll have a good time.
Ben: Yeah, the whole Greenfield team will be there, so go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/Paleo16 to get on that, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/Paleo16. And I have one last thing I wanted to mention before we move on to this week’s Q & A. As usual, we always have surprise gift boxes available, and what you get is a box curated and hand-picked by me for the latest like biohacking gear and nutrients, smart drugs, anything I feel like putting into a box and shipping to you: books, hand grip strengtheners nutrients, nootropics, coffee, you name it – I put it in a box and send it to you.
You can get on that if you go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com and look for the surprise gift box. Typically what I throw in there is about $300 worth of goodies and you get it for 150 bucks, so 50% off a big Christmas gifts at any time of the year, Merry Christmas! So, I believe that that is it. Did I covered everything, Rachel?
Rachel: You did. I think that’s everything.
Ben: Sweet. Let’s do this.
Listener Q & A:
Gina: Hi Ben, Gina from California here. I have a question about sleep, I think I might be getting too much of it. About 9 to 9 and a half hours, I sleep like a rockstar according to my sleep sensor in a very dark room, I’m not depressed, I don’t get up during the sleep. Maybe once to go pee but not every night, I don’t think I’m over-training, I’m more on yoga and meditation kinda girl. So my question is, should I continue listening to my body and spending more than third of my day sleeping? Should I start waking myself up after 7 and a half, 8 hours? Or maybe it is an issue of supplementation? Thank you.
Ben: Well I can tell you how much sleep is not too much, Rachel, unless the amount that I am getting.
Rachel: Oooh, that’s not very good, especially after your big weekend.
Ben: No, I think of the past 7 days I slept about 15 hours.
Rachel: Oh my gosh, Ben.
Rachel: I think it’s you that told me that sleep deprivation eventually leads to death.
Ben: (chuckles) It does. But we’ve also done – we’ve talked about studies on the show before that show that the effects of chronic sleep deprivation can be reversed with as little as 2 to 3 days of catch up sleep of 10 to 12 hours…
Ben: So what that means is once life settles down and the reason I’m sure on sleep is not because I endorsed like taking a bunch of smart drugs to power through lack of sleep, it’s simply because you know, I went into this Spartan Agoge, and then I flew back and now I’m working and eventually, I would get to point probably this Thursday or Friday where I will literally go to sleep at like 7pm and I’ll sleep until 7am, you know?
Ben: For 2 days in a row and that’ll catch me up, and I’ll be good so yeah. Anyways though, studies have shown that spending too much time in bed can be associated with some specific health problems, and we’ve talked all sorts of times about how too little sleep can have a deleterious effect, but too much sleep acts in a different way. So for example, there’s one study that found that folks who sleep 9 plus hours per night and when I say folks, I’m talking about average people, I’m not talking about professional athletes.
Ben: Because a lot of the professional athletes will sleep. And I have a whole article about this at bengreenfieldfitness.com talking about you know, professional Ironman athletes like Andy Potts and Djokovic, professional tennis player and Steve – what’s his name? The point guard for the NBA, blanking on his name.
Rachel: I don’t watch NBA.
Ben: Kerr, I think it is.
Ben: Who don’t watch the NBA? Shame on you.
Rachel: No, I just don’t get around to it. It’s not on my… keep going.
Ben: Okay. Well. Anyways, the idea is that these athletes sleep for 10 plus hours per night, but they’re anomalies, right? They are spending anywhere from 3 to 6 hours per day engaged in training, and when you have that level of tissue inflammation and a neurological – it’s not just neurological damage, it’s just neurological wear and tear, right?
Ben: …from that amount of activity and focus and learning, you need more sleep. However, for the average people, one study found elevated levels of something called C-reactive protein, and that’s a systemic marker of chronic, low grade inflammation that’s typically associated with heart disease or with excessive muscle damage, and they found this among folks who are sleeping 9 plus hours per night versus folks who were sleeping in that 7 to 9 hour per night range. So one thing it turns out that sleeping too much may do as increased inflammation with the possibility that part of that maybe due to circadian rhythm disruptions. And what that means is that when you’re spending too much time in a dark bedroom under the covers with your eyes closed and not getting light or sunlight exposure during a normal cycle, you actually are not able to produce the same amount of natural endogenous antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that you would be able to produce if you were having a normal light-dark cycle comprised of say, going to bed at 10pm, having things be dark, getting up at 6am, seeing the light, going up there.
Ben: Is that makes sense?
Rachel: Yes, that makes absolute sense.
Rachel: So, would it matter at all the quality of sleep that she’s getting? Even though she says that she’s getting good quality sleep? If you were sleeping 9 to 9 half hours per night, but it wasn’t very good quality…
Rachel: …would that…
Ben: I’ll get into that in a second…
Ben: …because there is something to be considered there. But there was another study that they did just last year that found that people who sleep too much again, and by too much it’s usually 9 plus hours – that’s what we’re talking about for the average person. They found that these folks were at as higher risk of developing diabetes as people who slept less than 7 hours per night. So it turns out that there can be a disruption in the hormones responsible for controlling blood sugar when you sleep too much as well. So there was another study that looked at this diabetes issue, there was a study in 2012 that found that people who slept actually in this case, more than 8 hours a night were just as likely as the folks who slept less than 6 hours per night to have angina which is chest pain or discomfort that’s often as symptoms of heart disease. So there appears to be a slightly higher risk of coronary artery disease when you sleep too much as well. So those are the biggies: higher risk of coronary heart disease or coronary artery heart disease, higher risk of diabetes and then a higher risk of inflammation when you spend too much time sleeping in the bedroom.
Rachel: That’s 9 plus hours per night?
Ben: Yup and one of the primary medical conditions that would potentially – well there’s 2 actually; there’s 2 medical conditions that would potentially cause someone to have a propensity for sleeping too much. And again, we’re gonna make the assumption that you’re not a professional athlete, you’re not training 3 to 6 hours a day, you’re not at that level of physical and mental use of your body. So hypothyroidism, that’s one thing that can cause you to feel like you need to spend way more time in bed and cause you to feel not very rested no matter how much time you spend in bed. This is something that you could get tested, right? You could test with levels on what’s called TSH, T3, T4, you can get a full fibroid panel. WellnessFX for example, is a company that offers just a basic thyroid panel, you don’t have to do the fancy you know, thousand dollar performance panel of all your hormones and your lipids and everything. If you want to and if you go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com and you click on Labs, I have some of my favorite lab test that I talked about over there. And one of them is just a basic thyroid panel, you know, it’s reverse T3, T4, free T3, free T4, TSH and something called thyroid antibodies. And by getting that done you could see if you have or risk of something like hypothyroidism in which case what I’ve personally done in the past because I have and this is the complete rabbit hole that we won’t really go into but from combining a strict ketosis. A very high levels of physical activity I have experienced in the past thyroid hormone deficiencies. And the way that I would address those has been with a supplement called Thyro-gold – it is a blend of T1, T2, T3, T4 and some herbal thyroid stimulating compounds, they’re from like Pasteur-fed New Zealand cows, so like all countries except New Zealand and Argentina are able to give a bunch of hormones to cows and those hormones can wind up in the thyroid supplements or powders that you take. But if you get your thyroid supplement like a whole thyroid powder or thyroid capsule from New Zealand or Argentina, you don’t get the same level of risk for having hormones in your supplements. And so yeah, the stuff is called Thyro-gold, I believe it’s natural thyroid solutions is their website, so that’s what I’ve done in the past from having hypothyroidism. I’m not a doctor, don’t misconstrued this as a medical advice, I’m much bigger fan of that approach unlike synthetic, isolated T3, such as you might get in like centroid or levothyrox. Another reason that folks would feel like they need to sleep for a really long time, they don’t feel rested no matter how long they sleep is something that we’ve done a couple of podcast on the past. It’s obstructive sleep apnea where you have like an interrupted sleep or at least surges out of your deep sleep phases because you have a drop in oxygen levels from obstructive sleep apnea…
Ben: And typically that’s treated with a customized mouthpiece or what’s called the CPAP device which is a mask and a hose and air pump which helps improve air flow into the lungs and which sounds like a fantastic, wonderful thing that have attached to your face as you sleep. But anyways, we’ve done podcasts before this doctor named Joseph Zelk, Dr. Joe Zelk from the Sleep Medicine Group.
And I’ll link in the show notes if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/episode-346/, I will link to those Joe Zelk episodes so that you can listen in order to learn a little bit more about the obstructive sleep apnea. But first thing that I would do is I would look into hypothyroidism or obstructive sleep apnea if you feel like you just are not rested no matter how much you sleep. And then the other thing is there are sleep tracking devices that will give you information about sleep latency which is like how long it takes you to fall asleep. It also gives you some basic information about how many sleep cycles you’re going through during the night, right? From stage 1 to stage 3 or from stage 1 to stage 5 sleep. And ideally, during the night, you should go to 3, 4 to 5 stages, or 4 to 5 cycles of sleep where you’re going from, you know, your regular brain waves down to your delta brain waves. And a couple of my favorite sleep tracking devices, one would be the Beddit which is a little strip that goes underneath the sheet on your bed and that tracks your sleep…
Rachel: …And is it just…
Rachel: …by movement?
Ben: Movement, yeah.
Ben: And then there’s one called the MotionX that I’ve used on my iPhone before, and we’re talking about accuracy that is within about 70 to 80% of what you might get if you were to go to professional sleep lab. If you really wanna get like a really good test on you, you could go to the Sleep Medicine Group’s website and you can actually pay them and have professional sleep monitor that could be sent to your house, and that would give you a really good idea of your sleep latency and how good you were doing going through sleep cycles and all that kind of stuff. But that’s what I would do. So I’d look into thyroid, I’d look into sleep apnea, and then you could do sleep quantification. I personally don’t really quantify my sleep for 2 reasons: number 1 is a lot of these sleep tracking devices uses Bluetooth, and I just don’t wanna have any type of radiation next to me all night long. And then the other thing is like I’ve found – I don’t know what you think about this, Rachel – but I found that when I constantly track my sleep, I don’t sleep as well ‘cause I’m thinking about…
Rachel: You’re thinking about it.
Ben: …“Is sleep’s gonna work in the morning?”
Rachel: It’s hilarious. Jake, my partner, is obsessive about tracking his sleep and I’m like, I’ll ask him in the morning, “Baby, how did you sleep last night?” and he’s like, “Let me check the data.” (laughs)
Ben: Yup. Right. Exactly.
Ben: Now what I do, and I talked about this in the recent article that I wrote. And if you’re listening and you didn’t read this article, you need to check it out. I wrote an article about this device that I’ve been putting over my brachial plexus while I sleep, and this device emits this tiny little – it says 0.05 gauss signal which is like nothing. So we are talking about nothing to the extent that like a Bluetooth or WiFi would do, but what this little tiny signal of your brachial plexus does is it activates nerve feeding to your brain and causes your brain to start producing delta brain waves that just shoves you in the deep sleep extremely quickly.
Ben: This thing’s called the delta sleep, right? I did a big blog post on it and the idea behind this is that it allows you to get into your deep sleep phases more quickly, and in that article I also talked about how rather than doing sleep tracking, all I do is I just measure my heart rate variability when I get up.
Ben: Oh and that’s just like a really quick 5 minute measurement, it tells me how well rested, how recovered I am. Lately it’s been in the crapper for obvious reasons, but that’s what I recommend rather than like tracking your sleep all the time. However, what Gina may want to do is at least for – you know, for like a month, right? Track her sleep, get some good numbers, don’t feel as though she has to do it her entire life, but I would do a little bit of sleep tracking just to see now you’ll learn your respiration rate during sleep, and you’ll learn your sleep latency, how long it takes you to fall asleep. You might even learn that if you’re in bed 10 hours, you’re sleeping 6 of those…
Ben: …which is significant.
Ben: So those are some of the things I’d do.
Rachel: So, one more thing, what I really got out of that question was, she’s sleeping 9 ½ hours a night max. She sleeps really well, she knows she’s not depressed, she’s not over-trained. Now, is it bad to stood for that top like if her body feels good, if she’s waken up feeling like she’s popping out of bed, feeling good all throughout the day and she’s sleeping 9 ½ hours a night. Is that something you would be worried about?
Ben: Again, because research has shown that once you exceed about 9 hours, you get these issues of coronary disease and diabetes and inflammation, you know, CRP. So yeah…
Rachel: It’s fascinating.
Ben: I mean it’s certainly something to think about.
Rachel: Even just an extra half hour a night.
Ben: Yup, exactly. Could be bad news bears but I’m just saying, it might comfortable…
Rachel: There you go, Gina.
Ben: Could be bad news bears, although at some point, this week I guarantee, I’m gonna sleep like 18 hours and I’m not gonna give a crap.
Anna: Hey Ben! Quick question here for you. Last night I was rolling outside of my leg with my foam roller, and I noticed that the area around like the middle of my IT band was kinda bumpy, I guess for the lack of better term, under the skin. It’s like it could actually feel the roughness with my fingers, it’s not visible outside of the skin but it was not like a superficial problem, but it’s mildly painful when I press on that bumpy area. My question is what causes this bumpiness? Is it muscle or is it fascia? I always thought that IT syndrome appeared by the knee or the hip not generally in the middle of the leg. What’s the best method to relieve it? Be it stretching, rolling, icing or something else that I should be doing? Thanks for your help! Really appreciate the podcast.
Ben: I’m gonna hazard a guess here, Rachel and I’m gonna say, mosquito bites.
Rachel: Mosquito bites under the skin?
Ben: Bumpiness could be a sign.
Ben: Just saying.
Rachel: We covered that. Last week.
Ben: So assuming that you don’t have mosquitoes or bed bugs or ants hanging out your home, there are number of skin conditions that can cause lumps and bumps to appear under a skin and there’s a bunch of them. There’s like skin cyst, right? And these are like non-cancerous closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid. Or happy thought here, pus…
Ben: …and they can appear to anywhere and they’re usually kinda painless and they’re smooth when you touch but when you roll over them, you can feel them, and a lot of times cyst or something they got drained but in most cases, if this is something that’s frequently appearing, it’s not gonna be a cyst. There are angiomas are also known as cherry angiomas and these are like bright cherry red bumps that are underneath the skin and those are typically addressed via like a lazer, right? They’ll go in and they’ll get rid of the cherry angioma with the lazer. So that’s another one that you’ll tend to see, though there’s thing called dermatofibromas – that’s your word of the week.
Ben: And these are actually skin growth, they’re the growths of the derma and they contain hard scar tissue, like hard scar tissue, and they feel like hard lumps under the skin. And modern medicine actually isn’t quite sure what causes them but they can be tiny – I mean they can be as small as like BB pellet and typically, it’s just like scar tissue that appears over time. And usually they will get rid of those with liquid nitrogen, so…
Rachel: Oh wow!
Ben: Break out the liquid nitrogen and the lazers. There’s something called folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles and that can also cause bumps under the skin although more often than not, you would have those on your head. There are skin injuries that can occur and when skin injuries occur, you can get keratoacanthomas. I am sure that any dermatologist or skin physician listening in right now is about to rip my head off…
Ben: …with my pronunciations but these are little red dome shaped bumps with central craters in them. I would imagine that you know if there is a crater in the middle of the bump and so I’m guessing that this is probably not the issue. There are lipomas and lipomas are just like this excess fat tissue, a lot of times you’ll find that when something like cellulite but again, you’ll usually see that. And then there are also neurofibromas with these little soft flushy grows under the skin, and there are actually harmless tumors like non-malignant benign tumors. And a lot of times those are related to nerves and when you touch them, you’d feel an electric-like shock when you touch them and so again…
Ben: …you’d probably know if you have those, too.
Ben: So obviously, cyst and lumps and bumps can be caused by a huge ride of issues but I can tell you than in most folks, there is an issue that – and I’ve experienced this, most athletes who have worked with and I’ve seen and have experienced this microscopic scarring of elastic connective tissue and it’s called a fascial adhesion, a fascial adhesion.
Ben: Fascia, it’s really interesting stuff you know, as most folks know it surrounds muscles and it surround muscle bundles and groups of muscles and blood vessels and nerves. And fascia consists of the bunch of really extremely thin layers in which the musculoskeletal system and the circulatory system and the nervous system all kinda unite. And you know, I’ve been doing quite a bit of work lately in the morning when I wake up while the coffee is brewing. I’ve been doing a little bit of foam rolling, then I’ve got this really thick mobility bands that I attach to my arms and my legs and I just stretch out my body almost like you know, almost like in the Medieval Times when they’d quarter something with the horse, right?
Like I’ll attach these bands to pull them in my house and step away, and just let them pull on my shoulders, and pull on my hips and pull my ankles. And I felt like a million bucks after I do this because I’m foam rolling first, to get rid of some of the knots and then I’m doing this fascia work, this fascia mobility that helps to stretch out and align all that fascia, and when I do that, not only do I feel like a million bucks but it gets rid of like little bumps and knots in areas of adhesions within my body where little collagen fibers have been torn just from day to day activity and working out. But fascia also because it’s part of your nervous system, it also can produce or release neuro-transmitters and say you can get these big dumps of like serotonin and dopamine when you work on fascia. That’s why a massage in many cases can feel so good is you break up these fascial adhesions. And so, as you’re foam rolling and you’re feeling bumps and stuff like that, you in many cases are getting rid of some of these fascial adhesions. You remodeling scar tissue and that’s what keep you mobile and one of the things that I think you could probably try is after you foam roll, try to stretch out this fascia, right? Like you’re stretching like you’re pulling hard on a rope to just smooth out the rope, and you can do that with this thick mobility bands that you attach to like a pole or another non-moving object or like a table or a bed and then you mobilize. You do what’s called traction – Google it, traction. Anyways though, so those are some of the things that I would recommend that and I do.
Rachel: So where can we get that mobility band?
Ben: You can get it at any sporting good store, the Rogue Fitness website should sell it, Amazon would sell it, lot of different places, so.
Rachel Okay. And you gonna do us a video on how to do it? (chuckles)
Ben: Do you a video… Actually my friend Kelly Starrett has a great website called MobilityWOD…
Ben: So if you go to mobilitywod.com, he’s got a ton of videos on there and that’s what I personally use to teach myself in different areas so, if I got an area that’s tight, I go to Kelly’s website, I do a search for that specific area and typically he’s got a pretty good video that shows you how to do it.
Ben: So that’s why I’d recommend for Anna.
Kate: Hey Ben, I would love to know what I can do to prevent or recover from a running hangover? I can’t figure out what is causing the feeling but after short runs, long runs and other hard exercise like a long bike ride, I feel like I do if I had way too much to drink. I get headaches, feels nauseous and super awful, really hard to get motivated to work out when this is the result. I’ve tried electrolyte tabs, coconut water, different foods, preloading electrolytes, drinking lots of fluid before, during, after – nothing seems to help. Would love your opinion on what I could do to help fix this. So thanks very much for all that you do, I appreciate everything. Thanks. Bye.
Ben: You know I always thought that hangovers from running would something primarily produced for you to be beer mile.
Ben: Have you ever run a beer mile, by the way?
Rachel: I haven’t, no. It sounds fun.
Ben: Neither do I. I’m not really a beer guy.
Rachel: You haven’t?
Ben: I’ve never been good at chugging beer, that’s never been a skill of mine, and I also – running doesn’t come that naturally to me, and so when you combine the fact that I’m not the best runner on the face of the planet and I really suck at chugging beer. I think the beer mile would be a real uphill battle for me.
Rachel: It would be really funny to watch, though.
Ben: Probably would be. Yeah.
Ben: No, I think I’ll… I think maybe I could possibly do like the beer swim lap.
Rachel: And just the single lap.
Ben: We should turn that into an event. Yeah, there’s just the single lap, you swim down to the end of the pool, you chug a beer and you swim back.
Rachel: (laughs) That sounds so dangerous.
Ben: Maybe this one 400, right?
Rachel: Americans are hilarious. This is definitely an American thing, I’ve never heard of this.
Ben: Yeah. You think that the Australian would be a… mile, would be something yeah…
Rachel: Would be a?
Ben: You know, you run around, you grab a fosters, you fight a shark, you go surfing, you have some Vegemite…
Rachel: That’s the best depiction of Australia I can think of.
Ben: So running hangovers, yes, when you get back from running, you feel like crap. Let’s just say you have, you’ve taken care of your hydration, right? And you’ve taken of your electrolytes, and you’ve taken care of your nutrition, let’s just take for granted that Kate has done all that stuff and you still feel like crap after a short run, a long run, hard exercise, etc. I have 5 ideas for you if you’re listening in, and exercise is just a SufferFest for you.
I mean not that exercise isn’t you know, exercise is supposed to kinda sorta hurt, some people will say that it shouldn’t, I say, when you’re putting work into your body to become more fit, yeah, it sometimes uncomfortable. So I’m not one of those guys who says that it should always feel super duper easy.
Ben: So at the same time, however, you shouldn’t feel like you have to go sleep you know, for 4 hours after your workout, you should feel like you have a hangover after you run. So what can you do? First of all, I recommend that you know I mentioned this HSCRP – it’s inflammatory protein associated with muscle damage. There’s another inflammatory protein called homocysteine, there’s another one that is called cytokinesis, or another component of information. You can actually get tested for inflammatory markers or inflammation as part of an overhaul whole blood test or just as a stand-alone test. You can go and get your HSCRP and a homocysteine evaluation. And you can see if you simply have a lot of underlying information, and in many cases since exercises is an inflammatory activity if you’re dumping inflammation on top of inflammation, you feel like crap to use a highly technical term.
Rachel: Right! (laughs) So, she might just have a ton of inflammation to start with?
Ben: Oh yeah. From like you know, food allergies can cause inflammation, mold and fungi and your house can cause inflammation, you know, environmental stressors like toxins can cause inflammation. If you’re allergic to your personal care products or household cleaning chemicals, so go and find out if you just got a bunch of chronic low level inflammation. I’m a fan of for example, for me personally, I feel like a million bucks when my levels of HSCRP are below 0.2, okay? So to give you an actual number, that’s what I shoot for when I’m on… when I’m doing blood test, I shoot for HSCRP being below 0.2, so there’s that. By the way, I’m going in for a blood test on Monday, like a full on blood panel…
Ben: ‘Cause I’m doing it another guinea pig test, so…
Rachel: What’s the guinea pig test this time?
Ben: Here’s what I’ve done. You know how I have this cannabidiol, this Nature CBD supplement that I designed?
Rachel: Mmm-hmm. I’m familiar.
Ben: This got like lemon balm and ashwagandha and cannabidiol but it’s a nano particle right, it’s super-duper small particle. I worked with this lab to produce this for me, so you gotta use about one tenth of the amount of cannabidiol to get the same focus and relaxation effects that you’d get from higher amounts of CBD. So I approached these folks, and I said, “What if we took everything that’s been shown to increase testosterone, right?” Zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, creatine, you know all these components – you’re not too many of the funky herbs but more of just like the proven stuff that especially men tend to be deficient and that can cause testosterone deficiencies. What if we take all these, we use the same nano particle technology and we nano “particularize” – I just made that word up…
Ben: …nano “particularize” all these components and we put it in a capsule? and so he say, “Okay. Well, let’s try.” So I had them do this and I have them create 4 bottles for me, and what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go in and do a full blood panel with an special focus on testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, estogens, everything responsible for male drive and male function.
Rachel: Mmm-hhmm. Nice.
Ben: I’m gonna get all these tested and I’m going to for a month take this stuff and then I’m gonna re-test.
Ben: I’m gonna see what happens and…
Rachel: And I’m all like, “Oh, Jessa, it’s gonna be an awesome month for you.”
Ben: Yeah. I want to create the most potent testosterone enhancing compound on the face of the planet…
Ben: It’s like one of my goals this year.
Ben: No, I have this all planned out. I’m gonna call it…
Rachel: I love it.
Ben: Nature Male, but just like anything, right? I wanna try stuff out before I just like make it, so. Anyways, so I’m going for blood tests. So stay tuned if you’re listening in.
Ben: This year might be the year that I actually come out with a testosterone enhancing compound that actually works and is legal. Does not have all these little like nasty herbs in it that can get you popped on a blood test…
Ben: …if you compete you know, like an anti-doping associated event. Okay so that’s first, that’s for inflammation. Number two is test for adrenal stress, in many cases, folks will have like stage 2 or stage 3 adrenal fatigue, they’re cortisol levels are deregulated and when that happens, blood pressure is disregulated, dizziness during exercise ensues, a very bluff feeling post exercise ensues, and you can get an adrenal stress in the extra salivary test, so 4 times during the day, you test your saliva. You know it’s something that really gets your saliva falling, for me it’s like peanut butter, you know I’ll sniff a jar of peanut butter, drip the saliva into the tube, you send it off to the lab and you get your cortisol levels back and if your cortisol is disregulated, in most cases like super-duper low throughout the day or super-duper high throughout the day, that can cause this type of exercise-based hangovers.
Rachel: Mmm. Okay.
Ben: By the way, I totally forgot to mention, this morning in my smart drug infused stupor, I did a swab. I did three different swabs, I swabbed my tongue, and I swabbed this skin on my forehead, and then I wiped my ass after I took a crap, and I swabbed my poop and I put each of these swabbed into a tube because I’m doing the American Gut Project.
Rachel: Oh, what’s that?
Ben: They analyzed the mouth and the skin and the fickle microbiome of your body, and what they’re doing is they’re developing this database of as many folks on the face of the planet to see what type of bacteria is associated with what type of ethnicities, what type of diseases, what type of personalities, what type of diets, etc. So I’m taking part in this project just called the American Gut Project. You can Google it. And I did all my, I got my kit last week and so I did all the testing this morning, so yeah.
Rachel: That’s sounds super fun.
Rachel: And hey Ben, I feel like the smart drugs are really starting kicking over there. (laughs)
Ben: (chuckles) Am I going off on too many rabbit holes?
Rachel: You dazzled! There’s a lot of happening and there’s a lot of energy and it’s just you’re back to normal.
Ben: Okay. Alright. Well, good. Okay, so number 3 is what we just talked about – mobility work and fascial adhesions. This fascial adhesions if there’s too many of them, you can feel like crap from a neuromuscular standpoint. Like I mentioned not only can fascia store things like serotonin and dopamine but when fascia is knotted and adhesed and connective tissues is not working properly, your whole body can feel very tight and less than stellar, post exercise. And so this is again why, while my coffee is brewing every morning, I hit my foam roller, I hit my little lacrosse balls, my… you know I got like the little the two lacrosse balls that are duct taped together to roll up and down the spine. And I just find any area of the body that’s tight, I rolled it out and now my newest thing is after I rolled it out, I do a little bit of traction on it with this mobility bands and I can do all that, you know in five to ten minutes while the coffee is brewing and that adds up. That means that 60 minutes, 70 minutes each week, I’m doing some really targeted fascia work and that’s the way I do, right? It’s a similar way I practice guitar, I practice guitar for about an hour and a half every week, but it’s all like fifteen to twenty minutes segments in the evening at the end of the day. You know I write in my book of fiction and I’ll write a good ten thousand words you know, every week or every week and a half but that’s in like little fifteen minutes segments at the end of the day.
Ben: And my fascia work you know it’s all this little 10 minute-segments at the beginning of the day. So mobility work and fascia work that’ll be number 3 in addition to testing for inflammation, and doing an adrenal stress index for your cortisol. Number 4 is a lot of times feeling like crap especially after run or a hard workout can be due to body temperature, really elevated body temperature. And here’s the deal cryotherapy, cold water soaks using this cryotherapy chambers that has actually been showing to inhibit muscle growth, muscle hypertrophy if you do it post-exercise. So from number one single goal is building muscles as quickly as possible, you shouldn’t actually take a cold shower right after a weight training session or do a cold water soak right after you know, you’ve been working on your biceps, or your abs, or your booty. But because there are so many other positive side effects, shutting down inflammation, lowering core body temperature. So you sleep better, enhancing production of nitric oxide for oxygen and glucose delivery to tissue, I’m still, unless your number goal is getting swole, I’m still a huge fan of doing cold shower, or cold soak, or cyrotherapy post workout because it can really help you to feel amazing and help to quell a lot of that crappy hangover-ish feeling post workout. So you know, my method is I just step in to the shower for five minutes or step in to the cold pool outside my house for few minutes, and just let the body cool down, cool the core so that’ll be number four. And then number five, I didn’t think this was an issue until when I was a personal trainer, I would coach some folks who were just – they get nauseous and they wanted to throw up after the workout. Even after workout that weren’t that hard, right? So when you do a work and you produce so much of lactic acid. Lactic acid can stimulate your vagus nerve to cause you to have to throw up, that’s why after really hard workout, you throw up, that’s lactic acid and it’s specifically lactic acid aggravating your vagus nerve. But some people even if they haven’t work out that hard, even if they haven’t produce that much lactic acid, they still get the same nauseous feeling. And that’s just basically motions sickness.
Ben: It’s up and down, back and forth motion of exercise and in folk’s like that using ginger or using peppermint can help out tremendously. There’s a few different ways to skin that cat: for example, you can get peppermint essential oil and you can put it on your upper lip, you can get peppermint tums and can have a peppermint tums once or twice during the workout. You can get this little ginger chews and you can have this ginger chews, I’m not as big as fan of those ‘cause I have a lot of sugar in them. I’m bigger fan of just taking ginger root, boiling it and chewing some of that. But both ginger and peppermint can help with nausea or the motion sickness type of issues that can make you feel like you have an exercise-based hangover.
Rachel: Yeah. You would be a susceptible to this if you were a susceptible to motion sickness in general?
Ben: Mmm-hmm. Yeah, if you’re the type of person that gets car sick or you can’t do well on boats, a lot of times exercise can also make you feel kinda crappy, so.
Ben: So, there you go. Oh, and also don’t work out on a boat or in a car, Kate, if that is the issue.
Ben: Just saying.
Rachel: It’s a double whammy.
Ben: Avoid the treadmill in a crew ship. So those are some of things that I would do Kate. If you, the listener, are listening in and you found some other methods that work well for you, we’re all game for this to be a team event and for you to pipe in in the show notes. So you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/episode-346/, and you can pipe in with your own comments for Kate if you’d like. So we’ve got one more question however, so shall we do it? Oh and by the way, if you’re listening in…
Ben: Sorry, don’t leave yet after our last question because we also have a special tip that’s coming up. A special tip that’s coming up recorded by a friend of mine that we’re gonna play for this episode.
Ben: Shrouded in mystery, stay tuned. But first let’s address a question from listener Ellen.
Ellen: Hi Ben! My name is Ellen, I’m a marathon and ultra runner with CFC’s animal and plant based diet. You see, I want to increase my appetite and my weight but I don’t wanna reduce my training. Can you make some suggestions to help because I’m going round the circles? Thanks for your help. Bye!
Ben: Well. Rachel, did you hear the episode that we did with Mark Sisson?
Rachel: I did.
Ben: Okay, yeah. We talked about in that episode how like chronic repetitive motion sports. They cause a lack of lean mass and increase in appetite and a drop in testosterone. All these things that can cause endurance athletes to get that skinny fat look. But some endurance athletes you know, they’re doing their training properly and they aren’t necessary making all the mistakes, they’re just like the bunch of the type of black hole training that we’d talked about in that episode or like the junk mile training.
Ben: But they still want to gain weight you know, round out, and maybe put on some muscles, maybe not look like daunt Ethiopian poster child.
Rachel: Aw. Ben!
Ben: That wasn’t a nice to say. I’m not racist, promise. It’s a fitting analogy; they have these posters with really skinny Ethiopian kids on them. And sometimes that’s a runners look like, I’m just saying. Boney shoulders and you know, shallow chicks and all that jazz, or sunken chicks. Anyways though, so what do I recommend? First thing Ellen is I’m a huge fan for folks who wanna gain weight, like my brother-in-law just like the super skinny ectomorphic guy who you know, none of his strength in conditioning coaches in college can put weight on him. And my wife, a one year for Christmas told me that she wanted to get him like a training plan and a nutrition plan for me. And so I wound up helping him put on a good twenty to twenty five pounds of muscle that he’d never been able to put on and a big part of that was frequent feedings with really nutrient dense, calorie dense snacks. So for fat burning efficiency and for ketosis and all that stuff, I’m totally a fan of eating only three square meals a day, maximum eating four times a day. However, if your goals to put on weight, doing smaller, more frequent feedings using some of these nutrient dense and calorie dense meal replacement powders, that can come in really handy. So one of my favorites, there’s the stuff called Living Fuel Super Greens, and Living Fuel Super Greens is this blend of, it’s a ton of stuff, it’s digestive enzymes, and it’s probiotics but then it’s blended with for example brown rice bran and wheat grass and whole raw chia seeds and an organic beet roots, some carrots and broccoli and spinach and oats and just as the ton of stuff, you can get sea vegetables in there right? Like dulse and kelp powder, and it’s just like this really dense, you know, very nutrient rich compound but unlike you know say like, we’re talking about like the green juice powder earlier or like the FitLife green juice powder. Most green juice powders like athletic greens or FitLife stuff; they’re low calorie, right? They’re maybe whatever 10, 20 calories a pop, this stuff is 265 calories in a serving.
Ben: And so you’re able to just dump a bunch of really nutrient dense calories in your body without dumping a bunch of non-nutrients dense calories like say, white rice. So I’m a huge fan of having something like that on hand that you use at frequent points throughout the day if you’re trying to gain weight, so that’s number 1. There are also certain supplements that increase your appetite and that will make you hungry and they’re not all weed, even though that works.
Ben: Sometimes, you may not want to use weed frequently throughout the day, they increase appetite. So some of these that can work instead, one is plum extract, we did a podcast a while back about appetite stimulating supplements, so I won’t spend too long a time explaining this. But plum extract, and I’ll link to this in the show notes that can actually cause a release of the appetite stimulating hormone that your body produces called ghrelin. They did a study in the general peptide on this. So plum extract, it’s something can get on supplement form, for example on Amazon, you take it about 30 minutes before you eat, and you’ll eat more when taking plum extract. So listen in all you skinny runners and all you high school athletes who wanna put a bunch of muscle for football, try some plum extract. Echinacea alkylamides, so these work very, very similar to cannabinoids to increase your appetite without you having to smoke a joint. So the Echinacea plant has these cannabinoid-like supplement called alkylamides, and there was a study done in the journal of biological chemistry that showed that they can have a potent appetite boosting effect. So that’s another one, that’s another one you can get for example, on Amazon or at a supplement store – there you wanna make sure that you do your research, I like the website for example, labdoor.com.
Ben: We did a podcast with the folks from labdoor.com to look into whether or not supplements had efficacy or whether or not the components of a supplement agree with what that supplement says that has in it ‘cause obviously, in the little supplement industry is wild, wild, west.
Ben: So you make sure you do your research but at the same time, Echinacea alkylamides. And then another one is fish oil, they’ve done a study where they showed that people who take fish oil before breakfast actually have increased appetitse for breakfast, specifically, this seem to be more potent in females than in males. So it turns out that for some reason, female’s fish oil – fish oil is number one.
Ben: So, there you go. And then finally, the other thing too, to keep you cannabolic and keep you from cannabolizing muscle especially if you are an endurance athlete, is during any of like your runs or your bike rides or anything like that, that is exceeding about 90 minutes, anything that is exceeding 90 minutes. I’m a huge fan of each hour consuming the equivalent of about 10 grams of essential amino acids to keep blood levels of amino acids elevated, and to keep yourself from cannabolizing your lean muscle tissue. Now branched chain amino acids will work for maintaining energy levels but they won’t stave off your body cannabolizing its own lean muscle mass compared to essential amino acids. So again, if you’re an endurance athlete or if you’re like trying to build muscle as quickly as possible, I would recommend that during exercise, you maintain as a high level of blood amino acids as you can using something like an essential amino acid supplement in the dose of right around 10 grams per hour, so that would be my recommendation to Ellen, to stay off of the Ethiopian poster child posters. So there you have it. Now we are nearing to the point in the show, Rachel, where we do our review.
Ben: But for the next few shows, we’re gonna do something a little bit different. So the reason for that is my friend, Jordan Harbinger over at the Art of Charm podcast, you go to theartofcharm.com, you can check him on iTunes. He offered to send us over some tips, he said he had some charming tips, and tips on how to be charming for specifically, fit people.
Rachel: Ooooh. (laughs)
Ben: And I, out of the goodness of my heart, I said ‘yes’, so Jordan has actually recorded some special tips for us and we’re gonna be playing in the few of the upcoming episodes and today, you’re gonna get to learn from Jordan about how to use non-verbal communication skills rather than just say a nice fit body to enhance your ability to be charming. So that being said, here you go:
Jordan: Hey I’ve noticed a lot of people who are fit especially have a really bad side of non-verbal communication, and that’s likely because they’re actually “too aware” of their own body and they’re not aware of how their bodies communicating to others and what it’s communicating. A lot of really fit people especially men, they tend to take up lots of space, men tend to pop their chest out a little bit; try focusing less on how you’re perceived by the others and more about how others are feeling when they’re around you. And this might sound like the same thing but difference is really subtle. I’m not asking you to manage other people’s feelings but simply become aware of them. You’re gonna get a lot better at reading non-verbal communication which will allow you to not only read others like a book but it will also allow you to find too your own non-verbal communication to get the desired reaction from other people, so it’s kinda like a super power. And I’ve noticed that people who tend to be really fit or really athletic tend to be less aware of others non-verbals and much more aware of their own – almost to their own detriment, so try this out and see what happens, and I’d love to hear how this works out for you.
Ben: So Rachel, what have you learned from that is that you really don’t have to flex your mind – I know you’re big and you’re flexing your muscles when you walk into the room.
Rachel: My muscles are huge.
Ben: You’re making an impression but…
Rachel: That like, so big.
Ben: Yeah. Using these tips from Jordan, Rachel, you no longer have to wear your ‘Welcome to the Gun Show T-Shirt’ at every social function that you go to.
Rachel: Thanks Jordan, ‘cause it was getting kinda weird…
Ben: Yes, with Jordan’s permission, stop. So a big thanks to Jordan for that tip and then finally, finally, a big thanks to listener Strizzs24.
Ben: So Strizz24 left us a review on iTunes. Now if you leave us a review on iTunes, and you hear your review read on the show, then boy oh boy, oh boy, do we have something for you. We send you a Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie, a BPA-free water bottle that will not give you cancer or cause lumps or bumps or cyst to appear underneath your skin, and a cool tech t-shirt not like big cotton t-shirt that’s like a tent that doesn’t make you body look good, but like a nice tech t-shirt. So we’re gonna send that to anybody who leaves a review that we read on the show, all you gotta do if you hear your review read on the show, very simple, send your t-shirt size to [email protected], that’s [email protected], and you’ll get magic! sent to you in the mail. So that being said, Rachel…
Ben: …we’ve got a review, it’s called the “Fitness Podcast of All Fitness Podcasts” with 5 stars. Wanna take this one away?
Rachel: Yes. Alright. “To all those looking to become an extremely fit, fat destroying, lady killing machine, the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast will give you the knowledge to become as fit as you desire. Whether building at (tries to pronounce) stra-ya-tian?”
Rachel: (laughs) Sorry. “infused body, sleeping like the peace of baby Jesus all reaching to the top of Mt. McKinley in your running shorts. Ben has it all. His jovial sense of humor…”
Rachel: “…and specialized binocular has provided an entertaining experience to my health journey. Learn, experiment, and take as much information as you can muster from the legendary Ben Greenfield. Your life experience will chance along with your diminished waistline and magnified cognitive function. Thank you, Ben.”
Rachel: That was a good one!
Ben: So my special favorites from that particular review aside from getting me an extremely big head was “lady killing machine”…
Ben: Mmm-hmm. Yes. That’s not sexist, at all.
Rachel: That is true. I was gonna add men, men killer…
Ben: “Striation infused body.” Striations are like the, you know, it’s like when a muscle and you can see like all the little fibers of the muscle when someone flexes.
Rachel: I love it that now it makes complete sense that I don’t have any idea what that means. (laughs)
Ben: “Sleeping like the peaceful baby Jesus”.
Ben: How do you know that baby Jesus didn’t cry? I’m just saying. He may have been like a colicy baby that just scream all the time.
Rachel: He had a really big life ahead of him.
Ben: There you go. Or “reaching the top of the Mt. McKinley” what was the other thing he said? The binocular, the specialized binocular and my jovial sense of humor!
Rachel: I love that.
Ben: Which makes me sound like Santa Claus.
Rachel: (laughs) You are a little Santa Clausy.
Ben: I am the Santa Claus of Fitness. Alright, well that was a fun review, that was a fun review and if you’re listening in, you can leave your review over on iTunes. Spread the karma, spread the good cheer.
Rachel: Spread the love.
Ben: And that being said, I will put a link to everything we talked about from the studies on Sirtuin, to our discount on like Kimera Koffee, and the Harry’s razor, to the Biohacker’s Summit in London, and Paleo Fx to that weird thing I’ve been putting on my brachial plexus before I sleep – all that stuff, we’ll put links to over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/episode-346/. And the smart drug hasn’t worn off yet…
Ben: But I think at some point, in the next couple of hours, Rachel, I will go and collapse, and I’ll stay tune for the Agoge blog post too if you’re listening in. You’re gonna wanna read this one, trust me, you’re gonna get like frozen fish, and blindfolded skiing and 38 degrees below zero and all sorts of fun stuff but…
Ben: …in the meantime, Rachel.
Ben: Have a great day!
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
February 17, 2016 Podcast: Sirtuin For Longevity (& Other Longevity Hacks), How Much Sleep Is Too Much, Hangovers From Running & 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.
- Ever heard of “sirtuin”? If you want to live a long time, you should read this.
- New longevity hack: sucking cells out of your body (or save money and just go on a fast).
- Eat like your grandma: Why you should skip the kale salad.
This podcast is brought to you by:
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–GreenfieldFitnessSystems “surprise gift box” – 50% discount on instant access to a box shipped to your front doorstep and full of the latest cutting-edge biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs and more, handpicked and curated by Ben.
Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Steve Sisler? It was a must-listen – titled “News Flash: I Am A 98% Angry, No-Nonsense, Perfectionistic, Extremely Unconventional, Rule-Breaking, Fearless Assassin-Sniper.” Click here to listen now or download for later!
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.
May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, Tabacco Dock, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.
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.
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 Much Sleep Is Too Much?
Gina says: She thinks she might be getting too much sleep. She’s getting 9/9.5 hours/night, she sleeps like a rockstar according to her sleep sensor. She’s not depressed, she doesn’t get up during sleep, she’s not over training. Her question is should she continue listening to her body or should she start waking herself up after 7.5/8 hours or could it be an issue of supplementation?
What Causes Bumps Underneath Skin
Anna says: She was foam rolling the outside of her leg and around the middle of her IT band and she noticed the area was bumpy under her skin. What causes this bumpiness? What’s the best method to relieve it?
In my response, I recommend:
Hangovers From Running
Kate says: What can she do to prevent or recover from a running hangover? After short runs, long runs or hard exercise, she gets headaches, feels nauseous and super awful, after which its hard to get motivated to workout again. She’s tried electrolyte tabs, coconut water, foods, preloading electrolytes, drinking tons of fluid and nothing seems to help. What can she do to fix this?
How Endurance Athletes Can Gain Weight
Ellen says: She’s a marathon and ultra runner with CFC’s animal and plant based diet. She wants to increase her appetite and her weight, but she doesn’t want to reduce her training. Can you make any suggestions?