Episode #348 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast #348 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/03/26835


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: A 382 Day Fast, How To Biohack The Hotel, Chia Seeds Vs. Flax Seeds, Carb Cycling For Fat Loss, 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!  You survived Hawaii.

Ben:  I survived, barely.

Rachel:  And you just!  What an epic trip!

Ben:  Barely.  We had a lot of good stuff, good stuff happened there.

Rachel:  Yeah!

Ben:  Quite epic.  Hawaii – which is a fantastic island.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know folks listen to the weekend episode with Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, but I was able to connect with them.  Incredibly inspirational couple!

Rachel:  Aren’t they?

Ben:  You know, they’re in their I believe they’re in their mid-50’s you know, and Laird is just a beast, as is Gabby, you know, we went and did workouts with them, my wife and I, and we did a 6-mile paddle board and I was able to do plenty of surfing.  I haven’t spent a lot of time surfing but I surfed several times while I was down there.

Rachel:  And how did you go?  Did you stand up?

Ben:  I cuts some waves!

Rachel:  You did!

Ben:  Nah, I was using the school bus – the school bus surf board is the way that my surfing instructor described it to me.  It was like the big-old long 12 footer… but after a couple of days I switch to a smaller board and I’m still catching waves, and I’m hooked.

Rachel:  Awesome!  You are?

Ben:  I need to figure out how to build one of those.  It’s like you’re living at my home in Spokane, Washington.  I can’t replicate the surf that well, but yeah, you need to build this big surfing pools.  Oh and also, I know a lot of people are asking about the mushrooms.  I did medicinal mushrooms when I was down there.  Yeah basically you know, psilocybin, more or less psilocybin edibles right, like a raw food Carrabin cocoa-based psilocybin edible.  And for those of you not familiar with mushrooms or psilocybin, there’s this idea that they can cause everything from enhance cognitive performance and awareness to deep insights, to potentially making movie or video game far more entertaining if that’s your spin.  But I was actually doing it for a little bit more of like a nature connection.

Rachel:  And how did you go?  How did you feel?  Is that your first time as well?

Ben:  Uhmm, yeah, yeah.  I took about 3 grams which would be considered a relatively decent dose for someone who is you know, jumping on and experimenting with something like mushrooms.  Spent about 6 hours on the beach watching the sunset.  My wife was with me, she also participated, and we both had a lot of insights.  You know, you set your intention prior to doing something like this.  I’m not a big fan of just like jumping into something like that recreationally, you know just to have a good time and watch Family Guy or whatever, so we both had a really interesting experience in terms of insights, and also there’s a little bit of fun involved, you know, swimming in the ocean, watching the sunset, we have a lot more interesting in mushrooms, but I would absolutely do it again.  I felt great the next day, there were no real like a cognitive issues or stomach issues or anything like that and so yeah, I think…

Rachel:  Are you gonna write a book first about it, or we gonna hear your intention was and all that kind of stuff?

Ben:  Well, I can tell you right now and for our listeners, one big life journey that I’m going through right now, and then I’ll shut up and we’ll get into the good stuff.  One big life journey that I’m personally going through right now is where is the Ben Greenfield fitness empire, or whatever you wanna call it going?  You know, do I just wanna keep travelling around the globe doing crazy events and teaching people about it, or do I wanna build a bigger kinda more globally recognizable brand, right? that people can use to make their lives better.  And I did a lot of thinking about that, and I have a lot of meetings this week and in past weeks, and future weeks with branding agencies, and investors and you know, people who wanna take what we do to the next level, and I had a lot of insights about that, and ultimately the biggest insight is that even though I’m a little bit fearful about it, I’m open to being big, I’m open to greatness, I’m open to changing as many lives as possible.


And obviously as you can tell from the introduction to this episode, I’m now open to be in woo-woo.

Rachel  (laughs)

Ben:  There you have it.

Rachel:  Wow!  That’s epic.  That sounds incredible.  Now I wanna do mushrooms.

News Flashes:

Rachel:  News flashes for this week Ben, what’ve we got?

Ben:  Oh boy, I’ve got a lot for you.  So, let’s go from mushrooms to not eating anything at all.  Now, actually when I was in Hawaii, I was there for a business mastermind.  That’s the original reason that I went down there.  Myself, your husband Jake, can I even say that on the podcast, Rachel?

Rachel:  How yah you can!

Ben:  Okay.  So Jake was with me, your husband and 12 other guys, and we were up in the mountains camping and at a business mastermind.  And at one point the discussion turn to fasting and dieting, and also weight loss, and I mentioned that perhaps for weight loss some people need to forget this idea that you simply should continue to snack and grace, and keep your metabolism elevated, and maybe you just need to not eat so much damn food.  And then I pointed out this study that appeared in the Journal of Medicine way back in the 70’s which means it must be a horrible study because we know that there was no science in the 70’s.  But it was an article entitled Features of a Successful Therapeutic Fast of 382 Days Duration, and what this study goes into, and I’ll link to it in everything that we’ve talked about over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/, what is it… 348?

Rachel:  348, that’s it.

Ben:  Okay, so bengreenfieldfitness.com/348.  So this guy didn’t eat for 382 days and by the way, he also didn’t poop for almost 2 months during his fast.

Rachel:  My brain is like exploding already, yeah.

Ben:  So, he went from 456 to 180 lbs.  So, a 276 lbs. weight loss and the amazing thing is that they studied him intensively during this period of time.  Meaning that they studied his blood glucose, they studied his electrolyte levels, they studied anything that could have occurred that would have indicated that his body was falling apart or that he was gonna die.  And what they found was not only was the majority of that weight just pure adipose tissue, he just freakin’ burnt through fat.  And when you burn through fat by the way, you do mobilize a lot of fat soluble vitamins and minerals, and other things that your body can almost feed upon as you’re losing that weight.  Now granted this guy was what I would consider to be morbidly obese.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  I love that word.  It just makes being overweight sound horrible.

Rachel:  Uhmm.

Ben:  But he’s morbidly obese, and what they found was that not only were there no deleterious medical effects, his blood glucose plummeted, I mean, it was at around 30 and to put that in context, your mind for example hovers between like 80 and 85, but he also had like normalized electrolyte levels, he kept that weight off forever after the study.  I believe his biggest fluctuations after the study was 16 lbs., and I’ll put a link to the article so that folks can read it, but the only thing that they did use was vitamins and minerals.  So they did use a multivitamins, they did use some minerals, and so if you consider a fast like this even if you consider, and this is something that I’m going to be trying later on this year.  Something like a 7-day water fast, right? You can still take multivitamins and minerals, and it appears that might be a good idea but of course as we’ve discussed on the episode before fasting ramps up the process of autophagy which is where your cells kinda scrub themselves with metabolic waste, and besides a ton of other benefits probably one of the biggest things is that you generate a boat load of a hormone called BDNF which is brain-derived neurotropic factor, which is crucial for building neuronal connections and also the survival of brain cells.  So it turns out not only can you get smarter but if you’re fat enough, you could do it for 382 days, and yes, by the way it is true he didn’t poop for almost 2 months during that period of time.

Rachel:  So if he wasn’t so fat, he – it would be an unhealthy thing to do?

Potentially I think.  We’ll gonna talk about calorie cycling and carbs cycling later on in this episode.  So we’ll touch on that.


But yeah, there can be a law of diminishing returns.  Regardless, I think it’s fascinating, and for those of you who wanna delve into the article and the research, I’ll link to that in the show notes.

So, on a completely unrelated note, but something I also found fascinating that I came across this week.  There was an article in the New York Times and it talked about why some kids can handle pressure while other kids fall apart.  And this is applicable even if you don’t like children and you want nothing to do with children, that’s a pretty applicable to just to be anybody.  So, in this particular article, they talked about how they studied this gene.  So there’s this gene called the COMT gene, and everybody has it.  And basically it carries the assembly code for an enzyme that clears dopamine from your brain.  So you got this part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex, and what dopamine can do is it can change the firing rate of neuron.  So it can speed up the brain, it can turbocharge the brain.  And what this COMT enzyme does is it helps to remove dopamine.  So it helps to regulate neural activity and to maintain mental function because if you have too much dopamine hanging around and just this overload of dopamine in the brain, it can actually make you feel stressed out.

Rachel:  Uhm, yup.

Ben:  So what they did was they studied kids.  They put them under high amounts of stress and then they have them take basically the equivalent of like the IQ test, right like a cognitive performance test.  And what stress does is it floods the prefrontal cortex with dopamine.  We all like to think that dopamine is good but in fact you know, kind of like cortisol, right.  Any a little surge of cortisol in the morning to feel good and you wake up, and then when you get too much, you get stressed out and your blood pressure goes up.  It’s the same thing with dopamine, so you can flood your brain with dopamine and essentially cause your brain function to melt down when that happens.

Rachel:  So, is there a difference between like a decrease function and an increase function with the COMT?  Is it a mutation?

Ben:  It’s not a mutation.  It’s just a gene that some people have.  So some people are gonna clear dopamine faster than others.  Now what they found in this study was it turns out that if you have this COMT gene that allows you to clear dopamine more quickly, you can actually respond to very high stressed situations quite effectively.  There’s this concept that some people – I don’t know if you’ve heard of this Rachel, some people are ‘warriors’ and some people are ‘worriers’.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  So the fast acting dopamine clears would be considered ‘warriors’.  People who are ready for threatening environments where maximum performance is required like let say like a UFC fighter, right? Like they’re probably hard-wired to clear dopamine more quickly.  And then you’ve got ‘worriers’ who can solve problems a little bit better but who under very, very high amounts of stress don’t do so well because they get flooded with dopamine, and they can only clear it oh so slowly.  So it’s really interesting that not only can you have a different response in terms of your ability to clear dopamine but this is something you can test.  I mean, you can go do a 23andme test for example which is a salivary genetic test.  A very, very simple test to do from the comfort of your own home.  And even though 23andme like their website, doesn’t necessarily give you a ton of really detailed results, you can for 5 bucks.  I recently did this.  I did it last Sunday actually and I was talking with my wife about the very fascinating results.  I’ve found out about myself.  You can export your 23andme genetic testing results to a website like a – one very popular one is called promethease – that’s prom p-r-o-m-e thease, it’s t-h-e-a-s-e – promethease.  And you pay $5, and you get this incredibly detailed report about everything you’d ever wanna know about how your genes influenced your function.  Like one thing, probably the most useful and interesting thing I’ve found out is that I have almost a 0% risk of ever going bald.

Rachel:  Wow!  That’s gonna be feeling good.

Ben:  I’m gonna be a hair model.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  That’s what I’m banking on.  But anyways, this article is really fascinating.  I would recommend it folks.  Go – give it a read if you’re interested in this type of stuff because I thought it was really, really kinda cool that what influences how you respond to stress.

Rachel:  Right!  I read that one and it actually was so fascinating to me going through it.  It’s a really long article, and it goes into you know, how ‘warriors’ and ‘worriers’, and ‘warriors’ – that sounds the same with my accent.  (laughs)

Ben:  That’s hard enough Australian.

Rachel:  How they respond differently to stress but then also that was a test that they did where they tested pilots, and it turned out that the ‘warriors’ did really well in the 1st phase when they were flying in daylight, but when they switch them over to night light, not the ‘worriers’ did way better which you still don’t understand what I’m saying ‘cause I’m saying in Australian accent, but…


Ben:  I have absolutely no clue.

Rachel:  How – and then they also mentioned that stress is it’s developmental thing like the more a ‘warrior’ goes and is trained around stress, the better they are like Navy Seals for example.  They used this example like a lot of Navy Seals are actually ‘warriors’ and not ‘worriers’.

Ben:  Uhmm.  They’re ‘worriers’…

Rachel:  ‘Warriors’

Ben:  …and would expect Navy Seals to be all ‘warriors’ but some of them are simply ‘worriers’ who have trained themselves to be better able to respond to dopamine.

Rachel:  Exactly.

Ben:  So yeah, as it turns out it can overturn to nature vs. nurture.  Now speaking of nature vs. nurture, there’s one other study that I found was really interesting, and I’m hoping this means that my kids are going to be as I tweeted ‘pretty F-in rich’ Aw, what they looked at in this research study that was just published in Medicine and Science and Sports and Exercise was data from over 3,000 kids, and what they found was that the children who are more active and especially the boys were more active were found to earn about 30% more as adults.

Rachel:  Woah!

Ben:  No women, it was very interesting, there was no very significant link between women and childhood activity exercise and income but for boys it was shown that the more active boys made way more money.  And it’s possible that part of that might be due to the fact that you know, people who exercise more also have more ambition, more motivation, or more drive especially men, and that may be a reason why but ultimately I thought it was interesting, and not that being rich is necessarily the ultimate end goal in life but it’s yet another reason to ensure that your kids stay physically active especially if you have little young men.

Rachel:  Yes!  Absolutely, and I would go as far as saying that that’s probably some sort of sociological thing as to why that didn’t transpired to women as well, yeah.

Ben:  Uhmm, I think it’s still a good idea to have your daughters run around a lot.

Rachel:  Exercise as well.  Yes.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  So Rachel, have you ever eaten a bug?  Does that fall into a vegetarian diet or any bugs consider vegetables?

Rachel: I’m not sure but I have been in a lot of Asian countries where they sell, you know, like they sell like the piles, and piles, and piles of bugs, and I’ve never felt compelled to try a bug.  It still gives me the hibby-gibbies a little bit, you know?

Ben:  You got to work on your street foods, gurls.

Rachel:  I know!

Ben:  So bugs are very interesting.  So, if you look at for example crickets and you look at the percentage of protein in crickets.  Crickets are about – if you take like cricket protein flour which is something they make nowadays, actual cricket protein flour.  Sixty-five percent protein compared to beef jerky which is 33% protein, chicken which is 23% protein, salmon which is 22% protein, and eggs which are 12% protein.  So a bug flour like a protein made from a bug like a cricket not only has a higher protein percentage than any animal but it’s also got a lot of other very interesting things like when you’ll get iron for example, it’s got 2 times the iron of something like spinach.  And then also of course, as I think we’ve discussed when we talked about entomophagy on a previous episode, bugs produced about a 100 times less greenhouse gases than big animals like cows, and granted I will admit that in a situation where you’re like take a cow, and you’ll like rotationally grace a cow, you can get rid of a lot of these issues like greenhouse gases because with rotational gracing and proper crop management, you can sequester a lot of that methane and put it in the soil, and feed the microbes and create this big happy cycle of life, but ultimately there’s a definite argument for eating insects.  And the reason I’m saying all these is because we actually have a sponsor of today’s show that makes a bar, a protein bar made out of all things.  You probably guess it, Rachel.

Rachel:  Crickets!

Ben:  Cricket flour.  Not crickets.  Not like little cricket legs and cricket antenna, but cricket flour.  So, they’re called Exo, e-x-o.  I’ve had the bars.  They actually taste really good.  The recipes for the bars were developed by an award winning three Michelin star chef who is the former head of research and development at a restaurant called The Fat Duck which has been ranked as the number 1 restaurant in the world.  And they’ve developed this gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free cricket protein bar.  So, they’re offering everybody who listens into this podcast a 33% discount on a big sampler pack of all of their most popular flavors, so less than 10 bucks, it’s free shipping, and all you do is you go to Exoprotein, that’s e-x-o protein.com/ben.


And when you go to exoprotein.com/ben, it’ll automatically put that discount.  And I know they’re kind of like a new startup, they sell a lot of bars all the time, so I’m not quite sure how big their inventory is after about 90,000 people download this podcast episode.  I’m guessing, probably the cricket bars won’t last too long.  They may have to go find some more crickets, but ultimately exoprotein.com/ben, very well worth checking out and giving a taste.  I think they even have like a peanut butter and jelly flavor.

Rachel:  Ugh, peanut butter and jelly flavor crickets.  Yum!  No, I was just thinking… my chickens actually eat crickets, and I eat their eggs.  Does that mean I should eat crickets?

Ben:  It means that you’re probably are eating crickets, so.

Rachel: (laughs)

Ben:  This podcast is also brought to you by something I was reading about last night.  Fascinating book, I’m gonna get this guy in the podcast.  The book is called The Big Five, goes into 5 things.  I may keep four of them a mystery but I can tell you that one of them is coffee.  Five things that you need for a long life.  And this guy goes into really interesting research that shows that people who drink not one, not two, not three, not four, but five or more cups of coffee a day have decrease risk of liver cirrhosis, diabetes, they have a better mouth bacterial profiles, better cognitive performance, really like way more coffee than I ever would have thought would be healthy like ungodly amounts of coffee.  It turns out that it actually has this really, really cool effect on the body.  So, I’m gonna – he’s like an ayurvedic medical practitioner, it’s not woo-woo, he actually has some really good science in the book.  So I’m gonna get him on an episode but regardless, it made me feel quite a bit better about the enormous like 20 ounce, giant cup of coffee that I have every morning.  And what I had this morning, what I have many mornings is this Kimera Koffee stuff.  So, Kimera Koffee, that’s k-i-m-e-r-a k-o-f-f-e-e.com, kimera koffee is nootropic infused coffee.  It means they’ve added like smart drug equivalent to the coffee, and anybody who goes to kimerakoffee.com and uses 10% discount code “Ben” will save on this coffee.  One really interesting thing is the guy who founded this company – uhm, did you watch the recent, the UFC fight this weekend?  The Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz fight?

Rachel:  Woah!  That was insane.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  My kids and I watched it.

Rachel:  Oh my god!

Ben:  One of the few times we will pay to watch stuff is this UFC cards, and Nate Diaz who (spoiler alert) defeated Conor McGregor with a choke out – jiu jitsu choke out.  He – in his corner was this guy named Jake Shields, and Jake Shields trains with the Gracie brothers who this big jiu jitsu trainers and fighters, and he is actually the founder of this company, Kimera Koffee.

Rachel:  Interesting!

Ben:  Yeah.  Which is why Nate was I’m sure…

Rachel:  I’m sure he was just dosed on Kimera Koffee and that what got him through that fight.

Ben:  Exactly.  So, you can drink the same stuff that the guy who beat one of most badass dudes in the UFC, Conor McGregor was probably drinking.  And I’ll also put a recipe in the show notes.  I got a recipe – it’s called the Kimera Orchard Spice Recipe.

Rachel:  Are you making this recipes off?

Ben:  No.

Rachel:  Okay.

Ben:  No, Kimera is…

Rachel:  So we know that they’re good then.

Ben:  Kimera is testing this recipes and they’re giving them to me.  I’m trying them though.  So here’s that this one goes – you take your Kimera Koffee and you put it into a French press, and then you add nutmeg and cayenne pepper, and you can also if you want to for sweetness, you can add a little bit of chocolate stevia, brown sugar, or molasses, that type of thing to it.  I like to add little unsweetened cocoa powder, that’s also a good addition and a little bit of cinnamon in case you get nutmeg, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and if you’d like sweetener – stevia, and you just put all of these in the French press, and then you press it, and it’s like the coffee gets infused with the nutmeg and the cayenne and the cocoa, and the cinnamon, and it’s like a – apple cider spice…

Rachel:  Sounds delicious!

Ben:  … in the morning.  It’s like having Christmas for breakfast.

Rachel:  There.  I’m in love with the taste of Kimera Koffee anyway, of my goodness!  It’s – I’m – we don’t really drink espresso coffee in Australia and I have never really been know what to do just like French press coffee or anything since Kimera Koffee.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  I love it.

Ben:  I love it too.  So finally, this podcast – oh, by the way, kimerakoffee.com discount code “Ben” you save 10%.


This podcast is also brought to you by Organifi – Organifi green juice powder.

Rachel:   Squee…

Ben:  Yeah! What did you say?

Rachel: We’ve got…

Ben:  Did you say “Squeek”?

Rachel:  (laughs) We’ve got an awesome giveaway happening right now!  By giving away 6 bottles of this stuff – 2 on Instagram, 2 on Facebook, and 2 on Twitter.  All you have to do is go the post, comment on the post, and we gonna choose 2 winners.  Boom!  Get in.

Ben:  You sound freakin’ excited.

Rachel:  I am really excited about that.  They gave us 6 to giveaway.  That’s awesome.

Ben:  Yeah, it’s pretty cool.  It’s good stuff, it’s got ashwagandha, it’s got green tea, it’s got mint, spirulina, chlorella, so those giveaways – we’ll put links in the show notes but basically if you go to Facebook or Instagram, any of those, or you could just do a search like for Facebook – Ben Greenfield or Instagram – Ben Greenfield, and you’ll…

Rachel:  But you should be already following Ben on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Ben:  Yeah.  So, or you could go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/348 and we will keep all these stuff, and for the FitLife you get a 20% discount with code “Ben” when you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/FitLife.  So, before we jump in to the Q & A, a few other cool announcements for you.  First of all, I have finally given in and started Snap Chatting.

Rachel:  Yey!

Ben:  I am now Snap Chatting photos of my vagina across the globe.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:   It only lasts for 10 seconds just say you know.  No actually we’re doing Day in the Life, so I’m starting the first story the time this podcast comes out this weekend I’ll start the first story, and what a story means is that for 24 hours I will just log my life, and I’m gonna start with my morning routine, then next time I’m gonna do a story on the afternoon and daily routine, and the next day I’m gonna do a story in the evening routine, and if you wanna get in and if you wanna follow on Snapchat, and I have discovered personally, it is more than simply temporary vagina pictures or penis pictures, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat, and you can follow some cool stories over there, so.  The other thing is that we have a bunch of surprise gift boxes that I put together.  I put 4 together this morning.  I put a bunch of biohacking gear, protein powder, nootropics, supplements, gut cleansers, all sorts of stuff into 4 different boxes, and I literally ship these things from my house to you.  We have 4 available, I put about $300 worth of supplements and biohacking gear and books into each of these boxes, and we’ve got them available over bengreenfieldfitnesssystems.com.  However, it’s not 300 bucks, we mark everything down 50%.  So for a 150 bucks, you get Christmas in this case, in March, so.  There you have it, the Greenfield fitness systems surprise gift box.  Check it out at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com.  And then finally, few things comin’ up: The Biohacker’s Summit in London – that one is going to basically be amazing.  It’s digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self, amazing DJ’d parties (I don’t know if it’s a word – DJ’d).

Rachel:  (laughs) It is now!

Ben:  But good party, good people, and an amazing time of both learning, and fun, and of course biohacking yourself.  So, we’ve got a 10% discount code on that.  I’m gonna be there speaking.  So if you’re in London or if you wanna jet-over, jet-over the pond to London, 10% discount code “Ben” when you register.  We’ll put the link in the show notes over at bengreenfielfitness.com/348 for yah.  And then also, both Rachel and I are gonna be at PaleoFX in Austin, Texas this year.


Ben:   And not only do they have a day before PaleoFX, it’s a health entrepreneur conference.  So if you’re like a physician or a chiropractor…

Rachel:   Or you’re a good teacher…

Ben:   … or personal trainer, or a dentist, or I don’t know, anybody who wants to work in the fitness industry – me, Mark Sisson, Rob Wolf, Able James, bunch of folks are gonna be there teaching you on marketing and business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness, and then the next 2 day  after that, it’s pretty much the coolest fitness event on the face of the planet in terms of like bloggers, and professional athletes, and scientists and all sorts of people convening in Austin, Texas, not only eating really, really good barbeque but also going to one of the most epic events in my opinion on the face of the planet in the health industry, so.  And you don’t have to be paleo.

Rachel:  You don’t have to be paleo, I said that a thousand times before.

Ben:     Okay Rachel, she’s vegetarian and she’ll be there.

Rachel:  She eats crickets though apparently.

Ben:  So, she does eat crickets now.  At least she eats crickets through…

Rachel:  Vicariously through my chicken.

Ben:  That’s right!  So, we will put links for all of your listening in to all the stuff and oh so much more at bengreenfieldfitness.com/348.


We’ve got discounts to PaleoFX, discounts to the Biohacker’s Conference, discounts to all these good stuff like Kimera Koffee and Exoprotein.  Check out all the goodness, and what do you think, Rachel, Q and A time?

Rachel:  Q and A time.

Ben:  Let’s do it.

Listener Q & A:

Brock:  Hey there Ben and Rachel!  A long time side-kick, first time caller here.  I just wanted to know, wanted to get your take on this whole chia seed/flaxseed phytoestrogen thing that a lot of people have been talking about recently.  Apparently flaxseeds are extremely high in estrogen and should probably be avoided because of the man-boob issue for people like me who are in there mid-40’s and male, and also chia seed seem to be getting a bad rap lately as well, and I know both of those things are things that you’ve recommended in the past, not in huge quantities mind you and generally I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 2 tablespoons of each at a time, and that’s certainly not on a daily basis.  So, is there anything I should be worried about, is phytoestrogen in either of those something to worry about or just something to sweep under the rug with all the other sort of hysteria that picks up on the internet?  Thanks a lot guys, and keep up the good work!

Ben:  Holy cow!  Do you know who that was Rachel?

Rachel:  It was Brock.

Ben:  It was Brock.

Rachel:  I know Brock!  I love Brock!  Hi Brock, we miss you!

Ben:  Oh dear! Podcast sidekick, what’s up, Brock?  Off ice skating and eating poutine in his toque, in Canada.

Rachel:  (laughs)  And he’s flying on those really tiny planes everywhere.

Ben:  Yeah, well, you know what Brock does now?  He works for Bulletproof.

Rachel:  He does?

Ben:  He’s the audio/video guy for Bulletproof.

Rachel:  Fun!

Ben:  So, yeah!  Yeah, that’s cool.  Which I like, like I use a lot of the bulletproof stuff.  I actually just ordered today from them.  Their bulletproof chocolate powder and their bulletproof chocolate stevia bars.  I’m okay, there isn’t like if Brock would have went and maybe started to work for Gatorade, or I don’t know…

Rachel:  (laughs) There’s anything Brock was ever gonna go and work with Gatorade.

Ben:  Yeah, but you know, if he would have completely just flip to 180, I would have been pretty pissed but I’m pretty cool with him, him hooking up with Dave Asprey ‘cause Dave is a buddy.

Rachel:  Well, we miss you Brock anyway.

Ben:  We do miss you Brock, and we really hope you’re growing man-boobs from all that flaxseeds.  Oh!  There is this idea that flaxseed is an estrogen source.  Are you familiar with this idea, Rachel?

Rachel:  Ah, not a flaxseed, no.

Ben:  Uhm, okay.  So, here’s the deal: Flaxseed is one of those components or one of those food or seeds that has in it what are called lignans, lignans.  Now, before I get in to lignans, you need to understand what a phytoestrogen is because we hear this word phytoestrogen a lot, and a lot of times even the mere mention of the word estrogen strikes fear in the hearts of many folks both men and women ‘cause women would think of like breast cancer or cervical cancer, and men of course will think of man-boobs.  And phytoestrogens are an actually estrogens, they’re actually quite ironically anti-estrogens.  So, what that means is that certain plants produce forms of estrogens that protect us from the stronger estrogens that are bodies produced, and also protect us from these things called xenoestrogen.  And xenoestrogens are form of estrogens that you would find in an environmental chemicals, right? Like shampoo, or conditioner, or perfume, you know, that’s why I plug my nose if I’m at the gym and some woman beside me is running on the treadmill and xenoestrogens are pouring off your body from that perfume that she dumped on herself before she put on her tight yoga pants, and stepped into the gym to give me man-boobs.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  So yeah basically, we wanna be careful with xenoestrogens but phytoestrogens are a little bit different, and flax is a little bit misunderstood.  So here’s the deal with flax, the lignans in flax helped to lower the production of estrogens.  So your endogenous production of estrogen whether a male or a female, by blocking this enzyme called an aromatase enzyme.  And you’ll actually see many for example for men, many testosterone enhancing products are packaged along with an aromatase inhibitor.  Something that will keep all that excess testosterone from getting converted into estrogen.  And flax actually acts very similarly not only can help to act as an aromatase inhibitor, keeping excess testosterone from getting converted to estrogens but it can also block estrogen receptors.  There’s even this anti-cancer drug called tamoxifen which is something there’s an estrogen receptor blocker, right, to keep you from getting cancer or to work against cancer.


And flaxseed may even work better than tamoxifen when it comes to its estrogen blocking capability.  And the way that this work is when you consumed a seed that’s really high in lignans. And flaxseed is very high in lignans, I mean chia seed for example does have lignans in it but far less depending on the chia seed 3-8 times less than flaxseed.  But when you consume this lignans, your intestinal bacteria convert them into 2 different components.  So they convert them into enterolactone and enterodiol.  And those 2 components that those lignans get converted into by your intestinal bacteria, this enterolactone and enterodiol, this attached to estrogen receptors.  So, they block estrogen whether it’s xenoestrogen or estrogens that your body produces from biding to these estrogen receptors.  So not only can it block you from some of the effects of environmental toxins but if you’re producing a much of excess of estrogen which is a special problem in women who have estrogen dominance, and who are gaining weight like in their prior or post-menopausal years, or men who get exposed to a lot of environmental chemicals and are getting man-boobs or men who are maybe eating too much soy and tofu which is a source of estrogen that’s not high in the same type of lignans, flaxseed can actually help in that way.  I mean, so if you think about this way – if you flood your system with phytoestrogens like flax, they can block the estrogen receptors and when that happens you get far less of this estrogenic activity.  So…

Rachel:  So, are phytoestrogens always good?

Ben:  Phytoestrogens in sane amounts, yes.  So you wouldn’t necessarily wanna block all your estrogen receptors, right?  Obviously the pro-growth effect of estrogen can be helpful for everything from recovery to drive, to sexual performance, etc. meaning even emotions, right?  Like men who are completely stripped of estradiol to not to for example, live be every emotional at all.  Whereas, men who produce way too much estrogen, who get weepy during sleepless in Seattle, they should probably dump some flax into their smoothie.  But flax is kinda cool because like I talked about how fasting for example will induced program cell death like apaptosis.  Flaxseeds can do that to.  Flaxseeds, and this is all based on research that has been done on flax.  They can prevent new blood vessels from growing into tumors, they can block a lot of these capillarization of blood vessels in the tumors, they can decrease expression of something called HER2, and HER2 is a growth factor that plays a role in cell proliferation and differentiation which in excess can lead to cancer.  It’s been shown to decrease breast cancer proliferation, it’s been shown to reduce tumor growth, it’s been shown to protect against radiation damage from things like x-rays and CT scans.  Women who do a daily flaxseed dose have actually shown decreased tumor cell proliferation to 30% decreased expression of that HER2 which can cause undifferentiated cell growth up to 70%, and also a significant increase in apaptosis.  So when it comes to protection against cancer, flaxseed is pretty powerful.  It can aggravate the gut, like it’s best to grind it, so you grind through that harsh exoskeleton that you probably know that flaxseed has, but ultimately I don’t think there’s much to worry about with flaxseed in moderation.

Rachel:  What about flaxseed oil?

Ben:  Flaxseed oil are very, very similar.

Rachel: Okay, yeah.

Ben:  It’s still going to have some of those lignan components.  Now, when you look at some of the acts when you do too much, any seed or nut, and this is actually this doctor who wrote that book about coffee I was talking about?

Rachel:  Uhmm.

Ben:  He has this big chapter about how nuts – those are like number 3 in his things that people need to eat.  And when I get him on the podcast I’m gonna ask him about this because he talks about eating copious amounts of nuts everyday.  Like 1 and a half to 2 cups of nuts, and just like any seed or nut that hasn’t been soaked or that hasn’t been sprouted, flax is really high in phytate content, and phytate can keep you from absorbing minerals from other foods that you eat, and so that can be an issue.  Phytic acid can be a digestive irritant and it can inhibit your ability to absorb minerals.  So, you don’t want to take too much, but something like the equivalent of a couple tablespoons of ground flaxseed or a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in something like a smoothie, no big deal at all.

Rachel:  Awesome.

Ben:  And when you take into consideration chia seeds, have about 3-8 times less or fewer lignans than flaxseed does.  Obviously, chia seeds become even less of an issue when it comes to a lignan source.  You know, other sources of lignans that aren’t quite as high as flaxseed but that are still sources of lignans would be sesame seeds, kale is actually a pretty significant source of lignans, broccoli which is also known for its anti-cancer effects, and one of the reasons for that is because broccoli has a lot of these lignans as well.


So, the idea is that you don’t need to get rid of flaxseeds, you need to grind them and similar to chia seeds needing to be soaked so that they release a lot more of their fatty acids and amino acids, you should preferably if you can, soak your flaxseeds for a little while prior to consuming them.  But not only do I do ground flaxseeds – and so we have a jar of flaxseeds like a mason jar of flaxseeds in the pantry, I also because it’s incredibly soothing to the digestive tract, I do chia seeds almost everyday.  So I just keep a giant – one of those giant Nalgene bottles and  I fill it about 1/8 full of chia seeds, and I fill the rest of it with water, and I do this about once every 3 or 4 days and then I go through the chia seeds that I put in there.  So just to put this in context for your tablespoon of chia seeds has about 60 calories, and I shake that up and I’ll use it as a base for things like smoothies or I’ll put a little bit of it in a cup and mix that with some chocolate stevia and some sea salt as a snack.  And it’s very soothing to the digestive tract.  It’s got protein, it’s got calcium, it’s got phosphorus, it’s got copper which is a trace mineral that’s really good for red blood cell formation.  So it’s a – it’s one of the things that I really, really wouldn’t worry about it, Brock.  I would definitely be doing not just flax but also chia if you start to grow man-boobs, then you may wanna quit using whatever shampoo or conditioner or perfume that you’re using because you may be dumping too many xenoestrogens into your body, but Brock, if you like to take a photograph of your boobs and send them in to the show, we could post them but yeah, I mean, I just but at the same time like man-boobs and belly fat in men, a lot of times it is linked to estrogen.  A lot of times you need phytoestrogens or you need some kind of an aromatase inhibitor in your protocol to help reduce some of that.  And also you need to take into account where you’re living, what kind of toxins are you getting exposed to that type of thing, so.  So that’s the deal with flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Rachel:  Uhm, there you go Brock!

Wendy:  Hi Ben!  This is Wendy from Sacramento.  I recently was listening to your podcast with Mark Sisson, and was in total agreement on everything you guys talked about.  My question is – I’d like to hear your thoughts about eating a low carb, high fat diet for 5 days, then switching over to a low fat, high carb diet for 3 days.  And repeating this cycle throughout the course of your life in order to maintain fat loss or for fat loss.  Love the podcast!  Give me your thoughts, I need to pick somebody’s brain about this.  Thank you!

Ben:  So Rachel, carb cycling contrary to popular belief is not riding your bicycle from pizza store to pizza store, or Italian restaurant to Italian restaurant.

Rachel:  (chuckles) That’s how I do it.

Ben:  (chuckles) Eating carbs and then cycling!  Actually that’s a great way to live life.  I went to Italy once and did a bike ride from Rome up to Florence, and not only did copious amounts of cycling but also copious amounts of gelato, pasta, exception… and I’m a fan of that.  I actually saved my entire itinerary.  I stayed in farms… have you heard of this?  This concept of staying in Agricolas?

Rachel:  No!

Ben:  When you’re riding across, it leads a fantastic way to live life.  So, you go from Agricola to Agricola which are basically like farm stay.  Like little bed and breakfast farm stays and they’re usually way high up or slightly outside this big medieval cities, so you ride your bike up up into the cities and you stop and you have gelato and some homemade ravioli…

Rachel:  Yum.

Ben:  You know,  a couple of wine, even their house wine is like this deep, dark, rich red wine, and it’s amazing!  It really is good and even though they’re talking now about the fact that Italians are getting higher, higher amounts of celiac disease because of the concentrated amounts of gluten from changes in agricultural practices.  And actually I have a podcast this weekend coming out about just that.  About a documentary called Bread Head.  Ultimately, if you’re eatin’ at a little mum and pop places, I didn’t have any issues when I did it, I also didn’t have any issues with the gelato or the pizza, or the wine but that’s also possibly due to the fact that I was riding my bike, you know, 50-60 miles a day, me and my wife.  And our bikes got heavier and heavier as the trip progress because…

Rachel:  ‘Cause you guys got bigger and bigger?

Ben:  No! No, we had a saddlebags, right?  On either side of our bicycles, on the back of our bikes.


And we buy wine, we buy cheese, and we buy souvenirs.  And so by the time we got up to Florence, our bicycles were just laden with extra weight.  Highly recommend that as a vacation though for anybody who wants to get out and do like an active vacation, ride your bike through Italy.

Rachel:  Sounds fun.

Ben:  So, there you have it, but I digress.  So actual carb cycling in nutrition science – so it is basically more or less a planned alteration of carbohydrate intake to prevent a weight loss plateau, and to maintain an elevated metabolism especially in people who are working out frequently and who wanna maintain workout performance, and who perhaps aren’t interested in doing like a full ketosis/keto-adapted approach maybe because you liked carbohydrates and you wanna include them every now and again.  Maybe because you don’t fell good on a ketosis-based approach or maybe because you’re in an extremely glycolytic sport, right? Like you’re doing what we’re talking about like fighting and – or maybe something like soccer where you are going into such a deep state of glycolysis that you might feel better on carbohydrates.  And this is kinda like my approach, right, for example, I’m training for my first fight in July, and so I’ve got some pretty tough, very glycolytic workout that I’m doing when I’m sparring for example.  I’m also training for triathlons again now and so I’m just training for sprint triathlon.  So I’ve got some really high interval sessions on the bike, etc. and I do carb cycling almost everyday, meaning that I go the entire day without eating carbs.  I throw in carbs at the end of the day to replenish my glycogen stores and then I go back into a low carbs scenario.  So, it’s like cyclic ketosis or cyclic low carb.  Now, the idea behind most carbohydrates cycling diets as Wendy alluded to is that you eat low carb for several days, right? Not just for the day but for several days and then you switch into high carb for a day or couple of days, and then back into low carb.  Now when you look at the studies that have been done on this, first of all we do know that brief and actually according to research somewhat in frequent periods of fasting or carb restriction can be advantageous not just for body comp but also for health, like they did a study on the American Journal of Cardiology where they showed that occasional like bi-weekly or bi-monthly bouts of fasting improved just about every marker of cardiovascular disease that exists.  And in that case we’re talking about 24 hour fast.  However, also found in studies that long term calorie restriction, low term carbohydrate restriction can have negative metabolic effects, and this is typically due to its effect on the endocrine system.  So what that means is that the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the HPA axis can actually decrease its production of hormones when you have approximately in most lean active people.  Not our 460+ lb. friend who did that 382 day fast, but like lean active people.  Generally it’s about 4 weeks before the HPA axis starts to shutdown hormone production, and you begin to see like lower thyroid or testosterone, lower progesterone, lower DHEA in response to caloric restriction, and in response to carbohydrate restriction.  So, that’s where this idea of carbohydrate cycling or planned carbohydrate manipulation comes in.  So far today there are 3 pretty good studies that show that for active people, throwing in a couple of higher carbohydrate intake days each week increases thyroid output and also helps to control hunger and maintain metabolic weight.  They’ve also shown that manipulating carbohydrate intake in this way helps you to take advantage of a really anabolic hormone, you’re probably familiar with called insulin.  So what insulin does is it regulates the ability of not just glucose but also and this was – this is something that a lot of people don’t realize also amino acid to enter into muscle cells.  And if your insulin is constantly really, really low, and it seldomly elevated, you actually don’t get in as anabolic state, and so if your goal is muscle gain or like having a ripped body or good body comp or staying anabolic, keeping insulin constantly low is…. contrary to popular belief, not necessarily the best strategy.  And so, you can elevate insulin levels at certain times appropriately along with a scheduled higher carb intake.  And especially if you do this on your more active days, like your harder let’s say weight training days, or the days were you’re exercising maybe you know, an hour and a half instead of a half hour, then what happens is that insulin becomes very anabolic, it becomes far more likely to drive amino acids and glucose in a muscle tissue not into fat tissue because the muscles glycogen stores are actually being emptied or slightly empty.


And so, you don’t get an increase in fat tissue, you just get an increase in the amount of energy that muscle store.  And so, the idea behind this is the definition of the carb refeed in the case of a calorie cycling diet would be a planned increase in calorie or carb intake that last about 8-12 hours, and that’s done typically in most carb cycling diets on 2 days of the week, okay? So you’ve got 5 days of the week where you’re eating lower carb, and then you’ve got 2 days of the week preferably your most active days.  And for triathlete for example, let’s say an Ironman triathlete has got a big day on Saturday and a big day on Sunday, long swim, long bike rides, long runs – Saturday and Sunday.  Higher calorie, higher carbohydrate intake and then on Monday through Friday, carbohydrate moderation and calorie moderation.  And so, that’s the idea behind it and it has been shown not only to increase insulin on those days and help with the anabolic effect but to allow you to restrict calories and carbohydrates without affecting your metabolism deleteriously, without affecting your hormone production deleteriously.  And the other thing that they found finally is that carb cycling can help to control the levels of leptin and grelin.  So these are appetite homeostatic hormones, in other words the grelin is a signal to your body to spark the appetite and to eat, and leptin helps you to control your appetite and it turns out that you are more sensitive to both of these when you engage in carb cycling or carb refeeding.  There’s been some really, really cool studies that have been done on this, and  I can link to some of them in the show notes so folks would like for me to do that underneath when these questions if you wanna dig in to the research, and know that I’m not just pulling this stuff out my (beeping sound).  I’ll put some studies.  But that that’s make sense?

Rachel:  It does make sense.  So, if you are carb refeeding on your most active days, you – if you’re not a triathlete what if that tends to be like on a Monday and on a Friday, and those days that are next to each other?

Ben:  That’s fine.  You can have like one on, three off, one on, two off.  That thing…

Rachel:  Okay, yup.

Ben:   And yep, that’s also work for cycling approach absolutely. The trick is you just choose your most glycolytically or calorically demanding days, and those are the days on which you increase your carbohydrate intake. Ultimately, I’m not saying this to confuse people because I know I’ve talked about everything from ketosis to high carb, low fat, to low fat, high carb, but the idea here is if you do experience a drop in energy, you don’t feel all that grade on, something like a high-fat, low-carb diet all the time, you know, you can do as I do and do like a carb refeed in the evenings, or you could not do a carb refeed in the evenings and just have like a couple of days a week where you go higher carb. I’ve tried both and I feel best with not having any day, that’s like a high carb day but just having one meal in the evening, and this is called, by the way, there’s a term for this called Carb Back-Loading, also known as the carb night approach. And there’s a whole book about it. I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s written by my friend, John Kiefer, and it really feels you on the science behind this but basically that’s the idea.

Rachel:  And so, will that be different for everyone? How they do their refeeding or backloading will be different for everyone?

Ben:  Yeah, you got to experiment with how you feel, you know, how you look, how you feel, and you perform but…

Rachel:  Which is what basically what Wendy’s doin’!

Ben:  When I’m sittin’ down and writing a nutrition plan for somebody typically, I’m looking at what their exercise looks like, what their day to day routine looks like, I’ll look at generic markers, I’ll look at blood markers, hormonal markers, and then kinda make them, you know, call ‘em audible this stuff what I’m seeing.  So, there you have it Wendy.  Enjoy your pizza, go cycle across Italy, get some gelato, get some wine, get some homemade ravioli.  Mangia, mangia!

Ian:  Hi Ben!  This is Ian, a long time listener.  I’m trying to build a new high-end luxury bed and breakfast up in Canada, and just want your suggestions on what to provide for people in this very sporty town who got bitten up by hardcore mountain biking, skiing, dirt biking, many of the sports.  Would you offer bio-mats, Kimera Koffee, mushroom teas, to do sleep optimization and recovery, the food I’ve got nailed down anyway just from listening to you over the years, you know, the bed sheet materials, TV’s, no TV’s, wifi ‘cause I’ve ease it, essential oils, sleep mask, anything you can think of would be great.  Look forward to hearing your feedback.  Keep up the good work.  Thanks.

Ben:  I love this kind of questions that are like.  What would you do if… questions.

Rachel:  Right.  This is a big question.

Ben:  (chuckles)  Yeah, last time I – actually last time I was in London, these folks were from Spain to meet with me.


They wanna do like this high-end resorts in Spain, and they wanna do these biohacking hotels, and they had these whole grand plan worked up and it never really materialized if they – we sat for almost 2 hours at lunch and I feel demand on everything from the bedding to the lighting, to the type of air filters that they use etc., and obviously…

Rachel:  You basically – you’re pretty prep for this question.

Ben:  Yeah, but you know, if we’re gonna pick some fun things, right, I’m not gonna sit down with them for 2 hours here in the podcast, and do a full consultation.  Although Ian, if you would like to bring me up to Canada and sit down and have lunch with me, that’s fine.  We can figure out a little consulting deal and come up there and help you out.  I’m actually taking my kids up to Canada this week.

Rachel:  Nice!  I love Canada!

Ben:  We’re going fishing, horseback riding, were’ going up to William’s Lake BC way Northern Canada.

Rachel:  Beautiful!

Ben:  So we’re gonna fly to Seattle, we’re gonna spend time at Pike’s Market, and Space Needle…

Rachel:  Is Jessa going or just you and the boys?

Ben:  No!  Boys only.

Rachel:  Oh, it’s a boy’s trip!

Ben:  It’s a sausage fest.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  Anyways though, back to Ian’s question.  I’ve got – I’ll give you – Ian, I’ll give you 5 things, okay ‘cause obviously skies the limit here, right.  There are ton of things that we could do, and by the way, you know, my home is biohacked, right, it’s everything from no wifi and no Bluetooth, and instead metal shield Ethernet cables to red lights in the bedroom, and blue lights in the gym and the office, to centralized hepa air filters, and negative ion generators, you know, my – the whole home.  You know, I have the whole book on this that I’ll link to in the show notes called “How to Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home” because I did almost 5 hours of interviews with EMF experts and lighting experts.  What was in the process about in my home, I just recorded it all, I transcribed it, and it’s all in that book.

Rachel:  Awesome!

Ben:  Anyways though, so some of the things that have come across since I wrote that book, that aren’t in that book, that I would consider including.  First of all, if I visited a high-end luxury bed and breakfast, and I wanted some cool stuff in terms of like biohacking – number 1: I would include some type of infrared.  Infrared is one of the only ways to detox heavy metals from the body.  It’s a great way to decrease joint pain.  I personal have an infrared sauna that I use nearly every morning, not only do the effects I just mentioned but also because you get a big dump in serotonin which is like a feel-good chemical, and so it helps me to – it helps my mood in the morning.  I almost like addicted to it, right.  I almost get kinda cranky if I (crosstalk).  I don’t know, but anyways, it’s an infrared sauna – I use one called the clear light infrared sauna.  I would love it if every hotel that I visited had some kind of a sauna setup like this.  And preferably, you know as I talked about in my podcast with Laird Hamilton, something like an  icool pool.  And there’s this company called ICool that sells this like this pools that you don’t need like a commercial ice machine to – next to the pool to make it cold, right, it just automatically generates and circulate cool water to the pool, but man! For everything from hang-overs to feeling good in the morning, to recovery from workouts, I’m a huge fan of that 1-2 punch of infrared and cooling.  Now, make sure if you put in infrared sauna or any type of infrared heater in your bed and breakfast, it needs to be low EMF, okay.  So, most infrared saunas, they generate a lot of electromagnetic fields, and preferably if you were to test EMF levels, you want them below the level of what would be called 1 mg from milla gals, okay.  So, I use a company called clear light and they use a low EMF carbon, infrared sauna heater, okay.  So, it’s made in Sweden, it’s one of the few – there’s a few other companies.  I believe sunlight also makes low EMF, but you wanna make sure you have low EMF, you wanna make sure also you have low what’s called ELF.  So ELF is called Extremely Low Frequency radiation.  It’s a type of ELF that’s radiated by for example, utility power lines.  You don’t want a lot of ELF in the same way that you do not want a lot of EMF.  So the threshold of concern for ELF is a thousand millivolts.  And for example, the sauna that I use – it’s been test, it’s set about 200 millivolts for ELF.

Rachel:  Oh wow!

Ben:  So it’s 1 for EMF, and 200 for ELF.  So very low levels.  The other thing that’s very important is the type of electric wiring that you use.  Ideally, you’ve got some kind of shielded metal wiring, right? So all the metal wiring in my house for example, my Ethernet cable is cat-6 shielded Ethernet cable, the metal in my sauna is a shielded metal conduit wiring.  So you wanna make sure that you shield the wiring again to reduce the exposure to electrical pollution.  So,  I would definitely get some kind of a low EMF, low ELF, infrared sauna, and have an extra cooled pool or some kind of cooling device.


That’s number one, number one.

Rachel:  Great way to start the day.

Ben:  Sweet.  Alright number 2, if you got a kitchen or you’ve got an offering for folks in terms of eating, I would include of course the ability to have some type of like a high-fat ketosis way for people to get themselves chockfull of ketones and healthy fats before they head out into their active sportiness like their hardcore mountain biking and their skiing, and their dirt biking, as far as things that I have in there, one of the really interesting things about ketones and ketone production, and this is something I’ve talked with Doctor Dominic Agustino about who’s been on the show before.  There’s this concept that you can consume what are called beta hydroxybutyrate salts, and these are salts that drive your body in the ketosis.  They immediately put ketones into your blood, and when you combine them with medium chain triglycerides like MCT oil or MCT powder, what happens is you stimulate fatty acid oxidation in the liver, and that produces even more ketone bodies.  So, if you can somehow figure out a way for people for breakfast to get a 1-2 combo of medium chain triglycerides along with exogenous ketones, you’re going to enhance energy levels significantly.  This is something I’ll do often like in my morning high-fat smoothie.  I’m not yet a regular consumer of the fatty coffee approach, right like you know, I talked to Laird Hamilton last week on the podcast, he does it every morning.  You know, I had a cup with him when I was down there in Hawaii, and it reminded me how deep and dark, and rich and flavorful this idea of adding things like coconut oil, and MCT oil to your coffee can be… I still just have to get past the fact that I like to chew my breakfast though.

Rachel:  Yeah, totally.

Ben:  I like my smoothie with cacao nibs and coconut flakes

Rachel:  It’s an experience, you know, you’ll like missing an – beautiful experience everyday.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  And I sit there and I look at people’s lives on Facebook while I chew my smoothie, and waste time vs. drinking coffee while I work.  But that’s just me, and you know, my life fluctuates – I have quite a few things in my refrigerator right now including Laird Hamilton’s Superfoods that he gave me that I’m experimenting with now.  I’m thinking about maybe just like 2 or 3 times a week starting into this coffee thing, so.

Rachel:  Yeah, yeah.

Ben:  For example, speaking of Laird’s Superfood – that’ll be one option, right?  Like so sells – I’ll link to this stuff in the show notes.  He sells this stuff called Top Fuel, and Top Fuel is – organic butter, so you get your vitamin A, D, E, and K, and your butyrate, and your omegas, organic coconut oil for the medium-chained triglyceride component, organic red palm oil which is actually packed with more beta carotene in any other foods.  Got 30 times more beta carotene than say carrots.  It’s also got a lot of lycopene and a lot of essential fatty acids.  That attracts me because you know, I mentioned that genetic testing that I did.  I for example, have twice as high risk as the general male population for prostate cancer.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  Right.  That’s just me, I’m gonna have a full head hair on my balls when they fall out.

Rachel:  (chuckles) You might also get prostate cancer.

Ben:  Yeah.  So, anyways though, lycopene from things like red palm oil or tomatoes is a great way to decrease your risk of prostate cancer.  So basically it’s organic butter, extra virgin coconut oil, organic red palm oil – that’s for example something you could have you know, how most hotels you step into just coffee powder, right?  But what if you open their refrigerator and it was that next to the coffee powder.  Or another example, perfect example would be this Keto/OS stuff.  It’s made by company called Pruvit, and it is ketone powder.  So this beta hydroxybutyrate salts which aren’t in that Top Fuel that I just talked about along with MCT powder and some stevia, right? So there you’re getting ketones, you’re getting MCT oil that will buffer some of the ketone acidity or rather the sodium in it, it will buffer some of the ketone acidity, the MCT oil will enhance the liver production to generate ketones, I mean just imagine, right? Like rather than your usual coffee making, you’ve got the option, okay, I’ve got some exogenous ketones, I’ve got coconut oil, I got red palm oil, I’ve got butter, maybe you put a little emulsion blender in there, and folks can just make themselves as awesome morning blend.

Rachel:  Yes, definitely!  That’s definitely got to be on the list.

Ben:  So, I’m gonna throw in there as number 2.  Number 3, number 3: I would love to have this in a little biohack hotel room that I walk in to, is the idea that your nervous system repairs itself.  Memories form, new neurons form, you basically just build your brain as you sleep.  It’s one of the few times of your entire circadian rhythm when this happens.


Like everything you do during the day sets you up for that, right?  Playing music, doing Sudoku crossword puzzles, talking to people, you know, taking supplements that build new brain cells, but none – all that is for not unless you have sleep, and especially when your sleep is done in a cool environment that processes enhanced.  This whole idea behind like cutting off people’s heads when they die and freezing their brains so that maybe someday in the future they could be attached to new bodies.  There’s a reason they put them on ice, right? ‘cause it preserves neurons that helps with your nerves when stuff is cold.  So, there’s this company called Chili Technology and they make this thing called the ChiliPad.  Have you heard of it?

Rachel:  I haven’t.  This is new.

Ben:  Okay.  So, what it is?  It’s a mattress pad and you can set it on a heating function but you can also, more importantly in my opinion, set it on a cooling function, right, so you can take your side of the bed.  Say, if your partner doesn’t like to sleep at a cool temperature, you can get as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re sleeping.  And you can do this regardless of what the room temperature is, right.  It’s just like this cube that goes at the foot of the bed and then it feeds up, you know, it feed a tube up into the pad – it circulates water through that pad and keeps you cool as you sleep.

Rachel:  So if you just sleep in a cool place, you could just sleep without a blanket, right?

Ben:  You could, but…

Rachel:  It would mean any new school?

Ben:  A blanket?  And they’ve done a study on this about how blankets and sheets send your body a message that is protected while it sleeps.

Rachel:  Ahhh!

Ben:  And if you’re just sleeping with your skin exposed to the air, you don’t sleep quite as well especially if you have the ‘warrior’ gene, I would imagine, so, or the ‘worrier’ gene.  So, the idea here is that this cools the bed and cools it quite effectively.  It’s called the ChiliPad Cube.  So obviously all these stuff is you can put in your house too, but I would love to check in to a hotel room and not only have the option for heading into the gym for infrared cooling bath, but also the ability to have my coffee in the morning with some extra nutrients added in, and then this chilipad.  So, that would be number 3.  Okay…

Rachel:  Nice!

Ben:  Number 4 obviously, active folks – they’re skiing, they’re mountain biking, etc. they’re gonna get back, and perhaps they don’t have a massage therapist there, but this is something that I do.  So almost at the end of everyday, I have my glass of wine – I recently wrote a big article at bengreenfieldfitness.com about my morning routine, and one component – or my evening routine rather.  And one component of that evening routine, is I’ll finish up my hard workout of the day, I promise myself a big glass of wine, and now I don’t even pour it, my kids open the bottle of wine, they score it, they open it, they’re 7 year old alcoholics… so they open the bottle of wine, then they get a latte frother, they froth the wine for me for 60 seconds and they bring it to me.

Rachel:  Oh, that’s horrible, little 7’s.

Ben:  They love it.  Yeah, it’s voluntary for them, you know, it’s not like I’m twisting their arm.  They just like to open the wine, they like to froth it.  So anyways, they bring this wine to me, and I sit there in the special space a-gee boots and I have this guy in my podcast before.  What this boots do is they use what’s called Sequential Pulse Technology, so they pump blood starting at your feet and then they move up to your calves, and then up to your knees, and then up to your quads, and prior to doing all that, the boots actually do a calculation of your legs circumference.  So it introduce just the right amount of air works not cutting off circulation, but it’s a really tight squeeze from the feet up to the thighs, and then the entire compression goes away and then it starts again down at your feet.  So these are called Normatec Boots, Normatec Boots.  I would love to check in to a hotel after a long day of flying or a long day of skiing or maybe after I’ve hit the hotel gym for workout, I’d loved to have some of these under the bed, right?  I’ll can just pull ‘em out and I could put them on, I flip on the TV, and pour out a glass of wine from the kitchen…

Rachel:  All your boys…

Ben:  … with all my boys and sit there and drink wine, and sit there in my Normatec Boots.

Rachel:  So what are they make you feel like?

Ben:  They make your legs feel light as a feather, honestly.

Rachel:  Does it do anything to your whole body?

Ben:  Actually, they sell additions for other appendages like your arms for example, or your torso so that you can do like decompression for your low back.  I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t tried those, I only owned the leg component.  It’s on my list ‘cause a lot of these stuff – people think that I get these stuff for free.  No, I freakin’ buy almost everything that I talked about because frankly, I find it if I get it for free, I’m less likely to use it.  Like I put my money where my mouth is, like when I talk about some people are like – “oh! Ben gets it for free.  You know, this thousand dollars pair of boots.”  No, I actually pay for a price.


Rachel:  Is there any sort of nervous system response?  when you… I can imagine I could feel quite relaxing.

Ben:  I would imagine… I mean, I’ve never actually like tested my heart rate variability while I use something like that, but that would be number 4 – would be the special space a-gee recovery boots, okay.  And then number 5 – I would love to check in to the gym at a hotel, and have the ability to not just workout but also to biohack my workout.  This is something I do at home when I know I’ve only got 15 or 20 minutes to train, and  I wanna get the most benefit from a red blood cell production in an oxygen standpoint from that training session, a hypoxic air generator.  So, they sell this altitude or this hypoxia systems that can be installed in gyms.  I have one next to the treadmill in my garage.  It’s made by this company called Hypoxico.  And the idea behind this altitude generators is there’s several different kinds.  So, one kind uses what’s called a semi-permeable membrane.  All it means is it separates nitrogen and oxygen using more or less like a sea that’s inside the system. They’re somewhat expensive but an example of that would be the go-to altitude system.  G-o to altitude, and I’ll link some of these in the show notes. People wanna check it out, but what it allows you to do is simulate when you’re at sea level anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 ft. elevation.  So you get all the effects of altitude training, you know, that big drop in your pulse oxygenation, you may oxygen your bloodstream, huge training effect, huge bounce back effect in red blood cell production from that without you having to travel to the mountain tops to get it.  Another example would be what’s called the pressure wing absorption system, and that’s just based of the fact that different gases are absorbed at different rates under different pressures, so you’re able to separate a lot of these gases, and you’re able to suck the oxygen more or less out of the air that someone is breathing.  That’s what the hypoxico system is.  So, hypoxico sells like this altitude tents that you can sleep in which I don’t do because I – let’s put it this way.  I don’t get laid if I’ve got an altitude – oh my wife refuses to have a giant army green altitude tent put up around our bed.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  I actually – I own the tent and I don’t even use it.  I just because it’s something that my wife doesn’t like.  I understand that she doesn’t wanna have sex, she’s wanna bang at 13 feet, so I just don’t, don’t have it in the bedroom.

Rachel:  That would be an interesting experience.

Ben:  But I – Uhmm, you probably get out of…

Rachel:  Be out of breath, right?

Ben:  Yeah, out of breath, you get some vasoconstriction, but I do indeed have one in the garage.  I would love to have that at like a gym that I go to.  They sell the portable systems, these are called Rebreathers, so there’s companies like Altolab, and I believe it’s called Altipower, and these are more like cartridges, like portable cartridges that you can carry along with you.  And they’re cheaper to buy, you have to get cartridge refills and that would be more of like a portable way to simulate altitude while you’re training.  This probably wouldn’t be the best bet for like a hotel or a bed and breakfast, but I mean man, if you had a gym and you had like a hypoxico unit next to a couple of the treadmills at the gym or next to some stationary bike at the gym, and someone could get it there, and just do like a real quick 15-30 minute hypoxic training session or what’s called an intermittent hypoxic training session where you take the mask off and you breathe, and then you put it on and you do a high intense interval, then you take it off then you breathe. I would love to have that in a hotel gym as well.  And I could go on and on, but I would say that for starters, I’d love to see an infrared sauna with like a cold pool or a cold device next to it, I’d love to see some special secret coffee ingredients added next to the coffee maker, I love like a chilly pad cube for the bed, some Normatec compression boots, and then an altitude training system in the gym.  So, that would be my wish list for Ian.

Rachel:  Ian, you should let us know how you go in the comments and we will give you more next time if you need it.

Ben:  Let us know how you go mate!

Rachel:  Let us know how you go.

Hans:  Hey Ben!  I’m training for the Ultrapure 50K Ultramarathon in Patagonia in Chile in April, and I’m doing it from a city called Cuzco in Peru which  is 3,500 meters above sea level.  I have 2 questions for you: my body has taken about 3 weeks to adopt and I can now go for long runs without feeling exhausted.  My heart rate compared to my effort is very high, and I’m wondering how I can adjust my training in this altitude so I get the most out of it.  My second question is: the race is at sea level, I haven’t bought my plane tickets yet and I’m wondering if there’s like a golden number of days I should stay at sea level before the race, so my period in this altitude will benefit me the most.  Thanks!


Rachel:  Speaking of altitude training systems, Ben?

Ben:  Hmm, yes, altitude.  So, this is – it’s really interesting.  So, there’s some cool things that happen to the body at altitude, and I think that if you’re listening in right now and you ever go to altitude or you wanna figure out a way to like hack the body’s oxygen levels especially using things like supplements and supplement stacks, you should keep listening.  I have some definite ideas for cons.

Rachel:  That’s you.

Ben:  By the way, I’m planning and taking my family – my kids take Spanish.  I wanna take them to South America, this – we try to go to – Ugh, I don’t like to put my kids on planes too often.  They’re little fins school or more susceptible to the effects of radiation like solar radiation.  You know, there’s a really good article in the internet that you can find if you Google it called “The Dark Side of Hypermobility”.

Rachel:  Yes!

Ben:  And it goes into – not only for adults but also for kids how frequent airline travel can wreck some havoc on your body.  I digress, but basically once a year we try to go somewhere international.  And this year we want to take the kids to South America to work on their Spanish skills ‘cause they take Spanish everyday at school, and now every Sunday in our house, starting before dinner you can only speak Spanish.

Rachel:  Nice!

Ben:  So that’s how we’re teaching ourselves Spanish.  So you’re not allowed to say English in our house on a Sunday night or to use English in our house on a Sunday night.

Rachel:  (chuckles)

Ben:  So anyways though, so we’re planning – right now we’re planning and by the way, if you’re listening in and you have tips for us, I’m all ears.  I’ve been trying to talk to people and get a list, but right now we’re planning on flying into Chile, and spending time in a… I forget there’s some desert out there that we’re going.  I forget the name of it…. Adap… adakapackers or something like that.  And then we’re gonna fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then we also plan on hitting up Patagonia where Hans is gonna be.

Rachel:  Very cool!

Ben:  Yeah, I haven’t been to Chile in a long time ever since I went down there and did the Pucon triathlon that they have in Pucon, Chile.  If you’re triathlete by the way, add that one to the bucket list.  So anyways, for Hans, if we look at the effects of altitude on certain areas of the body, we can generate some ideas about what you could to allow that high heart rate to be less of an issue.  So, here’s the idea: first of all, altitude training is more or less creating what’s called acute hypoxia.  So hypoxia is going to cause a few different effects on circulation and on the heart, but one of the first things that happens with hypoxia is you get an increase in what’s called sympathetic activity of your peripheral chemo receptors, and what this does is it can cause blood vessels to constrict.  So, the idea here is your nervous system is trying to get red blood cells to release more ATP. It’s trying to get your body to generate more nitric oxide, and so when you go out and exercise, you get this temporary decrease in vessel size.  You get this vasoconstrictive effect, and that’s cause by again what’s called peripheral chemo receptor stimulation.  And what happens is that some people even take like beta-blockers which are medication folks would normally use for blood pressure to fight off some of these vasoconstriction that occurs, but the other thing that you can use to battle the type of sympathetic vasoconstriction and the drop in circulation that is going to increase not just your blood pressure, but also you’re experiencing your heart rate would be anything that causes a dump of nitric oxide, right, so like beet juice would be one example of this.  Viagra, believe it or not would also work though you got to be careful no pretty girls run by, you’ve got training if you go with that approach.  One that I like and one that we actually have this at greenfieldfitnesssystems, it’s called arginine.  An arginine is one of the best ways to allow your body to produce nitric oxide.  It’s basically like Viagra for your muscles, so it’s a nutritional precursor to nitric oxide.  Now, the idea is that many L-arginine supplements get absorbed and they get metabolized very, very quickly but Thorne Medical Company has developed this L-arginine supplement that provides sustained-release arginine which means that the arginine will stay in your system for about 24 hours which is a really long time and it’s perfect if you’re out training for the day.

Rachel:  Yup!

Ben:  If you’re at elevation for multiple times during the day… the other cool thing is that because it’s a sustained release, you don’t get what’s called a nitric oxide flush which is like this itchy tingling sensation.  So all they’ve done is they combine L-arginine with this stuff called TimeZorb which is a time release formula that causes the arginine to get release really, really slowly.


So basically, that’s one thing that I would use.  You can use about 1,000 mg of L-arginine.  That’s part one of your stack and that’s gonna fight the vasoconstriction.  So that’s part one.  And anybody who’s competing at elevation, this is a perfect stack for you.  So, part two is your heart.  One of the other things that happens with acute hypoxia is your cardiac output falls.  You get a decrease in what’s called your left ventricular output.  Now, one of the things that you can do to battle that decrease is take anything that is going to increase your plasma volume or increase your hydration – both your intracellular hydration as well as your extracellular hydration; the electrolytes and the fluid surrounding the tissues and inside of the tissues.  One example of that would be coconut water.  Like a young coconut water is really, really high in plasma amount.  Old coconut water – that’s the type of thing you’d take for like constipation, it’s kinda sour, it’s like a mature coconut water, but the young coconut water granted it’s kinda high in sugar, right, so don’t just sit around in your desk freakin’ this stuff if you’re listening in, but if you’re out exercising, it’s very, very close to the plasma of human blood.  The same electrolyte concentration of human plasma, okay, so coconut water.  The other stuff I really like, that’s super – it’s far more portable more than those big metal cans, and this is something that I travel with.  I use it when I’m on airplanes, when you tend to get dehydrated, I’ve been using it before I fight because when you get hit in the head, you’re brain slouches around but the more water you have surrounding your brain, the less that happens, is this stuff called OralIV.  I interviewed the doctor that invented this stuff on a previous podcast but it’s called OralIV – is this little shot and it allows your body to take any water that you drink along with it, and store that water far more efficiently.  So you can’t get away drinking less water.  So I would have that too for the cardiac output components.  So, that’s number 2.

Rachel:  Coconut water or IV.

Ben:  Uhmm, or either or, or both.  The next thing that happens is that when you are at altitude like I mentioned, you get this increase in sympathetic nervous activity that can cause vasoconstriction.  The other thing that that increase in sympathetic nervous system activity can cause is the reduction cardiac output that we just talked about, but just as concerningly if people are exercising decrease signals from skeletal muscles.  So you get decreased work capacity when you get this over activation of sympathetic nervous system activity.  It’s like your body begins to put the brakes on in terms of your maximal exercise output, and that’s one of the other things that will drive your heart rate higher, it’s called the vagal blockage; the blockage of your vagus nerves.  So normally your vagus nerve would help to balance out some of that sympathetic nervous system activity, but when you’re at altitude, you actually produce this thing called glycopyrrolate, and it causes a vagus nerve blockages, so it affect your nervous system and one of the best things you can do to balance your nervous system in a situation like this is to use adaptogenic herbs.  That’s why you see a lot of like of Sherpas who guide people at Mt. Everest, and you’ll see they use everything from like ginseng to ashwagandha, to gingko biloba to eleuthero, rhodiola, cordyceps, like a lot of these adaptogens, these herbal adaptogens help to decrease that drop in vagal tone that occurs when you’re at altitude.  So, one of the best forms of that in my opinion in terms of like clean, pure, adaptogens and adaptogenic herbs, there’s this little packet of stuff called Tianchi, Tianchi.  I’ve interviewed the guy who formulates this stuff over an organ on the podcast before to extremely potent in term of you know, about 40 lbs. of adaptogenic herbs shove in to this tiny little portable packet that you can put in your packet when you’re out exercising.  So, this is another thing that you would use at altitudes.  So hopefully you’re starting to wrap your head at around this ultimate altitude stacks.  So we’ve got arginine, you’ve got OralIV, and we’ve got some kind of adaptogenic herb complex like Tianchi.

Rachel:  Ben, question on Tianchi.

Ben:  Uhmm, what’s up?

Rachel:  Can you use it with hot boiled water?

Ben:  No.  I wouldn’t.  Like a lot of herbs you don’t wanna heat really, really hot.

Rachel:  Yup, okay.

Ben:  So, I will keep it cool.  I like to keep it cool and just sturdy to use like a latte frother.  Clean the wine off first.

Rachel:  (laughs)

Ben:  Okay, so I got two more things.  Another thing that happens upon acute exposure to hypoxia or altitude training is you get dilation of your coronary arteries, dilation of your coronary arteries.  And one of the things that happens when you get dilation of your coronary arteries is that you can actually get a drop.  It produces some hormones that can cause a little bit of a drop in the ability of your muscles to extract and utilize oxygen.


So this is a little bit of scheme – what happens is your red blood cells will hold on to oxygen a little bit more readily.  The same thing can happen sometimes when you’re like diving and stuff like that. So what you wanna do in this situation is you wanna increase the ability of your mitochondria – little oxygen utilizing components of your cells to be able to use the oxygen that they are getting.  And there are certain things that they’ve studied that have been found to actually either improve mitochondrial density, improve the mitochondria’s ability to use fatty acid as a fuel, or improve your cells ability to extract oxygen from the blood as that blood rushes fast tissue.  So, a few of those things you would find, I mean, there’s all sorts of supplements out there that are advertised as like mitochondrial support.  There’s one that has just about everything in it that’s been studied to optimize mitochondrial function and appropriately enough it’s called Mitogen.  It’s made by company called Axonlabs, it’s called Mitogen m-i-t-o-g-e-n, and what it has in it is something called vitamin B5 which help your mitochondria to be able to utilize fatty acid more efficiently as a fuel.  And that’s also important in altitude by the way because you’re will shift into more glucose utilization at altitude, and so if you can figure out a way to hack its way into fatty acid utilization instead, that can help out a little bit.  So, vitamin B5 – it’s also got alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C which are antioxidants that helped with mitochondria activity and help to prevent a lot of the free radical damage that can occur when the mitochondria are getting lots of oxygen.  It’s got what’s called PQQ in it as well as Idebenone, and both of those enhance mitochondrial biogenesis.  What that means is that you not only produce more mitochondria but you get increased activity in what’s called the electron transport chain which is what the mitochondria use to produce energy.  So what they do is they combine idebenone, bioPQQ, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B5 and it’s just in this little capsule that you can take.  So, we actually talked about this when we talked about things that can help to combat Alzheimer’s or to improve cognitive function, and this is one of them.  So, it’s actually used – it’s marketed as a nootropic as a smart drug but it’s something that you would use at altitude in a situation like this.

Rachel:  Interesting…

Ben:  Okay?  So, that’s component number four.  And then finally, we have this idea that not only are you going to lose more electrolytes and lose more water at altitude but you also get a decrease like I mentioned in cardiac apt what you get a decrease in stroke volume.  When you get a decrease in stroke volume, you also get a decrease synthesis of this hormone called aldosterone.  And when we get a decrease synthesis of aldosterone, what you can experience is that that same reduction in plasma volume I was talking about earlier, like same reason we would wanna use something like Oral IV or the same reason we wanna use something like coconut water, but the other thing I would include to fight off this net loss of body water and essentially what happens is you get a shift of fluid from your extracellular components to your intracellular components.  So you get increase such as things like cramping for example.  Some type of electrolyte supplement.  I’m not a huge fan of you know, full on like salt pill and electrolyte supplementation when you’re not at altitude but if you’re doing anything from the Spartan World Championship which would be at Lake Tahoe this year to the type of training in Peru that Hans is doing, electrolytes can help.  So what I do, and by the way, even if you just – if you start to cramp and you have a salt capsule, even the taste of something extremely salty can reverse that cramp.  So you can break open the capsule under your tongue and it will reverse a cramp.  Just a taste, like this is why mustard works, that’s why pickle juice works – so I use this salt pills.  The one’s that I use are called Athlytes, they’re made by company called Millennium Sports and what they are is a mix of not just sodium and potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, but they throw what are called some crebs cycle intermediates in there.  Those are basically the organic acids that help you to produce a little extra ATP – so there’s a little boost there, and then they also throw in some lactic acid buffers.  So the lactic acid you’re producing it’s buffered a little bit more quickly.  So, it’s like, it’s like salt capsules on steroids without actual steroids.

Rachel:  (chuckles)

Ben:  Just in case anyone from the World Anti-doping Association listening in.  So, that would be component number 5 of this stack.  So we’ve got arginine, we’ve got OralIV, and/or coconut water, we’ve got an adaptogenic herb complex like Tianchi, we’ve got some kind of  mitochondrial support like Mitogen, and then something like this Athlytes electrolyte capsules.  And for anybody competing or training at altitude, if you load with that stuff prior to heading up to altitude, and then you use it everyday while you’re there competing or training, I guarantee it’s going to decrease the deleterious effects you’re gonna experience at altitude like this increase in heart rate that Hans is complaining about.


Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  So, there you have it.  And also by the way, Hans asked about a golden number of days he should stay at sea level before the race, like when he goes back down to sea level, huge dude, you can compete right away when you get back down to sea level.  You’ll be a monster when you go from altitude to sea level.  So, what you would not wanna do is wait two weeks at sea level ‘cause then you gonna lose a lot of red blood cells and everything, so.  Yeah, compete right away or compete at least within two weeks, but there’s not a golden number of days that you’d stay at sea level at what your performance peaks, I mean theoretically, couple good days of rest and recovery and sleep because it does take a little bit longer to recover at altitude.  So give yourself at least a couple of days to reorient your circadian rhythm, to let the nervous system recover, but you don’t have to wait a golden number of days.  There’s no research on that, I – if you were me, I’d give myself 48 hours at least and no longer than 2 weeks, so.

Rachel:  Hmm!  There you have it Hans, ultimate, altitude training stack.

Ben:  And we will link, we talked about a lot of stuff in today’s episode.

Rachel:  We did.

Ben:  A lot of stuff, so we have the show notes chockfull for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/348.  I’m glad we talked about a lot of stuff because like I mentioned next week, myself and my children will be in Canada, we won’t have our normal podcast and so…

Rachel:  Waaa, waaa!

Ben:  We do have some goodies though for you before we end today’s show.

Rachel:  We did.

Ben:  First of all, let’s do a giveaway.

Rachel:  Oh!

Ben:  So for anybody who leaves a review on iTunes.  If you hear your review read on the show by either Rachel or me, Rachel’s booming voice… you’re my…

Rachel:  Getting more booming by the podcast…

Ben:  My high pitched Australian voice…  We will send you a gift, some goodies.  We’ll send you a Ben Greenfield fitness water bottle, a cool tech t-shirt for the gym, for showing off your guns, and also a beanie or a toque as our dear Brock would call it.  So anyways though, we have a review that was left on iTunes and Yary1998 left us a review.  So Yary if you hear us read your review, email [email protected].  That’s [email protected], include your t-shirt size when you send that email, we’ll send you a gift pack, and we got a nice short sweet review.  You wanna take this one away, Rachel?

Rachel:  Yes!  First I feel like Yary was born in 1998, and that’s why that’s a part of his person’s name, and I don’t whether Yary is male or female, but he or she uses the word “def” instead of definitely which is something that happened, I swear after I was born.

Ben:  Uhmm, yeah!

Rachel:  It’s a new kid thing.  Alright!

Ben:  Somebody’s, somebody’s have been reading Sherlock Holmes.

Rachel:  (chuckles) Right, here we go.  “What an amazing podcast… I don’t need Google when I have Ben.  He’s so knowledgeable and incredible.  Def my go to resource for health and fitness.  Keep up the great work, love your podcast.

Ben:  You know the scariest part about that review is that someone would be using Google to…

Rachel:  (laughs)  Sure!

Ben:  … diagnose their health issues or figure out if flaxseeds are phytoestrogenic.  Not that Google is bad, I’m a bigger fan of PubMed though.  Just an FYI, Google… Dr. Google 9 times out of 10 gets beat out by PubMed, and if you are using Google to do research, 2 things to stay far away from: the comment section of any blog post, and any forums do not… do not trust anything that you get from the comment section of a blog post or a forum, and also generally unless there are plenty ol’ links to PubMed pure of it scientific research, etc. don’t trust blog posts, just sayin’.

Rachel:  And then go and actually read the links, and make sure that they’re actually what they say they are.

Ben:  Yes.  Granted that there’s something that we said for any goals on experimentation… bla, bla, bla… but… just sayin’ before you delve into the list looking into the research.  Also, we have a couple goodies we’re gonna finish up with today, we have a tip from Jordan Harbinger at The Art of Charm, and Jordan is going to teach us how to be a better leader by leading without dominating or intimidating folks, and so we’re gonna play this tip from Jordan.  If you like it, he’s a friend of mine, and I love his podcast, it’s called “The Art of Charm”, that’s why I’m so charming actually.

Rachel:  You are charming!

Ben:  Jordan teaches me this.  But then we’ve also after Jordan’s tip, we also have a special announcement from the PodcastOne Network.  We are part of the PodcastOne Network, and so we’re always fans of other podcast that are on the PodcastOne Network ‘cause everybody else sucks.


But anyway so, listen to this tip from Jordan, listen in to this special announcement from PodcastOne.  Rachel and I will be bye, bye after you hear these tips, but in the meantime this weekend, we’ve got a fantastic episode coming up on bread, and by the way, when you listen our podcast episode, please do know that I’m trying to send a loaf of my wife’s sourdough bread to the guy interviewing that episode.  I’ll let you know how that works out.  Until then, Rachel!

Rachel:  Ben!

Ben:  Have a fantastic week!

Jordan:  Last time I talked about the doorway drill and how fit people especially men often try to take on the sort of protector dominant role in a physical way which can come across as a little bit much sometimes.  It’s almost fo-alpha in a way that’s awkward for a lot of people.  And it’s not just men that are guilty of this.  People don’t realize the damage they might be doing to their reputation when they act this way all the time or a lot of the time.  Truly strong people don’t have to do much to keep up their reputation as such as strong people.  So when somebody really leans into that sort of role, it can be really try harder or at least come across that way even if it’s not.  So, a good thing in this situation is to keep your protector or leader reputation by being kinder or more inclusive with other people.  This might sound a little touchy-feely but it’ll actually round you out nicer and it will add to your charisma tremendously.  This will also cement you as a leader even among people that you might sometimes buttheads with.  I’d love to hear how this works out for everybody who’s listening.  So find me at theartofcharm.com on the Art of Charm podcast and you keep me up on Twitter, Facebook or even email.  Thanks a lot Ben for the opportunity!

Okay, you probably already know about Barstool Sports and their hugely popular podcast, it’s KFC Radio, MailTime, and Daily Mail.  And if you don’t, well, get with the program, come on!  You gonna wanna know who they are ‘cause those maniacs have two amazing new shows.  One from Dave Portnoy, also known as The Blog Father who’s talking business and comedy, and the business of comedy.  The other show’s called Pardon My Take, it’s a good old-fashioned sports show full of opinions that just might make your head explode.  And you can subscribe to both right now at iTunes and podcastone.com.  So do it!  It’s Barstools man!  You know it’s gonna be good.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

[1:38:18.6]     END 



March 9, 2016 Podcast: A 382 Day Fast, How To Biohack A Hotel, Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds, Carb Cycling For Fat Loss & More!

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When counting calories substitute dessert with this delicious drink, which  can be served hot or ice cold after a meal.

-2 tablespoons Kimera Koffee
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-1 cinnamon stick
-Add Kimera Koffee to a French Press with nutmeg and cayenne pepper. 
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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”.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds (And The Truth About Flax, Chia & Estrogen)

Brock says: What’s your take on the Chia/Flaxseed phyto-estrogen thing that a lot of people have been taking about? Flax are apparently extremely high in phyto-estrogen and Chia seeds are getting a bad rap. Both of them are things you recommend in the past, not in huge quantities, but is there anything he should be worried about?

In my response, I recommend:

Carb Cycling For Fat Loss

Wendy says: She recently listened to the Mark Sisson podcast and was in agreement with everything. She’s wondering what your thoughts are on eating a LCHF diet for 5 days then switching to a LFHC diet for three days and repeating this cycle forever for fat loss?

In my response, I recommend:
Carb backloading
-Dulloo AG, Samec S. Uncoupling proteins: their roles in adaptive thermogenesis and substrate metabolism reconsidered. Br J Nutr 2001;86:123-139.
-Douyon L, Schteingart DE. Effect of obesity and starvation on thyroid hormone, growth hormone, and cortisol secretion. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2002;31:173-189.
-Friedl KE, et al. Endocrine markers of semistarvation in healthy lean men in a multistressor environment. J Appl Physiol 2000;88:1820-1830.
de Rosa G, et al. Thyroid function in altered nutritional state. Exp Clin Endocrinol 1983;82:173-177.
-Klein S, et al. Leptin production during early starvation in lean and obese women. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2000;278:E280-E284.
-Ahima RS, et al. Leptin regulation of neuroendocrine systems. Front Neuroendocrinolgy 2000;21:263-307.
-Weyer C, et al. Changes in energy metabolism in response to 48 h of overfeeding and fasting in Caucasians and Pima Indians. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001;25:593-600.
-Mansell PI, MacDonald IA. The effect of underfeeding on the physiological response to food ingestion in normal weight women. Br J Nutr 1988;60:39-48.
-Kozusko FP. Body weight setpoint, metabolic adaption and human starvation. Bull Math Biol 2001;63:393-403.
-Dulloo AG, Jacquet J. Adaptive reduction in basal metabolic rate in response to food deprivation in humans: a role for feedback signals from fat stores. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:599-606.

How To Biohack A Hotel

Ian says: He’s trying to build a high end luxury bed and breakfast in Canada and wants your suggestion for what to provide people. Its a very active sporty town – hardcore mountain biking, skiing, dirt biking etc. What would be the best gear, home set up, supplements, sleep optimization and recovery ideas to include?

In my response, I recommend:
Infrared Sauna (& cold pool)
-Fats & exogenous ketones (e.g. Pruvit) / Laird Hamilton’s Superfoods
Chilipad cube
Normatec boots
An altitude training system
How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home book

The Ultimate Altitude Training Supplement Stack

Hans says: He’s training for a 50K ultramarathon in Patagonia, in April, and he’s doing it from Cuzco in Peru – 3500 m above sea level. His body has taken 3 weeks to adapt and now he can go for long runs with out feeling exhausted. His heart rate compared to effort is very high – how can he adjust his training at this altitude so he can get the most out of it? Also, the race is at sea level, is there a golden number of days he should stay at sea level before the race?

In my response, I recommend:

-Nitric oxide precursors (e.g. EXOS arginine)

-Hydration (e.g. coconut water, OralIV, etc.)

-Adaptogens to assist with nervous system (e.g. TianChi)

-Mitochondrial support (e.g. Mitogen)

-Electrolytes (e.g. Athlytes by Millennium Sports – 50% discount mstbg09)

-We finish this episode with a tip from Jordan Harbinger at the Art of Charm.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/03/26835/


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3 thoughts on “Episode #348 – Full Transcript

  1. Cathy Cooke says:

    So if someone has a COMT mutation, and can not clear catocholamines effectively, what can they do, what supplements can they take that may help?

    1. Great question to call into the podcast – speakpipe.com/bengreenfield

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