November 16, 2017
[03:35] News Flashes/News On Ibuprofen
[09:14] Compression Garments And Recovery
[13:06] Tattoos To Monitor Your Glucose
[16:30] The Greenfield Anti-Aging Panel
[18:12] Ancestors And Supplement Intake
[22:13] Special Announcements/The Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb
[33:33] Ben's Schedule
[34:48] Listener Q & A/Recovery For Fascia
[58:48] Amino Acids From Food And Amino Acids From Supplements
[1:06:03] Mentally Recovering From Hard Training
[1:16:44] Free Or Inexpensive Recovery Musts
[1:35:35] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show which happens to be a recovery super-special: How To Heal Fascia Faster, The Latest On Ibuprofen, Do Compression Tight Really Work, and much, much more.
Ben: Well Brock, it's been quite a while.
Brock: Yeah, it has.
Ben: According to my record, you've been gallivanting the globe.
Brock: I have been gallivanting the globe. I was in deepest, darkest Peru for the last three weeks.
Ben: Was that Peru? The whole time you were in Peru?
Brock: Yeah. Well, I was in Toronto for like four days before we went to Peru. But yeah, the rest of the time, I mean Peru is so diverse. Like we were in a rain forest jungle down the Amazon, then we were in the high Andes, then we were in the high jungle, then we were in the Kolka Canyon, which is complete desert. It's like you could basically just go all around Peru and experience everything there is to offer on this planet pretty much. Like they've got beaches, they've got mountains, they've got canyons, they've got cactus. They've got it all.
Ben: Wow. Is the Peru Chamber of Commerce paying you?
Brock: I should totally work for their, not the Chamber of Commerce…
Ben: The Peruvian Tourist Board?
Brock: There we go. The tourist board, yes. I should totally work for them. Except I don't speak Spanish.
Ben: Were you there doing ayahuasca?
Brock: I did not do ayahuasca, and it's astounding how many people ask me that when they find out we were going to Peru. They're like, “Oh, are you going to do ayahuasca?” I'm like, “No! And I also go to New York and don't do heroin.” Surprise!
Ben: Well, everybody and their dog goes to ayahuasca to do Peruvian now. It's very trendy. So I'm disappointed in you. That you didn't jump in and hook, line, and sinker.
Brock: Okay. Well in all full disclosure, I did go to a shaman and we did do a cleansing ceremony. Now it didn't involve any hallucinogens or anything like that, but…
Ben: Is that colonic? Enema? That kind of cleanse?
Brock: There was no pooping involved either. There's a lot of shaking of things, chanting of things, smearing some stuff on my head, facing particular directions and stuff. It was really cool, but there was no hallucinating, or vomiting, or diarrhea sadly.
Ben: Well I am actually going to do that as a thing, I think in my next business I'm going to market ayahuasca enemas and ayahuasca colonics. I'm pretty sure it'll be popular.
Brock: That's a billion-dollar idea right there. Everybody wants to shove more things up their butt and shoot more things out their butt.
Ben: So Brock, this is the part of the show where we talk all about the latest research that I've been tweeting, as I tend to do, over at twitter.com/bengreenfield. Or in the weekly roundup. Did you know that every week now, I'm sending out all these news flashes on the weekly round up?
Brock: Yeah! Surprisingly, I'm on your mailing list.
Ben: Oh, that surprises me. Yeah, you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, sign up for the newsletter, I'm sending you this. You know what else I'm doing now as I'm sending out snippets from the latest books I've read, 'cause I'm still reading a book a day. I am now well, well into almost over 365 books a year now for 10 years. So I got a lot of books.
Brock: This practice of breaking copyright law, maybe you should try to keep that under your hat a little bit more. Not tell everybody about it.
Ben: You mean when I post entire snippets and excerpts from books online? Yeah.
Brock: Yeah. Just that illegal practice of distributing publicly other people's copyrighted material.
Ben: I think it helps sell authors. Honestly. I don't know.
Brock: I agree. I also think torrenting is a good thing for the movie industry, but it doesn't negate the fact that it's illegal.
Ben: Yeah. I guess I'll take it down if some author wants me to. But honestly, they're little tiny snippets.
Brock: Fair enough.
Ben: Anyways though, so yeah, I'm doing book snippets, I'm doing new things that I'm trying, and then of course the most popular post that we've done, and then news flashes like this. So since we're talking all about recovery today, have you seen the latest on ibuprofen? Or NSAIDs?
Brock: Yeah. For some reason, I actually keep my finger pretty close on the pulse of this stuff just 'cause I used a lot of them back in the day. I think you did too. Like when we were racing really hard, I was popping NSAIDs like crazy.
Ben: I never did because they always made my stomach hurt. And it wasn't because I was aware of the liver and kidney toxicity and all the other issues that have come to light about them. I just didn't like the way they made my stomach feel. But this latest study that came out a couple of weeks ago was testing ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on muscle response to training. And they found a significant attenuation, and for those of you don't like to use big words that means basically a significant inhibition, of strength and muscle building.
Brock: You swapped a big word for not-quite-a-big-word.
Ben: Probably multi-syllabalic…
Brock: It means it don't work as good.
Brock: You don't get as much good out of it. There. How's that?
Ben: Anyways though, what they found was that after resistance training, the anti-inflammatory drugs had a really significant impact on an inability to be able to gain strength. And part of that may have been the same reason that everything from vitamin C, to vitamin E, to curcumin may cause the same thing. You blunt that hormetic response to exercise, and it may be that that's part of the way that these are acting. But I suspect that when you look at things like liver and kidney toxicity and the impact on things like satellite cells that there's more going on than just the blunting of the hormetic response to exercise. And so, it's apparent in the study that what they said was that there was a downregulated MRNA expression of interleukin-6, so there was definitely an impact on the inflammatory response. But ultimately what it comes down to is if you're trying to get swole, or you're trying to build strength, or you're trying to get hypertrophy, then ibuprofen is not your friend. In the same way that if you're exercising in the heat especially and you're concerned about liver or kidney toxicity, or leaky gut issues, or stomach damage, ibuprofen is also not your friend. So there you have it.
Brock: You know what that proves?
Brock: This actually proves that the old saying, “no pain, no gain”, is true.
Ben: It is kind of true, huh? I mean you do have to allow soreness to settle in. That's one thing that I do. We'll talk about this later on, I think we have a question about anti-inflammatories or timing of anti-inflammatories, I believe.
Brock: Do we?
Ben: I don't know. I thought somebody called one in.
Brock: We'll throw one in.
Ben: Here, let me say this. Even for things like curcumin, and I love high dose curcumin, high dose CBD, some of these potent anti-inflammatories, I always time them away from the workout. And my favorite time to take that kind of stuff is right before, and I don't know if you've ever done this, Brock, right before you get deep tissue work. I learned this from the folks down in at The Human Garage. They overdosed me on curcumin one day and also gave me some CBD, and then I had them do their really intense, like teeth grittingly hard body work, and my muscles just melted. So that's a good time to take those anti-inflammatories, would be too, and I still wouldn't take ibuprofen because of the stomach issues. But if you are going to take some of these others, right before you do deep tissue work or body work is a really good time.
Brock: But that's interesting is that's sort of along the same lines as taking a bunch of niacin before doing a sauna, like just getting all that blood into your tissue.
Ben: Different mechanism of action. So for curcumin and for CBD, it's actually more of a muscle relaxation response. Plus there's a little bit of a pain killing response as well. Here's another one: they tested these compression, what they say compression garments, which makes it sound like one giant compression pajama, but more or less…
Brock: I was thinking of more like a gown.
Ben: Right, a compression gown. Like these compression tights. What they tested was whether or not wearing them during sleep would help you to recover, in this case, from high intensity exercise and from muscle fatigue. And these are things that people will sleep in sometimes. Sometimes I'll wear compression tights before race, after a hard workout, when I really want my wife to be impressed by my sexy underoos, I'll put on my compression tights. Actually, no. You don't want to use compression tights in any type of sexy, romantic situation because they inhibit your ability to get it up, shall we say. Pretty significant.
Brock: It's the opposite of what you want.
Ben: Make it a little bit painful. Anyways though, what they found was that when folks wore these compression tights during a night of sleep, it actually did promote what's called localized muscle fatigue recovery. Meaning the removal of a lot of inflammatory byproducts out of muscle tissue. Now what it did not do was improve, and this seemed like a no-brainer to me but they still cited in the article, there wasn't a difference in neurological recovery. And what that means is that with weight training or any other form of training, musculoskeletal fatigue is pretty easy to figure out. You're sore, the muscles kind of hurt, you get this delayed onset muscle soreness, and that subsides after typically one to two days. And it turns out that compression tights, when you wear them to bed, especially for the legs, can help that to occur even more quickly. But with neural fatigue, you can exhaust the central nervous system, the local nerves or what are called the neuromuscular junction, and then a lot of neurotransmitters and hormones like dopamine, and serotonin, and epinephrine, and cortisol, all of these can tend to get depleted as well. And that's the definition of neurological fatigue.
And typically neurological fatigue takes longer to recover from. This is why I'm a huge fan of heart rate variability training because heart rate variability training, or HRV training or HRV testing, allows you to see if you really truly are recovered even if your muscles aren't sore anymore. And so it allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of not just what's called musculoskeletal fatigue but also neuromuscular fatigue or neurological fatigue.
So the idea here is that even if the compression garments help your muscles to feel a little bit better the next day, you should still pay attention to neurological fatigue too because it doesn't mean it's affecting your nervous system much at all. And training through neurological fatigue, or what's often called in exercise science CNS drain, central nervous system drain, that's when you tend to see things like overtraining set in, or immune system deficits, or getting sick, or getting injured, when athletes feel like they're not sore anymore but they still push and they're still neurologically fatigued. That's why I'm a fan of some of these more advanced methods of tracking recovery.
Brock: Okay. But speaking of advanced methods, what if, let me just put this to you, what if you took a pair of compression socks, you tied them really tightly around your head, would that help?
Ben: Yeah. You mean for like your brain? Pretty sure. Yeah. You go first.
Ben: Alright. Try that out.
Brock: I do have to really tight toque I could use to…
Ben: Yeah. Jack up that compression toque.
Brock: Compression toque. Oh, there's a billion dollar idea too! We're full of them today.
Ben: Yeah. It's right up there with my ayahuasca enemas.
Ben: This is kind of sort of related to recovery, but it's these brand new color changing tattoos that monitor your blood glucose.
Brock: Oh, these are so cool!
Ben: Did you see this?
Ben: So basically what they're doing now is they're using what are called biosensitive inks designed at places like Harvard and MIT and they interact with the body's interstitial fluid, that's the fluid that transfers nutrients into cells and carries waste out of cells. And this fluid can act as an indicator of the chemical concentrations in the blood of things like blood glucose. So there's this new blood glucose tattoo that they're using that will change from green to brown when your blood glucose goes up.
There's another one they have that'll check your sodium concentration and prevent you from getting theoretically dehydrated by turning brighter green when you have more sodium in your bloodstream, which would indicate dehydration, a drop in water and increase in solutes in the blood. But it's really interesting, these tattoos will actually indicate something like blood glucose, and I think this is cool because they do have things like these continuous blood glucose monitors, and obviously it's not that hard to go to Walgreens to get like little Accu-Chek blood glucose meter to test your blood glucose at any given point.
But I talked about this when I spoke recently at the Weston A. Price Conference, a few days ago actually over in Minneapolis, this idea that glycaemic variability, it's called glycaemic variability, those are just daily swings in your blood glucose levels, that tends to be extremely highly correlated to obesity, to overweight, to chronic disease, and even to longevity. Meaning how many what are called intra-day glycaemic excursions that you experience, whether that be hyperglycemia from starches and sugars, whether it be hypoglycemia from the insulin rebound type of effect that might occur from those foods, basically this concept of glycaemic variability and management of glycaemic variability via everything from constantly moving after meals, to using some of the things we've talked about before on the show before like ceylon cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, to engaging in what's known as the first phase insulin response, meaning that you chew your food really well or you use bitters before a meal to enhance your blood glucose response to a meal, basically all of those strategies are extremely important, not just for lowering your risk of diabetes but for longevity and overall reduction of chronic disease risk. And these tattoos might be a really good way to see if you're doing that well. Plus they're sexy as hell.
Brock: So you're saying that the blood sugar rollercoaster is not a fun ride that you want to be on?
Ben: Probably not. No. Not a fun ride at all.
Brock: The only problem with these tattoos is I'm afraid if I had one, I'd like eat a whole bunch of donuts just to change the color of the tattoo to match my outfit.
Ben: Mhmm. Yeah. That's true. You could biohack your tattoos to match your fashion.
Brock: Yeah. It's like, “Oh, this doesn't match my pants. So I gotta pound some sugar.”
Ben: Exactly. Just like a chameleon, constantly change colors.
Brock: Exactly! A diabetic chameleon.
Ben: Hey, here's one more! This idea, oh I did want to mention one other thing when it comes to this glycaemic variability.
Brock: Do it.
Ben: I just helped Wellness FX, this blood testing platform, come out with a new anti-aging test. And we included glucose on that test, but then we also included another highly related corollary, IGF-1. And so what this tests for, and I just went to the lab and did it myself, you test all of these different biomarkers that have been associated with aging, and they are red blood cell magnesium, you can write these down or go to the show notes if you want to know what to test if you wanted to see if you were going doing a good job with your anti-aging protocol. Red blood cell magnesium, estradiol, high sensitive C-reactive protein, also known as HSCRP, marker of inflammation, a full lipid panel, testosterone and free testosterone, IGF-1, insulin, omega-3 fatty acids, and a complete blood count. Like if you could test anything other than just your telomere length, those would be the biggies. And so I approached Wellness FX a few weeks ago and I said, “Hey, look. Why don't you guys just have a panel that will only test these biomarkers associated with aging, and lo and behold, they designed the panel. So it's called the Greenfield Anti-Aging Panel. I can put a link to it in the show notes.
Brock: And it's only 4.99 right now!
Ben: It's actually even less than that. It's like 300 bucks.
Brock: Oh, I mean I meant $4.99.
Ben: Oh, yes! Yeah, no it's a little more than 4.99.
Brock: Yeah. That's what I expected. Those are not inexpensive tests. If you get them all separately, that's for sure. So actually under 300 bucks is pretty amazing.
Ben: Yeah. So bundled, it's a pretty good deal.
Brock: Everybody loves a bundle!
Ben: One other study I wanted to mention was that how a lot of people will say that our ancestors never took supplements so we shouldn't take supplements?
Brock: Yeah! Idiots say that!
Ben: Yeah, idiots. Anyways, they had this story that came out in Discover Magazine about how Neanderthals, it's entitled “Ailing Neanderthals Used Penicillin And Aspirin”. And what they found, this international team from the University of Adelaide in Australia, they analyzed DNA from these different Neanderthals, and specifically analyzed DNA from their teeth. And they found that these Neanderthals were surviving on interesting things like woolly rhinoceros, and wild sheep, and wild mushroom, and pine nuts, and moss and mushrooms, and tea bark. But then they also found that one of them, who they somehow determined was a sick Neanderthal, I'm not sure how you do that with DNA analysis but they have a way of looking at the bacteria and seeing if they're sick or not, they found that this dude was eating a steady diet of poplar, which is a tree that has the natural painkiller salicylic acid in it. And that's the active ingredient Aspirin, of course.
Brock: Acetylsalicylic acid?
Ben: Salicylic acid.
Brock: Isn't it acetylsalicylic?
Ben: It might be acetylsalicylic acid, but that's a rabbit hole.
Brock: We're getting hung up on…
Ben: I don't want to get in an argument about that. The other thing was that he was eating these plants that were covered in penicillin mold, which generate the antibiotic penicillin. So what they're hypothesizing is that he was suffering from a dental abscess. And because he was suffering from that, he knew to dose with penicillin mold and salicylic acid, and everything from essential oils to things that folks would prepare in mortar and pestle, wild nettle and nettle seed, and all manner of different ancient medicines were really just the equivalent, in my opinion, of modern supplementation. And what I find even more fascinating is we see animals doing this too. Have you seen about these animals that self-medicate?
Brock: Yeah. The dolphins that get high.
Ben: Well, yeah. I mean not just psychotropic, not just party animals, but…
Brock: Literal party animals.
Ben: For example, like baboons eat the leaves of this specific plant that combats flat worms when they get flat worms. Or one of the other things that you'll see is there's lemurs in Madagascar that they've studied that will nibble on things that increase milk production like tamarind leaves and fig leaves. They've got pregnant elephants in Kenya have these leaves of this tree that they will eat to induce delivery and to cause uterine during contractions. And of course there's a whole bunch of different animals that self-medicate like bears, and deer, and elk, and different carnivores. A lot of them for parasites, by the way.
Animals somehow intuitively know which leaves and which plants will help to get rid of parasites. That's a big one you see ants self-medicating with. But there's a lot of interesting studies on self-medication in animals, and it goes above and beyond just like, I think, where did they talk about that? In the book Stealing Fire I think, about how animals get high. Yeah. So animals don't just get high, but they also will self-medicate. So I think it's fascinating, this idea that you know ancient man and also modern animals tap into nature as a form of self-medication. It's not encapsulation, it's not tablets, or pills, or powders, but it's very interesting. And that's my response when people say, “Oh, you don’t need supplements. Nobody used to take supplements.” Well they kind of did. We just have a more convenient mechanism of delivery now.
Brock: In your face, Alexander Fleming!
Ben: In your face!
Ben: Hey, before we jump into our sponsors for today's show, Brock, did you know that there's a new sponsorship opportunity for people out there who want to go climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Did you see this?
Brock: Oooh! I did. I'm excited.
Ben: Yeah. I tweeted about it. I'm probably going to go. So Wim Hof, and me, and a group of other folks, possibly you if you're listening in, we're going to go climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which is, I mean yeah people die climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because they're stupid. Wim's done this three times. I mean their stupid, or unlucky. Anyways.
Brock: Or pigheaded. I think most people die on those kind of trips because they're…
Ben: I don't want to sound insensitive, but I think the reason that a lot of people die, from what I understand, it's altitude sickness and lack of proper preparation.
Brock: Well altitude sickness is, they say that altitude affects you when your attitude is wrong. And it's like when you push through it instead of being smart and being like, “You know what? I just need a few days to adjust.”
Ben: Yeah. You need the right altitude attitude. Anyways though, Wim Hof, me, and a group of lucky folks, again possibly you if you're listening in, we're going to go climb Mount Kilimanjaro in our shorts. So there you have it. With no oxygen.
Brock: What else would you wear?
Ben: Exactly. Shorts and no oxygen. It's not that hard, I mean it's a little bit of a challenge, and we're going to be followed by documentary filmmakers. I believe Dominic D'Agostino might be going to test people with regards to like ketosis and oxygen deficits. Rumor has it a couple celebs might be joining in like Jim Carrey and Chris Hemsworth.
Brock: What? That's crazy!
Ben: Yeah. You can go climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Thor and the Grinch.
Brock: The Grinch! That's what he wants to be known for.
Ben: So it's 5,000 bucks to get in on this. I think they're looking for some corporate sponsors too. But the website is tippingpointsummit.org. tippingpointsummit.org. I'll put a link to that in the show notes to if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/375 and you want to get in on the Kilimanjaro climb, then go check it out. tippingpointsummit.org.
Brock: What did you say? $5,000?
Ben: It's $5,000 to register and actually go on the climb, but then I think they're also looking for sponsors, like title sponsors and stuff like that and to promote on the documentary and to promote through all the media that's happening for the event. And they're also raising money for charity. It's raising money for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Ben: There you have it. So checked that out. And then this podcast is brought to you by a few really cool things. The first is something that I literally just had in my ears this morning when I was drinking my smoothie, and my smoothie this morning by the way, for any of you who are curious, was bone broth with ice, a little bit of, I used a vanilla whey protein powder to get a little bit of extra glutathione 'cause I've been traveling, and then I blended all that up, and I put a little vitamin C in from some lemon juice to enhance the collagen absorption from the bone broth, and then I put in some coconut flakes, a little bit of spirulina, and a few cacao nibs. Sucked that bad boy down. So that was my brekky. What'd you have for breakfast?
Brock: I actually had a big mush of stuff like that too. I had some collagen protein mixed with some yogurt, with some coconut flakes, chia seeds, ground up flax seeds, and what else did I throw in there? Oh, and some avocado.
Ben: Hm. Amazing. That sounds delicious.
Brock: It's just a big pile of mush. And I actually thought about, while I was eating it, I was like, “Oh, man. Katie Bowman would be so disappointed in me 'cause it wasn't chewy. I wasn't working my mandibles.”
Ben: Yeah. Speaking of that first phase insulin response. That's why I always save all the chewy stuff for the very end after I'm done blending. Then I put it in. Then you chew on your smoothie.
Brock: And if anybody doesn't know what we're talking about…
Ben: What do they say? Chew your liquids, swallow your solids? Something like that.
Brock: Who says that?
Ben: I think I totally messed that up.
Brock: Nobody says that! That's crazy talk.
Ben: No. It's drink your solids, chew your liquids. I'm pretty sure that's the phrase.
Ben: No, seriously. Look it up! Pretty sure.
Brock: I will! ‘Cause that sounds like crazy talk.
Ben: So the whole time I was drinking my smoothie, I was wearing my HumanCharger. ‘Cause like I mentioned, I've been traveling back east. So I wait until the time when I actually want to wake up in the morning, and then I blast my ears with very bright white light to target the photoreceptors in my ears that send my brain the message that it is morning wherever I happen to be in the world. It's very cool. It targets these photosensitive proteins on the surface of the brain, very similar to those that you find in the retina of the eye, and it increases things like serotonin, and dopamine, and noradrenaline, and of course reboots your circadian rhythm. It's called the HumanCharger. So everybody listening in, you get a 20% discount on it. You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/humancharger and the code that you enter is Ben20. Ben20.
Brock: That's a new code.
Ben: Yeah. It's a new code. If you have trouble remembering these codes, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/375 and I'll put all the codes in there for the HumanCharger, et cetera, et cetera.
Speaking of sleep, this podcast is also brought to you by one of the bounciest, most comfortable, most cradling mattresses on the face of the planet. Perfectly designed for humans. Yeah, it cradles your natural geometry. I mean you spend a third of your life sleeping, so you want to be comfortable. So this mattress is called the Casper, you may have heard of it before. I've got one up in my guest room and it actually is really comfortable, and you actually do stay really cool during a night of sleep because I sometimes go into my guest room and sleep when my wife and I have huge arguments. I'm in the dog house, just go in the guest room.
Ben: No, I actually, sometimes we do, we're on different sleep cycles, or I'm getting up early to go to the airport and I don't wake her up, so I just go in the bedroom and sleep. It's a really nice mattress.
Brock: I see no problem with that. It doesn't mean you don't love your partner just because you don't sleep with them all the time.
Ben: Right. Exactly.
Brock: There you go. That's my PSA for today.
Ben: You got lots of good PSAs. Peru and mattresses.
Brock: I'm full of them.
Ben: They've got three models. They've got the original Casper, they have these new ones called the Wave, and another one called the Essential. And they've got a whole bunch of other things too to ensure you get an overall better sleep experience. And you can check all of that out, including their mattresses that have the supportive memory foam with the right sleep surface for the best sink and the best bounce if you go to the following: casper.com/ben and you use promo code Ben at checkout. casper.com/ben and use promo code Ben at checkout, and that will get you 50 bucks towards any mattress purchase.
Brock: 50 bucks. Nice.
Ben: You're welcome. This podcast is also brought to you by eHarmony. Have you ever used eHarmony, Brock?
Brock: No. They invented the internet after I was long in a relationship.
Ben: Yeah. Me too. I've been married for 14 years. I never got a chance use any of these dating websites except amihotornot.com. Remember that one?
Brock: I do remember that one. That was not a good idea.
Ben: Well, eHarmony is a lot more advanced than that. It's not similar to a lot of these other online dating websites because they are more looking at helping you to find a lasting and meaningful relationship and not a shallow hookup like websites that do exist that might rhyme with “winder”, or “finder”, or “binder”. And eHarmony itself…
Brock: Isn't it “binder” or “tinder”.
Ben: No, we're not allowed to say that. They might get mad at us. Plus we'd never get our podcast sponsored by Tinder. I'm just saying. Anyways though…
Brock: Just saying. Just in case.
Ben: eHarmony. Super easy to set up an account. They've helped over a million people find the perfect match. They use science, and data, and even psychological research to send you the right matches. Yeah, there's a lot of hookup sites, like I mentioned, out there, but that's not what eHarmony is for. It's actually for people who want to form a lasting, meaningful relationship and not a one night stand. It's one of those things that I can actually get behind 'cause frankly I'm really not into these websites that are just like hookup websites but I do like this idea of using science to find someone who's super compatible with you. So I think it's a cool idea. And you can get a free month of eHarmony with any of their three month subscriptions. You just go to eharmony.com, just like it sounds, and you enter the code Green at check out, and that gets you a free month with every three months subscription. So there you have it. And I would go there and do it myself, but my wife might raise an eyebrow. So I'm going to go ahead and leave that to you singles who are listening in to the show. eHarmony.
Ben: And then finally this podcast is brought to you by trade station. You know what TradeStation is, Brock?
Brock: I have absolutely no idea.
Ben: Alright. So this is cool. Basically trade station is an online trading platform to help people trade online and get involved in the stock market. But they have this new program for all active military veterans and first responders, they can trade commission-free. It's actually a pretty big deal 'cause a lot of these, websites, they charge huge commissions. Commission-free, free real-time market data, no software fees. So they're basically dedicated to helping out everyone who has invested in our country to invest. So it's really cool. It's called TradeStation Salutes. And what they're dedicated to doing is helping active duty military, and veterans, and first responders learn how to get involved with trading and enjoy commission-free trading to help them out along the way. So it's very cool. I like what they're doing. And they help you develop strategies to invest, whether you're trading stocks, or options, or futures, or anything at all. So they're basically getting any of our listeners into TradeStation if you just go to tradestation.com, just like it sounds, tradestation.com/greenfield. tradestation.com/greenfield. So there you have it. Brock, as a Canadian podcaster, are you an active military veteran or a first responder.
Brock: Afraid not. No. I don't think I qualify.
Ben: So you can't use eHarmony or TradeStation. But you can get a HumanCharger.
Brock: I have one!
Ben: And you can sleep on a Casper.
Brock: You know what's ironic is my HumanCharger currently needs to be charged. Otherwise I would have used it this morning.
Ben: Yeah. Alright, a few quick things for those of you listening in. I'm headed to San Francisco this weekend, the weekend that you're listening to this podcast episode, to race the San Francisco Spartan Race on Saturday. Be sure to come by and say hi, especially if you're racing. I'll be there along with my twin boys. And then November 28th and 29th, I'll be in New York City. The evening of the 28th, I'll be speaking at “The Alchemist Kitchen” in New York City. And the evening of the 29th, I'll be speaking with doctor, or chef, not doctor. He's a chef. I get the two mixed up 'cause they both wear white coats. Chef David Bouley, an amazing, like a French-Japanese fusion cuisine chef. So I'll be speaking in November then, and travelling all over the world at some other events. The XPT Experience in Kauai, Hawaii. December 7th through the 12th, I'll be in Hawaii. And then December 11th through the 23rd, I'll be speaking out at a yoga retreat down in Panama. And then finally I'll arrive home in time for Christmas and my birthday. So there you have it. I'll put a link to all that stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/375, in addition to all the other upcoming events.
Listener Q & A:
Piotr: Hi, Ben. My question is what would you recommend for injury of fascia? Would you recommend peptides or something like MK-677. Thank you.
Ben: You know how I like to think of fascia, Brock?
Ben: Like a giant stocking over your whole body. Big stocking. And it actually is kind of like that.
Brock: A gooey, sticky stocking.
Ben: A gooey, sticky stocking. I used to dissect cadavers when I was at the University of Idaho. I was the guy in charge of dissecting the cadavers that would come into the anatomy and physiology lab, and fascia's very interesting stuff. So basically fascia will surround the muscles, but then dive deep into all of the musculature. It almost looks like a honeycomb from the inside out. Or the way that I like to think of it is, have you ever looked at a wedge of an orange and all the individually little wraps pods that open up when you open an orange the right way?
Ben: So fascia's a little bit like that. It connects muscle to bone, so tendons are actually considered to be a part of the fascial system, and then bone to bone, ligaments are also part of the fascial system, and it has slings around all the different organs structures inside your gut, it cushions your vertebrae, so technically disks are considered to be part of the fascial system. It wraps around the bones, which a lot of people don't realize. So fascia's very interesting. And it's so prevalent around the human body that that's one of the reasons it's been overlooked for really long time. It was thought for a long time it was just like these little packing peanuts in between all of your soft tissue, and it's really a lot more advanced than that. I mean if you listen to my interview with the Human Garage, we talk about how a lot of communication within the body and between the joints and the muscles in the brain occurs via the fascia.
So to understand how you can get fascia to recover more quickly, you have to understand a few things about fascia. First of all, it's what's called a tensional fluid system. And what that means is that, I think we did talk about this with Katie Bowman, is that fascia that's juicy, that's well hydrated, you think of your fascia like a sponge. When your sponge dries out, it's very brittle, and hard, and gets kind of crispy. But then when the sponge is wet and well hydrated, it's springy, and it's resilient, and you can curl it into a little ball and it'll bounce back, and you can wring it, and you can twist it, but it's hard to break. And fascia is very similar. And so one of the things that's super important is to keep fascia well-hydrated. And it comes down to more than just drinking water because when we're talking about fascia and the way that it can become brittle, or the way that you can get a greater risk for erosion, or tear, or rupture, drinking water is one thing, but it has to actually reach the tissue, it has to reach the fascia.
So to be able to get the tissue hydrated, or what we call irrigated, because there are actually these little micro vacuoles that feed into all of your fascia, you have to combine adequate hydration with adequate amount of myofascial work. That's why every single morning when I get up, especially the older I get, I'd make love to everything from the the double peanut lacrosse ball thing, to the foam roller, to that evil thing from Rogue Fitness called the Battlestar, to vibrating tools like the Hypersphere, or the Viper which are like vibrating foam rollers. I have all these different methods, so I get up in the morning and I have two enormous glasses of water, chock full of minerals, and then one of the very first things I do while the coffee or the tea is on is I work on my fascia. So remember, it's not just about drinking water, but it's about working the fascia so that you're untangling a lot of the gluey bits and getting hydration into the actual fascia. So that's one thing to think about is hydration. Movement can also help out quite a bit with getting hydration into the fascia, and that's why I'm a huge fan of active recovery as well, moving in a lot of different positions and at different angles. So that can help out quite a bit. So I know some of this stuff is pretty intuitive, but these are the things that a lot of people don't think about.
Another thing that can help to add a little bit of juiciness to the fascia is springiness. So when your tissue is able to retain its natural spring, the rebounding effect of the fascia helps you, again, to get more hydration into the fascia. So doing things that involve bouncy movements, and that could be like the Tai Chi or the Qigong type of shaking protocol a lot of people do in the morning, like I learned this one from Commander Mark Divine where you just stand and you kind of shake your whole body for about five minutes every morning, jumping on a mini trampling, jumping rope, box jumps. Kettlebells are technically a really good form, like a kettlebell swing is a perfect form of kind of like a springing type of action. So that's very nourishing for the elastic qualities of the fascia. So that would be a good way to start the morning, get up, you hydrate, you do the deep tissue work, and then you do something springy like shaking, or like mini-trampoline, or kettlebell swings, or anything that basically increases the health of the fascia from a springiness standpoint.
The other thing to understand is that fascia is a very rich sensory organ. It's one of the richest sensory organs. It has about six to 10 times the higher quantity of nerve receptors than your muscle cell. And because it's so reliant upon proprioception, not only do you want to keep it hydrated and not only do you want to keep it springy, but you want to improve proprioception by engaging in balancing type of motions so that you're constantly kind of like keeping the fascia awake so to speak. So this would be like single-leg balance drills, single-leg squats, single-arm type of drills. A lot of yoga moves rely upon quite a bit of balance. One of my favorite ways, and this is actually what I did this morning for my workout was these “Core Foundation” routines by this guy named Dr. Eric Goodman. And he's got these different routines where you elongate, and you stretch, and you do what's called decompression, but it's like self-decompression. And that's a great way to introduce more hydration into a joint. So for example you would stand, this is what I was doing this morning, you stand with your feet wide, and kind of drive your heels into the ground, and then you push your butt out away behind you, and you reach really, really long with your hands out in front of you, and you just take anywhere from five to 10 deep breaths in that position, decompressing the spine as you breathe. So that's a perfect example of something you could do to work on both balance as well as like this decompressive or tractioning effect that again introduces more hydration into a joint.
So those would be a few of the things that come to mind for the fascia that are just like simple things that you can do. They don't involve injecting peptides or anything like, but that are just basic day to day habits that will help the fascia stay supple, and stay hydrated, and keep adhesion from forming of course because you're doing the deep tissue work as well. Stretching is, in my opinion stretching is not as important as some of these other recommendations that I've given just because the fascia can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. So if it's tight, you're not going to be able to just stretch your way into healthy fascia. I'm a bigger fan of a lot of the bouncy, springy type of motions where you're taking advantage of momentum along with hydration and some of these deep tissue work.
Kelly Starrett's book, “Becoming A Supple Leopard”, goes into this idea of holding areas of tension with sustained pressure, sometimes for three to five minutes. That's how long it takes. So understand that even though you see in a lot of these instructional videos, people will foam roll over an area like 10 times and then just move on to the next area, sometimes you need to find a spot where there's tension in fascia, pin it, and work that for a good three to five minutes. So I would check out Kelly Starrett's book “Becoming A Supple Leopard” too, and that's actually, I mean this is just like a perfect kind of speak-of-the-devil type of thing is that when I woke up this morning, my psoas and my iliacus were a little tight. So I have Kelly's book. Hi, Kelly, by the way.
Brock: Hi, Kelly!
Ben: I think Kelly's going to race that San Francisco Spartan as well. So I have Kelly's book out in the same kind of bin that I keep all my deep tissue work in and I just flipped open, it's like a cookbook for your fascia. So I flipped open to the iliacus-psoas section, and he had a really good one in there where you take a lacrosse ball and you lay on your back with your legs up on a couch, and you pin that lacrosse ball into your psoas with a kettlebell. And then while holding the kettlebell against the lacrosse ball on your hips, you kind of move your leg in circles, and up and down, and back and forth. It's called flossing the psoas. So I floss my psoas on the right side, and I floss my psoas on the left side, and then kind of worked my way up to the iliacus. And then after that, I stood up and I went through Dr. Eric Goodman core foundation routines. So this morning was a perfect example of me caring for my fascia. And of course, like I mentioned, before I did that, I had two big glasses of water with minerals. So it's a lot of those simple things. Those are things I recommend before you go out and freakin' buy peptides, or BPC-157, or TB-500, or any of these kind of like molecules that are supposed to help heal muscles faster. I mean honestly, I'm a bigger fan of starting with the simple things for both taking care of your fascia as well as recovering from a fascial injury. Now that being said, I will give you two perfect examples of how you could use something like peptides and other techniques. So I have a little bit of a hamstring issue going on right now.
Brock: Jeez! You're falling apart, man!
Ben: I'm always doing things to my body. I live life to the fullest, Brock. Anyways though, so right now while you and I are talking, I am using what's called PEMF. And I'll talk about this a little bit later on in the show when I talk about recovery, but more or less PEMF increases circulation to muscle tissue but it also activates mitochondria, this specific process called myosin phosphorylation. That's the process of energy production in your muscle and phosphorylation produces ATP. When a muscle or a fascial area is depleted of ATP, it becomes a little bit weak and a little bit unresponsive. And when PEMF does that, it also increases blood flow to an area. So can accelerate tissue healing pretty dramatically. And because I have this little hamstring issue going on, and this was just from doing box jumps and maybe going a little bit too heavy on the kettlebell swings, I did, when I woke up this morning, a little injection of what's called BPC-157. Very simple to order online, and I just did a subcutaneous injection of that into the upper right hamstring.
So I laid down the floor while my kids were getting ready for school and the dog was running around me, and I shoved a needle up into my butt, and I did my BPC-157. And now while you and I are talking, literally right now I’m wearing compression shorts. But tucked into those compression shorts, I've got this little device called a Flexpulse, which is a PEMF device, and I have it set at a frequency that actually heals muscle more quickly. It's a 100 hertz frequency. Underneath that frequency, I have magnesium lotion. So the frequency from the Flexpulse is kind of driving the magnesium lotion a little bit deeper into the tissue. That's a perfect example of kind of a little bit more of a biohacking approach to something like a fascial injury. But I don't want to underemphasize the fact that you should go with a lot of those basics before you start to do things like PEMF, and injections, and magnesium lotions, and things along those lines. Does that make sense?
Brock: Yeah. I actually would consider the magnesium lotion to be one of the more basic ones, but definitely, yeah. That's good stuff, and actually a lot of surprises in there. I didn't think you were going to go where you went. That's awesome.
Ben: There you go. And by the way, the PEMF is good. Another thing you could use to drive, something like a topical, whether it's a topical CBD, or topical magnesium, or topical anti-inflammatory in the muscle would be electrical muscle stimulation. Be sure that if you do that, don't use one of these TENS units which just deadens nerves and covers up pain, and be careful even with some of the stronger units. They have the time and place for strength, and power, and things like that, but I use the MarcPro for injuries. It's an electrical muscle stimulation device called the MarcPro because it uses what's called a dynamic decaying waveform. And all that means is it grabs some of your slow twitch muscle before it recruits any fast twitch muscles. It's a little bit more of a therapeutic way to heal muscles.
So if you aren't going to do PEMF and you're going to do what's called electrical muscle stimulation, you'd use this dynamic decaying waveform. But ultimately, those are some my biggies. Hydrate, do some bounciness, swinging, springy type of stuff, do your deep tissue work, do your tractioning or your decompression type work, and then look into some of these things like injectable BPC-157 or the or the other close cousin of that called TB-500, which are just healing peptides that act kind of similarly to stem cells except you can inject them yourself. Look into a pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, or electrical muscle stimulation, or both if an area is injured. And then if you want to kind of drive a topical deeper into the tissue, put a topical like magnesium lotion on before you use something like that, and those would be some of the biggies that come to mind.
Brock: Okay. So our next question, and this is because we actually called out on Facebook for specific questions about recovery. So not all of our questions, not like normal, not all of our questions are actually audio questions. I actually have to do some reading now. Think I can handle it?
Ben: Are the words very large with colorful pictures? ‘Cause if so, probably. If not, highly doubtful.
Brock: She totally wrote a pop-up book for me, so no problem.
Ben: Alright. You got this, Brock.
Brock: Okay. Jen says, “How far down into the “red” do you allow yourself to go with HRV? As a cyclist, I follow my coach’s periodized training program, weekly, monthly, seasonally.” She races a bunch of crits mostly on weekends. “So often I will find a hard week of workouts where I don’t fully recover, but then it'll be followed by a lighter week where I may be recovered for the entire week. I don’t like to see that I am only 21 or 25% recovered, and I worry that I am doing some damage. I don’t get sick, but I do feel extreme fatigue sometimes which requires extra recovery methods. I guess I always wonder if this makes me a better athlete, or just increases the need to recover, if know what I mean.”
Ben: You sounded just like a Jen.
Ben: I closed my eyes 'cause I swore.
Brock: I put on a wig that was the [0:51:02] ______.
Ben: Here's what a lot of people misunderstand when it comes to doing something like tracking your heart rate variability or wanting to feel recovered all the time. The fact is that a high heart rate variability is not always a good thing. And if you're looking for greater training adaptations when it comes to tracking something like HRV, which I do believe is one of the best ways to track your readiness to train or your recovery, and I use multiple methods for that. I wear a ring that spits out a readiness score for me every morning, this ring called the Oura ring, and then I also use the app called the NatureBeat app to see whether it's sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system fatigue that might be causing a lower HRV. So I can kind of train intelligently that day. If my sympathetic nervous system is beat up, I might still be able to go out and handle a swim, or a bike ride, or a run. And if my parasympathetic nervous system is beat up, vice versa. And if both are beat up, then that might be a Game of Thrones day or hang-out-with-the-kids-playing-Legos-day.
Brock: Wait, what do you mean by Game of Thrones day? That sounds ominous.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. I run around naked in the backyard with my broad sore. Anyways though, so the idea though is that if the HRV is low, sometimes there might be a reason that it's low, whether you're working with a coach or whether you're training yourself. And the reason for that is because training with a high intensity or high volume when your HRV has dropped low can basically put you into a state of slight overreaching. And in many cases, that is a good thing if you're able to bounce back for that. It's called overload training. And one of the most common responses to overload training is a progressive decrease in HRV. It's the typical alarm response to a stressor, usually it's the sympathetic arm of the autonomic nervous system that's going to get activated in response to that chronic stress, your resting heart rate goes up and your HRV goes down. And that's why a very intense day of training could result in a suppressed HRV like I mentioned earlier, due to neurological fatigue for a good three or four days after a hard workout.
That's why you can't just listen to muscle soreness and why you need to track something like your nervous system recovery. But you can actually stay in that state for a while. For example, there was one study that they did on decreased HRV in response to overload training, like training when your HRV is still low, and this was is in runners. And they spent a good three weeks in an overload period of low HRV with continual training, and then on the fourth week what they did was they reduced the training load, they did what's called a taper. The HRV went up. And not only did it go up, but it exceeded the original baseline values and the athletes saw a significant rise in aerobic fitness by overloading and then de-training the body or allowing for a little bit of a taper. And there's a physiological reason for this idea, and it really is a process of what's called periodization where you train hard, you have certain times of the year or times of the week where you over train, or what would be more appropriately called overreach, and then you super compensate, meaning that you allow yourself to get adequate recovery to recover from a workload your body was previously not suited to withstand. And that allows you to see almost like a stair stepping increase in your fitness.
Now, when you overreach or when you let your HRV go low and you continue to train through that, again for up to three weeks you can do this as long as you're being careful that you're not overtraining and you're simply overreaching, and that's where you know working with a coach or personal trainer to make sure that you're not crossing over into the realm of overtraining.
Brock: That's a tricky fine line.
Ben: It is. It's a tricky fine line. That's where you need to work with a professional.
Brock: Like us.
Ben: I say so myself. When you taper, some of the things that happen once you've actually dug yourself deep in that hole you get a big increase in mitochondrial density and what's called mitochondrial proliferation, big increase in capillarization or blood flow to a muscle area, big increase in enzymatic activity related especially to aerobic fitness which is related to, again, mitochondrial density, capillarization, oxygen delivery to muscle tissue, et cetera. All of these take place when you give yourself permission to sometimes train through fatigue or sometimes train with a high HRV. Now I'm often asked, well as I just alluded to, how hard is too hard. How do you know that you're not getting into overtraining territory? And in a case like that, typically what we see with overtraining as opposed to overreaching is a very significant drop in drive, a very significant drop in the testosterone to cortisol ratios if you were doing blood testing, significant increase in muscle soreness accompanied with things like a loss of weight, decreased what's called a profile of mood state score, a lot of variables that go above and beyond just kind of feeling tired and stiff and instead feel more like you're getting sick. I know that's kind of more of a qualitative approach.
If we were looking at this with heart rate variability for example, some of things that I look for like in a healthy, robust athlete, if I see both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system values dropping from like the thousands into the hundreds, that would be one example. Or if I see a very significant drop in weight, or if I see a resting heart rate go up at rest by more than about five beats, those are all signs that you're kind of delving into that overtraining versus the overreaching category, at which point you really would want to rest and nip things in the bud.
But super compensation is definitely reason to train even sometimes when you are fatigued and to not worry that much if you have fatigue some times and you want to push through that fatigue to get yourself to the point where you can stair step down. A typical scenario would be something like that three week on four week, or three week on, one week off scenario where you train hard for three weeks, and even if it gets tough at some point, you keep telling yourself you're going to get that one week off.
And I personally use more of an organic approach. I'll look at the calendar, I'll see where I'm going to be traveling and doing intense travel where I wouldn't be able to train as hard, I'll trained really hard leading up to that travel, and then super compensate and recover when I've got my ass on an airplane for the next 12 hours when I'm sitting in a conference room for the day and I have a lot less of a chance to work out. So you can do it organically, you could do it systematically, but ultimately I wouldn't worry too much about your body being 100% ready every single day of the week 'cause that's not really how you increase fitness.
Brock: Yeah. It's a hard thing for, especially new athletes, to wrap their head around sometimes is that fitness isn't a linear line. You don't just feel stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and then boom, race day happens and you're done. It's really much more of a roller coaster.
Ben: Yup. Exactly. So there you go roller coaster, or as we say down here in the US, a stair stepping effect.
Caleb: What is the difference between pill amino acids, powder amino acids, and naturally-taken-in-by-your-body amino acids like food?
Ben: Well, I guess the first thing is that food looks a lot better on Instagram and in food porn photos compared to a pile of powder and tablets.
Brock: That's one aspect, yes.
Ben: So if you want more likes, go with real food. In terms of recovery benefits, just backing up here, in terms of amino acids, there are eight essential amino acids that your body needs and that your body can't necessarily make itself. And if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, I don't think I have time to get into the whole article, but I just published like a 3,000 plus word article on the difference between essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids, and why anybody who's engaged in anything from ketosis, to intermittent fasting, to looking for increased muscle, to being injured and wanting better recovery should definitely have either an essential amino acids tablet or an essential amino acids powder versus just steak, or chicken, or fish, or egg, or something like that as a part of their recovery protocol. And even though the whole article, we take a deep dive into issues with branched chain amino acids, which range from hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, to a deleterious effect on serotonin levels, to a depletion of B vitamins versus essential amino acids, which cause far fewer of those effects and have a lot more benefits, one of the things we talk about is this idea of amino acid utilization. Amino acid utilization. And that's how much of the actual amino acids, as the phrase implies, are actually available from the source that you're using to get those amino acids as building blocks for everything from neurotransmitters to muscles.
Now at the very low, low end of the spectrum are indeed branched chain amino acids. Only about 1% of the amino acid content of a BCAA is utilized by your body. So 99% of a branched chain amino acid is just nitrogenous waste. That's why I am not a big fan. I mean I experimented with them for a while, I think it was actually Peter Attia and I were talking about this back in the day when we were discussing my Ironman training protocol, and he suggested branched chain amino acids for my Ironman training in ketosis, and they helped, but didn't hold a candle to essential amino acids. And part of that is due to that I amino acid utilization issue. Yeah, they're less expensive, but they're also, a huge, huge amount of them just results in nitrogenous waste that your body has to process and then eliminate. So there's even a little bit of a load on the kidneys.
Brock: Nitrogenous waste.
Ben: Nitrogenous waste.
Brock: That's my new band name.
Ben: Good band name. You could probably start some kind of a garbage truck pickup service based on that as well.
Ben: Nitrogenous waste pickups. Whey and soy protein, that is about 18% or so absorbed when it comes to amino acid utilization. You can get that up a little bit if you take digestive enzymes when you consume your whey powder, or your soy powder, or any vegan protein powder, but there's still a pretty crappy amount that's actually utilized by the body compared to some of these other options. Because you see foods like meat, and fish, and poultry, those do a lot better, almost twice as well as protein powder when it comes to amino acid utilization. Those are about 32% absorbed. You still get well over 60% just basically excrete it as nitrogenous waste however. Eggs are pretty high. Eggs are nearly 50% utilization. So if you're looking at nature's perfect protein from a food source with as little waste as possible, an egg would be at the top of the list. It's also a little bit easier to digest for a lot of people compared to meat, and poultry, and fish, even though some people do have allergenic issues to eggs.
And then if you look at essential amino acids, even though there are almost zero calories in an essential amino acid because all of it gets absorbed and utilized. Rather than being utilized as calories, it's actually utilized as a neurotransmitter building block or a muscle building block, 99% of essential amino acids get put to work by the body. So you only get about 1% or less of nitrogenous waste. And not only that, but you get absorption, and this is really important for athletes who are using this during a workout or before workout, within about 15 to 20 minutes. So you get an instant absorption with almost zero loss of the amino acids that you're trying to get. So food is tastier for sure, food looks better as food porn, and I'll link in the show notes to my podcast with Dr. Minkoff where we take a deep, deep dive into amino acid utilization, but ultimately I would use essential amino acids.
And full disclosure, my new company that I just launched for those of you who didn't hear about that new company, it's called Kion, K-I-O-N, one of our flagship products, for the reasons I just described and for the reason that I personally, and especially when I'm traveling, or I'm fasting, or I'm in ketosis, I pop 20 to 30 grams of amino acids per day because of that amino acid utilization with very little calories and very little digestive cost, I use a lot of amino acids. And one of our flagship products over there is an amino acid tablet or an amino acid powder. So if you want to check those out, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/375. But ultimately amino acids don't hold a candle to food. Do I like steak? Do I like chicken? Do I like fish? Yeah. As a matter of fact, I just posted, speaking of food porn, to Instagram last night's dinner. You know what it was, Brock?
Brock: No idea. Something delicious.
Ben: Okay. Prepare to drool. This is what I make when my wife's not around. I come up with weird recipes. So I made myself a nice little wild caught salmon cooked in grass fed butter with sea salt, and black pepper, and a fiddlehead fern powder, which is this amazing little vegetable powder I get from this guy named Dr. Thomas Callan. Fiddlehead fern powder. And I'll link to my Instagram page for people who want to see this one. And then I am on a big pumpkin kick right now 'cause it's the fall. So almost every night I bake a pumpkin at about 350 degrees for about an hour and a half and then I take the pumpkin out and salt that with a little bit of avocado or olive oil. I put little fiddlehead fern powder on that, and I served all of that over a bed of arugula. So salmon with baked pumpkin over arugula with fiddlehead fern powder and sea salt. So I do not just eat tablets for my protein, but I do take advantage of better living through science. And Caleb, yeah. I'm a fan of essential amino acids for sure compared to food when it comes to getting everything you can from an amino acid utilization standpoint.
Brock: Okay. Our next question is another one that came in on Facebook, and unfortunately Elaina didn't go over to SpeakPipe or over to bengreenfieldfitness.com and leave her question as an audio, which I'm going to reiterate that everybody should do from now on, 'cause otherwise you have to listen to me struggle through reading it. But her question is: “I'd really like to delve into understanding the recovery of self-esteem. Particularly when placing expectation on oneself to perform and train when the body is ready, but the mind throws a load of negatives. As an athlete and part of a team, it was easy to recover quicker as the camaraderie in the sharing of muscle pain seemed to overcome it psychologically. But now with family commitments and in an industry of helping others, it's become mentally draining to recover for my next training session.”
Ben: Well Brock, despite my extreme passion for sports psychology and the mental side of training, not.
Brock: I don't remember you having that.
Ben: Yeah. I'm not that into the mental game. I mean as a former tennis player I definitely did a lot of studying on the mental game, and I've talked a lot about it before on the podcast, and I'm okay with speaking to it but when I saw this question from Elaina, it got me thinking about a book that I literally just read, and it is a fantastic book. It's written by a PhD and a professional triathlete, written by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson, and it's called “The Brave Athlete: Calm The [censored] Down And Rise To The Occasion”. The Brave Athlete. Brand new book and it gets into this, and Simon is a complete wizard when it comes to this. So I asked Simon if he could give his perspective on Elaina's question, and he was kind enough to actually reply to Elaina. So I'm going to go ahead and give Elaina Simon's response, and this is again the guy who wrote the book “The Brave Athletes”. So here you go Elaina.
Simon: Hi, Elaina! That's a great question, and it's actually one I get asked quite a lot. How do I stop negative thoughts from undermining my self-confidence? It might be nagging thoughts about not being fit enough, or fast enough, or lean enough, or living up to expectations that you've created in your head that tell you that in order to feel enough you must meet them. And as you discovered, when you're in a supportive group of people who give you praise and encouragement, it's often easier because you get a booster seat for your confidence. It's almost as if you're outsourcing some of your compliments to others. But when you're training alone, things can feel much harder because they are much harder. The negative self-talk often gets a bit louder and more persistent because there's not as much to confront it or contest it when it happened. And when you get physically and emotionally tired as it sounds like you experience, whether this is from work, from family commitments, or whatever, your ability to swat away those thoughts gets even harder still. So the question is what can you do about it?
Well the first thing to realize is that these thoughts aren't actually coming from the real you at all. And when I say real you, I'm talking about the part of your brain that does the thinking, the frontal cortex. Now the thoughts that you having begin in a primitive emotional center deep in your brain called the limbic system. It's what we call the chimp brain. Others call it is too, but we call it a chimp because it acts like a young primate. It's this emotional reacting machine that's prone to tantrums, it can be a bully, it could also be soft and cuddly, but it's often the bully in our head. And all of your feelings and emotions originate in the chimp as well as the fight or flight response. And they're there for a very good reason. We have emotions to try and force us to make a decision. We don't want you to be in danger. Your chimp brain, it's first goal is to keep you alive. So that's a pretty noble cause and we thank it for that, but it doesn't know that it's just sport. It thinks you're entering into a life and death situation every time, or at least a situation that it's really scared off. And when I mean scared of, your chimp brain is terrified by the thought that you might either be shown to be embarrassed, humiliated, or inadequate.
So why does your chimp brain hate these possibilities so much? Well, because millions of years ago being in those environments often did mean death. When we became ostracized from our troop, we had to fend for ourselves, we had to forage for our own food, and for safety, and so on. And this rarely ended well. But of course not anymore, right? Modern day living is not, our lives aren't at stake anymore. But try telling your chimp brain that. He doesn't care or know any different. He's just going to give you feelings that scream at you to avoid the situation and do something that's less scary and more comfortable. So when exercise hurts, you just want to stop. When you see other competitors and your first thought is, “Oh my god, they all look so much faster, and stronger, and leaner than me. What am I doing?” You've actually been tricked by your chimp brain. Your chimp brain has hijacked you to convince you that you need to get the heck away from there as quick as possible.
So the first thing to recognize that this is totally normal. We all feel a certain amount of doubt, and worry, and negativity when we feel threatened psychologically or physically. But the trick is not to try and arm wrestle a chimp or to try and expunge these feelings and reject them, but to actually accept them because they're not actually coming from the real you. So in an exercise I call a chimp purge, I even encourage athletes to listen to the negativity, to say out loud all of the negative things that your chimp is screaming at you. And you don't actually interrupt him when he's doing this. You don't stop until your chimp has exhausted himself. You know he's exhausted when he runs out of negative things to say or starts saying the same thing over and over again. For most athletes this can take between three to the 10 minutes or so.
It's important that you don't stop just after 30 seconds, because otherwise you've just given yourself the world's worst self-talk. You do it until your chimp has nothing left to throw at you. You can do this, often what I recommend is you do it as you roll up to a race in the car. Before you get out the car, use you say it out loud, or you write it down, or you set yourself at night, the night before that threatening situation or a situation that scares you. And afterwards, you feel a bit lighter, unburdened. Many people report feeling strangely tranquil, and there are some biochemical and neurophysiological reasons why this happens. But suffice to say it really actually works. So obviously do it when you won't be distracted or do it in a quiet place so you don't like a total lunatic. But it's a really effective strategy, chimp purging.
And the second thing I recommend is to start confronting each of the negative thoughts with the powers that only your smart brain, the real you have. And that facts and logic. So for each negative thought, ask yourself two questions. First, what evidence is there that this will or actually could come true? And by evidence I don't mean the stories that you've concocted in your head. I mean real, tangible proof that this could come true. And second, if it could come true, so what? What will happen if this does actually play out? So I'll give you an example. I was speaking to an athlete yesterday who was a novice 5K runner and this is what her chimp brain was telling her. “You're going to get pummeled out there. You're not a real athlete. They're the real athletes. You're probably going to come last and people will be looking at you. You're fat stuffed into that lycra, and they're thinking, ‘Why is she doing this? She's got no business being here.” So you can see, when you hear those words, they obviously sound a bit silly because they're not the real us, and we know all of these things intuitively are irrational, but they still seem they still feel really powerful in our own heads. So it doesn't matter that's not what's happening in your head, but it's a good example 'cause it's a really common thought pattern among athletes, especially beginners.
So the first thing we need to think about is the likelihood of these things coming true. So as I said to this athlete, have you ever actually been to a 5K before and watched other athletes or spectators? I mean most people are so absorbed in their own stuff to even notice other people, let alone judging other people. That's simply not what the running community does. And if some of them do that, then they often get called out or criticized for it. But the reality is that no one actually cares how fast you are or what you look like except you and your chimp. But let's say there is a possibility that you'll be near the back or even the last. So the next question is, “Well, so what?” So that, we say, “Well, listen. Guess who gets the most encouraging or the biggest cheer at races. It's not the runners at the pointy end of the race. It's those near the back. So, so what that you feel like a sausage stuffed in lycra casing. We say, “Well, listen. Remember this is what life in lycra as an athlete is all about. It's tight because it's lighter, it's faster, it's the part of the clothing that makes you an athlete.” So the next time you're facing an intimidating situation, I'd like you to remember this mantra: the only two things that are always in your control are effort and attitude. Now this is true whether you're a newbie 5K runner or a professional world champion. Every race is about committing to giving your best and staying positive. Nothing else matters during the race. And it's the only thing that you should judge your performance on. So with that, good luck.
Ben: So Elaina, there you have it. Straight from the mouth of Simon Marshall, PhD, the author of “The Brave Athlete” book. So a big shout out to Simon for his help with that question. And for those of you who want to read the book, it actually is really, really good. My favorite part of the whole book was the part where you get to write down your alter ego, and mine was Rocky Balboa. So in my next Spartan Race I'm going to be wearing the gray hoodie and dancing up on stage with my Italian Stallion t-shirt that's my plan. So anyways though, I'll put a link to the book, bengreenfieldfitness.com/375, you can check out this book and hopefully that helps you out, Elaina. Great question.
Brock: Okay. Which leads us to our final question from Jeff, another written question. And it is a simple one. It's: “What are your top five free or least expensive recovery musts?” Oooh. I dare you to keep it to five. I bet you can't.
Ben: Okay. I could totally keep it to five. Watch me.
Brock: You think?
Ben: Number one free or least expensive that's not going to shock anybody, but that'll still cite a good study for: cold water immersion. Brand new study actually just came out on this even though there's a lot that came out before it on cold water immersion that can shut off post-workout inflammation. I remember now, this is what I wanted to say about inflammation. It wasn't about curcumin and stuff. I was about cold. The results of this one are pretty simple with 11 hard training males getting submitted to 20 minutes of cold water immersion post-workout.
Brock: Did you just say hard males?
Ben: Hard males. Cold water immersion worked on that and much more. It worked and it did so really well. Not only was the swelling vastly controlled with the cold water immersion, but we saw a very significant blunt in the normal inflammatory response to resistance training. However, because that can also blunt the natural hormetic response to training, my recommendation is that unless you've had a really hard workout close to bedtime and you gotta get your core temperature down so that you sleep well, this would be for any workout that occurs closer than three hours to bed time. ‘Cause a hard workout close to bedtime, if it finishes any closer than three hours, it will disrupt your deep sleep cycles. Aside from that scenario, save your cold shower for earlier in the day or later in the day. Same reason as you should save, like I mentioned earlier, things like curcumin, and CBD, and other anti-inflammatories for a different time of the day. But ultimately cold showers, and I'll link to this new study on cold water immersion if you want to see what it is, cold showers, cold immersion. Cryotherapy chambers are not free or at least expensive, but that'd be another option. That's number one. Got it?
Brock: Okay. Got it.
Ben: Number two. Even though we see, for example, some studies cited on PubMed that say that fasting and lack of fluid and food intake might challenge an athlete's ability to be able to recover optimally, it turns out that there's actually some other really interesting studies that look at improved recovery from both endurance exercise and weight training with a fasting protocol and even caloric restriction. For example, in one study they had three weeks of overnight fasted endurance cycling in athletes and all of them saw improved post workout recovery. Then there was another study on fasted endurance training that found that it might more quickly reactivate muscle protein translation, meaning an increase in post-workout muscle protein synthesis and muscle recovery by fasting after endurance exercise, or more specifically, I'm sorry, not fasting after but performing endurance exercise in a fasted state. We also see in weight training another study that found that subjects who lifted weights in a fasted state have a greater anabolic response, what's called an intramyocellular anabolic response, and they see increased levels of a muscle protein synthesis signaling mechanism called P-70-kinase that's an indicator of muscle growth.
There's a guy named Martin Berkhan, he runs a website called Leangains I think is the name of his website, leangains.com, where he delves into this a lot in terms of fasted training and boosting of muscle growth. Although he recommends, as do I, that to amplify those effects even more, you take, drum roll please, amino acid prior to a fasted training session to do that even better. You also see better glycogen repletion and better glycogen retention when you exercise in a fasted state. So I would say some form of fasted training not overdone would actually be a decent way to recover. And on your off days or your easier recovery days, doing something like a calorie cycling approach where you're clearing up inflammation that might result from just the normal digestive process would be another recommendation. So not only doing some of your workouts in a fasted state, but also fasting on your easier days can be a good recovery strategy. And the only thing I'd recommend that you do on those fasting protocols is include some of the things that your body does need, like a good multi-vitamin mineral complex, a good amino acids blend, and potentially some ketones or some minerals to kind of keep your energy levels up. So big fan of that approach.
Brock: That's two.
Ben: That's two. Next one would be light. So red and near infrared light. And I actually have light shining on both my back and my front side this whole time that we've been podcasting can be fantastic for repair of damaged tissue. There are studies that have shown that red and near infrared lights, both far and near infrared light can assist with muscle tissue damage, can assist with collagen production, can assist with mitochondrial density. And one of the reasons for that is because these light therapies help to improve the mitochondrial respiration cycle and help mitochondria produce energy more efficiently, and that means your muscles are going to be less likely to suffer from fatigue. They also help promote production of antioxidants, which reduces oxidative stress. They reduce inflammation that leads to cell damage. They increase what's called microcirculation, meaning your tissues are better able to receive oxygen and other nutrients that they need for muscle healing and also get rid of toxic byproducts. And there's even some really interesting studies that show that light therapy promotes muscle hypertrophy, or actual growth of healthy muscle tissue in terms of both muscle thickness and strength. And they've shown those results using ultrasound and what's called dynamometry, which would be a way to test your actual strength.
So it turns out that there's a host of studies that have shown that everything from low level laser therapy to infrared therapy can assist with muscle recovery via a lot of those mechanisms that I just talked about. And it turns out that big biohack in the sky called the sun actually produces near and far infrared rays, and by simply getting outside into the sun, you can take advantage of a lot of those things. I use this light, I don't think it's any secret. I use this thing called a Joovv light for enhancement of testosterone, and for collagen production in skin, and to stay toasty warm when I'm cold after my morning smoothie. But ultimately it turns out that infrared light, whether it's from the sun or whether it's from one of these biohacking type of devices would be number three. So there you have it.
Brock: Number three. There you go.
Ben: Number four, I talked earlier in the show about PEMF and how it can stimulate that process that I referred to called myosin phosphorylation. And a lot of these PEMF devices can restore…
Brock: We didn't say what PEMF stands for at any point. It may be time to say that.
Ben: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. And that can be used for sleep at different frequencies like 3 hertz, for focus at 10 hertz, or for muscle repair and recovery at about 100 hertz. There's even some really interesting studies on like depression and anxiety at a thousand hertz. Well these same electromagnetic fields produced by some of these devices that can be placed on specific areas of tissue to heal injuries or to enhance muscle repair and recovery can also be had by, drumroll please, going outside and walking barefoot on the ground, or laying on the ground, or even as they do in some especially eastern countries, like there's a great story about this in Egypt for example that some workers will do this to enhance their muscle recovery at the end of a hard day, they bury themselves under the sand like out in the desert. Any of the methods…
Brock: That's so fun!
Ben: Yeah. Go to the beach, bury yourself in sand. But any of these methods actually expose you to the earth's natural geomagnetic field. It's called earthing or grounding. So you could use one of these fancy PEMF devices or you could also just walk barefoot on the ground or earth. There are these PEMF devices called the Earthpulse for example, like I mentioned, the one on my butt right now is called a Flexpulse. A lot of options there. And then there's even the sandals that I wear when I'm in recovery mode called Earthrunners that have copper plugs in the bottom of them that allow you to stay in touch with the planet as you're walking, or running, or recovering. So that'd be number four.
Brock: Now wait. Here's a question for you. Does it still work if you're on like asphalt or concrete, or do you have to be on grass, or dirt, or gravel, or something?
Ben: It's only going to produce a significant effect if you're on grass, or dirt, or sand, or something like that. But it's still useful if you're outside and you don't want to go barefoot or you're concerned about sharp rocks, or glass, or things like that. Those are called Earthrunners. And by the way, everything I'm talking about, I'll link to over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/375.
And then the last one would be sleep. But not just sleep, but deep sleep, which is where a lot of your repair and recovery is going to occur during your slow wave sleep. And there are certain strategies that you can use to enhance your slow wave sleep. I mentioned finishing up any hard workouts within three hours before bedtime or if it's closer than that to bedtime, taking a cold shower afterwards to decrease the body's core temperature because that cooling effect can really enhance the deep sleep cycle. And I've tested my own sleep, again with this ring I mentioned, the Oura ring, and that allows me to track deep sleep cycles. And one of the best things I can do for Deep sleep is to just have my sleep temperature where it needs to be.
But in addition to that, when it comes to deep sleep there's a few different botanicals and nutrients that work well. Anything that causes a release of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, I am a fan of. There is one thing called passionflower extract that you can just get in like a dropper bottle from Amazon that you can take prior to bed for a natural release of GABA. A small glass of alcohol can actually cause a release of GABA, like a little glass of wine for example.
Ben: Yeah. That's a natural source of gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Now if you overdo it, you wake up a little bit later on once that all wears off. So you don't want to flood yourself with GABA. A little bit can be pretty helpful.
Brock: Would you call it a micro dose?
Ben: A micro dose of alcohol. There's another supplement that is called Sleep Remedy made by Dr. Kirk Parsley that has a little bit of a really good form of GABA in it that does a good job crossing the blood-brain barrier. It's a very small GABA. phGABA. Cannabidiol, believe it or not, has been shown to improve deep sleep cycles quite significantly. So that would be another option which is using like a CBD type of supplement. And then the pulsed electromagnetic field therapies that I talked about earlier, using those in bed at a frequency of about 3 hertz can help quite a bit with deep sleep as well. So that would be another one to look into.
Kava. Kava is actually something that increases deep sleep. I know some of these aren't free, but they're relatively inexpensive, things like kava or passionflower. Acupuncture or acupressure, laying on one of these mats, and I've actually been doing that little bit before bed. I've been doing a lot of my reading in the sauna these days 'cause it's getting cold in Spokane. In the cool winter it's nice to go lay in the sauna before bed at night, and then I'll take like a nice walk outside the hot tub to cool the temperature a little bit, get in, get out, come back inside. But I lay on that acupressure mat in the sauna. Acupuncture and acupressure have been shown to specifically assist with those deep sleep cycles.
Couple of other things I would look into would be pink noise. Not white noise, but pink noise. A lot of these apps, like I have one called SleepStream, will produce a specific form of noise very similar to white noise but a slightly lower frequency. And what they've shown is that that boosts deep sleep even better than some of these white noise noise blocking apps. And those are typically free or pennies on the dollar to use something like a pink noise app. And then there's even this concept of tDCS, or transdirect cranial, or current stimulation. There are devices like the Halo, for example, those are marketed to athletes for use prior to hard workouts but you can also use them before bed to enhance your deep sleep cycles. That would be another example, that's more like $600 compared to free. But it's an option. And there are even websites online that show you how to make it yourself from Radio Shack with a battery and some wires. So there's that.
Those would be some of the biggies when it comes to sleep. There's a lot more. Obviously I could go on and on when it comes to deep sleep, but those are some of the first things that come to mind would be like a cannabidiol, or GABA, acupressure, acupuncture, PEMF, kava, some kind of a sleep stream app and you'd use pink noise with it. Yeah, those would be some of the biggies. So there you have it. Cold, sun, earthing, deep sleep, and fasting. So there you have it. Free and easy recovery biohacks straight from the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show, biohacks.
Brock: Nice work.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I know we've been going on. We're getting along in the tooth, so I think it's about time that we give something away. What do you think?
Brock: Absolutely. Let's do it.
Ben: Alright. So here's how this works. If you leave a review on iTunes and you hear your review read on this show, then we will send you a handy dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear packed with a cool tech t-shirt, and a water bottle, and a beanie, or a toque as Brock would call it. A compression toque. And all you need to do if you hear your review read on the show is you email [email protected]. That's [email protected] and we'll send you that handy dandy prize back. Just be sure to include your t-shirt size. So today's podcast review left in iTunes, five-star review, I especially like because it was left by a Master Cornelius. You know who Cornelius was, Brock?
Brock: The Planet of The Apes guy?
Ben: Not in my book. I'll tell you. But first, why don't you go ahead and read the review?
Brock: Okay. I'm got to do my best not to get choked up 'cause this is kind of a nice one. We usually gets kind of smart-assy ones, but this one's actually really heartfelt. It goes like this: “Ben and company are the real deal. Not only is Ben and the show awesome, but so is the team behind him. I want to give a special thanks to your customer support staff Amber and Alicia. My dad was in his late 80's and getting confused with his orders and they were ever so helpful. Really, really patient with him. I will be a fan of Ben and the show forever because of them. My dad recently passed away but I have many wonderful memories listening to the show with him. He looked forward to it every week. We had lots of good conversation even if we didn't always get it. Good times. Thank you.”
Ben: That's nice. Big shout out to Alicia and Amber, two of our fantastic customer care reps over at Kion. So that's really awesome. It turns out we're not [censored] too many people off. That's great.
Brock: Well you and I are [censored] everybody off, but Amber and Alicia are doing a great job of mopping up our mess.
Ben: They're cleaning up our mess. So thank you, Cornelius. And by the way Cornelius, email [email protected]. And Brock, Cornelius, he was one of my favorite characters in Chronicles of Narnia. He was the mentor and the advisor of the young Prince Caspian. Cornelius, he was like half-human, half-dwarf, and he was like this guy with like this long white beard that taught Prince Caspian everything he knew about swordplay, and sailing ships, and beyond. So this very well could be the same Master Cornelius and we may have a fan who is half-dwarf, half-human with a long gray beard, twinkling eyes, short, and fat. Could be him.
Brock: Or perhaps he's a talking ape from the future.
Ben: Or a talking ape. That's possible as well. Yeah, that's right. He's in Planet of The Apes too. Who knows? But either way, Master Cornelius, thanks for the wonderful review. Amber and Alicia, if you're listening in, shout out to you, our fatastic, if I can talk, or fantastic customer support staff. And Brock, thank you, man. Thank you for being that Peruvian wonder that you are.
Brock: I did eat a lot of coca leaves while I was there, so that could explain why I was so damn funny this week.
Ben: You were. Alright, folks. Well until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Brock Armstrong. Access all the show notes, all the goodies, everything that we've talked about at bengreenfieldfitness.com/375 and have an amazing week. Brock?
Nov 16, 2017 Podcast: 375 – How To Heal Fascia Faster, Everything You Need To Know About Supercompensation, Amino Acids In Supplements Vs. Foods, How To Mentally Recover From Hard Training, and Free And Easy Recovery Biohacks.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
News Flashes: [3:32]
- Yet another reason to avoid NSAID’s like the plague – loss of muscle and strength.
- Yep, wearing compression garments to bedmay not be sexy but sure does enhance muscle recovery
- Would you get a fashionable tattoo to monitor your blood glucose? (Ben also mentions this anti-aging lab test).
- But yet…some folks just KEEP on telling me our “ancestors didn’t take supplements”
You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Snapchat, and Google+.
Special Announcements: [22:10]
This podcast is brought to you by:
-Casper Mattress – Start sleeping ahead of the curve with Casper. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting Casper.com/ben and using promo code “Ben” at checkout. Terms and conditions apply.
-Human Charger – Visit Bengreenfieldfitness.com/humancharger and enter code BEN20 (note NEW code) for 20% off.
-eHarmony – Come see how eHarmony can change your life. Go to eHarmony.com and get started. Enter my code GREEN at checkout to get a FREE month with every 3-month subscription.
-TradeStation – TradeStation is dedicated to helping everyone who has invested so much into this country. Learn more and sign up today at TradeStation.com/Greenfield
–Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.
Ben’s Adventures: [33:32]
–November 28: Advanced Brain Biohacking for Cognitive Performance at The Alchemist’s Kitchen, in New York’s Bowery neighborhood. Discover from America’s top personal trainer little-known tools, techniques and tricks you can use to maximize cognitive performance, enhance IQ, increase working memory, and upgrade your mental hardware at “The Alchemist” at 8:00 pm.
-November 29: “A Biohacking Adventure” with Ben Greenfield and Chef David Bouley – Join us at Bouley Test Kitchen for a biohacking adventure! The experience is part of “The Chef and the Doctor”– our series of health-focused, multi-course culinary experiences featuring world renowned doctors and Chef David Bouley.
-Dec 7-9, 2017: XPT Experience, Kauai, Hawaii. Join me, Brian Mackenzie, Kelly Starrett, Julia Starrett, Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, for an epic, all-inclusive performance living workshop this Dec 7, 8 and 9 in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii. Come and join us for pool training, underwater workouts, gym training, breathing instruction, outdoor workouts, recovery biohacking and much more! Get your tickets here.
-Dec 11-23, 2017: Runga Retreat, Cambutal, Panama. This retreat spans 8-days and centers around fostering heightened awareness, presence, and connection with others through a mandatory “Digital Detox” – or no cell phones, computers, and other technology. Yoga is offered twice per day, everyday. There is also an off-site adventure ranging from hiking volcanoes to white water rafting or zip lining. World-class spa treatments are available and 100% of the food are suitable for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or ketogenic dieters. Get your tickets here, and use code BEN for $10 off.
Giveaways & Goodies:
-Grab your Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
-And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
Listener Q&A: [34:45]
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.
How To Heal Fascia Faster
Piotr says: What would you recommend for recovering from a fascial injury? Would you recommend peptides or something else?
Everything You Need To Know About Supercompensation
Jen wrote: How far down into the “red” do you allow yourself to go with HRV? As a cyclist, I follow my coach’s periodized training program- weekly, monthly, seasonally… (I race crits most weekends from April until July). So often I will have a hard week of workouts where I don’t fully recover, followed by a lighter week where I might be recovered the entire week. I don’t like how I feel when I see that I am only 21 or 25% recovered, and I worry that I am doing some damage. I don’t get sick but I do feel extreme fatigue sometimes, which requires extra recovery methods. I guess I always wonder if this makes me a better athlete, or just increases the need to recover-know what I mean?
Amino Acids In Supplements Vs. Foods
Caleb says: In terms of the recovery benefits, what is the difference between pill amino acids, powder amino acids and naturally taken in amino acids – like food?
In my response, I recommend:
–My podcast on amino acid utilization with Dr. Minkoff
How To Mentally Recover From Hard Training
Elaina wrote: I’d really like to delve into understanding the recovery of self-esteem, particularly when placing expectations on oneself to perform and train when the body is ready but the mind throws a load of negatives. As an athlete and as part of a team it was easy to recover quicker as camaraderie and sharing of muscle pain seemed to overcome it psychologically. Now with family commitments and in an industry of helping others it becomes mentally draining to then recover for my next training session.
In my response, I recommend:
–Book: The Brave Athlete: Calm The F*ck Down
Free And Easy Recovery Biohacks
Jeff wrote: What are your top 5 free or least expensive recovery musts.
In my response, I recommend:
-Cold showers (I cite this new study on cold water immersion)
–Walking barefoot on ground
–Deep sleep cycles
–Blue Light Blockers
–SleepStream App (use pink noise)
–tDCS (e.g. Halo)