Episode #381 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/381-post-workout-nutrition-myth-personal-circadian-rhythm-hot-vs-cold-recovery/

[00:00] Introduction/Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna Winner

[04:59] News Flashes: Heat Accelerates Recovery

[09:43] For Fixing Metabolic Issues, The Ketogenic Diet Beat Out Exercising

[11:30] A Ketogenic Diet Lowers Body Fat and Maintains Performance in Crossfit Athletes

[14:25] Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreats

[18:34] Special Announcements

[26:37] Listener Q&A: Why You Don’t Need to Eat After a Workout

[39:31] How to Find Your Personal Circadian Rhythm

[48:37] How to Absorb Iron Better

[54:59] Healthy Breakfast Travel Ideas

[1:06:06] Giveaways and Goodies

[1:08:57] End of Podcast

Ben:  Alright folks, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  I’m going to, in just a minute, announce the grand prize winner of the extremely nice, like the Cadillac of saunas, the Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna.  We just did a giveaway, big giveaway, this is like a multi-thousand dollar sauna, it’s amazing.  It’s the only sauna with no dirty electricity, full spectrum heaters, near-infrared, mid-infrared, far-infrared. It’s 25 times stronger than any other full spectrum heater that’s out there and it’s got a 100% lifetime warranty, it’s crazy.  And somebody is gonna win one of these bad boys and get it delivered right to their front door.  So after 30 days and literally thousands of entries from 24 different countries, the grand prize winner of the Clearlight Sanctuary Full Spectrum Sauna is Matt Hopper.  Congratulations, Matt! If you’re listening in, Clearlight is gonna be getting in touch with you, you lucky devil.

For everyone else listening in, don’t despair, you can get a big, fat discount on your own Clearlight Sauna and they’re throw in a bunch of essential oil goodies like an aromatherapy holder or a backrest and their lowest sale rice and free shipping to slam a deal.  You can get that if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/clearlight, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/clearlight.  I’ll put a link to all this stuff in the show notes, if you’re in the UK, they have UK Clearlight, Germany, mention my name, they’ll give you the same thing.  Free shipping and some goodies to go along with your sauna.  Sauna’s like the one thing that I use pretty much everyday of my life, I swear by it.  Grab one.  Alright Matt, congratulations.  Everybody else, go check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/clearlight where you can use code BEN, if you’re in London or Germany, go visit the show notes and I’ll have some links in there as well. Alright, good stuff.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: The Post-Workout Nutrition Myth And Why You Don’t Need To Eat Right After A Workout, maybe, Your Personal Circadian Rhythm, Hot Versus Cold For Recovery, How To absorb Iron Better, Healthy Breakfast Travel Ideas, and much more.

Ben:  Hey Brock, do you hear that sound that sounds like bumblebees, like warm bumblebees buzzing around my head?

Brock:  Okay, let me listen for a sec.  Oh yeah, little bit.

Ben:  Wait, I’m gonna bring the microphone down by my bellybutton.

Brock:  This is good podcasting here, folks.

Ben:  This is good podcasting, hold on.  Hear that?

Brock:  Yes, it kinda sounds like a didgeridoo, a tiny didgeridoo.

Ben:  Not bumblebees, I’m not actually raising bees yet even though that’s on my bucket list.  I’m wearing a belt and my wife was laughing at me last night coz I wore it for an hour last night while I was reading in bed.  You know how they make vibrating foam rollers and vibrating rolly balls to dig into your hip?

Brock:  Yeah, I love those things.

Ben:  So they’re not a sponsor by the way.

Brock:  They should be.

Ben:  They should be coz they’re getting a big shout out right now, but it’s this company Viper.  They make this belt that does infrared and vibration at the same time.

Brock:  What?

Ben:  So the whole time that we’re talking, not only am I in my juven, not only do I have near and far infrared light bathing my body, but I’ve got this thing wrapped around my waist and it’s like a warm teddy bear is giving me a hug.

Brock:  A vibrating hug.

Ben:  Yeah, humping me with rapid succession.  No, that’s a horrible visual.

Brock:  Yeah, no.

Ben:  It’s as though I’ve got a tiny little leprechaun-sized massage therapist blasting me with a blowtorch and simultaneously massaging me with all ten of his little leprechaun-like fingers.

Brock:  Not better, but I do like it.  Not the metaphor but I like the sound of what’s going on.

Ben:  It’s cool.  What I’ll do, I haven’t talked to them about this yet but I’ll tell them I mentioned it in this show.  We’ll see if we can snag a discount code from the good folks at… I gotta look ‘em down, it’s called a Viper… no, it’s called Venom.

Brock:  Venom.

Ben:  It’s a great name for a personal care device, Venom.  It’s like the stuff that kills you, comes out of snakes’ mouths.

Brock:  Totally, [laughs] why not?

News Flashes:

Ben:  So speaking of infrared heat on one’s mid-section, did you see this new study, this brand new study… we always sound so sophisticated when we talk about new studies.

Brock:  We do.

Ben:  Imagine if we brought up studies from 2012.

Brock:  Mmhmm.

Ben:  We’d be so outdated coz then we all know that’s not science.

Brock:  No.

Ben:  Unless it’s approximately 1-2 years old, it’s not actual science.

Brock:  Yeah, nobody knew what they were doing in 2017. [laughs]

Ben:  Yeah no, this just came out.  Basically what they looked at was hot versus cold for recovery, how intramuscular temperature affects recovery following the fatigue induced by endurance exercise.  And granted they used little mouse models for this, but it’s still relevant, you know? Mice have muscle fibers.

Brock:  They were hard-charging mice.

Ben:  Mice have muscle fibers just like regular people.

Brock:  They do.

Ben:  And leprechauns.

Brock:  And leprechauns.

Ben:  And so they also, it turns out, did some testing in humans as well.  So they tested muscle fibers and they also tested humans who were cycling.  I dunno why they split up the mice muscle fibers and the human cycling but either way.

Brock:  To cover their bases.

Ben:  They looked at the mechanisms underlying the temperature dependence effect on recovery.  Now here’s what they found.  They did cooling and they did heating for post-exercise recovery, so the equivalent of an ice bath, cryotherapy, that type of thing afterwards.  And then the also did heating, the equivalent of a hot bath, a hot tub, a sauna, that type of thing.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  What they show was that was after exhaustive endurance exercise, recovery was enhanced by raising the muscle temperature and it was slowed by lowering the muscle temperature.

Brock:  Hmm?

Ben:  And specifically what they were looking at was the ability of those muscle fibers to be resistant to fatigue following that endurance exercise after which the muscles were subjected to either heat or cold.  So what’s the take away?

Brock:  What is the take away?

Ben:  Well it turns out that if you really want to enhance recovery, I’d say you may want to avoid the extensive ice bath or cryotherapy even though I’m still a fan of it for a quick decrease in core temperature so that you sleep better afterwards if it’s an evening workout or something like that.  But ultimately doing the long ice bath post-endurance exercise, we already knew, it blunts the hormetic response to exercise.  It turns out it also blunts out the ability of the muscles to be able to likely restore glycogen and bounce back quite as quickly, bounce back being the highly scientific term.  And the only thing they didn’t do in this study that I wish they had, coz I suspect they would’ve found out that it beat out heat, is hot-cold, right?

Brock:  Mmhmm, the contrast.

Ben:  Right?  Like going back and forth from hot to cold, like hot-cold contrast.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  That we know is pretty effective, so I would’ve liked for them to do that in the study.  They didn’t but regardless, now they know, so they’ll have to do another study on this with heat versus cold, but…

Brock:  Give ‘em a call.

Ben:  Turns out, heat a muscle, hence I actually had an endurance workout this morning.  I worked out with my hypoxic training unit and then I did the sauna and then jumped in a cold pool, then I had a smoothie, then I came in here with you, and now I’m heating myself.

Brock:  You’re just doing it all, just throw everything at it.

Ben:  I do like that, yeah.  And then after we record, I’m gonna go upstairs and get myself an IV, that’s just my life.

Brock:  I’m having a cup of coffee and I did a bike ride this morning.

Ben:  Yeah, well if you put that coffee in an IV bag and mainline into the cubicle vein…

Brock:  Cubicle?

Ben:  Cubital…  [laughs] The cubicle vein.

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  Okay, let’s keep going.

Brock:  Alright.

Ben:  This is taking a downhill slide quickly.

Brock:  Silliness.

Ben:  Ketogenic diet, two new studies on the ketogenic diet.  The first was they looked at it as a regulator of obesity and metabolic syndrome, right?  Does eating fat actually cure obesity?  So what they looked at was restored insulin sensitivity, regulation of blood glucose, metabolic rate, triglycerides, body fat mass, a whole host of parameters that would normally be associated with type-2 diabetes, and what they did was very interesting.  This was the twist that I thought was quite interesting, they had an exercise group, they had a group that didn’t exercise and then they had a ketogenic group that didn’t exercise.  And on a ketogenic diet, for folks who are on a ketogenic diet, if I can spit it out…

Brock:  I’m on the edge of my seat man, come on.

Ben:  Basically, versus folks who are on a standard American diet, the ketogenic diet beat out everything.  Not exercising on a standard American diet, exercising on a standard American diet, ketogenic diet without exercising gave these people better weight, better body fat percentage, better BMI, better hemoglobin a1c which is like the three month snapshot of their blood glucose levels.

Brock:  Mmhmm.

Ben:  Better triglycerides, pretty much across the board even without exercise.  So they had no… granted there are of course people who have like familial hypercholesterolemia or don’t respond well to a ketogenic diet, blah blah blah.  But ultimately…

Brock:  You can still do a ketogenic diet, you just need to be more selective with the types of fats you’re eating.  It doesn’t completely negate the keto lifestyle.

Ben:  Right.  The ketogenic diet for people who have familial hypercholesterolemia is basically just don’t eat ‘til you die.

Brock:  Pretty much, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s the approach.

Brock:  It’s wonderful.

Ben:  No seriously, it would be caloric restriction, high intake of plants, and care with the amount of saturated fat intake.

Brock:  Yeah, it’s the saturated that’s the problem.

Ben:  Yeah, absolutely.  Good observation Brock, you should be a scientist.

Brock:  I have that gene that’s why I’m so familiar with it.

Ben:  Yes, you study it up all the time.

Brock:  Yeah I wanna make sure I’m not ruining myself.  Coz I did put my cholesterol through the freakin’ roof when I tried to follow the Bulletproof diet verbatim.  Yeah.

Ben:  Well the Bulletproof diet is a good diet, honestly.  It’s just that you can adjust it if you need to based on your genes and I think, I dunno if Dave has a section in his book about that, but I know Dave’s aware of that.  I’m sure he has modifications.

Brock:  Yeah.  All I had to do was drop the butter, not so much butter in my coffee, more MCT oil and then boom.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly yeah.  That’s an adjustment in the types of fats that you take in.  Dave, being our friend, Dave Asprey the Bulletproof executive.  Also, another one they looked at, the ketogenic diet, three months of it.  And they looked at this in crossfit training, so you could only get into this study if you are wearing annoyingly high neon knee socks.

Brock:  Mmhmm, and you call everybody “bro” or “brah”.

Ben:  Everybody “bro” or “brah”, yep.  And what they looked at was the effect on exercise, right? Coz you do hard exercise, you’re supposed to eat more carbohydrates so that you don’t have reduced skeletal muscle glycogen levels and they say that low carbohydrate diets might stifle muscle anabolism or the ability to be able to recover properly.  And so they looked into this and they looked at fasting glucose and cholesterol and triglycerides and they also looked at, of course I was happy about this, one-rep max, back squat, 400 meter run time, VO2 Max.  What they found out, very similar to that faster endurance study that I took part in, was that there wasn’t necessarily a performance advantage of the ketogenic diet but there was zero decrement in performance in crossfitters who followed a ketogenic diet for, and I think this is important, 12 weeks meaning that they followed it for enough time to be keto-adapted as we say.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  To become the so-called fat-burning machines.

Brock:  Yeah, it wasn’t 12 days, it was 12 weeks and that’s significant.

Ben:  Right.  And that’s key for these type of studies is you wanna follow it for an extended period of time.  So ultimately, it you’re a crossfitter it turns out that you can get away… I remember, some of what I was just saying earlier, ketogenic diet that’s not synonymous with calorie deprivation, right? I’m not saying like go on a five day bone broth fast and you’re gonna bust through your next WOD.

Brock:  That was a very upsetting sentence.

Ben:  Jackie, Cindy, Laura, Lauren, Tracey, Tracey Lynn.  There’s a lot of crossfit workouts.  I know ones that nobody even knows.

Brock:  Oh yeah?

Ben:  Jessica, Jessica’s a great crossfit workout.

Brock:  Hmm.

Ben:  Anyways, the idea here is, and I’ll link to this study in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/381, sticking to a ketogenic diet and of course introducing the type of variables that might be missing on that diet like potassium, magnesium, I would even consider if you’re reducing your meat intake a little bit and increasing your fat intake, creatine.  Filling in some of those missing variables, turns out pretty decent strategy because there was a market reduction in body fat percentage along with that increase in performance.  So a potential washout as far as performance but a definite increase in metabolic parameters.

Brock:  Yeah.  One interesting thing about this one though was that there was a significant increase in LDL, like a 35% increase in LDL.

Ben:  Oh of course there was.  Yeah, you’re gonna produce more LDL in response to the need to shuttle more cholesterol around the body, so yeah.

Brock:  Shuttling the cholesterol.

Ben:  Yeah, and then one last one coz I know a lot of people, a surprising amount of people wander off for ten days and not talked to anybody.  It’s this whole Vipassana.  Have you done a Vipassana meditation retreat?

Brock:  I have not.  I’m with this guy but I’m not a fan of the idea, I’m glad that other people are doing it but I’m not doing it.

Ben:  Yeah, I mean ten days without my kids, not talking to any folks, it’s not a hell yes for me at this point in my life.  I know that some people have found a great deal of benefit out of it but the guy who wrote this particular article, he actually is not a fan of these Vipassana retreats at all.  And you know what he says, and I’ll link to the article which is pretty comprehensive, but he has some reasons for that.  He says that (a) the meditation sessions are too long and so the retreat goers, they spend most of the allotted time for meditation, thinking about things other than meditation.  He says throwing someone into ten hours of meditation a day who hasn’t been meditating much recently is much like taking somebody who’s out of shape and throwing them into the start line of a marathon.

Brock:  Totally, totally agree.

Ben:  And he even gets into how meditation strengthens a region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, and so if you go into a Vipassana retreat and your anterior cingulate cortex just wears out after the first hour of meditation, you’re gonna be kinda like irritated, both physically and mentally.  So the take away there is if you’re a more advanced meditator it might be for you, but if you’re beginning, that all or nothing approach to meditation might not be a good idea.  He also talks about how much of the Vipassana course instruction, I wasn’t aware of this, it’s done by recorded video and a lot of times the in-person teacher, he says are often, this dude Max Marmer who wrote this story could be biased, but he says they’re reportedly not very advanced practitioners and many of them are burnt out.

Brock:  Wow.

Ben:  Which I probably would be if I hang out with a bunch of people who are trying to be quiet for ten days.

Brock:  I’d assume that has a lot to do with where you go.  It’s not gonna be across the board.

Ben:  Yeah, he says it’s also conducted in silence.  He says you can’t ask your teacher questions or get feedback on whether you’re doing the meditation correctly or not, and he’s not a fan of that.

Brock:  Well the answer is if you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, you’re probably not doing it right.

Ben:  Yeah, and then finally he says that it focuses not enough on awakening, it focuses on concentration but the way he describes it is that when you experience a taste of awakening, it’s like tasting the nectar of the gods or the velvety chocolate of reality.

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  And that’s how he kinda lost me in the article right there.  As you know with these guys, what you really need is a near-death experience not a ten day retreat.  So basically what he’s saying is get in a plane accident instead of going to a Vipassana retreat, I think is what he’s getting at there.

Brock:  I think so. [laughs]

Ben:  Anyways though, a lot of people are considering this, this whole Vipassana retreat.  It’s the same thing as my take on ayahuasca for example, I don’t think people should go out and do a bunch of plant medicine to discover themselves until they’ve used a more stoic approach to discover themselves.  Like go fast for three days in the wilderness, right? Go do the Jesus thing before you dump a bunch of drugs down your throat and find yourself that way.  That’s just my take, right? It’s that same as my take with exercise, where I was just talking about IVs and weird belts and massage devices and hyperoxic biohacks and all that jazz, but please remember that for the past two decades, I have been out crushing it in just about every exercise environment possible, pushing my body to the limits.  I am not the guy that was born with wires coming out of my head “cheating” on workouts by biohacking everything, right? So in my opinion that’s where I approach, do the hard thing first, right?

Brock:  Yeah, or the easy thing.  Really, what it comes down to is you’ve spent a lot of time getting the big picture dialed in.  You’ve got the stress under control, you’ve got your diet figured out, you’ve got your exercise in place and you have for a really long time.  If you didn’t have that stuff in place, having an IV isn’t gonna move the needle on its own.

Ben:  Yes, preach it.  Move the needle, I see what you did there.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Alright, well let’s move into this week’s special announcements.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  Well speaking of Vipassana meditation retreats, have you heard of the ayurvedic herb ashwagandha, Brock? Have you heard of this?

Brock:  Yeah, love that ashwagandha stuff.

Ben:  Ashwagandha.

Brock:  I took some this morning.

Ben:  It’s been shown to lower cortisol, increase strength, improve mental focus.  It’s an adaptogen so it gives you what your body needs to do in certain situations.  I phrased that kinda poorly, but I guess the best way I can describe it is that for example, it would increase plasma or salivary cortisol if it were low or decrease it if it were high.  Give you a little bit of energy if you were low on energy, and kinda settle you down a little bit if you were hyped up, that’s the way these adaptogenic herbs work.  And I’ve interviewed people about, I’m not gonna do it now I know people are like “oh sounds like magic mumbo-jumbo”.

Brock:  It is magic, it’s totally magic.

Ben:  “That’s bull.”  Go and listen to my interview with this cat named Roger Drummer.  I’ve got an interview with him on adaptogens and how they scientifically work which I’m not gonna go into an explanation of here because it’s not the time.

Brock:  It’ll take an hour.

Ben:  The reason I’m telling you this is that ashwagandha is a key ingredient of the greens powder that is sitting up in my pantry, toss a little bit of that in my smoothie everyday to get my dose of greens especially without getting all of the… I used to do a ton of spinach and kale, and sometimes I would just have to take a massive dump around 1 or 2 pm.  Not convenient, also those can be high oxalate foods.  Not cool, and so I kinda like this idea of having no shopping and no juicing and no blending and no clean up.  Do I eat my vegetables?

Brock:  And no pooping?  [laughs]

Ben:  Absolutely, and no pooping.  I had some fantastic prosciutto-wrapped asparagus last night, that my son made, and it was wonderful.  My other son made little rice cakes with salmon and microgreens.  I eat my greens but sometimes I like to engage in better living through science and hack my greens.  And so this stuff is called Organifi green juice, everybody listening in gets a 20% discount.  You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi with an “I” and use discount code BEN to get 20% off anything from Organifi.  There you go, discount code BEN, bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  Actually before I tell you what else this podcast is brought to you by, may I say that most everybody listening in should, if they are not yet planning on it, come and join me at what I consider to be the Woodstock of the health movement: PaleoFX Austin, Texas.  You been there, Brock?

Brock:  Mmhmm.  I was there a few years ago with you.

Ben:  Yeah, you ran sound there, didn’t you? Weren’t you on stage for sound?

Brock:  I was the stage manager for the main stage so yeah I was the head honcho, you might say.

Ben:  Look at you, wearing the top hat and a red vest and tight white pants just like a ringmaster.

Brock:  I was basically Hugh Jackman.

Ben:  Yeah, that only comes to my mind coz I watch one or two movies a year and I took my family to go see The Greatest Showman, finally, after everybody told me I should watch it.  And I realized, sitting there in the movie that I have completely destroyed my ability to be able to sit through a movie by not going to movies, so what I mean by that is I’ve got three different massage devices that I snuck into the movie theater.

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  So I’m doing deep tissue work the whole time, I’ve got a vibration device on both feet, I was running those Firefly massage shoes, and I’m basically just working on my body the whole time during the movie.  And then finally when I had 15 minutes left, I’m like, you know what, I should hold my wife’s hand or snuggle with one of my children so I kinda shut down all my stuff.

Brock:  Finally dig in to some of that popcorn.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  We didn’t have any popcorn, I brought in a giant ziplock bag full of macadamia nuts and spirulina.  That’s my movie theater experience. [laughs]

Brock:  You’re the worst.

Ben:  Yeah, well I enjoyed it.  So why am I telling you all this?  PaleoFX Austin, Texas, bring your macadamia nuts and your spirulina, which is actually a pretty good snack, by the way, down there.  If nobody’s tried that, throw a little dark chocolate in there and then, I recently put this on Instagram, a little bit of coconut flesh from Trader Joe’s.

Brock:  Hmm.

Ben:  Toss all that in a cup, snack for days, baby.  So macadamia nuts, coconut flesh, spirulina or chlorella, like those Energy Bits things, and dark chocolate, yeah.

Brock:  You need something to cover up the energy bits, those things just don’t taste good.

Ben:  I love ‘em, and I’m going to link, not to them actually, I’ve got a podcast of them, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com do a search for algae if you wanna know  why they’re so good.  But also, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/381 and come to PaleoFX, it’s a big party and I’ll definitely be there as I usually am partying.  This podcast is brought to you also by DailyBurn.  You ever used DailyBurn, Brock?

Brock:  Can’t say that I have.

Ben:  Pretty cool, on demand video workout programs.  I don’t get out much, personally.  I don’t go to the gym except for tonight.  Wednesday nights I play tennis in men’s tennis league.  Other than that, I don’t go to the gym and this DailyBurn you can pull up any class that you want, they have thousands of classes for every level of athlete, depth, variation, cardio, yoga, kickboxing, dance, you name it.  All led by these amazing experts who just walk you through the whole workout and you just dial in whatever you wanna do, go to the website, and you’re off to the races.  What do you think?

Brock:  I can take a dance class in my living room?

Ben:  Mmhmm.  Yeah, I mean beyond dance, you could take a kickboxing class in your living room.

Brock:  Yeah, whatever.  I don’t wanna kickbox, I wanna do some dancing.

Ben:  Anything, yeah.  So check it out, anybody gets a discount on this listening in.  A free 60-day trial, you go to dailyburn.com/ben, that’s gonna give you a free 60-day trial.

Brock:  Holy crap.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s pretty cool, huh?

Brock:  60 days is good too, that’s more than I expected.

Ben:  In your living room.  I gotta turn off this red light, my skin’s getting kinda hot.  Alright, this podcast, by the way did I tell you where to go?  Dailyburn.com/ben for a free 60-day trial?

Brock:  Yeah, 60 days dancing in my living room.

Ben:  Alright, well this podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market.  Guess what I dumped into my smoothie this morning, coz I always dump crunchies into my smoothie.

Brock:  I’m gonna say coco nibs?

Ben:  Well my favorite thing used to be coco puffs, peanut butter, what was it called?

Brock:  Captain Crunch?

Ben:  Captain Crunch.  That was blasphemy, I almost forgot Captain Crunch’s name.  Anyways though, so I’m now eating cereal again.

Brock: He’s a war hero for God’s sakes, come on.

Ben:  This cereal, here’s the ingredients: organic coconut meat, organic coconut water, and organic palm starch.  And it tastes amazing, you can eat it with a bowl and spoon but I dump it into my smoothie.  It’s called Thrive coconut flakes, the most horrible, least inventive name ever.  Coconut flakes cereal.

Brock:  Can’t get it wrong.

Ben:  Tastes like gangbusters though, and you can get a ton of things like that, free organic groceries, from Thrive market.  $60 worth of free organic groceries, you just go to thrivemarket.com/ben, it’s like a CostCo for everything healthy except when you walk out of CostCo and have the option to get the giant pizza.

Brock:  Oh, those huge hotdogs?

Ben:  Mmhmm, remember those and the relish and the person who checks your receipt to make sure you’re not stealing stuff? Instead at Thrive market, you checkout at Thrive market and you get a tiny ball of LG thrust into your open palm that you have to suck on as you walk through the parking lot.  Other than that, Thrive market’s pretty good though.

Brock:  What?

Ben:  Yeah! There you go.

Listener Q&A:

Luke:  Hi Ben, I’m currently training for a Spartan Super and I have a question about nutrition.  I was at a talk by an exercise physiologist and he kept on stressing the importance of post-workout carbs.  He kept saying 1 gram per kilogram of weight per hour of training immediately after, so in the two hours following your workout.  He said this is the best time, he showed some graphs that it’s the most important time, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve heard you talk often about not eating immediately after, something to do with either growth hormone or testosterone, so I’m wondering if you could go into a little bit more detail on if carbs are actually needed after the workout.  Keep up the great work and I listen to your podcast religiously, thanks for everything.

Ben:  Oh this belt feels so good.  I’m still wearing it Brock, this belt is still going.  I think it has a safety timer on it that you’re supposed to turn off so you don’t burn yourself, but I just keep pushing right through it.

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  So my back is gonna be scalded by the time this podcast is over.

Brock:  Yeah, third degree burns on Ben’s back.

Ben:  Nutrient timing, the post exercise magical window, what do you think?

Brock:  Oh man, we’ve been through this a bunch of times…

Ben:  I’ve never taken a deep dive though.

Brock:  We’ve never done a deep dive, you did write about this.  Oh man, this is probably back in 2012.

Ben:  Yep, yep.

Brock:  I think it’s time to revisit it, so that’s why I put this in here.

Ben:  Right.  So basically, the strategy of post-workout nutrition is that you wanna maximize your exercise induced muscular adaptations and facilitate repair of damaged tissue, and get those muscles chock-full of glycogen during that “anabolic window of opportunity” where you’ve got this limited time that exists after you’ve trained because you have a huge amount of insulin sensitivity and blood flow and post-workout protein synthesis capability after you’ve trained to optimize your training related adaptations.  And so you can look at the different parameters that you’re trying to achieve with post-workout carbohydrates and evaluate based on actual true science whether or not it’s actually worth it to go face-stuffed with carbohydrates after a workout so that you hit that magical anabolic window.  So glycogen repletion, right, your storage carbohydrate which is pretty essential for ATP production even for people who are following a high-fat low-carb diet, you run out of glycogen.

Brock:  Yeah, you need some there.

Ben:  And/or creatine and you’re going to have severely limited ability to engage in rapid ATP production because ATP production via beta-oxidation of fats generates ATP but relatively slowly.  And so there’s also some evidence that glycogen mediates what’s called intracellular signaling because it lowers something called AMPK.  And when you lower AMPK, that basically blunts a lot of energy consuming processes like the activation of mTOR and catabolic processes like glycolysis and beta-oxidation and protein degradation.  Basically, glycogen has been shown, and restoration glycogen levels has been shown to significantly lower catabolism.  It’s also probably why lowering your glycogen stores, training in a fasted state, training in a low carbohydrate state is somewhat catabolic, that actually activates this mTOR and it enhances longevity in many cases by increasing this level of AMPK.  But at the same time, it kinda flies in the face of ultimate human performance, right? So it’s like a tradeoff between longevity and performance.

There’s a few other things like phosphorylation of protein kinase which is extremely important for muscle protein synthesis, that also is dependent on muscle glycogen content and restoration of glycogen levels.  They’ve shown that delaying consumption of a meal post-workout and delaying consumption by as little as two hours actually attenuates the rate of glycogen re-synthesis by as much as 50%, meaning you’re missing out on half of what you could be putting back into your body from a glycogen restoration and from an anabolic and from a protein synthesis standpoint if you are skipping post-workout carbohydrates.  However, that study and that type of research is done on people who exercise in a fasted state to complete exhaustion, right?

Brock:  Mmhmm.

Ben:  So our first take away is if you wake up fasted and train to complete glycogen exhaustion, which is a pretty tough 60-90 minute training session in a fasted state, you are gonna see a significant reduction in glycogen replenishment unless you actually eat within 2 hours of that workout.  Now at the same time, they’ve also shown in that same scenario, fasted state where you work out to complete glycogen exhaustion that if you just eat ad libitum, according to appetite, you actually re-synthesize all of your glycogen within approximately 8 hours.  And so what that means is that unless you’re gonna workout again within 8 hours, even an exhaustive exercise session in the morning is not necessarily something that you need to eat right after as long as you’re not gonna be working out again within the next 8 hours.

Now for me personally, I don’t fast a lot in the morning coz I do a little bit of morning activity.  Typically I’ve got about 30-45 minute long morning workout that I do, I do kind of an easy morning workout around sometime between 8 and 10am, and then I also do a harder afternoon workout sometime between 4 and 6pm, and it’s like on that 8 hour cusp, so I do actually have a meal in the morning.  I have a breakfast at about 10am or so, and I feel a lot better in my afternoon workout when I do that coz it’s pushing pretty close to that 8 hour mark, but if I weren’t working out in the afternoon, I would be just dandy finishing up my morning workout and waiting until lunch time to eat because I’m gonna replenish all my glycogen levels for the next morning’s workout easily within 8 hours.

So that’s basically the idea with glycogen repletion but it doesn’t necessarily address this other idea of muscle protein synthesis, meaning that the other reason that folks will argue for that anabolic window is because you have enhanced muscle protein synthesis and in many cases that’s due to enhanced insulin sensitivity in that post workout state.  Well similarly, they found that if you are completely fasted and you’re coming out of a workout in a fasted state, a workout that’s been pretty exhausting and your blood levels of amino acids are low, it does actually downregulate muscle protein synthesis.  However, if you’ve eaten anywhere between 1-2 hours prior to that workout session, your blood levels of amino acids stay high even after the workout.  Your body can rely upon those as a signal and as a source for muscle protein synthesis, and so what this means is that if you’re still burping up your pre-workout meal, there’s no need to rush off to get the post-workout meal coz your body still has high blood levels of amino acids from whatever you had before your workout.  That’s also why I’m a huge fan of, if you are gonna workout in a fasted state, you know you’re not gonna get a workout shake or some other form of protein afterwards, you hack it.

You use essential amino acids, some people use branched-chain amino acids, I’m a bigger fan of essential amino acids.  You use essential amino acids, and this is one of my best strategies for maintaining muscle with as much fasting and calorie restrictions that I do to stay lean for races, I eat essential amino acids.  I take the equivalent of up to 20 grams of those bad boys per day.  That’s like one of our flagship supplements over at Kion are the Kion Aminos, and I mean I go through a copious amount.  I literally have bottles of that in my pantry and I will do a couple of times a day.  I’ll drop in there and chew 10-20 tablets of those and just munch them down, getting the equivalent of a steak with almost no calories.  And if I do that before a workout, there’s no need for me to rush out and eat after a workout.  And I can even do it after workout to enhance muscle protein synthesis until I can get my hands on actual calories.

So the idea is it’s more important to look at what your blood levels of amino acids are than to necessarily look at a huge bowl of some protein post workout.  It’s also important to look at what you ate prior to the workout and if you did have adequate amount of protein prior to the workout, let’s say you’re doing a lunchtime workout, you had eggs for breakfast, you’re probably gonna have decent amounts of blood amino acids and you don’t have to again drop everything to go eat unless your goal is to put on a lot of weight.  And in bodybuilders, high school football players, you need to put on 20 lbs. or whatever, in many cases you will find that just the amount of damn calories you need to eat necessitates multiple feeding windows, and one of the prime feeding windows in that case would be post-workout.  But unless you’re really trying to get swoll and to get, as we say 70’s big, again no need to drop the bar and go shove all the amino acids and the carbohydrates or the fructose and the maltodextrin down the hatch.

Brock:  You had an awesome conversation serve along these same lines with a guy named Tyler Lebaron just recently.  If anybody wants to go back and check out that podcast, you guys dove into the staying fast, staying lean but getting strong and using the amino acids for those purposes as well, pretty interesting stuff.

Ben:  Yup, exactly.  I’m a huge fan of amino acids for that, and ultimately what this comes down to is as follows.  If you wake up and you’re working out in a fasted state and it’s a significant workout that’s taking you to glycogen depletion, then you should consume carbohydrates after that workout if you plan on working out again in the next 8 hours.  If you don’t plan on working out again within the next 8 hours, the only reason to consume a post-workout protein and carbohydrate-rich meal would be because you’re trying to put on size.  In addition, when it comes to protein, if your blood levels of amino acids are high because of a meal you’ve eaten before the workout or because of some kind of supplement that you’ve taken such as amino acids that would increase your blood levels of amino acids, there’s no need to take advantage of that anabolic window by getting more protein into your system after the workout.  Your blood levels of amino acids don’t have to be that high and frankly your insulin sensitivity can stay high especially after a difficult workout for up to 24 hours.  So this whole idea of that magical window is not as important as we’ve been led to believe that it is.

Brock:  But can I ask you one thing just to round off this whole topic?

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  Is there anything wrong with doing that, taking that 1 gram per kilogram of weight two hours after the workout? Is there anything bad that will happen?

Ben:  Yes, you can blunt the growth hormone response and you can blunt the testosterone response.

Brock:  There we go.

Ben:  You can blunt some of that hormonal response to exercise, you can also blunt some of the cellular autophagy and cellular cleanup that can occur, and I’m actually getting somebody in the podcast to really take a deep dive into cellular autophagy and the cool things that that signals and how you can tap into that in ways other than just fasting.  But ultimately, yeah, you do miss out on some of the benefits that would be similar to what you would experience if you were say like intermittent fasting.  So it’s a fine line, right?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  I don’t want all those females with 12% body fat who missed their period six times in the past year to go out and skip their post-workout meal because they heard Ben Greenfield say it would increase their growth hormone, right? That’s not the person who needs to be fasting post-workout, they would probably benefit quite a bit from one of my big-ass smoothies after a workout.  But if there are people who need to enhance their metabolic health, who want to perhaps increase growth hormone and testosterone a little bit and they have ample body fat percentages and they’re not like an over-trained, constantly catabolic state, those people may actually benefit from experimenting on how the body feels and what happens to the testosterone  levels and what happens with their sleep due to the growth hormone release and all those other things by not necessarily rushing out to prioritize their post-workout cookie.  So there you have it.

Sheridan:  Circadian rhythm seems to be a theme in most popular health podcasts these days so what do you suggest is the most efficient way in finding your personal circadian rhythm? Is it the Oura Ring or is there more than that or something else that gives you the best personalized circadian rhythm?

Brock:  This is a topic that I’m completely fascinated with right now just because the Nobel Prize in Science or Biology went to the people who really discovered, really dove into the whole circadian clock thing.

Ben:  Really?

Brock:  I just love this stuff.

Ben:  I did not know that.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So you’re saying I gotta get into sleep if I wanna win that Nobel.

Brock:  Exactly.

Ben:  I’ll get on that.

Brock:  Although they already won it so now you gotta find something else.

Ben:  Okay, well maybe mine will be smoothies…

Brock:  Sure.

Ben:  I’ll get the Nobel Prize in biohacking, infrared, vibration.  So chronotype, essentially it’s defined as a behavioral manifestation of circadian rhythms on a myriad of different physical processes.  So it would be what time you feel like falling asleep at any particular time during a 24 hours period, how much evening-ness you have versus how much morning-ness you have, and how your “clock-genes” actually work.  Your body has clock-genes, your brain has clock-genes, and these regulate your hormone levels and your metabolic function and your body temperature and your cognition and your sleep habits, and they’re influenced by what are called zeitgebers.  I love to use that word when I wanna sound like a smart German: zeitgebers.

Brock:  Zeitgeber.

Ben:  That’ll be like light feeding and feeding times, social behavior, and when you’re engaging in social behavior and sex, work schedules, school schedules, movement.  All of these feed into your chronotype and your chronobiological regulation.  I was gonna say your biological regulation but I threw chronobiological regulation in there so I sound even smarter.

Brock:  Yeah, you made it even fancier.

Ben:  Yeah, and humans are controlled by their biological clocks, we’re diurnal creatures.  That means we’re active at daytime and we are pretty significantly controlled by these clocks.  So yeah.

Brock:  We should be, anyway.

Ben:  Yeah, and so there’s different ways to determine what your particular chronotype is, when you’re going to release more melatonin, what kind of genetic variants you have that would cause you to be a morning versus an evening person, what time is going to be best for you to sleep during the night, 10-6 AM like I am or a midnight to 8 AM or 3 AM-11 AM.  Brock, what are you, by the way?

Brock:  I’m like you, I’m 10-6.

Ben:  Yeah, 10-6-er, baby.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Anyways though, and it can change, you can adjust that slightly.  One of the ways that I for example work my chronobiology is I have a very set morning routine where I expose myself to copious amounts of natural light at a specific time, I move at a specific time, I eat at a specific time and regularity in habit, is actually pretty important for circadian rhythm.  It’s why after a long period of time travelling or one of the reasons why I’ll have trouble falling asleep for a good three to five days before I get into my chronobiology routine.  So it’s pretty important for hormone balance and appetite regulation and recovery and a whole host of factors.  And probably the world’s leading expert on this has been on my podcast, Dr. Michael Breus.  He wrote a book called “The Power of When”, and in The Power of When, he defines four different chronotypes that I at first thought were cheesy.

Brock:  They’re a little bit cheesy but they’re fun.

Ben:  The dolphin, the lion, the bear and the wolf.  And then I realized these things are actually steeped in science in this behavioral manifestation of the biological clock.  And so the bear, that’s about half the population, middle of the spectrum, the 10-6-ers, rise and sleep with the sun, kinda match the solar schedule and do pretty good with normal 9-5 type of work hours.  Then there’s the lion and this would be like the Navy SEAL, the COO, the manager, the drill sergeant, these are the people who wake up at around 4 AM, right and go to bed, frankly in most cases, pretty early.  There’s the dolphin, and the dolphin would be the people who basically can do well in just about any chronotype.  They can sleep in abnormal situations, they also tend to struggle quite a bit with insomnia and other sleep disorders, interestingly enough.  In his book he gets into the science of this but he delves into how they sleep, what’s called unihemispherically.  Basically how dolphins sleep unihemispherically and that leaves part of their brain functioning at all times keeping them alert for other predators and some humans are kind of like hard wired to be extreme worriers, probably also has to do with the COMT gene which I talk with Dr. Ben Lynch about when I had him on the show.

Some people sleep as dolphins, just kinda all over the map, then there’s the wolves, right? Those tend to be the creative types, the bartenders, the security guards, the musicians, the night owls who kinda like stand guard while everybody else sleeps.  So Dr. Breus gets into this in his book, the best time to eat breakfast, the best time for a bear to have coffee would be at 10 AM coz we get a natural surge in cortisol anyways around 6 or 7 AM, and like how for a wolf, late dinner like 9 PM-ish diner would be better than an early dinner.  He gets into the whole chronobiology and I’ll link to the podcast I did with him.  But there are ways that you can actually determine your own personal chronobiology.  For example, Sheridan asked about the Oura Ring.  I wear it and this brand new version that they come out with, it actually allows you to study or measure the variations, everything from your body temperature to your heart rate variability to your heart rate to your activities based on the actual time of day.  And based on that, it gives you circadian alignment guidance by tracking your long term data based on your sleep and your recovery levels, your HRV, your activity, your body temperature.  It then gives you your personal circadian rhythm and helps you to align your lifestyle to it.  That just sounded like a giant commercial, didn’t it?

Brock:  A little bit, yeah.

Ben:  A little bit, but it’s actually kind of important.  So yeah, you can use these new wearables to actually figure out what your unique chronotype is.  There are also websites, you were telling me about one website, Brock, mycricadianclock.org, and it’s kinda similar.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And I’ll link to this and I’ll also link to Dr. Michael Breus’ chronotype quiz that he has online, but this mycircadianclock, it’s an app, and what they do is you answer certain questions, when you’re eating, when you’re sleeping, kinda similar to what the ring is doing on an automated basis.  But after ten days of collecting data, this mycircadianclock app, we’ll link to this over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/381, it begins to tell you when will be the best time for you to have breakfast, when will be the best time for you to have dinner, when will be the best time for you to sleep.  It’s like your mommy telling you when to nap and when to eat.

Brock:  A little mother in your phone.

Ben:  A little radiation inducing mother in your pocket.

Brock:  Totally.  The thing I thought was really cool about this one is actually by downloading the app you become part of a research study that’s happening at the Salk Institute.

Ben:  Mmhmm.

Brock:  So you’re actually feeding, like not only is it benefitting you but you’re also benefitting the scientists who are looking into this stuff.

Ben:  They do amazing research, that’s Satchin Panda’s Institute.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  He’s pretty cool, we were both speaking over in Iceland.  He’s a cool cat, the one thing I don’t like about him is he feels that any coffee, any supplements, anything, interferes with the liver.  The liver’s a pretty important organ when it comes to your body’s clock, and he says if you want, especially the chronobiological rhythm of your liver to be exactly how it’s supposed to operate, then it doesn’t count anything that goes into your mouth if you’re fasting.  So bone broth fast, having coffee if you’re fasting, doing intermittent fasting but still waking up in the morning and having some supplements, he says all of that breaks the fast.  Damn you, Satchin Panda.

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  Damn you making me guilty about my morning coffee coz I’m trying to live a long time through intermittent fasting.  Other than that he’s cool.

Brock:  Don’t have the man, just hate the message.

Ben:  Yeah, screw him.  Alright, so check out those resources, we’ll put those in the show notes.  Read the book “The Power of When”, you could use the ring, take that mycircadianclock.org, but that’s how you would find your own personal circadian rhythm unless you just kind of know that you’re a night owl.  In which case, flip on some Family Guy, stay up late, sleep in, enjoy life coz you’re a wolf, baby.  You’re a wolf, you can do it.

Brock:  [howls] That was the worst wolf howl I’ve ever done.

Ben:  Nice.

Mia:  I heard from Dr. Mercola that turmeric blocks the iron absorption and my iron and ferritin is low and I take a fair amount of turmeric.  I’m wondering if I take them at very different times, like take the turmeric before bed if that will allow me to absorb the iron from the food I eat and the liver pills I take.  Thank you.

Brock:  Hey Ben, how do you say turmeric? Do you say it TUR-meric?

Ben:  Well I usually say it TU-meric, my wife says it like this.  “Ben our comforter has yellow stains on it again, were you eating turmeric in bed?”

Brock:  [laughs]

Ben:  [laughs] Which I actually, I put turmeric on stuff and I always mention that Organifi Golden Milk.  I have stained our bed multiple times with turmeric, I will admit I have been that person.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  I don’t have psoriasis and inflammation of the liver, that’s not why my skin is yellow.  It’s yellow because I’m usually eating something with turmeric on it and I’ve spilled it on myself, smeared it on my face.

Brock:  It’s kinda like the Cheeto fingers.

Ben:  Just like the Cheeto fingers.

Brock:  But more healthy.

Ben:  But for healthy people.  Darn Dr. Mercola, he says that turmeric blocks the absorption of iron, and Mia has low iron and low ferritin and she takes a fair amount of turmeric.

Brock:  Turmeric.

Ben:  So she’s asking if she takes her liver pills at a different time, will it allow the iron…

Brock:  Turmeric.

Ben:  I looked into this.  So here’s the deal with turmeric…

Brock:  Turmeric.

Ben:  And iron.  They did one study in which they found that curcumin may impair iron status when fed to mice for 6 months in extremely high doses.  They were feeding them 0.2 % of their total dietary intake.  That’s a lot!

Brock:  That’s a lot.

Ben:  This would be multiple tablespoons of, not turmeric but curcumin, the isolated extract, concentrated extract of curcumin.  And they did indeed find that what they call liver hepcidin and ferritin expression was strongly suppressed in these curcumin-fed mice.  It did what’s called a chelation of the actual iron, a significant reduction of iron from a huge amount of curcumin.  So there’s that, it has like this anti-coagulant activity and it can contribute to iron deficiency and potentially ferritin deficiency as well, in this case in very, very high doses.  A potentially adverse biological effect on iron.  Considering that there are some new supplements out there that put curcumin in a micelle or a liposome to enhance absorption, you could argue that even less than what they were giving to these mice with these modern supplements could cause the same effect, but then I looked at another study in which they used actual turmeric, right? Not the high dose curcumin, but just actual turmeric, and they also looked at chili, both of which are rich in what are called phenolic compounds and so theoretically those would be expected to bind iron in the intestine and inhibit iron absorption.  The chili, it turns out, did indeed do this, so I would say chill might be a bigger fish to fry, like doing a lot of chilis and chili peppers versus turmeric which did not do this.  Turmeric did not affect iron absorption, so when we look at curcumin high-dose, yes.  When we look at turmeric, no, when we look at chili, just a decent intake of chili vegetables, no, so that’s something to potentially worry about.

Now turmeric actually, ironically enough, has iron in it, but it also has a lot of flavonoids in it and it has a lot of tannin in it, and those could bind iron molecules and they could block absorption, so I see where a guy like Dr. Mercola is coming from.  And we have seen high levels of flavonoid compounds in vegetables and fruits and tannin-rich beverages like teas and coffees may actually inhibit iron absorption.  But again, when they’ve actually studied this with turmeric, they have not found it to cause a decrease in iron absorption.  Now there are certain things that can decrease iron absorption, so just to clarify here you’ve got two forms of iron: your heme-iron, that’s your readily absorbed form of iron you’re gonna find in shellfish and red meat, and poultry, and fish, and the nonheme-iron, which you’ll find mostly in plant foods.  And so when you look at things that would enhance the ability to absorb iron, first of all, a lot of vegans and vegetarians have lower iron period because the nonheme-iron is harder to absorb.  But certain things can enhance absorption, vitamin C can, citric acid similarly can do that so if you’re vegan or vegetarian that would help out.  Anytime you consume plants with meat, beef, poultry, salmon, pork, it enhances the absorption of not just the heme-iron from the meat but the nonheme-iron from the plants.  So being omnivorous is obviously the best bet when it comes to your iron levels, and the flipside of the coin is the things that can inhibit iron absorption.  High intake of grains and legumes, which have high amounts of phytic acid in them which can inhibit absorption, high amounts of egg protein, doing like the twelve egg omelette, that could interfere with iron absorption.  So if Mia’s doing the Rocky raw eggs and a smoothie, that might not be the best thing.

Brock:  Maybe not.

Ben:  Like I mentioned, tannic acid from teas, coffee, cacao, high intake of fiber could potentially do it, and you could get a lot of that back in obviously by eating meat, cooking with iron cookware, that’s a really, really good one.  Cast-iron cookware, I love.  Egg yolks, whereas egg protein can inhibit the absorption of iron, what they found was that when you add a whole bunch of egg yolks in that doesn’t happen, so egg yolks would be a good strategy or just eating the whole egg rather than just egg whites.  Iron-fortified cereals have been shown to help but I’m not a big fan of that just because of all the other crap.  A lot of times a lot of folic acid into those, which is horrible for people who have methylation issues, it might develop really high levels of homocysteine from a fortified, processed packaged food.  So I wouldn’t go with iron-fortified foods as much as I would be careful not to consume tannin-rich foods and phytate-rich grains at the same time as your iron.  I wouldn’t do high-dose curcumin, especially at the same time as your iron, I wouldn’t do a lot of coffees and teas at the same time as your iron, but I’d say you could still include a lot of turmeric in your diet because of the host of benefits of turmeric, and you would probably not experience a big decrease in your iron stores.

Daniel:  Hey Ben, big fan of all your work.  I personally consume your signature smoothie every morning, and I was wondering what you take in the morning when making the smoothie is just not an option due to travelling and whatnot.  Thank you.

Brock:  Do you actually have a signature smoothie? I feel like you change it up so regularly.

Ben:  I have a signature-ish smoothie.  Lemme walk you through this.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  First of all, the time that you blend your ingredients is incredibly important.  If you want the texture like a Wendy’s frosty or you want a very thick pudding-like texture, you both blend the smoothie for a long period of time, we’re talking like 90 seconds up to 3 minutes, in a good blender, Vitamix or Blendtech.  Not like one of those dinky little cheap-o kitchen aid… like a good blender that’s gonna really blend it hard.  You add some vitamin C to it so you don’t oxidize a lot of the contents, like a squeeze of half of a lemon, you keep it cold so you don’t oxidize a lot of the contents, so either use a very cold slushy texture bone broth, like bone broth that you’ll take out of the freezer the night before and refrigerate overnight, or just lots of ice if I’m not using bone broth as my main mix.  So you’ve got cold, you’ve got vitamin C, you’ve got blending for a long time and then you can add an emulsifying agent if you want a really thick, pudding-like texture.  This could be like an organic sunflower lecithin, that’s a thickener, it’s an emulsifier and that would be something you could add in, 1-2 tablespoons of.  After that, it’s a matter of just choosing your ingredients.

So for example, I always put a couple scoops of some kind of protein or collagen in there, whether it’s a whey protein, hemp protein, rice/pea protein, regular old collagen, and then I’ll add some Stevia and cacao too to sweeten up a bit.  But a few scoops, something that’s gonna deliver to me around 20-30 grams of a good protein source, and in addition to that I put some Ceylon cinnamon in it to control blood sugar and my insulin response.  I put a really good sea salt in there, and then I blend all that up.  While it’s blending, I’m running around grabbing my other ingredients, my toppings that go in after it’s blended, right? So it’s all blended, my Stevia, and by the way if I’m not doing that frozen-ish bone broth with vitamin C, I instead do a really good superfood tea, like Pau D’arco bark tea or coconut milk or macadamia nut milk or occasionally if this is later in the day, coconut water.  Just some kind of liquid other than water to blend it up in.  So I blend all that, and then to the top, I’ll just kinda grab whatever looks good.  Sometimes it’s coconut flakes, unsweetened coconut flakes like Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Coconut Flakes, sometimes that coconut cereal from Thrive that I talked about, handful of EnergyBits like spirulina or chlorella, cacao nibs, sometimes I’ll break open an energy bar.  I have this weird thing where I keep protein bars in my freezer coz I like them super-duper crunchy, and I’ll break open or cut up a few of those, put those in.  It’s about 800 calories by the time I put my crunchies on top of my smoothie, then I use a spatula and transfer all of that into a bowl or a mug and I eat it.  You know those acai bowls that you can get at restaurants?

Brock:  Oh yeah.

Ben:  It’s like an acai bowl but it’s all…

Brock:  With no acai.

Ben:  And a lot of times I’ll put wild plants in there like cilantro, parsley, thyme, nettle, mint.  I used to do a ton of wild plants, like I mentioned earlier.  I’ve stepped back on that a little bit coz I think I was doing too many plants, so not quite as many plants as I used to do but still, a lot of plant matter as well.  So when I travel, I don’t travel with 18 different superfoods in a blender, however.

Brock:  What?

Ben:  Thus, I have these little modifications I make when I travel.  So for example, in my pantry I’ve got a bunch of different meal replacement blends, or I’ll take those same protein powders I talked about, put them in ziplock bags and I’ll go up to a Starbucks, right? Tell the person at Starbucks I just want a glass of water and I’ll just dump a little bit of that powder into the water and then I also have another ziplock bag that’ll have almonds or dark chocolate or those coconut chunks I was talking about or Energy Bits or whatever, I put those on top, I stir that up with a spoon to like a pudding-like texture, and that’s how I do something like my smoothie on the fly if I were in an airport.  I also will do a similar thing in my hotel room, right? I’ll grab the glasses of water that they keep next to the bathroom sink, so I go with those.  So it seems all sophisticated compared to little paper cups next to the coffee maker that’s beside the TV, and I usually have a spoon, and I’ll just put all my little powders in there and stir it up with some water and then put some chunks of whatever I happen to have, like spirulina or dark chocolate or whatever.  M&M’s from the hotel minibar.

Brock:  M&M’s, yeah.

Ben:  Usually not the M&M’s.

Brock:  The most expensive M&M’s in the world.

Ben:  Shot of vodka, yeah.  $12 shot of vodka.

Anyways though, so a lot of times I’m just mixing stuff into a glass and stirring with a spoon rather than a blender, and that actually works really well for me.  It satiates my appetite, so just let me give you some brand names for example.  So I might have Ample which is a meal replacement blend that’s pretty ketogenic friendly with the high amount of resistant starch in it.  I’ve interviewed them on the show, or Ambronite, which is slightly more carbohydrate-rich but a big superfood blend from Finland.  So I’ll have a bottle of Ample or a packet of Ambronite in my bag, and I’ll dump that into the cup and then I’ll add my crunchies on top once I’ve added some water to that to stir it up.  Another example might be like a ketogenic meal.  I’m actually working right now for Kion on developing a really good ketogenic-rich meal replacement blend that’s just basically a host of exogenous ketones with essentially the composition of human breast milk but you can consume it without hunting down a human with a breast.  Instead it just is in a packet shaped like a boob.

Brock:  Never hunt humans, that’s not cool.

Ben:  Yes, exactly.  With a nipple on top of it, that’s how you open it.  You squeeze the nipple, twist.  It’s a titty-twister.

Brock:  Oh dear.

Ben:  Yeah, makes your meal entertaining.  Anyways though, those are examples and I’ll put a whole host of other powder I travel with over at the show notes and also an article on exogenous ketones that you can travel with.  Now a lot of times when I am travelling, one of my favorite things to do is I combine my morning movement, coz a lot of times I’ll fast in the morning, which is hunting down a place where I can go and grab a really low-sugar bowl.  A lot of these places like if I’m ever in LA, if I’m near Venice Beach or near Erewhon or if I’m in Malibu near a SunLife organics or if I’m near a Whole Foods in some cities, they a lot of times have these juice or smoothie bars you can get a bowl, similar to an acai bowl.  I’ll have them do my own version of that, I’ll have them maybe add some raw organic yogurt and some macadamia nuts and brazil nuts and just sort of customizable bowl for myself, and that’s my workout.  I’ll hunt down any Whole Foods, usually my limit is about three miles, that’s about the most I’ll walk coz sometimes I’ll walk there…

Brock:  Lazy.

Ben:  I’ll walk there with my laptop, work for a while and Uber back if I gotta get into a conference or something.  But a lot of times I’ll hunt down a grocery store, walk to the grocery store in the sunshine in the same way that our ancestor would’ve walked to hunt down a deer.  But instead I’m hunting an acai bowl, and you get your sunshine walk, you hunt down a grocery store…

Brock:  The mighty hunter…

Ben:  Or sometimes I’ll go to like a Trader Joe’s which doesn’t have a bar but does have… I can buy macadamia nuts, I can go down to the frozen foods section and grab some of those fantastic little coconut flesh chunks that they have which is literally just coconut flesh and make myself a bowl with that.  But usually, it’s similar to what I do at home without the blender.  I mean that’s the best way I can describe it, and I’ll either make the weird mix at the grocery store or I’ll make the weird mix back at my hotel room and eat it with a spoon and it’s entertaining, it’s like a party in your mouth.  That’s really what I do when I’m travelling, and a lot of times when I’m travelling I don’t have a chance to exercise as much because I am speaking at a conference or because I’m more at the whim of other people’s schedules when I’m travelling.  And because of that, I often do, just not eat any breakfast at all, and I’ll travel with some of the Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee packets and just make myself a chaga mushroom coffee and have that and sometimes I’ll dump a little bit of the, like Onnit has an emulsified MCT oil that I can dump into that or stir into that and I’ll just do something like that or I’ll use some of the Bulletproof Brain Octane or something to get a few calories into the cup, and I’ll just roll with that until lunch.  So I use a lot of different strategies but really, I don’t stray too much from just the giant-ass cup full of weird things, if that makes sense.

Brock:  Totally makes sense.  I do the same sort of thing, no I do a lot of the fasting coz most of the time when you’re staying at a hotel and I don’t stay in the fanciest hotels in the world so it’s often that little bar where you can go and make your own pancakes in the basement of the Super 8.

Ben:  Right.  And if I am in Japan or Europe, I mean European and Asian hotels have amazing breakfasts, I am gonna be stuffing my face with freakin’ salmon and lox and tomatoes and capers and the miso soup and the sausages and the bacon and the eggs. Pretty much like every cuisine and every ethnic food known to man, I just put all that onto a plate, I eat it and I have horrible gas and heartburn and just feel like I literally ate a thanksgiving dinner the rest of the day, but it’s so, so worth it.

Brock:  Worth it.

Ben:  So worth it.  Everybody needs a heart attack on a plate for breakfast every once in a while.

Brock:  Every once in a while is the key.

Ben:  Yes.  Alright so, that all being said, let’s go ahead and give away something amazing to one of the people who has left us an iTunes review, Fitness Ben left us a 5 star review, says “I loooove it”.  And if you leave us a review on iTunes, just go to iTunes, leave a few stars, tell us what you like about the show and if you hear your review read on the show, we’ll send you a handy-dandy gear pack chock-full of a beanie, some other surprises, BPA-free water bottle, a nice tech T-shirt that looks really nice no matter what kind of body you have, this T-shirt transforms you into Ironman, Batman… who has the best body? Which superhero?

Brock:  Ehh, Captain America maybe.

Ben:  Cat Woman? Yeah, well let’s take this one away.  Fitness Ben, here we go.  Oh and by the way, email your T-shirt size to [email protected] and we’ll hook you up, baby.

Brock:  Wait, is he Fitness Ben or are you Fitness Ben?

Ben:  Brock, read the damn review.

Brock:  Okay, “Fitness Ben,” whoever the hell that is, “is as legit as it gets.  His ‘copious’, I love that he put that in quotation marks too coz I think you said copious at least 15 times in this episode.  “His copious amounts of knowledge is staggering.  He’s a tad cocky…

Ben:  Yeah, baby.

Brock:  Just a tad? “That’s okay though coz he has a good sense of humor.  If you listen to his show, you will learn a ton about health and fitness and general wellbeing.  As an added bonus, usually every other episode, he will let you know about his explosive love making session he had with his wife.  So there’s that.”

Ben:  Is any love making session not explosive? I mean unless you want one of those crazy, tantric sex, reverse orgasm, no ejaculation perhaps?

Brock: Perhaps.  “But seriously, been listening to him for almost a year and have gained a ton of insight and knowledge into things I was unaware about.”  Unaware of, unaware about.

Ben:  I’m copious and cocky, baby.  I’ll take it.

Brock:  Copious and cocky… and explosive.

Ben:  Copious, cocky, explosive podcast.  Alright, well folks, we’re gonna put the links to everything from all sorts of healthy breakfast travel ideas to the chronotype quiz to the amino acids, the research studies we talked about.  All that’s gonna be over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/381.  Somehow it magically appears after every episode, we magically make it happen for you, so check that out, grab your discount codes, come see me at PaleoFX, check out the show notes to get the rest of the calendar and see where else in the world I will be at.  And until next time, Brock…

Brock:  Hmm?

Ben:  Top of the day.



Mar 1, 2018 Podcast: 381 – Why You Don't Need To Eat After A Workout, How To Find Your Personal Circadian Rhythm, How To Absorb Iron Better, and Healthy Breakfast Travel Ideas.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, or click the contact link in the footer..

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Ben's Adventures

-NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

-March 2-3, 2018: 2018 Academy of Regenerative Practices Conference & Scientific Seminar, Weston, FL. Top stem cell innovators, researchers, and medical practitioners will be joining to further the field of regenerative medicine. Attend the two-day seminar to discover the latest in the field and learn how regenerative therapies can help your practice grow. Featured speaker: Ben Greenfield. Get your ticket here.

–March 24-25, 2018: San Jose Super and Sprint Weekend, Diablo, CA. There’s nothing mediocre about this middle distance race. The Spartan Super offers the ideal blend of distance and speed. If you consider yourself a more seasoned athlete determined to push beyond excuses, you just might have the mettle for a Spartan Super. Serving up 24-29 Spartan Obstacles and 8-10 miles of rugged terrain, the Spartan Super spares no one. Developed as the second race in the Spartan Trifecta, the Super is where you prove to yourself you’ve got everything it takes to face the Beast. Bring out all the support you’ve got for this one, spectators welcome! Aroo! Get your tickets here.

-April 27-29, 2018: Paleof(x) in Austin, TX. Paleo f(x)™ is the world’s premier wellness event, covering health, nutrition, fitness, sustainability, & everything in between. Our tribe gathers to learn and grow together! Bringing the latest, most cutting-edge science and strategy together to help you create your very best life, Paleof(x) is like the Woodstock of the ancestral movement, and I will be there! Sign up now to be the first to get tickets to this very exciting event! Sign up here and see you in Austin!

Giveaways & Goodies [01:06:06]

-Click here to get your own GreenfieldFitnessSystems.com gift pack, handpicked by Ben and chock full of $300 worth of biohacks, supplements, books and more. All at 50% discount!

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-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:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.

Why You Don't Need To Eat After A Workout [00:26:37]

Luke says: I training for a Spartan Super and I was at a talk by a sports physiologist and he kept stressing the need for post-workout carbs. He was saying “1 gram, per kilogram of weight, per hour of training, in the two hours following your workout.” He showed some graphs showing how this was the most important time (blah blah blah). I've heard you talk about not eating immediately after. Something to do with HGH or Testosterone. Could you go into a little more detail about if carbs are actually needed?

In my response, I recommend:
Kion Aminos

How To Find Your Personal Circadian Rhythm [00:39:31]

Sheridan says: Circadian Rhythm seems to be a hot theme in most health podcasts these days. What do you suggest is the most efficient way to find your personal circadian rhythm? Is it the Oura ring? Is there more to it than that? How would you find your personal circadian rhythm?

In my response, I recommend:
Oura Ring
Power Of When book by Michael Breus
The chronotype quiz

How To Absorb Iron Better [00:48:37]

Mia says: I heard Dr Mercola say that turmeric blocks the absorption of iron (and I have low iron and ferritin). I take a fair amount of turmeric. If I take my liver pills at a different time than my turmeric, will that allow the iron to be absorbed better?

In my response, I recommend:
-Superhuman Coach Article on how to use turmeric

Healthy Breakfast Travel Ideas [00:54:59]

Daniel says: I personally consume your signature smoothie every morning and I am wondering what you eat in the morning when making your smoothie is just not an option? Like when you are traveling and whatnot.

In my response, I recommend:
Trader Joe's Coconut Chunks
Ample (Discount Code: BEN to save 15%)
Living Fuel SuperGreens
Bulletproof Octane
Onnit Emulsified MCT oil
My article on exogenous ketones

Prior to asking your question, do a search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!



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