August 2, 2018
[08:25] News Flashes: A Study on Fasting
[11:48] The Problems of The Biggest Loser
[14:08] Calorie Reduction Vs. Fasting
[18:09] Ketogenic Diets in Athletes
[27:39] Special Announcements
[35:05] Listener Q&A: Why Your Muscles Shake When You Exercise
[50:50] Activation of Motor Units
[52:59] How To Heal Your Joints with Celadrin
[59:14] What’s the Best Temperature for Hydrotherapy
[1:13:48] End of the Podcast
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: Ketosis for Muscle Building, The Best Way to Fast, How to Heal Your Joints and much more.
Ben: Well, Brock, I have two very interesting nutrition anecdotes to share with you, but shall I share the extremely strange and far out one with you or the more normal mouthwatering one first?
Brock: Well let's ease into it, shall we? Let's start with the mouth-watering first.
Ben: Let's not scare away everybody first.
Brock: Yeah, exactly. People don't know what they're in for yet.
Ben: I must say that they do not sponsor the podcast, nor do I have any financial affiliation with them, but I have been and cooked last night on this Traeger Grill. Have you ever used a Traeger?
Brock: No, I've never heard of it.
Ben: Okay, so I'm doing a reverse sear now on my steaks. The last time I was on the Joe Rogan Podcast, he shared this method with me, and I decided I would put it up against my old school method of sautéing a steak.
Brock: I remember that whole conversation that you guys had.
Ben: Yeah, so I used to do a sauté at high heat with olive oil and then broil one minute each side. Take it back out and finish it with butter.
Brock: I've done that for years myself. In the winter when I can't put it on the grill outside, that's my go to method as well.
Ben: The Traeger Grill's run by pellets, so you pour the pellets in and have, I believe it was the cedar-alder pellet mix.
Brock: Like a smoker?
Ben: It's very similar to a smoker, so the pellets go into a barrel under the grill. That barrel allows for even heating as well as smoking of anything that you put on it. So last night, I tested this out. I took my kids down to the river to paddle board with them, and beforehand, I put a couple of the grass-fed, grass-finished, bone-in, French-cut rib eye steaks from US Wellness Meats who I interviewed on the show a long time back, and these folks, they make some of the most mouth-watering explosion of flavor in your mouth meat that I've ever had. I mean they don't make it, they're a lab making meat but something they're doing to their cows down there.
Brock: Something that they’re doing, and French Cut that's when you peel the meat away from the bone, so you have a handle, right?
Ben: Yeah, and it's dry-aged. Exactly, so you don't even need a utensil.
Brock: So, it even looks good.
Ben: With a built-in utensil.
Brock: Like the Flintstones.
Ben: You throw it on this Traeger, and you walk away. This grill is the Cadillac of grills, it sinks to your phone, and it feeds these pellets in. So, I set it on smoke, I smoke it about a hundred 75 degrees, I walk away for two hours, and I used the coffee rub actually. I use the coffee rub on the steak which is ground coffee, some cayenne, some salt, some black pepper and some paprika, and then what I did was came back after paddle boarding, after a couple hours, and I put grill on the Traeger. I take the steaks all off the trigger until it heats from that hundred 75 up to 475. So, I jack up the temperature, and then once that temperature is back up, I simply throw the steaks on for three minutes each side, and that's it, and when I took those things off the grill and I fed them to my drooling family, they went to a steak and barbecue nirvana, and it was amazing. So, if any of you are listening in and you have some extra cash to burn, try one of these grills.
Brock: Is it pricey?
Ben: I think they're about a thousand dollars. They're an expensive though.
Brock: I've seen some regular barbecues that are over a thousand dollars too, so it's not really that surprising, I guess.
Ben: Yeah, well either way, it's worth it, and so I've done beer can chicken, and I've done cedar plank salmon. I'm going to brisket later on this week, so ultimately, that's the normal nutrition. Now here's the abnormal one.
Brock: Okay, let's go hardcore.
Ben: Up to this morning, there's a couple of new research studies that have come across my desk. One is called a Prescription for Clinical Immunology, the other one is called Reconstitution of the Human Biome, and these go into the idea of the old friends hypothesis, the fact that in an era of cleanliness and antibiotics and hand washing and C sections that the human gut is not only compromised, in terms of its bacterial composition, meaning just a week microbiome overall, but also is missing out on many of what we would call the old friends that allowed for robust immune system modulation, meaning turning up the immune system when it needs to be turned up and turning it down when it needs to be turned down, along with decreases in gut inflammation due to their ability to lower the things like inflammatory cytokines in the gut.
These old friends would be things beneficial, they would be called helmets, beneficial parasites, beneficial worms, even some species of tapeworms, etcetera. These are all incredibly healing to the gut, so I have been researching this for a couple of months, talking to a couple of people. I won't name them on the show, but they're the relatively well-known folks in the anti-aging or the biohacking or the health community who have been successfully using these helmets and these parasites, literally inoculating by drinking worm eggs and allowing them to populate the stuff of drinking basically a large glass vial of the eggs, once every week to two weeks. So, I had to get a big enough supply for me to trial this for three months, and I started the trial this morning, so it cost me about 1,700 dollars, so we're not talking cheap on this particular immersive, n=1 journalistic experiment.
Brock: You mean Ben=1?
Ben: Yes, Ben=1.
Brock: Did you get that domain by the way?
Ben: No, sorry. It wasn't on the top of my priority list, so I'm drinking these worms, and I'm going to log results. I'm going to be doing a gut panel to test my cytokines. I'll be repeating not only a three-day stool panel, but I'll also be doing a microbiome analysis, and I'm going to see what happens, but that's the latest. This morning, I drank a giant glass vial of Chinese parasites.
Brock: Are they the rat parasites that they pull out of rats? They get rat parasites out of beetles, I believe?
Ben: I'm not exactly sure where they're harvesting them from. I was under the impression they were growing them in the lab, so don't go into my beautiful worm fantasy by telling them it came from the asshole of a rat.
Brock: The only person I know who's done that same test here, they got them out of beetles, but they were from rat feces. I feel like it's somehow cleaner and more lovely because it came out of the beetle even though it came out of the rat first. It just seems more grounded.
Ben: On the totem pole of disgusting insects would be farther down than rats, absolutely. Now if I do need to step away at any point during today's show for massive, explosive diarrhea or bathroom decommissioning, that's why. But we should get going.
Brock: That's why.
Ben: Well, Brock, in my opinion, the funnest thing to talk about on a podcast or elsewhere really is after an introduction like that, not eating.
Brock: Yes, that's perhaps the way to go, and if the only thing you have to eat is something that's passed through the digestive tract of a rat and a beetle, maybe you should just skip a meal.
Ben: Well the latest study on fasting, and by the way, I tweet profusely over at twitter.com/bengreenfield. I take some of the more interesting ones as a point in the show. Thank you for the Twitter sound effects, Brock. You can stop now.
Brock: Yeah, thank you, and you're welcome.
Ben: That was actually pretty good. Was that a computer or was that you?
Brock: That was me, that's me, man.
Ben: You sound like a bird, awesome. Let's see if later on, you can do a rat. Anyways though, this latest fasting study was interesting, and I know people probably have their eyes rolled over in the back of their heads at this point if they have to hear yet somebody else on a podcast talk about fasting and its influence on longevity and fat loss and biological health, but the interesting thing about this one was the study title gives it away, “Early Time Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure and Oxidative Stress”, and this of course looked at whether or not fasting, particularly a form of intermittent fasting, could improve all these parameters like your insulin sensitivity, your beta cell responsiveness, your blood pressure, oxidative stress, appetite, and indeed fasting did what you would expect it to do. It positively affected all of those parameters, but here is what's most interesting about not only this study but many of the compelling studies in terms of the health effects of fasting, and this is good news, especially people who are drooling over my description of the steak earlier.
The benefits of fasting appear to come from what is alluded to in the title of the study, time restricted feeding, and time restricted feeding means you simply have certain periods of time, and the most beneficial for the general population seems to be about six to eight hours which is the window of time that you choose during any 24-hour period that you're going to your meals, for an active exercise enthusiast population. That window seems to expand to about twelve hours. You're just more active if you have more throughput, and you need more damn calories or squeeze in more calories. It can just be difficult on a gut.
For me personally, II tend to eat 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day for me to compress all of that into a window between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. would be pretty, pretty difficult on my gut particularly. So, I generally eat all my meals between about 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., around in there. That's a pretty good split for me, it's about a ten-hour feeding window for me, for example. But anyways, what I'm getting at here is that the benefits do not come with caloric restriction. Caloric restriction is not synonymous with fasting, and in fact when we look at caloric restriction, we see some clues that constant calorie restriction doesn't work, not only for fat loss but from a greater metabolic standpoint. When you look at The Biggest Loser, do you remember what blew up with the Biggest Loser? I think it was back in 2015.
Brock: Yeah, it was terrible, the studies that came out after that about the down regulation of metabolism and the set point of the fat adipose tissue in the body and stuff like that. Yeah, it was terrible.
Ben: Over six months, the average basal metabolic rate drop, the resting metabolism rate dropped by an average of close to 800 calories which means that these folks, because of long term calorie restriction, were burning about 800 less calories per day every day, which adds up pretty quickly you know. That's, I believe, comes out to most of these folks to about a 20 to 30% reduction, I guess in their resting metabolic rate, which makes sense obviously. Imagine you're a caveman and it’s winter, and food is scarce, and your body needs to go into some kind of a starvation mode down regulate metabolism.
Brock: Yeah, it's protective.
Ben: Yeah, so you don't become lethargic and completely run out of energy. Now what happens is with that long-term calorie restriction, there are not only issues with the metabolic rate, but there are long term differences in hormonal balance when you compare that to something like intermittent fasting, in which you're eating the same number of calories. You're just shoving them into, as this study implies, into a compressed feeding window. So, it's time restricted feeding, it's not just restricted feeding, right? There's a big difference, and there was a very interesting study in which they compared intermittent fasting directly against calorie restriction to see which one was superior, and when they did this, it turns out that during intermittent fasting, insulin levels drop and drop and drop and continued to drop whereas with calorie restriction, what they called in his diet, the CRAP strategy. They referred to it as Calorie Reduction as a Primary Strategy. That CRAP strategy not only down regulated these folk's metabolism, but they didn't see the same response in their pancreas or their beta cells or their insulin levels. They just taper off compared to intermittent fasting where just got better and better and better. And the other thing that happened in the study was calorie reduction caused nearly a two-and-a-half times higher metabolic slowdown compared to fasting. There was a slight down regulation of metabolism from fasting, but it was relatively non-significant, whereas with the CRAP diet, these people's metabolism just dropped right off.
Brock: There was also an increase in stress hormones as well in that study, if I recall correctly. The cortisol levels were elevated quite a lot.
Ben: Not only that, sorry to interrupt. Not only that, but there was less weight loss in the calorie reduction group. There was more muscle loss. There was less visceral fat loss, and visceral is the inflammatory fact that you want to get rid of. It was harder to keep weight off because the metabolism just dropped off so much. These folks were hungrier, which of course really reduces adherence to a diet. They had higher insulin, they had more insulin resistance, and compared to intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting had more weight loss, more lean muscle gain, more visceral fat loss, less hunger and lower insulin along with less insulin resistance.
So what this comes down to, especially 'cause I know a lot of exercising people listening to this show, is don't feel bad about all of these studies that are coming out on fasting, and you feel as though you just can't do it 'cause you got to eat a lot of calories to sustain your adventurous, physically active life. That's not the case, it simply comes down to having certain periods of time where you're not you know shoving food into your gaping maw but still allowing yourself to eat. I have one friend who's very metabolically healthy, and he eats once a day.
Brock: Is it me?
Ben: Do you eat once a day?
Brock: You're talking about me, right?
Ben: You have your giant serving of poutine once a day? I just returned from a health mastermind with a whole bunch of physicians who I was fermenting in knowledge within in the living room of the house down in Utah. Well by fermenting, I mean fermenting in their knowledge, the wonderful knowledge of ketosis and fasting and all this jazz. It turns out that there are, of course, little hacks that you can throw into a time-restricted feeding protocol. Probably at the top of the list would be ketone esters or ketone salts because they appear to not only give you a little bit more cognitive throughput but also massive decreases in multiple inflammatory pathways. So, there are other ways that you can enhance the effects of the fast, but before droning on too long about this particular study, I just want to emphasize the big picture is focus on time-restricted feeding not calorie restriction.
Brock: And this study in particular, you said at the beginning the name of the study is early time restricted feeding, and for this one, it was a six-hour feeding period, and they actually had dinner at 3 p.m., so they weren't eating after say 4 p.m. or something which I think I'd find a lot more difficult. I didn't see the full report from the study, maybe you did, whether or not this was actually, they were comparing it to say a 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. feeding window rather than this crazy 3 p.m. thing.
Ben: Well for anybody who wants to wrap their heads around that rather than us talking about a podcast, go read Dr Satchin Panda's new book, probably one of the best books when it comes to how to time your meals and other elements of your lifestyle to enhance your circadian rhythm acidity. I forget the title of the book, but if you just go to Amazon and do a search for Satchin Panda, his last name is P-A-N-D-A. You'll find his most recent book which is really good.
Brock: And download the app too, so can be part of the study 'cause they're collecting some really cool data.
Brock: Of the top of your head, too. Nice work, Ben. Damn.
Ben: I study this stuff. I have a couple of other things I wanted to mention though. Speaking of ketosis, this study looked at whether or not people who follow a ketogenic diet could actually maintain muscle. It was called “Efficacy of a Ketogenic Diet on Body Composition During Resistance Training in Trained Men”, and what this study found was actually pretty interesting. They have these people follow a Ketogenic diet, but they actually gave them an energy surplus, meaning they were doing almost like a mass gain type of protocol but on a ketogenic diet while doing resistance training.
What they found was that these folks were able to decrease body fat, and that bad visceral adipose tissue I talked about earlier, that visceral fat, without decreasing their lean body mass. So they were able to lose fat and maintain muscle. However on a ketogenic diet, they were unable to actually put on significant amounts of muscle, so if you're trying to maybe get lean or get ripped or burn fat while maintaining muscle, this ketogenic approach seems to work pretty well, and I realize there are folks, for example, I believe the website is ketogains.com, there are folks who are successfully gaining weight or appear to be gaining muscle on a ketogenic diet. It's just that's more anecdotal, and it doesn't seem that in literature they've been able to replicate some of the results of these folks are claiming to get. The people who I talk to who do it most successfully, they're following a ketogenic diet most of the day and then incorporating some type of a weekly or even a daily re-feed of carbohydrates or including more carbohydrates on their more physically active, more resistance training, intensive days. So that would be termed a cyclic ketogenic diet. Now ultimately, what it looks like is that if you are weight training and following a ketogenic diet, you can at least maintain muscle and at the same time, lose fat. So that's the skinny on that one.
Brock: Yeah, I thought it was interesting this study only went on for eight weeks, so I'd like to see a longer term. I'm sure they may be continuing, who knows? But I think that probably plays into some of the results.
Ben: I wrote an article at bengreenfieldfitness.com on my brother, Zach, who I put on a ketogenic diet, and this was when he was modeling, and we wanted to put about 30 pounds of muscle on his body. We successfully did it, but again, he was using a cyclic approach I had him on at least four days of the week, eating sweet potatoes and yams and parsnips and carrots and beets and rice and all these type of things with dinner, and it was very successful. So ultimately, turns out that you can maintain muscle, you can lose fat, but you can't build muscle that effectively unless you incorporate some other techniques.
Brock: The only problem with that trial that you did on your brother was that he's just so ugly, and it's hard to look at photos of him.
Ben: Yeah, ladies do a good goal.
Brock: It's a hideous, hideous friend.
Ben: Do a Google Image search for “Zach Greenfield” and be prepared for lots of underwear photos, underwear websites. So anyways, the next thing is that I had one other that I wanted to highlight before we get into this week's Q&A, and that was this idea of a ketogenic diet reducing power production, so we know that it seems to affect muscle, and in this study, what they found was that a ketogenic diet reduced anaerobic performance, meaning they put people on a high carb diet versus a low carb diet. Granted it was only for four days, but they did notice a really significant difference in anaerobic performance, and it turns out that ketosis seems to pretty significantly impair anaerobic exercise performance. This was with what's called a Wingate Cycling Test which is a horrible thirty-second, all out protocol that's very, very painful. I used to do that in the exercise physiology lab when we do studies at University of Idaho, and then they also did a Yo-yo Intermittent Recovery Test which is basically high-intensity interval training.
So they found pretty steep drops, they found about sixty to eight percent lower power in the ketogenic group on the cycling test and about 15% lower performance on the Yo-yo test. But what I found most interesting was that in the discussion of the paper, they talk about how a big part of this could be due to the acidic and ammonia buildup that occurs when one is in ketosis, thereby giving me the idea that if you're going to be an anaerobic athlete and follow relatively ketogenic diet, it might benefit you to include certain buffers in your diet or certain buffers in your supplementation protocol that would allow for what is called extracellular buffering, and there are a variety of supplements that have actually been shown to do this. Probably the most affordable and the one that's been studied quite a bit is simply bicarbonate, meaning that leading up to a very difficult sprint, triathlon or a Crossfit workout or soccer match or anything else that would include repeated bouts of anaerobic performance. You would take a small amount of baking soda to reduce gastrointestinal problems. It's a small amount of baking soda, around a teaspoon every 20 minutes for a couple of hours leading up to that event. You just stir it into warm water.
Other supplements that have been heavily studied as inter-muscular buffers, one would be carnosine. So carnosine would be one that you can simply find at supplement outlets, and it appears that increasing muscle carnosine rather seems to help out quite a bit with buffering as well as actual performance. So it's not just something to buffer, but it's actually causing a gain in performance upon buffering. Beta-Alanine is another that leads to a little bit of flushing and prickling sensation on the skin if you take a lot of it. There are newer supplements that you can find now if you were to go to Amazon. For example, look for Beta-Alanine that are advertised as more slow release Beta-Alanine, so you don't get that same prickly effect, but ultimately, Beta-Alanine appears to be another really good one.
I've interviewed on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show, a couple of months ago, a guy named Craig Dinkel, and we also talked about citrulline malate. That seems to act on lactic acid pretty significantly as well. You could go listen to the podcast, it's entitled “What Are The Best Supplement For Altitude” because a lot of these same supplements that work really well for buffering also work well for altitude, but the takeaway story from this study and my follow-up thoughts on it were that if you're going to be an athlete, especially an anaerobic athlete on a ketogenetic diet, you should consider including these buffers in your diet.
Brock: So you think that it's not necessarily that these athletes were running out of fuel and just pooping out.
Ben: No, it's too short of an event after four days. And obviously I've talked with Mark Sisson about this on the show, and they weren't “fat-burning machines” because they hadn't yet followed a ketogenic diet for a long enough period of time, and they weren't fat-adapted, so to speak, but ultimately, when something is this short, a big part of it could come down to the increased acidic and ammonia build-up that they're going into the actual exercise session with because of the slightly acidotic state that ketosis can produce.
And by the way, just because of that acidotic state and net renal acid load or what's called potential renal acid load, PRAL, I am a huge fan of if you are going to follow a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, ensuring that it is a plant-rich diet because you'll get a lot of alkalinizing compounds from plants, and if there are plants grown in mineral-rich soil, you'll also get the alkalizing benefits of minerals. When people ask me what's a good ketogenic diet to follow, in many cases if they're an athlete, I'll tell them well go hunt down the Wahls protocol by Terry Wahls, who healed her multiple sclerosis with a specific protocol and is essentially very similar to a ketogenic diet, but it's a heavily plant-rich ketogenic diet, and then I tell them well do the Wahls protocol, but include more carbohydrates at night than that protocol prescribes, rather than the 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrate. Step it up to a hundred to 200 grams of carbs in the evening, and that'll keep you alkalinized. It'll keep your glycogen levels topped off, and let you just happen all the benefits of a ketogenic diet, and also not sacrifice performance gains. So, there you have it, we have literally spent the first half hour of this podcast talking about food and eating.
Brock: And I have an amazing new idea for a business. I'm going to open up stands that sell bicarbonate soda in Cross Fit boxes.
Ben: Yes, include a diaper, up sell a diaper into that equation. Speaking of diaper, I need to take a very quick pee, give me one second. And it's not the worms.
Brock: It's the worms.
Ben: Well, I think the specialist of the special announcements is that myself and the entire team from Kion, my health supplements company, we're going to all be traveling to the Colorado Rockies to compete in the Spartan Race over there in nosebleed country, in Breckenridge. So, if you're listening in and you have some time between August 17th and the 19th to go and hang out in the Colorado Rockies, I'm going to be there, and I think we'll have about 10 members of the team out there racing. We're going to race on Sunday, the sprint, the easy one. It's three to five miles. I say easy, but it's easy as you make it. If you decide to go balls to the wall, which I like to do, it's can be tough, but I think our whole team is going to race around 10 a.m.
I'll race the elite heat at 7:30 a.m. and then come back out with the team at 10 a.m. and do the race again because I'm a glutton for punishment. But ultimately, that's coming up in August, and then also, I'm speaking at a bunch of places that are still open to the public, a couple of them. The biggest one is the Biohacking Conference coming up October 14th through the 16th in Toronto, big Biohacking Conference. As a matter fact, it is now put on by the same folks who put on that wonderful biohacking conference that I attend every year in Finland. These folks have really swooped in and taken over management of that conference, so it promises to be because of that, not only inclusive of a whole bunch of very cool European technology, but also these folks tend to throw some really good parties and there are a lot of elements of nutrition and plant foraging and all sorts of interesting things that they also bring over from Europe. So, it'll be a fun one, October 14th through the 16th in Toronto.
Brock: I'm going to teach you something right now if you don't want to sound like you're not in the know, it's Toronto. Don't pronounce the second T.
Ben: You don't pronounce the second T, huh? Toronto, that's good to know. I have never heard that. What about Ontario, do you say it on there Onario?
Brock: No, it's Ontario. Sadly, it doesn't change.
Ben: Alright, so Toronto. We'll will put a link in the show notes. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/388. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/388. Anything you hear us mention, including those studies we've been talking about, any of my recommendations, we spend a copious amount of time making amazing show notes for you.
Ben: So, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/388. The only other one I wanted to mention that is filling up pretty fast is this two-week detox retreat that I'm leading over in Europe, where we'll be hiking in the Swiss Alps, but then during the day, be going through hypothermic treatments and liver detoxification treatments and all these things that push the reboot button on your body. I figured if I'm going to go do a detox retreat and just give myself a little self-love for a couple of weeks, I'd open it up to the public, so my wife and I are going to go over there, and we'll be hiking in the Swiss Alps and eating amazing healthy food and just taking care of our bodies. Everything from vitamin cocktails to colonics to all these crazy things that perhaps you're afraid of but you've always wanted to try under medical supervision. This will be your chance, and I'll be giving the lectures and leading workouts, so it will be a good time. That's next June, June 23rd through July 7th of 2019, so go check that out.
Brock: Some of those things don't seem like self-love, they seem a little self-abuse.
Ben: Yeah, where do worms fall on that scale for you? Drinking worms.
Brock: That's total self-love.
Ben: I just think that's culinary pleasure, it's nutrition, it's eating. So, it's inclusion of old friends and socializing with old friends.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: So a couple of other things, this podcast is brought to you by a very interesting device, and it's called a Halo. It applies electrical stimulation to the motor cortex of your brain to induce a temporary state of hyper-learning, so that means if you're going to go squat or bench, it can decrease your rating of perceived exertion and allow you to grab more motor units. If you're using it before martial arts, for example, you would pick up movement patterns more readily. I've used it before playing guitar, before playing ukulele. I interviewed their CEO a few months ago, and the actual technology is called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, also known as TDCS, which takes up less of your life to say. They've got literally almost two decades of scientific and military research on this thing, and you just put it on your head and it stays on your head for about 20 minutes. You can play music and things for the headphones. They look like Beats by Dre headphones, and then you go and do whatever workout or whatever skill acquisition or learning that you want to engage in. Some people think that it is hokey and that it doesn't work, I've tried it before hard workouts, I've tried it before playing ukulele and guitar before. Now they're a sponsor of this show, but before then, before I had any incentive, I actually got pretty good results out of it. So, it's called a Halo, so what you do is you go to gethalosport.com/greenfield, and then when you put the code “Greenfield” in and that knocks the price down to 4.75. So Get Halo Support, HALO, gethalosport.com/greenfield and use code “Greenfield”.
This podcast is also brought to you by something that I use every single night in my mouth, what do you think that is?
Brock: You have one of those night guards, so you don't grind your teeth?
Ben: No, I take my teeth out, and put it in a cup before bed.
Brock: Oh, of course.
Ben: Actually, I don't want to ever have to take my teeth out and put them in a cup, so I use this cacao mint-flavored MCT oil toothpaste. It's made with bentonite clay and then theobromine which actually induces a dopamine release, so especially if you use this in the morning, you get this little surge of energy, and its mouth freshening. It's a cacao mint flavor. It's got no corn, apparently toothpaste has corn in it. No fluoride, no xylitol, no soy, no gluten. Apparently, toothpaste has gluten in it too. I don't know who's making toothpaste with gluten and corn, but this toothpaste doesn't have it in there. It's made by our friends over at Onnit. It's called Onnit MCT Oil Toothpaste in a wonderful cacao mint flavor. It's actually really good.
Brock: The good thing about having the MCT oil on there is the plaque just shoots off because your teeth are all slick.
Ben: Yeah, I guess so. Your teeth go into ketosis, so I sound like a complete mouth nerd talking about toothpaste in this fashion, but it really is good toothpaste, and you get a 10% discount on it or anything else from our good friends on Onnit who make amazing personal care and fitness and functional foods and supplements. Go over there and use the URL bengreenfieldfitness.com/onnit. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/O-N-N-I-T. It will automatically populate your shopping cart and be off to the races and toss them toothpaste in said cart. So, there you have it.
Garrett: Hey Ben, my name is Garrett Press. I'm a big fan of the podcast, and my question for you today relates to whenever I'm doing strength or resistance training, I notice that my muscles tend to tremble or shake, and this is been happening for as long as I can remember which is early high school when I was training for the junior varsity basketball team, and I'm 31 now still dealing with it. It tends to result in my friends or whoever I'm training with to joke that I'm trying to outlift my potential or I'm too weak for the weights at hand. This tends not to be the case. and I've also read that it could be from dehydration, but I drink a ton of water and especially when I'm working out. So I don't think that's the issue, so if you have any other hypotheses as to what could be causing this or supplements or methods that might help temper it, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot, man. Bye.
Brock: I totally feel you, Garrett. I get this, not when I'm lifting heavy weights, but when I'm doing yoga, so weird. I'll get into a yoga pose and my quad will to start shaking or my entire leg will be spazzing out. It's really weird I've been hiding.
Ben: I thought Garrett was just using a shake weight, maybe if you quite using a shake weight.
Brock: I love my shake weight.
Ben: I don't have one, never used them.
Brock: I'm just kidding, I've never used them.
Ben: And they're pretty gimmicky. I'll stick to my Hex Bar, thank you.
Brock: I'm sure it's a good workout, but do you really need a dedicated device for that? Anyway.
Ben: Well I mean there's all the low hanging fruit. Are you hypoglycemic? Take care of that, and make sure that you're not completely starved going into your workout or that your blood sugar isn't too low, and that's not rocket science. Get a blood glucose monitor, make sure your blood glucose isn't too low, and if it is, then perhaps you should eat something before you work out or get your blood glucose level stabilized other ways.
Brock: Or just let your hypothalamus tell you that you're hungry.
Ben: Yeah exactly. Although interestingly, once you start a workout, you begin producing a bunch of lactic acid, and that gets converted to glucose via something called the Cori Cycle. So sometimes you can be hypoglycemic, and as soon as you start to work out, you're good to go. Your body just amps up your blood glucose naturally.
Brock: Yeah, you said almost every morning that sort of thing 'cause I like to hang on and wait until later in the morning to eat. I like to get my workout done in the mornings, and I count on that in fact.
Ben: I know, I get hungry for my morning workout too, so I start off the morning workout with 30 burpees which is about two minutes a burpees, and that produces enough lactic acid to take away the hunger, and then you go do your workout, amps up your blood glucose. Coffee does it too. Coffee causes your liver to release a bunch of storage liver glycogen, that will amp up your blood glucose. Have of a cup of coffee, do 30 burpees and save brekky for later. You can do it.
Brock: Or shove your face into some cold water, and that releases a whole bunch of oxygen and we could just go on and on.
Ben: Yeah, dehydration can be the other one. What dehydration can cause this wave of change in your electrolytes, so your connective tissue has a little bit of difficulty getting signals from your brain to your muscle fibers, and that's again, pretty straightforward, and just make sure that you're adequately hydrated and that you have adequate minerals in your system. So, the other one that I'd probably be remiss not to mention would be just make sure that you've screened yourself for something like Parkinson's because the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's are often more resting tremor. You'd shake a lot of times aside from just during exercise, but in terms of Parkinson's, there's not an objective test like a blood test or a brain scanner or an EEG that you can get, but the FDA a few years ago did approve this imaging technique called a DAT scan in which they'll capture the dopamine signals in your brain, and they'll often use that as a diagnostic imaging technique for the assessment of something like Parkinson's. But ultimately, you'd probably shaking at rest if you had Parkinson's, but you may want to remiss not to say go speak to your medical professional about Parkinson's if you are shaking not only at rest but also during exercise.
Anyways, the thing is let's start by examining what happens when you actually exercise, so in skeletal muscle, your cells don't actually contract one by one all by themselves. They contract as groups of muscle cells, so these groups of muscle cells are all connected to a motor nerve that originates in your spinal cord, and the combination of the motor nerve cell, which is called the neuron, and all the muscle cells that neuron innervates, it's known as the motor unit. So, the size of the motor units that determines the precision of movement that any muscle can produce so in your larynx or your voice box. All the motor nerves connect to two or three individual muscle cells, so you have very fine gradations of strength to control if you're an opera singer. And then you have large muscles like your quads, for example, and those have motor units with motor nerves that control two thousand or more muscle cells.
So it's very interesting that the size of these motor units can change pretty significantly based on where they're at, but none of the motor units all get excited simultaneously when a muscle is ready to contract, unless you're using one of these electrical muscle stimulation units that just grabs all the muscle fibers at once 'cause you're using, in essence, and the external brain. In most cases, the units get excited in an asynchronous fashion by all these electrical impulses that come down the motor nerves from the spinal cord, so some of the motor units in a muscle group can be contracting and shortening in the muscle belly, and others can be relaxing and lengthening. So you have some overlap, but ultimately, the muscle tends to contract pretty smoothly overall.
However, once you get into strenuous exercise towards the end of a set or the end of a sprint, some of the motor units start to drop out of service because of fatigue, and a lot of the fatigues, it occurs in the spinal cord, at the level of the actual motor nerve cell and the neural connections. So some of that has to do with the actual motor nerve, it's called the myoneural junction, the junction between the motor nerve and the muscle cells, and it's because you need to release certain chemicals, seratonin, dopamine, etcetera are chemicals that you find in these junctions, and those help to carry electrical impulses across to a nerve cell or across to a muscle cell. So, when you can't manufacture neurotransmitters fast enough to keep up with the level activity or let's say you even have myelin sheath degradation because you've been fat depleted for a long time or you're calorically depleted or you have a nerve damage because you've got low Vitamin-B status. Depletion of any of these types of things can cause this biochemical lack of what you need to maintain a smooth muscle contraction.
So as more and more motor units in this scenario become temporarily nonfunctional, the contraction becomes dependent on fewer and fewer motor units, so as these fatigue motor units drop off, all the sudden you look at the muscle and it becomes less synchronous and less smooth and begins to be replaced by this jerky, trembly movement because you've got fewer and fewer motor units trying to contract the actual muscle fibers. So ultimately, that's what's happening nine times out of ten when you shake during exercise is it's a motor nerve issue where motor units drop out of service because they're no longer being innervated from the spinal cord level. That's assuming you're not dehydrated and that you have adequate glucose.
Brock: So, you still could have enough oomph left in your body to actually complete the set or even do another couple of sets, it's just that they're depleted enough that you're getting that asynchronous tugging? Or would you actually be a failure at that point?
Ben: No, muscle never fails all at once. It'll run out of little bit of energy neurochemicals, and then it'll eventually shake and then eventually fail once you just run out of enough motor units, period. This is why when you watch someone do that last repetition of a bench press, it's shaking a lot. You can see the bar shaking a lot 'cause the motor you know just dropping off rapidly had that point, and as far as what you can do about this, as I've alluded to when we look at these neurochemicals and neurotransmitters, if you shake a lot, it's very possible that you actually have some neurotransmitter or a depletion of some chemicals that would be responsible for the health of the nerve or the fatty acids necessary for myelin sheath health which is one of the ways that nerve signals get propagated down an actual nerve.
So, the idea behind this would be to replenish the things that you might be running out of. One would be phosphate groups. This is where something like the use of ATP or creatine monohydrate would come in handy or both, using creatine pre-workout or using some form of ATP pre-workout, both of which you can purchase in supplement form. Another thing would be any of the amino acids that would be precursor amino acids for what you need for neurotransmitters.
Do not use branched chain amino acids which are just three amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Not only do those not give you a complete spectrum of amino acids that you would need for these newer transmitters, but leucine particularly is one that I don't like when it comes to some of the deleterious glucose and insulin responses that seem to come with losing consumption, versus supplementing with all nine essential amino acids. Now in this case I always sound like a fox guarding the hen house because one of Kion's prime products is essential amino acids. I mean we sell those but there's a reason we do, because I used them every day. Most of my clients use them, most the athletes that I coach use them with great efficacy when it comes to taking about five up to twenty grams of these pre-workout, going into a workout with high blood levels of amino acids. Even more so if you're a ketogenic or a low-carb athlete is one of the best things that you can do for performance, and yes, you still maintain that fasted, non-insuligenic state with low blood glucose when you take these, but you go into your workout, preferably with high blood levels of amino acids and the high levels of either creatine or ATP or both. That would be what your pre-workout stack would consist of to see if those would be culprits when it comes to shaking and the trembling, and then there are so many things that you can do for the neuronal health component.
Brock: Before we get into that, if he tries that stuff out, let's say Garrett tries some amino acids or some creatine or both, and it does alleviate this shaking, does that mean they have to take those forever or is there something he can do to fill in those gaps?
Ben: Forever, he's screwed. No, in many cases, amino acid depletion can be aggravated by inadequate protein intake in his diet at other times. Same thing with creatine, very low intake of red meat, etcetera.
Brock: Or fish.
Ben: You're going to push your body to an unnatural ends because you're pushing yourself in the weight room to an extent that, frankly, most of our ancestors wouldn't have done unless they were in a battle or trying to build a fence within one-hour period of time and hoisting sticks and rocks at a rapid pace. Ultimately you may need to use what we might deem an unnatural means to achieve an unnatural ends which is where supplementation with things like creatine and amino acids and ATP come in. I don't think that it's because there's some type of a deficit that humans have evolved. I think it's more that we just tend to push ourselves in some of these exercise situations which is fine if that's what you're doing to scratch an itch or to prepare yourself to climb your own personal Mount Everest. Great, I do that all the time, and from Ironman Triathlon to Spartan races, etcetera, I do not profess those to be natural or in many cases even healthy, but if I'm going to do them, I at least will use some of the things like supplementation and nutritional adjustments to actually make it easier.
Brock: Fair enough, I didn't mean to indicate that those were unnatural or something that he should try to get off. I just was thinking about a sort of sustainability. Yeah, continue.
Ben: Anyways, I wrote an article called “Eat Yourself Smart”, and in that article, I get into not only the things that you should avoid such as very high histamine foods, some of the artificial sweeteners that in high amounts, can tend to be a little bit disruptive to neural signaling like a spar to me, for example, but I also get into the things that you should include to ensure that you have healthy nerve firing and that you're able to get that type of motor unit recruitment that you want. A few of the biggies that I mentioned there would be to ensure that you have adequate amounts of conjugated linoleic acid which is a fatty acid you'll often find in grass-fed, grass-finished beef, smoked and grilled on a Traeger, or lamb or raw dairy products. If you're not a beef person or a dairy person, you may want to consider supplementing with a conjugated linoleic acid source. Two of that I think are even bigger because they literally comprise most of the percentage of the fats that make up your myelin sheaths are DHA and oleic acid.
Oleic acid is something you get from extra virgin olive oil that you would use in copious amounts and all those vegetables that I hope you're eating and then DHA is something you would get from wild caught fish or from a supplement like a fish oil that contains high amounts of EPA and DHA, and the one that I use, I take about 12 of these every morning now, just to dose up with fish oil not 'cause I just feel better cognitively and from a joint standpoint when I take more fish oil is I pop these super essential fish oil capsules. The reason for that is they’re packaged up with astaxanthin and some of these other really beneficial antioxidants. So it's not rancid fish oil which many of these fish oils are. You know it right off the bat if you get fish oil burps, for example, but also what they do is they just the EPA to DHA ratio from four to one down to one to one by adding a whole bunch of extra DHA. So, it's actually got a boost of DHA in it, so I'm a fan of that approach and I'm a fan of using a lot of really good extra virgin olive oil for nerve support.
There's a lot of other things that I get into in that article. It's a three thousand-word article, so I just go read the freaking article to learn about other things you can do, in terms of what to eat and what not to eat, to support your brain and your nervous system, but as far as supplementation, essential amino acids and then creatine ATP as a stack and then also a really good fish oil. Consider conjugated linoleic acid, and the other things that I talk about in that particular article along with the amino acids.
I should also mention something that I literally brought up just a little bit ago in this podcast, and that would be the whole concept of activating more motor units 'cause remember, your group of muscle fibers plus the actual motor neuron itself is the motor unit. And when it gets activated by that neuron, all the muscle fibers in that unit contract. So since muscles are activated by neurons, it turns out that we can, from the central nervous system level, actually increase the amount of motor units that get recruited, if we can somehow get those neurons to fire more readily.
Ben: Yeah, I did not realize I would be talking about this on the same show that they have to be a sponsor of, but that's what TDCS does. That's what wearing something like this Halo device does is it allows you to grab more motor units because it induces motor neuron hyper excitability before workout. That's also where you get that state of temporary hyper learning or what's called hyper plasticity in your motor cortex. So that could be a little hack for you to try, granted it's a 475-dollar mistake if it doesn't work out for you, but I think they have a return policy. You could try that prior to your workouts, too. I mean for anybody who wants to get through their hard workout, I like it as an option. I understand it's expensive, but ultimately, that would be another thing that you may want to throw in there is using a little bit of TDCS before the workout so another way you can engage in better living through science.
Brock: For those of you who are impatient and fast forwarded through the ads earlier, we're talking about the Halo headset right now.
Ben: That's right, we did not mention that. Yeah, a lot of people do fast forward through the ads. Bastards, how do you think we pay the bills for this show? How do you think I pay Brock to be the amazing editor and sidekick of the show if you keep fast forwarding the commercials and Brock disappears? Now you know why.
Brock: It's because I starve to death, you jerks.
Ben: Sensitive, fast forwarding, pushed-a-little-forward-fifteen-seconds button.
Will: Hey, Ben and Brock. Thanks for all you do, love the show. Got a question for you. What do you think about this supplement, Celadrin. It contains something called esterfied fatty acid carbons. Supposedly is good for your joints and tendons, I didn't have much of an idea of what this actually means. I know certain fatty acids like MCT oils and things like that are good for you, but I wasn't sure about these esterfied fatty acid carbons. Again, thanks for all you do. Hope y'all can help us out. Thanks.
Brock: I had never heard of Celadrin.
Ben: You've been living under a rock?
Brock: Yeah, I guess.
Ben: Never heard of Celadrin. Everybody's heard of Celadrin.
Brock: Some quick googling in, and this is cool. I actually asked my mom, and she's like come on. Now I raise you better than this.
Ben: Yeah, you disappointed your mother.
Brock: She gave me a whooping.
Ben: Celadrin is actually very interesting. You can find it in food. Speak of the devil, olive oil, and olive oil has really high amounts of celadrin. Celadrin is the name of the supplement, but celadrin is a mixture of what I call cetylated fatty acids. That's spelled with a C, cetylated fatty acids, and those are combined by forming naturally occurring fats such as you would find in an extra virgin olive oil with acetyl alcohol. When you combine those two, you get to something like celadrin, and it's an anti-inflammatory compound that has been shown in research to be efficacious for arthritis and to improve your joint function and your joint mobility. So, it's a very interesting compound that they have done studies on, so it was first discovered in the 60s by the National Institute of Health, by some chemists at the National Institute of Health. One guy in particular, H.W. Deal, a chemist who worked for NIH, when he was getting old, he started get osteoarthritis it's in his hands and then his knees and some other joints.
So, he tried cortisone and he tried non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, and they didn't have much of an effect. And then what he wound up doing was making up a batch of this stuff, this myristoliate it was called including cetyl myristoliate which is the Celadrin, and he was sourcing his myristolaic acid which he using to make this from beef tallow, butter fat, chicken fat and sheep tallow. That was the original, and it turns out now, you can get it from a lot of plant-based fats as well. But what it does, more or less is it lubricates connective tissue like joints because of those fatty acids. And upon study, it's been shown to relieve inflammation, it's been shown to reduce peripheral pain receptor activation to help out with some of the pain associated with autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia and arthritis, so it's actually very interesting as far as a supplement is concerned. The cool thing about it its effects can be enhanced by including certain compounds in your diet.
They've looked at things that could enhance the effects of something like a Celadrin. So, if you go to Amazon, you can get celadrin. I can put a link in the show notes to a few forms of Celadrin on Amazon, but you can also throw a few extra things in there to help it out. And by the way, I should mention there are very few side effects that have ever been reported in clinical trials with this. A few people can get a little bit of indigestion, particularly if you have difficulty digesting fats, you may little bit of indigestion from. But even then, it's also available as a cream or as a soft gel, so you could actually put it onto the joint as a cream or as a soft gel if it gives you any type of stomach distress.
So anyways though, the things that can help make it more effective. One would be any type of Omega-3 fish oil, so like I mentioned, that super essentials earlier, that would be a stack that you could use. Celadrin plus a really good fish oil. A couple of others would be glucosamine chondroitin and then, very interestingly, proteolytic enzymes. Now proteolytic enzymes in your blood can break down fibrin, a lot of times using these pre or post-surgery. It can be more efficacious for recovery from surgery, they're great for injuries, they're great for generalized joint pain, they're great for later on in the day after you finish the workout, and they can enhance the effects of Celadrin. So, when you look at the label of a proteolytic enzyme supplement, you're going to see things like papain, bromelain when you typically find in the pineapple plant and papain in papayas, but should you not want to travel to an island or eat a bunch of citrus fruit for your joint pain, you can purchase just the enzyme. A couple of others that are pretty powerful would be trypsin, chymotrypsin is one, protease is another.
So there's a lot of different enzyme blends that you can consume, and I have this stuff called Flex that I have made available at Kion, and that has cherry juice, ginger, turmeric, white willow bark, hyaleuronic acid, boswellia, and it's got all of the enzymes in it and it has goat mineral whey concentrate, which comes from this organic goat farm in Washington, and so there's a bunch of organic minerals and electrolytes in there, but then it also has cetyl myristoleate in it as something that is an added fatty acid. So, it's like a shotgun formula that has all of this stuff already in it. I did not anticipate really… Well, let me put it this way. I did not think of this question when it first came through as something that would be used as a way to advertise a product that I make, but ultimately, there was a form of oral Celadrin in an actual supplement that we design over at Kion, so you can always go that route as well, so we'll put link to that in the show notes too, but you could also take olive oil, you could take a good fish oil, you could use Celadrin on the joints or the muscle. So, lot of good uses for it, but it's Celadrin, C-E-L-A-D-R-I-N is the actual brand name of the stuff but cetyl myristoliate is the actual active chemical in it. So, have some fun with that.
Sheridan: Hey, my name is Sheridan. First, I just wanted to thank you for being so open and honest about being a Christian and a biohacker. I feel there's not very many out there and I highly respect that about you. Just quick question, I was wondering how hot you did your hot tub when you're doing that hot therapy, if there was a certain sweet spot or if hotter was better. So yeah, that was my quick question. Thank you.
Brock: Do you remember that Saturday Night Live sketch where Eddie Murphy was being James Brown, and he was dancing around the hot tub?
Ben: No. Was this before my time?
Brock: I think it’s before my time.
Ben: That's a pretty good Eddie Murphy. You know what's funny is that just two days ago, I went out to our hot tub, and I got in up to my thighs and I thought holy crap. Either my heat tolerance has gone down a ton or something's wrong with the hot tub, and I peered over at the dashboard, and it said “Do Not Enter Hot Tub Extreme Temperature”, and it was up at 101.
Brock: It's too hot in hot tub!
Ben: Yeah, it was at a hundred and nine degrees Fahrenheit which was pretty damn warm for the hot tub.
Ben: Shut up.
Brock: Okay, I'm done now.
Ben: It turns out for both saunas and hot tubs, they've actually looked in this, what some of the better temperatures are. But the other thing that's interesting is I've spent a lot of time over in Finland particularly those biohacking conferences that I talk about they have sauna offset those. The World Sauna Championships, and people actually die from burning and dehydration and heart failure during the Sauna Championships.
Brock: Wait, what?
Ben: Yeah, so for example the former champion collapsed along with his Russian rival who was in there at the same time as him six minutes into the final round. One of them died. I think the other one wound being revived, but at that point they had the sauna 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and they were in there for over 16 minutes at 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and that's just freaking hot.
Brock: I hope somebody at least ate them 'cause they were nicely roasted.
Ben: I'll keep my infrared sauna which I'll get into in a second at about 158. Did you say you hope somebody ate them?
Brock: Yeah, that's two episodes in a row I've brought up being on cannibalism. Yeah, sorry about that folks. I'm not a cannibal just so you know.
Ben: Just a Canadian, not a cannibal.
Brock: I'm just fixated. I'm a Canadian cannibal, there's a lot of us.
Ben: So anyways, it appears that 230 might be a tad hot, and it turns out that it does depend what kind of sauna and what kind of what's called hyperthermia that you're using to get heat effects. This whole concept of using heat or cold is actually referred to as hydrotherapy, so that's technically the use of water, hydrotherapy is, and then heat their appeal in general would include things like saunas, but we're talking about a hot tub that's hydrotherapy. And they have found that, for example, you get enormous increases in things like heat shock protein and in cardiovascular blood flow along with health of the respiratory system, decrease in nerve pain and better nerve function, including a build-up of electoral impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain which cause this analgesic pain killing effect. Musculoskeletal effect, in terms of a decrease of soreness perception and increase of blood flow to the muscles and even in an improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms via the use of sits pads for the colon or warm water compresses for the stomach. There's a lot of ways that you can actually use heat as a tonic.
Now when it comes to actual temperature of something like a hot tub, generally in most cases you're looking at somewhere in the range of 101 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. I personally keep my own hot tub at about 104 to 105 degrees, and it's pretty hot. But once you get in and once you're under, you can start to feel the body heat up. You break out in a sweat, your face turns red. You start to get all the more intense effects of hydrotherapy when you've got it up around there.
A lot of times when you go to a hotel, they'll regulate the temperature between about 97 and 102, so they don't like it quite as hot. But I personally, based on the research I've seen on heat shock protein, cardiovascular blood flow, the respiratory system, the musculoskeletal system, etcetera, I go 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, as far as the temperature of the actual water in the hot tub. And then as far as the actual sauna goes, I use an infrared sauna, and even though my sauna will go up to 158, I don't always use it at 158. So you will get the increase in erythropoietin, all the blood building benefits, a lot of the sweat benefits when you're up at 158, but one of the very cool things about infrared saunas is, and I have a whole article about this I'll link to over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/388, they can be used for detoxification, and this is actually a big discussion of the health mastermind I was out earlier this week. Only if the body is in what would be deemed a parasympathetic mode, meaning that if your sympathetic nervous system is activated by excess heat, you actually down regulate a lot of the blood flow to the core, to the gut, to the liver, etcetera, and you don't get as much detoxification as if you went with a slightly lower temperature and weren't quite as stressed out.
So, the idea is that sweat is going to be accomplished through two different types of sweat glands. You have your apocrine glands, and those would be in your armpits or in your scalp, and the sweat that you're going to find in apocrine glands, that contains higher levels of fats in organic compounds. But then you have a second group called the eccrine glands, E-C-C-R-I-N-E, and those are all over your entire body. Those handle a little bit more of the sweating process, those tend to be higher in actual electrolyte loss and also higher in loss of a lot of these toxins and chemicals and metals that can build up in the body because the skin is the largest detoxification organ, and it's been proven in a lot of medical literature that you do lose things like heavy metals through the actual skin.
So the thing is when you use a sauna at a lower temperature, we're talking about 110 to 125 degrees or so, particularly in infrared sauna. What happens is you get a much higher amount of eccrine gland activation, and in one study, they found 20% toxin release compared about 3% toxin release from the sweat that you produce in a higher temperature unit. So the idea is that lower temperature and deep breathing, laying on your back, relaxing, reading and this mild sweat is superior for detoxification. If you're doing it for the performance benefits, then go hotter. Go up to that 150, 160 degrees, and ultimately, in my opinion, if you're going to go with any type of sauna, the infrared saw is the way to go 'cause you can adjust it to be a detox temp or a higher temp, and I know a lot of guys like Laird Hamilton, for example, is famous for his big barrel saunas that he keeps by the pool for the underwater pool workouts, and I don't mind the barrel saunas, but you do get higher EMF. You get very dry air, and you get a lot of that heating effect, but you don't get the detox effect of something like an infrared. So ultimately, I would say if you want the most versatile approach, get an infrared, and ultimately, I do think that a sauna is a little bit more efficacious than just hydrotherapy with a hot tub, but if you're already into a hot tub, 104 to 106 degrees.
Brock: You know the only problem I have with doing the sauna instead of the hot tub is my beer gets warm way faster in the sauna, but you can keep your beer pretty cold…
Ben: The other thing I should mention is that…
Brock: No, my beer.
Ben: Oh, your beer. Why'd you say your beer gets too warm?
Brock: Yeah, it gets really warm in the sauna. In the hot tub, you could keep it up on the side and you can keep it cold. You go in the sauna at 150 degrees, five minutes later, your beer is too warm to drink.
Ben: You know what that's called? That's called a detox-retox protocol when you combine alcohol with beer. Actually at a lot of the Finnish saunas, you'll go in the saunas and they'll come out and they'll some fish soup and some cold beer and then go back in the sauna, then go jump in the Baltic Sea, but you may not want to bring the beer into the actual sauna. It might not be advisable nor tasty.
The last thing I should mention is that if you are using hydrotherapy, it should go without saying to use a natural mineral cleaning solution in your hot tub, and then get a hot tub with an ozone filter to help to kill off more of things like the bacteria in the water without you having to use copious amounts of chlorine. So that should go without saying.
Brock: Ben is speaking from experience there wherein you almost lost your leg with that infection you got.
Ben: I've fully chlorinated. I didn't lose my leg from sitting in the sauna.
Brock: Not from the chlorine. It was in the hot tub, wasn't it?
Ben: No, lost my leg?
Brock: No, remember when you got that huge infection in your leg. Wasn't that from a hot tub?
Ben: No, that was not from a hot tub. That was from a race, that was when I was travelling back from the Wildflower triathlon, covered in cuts and scrapes. I forget how I actually got them. No, it wasn't a Wildflower triathlon, it was a Spartan race. It was barbed wire. Anyways, I had cuts on my body from some race. This was five years ago, and I had a layover in Las Vegas and I slept in a really crappy hotel, and I'm pretty sure that my wounds got MRSA in them from the hotel bed because I came back, and within a couple weeks, I had flesh-eating bacteria all up and down my thighs.
Brock: You can look it up on bengreenfieldfitness.com. Ben actually put some photos up there, gross.
Ben: Golf ball-sized hole in my leg, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and search for MRSA if you like to look at gross things. If you're one of those people who visits the Pimple Popper website on YouTube, it's right up your alley. Anyways though, we're a little long in the tooth, so what do you think? Should we give some crap away?
Brock: Always, that's the only way to end this show.
Ben: So, this is the part of the show where Brock will read a lovely review from iTunes, and if you hear your review read and you email [email protected], that's [email protected] with your t-shirt size, we'll send you a wonderful BGF t-shirt, we'll send you a BPA-free, BGF water bottle. We'll send you a really cool BGF beanie. It's actually pretty cool, if I don't say so myself…
Brock: Or a shirt's cool, toque.
Ben: It's a tech shirt, it's not big old, cheap-ass cotton shirt. Textured, so you can work out on it. Anyways Brock, you want to take this one away from iTunes?
Brock: Yeah, this one's short and sweet, but I thought it was timely given that we're already over an hour, so this one's from Mark in Philadelphia. He says, “Great job, good stuff, but …”, he still gives us five stars, but he's got a “but” in the title, and it goes like this. “I'd like Ben and Brock a lot, they go deep on the craziest stuff. My only complaint is that the podcast is too long and filled with a lot of chit chat and rabbit holes. What about 30 minutes or less, boys? Thanks for doing all you do.”
Ben: Well if people quit writing questions in about complex topics like motor units, then maybe will stay 30 minutes or less. Tell you what, if you want to write in and ask me why a Wendy's frosty in a basket of French fries might not be all that great for you, we can do a thirty-minute podcast, but if you want to get into in the biohacking ketosis and all that advanced crap, then I'll just go longer. I like longer, I don't mind longer. I like to listen to it when I'm working out or on a walk.
Brock: Yeah, we actually got complaints when the show goes too short. People were like “Hey, what am I supposed to do for the rest of my three-hour bike ride?”
Ben: One big, long, dense podcast. I’ll go to some of these podcasts like you know, I've been on a lot of them. I was talking about Rogen earlier. That's like three hours when they do their show, that's really long.
Brock: That's too much, but if you like really short podcasts, can I throw a plug in for my podcast?
Ben: Your Get-Fit Guy podcast? Yeah, I'll plug your podcast, go to quickanddirtytips.com, and Brock has a podcast called The Get-Fit Guy. I used to be to Get-Fit Guy and ran that podcast for about five or six years. There's a bunch of back episodes that are ten minutes long, and now Brock does, and it's just simple stuff like how to increase your bench press or what to do about muscle cramps.
Brock: Now my latest one was strains and strains and some yoga you can do before bed. It's fun, but it's short. If you're hell bent on having a short podcast, there are short podcasts out there, but I don't feel sheepish about us going on a little bit longer in this one.
Ben: So there, thanks for the review there.
Brock: And there is a little chit-chat, it's true.
Ben: Alright, I got to shut Brock up, so we can end this thing.
Brock: What are you doing after this, man?
Ben: Eat some more worms.
Brock: I'm just trying to extend the chit-chat just to piss off Mark from Philadelphia.
Ben: Put some Stevia in them, take some more worms.
Alright, well folks, thanks for listening in. We've got a doozy of an episode coming for you this weekend, so stay tuned for that one. I will keep it under wraps, you'll just have to listen in once it comes out.
Ben: And in the meantime, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/388 to grab all the wonderfulness that is in the show notes, and Brock, I'll catch you later, man.
Brock: Hot tub, too hot in the hot tub!
Aug 2, 2018, Q&A Episode 388: Why Your Muscles Shake When You Exercise, How To Heal Joints With Celadrin and What Is The Best Temperature For Hydrotherapy?
News Flashes [00:08:20]
- Yet another fasting study suggests it’s not about the calorie restriction, but rather just the long periods of time without shoving food into your gaping maw.
- A ketogenic diet with adequate calories isn’t necessarily going to *add* slabs of muscle to your body, but you can at least *maintain* muscle WHILE decreasing body fat %.
- Appears it’s not glycogen depletion that makes a ketogenic diet reduce power production, but rather the acid ketones produce (meaning supplements like beta-alanine or sodium bicarbonate good choices for power keto athletes).
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 [00:27:35]
This podcast is brought to you by:
-Halo – The Halo headset applies electrical stimulation to the brain’s motor cortex to induce a temporary state of hyperlearning. Get this truly innovative product for just $475 – that’s $275 off the retail price at gethalosport.com/greenfield
-Onnit – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ONNIT and save 10% on your awesome health and wellness purchase. The discount is built into the link.
–Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories about his morning, day and evening routine!
– August 17 – 19, 2018: Colorado Rockies Ultra Beast and Sprint Weekend, Breckenridge, Colorado. The mountain is calling! This is an extra-special Spartan race. Team members of my company, Kion, and I are competing together in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Experience the immense beauty of Colorado while conquering climbs, crawls, carries and traverses. See you there!
Bottom of Form
– October 14-16, 2018: SPARK BioHacking Conference, Toronto, Ontario. The 2018 SPARK Bio-Hack Conference features a series of talks by leaders across a range of fields with an eye on optimizing human performance, recovery, and longevity. Researchers, medical specialists and other biohacking experts will share provocative, informative, and inspiring presentations meant to invigorate your curiosity about health and amplify your life journey. Registration is now open, secure your spot here.
– October 11 – 14, 2018: 2018 RUNGA California Immersion Retreat. Runga is going to Napa! Join me, my wife, Jessa, Joe DiStefano and a small, intimate group of like-minded individuals for a weekend-long getaway. We’ve rented a beautiful mansion located in one of the most iconic countrysides in America– Napa Valley. We’ve thought of everything that you could possibly need to gently “press the reboot button” on your body and completely tune in to your heart, mind, body, strength, and spirit. Join the waitlist!
– December 2-8, 2018: RUNGA Retreat, Dominican Republic. You’re invited to join me at RUNGA in December 2018. Join me in the Dominican Republic, one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, for this retreat. In all RUNGA activities, RUNGA invites you to come home to yourself. To see everything you’ll be getting into, just click here. Use code BEN when you register so you get your gift when you arrive! I’ll be there, too. Join the waitlist here.
– June 23 to July 7, 2019: Swiss Retreat and Liver Detox, Swiss Alps, Switzerland. Join me for an immersive health retreat on the Swiss Alps in 2019. Just click here to know more or reserve your spot now.
Giveaways & Goodies [01:10:50]
-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!
If you like shorter fitness podcasts, check out Brock’s podcast Get-Fit Guy over on the Quick and Dirty Tips network.
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.
Why Your Muscles Shake When You Exercise [00:35:10]
Garett says: My question relates to whenever I do strength or resistance training my muscles tend to tremble and shake. And this has been happening since high school and I am 31 now. When it happens my friends tend to joke that I am trying to out lift my potential or that I am too weak to lift the weights at hand (which is not the case). I have read that it could be from dehydration but I drink a ton of water. Do you have any idea what might be causing this or a supplement that might help temper it, I would love to know.
How To Heal Your Joints With Celadrin [00:52:58]
Will says: What do you think of the supplement Celadrin. It contains something called esterified fatty acid carbons. Supposedly it is good for joints and tendons. I didn’t have much of an idea what this means. I know certain fatty acids (like MCT oils and the like) are good for you but I wasn’t sure about these ones. Can you help us out?
What Is The Best Temperature For Hydrotherapy [00:59:10]
Sheridan says: I was wondering what temperature you keep your hot tub at when you are doing your heat therapy. Is hotter better? Is there a sweet spot temperature wise or does it depend on what result you are after?
In my response, I recommend:
–My article on sauna science