May 18, 2019
[00:01:02] Chat About Being on IG and Work Outs
[00:08:48] News Flashes: Four Laws of Muscle
[00:16:15] New research and another negative for ibuprofen and Advil – NSAIDs increase your heart attack risk.
[00:19:21] The effects of earthing/grounding on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
[00:21:56] Cool jet lag/exercise trick
[00:25:09] Special Announcements
[00:27:06] Podcast Sponsors
[00:33:08] Listener Q&A: The Effects of CBD On Cortisol
[00:50:47] How to Recover Faster
[01:02:19] Which Artificial Sweeteners Are OK to Consume?
[01:16:18] How to Get Carbs on A Carnivore Diet
[01:25:57] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:28:04] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, how to get carbs on a carnivore diet, the four laws of muscle, how to heal your body faster, which artificial sweeteners are okay to consume and much more.
I have a master's degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I've spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world's toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world's top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Hey, Jay. So, did you get any hate mail after the last show, any anthrax, or I don't know, unidentified envelopes or anything else of note sent your way?
Jay: To be honest with you, I was waiting for it but it's mad people trying to slip into my D-ends everywhere. They wanted to get this. So, no hate mail, but I did have a request by actually multiple people to start an Instagram. So, I did it.
Ben: Oh, you were in the Dark Ages there. Do you have an Instagram?
Jay: I didn't because I mean I never got around to it. I had a Facebook and I had my website set up but never got into Instagram and only kind of dabbled in Twitter and I was like, “Well, now it's my time. If anytime, it is now.”
Ben: The slippery slope. You start an Instagram channel, and then you get a butt implant, and then you start sticking out your booty on the beach, and at the zoo, and at your family dinner table, and people start paying you for paid product placements where you slide your booty next to maybe like a little supplement bottle or a medical device and you can quit your job. It's that easy.
Jay: Yeah. I could only be living the dream if all that occurs. So, I'm going to hold you to that. If that does not occur, then I would be pretty pissed off with you, Ben.
Ben: Yeah. The calf implants are our [00:02:23] ______, but you really can't beat a booty implant, and you can usually find a good donor who will donate some type of tissue to you that a good physician I guess–I don't know, you probably have a lot of contacts in the medical industry. You could probably find somebody to do it pro bono, the big horse syringe.
Jay: Yeah, probably, but I don't think my wife is going to be a fan of that. I mean, I've already got a stout butt as it is. I do my squats. I don't skip leg day.
Ben: I actually caught some flak on Twitter because earlier this week, I posted that longevity study that Men's Health put out that said that staring at boobs can make men live longer. What they didn't include in the headline though was that the same effect can be had by staring at cute animals. So, you could look at–
Jay: So, maybe you should have led with that?
Ben: Yeah, I could have, but boobs are sexier than kittens in my opinion.
Jay: That's true. You're going to become Instagram famous, or I guess Insta-famous more quickly with the boobs than you will with the animals.
Ben: General consensus though is that women like to look at guys' butts just as much as men like to look at women's boobs. They could do one of those for women, too. That was my response when I got the heat on Twitter. I told the women, “Just look at our butts and it's all even.”
Jay: Good call. Yeah, all even.
Ben: Yeah. By the way, I'm goose bumping right now. I got a massage last night and a lot of times when I wake up in the morning after a massage, I don't want to throw it out on a hard workout, but I still like to move. So, I challenged myself to do hypoxic swimming in the cold pool this morning for a half hour, which is a long time. Usually, I'm in there about five minutes.
Jay: It is a long time.
Ben: Yeah. It's teeth-grittingly cold after about 15 minutes. And then, I started to really think hard about that hot tub next to the cold pool at about 20 minutes. And not only did I have to do the hot tub, but I actually did wind up doing a whole bunch of burpees afterwards, which is–when I did the Kokoro camp down with the Navy SEALs in Encinitas, that was the way they'd save us from hypothermia, was you just do burpees for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever, until you're warm, then you get back in the water.
Ben: But I did a whole bunch of burpees after the cold. I'm still goose bumping. It's crazy, which means I'm going to be starved the rest of the day. It's actually really good.
Jay: You will.
Ben: If you don't hyper-compensate with the calories, you can actually use that as a pretty good fat loss tactic, like just long-term cold exposure, but it can be kind of tough on the nervous system, too. So, I don't endorse somebody–
Jay: Yeah. I mean, how many times are you doing this a week?
Ben: That's something I might do like once every month or so. It's pretty rare. When I used to train for triathlon, I'd do a lot of cold-water swimming, but now I'm more into like the two to five-minute quick cold plunge, also for some of those hormetic. If you're listening in, by the way, and you didn't hear our last Q&A episode with our–our new podcast host, by the way, this is Dr. Jay Wiles, our new podcast host who I'm talking to. We talked about hormesis and the fact that long-term cold exposure, 10 minutes or longer, especially if you're frequently exercising, can actually kind of blunt that hormetic response to exercise. So, I don't really go longer anyways. How about you? Did you work out today?
Jay: Not today, you know, because we're recording in the afternoon and my workouts are typically in the evening. I mean, this is kind of a book–I mean, this is right out of your book, man, to be working out in the evening. Isn't this what you go by and you, over here, working out in the morning with like a D-bag?
Ben: Well, no. I do like easy stuff in the morning, like sauna, cold pool, walks in the sunshine, yoga, shit like that. And then, typically, when body temp is high and testosterone peaks and grip strength peaks and reaction time peaks and post-workout protein synthesis peaks, et cetera, I'll work out in the afternoon or evening. But if it's a busy day and I know I'll have a bunch a decision-making fatigue and cognitive fatigue and just won't want to work out later on in the day, I flip-flop it. I'll do my hard work out and eat the frog, so to speak, in the morning. And then, that way when I'm done with a really hard day of work, dessert is the sauna or an easy walk. And honestly, with my life these days, like 50% of the time now, I wake up in the morning. I'm just like, “Dude, this day is nuts. I just need to crush it this morning, get it out of the way and–the best time to work out is when you're going to do it, right?
Jay: Yeah, totally, totally. Well, for me, I'm up at around 4:30 in the morning. I'm at work by about 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. And then, I get off rather earlier in the afternoon. So, for me, that 6:00 to 7:00 spot is really good. And after my workout, I'm not nearly as hardcore as what you're doing, but I'll throw on like the Cool Fat Burner and the cool fat buster.
Ben: Oh, yeah, it was cool.
Jay: Gut buster, is that what it's called?
Jay: Yeah. It's pretty cool. I mean, that really gets my core temperature down pretty low and I feel so invigorated after doing that type of cold thermogenesis after my workout. It's incredible.
Ben: That thing works like gangbusters. Shout out to, what is it, coolfatburner.com.
Jay: Yeah, coolfatburner.com. I think a guy named Eric runs that company. Pretty incredible.
Ben: Yeah. He's written some articles on my site. You could go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and search for Cool Fat Burner and you could see some of his lab research studies where he's induced like a 300% increase in metabolic weight by essentially packing areas of brown fat with his vest. And then, he's got like around the waist device that you could put on that does the same thing for the ab section. People think spot burning or spot reducing, spot reduction of areas of fat is a myth. But some of the research on localized cold application and the mobilization of fatty acids out of adipose tissue shows that myth to be a myth. So, there you have it.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. And I think it's well worth the investment.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, definitely. You just mostly need to work on your booty though now that you've got an Instagram channel. You need to do.
Jay: Well, no. What you're saying is Cool Fat Burner needs to make a booty one.
Ben: That, but you don't want to shrink your booty.
Jay: That's true. That's true.
Ben: For Instagram, you want massive amounts of both fat and muscle in your booties. You just need to do like Gwyneth Paltrow kick-outs with an elastic band to failure.
Jay: I'm on it.
Ben: Multiple times.
Jay: I'm on it.
Ben: Hey, we've actually got a news flash on muscle and the four laws of muscle. So, we should probably move on.
Jay: Let's move on.
Ben: So, this is the part of the show where I tell you the most interesting anecdotes from–no, not from Instagram, from Twitter, what I've tweeted this week, over at twitter.com/bengreenfield. You can check out all the hottest new research and cool articles, or sometimes silly articles like the one about how staring at boobs make you live longer. But I'd put all that stuff on Twitter. We'll also put links to everything we talk about on today's show over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397.
But our buddy, Alex Hutchinson, who's been a guest on this podcast before and who frequently writes for “Outside Magazine” and typically has some good stuff, wrote an article about the four laws of muscle, and it was actually quite good with some very good takeaways in terms of the latest research on muscle, and protein synthesis, and muscle maintenance, and muscle gain. And what Alex reported on was a recent conference he attended in which this professor named Luc van Loon presented the latest research from the American College of Sports Medicine on muscle. And a few of the takeaways were really good.
So, for example, one was, “you are what you just ate.” Meaning that what they did was they labeled an isotope in protein, which allowed them to see what happened when people ingested that protein. In this case, they used something very similar to a whey protein. It was like a bovine source of protein. And what they found was that when someone ingests protein, it's incorporated in the muscles within about two hours. And this means that much of the protein–they found that 11%, which is actually a high amount of the ingested protein, was incorporated into new muscle within two hours.
Jay: Yeah. That was actually remarkable.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Jay: Eleven percent is remarkable.
Ben: Yeah. The takeaway from that one though is, really, the idea is that if you are trying to gain muscle or maintain muscle, it would serve you well to consume some form of protein at least within two hours. If you fast for a little while after workout, which I tend to do, you can get an amplified growth hormone and testosterone response, but it would behove you, or behoof you in this case, since it was cows.
Jay: Nice. I'd see what you did there.
Ben: To eat your protein, get some protein, 20 to 40 grams of amino acids or protein within a couple hours after your workout. Hit that two-hour workout window. It doesn't fit right when you drop the barbell or whatever, but does need–or in the case of Dr. Jay Wiles, the elastic band, but it does need to be within a couple hours after the workout.
Another one that they listed was if you exercise first, you're more of what you just ate. Meaning that what they experimented with was a pre-bedtime dose of protein to see if they could boost muscle synthesis as subjects slept. And what they found was that muscle synthesis during sleep was significantly boosted with about 40 grams of protein prior to bed. Now, this may fly in the face of what you've learned about having a big meal prior to bed and that interfering with deep sleep, but you could use like a hypocaloric source of like bioavailable protein, particularly, collagen or bone broth helps a lot of people to sleep. You need to be careful with bone broth though because you might wake up to pee, or amino acids. Shout out of course to–shameless shout out to the Kion Aminos. But any of those–
Jay: Very shamelessly.
Ben: –in the 40-gram range–or even they mentioned here in the article that it can be as low as 20 grams, can maximize protein synthesis during sleep. So, that's another takeaway is having some protein right before you go to bed, especially if you're trying to gain or maintain muscle, can be a really good strategy. Another one that–
Jay: So, Ben, a lot of people take casein protein before they go to bed, a lot of people in the bodybuilding community. But are you still against that due to the inflammatory response that can cause?
Ben: Yeah. A lot of people don't do well with casein. You can always go get a food allergy profile from a company like Cyrex to see what your response to casein is. I don't respond well to casein or whey and generally avoid, for the most part, making those staples in my diet. And furthermore, not only could you use aminos or collagen, but research has shown that a plant-based protein like a hemp or a rice or a pea-based protein, if consumed with digestive enzymes, boost the bioavailability of that plant-based protein to the equivalent of that of whey protein. So, you also could do, if whey or casein doesn't agree with you, you could take a plant-based protein before bed, but then take a digestive enzyme supplement along with it, and that would kind of fix that issue.
One of the other interesting laws in the study, I'm not going to cover them all, but one other one is kind of related to what I just said, and that is that what they looked at was the ability of the body to be able to assimilate the protein with adequate amounts of chewing. And so, what van Loon recommended was basically, if you are going to eat before bed, especially if you're lying down, that slows the protein digestion and reduces the synthesis of new muscle protein. So, if you aren't doing protein in like a smoothie form, where it's already relatively predigested and bioavailable, or you're not using like amino acids or collagen and you're instead, let's say, eating a ribeye for dinner to maximize protein synthesis when you sleep, you should really focus on chewing heavily.
And actually, I tweeted an excellent article. If you go to my Twitter account, you'd be able to find it. But it was an article about chewing, and about head position during eating, and about like not even having your head in a forward position looking at your phone or at your computer while you're eating, and how that can maximize digestive enzyme benefit, and also the kind of like the rotary, rotation of the chin while you chew. And so, having your head in more like an upright position, like sitting straight up, kind of like folks did in the Victorian era. “Oh, Jim. Your hair looks fantastic tonight.”
Jay: You would fit right into the Victorian era.
Ben: I would, I would. So, check out my Twitter account. It was on thinktalkideas.com. I was telling you right now. It was at thinktalkideas.com/blog/chewing. What the heck. I'll just put that one in the shownotes so folks could go read. I'm not going to talk about it on today's show, but I'll add it to the news flashes if you want to go read that article on chewing because it's probably the best article on chewing I've ever read.
Jay: Yeah. Super informative, especially on the biomechanic aspect. That was pretty cool.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, it was. So, anyways, those are four laws of muscle. Check out that article if you want to dig into it even more. Then another one that came out today, and another blow against nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and Advil was this latest study. Previous studies have shown kidney and liver toxicity, especially in exercising individuals who use ibuprofen or Advil during exercise. This showed a risk of acute myocardial infarction, basically, a heart attack with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
What they found was that taking any dose, any dose of NSAIDs for a week or a month or more than a month, all were associated with an increased risk of MI with the higher risk being documented for higher doses of NSAIDs, and also short-term acute use. Meaning, it's like your risk of having a heart attack goes up really, really high once you start taking them, and it kind of tapers off the longer that you use it, although the risk profile stays there. So, once again, I mean, with as many alternatives as there are to NSAIDs out there, that I really think folks should be throwing their ibuprofen out.
Jay: Yeah. They'll stay away.
Ben: I've talked to my wife about research like this because she occasionally gets migraines and will pop them. She's back on the holistic bandwagon now even with that. That was like the one last element of our pantry that I needed to wean her away from. She's finally gotten onboard to using natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and curcumin and fish oil, for example. Now, she's got like magnesium lotion that she'll put on the side of her head and she's working on. Usually, it happens to her during like hormonal fluctuations, during her period. And so, now, she just got all her hormones tested by Dr. Matt Cooke, former podcast guest of mine. He's kind of getting her on a few little bioidentical adjustments and things that should help out with that. But ultimately, migraines are complex, but ibuprofen would not be the best choice, especially based on this data.
Jay: Yeah. I have so many patients who come in who have chronic pain complaints. I'm in the veteran population. It's what we see anywhere from about 80% to 85% as a primary complaint in primary care. And a lot of these individuals will have like their hsCRP tested and it'll be fairly high. And then, they'll go on kind of these high doses of NSAIDs and their hsCRP just continues to go up. And a lot of physicians are wondering why is this happening, why are they continuing to have more of an inflammatory response, and this is why. And so, I think it's just really good. Just to throw those things out, like you said, stay away from them. There are just so many good options out there to where you can turn away from these things and you'll be all right, I promise.
Ben: You know where this study appeared?
Jay: This one that you're reading from?
Jay: No, no. I didn't see it. Probably Canada.
Ben: The British Medical Journal.
Jay: Yeah, of course, it is.
Jay: The Victorian. Nice.
Ben: [00:19:17] ______ Canada throwing my London accent. But here's something. Here's another pilot study that came out here, would be an alternative, relatively fringe alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but they found something that significantly delayed or reduced, delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, post-exercise. And actually, in this particular study, they looked at over 40 different biomarkers associated with inflammation. I mean, they looked at white blood cell counts, bilirubin, creatine kinase, phosphate creatine. It was a pretty robust amount of data that they collected. And what they looked at specifically was the ability of one of these like–you know like those earthing pads or grounding mats that you would sleep on.
Ben: I didn't know anything about these. I was at the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference in Hawaii though years ago, like seven years ago, and this doctor named Dr. Jeff Spencer, who works with a lot of Tour de France cyclists and helps them to prepare their bodies more quickly. Between those grueling stages, he got up and he presented on the electrical effects of grounding and earthing, specifically, in terms of enhancing recovery and decreasing inflammation. And most of the doctors in the room thought he was a total kook, but I thought it was really interesting. I wound up getting him on the podcast because I'm a fellow kook.
Jay: Oh, yeah.
Ben: I love kooks. And this latest research study backs up what he was saying seven years ago that simply using a grounding or an earthing mat, the same could be said for pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, it's the same concept like a PEMF table or a PEMF device, or even though this is not what they use in the study, going outside barefoot, spend some time on your bath on the ground.
Jay: You mean you can do that?
Ben: You can do that. It's allowed. It's legal to take off your shoes in the U.S. and walk around with your shoes off.
Jay: But how much does it cost, Ben?
Ben: It's spendy because you have to get your biohacking device that you place upon your feet, the special slippers that you slip your feet into with the carbon plugs on the bottom. And also, it's time-consuming because you have to have your camera there so that you can do an Instagram story about your latest biohack going outside in your bare feet.
Jay: Exactly good. That's hilarious because I did one of those this week. Go check it out. Me wearing my earth runners and one foot barefoot. Yeah.
Ben: Oh, you're such a biohacker. I'll go check it out. So, anyways, interesting study. Will link to that one in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397 as well. And then, another good one that I found–this is the last one I wanted to mention to folks, a really cool jet lag or exercise trick. I've talked about how I'll phase shift my circadian rhythm, like if I'm traveling from east to west, and I get back west, and I'm waking up at, let's say 3:00 a.m. because I've been waking up at 6:00 a.m. back east. But I really would prefer to start waking up at 6:00 a.m. back west. I will just keep everything dark, wear blue light blocking glasses and not expose myself to much blue light until the time of day arrives at which I want to start waking up.
At which point, I will flip on a blue light producing device or flip on the lights in my office, take off the blue light blocking glasses, look at my phone, look at my computer screen, go outside in the sunshine, use things like the HumanCharger device in my ears or something else that will produce high amounts of blue light, and that will phase shift my circadian rhythm successfully. I can do that within about two or three days even after international travel, which is pretty quick considering that the–
Jay: That is quick.
Ben: Yeah. The general rule is that for every hour of a time zone that you cross, it takes that many days to phase shift your circadian rhythm. Meaning that if you travel seven hours across the pond to London and you–
Jay: There it is again.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. It would take seven days but I can do it in two or three days, less than half the time with that light trick. But this study found that exercise can do the same thing. Meaning that if you exercise at 7:00 a.m. or between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., that advances the body clock to an earlier time, right? Meaning, if you want to start getting up earlier, exercise at 7:00 a.m. or between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., or if you want to delay your body clock to a later time, you want to start, say like sleeping in later or you've been waking up earlier than you want to, you wait to exercise until between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. It's very, very simple. So, again, you want to shift to an earlier time, exercise at 7:00 or between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., and that's 7:00 a.m. or between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. And if you want to shift your body clock to a later time, then you would exercise between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Jay: Is this a one-time-only thing or do you need to start this well and advanced of travel?
Ben: This would be after you've traveled, when travel has thrown your circadian rhythm. It's called the zeitgeber. Bright light is regarded as the primary circadian zeitgeber, but exercise or a meal at the normal time in whatever time zone that you happen to be traveling to are other zeitgebers, and it turns out that this study actually found the best time to exercise based on exercise as a zeitgeber.
Jay: You need one more zeitgeber.
Ben: Zeitgeber. Anyways, there you have it. So, I hope this has been helpful for folks, taught you few things. Check all the research out at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397. Alright. This is part of the show where we tell you where I'll be at in the world. May 29th, I'll be down in your neck of the woods, Jay, Charleston, South Carolina.
Jay: That's great.
Ben: Yeah. Giving a special talk.
Jay: [00:25:20] ______ beautiful park.
Ben: Special talk down in Charleston, South Carolina. That's on May 29th. I'll be speaking on a whole bunch of advanced longevity tactics. It's put on by Dr. Craig Koniver. It's pretty intimate. It's like 80 people at a dinner. So, we'll have this amazing dinner at this place called Tradd's, and then I'll give a talk. We'll put links in the shownotes if you want to sign up for that and get into that. I'll also be at the MaxLiving Conference in Denver, Colorado on June 6. You can check out the MaxLiving website. Go google that, or we'll put a link to that in the shownotes.
And then we do have, I realize this is really kind of like last minute for a lot of people, but we still do have two rooms available at the European Detox Retreat that I'll be leading over in Switzerland, and that occurs June 23rd through July 7th where we'll be doing all forms of European biological medicine that you can't get in the U.S., like hyperthermic treatments and different forms of colonics. And we're doing different liver cleanses and hikes in the Swiss Alps. So, if you want to come, stuff up your butt with me in Switzerland–
Jay: And listen to Ben try to sound like the Swiss the entire time.
Ben: That's right. I don't think I can do a Swiss accent. Can you do a Swiss accent?
Jay: No. You better get to learn, and I'm not going, so I don't have to learn.
Ben: I'm pretty sure it will be in the Italian corner. So, I'll just have to use words like Miki amo, Ben, [00:26:50] ______ bellissimo.
Ben: Spaghetti, lasagna, pasta vera. Alright. So, anyways, those are some of the big events coming up and we'll put those over on the calendar at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397.
And, this podcast, like all of our fine, fine podcast, is brought to you by Kion. One of the things we have at Kion is, speaking of grounding for recovery, a recovery bundle. So, I have three things, three supplements that I think are at the top of the totem pole for recovery. One is amino acids, which are–essentially, you could think of those as predigested proteins at a highly bioavailable form. So, you get like 99% amino acid utilization. Fish oil, which is wonderful for inflammation and recovery. And the fish oil that I carry over there also has astaxanthin in it along with higher amounts of DHA and vitamin D and vitamin A added to it. So, it's a very full spectrum upgraded fish oil, so to speak.
And then finally, the product Kion Flex. And Kion Flex is–it is a shotgun formula full of proteolytic enzymes and turmeric and tart cherry extract and cetyl myristoleate for synovial fluid production. You stack all these three together and you can knock an injury out of the ballpark. You can accelerate recovery, especially if you take the Kion Flex and the fish oil with dinner. So, before you go to bed at night, you have some of this stuff in your system. And then, for the reasons we mentioned earlier, take about 20 grams of aminos before your head hits the sack. This is a really potent recovery blend. It's also, because it's a bundle, it's marked down heavily over at Kion plus you get an extra 10% off. Just go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com and you use code BGF10 for an extra 10% off.
This podcast is also brought to you by Organifi. Organifi does a red juice. Have you used any of the Organifi stuff yet, Jay?
Jay: I have. I have. I used the Red Juice. I don't remember when that was. That was a little while ago, but it was quite tasty.
Ben: Yes. The Red Juice is actually their new stuff. So, they took a whole bunch of blood building supplements like beet, and then they threw reishi and cordyceps in there, added a bunch of adaptogens. So, it gives you the equivalent of those spendy like $12 to $15 dark red anti-inflammatory juices that you'd get from the cold-pressed juicery in your neighborhood. But this comes down to just like two to three bucks for a single juice. And this is very easy to make. It's just a powder you add a scoop to water or almond milk or whatnot and it's–
Jay: And it doesn't taste like butt.
Jay: Like that's the thing. A lot of those juices taste like ass, but this one actually is pretty good.
Ben: Yeah. You just stole my phrase. That's usually what I say is–
Jay: I know.
Ben: You'd think this would taste like ass but it doesn't. You get 20% off that. You go to Organifi, Organifi with an I dot com/ben and use code BENG. What is the code, anyways? I forget what the code is. It's like BEN20? I think. Let me double check for folks, organifi.com. You got BENG20. It saves you 20%. Sorry, Jay, it's not JW20.
Jay: Next time, next time.
Ben: Yeah. I'm also, as we're talking right now, wearing shorts that are my go-to shorts for the gym now. This is by a company called Vuori. And Vuori, in addition to creating a company that is not pronounced like it's spelled, it's V-U-O-R-I, they make really, really comfortable shorts that you can wear to a freaking cocktail party or club if you're the type of person that's boss enough to show up to a club with shorts on.
Jay: Victorian dance party man.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Yes. Would you like to dance? And they create this four-way stretch, quick drying properties. They're sustainably made from recycled plastic. So, who knows? You could be wearing a coke bottle on your booty. And they're just good for everything; surfing or paddling or training or yoga. What they wanted to do was create performance apparel that not only moves well but also looks really bomb, and they really, really do look bomb. They even have, in some of the shorts, like built-in compression. I dig them. Like half my wardrobe now is Vuori. And you can get yourself some Vuori, 25% off. You go to vuoriclothing.com and you use code BEN25 at checkout. That will get you 25% off, vuoriclothing.com, and use code BEN25. And remember, it's V-U-O-R-I.
And then, finally, this podcast is brought to you by–do you have life insurance, Jay?
Jay: I do. Oh man, I was brought up and [00:31:51] ______.
Ben: I was just about to sell you some.
Jay: Oh, dang. Maybe you can sell me on something different than what I've got.
Ben: I have life insurance. My wife has life insurance. My kids have life insurance. I've maxed out all of our life insurance policies because I think it's a good move. And this company, Policygenius, they created a website that is a very easy way to get life insurance. In minutes, you get to compare all the quotes from all the top insurancers to find insurancers? Is that how you say it? Or is it insurers? I don't know.
Ben: I'm going to roll with insurancers because I like that.
Jay: You go for it. It sounds like a Spokane thing.
Ben: Yeah. Polysyllabic makes you sound smarter. So, they negotiate your rate with the insurance companies. There are no extra fees. There are no commission sales agents. They just give you helpful advice and personalized service, and they also will do auto insurance and homeowners insurance and disability insurance to protect your income, everything you need insurance wise. You can get the right policy in minutes at policygenius.com. And are you ready for this? Are you ready for the catchphrase?
Jay: I'm ready.
Ben: Policygenius, the easy way to compare and buy life insurance. Did I do it well?
Jay: That's soothing. You did it well even though I wanted it in the Victorian voice, but I'll take the Ben Greenfield voice.
Ben: Alright. Let's do our Q&A, baby.
Female: Hey, Ben. I was working on anxiety and nausea, trying to do it naturally, figured I had high cortisol, was working on supplements and CBD oil for high cortisol, went to an endocrinologist, and it ends up that I have low morning cortisol. So, for everything that I'm reading, should I not be using CBD oil, which I thought was helping me a lot?
Ben: Jay, are you on the bandwagon of adrenal fatigue possibly being a myth or at least an oft-overused phrase in medicine?
Jay: So, the often-overused phrase would be more in the camp I'm in. I mean, I think that everybody, and their sister believes that they have adrenal fatigue, and they say so just because they feel exhausted, maybe they're feeling stressed, whatever it may be. I hear it so often and I'm always left with, “Well, have you been tested for it?” And a majority which would be like 98% have not. No. I believe in there being such thing as adrenal fatigue, but I'm not so sure–
Ben: Yeah. Or have been tested for it, but often using the wrong tests. And I'll get to that in a minute.
Jay: Yeah. It would be cool.
Ben: But essentially, low cortisol, a lot of physicians will still say shockingly that adrenal fatigue signifies your adrenals are broken somehow, and that low cortisol measured on like a morning blood panel would indicate what's called your awakening cortisol response. Your ACR is reflective of some kind of indication your adrenals are pooped out, so to speak. And that's simply not true. Now granted, there is a disease, there's a disease called Addison's disease, it's almost like an autoimmune disease. Like Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease against the thyroid. You could think of Addison's as kind of like the adrenal version of that, and it's an autoimmune disease where your body essentially undergoes damage to the adrenals, and that would leave the adrenals with the deficiency of the cells necessary to produce cortisol properly.
Alright. So, number one is if this is a big ongoing issue for you, and if you test and your cortisol is low, and I'll get to this in a second, your cortisol metabolites are low, it could be an indication that you actually do have Addison's and you can go talk to a medical professional about getting tested for Addison's. Now, if it weren't Addison's, there's a lot of things that can actually cause low morning cortisol. In a moment, I'll get to why you would want to make sure that you truly have low cortisol in a second. But first of all, ensure you're not dealing with Addison's disease. So, you want your doctor to look at that. And in most cases, a doctor is going to see not only low cortisol if they're testing for Addison's, but they'd see low amounts of what's called ACTH, your corticotropic hormone. That would be a signal that your pituitary gland is sending the proper message to your adrenals. And if ACTH is also low along with cortisol, that could indicate that you do have Addison's.
But otherwise, some of the things that could cause a low cortisol awakening response in the morning, one is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea has been studied to cause that, and that's something that can be tested for in a sleep study, and you can also do your own little home tests by wearing one of those–what's it called? A fingertip pulse oximeter, but like a pulse oximeter or like a 24-hour pulse oximeter that will test your oxygen levels while you're asleep, and that can be if you test and you notice that your oxygen levels when you look at your reading in the morning, and a lot of these will sink to a device that will give you reading in the morning, if you notice you're seeing multiple times during the night where O2 is plummeting, or if you're just waking up multiple times during the night and you don't quite know why, a lot of times that can indicate sleep apnea. I also have two very helpful podcasts on sleep apnea, or one podcast and one article on sleep apnea. And I'll link to those in the shownotes as well.
Jay: And you can have your partner, your spouse, anyone who's in the bed with you listen for it as well because when you're gasping for air in the middle of the night, that's a solid indication there could be something obstructing your airway. So, a lot of what physicians will diagnose sleep apnea as is yes to sleep test but they'll also get that collateral information from the partner or the spouse. Bruce, will you stay up the entire night with a flashlight and monitor whether or not I'm waking? Yes, I will.
Ben: Okay. Great. Yeah. Just be careful with your partner. They may not want to just sit there and watch you like a newborn baby the whole night. But that is an option. It could potentially be an option. Workplace stress. If you happen to have good energy levels and good cortisol levels on weekend mornings, that can be a sign that workplace stress, and they've looked into this and found that people's cortisol rhythms, especially if they have high amounts of workplace stress, fluctuates from weekdays to weekends. So, this could be something for a lifestyle adjustment or from a lifestyle adjustment standpoint to pay attention to management of workplace stress.
Another one that can trigger low morning cortisol is metabolic syndrome, and this would be excess glucose, excess triglycerides, high blood pressure, and an unfavorable lipid profile. And if you have a panel like that, typically, metabolic syndrome is associated with low morning cortisol levels. And the reason for that is that one of cortisol's jobs used to regulate your blood sugar by raising it when it's low. And so, if you have metabolic syndrome, your body might actually have gotten to the point where it's been forced to produce lots of cortisol over and over again to be able to adjust that, and that could potentially cause true low morning cortisol or a low cortisol awakening response.
Erratic schedules are another one. Meaning that if your circadian rhythmicity and your sleep architecture is thrown off by erratic schedules, it can disrupt that cortisol awakening response. So, you should try to wake up at the same time every day, try to go to bed at the same time every night, try to have your first meal of the day at the same time, try to exercise at a consensus time of day, try to get your light exposure at a consistent time each morning. A lot of those things can really assist with the cortisol awakening response. Those so-called zeitgebers that we talked about earlier.
Ben: Those are important.
Jay: Yeah. That's especially important for shift workers, too. A lot of shift workers think that they need to modify their schedule on a daily basis, but really, we found it to be most effective when they keep consistency within their schedule. And then, introduce some of the biohacking type things that we've talked about like utilizing light exposure, exercise, whatever it may be to help regulate their circadian patterns. But it's just a lot more difficult with shift workers.
Ben: Yeah. And this is pretty obvious, but limitation of high amounts of artificial light exposure at night has been shown to assist with the cortisol awakening response. So, that's another one to look into. Now, like I mentioned though, sometimes the issue is not low cortisol. And bear with me here because this could get a little bit involved, but the idea is that when it comes to adrenal fatigue or low cortisol, you can actually–so a good example here would be like if you think about two different people, you've got person A and person B, and they both have low levels of cortisol and a lot of the symptoms that you'd normally see with low cortisol, like say fatigue, brain fog in the afternoon, disrupted sleep, et cetera.
And if you had one person who had a true damaged or dysfunctional adrenal gland, say person A, and person B had more of abnormal dysfunctional stress responses or some of the issues I was talking about earlier, you would have totally different approaches for both of those people. Now, in order to determine what type of approach that you would have, that's where I like something called a DUTCH panel, which is a 24-hour urine panel. And here's why. A lot of times, people are diagnosed with adrenal fatigue because their free cortisol is low. And many of those people have low free cortisol but they have very high levels of cortisol metabolites, or what's called metabolized cortisol, which means that they're making cortisol just fine.
And low levels of free cortisol doesn't mean cortisol production is necessarily low; it means that cortisol turnover is high, right? They're producing a lot of metabolites. So, it'd be–let me think of a good analogy. Let me see. If I were diagnosed as having a low amount of–I don't know. I'm trying to think of a good analogy now. I shouldn't have done this.
Jay: I'm trying to think of one with you.
Ben: Yeah. Let's say I was diagnosed as having a deficiency of apples in my refrigerator, but you open up my–or deficiency of apples in my diet, but you open up my refrigerator and I've got like apple juice and apple sauce and candied apple and dried apple and all these apple metabolites in the refrigerator. I don't have an apple deficiency. It's just the fact that my apples are getting turned into a whole bunch of different apple metabolites, right? If you open the fridge and it's totally empty, that could indicate an apple deficiency. So, what we're seeing–you like that?
Jay: I like that.
Ben: What we're seeing here is cortisol metabolites are just fine, but there's not a lot of free cortisol around. I mean, the cortisol is basically getting broken down very quickly, or the cortisol metabolites are hanging around the bloodstream for a long period of time. People who are obese, by the way, people who struggle with excess fat, they have nearly twice as much cortisol production as normal weight people. And that's because adipose tissue can churn out a ton of cortisol. But these folks can also show low levels of free cortisol even though they have robust amounts of cortisol production. And if long-term stress made the adrenal glands fatigue to the point where they were unable to make cortisol, we would see a lot of obese people who make extra cortisol all the time based on the extra adipose tissue. They would theoretically have adrenal failure, but they don't, even though their adrenal output of cortisol is more than twice as high as like a normal weight person. So, ultimately, it's important to understand this issue of cortisol metabolites.
Jay: Would you say this is the same thing like assessing TSH compared to looking at free T3, free T4?
Ben: Yeah, to a certain extent. In an ideal scenario, you would be looking at ACTH or how much ACTH you had, showing that your pituitary gland is sending or not sending the correct signal to your adrenal glands for cortisol, but then you'd also look at cortisol metabolites. So, a cortisol metabolite would be the equivalent of like T3 or reverse T3 from a thyroid standpoint.
Ben: Right. So, we know that the thyroids–maybe you're sending the right message to your thyroid gland to produce T4 but it's getting converted into excess amounts of reverse T3 rather than T3. That's where the issue of testing. What's going on the brain level and then on the metabolite level are both important.
Ben: Cortisol is made in–it's made from cholesterol, by the way. So, sometimes fatty acid deficits can cause low cortisol production, but it's made in the adrenal cortex out of cholesterol. And then, it's bound to something called cortisol binding globulin, in the same way that thyroid is bound to thyroid binding globulin, or testosterone is bound to sex hormone binding globulin. And so, a very small percentage of cortisol is free and unbound. Unfortunately, most of these blood tests are just testing for free cortisol. But what happens after your body produces cortisol is all the different glands can keep it as cortisol or they convert it into cortisone. It can be metabolized in two different forms of cortisol-like 5alpha-Tetrahydrocortisol or 5beta-Tetrahydrocortisol, or cortisone can get metabolized into 5beta-Tetrahydrocortisone.
And so, that's what I'm referring to when I'm referring to all these different cortisol metabolites that can be measured. So, when you measure for the metabolites and for the cortisol, you can see–well, am I not producing enough cortisol? Or is it simply getting metabolized very quickly or getting converted into these metabolites very quickly? And it's very similar again with–or it's related to thyroid, right?
So, if your thyroid is low or you have hypothyroidism, where free T3 can't get into cells, your clearance or your metabolism of cortisol would slow down and you would think you have rampantly high cortisol levels and maybe you're under a whole bunch of stress, but it's really a thyroid issue. And on the flipside, if you have hyperthyroidism, you could actually be breaking down the cortisol very readily, or maybe you're on a thyroid medication like arm or thyroid or something like that, and you could see low cortisol that would make you think you have adrenal fatigue when maybe you're just producing a whole bunch of thyroid hormone.
So, ultimately, what this comes down to is that your cortisol or your adrenal glands may be producing cortisol just fine, but you may have excess conversion or very rapid conversion into cortisol metabolites. And a lot of times, that can be thyroid related. And so, this is where working with a functional or an integrative medical practitioner can help you to elucidate whether or not your adrenal glands truly are pooped out or whether it's a different issue. Now, the actual question I know I didn't address yet, and that was CBD.
Ben: The fact is CBD has been shown to be anti-catabolic. It's been shown to be able to regulate the amount of cortisol released by the endocrine system. In most cases, the effect that it has on cortisol seems to be that it lowers cortisol, or as you've just learned, potentially increases cortisol clearance or increases the production of cortisol metabolites. I don't know of any studies that have been done into whether CBD is lowering cortisol production or whether it's increased in the clearance of cortisol. But nonetheless, we know that cortisol is lowered in the presence of CBD.
And so, if you're taking a whole bunch of CBD before bed and you're waking up and you have a low cortisol awakening response, it's actually quite common for people who take a whole bunch of CBD before bed to be groggy or to show signs of low cortisol that could be contributing to the issue. Now, I've found that by using things that you can do to just raise cortisol levels naturally and increase that cortisol awakening response, cup of coffee, a little bit of exercise, some sunshine, a meal, because I'll use a lot of CBD sometimes before bed. All the grogginess goes away within like an hour.
So, you can almost like induce a normal cortisol awakening response. And I like that because for me, waking up slightly groggy from a good amount of CBD in the evening, grogginess that I can fight off using any of those zeitgebers that I just mentioned is worth the increase in deep sleep percentages and sleep quality that I get. So, it doesn't concern me that much. I can get my body to make cortisol just fine in the morning. Trust me. Like there are a lot of ways to do it and a lot of more fun. Go walk in the sunshine, have a cup of coffee, do some exercise. So, I don't think it's that big of a deal. But ultimately, I would look into getting a DUTCH test if I were this person.
Jay: Yeah. I think that's important. And also, this individual also needs to stay away from Disney World because they'll get arrested.
Jay: Did you see that?
Ben: What happened?
Jay: So, there was a grandmother who was there with her family, and CBD is illegal in this State of Florida, and they were doing a bag check at Disney World, and found some CBD oil that her doctor had asked her–well, I guess had prescribed but just verbal prescription, told her to pick up. And when she was caught with it, they placed her under arrest and she was held for 12 hours and they released her. Now, it's made news headlines. Just kind of crazy.
Ben: Wow. That is nuts. So, the CBD cause you to drive with your right blinker on in Florida for three miles?
Jay: It is. Everybody there is loaded up on like 7,000 milligrams of CBD each day.
Female: Hi, Ben. I really like your podcast. Just have a question. I'm a 32-year-old female who is having ACL reconstruction with my hamstring and a meniscus repair next week. Wondering if you think there are any supplements or vitamins that I could take that would help promote healing in addition to just healthy eating and the physical therapy I'll be doing. Thanks.
Ben: Well, I'd highly recommend opioids, Valium, diazepam. There's a lot of stuff that can just make you forget your pain, high-dose ketamine, MDMA. I've heard good things about psilocybin lately. All of these I would say would be pretty high up the totem pole when it comes to supplements and vitamins.
Jay: Yeah. Extremely effective.
Ben: All right.
Jay: Yeah. Extremely effective with great long-term results.
Ben: I hope that was helpful. Next question. No. Okay. So, I already filled you in earlier in the commercials on that trifecta of proteolytic enzymes, fish oil and amino acids. Any of my clients, that get injured, I put them on that protocol right away. That's why we created the Kion Recovery Bundle. So, we'll get the whole shameless self-promotion out of the way right from the get-go. Any of these have good, good data behind them for assisting with healing. And in many cases, in folks who are prepping for surgery or going into surgery, I'll still use the Kion Flex and the Kion Aminos. Won't recommend the fish oil just because you don't want the blood thinning. But afterwards, you can start in something like a fish oil regimen along with the proteolytic enzymes and the amino acids.
But a few other things that, not necessarily in the supplements' realm, some of them in the supplements realm, but other things I think can really help with promoting the healing effect. So, I'll walk you through a few of my favorites. One would be a localized cryotherapy. This is very similar to those–and many of these cryotherapy clinics have them, but it's like a wand with a cryotherapy on the end of the wand that can be used for very targeted localized cryotherapy that can, not only assist with pain management but can cause this vascular response and the growth of new blood vessels and blood flow to an area. And I'm a fan of localized chiro as one hack, so to speak, or method that you could use to heal up faster.
Another one that I like is any form of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. And there are devices that can be used that can target the PEMF locally. So, you get opening and closing of the calcium channels, increased amount of blood flow, a little bit of a muscle contraction, and a relaxation response of any scar tissue around the area so you can increase mobility as well. So, for that, there are lower power devices like the FlexPulse, for example, by Dr. William Pawluk. That's one that I'll travel with a lot. You set that at about 100-hertz frequency, which is a good frequency for accelerating the healing response.
That can also actually increase stem cell mobilization. Those type of devices were actually originally developed from NASA, and specifically, for the application of stem cells. And by the way, that's the credibility anytime I say NASA or DARPA or the Russians and the Chinese. So, I don't even need to cite studies as long as I say it was NASA or DARPA or the Russian and Chinese. Just saying.
Jay: Yeah. Game over.
Ben: Yeah. Game over. I win. So, another one, and this is more expensive, you can find a place locally that has access to one, I own one, but again they're pretty expensive, is the Pulse Centers PEMF units, and these are like really big, high, high power units. These things came from the race horsing industry. But they come with little paddles and little rings that can be placed around elbows, knees, ankles, even be used on like thyroid, liver, the heart, the lungs. I mean, it's like a doctor's office in my basement. I just got a massage on one last night and it's like a reboot for the whole body. And again, those are expensive, but a lot of physical therapy clinics–and clinics have them. I'll put a link to Pulse Centers in the shownotes and you could go look at their practitioner directory and see if you could hunt one down near you, or you could even rent one.
Jay: Because with PEMF, you're essentially getting a concentrated form of grounding. Is that right?
Ben: Yeah. You could think of it that way. And then if you change up the frequencies–because a lot of people think the earth only emits a frequency of 7.8 hertz, but it really varies from 3 to 100 hertz, and same thing with these PEMF tables as you can adjust the frequency and the power pretty considerately.
Jay: There's a really cool company out of either Santa Monica or Santa Barbara, California, one of the Santa's. But anyway, they do a neurofeedback type PEMF. They're called NeuroField, and it is really interesting. They're using transcranial direct stimulation as well as PEMF for helping to improve cognitive outcome. So, it's really just–I won't say universal but kind of a well-rounded type treatment.
Ben: Huh. Cool. I hadn't heard of that one.
Jay: Yeah. Check it out.
Ben: If you get a chance to jump into the shownotes, you should add those to the shownotes. It might be interesting for people.
Ben: Cool. Yeah. Throw a link in there. By the way, those of you listening in, I'll put all this stuff in the shownotes as well that I'm talking about. Another one would be electrical muscle stimulation, but not using one of these high-power units I've talked about of late. I would actually use something that uses specific waveforms that gradually recruits slow-twitch muscle and works its way up to fast-twitch muscle rather than like the high-end Russian stim, iontophoresis protocols, which are great for muscle maintenance, for building muscle, for retraining muscle, but can almost be too much for an injured joint. Let's use them at a very low frequency.
But there's one called the Marc Pro that I like that's really, really good for recovery. I actually had a couple of doctors at my house over the weekend, and both of them got injured working on my obstacle course, and I had both of them hooked up to the Marc Pro. What I do is I'll put on some kind of a muscle cream on like a CBD or magnesium lotion then put the Marc Pro electrodes on top of that. And then for even added effect, you can add ice on top of that. So, that's kind of like [00:57:13] ______.
Jay: Or you just need to quit being so mean to the doctors.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. That's true. Or they just need to quit being such pussies and get–
Ben: Yeah. Put their game face on.
Jay: Call out.
Ben: Yeah. They don't teach obstacle course racing in medical school, apparently. Another one is photobiomodulation. Some good research on collagen and elastin fiber rebuilding and reduction of scar tissue with the use of something like–I've talked about the JOOVV device before, which is a combination of infrared and red-light therapy. And that can be another very good tactic for healing up muscle. You get it about six inches from the area. Keep it on there for 10 to 20 minutes. You can do that every day. And that one can also be very good tactic.
Another one, and we talked about this last week as being something you wouldn't want to do after an exercise session, but it is something that–I mean, since World War II, they've used this to enhance healing in post-surgical patients, and it's just high-dose vitamin C. I mean, The British Journal of Surgery way back had articles on vitamin C and exercise-induced collagen synthesis, and that would be especially if you mix it with like bone broth or any form of collagen, that's really good. Like if you're injured and you can do bone broth with a squeeze of a whole lemon or some other vitamin C supplement, or you can take a collagen and then take a vitamin C supplement at the same time, that's a really good one-two combo, and it wouldn't be redundant with–like I mentioned the Kion trifecta bundle, which is the Aminos, the Fish Oil, and the Flex. You could add vitamin C into the mix with that and enhance the availability of the aminos even more, or you could do the same with collagen. So, that's another good strategy.
And then another couple I'd mention–I know I'm throwing a lot of stuff here, but I mean heck, if you really want to heal your body like Wolverine so to speak, you could just toss all these tactics at it. One would be peptides like TB-500 as an injectable peptide to enhance the healing of actin and myosin fibers. And then also BPC-157 to increase capillarization and decrease inflammation. And the cool thing about BPC-157 is if you aren't a fan of needles, there are even companies like Dr. Seeds, for example, that make an oral form of the peptide BPC-157, which is really good for healing up the muscles. And ever since the podcast that I did with Jean-François on peptides where he recommended larger occasional boluses of TB-500 and BPC, doing like 3,000 micrograms of TB-500 and 2,000 micrograms of BPC-157, once a month, I actually tried that and wanted to monitor whether or not I got kind of a blog response. Sometimes these peptides, your head feels a little funny afterwards but felt great. I've done that twice now since my podcast with him and I just keep those in the refrigerator and can–really, you can inject them anywhere, even like subcutaneously around the abdomen and they'll wind up acting systemically. So, you wouldn't even need to inject them near the knee.
Jay: So, you're still doing them intravenously? Are you doing the Dr. Seeds oral stuff?
Ben: Well, not intravenously; it's subcutaneously.
Jay: Oh, subcutaneous, my bad.
Ben: Yeah. So, what I'm doing is larger on a monthly basis, subcutaneous injection, and then I take that Dr. Seeds BPC-157 just as a preventive on an almost daily basis. So, yeah.
Jay: Gotcha. Cool.
Ben: And then the last one would, of course, be stem cells and exosomes. You could go to Panama City or Mexico City and get the culture expanded version because it's illegal in the U.S. to modify stem cells or to enhance the growth and number of the stem cells. But I think you can approximate what you'd get overseas by, here in the U.S., just combining stem cells with exosomes. And there are companies like Dr. Harry Adelson's clinic in Park City, Utah, or Dr. Matt Cook's clinic in San Jose, or that clinic I'm going down to in Charleston, Dr. Craig Koniver's clinic in South Carolina.
Any of these clinics can combine stem cells with exosomes and do like a localized injection, preferably guided by digital imaging like an ultrasound directly into the area where it needs it, and stem cells can really, really help out with healing, especially if combined with exosomes, preferably pancreatic or stem cells derived from adipose or bone, but in a pinch, you'll still get some amount of bioavailable stem cells from amniotic or umbilical, especially if they're combined with exosomes. So, those would be a little bit spendier, but that's also an option. That's a big list of stuff, but I'll put it all at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397 and you can just scroll through it and pick and choose which ones that you find interesting or want to try.
Jay: Yeah. A lot to work on.
Male: Hey, Ben. I'll be starting the GAPS diet here, and specifically for the first two-week sort of intensive “intro diet.” Just wondering if things like NutraSweet can have a negative effect. I choose sugar-free gum a lot and I drink Diet Coke from time to time. So, just curious if that's going to undermine the process. Thanks a lot.
Ben: Ah, the wonderful world of sugar substitutes. There's a lot of them out there, a lot of them.
Jay: So, many.
Ben: There is a study they did last year where they found that non-nutritive sweeteners, meaning stuff other than sugar, was found in like 40% of sports drinks. Thirty percent of waters, which is crazy, 30% of waters you get from the grocery store or the gas station, they got artificial sweeteners in them, whatever, vitaminwater or Unicorn Tear water or enhanced water, like most of them use artificial sweeteners, especially like the flavored, like club soda water has a ton of those, 30% of sodas, that's not surprising, 65% of energy drinks have some form of artificial sweetener in them, 52% of any type of meal replacement powder or beverage powder mix like one of these shots that you'd pour into a glass of water for energy or a bottle of water for energy also has them in there.
They kind of fall into three categories. So, you have non-nutritive natural sweeteners that would be like stevia or monk fruit, for example. You have non-nutritive artificial sweeteners, and that would be like your aspartame, your sucralose, your acesulfame potassium, your saccharin, et cetera. And then you have your sugar alcohols, and that would be things like xylitol, erythritol, mannitol, anything that ends with “ol.”
Jay: Or the ones that make you fart.
Ben: Yeah. Well, most of them. There's one sugar alcohol that doesn't seem to do that. They kind of vary. But xylitol doesn't seem to be quite as bad as a relatively non-fermentable–erythritol is not too bad either. Xylitol and erythritol give lower issues and some of these others, but then yeah, all sugar alcohols, especially in people who have like FODMAP sensitivities. It can be an issue.
The universal truth about pretty much every sugar substitute out there is that they all have a sweet intensity that's much higher than sugar. And so, you taste that, your brain expects energies or calories to be coming in, the energy never comes in, that can create a little bit of craving later on or caloric hyper-compensation later on. So, that seems to be something that decreases with long-term use, meaning if you start using stevia, you might actually increase your cravings for sweets short-term, but long-term use, it seems to eventually go away and does not seem to produce many issues when it comes to insulin sensitivity.
Now, as far as some of these non-nutritive artificial sweeteners, you've got aspartame. That's the one that is labeled as equal, or NutraSweet that's found in Diet Coke, as our question asker has alluded to. And a lot of times, it's combined–
Jay: Is that the one most people call aspartame?
Ben: Aspartame, yup.
Jay: I've never heard it called–how did you say it?
Jay: Aspartame. Okay. I've always heard it called aspartame, but I mean again, this is South Carolina and this is how God's country calls it.
Ben: That's right. And this is how sophisticated people call it up here. I almost called it aspartame. Aspartame. Anyways, a lot of times, they'll combine that with acesulfame potassium. That's what they do in Diet Pepsi. They have been conducting the safety of this since the '70s. There have been three studies that have linked it to brain tumors, lymphomas, leukemias, kidney, and other cancers in rodent models. Since the '80s, there have been additional studies showing aspartame to be mildly carcinogenic, especially in men who have enzymes that more readily convert the methanol and aspartame to carcinogenic formaldehyde. And then a lot of people get migraines and other neurological symptoms indicative of neurotoxicity with aspartame intake. So, that one would be one to avoid.
In addition, a recent randomized control start trial that came out a couple of months ago on low-calorie sweeteners, I guess it still may account this month, on low-calorie sweeteners comparing them with sucrose, they found that most of the low-calorie sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, et cetera, did not seem to have much of an effect on weight, although all they looked at was weight, no other health parameters. But saccharin was pretty much just as effective as sucrose or table sugar at significantly increasing body weight.
Jay: Wow. It would be like insulinogenic effects?
Ben: Yeah. That would definitely be one to avoid. In the '70s, the FDA proposed banning saccharin in the food supply due to animal studies showing that it caused uterine, ovarian skin, blood vascular, and an organ cancer. Congress fought back. Then they just included it with a warning statement. Later on, human studies found that there wasn't an increased risk of cancer. So, since the year 2000, there's been no warning notice on saccharin, but the latest study shows that it's a fast track to weight gain.
Sucralose is another. The issue with sucralose is it appears to have some effect on dysbiosis in the gut. There was a study in 2016 that showed a dose-related increase in leukemia and other blood cancers, again in male mice with the intake of sucralose. So, that's another one that, although it is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, ought to avoid. Then you have sugar alcohols. Xylitol, that's one of the most common. I use xylitol a lot because it's been shown to improve dental health and reduce dental caries. I chew xylitol gum. It does make it to the large intestine pretty intact, so it can serve as food for bacteria that reside in the colon, like bifidobacteria and kind of act very similar to a prebiotic.
So, there may be some benefits for gut health. But again, as you alluded to, Jay, in some people, it can have a gas producing effect, not as much as erythritol, which also makes it to the large intestine but seems to have a little bit of a laxative effect. There are other sugar alcohols but those are the two most common. Another thing you should note about the sugar alcohols like xylitol or erythritol is they're very low in the glycemic response. They haven't been shown to spike blood sugar, and furthermore, they're less sweet than sugar.
So, if you're concerned about that kind of insulin bounce-back or caloric craving bounce-back, sugar alcohols might be a safer way to go. And then there are the so-called non-nutritive natural sweeteners like stevia. Stevia appears to be safe, especially in smaller quantities. It may even have some health benefits like regulation of blood sugar response. In large doses, it's been shown to affect fertility. It's even been used in South America as a contraceptive. So, if you're trying to have babies, you should probably dial back your stevia intake. But of all the non-nutritive sweeteners, it appears to be the safest, and that would be even for people with pre-diabetes or type 2 or type 1 diabetes, and no carcinogenic risk.
Monk fruit, it's also known as luo han guo, that's another pretty good one. It gets its sweetness from antioxidants called mogrosides. So, maybe it's not one you'd want to take right after a workout. There's not a lot of studies that have been conducted on it because it's a pretty new sugar substitute, but it's really, really tasty. Monk fruit is. And that's another so far from all the research that's out there, pretty effective sugar substitute.
And as far as a few others that tend to fly under the radar, one that I like is–oh, there's one thing I wanted to mention about sugar alcohols, by the way. Some of them do have calories, like xylitol does have 2.4 calories in a gram. So, you're getting like 2 calories every time you chomp on a piece of xylitol gum. Mannitol and erythritol are much lower. That's why a lot of times, mannitol and erythritol are using like keto cookies and keto donuts, et cetera. But at the same time, because less of the carbohydrates are metabolized with mannitol and erythritol, you do have higher amounts of bloating and flatulence, which is why–I was at an event called FitCon, and I think I had like five keto donuts after dinner because they said like zero carb, and they're really good, and I barely slept that night because my bloating was so bad, and I felt really bad for whoever needed to clean my hotel room the next morning. So, proceed with caution.
Jay: You paid for it and they paid for it.
Ben: Proceed with caution. Granted I did have five of the damn donuts. So, erythritol, however, is used to flavor one relatively new sweetener called Swerve. I like Swerve. I've been using it. They also add oligosaccharides to Swerve, which is a type of prebiotic fiber. And so, that can be a pretty good one as well. I like that Swerve sweetener.
Jay: I love it, too.
Ben: My boys use it sometimes because they like to bake. So, they'll use it in cookies and scones and stuff like that, like cut the sugar half and half with Swerve, and it's pretty good. Matter of fact, my son made vanilla cookies the other night with Swerve, and this was for Mother's Day. So, we're making a Mother's Day dessert. And then I took the new keto ice cream by–who is it? Who's making the new keto ice cream? It's Anthony Gustin's company.
Jay: Oh, is that the–oh shoot, I get an email from them like every day.
Ben: It's like cookie dough flavored keto ice cream. It's pretty good. I think it's Anthony's company. I want to say. It's like Perfect–anyways, if I can hunt it down, I'll put–
Jay: Perfect Keto. That's it.
Ben: Yeah. So, Perfect Keto, Keto Ice Cream?
Jay: I think so.
Ben: Yeah. Anyways, I think that's what it is.
Jay: Yeah. But Swerve is awesome. I mean, maybe I'm overreaching with this one but I feel like I could give somebody a spoon of it, tell them it was sugar and they would believe me 100%.
Ben: Yeah. Anthony, if you're listening in and that's your company, leave a comment, give our listeners a nice little discount code in the comment section because I don't even know if that stuff's available. I think I may have gotten some beta copies of it. Anyways though, I took out a big old–there's a cool strategy. You could do this with Halo Top, too. So, you get like some good low sugar cookies and you take out like a serrated knife and you just, straight through the carton in the ice cream, just cut it into slices and then just slip it out of the ice cream carton, slam it in between two cookies, and you got yourself a wonderful ice cream sandwich. So, that's what [01:13:41] ______. Some Swerve vanilla cookies with keto ice cream in the middle. It was good.
Jay: That's a good Mother's Day present.
Ben: And my [01:13:48] ______ just fine. Yeah. Mommy liked it. Mommy had gas all night. She just loved it. Anyways, the one other notable sweetener that I like of late is allulose. Allulose, it's chemically kind of similar to glucose or fructose, but it seems to act quite differently in the body. It's what's called an epimer of fructose. Meaning, it has the same atomic makeup as fructose but a minor structural variation, and about 70% of it, because of that, is excreted in the urine. It has very low fermentability in the gut, and it's turned now as zero calorie sweetener even though it does have about 0.3% of the energy of sucrose. It's essentially something you could synonymize with the sugar alcohol when it comes to the actual calorie content, pretty much nil.
And there are studies that have been showing it to be beneficial for people suffering with type 2 diabetes. It seems to manage blood sugar levels. It tastes really good. It has been shown to cause some amount of oxidative stress production, reduced inflammation, enhanced energy expenditure. It's recognized as safe by the FDA, which may not say a whole lot because they recognize a lot of these other ones I've mentioned is safe. However, in all rodent studies to date, it hasn't been shown, even in very high doses, to induce any type of toxicity, and it's tasty. So, I kind of like allulose as an option as well, and it doesn't seem to cause any type of gut issues. That's another one to look into, would be allulose. You could buy allulose on Amazon.
So, that would be another one. And if you open up my cupboard, yeah, I've got like some raw honey and molasses, blackstrap molasses, and other mineral or nutrient or vitamin-rich sweeteners, but then I typically have some of that Omica Organic Stevia because I love it. It comes with vanilla and butterscotch flavor. I have some Zevia, which is basically stevia-flavored soda. I have some of that Swerve stuff for cooking. And those are the primary sweeteners you'll find around–oh, I have a little bit of monk fruit, too. I have a little bit of monk fruit extract because I like that as well for some cooking recipe, smoothies, et cetera. And aside from my giant ass huge white bags of cane sugar all over the place, that's it.
Jay: Harvesting for the apocalypse, just like you're doing.
Ben: That's all. That's all. That's it. Just those.
Adrian: Hi, Ben. My name is Adrian. I just listened to your carnivore podcast, and honestly, it made my jaw drop completely. So, I'm in the middle of Ironman training right now and I don't have any plans to remove too many vegetables from my diet or anything like that in place of a carnivore diet, but I was wondering maybe if you could provide some information about how would somebody training for an Ironman triathlon like myself who's just learned about this new information who consumes a lot of vegetables maybe make a small transition by taking maybe a few vegetables out of the diet but still maintain enough carbohydrate in the diet to support training. So, thanks again. Hope to hear from you. And yeah, thanks. Bye.
Ben: Well, it wouldn't be a podcast unless we talked about the carnivore diet.
Jay: Mm-hmm. Hashtag meat.
Ben: There are a lot of horses we could kick to death here on the carnivore diet, and I was tempted to kind of get into a whole bunch of different potential deficiencies from the carnivore diet and how to address them, but we're getting a little long in the tooth. So, I am just going to say this. You can generally overcome most of the deficiencies of a carnivore diet and a lot of the environmental issues by eating locally, eating nose-to-tail, using some amount of salts so that you're getting adequate minerals on said diet, and making sure that you work in some forms of autophagy-like exercise and fasting and sunlight and heat and cold so that you're getting some of what you might have gotten from the polyphenols and the flavonols and plants.
And if you do that, you can eat a well-structured carnivore diet and get by pretty well. Just go listen to my podcast with Paul Saladino, which I will link to in the shownotes to learn more about that. And also, go and read the article that I wrote about notorious deficiencies on a ketogenic and a carnivore diet and how to mitigate those issues, okay? So, rather than going over all that on today's podcast, I'm just going to reference you to those two articles and focus instead on how to get carbs because the problem is that our ancestors did not go out and pound the pavement for 10 hours a day or 12 or 15. They didn't do CrossFit workouts. They probably had, compared to athletes of the modern era, lower amounts of glycogen turnover and glycogen utilization and the need to occasionally, as we say in exercise physiology, burn a match during high-intensity exercise.
Or a lot of people call it Ironman's aerobic. Hey, I can tell you what. The swimming Ironman, I was well above my aerobic threshold the entire swim, every race, the bike ride. If you have 15 to 20 seconds to conduct a pass and the person in front of you is turning away 250 watts, that means if you're passing 20 people during a race, you've got 20 forays into 400 watts plus, which is highly glycolytic. And then the run, even if you're relatively aerobic, you're still using creatine and glycogen at a lower extent, but you're still using an appreciable percentage of it. And so, you can't be full on ketogenic and expect to perform at your maximum capacity in an Ironman race. Or as I experienced, you can perform pretty well but you risk some amount of endocrine issues and thyroid issues due to simply having low amounts of glucose and some potential joint issues due to the low amounts of [01:20:10] ______ availability.
So, you need to be careful. And you would need to, hence, supplement said carnivore diet with some type of carbs. What would be appropriate? Take honey. We see the Hadza and Tanzania lean fit hunter-gatherer population. Honey is a very large portion, possibly of 20% of their total calorie intake. The pygmies in condo or in condos, those pygmies in the condos on South Beach–no, in Congo, they'll get up to 80% of their calories from honey. There's a lot of evidence that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers would get a lot from honey. I like honey. It's one of the things we add to the Kion Bar, shameless self-promotion, because it has so many benefits in it.
Yes. Honey and high-fructose corn syrup have a fructose to glucose ratio that's very similar, but the similarity is pretty much in there. Honey has enzymes and proteins and trace minerals and polyphenols. There have been studies looking at the antioxidant potential of honey and it's very similar to the polyphenol content you'd get from plants without a lot of the natural built-in plant defense mechanisms. It is blood sugar stabilizing, especially compared to sucrose or table sugar. Blood glucose is much lower postprandially with honey consumption. It has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effect in the GI tract, and also in the airway, and been shown to be able to lower prostaglandin levels, which is why it's so useful for people who have like seasonal allergies, for example.
It lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterols. And while I would in no way argue that LDL in and of itself is atherosclerotic, honey still seems to favorably affect the lipid profile. And it even has antibiotic and antiviral properties against like H. pylori and E. coli and salmonella. I would classify it as an acceptable sweetener. And for me, right now, I'm eating a largely carnivore-based diet. I put about a tablespoon or so of honey onto my evening meal in which I'm also consuming sweet potato mash, which is also somewhat low glycemic, pretty clean, doesn't have the peels in it, relatively low in lectins and oxalates. I also do purple potato and yams. I also do canned pumpkin and will occasionally bake a little bit of winter squash or summer squash and do like squash.
Any of these so-called roots and tubers like underground storage organs, carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, those are typically pretty safe starches, and those I would say should be at the top of your list when it comes to carbohydrates along with honey. And then if you look at Dr. Steven Gundry, who's done lots of studies on which carbohydrate sources are lowest in lectins and other plant defense mechanisms, he actually has a whole list in his book of some of the starches that he's fine with. Some of them are resistant starches, which aren't going to give you much bioavailable energy like green bananas and rutabaga and things like that.
But then there are others that are decent carbohydrate sources. And one is avocado, which is a fruit, but it's also relatively low in lectins and has some amount of carbohydrates in it. Seeds and nuts would have some carbohydrates, and most carnivore diets aren't too big on seeds and nuts, but there are some that are more digestible than others such as macadamias and walnuts and pecans as opposed to say like almonds, for example, and cashews. So, you could look into using some of the seeds and nuts that would be lower in lectins or lower in oxalates again, like macadamia nuts or walnuts or pecans, pistachios and pine nuts to a certain extent as well.
And then when it comes to some of the vegetables that are lower in oxalates or plant defense mechanisms, in addition to the ones that I already mentioned, beets also fall into that category of being pretty safe. And even if you're doing the tubers and you do have digestive issues and that's why you're following a carnivore diet, you can, as Dr. Gundry alludes to in his book, pressure cook them and that will get rid of a lot of the plant defense mechanisms in potatoes. But for me personally, I do the majority of the carbs I get. It's pumpkin. It's sweet potato. It's raw honey. It's some amount of red wine, some amount of dark chocolate, and that's the majority of it, and I do just fine, and I'm training pretty hard and heavy right now.
I might go through half a can of pumpkin puree a day, half a can of sweet potato puree, a couple tablespoons of honey, glass of red wine, half a bar dark chocolates. And other than that, I'm just mostly eating nose-to-tail carnivore, and it's working out pretty well for me. I feel like my energy levels are pretty topped off. So, those are some ideas for you when it comes to eating your animals, and also face stuffing with carbs. You can go ride your bike as ancient man did for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles.
Jay: With the bastardized carnivore diet.
Ben: In spandex and chamois cream. So, yeah.
Jay: With the Victorian voice.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Speaking of spandex and chamois cream, should we send some swag to people?
Jay: Yeah, we should, even though I'm just going to read my review that I wrote. No, I'm kidding.
Ben: Oh, there you go. You get a free gear pack from me. Yeah.
Jay: I can't wait.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. No problem. I'll throw a Cool Fat Burner vest in there. So, this is the part of the show where we read a review. And if you hear your review read on the show, then simply email Gear at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. And when you email Gear at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, we will send you a handy dandy, dandy cool Ben Greenfield Fitness t-shirt, BPA-free water bottle, and a sweet ass beanie to keep your head warm this summer. So, what do you think, Jay? You want to read this review?
Jay: I do. I think that Logo17, that's Logo17, is well deserving of all this phone swag. And Logo17 titled their review “Incredible.” And they said, “I haven't listened to any other fitness podcast that has made me say to myself time and time again, “That's so me,” or “I'm working way harder than I needed to.” Really needed this podcast to feel less anxious or worried about my passion for fitness. This is an absolutely great podcast. Hit subscribe, and definitely, don't miss out on this amazing show.”
Ben: That's so me. That's so you, Jay.
Ben: That's so me.
Jay: So me. So me.
Ben: Yeah. So, so me. Hey, thanks–
Jay: I just feel like I'm working way harder than I needed to.
Ben: Yeah. And also, if we read your review on the show, we shamelessly make fun of you. So, there you have it. So, Logo.
Jay: She's going to downgrade it to one-star now.
Ben: We love you. Anyways, if you leave us a review on iTunes, it really does help out the show. If you want access to all these shownotes, everything we talked about, go hit the podcast shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397. And in the meantime, Jay, I think I'm going to go jump in the hot tub. I'm still goose bumping. And you go–
Jay: Nice. I'm going to go through that Cool Fat Burner on.
Ben: Yeah. Go do some Instagram post, man. You need to get a couple hundred on there.
Jay: Right, exactly. I'm puny now, but I'll get on that Ben Greenfield leveled soon.
Ben: Stick that booty out, baby. I'll talk to you next week.
Jay: I'm antsy on the flip side.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Q&A Episode 397
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– New research and another negative for ibuprofen and Advil – NSAIDs increase your heart attack risk.
– The effects of earthing/grounding on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
– Probably the best article on chewing I’ve ever read.
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Here's where I'm speaking and traveling around the world coming soon.
– May 29, 2019: Community Talk on Stem Cell Procedure, Charleston, South Carolina. Sign up for an exclusive, semi-private event featuring myself and Dr. Craig Koniver of Koniver Wellness. The lively discussion will take place at Tradd’s downtown over dinner in a private room for 80 guests. Sign up here!
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– June 23 – July 7, 2019: European Detox Retreat, Paracelsus al Ronc, Switzerland. At this 2019 liver detox and R&R retreat at the beautiful Swiss Mountain Clinic in the Italian quarter of Switzerland, you’ll stay on-site and receive diagnostics and treatments from the best doctors of biological medicine to detox your liver and your soul. Here’s the link to more info.
– August 3, 2019: Spartan Sprint at the LA Stadium, Los Angeles, California. It’s Rally Time, Los Angeles. The Big A. Angel Stadium. Whatever you call it, this place is legendary. Now, Spartan is headed to this historic ballpark for an epic Stadion course. Get ready to take on 3 miles and 20 obstacles through nearly every part of the stadium. Sign up here!
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The Effects Of CBD On Cortisol…33:10
Q: I've been working on anxiety and nausea and am trying to do it naturally. I was working on supplements and CBD oil for high cortisol. I went to an endocrinologist and it turns out I have low morning cortisol. I thought CBD oil was helping me a lot, but now I'm having second thoughts. What do you think?
How To Recover Faster…50:45
Q: I'm a 32-year-old female facing ACL reconstruction with my hamstring and a meniscus repair. What supplements or vitamins would you recommend that will help promote healing in addition to healthy eating and physical therapy I'll be doing?
In my response, I recommend:
– Kion recovery bundle
– Local cryo
– Stem cells/exosomes
– TB500/BPC-157 (including Dr. Seed's Oral BPC-157)
– Pulsecenters PEMF
– MarcPro (use code: BEN for 10% off)
– JOOVV Light (use code: BEN for a free gift at checkout)
– Vitamin C
– Proteolytic Enzymes
– Fish Oil
– Amino Acids
Which Artificial Sweeteners Are OK To Consume?…1:02:20
Q: I'll be starting the Gaps diet shortly, specifically for the first 2-week intensive “intro diet.” Just wondering if things like NutriSweet can have a negative effect. I eat sugar-free gum a lot and drink Diet Coke from time to time. Just curious if these things will undermine the process.
How To Get Carbs On A Carnivore Diet…1:16:18
Q: I just listened to the podcast on the Carnivore Diet, and it made my jaw drop. I was wondering how someone training for an Ironman triathlon who's just learned about this new information, and who consumes a lot of vegetables, can implement a Carnivore diet and still take in carbs while training for the event.
Giveaways & Goodies [1:20:15]
– 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!