From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-411/
[00:00:36] Special Dinner
[00:05:37] Tired Daddy Jay
[00:08:39] News Flashes
[00:09:38] Plug on the Ethernet
[00:11:46] Interesting Strategy To Increase Heat Shock Proteins
[00:16:02] Blood Glucose Response To Temperature
[00:20:55] Mountable Toilet System For Personalized Health Monitoring
[00:26:00] Podcast Sponsors
[00:31:34] Listener Q&A: The Effects Of 5G On Respiration
[00:50:57] How To Use Hydrogen Tablets
[00:58:14] How Much Work Is Too Much
[01:16:21] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:18:08] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.
The effects of cold and heat on blood glucose, a new way to increase heat shock proteins, my weekly routine, the effects of 5G on respiration, and much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Well, Jay, it is by my calculation about 10:20 a.m. in the morning on–what day we're recording this? Wednesday. We're recording on Wednesday in late April, and I'm already thinking about dinner, man.
Jay: Oh, are you?
Ben: I've been up to some wizardry.
Jay: Oh, I'm three hours ahead of you so I'm definitely thinking about dinner. But do you have some special that you need to tell us about?
Ben: Oh, yeah. So, I have a heart. As you know, I'm a fan of organ means and heart is one of them. I think heart just makes your heart healthy.
Ben: That's my stupid doctrine of signatures, hypothesis.
Jay: So, stupid.
Ben: Yeah. It is a pretty good, rich source of a mitochondrial-rich tissue. But anyways, more importantly, you can make it taste really good. So, I have been using kefir as a marinade. It turns out that kefir is actually a really good marinade. You know, in the past, I've used raw milk to soak liver, or heart, or kidney, or sweetbreads, or anything else. It's way better than like the old school lemon juice vinegar tenderizing approach. But kefir works even better from the experience I've had in the past few weeks because I've been making kefir and I'll put it in little bags or glass pyrex jars with the meat or the organ meats that I'm marinating.
So, what I did was I have this giant beef heart. The good folks at US Wellness Meats is where I got that one from and it's a regenerative farm down in Northern California. So, they sent me this beef heart and I soaked it in kefir for a day, and then got up this morning and transferred it into the crock-pot with a bunch of bone broth. And then again, this is my stupid woo-woo perch to cooking. I put up a lot of red things in there, a lot more like kind of red heart-healthy compounds like cayenne and paprika and chili flakes, put a little cumin, a little curry powder in there, some turmeric and a little bit of salt. And so, that's going to go for about 10 hours at low in the slow cooker, and then we'll have tacos tonight. So, we'll use those.
Ben: The company Assiette, have you tried their tortillas?
Ben: They make all sorts of different grain-free, gluten-free tortillas, but their almond flour tortilla, I know everybody's going to be shouting about the oxalates and all that jazz, but I don't care, they taste amazing. So, we'll have that with like cubed avocados and some radishes, some cabbage and do like a taco night with heart taco. I think it's going to be amazing.
Jay: Oh, it sounds good. Wait, so do you like mince up or, I don't know, like smash up like you would beef, like just regular ground beef? Do you do the same thing to the heart to make it like a beefy texture or do you just slice it up or what do you do for that?
Ben: Yeah. Great question. So, what I do is I trim the fat off the outside of the heart because it has these little fatty layers on it and I put that off to the side while it's a crock-potting. And then at the end of the day, what I'll do is I'll take a cast-iron skillet. I'll put the fat in the cast iron skillet along with some butter and some onions and heat that up until the onions start to caramelize. And while that's heating up, I'll cube the heart, and then I toss the heart in with the fat, the butter, and the onions, and give it about a 10-minute sauté or so on that cast iron skillet, and then that's what gets used as the taco filling. So, I like to cube it, yeah.
Jay: Oh, it sounds pretty good. I've tried a ton of different types of organ meats. I mean, growing up in the south and then my grandfather was a farmer, I mean, we pretty much ate everything. Heart was one that I never really had much of a problem with. I actually can digest heart better. I won't even say digest. I like the taste of heart better than I do, say, liver, actually, if you prepare it well. And my grandfather and grandmother always did it in buttermilk. They always soaked it in buttermilk and I always had a good time with it. Actually, they never told me what it was. I just ate it as a child. So, I was thankful for that, but now, it's just one of those things where I don't even think twice. I still have a harder time with liver, honestly.
Ben: Yeah. And I joke about the whole doctrine of signatures thing, but heart is actually super rich in Coenzyme Q10, which has been shown to be particularly helpful for cardiovascular health, especially if one is on a statin. But even the absence of a statin CoQ10 is one of the best things for your heart. So, it turns out heart is actually good for your heart.
Jay: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: So, there you have it.
Jay: Well, you said one of the things that you did was stupid was that you put a bunch of red stuff into your meal. Why do you go red? Why do you consider that stupid?
Ben: Because hearts are red, so I thought I'd put red spices in it because I figured they'd pair well together. If it would have been a, I suppose like a blueberry, I would have found some blue stuff [00:05:30] _____ in there.
Jay: Yeah. It makes total sense.
Ben: I like to cook with color, yeah.
Jay: Yeah, [00:05:35] _____.
Ben: How have you been?
Jay: I was telling you offline briefly that–I guess we're technically online, but off the air, I'm friggin' tired. And I'm normally not tired, I'm normally a very high-energy peppy guy —
Ben: Yeah. You're usually pretty perky.
Jay: Oh, yeah, yeah. I feel it, and I may not sound very tired right now, but that's just because I haven't said maybe three words throughout the day so this is the first time I'm actually talking, but I'm really tired, Ben.
Ben: Okay. Fill me in. Why are you so tired?
Jay: Well, so my wife and I–actually, it's been about–the drumroll, please. We had our second child about a week and a half ago. And so, his name is Micah Liam Wiles. He was born nine pounds, five ounces. He was a big guy.
Jay: Yeah, yeah, he's a big guy, but super healthy —
Ben: My apologies to your wife's vagina.
Jay: I know.
Ben: Or did you guys go C-section?
Jay: No, no, no. She was split wide open, but not from her stomach.
Ben: Nice visual.
Jay: Exactly, right. It's a very nice visual. And if my wife listens to this, I may no longer be the co-host of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. But no, man, she had him all-natural and it didn't look pleasant, but she's a trooper, man. And so, it was weird. It was honestly weird having because, you know, when we had Regan, our first son, he's two now, we had him when there was no such thing as COVID-19. So, the hospital system was working as it would normally do it. But this whole birthing process was super strange because it was like a ghost town in the hospital. There was no one there other than physicians nursing the other staff of the hospital, but each person who was giving birth only was allowed to have one other individual. So, no family could come visit. It was just an odd process, but it was actually kind of nice because it was so incredibly quiet, but yeah.
Jay: They're working on —
Ben: It's like your own private hospital.
Jay: Yeah. It was —
Ben: Now you know what it feels like to be a billionaire and have a baby.
Ben: You're on ward.
Ben: Well, cool, man. First of all, congratulations.
Jay: Oh, thanks, thanks.
Ben: Micah is a very strong name.
Jay: Oh, thank you.
Ben: I don't really know of any–are there any famous people named Micah?
Jay: Famous? I don't think so. No, no.
Ben: That I can think of. Yeah.
Jay: We went —
Ben: That's good.
Jay: We went biblical with Micah even though, honestly —
Ben: So, I guess it is a biblical name, is it?
Jay: Yeah, yeah. Prophet Micah. So, we went with it actually because I just like the sound of it. I actually chose my first son's name, Regan, and then I chose Micah. Again, if my wife hears this, she's probably going to beg to differ, otherwise, but it actually was my choice and I just really liked and thought they were strong names, especially with Micah. And so, if we have any more, my guess is that I'll choose the next name.
Ben: That's amazing. Wow. Well, I'll have to put some heart in a little Ziploc bag and send it down to you as a congratulatory.
Jay: Well, I appreciate that.
Ben: Slap on the back.
Ben: Yeah. I'd smoke a cigar with you, but all I have is heart. So, we'll just —
Ben: Go with that.
Jay: Maybe next time.
Ben: Alright. So, a few cool newsflashes. Now I've been going ape nuts on Twitter, and also Facebook as far as putting out a lot of research studies regarding COVID, the immune system, ongoing research, the state of the vaccinations, et cetera. And all of that's over at twitter.com/bengreenfield or facebook.com/bgfitness, depending on which flavor of social media that you guys like to be tracked by.
Jay: Do you have [00:09:04] _____?
Ben: Yes. Yeah. Well, I steep myself with the literature every morning and just tweet out everything that I find, and this is a part of the show where we talk about a few of the more interesting takeaways. And I don't really want to talk about anything virus related because honestly, it's exhausting, and sometimes it's refreshing to not talk about, I don't know, Wuhan and 5G and conspiracy theories, and Bill Gates, and viruses, and vaccinations, and blah, blah.
Anyways though, so here's some cool. I figured out how to, because as you know and as we talked about, I just don't like to have my phone on. I especially don't like the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth on. I just don't even like the signal bouncing around. And of course also, anytime you're downloading whatever podcasts, audiobooks, anything else you're using the data on your provider, well, I figured out that you can plug your phone into the ethernet. I didn't realize this before.
Jay: Right. Yeah. And I don't want to steal your thunder, but yeah, I've been doing this for a while now. Actually, I haven't done it with my phone. I've been doing it with my tablet.
Ben: Never realized it. So, I tweeted this out, but I just got the Thunderbolt to–I think it's a Thunderbolt. Is it a Thunderbolt —
Jay: That sounds right.
Ben: –that plugs into the —
Ben: I don't know. Just do a search on —
Jay: Lightning. It's called Lightning.
Ben: Yeah. Okay. So, ethernet to Lightning adapter and it works perfectly. And I can download files extremely quickly. I've been working in my office with my phone plugged in. And so, my phone could be doing its thing in the background. I've got far lower signals, and so I got a couple of these. I put one up in the living room, too. So, now the boys and my wife can plug in when their phones are off or in airplane mode, which we largely try to do at our house anyways. And that's just a super quick tip for folks, but it actually works. The only thing it doesn't do, having cracked the code on this, is it doesn't send text messages when you haven't plugged into the Ethernet. But aside from that, it works perfectly.
Jay: Well, I wonder, do you have an iPhone? Because you probably could go iPhone to iPhone, is my guess, but you probably can't go iPhone to like Android.
Ben: Oh, okay. That makes sense. Yeah, because it seems like a couple of times, a text message has sent.
Ben: So, that makes sense.
Jay: If it's blue, you're good. If it's green, that means you're going to another provider, or not another provider, but another type of phone system, OS.
Ben: I'm glad I have a young geek like you on the show because —
Ben: –you teach a Luddite like me. Okay. So, cool. So, try that out, folks, if you want to have yet another way to keep your phone from blasting with radiation, which I think we have a question about 5G later on in this podcast. We can talk about some of the things regarding that. We touched on I think in the last podcast, but we'll get more into that later on.
And then there was another really interesting article that–actually, I came across it just now, even though it was published in 2002, and it was about heat shock proteins. And these heat shock proteins, I think they're absolutely amazing because essentially, they're one of the main mechanisms via which you induce stress tolerance or cellular resilience.
So, they repair denatured proteins or injured proteins. And it's interesting some of these long lipid mammals, one of the more famous being the extremely attractive naked mole-rat, it has really high levels naturally of heat shock proteins and DNA repair and it actually lives a disproportion in a long time. And that in addition to its high carbon dioxide tolerance, right? It's kind of like low breathing rate, higher amount of CO2 appeared to be two of the reasons that it's living a long time. And these heat shock proteins are of course something that humans can tap into most popularly via the use of saunas. And I suspect this is one of the reasons why in the Finnish longevity studies, we see people living a disproportion in a long period of time, men in particular, from a regular sauna practice four to five times a week. I think part of this is the cellular protection that they're getting from these heat shock proteins.
Anyways though, it turns out that in this study, they found what's called a conditionally essential amino acid, enhanced stress-induced heat shock protein expression, and improved cellular survival as a result of that. And in this case, the amino acid that they used was glutamine, a very inexpensive amino acid. You can buy like bulk glutamine powder on Amazon. And so, my theory here is that if you have a sauna practice that the administration of glutamine like just taking oral glutamine, like one to two grams of glutamine, might be something that could actually upgrade your sauna experience if you're looking at it from a cellular resilience standpoint.
Granted in this particular study, they were using an intravenous administration of glutamine. So, they're just main lighting a strain of the bloodstream, and I'll think anybody's going to wander another sauna with an IV hooked up to them. But regardless, the dosage was not extremely high. They were using in the range of like 0.15 to 0.75 grams per kilogram. And I'm not sure how oral administration, taking like a gram up to typically doses a gram to five grams or so of glutamine. I don't know how to compare to that, but regardless, it's pretty interesting that glutamine seems to upregulate heat shock protein production.
Jay: Yeah. No, that's super interesting. There's so many people too, I wonder, who are going to start asking about this because I feel like glutamine in the past, I don't know, a few years or so, has become more or less a bad word for some people because of the deregulation of mTOR, the mTOR pathway. Do you have any take on that or any –?
Ben: That's more methionine that would be the bigger issue for excess stimulation of the mTOR pathway. And even that appears to not be the methionine that you get from like large amounts of muscle meat or red meat, but more the absence of glycine. Meaning, we're just talking about organ meats, but consuming a high amount of muscle meat without consuming like the bone broth, bone marrow, some of the other sources that would be in a nose-to-tail approach of glycine. That's the bigger issue is the methionine to glycine balance. But glutamine, it's an interesting amino acid. It appears to have a favorable impact on blood glucose on ammonia. So, like pre-exercise, it could decrease some aesthetic build-up. It might actually increase heart capacity or exercise capacity although a lot of those studies have been done in people with heart conditions.
However, it's relatively safe, inexpensive amino acid, and it's not something–I use more, shameless plug, the Kion Aminos more than I do just like isolated amino acids. But regardless, something for folks to try if they're into a sauna and want to kind of–I know we overuse this word, but biohack your sauna experience. So, there you have it.
And then also related to this and the heat, I have been testing out this new company called Levels that helps you to monitor your blood glucose. It ties into this blood glucose, continuous blood glucose monitor called the FreeStyle Libre. And so, I'm wearing a FreeStyle Libre right now for continuous blood glucose monitoring. I don't think it's quite as accurate as the one I've used in the past called the Dexcom G6, but the FreeStyle, it's a little bit less expensive, and they're using it now with this service called Levels.
So, I've been tracking my blood glucose, which I've done in the past, and I haven't learned that much interesting that I didn't already know about my response to, say like, high protein versus fat versus carb, different lifestyle practices that could lower it, but I've just been extremely impressed as of late just because of all the heat and cold and breathwork that I've been doing during this quarantine at how much the blood glucose responds to fluctuations in temperature. For example, I've talked about in the past how much cold exposure plummets blood glucose and leaves you in a low blood glucose state for a long time. Even throughout the entire day eating, consuming even carbohydrates, doing cold in the morning just seems to make you super-duper insulin sensitive or at least upregulates the glucose uptake. So, glucose doesn't stay in the bloodstream for a very long period of time.
And I'll link to one interesting study that I found in the shownotes for today. So, all the shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/411. And the elevation of metabolic rate due to shivering, we know that that occurs with relatively long periods of cold exposure. But even what's called non-shivering thermogenesis, it appears to cause this increase in glucose uptake and carbohydrate oxidation. Your body just burns through carbohydrates very quickly in response to cold. And so, it doesn't surprise me when I'm messing around with this monitor that when I do a cold bath or a cold soak or a cold shower, I see this dip in blood glucose. But the other interesting thing is that it goes way up in response to heat.
Jay: Oh, yeah. Like how high?
Ben: Really high, like 150, 160.
Jay: Oh, wow.
Ben: It's a short-lived increase, similar to what you get from say like a cup of coffee. And so, I began to dig into some of the literature around this and it turns out that there's this hyperglycemic effect that has been shown in literature in response to heat, particularly because you get an increase in certain hormones that oppose the action of insulin, particularly growth hormone and another one called glucagon. And then the other thing that happens is the dilation of the blood vessel seems to increase the speed of insulin absorption and cause these unusual variations in blood glucose levels. And a lot of people, because I posted a few of my screenshots to Instagram, people were like, “Oh, is that a bad thing, like you should not be spiking your blood glucose in the sauna?
The thing is when you actually look at studies that are more long-term on the effects of sauna on blood glucose levels, it turns out that it's one of those things where it increases temporarily when you're in the heat, but long-term, the long-term adaptations to that are actually a noticeable reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and an increase in insulin sensitivity. So, it's kind of like this idea like, yeah, your heart's like a battery, you got X number of beats for your entire life. Creatures with a lower metabolic rate tend to live longer. And there's something to be said for that, but of course, people always say, “Well, why would you exercise then?” Because exercise is like increasing your heart rate, therefore, it could be decreasing lifespan. But the idea is if you're exercising for let's say an hour a day, your resting heart rate the entire rest of the day is appreciably lower.
So, technically, you're lowering your average heart rate. And the same could be said for sauna, it's going to increase your blood glucose levels while you're in there, but then a couple of things. A, it's going to be lower with the regular sauna practice as an average, and then B, if you're doing the cold right after the sauna, that spike just goes way down. It's like this rebound spike that just drops you almost in the hypoglycemia. So, just some really interesting things I've been finding out lately about the interplay between blood glucose, heat, and cold.
Jay: Yeah. It's interesting. It's like increase it in the short-term to decrease it in the long-term, is basically what I'm hearing.
Ben: Right. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jay: Yeah. It's cool.
Ben: So, yeah. Very, very similar to what we'd see in practice like hormesis, for example.
And then, one other thing, did you hear my podcast with Eric Weinstein?
Jay: Which one?
Ben: The guy podcast. He's like the mathematical —
Jay: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yup.
Ben: –out of L.A. We had a really great show, and one of the things he talked about was he's like, with all the self-quantification you'd think with people taking a dump every day that there would be some kind of like biometric evaluation one could do via their toilet on a daily basis because these are fluids and solids coming out of your body that could theoretically be assessed on a daily basis. So, ever since we had —
Jay: Yeah. Maybe for the normal person.
Jay: For you, all I'm thinking is they're going to be like, “Why is this really expensive yogurt up this guy's ass?”
Ben: Well, ever since we had that podcast, people have been randomly like tweeting me a little studies and anecdotes on toilets and I had no clue there was like this underground toilet industry where people are developing now like self-quantified toilets. And the latest one was super interesting. It was from the Biomedical Engineering Journal. And what these folks developed is a mountable toilet system for personalized health monitoring via the analysis of what they called excreta, meaning your pee and your poop. And this one was really interesting because they developed this thing you put onto an existing toilet and it does your analysis, right? So, it will analyze like proteins in your urine, bilirubin, protein, ketones, glucose, pH, everything you'd get from a normal urine test strip, it'll test that. And then it also has what's called a uroflowmeter. So, it'll test like urine volume and basically your hydration status.
And then it also has a built-in 3D camera that analyzes this whole Bristol stool scale. So, you could actually analyze your stool classification. And not only does it look at the actual Bristol stool scale in terms of is it hard, is it firm, is it soft, et cetera, but then what they're doing is developing an ability to engage in what they call defecation monitoring. Meaning, there's like these pressure receptors on the seat surface that–let's say you're constipated or you have difficulty going to the bathroom. It's actually analyzing like when you push hard and when you push easy and could be used as almost like a biofeedback tool to teach people who are constipated how to kind of like relax more or when to breathe out, when to breathe in, because technically, you're supposed to breathe in, right, which would cause your diaphragm to expand and would help to push matter out.
So, you're supposed to breathe in as you're pushing out to take a poop, and then you're supposed to exhale and your diaphragm goes up and that vacuuming pulls the rectum up into the body. And then as you breathe out, you defecate again. That's how you're supposed to do it. A lot of people don't even breathe the right way when they poop. And a lot of practitioners who work with people, who have difficulty with constipation or prolapse or something like that, they teach them how to breathe properly using biofeedback tools or just breathwork that you do on the toilet. And it turns out this toilet seat also helps you to do that.
Jay: Well, and it's a lot less invasive too because I don't do–it's normally like physical therapists or physicians or nurse practitioners who are doing that type of fecal incontinence type biofeedback, and that they pretty much have to stick a sensor up your ass. Whereas at least this one, it sounds like it's just the toilet seat that's sensing the amount of pressure that you're putting on, I'm assuming, kind of taking like an EMG measurement, which is really cool because it sounds really invasive, but it's less invasive than what we conventionally do.
Ben: Well, how about this? How's it going to know who is pooping? And they figured out that too because they have biometric identifications. There's a fingerprint scanner, and there's also, using the same camera, an anal crease scanner. It's essentially using the pattern of your anus to identify who you are. So, it'll know, “Oh, this is Ben. He's taking a crap. I'm going to keep his data because I got his fingerprint. I know what his anal creases look like.” And so, you can just keep track of your own data, as well as anybody else who takes a dump on your toilet's data very seamlessly without getting people's poop confused with another person's poop.
Jay: Yeah. Makes sense. I think Apple is actually go into that. They're no longer doing face ID, they're doing anal crease ID.
Ben: Boom. So, there you go. I'll link to the study if anybody wants to take a deeper dive. I haven't actually used the toilet like that, but I love the idea of someday being wealthy enough to have one of those personal toilet systems because right now, I have one of those cheap-ass bidets from Amazon. But what I want, I visited a billionaire's house once and I went to his bathroom and the toilet seat automatically opened when I walked in and the music began to play. And then you got the warm seats and the different selections for the temperatures of the bidet, and whether it's going to go towards the front or the back, like one of those high-end Japanese toilets. Someday I will make it and I will have one of those toilets.
Jay: Yup. Be taking a shit just like Mark Cuban, Ben.
Ben: Well, folks, this is Ben, and I'm going to jump in here for a second before we get into the Q&A. And I'm recording this section actually after Jay and I already recorded this podcast because we do have some fantastic sponsors and codes to give you for today's show. So, if you guys go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/411, then you can see any of these fantastic, fantastic folks such as Thrive Market. Thrive Market is giving every single one of my listeners, including you, a fantastic deal, a risk-free deal on their Thrive Market membership.
Now, Thrive, especially during this quarantine, has been one of my go-to resources for filling up my pantry, and also my bathroom with super clean products. They've got beauty products, organic and non-GMO food, non-toxic home cleaning products, ethical meat, sustainable seafood, clean wine. They've got a filter where you can filter everything by keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, BPA-free. They've got nut butters. They've got trail mixes. When I'm working on nutrition plans for my clients, it's really cool because if I have somebody who's on a specific plan, like let's say keto plan, I can go in there and rather than have my clients just have butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner, select specific snacks that fit their meal plan, and then send them those options over. I mean, it's super convenient. Half their stuff you can't even find on Amazon, plus they knock it down 25% to 50% off traditional retail prices because they're membership-based. But the membership isn't expensive. If you use the code I'm about to give you, it's about five bucks a month, which is dirt cheap. It's thrivemarket.com/ben. You just go to thrivemarket.com/ben.
You should also check out this other sponsor. I actually got a little bit sore when I use this thing, which surprised me because it's tiny. I'm using these high-end Russian electrical muscle stimulation devices, like the one I had out in my gym. But this company called PowerDot, they sent me this teeny-tiny little muscle stimulator that ties to my phone. And I've got all these different exercise programs that I can select from my phone, then I slap these PowerDots on my muscles just using the super easy app that shows me where to put the electrodes on the quads, or the abs, or the arms, and I can do a recovery session if I've got an injury.
But I, for example, a couple days ago, I did the quad session and my inner quads are still sore from that thing, not that I think that being sore should be your goal in life, but it's pretty amazing, how many muscles it's grabbing and how much mild eccentric muscle tissue damage it can cause, which ultimately results in the ability to be able to build muscle even if you're injured, or even if you're just standing around or at your office, or on an airplane, or on a long road trip, or whatever else. It's using electrical signals to deliver a stimulus straight to your muscle fibers bypassing your brain to force muscle contractions. Superslick, cool set up. The app is incredibly easy to use. And so, what they're going to do is give all my listeners a 30-day trial and a 20% discount. That's a slamming deal. They're not really giving that deal out to anybody except you. So, PowerDot. They're powerdot.com. That sounds redundant, but that's what it is, powerdot.com/ben. So, you go to powerdot.com/ben and use code BEN at checkout. That'll get you all the goodies including the 20% off of this handy little device.
This podcast is also brought to you by Joovv, the ultimate in red light therapy. We bring up red light therapy a couple times on the show as a way to target cytochrome oxidase in your tissue and optimize mitochondrial health. But these panels can be used for so much more than that they can be used for wound healing, for scar healing to reduce wrinkles, to reduce joint pain and inflammation. They can be used for increasing total and free testosterone, guys. They can be used at night to simulate sunset and give you better sleep onset. I mean, the use cases go on and on. And Joovv, in my opinion, is one of the better companies out there as far as the type of lights that they're making. So, if you go to joovv.com/ben, you can get a free copy of my book, “Boundless.” If you already own one, just, I don't know, eBay it or give it to a friend. But Joovv is giving everybody a free copy of my book Boundless if you go to joovv.com/ben. That's J-O-O-V-V.com/ben, and you grab yourself a Joovv light.
This podcast finally is brought to you by my company, Kion. So, many of you may not know, but I own a nutrition supplements company that also makes amazing functional foods, some of the best, purest, most antioxidant-rich coffee that exists, and everything is backed by me, by my guarantee. And we have an incredible team over there where we are blending ancient wisdom with modern science to make weight loss supplements, joint support supplements, immune-boosting supplements. Like I said, super clean, tasty energy bars, wonderful coffee, and it's all organic. The coffee is, everything we source is super clean, well-formulated, and it's just a thrill for me to have that as a playground for new formulations. You get 10% off of any of our supplements, our foods, our coffees, anything at Kion. You go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com and use code BEN10 to save 10% site-wide.
Alright, shall we launch into listener questions?
Jay: Let's do it.
Dale: Hey, Ben. This is Dale from Austin, Texas. In regards to 5G, 5G does cause respiratory issues from what I've seen on PubMed and quite a few other issues as far as toxins in the body, metals, and such. What recommendations would you have for individuals to see if they have high toxic levels in their body, certain tests that you would have people take for your protocol? Furthermore, I have not seen anything that actually you can wear outside unless you wrap your body in aluminum foil to protect you from 5G. I see a lot of companies are coming out with stuff, but how is that verified if it actually works? Any feedback on this would be appreciated. Thank you.
Ben: So, the way that I understand this question is that Dale is wondering about whether 5G, which of course has been all over the freaking news lately, and I don't think that the coronavirus is some scheme to spread 5G over the planet, although I do have some issues with 5G, but he wants to know whether it causes respiratory issues, and also whether or not there's any way to kind of like protect yourself from 5G exposure, I guess like any of these kind of Faraday cage type of setups or shielding tools or anything like that.
And so, I do have a few thoughts. I just finished reading this really, really compelling book called “The Invisible Rainbow.” Now, I have some serious issues with the book because there's a ton of, I think, faulty assumptions on correlation and causation, like all during the Spanish flu pandemic, it's the same time when radio waves began to be released at higher frequencies. That's one thing I'm not–it's kind of like the shark attacks are directly correlated to ice cream consumption and it's really the fact that people eat more ice cream in the summer, therefore, they're in the water more.
There's a lot of little issues in the book, but ultimately, one of the things that I did take away from the book was that there's definitely a disease of–I don't even know if you call it disease, but a condition of electrohypersensitivity. Meaning, some people really are more sensitive to what we would call EMFs, electromagnetic fields. And that book gets into how–what happens is that if you're exposed to a high amount of environmental toxins, in this case, the example used in the book was zinc, it affects what's called the porphyrin pathway. And these porphyrins, they're extremely important for oxygenation and for delivery of oxygen to the body. There's one porphyrin containing enzyme called cytochrome oxidase, which some people may have heard of before that resides within your mitochondria, opposite of liver electrons from the food you eat and to the oxygen that you breathe.
So, you tend to see a disruption of these porphyrin containing enzymes in direct response to EMF exposure. And mitochondrial dysfunction is something that's often reported with things like chronic fatigue syndrome or anxiety disorder, and a lot of these people with electrohypersensitivity seem to be displaying the same type of issues. And when they do muscle biopsies and people with chronic fatigue and anxiety disorder, they do show reduced cytochrome oxidase activity, as well as impaired glucose metabolism. And most of this is due to damage of these porphyrin concepts or these porphyrin complexes, and it appears to be even more aggravated if there's a high level of environmental toxin exposure.
So, it does indeed seem that there's like this one-two combination of limited cytochrome oxidase activity combined with toxin exposure and the exposure to EMFs causing people to really feel crappy so to speak, and it appears that that's primarily due to the impact on the mitochondria. So, when we back this up, for people to understand this, so your mitochondria, they actually generate an electrical field, and it's like 30 million volts per meter. It's stronger than lightning, and the mitochondrial membrane potential. That's the charge difference between the inner and the outer membrane of the mitochondria, and it tends to be around like negative 140 millivolts.
And there are books like Dr. Robert Becker's “The Body Electric” or Jerry Tennant's book “Healing is Voltage.” That kind of get into this concept a little bit more, just about how the body really is something that operates largely based on electricity. And as a result, of course, electromagnetic fields are going to have an impact on that. The thing is not all EMF is bad, right? We know that the planet Earth itself has a natural frequency. It varies from 10 to 100 Hertz depending on where you're at and whether lightning is struck or whatever, but one common frequency that we find is what's called the native Schumann frequency, which means that it's about 7.83 Hertz. That's the electromagnetic field that you're generally getting exposed to if you're safe standing outside barefoot.
Now, the idea here is that man-made EMF, which is a lot of times occurring at much higher frequencies and higher powers, it can cause oxidation of the mitochondrial membrane, and also the generation of free radicals. And there are certain things that can impact that even more, like I mentioned earlier, environmental toxin exposure impacting the porphyra containing compounds, polyunsaturated fats. We know that's a big issue because they're very prone to oxidation. So, if the membrane has a higher amount of polyunsaturated fats because you've been eating a lot of vegetable oil, that oxidation is going to occur to an even greater extent.
And so, the other thing is that, and Dr. Mercola and I talked about this when I interviewed him about his really good book called “EMF*D.” Calcium channels tend to open and you get an influx of calcium into the cell. And what that can cause is more of a positive charge like a straying away from the negative charge within the cell, the steep calcium influx. And a high amount of intracellular calcium can damage the mitochondria. So, when we put all this together, the issue is that all of that oxidative stress can also cause mitochondrial DNA mutations, and this can lead to more defective mitochondria, and then more defective mitochondria leads to more defective cells, and you almost get this really nasty kind of feedback loop with the more exposure to EMF, the more exposure to toxins, the more exposure to vegetable oils, and you essentially just get poorly functioning mitochondria.
Now, in my opinion, and I've talked about this on the podcast before, there are certain things that you can do to alleviate some of that damage if you come at it from an electrical standpoint. So, especially for these cytochrome oxidase and porphyrin compounds, we know that, for example, getting outside barefoot, earthing, grounding, that has a positive impact. So, does sunlight exposure or exposure to red light or near-infrared light, far-infrared light, the full light spectrum. And as you and I discussed on the previous episode, there are even certain compounds that can accelerate the beneficial effects of exposure to light like methylene blue, or chaga, or the dark green type of compound you'd find in chlorella or cilantro.
So, I would say first of all, if you're in a high 5G or a high EMF environment, get outside barefoot, get exposed to sunlight, use these red light panels, consume chaga, look into like some microdosing with something like methylene blue, use a little bit of chlorella or cilantro. You're essentially like eating black and blue and green foods and getting exposed to a lot of light. And the book like “The Human Photosynthesis” or Sayer Ji's new book “Regenerate” get into this in a lot more detail, this idea of the human body being able to photosynthesize to a certain extent. There are other things that I think can help. Heat and cold help move electrons through the body. Massage, we know that the fascia is almost like this piezoelectric tissue and that responds well, having a lot of minerals and drinking good, clean, pure water. These are just lifestyle practices I think are good for generally charging the so-called human battery.
Now, when we look specifically at 5G, that's where it gets a little bit difficult because I can't say that I've seen a lot of studies that directly show 5G to be damaging. I also haven't seen any studies that show it to be healthy, and that's where my concern lies, and that's a discussion that I had, for example, with Dr. Mercola when I interviewed him about his new book. It's also a concern brought up in what I would consider to be a well-balanced study on the effects of 5G on health, being not some conspiracy theory. The, whatever, AT&T gods or like Mr. Smithers in the heaven figuring out how they're going to destroy us with 5G. Instead, kind of a well-balanced look at the effects of 5G.
And I'll link to this study in the shownotes, but essentially, what they get into in the study is that we need more studies on 5G. We need studies on what they call the dosimetry, like how the skin response to specific frequency ranges and short intense pulses of 5G. There's no studies on inflammatory reactions. There's no study on the influence of a tissue temperature increase, like they haven't looked at how 5G might cause an increase in tissue temperature, which could increase oxidation. There's a lot of things that they haven't yet looked into when it comes to 5G, or if they have, that data has not yet been released. And so, this particular study, it's a recent one, it was called 5G wireless communication health effects, a pragmatic review based on available studies regarding 6 to 100 gigahertz.
And while there is some data showing 2G, 3G, and 4G to be potentially harmful and cause some of the cellular damage, the same cannot be said of 5G. So, it's one of those issues where we don't really know, yet you would think that based on what we do know about some of these other EMF frequencies, it would be prudent to take into account some of the recommendations that I just gave and that you would find in like that book “The Invisible Rainbow” that I mentioned, or in Dr. Mercola's book “EMF*D.”
Jay: Yeah. I think people become reasonably concerned because the research is going to end up becoming, or come out post hoc, and I think that's where people get a little bit concerned with because they're like, “Well, why can't we have these things before?” And I'm like, “That's not how it works. They put these things up without our approval and then we test, and that's just the unfortunate nature of the game.”
Ben: Yeah. I mean, yeah, it's a rush just to allow an unregulated 5G wireless infrastructure. And again, I'm a very open-minded guy. I love technology. I use technology in my business. It's kind of like vaccines, for example. If they were to develop a vaccine that allows for a proper adaptive humoral response and an innate response to something like coronavirus and the adjuvants in it were found to be relatively safe and not cause any damage, and there wasn't any kind of like cross-contamination with animal-based retroviruses or anything else like that. I would totally vaccinate. I'm very open-minded when it comes to a lot of this stuff. Same thing with 5G, if it was shown to be completely safe, I'm fine, and I'll activate my phone's 5G and use that instead of 3G or 4G. In fact, the problem is that there's just not a lot of studies on it yet, so I personally planned to just play it safe.
Now, there are websites that do sell, related to Dale's other question, certain shielding tools. Brian Hoyer, who I've interviewed on the podcast before, he has a website called, fittingly enough, Shielded Healing, where he sells different paints and curtains and blankets, all sorts of things that you could use that are essentially based on this concept of Faraday caging that would completely block the signal. There's another website called LessEMF where you can by extremely unattractive clothing that you can wear on airplanes and look like a hooded freak in a giant white garment.
Jay: You'll be alone. No one else is on a plane now, anyway.
Ben: Yeah. Somebody needs to create actual fashionable EMF blocking gear. But I personally, for long-haul flights, I've got a little pair of pants on a shirt that I wear from this company in Germany that some amount of EMF blocking. And anecdotally, I feel better when I wear that when I fly.
Ben: And so, yeah, I'm not against this idea of getting some of this shielding material, but I think it's also quite prudent to do things like the sunlight exposure, the earthing, the grounding, the consumption of some of these cytochrome oxidase supports like the methylene blue or chaga, or cilantro, or chlorella along with water, minerals, heat, cold, any of these things that really charge the body's battery. And then as I've discussed, and I think this was also during the podcast with Mercola, when you look at the calcium channel influx in response to something like EMF exposure, a diet that's rich in magnesium can help to off-balance that.
When you look at some of the DNA damage, a diet that includes sirtuins like cacao, red wine, blueberries or blueberry powder, et cetera, along with NAD or NAD precursors, it can help with that. And then anything regarding the modulation of some of these inflammatory pathways that seem to respond to EMF like the–I believe it's the Nrf2 pathway would be the primary one. Some amount of nutritional ketosis or carbohydrate mitigation or the use of these ketone esters or ketone salts, I think that's also a prudent strategy. So, I think there are dietary and lifestyle strategies that are just as important as let's say walking around with a giant Faraday cage or wearing EMF blocking underwear everywhere.
Jay: Right. No. Agreed. If anybody is looking for a pretty fashionable shirt, I mean, I know it's just a shirt, but the company who I wear their underwear from, the Lambs company. I think you like them too, Ben, or you at least have talked about them before. They just came out with a shirt pretty recently and I got one in, and they're actually quite comfy, at which their underwear is comfy too, but it's fashionable as well. It just kind of looks like, I mean, some of my Vuori clothes that I wear and I would consider them to be quite fashionable.
Ben: This podcast is brought to you by Lambs undies.
Ben: Cool. Well, if anybody has anything else to add in or any studies that you found on 5G, feel free to let us know. Leave a comment in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/411 just because I'm constantly learning about this stuff and keeping my finger on the pulse so to speak, pun intended, of the entire EMF industry. But that book, “The Invisible Rainbow,” was interesting. I don't swallow hook, line, and sinker, everything that the book talked about regarding like electricity and viruses and how it's responsible for every single global pandemic we ever had. But there is some interesting data in the book and one of the big takeaways for me was the impact on these porphyrins and cytochrome oxidase and mitochondria. So, I think it's worth read.
Jay: Right. Hey, while we're on this EMF train, if you will, I got like–I don't know, it's probably like 20 plus direct messages on Instagram and via my email about the last podcast we did, people asking me about my smart meter cover, the one that I had. And I know that you and I, we reached out to Brian Hoyer and he got back to us on whether or not these things were actually effective, and he did tell us via email that these things can be effective, you just have to make sure they're covering the entire meter. Which the one I have and the one you linked to in our last podcast, it does cover the entire meter. So, I just wanted to throw that out there because I got so many friggin' questions about that dang thing.
Ben: Yeah. I just took my tinfoil hat and threw it out there. I just got to make another tinfoil hat soon.
Jay: Yeah, there you go.
Ben: Fix that issue.
Jay: Cheap way to do it.
Ben: Hey, this is Ben. I'm going to jump in here because although my reply, hopefully, was pretty thorough for you, I got some information after recording this podcast that you should know about. And this was pretty interesting to me because I reached out to my friend Brian Hoyer, who I mentioned, who I think is really the top building biologist who exists. He had a few thoughts. So, he mentioned to me that a lot of these shielding fabrics are poorly thought-out because they have metal in them. So, you're essentially turning yourself into a big antenna when you wear a lot of this shielded clothing.
So, these 5G shielding fabrics, they've been very popular, but they haven't changed in the last 10 to 15 years. They haven't advanced with the technology and many of them will shield things like 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi or sometimes close to 5-gigahertz, but they aren't coming close to, for example, 5G exposure technology and some of these more advanced technologies. So, some of these fabrics, I think if you're wearing them for 5G, may not work. And I know that Brian over at Shielded Healing is working on some different forms of clothing. And I would say if you visit his website, which I'll link to in the shownotes, I think he has a newsletter or something over that you could probably subscribe to and kind of know when some of the shielding fabrics get better and come out. But then he also recommended the prioritization of nitric oxide. So, nose breathing, specifically. He feels that that would be a really, really helpful strategy to keep you out of a sympathetic state, but also to equip your body to better be able to withstand some of the cellular rigors that it goes through when exposed to EMF.
And then another thing that he is a big fan of is hydrogen water, just because of the selective antioxidant capability of that, which we'll talk about later in this podcast. But he said hydrogen water should definitely be a part of like an EMF protection protocol as well. So, I thought I'd throw that stuff into the hat for you. And then finally, over at Amazon, I made a list for you, a list of all the things that would be like in a 5G protection package, to repair DNA, to offset the calcium influx into cells and to downregulate the Nrf2 pathway, all the things that are affected by 5G. So, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/5gpackage, that's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/5gpackage, you can get that Amazon list that I don't think is comprised of supplements you need to take every day, but certainly, if you're exposed to high lots of EMF, that's over there. So, that's at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/5gpackage. I just put some of the same stuff I get off Amazon into a list for you if you just wanted to use the same stuff I use like the ketone salts, or the magnesium, or some of the sirtuin and NAD precursors like ResveraCel and a few of these other choice things that I think would be prudent. So, hopefully, that helps, and we'll get onto the next question.
Rob: Hi, Ben. You often recommend hydrogen water. I ordered some hydrogen tablets. I dissolved one tablet in water, drank it, and my mouth became saturated with an overpowering metallic taste. I haven't had a cold for three years, yet I got a canker sore within an hour, and then got a full-blown cold within a day, which has taken me three weeks to get rid of. I have looked online and found nothing related to this. Do you have any ideas regarding this issue?
Ben: Well, first of all, I should comment that when you look at all the different forms of delivering molecular hydrogen to the body–and I have a big podcast coming out soon on molecular hydrogen because I'm convinced that it is one of the most–it's almost like an adaptogen for inflammation. Meaning, it can upregulate or downregulate cytokines. It can act as a pro-oxidant, as an anti-oxidant, it has an effect on many of those inflammatory pathways we were talking about earlier like the NF-kappa B pathway, the Nrf2 pathway. It induces mitochondrial biogenesis.
There's just a host of reasons that I really like molecular hydrogen. And I currently just put two tablets in a morning glass Mason jar of water, typically two tablets in the evening-ish time because it appears to respond well like a diurnal dosing from a circadian rhythm standpoint. And I really am a fan of molecular hydrogen. And some of these tablets have–well, first of all, I should say when you look at a lot of the big medical studies on molecular hydrogen, they're using high ppm air that they're infusing, like people are breathing hydrogen air, or they are using like a hydrogen IV, like saline hydrogen.
But there's still some good research on just drinking hydrogen-rich water and the oral consumption of hydrogen. It is bioavailable. And although you're not going to approach what you get from like an electrolysis-based inhalation device or IV of saline of hydrogen, you get some good results out of the use of this molecular hydrogen, and I'm a fan. The tablets themselves typically are pretty clean, most contain some kind of an organic acid to control the pH. That's usually like malic acid or tartaric acid, some amount of magnesium, and it turns out that the magnesium is actually very bioavailable, like a typical tablet will have like 80 milligrams or so of magnesium in it. It's actually a very bioavailable form magnesium. So, it counts towards your total magnesium consumption for the day, which is kind of relative to what we were just talking about regarding EMF as well.
And then some kind of like a binder or a lubricant, like sometimes it's going to be a little bit of dextrose or sodium sterile. Some have natural flavors in them, which I'm–I tend to avoid the ones with natural flavors just because you never know where the flavors were derived from. But ultimately, there's not a lot of fillers or excipients or things that need to be added to these tablets. You just drop it in water, let it dissolve, takes three to four minutes. And then because hydrogen will dissolve into the air very quickly, you want to drink it pretty soon after you drop the tablet in there as soon as the tablet has dissolved.
Now, regarding a metallic taste, there's a reactant agent that's used with the magnesium called a metallo magnesium reactant agent. And the thing is if it's fully dissolved in the water, those tablets, all of that reactant gets converted to hydrogen and something called magnesium hydroxide. So, there should be no metallic taste if you're dissolving a hydrogen tablet in water unless you're drinking the water before the tablet has fully dissolved or even like actually drinking the actual tablet itself or eating the actual tablet itself. So, you need to make sure you wait a good three to four minutes or look at whatever glass you poured it into to make sure that it is fully dissolved.
The other thing that I would consider because some of these metallo magnesium compounds could potentially clump, you may just want to give your water a quick stir after you've dissolved the hydrogen tablet in it just to make sure there's no clumps in there and that it's fully dissolved. But that's the only thing that I can think of. And when he says he got a canker sore within an hour and a full-blown cold in a day, you can't get a cold in one day from something that you had that morning. So, if you get a cold, it would have been from something that was in your body, like Jay. So, this could just be random correlation or coincidence.
So, yeah. But ultimately, I'm a huge, huge fan of hydrogen. And I would say for anybody listening in, listen to my upcoming podcast with Dr.–or he's actually not doctor, but he's an expert on hydrogen, Robert Slovak. I've interviewed him before on alkaline water and structured water and different water filters, and we geeked out for nearly two hours about just hydrogen. So, it's fresh on my mind. And after interviewing him, I could probably talk for another couple hours right now about hydrogen, but the long story short is I like it, I drink it twice a day, let the tablets fully dissolved, and I get mine now from his Water and Wellness website. So, I'll link to that one in the shownotes. He just has these H2 tablets.
There are two other forms of hydrogen that I think are interesting. One is there's a company called Hydroshot that sends them in cans, like canned hydrogen water, which is super convenient. Then there's another company called HFactor that does pouches. I think both of those you can get on Amazon, but it's like kind of done for you hydrogen water that doesn't require you to dissolve a tablet. Same thing, as soon as you open them, you got to drink the whole thing, but that could be another way to do this if the tablets bother you.
Jay: And I've heard this. I don't know if you've heard about this or if Robert and you talked about this. I mean, I won't say you're promoting it, but you mentioned it. So, assuming that this isn't probably not the case, but I've heard like with those HFactor pouches or even with the cans, there's the potential of the hydrogen dissipating just due to its nature. I don't know if that's actually true like —
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, if the can is poorly formulated or poorly constructed or the pouch is poorly constructed, there can be micro-pores or there's dead space near the top where the hydrogen can dissolve. I asked him about those particular products, which is the reason I brought those two up. Apparently, Hydroshot for the can version, and this HFactor company for the pouch version, not only are they well-formulated, but they also don't leach appreciable amounts of aluminum into the actual water.
Jay: That's good.
Ben: So, those would be two examples of brands that I would actually vouch for if you're just going to purchase and drink prepackaged hydrogen water.
Jay: Yeah, yeah. The tablets are just super easy. And I actually like the taste of them. To me, this might sound odd, but when I throw a couple tablets in and I drink it, it almost tastes like it adds like a lemony taste to my water, almost like I'm drinking lemon water. Does that sound odd?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, might be–I don't know if it's changing the pH at all, but yeah.
Ben: That's interesting. So, hopefully, that's helpful, Rob, and best of luck with those canker sores, man. Don't go kiss anybody.
Noah: Hi, Ben. This is Noah. So, a few days ago, I got what appears to be burnout at work. And I've started working seven days a week because I love my work so much and I have plenty of time each day at least I think to recover. It's about seven hours work a day. But I'm wondering, even how fun my work may be, is it true that eventually the mental energy needed to keep up working some days a week just wears out? Does that happen to you? Do you work seven days a week or do you take days off? And if you do take days off, is that because of mental recovery or actually just because you want to spend more time with your kids or go on an adventure? What's a general weekly routine look like for Ben Greenfield? Thanks so much.
Ben: You ever get burnt out, Jay?
Jay: Well, right now with the newborn, I'm feeling in, but work, not so much. I think one of the things about my job in being a health psychologist is that I'm kind of trained in a lot of techniques if you will or lifestyle kind of options. I mean, this is what I teach my patients. So, it's not something that I have dealt with. I'm also very young in my career and very driven and motivated, but I could see certainly how myself and other individuals in the healthcare space could get burnout, and I see it very often, especially working for the government like I do. So, it hasn't happened as much to me, but I'm not ruling that out. It could certainly happen at any time.
Ben: Yeah. I found an interesting article that I'll link to in the shownotes. That's the nine signs that you're working way, way too much. The nine signs are, one, you can't remember the last time you had a real vacation. Two is you're skipping out on your friends. Three is you're not sleeping. Four is you're suffering from hero syndrome, which would basically be you feel like you're the only one who can properly complete every task, almost like the micromanager, which I've certainly been guilty of. Next, what are we on? Number four? I think it's at number four, you find yourself forgetting to eat lunch, which I never forget to eat lunch, so I'm definitely not overworking. Five, you're dreaming about work. I've had that happen before on like really busy weeks of work, you're dreaming about work. I think that actually is a pretty big sign.
Jay: Yeah. I've had them, too.
Ben: Six, you never feel great. It was just immune system-based and sleep-based. Seven, your attitude is negative. Eight, you're missing deadlines. And then I must have missed one or else I said nine and lost count, but it is an interesting article. I think those are a few clues if you want to use biometrics, like is my HRV constantly low or is my respiratory rate constantly high or something like that. But they have definitely done research and shown that based on science, there's a certain number of hours per week that you should not work, like working more than 10 hours a day. More than 10 hours a day is associated with a 60% jump in risk of cardiovascular issues.
If you're working more than 40 hours a week, it's associated with increased alcohol and tobacco consumption. And for all those people who need the cigarette or the glass of wine, 40 hours per week does not seem like that much, but there you have it. They say little productive work occurs after 50 hours per week. Injury rates are directly correlated to work hour increases, especially once you exceed 60 hours per week. And ultimately, it appears that in most cases, somewhere around the range of more than 50 hours, and in some cases, more than 40 hours appears to be hazardous to health.
Now, here's my problem with that. If you look into, and you're probably more of an expert on this than me, Jay, but if you look into self-actualization, and this idea that self-actualized people actually love their work, and for them, work and play are identical–and it sounds like Noah might be one of these self-actualized people, then I think that a lot of that research might go out the window.
Jay: Yeah. I'd agree.
Ben: Now, I absolutely love my job. My average workday these days probably ranges from 13 to 16 hours.
Ben: Like by the time you add it up, like I work six days a week for 13 to 16 hours. I get up, I'm in research, I'm reading, I have breakfast, I do the sauna, I'd go back, I'm working another four to five hours, I have lunch, after lunch, quick nap, and then another two to three hours' workout. And then before dinner, another half hour. After dinner typically, another half hour of just cleaning up stuff. Saturdays I typically also put in a very long workday. So, the thing is though I would consider myself to be self-actualized. Meaning, I absolutely love my job. I love to learn about health and fitness, and spirituality, and nutrition, and I love to read and then get those authors on the show.
Like for me, you can't keep me in bed in the morning. I wake up and I just want to go launch into the day. And so, I would suspect that even though I'm personally working well in excess of 80 hours per week that I don't feel as though it's impacting my health deleteriously. I still sleep seven to eight hours for every 24-hour cycle. I still have time with my family. I still have time to stay fit, time for hobbies, and I've kind of woven life into work. And so, I think that that idea of self-actualization kind of plays into this. It depends on the kind of work that you're doing. And I actually found a really good article with a bunch of essays on how self-actualized and creative people actually approach work. And the idea is that essentially, work is play for these people who really succeed with a high amount of work.
And then on the other hand, this idea of the whole old-school Protestant work ethic or the Puritan ethic, which is kind of this idea that your work should be hard, it'll make a man of you, the long cold winter walks to school and the arduous drill type routine every single day. I think that approaching work and feeling as though it's not work unless it feels like work is probably not really going to do you much of a service versus work just being something that you're passionate about that you absolutely love to do that you're self-actualized during and that you even achieve a state of flow during.
I'm not saying that sometimes work is not hard, like for me sometimes, I'm working on–like right now, I'm working on a recipe book and it's hard sometimes to just like find time during the day to sit down to apply myself and to work on recipes. But then once I'm heads down writing, it's like, dude, I get to tell people about how to make sprouts on my different organ meat prep tactics and this recipe and just the sourdough recipe. When I first tasted this or when I first tried that, I think that ultimately, even though there's some work involved, there's pleasure derived from it that make it not as damaging as if I were to approach it as just like a hardcore buckle down Protestant work ethic style sufferfest.
Jay: Yeah. And you make a great differentiation there, and I think that it needs to be stated. For me, it's one of those things like if I wake up, or even when I'm going to bed at night, if I do not have this sense of meaning, purpose, or fulfillment, then that makes me kind of question what was it about today that happened, what's going on in my life, how is this negatively impacting me, and that's the opportunity for me to then again either journal or just take the time to meditate on what changes do I need to make. And sometimes for me, that's been changes of completely dropping, whatever it may be that's causing me a lot of struggle. And again, it's not that it's just something that causes me pain or suffering in the moment, but something that's just leading me to not feeling fulfilled, or feeling passion, or feeling meaning, or feeling purpose.
And so, that's what I just have to, again, take that step back, but I think that it's a good differentiation to say that it's not to say that these things won't be hard on us sometimes. Yeah, work can be really difficult, but if it's continually making us feel unfulfilled, if it's impacting our relationship with ourselves and with others, then I think that's the opportunity that we have to take to say, “Is what I'm doing what I should be doing? Or do I need to take another path right now or seek guidance?” I mean, and guidance is something that I think is so incredibly helpful just to have that Yoda in your life, if I could throw out the Star Wars reference of the day.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I mean Thomas Edison has a great quote in that article I'll link to. He says, “I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.” Obviously, the dude worked. That [01:06:57] _____, but he's saying based on our definition of work sometimes, maybe he didn't work. But I think if you find more play in work, that's important. I think that's also why I'm such a fan of the way that I school my kids via unschooling. It's all based on creative unstructured free play and they learn through that play. So, as they grow, I'm hoping they develop this mentality towards work that really is more something that's based around. “This is what I'm passionate about. This is what I love to do. This is what puts me in the flow.” And therefore, they will hopefully, from their schooling, carry that into life without it just being all factory worker and putting square pegs in the square holes and round pegs in round holes, et cetera.
So, that all being said, I do take time off. So, like I mentioned, six days a week, I work my ass off and I observe the Sabbath. Meaning that on Sundays, I do as little work as possible. Even workout on Sunday are not as difficult. So, the entire week is I'm putting in all these hours and all this time. I have like a carrot on the end of a stick, this idea that man, once I push myself away from the office Saturday night and sit down at dinner on Saturday night, it is just completely blissful all the way up until like Sunday after dinner when I'll check in on the email to make sure there's no Monday morning fires that I'm going to need to put out.
And so, Sunday is a time spent with family, and it's hiking, and it's worshiping, and it's going to church, and it's playing guitar, and it's praying, and it's meditating. And as a matter of fact, when you look into the science of the Sabbath and all these different religions that have one day of the week where they observe complete rest and admittedly do work hard to make sure that there is that buffer day where complete rest is possible, there appears to be really good health benefits derived from that. Now, granted there's a lot of confounding variables because many religious people say, “Don't drink or have some kind of a fasting practice,” or in some cases, may have a higher number of friends and relationships from going to church or a better supportive community in their environment.
And so, I think there could be a lot of confounding variables even though it may be there's a lot of people go to church who eat Twinkies and Doritos of the church potluck. So, it kind of goes back and forth. But either way, I think that the impact of religion on mental and physical health cannot be denied. I even talked about this in “Boundless,” things like belief in a higher power, purpose in life, friends, relationships, a meditative practice, a prayer practice, a gratitude practice, charity and volunteering in the community. Many of these things are woven into religion. I'm not saying that you need to necessarily be religious to engage in a lot of those activities, but they're tied into a lot of these religions.
And for me personally, growing up as a Christian and now still being a Christian and structuring my life in that way, that one Sabbath day of rest is an incredible part of my weekly routine and just refreshes the entire body. And even Monday is far easier when I stick to that routine. And when Sunday is a complete day for family, for rest, for music, for fellowship, for church, for singing, et cetera. And so, that's one big part of my week. So, I would say a few things are work is play for me because I'm approaching work from the standpoint of me being engaged in the things that I'm passionate about anyways. B, I have this one day that's completely off.
And then another thing that's important is this idea, and this is kind of dumb but a lot of people are aware of it, just the breaks throughout the day, right? I think of a lot of breaks throughout the day. And for me, they're super quick, they're super quick. We're talking like two to three-minute breaks sometimes, drop 15 push-ups, 30 jumping jacks, a few swings, go outside barefoot, look at the sun, walk back inside, keep working. And I might do that every half hour, but there's definitely something to be said for those mini-break spread throughout the day, and especially during the quarantine where I've been working at home more a lot of like mini-workouts rather than like one big workout at the beginning of the day, or one big workout at the end of the day.
I'm like doing 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, breathwork with the kids before dinner and really structuring the day so that there's these multiple mini-breaks, which originally was tough for me because I like to just get it all done, right? Like, if I'm going to do the workout, I just want to get it done and not think about it. But spreading these mini-workouts throughout the day has actually been really super-duper refreshing. And for me, back to the cold and heat thing, one thing that I've found to be incredible during the day and even save me some days from even needing to take a nap is one quick cold plunge. Like 60-second cold plunge, that can give you energy for hours. It's nuts. I think a lot of people don't realize how powerful that could be.
Jay: Oh, yeah. No, no, indeed. The thing that really changed my–I will even say I'll go as far as to say life. I mean, I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I will say it's life has been doing these Pomodoro breaks just to have some type of split in my day because it can get so mundane, especially if you have a computer job. No, my job is not a computer job, but I know a lot of what you do, Ben, is on the computer. But I mean, if you're just sitting there staring for hours endlessly at these screens and you don't take the time to go and move, to get up, to get out of the room that you're in, to stop staring at screens, to get out and get some fresh air, then it can be overwhelming. And so, yeah, have that break on your weekend if it's Saturday and Sunday, or just Sunday, or just Saturday, whatever day you want to make it. But also, have it spread out throughout the day so you don't feel like I got up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning and didn't stop working until 8:00 p.m. at night. I mean, that's going to be brutal on your overall physical and mental health.
Ben: Yup. Yeah. And so, yeah, I think that really helps people when it comes to giving an outline of generally how I approach work. So, basically, I work my ass off, I take a lot of Pomodoro breaks, I have a really set routine and schedule. I have that one day where it's completely off. And then I also just approach work from a passion standpoint. I guess the last thing I would throw in there, because we're getting a little long in the tooth, but the last thing I would throw in there would be if I find myself doing something that my body is screaming at me that I don't want to do, I shove that whole Protestant work ethic aside. I walk away from that task and engage in a different task.
Like if I'm working on, let's say the recipe book I'm working on right now, and it's just complete mental block, I'll go dig into emails and just bang it all night because I know, “Okay, I'm not a productive mode. Maybe I'm in more of a reactive mode. I can take care of some of these other stuff on my plate then come back to this when I'm ready.” And so, within reason if you're not using that as a procrastination tactic but simply as a self-identification tactic in a realization that maybe this isn't the time that I need to be working on this, that can be helpful as well.
Jay: Right. Yeah. I think we've become so rigid or legalistic in our workday. And I think a lot of it is passed down from some of our ancestors, some of them, not all of them. I think what you're doing with your kids is great and I'm trying to do the similar thing with mine, granted they're two and zero. But I think this idea of not being so stuck on having to do what's in front of us, I know there's some things that we have to get done. They are in front of us and we have work deadlines that are not imposed on us by ourselves but by our superiors. So, there's things that have to get done. But also, sometimes there aren't things that have to get done and we put that pressure on ourself and we maintain that rigidity, and that leads to burnout. So, know undoubtedly, we have to allow for some amount of appreciable flexibility or we will just throw aside everything we have and be in like a pit of despair because it can be overwhelming.
Ben: Yeah. Well, the last thing I should mention is that I do have a drink at the end of the day every day.
Jay: And you call yourself a Christian, Ben?
Ben: I know, I know. And it's always some crazy cocktail that I mix up. Like since I got back from India, I've been doing like a little bit of gin and I put cayenne and ginger and coriander, and usually some kind of curry. I pour that over ice —
Jay: That's spicy, Ben.
Ben: –with some sparkling–super spicy. Or it's just like a glass of Dry Farm Wines or some kind of organic wine. And then the other thing that I occasionally do to forgo alcohol–and if everyone wants to try this, it actually works really well, these liquid ketones, which speaking of EMF are pretty protective as it is for some of these inflammatory pathways. But yeah, the evening cocktail for me is nice. So, I do that. I get high out of my mind and then I go bad. So, that's my —
Jay: Right. Nice. My evening cocktail, I think you'll–if you haven't tried this, you should. So, I'm just a big gin and tonic. I love gin and tonic. Did you know that ZBM make their own tonic?
Jay: Like the brand Zevia? Yeah. It's also —
Ben: They also do ginger beer that's amazing for Moscow mules.
Jay: Oh, I need to try that. I've not try that one. Sprouts here has the ginger, not the ginger, the tonic. And so, I love just some good old gin and tonic, Zevia.
Ben: Yeah. Get on it. Alright. Well, what do you think? Should we give something away?
Jay: Oh, yeah. We should definitely give something away.
Ben: This is the time of the show when we read a review that you guys have so kindly left. If you hear your review read on the show, and leaving a review is one of the best ways to support this show, we're going to ship you a handy dandy gear pack. You just email your T-shirt size to [email protected] We put together a package. We send it straight to you. Who's our lucky winner today, Jay?
Jay: Our lucky winner is raven, raven3664, who entitled their review as “Excellent Fitness Education.” And raven said, “Ben has a way of incorporating the most current and extreme biohacks with the old reliable values of nutrition fitness and family. He has the most genuine curiosity for more knowledge and packages it all up perfectly across all platforms for an education you can't get anywhere else. Couldn't recommend it more for anyone searching for their own version of fitness.” So, sweet.
Ben: You probably could get this education other places.
Jay: Yeah. And “Boundless,” is that what you're going to say?
Ben: Yeah, “Boundless.” Read “Boundless.” You never have to listen to the podcast again. “Boundless” will catch you up in the last 300 podcasts.
Ben: Shameless plug. Alright. Well, cool. Great review. Who is the person who read that again?
Ben: Alright, Raven, email [email protected] We'll ship you out some cool swag. And in the meantime, all the shownotes for everything that we just talked about from the tinfoil hats for your balls to the books that I recommended to all the research studies, everything, that's at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/411. Jay, get back to that baby, man.
Jay: Actually, literally, just heard him start crying. So, I'm going to go do that.
Ben: Perfect timing. Alright, later, man.
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.
Have a question you'd like Ben to answer on the podcast?
Prior to asking your question, do a search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!
News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…8:40
- Cool tip: My phone is now in airplane mode most of the day at my office, just plugged into an ethernet cable. Works like a charm and super fast too.
- Interesting strategy to increase heat shock proteins (might be useful to combine with sauna).
- Been tracking my blood glucose quite a bit lately…cold MASSIVELY drops it, while heat/sauna makes it go up. Takeaway? Cold is useful pre-meal or carb feeding. Heat may be stressful. But in both cases, the rise is quite transient and short-lived. See research here.
- Welllll, this is interesting. I’d be a user/pooper: “A mountable toilet system for personalized health monitoring via the analysis of excreta.”
- With Dr. Mercola on the effects of 5G
- With Brian Hoyer on building biology
- With Robert Slovak on water
- Eric Weinstein with Ben Greenfield
- EMF*D by Dr. Joseph Mercola
- The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life by Arthur Firstenberg
- The Body Electric by Robert Becker
- Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
- Regenerate by Sayer Ji
- The Human Photosynthesis by Arturo Herrera
– Gear and Equipment:
- Freestyle Libre blood glucose level monitor
- Shielded Healing (use code BEN5 to save 5%)
- Lambs gear for EMF blocking (code BEN for 15% off)
– Food and Supplements:
- Ben's 5G “Protection” Cocktail on Amazon
- US Wellness Meats (use code BEN to save 15%)
- NOW Foods Glutamine Powder
- Water & Wellness H2 tablets (code GREENFIELD for 10% off)
- H Factor Hydrogen Water
- Hydroshot (code BEN for 10% off)
– Articles and Studies:
- The effects of 5G on health
- Sabbath Keeping and Its Relationships to Health and Well-Being: A Mediational Analysis
- The Mental Health Benefits and Costs of Sabbath Observance Among Orthodox Jews
- Studies on work time
- 9 signs you’re working way, way too much
- Essay on self-actualized and creative people
Ben Greenfield's new book Boundless is now available! Click here to order your copy.
Check out Ben on Instagram for epic posts and photos about his morning, day, and evening routines, recipes, and much more!
Follow Ben on Twitter for daily news flashes and the latest health, fitness, and anti-aging research.
Join Ben's Facebook page for conversations with listeners and even more useful information, posts, and support!
Here's where Ben is speaking and traveling around the world coming soon:
- July 14 – 16, 2020: Paleo f(x) – Austin, TX. Join me and dozens of health and fitness experts to discover the latest breakthroughs in epigenetics, biohacking, Keto, AIP, nootropics, blood testing, strength conditioning, sleep, stress, and much more. Try out delicious new foods, discover new workouts, and even try new gadgets in the biohacking lab. Register here.
This podcast is brought to you by:
–Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card up to $20 when you begin a new membership using my link.
–Powerdot: Relieve your pain, recover faster from workouts, build muscle and endurance to help you accelerate past those training plateaus and feel great doing it. Get 20% off your order when you use discount code BEN.
–JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using my link and receive my brand new book, Boundless absolutely free!
–Kion Flex: The ultimate recovery formula, Kion Flex is a bioavailable blend to support joint comfort, mobility, flexibility, and bone health. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 10% discount off your entire order at Kion when you use discount code BEN10.
The Effects Of 5G On Respiration…31:38
Dale asks: In regards to 5G, 5G does cause respiratory issues from what I’ve seen on pub med and quite a few other issues regarding toxins in the body. What recommendations do you have for individuals to see if they have high toxic levels in their body? Furthermore, I have not seen anything that you can wear outside, unless you wrap your body in aluminum foil to protect you from 5G? I see a lot of companies are coming out with stuff, but how is that verified that this stuff actually works?
In my response, I recommend:
- Book: EMF*D by Dr. Mercola
- BGF podcast with Dr. Mercola on the effects of 5G
- Book: The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life by Arthur Firstenberg
- Book: The Body Electric by Robert Becker
- Book: Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
- Book: Regenerate by Sayer Ji
- Book: The Human Photosynthesis by Arturo Herrera
- Bryan Hoyer's Shielded Healing website
- BGF podcast with Brian Hoyer
- LessEMF website
- The effects of 5G on health
- Lambs gear for EMF blocking (code BEN for 20% off)
- 5G “Protection” Cocktail
How To Use Hydrogen Tablets…50:58
Rob asks: You often recommend hydrogen water. I ordered some hydrogen tablets and dissolved one tablet in water, drink it, and my mouth became saturated with an overpowering metallic taste. I haven’t had a cold and three years and I got a canker sore within an hour and a full-blown cold in a day that's taken me three weeks to get over. Do you have any ideas regarding this issue?
In my response, I recommend:
- Water & Wellness H2 tablets (code GREENFIELD for 10% off)
- H Factor Hydrogen Water
- Hydroshot (code BEN for 10% off)
- BGF podcast with Robert Slovak (a brand new one is coming soon!)
How Much Work Is Too Much…58:14
Noah asks: A few days ago, I got what appears to be burnout at work. I work 7 days a week because I just love what I do, and I think I give myself plenty of time to recover (about 7 hours of work per day.) But I'm wondering as fun as my work may be, is it true that eventually the mental energy needed to keep up just wears out when you work 7 days per week? Do you work 7 days per week, or do you take days off? And if you take days off, is it because of mental recovery or do you just want to spend more time with your family? What's a general weekly routine look like for Ben Greenfield?
In my response, I recommend:
- Sabbath Keeping and Its Relationships to Health and Well-Being: A Mediational Analysis
- The Mental Health Benefits and Costs of Sabbath Observance Among Orthodox Jews
- Studies on work time
- 9 signs you’re working way, way too much
- Essay on self-actualized and creative people