From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-429/
[00:01:20] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:39] Homeschooling Talk
[00:07:48] About the Katalyst
[00:09:53] News Flashes: Tracking Aging Parameters
[00:16:39] Exercise And Calorie Restriction And Inflammation
[00:23:23] The PILL Increases Inflammation
[00:27:20] For the Men
[00:35:07] Weight Training Can Decrease Muscle Glycogen Levels
[00:41:39] “Banana Peel Tea” For Sleep
[00:45:23] Podcast Sponsors
[00:48:40] Does Heat Affect Blood Glucose Levels
[00:53:04] Effects of Long-Term Oral Contraceptive Use
[00:58:42] Best Tips for Joint Health, Recovery, And Injury Prevention
[01:08:15] Featured Review
[01:10:54] End of Podcast
Ben: In three, two, one.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
The best anti-aging measurement that we know of, a pre-big meal, weight loss hack, banana peel tea for sleep, and a whole lot more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Welcome to today's podcast, which is weird because we do these Q&As on Clubhouse. And for some reason, we had a technical snafu and I couldn't get the questions to come through on the audio. I don't know. I'm not a tech wizard, but I had my audio assistant, who you'll hear is basically an exotic Persian queen, record the questions for me so you can still hear what is asked. Although, my apologies if you asked the question and you were so excited about being featured on the podcast and your voice isn't there, sorry. I don't know what to tell you. We kind of lost it. I'm not quite sure what went on. But anyways, it's a great episode nonetheless, if I don't say so myself.
This podcast is brought to you by what I consider to be the best fish oil that exists. I personally help to formulate this fish oil, sustainably sourced from cold water anchovies in its triglyceride form, which is absorbed 70% more than any other so-called ethyl ester-based fish oil, naturally preserved with rosemary and astaxanthin, which are wonderful for your body in and of themselves. I've always said taking a bad fish oil is worse than not taking a fish oil at all just because it gets rancid, and oxidized, and messes up your body with free radicals. Not this stuff. It's called Kion Omegas. It is super-duper potent, powerful, ultra-clean ultra-concentrated, sustainably sourced, 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA in their most bioavailable form. If you've been trying fish oil and haven't noticed anything, this is the one that you need to actually try because you actually feel it. You actually feel the clean energy in your brain. I've been popping six into my morning smoothie, actually. I just blend it up in my smoothie, but you could also just swallow it. You go to getkion.com/bengreenfield to get 10% off. That's getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield to get 20% off.
This podcast is also brought to you–I didn't really realize this until I really dug in, but wrinkles, and scars, and stretch marks. I just got stitches on my thumb last week. I've been using this on my thumb and the scar is healing up just dramatically. It's red light. I have one of these–well, I got big red lights, but I have this little one. It's called a Joovv Go. I can take it with me anyway. It's on my desk and shine it on my thumb, or really anywhere else, face treatments, hair treatments, spot treatments, the big ones you could do full body treatments with. It uses pulsed near infrared light technology, gives your cells an extra healing boost, also great for testosterone, thyroid function, circadian rhythmicity. Joovv does a really good job with their lights and they just upgraded all their devices to be sleeker, up to 25% lighter, packaged with new features like their light therapy modes. Anyways though, the Joovv company does a really good job with all things light. You get an exclusive discount on your first order when you go to joovv.com/ben. That's J-O-O-V-V.com/ben.
Jay, welcome back, man. You missed the last Clubhouse Q&A, but we had fun without you, nonetheless. It was basically just me talking to myself and some other people.
Jay: I didn't mean to miss the last one, but my guess is that the consumers wrote back and they said, “You cannot do this again without that good old Jay Wiles.”
Ben: That's kind of sort of what happened if you want to tell yourself that to pump up your already inflated ego. But ultimately, I just decided I wanted to have somebody to talk to because I get lonely talking to myself. As we were saying before we started recording, I was homeschooled, thus, dictating that I'm okay with talking to myself a lot since I had to dance with myself at the prom. And my high school reunion was a little lonely also, sitting by myself at a table reading a book, but I do like people sometimes.
Jay: That's the only reason my wife married me, too. She's one of six. They were all homeschooled and she was telling me about their prom, and I put that in huge air quotes even though nobody can see me do it. It was like a pride and prejudice prom type of thing. So, they did that style of dancing, but I was like, it's so homeschooled, which I grew up in such a conventional suburban high school. I went to high school with 550, 600 people. So, it's a bit of a different world for me.
Ben: Well, your wife having only six children in her family and being homeschooled was part of a very small family as homeschooling goes. My own family was me, and two brothers, and two sisters, and often at homeschooling conventions and get-togethers. Folks did comment on how small a family we had, which seemed odd at the time. Anyways though, yeah, speaking of loneliness, this is a big week for our family because tonight, my twin boys head off into the wilderness for their rite of passage. They're 13 years old, and this is officially–
Jay: You can talk about this for a while.
Ben: Yeah. Well, they've been preparing. They've been wilderness survival classes since they were six and training particularly with this organization called Twin Eagles Wilderness School, which puts on fantastic father-son wilderness survival camps, and kid's camps, and nature school. And they also have a rite of passage offering for adolescents and young men. And so, my sons are actually, admittedly, a little nervous. It's a very big ceremonial week for them, but they have a–their bags packed, they got a knife, a wool blanket, a little bit of grit and training, and they're ready to shove off tonight. Mom and I take them off to the backwoods of North Idaho tonight and they get dropped off in the wilderness. So, if I don't have any children by next week and social workers are knocking at my door asking about whether or not my children were eaten by bears, that's what happened. So, yeah.
Jay: Yeah. Just give them the bear excuse. Are they going to be there for a week, is that what you said?
Ben: Several days. It won't be quite a week. It'll be around five days. They don't know though. All they know is they're getting dropped off and they know nothing aside from that. They don't know when they will be extricated, they don't know what to expect, they don't know where they will be. All they know is they have their bags packed by the front door and we leave our house at 4:00 p.m. today.
Jay: That's hardcore. So, for all intents and purposes, they have no idea that this is their rite of passage and they'll know at the end.
Ben: Oh, they know it's a rite of passage. They just don't know what to expect, which is part ego dissolution, fear of the unknown. Speaking of loneliness, being with oneself/with God in an isolated scenario for quite some time, it's a big step for them. So, yeah. Last night, I told them when we had dinner and I kissed them to bed good night that I was, for the last time, celebrating an evening with boys. And the next time that I saw them and had an evening with them, I would be celebrating with them as adolescents. So, there you have it. Yeah. And then, I had an interesting morning. I'm sore, dude. I am already sore, which bodes ill for tomorrow.
I don't know if we chatted about this, but this company called Katalyst. They developed–and I'll slap a link in for people at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429 if you want to check this thing out. I've been a fan of electrical muscle stimulation for a while and have used it for retraining injured muscles or waking up old muscles that my body has forgotten how to use, like, say, the gluteus medius for external rotation, or the vastus medialis of the quad for knee pain, and a lot of these notoriously untrained muscles or muscles that tend to get detrained or not used as much as people age, and thus, contribute to injuries and poor movement patterns, poor functioning, et cetera.
So, electrical muscle stimulation has always been good for that. The problem with it is that there's all these wires and electrodes, and you got to get the electrodes precisely placed on the right muscle or they contract in the wrong way and you can injure yourself. So, this company Katalyst, I swear this is going to be a game-changer in the fitness industry. They make this suit that you pull on that stims you, like you just pull the suit on, it connects to an iPad where a trainer walks you through the whole workout. So, this morning, I did their full-body strength training workout, which was just 20 minutes, and then I slapped on the 10-minute cardio workout after that. And oh my goodness, it is just next level, holy cow. And it's not like–
Jay: Interesting. It's a new face suit. Are you talking like a full body suit?
Ben: Yeah. It's like a spacesuit, or not spacesuit. I'll put a picture on Instagram, eventually, or people just google it. But yeah, you pull on the suit, it ties to your iPad, you do the workout. There's a trainer there that increases or decreases intensity as you go, and it is hard. This is not one of those as seen on TV like stimulate your abs while you eat Twinkies on the couch type of things. It's full-on workout, like I'm drenched in sweat by the end of the 20 minutes.
Jay: I'm going to try this thing.
Ben: Yeah. It's pretty cool.
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: Yeah. So anyways though, we have a ton of news flashes today, so we should probably just jump right in. So, let's do this.
Well, for those of you joining us on Clubhouse, if you're listening to this or participating live, don't worry, you don't have to sit on your hands the whole time just listening to Jay and I chat because after we go through the news flashes, if you are joining us for the Clubhouse Q&A, we open up our questions live on this podcast for any of you to ask your questions about anything we talk about or anything else. And if you are not on Clubhouse or listening live, if you just go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429, we'll put a link there where you can pop into Clubhouse. I don't know if it's still one of those scarcity closed membership type of apps, or if it's just open to anybody yet, but either way–
Ben: Yeah. We'll put a link at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429. And then, for those of you on Clubhouse, be thinking of some good questions to ask as we rock and roll here. So, inflammation. Inflammation is something that has popped up repeatedly in my own news flashes this week. And probably the best way to kick this off is a fantastic article that basically delved into tracking aging parameters. Like, there are all these things that you could test to look at your rate of aging with one of the gold standard measurements, but one of the ones that's really more expensive and not that accessible to a lot of people being what's called a methylation clock, or a Horvath clock of aging, or a variant of this so-called Horvath clock of aging.
But when it comes to things that you can measure a little bit more readily and a little bit more affordably even in the comfort of your own home or with a quick blood draw at a lab or at a doctor's office, there are other parameters like, say, telomere measurements. Telomere measurements are certainly something that I've talked about in the past, and that's one way that you could track aging, just tracking the rate at which your telomeres are shortening. Another qualitative set of variables would be things like grip strength, or walking speed, or the amount of weight you can deadlift. There's a lot of little parameters that you could track for aging that have been studied as markers of increased aging or resistance to a lot of the diseases that set in as one ages.
But this latest study looked at some different parameters for aging. And so, they looked everything from white blood cells to red blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, interleukin, and TNF-alpha, these markers of inflammation. They looked at telomere length, they looked at white blood cell counts, and what they found was that if there was one thing, if there's one thing that you were going to measure to track how quickly you're aging or how successful any longevity or anti-aging measurements that you might be implementing are inflammation topped the list. And this was even a more powerful predictor of aging than your telomere length. And of course, that's important for a couple of reasons, namely that when you look at inflammation, we're talking about a very affordable and quick measurement. In most cases, a basic blood panel is going to measure your C-reactive protein, which is a pretty good mark assuming you haven't worked out a day or two prior. Running or weightlifting is going to artificially increase that value. So, you want to be rested when you track it.
But then this study also took into account a couple other inflammatory measurements, particularly, yeah, interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha, which a good inflammatory panel like–I know WellnessFX, they have an inflammation panel that takes three or four different inflammatory markers like CRP, interleukin, and TNF, and just test them all at once. And that's something also you could just go ask your doctor for if you have a doctor who's going to run that test for you, or a company like DirectLabs. You could just order these type of tests to your own house.
And so, it's important because that's a pretty easy test to measure, but it's also important because of course this then tells you that anything you do in life that will make a dent in chronic inflammation, particularly, not like the acute inflammation you might get from exercise or, say, like a hefty sauna bath, but the type of chronic inflammation brought on by stress, poor sleep, high vegetable oil consumption, high amounts of sugar constantly in the bloodstream. These are all things that are pretty controllable factors for aging, relatively low-hanging fruit for aging, and it turns out probably the best things to track and manage for aging.
And of course, secondarily, this also points out the fact, and this is something I've talked about in the past, telomere testing can give you some clues. But as the authors of this paper point out in the paper, we're still just looking, when you measure telomeres, at the leukocyte telomere length. The white blood cell telomere length was just one-part type of cell in your body. It's not looking at the entire body. And there's some other issues with telomere length also, particularly the fact that it doesn't seem to be that accurate as you get older, particularly after the age of 75. And so, they did this test in a lot of centenarians and supercentenarians in which telomere length really isn't even that accurate as a predictor of longevity. So, that's another thing to bear in mind is that the older you get, the less accurate telomere measurements seem to be, especially after the age of 70, 75 or so, depending on the research you look at. But pretty good information if you just want to keep your finger on the pulse of one thing. Inflammation is a pretty good one to track.
Jay: Yeah. I think to your point as well is that when you look at the available telomere testing right now, there are some that are better than others. And more than often, people typically will go for the cheaper one, and sometimes the cheaper ones aren't necessarily the better ones. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. And they are still more expensive than running like CRP or looking at interleukin-6 or TNF. And so, I like this because again, this is pretty much–even conventional doctors–I mean, a lot of the people who are listening here probably don't even go to many conventional doctors anymore, but a conventional doctor could write a script for you to have this blood draw easily. And normally, a lot of these individuals won't question why you're running these tests, the why. So, I'd like this idea of running these and looking at inflammation level, and that being much more of a predictor for successful aging. And again, yeah, just because I've done the telomere testing, and that can change. Like, within a month, you can have significant changes depending on how you were tested, and where you were tested, and what you were tested for. So, I like this.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And a few other notes regarding inflammation, another cool study that came out looked at exercise and calorie restriction relative to inflammation. And this is interesting because they've, in the past, studied what would be better, like exercising or restricting calories when it comes to, well, particularly, losing weight, but also metabolic factors like insulin sensitivity, or your lipid panel, or blood pressure. And there was one study that they did–I think this was back in 2009, 2010, something like that, where they compared two different groups. One group was a control group and it didn't change anything at all. Another group cut their calorie intake by about 25%. And then, another group also cut their calories, but only cut their calories by like 12.5%, and then increase the calories they burnt through physical activity by 12.5%.
So, that makes sense. So, one group was just burning calories through cutting out the amount of food they were stuffing into their gaping maw while other people actually didn't reduce their food intake quite so much, but at the same time, began to exercise a little bit more. And it turns out that both groups lost the same amount of weight. They both lost about 10% of their weight over the course of, I think this was like a six-month study, and they both shed a decent amount of total fat and visceral fat, the problematic fat that you'd want to lose in a case like this. But only the exercise group actually showed improvements in things like insulin sensitivity, and a lipid panel, and diastolic blood pressure. Whereas the group that restricted calories, they just lost weight.
So, if you exercise, plus calorically restrict, we know that you can both lose weight and also improve metabolic parameters. And this of course is under the assumption that you're not overtraining and that this isn't some type of hefty liquid 400 calorie diet combined with the CrossFit worked out every day, which we know leads to overtraining and calcium buildup in the arteries and the heart, a lot of other issues. But same attention paid to calorie intake, plus sane amounts of exercise is better than just, say, dieting alone.
And other studies have looked at exercise training compared to calorie restriction. There was another study, I think this one was in 2009, where they looked at restricting calories and exercise training on insulin resistance, and on liver markers, and on what's called visceral adipose tissue, again the more problematic form of fat. And in that study, what they found again was that exercise versus calorie restriction was far more powerful for reduction in adipose tissue, and also reduction in insulin resistance, whereas the calorie restriction just was useful in losing weight. So, there's something happening when you exercise that goes way above and beyond what you get from calorie restriction.
And then, leading up to this latest study, there was another one in 2010 where they looked at calorie restriction and endurance exercise. And both the endurance exercise and the calorie restriction were shown to have, now to the subject of the matter, a potent anti-inflammatory effect, particularly in fat tissue with exercise winning out as having a slightly more impactful effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression. So, basically, the production of inflammation. And once again, I'll keep emphasizing this is not like Ironman triathlon training or some crazy, just beat you up and spit you out CrossFit daily workout routine, this was just sane amounts of exercise with a little bit of calorie restriction.
And so, this latest study, what they looked at was exercise training versus calorie restriction on inflammatory markers. And it was really interesting because what they did was they compared all these different studies that have been done, like some of the ones I've just mentioned and many others, like 30 plus different studies on exercise and calorie restriction. And basically, the long story short is that combining exercise with some form of calorie restriction is more effective than calorie restriction alone at reducing inflammation, particularly cytokines and CRP. So, once again, we see that if you want to control inflammation, yeah, there's a lot of things that you can do, like stress less, sleep more, potentially weave in some of these anti-inflammatory herbs and spices like turmeric, and ginger, and some of the different curries, and curcuminoids, and all these things that can decrease inflammation.
But it turns out that exercise, especially when done in a sane manner, can decrease inflammation and is more powerful than caloric restriction at decreasing inflammation. And the last reason I think this is interesting is because we know that exercise acutely increases inflammation like short-term, but then long-term decreases inflammation the same way that when you do a sauna, it acutely increases your blood sugar. Like when you strike the blood sugar, it goes to the roof when you're doing a sauna treatment. But then, long-term, if you do a regular sauna treatment, it improves your ability to be able to control your blood glucose. So, you're trading off short-term inflammation or, say, short-term spikes in blood glucose with the ability long-term to be able to control those parameters for better health or better longevity. Now, I think most of our audience already is aware of calories, how much they're eating, and also exercising. But it turns out that exercising is even more powerful at controlling inflammation, which I think is cool.
Jay: Yeah. It is pretty cool, but I think, too, what I hear you saying is that there's obvious benefits to exercise, there's obvious benefits to caloric restriction. But also, too, the combination of the two are quite effective as well. So, the good rule of thumb is exercise. And states of caloric restriction can be quite helpful in reducing some of these inflammatory cytokines and biomarkers. Yeah. And I think like you said, most of our audience is going to know that, but studies that continue to demonstrate that are going to condition us to want to do it more. So, it's always good to review.
Ben: And we just spent like five minutes basically telling people long-term chronic inflammation is bad. Move more, eat less. That's basically what it is in the nutshell.
Jay: The simple answer is the right answer.
Ben: Yeah. And then, also related to inflammation, then I want to move on to a few other interesting things that I think folks are really going to like. There was also a study that they did on something that is associated with a significant increase in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, which is like the gold standard marker I mentioned earlier of low-grade chronic inflammation. And this was a study in women. You'll know why momentarily. But basically, what they looked at was oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation in healthy young women, the type of inflammation that would predispose these healthy young women to future disease. And they measured oxidative markers. One that they really looked at was called hydroperoxides. And then, also, that's CSPR, if I can spit out the alphabets, hs-CRP that I talked about.
Now, there was a very, very interesting finding, and that was that women who were on the pill, oral contraceptive users had a significantly higher level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. And I've talked about the pill and some of the issues with artificially shutting down fertility, and the endocrine system via the pill in the past, but this yet throws another wrench into that birth control equation when it comes to the trade-off between birth control and amping up inflammation in your body. So, that's yet another reason. I'm a much bigger fan of the timing method, or condoms, or something that doesn't mess with your physiology as much when it comes to birth control because, man, it seems like every other study I see on the pill basically shows that, yeah, it's like a convenient short-term hack if you're, I guess, trying to plan your family or–although I do not endorse this whatsoever because I think it cheapens an act that should be highly sacred, but basically, allows women to sleep around more without getting pregnant or to have sex without getting pregnant. The problem is that the pill is not the way to do it, and there are better methods than that if you don't want to be, I suppose, popping out babies right and left. But I think if inflammation is something you want to control, you shouldn't be on the pill.
Jay: Well, you're just making so many intensive changes to your inherent physiology. I know that even in my world in mental health and in psychology, there are women who are prescribed oral contraceptives for mood stabilization. And sometimes, we might see some improvement in overall mood, but then all these other physiological aspects change. And because all of these other physiological aspects change, they might have this brief bout of enhanced mood, and then it just falls off the shelf. And again, I'm not trying to speak down to contraceptive use and trying to persuade somebody to get off them or to get on them, but I think that as we [00:26:19] _____ the research and the data, and we start to see research like this, and we hear some of these anecdotal reports from physicians and clinicians, it's just something that you have to be so incredibly careful of. And just like nutrition or anything else that we're putting into our body that's going to make inherent physiological changes, it always warrants us just taking the time to do a little bit of studying, not just take something because it's prescribed or handed over. And that's all I'm going to say. I'm going to go off my soapbox now. Thank you.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I'd recommend the 2019 book is probably the most updated treaties of this matter, and that would be Jolene Brighten's book “Beyond the Pill.” And it's like a hormone balancing book, but also gets into a lot of better methods for birth control. And it's really well-written by a physician, and I think that's a wonderful handbook for women who want to understand the pill, and also understand contraception in general. So, that one's called “Beyond the Pill.” I'll find that one and link to it in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429, if folks want to dig into that one.
Now, speaking of having babies, there was also, and this totally has nothing to do with inflammation, but there was a study that looked at all the different herbs out there and the effects of them on testosterone, on sperm, and on male prostate health. And this was a pretty cool scientific review of like Mucuna, and ashwagandha, and maca, and tribulus. Actually, the name of the paper was “Beyond Tribulus.” And so, what they looked at was hypogonadism or infertility in men. They looked at hormone balance in men, they looked at prostate health in men, and then they looked at what the actual clinical literature says about a lot of these herbs that were, whatever, buying at the 7-Eleven as our giant rocket erection pill, over-the-counter supplement, or the super expensive tribulus that you're importing from the far reaches of the Himalayas or wherever the heck they get tribulus from. And so, what they found was that tribulus caused no changes in free or total testosterone.
Jay: Yeah. Bodybuilders would have told you that a long time ago, man.
Ben: Yup. But in contrast, maca, tongkat ali, which some people might be familiar with, is T-O-N-G-K-A-T, tongkat ali, A-L-I. Tongkat ali, maca, velvet bean, which is also known as Mucuna, or dopamucuna, ashwagandha, and fenugreek. All of those actually did noticeably increase testosterone with the best increases in testosterone being reported for velvet bean extract and ashwagandha. And free testosterone responded pretty well to fenugreek and tongkat ali. So, if you're looking at herbal parameters for increasing testosterone, you may look into ashwagandha, you may look into velvet bean, you may look into tongkat ali, and then fenugreek.
And of course, in the past, I have a whole podcast I did for the–what's that big anti-aging symposium in Vegas? The A4M, American Academy of Aging Medicine. Yeah. I spoke to a bunch of physicians down there about–okay. Well, before you put men on testosterone, here are the basic parameters that you want to make sure that you cover first down there. And these are not herbs, but it's basically creatine, DHEA, vitamin D, magnesium, boron, zinc. I think those were the biggies. I'll have to hunt down that podcast and make sure I cover them all. So, those are obviously not herbs, but then arguably, you could say, well, perhaps consider also velvet bean, ashwagandha, fenugreek, and tongkat ali as part of that so-called stack for testosterone, and you're probably going to make a dent in low testosterone levels, assuming you're also doing things like sleeping, avoiding chronic cardio, lifting heavy stuff with your legs, even having sex, all those type of lifestyle parameters that increase testosterone.
Now, interestingly, they also looked at the drive, not just testosterone, but drive, which is separate from testosterone. And so, for drive, what they found was the most effective. It was actually in men, tongkat ali, increased drive, maca root also had a significant increase in drive. And this is great because this cross over into testosterone as well. And then, they looked at women. And in women who wanted higher drive, tribulus actually did turn out to be useful, as did fenugreek. Yeah. So, in men, tribulus didn't really increase testosterone or drive, but in women, it did increase drive. And in women, fenugreek also increased drive. So, that was really interesting. And by the way, if you don't want to explain this to the kids, if you're driving around in the minivan with the kids right now, you may want to put earmuffs on them real quick, but fenugreek also, reportedly, makes your sperm, or I guess your semen, I should say, taste like sweet licorice. So, there's that [00:31:30] _____.
Jay: Did they have a control group for this?
Ben: I don't know if that was a study. I think that's more anecdotal reports, but yeah. Apparently, it makes you taste a little better. And then, finally, they also looked at, of course like I mentioned, prostate health and other aspects of men's sexual health, looking at things like peak urine flow, nighttime nocturnal erections, BPH symptom scores, which is related to your prostate health. And so, for that, what they found was that one of the very popular things used for prostate health, saw palmetto didn't really seem to make much of an impact at all, but they also looked at things like bee pollen extract, and nettle, and Korean angelica root, and Moringa leaf extract.
And so, what they found particularly for men who are concerned about their prostate health was as follows. The ones that I just listed were consistent with decreasing BPH, and that was Pygeum, P-Y-G-E-U-M, that's an herb, bee pollen extract, check, yes, nettle also. And then, a couple that appeared promising, and the research went back and forth, was Korean angelica and Moringa. So, if you're trying to get more fertile, you could stack a lot of those herbs–and don't worry if you're not writing all this down. I'll link to the study in the shownotes. You could stack those herbs for prostate health.
They also found, and this is no surprise because we know that all the bioavailable lycopene in these two things cooked tomato because if you cook tomato, you're going to increase the lycopene bioavailability. And pomegranate also appeared to have a lot of effects at reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Bulb onion and garlic also appeared to have some benefits, but the problem with those two is that if you're doing this for sexual health or a better sex life, you aren't going to smell that great, and it might be possible that most members of the opposite sex may actually want to stay away from you, and you can smell like a giant oniony garlic pizza. Anyway, so I thought that was useful. I love studies that are useful that actually do a good job digging into the actual science behind the stuff that we sometimes pay a lot of money for, but aren't sure will work.
Jay: Well, especially like tribulus, and then saw palmetto, which I was actually more surprised by. I feel like tribulus has been debunked for so long. I mean, you've asked anybody in the bodybuilding community that most people who have been in it for a while know that tribulus is absolutely garbage for increasing testosterone and building muscle, and that's been debunked even though it's a huge seller still in supplement shops. Saw palmetto is one of those interesting ones because that's the one I still hear thrown around all the time as being helpful for overall prostate health. And so, seeing this article that demonstrates that maybe it's not as useful as what we thought, that to me is very interesting because it's such a big seller.
Ben: Yeah. As a matter of fact, the only research I've seen that shows tribulus to actually have a little bit of research behind it for really anything at all is it might affect heart health and blood sugar, meaning that women who have taken tribulus. And we know, by the way, that now we establish that in women, it may help with drive. But in women who took tribulus, it helped to manage blood sugar levels and maybe prevent increases in blood cholesterol. And even the blood cholesterol was an animal study. So, I wouldn't waste too much money on tribulus personally.
Jay: Yeah. There's other better things, more research things. Yeah.
Ben: Okay. So, just a couple other quick things that I wanted to mention, and this is related to kind of like how in the intro I gave you the preview of a pre-big meal weight loss hack. Well, here's the deal. There was a study that came out that looked at how much you can decrease your muscle glycogen. This carbohydrate sinks in your muscle with lifting weights. So, in the past, we've known that you can get a pretty big reduction in muscle glycogen content, following resistance training. And studies show anything from like 25% to 40% or so in terms of how much carbohydrate you can suck out of your muscles in response to resistance training.
It's important to understand that when your muscles are storing glycogen, that glycogen is divided up into different parts of muscle fibers. If you really want to get nitty-gritty, technically, muscle glycogen is divided up into what's called intramyofibrillar glycogen, and then intermyofibrillar glycogen, which an intra would be kind of like within the myofibrils, your muscle fibers. intermyofibrillar glycogen would be between the myofibrils, and then what's called sub-sarcolemma glycogen, which is just beneath the sarcolemma of the muscles. And that's probably way too geeked out for most folks, but understand that when they're assessing glycogen depletion in most studies, they don't do a very good job looking at, or I guess differentiating where the glycogen is actually coming from.
Now, this latest study, they actually studied not only how much glycogen was getting depleted, but where it was all coming from. And so, it was a really good study, and they use some pretty decent methods with this to really dig in to how much glycogen was actually being sucked out of the muscle. So, the intermyofibrillar glycogen, like all the storage carbohydrate that you have in between all your muscle fibers, that accounts for like 80% of your total muscle glycogen. So, it's a pretty significant amount. And what they found was that total muscle glycogen decreased by about 35% to 40% after resistance training. So, towards the high end of what we've seen in literature in the past. And a lot of it came from that intermyofibrillar glycogen, okay?
And I know that a lot of people are wondering why the heck they should even care about this. Well, it's important because if you know that about of resistance training–and in this case, most of the studies that have looked at this in the past, and this current study, it wasn't just like messing around in the gym for a little while. We're talking about like a 60 to 90-minute weight training session with compound lifts like squats, and deadlifts, and split squats, et cetera. What the idea here is though when you deplete glycogen like that, if you're going to go, say, eat a meal afterwards, your body is going to take that meal that you've eaten that may have some carbohydrates in it and use those carbohydrates to replenish this 25% to 40% of muscle glycogen that you've exhausted.
And furthermore, we know that resistance training upregulates something called GLUT4 transporters, which accelerate the absorption of glucose into muscle. And the formation of this glycogen is enhanced by increased enzymatic activity of the enzymes responsible for storing this carbohydrate away. And I've worn a continuous blood glucose monitor before and have found that compared to like, whatever, bitter melon extract, and berberine, and apple cider vinegar, and Ceylon cinnamon, and all these, even like a 10-minute postprandial walk, all these things that are pretty decent at maintaining normalized blood glucose response, especially in response to a big meal, and especially a higher carbohydrate meal, the two most effective things for my own continuous blood glucose monitoring if you're going to have a big meal are weight training at some point in the two to three hours leading up to that meal and/or cold thermogenesis, like a cold shower or a cold soak in the two to three hours leading up to that meal.
And this study just backs it up that resistance training just depletes muscle glycogen levels dramatically. And it's also important of course for anyone who is, I guess, training for, say, like professional sports or has back-to-back workouts or anything like that, like understand. And I've said this before that if you're going to work out and then work out again within eight hours, it actually is important to include carbohydrates with your post-workout meal so that you're adequately replenishing those storage carbohydrate levels. If you are not working out again, it appears that just eating ad libitum according to appetite, you're going to replenish your glycogen levels within about 24 hours anyways.
So, if you're just working out, say, like you have a one-hour workout every morning, you don't have to go eat a bunch of carbohydrates after that workout. Even the carbohydrates you might have with dinner that night are going to give you what you need for the next morning's workout session. And I actually think that's a good idea anyways because then you're going to go all day burning fats and restricting carbohydrates, refeed at night so you get that bump up in serotonin and melatonin levels, you sleep well, you wake up the next morning, you rinse, wash, and repeat. But if you're like a professional athlete and you've got a weight training session in the morning and scrimmage or practice in the afternoon, have carbs with breakfast, and then have carbs again after that evening or later afternoon workout. But ultimately, the big takeaway is we knew resistance training depletes carbohydrate levels, but this latest study shows that it really, really makes a dent in muscle glycogen levels particularly.
Jay: Yeah. That's super interesting, even though all of our low carbers, they heard you say, eat carbs and they immediately turn this podcast off.
Ben: All the low carbers walking around with low testosterone and hypothyroid not knowing why. Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong. If you look at my diet, you would consider me to be low carb. But I still have probably the equivalent with dinner. I probably have about, anywhere depending on the day's physical activities, 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, we do know that the body can form some carbs from gluconeogenesis from protein, and also from the glycerol backbone of fats. So, it basically, by the nature of eating food period, you're not low carb because your body's going to make some glucose.
Jay: Yeah. It's good distinction.
Ben: Yeah. And then, finally, speaking of carbs, here's a fun one. And I figured we'd finish with something fun. I discovered this hack that I haven't yet tried, but I wanted to throw it out there just to find out if anybody had. And you can leave a comment at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429 if you have anything to add into this equation. But you know those banana peels that you typically just throw away if you're eating bananas as part of your diet?
Jay: If I was eating carbs, I would, yeah. And that's exactly what you're talking about.
Ben: Well, it turns out that there's something called banana peel tea as a sleep hack. So, banana peels have potassium and magnesium, natural muscle relaxants. And they also have the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to HTP, 5-HTP, which gets converted into serotonin and melatonin, your sleep hormones. And it turns out that many people have discovered that by consuming banana peel tea prior to sleep, they sleep better. And it's actually not the sugar in the banana, it's just the banana peel. So, rather than eating a banana, or, say, like eating a kiwi or some cherries, which do the same thing, if you are not wanting to eat a ton of fructose right before you go to bed at night, or maybe you've already had all your carbs from those wonderful, say, sweet potato fries or sourdough bread at dinner and you don't want even more carbs, but you want to you want to make yourself a little sleepy time tea, what you do is you cut off the ends of the banana, and then you peel it. I don't think I'm going to even worry about explaining to people how to peel a banana. Why am I even doing that? Figure it out. Scratch your head and figure out how to peel a banana.
Jay: [00:43:15] _____.
Ben: Yeah. Go for organic bananas. Conventionally, grown bananas are getting–they tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. And then, what the recommendation is is to actually dehydrate them. You can just batch this all at once, like just do a whole bunch for the week. You could get all your banana peels, toss them into the oven at like 155 or into a food dehydrator, 155 for around six to eight hours. And if you want to, you could dehydrate the actual banana flesh, too, because dried bananas are actually pretty dang good, especially with a little bit of dark chocolate and dried bananas, oh my gosh, that's pretty tasty. So, anyways, and then you've got your dehydrated peels. What you do with your dehydrated peels is you can then just basically grind them and use them like tea, like put them in a French press or in a strainer or whatever and just have yourself some wonderful banana peel tea as a nighttime, sleepy time tea. So, there you go. What do you think, Jay? You're going to try it?
Jay: Have you tried it yet?
Ben: No, I haven't tried it yet because literally, it was something that just came on my radar a couple of days ago and I'm like, “Oh, I should mention this on the podcast.” I just don't have any bananas around the house right now, but once I do, this is definitely something I'm going to try just to see how it works.
Jay: Yeah. We do have some bananas around the house because my boys, they like that as a snack. And so, I will tell my wife to hold on to some of the banana peels and she's going to look at me like I'm crazy, but I'm going to say that Ben Greenfield said it. So, she'll just say, “All right, we'll do it.” And then, I'll give it a go. My go-to before bed is drinking some reishi, and I love doing that. However, I'm out of reishi right now so I'm going to try this. I need to dehydrate some banana peel, but it doesn't sound very difficult to make, which is nice. And I mean, I like being resourceful, too, and using the things that I wasn't planning on using. So, I really like this idea. I'll let you know if I try it.
Ben: Yeah. And honestly, where my mind goes is why not make your reishi tea with banana peel hot water, right? So, you could have banana peel reishi tea. That's the next big thing in health, banana peel reishi tea.
I like to shop for things like chocolate, and raw nut butters, and fringed weird gluten-free cereals you can't find anywhere else, an ethical meat, and sustainable seafood, and clean wine. There's one website where you can go find all this. So, it's not Amazon. It's not your local grocery store website. These folks let you easily shop by 70 plus different dietary varieties like keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, BPA-free, any of your grocery shopping orders that are over 49 bucks get shipped free. So, there's really a totally, doesn't matter if you drive down and go to the grocery store, and put your mask on, and wander around, and drive back home, or just do it straight from your computer and find all the good stuff. And it's delivered with carbon-neutral shipping from zero waste warehouses. I'm talking about Thrive Market. It is an online healthy grocery store that it's a membership-based website. So, you save a ton of money, kind of like Costco. It's risk-free. You get the first 30 days to see if the membership's right for you. If it's not, you just cancel within 30 days. You get a full refund. Twelve-month membership comes down to less than five bucks a month. And you get all this if you go to thrivemarket.com/ben. And better yet, they're going to give you up to 24 bucks in free groceries when you go to thrivemarket.com/ben.
This podcast is brought to you also by Water and Wellness. What's Water and Wellness? It's like this website devoted to all the things you can put in your water to biohack your water. One that I've been using a lot of–I was out with my buddies at a restaurant last night. I pulled this stuff out of my bag and we just slammed it in our water. We can put it in our cocktails. It's called Chromax. It's activated molecular hydrogen, which reduces blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and body fat percentages. This is a 24 case study, by the way. I'm just pulling this stuff out my ass. Improves insulin sensitivity and lean body mass. You can find this study on PubMed. Supplement with these hydrogen-producing tablets, basically, modulated fatty acid and glucose metabolism, improved inflammation, and what's called redox homeostasis in folks with metabolic syndrome, and it's like they've taken hydrogen tablets and then upgraded them with all sorts of stuff to support a normal healthy metabolism, not a normal metabolism, a better metabolism.
So, anyways, you can get this stuff from Water and Wellness. You can also get their Quinton, which is the best mineral out there, the best liquid mineral out there. They call this their master metabolic regulator bundle. That's a mouthful, master metabolic regulator bundle. They got a citation of multiple studies surrounding metabolic syndrome with this stuff. So, you get 25% off a six-month supply of their molecular hydrogen, and their molecular hydrogen with that Chromax stuff in it. And to get their Quinton 15% off three boxes of that, 10% off of all their products, it's super simple. You just go to waterandwellness.com/greenfield and use code GREENFIELD. Waterandwellness.com/greenfield, and use code GREENFIELD, and that'll get you access to any of these offers. So, enjoy your newfound love for biohacked water.
Now, we actually can go answer some questions.
Jay: It's that time.
Q: I've noticed that whenever I'm exposed to a high amount of sun or heat, I see an elevation on my continuous blood glucose monitor. I'm also wondering what effect a berberine supplement may have on my blood glucose levels.
Ben: So, first of all, regarding the use of a continuous blood glucose monitor in the sauna, when I interviewed Josh from Levels Health, he did indicate that sometimes during exposure to the heat, that continuous blood glucose monitors may have a slight decrease in accuracy. And so, it is actually possible that excess heat might influence the accuracy of that. And so, I don't know how much faith you could put into the data you're getting from a continuous glucose monitor in the heat, but I think the Dexcom blood glucose monitor seems to work pretty well. I've also had decent measurements with the Libre. So, I don't know. That's a tricky one, but yeah. I do know some of these sensors don't seem to work too well in the heat, but I wish I had a better answer for you on that one.
Regarding the berberine, for some people, berberine can have some issues in terms of efficacy and absorption. There might be some genetic issues as well with the actual ability to be able to respond to the blood glucose stabilizing effects of berberine. But in the past, we've talked about this new form of berberine called dihydroberberine. So, dihydroberberine is a form of berberine that's better absorbed and that appears to have a much bigger impact on blood glucose levels. So, it increases adiponectin, which is the protein secreted by your fat cells that helps out with your insulin sensitivity. It seems to increase glucose uptake into fat cells, kind of similar to that weight training that I talked about, but basically, that will help to lower your blood sugar. And that happens even if your liver cells and your muscle cells are already full of glycogen. It'll still help increase glucose uptake into fat cells.
It's really easily absorbed into the intestine, whereas berberine is not. So, that might be another issue with Ishmael is intestinal absorption of berberine might just be too low. Whereas DHB, dihydroberberine, can get absorbed like five times higher than regular berberine. And again, when it comes to actual impact on blood glucose, it seems to have a much better effect. So, what you may want to do is actually try a different form of berberine called dihydroberberine rather than regular berberine, and that might be something to experiment with. And so, I'd suggest you try that out. And if it doesn't work for you, just go with another blood glucose disposal agent like bitter melon extract, or Ceylon cinnamon, or apple cider vinegar. There's a variety of them out there, these so-called glucose disposal agents, GDAs. But that's actually where I'd start. I don't know. Do you have anything to throw in there, Jay?
Jay: So, the only thing that I was thinking is that it is a sauna effect from the sun. So, basically, it's having maybe some sweating or excessive sweating, having some dehydration, maybe a decrease in blood volume, and therefore, glucose goes up, and that's what he's seeing. That's the only thing that I can think of because if it's just like basic sunlight and it's the same temperature as you were previously when you are indoors, I can't think of anything like cortisol modulation that may impact it.
Ben: Yeah. I'm not quite sure. I don't know. But we do know that sunlight can also assist with blood glucose management as well. It's kind of a little-known effect of sunlight. And I think I talked about that when we were discussing vitamin D, the impact of photonic energy of light like infrared light, that near-infrared, far infrared, red spectrum may also assist with blood glucose stabilization. They've actually shown for diabetes that sunlight can actually assist with management of type 2 diabetes. And so, you can actually find research on sunlight and management of diabetes. And of course, I think anybody for a wide variety of health reasons should be getting out in the sunlight. And I think it goes beyond the vitamin D. I think it gets onto the photonic energy and sunlight as well. But yeah, that's a head-scratcher.
But anyways though, let's go ahead and take another.
Q: You spoke a little about the inflammatory effect of the pill. I'm wondering, were there any other long-term effects from taking oral contraceptives?
Ben: That is a great question. And like I mentioned, Jolene Brighten's book “Beyond the Pill” gets into this a little bit, but there's some definite long-term effects in terms of hormone regulation and kind of like what being on long-term hormonal contraceptive can do. I mean, we know that if you look at the physician information pamphlets on oral contraceptive pills, I mean, the list goes on and on. There's dozens and dozens of issues from insulin sensitivity to high blood pressure, to anaphylaxis, to even like heart attacks and cancer. It's crazy, even like fatal blood clotting. But really, long term, the main thing is hormone regulation.
And I think the Journal of Sexual Medicine is the journal that initially did some of the research on this and found abnormally low levels of testosterone that occurred long after women cease using the pill, which of course is going to be responsible for energy, drive, a wide variety of beneficial effects. And progesterone similarly seems to experience this long-term drop. Long term, there also appears to be, especially in teenagers, increased vulnerability to breast cancer. There was another study that found a loss in overall well-being. Like 40% of women who started the pill, even after they were off it, had a decrease in sexual desire and an overall drop in well-being, and that may even contribute to this roller coaster ride of being on the pill, getting your mood and drive screwed up, and then winding up on something, an SSRI like Prozac, for example.
This might sound weird, but if you think about it long, long term when it comes to your marriage and your family, there's this idea, and this is something that we've known for a while, is that women, based on the pheromone production when they're on the pill, tend to be attracted to genetically dissimilar men before going on the pill. And then, after going on the pill, they're attracted to men who are genetically similar to themselves. And what that means is that a woman who's on the pill before marriage, who later stops taking the pill in order to have children, could stop being attracted to her husband or be attracted to her husband less intensively. And that's just based on–yeah, evolutionary psychology or ancestral psychology would argue that genetic similarity in couples could lead to fertility problems or lead to genetic issues with the offspring.
So, you want a genetically diverse set of partners. It's kind of like, don't marry your cousin or your brother or your sister. There's actually some biological wisdom to that, and it could actually lead to a long-term breakdown in relationships because odor perception actually plays a significant role in maintaining your attraction to a partner. And so, the negative effects of the pill are not just physical, they're also social. And it's interesting, too, because marriages between genetically similar people are also more likely to produce children with genetic problems. So, it has this multi-generational effect. And then of course, we have to consider the effect on the environment, too.
We hear people talking about like frogs turning into females, but there's actually a greater number of intersex animals being found in aquatic environments, and they're actually attributing some of that to the female hormones in the pill being excreted in the urine winding up in our world's liver–like our water supplies, like our rivers and our lakes. And it affects like egg production, it causes male fish to have female characteristics, it appears to affect frogs. This isn't just birth control pills. I think it's pharmaceuticals in general, but there's effect in the environment, too. And I guess long story short is as you guys are getting the impression of, I'm not a huge fan of hormonal contraceptives and there's some long-term effects that I think working with a good functional medicine doc who's using something like a DUTCH panel, which is a urine panel to monitor hormones and get those realigned properly would be the first step. If you've been on the pill, you get off and you want to mop up some of the damage. I would do some data-driven testing like a DUTCH urine test to see what's going on, and then take appropriate steps from there. But yeah, it's certainly a concerning issue in my opinion.
Jay: One of the things that I've seen as the more robust literature is the potential risk factor for increased risk of cardiovascular disease. And after the studies that we've been talking about today, I think that–I mean, we probably would conceptualize this regardless of whether or not we saw this study, but I think the study provides some ample evidence to inflammation being the mediator there. So, I think that taking those things into consideration, I mean, again this goes back to my statement I made earlier. It's like, who am I to convince someone to be on it or off it right now? I don't see that as my place, but I think that you need to listen to the evidence, open up some eyes and ears and hear the potential risk factors. I think a lot of young women are put on these things and they have no idea what they're getting themselves into from a physiological perspective and state, and they have no idea of the potential ramifications. And I hate that decisions that are made for girls when they're younger, or even when they're made for themselves, when they're still young and maybe not fully matured, can have long lasting impacts.
Sam: I just started training jiu-jitsu at age 28, and I know you've got Kion Flex. But I'm curious, what are some other low-hanging fruits for joint mobility flexibility and that kind of stuff.
Ben: Alright. So, for joint health, I mean, we've obviously talked about a lot of things before, but I'll share a couple of my biggies and things that go beyond perhaps what we've talked about before. And then, Jay, perhaps you can share some of yours. Sound good?
Jay: Yeah. Let's do it.
Ben: Okay. So, I would say the things that people don't do enough of that they should know about because we hear about turmeric, and curcumin, and Sam brought up Kion Flex, which is more of the turmerosaccharides, some of the amla root, some cool little herbs that we did. We looked into all the human clinical research on joint support and put together a good formula there. There are also these proteolytic enzymes known as wobenzymes often as a brand name, but those are really, really good at breaking down fibrinogen and some of the byproducts of muscle soreness. But I can tell you probably some of my top things that don't fall into the supplement category just because I think most people know about the kind of things you can pop as pills to help out with inflammation recovery. Again, not to sound like a fox guarding the hen house, but I think Kion Flex is top of the totem pole for me on that.
Infrared light. So, man, after a tough workout, especially the day after from soar, using the Joovv light or using an infrared sauna is amazing for blood flow, for decreasing inflammation, for reducing delayed onset muscle soreness, and especially when combined with cold, like hot-cold contrast going back and forth between the heat and the cold, that's way, way high up there for me. The next would be transdermal magnesium. I just put some on this morning after that electrical muscle stimulation workout. I find transdermal magnesium just because it's better absorbed than oral and you can localize it to the specific muscle that's sore. I'll use like topical CBD, and Traumeel, and arnica, but I find nothing beats transdermal magnesium. I use one from a company called ancient minerals that's compounded with something called MSM. And so, you get a lot of bioavailable sulfates, and that thing's just fantastic for delayed onset muscle soreness.
So, I'd say hot-cold therapy, infrared, transdermal magnesium, and then a few others that might fly under the radar. They're increasingly not banned by, but being given a watchful eye and slowly removed from the market by the FDA. But if you can get your hands on them and stock up on some peptides, particularly the peptides BPC-157 and TB-500, and to a lesser extent, the peptide GHK copper peptide, those are all injectable peptides that can be wonderful for injuries and for soreness as well. Again, the injectable form seems more efficacious than the oral form of peptide. But that's another one that I would consider if you want to really jump into the better living through science type of category.
And the last one that I use that's super effective is pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. I have one of these units by a company called Pulse Centers. It was developed for the horse racing industry, so it's super hefty, high power. The thing comes with like a massage table, and a chair, and all these coils. I use that thing almost every day just on little injuries, aches, pains during massages, but I'm a huge fan of PEMF, too. So, I'd say for technologies, PEMF and infrared for kind of like supplementy type of things, transdermal magnesium, and peptides, and then for like an oral supplement, Kion Flex. And those would be some of the things that I think I use most regularly for soreness on a pretty regular basis. That's not an exhaustive list, but those are the ones that I think come to mind is things that I use like almost every day. What would you throw in there, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. So, I'm going to take a bit of a different approach to this, but I like everything that you said because I think that those are just the good low-hanging fruit, not too cost-prohibitive for most people. The next one that I'm going to present is certainly not cost-prohibitive whatsoever. But if you're thinking about sports like martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, we know that a lot of individuals are prone to injury because of overuse or because certain areas of the body, especially the legs, knees, and ankles just are not strong enough to withstand a lot of the momentum shifts that you have in doing jiu-jitsu. So, I actually started following an individual. I heard him on Ben Pakulski's podcast. This guy, his name is Ben Patrick. He's the Knees Over Toes Guy. Have you heard this guy, Ben?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Actually, I exchanged some emails with his mom, who I guess runs his company because I was looking at some of his videos. And I'm exploring maybe getting him on the podcast, but yeah, it's a–go ahead, Jay.
Jay: Yeah. Really, really smart individual who had multiple knee constructive surgeries. Never thought he'd play basketball again, multiple injuries to both knees, and he thought that he should have had surgery, never did, and probably injured it even more. And so, he started going against conventional wisdom, which with the whole idea of knees over toes is that a lot of bodybuilders in this day and age don't think that when you squat or do any movements that your knees should ever cross your toes, and he thought that was just insane. And so, he developed this program to create more bulletproof knees. And again, I'm going with this because there's so many knee injuries that take place in jiu-jitsu and martial arts, but I really like this guy.
So, if you haven't followed him on Instagram, he's knees over toes guy, Ben Patrick. He created this entire formula on creating bulletproof knees. And a lot of it is just retraining different muscles around the legs, and the ankles, the tibialis, and then also doing stretches to put more load onto the knees and progressively put more load onto the knees. But I think that is such a low-hanging fruit that not a lot of people really think about is just appropriate stretching and appropriate strength training of some of these muscles that we may not use that are going to strengthen different areas of the body that are more prone to injury, especially strengthening like the tibialis.
So, I think that's one of the things that I actually have been doing because if anybody recalls and hearing me on the podcast, I tore my meniscus playing tennis last January, and I still was having some difficulty in the gym with things like deadlifts, things like squats, leg press. And so, I started integrating some of Ben's work into my own routine, and I feel like my knees are getting back to bulletproof, which I had to have. Like, I wasn't going to allow anything to keep me back from playing tennis or getting out there doing high-impact sports. So, that's when I think that if I were you, Sam, I'd give a look in.
Ben: Yeah. I dig that. And to follow up on that, or piggyback on it, as folks say, there's one book I have on my Kindle that anytime my knee hurts, I flip to this book and just open up the section that hurts, and it's all based on trigger points, areas that are painful that typically the pain is caused by an area related to that area, but not right in it, that's in a state of cramp, that needs a trigger point like a good 30 to 60 seconds of like a deep tissue press with a slow release of the breath to release some of the tension in that trigger point. It's called “The Knee Pain Bible.” And so, if I get pain on the outside of my knee, it's intermedius, it's gluteus medius, and of course vastus lateralis. But it shows you like in a really good diagram with links to YouTube videos as well the area to mash or to roll with the softball, or a foam roller, or whatever.
That book, like 9 times out of 10 when I recommend it to somebody or use it on myself for an area of knee pain, shockingly effective at reducing knee pain, but even more shockingly, reducing knee pain by working on an area that isn't even a part of the area that hurts. Similar to tennis elbow, you could google like trigger points for tennis elbow. Those trigger points for tennis elbow weigh down the thumb where the thumb attachment is for one of the extends or radialis muscles of the thumb. So, if you don't know about trigger points, there's another one under the armpit for front to the shoulder pain. It's crazy how sometimes we think the pain is coming from one area and it's actually totally unrelated, and the pain is in different areas. That one's called “The Knee Pain Bible.” And of course probably, Kelly Starrett's “Becoming a Supple Leopard” is one of the best guides to just no trigger points for every muscle that's out there and hit those trigger points effectively. So, anyways, I hope that that's helpful.
Jay: That's so interesting.
Ben: I hope that's helpful, Sam. And we got to begin to wrap things up. I've actually got a podcast I'm boogieing off to here pretty soon. Danica Patrick, apparently, the race car driver has a podcast. She wanted to interview me today. So, I'm going to go be on her show, but that thing starts pretty soon. So, I got to boogie momentarily, but first of all, my apologies for the audio snafus on today's show. We'll get those sorted and fix them for next time, so don't worry, you guys. Forgive us and we'll be back next time even better, assuming Clubhouse is still around, doesn't get replaced by whatever Zuckerberg is doing is his–I don't know. Apparently, he's coming out with his own version. And do we have a review? Can we give away a goodie on today's show, Jay? Do we have any reviews?
Jay: Yeah, man. I've got one sent right here for you.
Ben: Right. So, Jay's going to read a review. And the best way to support this show is if you go to Apple podcast, or to Spotify, or Samsung, or wherever you listen to the show. If you leave a review, it's one of the best things you can do to help this show out. So, even if right now you jot a quick note to yourself, take 20 seconds, leave Ben and Jay a review. It will be tremendously helpful for the show. Furthermore, we go read the reviews each week, we pick one out of the hat, and–we don't pick it out of the hat, we pick a good one. And then, we send you a gear pack, a cool text t-shirt, a BPA-free water bottle, and a sweet Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie straight to your house. And all you do is if you hear us read your review, email [email protected] with your T-shirt size. We'll get a gear pack sent out to you as our ethical bribe to force you to leave a review.
So, anyways, Jay, you want to take this one away?
Jay: Yeah. No. I was looking in the room. I always like to see if the person who wrote the review is in the room and I'd like to try to see if I can find someone in the room and then find their review real quickly, but I couldn't do so.
Ben: That's something that's especially tricky when in Clubhouse–
Jay: [01:09:20] _____.
Ben: In Clubhouse, people have names like Bob and Kate, and then their reviews are like prettykitten111, 217x.
Jay: Kaleman206. Yeah, yeah. Alright, but this one is Bfarrel7. Best health podcast around, and they said this is a science-backed biohacking and lifestyle tip podcast. Ben goes the nth degree when it comes to fringe ways to be healthier, more fit, et cetera, but you can pick and choose depending on what is most important to you. Just start listening and you'll understand.” Even though I'd argue that it's not just fringe, there's also a lot of things that are science-backed.
Ben: You'll understand, you'll understand. Just listen, you'll get it then. You just won't know until you listen.
Jay: [01:10:08] _____.
Ben: Yeah. Well, that's a great review. So Farrel, whatever your name is, email [email protected] is a T-shirt size. We'll get a handy-dandy gear pack out to you. For those of you who joined us on Clubhouse, thanks for joining in. It's always fun to have people along for the ride. The shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/429 for this show where you can go leave your comments, jump into the discussion in the comments section there. That's always fun. And of course, let us know if any of you tried banana peel tea and wind up roofing yourself. Sorry for that unsensitive politically incorrect joke.
And so, that being said, until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Jay T. Wiles signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
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…
- Here is probably the best anti-aging measurement one could ever do, and it's not expensive…13:55
- Exercise + sane amounts of calorie restriction definitely effective at reducing inflammation…19:50
- Ladies…the PILL increases inflammation, FYI…26:45
- Great articlefor any man (or a woman who identifies as a man) looking to increase testosterone, sperm, and semen quality, and this one too…30:30
- Pretty surprising how much weight training can decrease muscle glycogen levels…good for low-carb dieters or folks trying to optimize performance (or control blood sugar) to know…38:15
- Anybody out there try “banana peel tea” for sleep? Good results? Info here…44:50
- Twin Eagles Wilderness School
- Katalystelectrical muscle stimulation
- Beyond the Pillby Dr. Jolene Brighten
- Herbal parameters to increase testosterone
- Ben's American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)presentation
- Basic parameters to be covered first to increase testosterone
- Increases drive in men
- Increases drive in women
- Prostate health (peak urine flow, nocturnal erections, benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH] symptom scores)
- Bee Pollen extract(decreases BPH symptoms) (use code BEN to save 15%)
- Nettle(decreases BPH symptoms)
- Korean Angelica root(decreases BPH symptoms)
- Moringa Leaf extract(decreases BPH symptoms)
- Cooked tomato (cooking increases lycopene)
- Pomegranate extract
- Bulb onion and garlic
- Saw Palmetto did not have much of an impact
–The Boundless Cookbook: Optimize your physical and mental performance with nutritious and delicious Greenfield family recipes. This is your roadmap to a culinary journey that includes ancient food and wild game preparation tactics, biohacked smoothies, meat rubs, cocktails, desserts, and beyond—without any restrictive diet, limited ingredients, or tasteless “health foods”! Pre-order yours today here!
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!
This podcast is brought to you by:
–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. For a limited time, Joovv wants to hook you up with an exclusive discount on your first order. Just apply code BEN to your qualifying order.
–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 worth up to $20 when you begin a new membership.
–Water and Wellness: The best solution for clean and safe drinking water. Water and Wellness also offers an amazing line of essential water additives such as Quinton Marine plasma which contain over 78 trace minerals and elements from the ocean to help restore your biological-terrain. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code GREENFIELD.
Does Heat Affect Blood Glucose Levels…48:40
Q: “I’ve noticed that whenever I’m exposed to a high amount of sun or heat, I see an elevation on my continuous blood glucose monitor. I’m also wondering what effect a berberine supplement may have on my blood glucose levels.”
In my response, I recommend:
- BGF Podcast with Josh Clemente of Levels Health
- A Rocket Scientist Homeschooler’s Insider Blood Glucose Monitoring Secrets, The Best Way To Use A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), Blood Sugar Biohacking Tips & Much More!
- Using a CGM in the sauna somewhat decreases it's accuracy
- Dexcom G6
- Freestyle Libre
- GDA (Glucose Disposal Agent)
Effects Of Long-Term Oral Contraceptive Use…53:00
Q: “You spoke a little about the inflammatory effect of the pill. I am wondering were there any other long-term effects from taking oral contraceptives?”
In my response, I recommend:
- Beyond the Pillby Dr. Jolene Brighten
- The Journal of Sexual Medicine
- Hormone regulation
- Dutch Urine Hormone Steroid Profile
Best Tips For Joint Health, Recovery, And Injury Prevention…58:50
Q: “I just started training jiu-jitsu at the age of 28. I'm curious, can you recommend any supplements or tactics for recovery and (predominately) injury prevention?”
In my response, I recommend:
- Kion Flexfor inflammation recovery
- Clearlight Sauna
- Hot and Cold therapy:
- Ancient Minerals Transdermal Magnesium
- Pulse Centersfor PEMF therapy
- Ben Patrick, the Knees Over Toes Guy
- The Knee Pain Bibleby Christopher Kidawski
- Becoming A Supple Leopardby Kelly Starrett