October 7, 2021
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/436/
[00:00:36] Ben's Smoking Breakfast
[00:06:02] News Flashes
[00:06:35] Umbrella Review: When it comes to cancer risk, guess what the very WORST thing is from a dietary standpoint?
[00:13:28] Which sport is most correlated with longevity?
[00:17:46] Blood flow restriction WITH aerobic exercise allows for decent training of VO2max but at LOWER intensities.
[00:23:47] Are eggs good or bad for you?
[00:31:10] The Latest “Butt” Research
[00:37:53] Podcast Sponsors
[00:43:26] Q&A Introduction
[00:44:10] What Are the Best Metrics to Track for Fitness and Longevity?
[00:54:10] What's The Best Chocolate to Avoid Heavy Metals?
[00:59:48] How to Build Muscle with Low Testosterone Levels
[01:07:18] How to Use a BioCharger
[01:12:12] Featured Review
[01:13:26] Open-Mindedness on Vaccination
[01:17:41] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast:
The worst foods for increasing your cancer risk, are eggs good or bad for you, the sports that make you live longer, and much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Jay, welcome, man.
Jay: Yeah, man. Glad to be back here.
Ben: This is an interesting morning, very interesting morning, for a few reasons. First of all, I feel fantastic because my sons and I have been cooking the heck out of organ meats lately. And, I put aside my usual morning smoothie, just for the morning this morning. And, I had a shot of that Feel Free stuff that we've been talking about lately for a little surge of energy. And then, I ate meat, giant pile of heart, liver, organic chicken wings, some primal kitchen buffalo sauce, some primal kitchen spicy ketchup, and a little bit of bacon for breakfast.
Ben: How do you like that?
Jay: Dude, that's breakfast of champions. So, were you just thinking like, “I'll go carnivore today,” or was this an experiment, knowing you?
Ben: Well, Winston Churchill, who I admire in some respects, used to wake to a whiskey, cigar, newspaper, and he had something else that, I think, most people would consider to be unhealthy thrown in there. I forget what it was. I don't know.
Jay: Probably, it was a slab of meat because people consider that unhealthy.
Ben: Yeah, slab of meat. You're actually right. He had bacon and eggs. Bacon and eggs, whiskey, cigar, and the newspaper. I think that doesn't sound like a half-bad way to start the day.
Jay: No, no. I think that's the only way–
Ben: Probably the whiskey, but, yeah.
Jay: Yeah, it sounds super American, which he wasn't. But it sounds super American. Maybe, that's why we adopted some of those habits. But, it sounds like a beautiful way to wake up.
Ben: Yeah, and speaking of cigar, now I'm smoking. I'm literally smoking.
Jay: Are you, really?
Ben: As we are recording this podcast, I think that I have let people know in the past, or tweeted or whatever in the past, about how, if you use this type of oil called black pepper oil, not only is black pepper great to put a few grinds and some water and some tea before you go do a sauna session because it increases your body temperature pretty dramatically if you want to sweat more, but black pepper is also an ingredient that's used to alleviate nicotine cravings. It's actually used as a cigarette substitute.
Jay: Were you having some nicotine cravings this morning?
Ben: I wasn't having nicotine cravings, per se. Although, I do like to chew that Lucy Gum stuff sometimes. But, anyways, I had discovered that there's a company that makes almost like a–It's not a vape pen, but it looks like a vape pen. But, all it is is it's this pen that you put an essential oil core into. So, it's got these little cotton cores. And, you just saturate the corn or whatever essential oil that you want. In this case, you could use something like black pepper. And then, instead of hitting a vape pen or instead of hitting a cigarette, you just take a drag on black pepper extract instead. It works surprisingly well.
That pen is made by a company called Fum. It's F-U-M. I can link to them in the shownotes if people go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/436 once we get the shownotes out. But, actually, I'm not I'm not “smoking” black pepper today. I've got this–they made a chocolate mint core. It's literally like–especially, after having liver and heart, it's this super yummy flavor. And, literally, it's like taking a hit those fancy new THC pens that they put, I don't know, strawberry and mint and purple grape and whatever else in there and crazy flavors.
I think I even had a vape pen a few weeks ago someone gave me a hit on. And, I said, “What is this?” And, they said it was sweet cheese.
Jay: Sweet cheese?
Ben: I thought I'd vaporize sweet cheese before. But, this is not marijuana or THC or nicotine or anything. I'm literally just smoking, so to speak, because I don't know any other word to say. I could tell you sucking, I guess. I'm sucking on a pen. And, it is a chocolate mint infusion. It's super tasty.
Jay: Chocolate mint infusion with black pepper, that's right?
Jay: Does it burn the back of your throat? I just feel like that black pepper could really feel good on the back of the throat.
Jay: No, it doesn't?
Ben: No. Well, I don't know. Maybe, maybe my throat is calloused.
Jay: It could be.
Ben: What do you call it when you become used to something, so used to it that you become desensitized to it?
Jay: Yeah, desensitized.
Ben: Well, no, it's not calloused and it's not desensitized.
Ben: I've got words on the tip of my tongue. What's that?
Jay: Conditioned? Habituated?
Ben: Not conditioned, not habituated. You know, when somebody has become desensitized to something to the extent to where they might lack a little bit of empathy or some–Jaded.
Ben: Jaded. No, jaded.
Jay: Okay, jaded.
Ben: My throat has become jaded.
Jay: It has become jaded.
Ben: I believe that's the correct use of the word, “jaded.” I guess “jaded” more is lacking enthusiasm for life.
Jay: It can be, yeah.
Ben: So, I don't know. I don't know.
Jay: But, anyway, sounds pretty sweet.
Jay: I want some black pepper to cure some cravings myself.
Ben: Well, I'll see if I can snag a discount code from Fum and toss all that into the shownotes, if people want to try a little bit of that. And, I suppose we're getting long in the tooth, so we should jump into today's news flashes.
Jay: Sounds like fun.
Ben: Alright, folks. Well, if you are here live on Clubhouse, which is where we record this podcast, typically, on Wednesdays, Wednesday mornings around 10:30 a.m. Pacific, I always send out in my newsletter when we're going to do a Clubhouse podcast. So, if you subscribe to the newsletter at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, you can get it on the live edition. And, we'll be opening up to live questions here shortly. But, in the meantime, of course, we'd love to cover just a few interesting anecdotes that have popped up over the weeks in between these shows.
And, one was pretty interesting. It was what's called an “umbrella review.” Umbrella review is basically a scientific review of all of the different apparati out there that could help protect you from rain falling on your head. Am I correct, Jay?
Jay: Yeah, I learned about that when I was doing my doctoral work. Yes, that's exactly correct.
Ben: That's correct. Trust me, I'm a doctor. Well, if you've done doctoral work, you could probably explain an umbrella review better than I could, Jay. What's an umbrella review?
Jay: So, an umbrella review is basically an overview of reviews. And, particularly, it is the compilation of multiple meta-analyses that are then provided with a larger overview. So, it basically answers a much larger question that takes all of this intensive meta-analysis, and then combines it into one paper.
So, the meta-analysis is considered the top-of-the-line type of research review. Whereas, the umbrella would be above that. So, it is “umbrella” in that it covers, basically, everything within that category that we're trying to answer. So, yeah, it's a great form of review.
Ben: It's a review of reviews, right?
Jay: That's it.
Ben: Essentially. See, I just said it way, way easier than you did. Umbrella is a review of reviews.
Jay: That was the first sentence I said.
Ben: And, this particular umbrella review was looking into all of the different foods that could be associated with cancer risk. So, they looked at a whole bunch of different kinds of cancer, like breast and colorectal and esophageal and head and neck and liver cancer. And then, they took all of the compounds that tend to be pretty heavily studied as being either carcinogenic or even potentially anti-carcinogenic: dairy products, milk, calcium, whole grains, coffee, and, of course, alcohol.
And, the compound that they looked at that was most associated with an increased risk of most cancers–What do you think it was, Jay?
Jay: It's a tricky one because cancer is just a tricky one, especially, on identifying what could be the cause agent. So, I would have probably said something that was fried and vegetable oil, like French fries or doughnuts or something that would be [00:08:54]_____.
Ben: Yeah, but I don't think they studied French fries and doughnuts.
Ben: I think that they actually kept it to relatively commonly–well, not commonly consumed foods. I'm trying to actually hunt down this study so I can get it in front of me. It looks like citrus fruits, processed meat, egg, soy, coffee, poultry, fiber, tomatoes, vegetables, and what else was on there? Alcohol, like I mentioned. Whole grains. And so, yeah, I guess they could have done French fries and donuts, but I don't think they did.
Jay: Yeah. But, among the things that you just mentioned, French fries and highly fried stuff that's insanely inflammatory, I didn't think about it until you mentioned it, but alcohol seems like it would be highly correlated with plenty of types of cancers, especially, if it's utilized in excess. So, I think that would be my next guess, would be alcohol.
Ben: My bet would have been on processed meat, especially, based on, I think, the last podcast we talked about, the recent meta-analysis that was looking at all of the things that could subtract minutes from your life, if you like to think in highly mortalistic terms like that. I love to make up words, “mortalistic.” And, hotdogs were way up there. Processed meat was way up there.
But, in this case, in this metanalysis, for cancer, particularly, not just all-cause risk of death, but cancer, it was, you are correct, Jay, alcohol consumption because alcohol consumption positively associated with the risk of a wide variety of cancers. Of course, there's the whole, what's it called, the James Bond Theory where the people who are dick and around with processed meats and alcohol and fried foods, etc., they tend to be eating a generally unhealthy diet, anyways.
Jay: Sedentary and smoking, too, yeah.
Ben: Because most people think alcohol might be bad for you. Therefore, they're people who aren't really making that great of food decisions anyways, I really don't think that this particular umbrella study of studies or analysis of analyses was looking at, let's say, organic biodynamic wine consumed by a Sardinian or a splash of bitters over the rocks with some lemon juice prior to a grass-fed, grass-finished rib-eye. They were literally looking at, alright, who's drinking out there, and then matching that up with who's getting cancer out there and finding a pretty hefty correlation.
And, yet, I stand by what I've stood by before. Micro-doses of a really healthy organic or biodynamic wine or other form of relatively non-processed low-sugar alcohol, I don't think, is much of an issue for most people. But, I would say that this definitely speaks volumes to the fact that, probably, contextualized with a standard American diet, like alcohol, from a cancer standpoint, is one of the worst things that you could be consuming.
Jay: It comes back to the problems that are found with some of these epidemiological studies. And, I'm assuming that this meta-analysis, or sorry, the umbrella of meta-analysis, was looking at a lot of compilations of epidemiological studies. You can still calculate for things like affect size because you're looking at a large data set, but still, it's really difficult for these studies to factor out all these other confounding variables and then just highlight one single compound, like alcohol.
They've done it here, but still, I wholeheartedly agree with you because it's not contextualized. And so, that makes it like I don't want people to listen to this and be like, “That's it. I'm going to get colorectal or esophageal cancer because I've drank a glass of wine tonight.” It's not the case. But, it's always something that we have to be cautious with. I think you and I both agree excessive alcohol doesn't make sense within a healthy “lifestyle.” But, yeah, it's interesting information, for sure.
Ben: Yeah. Well, what won out, though, in terms of, probably, the biggest impact on reducing cancer risk, at least, from what they looked at in this study?
Jay: No, I have no idea what it would be.
Jay: I guess, yeah, that's interesting. I would have not have thought that would have been there, but it makes sense.
Ben: And, there's no surprises there, of course. Alright. So, that was the umbrella review. We'll link to that one in the shownotes. The shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/436.
Now, moving on to another issue related to overall mortality. Great article in preventive medicine about which sport allows you to live the longest. And, I'm going to play the guessing game again with you, Jay. Which sport do you think, when you look at–Well, I'm not even going to name all the sports you don't have any clues in your head. I won't tell you what they looked at. I will, shortly. But, what sport was considered, when compared to a sedentary lifestyle, to add the most amount of years to one's life, in this case, nearly 10 years of extra life compared to sedentary controls, for people who play this sport?
Jay: So, my heuristic goes to three different sports. And, that's because I played all three.
Ben: You have to choose one. That's two.
Jay: Alright, I will choose one. I will tell you that the three, though, that I would have thought would have been: soccer, basketball, or tennis. The reason being is because each of those are like doing HIIT training almost, even though it could be considered potentially excessive HIIT training, there is a bit of HIIT, especially, if you're playing singles tennis.
Out of those, what do I think it would be? I would probably choose —
Ben: I just have to interrupt you, HIIT training, I see what you did there.
Jay: You don't like that? You don't like that?
Ben: Anyways, though. So, what would you choose?
Jay: I would think it's either–I'm going to go with tennis, yeah. I'm going to go with tennis, just because I played it.
Ben: One study in the past had ranked tennis as number one and swimming as number two. This recent study based on over 8,500 participants in the Copenhagen Heart Study definitely found tennis at the top of the list —
Jay: Look at that.
Ben: –adding nearly 10 years of life versus a sedentary lifestyle, with badminton a close follow-up.
Ben: Badminton, get out of here.
Jay: Wanna-be tennis players.
Ben: Seriously, really, bending down to pick up a birdie is going to make you live well. Apparently, it is. Soccer was third. Cycling was fourth. And, swimming was fifth. You know what's interesting, is that–And, I find this interesting, that many of the sports that are listed as sports that seem to cause a decrease in all-cause risk of mortality tend to be sports that people would have picked up at an early age or sports that require a great deal of balance or coordination or left-right hemispheric brain activity, dictating that I'd be curious if–let's say you take a weight lifter who also plays chess or someone who jogs but also reads profusely. Maybe, if they're triggering their brain in some other way, they would live just as long as someone who, say, plays what might arguably be considered an intellectually or more mentally demanding sport, like tennis or a sport that one would start earlier on in life, indicating that they've been active for longer in their life, like tennis.
Jay: That's a good point.
Ben: They play tennis when they're kids; plus, you have that left-right hemispheric brain component. So, it was interesting, though. And, I think that some type of racket sports causing you to shift from left to right hand, engaging you in some of the high-intensity burst training that you alluded to, Jay, is probably something that's pretty good for you to consider picking up and putting in your back pocket.
Jay: For me, I don't know if you view it this way, Ben, or ever viewed it this way. But, for me, when I go out and exercise, especially, if I'm doing high-level endurance exercise, if there's something about playing a sport like tennis where I don't even think about myself exercising but I know I'm getting all these amazing benefits. I just really think about myself like playing a game, playing a sport. And, I don't ever conceptualize it in my brain as, “Oh, this is exercise for me.” I know it is on the back end, but never while I'm playing.
Ben: Yeah. That's the best kind of exercise is the exercise that's sneaky, that you don't know what you're actually doing, in my opinion.
Ben: So, we'll link to that analysis in the shownotes, not an umbrella.
Ben: I know. The only good studies now are the umbrella variety.
Alright. So, here's a pretty good one. Everybody knows that I'm a huge fan, especially, when I travel, of using blood flow restriction bands to fool my muscles into thinking they're lifting a heavier weight than they actually are. And, honestly, a lot of times, when I travel, I'm a freaking Groundhog Day model. I get up. I do a half-hour of BFR training. And, the rest of the day, I just go on walks and stuff. Take a cold shower here and there. And, that's just my go-to when I travel. It's easy. It takes me, literally, a pound of extra travel weight to throw some BFR bands into my suitcase.
And, one thing I've always wondered, because a lot of times, I'll do a strength training workout with my BFR bands, like string together some squats, some push-ups, usually, I'll travel with a TRX style device that allows me to do some door frame pull-ups, some lunges, things along those lines. But then, after I've done 20 to 30 minutes of BFR training in the morning, I'll sometimes go on a walk while still wearing the BFR bands, which is surprisingly hard, especially, if you're walking uphill because you've got all this lactic acid trapped in muscle, which, of course, is one of the reasons BFR training works, is you get this big growth hormone response and you get this bounce-back response in metabolic fitness when you trap all those metabolic byproducts into muscle tissue when you have the muscle slightly occluded with these BFR bands on either the arms or the legs or both.
And, it turns out that aerobic exercise, combined with blood flow restriction, actually, has some pretty cool benefits. Now, in this case, this recent study which appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, what they looked at was just regular high-intensity interval training. And then, they looked at aerobic exercise with BFR bands and aerobic exercise without BFR bands on. Literally, this could be something as simple as going for a walk or some people even go for a swim wearing these BFR bands or a bike ride.
Now, no surprises here, high-intensity interval training resulted in the greatest increase in VO2max or maximum oxygen utilization, which is a very good metric of aerobic fitness and a very good thing to keep elevated, particularly, as you age or if your goals are performance. But, the VO2max increase was pretty considerably close to what you got out of high-intensity interval training when you were just doing aerobic training wearing BFR bands, meaning, doing like what I do, [00:20:20]_____ together some squats and pushups and pullups putting the bands on, but then just heading out and going for a walk afterwards. Or, even if you're not doing the strength training before, just going on a walk wearing these bands.
And, it's cool because you can take a walk and make a walk a walk on steroids when you're banded, so to speak. And, it turns out that it actually has a pretty significant impact on maximum oxygen utilization. Thus, dictating that, if you want a great strength/aerobic combination workout, put on the BFR bands, do some bodyweight training, and then head out for a walk.
And, that's a pretty good one-two combo that, again, I like because BFR bands aren't that expensive. You could get the fancy KAATSU ones from Japan, which are pretty cool, I have to admit, like the things that automatically inflate and deflate with the exact partial pressure that you want. But, even just the cheap ass BFR bands you can get on Amazon, they're not half bad. Although, they don't have a little tube inside them that the KAATSU bands do that allow for more delivery of blood to the muscle but less blood coming out of the muscle, those just regular BFR bands you get on Amazon or whatever, they don't work half bad. And, yeah, it turns out that you get a pretty significant benefit just strapping them on and hitting the bike or going for a walk.
Jay: Yeah, it's super interesting. Did the study happen to mention the minimum amount of time that you needed to engage in aerobic exercise, and then, also maybe the maximum amount?
Ben: Yeah. In this case, they were exercising for 18 minutes.
Jay: It's not long.
Ben: Anybody who's put on BFR bands, if you have them on at the proper pressure, 18 minutes you feel it. I use that Vasper machine which is BFR on steroids. It is an expensive apparatus, but it's one of those things. I think Tony Robbins travels everywhere with his Vasper machine. And, I happen to be lucky enough to have one out in my little biohacking gym. And, I hop on that thing two or three times a week. It's a 21-minute workout. And, geez, it's just like, even though I'm only producing 100 to 150 watts, which, for anybody who's a cyclist who will turn out 400 watts, it doesn't seem much. But, when your arms and legs are restricted, it actually is surprisingly difficult with a surprisingly low amount of inflammation and muscle damage afterwards.
So, I still hop on that Vasper when I'm home two or three times a week. And, for me, just to know, hey, even if I get nothing else done today, I can do 21 minutes on the Vasper and I'm getting the equivalent of a two or three-hour run. It's a cool little time hack. But, it's also expensive, too.
Jay: Sure. But, like you said, just go get the cheap ones from Amazon and then do it after your workout, go for a walk. And, that's the best way.
Ben: That would be the poor man's version or the poor woman's version of the Vasper, is just put on arm and leg BFR bands and then hit the Airdyne for 21 minutes or the elliptical trainer where you move both your arms and your legs, or even just a walk where you're doing some brisk swinging of your arms and legs. So, there you go, BFR training for VO2max and a VO2max maintenance or increase at lower intensities than what you'd get from a high-intensity interval training workout or than what you'd need to achieve with a high-intensity interval training workout. So, there you have it.
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: Alright. So, what else do I have for you? Here's a great one, the age-old question, are eggs good or bad for health? And, Jay, I don't know about you, but this is one of those classics where, every time you're sitting next to somebody on an airplane and you start talking about nutrition, they're like, “It's all so confusing. We're never going to figure it out. First, they say eggs are good for you. Then, they say eggs are bad for you.” That's what people always bring out, these eggs.
Jay: It's the stereotypical one, yeah.
Ben: And so, it turns out that this actually has been looked into, and there was actually a pretty decent article that came out about it. And, I'm not going to bore people with all of the details of the article. But, essentially, the highlight of the summary is this: eggs do have a lot of key things that your body relies upon on a regular basis, like cholesterol precursors and cholesterols themselves, like pretty bioavailable forms of amino acids, choline, which is wonderful for the brain, a host of different micronutrients that make eggs nature's perfect protein because you got your entire B-complex, your A, your D, your E, your K, phosphorus, calcium, potassium. We have chickens. And, it overjoys my heart to know that my sons, my growing 13-year-old boys, go out there every morning, grab a few eggs from the chickens, clean off some of the chicken poop since eggs do come out the chicken ass. And then, they come inside. My boys have eggs nearly every day, and they eat liver with a great frequency as well. And, I think it's great to know that they're getting a lot of those vitamins from nature.
But, the article, of course, and I don't think this surprises anyone, gets into, of course, all the benefits of what's inside the egg, but then, also, basically gets into the fact that most recent research and the US Dietary Guidelines suggest that the historical strike against eggs, especially, the idea that they might be bad for your cholesterol, which is a myth, is not, in fact, true and that's not a reason to avoid eggs. So, that's old, old school that eggs, because they raise your cholesterol, would be bad for you, not the case.
Are some people sensitive to or have an immune reaction to or are potentially allergic to some of the albumin and other proteins in eggs? Yeah. Some people actually do have a legitimate egg intolerance or egg allergy. And, you can use a good test, like a Cyrex. I like that company, Cyrex C-Y-R-E-X food allergy test, to find out if that's the case for you.
I find that most people tend to have a bigger issue with eggs when they are consuming just the albumin portion, just egg whites. And, that's another old school myth that you go to the to the hotel buffet and you ask for the egg white omelet and leave the yolks aside because I don't want to die of a heart attack here at the table, baby. But, it turns out that having the egg whites in the absence of the yolk is the equivalent of drinking 2% homogenized pasteurized milk. Really, it's not the way that nature intended us to be consuming our eggs. It was supposed to be one perfect package.
The article goes on to highlight research showing that eggs do not seem to increase cardiovascular risk, but a standard western diet eaten that includes eggs can have an impact on cardiovascular risk. And, of course, because again, similar to the alcohol deal, we know that people who are eating a standard western diet and frequently eating eggs are probably eating 80% of their eggs at Denny's with a pancake and, maybe, a morning cup of Coke, speaking of which, I got to open my Coke.
Ben: I'm drinking the Zevia Cola flavor this morning.
Jay: Zevia Cola, yeah, that's a good one.
Ben: It's not just the cola, the cherry coke. You got the Zevia Cherry Coke?
Jay: That's the best cola flavor. That's so good.
Ben: Oh, my goodness. Somebody go get this company to sponsor the podcast.
Jay: Sure, man.
Ben: [00:27:44]_____ super dangerous. And so, that's something to bear in mind, is that the context of the eggs being consumed is important.
And then, the cooking method affects the nutritional profile and health of the egg, as does the hen's diet, which, of course, should come as no surprise because we are what we eat, ate. And, a healthy egg from a pastured hen or, at least, a hen that has been fed something other than a diet extremely rich in omega-6 fatty acids or monocrop corn or soy or wheat or something like that dictates that these pasture-raised hens are a lot better, especially, if they haven't been fed commercial feed. Our hens eat insects and they eat worms. And, my wife sometimes brings special–whatever. My kids will make overnight oatmeal and give the egg–or give the chicken some of the leftover oatmeal. But, generally, our chickens are not eating commercial feed.
And, furthermore, the study goes into how one cooks an egg is important. For example, heavy heating of eggs, high temperature, that actually allows for a little bit more oxidation of some of the fats and cholesterols, and could make eggs a little less healthy, particularly, if you're also frying them in a vegetable oil. But, a poach or a soft boil yields the best nutritional value for eggs. It makes the protein in the egg whites more bioavailable. It allows the yolk's vitamins and lipids and micronutrients to remain relatively intact.
So, if you are going to make eggs a staple, don't cook them at a high temp. Be patient. And, this goes for most proteins. Long and slow is typically going to be healthier. The heart and the liver I had for breakfast this morning basically had about four or five minutes total at a high heat. And, the entire rest of the time, I just basically woke up yesterday morning, made a bag of heart and a bag of liver, and then dropped it into my sous-vide, which is just a low-temp water bath. And, it was in there for 16 hours yesterday at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which meant that, when I finally cooked the heart and the liver, it required very little of that high-heat cooking that might introduce more carcinogenic compounds into an ingredient or into a food.
So, long, slow, low cooking of a pastured egg is better for you than it is worse for you. And, it's a great article in terms of, basically, these folks picking a bunch of nutritionists and smart people's brains about eggs and finding out the best way to cook them and whether or not they actually are healthy. And, no surprises here, but the overall consensus, the final on eggs, is, if they're good, healthy eggs, cooked low and slow in a stable oil, they're just fine, arguably amazing for you.
Jay: Yeah. It's really interesting because I still come back to that airplane, airport conversation, which is like we have all this great evidence and information. And, maybe, we just provide that education, if it makes sense, to the person we're talking to in the airport. But, it's like, because there's been so much misinformation around this subject, I feel like, though the evidence is there, we're going to still probably have this conversation for the rest of our life because of all the potential detriment that's been done prior to this.
Ben: Agreed, agreed.
Jay: So, here we go.
Ben: Alright. So, I got one more for you before we're going to jump into our lovely Q&A from the Clubhouse audience. And, that is the idea that a breathing tube through the butt could be an alternative to mechanical ventilators. I'm not kidding you. A subtitle of this article was that, “animals that breathe through their butts. But, scientists have now shown that mammals can also harness the incredible breathing ability of our butts, alright.”
Jay: That's our second nose, I got it.
Ben: Sea spiders, loaches, whatever a loach is. You ever seen a loach?
Ben: Do you know what loach is?
Jay: No idea.
Ben: Loach, I think, is a special little type of freshwater fish, if I recall properly. But, anyways, they use their posterior intestine, a.k.a. their asshole as an accessory air-breathing organ. And, like I said, sea spiders and catfish are other examples. But, a recent study in the journal, “Med,” now suggests that mammals, humans included, may be able to breathe through their rear ends.
Now, this particular study actually looked into the idea of, in mice, using a model of oxygen deprivation, preventing them from breathing through their lungs, I imagine they could probably just cover up their little mouse mouths and suffocate them, but then, they gave them intestinal ventilation, oxygen through an anal catheter. And, it turns out that this remarkably elevated oxygen levels in the blood reduced the need for a mechanical ventilator, the oxygen diffused into the bloodstream through the colonic capillaries and was safely delivered to the lungs. And, they even suggested that rectal ventilation could mitigate a ventilator shortage. And, for me, of course, I'm not just thinking about management of something like COVID using a butt tube rather than a mechanical ventilator, but the idea that, heck, why not look into something like rectal ozone, rectal oxygen?
And, of course, everybody knows, I don't think it's a secret nowadays, that, once a week, I do a coffee enema. It's amazing. I make a giant thing of organic coffee. I put some butyrate capsules in there. So, I'm giving my colon a bunch of butyric acid. I put some probiotics in there. So, I'm introducing some good colonic flora. I put a little bit of olive oil in there because it's very almost nourishing to the digestive tract. So, you're lining your colon with oil, really healthy oil. And then, I lay on my side on the bathroom floor and just let all that soak into my body for 20 minutes. And, I stand up. And, I just eliminate it all into the toilet. And, man, I feel amazing every time I do that.
When I go weeks without doing a coffee enema, I'll start to get constipated and stuff. And then, man, I just feel so great. Now, everybody's like, “I'm never going to stick anything up my butt.” It's funny. It's more men than women, but whenever I'm doing consults with people because I'll chat with 10 to 12 people a week. We'll go over a lab and blood work and health, but it's funny. It's like, 20% of the time, when I'm talking to a guy, they lead with this, “Well, Ben, I can't wait to talk to you today. By the way, I'm not to stick anything up my butt, just so you know.”
Jay: Let me clarify off of that.
Ben: “Just so you know, let's establish that.” And, I'm like, “Sure, it's your call.”
Jay: “That's the only protocol I had for you. It was going to be nothing but things up the butt.”
Ben: But, now, I can tell them, “Hey, you know what? You can breathe up your butt. God gave you that asshole not just for getting rid of shit, but also for delivering vital oxygen to your brain, and every once in a while having a cup of coffee.”
Jay: I feel like some dude or gal is listening to this, like an entrepreneur, and they're going to develop some type of new scuba diving tour somewhere where you just use butt oxygen. It's going to happen. Maybe, I'll do it.
Ben: It could. And, I briefly alluded to this fact, but rectal ozone therapy for introducing ozone as an antiviral antibacterial, overall health tonic into the bloodstream through the butt is one of the best ways to actually get ozone delivered to your body.
And, I have an ozone generator in the room next to my office. And, usually, I drink a glass of ozone water. But, occasionally, you just take off the tube that attaches the ozone generator to your water mechanism and you instead attach it to a little bag. And, it takes two minutes to fill that bag with ozone. Then, you literally take a catheter tube. You put it up your backside. You squeeze the ozone into your body. And, it's like an oil change for your blood. It's pretty cool.
Jay: It's one way of doing it.
Ben: Yeah. I think a lot of people are just like–Let's face it, Jay, there's just this cultural, probably, steeped in puritanical Christianity or something like that, that the butt is reserved for crapping out it only, and should you decide to do something like rectal ozone or a coffee enema, you risk delving into the horrific ancient times of Sodom and Gomorrah and sexual immorality and people shoving gerbils up their butts.
No. I draw the line somewhere, especially, at gerbils. But, I think that the asshole is useful for things other than taking a shit. So, if there's one thing you take away from this podcast–
Jay: Yeah. People want to avoid feeling like they're in defilement. So, I just think that it can be pretty ridiculous.
Ben: But, last thing before I move on to Q&A regarding that, I don't know if you've messed around with this, Jay, at all, but for you fellas out there and for you ladies, I suppose, they basically have what they call prostate massaging devices for having an orgasm on your prostate, fellas. I actually have one of these devices that, when inserted properly and used in the manner that is explained to you when you order one, results in an orgasm that is very unlike what you would normally experience from a, I don't know what would you call it, a penile orgasm. And, actually, orgasming up the butt using one of these special tools is something that I think every guy, especially, should add to their bucket list. It actually feels really good.
Jay: I love where this podcast is turning to.
Ben: So, there you have it.
Alright, I've got a pretty exciting announcement, everybody. So, fresh out of the secret Batman labs is the newest addition to the ultra-clean, science-backed, rigorously tested Kion lineup of functional foods and supplements. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you some hints. This new product that we've just developed is known for increasing muscle protein synthesis and lean muscle growth. It promotes satiety and healthy weight management and enhances athletic recovery. And, it is–drum roll, please–the brand-new Kion Clean Protein.
And, this is not any old protein powder. First and foremost, it is the best-tasting protein powder I've ever had in my life. Organic natural flavors, Himalayan Sea salt, stevia delivered rich chocolatey and velvety smooth vanilla flavors that are out of this world, seriously, even in plain old water. The plain version is amazing. The plain version tastes like the richest creamiest, well, for those of you who had breast milk, like that. It's whey protein isolate. So, unlike whey protein concentrate, you get virtually zero lactose carbohydrate or milk fat. No junk, no frills, just 20 grams of pure complete protein. So, it's 100% whey protein isolate.
It's grass-fed, which gives us this nutrient-dense protein-rich delicious milky whey protein, antibiotic-free, growth hormone-free, no artificial or any other forms of growth hormone, non-GMO. And, like all Kion products, we rigorously test every batch for toxins heavy metals and mold. A lot of protein powder companies do not do that. We make sure you're getting the purest and safest product.
And, oh, my gosh, let me give you a little recipe. Put a couple of scoops of the vanilla in with a scoop of the Kion Aminos berry flavor, a couple scoops of the Kion Colostrum, some ice, some bone broth. Throw in some Kion Creatine. And, you've got a creatine colostrum amino acids whey protein smoothie that is the best smoothie you've ever had in your life.
You can get the brand spanking new Kion Clean Protein if you go to GetKion.com/BenGreenfield. That's Get-K-I-O-N.com/BenGreenfield. Can you tell I'm stoked about this stuff? It is absolutely amazing.
This podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market, pretty much the best online grocery store that exists because it's Whole Foods met Costco and had a baby, a healthy sustainable baby. You can get thousands of really wholesome food and home and beauty products curated just for members there because you pay a membership fee, but it's 5 bucks a month and then you save a ton on stuff you can't even find on Amazon, on stuff that might be overpriced for you to get elsewhere. You can easily shop by 70-plus different diets, values like keto and paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, BPA-free, you name it. You get the app. You skip the store and the lines. Orders that are 49 bucks or more are shipped absolutely free with carbon-neutral shipping from their zero-waste warehouses.
Thrive Market is crushing it, and you get to give them a try now. They're going to give you up to 24 bucks in free groceries when you join today. And, you just go to ThriveMarket.com/Ben. That's ThriveMarket.com/Ben.
This podcast is also brought to you by the wonderful–It's actually a great time of year for this, the Organifi Pumpkin Pie Spice. They put a whole bunch of healing compounds in this, like turmeric and ginger and reishi mushroom and turkey tail mushroom. It takes 30 seconds to make an amazing golden milk pumpkin spice latte with no shopping or chopping or juicing or blending. A serving of this stuff gives you a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. It's got a bunch of herbs and medicinal mushrooms. So, it's a guilt-free golden milk latte. And, they throw in a bunch of other delicious creamy compounds in there, like lemon balm and coconut and cinnamon and black pepper.
So, it's called Organifi Gold. And, they're going–And, they have a Pumpkin Pie Spice version of that, too. I recommend this time of year you get the Pumpkin Pie version. So, Organifi.com/Ben. That's Organifi, with an “I”.com/Ben.
This podcast is also brought to you by the probiotic that helps you poop better than any other probiotic out there. It's made by a company called Seed. And, they have specific strains that they've scientifically studied, not only to support healthy easy stools that you actually pass without bloating, with ease of expulsion, with stool consistency, with bowel movement regularity, but the bacteria they've chosen allow you to produce more short-chain fatty acids that support these wave-like muscle contractions in the intestines that help to move waste out. So, they literally formulate this probiotic to help you get shit done, day in, day out, like clockwork.
Shelf-stable, no refrigeration necessary. This probiotic strain they use delivers the probiotics 100% alive and well to the end of the small intestine to, then, be delivered into the colon, where you get all the benefits out of them.
You get 15% off of this stuff very simply. You go to Seed.com/ben. That's S-E-E-D.com/Ben. You get a 15% discount code on your first month of this amazing, they call it their Daily Synbiotic, is actually what they call it, S-Y-N-biotic. But, use code, BEN15, at Seed.com/Ben. Enjoy your poopy time. And, let's get back to the show.
Before we go any deeper…
Jay: I like [00:43:31]_____.
Ben: …into this whole discussion about what you can and can't put up your butt, let's go ahead and open things up to Q&A from our lovely Clubhouse audience. Now, Sophia, who is our social media manager, is also a moderator on today's Q&A. And , she's going to bring those of you who have your hand raised with a question to the stage here on Clubhouse. And, we'll just take a take as many questions as we can here over the next little bit until I run out of Zevia Cola, I suppose. So, that being said, Sophia, would you like to bring someone to stage?
Xavi: I'm Xavi. I'm a check practitioner and functional medicine practitioner. And, one of my goals right now to adjunct my coaching practice is to join the fire service. Part of that is, of course, rigorous physical activity. And, I'm working with [00:44:24]_____ coaches for programming, as well as some quantitative measurements of exercise performance. So, Jay, I know you have a really extensive background in heart rate variability and, Ben, obviously, an exercise king.
So, I'm wondering, in addition to heart rate variability, we could also look at VO2max, are there any markers that stand out to you, too, that I should be testing for as I prepare to join the fire service? Thanks.
Ben: So, the question here is, what metrics are the best metrics to track if you are trying to track fitness, in particular. And, of course, for longevity in the past, I've said, hands down, the best metrics to track are your levels of inflammation, like regular measurements of blood CRP, and then, also, your glycemic variability, like what's going on with your blood glucose during the day, in terms, of, basically, the critical metrics for that combination of lifespan and healthspan?
But, when it comes to fitness metrics that you may want to track, gosh, where'd we even start? So, Xavi was saying that he is tracking his heart rate variability. I think that when I interviewed Keith Rabois, the investor, his note about his focus on tracking the heart rate recovery, meaning, two minutes of intense exercise, such as step-ups, and then tracking how long it takes the heart to return to baseline afterwards, I think that's also an excellent and meaningful metric to track: heart rate recovery, how quickly your heart rate returns to baseline after an intense two or three-minute effort and keeping track of that, whether it's four minutes or five minutes or six minutes or however long that is. I think that that is an important metric to track.
There are other things, of course, that I think would be, really, yawners for people, like strength or speed or, I don't know, body fat percentage. But, we actually have other things at our disposal that we can track as well using some of these newer methods of quantification of muscle power, meaning that there are devices now that you can wear that will track the amount of force output generated by a muscle. And, it's been a while since I've actually looked into the number of devices out there in terms of wearables that can test muscular power. Have you been tracking much that category, Jay?
Jay: No, not muscular power. Yeah, I would say exertion or strain would be–Whoop is the only one that I know that's doing that. But, not from the level of what you're mentioning.
Ben: They're called wearable inertial sensors. They measure velocity and power when you're doing an exercise. And, for people who are really trying to track the amount of force production that they're producing in real-time, it's a pretty good idea. They also have these for running. You can measure the amount of power that you're producing, very similar to a bike power meter with running power meters, which are typically an app that pairs to both a heart rate strap sensor that is typically worn, for example, around the wristband that's going to capture motion during running. And, some of these sensors will also be attached to their running shoes, like pods, that attach your running shoe that measure power.
And then, they have a, gosh, I'm going to blank. And, I'm sure somebody's listening to the podcast and they're screaming through me at the podcast. There's one that you can wear in the gym that does it as well. And, if I do my homework, I could probably hunt it down and put it into the shownotes, or if someone's on Clubhouse and happens to recall the name of that muscle power measuring device, that one can use in the gym, that would be one to look into.
But, yeah, muscle power or running power would be one to look at. Heart rate recovery would be another one to look at. VO2max I think is wonderful. Although, it's a little bit more difficult to measure VO2max directly using what's called calorimetry, which is what you do in an exercise physiology lab, wearing a mask. But, they have some pretty good apps now that will, for example, pair to a watch, like a Timex or Garmin or whatever, and predict your VO2max based on your heart rate during exercise. And, the predictions aren't half bad. So, tracking your VO2max would be another one.
Of course, recovery metrics, like Jay alluded to, using an Oura ring or a Whoop ring or Whoop wristband to measure things like your stress score, your readiness, etc. And, that pulls in everything from your body temperature to your heart rate to your sleep cycles to your heart rate variability to your respiratory rate. And, really, for me, if I'm exercising, I tend to go more based on feel and rating of perceived exertion. But then, for recovery, I really do look at my Oura metric every single day. And, if it's super low, I have found that pushing through a low readiness score on my Oura ring inevitably results in some type of illness or injury two to three days later if I do that.
So, if I open up my Oura app right now, I'm going to open it up, and I'm only going to open it up because I know I didn't have a shitty score because I hate to be vulnerable and admit on a podcast if I'm actually a real human being who has crappy readiness scores some days. But, my readiness score today is actually a–I get a crown. Today, it's at 95.
Jay: That's good. That's high. That's really high.
Ben: You know what that means? Well, I'm glad because, about once every week to once every two weeks, I do one of those full-body Katalyst electrical muscle stimulation workouts. Actually, they're pretty hard. And, they take a little bit of oomph and willpower.
Jay: So, you got [00:50:32]_____ to that.
Ben: But, I'm actually planning doing one today sometime after this podcast. So, it's good that my readiness score is high because I'm about to push it way back down into the ditches here after doing an EMS workout. But, those are a few that come to mind. I don't know, Jay, you got anything to throw in there?
Jay: Yeah. Obviously, I'm going to beat the drum of heart rate variability as a primary metric for recovery. But, I know I sound like a broken record, but one thing you want to keep in mind is that, sometimes, you're not getting a full picture if you just look at heart rate variability from your Oura or your Whoop because it's just giving you one metric of nervous system repair and functioning.
So, what I like to do is, each morning, I'll take a readiness score by utilizing a Polar H10 or another wrist-wearable PPG strap. And, I'll use something like Elite HRV or HRV4Training. And, I'll run a five-minute reading just to look at my overall baseline after I wake up.
And, the one thing that I'm specifically looking for that for you, Xavi, might be quite helpful is looking at changes in the high-frequency band of heart rate variability. We actually know that the high-frequency band receives only contributions from the parasympathetic nervous system. So, when the vagus break is removed or, basically, when you're engaged in a stress response, your parasympathetic response is inhibited, you'll actually see that poor–
Ben: Slow down a little bit here, Jay. Slow down a little bit.
Jay: Sorry, I'm [00:51:46]_____.
Ben: You don't lose people throwing around words like vagus nerve bands. So, keep going, but slow down just a little bit.
Jay: Okay. So, what I was saying is that, if the brake is pulled off of the vagus nerve or if you're engaged in a stress response, then what will end up occurring is that that high-frequency band will significantly drop because the contributions that occur from the parasympathetic nervous system are inhibited.
So, what's the practical gist of what you would do with that? Well, if you see that your HF has significantly dropped below your baseline, let's say your baseline HF score is around, let's say, 500 and it's 100 or 200 that day, then we have pretty reasonable suspicion, and I guess you could say evidence, to say that your parasympathetic nervous system is not fully engaging, for some reason, like it should be, which is indicative of overtraining, overreaching, stress, and so forth. So, that's a really primary biometric that I would look at.
And, the other thing for you, Xavi, would be to look at respiratory fitness overall and then respiratory training. And so, I'm a huge fan of Patrick McKeown and “Oxygen Advantage” and his work and just assessing your overall breath-holding score. Especially, working with fire, as you mentioned, the ability to maintain higher levels of CO2 tolerance can be quite important as well. So, those are the two things that I would really look for, the biometric piece and then respiratory training and fitness. And, I think that's a pretty good start.
Ben: Cool. And, I think the wearable that I was referring to, the one that will actually measure muscle speed or power, and it also measures things like motion and landing impact, etc., I think it's called a Moov, M-O-O-V. I don't have a lot of personal experience with it, but I believe that's the one that will actually measure some type of motion or force during exercise. I could be wrong, but I think that's the one.
There's also a study that appeared in the Journal of Digital Medicine, called wearable sensors for monitoring the internal and external workload of the athlete. And, I will link to that one in the shownotes. Or, at least, some cracked member of my team will link to that one in the shownotes because it was a relatively recent article that gets into a lot of these wearables and might give you some other ideas as well.
Alright. Well, let's go ahead and get another question up.
Mark: So, I'm a big fan of chocolate and adding cacao to my shakes. And, I know a lot of the health benefits of them, but I'm also suddenly concerned after doing some reading about the cadmium levels and lead levels in chocolate. So, does the health benefits outweigh those potential issues? Or, what's the best way to select a chocolate, the fact that I have had very low levels of those two thin metals?
Ben: You run into the same thing with protein powders. That's another big one because I've been–Well, let's just say I have been heavily researching for a specific and rather exciting reason what the healthiest forms of protein are, the most bioavailable forms of protein, particularly, powders…
Ben: …what the best-tasting forms of protein are and what are the lowest in common toxins, including metals, that we tend to find in protein powders. You will all learn quite soon why I've been steeped in protein powder research of late. Although, you can probably guess. I'm a products formulator.
But, anyways, Mark is correct. As a matter of fact, there was an independent lab test a few years ago that tested 100-plus different chocolate bars and chocolate products and found a shockingly high number of them contained lead or cadmium that was well above the recommended levels. And, that included Trader Joe's, Hershey's, Lindt, Whole Foods, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Theo, which is another popular one. Mars was another. And so, yes, it is an actual issue.
Now, in terms of avoiding this type of contaminants, because lead and cadmium are definitely problematic, you can actually look into the sourcing of the chocolate itself. So, for example, there is a company called Forest Finest. And, they actually work with companies to identify the source of any given cocoa contaminant within the supply chain, then help them take protective steps to reduce the levels of that cadmium or that lead to the actual acceptable levels that go even lower than what trace amounts would be. So, this Forest Finest company is one that actually does some research on chocolate brands.
There are other companies that tend to be particularly adamant about their sourcing of things like cacao, for example. One that I really that I would stand by is Hu Kitchen. They have a fantastic restaurant in New York City, if you're ever there, H-U Kitchen. But, they also make chocolate bars that you can find just about anywhere that are actually very, very low in any type of contaminants and very, very rich in a lot of things we look to chocolate for, like flavanols and theobromine, etc.
There is another company or another review that would be Consumer Labs. And, what Consumer Labs at ConsumerLab.com has done is they go in and they analyze a lot of these cacao and cocoa and dark chocolate products to determine, not only which ones are highest in things like flavanols and polyphenols, but also the lowest in things like lead and cadmium. Typically, with Consumer Lab, you join as a member. But, I think that it's a pretty useful website for analyzing some of these brands.
There's also another website. And, I'll link to some of these in the shownotes at Berkeley Wellness. And, Berkeley Wellness does a really good job analyzing some of these chocolates and other foods as well. So, that'd be another one to look into. Although, I think they may have been purchased by, what's it called, Healthline, I think, is the name of the company. I think they may have begun or become Healthline recently.
And then, there's one final website called As You Sow. And, As You Sow has done a list of all of the amounts of lead and cadmium in certain products. And, that'd be another one. And, I'll link–That's a super helpful table.
So, what I'll do is, in the shownotes, I'll link to these. But, really, what it comes down to is looking at the sourcing. I would say Hu, I think, is one of the better chocolate companies. Do you have any that you like that you know that are doing a good job at looking at lead and cadmium, Jay?
Jay: No, I don't. I'm not a huge chocolate guy, though. I like it, but I just–
Ben: What? Good for me.
Jay: I like it, I just don't think about it.
Ben: I'm pretty careful with a lot of them, but the Consumer Lab website, I think, did the biggest analysis that I'm aware of. It's just that because this question just came in, I didn't actually buy and download their report. But, I will link to the Consumer Lab's full report on dark chocolate and cacao for anybody who wants to go in there. It's a problem with recording these live. If this was a pre-recorded question, I'd have gone in and actually pulled up that table and let you know about it. But, in the meantime, just know that I'll put some links in the shownotes to some super helpful tables for you. So, it's a great question, something that chocolate lovers should be aware of. Not all chocolate is created equal. Even if it's from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, that doesn't guarantee it's going to be low in lead or cadmium. And, I can say, based off where I've been with whey protein for particular protein powders tend to present a similar issue.
Listener: What's going on, guys? I appreciate you hopping on here, Ben. Long-time fan. And, I have a question for you guys more about testosterone. So, it's going to be a little bit of a nuanced specific question because I'm sure we can go on for all day about testosterone. But, specifically, around low testosterone and how it relates to building muscles.
So, I know you had a lot of different podcast episodes, Ben, on testosterone. You had Jay Campbell on, talked a lot about it. And, one of the things about low testosterone, so if guys are around 300-mark of nanograms per decimeter, is that going to be an uphill battle trying to build muscle? Or, is it just going to be, maybe, a little more difficult? Or, is that a situation where guys should really look into getting some testosterone replacement therapy? And, if so, is testosterone really the godsend hormone to cure-all, of course, without just going towards completely illegal steroids? Is testosterone really that magical? Or, has it been blown more of fortune?
Ben: Alright, great question. First of all, yes, testosterone is pretty magical for muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis. Even in the absence of lifting, testosterone, particularly, supplemental testosterone, or what would be called super physiological doses of testosterone, you would be surprised how much muscle you could gain or maintain by using something like that, even in the absence, again, of heavyweight training. That's because you tend to see higher levels of whole-body protein synthesis. You tend to see a much better response to things like leucine and creatine, meaning, if you're using other supplements and your testosterone is simultaneously elevated, you see a massive increase in muscle protein synthesis, and also, in the ability to be able to utilize a lot of these anabolic compounds, like creatine or leucine, such as you would find in whey protein or amino acids, for example. So, it's turkeys and cranberries to have supplements that help you with muscle gain combined with elevated levels of testosterone. That's a pretty good place to be at.
And, the thing is, of course, any time that some guy says, “Hey, Ben, should I get on testosterone?” I say, “Well, have you covered your bases first?” Because I've done extensive podcasts in the past about the importance of heavyweight training with long rest periods, high-intensity interval training that's short with long rest periods, like 10 to 30 seconds hard effort, two to four minutes of rest, using the legs frequently in training, such as squats or deadlifts, because they have a very high density of androgen receptors in them, making sure that all of the nutritional bases are covered, particularly zinc, DHEA, creatine, boron, magnesium, and vitamin D. Every guy before, they even touch anything like supplemental testosterone, should consider those.
Adequate carbohydrate intake, not long-term carbohydrate sparing or intense ketosis for long periods of time, regular sex, good relationships with the opposite sex, all these things stack. And, a lot of guys just don't stack enough things together, including good sleep and low stress, and then turn to supplemental testosterone as a band-aid for a poor lifestyle.
In my opinion, in the same way that when you are exercising and you're eating healthy, if you throw in heat, cold, sunlight, earthing, grounding, water, minerals, maybe, an EMF analysis of your home, all these things that people don't think about, it's more than just the icing on the cake. It brings you to a whole different level. Well, the same thing with testosterone. If you're stacking all those things I just mentioned, along with weight training and eating healthy and movement, you tend to see a really, really good response in testosterone.
That being said, levels decline as we age, especially, in a post-industrial era where men are not really fighting and working with our hands and doing a lot of things during the day that would naturally keep testosterone levels elevated? And, rampant access to pornography, probably, also, is not helping because we tend to see higher levels of testosterone in men who are engaged in face-to-face personal communication and interaction with members of the opposite sex versus digital zeros and ones and rampant access to potential mates with the click of a mouse, which actually isn't that great for testosterone. You don't need testosterone when you don't have to compete with other men for a woman.
And so, there's a lot of variables here. But, ultimately, because levels can decline so dramatically, especially, in modern men, I'm not opposed to when a man is somewhere between the ages of about 35 and 50, the use of small doses of supplemental testosterone. And, I think that micro-dosing, so to speak, with testosterone to just get your levels slightly elevated, maybe, take you from a regular of 300 up into a regular of, say, 600 to 800, is not a bad idea. I don't think that injections are the way to do it. I think those do not mimic the natural diurnal variations of testosterone because you get one massive surge of testosterone. A lot of times, a lot of it gets converted into estrogen. A lot of times, that massive surge leads to increased aggressiveness, increased formation of DHT, which can cause hair loss, and a host of other issues that dictate that a better way to engage in testosterone replacement therapy would be something like a small dose of testosterone cream or gel, like androgel applied scrotally a little bit in the morning and a little bit in the evening, just to match what your body would normally be producing. And, I even think the other nice thing about small doses like that is, if you ever decided you didn't want to be taking the testosterone, much easier to back that off just bit by bit, compared to backing off a massive injection dose a couple of times a week or even a pellet, which can't modulate quite as well.
So, those are a few of my thoughts. But, ultimately, yeah, when it comes to muscle size and muscle gain and achieving that in a more healthy manner than a lot of, I guess, common androgenic steroids might be able to achieve, I think testosterone is probably one of the best things for that. What do you think, Jay?
Jay: Yeah, man. Dude, I think you covered the entire basis there. And, one thing that I haven't–I'm still a young guy. And, I've done a lot to make sure that I take care of testosterone because simply, it runs genetically in my family to not have such great tests when the males in my family get older. And, one of the things that I've done, too, and just tested pre and post, especially, once I started doing this, was infrared light therapy. Every single day or at least five to six times a week —
Ben: Yeah, I forgot to mention that, laser lights on the balls.
Jay: Yup. And so, that's been a huge one for me. And, I've noticed, too, that I feel better from a muscle synthesis workout pump in the gym experience when I do engage in infrared light therapy as compared to when I don't. And, I saw numbers go up, testosterone went up. Again, I wasn't having problematic numbers, but they went up even still, which was a great sign. So, it's the one other thing I'd add.
Ben: Well, I know we're getting a little bit long in the tooth, but I almost feel like replying to one more question. We're going to make this one a super fun question, like something unique. And so, if you feel like you have just an amazing question for us to finish on, raise your hand and Sophia will bring you to stage. And, if your question sucks, you're fired.
Jay: People just all put their hands down. They're like, “No.”
Ben: All of a sudden, that question, like, why is the sun good for you, they put their hand down. We got one. We have a brave. RJ Alan just came to stage. Alright, Alan. Make it good, man.
Alan: Alright, let's see [01:07:53]_____. I ordered a BioCharger. It will be here at the end of this week, Ben. What do you–I know your [01:07:58]_____ how do you incorporate it basically?
Ben: I think that I just about burnt out my BioCharger a couple weekends ago because I host an annual men's mastermind at my house where a bunch of men and the health entrepreneur and–everything, health entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency guys–And, I'm part of this big group of guys. We call ourselves the Frontier Club. And, we'll meet every quarter or so in a cool area, do something fun together. We have a Facebook group and some WhatsApp groups. And, anyways, I host an annual event at my house. And, I swear, we have 10 guys down in what I call my Zen Den nearly any given point all day long of the 25 guys who are here just running that BioCharger all day long.
And, of course, I have a whole podcast about the BioCharger and what it is and how it works. But, basically, it stacks a whole bunch of biohacks all into one device. So, it uses infrared light. It uses frequencies and harmonics. It produces a ton of negative ions by simulating thousands of lightning strikes a second. It produces pulsed electromagnetic field therapies to give you this earthing or grounding effect. And then, when you turn it on, you select a recipe, like I want anti-inflammation or I want gut health or I want clear head or, this morning because I run it every single morning on my cell phone when I'm stretching and stuff. I did the HPA axis one this morning for a little bit of hormone balance.
And then, the thing just freaking works. It's amazing. Even my kids will go in and flip it on to, whatever, chakra balancing setting and sit there and read a book while their chakras are getting balanced. It sounds kind of woo. And, everybody who sees it on, they're like, “Boy, here we go. Somebody's charging you,” whatever it costs, 10,000 bucks–Or, actually, it's more. I think it's $13,000 for a flashy light machine.” And, I was super skeptical when I got it. I use mine in the morning. I always run the clear head protocol or the anti-inflammatory protocol or the gut protocol or the HPA protocol. In the afternoon, I like to run something that gives me a little bit of energy for the day because sometimes I'll take a break from work in the afternoon. I have a trampoline, a mini trampoline in front of my BioCharger. And, I go in there and jump up and down the trampoline, do some breath work, and run a session. But, they've got one called Happy Days. They have one that's just a general full-body sweep. They have one that I'll use before plant medicine or something like that that's like a pineal gland clearing recipe that actually works really well. You also get better dreams after you use that because your pineal gland upregulates its DMT production. So, I realized this sound like a commercial for the BioCharger, but yeah. Not only do I have one, but I use mine two or three times a day. And, I think they're just amazing. So, do you have one, Jay?
Jay: No, no. Give me the hookup, dude, because you're selling it. So, I'd love to give it a try. But, no, I haven't tried one yet. I've seen you use it. I've seen Luke Storey use it. And, you guys have nothing but good things to say about it. And, if you're listening, BioCharger, send me one.
Ben: They're pretty cool. I doubt they're going to send you one because it's spendy.
Jay: Yeah, that's true.
Ben: But, for people who like to own nice things, it's pretty damn–I'd much rather buy a BioCharger than a piece of art for my home, just because it is a piece of art, too. You run it. It's just amazing to look at as it goes.
So, anyways, what I'll do is, if I–I know I have some a discount code on it tucked away somewhere. It's not super hefty. The thing is still going to be an investment, similar to what you'd pay for a small car. But, man, I do use mine and I use mine when I'm home two or three times a day, seven days a week because it's not like I'm just standing there in front of the BioCharger with my mouth open drooling, or I'm reading a magazine or a book or I'm doing some breathwork or I'm stretching. So, I'm always stacking it with something I'd be doing anyways. I'm just doing it with all these different cool things happening outside my body as I'm doing it. So, I do dig the BioCharger, Alan. Good question.
So, let's give something away. Do you want to give something away, Jay? We like to give away a handy-dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack with a beanie and a water bottle and a cool T-shirt. And so, if you leave this podcast a review, which super-duper helps the podcast out in Apple Podcast or Spotify or Samsung, wherever you listen the show, if we read your review on the show, all you got to do is email [email protected], and just basically leave your T-shirt size. That's all we need to know. And, we'll ship that out to you.
So, that all being said, Jay, do we have a review?
Jay: Yeah, we definitely have one. It's from–I don't even know how you would say this, so I'm just going to spell it out. So, the person who wrote is adsltrms. Adelstorms, maybe. And, they said, “Always well researched. Great information with plenty of educated perspective added in from Ben. Open-minded, logical, scientific, and grounded investigation into health topics. Love this show.”
Ben: I like that. Open-minded is definitely something that I got called out for in that vaccine podcast with Dr. Matthew Cook.
Jay: I was wondering if you're going to bring that up today.
Ben: Well, I'm still deep in the throes of research. As promised, I will be doing a follow-up. So, I've got three–I don't talk about the vaccines barely at all on my show because, well, you guys, it's a hill that you have to decide to die on as a health influencer. Highly, highly increases your chances of being pulled from YouTube and Facebook and Instagram. So, I'm constantly asking myself, could I do the world better in terms of spreading information about health with those platforms or without them?
But, you do reach a point where I have to have a stance at a certain point. I've always had that moderated stance. I don't scapegoat any of the vaccinated, nor do I scapegoat any of the unvaccinated. I just approach this entire thing with an open mind, because my goal is for, not only for myself and my family be as healthy as possible, but for the human race to actually survive and thrive. And so, I've got a podcast I'm recording on Monday. I've got then a follow-up podcast with Matt Cook I'm recording about a week after that. And then, it's looking like Dr. Peter McCullough is going to come on the show, too. So, I've got three different podcasts coming out about vaccinations. But, just a quick aside right now, I'm not vaccinated yet. I haven't made a decision yet. I'm not opposed to the idea yet. But, there's just a lot of things that, I would say, in the next two weeks, you're going to hear a lot of podcasts come out and you're going to hear my final take based on my available options at this point in terms of what I would do. So, just stay tuned for that because more coming down the pipeline.
But, again, since recording that podcast with Dr. Matthew Cook, I and my family have still not gotten vaccinated. And, I should mention, we all have natural immunity because all of us have had COVID, which you know, of course, influences my decision a little bit. But, just stay tuned, folks. I'm still researching. I promise I will continue to research with an open mind. And, I promise that I will continue to not scapegoat either party and nor do I plan to think in the same black-and-white, divisive, often hateful terms that both parties have engaged in quite a bit. So, just stay tuned. And, I'm maintaining an open mind still, just an information-gathering phase, because it is an important decision with both political and health implications that are pretty far-reaching. Is that okay?
Jay: Yeah, man. No, I'm excited to hear the conclusion you come to. It's so freaking polarizing, man. It's the new politics. And, people just have such black-and-white views on it. So, no, I appreciate your high level of open-mindedness. And then, dude, your willingness just to be vulnerable on here and take shit from people, honestly, because man, you got it, both on Instagram and on BenGreenfieldFitness.com. I watched —
Ben: Yeah, I get 1,000 comments on the Instagram post within a few minutes after it got posted. It was nuts. But, yeah, very polarizing topic, but I promise I will, despite me being somewhat silent on it on my platform for the past year and a half or so, you might see a bit of an uptick in the conversation and the content regarding vaccines and COVID over the next month or so.
Jay: It's great.
Ben: So, there you have it. And, we're getting a little long in the tooth. I got my electrical muscle stimulation workout calling my name. So, we're going to go ahead and call this a podcast. All the shownotes, everything, in detail, are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/436. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/436, where you can leave your comments, your questions, dive into the discussion there in the comments, leave your thoughts about everything, from eggs to alcohol to nicotine-curbing vape pens to everything else. We'll put it all in the shownotes, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/436. Until next time, Jay.
Jay: Yeah, man. See you soon.
Ben: I'll see you later.
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 hormones, 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. So, when you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, to 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?
Click here, or use the ‘contact' button in the free Ben Greenfield Fitness app.
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…
- Umbrella Review: When it comes to cancer risk, guess what the very WORST thing is from a dietary standpoint? Clue here…06:05
- Guess which sport is most correlated with longevity? Answer here…13:30
- Blood flow restriction WITH aerobic exercise allows for decent training of VO2max but at LOWER intensities. Pretty cool…17:45
- Are eggs good or bad for you? The experts weigh in (and I agree with the consensus/summary)…23:50
- Someday I don't think folks will chuckle so much or find it ridiculous when I talk about suppositories for sleep or cleansing coffee enemas…the latest “butt” research…31:10
Resources Mentioned In Intro & News Flashes:
- FÜM natural inhaler (use code BGF to save 10%)
- Lucy Gum (use code BEN20 to save 20%)
- Feel Free (use code BEN40 to save 40%)
- Q&A 435: 5 Death-Defying Supplements, What Foods Kill You Fastest, The Best Pre-Workout Mix, Carb Cravings After Cold Thermogenesis & Much More!
- BFR bands (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
- Kaatsu (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Vasper machine
- Cyrex Food Allergy testing
- Zevia Cherry Cola
- Ozone Generator
- Join me and my wife Jessa at Runga for The Gathering. Click here to grab one of the very limited spots we have open to the public for The Gathering at Runga (October 7-9, 2021).
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar
–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”! 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!
–Kion Clean Protein: Organic natural flavors, Himalayan sea salt, and stevia deliver rich chocolate and velvety smooth vanilla flavors that are out of this world—seriously, even in plain ole’ water.
–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.
–Organifi Gold Pumpkin Spice: A new take on an ancient secret: Pain-soothing herbs, incredible antioxidants, and phytonutrients all in one delicious, soothing “Golden Milk” nighttime tea! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.
–Seed Daily Synbiotic: A formulation of 24 unique strains, each of which included at their clinically verified dose, to deliver systemic benefits in the body. Save 15% off your first month's subscription when you use discount code BEN15.
-What Are The Best Metrics To Track For Fitness And Longevity?…44:10
- How Rich Guys Stay Fit, Heart Rate Recovery, Resting Heart Rate Tracking, Heart Rate Variability, Cold Soak Temperatures, Little-Known Pre-Sleep Supplements & Much More With Keith Rabois.
- Oura Ring
- Katalyst EMS workouts
- The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown
- Moov device
- Wearable sensors for monitoring the internal and external workload of the athlete – article from Journal of Digital Medicine
-What's The Best Chocolate To Avoid Heavy Metals?…54:10
- Forest Finest
- As You Sow
- Root Proof label – Knowing The Origin
- Navitas Prop 65
-How To Build Muscle With Low Testosterone Levels…59:45
- Consider the following before supplemental testosterone:
- Vitamin D/K2
- Adequate carbohydrate intake
- Podcast with Jay Campbell:
- Podcast and article on testosterone:
- The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men:
- Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis:
- Laser lights on the balls
-How To Use A BioCharger…1:07:52