February 3, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-440/
[00:01:57] January Diet Structuring
[00:08:08] Upcoming Parenting Book
[00:15:42] The “Flavor Window” Concept
[00:19:50] Movement snacks throughout the day that make you SMARTER
[00:23:15] The association between handgrip strength and anti-aging/longevity strikes again
[00:30:37] Vitamin C & E plus cryotherapy is a potent recovery stack, (but not post-exercise)
[00:32:43] Does cannabis help or hurt sleep?
[00:35:51] Great Overview Of Melatonin
[00:40:45] Correlation Versus Causation Argument
[00:42:37] Podcast Sponsors
[00:48:15] Listener Q&A
[00:48:14] Ways To Hack The Dolphin “Chronotype”
[00:54:27] How Important Are Detoxification and Rest Periods?
[01:01:42] Should You Use Eye Protection With Red Lights? Plus How To Track Micro and Macros With a CGM
[01:10:52] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, the ultimate guide to grip strength and longevity, my latest parenting tips, movement, snacks, cannabis for sleep, a live Clubhouse Q&A, 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 the show, everybody. I'm feeling forlorn, lonely, neglected, isolated, abandoned. My trusty podcast sidekick Dr. Jay T. Wiles is notoriously absent. I'm assuming he must have a snowstorm, or a fallen log, or a strike of lightning, or some other natural disaster bestowed upon him as some type of crazy punishment from the heavens for heinous sin that he must have committed this week. That's the only logical conclusion that I can come to as to as to why my friend Jay isn't on the call today. But either way, we're going to just rock and roll on forward without him, I suppose, until he joins in.
So, for those of you on the live Clubhouse Q&A, we will be going through live questions later on in this show. And then, early on in the show, we'll be talking about a lot of fun stuff, a lot of fun things in the realm of health, longevity, spirituality, biohacking, sleep recovery. You name it.
So, typically this is also the part of the podcast where my podcast guest and I or my podcast sidekick and I engage in what we call witty banter. I'm going to have to go all schizophrenic though and witty banter with myself because he's not here. So, of course, anytime that I don't know what to say or what to talk to you about, I answer the age-old question. That's a great way to kick off any podcast. What am I eating for breakfast these days? Well, I'm on a new kick, you guys, and I'm trying something out. This is a little bit of an experimentation. You have these paleo ancestral carnivore-ish diets that eat as close to a caveman with a club and a greasy chicken bone as possible. And then, we have the modern newfangled Soylent green biohack nutrition genetically modified. This apple will use CRISPR editing to change your sex type of nutritional protocols.
And, I kind of like to borrow as I always have done of a little bit of so-called ancestral wisdom and a little bit of so-called modern science. And, because of that, I'm on a new dietary kick that I'm experimenting with during the month of January. I typically use January because although for a time of my life, I became a little bit disillusioned with new year's resolutions. I've realized that there is a great deal of benefit to be had from some type of a ceremonial head nod to a certain point in the year in which you are going to start or stop certain activities. So as Hallmark-y and trendy as a new year's resolution might seem, it can actually be quite powerful, especially when you know that it's acceptable to make meaningful, impactful, or perhaps even slightly embarrassing or large life changes because everybody else is too. It's the one time of year when it's okay to say, announce to the world that you've decided to dye your hair green. It's the one time of year when you're going to be more accepted for that. And so, because of that, I'm dying my hair green. No, I'm just kidding.
Basically, here's how I am structuring January. First of all, I'm doing a breathwork session every single day. And, I'm doing a 60-minute breathwork session on one day of the week ends. And, I'm doing this with my sons. We committed to 30 days. It is so impactful and such a mind shift and a consciousness shift for us in terms of developing patience, presence, focus, body awareness and the like that we plan on continuing this process. We're using an app called Othership. And, I'll put a link in the shownotes. I think they even supplied us some kind of a discount code for our listeners.
So, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440, basically this app is a blend of binaural beats and wonderful instructors and done for you breathwork programs from beginner to advanced that are anywhere from 2 to 75 minutes in length. So, my son and I are doing about a 12 to 20-ish minute or so breathwork protocol every day, typically before dinner or before bed like later on in the day when the day's work is done. It's kind of the last thing we do before we gather the family for dinner. And, if we can't squeeze it in, we do it right before we do our process of self-examination before bed.
And so, that's one thing I'm doing, but I also made a dietary shift alluding back to what I was saying about blending ancestral wisdom and modern science. And, what I mean by that is that in the morning, I am basically doing a shot of these new-fangled ketones. It's called 1,3 butanediol. There's a few different companies making them. Right now I'm using both the bottle from Ketone Aid and I also use the HVMN brand. Both are the similar molecule, but it's probably the best drinkable ketone ester that has yet been developed in terms of satiating the appetite for hours on end.
And so, what I'm doing for breakfast in the morning is after a 12- to 16-hour overnight intermittent fast, I'm doing a shot of ketones, 20 grams of amino acids, and one bottle of Feel Free. Feel Free is this epic kind of like kratom kava feel-good psychedelic without being psychedelic type of compound that produces what I would consider to be a really perfected blend of relaxation and focus. And so, that's how I'm waking up. Now, how I'm waking up, but how I'm basically eating around 9:30 am or so for breakfast if you want to call that eating. So, not only is it super effective for me because it's a time hack, I can literally get a super nutrient, dense appetite satiating meal if you want to call it that in five minutes flat. And thus, I've saved up about a half-hour of my morning for writing. And, I'm working on a parenting book right now. And so, I'm needing more time to write and. And so, I've had time a little bit with that, but it's working for me. It's super stable, clean energy.
So, ketones, aminos, and a bottle of Feel Free for my breakfast if you want to call it that. And then, the rest of the day, I'm basically just eating meat and fish and that's it. So, for lunch today, I'll have a pork chop and for dinner, I'm going to have some roasted chicken. Yeah. I use some ghee or butter, olive oil. I use salt, some spices. And then, the only other thing I'm throwing in there, so I'm getting the amplified nutrient density and the range of flavor that I would normally get from vegetables is I'm using Dr. Thomas Cowan's vegetable powders, his greens powder, low oxalate greens powder, his leaf protein powder, his summer savory powder, his ashitaba powder because I do think that plants give us a whole host of kind of these phytonutrient flavanol rich medicines, so to speak, that despite human beings being able to survive just fine on animals alone, I think kind of dresses up these meals a little bit, so that's it. Ketones, aminos, and Feel Free for breakfast. Meet the rest of the day with some vegetable powders thrown in. So, there you have it.
And hopefully, if any of you decide you're going to try out that protocol, I can tell you right now it's pretty simple, pretty easy and I feel great to be honest with you. So great. For me, the definition of “great” is I have good energy for workouts, I'm there for my family, I'm present, I have good energy, I'm in a good mood and I also am able to get by on sleeping less while producing more. So right now, I'm sleeping about 6 hours a night, quick 20 to 30-minute nap in the afternoon and I feel great. So, there you have it. Hopefully, that gives you something to chew on, pun intended in this case I suppose. Alright, as the California girl say. Here we go. On into today's news flashes.
Well, as I mentioned, I'm writing a parenting book right now. This parenting book so that you can get a little sneak peek of what it's going to be, it's written in the style of Tim Ferriss' “Tribe of Mentors” or “Tools of Titans” to where I am curating and collecting responses to a whole host of insightful questions that I've developed about everything from discipline, to education, to presence, to meaning, to rituals and traditions. And, because although I am a halfway parent, meaning my sons are 13, there's no saying that when they're 20 they're not going to wind up in prison. And, I have no freaking clue what I'm talking about. So, who am I to write a parenting book? But I have been able to dig into the minds of some of what I would consider to be the most impressive and very unique parents on the face of the planet who are raising really good, creative, freethinking, resilient children. And, this book is coming together fantastically. It is a joy to work on. And, I think you all are going to dig it. It's going to be called “Boundless Parenting.” And, it will come out in September of 2022, which is after my next book that comes out. My next book is called “Endure.” That's already available at EndureBook.com to sign up for, but that'll come out in April.
But anyway, so I'm deep in the trenches of following some things regarding parenting. So, we'll kick off today's news flashes with a couple of little parenting items which will be helpful for you whether you are a parent, you plan on being a parent, or you know somebody who's a parent, you could share this information with and impress them at a cocktail party that you know so much about parenting even though you've never actually say pushed a baby out your vagina or made a baby elsewise. So, I hope that's not offensive because we live in a culture now to where I think anybody can be a parent even if you don't have a vagina. More specifically, anyone can give birth if you don't have a vagina, so I heard. But anyways, I digress.
I'm going to link in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440 to this wonderful infographic which really sums up the way that I parent my children. My wife and I, when our sons were young, went through a program called Love & Logic. Love & Logic is basically a parenting approach in which you educate your children about the responsibility of the decisions that they might make in life, and then you let them deal with, so to speak, the consequences of those decisions. Now, of course, there are a few exceptions to that rule. If your child is approaching a hot stove and they're going to burn their hand off, you may want to actually slap their hand away or pull them away from the stove rather than letting them get the burn and deal with the consequences. But nonetheless, broadly defined, that's the general approach to Love & Logic, letting a kid take responsibility for making the right decisions themselves and educating them on what those right decisions might be.
Now, this infographic is called Taming the Defiant Child: Tips for dealing with the defiant child. Not that any children are defiant, but a few little takeaways from that just so you can wrap your head around what this approach looks like. So first, use very few words. Use very few words. The infographic says it's tempting to raise our voices, lecture, or threaten. Using few words shows your child you can't be pulled into an argument. So, when kids say, “You can't make me,” you would say “I love you too much to argue.” They say, “You can't make me,” you say “I love you too much to argue.” By the way, these tips come in fantastic for any type of negotiation with any human being, not just a child.
Next is the sidestep approach that when you sidestep the power struggle where a child is struggling with you and there's a power struggle, they want to do something and you don't want them to, or they don't want to do something and you want them to. Reacting immediately doesn't allow time to determine a reasonable plan or anticipate how that kid's going to react. So, you take time to calm down things. So, what you do with the power struggle is you say, “I'm going to do something about this, let's talk later.” Okay? It lets you step away from the immediate consequence of, let's say, a gut response like spanking, or a timeout, or no, you can't do that with no explanation. And instead, afford you the space to step away and think.
The next one is follow-through. Follow-through means you choose a consequence for a defined behavior that you're willing to enforce. And, not following through is going to teach your child to ignore your request. So, for example, if you say, “Stop doing that” and they don't listen, what you want to do is take action the very first time. Take action the very first time and enforce whatever consequence that has been put into place. So, that can be good or that can be bad. I'm going to give you a good illustration. I am interviewing Tony Robbins in a couple weeks about his new book. It's going to be a fantastic interview. His new book “Life Force” is amazing. It's wonderful. Exploration of regenerative medicine and biohacking. All these cool new therapies that are coming down the pipeline.
I read Tony Robbins book and it's so fantastic. I do this often with my sons. When I read a good book, I will offer them money, cash, in this case, a $25 gift certificate to their favorite breakfast restaurant in town, People's Waffles in Spokane. Shout out. Amazing farm-to-table waffles restaurant. And basically, what my sons will get if they read that book within two weeks and write a two-page book report is a $25 gift card to People's Waffles. Well, I lead with immediate consequences, meaning prior to Friday and this is manifesting that they'll actually do it, I will purchase that gift card. I will have it waiting. So, as soon as they deliver that report, they aren't waiting for the gift card. Boom, it's right there. Kids love the immediate consequence, especially positive consequences, and you don't want to delay consequences. So, follow-through, follow-through, follow through with your kids. Never ever neglect to follow through for something you've promised them, whether good or bad.
Next is to lead with empathy. Lead with empathy. So, offer kind words before delivering consequences. And, that'll encourage your kid to think about their actions and helps to maintain love and respect. So, if you do need to discipline a child, or let's say my son did not do his snow shoveling and dog poop scooping chores on a Friday and he's supposed to go to his friend slumber party that night, and I say, “Well, if you show responsibility in small things, you'll be given responsibility in large things. You did not show responsibility in the small thing, which is your weekly chore. Therefore, I don't feel comfortable giving your responsibility to just go off and go to an overnight slumber party.” Well, you lead with something like this. “Son, I'm heartbroken right now. I'm very sad to tell you this. It's not something that's going to be easy for me to say.” And then, you lay it out. But, leading with empathy is really impactful for kids and it really does mean a lot to them to see that you're not doing something from a disciplinary standpoint because you enjoy it per say as much as because you know it's going to make them a better person, and it makes you in some cases just as sad as it makes them.
Even though I remember, I think it was my father who spank me once and he said something like, “This hurts me just as much as it hurts you.” And, I was like, “I don't know. That little leather belt you're using on me stings quite a bit. I don't know if your butt is hurting as much as mine is right now, Dad.”
Okay. And then finally, change the language. Speaking positively teaches children to make good choices on their own, which means like instead of saying “You can't go play until you finish your homework,” say “Feel free to go play as soon as you finish your homework.” Or, instead of “Don't talk to me in that tone of voice,” say “I'll listen to you as soon as your voice is as calm as mine.” Okay.
So, those are a few examples. I'll link to the full infographic for you in the shownotes, which again are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440. But, if you're a parent or an educator or a teacher, you should really look into this Love & Logic parenting approach. And, I'm noticing these common themes amongst the parents who are already submitting their replies for this parenting book I'm writing, and many of them use this consequential-based empathetic disciplinary approach, which is very much based on this Love & Logic. It's interesting how many parents are using that approach.
While also related to parenting, this one is fresh in my mind because I have a baby living with me right now. I didn't have a baby, but my wife and I have a gal who moved in who's living with us who we're helping to provide a home for and she has a baby. So, I'm surrounded by a baby right now. I'm seeing baby eating, and baby pooping, and baby farting, baby crying and all the baby things I haven't seen for about 13 years.
So, there is a company called Serenity Baby Foods. I love this company. They make full-on organic grass-fed beef with sweet potato, grass-fed bison with squash, organic roots, butternut squash with olive oil. They make baby food just absolutely jam-packed with fatty acids and flavor, all organically sourced, pasture-raised, grass-fed. Wonderful company called Serenity Baby Foods. I wish they'd existed when my sons were young because my wife would have saved a lot of time. Because what she did was she drove around to organic farms, just bought all the shit and brought it home and made it herself. But anyways, this Serenity company delivered this stuff out in pouches. And, they have a wonderful article that gets into what's called the Critical Flavor Window. I don't know if any of you ever heard of the Critical Flavor Window. But basically, between the ages of 6 to 18 months, your child develops this flavor window. And, in fact, taste starts to develop in the womb. A baby can detect the flavors from foods through the amniotic fluid, which is actually interesting to me because my sons love Pad Thai. And, the very last vacation my wife and I went on when she was pregnant with my twin sons was indeed to Thailand. So, they may have formed an appreciation for ghost peppers and rice noodles even when they were in the womb. But, this palette development, this flavored development is interesting because research suggests that exposure to many sweet flavors and sugar can lead to picky eating, sugar addiction, and obesity in children. But, on the flipside, exposure to a wide variety of flavors and textures actually trains a child to be more open to engaging in those flavors, like let's say, sardines and liver, or shellfish. Maybe those things that a child might not like early in life: asparagus, broccoli, et cetera.
So, the article has some great practical tips like using herbs and spices, like thyme and ginger, and rosemary, and oregano early like in the 6 to 18-month phase rather than salt using seasons like Dolci and kelp. That great savory flavor. And, I keep these on hand as an alternative to salt as well in my own pantry just because they're chockfull of important nutrients like iodine specifically, these seaweed-based vegetables. Bone broth. Giving your child bone broth and using bone broth and cooking to braise meat and steam veggies because that's so savory and full of health benefits. And, a kid needs that blend of savory and sweet. And then, think outside the box with a lot of strongly flavored foods like limes, and green olives, and pochette, and sauerkraut, and kombucha, and even things like pork rinds, and liver, and mushrooms. Because the wider the variety of things you expose your child to, the more developed their palate is going to be later in life.
So, two things that I should comment on regarding this is, A, we use this approach with our sons and we never had like the adult food and the kid food. There was never adult macaroni or kid macaroni and cheese while the adults have whatever, steak and mushrooms. The kid, plain pepperoni pizza while the adults had some type of fancy Italian meal. So, basically, the children were always expected to eat whatever the adults ate, whatever was served on the table. And, if they didn't want to eat, they could go to bed hungry. And, they figured that out pretty darn quick. Secondarily, I should warn you that this does backfire just a little bit because now when we go out to restaurants and since they were children, we go out to restaurants they never asked for the kid's menu, they want the $48.00 rib eye with the au jus sauce off of the adult menu, and rather than the $13.00 steak bites from the kid's menu. So, it has not paid off financially, but it certainly paid off from a health standpoint.
And also, as a side bonus for those of you fathers with voracious appetites like mine, the kids never going to finish that rib eye steak, so extra steak for me too. Hurray. So, a couple of interesting articles in the parenting department. I'll link to both of those.
Alright, next, we're going to get into a couple of things regarding fitness. Couple things regarding fitness. So, did you know, and this was an article that came out on the BBC News website, that exercise makes you smarter? Well, probably the answer is yes. But, this article really gets into the idea that your blood vessels, they're like these tubes, they're a type of plumbing and at least that's what we've been taught. But, that's really not the case. Each blood vessel has its own lied inner layer that responds to changes and things like blood flow and releases this wealth of chemicals in response. So, as your vessels are working harder to keep your brain well supplied with oxygen, the cells in this live inner lining of the vasculature release molecules that act like fertilizer for the brain. Things like vascular endothelial growth factor, so-called VEGF or BDNF, which is miracle grow for the brain. So essentially, you're pumping these chemicals into your brain during exercise. So, by taking movement snacks like squats, pushups, burpees, pull-ups, wings et cetera, throughout a work day, you're literally continually pumping blood flow to your brain.
Anytime that I am kind of feeling sluggish during the day, my go-tos are a quick round of breathwork, a quick dunk of my head into a cold pool or a quick round of squats, or push-ups, or burpees or what have you, because those increase blood flow to the brain. And then, I'll try the coffee or the piece of nicotine gum or whatever. But, exercise is always my go-to.
And, what's interesting about this is that you can also hack this a little bit. Meaning that if you wear blood flow restriction bands like KAATSU bands–and when I when I interviewed the guy who runs the KAATSU company and these are pumpable bands that you can wear in your arms and legs, he'll wear them during the day, and they're pumping his arms and legs just while he's standing there at his desk. And, I've tried this a few times and you literally feel you're getting a little bit of extra blood flow to your brain. Very similar if you do a blood flow restriction on a workout, whether you're using a Vasper full-body exercise machine, which is I do 3 mornings a week that combines blood flow restriction and cold and grounding and full-body all in one 21-minute workout. Very cool machine. Kind of expensive, but very cool. It's called a Vasper. Or, I'll do a blood flow restriction band workout where I'll put on the KAATSU bands on my arms or my legs and do a bodyweight workout with my arms and legs compressed. What happens is you're going to get a huge rush of lactic acid, and this VEGF and BDNF to your brain after you finish a workout like that. But, that means that if you use a nootropic or let's say theanine, or you're taking Qualia Mind or you're microdosing with a psychedelic like psilocybin, or you're using nicotine or caffeine or whatever else, it will just shoot and rush into your brain if you're doing blood flow restriction training when you take those bands off. So, the hack here is you dose up with your nootropic, you go to a blood flow restriction band workout. And then, as soon as you take those bands off, it feels your brain just gets this rocket ship to the moon.
So, if you haven't yet experimented with daily movements next to make you smarter or gotten into the whole biohack workout thing where you take nootropics, do a blood flow restriction band workout and then take the bands off, and then just go crush a mentally demanding day. It's a very cool trick. And, I'll link to this article that has a whole bunch of different ideas for movement snacks.
In my book “Boundless” too, I've got a whole page that just gives you five different routines that are very similar to the same type of routines that I'll stop and do during the day when I'm at work.
Okay, this next one is really cool. And, this one is a new study that is very similar to studies that have come out before it. Handgrip asymmetry and weakness are associated with morbidity accumulation. Okay, this was in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. And, it basically highlighted the fact that we can grip strength and technically we can measure it. They have these things called dynamometers. Those measure handgrip strength. So, men who can produce less than 26 kilograms on a dynamometer, squeezing it, and women who produce less than 16 kilograms, that classifies as weak. And, that's associated with pretty much every morbidities: hypertension, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis, even psychiatric problems with a weak grip strength.
Now, it's really interesting because we already know overall muscle strength is correlated with longevity, but specifically, grip strength has a high correlation. And, there are many studies that have come out that are very similar to this. There was one that came out in 2019 entitled “Grip Strength: An Indispensable Biomarker for Older Adults” that went into this same idea. I'll link to a whole bunch of these studies in the shownotes.
But basically, I want to delve into this in a little bit more detail because it's fascinating why handgrip strength is such a good predictor of longevity. Probably one of the larger studies on just muscular strength overall was a 2018 meta-analysis. This was over 2 million men and women. And, it showed that higher levels of upper and lower body muscular strength are associated with a lower risk of mortality. Okay, so that's huge. We already know stronger muscle strength means lower mortality. But then, all these follow-up studies on thousands and thousands of individuals show that long-term mortality risk is specifically associated with grip strength. Even when you isolate for some of the other confounding variables.
So, the reason for the muscle piece is we know that muscle mass is a glucose dump. Meaning, muscle will just take carbohydrates from your bloodstream and they'll dump them into the muscle. If you have more muscle, and thus it's really, really great at managing metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. That's probably, in my opinion, the number one reason that carrying larger amounts of muscle can be beneficial. But, of course, you have lower frailty. We know that good muscle quality is important for healing because muscle serves as a pool of amino acids. It's the reservoir where if you have physical trauma or severe infection, or even cancer, your body uses the amino acids from your muscle. It catabolizes those and uses them as a reservoir for the healing process. So, it's almost by having a little bit of extra muscle, you're also building a greater amount of insurance for other diseases that might come to get you in life.
Now, when we look at handgrip strength studies, basically there are almost 40 different studies. There's probably more, but literally across millions and millions of people showing that higher handgrip strength is associated with a low all cost risk of mortality, risk of dying from just about anything at all. Now, these dynamometers you can get. And, if you just go to Amazon and I'll link to it in the shownotes as well, but you can just search for dynamometer on Amazon and these will test the number of pounds or the number of kilograms that you're producing. Okay. And, there are great tables on a link to them in the shownotes that they will give you an idea of where you fall in terms of your grip strength and how you match up to other people. But, you get one of these dynamometers, and you can begin to test it because what gets measured gets managed. If you do a weekly grip strength test, it can be very, very motivating. The other way to do this kind of the cheap hack or the easy hack is you do a hanging dead hang and you time how long you can dead hang from a bar and you just do that once a week. And ideally, you should be able to maintain or improve your dead hang time.
And so, if you find that your handgrip strength is inadequate, what are some tips that you can use? Well, a few biggies. I'm super in handgrip strength. I do a ton when I was racing for the Spartan pro team. And, just optical racing in general even before I was racing for the pro team, I realized handgrip strength is one of the number one things in addition to running efficiency and economy that serves you well in an obstacle course race.
So, what did I do? I did a lot of farmers' walks. Farmers walks are where literally you're just picking up a heavy pair of dumbbell and hold them at your sides and walking. And, I would often just instead of recovering in between bench press, and pull-ups, and core work and et cetera in the weight room, I would just pick up dumbbells and walk around while I was recovering. Heavy deadlifts, preferably without a strap. Of course, fat bars, meaning they sell fat bars, are also called axle bars or even fat grips that you can attach to an existing bar. Anytime the bar is thicker, it's going to do a better job developing your grip strength. Towel pull-ups are really good too. You can drape two small hand towels over a pull-up bar. And, instead of gripping the bars in your hands, you hold onto the towels. That's a really, really good way to develop grip strength as well.
There's the rice trick. I don't know if any of you know about the rice bucket trick, but you find a 5-gallon bucket, you get a big bag of uncooked rice, you put the rice in there and then you mix a whole bunch of loose change like quarters and dimes and nickels into the bucket. Then you drop the loose change in there and you pour it into the rice and you stir it all around and then you put one hand in the bucket and you move your fingers through the rice trying to get as much loose change as possible. That's a really good one also for kids. If your kid is in jujitsu or tennis or some sport where they're using their grip a lot, kids love this exercise. It's a way to develop muscular endurance for grip strength also. Static barbell hold. Just like a static hang, a static dead hang, you can really just grab a barbell, load it with a bunch of weight like your deadlift weight, stand, and just hold it in that standing position as long as you possibly can.
Now, another thing that I think is really useful, especially for people who commute who are in a car lot, I keep one of these Captains Of Crush hand grip strengtheners in the glove box of my car. So, when I'm driving, I can literally go back and forth right side to left side and I'm kind of weird like I'm always thinking in the car about how I can get stronger while I'm driving. So, I combine that with these Kegel exercises where you'll grip the hand gripper and squeeze like you're stopping the flow of urine, and then release, and then squeeze and release. So, you basically doing grip strength strengthening and pelvic floor muscle strengthening at the same time. And so, you can be that person at the stoplight looking like you're trying to pass a giant bowel movement when in fact all you're doing is just training your grip strength and your little pee muscles. But, it's a cool little thing to do. And, it kept me thinking about driving around and what you can do when you drive. I even use some of these breathwork devices when I drive. Well, you need to be careful with those.
There is one that works pretty well. It's called a Relaxator. And, you put the Relaxator in your mouth and it forces you to breath in through your nose, and then it resists your breath out through your mouth, forcing you to this inhale through your nose, thus allowing you to get all the nitric oxide and the humidification and the cleaning of the air that happens when it passes through the nasal passages. And then, when you breathe out, your breath is long and exhaled and against a little bit of resistance, so it combines diaphragmatic strengthening with a little bit of that relaxing vagus nerve response that happens when you produce long exhales. And, it's one that I would consider to be safer driving. You're not going to hyperventilate or pass out using this thing. It's very simple. I go on walks with it as well. And, sometimes if I'm working out in the gym, I'll just put in my mouth if I'm in my home gym and not at one of the gyms where you still have to wear a face diaper.
But anyways, that thing is called a Relaxator. And, I'll toss a link to that one in the shownotes too. It's made by a guy who had really, really great book on breath. I forget the name of the book, but that guy's name is Anders Olsson. And, really, really great breathwork expert. I've interviewed him on my show before.
Okay. So, one last thing regarding exercise, another study. This one was in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. And, it was on certain things that you could do to recover more quickly from exercise. Now, we know that high dosing with antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E can do a really good job limiting the formation of a lot of inflammatory markers that occur post-exercise namely things like C reactive protein and creatine kinase, and some of these parameters of oxidative stress like lipid peroxidation and radical peroxyls. So, vitamin C and vitamin E do a really good job protecting against that, and we also know that cryotherapy or cold-water immersion can reduce a delayed onset muscle soreness and seems to do a pretty good job at reducing inflammatory markers as well. What this study did was they combined the two. They thought, well, both work, what happens if you combine them? Well, indeed, when you look through the graphs of this study, it's pretty freaking impactful, the difference between just using an antioxidant, just doing an ice bath versus doing the antioxidant in the ice bath loan.
Now, I'm very, very glad that the author of this paper threw in the important caveat. They noted this in the study. Don't do this immediately post-exercise because you'll blunt your natural inflammatory response to exercise and thus your ability to be able to build muscle effectively. Okay, you want to space this like at least a couple hours out from your exercise session. But, if you're already doing ice baths and you're trying to control soreness or inflammation, it seems that combining the ice bath with vitamin C, vitamin E, or one could argue, although in this study they use vitamin C and vitamin E, some type of a full spectrum antioxidant will allow you to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness in what is a pretty significant fashion based on the study results. And so, something to think about including and throwing into the mix. A lot of people out there are already doing cold thermogenesis or cold immersion. A lot of people out there are already using antioxidants for recovery. I don't know a lot of people who are intentionally combining the two, but there's definitely a case that could be made for it.
Okay. A few more things I wanted to get into. Sleep. We're going to turn to sleep now. Cannabis use at night. I know a lot of people now are using cannabis. There's even this newer form of cannabis that's shockingly still legal. It's called delta-8-THC. It's very similar to delta-9-THC and that it seems to have potent psychedelic effects. It gets you high, but it's fully legal like you can order it online, inedible or in smokable or in oil or tincture form. And so, I know a lot of people who are using it for sleep right now because it gives you almost this full-body relaxing high that actually is very helpful for sleep. And, in my own internal testing, even though I don't use a lot because I'm a little bit concerned about the potential estrogenic effects of frequent THC use and also the potential impacts on things like dream cycles and some of the deep sleep parameters, my sleep architecture doesn't suffer that much when I have used delta-8-THC, although my body still responds best to about 200 to 300 milligrams of CBD before bed if I'm going to target the endocannabinoid system for sleep.
But, what this study looked at was cannabis use, and that would be cannabis with THC and its impact on sleep. And, it's very interesting the findings. What they found was that cannabis use was linked to both short sleep times, meaning less than six hours and more sleep times compared to the general population not using cannabis. Okay. So, this is important because we also know that sleep times that are too short and sleep times that are too long are also associated with a decrease in longevity. We're not supposed to sleep too short and we're not supposed to sleep too long. Ideally, we're in about the six to nine-hour range.
So, what this means is that if you're using cannabis for sleep, and you're finding that you're sleeping really long time, or you're finding that you're sleeping in shorter time, it might not be the molecule for you, or you may want to consider switching from something like cannabis to a full spectrum CBD or CBD isolate or something that's going to have a little bit less of a THC component in it because most of the studies that I've seen, the THC is responsible for the deleterious effects on sleep architecture. So, what I'm saying here is long story short, it's okay to use cannabis for sleep. There's a lot of evidence that can help with sleep because of its anxiolytic effect, but if you start using it especially with THC in it and you experience short sleep times or long sleep times, A, that's normal, but B, if you are one of those responders because endocannabinoid unique responses are highly dependent on genetics.
There's a program that will actually test your individualized response to cannabis. I forget what it is. I'll try and hunt it down and put it in the shownotes if I can find it because I featured it in a weekly roundup a few months back. I did the test and it's really interesting. It can give your sweet spot for CBD dosage, your sweet spot for THC doses. The strains of marijuana that would really agree well with you and your genetics. Fascinating study. It's a genetic salivary analysis. So, I will find it and put it in the shownotes or somebody who's making the shownotes will do it.
But basically, just be cautious with cannabis and sleep. It's not harmful, but especially as THC and be careful if you're sleeping short or sleeping long, meaning sleeping shorter than six hours longer than nine hours. Proceed with caution on cannabis use.
There was also related to sleep, a great overview of melatonin that came out in the New York Times. And, it was just a really fantastic article because all use melatonin occasionally like a sledgehammer. Meaning, if I'm having really poor sleep cycles and I'm going through a time in my life where I feel my circadian rhythm is just off, I've been traveling a lot, I need to push the big giant red reboot button, so to speak, I'll use my friend, Dr. John Lieurance's Zen products and take about a 200 to 600 dose of melatonin via either his melatonin suppository or his oral. And, I realize it's a ton of melatonin. But, if I do that for two or three days in a row paired with a ton of bright morning light, I can orient myself to whatever time zone that I happen to be in much, much more quickly. It's a little bit of a hack. Obviously, you get drowsy in the morning, but as soon as light hits your eyes, the melatonin begins to wane from your system pretty quickly.
Now, during the day, your pineal gland, your little pea-sized pineal gland remains pretty inactive. But then, a few hours before your natural sleep time when it starts to get dark outside and the light which is that's preferably fading, if you're not looking a lot of screens before you go to bed, the light entering your retina begins to fade. Well, that pineal gland switches on, which then floods your brain with melatonin, which is why melatonin is often called the hormone of darkness. It's even referred to as the vampire hormone sometimes. And so, when that happens, your respiration slows, cortisol falls, your eyelids begin to droop, and you start to get sleepy. What's interesting is if you flood your body with melatonin during the day when you're exposed to light, you actually don't really see much sleepiness. I dare any of you. Maybe don't do the 300 milligrams, will take your standard 0.3 to 3 milligram dose of melatonin in the middle of the day. It won't really make you sleepy. But, if you take it at night, it will have that effect. And, a big part of that is the interplay between light and what's called your suprachiasmatic nucleus and the way that melatonin impacts you. And so, it's really interesting that fact because melatonin is also really good anti-inflammatory. Some folks have even used it for its antiviral properties. And, it can be taken during the day. And, if you want to take melatonin during the day and you don't want to get sleepy, just bathe yourself in light and it can actually have an interesting effect from an anti-inflammatory standpoint without making you sleepy. I think there's other better ways to fight inflammation during the day like say curcumin or cold shower, but nonetheless, in a pinch, melatonin could work.
The article gets into dosage about 0.5 to 1 milligram, but you take it about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. I know a lot of people who keep the melatonin by the bedside and take it right before they fall asleep. What I do is I keep some melatonin by my bedside. I use the stuff for like micro-dosing of melatonin. I use the Quicksilver Scientific very, very small like liquid tincture of melatonin. And, what I do is when I get in bed, I usually read for 20 to 30 minutes anyway. So, right before I start reading, I'll take a little bit of that melatonin.
As a total aside, as a total aside, this has nothing to do with melatonin. I've also been experimenting with infrared light treatment to the head prior to bed. They make these infrared light caps that they'll use a lot of times for things like Alzheimer's, or dementia, or improved cognitive output. And, I use one called a Vielight, but I got their new one recently. It's called Vielight Duo. And, it allows you to ship to an alpha zone or gamma zone. So, in the morning, I can put it at 40 Hertz and just basically drive my brain into hyperdrive. It's a cup of coffee for my head. But then in the evening, I can run that alpha-1 and I'm really liking specifically what it does to sleep latency like how much more quickly you fall asleep when you put this thing on. It essentially shifts your brain into a state in which you'd be if you were meditating. But, it's a hack for me because rather than sitting in my bed doing breathwork and meditation, I can slap this thing on, pick up my book, be reading, and at the same time, getting all the effects from a brain wave standpoint as if I'm meditating. And, that thing runs for about 20 minutes. So, get in bed, take the melatonin, put the Vielight on the head and alpha brain waves zone, read a good book, and then roll over and fall asleep.
And so, that's another thing I'm kind of thrown in the mix. And, I'm telling you guys about a few new things I've been experimenting with recently. And then, a few other interesting things the article gets into in case you don't have time to read it is there's a couple of calculators that will actually they'll find out if you're flying, your destination arrival points, your flight time, your normal sleep patterns. One called Jet Lag Rooster. The other one is made by Fleet Street Clinic. Both are in the App Store, Jet Lag Rooster or there's a calculator if you up, Fleet Street Clinic. And, they'll tell you when to take melatonin, like what time is going to be best to take melatonin before you leave on your trip and when you get on your trip to be able to help shift your body into the right sleep cycle. So, we know there's apps like that for vitamin D. There's apps like that for light. Well, there's an app like that for melatonin now as well, which is actually pretty cool. So, interesting article on melatonin. I thought it was super-duper helpful and hopefully, it helps you out a little bit as well.
And then, one last fun one to throw in there before I take just a few questions here in the time that we have left, if any of you have not seen this Spurious Correlations website, I knew of it a couple of years ago. I kind of forgot about it. But, man, oh man, when it comes to a relatively witty positioning of the correlation versus causation argument, this is about one of the best websites out there. So, check it. I'll link to it in the shownotes. It's run by a guy named Tyler Vision Vigen. Vigen, Vigen, I don't know. Vigen. Yeah, I'm not quite sure.
Anyways, he gets into things like the direct correlation between U.S. spending on science space and technology and drumroll please, suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation, or number of people who drowned by falling in a pool almost directly correlates between 1999 and 2009 with films Nicolas Cage appeared in. Per capita cheese consumption between 2000 and 2009 was directly correlated with the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets. And, I mean he's got 40 different examples on here. I'll throw one more at you. And, he actually has a whole book of this as well.
So, how about this? The U.S. crude oil imports from Norway directly correlate with drivers killed in a collision with a railway train. When you are looking at news headlines, people, that correlate one incident to another, always question whether it's a true correlation and you may want to visit this website just to hammer that fact home for you. So, check out Spurious Correlations. I will link to that as well as all the other little research studies that I mentioned in this snippet at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440.
Alright, we have a fun little Q&A episode for you today as you probably know, but I want to tell you a story first. Back in 2016, I had this really weird unforgettable event happened to me. I was backstage at a health conference. I think it was PaleoFX with this exhausting 24-hour schedule ahead of me: parties and talks, and networking, and walking around the expo billion steps. And, when this friend walked up to me, he offered me this nootropic stack that he had, that he had gotten from a formulator there at the event. And, I needed a mental boost. I was tired, so what the heck. I figured I might grow a third eye, but I'll try it out. And, there was over the next 24 hours were so badass when it came to my brain performance. So, task crushing. So, mind sharpening. I actually called it when I wrote an article later, “The God Pill,” I think probably I was a little bit too loosey-goosey with my phrase, “the God pill.” I'm not sure that was reverent with reference to our creator. But, at that time, that's what I called it. And, five years later, I would say that formula still fuels my brain for amazing productivity.
Though I don't call it the God pill anymore, you kind of know what I mean. It's just basically the best shotgun formulation for your brain. The best what I call brain food, brain fuel on the planet. It blends with any other nootropic. If you're tired, it picks you up. It's like if you're going to go lift weights, you'd want some fuel in your system. If you're going to go think, you'd want some fuel in your brain. That's what this stuff does and it does it extremely well.
So, I like their product called Mind. That's basically the equivalent of the one I was telling you about. So, you go to Neurohacker.com because they're offering Qualia Mind for 50% off right now. You just use code BGF at checkout, that will get you an extra 15% off your first purchase. So, they're offering Qualia Mind a 50% off. Then you use code BGF, you get an extra 15% off. Go to NeuroHacker.com to get in on the goodness.
I should tell you that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and it's not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.
Gosh. Darn disclaimers, I got to be a party pooper, but there you have it. Alright.
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Alright, let's bring somebody up for a question.
Jay: And, just so you know, Ben, I've been here the whole time.
Ben: Oh, hello, Jay. You were here.
Jay: Dude. I've been here the whole time. The squad cast link is not working, so I'm not sure what happened, man.
Ben: Well, I can hear you loud and clear now. So, maybe you can pipe in on the Q&A.
Jay: Cool, let's do it.
Ben: Alright, here we go.
Justin: Hey. So, I've been reading that book that talks about your sleep time or your chronotype.
Ben: Yeah, Dr. Michael Breus‘ book?
Justin: That's the one.
Justin: I definitely have a dolphin chronotype. And fortunately, my job at 9, so that's okay and I try to get some sun in the morning.
Ben: And, can you explain the dolphin chronotype to people who may not know?
Justin: Yeah, dolphin chronotype is the person who never really sleeps or they sleep, they sleep lightly.
Justin: They're kind of always–
Ben: Yeah, they're not a night owl, they're not an early bird, they're just kind of all over the map.
Justin: Right. So, do you have any hacks or thoughts on optimizing that or being more alert? Is it even possible to change? And, of course, including his research, it's not really that you can take melatonin, and then three days later your system will be back at your chronotype.
Ben: Yeah. Actually, he has a new book as well. I recently read it. I don't even know if it came out yet, but I at least got a beta copy. And, in his new book, he gets into this idea that you can, especially if you're a dolphin, engage in certain practices that allow you to more easily navigate a society that runs on some pretty set light, dark cycles, and a rhythm that might not correlate to the way that you're genetically built. In ancient times, you probably would have been the sentry who was planted on the walls at night and maybe you slept a little bit during the day or whatever. But anyways, it won't come as a newsflash that most of those things are things that we know as so-called zeitgebers or circadian rhythm regulators anyways, namely shifting your circadian rhythm to be more attuned to normal, if you want to call it a normal sleep-wake cycle by engaging in exercise, preferably in the first four hours of the day. Hefty light exposure within an hour after waking and the use of things like sunrise, alarm clocks, et cetera to accelerate that process. And, bright lightboxes and bright light producing devices like say the Human Charger, which is the in-ear bright light-producing device, or the Re-timer glasses which produce a bluish-green spectrum very similar to sunlight that you wear during the day, or the type of lightboxes that they sell for seasonal affective disorder on Amazon, and then food like don't be a breakfast skipper as you're trying to align your circadian rhythm. Not only breakfast within the first couple hours after waking, but preferably a breakfast that is rich in protein like 20 to 40 grams of protein with breakfast.
And then, in addition to that, even though Michael doesn't talk about this in his book, a couple other recommendations I have for you is consider the use of technologies that shift your brain wave states at the time of day that you need it shifted. You could use the Apollo wearable, which produces a vibratory sensation. You wear it on your wrist or on your ankle, and you can put it on awake and alert or you could put it on sleep and renew. Those are a couple of examples, so you could make sure you're putting on awake and alert at the time when you really do want to send your body a message that you want to wake up. Then it put on sleep and renew at the time when you want to shift your circadian rhythm into more of a sleep phase.
Very similarly, there's a device called the Hapbee, H-A-P-B-E-E. And, I've done an interview with both the founder of Hapbee and also the founder of the Apollo device. Hapbee operates a little bit differently than the Apollo. It's not a vibratory haptic sensation, it is a magnetic stimulation. And, that one same thing, you can put it in awake mode, you can put in sleep mode. You can put in a mode that simulates caffeine. You can put in a mode that simulates say like adenosine or melatonin, two of your more sleepy nighttime hormones. So, you could even throw those into the mix too. I mean, there's no reason if you didn't want to pull out all the stops you couldn't get up in the morning, do a meal, an exercise session. Have as much of the light exposure as possible. Do the Apollo. Do the Hapbee. Then at night, do the melatonin and again repeat the Apollo and the Hapbee but more of a night time mode paired with the nighttime light restriction using blue light blocking glasses, et cetera. And, that would be not only effective for helping a dolphin to become more aligned with the circadian rhythm, it makes life easier from a societal standpoint, but then is also wonderful as a jet lag strategy. Like, I'm flying to Portugal for this. This beautiful retreat that I get to be a part of at the Six Senses Retreat in Portugal coming up in March. And, I guarantee in my travel bag, in my carry-on bag on the airplane, I'll have a Hapbee, I'll have an Apollo, I'll have the Human Charger, I'll have the Re-timer glasses, I'll have melatonin and then I'll have some type of an energetic daytime compound. And, by using those things in my travel bag, I'll be able to very rapidly shift my body onto the Portugal time zone when I get there much faster than if I was just using say like exercise and food as my primary zeitgebers.
So, hopefully, that helps, Justin, and a great question.
Jay, you have anything to add?
Jay: Interestingly enough, I did have some things to say because one of the things that I saw, I don't know if his was a published research paper or if this actually came from some other avenue of news, but I saw that those who have the dolphin chronotype typically are a little bit more higher strung and a little bit more anxiety, or they have a little bit more anxiety or provoked by anxiety. And so, one of the things that. I would highly recommend, it's just the incorporation of good strong mental breaks throughout the day and then also the incorporation of more parasympathetically engaging tools. So, that could be things like HRV biofeedback, it could be breathwork, just things to kind of break apart today mentally. Especially like if anxiety is of concern or stress is as high of concern. So again, I don't remember where I read that, I don't know if that was a published research paper that showed that there was that combination, but I think because dolphins can have higher levels of insomnia that correlates highly with anxiety as well. So, that's my two cents.
Ben: Alright, cool. Cool. Good feedback.
Nathaniel: I got a question about how do you see your role in your perspective and your body's experience, detoxification/rest periods. What role do you see detoxification playing in your lifestyle and how important is it?
Ben: I sometimes become a little bit disillusioned with the idea of done-for-you sold detox or fasting programs. There kits out there like the ProLon kit and there's the old cayenne pepper, honey, which McCullough–was that one called, Jay, the master cleanse?
Jay: [00:54:59] _____.
Ben: The master cleanse. So anyways, this idea of basically F up nutritionally and from an environmental toxicity standpoint for a very long period of time and then hit the sledgehammer. Or, take the sledgehammer out and hit the body with a massive detox protocol every January 1st. I really don't think that approach is–well, let me put it this way. To me, that approaches is the same idea of eat cookies non-stop October through December and then do some massive exhausting weight loss phase through January. It can be tough on the body. You get these Herxheimer reactions. You spill toxins in the bloodstream as you burn fat cells and they release their toxins. And so, I am a fan of the concept of detoxification, but I basically endorse it heavily through acts of omission, meaning no volatile organic compounds in the house like furniture or carpet that off-gases. All clean household cleaning chemicals, personal care products like full audit of everything, and have a whole chapter about this in my book “Boundless.”
And then, you pair that with acts of commission. Meaning what I do every Wednesday throughout the entire year, I do a coffee enema every day. I go 12 to 16 hours without eating. So, I get that natural cellular autophagy clean-up, four to five times a week. I do a deep sweat in the infrared sauna. Every morning, I jump up and down on a trampoline for five minutes for the lymph flow. Once a quarter, I do some type of a more extended fast like a four to five-day fast where I'm doing just bone broth and vegetable juices or a more of a ayurvedic-based kitchari cleanse, or even a juice fast, or something along those lines. And so, by spacing little periods of body clean up throughout the year, which is a very common practice for much of human history from a religious standpoint and also a health standpoint like identifiable ritualized routines throughout the year that you do to just keep your body clean, so to speak. I think that you could do a much better job maintaining a low toxin load, a low metal load, and a low inflammatory load versus just like letting stuff build-up for a long period of time and finally washing the car once it's covered in mud so to speak versus kind of keeping it a sparkly and shiny throughout the year as you possibly can. So, that's my general approach to detoxification.
Nathaniel: So, I appreciate you address both sides of the question. My question wasn't about the fad, so I'm glad you approach that, but it's more how do you leverage the natural detoxification processes in the body in your lifestyle, if at all. And, is that important and why? I think that would be beneficial to other people and to learn your perspective on it.
Ben: I don't understand what you mean when you say leverage the natural detoxification protocol. Can you explain?
Nathaniel: Yeah. So, our bodies naturally have detoxification pathways, precipitation, elimination, defecation, perspiration, right?
Nathaniel: And so, a lot of people don't leverage them in the sense that they're not making conscious choices to use them, and to make sure they're excreting and eliminating what needs to be what we're calling detox.
Nathaniel: So, I was–yeah.
Ben: Okay. So, I think what you're getting to is the major detoxification pathways. A, we have our phase 1 through arguably phase 4 pathways in the liver where we're binding the toxins. And typically, they're bound after they've been modified in some way to allow them to be excreted by the body. And then, we have other pathways where they're actually removed from the body via the sweat, the stool, the urine, the breath, et cetera. And so, you've got your nutrients that you use, and I certainly do endorse the use of nutrients that would enhance some of these phase 1, another face pathways in the liver: glutathione and acetylcysteine. One that flies under the radar that is the best hangover cure in the world is dihydromyricetin. Dihydromyricetin. I've only found one company on Amazon that makes it, but I got that tip from, I think, Shawn Wells when I interviewed him on my podcast. And, that one's amazing. I'll hunt it down and link to it in the shownotes.
But basically, you have the frequent use of compounds like that that helped to accelerate those pathways. And then, binders, I think that activated charcoal is probably top of the totem pole for that that you're doing typically prior to engaging in the things that will allow for excretion. So, that would mean once a week, you'd wake up, you do glutathione and acetylcysteine, dihydromyricetin at 6:00 am, and then at say 7:00 am you take your activated charcoal and then you go off after 7:00 am. And, if you wanted to do the stool pathway, you do a coffee enema. If you want to combine them, you do like a coffee enema, then you go straight into the infrared sauna and you sweat it out. And then, you could also engage in a long exhale, short inhale breathwork pattern so you're also breathing out some of the CO2 and some of the metabolic. Like, I guess what you refer to as almost like gases that are going to occur as you're engaging in metabolism of toxins.
And so, that would be an example of how you could kind of string all those detox pathways together, if that makes sense. So, that's something you could easily do on a weekly basis, and that's very similar to my Wednesday morning most weeks of the year.
Jay: Dude. So, what was funny about Nathaniel's question is–and I love your response, Ben, in referring to the physiological detox pathways, but I'm going to go ahead and pull the psychologist card and talk about my own personal mental detox, which has actually been a primary goal for me at the start of this year. I was just immersed in too much news and information, and it was such an overload for me. And so, for me, in order to engage in a mental detox, it's just been a lot more spending time away from those things that I know are quite toxic to my spirit, to my relationships, to my overall mental and cognitive well-being. And, that's a bit of self-awareness, but to self-regulate just been a lot more journaling, a lot more walks where I put my phone in my pocket. I just engaged in a really solid mindful walk and allow the mind just to kind of go where it goes. Don't let there be like this a massive amount of suppression of thought and idea. And then, the other thing that I've been doing a lot too is just a lot more creative writing, which is not my forte necessarily, like it's not something that I have tried to build or exercise as a skill, but it's just been almost free association. And, I mean I never really had done that more as for a mental detox. I just hadn't engaged in that type of practice.
Ben: Well, you guys, let's do one more question here. Let's do one more question. Let's make it a good one.
Ben: Hello, John. What's going on, man?
John: Yeah. Hey, I just found you guys. Great, great content. And, I found your article. I have a quick question. Quick question is with respect to red light, I notice there's nothing or I didn't see anything regarding eye protection. Are there any kind of cautions there? And then, my other question is more with respect to a CGM and kind of tracking more of a micro / macros with respect to what food and combinations you eat and how that affects your blood sugar if that's a metric out there. I didn't, again, didn't see any article or any reference to that. So, the tech with the CGM and then something with red light and eye protection. Thanks.
Ben: Yeah. Great question. So, yeah, the tech with CGM, we've actually, we've covered this before on other podcasts, the idea of controlling glycemic variability and being aware of the individual response, which comes down to everything from bacteria to genetics to pancreatic enzyme production, dictating that if you're not taking advantage of how easy it is right now to get your hands on a blood glucose monitor through a company like Levels, slap that thing on, wear it for a month and see what your individualized response to meals are, you're missing out on a big thing you could do to impact your health. So, absolutely. I'm a huge fan of that. And, we have plenty of articles. If you go to my website and you search for “CGM” at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, you'll find a few really helpful articles where I've written about how to use these CGMs and what you can find out from them.
Regarding red light therapy, it's interesting because red light therapy has actual documented beneficial effects on eye health. Because your eyes are affected by mitochondrial dysfunction, like your eyes specifically the retina has the highest concentration of mitochondria in your whole body. And also, a lot of people don't realize is it's got the highest metabolic demand in the body, your eyes. It's the hardest working organ that you own. And, the eyes actually respond really well to red light therapy. So, it's been shown that it's a pretty safe and relatively noninvasive approach for something like age-related macular degeneration. And, studies have shown that visual acuity in patients with age-related macular degeneration can improve when treated with red light therapy. We're talking about the near-infrared lights that a company like Joovv makes them or you can get them outfitted in your sauna. And, it might actually do that by acting on what's called your retinal pigment epithelium. This thin layer of cells that protect your retina and regulates nutrient and waste and metabolic byproducts. So, it seems to help out with that.
There's other studies that have shown that photobiomodulation can help out with diabetic retinopathy. Meaning, it might actually inhibit the degeneration of the capillaries in the eye that are related to the leakage in those capillaries that are caused by diabetes. It's been shown to help with amblyopia, which is when the brain kind of ceases to recognize signals properly from the eye that can a lot of times occur especially with age. And, it appears that red light therapy helps to improve the electrical signals that are passing between the synapses in the gaps between neurons for your central nervous system specifically related to your eye and allow for better communication between a weak eye and the brain. It's been shown to help out with glaucoma. There's a lot of eye conditions that this can help with, and therefore the idea of slapping on a big old fat pair of sunglasses when you're using light might actually be something that you want to think twice about.
Now, some of these studies also used a little bit of UV lights and we know that you do need to be careful with excess UVA light exposure and even UVB light exposure to a certain extent. If you're going to be on the super bright sun in the desert or on a ski slope for a long period of time, wearing sunglasses does seem to make pretty good sense when it comes to a high dose of UV. With red and near-infrared light though, it's pretty safe if it's in the spectrum that is used on most of these devices like that 600 to 800 nanometer-ish range. And, as with any of these type of treatments, you want to be careful with length of exposure. I wouldn't go longer than 10 to 20 minutes. And, you also need to note that a lot of these studies even use near-infrared which is invisible to the naked eye. So, if the light seems to be irritating to you, you can put whatever red light-producing device that you're using in near-infrared mode and just turn off the red-light mode. Or, you can always just wear the little goggles that come with the devices that they throw in as a built-in comfort mechanism for people whose eyes are bugged by the red light. But, they don't throw those in because research has shown that the red-light spectrum is damaging to the eyes. If anything, it's blue light and UV light that's going to have a negative effect on the mitochondria of the retina.
So, what do you think, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. No, no, I totally agree. I remember when the first Joovv panels came out like they would give you. It looked like those almost sun tanning goggles. And, I think that initially, they didn't have a ton of research to support people looking directly at them. And, to my knowledge, I don't think they still want you directly to look into the light. However, I do because of the studies that you mentioned. I think it's well worth the benefit. We know that IR and red light can have significant both retinal and cognitive and physiological benefits period.
Another thing too is that, for me, I still see a lot of benefit in allowing that light to hit my eye, but a lot of benefit also too in getting full-spectrum light during the day, especially in the morning for circadian rhythm balance. But, yeah, I think that they generally still tell you not to look in the lights, but I think that's a complete CYA type thing because they don't think that it's beneficial. But for me personally, I mean for the last, I guess, what three, four years that I've had Joovv panels, I've looked at the light and actually found there to be pretty good benefits.
Ben: I have a massive red light outfitted in my Clearlight sauna. They will sell you an actual red light, not a full spectrum, not a near or mid-infrared or a full spectrum infrared but an actual red light that's like this massive bright light. And, I'm staring at that thing doing yoga in my sauna four to five times a week, and my eyes feel amazing. And, I've been doing it for a long time. I realize that's anecdotal and it's n equals 1, but nonetheless I look at red light a lot and I have no concerns about it.
So, hopefully, that helps out, John. And gosh, I think that's about all we have time for today. Jay, you didn't happen to hunt down a review where we could give something away to any of the listeners of the show, did you?
Jay: Yeah, dude, I've got one, man. I came prepared.
Ben: Sweet. Alright. Well, this is the time when we reward people who leave the show a good review. One of the best ways to just keep our show in business and keep this podcast coming is to visit the shownotes and to check out our sponsors and all the wonderful deals we have over there for you. And, those today are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440. But, if you leave a review on your favorite podcasting platform, we're on Spotify, we're on even freaking YouTube, Apple podcasts, Apple music, you name it. If we hunt down a good review that you've left and we read it on the show, you just email [email protected] and I will piece together a handy dandy surprise gift pack and send it your way straight from my front door.
So, Jay, take it away. Who's the winner this week?
Jay: So, this one comes from, I'm just going to say the letters because I think it's probably just initials or maybe the last name, MGUJER. And, they entitled this as or I should say titled this as “Changed My Life.” So, “Thank you for providing amazingly soundful information that is life changing. It has occurred to me that I can do so much more to help my body to be the best it can be. Thank you for providing a platform on healthy living.” And, they signed it Tracy. So, it came from Tracy.
Ben: Well, thanks, Tracy. And, I think Tracy in a very passive-aggressive way just called me a loudmouth by referring to our podcast's soundful. But, I'll take that–
Jay: I think it's exactly what she was doing.
Ben: Or, maybe she meant soulful. It was just an autocorrect. I'm going to go with that. Yeah.
Well, anyways, Tracy email [email protected] I'll send you a handy dandy gift pack.
And, for the rest of you, thank you so much for joining us on Clubhouse, for those of you who are on the live Clubhouse Q&A. And, if you don't know how to get on that, well, if you follow me on any of my social media platforms from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook, or even the free newsletter at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, you'll always be the first to know when these Clubhouses are going to go live, even though it's typically Wednesday mornings, a couple times a month at 10:30 am Pacific Time.
And, for everybody else listening in, again, shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/440.
Jay, thank you for ever so briefly showing up and taking a break from whatever you were up to grace us with your presence.
Jay: I do what I can. I was just out doing a cold plunge sauna.
Ben: Yeah, I figured. I figured.
Jay: All those fun stuff.
Ben: Yeah, alright. Alright, folks, thanks for tuning in. Have an amazing week.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…
- Great parenting tips on gracefully handling conflict and discipline (this is based on the Love & Logic parenting approach my wife and I use)…08:08
- Why early food variety is so important for babies; the “flavor window” concept…15:42
- Movement snacks throughout the day, like pushups and squats, actually make you SMARTER (I have 5 different movement snack menu options in my book Boundless too!)…19:53
- The association between handgrip strength and anti-aging/longevity strikes again in two recent studies here and here. Do those pullups, deadlifts, and dead hangs, folks…23:16
- Sure, as this study shows, Vitamin C & E plus cryotherapy is a potent recovery stack, but I don't recommend that you do it post-exercise (as the study authors note). Instead, wait a few hours so your body can mount its own inflammatory response…30:37
- Does cannabis help or hurt sleep? Appears to be highly subjective…32:45
- Great overview of melatonin and a few things you probably didn't know, including what happens if you take it during the day…35:50
- Correlation does not equal causation, and here are a bunch of quite entertaining examples of that…40:37
- Othership app
- Ketone Aid
- HVMN ketone ester (use code BENG to save 10%)
- Feel Free (use code BEN40 to save 40%)
- Tru Kava (use code BEN to save 10%)
- Dr. Thomas Cowan's vegetable powders (use code BEN to save 15%)
- Serenity Kids (use code BEN to save 15%)
- BFR Bands
- Kaatsu bands (use code BEN to save 10%)
- Vasper machine
- Ben's book Boundless
- Conscious Breathing by Anders Olsson
- Jet lag Rooster app
- Fleet Street Clinic
- BGF podcast with Kusha Karvandi:
- Vielight Alpha (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
- Kion Immune
- Vitamin E
- NSCA Journal
- Dr. John Lieurance's MitoZen Scientific (use code BEN to save 5%)
- BGF podcasts with John Lieurance:
- The Shocking Truth About High-Dose Melatonin, Does Melatonin Supplementation Shut Down Your Own Production, How To Use Melatonin To Enhance Fasting & Much More With Dr. John Lieurance.
- The Crazy Future Of Medical Biohacking: Skull Resets, Suppositories, Nasal Sprays, Nebulizers, Sound Therapy & More With Dr. John Lieurance.
- Spurious Correlations by Tyler Vigen
- Six Senses Retreat Portugal (March 7 – 11, 2022)
- 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!
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Listener Q&A :
Q: Ways To Hack The Dolphin “Chronotype”…48:31
In my response, I recommend:
- Books by Michael Breus
- The Four Chronotypes: Which One Are You? – article by Michael Breus
- Human Charger (use code BEN20 to save 20%)
- Re-timer glasses
- Light box for seasonal affective disorder on Amazon
- Protein-rich breakfast: 20-40g of protein
- Apollo wearable
- BGF podcasts with Dr. David Rabin of Apollo Neuroscience and Scott Donnell of Hapbee
- A Whole New Way To Deal With Stress, Trauma & PTSD In Just Seconds: The First Clinically Validated Wearable That Helps You De-Stress, Focus, Sleep, Stay Energized & Remain Calm.
- A New, Drug-Free Biohack To Finely Tune Your Emotions, Sleep, Relaxation, Energy, Focus, Calm & More: The Hapbee With Scott Donnell.
- Portugal Six Senses retreat in Portugal
- Melatonin (use code BEN to save 5%)
Q: How Important Are Detoxification and Rest Periods?…54:27
In my response, I recommend:
- Detox thru “omission” rather than commission
- No volatile compounds in the house
- “Clean” household chemicals and personal care products
- Thru “commission”
- Weekly coffee enema
- Daily 12-16 hours fasting for natural autophagy clean-up
- 4-5 times a week in the infrared sauna for deep sweat
- Trampoline in the mornings for about 5 minutes for lymph flow
- 4-5 day extended fast every quarter (only bone broth or vegetable juices or juice fast)
- BGF podcast with Shawn Wells:
- Once a week after you wake up:
- Glutathione (use code BENGREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
- Coffee enema
- Activated charcoal (after one hour)
Q: Should You Use Eye Protection With Red Lights? Plus How To Track Micro and Macros With a CGM…1:01:45
In my response, I recommend:
- Levels Health CGM (skin the waitlist and join Levels today here)
- BGF podcasts and articles on CGM:
- 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!
- What Your Glucose Levels Can Teach You About Your Overall Health (5 Areas Beyond Post-Meal Response Where Glucose-Monitoring Can Give You Insight).
- The Best Way To Test For Ketosis & Track Your Blood Glucose.
- Red light therapy for eye health:
- The eye (retina) has the highest concentration of mitochondria in the body
- The eye has the highest metabolic demand in the body
–Qualia Mind by Neurohacker: You can get up to 50% off Qualia Mind right now, plus an extra 15% off your purchase with code BGF.
–Kion Colostrum: With winter in full swing, it's a great time to start taking colostrum as immune insurance.
–Ketone IQ by HVMN: One Bottle of Ketone-IQ contains ten servings designed to be taken daily in the morning to elevate your ketone levels.