September 1, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/qa-446/
[00:00:34] Podcast Sponsors
[00:06:38] Live on Twitter
[00:08:05] News Flashes: “High Energy Flux” Lifestyle
[00:19:16] The Ergogenic Effects of Acute Carbohydrate Feeding on Resistance Exercise Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
[00:29:39] Helpful: The 8 Most Popular Ways to Do a Low-Carb Diet
[00:39:05] Just 2 Minutes of Walking After a Meal Is Surprisingly Good for You
[00:43:12] Podcast Sponsors
[00:48:25] cont. Just 2 Minutes of Walking After a Meal Is Surprisingly Good for You
[00:49:40] EEG signatures change during unilateral Yogi nasal breathing
[00:58:19] Q: First-time Dad: How Can You Biohack for A Baby?
[01:06:12] Q: TB-500 and BPC-157 For Training Injuries?
[01:13:08] Q: Tips for Finding Adrenaline (Not Faking It)?
[01:23:34] Leave a Review
[01:24:58] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life show.
Living a high energy flux lifestyle, the best way to do a low carb diet, left nose versus right nose breathing, and much more.
Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Well, howdy, howdy, ho. My apologies if my audio sounds a little funky or different. I happen to be on the road. I've been hunting in Hawaii, but I have some great, great stuff to get out to you.
First of all, we are working with a new company that makes an amazing kid's multivitamin. So, if you're looking for something for your kid but you have realized that most typical children's vitamins are basically candy in disguise. They got 2 teaspoons of sugar, unhealthy chemicals, bunch of gummy junk that growing kids should never eat is a problem. I'm always looking at these labels for my own kids, and in the past have just fed them liver because I haven't been able to find a good multivitamin. But, there's this company called HIYA, H-I-Y-A. It's a pediatrician-approved superpowered chewable multi. Most children's vitamins have, again, 5 grams of sugar, a couple teaspoons that contributes to a variety of health issues paradoxically. But, HIYA has zero sugar, zero gummy junk, non-GMO, vegan dairy free, allergy free, gelatin free, nut free, so super safe for any kid who's sensitive to that kind of stuff. They formulated it with the help of a bunch of nutritional experts and physicians. It's a blend of 12 organic fruits and veggies, then they supercharge it with 15 other essential vitamins and minerals like D, B12, C, zinc, folate. So, it supports your child's immunity, energy, brain function, mood, concentration, teeth, bones, you name it. And, the best part is my kids go ape nuts over this stuff.
They're going to give all my listeners whether you have a kid or maybe you just want an amazing multivitamin that tastes great because I have to admit I've snuck a few myself. They're going to give us all 50% off. That's pretty big. 50% off to your first order. Okay, to claim that, you go to hiyahealth.com/BEN. H-I-Y-A-health.com/BEN. That'll automatically get your kids the full body nourishment that they really need to grow.
Alright, let's talk ARX. ARX is the most efficient and safest form of resistance exercise in the world. Alright, this thing is like fighting a giant robot. I have literally cut my weight training down to two sessions of 20 minutes twice a week, and that's it. It has computer-controlled motorized resistance to match your effort in real time for the perfect tension needed. One single set to failure and boom, you're done. So, twice a week what I'm doing is deadlift, horizontal press, which is like a chest press, pull down, squat, the overhead press, and the seated row, and that's it. And, I'll bounce around, sometimes I'll hit the bike a little bit in between my sets, but that's it. I have their version called the Omni.
Now, the Omni does a whole bunch more exercises in addition to the ones I just named like the Romanian deadlift, the calf raise, the pullover. You can even do curls and tricep pushdowns and decline press and incline press and hamstring curls. So, they remove weights, they remove gravity, fits right in my gym. Again, it's like fighting a giant robot because it has this patented motorized resistance with custom computer software. It gives you the world's safest, most effective, most quantified form of resistance training ever. When you train with it, you're trained to your perfect level of resistance both positively and negatively. The whole time, your muscles get a massive amount of time under tension. The built-in software traction measures every second of every rep. I can set up a special customized profile for my wife, for anybody visiting my house, for my kids. You name it. So, if your goals are bigger muscles, better strength, stronger bones, looking good in your clothing or just basically being harder to kill, ARX does all of that and it just freaking works. It's not gimmicky. This isn't one of those like done-for-you things. Yeah, there's some sweat and tears involved, but oh my gosh, it is the best workout ever.
So, check them out at arxfit.com/ben. A lot of gyms like personal training studios will have these in their gym. They're not inexpensive. People who are biohackers who are time hackers who know that time is priceless and just want to build a lot of strength in a very short period of time own this. It is top of the totem pole now for me for strength training. So, you got to check this thing out. The ARX Fit, go to arxfit.com/ben.
It's time to start hacking your sleep. Big part of that is choosing the right mattress for your desired outcomes, and Essentia is the company that I now use for my mattress. It's organic. They have a patented beyond latex organic foam technology. You may have heard me interview the founder, Jack. You can find that interview over at BenGreenfieldLife.com. The deep sleep cycles, the REM sleep cycles, the cooling, even the EMF blocking technology, they have introduced this EMF barrier foam technology that protects your body against the negative impacts of EMF exposure. So, your nervous system repairs while you sleep. They've actually done dark film microscopy studies on the red blood cell's reaction to sleeping on this thing. It allows those cells to return to their natural free-flowing state. So, you get optimized oxygen flowing through your body during the entire night of sleep.
There's even this special profile you can fill out online that can customize your mattress to your sleep type. So, my wife's side is different than my side because we sleep on the big old California king. They have not just the mattress, they have pillows, they have frames, they have everything you would need for the best night of sleep ever. I would gladly pay, let's say 20 bucks a night for an amazing night of sleep. This thing pays for itself pretty quickly. It's allergen-free, packed technology that gives you the active cooling, accelerator recovery and unmatched deep sleep cycles with no funky electricity churning under your body while you're asleep. They're going to give you 100 bucks off your mattress purchase.
You go to MyEssentia.com/BenGreenfield. That's MyE-S-S-E-N-T-I-A.com/BenGreenfield. And, you can be sleeping on the same mattress that I am now using. And, I absolutely love it.
Jay, Jay, Jay, we are here. We're live with a whole bunch of our friends on Twitter as we do with these live Wednesday Twitter Q&As for Q&A episode. What we're on? 446. BenGreenfieldLife.com/446. You realize you left me high and dry for episode 445. I had to do that thing all on my own.
Jay: I know, man. And, I feel bad for doing that because I was stuck in L.A., which is not the place that I really want to be. I mean, it's no offense, I just offended all of my L.A. hipsters, but that's not my favorite place in the world. And, I'm headed back there again this week. But, I'm here today, so that's all that matters.
Ben: I love L.A. I don't know what you have against L.A. I actually love California. And, in California, in general, as a matter of fact I'm moving to Idaho next year, and I would invite as many Californians as possible to join me in moving to Idaho. However, because I grew up in Idaho and I had an older brother who died in the wool redneck gun rack, giant CB antennas pickup truck with the muffler removed driving redneck. And, as the bumper sticker on his truck all through high school red save Idaho, spay and neuter all Californians. So, everybody from L.A., you're welcome to come up this way just be spayed and neutered and we'll call it good.
Anyways, let's jump into these news flashes. What do you think?
Jay: Yeah, let's go man.
Jay: Alright. So, here's the deal. I interviewed, I think it was a guy named Jay Feldman on my podcast a few months ago, and we discussed this whole bioenergetic model of living. And, a term that came up during that discussion was this concept of what's called a “high energy flux lifestyle.” I tweeted out that this is pretty much how I live my own life. Meaning that there's kind of two different ways to lose fat or maintain weight. One is to diet, to sit around, to be cold and hungry and libidoless, and to basically cut off calories and live like a tortoise. Don't eat much, don't move much because you can't move much when you don't eat much. And, essentially just be, I guess, like a monk.
The other aspect is a little bit more hedonistic. It's a high energy flux lifestyle is what it's actually called, high energy flux. That involves basically eating more, doing more, and moving more. And, it's a pretty great way to live, and that's the way that I live my life. Now, what this is related to and I'll link to a fantastic research paper that goes into all of this is the concept of flux. Meaning how much energy are you moving through your body, how much energy are you burning through movement and generally how active is your metabolism on any given day.
Now, when people lose weight, and I don't think this is a news flash for anybody, your metabolism downregulates. You actually begin to burn more calories than you would normally burn at rest. Not only that, but even things like the thermic effect of food, a lot of people don't know this, but how many calories your body will burn when it's digesting food? That will decrease. Your body basically pulls off as many stops as it can to make sure that you are able to conserve calories when it is sent the message that you are dieting. And, also to a lesser extent the message that you're not moving around too much. So, the flip side is basically this idea that you can achieve high energy flux and lower body mass, lower adiposity, higher metabolism, higher thermic effect of feeding, et cetera by moving around a whole lot during the day. Not only through low-level physical activity like a high step count but also lifting weights, high-intensity interval training, both of which will maintain high energy flux for hours on end after you finish them consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrates, which we'll get into later, but not being full on strict keto. And, essentially, moving more, doing more, and exercising more.
Now, what this paper gets into is the idea that not only as I've just alluded to is frequently performed resistance exercise, weight training, carbohydrate consumption, and overall calorie consumption useful for maintaining this high energy flux, but it appears that chronic long-term endurance exercise is actually not the best way to achieve this high energy flux because that can actually result in similar thyroid downregulation and endocrine dysregulation that can long-term decrease the metabolism, which is a lot of times why long-distance triathletes and cyclists gain weight really quickly once they stop because their metabolism is not quite as high as it would have been if they were weight lifters or if they were doing high-intensity interval training. But, the other thing that's interesting is that whenever they've done studies on people who are obese and who lose weight, we saw this with the Biggest Loser phenomenon. Once they quit doing all that physical activity, they go back to the weight that they were at before or close to it because they're no longer maintaining that high energy flux.
So, essentially there's a few different ways to lose weight. You could not eat a whole lot. And also, like I said earlier, not move around a whole lot because you can't when you're not eating a whole lot. You could exercise but not eat a whole lot, which is difficult to sustain long-term as I basically just said. Or, you could eat an ample amount of calories, move a whole bunch, kind of sort of have your cake, and eat it too. And, that's what high energy flux is actually referring to. It's essentially treating yourself like an athlete rather than a dieter. And so, it's got a ton of studies behind it, this concept of high energy flux being predictive of long-term fat loss, one of the best weapons to fight against the era that we live in in which there's readily available highly palatable foods all over the place. And, the interesting thing is it seems to help with appetite dysregulation, it seems to help with blood glucose, it seems to help with overall metabolism, possibly even longevity. There's so many reasons to do this. It's basically flies in the face of this old-school philosophy like eat less, move more. It's more like eat more, move more.
And so, that's what I mean when I say high energy flux lifestyle, 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day, some form of resistance training or high-intensity interval training. Nearly every day, eating a solid square two to three meals a day, not engaging in extended amounts of fasting a lot. Meaning I'll do 12 to 16 hour overnight intermittent fast. Occasionally, a 24-hour dinnertime, dinnertime fast, occasionally like a quarterly cleanup of four to five days where I might eat fewer calories. But, it's cool because you get to just basically live life to the fullest. And, if you're a foodie, you eat a lot of really great foods, and I think a lot of people are just scared of doing that when, in my opinion, this high energy flux lifestyle and especially if you look at the research, and I'll link to a lot of it if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/446. Points out to the fact that it's really not a bad way to go.
Jay: Yeah, I would say this is a good example of what I do in my own life. But, one thing I was curious about, Ben, so I want to get your take on this. Do you think this is more for individuals who are looking to maybe maintain body composition or stay where they are once they get to where they want to be? Or, do you think that because I was thinking about this from a bioenergetic perspective and we think about it from even a caloric deficit perspective, the whole notion of eat less, move more, and this is eat more, move more? Is this more like eat more, move even more? Do you see what I'm saying there? Or, is it saying like because I'm trying to think about weight loss and a caloric deficit and how this factors in.
Ben: Yes. So, when it comes to weight loss, I mean it comes down to at the end of the day, you got to pay attention to physics and the idea of calories in calories out. I do think that diet quality matters, but calories are the biggest part of the equation. What you just asked me reminds me of this three-year long-term study that they performed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This was on a bunch of teens and they found that the teenagers who basically ate a lot of calories and then burned a lot of calories were the most successful in reducing their body fat percentage compared to those who would eat a little bit and move a little bit. So basically, this idea is that if you want long-term sustainable weight loss where you're just lean and fit year round and continue to become more lean and more fit as time progresses, you actually would have, yeah, maybe a slightly lower calorie deficit each day because you're not eating more and moving less, you're eating more and moving more. But, long-term, sustainable weight loss is really impressive.
And, there are subtle nuances. You could have certain days where maybe it's a yoga, sauna, easy walk day where you are eating a little bit less and then you have a high-intensity interval training and weight training day where you're eating a little bit more. But, ultimately long term, you're not doing strict dieting and it appears to be a much more successful way to lose weight and to keep it off. I think you can lose a lot of weight by just strict dieting say eating 800 calories a day and spending six hours a day on a treadmill like they did in the Biggest Loser. But ultimately, and I think this is what you're getting at with your question if you want to live a high-energy flux lifestyle but you're starting off at a pretty high weight, yeah, it might mean that you're eating more the calories that you would eat for your goal weight than for your current weight. But, that's pretty easy to pull off.
As a matter of fact, if you go to the shownotes for Q&A 445 at BenGreenfieldLife.com/445, I talked about and shared a link to a wonderful calculator that lets you plug in, “Hey, here's my goal weight, how many calories should I be eating per day based on my total daily energy expenditure? How much I'm moving? How much I'm active? What kind of calorie deficit I want to be in?” And, you could plug that in. And, the general rule to follow if you are in that state is I would not have a calorie deficit that's any greater than 500 calories per day. Meaning if you calculate that you're eating at 2,500 calories per day, you would not want to be burning more than 3,000 calories per day. Meaning you're achieving a 500-calorie deficit each day. And, I've found that once you do more than that, that's when you start to see some of the thyroid downregulations, some of the metabolic effects, some of the shift, and the more of that low energy flux type of environment. Does that make sense?
Jay: Makes total sense. I think so many people go way too fast too soon. And, that's what kind of leads to this. Like you mentioned, just kind of this downregulation of all these pathways that cause the lack of libido, it causes the lack of energy but also from a behavioral change perspective. When you're going from eating 3 or 4,000 calories a day to dropping down to whatever, 1,500, 2,000 calories a day but you're burning 3,000, 4,000 calories, it wears you out. And then, from a behavioral change perspective, it's just extremely difficult to maintain that. So, I love this notion. It's almost like the modified high energy flux. And then, when you get to where you want to be kind of your maintenance place, if you want to call it that, then it's full-on higher energy flux lifestyle seems very fitting, and it seems a lot more appealing and sexy than this notion of just eating less, moving more.
Ben: Sexy is Sean Connery would say. It's related to something I also want to talk about this whole idea of carbs. Because like I mentioned, carbs fit into this equation. Fat burns in the fuel of carbohydrate. You need a certain amount of glucose on board, not only for mental function, your brain doesn't just run on ketones, which is the myth that's bandied about these days, your brain needs about 30 to 40 grams of glucose per day for thinking if you don't want to be stupid. But then, your joints need proteoglycans, your thyroid needs a certain amount of carbohydrate throughput, even the Leydig cells and the testes burn glucose, which is why a lot of times super low carb diets result in low testosterone. And, this high energy flux lifestyle depends on one of these fuels that actually is associated with a higher metabolic rate and a higher calorie burn. And so, there's a few nuances here that I think are related to carbohydrates as well.
And, that's why I wanted to bring up this recent study that looked at the ergogenic effects of acute carbohydrate feeding on resistance, exercise, performance. It was really interesting because what they did was a meta-analysis where they looked at, well, we've seen an endurance, for example, that consuming carbohydrate seems to help a little bit. We know that consuming carbohydrates before short-term like high-power activities like powerlifting doesn't really seem to help that much because you don't burn a lot of glucose. That's mostly creatine.
What about resistance training? What about high-intensity interval training, and what about the type of training that a lot of people who average person who goes to a gym are doing? Is carbohydrate that beneficial? And, it turns out that the short answer is yes. So, what they found in the review was that first of all, if you're going to weight train for more than 45 minutes and you're doing anything 8 to 10 sets or higher, which most people are in the gym for 45 minutes or more are doing, carbohydrate ingestion improves performance. And, in this meta-analysis, the average amount of carbohydrate ingestion range, on average, about 20 grams to 60 grams, so 82, 250-ish calories of carbohydrates consumed right before the workout is like a shot in the arm. It's an ergogenic aid. I've said before, sugar is sometimes drug. And, before you go do hard weight training or high-intensity interval training or exercise, it definitely helps. It helped even more if people were in a fasted state, meaning carbohydrates aren't going to help you out as much for your early afternoon or your late afternoon or early evening workout as much as they're going to help you out for a morning fasted workout.
Now, I realize a lot of people might not like the idea of having carbohydrates before morning fasted workout. I like to workout fasted in the morning. But, if you're an athlete and you're shooting for performance, I mean it's a no-brainer for a hard workout not do it fast and have it with carbohydrates. Or, these are a lot of the little nuances throughout and they've done studies like this, mostly do the hard workouts fasted, but every once in a while throwing carbs and then definitely have carbs before the actual competition. Because again, kind of like caffeine, if you abstain from it during exercise but then every once in a while, when you really got to go hard and when you have a competition, throw it in there, helps a ton. The amount of carbohydrate ingested didn't seem to matter that much. Almost as though the taste of carbohydrate and the presence of carbohydrates sent the body this message that staved off sensation of hunger, dictating that it could be as little as like a banana and as much as a giant maltodextrin fructose-based carbohydrate shake. So, 20 to 60 grams, 20 to 80 grams even is not that large of a range, but it turns out that the dose is not that important as much as some small amount of carbohydrates. Even a small piece of fruit.
Another thing they found from this meta-analysis was that the carbohydrate ingestion helped more with lower body performance than upper body performance. And, this is interesting because I've told people if you want to stabilize blood glucose and you want higher testosterone and better hormones, workout a lot with your legs because the legs have a high amount of androgen receptors which helps with things like increasing testosterone post-workout, deadlifts, squats, high-intensity interval training on a bicycle, et cetera, but they also burn glucose like it's going out of style. And so, that means if you want better blood glucose management, maybe you're wearing continuous blood glucose monitor, maybe you're pre-diabetic, maybe you just want to stabilize what's called glycemic variability as an anti-aging or longevity hack. Don't be the person at the gym with the big upper body and the toothpick legs, guys. And, ladies don't be the person who's just doing chronic cardio on the treadmill or the ergometer. I realized I just stereotyped sexes, but I'm going to roll with that anyways.
Jay: You really did.
Ben: I did because males and females are different, news flash. But anyways, the idea is if you do working out with your legs, it's kind of interesting. Eating carbohydrates helps more with leg workouts, but the reason for that is that leg workouts are doing exercises with your legs, burns more carbs. So, you can kind of use this as a clue to indicate that for better glucose function overall, be sure to include leg day frequently, but then also you may actually benefit if you're going after the greatest intensity on leg day by consuming carbohydrates beforehand. When I say leg day, I'm not a bodybuilder who likes the whole concept of leg day. But, what I mean by leg day is workouts that include the legs.
So, in addition, they found out that if you do have carbohydrates pre-exercise, you get a significant increase in post-exercise blood lactic acid levels, which means that the increased carbohydrate intake not only allows for more production of lactic acid, which occurs when you're burning glucose versus when you're burning fats, but also it means that you may have more recovery implications, or at least a better need for a cooldown or something like a little bit of cold, a little bit of compression, a little bit of flushing with a foam roll or that type of thing if you are one of those people who consumes carbs pre-workout.
So, the big takeaway from this that I want folks to think about is first of all, studies like this don't look at overall metabolic health, anti-aging, longevity, long-term blood glucose management, et cetera, they're just looking at, “Hey, does this help you workout, bro? Does this increase your performance?” There are obviously other things that we would want to think about. However, I think that some people who kind of get a blah feeling in the gym can't push themselves hard enough who are maybe living some element of this low energy flux lifestyle in which they're constantly restricting carbohydrates would benefit from either A, consuming carbohydrates acutely pre-workout or B, and this is my approach, having some type of carbohydrate refeed in the evening before the morning that you do a hard workout because this is a case where I think you can have your cake and eat it too. What I mean by that is the evening carbohydrates, little red wine, dark chocolate, sweet or purple potato, maybe some millet, or beets, or parsnip, or carrots, or anything like that, or one of my wife's lovely slices of homemade fermented sourdough bread, a little bit of blackberry jam on it, which is actually very close to what I had last night with dinner.
Jay: That's very appealing right now.
Ben: Right, or some of it we just harvested 10 pounds of honey from our bees, a little bit of honeys. Honey is great, and I think that honey counts as being carnivore too apparently from what they say these days. Anyways, so —
Jay: That's what Paul says nowadays.
Ben: Yeah, Dr. Paul Saladino. I think he endorses honey. So, big thumbs up. So anyways, the idea here is you have your carbohydrates in the evening that refills your liver and your muscle glycogen stores, thus allowing you to mobilize that carbohydrate in your next workout. And, by the way, high energy flux lifestyle. I didn't mention this is associated with better metabolic flexibility, meaning be able to burn either fats or carbohydrates or both during exercise and at rest. So, basically, you're consuming carbohydrates even before rather than right before the workout, you still got all that glycogen to tap into because via the process of glycogenolysis, your body once it has the exercise implications involved will begin to break down that glycogen from the muscle and from the liver, release it in the bloodstream, elevate glucose just the same as if you'd eaten glucose right before the workout.
However, because you workout in a fasted state, you get some of those longevity benefits, some more of those metabolic flexibility benefits, some of the fat loss benefits, et cetera. And, of course, as I've mentioned before another podcast prior to that evening carbohydrate refeed, I'll even do things that help the carbohydrate get into muscle and hang around in the bloodstream a little bit less long, so-called blood glucose disposal agents like berberine or apple cider vinegar or cinnamon or shout out to Kion Lean, that's why I formulated that supplement for that specific reason, cold, a quick cold soak or a cold shower, little bit of weight training or even just 30 burpees so it doesn't take much.
And so, this idea of doing something to enhance the uptake of that blood glucose prior to the evening carbohydrate refeed, then you do your overnight fast, 10 to 12 hours for women, 12 to 16 hours for men kind of varies women. Those longer intermittent fast downregulates your levels of a hormone called kisspeptin, which can impact fertility and hormones and things like that. So, pre-menopausal women do better with the shorter 10 to 12-hour intermittent fast, guys 12 to 16 hours. But then, you squeeze in your workout at some point during that fasted window. After which, you could do a post-workout meal. And, it's kind of a beautiful way to access the ergogenic effects of carbohydrates without necessarily missing out on some of the longevity and other benefits of a fasted morning workout.
And so, I think that's a pretty good way to go about doing things, but the reason I highlighted this study is just to send people a big old message that if you want to have really great workouts, figure out some time of day that you actually are refilling your carbohydrate stores and your body's going to thank you and it fits beautifully into this whole concept of a high energy flux lifestyle.
Jay: Yeah. I have noticed 100% that when I do carb refeeds in the evenings — I mean I normally work out in general pretty early in the morning before I come to the office, so around 6:30 or so. And, if I have a night where that I have not eaten as high of a carbohydrate load, I certainly notice maybe a little bit of a lack of energy, maybe even a little bit less, I guess I would say a little bit more poorer sleep. But, when I have a little bit of extra carbs at night, it feels like it increases overall sleep quality and sleep architecture. But then, my gym session in the morning, I feel a lot more invigorated and I feel a lot stronger, I feel a lot faster. So, I would certainly at least from an anecdata anecdotal perspective agree with the research.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, by the way, thank you for agreeing with me. I do not like to be disagreed with on a podcast because it makes me feel inferior.
Jay: Isn't that what you pay me for?
Ben: I pretty much pay you to make me look smart because I'm the ultimate narcissist.
The eight most popular ways to do a low-carb diet is another article that'll link to at BenGreenfieldLife.com/446. It came out a couple weeks ago on Healthline. Caution with Healthline, by the way. It's the one that when Google redid its whole algorithm wound up being the website that will appear most often in search results. Once they started to downregulate guys like Dr. Mercola and the Wellness Mama and Josh Axe and all these people have pretty great articles, those don't appear in search results as much anymore. But, the thing about Healthline if you pay close attention, half the ads on there are from pharmaceutical companies. So, they got a little interesting little tweak going on, so don't swallow it all hook line and sinker.
Jay: No agenda, whatsoever.
Ben: No agenda, whatsoever. Ignore the pharma ads. So, they discussed the eight most popular ways to do a low carb diet, and I figured this would be a cool review for people because a lot of times people hear low carb and they don't understand there's a lot of variants of it.
So, drumroll please, the eight different versions of a low carb diet. First is the typical low carb diet. It doesn't have a fixed definition and it can generally refer to anywhere from 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates on a daily basis, which is actually what I would consider to be. I would even go as high as 200. The definition of a low carb diet for a high energy flux person or an athlete. It's still 1/4 of what is often recommended by folks like the Gatorade Sports Science Institute for carbohydrate intake, but amongst low carb and keto people, 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates is a bastardization and he's going to be kicked out of low carb club if you do that. But, for an athlete and someone who's working out a lot like 100, 200 grams of carbs, that's definitely low carb. And then, 50 to 100 grams or even under 50 grams, which is geared towards faster weight loss and better glycemic management. But, I think that that's not enough for most examples of a high-energy flux lifestyle. But, that's the typical low-carb diet doesn't have, it's kind of a foggy definition, it just means low in carbs, high in protein, moderate in fat.
Then, you have the ketogenic diet, which is a very low carb high-fat diet. That's the diet I used a lot when I was racing Ironman. I was in strict ketosis for a good two years at one point needing 80 to 90% fat. So, a typical keto diet is high protein and high fat with carbs sometimes limited to as few as 20 to 30 grams per day. Originally, it was used for medical management of things like drug-resistant epilepsy in children or people with neurological disorders or metabolic issues like type 2 diabetes. But, there are a couple variants of the ketogenic diet that they bring up, the targeted keto diet in which case you do it but you add in, speak of the devil, carbs around your workouts. So, you're in ketosis all the time, but you add in carbs during your workouts. I don't like that approach because again I like to work out fasted or with not a lot of carbs on board because I want to tap into my fats and my muscle and liver glycogen.
The other option is what's called a cyclical ketogenic diet where you eat a ketogenic diet on most days but switch to a high carb diet for one to two days a week. That would be another example of a ketogenic diet variant. I think they neglected to include a third, which is a cyclical ketogenic day where, and this is again what I do, your high fat, moderate protein, low to no carb all day long, and then you do all your carbs in the evening after you've done something to enhance your glucose disposal like cold resistance training, glucose disposal agent supplement, et cetera. And so, I think if you're going to do some type of a ketogenic diet, that's a great way to, again, have your cake and eat it too. That's a version of a cyclical ketogenic diet with a daily or at least an almost daily carbohydrate refeed in the evening.
The third one is called a low carb high fat diet. Low carb high-fat diet is simply a variant of the low-carb diet that tends to have a real big emphasis on whole unprocessed foods like meats, fish, and shellfish, and eggs, and vegetables and dairy, nuts, berries, et cetera. All that means when you hear somebody banding about that term is that they're eating low carb, but they're not doing a junk food low carb diet, they're eating whole unprocessed foods called LCHF, low carb high-fat diet. That one is pretty straightforward.
Then, there's a low-carb paleo diet, which is very similar to the one I just mentioned, except it's paleo. So, they get rid of grains, they get rid of legumes. Usually dairy, usually added sugar, most processed foods including things sugar alcohols and where caveman garb and carry giant clubs around and live in caves or sometimes hanging from hammocks and trees.
Jay: Best days.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So does the paleo low carb diets fits to simulate what our Paleolithic ancestors apparently did. Although I have to admit in many archaeological investigations of our paleo ancestors, they have found grains to be present. So, I'm not sure I'm going to swallow that one [00:34:48] _____.
And then, there's the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet is the one where you just reduce all high-carb foods but have as much beef jerky as you want, go to McDonald's whenever you want, just throw away the bun. Just eat low carb, eat a ton of protein too, which honestly defeats the purpose because protein is gluconeogenic and insulinogenic and you still get the big glucose spikes and insulin spikes. I think the Atkins diet, the way that most people do it like, “Yo, I'm just going to go to the BBQ joint and McDonald's and TacoTime or whatever, but I'm just going to not eat the carbs.” I think that that's kind of the junk food. It's kind of like dirty keto. Atkins would kind of fall into the category of dirty keto with slightly higher protein than dirty keto in my opinion.
And then there's Eco Atkins, which is basically very straightforward. It's a vegan version of the Atkins diet. And again, it can be total junk, can include things like Tofurky and Beyond Burger and all that jazz, but it's just vegan version of the Atkins diet like a low carb vegetarian, low carb vegan diet.
Then there's zero carb. This is the seventh one. Zero carb is basically zero carb. It is a thing. People do it. They just eat meat, fish, eggs, and animal fats like butter and lard. Add in some sugar and spices. There's almost the carnivore diet which some people will say, “Oh, it's not high enough in vitamin C, it's not high enough in fiber.” I see some people pull it off. And, if you eat enough protein, you can kind of sort of pull it off, but I see and speaking of Paul Saladino and the whole carnivore diet thing, it's very rare I see someone follow a strict carnivore diet for an extended period of time without eventually throwing their hands up in the air and starting to throw in like papaya, and pineapple, and honey, and some of these more natural carbohydrates. So, I think the zero carb is something not a lot of people adhere to for a very long period of time.
There was one case study from the 1930s where they had two guys who ate nothing but meat and organs for a year and remained in pretty good health. But, there's very little epidemiological evidence that zero carb is sustainable long-term.
And then, there's a low-carb Mediterranean diet, which I think is a great diet. It's based on the traditional foods and Mediterranean countries. It limits grains and bread and stuff like that. It doesn't totally eliminate them, but it just emphasizes more fatty fish instead of red and meat, more extra virgin olive oil instead of fats like butter. I tell people painting with a broad brush and this might be due to the human origins in the Fertile Crescent and the Mediterranean areas and that kind of ties in with our genetic ancestry as a whole that if you have no clue and no money to afford lab testing and you just don't know where you're supposed to or what you're supposed to eat, I think a relatively low carb version of a plant rich flavanol and polyphenol-rich Mediterranean diet for most people, and especially for people concerned about cardiovascular health and Alzheimer's/dementia is the way to go. If you just don't know what to eat, if you can do some semblance of a low-carb Mediterranean diet, you're probably going to be pretty healthy. Yeah, there's some people who have compromised guts who can't do as much as the grain version of that or may not be able to get away with the feta cheese or whatever or can't do a lot of raw roughage fiber and got a puree and ferment and turn their vegetables into smoothies. But aside from that, I think low-carb Mediterranean diet is probably the healthiest version of the low-carb diet that's out there.
So, I think this is helpful though for people just to be able to wrap their heads a little bit better around all the different variants. And, in my opinion, some type of a plant-rich nose-to-tail carnivore-esque cyclic ketogenic diet, which is what I do or some version of a low-carb Mediterranean diet, like either of those work pretty well. And then, if you're an athlete, you throw in a little bit more carbohydrates than the 50 to 150 that some of these diets will endorse. But, that's kind of the skinny pun-intended I suppose on the eight different common versions of a low carb diet. I just think it's important for people to understand it's not just the same across the board when it comes to eating low carb.
Jay: Right. Well, we gave you eight examples of low-carb diet, so use one or pay the price.
Ben: That's right.
Jay: That's all we have to say.
Ben: I love having you around to wrap things up with witty one-liners, Jay.
Okay, then finally related to carbohydrates. And, this was interesting. We all are familiar with this idea of stabilizing postprandial blood glucose by moving often before but usually after a meal. The 15-minute walk after a meal that's often recommended to reduce blood sugar levels works, works like gangbusters. But, this latest paper evaluated a whole bunch of studies that looked at exercise after eating, and it turns out that yeah, moving at least within 60 to 90 minutes after a meal definitely delivers wonderful postprandial blood glucose stabilizing results, but it's pretty shocking how little you can get away with just two minutes of walking works. For me, that's really good to know because my family eats late, we finish dinner. And, by the time we finish dinner, it's 8:30 p.m. We're getting ready for bed. I'm not going to go out for a 20-minute walk and not be able to read my kids a bedtime story or play them some guitar or gather the family for our evening meditations.
But, I will literally go out and turn on the garage alarm. And, in the minute that the garage alarm takes to activate, do 60 jumping jacks out in the garage and then come inside, drop, do 30 push-ups and head up to the boys' room to get them ready for bed. I'll just do something very, very brief. And, I mean you can also pat yourself on the back, the sexual intercourse. That fits the bill. Doing a few burpees after the meal, going outside and playing a quick round of bocci ball or cornhole or whatever with the kids in the backyard. It doesn't have to be a full-on workout after the meal, especially after dinner which can be inconvenient for a lot of people. If you're going out to eat, just park your car four blocks away from the restaurant, you're easily good to go.
So, two minutes. I mean, that's not long. Even if you can't pull off anything. And, this is again, this is not just from you with dinner, this is I finished my morning smoothie, and right before we podcasted, Jay, I went outside because I pee outside sometimes. I like it. I live in the forest and I go outside to pee.
Jay: Country boy.
Ben: Yeah, conserve water. I mean, if it's yellow, let it mellow type of guy in the toilet with much of the chagrin of my wife because the dogs drink out of the toilet. She's like, “The dog has pee breath, Ben. Flush the toilet.” But, I'll usually pee outside. When I go outside after breakfast or after lunch, I'll just do a few jumping jacks outside, go back in, and get back to work. So, that's what I did today. I went outside, did 100 jumping jacks, and came down into my office for the podcast. But again, it doesn't have to be much, it can be these little bouts. It almost just becomes brushing your teeth after a meal. It's like, “Oh, I finished a meal, I'm going to crank out a few pushups or a few jumping jacks and then boom get back to the grind.” And, two minutes is totally sustainable I think.
Jay: I love it because I was in a habit of getting my family out of the house for maybe a little bit longer but walk after dinner. But, to your point, I have young kids and they go to bed pretty early, which means we eat pretty early, which means that if we're running a little bit of late, it was easy for us to make the excuse to just go straight up to bed and not actually do anything. And, I think that that was significantly impacting us and it was impacting glycemic variability. But, knowing that we only need to exercise or engage in movement for two minutes, I mean, it's like you can't argue yourself out of that. And, if you do, well, I mean, that's not you because it's from a behavior change perspective. I mean, it's really easy, again, to talk ourselves out of things that just don't see that realistic or attainable. But, two minutes is pretty damn attainable for, I think, everybody. I'll reach out there and say that, which is a great thing. But, having research that highlights things like this that are just these really small changes that you can make that can significantly impact your overall health and well-being is really important. And, I'm sure as the years go by, we'll continue to get these just hits on small little micro changes that we can make that have a really large-scale impact. So, that is a great thing.
Ben: Alright, if you enjoy using nicotine, you got to check out this company called Lucy. Alright, look, I know we're all adults here and we like to focus on relaxation and this blend of clean energy that you get from something like nicotine, but we also know that cigarettes are bad for you. So, if you enjoy using nicotine and you want a clean nicotine product not full of a bunch of artificial hoo-has, then this is the stuff for you. It's called Lucy, L-U-C-Y. They're at Lucy.co. The promo code is BEN20. They have gum. I like the pomegranate flavor. They have lozenges. I like the cherry ice flavor. They have the little pouches that you put in your mouth. I like the peppermint flavor for those. The promo code is BEN20. If you use that, that will give you the 20% discount at checkout. It does contain nicotine. Nicotine isn't addictive chemical. I'm supposed to tell you that. That's me being responsible. I love it. I chew a piece in the midmorning and a piece in the midafternoon or a piece in the midmorning and a lozenge in the midafternoon. So, I cut myself off at about two, maximum three per day. But, oh my gosh, it freaking works.
So, it's called Lucy, Lucy.co. Use promo code BEN20 and you can experience with clean nicotine actually feels like.
You know, I'm honestly shocked. Every time I see a bodybuilder or fitness influencer or anyone really promoting branch chain amino acids, also known as BCAA. You see these things all over the place. I just don't get it. They're only three of the nine essential amino acids your body needs. They can cause issues like messing with your serotonin levels and depleting your B vitamins, they affect your blood sugar deleteriously, and a whole lot more. But, the dark and dirty secret and the supplements industry is that you can make a lot of money off of the overpriced flavored water that is essentially BCAAs. So, I use the word “essentially,” I suppose, quite fittingly, because the alternative are essential amino acids. Essential amino acids actually have all the amino acids your body actually need. They are great for energy, great for preserving muscle, great for fasting and keeping the appetite satiated. Great for nourishing the body for sleep, good for cognitive performance. They're like the Swiss Army knife of supplements. These essential amino acids.
I'm blown away by the number of people who have heard me talk about essential amino acids on the podcast who started using them and who literally feel like they're on steroids without actually being on steroids. Kion is the company that has the perfect ratios, perfectly primed for recovery for muscle maintenance, for muscle building. Kion Aminos are better than not only every branch chain amino acid supplement out there, but because there are essential amino acids in my opinion, based on the ratios, the flavor: watermelon, mango, berry, lime. So good. Better than any aminos out there period. And, I'm going to give you a 20% discount for the Kion Aminos. Go to getKION.com/BenGreenfield. That’s getK-I-O-N.com/BenGreenfield and that'll give you a special discount on your first-time purchase of Kion Aminos.
Alright, I got a personal invite with your name on it. Your name is Chris, right? Or, Jennifer. No? Maybe John. Whatever your name is, I got an invite for you. It's an invitation to come hang out with me and my family for the one weekend I look forward to every year way more than any vacation or event or trip. It's basically the most epic party of the year with a wellness twist. You go to a true biohacker's paradise and a relaxing retreat, all in one, jam-packed with the latest anti-aging and wellness tools, a smorgasbord of healthy home-cooked paleo-friendly food, clean keto friendly natural wines, organic coffee, an event so intimate, only 50 people get to go, and it's called RUNGA, R-U-N-G-A. You as a podcast listener are officially invited.
Here's just a tiny sneak peek of what's included. There's a full schedule of breathwork, cold plunges, yoga, meditation, sound healing all day long. You can attend or skip any and all of the events that you want. Intimate access to live talks and podcasts by renowned health and wellness experts. I'll be there. There are workouts led by many fitness experts. I'll be leading a few. There's an extensive nutraceutical bar stocked with NAD injectable and liposomal nutrients, peptides for recovery, for immune, for gut health, and there's a bunch of docs walking around too who can easily advise you on a lot of this stuff. There's unlimited access to hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Yes, unlimited. PEMF therapy, vibration platforms, electrostimulation muscle activation, maybe most importantly you'll learn how to make my wife's incredible mouthwatering sourdough bread. Plus, it's in Austin, which is amazing. If you want to arrive early or stick around after for a little bit of barbeque, you know what I'm saying.
You claim your spot for this event happening October 13th through the 15th. If you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/RUNGA. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/R-U-N-G-A. There are only 50 slots available. I'm serious. It's very small, very intimate, but it's amazing. After the 50 slots fill up, they close the doors. So, October 13th through the 15th in Austin, Texas. I'll be there. My wife will be there. It's an amazing event. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/RUNGA. I hope to see you there.
It kind of reminds me of this book I'm reading right now. It's a great book. I highly recommend it to anybody listening in. I'll link to it in the shownotes. It's called “22 Simple Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life.” And, this discussion reminds me of that book a little bit because at one point in the book he says something like there's this saying, a lot of people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a day. And, he says, I say a lot of people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 10 minutes. And, this part of the book has 20 different things that you can do in the 10 minutes that you might have available in little chunks here and there during the day like writing 200 words, memorizing a poem, getting a full 10 minutes of practicing and musical instruments, doing a mini 10-minute workout, sitting with your child for 10 minutes and having a quick discussion.
It's a really great book and it's mostly just about time management, and he's kind of a time hacker, the guy who wrote the book. But, this discussion reminds me of that. Never underestimate the importance of these tiny, tiny little things you can fit in through the little minutes that are available throughout your day. So, that book is called “22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life.” Total rabbit hole. But, check it out if you need a book to read or book to listen to.
Alright, you're going to like this last thing that I want to mention before we open it up to a few questions from our Twitter audience who's waiting patiently in the wings. So, this paper relatively recent 2022 in the Journal of Scientific Reports looked at brain activity during what's called unilateral yogi nasal breathing. Now, this is interesting because I was having a discussion with some folks I was with recently who are partaking of the Amazonian herb Hapeh or Hapeh, which is this alkaloid nicotine rich substance. You would typically breathe up your nose prior to meditation or a plant medicine ceremony or hunting to increase sensory perception et cetera. It kind of opens up the sinuses. Feels like you smoked a cigarette up your nose. But occasionally, I've done Hapeh and I've experimented with what happens if you just breathe it up the right nose or just breathe it up the left nose. Because typically, you do one puff and one nostril, then immediately go to the other nostril and then you don't breathe through your nose and you just breathe through mouth throughout five minutes while you let the goodies just sit up there in your nasal cavities burning away, and then eventually do the one nose snot blow out of each nostril, get rid of it, and go on with your day.
Anyways, though. So, I was saying that, well, if you actually just do it up your left nose and you test your HRV, what happens is the parasympathetic dominance skyrockets on whatever HRV monitor that you're using. And, if you just do it up your right nose, your sympathetic nervous system dominance goes way up. Well, there's actually a reason for this that I'm sure you're intimately familiar with as an HRV expert, Jay. Your nasal cycle is coupled to higher order brain processes like neuroendocrine function, cardiovascular function, the regulation of fuels, the immune system, the gut, and this your nasal cavity where all this erectile tissue resides and all these nerve endings and a large portion of blood supply and nitric oxide production takes place. Well, it's all regulated by the autonomic nervous system via the hypothalamus.
Therefore, the nostrils themselves are linked to central nervous system regulation and also to brain wave activity. And, it turns out and they've studied this and this paper actually gets into a specific electroencephalograph study like an EEG study of brain wave activity, it turns out that when you just breathe in through the right nostril by plugging the left nostril, you get an increase in brain wave activity and you get an increase in sympathetic nervous system activity and it charges you up, it wakes you up and it's energizing. If you cover the right nostril and you just breathe in through the left nostril, you get an increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity, a drop in heart rate, and a lowering across the board of EEG brain wave activity. This is why this concept of alternate nostril breathing in yoga breathing through your left nostril while you have your right nostril plugged, and then breathe out to your right nostril and then breathe into your right nostril with your left nostril plugged and breathe out through your left nostril has a really, really great impact on balancing your nervous system and increasing your heart rate variability, your recovery, and your overall balance. It doesn't necessarily relax you as much as it balances you. If you're just going through your left nostril, it would relax you. If you were just going through right nostril, it would excite you. But, if you do it through both nostrils, it balances you and induces just this calm state of relaxed focus.
So, it is interesting that they've actually studied this now and it turns out there's data behind it, the increase in EEG activity of the brain with right nostril breathing, the decrease in E activity of the brain with left nostril breathing. And, it's kind of a hack because if you are tired and you don't want to balance but you just wake yourself up, cover your left nostril and breathe your right nostril. And, if you're super excited, stressed out, et cetera and it's way too much excitement and you just got to go full-on parasympathetic, cover your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril. If you're using one of these heart rate variability monitors that will track what's called your sympathetic dominance and your parasympathetic dominance, and one is too high, let's say your parasympathetic dominance is way higher than you want it to be, thus causing your heart rate variability or HRV to be low, then just breathe in through your right nostril and it'll decrease parasympathetic tone, increase sympathetic tone, increase HRV and balance you out. So, it is interesting. You can play with your central nervous system and your EEG activity based on which nostril that you breathe in and out of, which I think is just fascinating.
Jay: It's for sure fascinating. Of course, I have a lot to say on this, but I'll try to keep it brief and pithy. The one thing that I will say that I found very intriguing about this study is that when they looked at the different areas of the brain or the regions of the brain, they saw, like you mentioned, increased activity in some places, decreased activity in some places depending on which nostril was being utilized and depending on whether it was their dominant breathing nostril or non-dominant.
The one thing that I really found fascinating is that when they looked at left nostril breathing, which is again more associated with parasympathetic output, they found that the areas of the brain that were lighting up were typically in the posterior regions of the brain. And, what they've seen in other studies before is that when you put monks in a meditative state and there have eyes closed state that a lot of these posterior regions of the brain will light up with alpha activity. So, this flow state activity that's associated with a level of direct awareness but also a level of calm and relaxation. And so, I found that really, really interesting because I haven't seen a study that has done that yet. So, they mentioned other studies that have kind of done that, and this is confirming it.
So, the other thing that I'll mention too because when I read this study, I knew we were going to talk about it today, obviously. I obviously threw on my Hanu, and I promise this is not a shameless plug for my device, but I threw on my Hanu and I started playing with it. So, we have a feature called Snapshot that I talked about with you on the podcast where you can just test things out. It's an open state. It's like, “Hey, experiment, have fun.” And, I started playing around with it and I'm always skeptical when I hear this even though I like to know the research and I've seen kind of the evidence for it, but I started just watching it happen. I was in a state where I was already fairly relaxed and calm. But, I was on left nostril breathing and I saw HRV start to accelerate in an upward direction. And then, the one thing that I did is I kept the variables as much as I could the same, so the pace of breathing was actually guided by a pacer. I did not change the pace of breathing, which would influence EEG output as well as heart rate variability but I switched over to right nostril breathing and all of a sudden, it started going down from where it was. And then, I was like, “Well, that's interesting. That's what you would expect to see based on this study and other studies.” And then, I went back to the left nostril. And, HRV starts to rise again and then obviously flip back over and it did the opposite.
So, it's a really interesting thing for people to test out and play with. And, I like that you mentioned, Ben, that if you're in a state where you're like, “I need to excite the body. I need to prep the body. I need to pump the body up and motivate the mind and body,” then right nostril breathing is a great way to go and you can monitor HRV and heart rate during that time. But, if you need to downregulate the nervous system, then it's great to move over to the left side. And then, if you really want kind of just modulation of both areas, well then that's just another reason for you to engage in balance nasal breathing. And, nasal breathing is indeed the mediator here. So, yeah, great study, a lot of interesting stuff.
Ben: That's right. Everybody, practice your one-hole nostril snot blows now because you're going to need them handy to experiment with what you've just learned.
So, that all being said, I think that we should open it up to some questions from Twitter, from our wonderful Twitter audience. The way this works is you simply make a request to speak and I'll activate you. I'll bring it on and you can ask your question.
Let's go ahead and open it up. And again, all the shownotes is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/446 for all the research, anything we mentioned as we're applying to these questions, et cetera. So, let's do this. Who would like to come up to speak? We got Aji. Aji has requested to speak, so let me add you as a speaker and then just give me one second and I'll turn up your audio here Aji. When I say go, you can ask your question. So, Aji, go ahead. What you got for us.
Aji: Hey, man, what's going on, yo? What's going on, Dr. Jay? First-time dad here and want to know any tricks you guys have to biohack my baby's life.
Ben: Okay. To biohack your baby's life, this is possibly an example. No offense Aji of the term biohacking potentially being used out of context because I really think that hooking your baby up to a hyperbaric oxygen and some type of nasal infrared device and feeding them MCT oil is not necessarily going to be that pleasant of an existence for a small human being.
However, I would say that I mean, if we define biohacking as either including certain technologies or lifestyle activities or nutrition or fitness or other things that would speed up or somehow enhance the normal healthy metabolic activity that you're looking for or eliminate certain variables that might cause the system to slow down, I could think of a few things that I would pay attention to.
I would look at light, a common thing that's biohack, and I would ensure that you have natural incandescent lighting and even consider red incandescent lighting if you'd like in your child's sleeping environment rather than any type of more harsh LED or fluorescent lighting. You could also give them a tiny little pair of baby blue light-blocking glasses, but I don't think that's necessary. It's as cool as that'd be. And, I know if I would have said that, someone would have started a company devoted to baby biohacking glasses. But, just make sure you pay attention to the light cans and the light bulbs in your child's bedroom.
From an electricity standpoint, I would be very careful with baby monitors, which are notoriously high EMF and have a lot of dirty electricity. I would look for a low EMF baby monitor. I don't have a brand off the top of my head, but there are a few that exist if you look up low EMF baby monitors. And, I would do things like put some dirty electricity filters in the bedroom and just make sure the Wi-Fi router is far from the bedroom and consider the electrical environment, which is going to be good for your baby's growing nervous system.
I would ensure that mom specifically if you're breastfeeding is paying attention to water quality. Many moms will pay attention to a lot of things like what they're eating, what herbs they're avoiding, the cigarettes they're not smoking, or the alcohol they're not consuming, but they forget that water is a notorious source of toxic chemicals and lots of things in the municipal water supply that you may not want winding up in your breast milk. They've even found things like phthalates and endocrine disruptors from personal care products and household cleaning products, and shampoos and the like can wind up in breast milk. And, a lot of moms know that, but they still don't think about water. So, make sure you're using good, clean, pure filtered water from a water standpoint.
From a dietary standpoint, I have helped a lot of women who are breastfeeding with their nutrition and have found no diet to be better than the Weston A. Price diet, which is rich in fermented foods and organ meats and natural fats like lard and ghee and butter and all sorts of wonderful natural home foods and homemade foods and ferments, and the Weston. A Price diet and even the Weston. A Price book of child-rearing, which I forget the full title of that book, but it's written by Dr. Tom Cowan and Sally Fallon. Wonderful, wonderful book for growing a healthy baby from a nutritional standpoint. I'll also give a shout-out to our friends at Serenity Baby Foods who I think make the best infant formula and the best natural omega-3 fatty acid protein and fat-rich baby foods from all organic and wild-caught and grass-fed, grass-finished products out there. Serenity Baby Foods is another one I would look from a nutritional standpoint.
And then, the last thing I would mention in addition to paying attention to light and electricity to water and to nutrition, I'll mention two other things. I would make sure that you are frequently grounding or earthing your baby. Getting them outside barefoot naked on their back on the ground just came as much in contact with the healing and negative ion rich, and a Schumann resonance rich frequencies emitted by the planet Earth, just get them out healing in those frequencies as much as possible, make them an outdoor barefoot baby.
And then finally, I would consider the use of cold. And, you might have a social worker lined up at your door, you put this into practice, but there is a rich, especially amongst indigenous cultures of exposing a baby even early in life. I even came across a photo recently of young baby bassinets outside in the winter in Sweden. It was a photo from the '30s or something like this, but they would just put their babies outdoor in the cold in the middle of the winter and let them sit out there for a little while. School children were encouraged to go play outside in the snow. Native American populations would take their babies once a day and just dunk them in cold water and a cold river or lake or the ocean. And so, my own kids, we would get them outside in the cold all the time. They started cold plunging with me when they were one or two years old. I would have started it earlier if I would have access to one.
So, if you have access to getting your baby cold within reason, get them outside, get them accustomed to the cold, have them dip in the cold pool with you, take a cold shower with you, et cetera, cold is actually really, really great for a child, and especially a child's immune system. It's kind of hanging out with dogs and letting dogs look them in the face and be around farm animals and around slightly dirty outdoor natural environments is great for their immune system based on the hygiene hypothesis. Getting cold frequently has a lot of benefits to their cardiovascular system, their immune system. They got tons of brown fat they can handle it theoretically even better than a grown human adult can. But, get your kid cold too.
Jay, you got anything you'd want to throw in?
Jay: Yeah, man. So, I like what you mentioned there and I think that these are really fun biohacks. These are great things that we could throw into that category. But, I truly am just a large-scale believer in two things as being one of the most, I guess, positive or most beneficial things that I did with both of my boys. And, one was just show that baby as much possible freaking love as you possibly can. And, for me, what that looked like was just a lot of skin-to-skin contact allowing both of my boys to sleep on my chest, feel the warmth of my skin. Just kind of being there to comfort and soothe and let that baby know that you love them.
And, the one way and the one thing that I had to learn the hard way with babies especially was that they are obviously very physiologically demanding, but they're super psychologically demanding as well. And, they will push you and it will cause trials and obstacles and provide barriers. And, the one thing that you can do is always control your response. You can always regulate your emotional response. And, I know I'm sounding like a true psychologist right now, but I think that the research is so clear that we can do everything we can to provide for them nutritionally and all the other things that you said Ben, which are really great positive things. But, if we're not regulating kind of our response to them, something that they feed off of immensely, then that can do a lot of detriment to just a growing baby.
So, show them a lot of love and then just regulate your response, control your response, choose your response well. And, I think that you're going to grow the baby up to be a very good little young boy or young girl. And yeah, that's what I have to offer.
Ben: Or possibly just a very cold and hungry child. But, good luck with that Aji.
Alright, we are going to go ahead and bring Bojan on. Bojan has a question. Bojan, go ahead and ask your question.
Bojan: First of all, thank you Ben and Jay for doing this kind of stuff. This is awesome. By the way, I'm in my home country Serbia. People outside training, exercising, calisthenics, 9:00 p.m. It's awesome. So, I started doing jiu-jitsu recently and I noticed that, for example, I'm not able to connect three classes in a row without some sort of injury. It's usually tendon, soft tissue, or something like that. In hindsight, I probably always had this problem, but I was too young to notice it because I would just heal on its own. But now, it's not healing. So, to be short, I'm considering using TB-500 and BPC-157, and I didn't see that anyone of two of you talked about this before, so I'm just asking for a comment. Usually, when I talk with the medical people, they would say stay out of using peptides, that's dangerous. While on the YouTube, everybody's talking about BPC-157 as a miracle drug. So yeah, I'm just asking for a comment. Thank you.
Ben: As far as peptides that are safe that are efficacious, those are probably like the two that I started with for joint injuries and for general inflammation. Yeah, I mean, they're safe, they're effective, they're proven. I've seen very little side effects from either of them. I'll link to two pretty big articles I've written about both of them on BenGreenfieldLife.com. Sourcing, you got to be kind of careful with.
Some people say peptide sciences sends out pretty clean peptides. I'm not totally sure that I haven't used a lot of peptides from peptide sciences. However, CanLabs is one that you can order from. I get most of my peptides from either Dr. Matt Cook at BioReset Medical in San Jose or Dr. Craig Koniver who does prepackage automatically filled syringes, which is super. You should go to his website and check out his peptides because he'll prepackage them, ship them out. They're already in syringes. And, that makes it super easy.
BPC-157 and TB-500 have both been shown to help with wounds, burns, inflammation. I usually almost always have a bottle of that handy. Not only if I've torn something or heard a joint, but just general inflammation, soreness, after a hard workout day, et cetera. You just recover faster with this stuff. And, BPC-157 has even been shown to do things like treat gastrointestinal issues. It's original where they found it, body protection compound found in gastric juices. And then, TB-500, it's really good for tendons, for reduction of inflammation. It seems to have some impact on the immune system as well. They're natural and they seem to work pretty well for most of the things that they're recommended for. A lot of people don't realize they help to promote the growth of collateral blood vessels and endothelial cells so they can actually be really, really good for cardiovascular health as well. A lot of people will stack them together and take them at the same time. Some people do BPC-157 on one day, TB-500 on the next day.
If I've hurt something though, I'll just crush it with a subcutaneous injection like right under the skin as close as possible to the area that hurts even though they can be used systemically for things like cardiovascular health or gastric inflammation in which case you could pinch the skin around your belly button and just inject a little with an insulin syringe right in there. You can also pinch some skin close to where it hurts and inject it right in there. You clean the area with an alcohol syringe, use good hygienic practices as you do so. But, in the same way, that a lot of people will inject insulin, millions of people every day, this is not much more complex than doing that.
And so, yeah, if I had to choose, I'd go with CanLabs or BioReset Medical or Koniver Wellness. But, BPC-157 and TB-500, they're safe peptides, and I think they're two of the better and more widely available ones that are out there. I haven't recently checked GlobalDRO, globaldro.com, to see what their status is as far as their band status for WADA-sanctioned sports for the NCAA, et cetera. So, if you're engaged in any of those activities, you may want to double-check because the peptides kind of go back and forth on there. But, aside from that, I give thumbs up on those two. So, I think they're fantastic and I have no issues with most people using them as long as you're not needle phobic. I don't think the oral versions work very well, but —
Jay: I'd say the needles even still are normally pretty small gauges.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, they're super small gauge. And, if you're a needle phobic, I mean there's some. They have these things now called peptide bioregulators, which are oral capsules which are targeted to specific organs. You can look them up. It's based on research by a Russian guy named Dr. Khavinson, and they seem to have a really, really potent anti-aging effect and target specific organs. They even done amino acid tracer studies on them and found that when you consume these bioregulatory peptides, they wind up in the specific organ. So, a lot of people use those or they'll use organ supplements from a company like Ancestral Supplements, they'll use thyroid glandulars and testosterone or testicle extract or spleen or kidney or pancreas or brain or intestine. That's kind of another way to get kind of sort of what you're looking for in peptide because technically those are peptides and those oral organs. I don't think they're quite as efficacious for some like an injury as injecting BPC-157 or TB-500, but for the whole anti-aging general systemic play who does have access to peptides doesn't want to inject, I even think just organ glandulars or bioregulatory peptides are a decent option as well.
Jay: Yeah, I was going to mention one thing, Ben. I think to your point, knowing you're sourcing is extremely important here, I heard recently Peter, he refer to sourcing and peptides as the Wild, Wild West. And, I think that Pet is probably pretty accurate. And, I think the other thing too is that we don't know if for chronic use of these peptides like the longer term or more longitudinal studies, we just don't have those yet. So, it's always one of those things like should we wait on those? What could be 10, 15, 20, 30 years before we have more longer-term studies on people who use it more chronically. So, it's just something to always keep in mind. And, I think that's probably why Peter referred to it as the Wild, Wild West.
And, I guess the last thing I would say to you is whatever you can do to prevent injury is always going to be better than always coming in after with something post-injury. And so, I know he said I could have sworn he said he was doing jiu-jitsu three times a week, which is a fair amount of jiu-jitsu and is going to lend itself to higher propensity for injury. But, whatever you can do from increasing mobilization, stretching, taking plenty of there being plenty hydrated with plenty of mineralization, all these things can be extremely important. So, I would just always say go for that first, and then always come and then you can always come in afterwards if those things are, excuse me, aren't very effective.
Ben: Boring, stretch, hydrate. I just want an injection, come on.
Jay: All the basics before biohacks. Yeah, yeah, that's all boring stuff.
Ben: Alright, let's bring one other person on, Grant. Let's bring Grant on as a speaker. Grant, go ahead. What's your question?
Grant: Awesome. What's up, Ben? What's up, Dr. Jay? Thanks for having me on. Here's my question. I'm a professional athlete and I've been an athlete for pretty much my whole life. But, as I've gotten older, I've noticed that I've kind of lost my edge. I've lost the ability to find this adrenaline rush that's really driven my, I wouldn't say it's driven my performance but definitely helps. So, long story short, adrenaline definitely plays a big part in my sport. And, the performance has really tapered off and I'm just trying to look for that edge. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to not necessarily fake the adrenaline, but to find it?
Ben: Yeah. Great question. So, in a nutshell, steroids, particularly Andro, I would just go ape nuts on that. Double injections both butt cheeks as frequently as possible, morning, afternoon, evening. Just going to look at my phone here. Grant Dayton. Hold on, let me look. Let me google Grant.
Grant Dayton is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels organization. He has played in the MLB for the Dodgers and the Braves since 2016. Wow, we're famous. We got a famous Major League, yeah Grant. Kudos. Let's say professional baseball pitcher. Oh, wow. That's your problem, dude. You should have been a catcher, Grant. That would have fixed all your problems. You can be catcher until you're 75 from what I understand and slows you, get squat.
Grant: A bum knee though.
Ben: Yeah, bum knees. This is interesting. I'm going to come at this from a psychological standpoint. Let's assume that you've taken care of your nutrients and you're not testosterone depleted and you're eating well and you're moving and you're getting sunlight, you're not on a high electricity environment. You've done all kind of like the hacks, the things that you're supposed to do to stay healthy and you haven't. You need to read my book, “Boundless.” Shameless plug. But, I mean, any athlete who wants to have a long career needs to read that book. Let's see if taken care of like all the fleshy stuff.
Lewis Howes has this book called “Masks Men Wear” I think it is. And, the athlete identity chapter of that book really helped me out because I got to that stage where I was kind of burnt out on Ironman, I was burnt out on Spartan Racing, even though I had races lined up and I had these external goals, just I was not motivated by them. And, I've read that book in that chapter of the book about releasing your identity as an athlete and the pain that that involves and some of the hesitation of what's next in life because this is the language I've spoken and how I've lived for the last 20 years or sometimes longer, how I make that transition.
And, a few things that helped me out was first I watched my wife as a professional runner, top Idaho miler, and cross country athlete, ran track and field through University of Idaho. And, I watched her just gradually give herself the permission to not run and begin to hike and garden and do yoga and take up the sport of tennis. And, I watched how happy she was with not having that necessity to crush herself in competition anymore even though unlike Grant her career, her paycheck didn't depend on us, that probably eased the transition a little bit. But, I watched her give herself the permission to just move on to the next chapter in her life and release the athlete identity as a mask and not have that be something that she clutched to as the way that the world judged her or accepted her.
I watched her do that, and I thought, “Gosh, if she did it, I can do this.” What if I tell myself, “Hey, I don't have to swim, bike, run every week. I don't have to go make every workout a soul crushing routine.” And, what if I skip workout today and go play pickleball? Or, what if I don't do leg day and I go hit the tennis ball with my kids instead? And, what if music and playing the guitar doesn't have to be something I feel guilty doing because I'm not burning calories or exercising or making my body better or preparing for a competition, but I'm doing it because it's just part of being a human being, enjoying life and vibratory frequencies and music on an amazing planet? And, what if I spend an extra hour cooking dinner tonight and watching YouTube video to learn a new technique like sous vide or smoking? And, what if I just decide I'm going to go on a nature hike but do it slow and stop and pick some fruit or smell some flowers or sit on a rock and look at the clouds? I think a lot of athletes are afraid once they start to fizzle out. Let's say you truly are fizzling out, Grant. Again, let's say it's not physiological because again we can have a whole hour discussion about that's what I do a lot of times with people. I'll consult with them, we'll figure out all of their blood work and everything, all the little micronutrients they might be deficient in or things from a physiological standpoint that could be causing low energy.
But, let's just say it is time for a new chapter and it is time for someone to rise up and take your place. Well, I think the key factor for me was finding things that brought me happiness and fulfillment besides exercise and besides sporting and besides competition. The problem is if you've been an athlete for a really long time or you've been a fitness enthusiast or an exercise junkie for really long time, you almost forget how many other things are super pleasurable and fun and you also forget that at the end of the day and again, Grant, this is in full respect, but I had to google your name, okay? And, I'll bet that even sometimes if I saw you pitching on TV, I wouldn't pay that much attention to what your name was as much as just watching the game. I think a lot of times as athletes, we think more people are paying attention than there actually are. We think that more people are expecting stuff of us than they actually are, and that the harshest judge of ourselves is ourselves.
And, once you realize, oh wait, and there's another great book about this called “The Gap versus the Gain” by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy, the expectations I'm setting for myself have brought me into this pattern of unhappiness simply because I've set expectations that really aren't the right expectations for me anymore. And, once you wake up and you're like, “My expectation of myself is not to be on the squad or the roster next year and start and do a two-hour workout today, my expectation of myself is to learn piano and workout for half-hour today and go on a hike and work on this business. Maybe I'm drawing amazing art and starting a store on Threadless or whatever and beginning to sell merch.
Once you start to give yourself permission, just be like, “Oh, this is the next chapter in my life and there's so many other cool things in life that I haven't yet tapped into.” You get this resurgence of energy. This resurgence of purpose and this resurgence of enjoyment that exercise or being an athlete no longer offers to you. And, I'm not saying you have to do that, but I'm saying my gut response to your question is that from my own personal experience giving yourself permission to do that and then opening yourself up to all the other things that the wide world has to offer can be really cool and really fun and really fulfilling.
So, that's what I would think about. What do you think, Jay?
Jay: Spoken like a true psychologist there, Ben. I like it.
Ben: Oh, thanks.
Jay: I think we've been taking some note. One of the things it's really interesting, Grant. I mean, I've worked as a sports psychologist for a long time, and the one thing that I always come back to is this idea of is your motivation, is your energy systemically gone down? So, it's in every area of life. Or, is it to certain and specific things? Especially the thing that we're talking about, which could be athletics, could be sports. I mean, it could be your identity as an athlete.
If it's systemic, then that's where we can get into like Ben said, an hour, two-hour, three-hour discussion. Or, we could even look to say, “Well, is this kind of a sign that life for me is feeling a little bit hopeless, a little bit helpless, am I feeling a little bit depressed because I don't have the energy or motivation really to do anything, it's just kind of impacting everything.” Or, if it's this one thing that we're referring to. And, if that's the case, well, then now we're saying, “Am I living a life that is congruent with my value system, with my aspirations, with my passion and meaning and purpose?” And, if that is the key component and if that's the thing that's not there and you can't in good conscience look in the mirror and say, “Yeah, I'm living a life that's in line with my values, my aspirations, truly in line with my values, my aspirations, my meaning of my purpose,” well, that's when it's time to say, “Okay, are there other avenues now that I can pursue?”
To your point Ben, athletes have so much wrapped up in this identity of who they are, what others perceive them as. And, if they move away from that, then they won't know how to deal with themselves or perceive themselves, they won't know how others are going to perceive them. Are they going to say, “Oh, this is a person who just gives up? They have no grit. They have no perseverance.” You fill in the blank. When you look back at your track record and say, “Dude, I did something that 0.0001% of the population has done. And so, therefore maybe the self-talk that I have and this lack of energy and motivation that's tied with it is probably not warranted.” But, the last thing that you want to do is continue to have yourself in something that is not bringing you a sense of joy, value, meaning, and purpose. And, that would be kind of what I would say. I don't like to give people direction and say “Jump out of one thing because I don't think it's right for you,” you have to be the one that is saying that.
And then, you also have to just be the one to make the assessment and say, “Again, is it this one thing in life that I'm not finding energy and motivation, and my adrenaline's not pumping for anymore? Or, is it an error every area of life?” Because I think that those are two different questions with two different resolutions. And, if we had a couple hours, we could dig into them, but since we don't, now is the time for self-exploration.
Ben: I hope that's helpful, Grant, and I hope that based on our answer, we didn't just lose the L.A. squad and amazing pitcher because you just walk into your coach's office today and say, “Hey, Ben said I should hang up the hat.” So, just some things to think about.
Sometimes I wish these Twitter Q&As we had the opportunity to go back and forth and back and forth with the guests, but that's not the way we structure them currently. However, I hope that's helpful Grant. And, to everybody else on Twitter, I'm super grateful that you joined us. And again, we do this a couple times a month so I'll always put it out on Twitter at Twitter.com/BenGreenfield. And, also to the free newsletter, BenGreenfieldLife.com for anybody who wants to join us. I'll put all the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/446.
Sometimes we'll read a testimonial or review for the show and give something away, but unfortunately, I have a really important phone call in about 10 minutes. I don't even have time for that. What I can tell you is if you enjoy this, if you want to just pay it forward a little bit, then go leave the podcast to review. Say something nice about it, wherever you listen to it, it takes two minutes. A lot of people forget to do that, but it really does mean a lot to me, and to Jay, and to the entire podcast team. It just helps us kind of keep the fire burning on our end. So, if you're able to go, leave a review, say something nice, subscribe, whatever it is that you feel led to do to help us out. That's kept me going for the past 16 years of podcasting, however many years it is, I lose track. But, that's kind of the lifeblood of the podcast is your reviews and your rankings and your subscription. So, help some brothers out and do that.
And gosh, Jay, I think that's about it, man. I feel good about this podcast. How about you?
Jay: That's it, man. It's always a blast. Have fun chatting with you, man.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
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