October 6, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/qa-448/
[00:00:35] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:09] The Weather and Coffee
[00:08:47] Hot tub vs. cold pool for recovery?
[00:15:05] Easy aerobic activity can counteract some negative effects of bad sleep
[00:19:34] Effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation for Reducing Fatigue
[00:23:19] Efficacy of Alternative Forms of Creatine Supplementation
[00:30:13] Podcast Sponsors
[00:37:16] Thyroid issues?
[00:41:48] Listener Q&A
[00:42:15] What motivates you? How do you cultivate motivation?
[00:52:08] How do you manage your supplements (the cost, dosage, how they interact with each other, etc.)?
[00:58:26] Q: What is the association between maintenance of lean muscle and longevity?
[01:05:26] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life show.
Hot tub versus cold pool for recovery, shocking news on thyroid misdiagnosis, bad sleep mitigation, the latest science on creatine, and much more.
Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Let's talk about magnesium. So, magnesium is an essential mineral, [00:00:38] _____ 300 vital functions in your body, yet 60% of us are deficient. Now, I started working with this company to actually get you magnesium in a very tasty manner. There are these wellness ingestibles from a company called HigherDOSE, and I helped them develop three different products: detox drops, hydration powder, and chill chews. They're all designed to pair with the HigherDOSE Infrared Red Light and PEMF devices like their Sauna Blanket and their Infrared Face Mask and their Mat. You take this stuff, you pair it with their products and you enhance the detox, enhance the effects. You can add the detox drops to your water before workout or a sauna session. Bunch of hyper-clean ingredients binds to toxins, nice minty flavor. I love that one. I had it in my coffee this morning actually.
Then, they have the hydration powder. That's an electrolyte-rich formula. It's got magnesium, a potent blend of B vitamins, a bunch of other goodies in there specifically to support a sauna session, so you just shoot this stuff back before you go into sauna. Then, they have Chill Chews. These are magnesium gummies. You eat them at night, they help to balance your body and relax your mind. They're super good. They're low-sugar. I'll just got a handful of them. I don't know how I'm supposed to eat. The bottle probably says scrub a handful of them and go to bed and it's amazing and they taste really good.
So anyways, this company HigherDOSE done some great stuff and I've consulted with them and helped them out with their menu so to speak, so this stuff is huge thumbs up for me because I hope to help them with it. So, you go to HigherDOSE.com/Ben to get 15% off of any of their stuff today, HigherDOSE.com/Ben, or you can just use promo code BEN and that will get you 50% off.
Not to gross you out, but if you don't want to accidentally take a laxative or do an enema and have what could potentially be the worst day of your life, then listen to this. If you're currently taking a magnesium supplement, the chances are you're flushing it down the toilet. And, I mean that literally because the most common type of magnesium is actually a laxative. So, if you take it, you're literally pooping and peeing it out, which is kind of weird because 80% of the folks who are magnesium deficient could actually be making their deficiency worse by taking magnesium. I haven't heard one medical practitioner refer to what happens when you take the wrong magnesium product as “constirhea,” kind of this weird combination of constipation and diarrhea. And, a magnesium deficiency is, I mean, it's a big deal. Your metabolism suffers, you can't lose weight, your blood pressure goes up, and the worst part is your sleep suffers tremendously. You can also get constipated.
So, the solution is to not use these magnesium supplements to just drain you and drain your intestines and to instead use magnesium that's actually well absorbed. This stuff that I use is called Magnesium Breakthrough. It's seven different forms of magnesium, unique forms your body can actually absorb. And, what they're going to do is this month, the company that makes it BiOptimizers, they're getting include free bottles of their full line of digestive health products on select orders, what supplies last. So, you get free products to try to support your digestive system and then they also have the Magnesium Breakthrough which further helps your digestive system, and it's a pretty good deal if you ask me.
So, the offer is available at MagBreakthrough.com/Ben. That's M-A-G-Breakthrough.com/Ben. Same magnesium I've been using. I love it. Code BEN10 gets you 10% off of any order. No more constipation, no more diarrhea, no more poor sleep because magnesium is super-duper helpful to address all those things and many, many others. So, enjoy. MagBreakthrough.com/Ben, enter code Ben10.
Jay, what shaken baby.
Jay: Hey, man. Dude, the weather is starting to get phenomenal.
Ben: Well, there must be absolutely nothing going on, whatsoever, useful or interesting in your life if your go-to is the weather.
Jay: No, you got to listen to this. No, no, no. It actually relates to everything, Ben. Alright. And, this is going to be super random but it's amazing. So, one of the things that I did this morning, I was running outside and when I was running outside, the sky was super blue, super clear. It felt like a fall morning, like for us right now, in September, still a little bit hot in South Carolina, whatever, 62 degrees, but that's fall for us.
Jay: So, I was running, blue skies, and then I look up over my left shoulder and I was like, “What is that one single cloud?” And so, I look over and it was one cloud. And dude, it was the weirdest looking thing. The cloud looked like it was morphing. And no, I was not on psychedelics and mushrooms. So, the cloud was morphing and then I looked away from it because I was just in my own head, looked back up in the sky, and there it was again, and I was like, “This is just an oddity.” But again, it relates back to weather, it relates back to fitness, like everything, it all should make sense 100% to you, Ben, and to the listeners, because it's a completely linear story, but I just had to share it with you.
Ben: That's about the longest comment on the weather that I think I've had in quite some time. And, I don't know if I'll get those two minutes of my life back, but it's interesting and might have something to do with this oncoming — apparently, September 24th is right around the corner. There's supposed to be some big psychic crazy worldwide great reset event that will happen on that day.
Jay: On the 24th?
Ben: Yeah, I don't know anything but —
Jay: Well, you predicted that one.
Ben: I'm going to be deep in the woods hunting elk. But, if I see fighter jets or black helicopters or anything flying overhead, I'll know.
Well, your weather sounds exciting. My morning is exciting and threatening to be even more exciting. I'm hyper-caffeinated today, Jay. As you know, people send me all sorts of crazy things to try. So, my friend Mark Bell sent me his fasting gum, which is basically gum that's made of caffeine. And, there's some other things in there, I think, like apigenin and rutin and some appetite suppressants, and it tastes pretty good. And again, it's just gum with 25 milligrams of caffeine. Some other stuff just showed up at my doorstep this morning before we started to record. It says, I'm going to read the can, I've never had this before. It's Defiant nitro-infused cold brew with functional mushrooms and it's like cold brew coffee, which kind of kicks one's ass anyways, even if they're tolerant to caffeine. Yeah, so it says roasted craft coffee, lion's mane, chaga, and cordyceps, filtered and remineralized, perishable, keep refrigerated. Well, it ain't going to perish because I'm about to suck this stuff down while we're recording. If I started to turn into a motor mouth talking a million miles an hour, Jay, it's because I got 25 milligrams of caffeine in my mouth, an extra 25-milligram caffeinated piece of gum in my back pocket, and then I don't even know how much caffeine is in a cold brew. It's got to be at least 200 milligrams.
Jay: It's a lot.
Ben: Yeah, it's a lot, but it's concentrated.
Jay: Yeah, I either predict you're going to either, A, get the jitters or two, you're going to be chased by a running cloud because you're going to start having psychosis.
Ben: That could happen. The Nitro that's like some of the highest caffeine-containing. It's stronger than coffee is what I'm trying to say. Apparently, they use a ton of coffee grounds to make it, and so you get a really high caffeine content, but this process of using nitrogen gas to kind of bubble it up almost concentrates the caffeine even more. So, that's why if you drink a cold brew versus if you grab a Nitro Cold Brew, you tend to get way more caffeine. So, I'm at the tippy top of the caffeine. I suppose I probably could buy some caffeine powder on Amazon or something like that.
Jay: Yeah. You need some L-theanine or something to offset it, man, because if I had that much, I'd be so jittery. I just respond pretty heavy to caffeine.
Ben: I don't need L-theanine. I just need you talking about clouds, I'll be good.
Jay: That's right.
Ben: If you dialed in. Alright, well, this is the couple times a month where we do a giant Q&A episode. We're going to reply to some questions from our fantastic Twitter audience. The shownotes for everything we talk about are going to be a BenGreenfieldLife.com/448. If you're on Twitter with us live and you can learn how to do that if you go to Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, we'll bring you up on stage and you can ask a question if you'd like as we go along here. So, let's jump into the news flashes. Shall we, Jay?
Jay: Let's go, man.
Ben: Alright, so let's start here. I was in the hot tub this morning actually. As the weather starts to dip, I tend to be more prone after my garage workouts to hop into the hot tub versus the chilly, chilly willy cold pool. And, I've kind of pondered before, well, gosh, since the water immersion, like providing pressure against the skin, since there's some amount of blood flow involved, theoretically, could I be actually getting some benefits from hot water immersion similar to what I get from cold water immersion when it comes to fatigue or recovery, especially without all the shivers? Obviously, the cold is good if you want to burn extra calories or shut down inflammation or something of the like, but it seems as though hot water could help out a little bit also, especially for something like let's say blood flow and removal of some of the metabolites that would normally make you sore.
There was a study that came out about this, and in the past, studies have gone back and forth between hot water immersion versus cold water immersion. And, in the studies that have happened up to this point, it does appear that alternating cold water and hot water, cold contrast water, that's amazing for recovery. I have one workout that I'll do called a workout. It's like a recovery day workout where I'll go five minutes cold pool, five minutes hot tub, four cold pool, four hot tub, three-three, two-two, one-one. And man, it's one of the best ways to manage soreness, this idea of contrast water therapy.
But, this latest study wasn't looking at contrast it was just looking at, what happens if you sit in the cold versus what happens if you sit in the heat. And, what they used to measure the recovery effects with something called tensiomyography, which detects muscle skeletal, it's contractile properties like how fast your muscles contract and also your muscle stiffness with the idea being that if you could somehow get a higher score on this so-called TMG or tensiomyography, it would indicate the better recovery, like the muscles bouncing back a little bit faster and you're going to be able to get back to training more quickly.
What they found, long story short, was that the hot water immersion seemed to be just as effective as the cold water immersion at promoting muscle recovery. Now, granted again, they didn't look at some of the other things that cold might do like cause extra fat burning or improve blood glucose response the rest of the day, or a lot of these other ancillary benefits of cold that we know about, but it turns out that if you don't have access to a cold pool and you need some recovery session, the hot water can be a pretty good option, like sitting in a hot tub appears to be despite probably pretty bad for the balls and fertility as we covered I think in the last Q&A, a pretty decent option for recovery, but it's still not as good as going back and forth from the hot to the cold. So, I thought that was interesting to know about.
Jay: Did they say what degree temperature was considered there?
Ben: They didn't. I would imagine your average hot tub is 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, right around in there.
Jay: Right, so it's about right there yeah.
Ben: Lower than 102, you just don't feel it, It's kind of like, I don't know, drinking lukewarm coffee. It's just you want your coffee cold or you want it hot.
Jay: Well, at the gym I go to, we have both the option of a hot tub or a Swedish sauna. I always opt for the Swedish sauna, but I wonder if there's any, I mean, I guess that they would have to do a study comparing those two. They probably done a study comparing those two.
Ben: I suspect that the hot water is going to be better because you get what's called the hydrostatic pressure, the water against the skin, which helps you to drain a lot of those metabolites.
See, recovery it's so multifactorial. There are so many metabolic factors. You get hydrogen ions that build up in the muscle tissue. You get inorganic phosphate. You get reactive oxygen species. You have the buildup of these heat shock proteins, which a lot of people think are all great, but the fact is they do accumulate and they can't contribute to muscle fatigue. There's even one that's built up that they've looked into recently called ORM or osomucoid. And, that's another thing like a metabolic factor that builds up in muscle tissue as it gets tired. It's a protein. It's synthesized in your liver. And so, when you have elevated liver enzymes, this kind of correlates to that.
And, what it does is it basically will build up as a way to fight off fatigue, but that along with heat shock protein are reactants to fatigue. So, you have calcium, hydrogen ions, lactate, inorganic phosphates, these hosts of things that build up. And, a lot of people are under the impression that it's just the hydrogen ions kicked off from lactate that make you sore. And, other people think it's just the slight muscle tearing or the influx of calcium that makes you sore. But, there's a lot of factors. And, this dictates that if you engage in an activity that just basically drains the muscles more quickly, it's enormously, enormously helpful, and that could be, gosh, vibration platform. It can be inversion therapy. It can be hot water. It can be hot-cold contrast therapy. It can be those fancy recovery boots. So, there's a lot of options, but in the same way that, for the athletes and the clients who I work with, I have what I call the parasympathetic menu workout for the day and I just give them a whole menu. You can do cold. You can do hot. You can do massage. You can do foam roller. You can do red light therapy, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. You take your pick, but on this day, you choose two to three of those activities. And, of course, as anyone knows, if you have an easy day and you do stuff that makes blood flow on that easy day, even a walk, you just recovered so much faster. And, it turns out that that now we know, because science, that hot tub would fit into the mix there.
Jay: Nice. Yeah. Well, interesting, you might have to just mix it up a little bit with the hot tub. No one ever complains about getting in a hot tub. Like getting into cold water, it kind of just initially sucks. I mean, you feel amazing afterwards, but there's that trepidation for a lot of people like getting into a cold plunge. No one ever complains about getting into a hot tub.
Ben: There's some people who kind of like, a little of them. So, it's when you pour the bath and the bathtub water too hot, it takes a little while, and then fellas, you know what I'm saying. When you finally starts to tea bag into it and you thought it was a perfect temperature, and then once the ball hit, you're like, “Ah, I should have waited.”
Jay: Big babies.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, but you are right, cold is more difficult.
Here's another interesting one. Bad sleep. I obviously am going to have a horrific night of sleep tonight considering it's not even noon yet and I probably got 500 milligrams of caffeine in my system and the half-life. What's the half-life? I mean, even if you're a fast caffeine metabolizer, I think six or eight hours.
Jay: Six hours, yeah. Yeah, six hours.
Ben: Yeah, it's not too bad, that'll be 4:00 p.m. when it wears off. But anyways, counteracting the negative effects of bad sleep or something that we've talked about a lot before about how there are certain things like taking NAD, which helps to initiate the same cell repair processes that were supposed to occur when you were having good night of sleep and supplementing with NAD seems to stave off some of the effects of sleep deprivation. The same could be said for creatine. Creatine is another one. The same could be said for a micro napping strategy where you're taking small brief naps throughout the day on a sleep-deprived day or very brief bouts of high-intensity exercise like 5 to 10 minutes of high-intensity exercise. You could get all the way up to a smart drug like Modafinil AKA Provigil, which off label anti-narcoleptic drug, which is amazing if you have multiple days where you're just fighting lack of sleep, you're just got to push through a big work about or something like that. You still pay a little bit of a biological debt afterwards from all the fatigue that accumulates when you're taking a very strong smart drug like that.
But, this latest study actually looked at more of the chronic effects of sleep deprivation and its association with mortality or poor sleep we know, and especially accumulated poor sleep can cause things like heart disease and stroke and cancer. And so, this was a large study in which they basically studied — it was like, 380,000 plus people. They analyzed them over 11 years. And, what they found was that the people who slept poorly but still were able to achieve the equivalent of about 75 minutes of running or 150 minutes of walking per week were actually able to stave off a lot of the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, which means that, and I'm not saying this is an excuse to not sleep, what I am saying is that if you're somebody who's just like you're driven, you have a hard time sleeping, there's even a saying that a lot of the most impactful people from history were tired a lot because they just got up early and they stayed up late and they burned the candle at both ends. That's how they lived their lives. Well, I'm not a Navy SEAL, I'm going to sleep and I'm dead type of guy, or at least I don't have that mentality.
It's nice to know that if you're aerobically fit, if you're cardiovascularly fit, you can eliminate a lot of the deleterious associations of poor sleep with mortality. And then, when you know some of these other tricks, like take a little NAD, take a little caffeine, keep some Modafinil around for the real difficult days, make sure you get little bouts of high-intensity exercise in and teach yourself the micro nap or use a lot of these apps like NuCalm or the BrainTap or actually one of my favorites have been playing around with lately, the meditation app called Synctuition, S-Y-N-C-tuition. It's like plays a little journey story in your head, and in my opinion is one of the coolest ways to meditate. If you haven't yet checked out that app, you should. But, it turns out, be aerobically fit and that could really help you, especially if you know you're somebody who's just not sleeping as much as you absolutely should.
Jay: Yeah, I love it. I wonder if there is an inverted U-shaped curve here. If it's there's a sweet spot there and then too much of it, we'll start to kind of throw you in the other direction. I'm sure there is.
Ben: We know for sure. I think it's around, I forget the guy, James O'Keefe did the study on this about arterial stiffness associated with the aerobic exercise. And, it turns out that you do get a lot of diminishing returns with chronic endurance exercise if you exceed about 90 minutes per day of aerobic exercise or about 60 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise. That's where you start to build up fatigue, arterial stiffness, inflammation, ventricular hypertrophy, a lot of the stuff that dictates that. While that might be a good strategy if you're training to do an Ironman or get Uber fit, you can't synonymize that with health because there definitely is a law of diminishing returns. I don't talk about working out in your yard all day, I'm talking about banging out a two-hour long treadmill session or doing two-a-day Aerodyne workout for longer than an hour or something like that.
Jay: Yeah, and it makes sense. And, you said running for 75 minutes a week and then walking for 150. Was that right?
Ben: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Jay: Nice. Yeah, yeah.
Ben: So, that's doable.
Back to fatigue, though, and staving off fatigue. This was another interesting one that just came out recently. I wanted to highlight it. A coenzyme Q10. It's really cool. It's essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chains. It's a great antioxidant. It's been studied quite a bit, but this recent study looked into the effects of coenzyme Q10 for reducing fatigue symptoms, because I was just talking about things like NAD or creatine for staving off fatigue if you're in a sleep-deprived state.
This one looked at coenzyme Q10 and found that a daily dose of coenzyme Q10 was associated, and this is decently large set, about 600 plus participants. It was correlated with a significant reduction in fatigue, particularly a lot of the things associated with chronic fatigue. And, I think that the reason for that and that what the study authors allude to is the fact that because coenzyme Q10 does such a good job regulating mitochondrial function, and since so much of fatigue is related to poor mitochondrial function that coenzyme Q10 is just food and amazing for the mitochondria, which has a direct effect, in this case, on people who have fatigue or chronic fatigue. This is super-duper close to my heart recently because one of the highest sources of coenzyme Q10, the highest that I know of is heart like literally, just eating the heart of an animal.
I made heart for the family last night. I'm going to put the recipe out on Instagram soon. But, the problem with heart is, like with a lot of organ meats, you got to get the gamey flavor out of it and you got to tenderize it.
Ben: So, last night, I'll tell you what I did because people should know this because, yeah, heart is really high. Liver is pretty high. Liver is actually very, very high. It doesn't even still come near to heart. Fatty fish are pretty high in coenzyme Q10. Some of the fermented soy products, like miso and tempeh. Those have decent amounts of them as well. And, nuts and seeds have a little bit. Nothing comes near heart and liver honestly.
So anyways, I soaked the heart in buttermilk or kefir for a day and then I rinse it and drain it and that gets all the grainy flavor off. And then, for this one, I sous vide the heart at 165. So, if you do a water bath, 165 is a perfect temperature for most organ meats, really breaks it down nicely but doesn't get it too tough. And so, I sous vide it in a heat-safe plastic resistance sous vide bag for 12 hours in a water bath. Then, I took it out and I just threw it on the Traeger with a little bit of a rub on it and I smoked it for about two hours, took it off, and serve it up to the family with some Primal Kitchen ketchup and ranch dressing over a bed of sprouts and a little bit of fried zucchini that I made. And, oh my gosh, it's so good. That's going to have for lunch with a bunch of leftover heart.
Jay: Sounds pretty good.
Jay: Does it take out, I guess, the tenderizer? Does it really help to take out the chewiness? Because I think that's the hardest part for a lot of people is the chewiness. And, I found that if I mince it with other ground beef, it's a little bit more palatable to me. But, eating it straight up, yeah sounds good.
Ben: Yeah, it's pretty good. Sous vide is the way to go with heart. I've never had better heart, but you got to sous vide a long time, long time. Same thing with pork belly. Pork belly, you sous vide it for 12 hours, in this case at around 155 and then you finish it with the final sauté and to get it nice and crisp, or you can even just use a torch, like what you'd use for a crème brûlée. Oh, my goodness. Even an air fryer works. We have one of those big old quays in our air fryer. So, those things are so cool because you can get a fried or a nice crispy skin type of effect without any of the oil. So, there you have it.
Coenzyme Q10 to the rest. You try that one out if you deal with fatigue.
This next one, speaking of creatine, is all these different forms of creatine out there like creatine citrate and malate and ethyl ester and creatine nitrate and creatine pyruvate and magnesium creatine chelate. It's crazy. It's crazy. And, creatine is really one of the most studied molecules out there for everything from mental performance to staving off muscle loss or with age, to strength, to power, to sleep deprivation. I mean, it's an amazing molecule. But, the thing is a lot of people get the wool pulled over their eyes because none of these forms of creatine. And, this latest systematic review in The Journal of Strength Conditioning research back this up, none of them are superior despite being much higher priced than basic pure creatine monohydrate. I tell people over and over again, you don't need anything fancy, just basic creatine monohydrate powder, not liquid, alright? These energy drink companies who are putting creatine into their liquids, they're stupid because creatine degrades to creatinine within 24 hours when it's in a liquid medium. So, you don't want to premix, you just want a regular old creatine monohydrate powder, and that's literally all that you need. And, I think a lot of people will save a lot of money knowing that.
Now, that being said, you still want high-quality creatine monohydrate. I think there's this one. So, there's a brand name called Creapure. It's made in Germany. And, what they do is they supply all these other supplement companies with pure creatine monohydrate, meaning they manufacture it, they use all raw materials that have no traces of any byproducts in them. They get them tested, so it's safe for sports, so you don't become a victim of a doping list. They're vegan, they're kosher for what's that worth if everybody really wants some kosher creatine monohydrate. It exists. It's all vegan-based.
And so, I take 5 grams of Creapure literally year-round. That's actually what we use at Kion is Creapure in our creatine monohydrate, and that's basically it. It's just pure creatine and it freaking works. But, please know that you don't need fancy creatine. I think there's still people who are getting marketed this super overpriced fancy form of creatine. And again, this isn't the first study to show that creatine monohydrate is all that you really need, so just please note that to yourself if you're buying some overpriced creatine. All you need is creatine monohydrate, preferably look on the label to make sure it's what's called Creapure and you'll be good.
Jay: Yeah, there's some great marketers out there, and people, they succumb to it and they end up buying and they buy extremely expensive creatine that doesn't provide them with nearly as great of a results as the inexpensive, maybe not so sexy monohydrate. But monohydrate, especially if you use Creapure, there's a couple advantages that I found that not a lot of people talk about. The one that I would say is that if other forms of creatine, a lot of them just taste like pure ass. Like creatine ethyl ether, I took that back in the day. I don't know if it tastes any better now, but it was awful. It was drinking rocket fuel mixed with like horse piss. It was so bad. But, monohydrate is basically tasteless. And then, Creapure if you do use that, obviously with Kion's version that I use daily as well to give a plug for me, it mixes so easily and you can drink it with anything. And, if I mix it with just about anything, I don't even taste the creatine in there. I don't even know what's in there, but the results are amazing. So yeah, monohydrate for the win again.
Ben: Yeah, it's crazy. If you look at ethyl ester form of creatine, if you were to get, let's say a couple pounds of that, it cost you 40 bucks. If you did a couple pounds of creatine monohydrate, it's like 20 bucks. It's really twice the cost and it's no better. In fact, it's less better. That's the word. So anyways, choose your creatine wisely and don't overspend.
A couple other things I want to mention before we take a few questions from Twitter. The first is super cool website I found. It's called Mytavin, M-Y-T-A-V-I-N. So, here's what it does. You go to this website and it allows you to type in any medication that you're on, like amoxicillin or amphetamines or statins or anything. Once you type it in, it will pull up all of the different deficiencies from a nutrient standpoint that that particular medication might cause for you. Okay, so let's use like I'm going to go to this website, so Mytavin, M-Y-T-A-V-I-N. And, let's say I type in, a lot of healthy people don't use a ton of pharmaceuticals, metformin. A lot of people use metformin.
Jay: Metformin, yeah.
Ben: So, we type in metformin and it gives us two results. It shows three studies indicating that people who use metformin tend to be deficient in folate. And so, three studies show that it could be beneficial to supplement with folate, like a methyl tetrahydrofolate supplement if you're on metformin, and then 14 studies it says here showed that metformin causes a deficiency in vitamin B12. So, it's super useful because even if you temporarily — let's say a doctor puts you on, that's metformin obviously, so folate and B12.
Let's say your doctor puts you on amoxicillin. Okay, so amoxicillin turns out when you cook on amoxicillin, “Oh, hey, there's one thing that it significantly decreases, and that's the microflora in your gut. It says that it decreases lactobacilli with the use of amoxicillin,” which makes sense because it's an antibiotic. But now you know, okay, so if I take amoxicillin, I finish up my bout of amoxicillin, I should maybe replenish my gut with more lactobacilli. And so, that's another example.
Let's try, okay, citalopram. Well, it's a little bit more of an antidepressant, but it's also used for relaxation. Okay, so that one causes 47% increase in melatonin suppression.
Jay: Makes sense.
Ben: And then, also hyponatremia due to salt loss. So, deficiency in sodium and deficiency of melatonin. So, I'm saying, though, it's super useful. Just have this in your back pocket if you got to be on pharmaceutical because you could know what issues it might cause and then replenish accordingly. Ain't that cool?
Jay: Yeah, that's really cool. I'm surprised that this website is just coming around because this could be quite useful for anybody who just wants to research because everything has a trade-off. It doesn't matter what you put in your body, there's some level of trade-off, and especially with pharmacology, we know that side effects run rampant. Every single medication to my knowledge has some level of side effect, and one of them being how they can cause deficiency. So, this is, yeah, really cool website that I'm going to [00:30:09] _____ any medications even if I ever go on one, I know where to go.
Ben: 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.
So, you probably know that your body is mostly water, but your body is also 50% amino acids, which are the building blocks of life and proteins in our essential for health and fitness. So, no matter what you do or how you like to move or whatever you do to stay fit, amino acids are hyper essential. And, that's why this stuff called Kion Aminos is my Swiss army knife for supplementation. I drink them or just dump the powder straight into my mouth because I'm weird like that every day for energy, for muscle, for recovery. If I'm hungry, I have a scoop and they crush appetite. Amazing for supporting sleep. Even if you haven't had a big dinner, they help us support muscle gain and weight loss. I mean, over 20 years of clinical research behind these aminos. They got the highest quality ingredients, no fillers, no junk, rigorous quality testing. They taste amazing with all-natural flavors. So, if you want to naturally boost energy, build lean muscle, enhance athletic recovery, the list goes on and on. That's why I call them the Swiss army knife. You got to get Kion Aminos.
You can get 20% off of monthly deliveries and 10% off of any one-time purchase if you use my code. And, it's super simple, getKION.com/BenGreenfield. That’s getK-I-O-N.com/BenGreenfield and that'll get you hooked up with my fundamental supplement for fitness, Kion Aminos.
[00:35:26] Pharmacogenomic Testing
Have you ever heard of pharmacogenomic testing?
Jay: I have not. No.
Ben: I've gotten this done before. I forget the company I went to you. You could just google pharmacogenomic testing and probably find. I think it's, what's the lab company? LabCorp. LabCorp would be able to list on their website where you could get this. But, I did one. I forgot where I got it. Gosh, I wish I could remember. Maybe I'll find it and put in the shownotes. So, if you go to a BenGreenfieldLife/448, I'll hunt it down. But, what it tells you is your genetic propensity to be a responder or a non-responder to a host of different pharmaceutical medications or very, very similar to this, otherwise that we were just talking about.
Basically, it talks about how different medications would impact you, meaning they would be deleterious for you, you'd be a responder, a non-responder, et cetera. Oh, here's my report. It's called GetMyDNA, GetMyDNA, and it's called a pharmacogenetic report and you literally get this giant list of, oh well, maybe this medication is really good for people for certain condition like let's say anti-ADHD drug or an anticonvulsant or whatever, but for you, it might cause this type of side effect. For example, if I ever had to be put on antidepressant, I'm just randomly choosing that. It shows that I actually am basically a non-responder to almost every single one listed. But then, it says the alternative that my body would be really, really responsive to is called Effexor, then venlafaxine.
So, it's really interesting. And again, I'm not sold on using a lot of pharmaceuticals, but armed with the data from something like that website we were just talking about, the [00:37:08] _____ with a pharmacogenetic test such as the one from GetMyDNA. You can learn a lot. So, pretty cool.
Jay: Yeah, that's really cool.
Alright, let's go over one other before we turn it over to some Twitter questions. And, that's thyroid. My friend, Dr. Michael Ruscio, who has a podcast on thyroid health and gut health, he's a real expert in those areas. He just sent me a text a few days ago because he published in an Open Access journal. I believe that journal was called Nutrients. The relationship that he had found, very significant relationship between gastrointestinal health, micronutrient contents, and autoimmunity. Essentially what this paper gets into is the fact that there are a ton of misdiagnosed thyroid problems that are really related to gut dysfunction. And, that's because there are select micronutrients and vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal thyroid function. Okay, some of the biggies would be like iodine, selenium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium. Another one that kind of flies on the radar called inositol. And, any of those in deficiency or occasionally in excess can actually cause deleterious thyroid metabolism or kind of a hypothyroid condition in most cases.
Well, it turns out that some of the best ways to deplete these type of thyroid support compounds or nutrients that would be found in the body are gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome or SIBO, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, overuse of proton pump inhibitors or anti-acids and pancreatic insufficiencies like digestive enzyme insufficiencies. And so, what Michael writes about in this paper is that there are certain GI therapies that have been proven to increase nutrient absorption, namely the ones that he lists are probiotics, an elemental diet which you can look up, but that's basically a predigested protein and carbohydrate powder that gets absorbed very rapidly in the small intestine, which can help out a ton. And, people have say Crohn's or irritable bowel, even if it's a short-term administration of that diet.
Immunoglobulins. This is what you'd find in colostrum or some of these compounds that have these helpful immunoglobulin protein isolates. And, when you take care of the gut with probiotics, something like an elemental diet, and something like immunoglobulins, what happens is you get the nutrient absorption of some of these nutrients that are missing in thyroid problems like vitamin B12 and zinc and magnesium and iron, et cetera. And, you see a restoration of thyroid function without getting on thyroid meds, but by instead of paying attention to the fact that hypothyroidism is often incorrectly diagnosed or over diagnosed when in fact GI dysfunction is what's at play. GI dysfunction, Michael writes, is 45 times more common than hypothyroidism.
So, if you have thyroid issues and you haven't really gone hardcore after repairing the gut and replenishing the gut, it's definitely something you should look into doing. And, this paper just really spells it out quite well that if you have thyroid issues, go to the gut, which is very interesting too, because that has weight loss implications. Because if you have hypothyroidism, you have a lowered metabolism and a lot of people will say, “Okay, well, I need to go on thyroid or I need to exercise more, speed up my metabolism somehow” when in fact they may want to also or instead just try probiotics and elemental diet and/or immunoglobulin therapy. And, that might be the thyroid knees rather than just taking a bunch of thyroid med or thyroid precursors. Makes sense?
Jay: Yeah. I find it just so fascinating that with the advances in research in this area, we are coming to find that overall gut health just either mediates or moderates so much within our physiology. And, if it is left unattended, then we're leaving a ton on the table, we might even be missing kind of the point completely. So, this is kind of just yet another study that, yes, it's helpful for those who have suspected thyroid dysfunction, but also just in general, everybody has a thyroid, but also everybody has gut microbiome and it's just incredibly valuable, if not just imperative for us to ensure that we are doing what we can to really foster a healthy environment there. So, yeah, great study.
Ben: Yeah, I think it's fantastic. Alright, very good information to know. So, I'll link to those studies at BenGreenfieldLife.com/448.
And now, is the exciting time. While it already exciting with the 800 milligrams of caffeine circulating through my bloodstream, it's about to get even more exciting because we're going to bring on some questions from Twitter. So, here's how it works. If you have a question and you're on the Twitter Spaces right now, go and raise your hand and I'll select you. I'll bring you up, and you can ask your questions. So, who has a question that they would like answered? We've got, Eamon. Alright, Eamon, go ahead with your question.
Eamon: Hi, Ben. Thanks for taking my question. I was just wondering about motivation in your life. What still motivates you? Do you find it still very important to find motivation? And, how do you cultivate it?
Ben: Look, I don't want to kick the horse to death, but a big, big part of motivation, what in Okinawa would be called like your ikigai, your reason for getting out of bed in the morning or in Italy, your plan de vida is indeed having a purpose statement for your life, like developing a purpose statement based on what makes time go by quickly for you, what you enjoy doing when you were a kid will put a big smile on your face now, what kind of things you're good at that seem like they just come easily to you, even if they're hard for other people. There's even books like the company sloww.co, S-L-O-W-W.co has a ikigai 2.0, amazing workbook to learn a bit more about what you're good at, what you're passionate about, what your purpose is. And, that's incredible for motivation to have that purpose statement, to have that why. And, I might be preaching to the choir because I think a lot of people are aware of this. But, I think that in addition to that, let's say you have your purpose statement is a single succinct purpose statement that you've memorized and they can get you out of bed in the morning.
There's also biochemical components that are associated with motivation, particularly dopamine. Dopamine is more than just say like a feel good neurotransmitter. It's actually something that can be incredibly motivating. And, if you're deficient in dopamine because you've been overstimulating or you can read a book like, what's it called, “Dopamine Nation” about this, that you haven't really fasted from dopamine enough. It can really inhibit motivation. And, there are ways to boost dopamine levels. Some are more, I guess, straightforward, like getting a good night sleep or working out or listening to music. But, there are even supplements, like Mucuna Dopa or the company Nootopia has one called Dopa Drops. And, sometimes if you elevate dopamine with something like that, you can be incredibly motivated. You can also lower the rate at which dopamine is degraded in the synaptic cleft with some of these nootropics or smart drugs. Everybody's taking that Modafinil that I talked about earlier, that Provigil knows like you'll go the whole day just checking stuff off a checklist without stopping like a freaking semi-truck flying down the highway. It's almost too much dopamine. You kind of crash afterwards, but there's a definite biochemical component to motivation.
And then, I would say honestly, in addition to something like neurotransmitter repletion, there's nothing to amp up and flood your body with dopamine in my opinion, like the post-cold bath or post-cold soak effect that you get. And, I mean, in terms of just flipping the brain for motivation almost instantly, there's nothing quite like a cold bath in my opinion. Even though there are other ways to increase dopamine, that's definitely something to pay attention to.
And, I suppose one last thing I should mention is that the mere act of having a checklist or having a calendar or having things written down and then rewarding yourself by having checked off those things from the list is an automatic dopamine trigger in and of itself. So, checklists and checking a thing off a checklist can be a really, really good way to keep yourself motivated and you keep coming back to it each day and finishing little pieces here and there. And, that can be incredible for motivation as well. Those are just a few random things that come to mind.
Of course, Jay, you're the brain expert, you got anything you would add?
Jay: For sure. So, as a psychologist, the thing that I have spent most of my life doing is helping people find what is it that motivates them, what helps them get out of bed, what is the thing that is going to really be the purpose behind why we would change. There's something I posted on Instagram and Twitter pretty recently where I said like a lot of us in the health and wellness space, we say that we want longevity, we're doing all of this for health and wellness reasons, but mostly because we want longevity to live a longer life. And, I think that's actually not the best question to ask, I think the best question asks is, “Why do you want longevity?” And, I think what we should ask why until we cannot ask why anymore. Well, maybe I want longevity because I want to live a life of value, of meaning, and of purpose. So, I think that's a better response than I just want longevity.
Jay: But for me, when it comes to motivation, I have two things that I wanted to highlight. One would be my favorite quote in the entire world, and it's from Marcus Aurelius. So, stoic philosopher, led the Romans. And, he said here, there was a term for the Stoics used but also there's just a term in philosophy called Memento Mori, remember that you're mortal. And, the quote is that, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do, what you say.” And what you think. And, this is a moment for us to think about how short life is. And, that for me is the primary motivator. I know that life is short. I have a number of breaths on this earth, and it could be the one that I take in just a second. And so, because if I live a life with that in the back of my mind, I'm going to stay motivated to keep going because the next moment could be a moment that I leave this earth, it could be the next moment that my kids leave this earth, my wife leaves this earth, and it's very sad to think about but it's also very motivating because I want to cherish every single possible moment that I have. And so, I use that as my primary motivator.
The other thing, Ben, that I love that you talked about was that mission statement. And, one of my favorite books of all time is by a guy named Simon Sinek, it's “Start With Why.” And, it is really helping us to identify like what is our why in life? What do we want our contribution to be in life? And, how do we want that to impact ourselves, our family, and others? And, the way he kind of helps guide people throughout that book is to develop that, what you said, Ben, mission statement.
So, mine is I'm here on earth to help guide others to find daily contentment so that they can live a life of joy, peace, and hope. And, that is why I created Hanu. That is why I'm a psychologist. I want people to find just daily contentment so that they experience what true joy is, what true peace, and just have hope in regards to their overall mental well-being. So, I think that that's a huge piece of motivation is waking up every single morning and reciting to yourself what your mission statement is, what is your purpose statement, what is your value statement, and then let that guide you.
So, I know that was a mouthful, but I think that that is just a powerful way to start. Remember that you're going to die and then also remember that every day has to be congruent. You have to live a life that is congruent with your why statement.
Ben: Yeah, related to the death piece, by the way, I don't know if you saw this, I recently posted to Instagram, but I used that nifty app called FaceApp and I took a picture of myself.
Jay: Oh, I did see that.
Ben: And then, I made myself look old. Folks, go check it out if you want to. It should be one of the recent photos at Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness. But, I did this and then I printed at Kinko's on Canvas. And, the old me, I'm looking at right now, the old me is hanging on my office wall. So, when I look at that, it reminds me like time is finite. You got to have priorities. You can't just do everything in life. You got to pick those things that are going to be the most impactful. They're going to allow you to love other people the most. They're going to allow you to really pursue your passions in a way that you know is going to leave this world a better place and leave you on a deathbed with no regrets. But man, having that photo is super impactful.
And, the other thing that we've done is we have a playbook for the Greenfield family, and I'll link to my podcast within the shownotes. But, if you go listen my podcast with Rich Christiansen, we get into how to have a playbook for your family, how to create legacy, a family constitution, a family trust, a family bank. But, within that playbook, we have the entire Greenfield family's end-of-life directives. Each of us, even my 14-year-old sons, they've written out their entire memorial service, their funeral, their deathbed moments, their end-of-life directives, what they want to do if they wind up in the hospital. Everything is in there, along with my wife's directives and my directives. So, we have this practice of just basically thinking of our death, riding our obituary, having old photos of ourselves around. And, that might seem disappointing and depressing if you look at it the wrong way, but really it's empowering once you realize, “Oh, hey, I'm a Christian. I believe I'm going to live forever in new heaven, in new earth, in a new body, but at the same time for this life right here. And, I'm reminding myself of my own death, at least my death of this body that I'm in right now. It's incredibly motivating.
So, yeah, you're right. You're right, Jay, memento mori piece is pretty important.
Jay: Yeah. There's an interesting, Ben, a Japanese practice. I forgot what it was called. Michael Easter wrote about it in his book, “The Comfort Practice.” But basically, a lot of Japanese will meditate all day. Like, basically on their death. And, it sounds so depressing, but for these individuals, they talk about just how incredibly motivating and how passionate they become when they realize and remind themselves like, “Listen, this thing right now sucks, this obstacle or this barrier that's in front of me is really difficult, but I'm going to use it to help me to grow. I'm going to use it because I know that if I let it tear me down, I am taking all this precious time away from my life. And, the last thing that I want is to be on my deathbed whenever that comes, whether it's on the next breath or it's 30, 40, 50, 60 plus years down the road. I don't want to sit there and have that regret that I spent all of this time and wasted on things that really were not fruitful, were not powerful for my life.” So, I think it's just an incredibly viable thing that if people are not doing that, meditate on death. It sounds weird, but I think you'll find benefit and growth in that area.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, I agree. It's called maranasati.
Jay: That's right.
Ben: The mindfulness of death of Buddhist. It's Buddhist, but I think it's also Japanese. So, yeah, that's awesome.
Well, let's go ahead and let's take another question. If you want to raise your hand, we'll bring you up on stage here on Twitter spaces, and you can ask your question. Who do we got? Live Q&A just like the old timey radio shows. We've got Veldez Tita. And, I'm going to add you as a speaker, Veldez, in just a moment. I'm going to bring your audio up. Alright, go ahead. What you got for us, Veldez?
Veldez: Hi, Ben. Hi, Dr. Jay. Gosh, where do I start? I think I followed you, Ben, for quite a while now. Really impressed by just all the work you do and just your commitment in the health and wellness space. I read your article few weeks ago about what kinds of supplements people should take and sort of the necessity of supplements. You highlighted a number of supplements and you highlighted how chaotic it can be for want to be biohackers like me or other people in my area who want to optimize everything down to the T in terms of what to take, when to take, and just managing all these bottles and cabinets. And, I know you recommended a number of supplements, but I think there's still a challenge like I wanted to know how do you sort of manage, sort of not only how much you're spending on supplements, how much you're taking, how they're interacting with each other, like visually see all the things you use and sort of understand sort of the history and sort of track your progress based across all these supplements that you're using. So, I'm just curious.
And, Dr. Jay, feel free to take this as well. I think everyone takes supplements. So, I'm curious just really how do you manage yourselves and the supplements and your intake.
Ben: There's nobody I've ever seen that doesn't benefit from like say, well if I could name three, creatine, magnesium and a good fish oil. And, the data behind those three is incredible. So, there are certain supplements where I'm just like, yeah, for insurance, just take the ones that are really well studied, you can't go wrong. And, namely the top three for those would be creatine, magnesium, fish oil. And, if you're not eating enough protein, you could probably throw essential amino acids in the mix.
Everything else go straight to the meat of your question, a test. Not only do I track on a daily basis my heart rate variability and my sleep scores, but then I do a blood test at least four times a year. I do a gut panel at least once a year. I do a salivary hormone panel at least once a year. I do genetic tests, just like once in a lifetime. I do a urine test for hormones about once a year. And, those are a few of the biggies in a micronutrient evaluation called NutrEval once a year. And so, I test what I'm low in. This is the same thing I do for all my clients. Anybody comes in to me to be coached and who wants actual nutrition and supplementation help, we do a ton of testing beforehand to customize what the nutrition supplementation program should look like.
There are certain supplements that you're not going to show as deficient in, but that are kind of related to issues that you might have. Let's say you test with high blood glucose and high hemoglobin A1C, indicating you have some amount of glycemic variability. Well, your test is necessarily going to say, “Oh, you're deficient in Ceylon cinnamon, you're deficient in apple cider vinegar, you're deficient in bitter melon extract or something like that or berberine, but yet we know, “Okay, this is the supplement that's going to help to cover those bases.” The same might be said for testosterone. You test low in testosterone. And typically, that doesn't mean that you go take testosterone, instead it means, “Oh, well, we got to look at zinc. We got to look at boron. We got to look at magnesium. We got to look at creatine. We got to look at DHA. We got look at minerals,” and some of these factors that kind of similar to thyroid dysfunction I was talking about earlier would be things to look into replenishing from a testosterone standpoint.
I think too many people waste way too much money on supplements. Some people probably have an extra, let's say, $200 per month of supplements they're taking that they don't really even need to take because they weren't willing to fork over the cash for $1,000 in testing that if you do the math, over the course of five months, you've already wasted via spending money on unnecessary supplements what you would have spent on one test that would tell you for the next year or longer what kind of supplements you should be taking.
So, that's my approach. It's just very data-driven and then that's paired with a few things that I just know everybody benefit from. And again, that's primarily creatine and magnesium and fish oil and probably essential amino acids. So, I don't know. What would you add, Jay?
Jay: My approach is very, very similar to yours. I love the point that you make. I never thought about it that way, but it's a very valuable point that a lot of people will complain about the price that it cost to do a NutriSense. Not a NutriSense. What's it? NutrEval or do one of the test that looks for these deficiencies or looks to see how you might could supplement to help optimize health and well-being, yet they'll go out and just drop an exorbitant amount each month that compiles or compounds and adds up. So, I really like your point there.
Yeah, testing is key. I tend to be a very much a minimalist when it comes to supplements. It's funny, Ben, I take the three that you just mentioned, magnesium, I take omega 3s, and then I'll take creatine. But, the one that I add on, which is I would say limited in the summer, more in the winter would be vitamin D3. That's the only additional one that I added on to there. But, other than that, there's some things that I'll cycle in and out of. First, maybe we're helping to optimize sleep or I'm going through a struggle with that, but I just tend to rotate a lot as well. There's the four staples basically, but then I'll rotate stuff in and out. But, testing is key here. I think that it's the supplement industry, it's very easy to get caught up in all the sexy marketing and ads saying that they can help with this, this, and that, and that they have all of these studies. And, maybe that is the case, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you need it right now. So, I think that testing is imperative and not just buying everything under the sun and taking it always until you have a complete medicine cabinet that's 1,000 bucks a month even because I've heard people going pretty nuts with this stuff. It's just best to spend a little bit money up front, test it out and then take it from there.
Ben: Yeah, I agree. Alright. Well, we crushed that one. Let's do one more question. Let's do one more question. So, Jill, we're going to add you. And, Jill, go ahead and ask your question.
Jill: Hey, thanks so much. My question is I'm a pretty, pretty skinny guy around 140, 145, and trying to implement the strategies you talk about, Ben. I find it very hard to get enough protein. I really want to grow the muscle but still stay healthy. And, all the longevity stuff still very important to me. So, my question is, what's the right balance between getting enough protein and doing stuff like intermediate fasting? Is there a cost of getting this lean muscle on the account of longevity? Because taking into account that you can only absorb 40 grams of protein in a meal. So, trying to do it in two big meals, it's probably not enough. Should I do three, four meals, and then does it cost on longevity? That's what I'm trying to figure out, the balance. Thank you.
Ben: When you look at muscle maintenance and the association between maintenance of lean muscle and longevity, I think many of the people who are restricting protein as a longevity hack or A, missing out on much of the goodness of life that would be associated with say grass-fed steak or bone-in pork chops or nice roasted chicken, but then there are also basically winding up frail and, pardon the expression, like easy to kill and fragile with age because of the protein restriction. You have that one element of the long-lived person who's cold and hungry and libidoless, and then you have the other long-lived person who's just big and buff and not like hyper buff like a bodybuilder because that's a lot of extra muscle to carry and to cool, but who does have a decent amount of strength and grip strength and rugged power and functional fitness.
And, I would much, much rather see someone eat adequate amounts of protein not engage in excessive fasting and lift heavy things, than restrict calories or stick protein and have a little bit more of, I don't know, a Gandhi approach to living a long time. I just would rather be very robust and strong as I age personally. And so, because of that, even if it's a low-protein day, I get 0.5 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Now, the thing is people who do accept the fact that protein and muscle is good for you often overdo it. They don't realize that you tap out about 0.8 grams per pound for benefit even though I know a lot of people are doing 1 gram plus a pound. There's a few fringe bodybuilding studies that have shown if you're living in a gym, you can do pretty well by amping up protein intake a little bit above that 0.8 grams per pound. For the average person, most people 0.55 to 0.8 grams per pound of protein works.
Now, the absorption issue if you're doing intermittent fasting or two a day can become an issue because that might top you off as you noted Jill at 80 grams of protein if you can only absorb 40 grams at a time, and if you're looking at, let's say, trying to get 0.8 grams per pound. Well, in a case like that, then 80 grams. Let's say you weight, I don't know, 180 pounds and you find out that you should be ideally getting, I don't know, let's say about 120 grams a day of protein, well, 240-gram protein feedings leave you with 40 grams to catch up on. That's where you can throw in more digestible absorbable forms of protein during other times of the day like collagen. And, probably top two would be collagen and essential amino acids.
And so, a lot of times if I haven't reached my protein allotment for the day, and I know I'm kind of low on protein, I know, “Hey, Ben, I'm aging. I want to stave off muscle loss.” I'll do a few scoops of Kion Aminos, for example, or I'll have something collagenous, like a few scoops of gelatin or collagen or some of my homemade gelatin-infused Jell-o that I make and I'll include a recipe for that in the shownotes. But basically, I'm of the persuasion that, yeah, excessive protein restriction while being a longevity hack can result in enough muscle loss and loss in grip strength and a host of other factors associated with longevity to where it might not be the best way to extend lifespan versus lifting weights and eating adequate amounts of protein. I think the people who make the mistake are the people who eat a bunch of protein and don't move enough or don't lift enough. And, that would be the person, I don't know, like somewhat sedentary executive following an Atkins diet and eating protein, protein, protein all day long, but not really exercising or converting it, so to speak, in the muscle.
So anyways, you got anything to add, Jay?
Jay: No, man, I think you covered that one pretty well.
Ben: Yeah. Well, thank you. That was great. I appreciate all of your contribution, especially brevity, Jay.
Jay: I'm working hard today.
Ben: Working on eating a steak.
I think we should probably pull it there because we actually covered it a few interesting questions. I really appreciate everybody on Twitter and the questions that you've asked. And again, you can access all the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/448. We like to give out something nice to those of you who have left the cool review. Anywhere podcasts are found where you find this podcast, if you leave a rating, if you leave a review, it helps out the podcast tremendously. And, I love to see those reviews come in so we get a motivation, helps keep me motivated when I see your comments, your reviews, and your feedback. And so, this is the time on the show when we give something away by reading one of the top reviews of the past couple weeks. And, if you hear your review read, just e-mail me your T-shirt size, e-mail [email protected] and I'll get a cool little gift pack out to you.
So, Jay, you want to take this one away with this week's review?
Jay: Yes, sir. Got one. So, this comes from Conscious Marketing and PR. I'm giving you some marketing PR right now, Conscious Marketing and PR. Yeah. And they —
Ben: Business promo in there.
Jay: That's probably what they did. They're like, “Man, maybe you'll get on and read it.” There we go. But, they labeled this review, “Highly insightful” and says, “Listening to this podcast, you always take away valuable nuggets from each episode. I appreciate the variety of the content.” So, thank you very much for your review.
Ben: I like that. Yeah, [01:04:49] _____ kind of your thoughts on protein, Jay.
Jay: That's right. I like the way you think, Conscious Marketing and PR.
Ben: Highly effective, consciousmarketingandpr.com.org, call 800 conscious marketing. Anyways, e-mail [email protected], Mr. Conscious Marketing or Mrs. Conscious Marketing and we'll get a handy dandy gear pack out to you.
In the meantime, for everybody else, thank you so much for listening in. Thank you for all your questions. For those of you on Twitter Spaces, we love you. Doing these live are always fun. And Jay, until next time. I'll see you on the flip side.
Jay: See you next time, bud.
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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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…
- Hot tub vs. cold pool for recovery? Here's the answer: Short-term effects of two different recovery strategies on muscle contractile properties in healthy active men: A randomised cross-over study…12:41
- Easy aerobic activity can counteract some negative effects of bad sleep: Regular running can prevent early death caused by lack of sleep, study says…15:47
- Probably smart to throw in some coenzyme Q10 also: Effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation for Reducing Fatigue: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials…20:13
- The latest systematic scientific review of all the different “forms” of creatine back up what I've said for a long time: simple ol' pure creatine monohydrate works best, especially for the $: Efficacy of Alternative Forms of Creatine Supplementation on Improving Performance and Body Composition in Healthy Subjects: A Systematic Review…24:00
- Wow: you can use this thing to input any medication and see what nutrient deficiencies it causes: https://mytavin.com/…27:57
- Thyroid issues? Shockingly, a recent meta-analysis found 37% of individuals were misdiagnosed and another cohort study found 61%. One of the most ignored aspects? GI health…38:23
- Mark Bell’s Fasting Gum
- Defiant Coffee
- Vibration Platform
- Inversion therapy
- Recovery boots
- Tensiomyography (TMG) – getting a higher score on a TMG would indicate better recovery
- Ben’s parasympathetic menu workout
- Creatine Monohydrate powder
- Creatine degrades to creatinine within 24 hours
- Podcast with Jack Dell'Accio
- Pharmacogenetic testing – tests how different medications would impact you, would it be deleterious for you if you're a responder, a non-responder, etc.
- Runga: October 13th-15th, 2022 (Austin, TX). This is the one event every year that I never miss. Join my family and me to tap into your full potential over three days of fully immersive programming and therapies. Gourmet organic chef-prepared meals, live podcast recordings, and personalized health consulting make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are only fifty spots available, so claim yours today here.
- Wild Health Awake + Aware Principles: October 22nd, 2022 (Lexington, KY). Join me for a one-day intensive experience where I will guide you through a series of interactive lectures that explore purpose, meaning, and spiritual health. VIP guests will also join me on an immersive walk through nature and an intimate dinner. Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Endure: Check out Ben's latest book. A sequel to the wildly popular book Fit Soul, Endure is written and inspired by the author Ben Greenfield’s personal temptations, struggles, and failures, and informed by what he’s studied and learned along the way, will serve as a key resource and guide for that very preparation.
Check out Ben on Instagram for epic posts and photos about his morning, day, and evening routines, recipes, and much more!
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Join Ben's Facebook page for conversations with listeners and even more useful information, posts, and support!
Q: What motivates you? How do you cultivate motivation?…43:21
Ben and Jay Recommend:
- Ikigai or Plan de Vida
- Have a purpose statement for your life based on what makes time go by quickly for you
- Do what you enjoyed doing when you were a kid that still puts a big smile on your face today
- Do the kind of things you're good at that seem like they just come easily to you, even if they're hard for other people
- Dopamine Nation by Dr. Anna Lembke
- Nootopia Dopa Drops
- Cold bath
- Have a checklist or a calendar, write things down and then reward yourself
- To craft your purpose statement: I think we should ask why until we cannot ask why anymore
- Memento Mori: Remember that you are mortal – “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do, say, and think.”
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- Ben took a photo on Faceapp and chose the old/aging filter, had it printed and hung on his wall to remind him that time is finite
- Podcast with Rich Christiansen of the Legado Family Founder
- The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter
Q: How do you manage your supplements (the cost, dosage, how they interact with each other, etc.)?…53:38
Ben and Jay Recommend:
- Everybody benefits from creatine, magnesium, a good fish oil, and some amino acids
- Ben Greenfield’s Ultimate Supplement Guide: My Top 13 Must-Take Supplements, Supplement Timing, Dosing & More!
- In terms of tracking:
- Ben has his clients do tests before supplementation
- Too many people waste way too much money on supplements that they don't really need because they weren't willing to fork over $1,000 for testing
Q: What is the association between maintenance of lean muscle and longevity?…59:41
Ben and Jay Recommend:
- Restricting protein as a longevity hack, missing out on much of the goodness of life
- You can do pretty well by amping up protein intake a little bit above 0.8 grams per pound for the average person; for most people 0.55 to 0.8 grams per pound of protein works
- Absorption when doing intermittent fasting or two a day can become an issue
- Add digestible, absorbable forms of protein during other times of the day, like collagen and essential amino acids
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ARX: Whether your goals are bigger muscles, increased strength, stronger bones, or just to look good in a bathing suit, ARX can help you achieve all of these and more but do so in a fraction of the time it would take compared to traditional equipment. Go to arxfit.com/ben to check it out!
Essentia: Essentia organic mattresses are the only mattress to score best on eliminating all sleep-interrupting stimulants. Experience Essentia for yourself and save an additional $100 on your mattress purchase using code BENVIP at myessentia.com/bengreenfield.
Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Go to getkion.com/bengreenfield to receive 20% off on monthly deliveries and 10% on one-time purchases.