March 17, 2010
Podcast # 86 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2010/03/podcast-episode-86-find-out-whether-flax-seed-oil-actually-provides-all-the-fatty-acids-you-need/
Introduction: In this podcast episode: does flax oil actually work? What is inflammation? Exercise and beta blockers, is magnesium in your multi-vitamins toxic, hunger levels after biking, the benefits of cinnamon, when to use fins in a pool, while lamb is a good meat, when to eat sugar after exercise, crotch pain on the bicycle, swimming, asthma and much more.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, it’s Ben Greenfield and let me tell you something. If you haven’t been to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com this week, then you’re missing out on a highly entertaining series of videos by professional chef Todd Moore, who actually is producing a bunch of free videos for you to learn more about how to cook and more specifically how to cook without recipes. So the cool thing is I’ve actually convinced Dr. Todd to come on to the www.bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast but it’s not just going to be any old podcast. This is actually going to be a video podcast with Dr. Todd demonstrating cooking tips in his kitchen. Now here’s where you come in, I need you to actually let me know what you want me to ask Chef Todd to demonstrate, and the reason for that is I can’t have people on the show live during that video recording because it’ll use up a lot of bandwidth and we’ll get real choppy video but if you ask me the questions that you would like whether it be how to chop a tomato, how to skim butter to make it less fatty, how to use a knife properly – whatever you want Doctor… I keep calling him Dr. Todd – whatever you want Chef Todd to demonstrate then that is what I will ask him. So go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and leave a comment on any of the calls in the cooking video series with Chef Todd. Now in today’s podcast, we’ve got just a few special announcements. We have a Listener Q and A and then a really interesting interview with Richard Cohen from Bioletics who I called after receiving the results of my essential fatty acids test that I did at home with Bioletics. Basically, I’ve been taking a flax oil capsule. This is the first time I’ve actually found out whether or not my fatty acid levels were good or bad. You get to sit in on the call and listen in. So stay tuned.
If you have a question for the podcast and if you’re international, you can just Skype Pacific Fit. That’s Pacific like the ocean, fit like fitness at Skype. If you are domestic in the US, you can call toll free to 8772099439, or you can email [email protected]. So this week’s first question is from listener Chris.
Chris asks: I’ve heard from several people that inflammation is bad. I believe this is true but I don’t really understand what inflammation is. Could you explain that?
Ben answers: Chris has a follow up question, but let’s address the first part of his question first. To begin with, Chris, inflammation is simply a chemical response by the body to some type of invasion, some type of irritation, some type of injury – it can be anything from catching a cold to cutting your hand to even going out and working out real hard and producing some muscle tears which technically are a form of injury. So, inflammation is actually – it’s a fantastic process because it’s how the body heals itself. There’s actually a chemical cascade that occurs when you’re injured or when you’re cut or when you’re bruised or when you get a cold and it actually causes your body’s healing factors to be delivered to the site of injury. Now we don’t need to get into all the names of the different chemicals that are involved in the inflammatory process, but what happens a lot of times is some redness or some swelling can occur wherever the inflammatory process is happening because one of the parts of the inflammatory process is to build almost like a fence around the site of injury or around the site of illness so that the problem is not able to spread to the rest of the body. Because when that happens, your body can become anything from toxic to chronically inflamed to even experiencing in cases of some acute injuries something called sepsis, which is a serious problem and people die from it. So the idea is that some inflammation is good, but when inflammation spreads or becomes chronic then it’s bad because essentially it sends your body spiraling into essentially a mode that is very, very uncomfortable. Your body simply cannot function when widespread inflammation is occurring. You experience everything from fatigue to frequent illness to constant soreness to just tons of problems and eventually disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer – all these things that can result from being chronically inflamed. So the idea is that the type of inflammation that’s bad – that would be referred to as chronic inflammation – is typically going to occur when you are putting things into your body that are contributing to a net acidic state when you are consuming foods that your body might be allergic or intolerant to so it has to mount an inflammatory response against those foods, or when you’re exposing yourself to a high amount of pollutants or toxins or chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, things of that nature. So, there’s actually something called an inflammation-free diet and Monica Reinagel who’s been on the show before talking about healthy nutrition for kids – she actually did a big interview on inflammation. She’s the author of that book, and I’ll put a link to that interview in the Shownotes to that podcast, podcast number 86. So you can surf through the Shownotes and check out the link to that interview with Monica Reinegal who’s also known as the Nutrition Diva, because she’s both an opera singer and a nutritionist. But you can also take some of these tips. When you are eating your foods, try and eat foods that are going to help you fight off the inflammation that’s occurring when you’re exercising or when you’re injured or when you’re breaking down muscle or when you’re exposed to pollutants. Those types of inflammation-fighting foods would include some of the cold-water fish like salmon or herring, mackerel and anchovies – not a lot of people eat but those also are great in inflammation fighting compounds. Most seeds and nuts are real, real great for being anti-inflammatory types of foods as well as most vegetables and to a limited extent just because of the sugar content – fruits and whole grains are also good in containing the types of nutrients that can help you fight inflammation. Now what types of things would actually cause inflammation? Anything fried. So everything from doughnuts to even some baked goods that contain fried compounds. Fried meats, French fries, things of that nature. You definitely want to avoid those as you probably would be doing if you were on a sound diet anyways. A lot of fats like trans fats and saturated fats can result in inflammation. So saturated fats mean the real, real marbly cuts of beef, eating foods that are real, real high in butter or rich creamy sauces. That would be something to be real careful of. And alcohol and caffeine are also inflammatory type of foods, so you’d want to stay away from those and then as far as the food allergies – the food sensitivities go – we’ll talk about those a little bit later in this podcast, but dairy products – soy, peanuts or peanut butter, a lot of times pork or shellfish – and even tomatoes can all result in an inflammatory reaction if you happen to be allergic or intolerant to those types of foods. A couple other things you could do is make sure that you’re taking in a good amount of probiotics which you can take in capsule form if you don’t want that dairy paradox where you’re trying to get probiotics to fight the inflammation, but getting inflammation from the other things that are in the dairy. And then even some spices can help out a little bit. A turmeric is good. Always have some of that around. You can put it in soups, sandwiches, stir fry, things of that nature. Garlic and ginger are also great as well. If you’re really concerned about chronic inflammation, you can actually go get tested at the doctor. They do something called a c-reactive protein test. That’s a CRP test, it’s actually a marker of a risk for heart disease just because heart disease is highly related to inflammation. Another one that’s a little less common is called an ESR which stands for erythrocytes sedimentation rate. Your doc will be able to tell you a little bit more about that. But if you’re taking care of your body, eating smart… you really won’t have to risk as much of that chronic inflammation that really you have complete control over whether or not that occurs. It’s a little bit different than like an auto-immune disease where somebody is experiencing inflammation but has no control over it a lot of times, just because it’s a genetic factor. So great question, Chris.
Chuck asks: Lately, I’ve found myself completely unmotivated to work out. Granted, I’m still getting my workouts in but come 4 or 5 in the afternoon when I’m headed to the pool or gym after work, I feel completely exhausted. Now and then, I just end up going home and taking a nap. Are there reasons that could be adding to this lack of motivation and exhaustion such as a nutritional deficiency?
Ben answers: Well Chuck, knowing that you’ve written into the show before and that you’ve told us that you’re getting ready for – it’s either a half Ironman or Ironman triathlon – and that type of exhaustion is a pretty common complaint among people who are preparing for an athletic competition or maybe trying to lose weight and working out quite a bit. But the idea is that the later you go in the day – not only do the stresses of the day, of work, of school – whatever the case may be, start to add up and begin to slowly drain or exhaust your body; but you also get some hormonal things going on. The release – or not the release of cortisol, but kind of the slight increase in cortisol as the day kind of draws to an end, and your body is starting to go into shutdown mode. A lot of times that can happen around 4, 5, 6 in the afternoon and some of the things you can do about that would be A, try and prioritize getting your workouts done in the morning when you can prior to getting that mental and physical stress on your body. Not only does it help you get it out of the way but it actually makes you more productive and more focused later on in the day. So if you’re doing two a day workouts, pick your hardest workout, the one that’s going to be mentally the toughest one to do and get that over with in the morning. I know that kind of contradicts with some of the things I’ve talked about before in terms of trying to prioritize doing your hardest things when the body temperature is highest, just because your body temperature is not highest in the morning. But if it comes down to you just not being motivated in the afternoon or evening to work out hard because you’re not getting enough sleep or because you’re stressed out – just get the hard stuff over with in the morning. The other thing that you can do is you can artificially stimulate your central nervous system. Now, I wouldn’t recommend that you do this as you get real close to an event or race like a triathlon because then your body just gets used to being constantly stimulated. Your adrenal glands get constantly taxed, but you can pop something like one of the healthy energy drinks that we’ve talked about on this show or a little bit of black coffee. The Delta-E is one that we’ve talked about which is kind of the kick of caffeine and vitamin B. Another one would be the Tea and Chi that Roger Drummer came on and talked about a couple of weeks ago. More kind of the Chinese herb adaptogen route – either one of those – you would pop about 30 to 45 minutes prior to an exercise session to get it into your blood stream and get the kidneys producing that adrenaline to kind of wake you up. Then the other thing you can do – and this is a trick that sometimes works, is just start the workout and once you get about two to five minutes in, your body starts to produce the hormones and the endorphins that make you want to keep going and kind of make exercise a little less uncomfortable. So, try that out. Stimulate the central nervous system, get the harder stuff done within the morning. Of course make sure that you’re trying to get enough sleep. But I understand that sometimes that’s tough for a lot of people to do, and then just get a couple minutes into the workout and try it out.
Michael asks: I’m a mountain bike racer and I live in the northeast, so I have trouble training outdoors in the winter. I’m using an indoor trainer but find that when I do so for over 45 minutes, I get testicular pain. I try to stand up on the bike a lot to allow blood flow and alleviate the problem but I still get the pain. Any ideas?
Ben answers: Well, it’s a great question Michael. A lot of people experience this and you experience it more when you’re riding on an indoor bike trainer or spin bike because you tend to shift in the saddle a lot less than you do when you’re riding outdoors and having to adapt to corners and changes in elevation and things of that nature. So the first thing and most obvious thing you should look at is your bike fit. If your hips are rocking in the saddle, then your seat could be too high, putting unnecessary pressure on your crotch or what would be call your perineal area, which are all those soft tissues around your crotch. If you’re feeling more than about a 60% weight distribution on your saddle – maybe 40% of your weight you should feel on your handlebars, about 60% on your saddle – that would again be an indication that you could use a bike fit. A lot of times if the saddle is too far back then that can put unnecessary pressure on your crotch, and you’d be surprised, I’ve done hundreds of bike fits on people and I’m always amazed at how just a tiny adjustment – just a few millimeters – can make a huge change in the amount of comfort someone has on the bike. So get a bike fit professionally done if you haven’t yet. Then the other thing that you can look into is those saddles with the hole in the middle of them, as well as the noseless saddles. Those can help out quite a bit, as can if you are overweight, obese or just a very large-framed person – a saddle with a little more padding on it or even the gel padding that you place over the saddle. All of that can help, but that type of crotch pain is pretty common and sometimes even if you feel like you’re not sitting on your meat so to speak, even pressure on the inner thighs or the perineal area on either side of your genitals can actually radiate and cause pain, for example, in the testicles. Then the final thing that I would recommend is to look into getting a good pair of bike shorts with a nice thick chamois. If you’re wearing a cheap pair of shorts or even one of those triathlon shorts with the thin chamois, that can really not be what you need in order to protect your jewels. So, that being said, I think this is the first podcast that I’ve seen jewels, genitals, meat, perineal, crotch and I managed to avoid saying balls until just now. But great question and best of luck with that issue. Try out some of my suggestions.
Sarah asks: I have a question about exercise and beta blockers. For about a year, I’ve been taking a slow release beta blocker as a preventive measure against migraines. I wondered what effect this may have on my heart rate during training sessions. Both cardio and weight training, but mainly cardio workouts where more focus is placed on working in training zones according to heart rate. It is my understanding that beta blockers are used to lower blood pressure and heart rate but I’ve never been too sure about what this means for my training.
Ben answers: Well, it’s a great question Sarah, and the idea is that beta blockers are going to lower your blood pressure and lower your heart rate. That’s what they were designed to do. That’s one of the reasons why they can be prescribed for migraines because migraines can be linked to high blood pressure, but when you take them what happens is you’re unable to reach as high a heart rate as you would normally be able to reach if you were un-medicated. So what that means is if you have some heart rate zones that you’re training based off or you have some type of test that you’ve done where you’ve determined what heart rates you should be at when you’re doing your cardio exercise, say your fat burning heart rate or your maximum cardio heart rate – all those heart rates are going to change. Even a heart rate that you have calculated based on your age predicted maximum heart rate, that’s going to change as well. Everything is going to drop by 10 to 20 beats when you’re on a beta blocker. So the best way to go about figuring out how you should exercise would be when you’re on the beta blocker, to do any type of test – whether that be an exercise stress test, a metabolic test or a self-administered test on a bike where you’re just gradually increasing intensity and seeing what happens to your heart rate – do those tests when you’re on the medication. Don’t use the results of the test that was performed when you were un-medicated. So yes, they will have an effect on your exercise heart rate by decreasing the heart rate at which you’re able to work out during exercise. Then just kind of as a side note, Sarah, as far as migraines go probably the best resource that I’ve ever come across in terms of laying out some real great natural treatments for migraines would be the chapter in Dr. Caroline Dean’s book The Magnesium Miracle on migraines. She goes into some stuff that goes way beyond magnesium in terms of great suggestions for controlling migraines. I’ve had a lot of clients who’ve read that book and had wonderful success with some of her suggestions in that book. So, I have interviewed her on the podcast before. If you go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, do a search for “The Magnesium Miracle” and you’ll come up with Dr. Dean and I don’t remember if she talked about migraines during her interview or not but I’d definitely listen to some of the stuff that she has to say.
Scott asks: What is your take on magnesium stearate and stearic acid in multi-vitamins?
Ben answers: That is an awesome question because this is something that a lot of people don’t take into consideration when they’re taking a multi-vitamin capsule or pill. Basically magnesium stearate is something that shows up in a bunch of supplements and the reason for that is because some supplement companies use machines that are lubricated with essentially a magnesium stearate or stearic acid derivative. And the stearic acid is made from a hydrogenated oil and the hydrogenated oil that lubricates the machinery tends to accumulate metals. So you get these oils that are saturated with metals ending up in the pills and I read an article that Scott actually forwarded to me that suggested that this could make up as much as 5% of a 1000 milligram capsule. So, what I would do is make sure that any multi-vitamin or any supplement that you’re taking – if you’re concerned about the magnesium stearate or stearic acid toxin that could end up in them – would be to check and see that the lab that’s producing these is a certified good manufacturing practice laboratory and anything you buy that’s real, real cheap – clearance, inexpensive – I’d be careful with. I’d be careful getting supplements from some fringe corner of the super supplements outlet, versus looking into – Cosco for example – some of their multi-vitamins are a waste of money but they at least do good research on the stuff that they sell. So be careful when you’re purchasing pills and vitamins and don’t just get them from anywhere. I will absolutely vouch for the quality of anything that you find over on my coaching Web site where I also feature all the supplements I recommend to the clients and athletes that I work with. www.pacificfit.net, any of the liquid vitamins over there, any of the EnerPrime multi-vitamins or any of those capsules, I will vouch for those 100%. They’re all produced by certified good manufacturing practice laboratories and they’re high quality supplements. Yes, I will absolutely agree that they’re not the cheapest supplements on the market but man, you can at least be confident that you’re putting good stuff into your body that’s not saturated with stuff like the magnesium stearate or the stearic acid. So, great question.
Robert asks: I alternate my early morning sprint workouts between running and biking. When I run I have no problem with appetite control throughout the day, but when I bike I seem to be famished the rest of the day. I’ve tried adding a few more calories to breakfast and morning snacks as well as adding more protein and carbs with limited results. I just want to eat all day after I bike. Obviously, I’m missing something.
Ben answers: That’s an interesting question. And the idea is that when you weightlift – like when you do squats, lunges, bench press, things of that nature – when you bicycle, when you climb stairs, when you do a lot of these things that are force generating activities more than they are energy impact type of activities, you tend to use more storage muscle carbohydrate. You tend to use more glycogen. That’s the reason why you can actually cycle your diet and you can have a higher carbohydrate intake on the days that you weightlift and on the days that you bicycle. Now the reason for that is when you run, a lot of the force you produce when you’re running is simply force that you’ve collected from the ground that when you land on the ground gets stored in your tendons, ligaments and released in a spring based motion. So you’re going to tend to use a little less glycogen when you run versus when you lift or when you bike. So what I would do is really focus on higher carbohydrate intake on those days that you’re cycling. And I would also make sure that you fuel before, during and after that bike ride if you’re really experiencing appetite cravings and that you fuel with a little bit more carbohydrate. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and eat bagels and scones and biscotti and drink a bunch of OJ. You can do sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, sprouted whole grain bread, quinoa, amaranth, millet – any number of dense carbohydrates that tend to have a little bit of protein or tend to be real low in gluten and actually still have your carbohydrates and eat a healthy diet. So I would just go a little higher carbs on those bike days and especially hit the carbohydrate intake that’s a little bit less damaging to your insulin levels before, during or immediately after the workout. So I think there’s a question a little bit later in this podcast about the timing of those sessions so I’ll get to that in a second.
Joel asks: I have a question about a friend of mine who has had to give up swimming in the pool due to breathing problems which happen after a pool session. The way he describes it sounds almost like an asthmatic or an allergic type of reaction with pain and difficulty on the inhalation and shortness of breath a short while after finishing the workout. I’m just wondering if you have ever heard of such a thing happening and if it could be something as simple as some sort late onset allergy to one or more of the chemicals in this pool.
Ben answers: Joel, on the podcast before, we have talked about something called chloramines in the pool. You can go do a search at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for “swim pool chlorine chloramines” any of that. And essentially the consensus from various studies that have been done on professional to recreational swimmers is that there’s a direct correlation between the amount of time that you spend in the pool and the type of asthmatic symptoms that can occur, and the fact is that many professional swimmers and even children on swimming teams tend to have asthma symptoms due to the chloramines in the water which is basically a reaction between the chlorine and the proteins from things as simple as dead skin cells that are floating in the water creating this inflammatory response in your lungs and these asthma like symptoms, the broncho constriction or the closing down of some of the airway tubes and vessels. Now, you look at some professional swimmers and they’ve dealt with this. Grant Hackett who was the 1500 meter champion at the Olympics – that guy struggled with asthma and the only way that he’s able to do what he does is because he does use an asthma medication and a steroidal inhaler to actually keep his airways open during and after the time that he swims. Now if your friend is tending to have that type of response to the chloramines in the pool, then if they want to keep swimming this might be something they need to do. The same approach that professional swimmers take – that steroidal inhaler. Now the interesting thing and I mentioned this in the podcast that we did on swimming pools and chloramines is that when a professional swimmer finishes their career, a lot of these symptoms tend to go away. So, it’s not like your friend would have to be on a steroidal inhaler for life but maybe just on the days that they swim to actually cause a little bit of that dilation. And the other thing is that – something that we’ll talk about a little later on in the day – something that has been used before to help control asthma, to help control some of those symptoms is fish oil. So you could look into – if he’s not already – some type of Omega 3 fish oil supplementation. I’m not prescribing that as a diagnosis for disease or as a treatment for asthma. I’m just saying it has helped traditionally in some cases, people who experience that type of allergenic response in lung tissue.
Chuck asks: What is an ideal macronutrient balance for an athlete for optimum performance? Or how does it differ for someone looking to gain strength, someone training for an Olympic distance triathlon, someone training for an Ironman triathlon, etc.
Ben answers: Then he has a follow up question. We’ll address the first part of that question first. What you want to look into, Chuck, is something called nutrition periodization. And what that refers to is the fact that rather than just going with a set percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats; you actually change the percentage that you’re taking in based off of how your exercise sessions look throughout the year. So during a time if you’re doing a lot of weightlifting, a lot of sprint type of activity, a lot of things that break down the muscle tissue – you’ll generally skew a little bit more towards the carbohydrate and protein intake as you’re doing a lot more of the aerobic, easy type of efforts, you can get a little bit more of the higher fat intake, definitely a little bit lower high glycemic index or high sugar type of carbohydrate intake. You essentially adjust these things as you go throughout the training year. Now as far as a general balance? Most of the meal plans that I write out start out with anywhere from 50 to 60% carbohydrate, 20 to 30% protein, 2o to 30% fat and kind of work from there. My book “Holistic Fueling for Ironman Triathletes” changes based on whether you’re in what’s called the Base, the Build, the Taper or the Peak phase of your triathlon. But the idea is that it’s not the same throughout the entire year. So ideal balance is going to change depending on where you’re at but that 5o to 60, 2o to 30, 20 to 30 blend tends to work pretty well. And yeah, if you’re exercising you can get away with a little bit higher carbohydrate intake. I mean, heck, during race week of an Ironman triathlon – I’m on 80% carbohydrate intake, just to fill up the muscles with that extra little bit of carbs. So again depends on where you’re at in the year.
Then the follow up question.
Chuck asks: I’ve been following (speak of the devil) your Holistic Fueling for Triathletes and you often call for meals with lamb. I don’t know much about lamb but why lamb over chicken or beef? Does it have some nutritional qualities that I’m not aware of?
Ben answers: Yeah absolutely. When you’re looking at lamb, not only is it kind of a younger meat that tends to be a little bit lower in toxins or potential allergens, but there’s been a lot of studies done on something called conjugated linoleic acid, which is kind of a great anti-carcinogen, anti-oxidant, healthy fatty acid that you can take in that’s primarily found in a meat-based diet. And the meat from lambs tends to have a lot higher levels of that conjugated linoleic acid than the meat from say like a beef or a pork. Now the other thing is that lambs tend to traditionally be grass fed, and yeah you can get grass fed beef as well, but when you get lamb you’re typically not going to have as much of an issue with the grain fed type of meat that you would consume from a beef source. So grass fed animals – it’s actually about 500% more conjugated linoleic acid – that good fat that’s found in the grass fed meats – you’ve got about 400% more vitamin A, 300% more vitamin E, a ton more of the Omega 3 fatty acids, which we’ll talk about later but basically you just get – like you asked me, are there any nutritional benefits? Yeah, you just get better nutritional density from the lamb. Now there’s been some anecdotal talk about lamb being something that could be more of a hypo-allergenic meat, meaning that people tend to have less of an inflammatory response to lamb versus beef, especially a grain fed beef. I haven’t seen a lot of studies to back that up. But for example, not only in Holistic Fueling For Ironman Triathletes, but also in my book Shape 21, the idea is that you switch to a completely clean diet. You creatively are eliminating most sources of egg, wheat, in a lot of cases whey, the grain fed beef, just a ton of things that could be potential allergenic triggers that could either slow down performance or affect your ability to lose weight or maybe even make you gain fat. And the idea is that yeah, you might not be allergic to grain fed beef or have a big problem with it, you might not have a problem with dairy, you might not have a problem with wheat, but my approach with Shape 21 was basically to just totally clean up your diet. It’s like you may not need it, but it’s going to be super good for you anyways to try it out. So Shape 21 is the closest you can get to a cleanse without doing a cleanse. It’s a 21 day plan that I’ve had people go through three or four times. Some people go through it all year long and just kind of repeat and move through the various phases of the 21 days from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Works out very well. That’s the reason lamb is in that book as an alternative to chicken or beef. There’s a lot of lamb and a lot of salmon in that book actually. And I actually – I just got a shipment of Shape 21 in. We had to reorder a ton of those books. They were selling like hotcakes. I actually had a big box arrive last week full of Shape 21 books and DVDs. So here’s what I’m going to do for those of you listening in to the podcast today. I will totally write off shipping – completely free shipping for anybody that’s listening – if you want to get your hands on Shape 21, I’ll put a link in the Shownotes. I’m not going to say this or print this anywhere else, but here is the coupon code that you can use if you want totally free shipping on Shape 21. Use this. Just write it down or commit it to memory. Either one. Podcast 86. Podcast 86. That will get you free shipping on Shape 21. I’ll give you a little tip. I listen to podcasts sometimes when I’m running or when I’m bicycling or exercising. If something comes up that I want to remember then what I do is I picture it in my mind’s eye 10 times when I hear it. So I just said podcast 86. I would picture that 10 times and then keep going and then after the workout, I remember it just like that. It’s a cool little trick you can use. So alright, that’s how you can get the free shipping on Shape 21. We’re going to move on to a question from listener Melinda.
Melinda asks: Is any form of cinnamon fully beneficial or is there an advantage to using cinnamon bark versus powdered cinnamon?
Belinda asks: Cinnamon is great. It’s something – I talk about this in 100 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism – awesome for stabilizing your insulin levels and having a regulatory effect on your blood sugar levels. So for anybody who’s at risk for diabetes, who wants to control the conversion of sugar into fat, who has type 2 diabetes – cinnamon can be a great addition to your diet. There’s been studies that show that cinnamon can lower your LDL cholesterol. It can have an effect on your yeast infections in terms of medication resistant yeast infections. It can actually help control those. It can reduce the proliferation of a lot of carcinogenic cells. The leukemia cells, the lymphoma cancer cells. It can have an anti-clotting effect on the blood. There’s been studies where patients have had a reduction in arthritis pain when using cinnamon. It can be used in food to inhibit some bacterial growth or food spoilage so it’s kind of a natural food preservative. And there’s even been a study that found that when you smell it, it can boost your cognitive function or memory. Now I put a ton of cinnamon in my morning hot cereal when I do quinoa or oatmeal in the morning. I actually add cinnamon to every cup of coffee that I have whether I have coffee at a coffee shop or at home. So I use a lot of it. I actually put a recipe for Chai tea up on the podcast a few weeks ago. If you go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for “Chai tea” and that recipe uses cinnamon bark as one of the ingredients that you boil in the tea. That being said, I’m personally not aware of any studies or any information about cinnamon bark having more advantages than the cinnamon powder. The only thing I can think of is that if cinnamon powder was incredibly outdated, that you might have a problem there. But again I’m just going off a hunch. Sometimes the more natural the food is, the more fresh it is, the more potent its properties. But I can’t say for sure. Either way, cinnamon is great for you but I’m not actually sure if the powder or the bark is better. If you’re listening in to this podcast and you happen to know or you’re aware of a research study, go leave a comment on the Shownotes. Let me know and we’ll get it out in the next podcast. So great question Melissa.
Jason asks: As I get into Build 1 and Build 2 of my Triathlon Dominator plan, I’m increasing my swim time. Swimming is one of my limiters and I believe one of the reasons is my balance when rotating from left to right. Along with that, I’m going to start doing some bilateral breathing. My question is are these drills made easier by incorporating swim fins and my thought is I should use the swim fins until my body adapts to the movement and then slowly take away the fins. Is this a good use of the fins? And if not, when should fins be used?
Ben answers: That’s a great question, Jason. And you’re kind of on the right track that a lot of times when you want to get faster in the pool then you need to focus on that hip roll, on that balance from side to side. And the nice part about the fins is A, they make your legs a little more buoyant so you can worry more about focusing on the hip roll and a little bit less about focusing on the beat of your kick. The other thing that the fins do is they increase what would be called the lever arm, or the length of your leg and so it can make that hip roll a little bit more pronounced. Now, I personally use a type of fin called the Zoomer. I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes, but the Zoomer is a little bit different than like a generic fin you might find in your pool. It’s got little blades in it that actually make your legs work harder without overloading your leg muscles. And they have this size and shape that allows you to generate a force on both up phase and the down phase of your kick. So they’re really good at teaching you how to kick properly and teaching you how to kick from the hips and not kick from the knees which is actually one of the advantages of using fins. The other advantage of using fins is you swim faster so you train your body to have that turnover in the arms that’s necessary when you swim faster. They’re good for using in moderation. Now the problem with using fins is that they can sometimes make you rely on them a little bit too much and you almost feel handicapped and slow when you take them off. That’s why you don’t want to swim with fins all the time. But I personally do a lot of my kicking drills with the fins. I actually do a lot of my body rolling and rotation drills with the fins because I have a better awareness of what’s going on in my hips when I’ve got the fins on. They pretty much magnify anything that your legs and your hips do. I’ve never really felt comfortable in any fins except those Zoomers that I talked about, just because they were developed specifically for swimmers who are training, not for snorkelers. But I would look into those and yeah, you’re on the right track. You can totally use fins when you’re doing some of these kicking and body rolling exercises. Just understand that the goal is not to make you a better kicker as much as it is to make you a little bit more aware of what’s going on with your legs and give you a little bit more mind muscle ability to keep your hips extended. So, great question Jason and I hope the Triathlon Dominator plan is going well for you.
Hans asks: Hello, I read your article How Sugar Makes You Fat. I was in a class called Metabolic and it consisted of continuous squats, shoulder presses, lunges and pushups with light weights. The instructor’s parting advice was to avoid sugar or alcoholic drinks following the workout. Since your body is still burning up fuel and would use the sugar introduced to you versus using stored fat. Did I get that right? I know sugar can be converted into fat, but isn’t the post-workout period a critical time or is the post-workout period a critical time to avoid sugar? And does that mean if I went for a Gatorade or something, my body would attempt to burn the sugar from the drink before it worked on the fat thus retarding my fat loss? How long does that effect last after a workout?
Ben answers: Great question. Hans. This tends to be an area of confusion for a lot of people with the idea being that hey, if you work out and you burn a bunch of calories and you kind of deplete your body of all that circulating body sugar or all the sugar in your muscles, it’s just going to tap into the fat and turn you into a fat burning machine for a long time after the workout. But the reality is that not only do you burn fewer calories if you don’t eat during the workout, but you burn fewer calories, you recover less fully and you actually do your body a disservice when you don’t consume calories directly after the workout. This tends to be even a bigger problem in the women that I work with. I don’t know why, but they just wait and wait and wait after they work out because they love that feeling of getting hungry and maybe a little lightheaded and they must be burning so much fat. But the idea is that the cortisol and stress response and the drop in the body’s metabolism from doing something like that has a very, very negative effect on your ability to lose fat or lose weight and it also inhibits your body’s ability to recover properly. So what I preach to all my clients and people listening to this podcast or the athletes that I coach is to actually take care of your body calorically before, during and after exercise and engage in any caloric restriction apart from exercise. So you actually eat before you workout. For any workouts longer than an hour, you eat during the workout. And it’s about a 20 minute window after that workout during which your body will actually not take sugar and store it as fat but actually inject sugar into muscle to be utilized as energy for the next day’s workout, or later on. Then later on in the day, that’s when you would engage in caloric restriction. But after a workout, definitely not. As a matter of fact, I tell people, you know what if you’re going to have a Snicker’s bar, if you’re going to have M&Ms, if you’re going to have a bowl of ice cream, any of that type of stuff – it’d be best to avoid it – but if you’re going to take it in, take it in after a workout. That’s when your body is going to be most insulin sensitive and it’s going to be least damaging to your metabolism to consume those types of fuels. So, in answering your question Hans, your instructor had it totally backwards. You’re actually supposed to eat the sugar after the workout and then avoid the sugar later on in the day. So, we’re going to finish with a call-in I guess you would call it like a testimonial from listener Patrick.
Patrick says: Ben, this is Patrick from Nashville, Tennessee again. Just wanted to give you a call and let you know that I just finished my half marathon test at the end of week 12 of the Triathlon Dominator package. Just wanted to say that I got a PR by 6 minutes at that distance. Right at 6 minutes and just wanted to say I’m enjoying the plan so far. I really like that I re-test my vitals every four weeks so I get to see improvement that way. And I’d also like to say that I recently just underwent a coaching seminar where they talked a lot about training theory and just wanted to say that I kept thinking about your plan and how well it’s laid out and how correctly it’s laid out. So just wanted to give you a quick shout out, let you know how things are going. Appreciate it.
Ben: Well, thanks for the feedback Patrick. I truly appreciate it. If you’re listening in, Patrick was talking about the Triathlon Dominator. Probably the triathlon program that I wrote that I’m most proud of in terms of what it can achieve for you. So you can check that out at www.triathlondominator.com and let’s go ahead and move on to this week’s featured topic on essential fatty acids and fatty acid testing with Dr. Richard Cohen from Bioletics.
Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and you may remember that in podcast episode number 85, I mentioned that I had gotten my essential fatty acid levels tested. The results that came back appear to be a little bit disturbing. I’ve mentioned before that I’m supplementing with a flax seed oil, and I thought I was doing a pretty good job at getting my Omega 3s in, doing lots of avocados and seeds and nuts, but the Omega 3 index score that I got back is kind of down in the red warning zone of about 4.4% and not having a lot of experience in testing Omega 3 fatty acids or essential fatty acids and interpreting the results, I have on the other line the physician from Bioletics who is actually going to explain to me exactly what these numbers mean. So, Dr. Cohen, how are you doing?
Dr. Richard Cohen: I’m good, thanks. We meet again.
Ben: Good, so am I going to die?
Dr. Richard Cohen: No, not tomorrow.
Ben: Oh, thanks.
Dr. Richard Cohen: That’s the old doctor joke if someone comes in, you turn them around. It looks like they’re just coming in.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So anyways, you sent me a test up to my house. I tested it in my kitchen, a couple of blood drops, sent it back in and got this number back that said 4.4%. What’s that mean?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Okay, so what those blood drops did was they looked for the fatty acid profile in the red blood cells. There are a lot of essential fats and we don’t want to go into all of those, but the most important ones are the Omega 3 fats, the Omega 6 fats and then we also look at saturated fats and the trans fats and the mono unsaturated fats. So we actually can see percentages in your red cell of each of these. Based on lots of research, what we understand is that the higher the percentage of Omega fatty acids up to a certain point, the more beneficial it is to the body. With regard from a health perspective, there’s very good data that’s come out over the past few years that when the Omega 3 fatty acids are running between 8 and 10%, which is actually what you see in Japan, in more… where they’re eating a lot of seafood – there’s virtually no cardiac sudden death. So that cardiac sudden death with athletes seems to be enhanced with deficiencies in essential fatty acids. Not that you’re dropping tomorrow, but you’re at increased risk. Actually 4% over 8, the risk is 20 times, believe it or not. It can be that strong.
Ben: So with this risk being 20 times greater, how does that even happen biologically? If I’m low in my Omega 3 fatty acids, how is that actually happening my heart or my cardiovascular function? How would that put me at risk?
Dr. Richard Cohen: What’s happening? So, from a real simplistic point, you have increased inflammation and increased likelihood of blood clotting. That’s basically the two basic parameters. So it probably affects rhythm of the heart. The essential fats control prostaglandins which are these intra-cellular hormones which have control on vessels, rhythm, hormones and so forth. So, the lower these Omega 3 fats, the more imbalanced the prostaglandins become. We can start to look at the Omega 3 fat percentage and what we’ll also tell from the results is we get a couple of ratios. We get an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio and when we look at more paleo primitive ancestral diets, typically that ratio is anywhere from 1 to 4:1, and yours is running around 9:1. So what does that tell us? It tells us that your diet is consisting of a higher ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 than probably is idea for your body. So a lot of the nuts and seeds, while naturally okay, you’re not balancing it off with some of the end-chain fatty acids. End chain Omega 3 either from the fish oil or hemp oil or algae oils, etc. or just eating fish or seaweeds that have lots of Omega 3. Make sense?
Ben: Yeah, that makes sense.
Dr. Richard Cohen: In the conversion… you’re not getting adequate conversion of these parent chain oils.
Ben: So the issue is not necessarily that I’m not taking the oils because I am, but it’s the actual conversion of those oils?
Dr. Richard Cohen: That’s correct. And maybe you need – in your case we need to reduce some of those parent chain oils and add in some end chain fatty acids.
Ben: Explain to me what a parent chain oil is again?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Parent chain is the linoleic acid which – the base in generally the Omega 6 in sunflower and nuts and things. The majority of fats in our current diet are Omega 6 fats. I know in your case, you’re eating clean food. You’re not eating processed fats, which is if you’re eating typical American diet – you’re getting a lot of damaged Omega 6 fats. So I’m less concerned, knowing how you eat that the Omega 6, although higher than what they should be – the Omega 6 that you’re getting are still cleaner. And that’s sort of a little bit of an asterisk on this ratio for you which I know someone eating an American diet is getting a lot of processed Omega 6 fats and that would be processed oils, hydrogenated oils, cooked oils, some from fast-food chains. They’re just – they’re not healthy. They’re oxidized and they’re very damaging. The base nuts are not as problematic but your ratios – so from the 6 to 3 and then another ratio that we look at is called a arachidonic acid which is one of these prostaglandins that has a stronger inflammatory response and we look at that compared to the EPA and you’re running around 15:1, actually 16.4, which is a high inflammatory risk just based on the numbers. Again you’re probably not as… based on how you’re doing… the number probably isn’t as concerning again, if someone wasn’t eating a more balanced diet such as you are. Having said that, we definitely need to figure out a way to get your Omega 3s increased and that will make a difference. The other thing that I can tell looking at your trans fats, everyone has trans fats because it’s present in meat so you’ll get something called conjugated linoleic acid. Do you take some CLA?
Ben: No, I don’t.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Okay, anyway typically you see with people who are eating processed foods, you’ll see that ratio over 2% or if they’re eating a lot of dairy, which I don’t think you do either, correct?
Ben: Not a lot. I do probably the equivalent of half a cup to a full cup of plain fat free yoghurt a day. About that equivalent of dairy.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Fat free, right?
Ben: Fat free.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Fat free. Because your trans fats are less than 1%. That means you’re eating very little processed food. You’re probably not eating a lot of red meat right now.
Ben: Very little.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Are you eating fatted dairy? It’s like… it’s almost like the dietary fat detective. You can look at someone’s trans fatty acids and you can catch them. Because if they’ve been eating a lot of fats – either meats or processed foods – it’ll start pushing that up. And if you know they’re eating the processed foods, it will actually go higher than 1 ½ to 2%. That’s not good. So in your case .6 is very good. And just so you know, your mono unsaturated, your saturated… those are all good. It’s just you have a very high percentage of Omega 6 fats right now. About 40%. If you had less Omega 6 and a little Omega 3, all those ratios would slip really quickly.
Ben: Okay, and my question for you and I know this is something that a lot of listeners to the show are going to be kind of in the same boat is I do eat very healthy, and I do take a flax seed oil supplement and based off of these numbers, it would indicate that I am either not using the fats that I’m getting from that supplement or not converting them properly. Or else, I’m not getting enough Omega 3s in my diet from other sources, because I know I’m not on Omega 6 overload necessarily. I’m not doing a lot of Omega 6 fatty acids sources. That being the case, what would you recommend as a doctor that I do to actually get these numbers back to where they’re supposed to be or up to where they’re supposed to be?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Okay, yeah. So what do we have – and it’s a good point there – is you were looking at percentages as opposed to direct quantifying, how much… it’s really a percentage breakdown. So, even if you’re not – like you say, you’re consuming… whatever fats you’re consuming right now seems to be more of the Omega 6 quantity. From what you’re telling me, it’s not an excessive amount. So we just need to add in your case some Omega 3 sources. Some of that end chain DHA or EPA fatty acids. So, a good quality – and there are a few that I like that haven’t been molecularly distilled and damaged, you have to be careful with fish oils. Some of the Whole Foods – there are a few brands out there that I like. We’re carrying one right now. It’s sort of a continuing investigation on finding the ones that are the cleanest and the least damaged. So a good quality fish oil or for people who might be more vegetarian or don’t like fish oils, you can us algae based fatty acids now. And it’s primarily sources of DHA which is the end chain Omega 3 fat. So I would in your case, shoot for anywhere – probably about four capsules of a good quality Omega 3 fat. And I can share that with you, and about 2 grams a day.
Ben: What’s your take on having that be from a flax oil versus a fish oil source? Because that’s a pretty big debate right now.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Oh, it is a very challenging debate. I agree with you there. And literally a couple of weeks ago I spent half the week just reading on different points of view, and you can go crazy. Some people say EPA is important, some say DHA is better. Others say the parent chains – Udo Erasmus promotes the parent chain oils and there are people who talk about the benefits of that and they talk about the EPA and the potential oxidation to the cellular membranes and then you’ll have people talk about cruel oil and that’s more effectively… it is a hornet’s nest. I think my – whenever… and this is my default, whenever I get into a situation of where we start debating science, there’s two things. One, let’s look at numbers, okay? And then how did people used to eat? If we can say okay, people used to eat grass fed animals and they had EPA, DHA at a certain amount. People used to eat fish. More fish than we do now. So, I don’t think people used to eat… while there is a nice argument for the parent chain oils and I think there’s a benefit in that especially… and there’s use for that. People don’t eat tons of parent chain oils. If you went out into the wild, you wouldn’t be crushing your seeds and eating a ton of these parent chain oils. You probably would be getting some nuts and seeds – a balance right? So, some nuts and seeds, some grass fed meat and fish. Fish is either really expensive or potentially toxic so I think my default right now is that until I can be proven convincingly that there’s going to be one way that’s better. I suspect there’s… it’s really a question of balance and individualizing that for each person using these numbers as a guide. So in your case, the numbers being our guide, you need more end chains. You’ve gone with the parent chains and that seems to be keeping your ratio into what the research suggests is ideal. Does that make sense?
Ben: Yeah, it makes good sense.
Dr. Richard Cohen: So I don’t think… it wouldn’t be like, “Hey don’t go out and take eight fish oil pills” especially if you don’t know if it’s a whole food and it’s protected. That’s a whole other conversation but I wouldn’t do that either. Maybe short term someone might, but you back off. So there’s a balance there. And you could – so add some in and if some people say, well I’ll add a little krill… I’d say in your case I would just go with a good quality fish oil and then over a period of time you maybe re-check and you might… since these oils stay in the system, you could cut back and maybe say I’ll take some fish… there’s some argument for krill as well as a base. But we didn’t eat krill either.
Ben: Yeah. Well I guess what I’m thinking then is I should probably turn myself into a case study and I’ve been taking the flax oil and if I were to start taking a fish oil supplement instead and re-test, how long would you recommend I go before I re-test the essential fatty acids with the Bioletics kit?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Oh probably three to four months is sufficient.
Ben: Okay, so like a 12 week protocol of trying out the fish oil versus the flax seed oil. Not that the flax seed oil is bad for me but it basically doesn’t have my Omega 3s where they’re supposed to be at right now, or at least doesn’t have them converting as well.
Dr. Richard Cohen: For whatever reason, you’re not converting them efficiently and we could analyze that forever – particular co-factors and so forth. Let’s default back on… how you might have received fats. And even an EPA, DHA is actually – Lorraine Kerdaney had some great tables on this and wild grass that you eat, and it’ll vary. So that ratio will vary in nature as well. While there’s some suggestion that just using your body primarily using the DHA… I think a mix is good. That’s my sense. So absolutely. We’ll see how you are in 12 to 16 weeks. We’ll re-test it.
Ben: While I’ve got you on the line, I tested my vitamin D at the same time. And for those of you who are listening in, last time I tested my vitamin D was in the middle of the summer. I was out in the sun training for half Ironman triathlon, getting tons of rays and my D was pretty low. It was in the 40s, right?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Yeah, it was in the 40s, which was okay. It was not outright deficient which we’ll see occasionally under 30. But typical level you’d see from someone training out in the sun, upper 30s, low 40s. Correct. Ideally you want to be in the 60s.
Ben: And then I re-tested and that was at the same time that I did the essential fatty acids test and my numbers from re-testing – I actually didn’t get those back yet but I know you have them, and would that actually break out to be… well first real quick, I started taking the sublingual spray, about 4000 to 5000 international units a day to bump up my levels and now here we are, kind of smack dab in the middle of winter. Not getting a ton of sun, but where am I at now?
Dr. Richard Cohen: You’re up to 54. And basically, even if you’re out in the sun, it doesn’t count. You’re not going to get UVB vitamin D creating rays at all. So were you taking any D before?
Ben: Very little. I was getting like 100 to 300 here and there in a couple of supplements.
Dr. Richard Cohen: So in the sun, and that’s something you can use to gauge yourself. In the sun training a lot outside?
Ben: Mm hmm.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Not optimal. Without sun, using the 4000 I use, which I’d generally recommend I think in your case, that’s at least 1000 IUs per 25 pounds. So you’re probably a little bit low on your dosing and you’ve got up to 54.
Ben: You said 1000 IU per 25 pounds?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Approximately. You’d probably say you ideally would be maybe 3 sprays twice a day for you.
Ben: And you wouldn’t be concerned about toxicity with that level? 6000 to 7000 international units a day?
Dr. Richard Cohen: No.
Ben: Because I mean obviously for people listening in… what does the FDA recommend? Isn’t it way, way lower than that?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Right. But you have to remember that the FDA recommendations are broad based recommendations to avoid rickets which actually I have to tell you the other day, is making a comeback believe it or not.
Ben: Rickets is making a comeback?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Rickets.
Ben: Really, interesting.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Which is the outright vitamin D deficiency disease as opposed to insufficiency which is a more global issue. But it’s becoming so much a global problem that this problem is re-occurring where bones in kids are so brittle that they’re breaking. Unbelievable. But no, it’s not an issue and we know it’s not an issue because we can monitor you. And you’d have to go… to run into toxicity, you’d have to push your levels into the upper hundreds for months and months and months to have any issue. So not a problem, considering your skin will maintain up to 20,000 IUs of vitamin D on a summer day in 20 minutes… so that’s a good threshold there. So it’s not a problem and again these global recommendations are set just to avoid rickets. And that’s not even happening. Not to optimize your levels, and as we discussed optimization of performance based on the literature and research seems to be at least over 50. I think somewhere between 65 and 75 is where we’re advising people… over 70 is there’s virtually no MS. So, that’s where you start seeing some of these immunological diseases just completely disappear.
Ben: Gotcha, okay.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Yeah so…
Dr. Richard Cohen: So take it up to 6000, three sprays twice a day. And then if you’re – in a couple months you start coming into the sun, you can cut it back a little bit and maybe you stay at 3000 or 4000 at that point with the sun, and then somewhere late summer or early fall, we’ll test you again.
Ben: Right. Right.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Once you get that sense and the nice thing about the spray is its reliably dosing. You don’t have to worry about absorption. So once you’re aware of how much you’re out, you’ll say okay, maybe I need 6 to 8 in winter and I can cut back to 3 or 4 in the summer. That’s probably my guess of where you’ll be.
Ben: Okay. Well cool. Obviously some adjustments to make but I appreciate the time and the knowledge and I’m looking forward to kind of making some switches and seeing what my numbers re-test at. For those of you listening in, one of the things that Dr. Cohen and I are really going after is getting my body finely tuned enough to be able to not only qualify for but do real well at the Kona Ironman Triathlon this year. So that’s really the goal of all this nitpickiness when it comes to my performance factors.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Hey Ben, I’ve got two points to make. One is that’s exactly what we’re doing, is really the process – what we’re trying to share is fine tune yourself. Fine tune your performance. Get a sense of where you are and don’t just randomly take things. Supplement based on your needs, not based on marketing. So that’s important. And then follow up with certain parameters so you can get them dialed in. And then once you’ve done that, you’re good. That’s really the key component that is missing in the nutritional arena. That’s why it’s sort of fun.
Ben: Yeah. Cool.
Dr. Richard Cohen: I guess how are you feeling? How are you doing?
Ben: Oh yeah.
Dr. Richard Cohen: It’s more than numbers. That’s the other thing. Numbers are one thing. It’s the feedback. It’s “Hey I’m feeling good, I’m recovering, etc.” So how are you doing?
Ben: First of all the most important thing is it has been a very long time since I’ve gotten injured. I was kind of thinking about this the other day. I really haven’t gotten hurt, even though I’ve been training fairly consistently with good intensity for a long time. We’re talking like – what’s it bee now? 11, 12 months? Something like that, which for an Ironman triathlete is kind of unheard of – to really not experience any issues. So I’m not completely sure if it’s because I’ve got less inflammation going on. If it’s because I’m recovering more quickly because of better amino acid levels, better protein rebuilding, but basically I’ve experienced very little injury and that’s been the biggest thing for me. My intensity has gone up. I’ve been able to bounce back day after day with higher intensity exercise than I’ve done in the past. So those are the two main things that I’ve noticed.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Did you avoid any flus and viruses the whole… I bet you didn’t get… if you got sick it was real quick.
Ben: Yeah, I pretty much had one issue one time and that was because I did a hard workout and then went on a drinking binge for about two days. And I think that would probably make anybody a little bit sick. So, I think that was over the holidays. I don’t remember. That might have been New Year’s. But that was the only time I really felt my immune system take a hit. And then ultimately, I think the most important thing is going to be in the next couple of months here when I start racing and I start being able to compare my splits to last year’s splits.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Got it. Well that’s great. That’s exactly – what you said is exactly the goal. Nutrition and biologically balancing your body allows it to now take your training and perform at your best. You’re going to be able to push yourself. You’re going to be able to recover a little quicker and ultimately that’s going to give you the results that you’re looking for. Certainly it’s going to give you the foundation of the results and now your training can take a greater role and not keep breaking down and not feel tired and not recover.
Ben: Oh the last thing I was going to ask you for the audience is how much did that essential fatty acids test cost?
Dr. Richard Cohen: Oh gosh. I think it’s 115 alone. It may be a little less.
Ben: That covers the cost of the test to your house, the shipping, the results interpretation, that type of stuff.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Correct, correct, correct. Right. It’s part of the whole performance profile as a baseline, but that’s a newer test. We didn’t have that available when we ran the complete profile on you the first go-around.
Ben: Okay, cool. Well Dr. Cohen from Bioletics, thank you for coming on the line and looking forward to talking to you a little bit more in the future as I track my results.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Yeah, cool. We have… just working on some sort of side might be interesting. We continue to look at new things. We’re looking at a potential – we do metabolic typing. I think we’ve talked about that, but there’s a newer test out that that actually looks at some of the genetic variations. You can do a cotton swab, you can determine genetically as well what your best fuel would be. So whether you truly are a protein type or a carb type or a low fat or a high fat. So something else to add a little more science to the parameters.
Ben: Is that the one that’s based on limb length and stuff like that?
Dr. Richard Cohen: No, it actually looks at certain genome characteristics.
Ben: Really. Okay.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Yeah I’m going to be doing it – something I just stumbled across recently. And I’m going to be doing some sample testing and comparing it to our surveys so we can truly get some hard data and say, hey you know what? You really need to be eating this way and then the metabolic typing allows you to refine that even further. So yeah, sort of exciting.
Ben: Cool. I’m looking forward to hearing more about that. So, alright. Well, I guess that wraps it up. So thanks for your time and I’ll be in touch.
Dr. Richard Cohen: Thanks take care.
Ben: Okay, bye.
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net