Introduction: In this podcast episode: combining something called the Beach Body Insanity Workout with endurance training, should you wait until you’re thirsty to drink? Something called forscolin for fat loss, half Ironman nutrition, staying warm during cold water swims, energy bars for appetite control and a very cool phone feature from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, it’s Ben Greenfield and today we are going to have a fitness and nutrition Q and A, along with a very cool announcement about some features I’m offering you to your phone but the reason that we actually won’t have a featured topic today is because the featured topic was released earlier this week in a special midweek update with Chef Todd Moore, who I promised you I was going to get on a video podcast and I did. Chef Todd and I sat for about 45 minutes or so and chatted about cooking method and how it could really be used to enhance your nutrition, help you to make smarter, healthier meals and really kind of wean you off of recipe books and teach you how to make inventive recipes out of healthy food. Especially for the people who are maybe afraid of being in the kitchen or just need to expand their nutritional horizons. So I did get a couple of comments on that post that some people had trouble with the audio on the video. If you subscribe to the iTunes podcast, the video did come through on that just fine. So make sure that you’re subscribed to the iTunes podcast if you’re not already and then I also have updated that video so if you download it now to your computer you can watch it and it will work just fine if you want to download it to watch it later. For example, you’re not connected to the Internet and then you also have access to the audio version on that same post. So check out this week’s midweek special update because it really contains a lot of good information from Chef Todd and also check out the new promo video that comes right before this podcast, podcast number 87 where Chef Todd tells you even more about what his web cooking classes are all about. So we’re going to have just a couple of special announcements and then move straight forward into this week’s Listener Q and A.
Ben: Remember if you have a question for the www.bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast, you can just email [email protected]. You can call to 8772099439 or you can Skype to Pacific Fit. So the first question here is from listener Kelly.
Kelly asks: I know that you appreciate my questions so here goes. I have a couple of girlfriends doing the Beach Body Insanity Workout and they are trying to get me on board. I was thinking no way since I’m training for a marathon. But as I started thinking more, perhaps it’s fine to supplement with my running program. What do you think or what do you know about this program?
Ben answers: Alright, so Beach Body Insanity Workout. If you’ve heard of P9X, if you’ve heard about any of these kind of metabolic resistance training workouts, CD sets, high calorie burning type of interval routines, this falls into that category. They claim that you can burn up to 1000 calories in an hour – most people I know, including myself, need to working at about a 10 on a scale of one to 10 in order to do that. But it’s a lot of maximum heart rate, total body type of interval workouts. And don’t get me wrong, all that is great for getting into shape. However, if you’re trying to combine that with an endurance training workout, you’re going to be looking at overtraining and you’re going to be looking at reduced quality of your endurance based workouts unless you really moderate the extent to which you’re doing these other workouts that are designed to completely destroy you. So my recommendation is that if you’re going to incorporate something like Beach Body Insanity Workouts into your training that you not overdo it, that you not be doing them every day. I would recommend no more than three times a week that you do these workouts, that you not do them seven days a week and that you make sure that you properly recover after each one and preferably prioritize any type of marathon style training that you’re doing to get you ready for a race before you hop into these high intensity intervals that will get you into shape but may also detract from the quality of your other workouts. Especially if your marathon based workouts are also including intervals and speed work and all the things that they should to make you a better marathoner. So yeah, you can combine the Beach Body Insanity Workout with the endurance training. You’d probably get some benefit from doing so, but you would just not want to go six days a week or seven days a week on something like this. I would moderate it at least 48 hours between these workouts. And you should be good to go with that. So great question.
David asks: My wife does not drink enough water. She admits to this as well and fails to drink water from a lack of thirst. She has a history of kidney stones and so her need to drink more water is evident. Her dad, who I bike with regularly, also does not drink much water. He hardly ever brings two bottles on a ride even when the ride exceeds 50 miles. Do some people just not get thirsty? Can this be healthy and can there possibly be an underlying reason for their lack of thirst? If so, would you have any methods to re-thirst and re-hydrate, perhaps?
Ben answers: It’s a great question. There are some people that do not tend to get thirsty quite as easily. But there has been some research done on the link between thirst and dehydration and what happens is that in most cases once you’ve lost about 2% body weight, that’s when you start to get thirsty. Because at that point, what happens is the actual water content of your blood has dropped down to a low enough point where the salt concentration of your blood is high and that sends a message to the thirst center in your brain that tells you to drink. Now I suppose – even though I haven’t seen any research to back this up that it’s possible that maybe some people’s thirst centers in their brain aren’t quite as responsive as others, but what it ultimately comes down to is that you shouldn’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Ideally during most forms of exercise, you should be taking in the equivalent of 1 bottle of water per hour. Now in the case of your dad and your wife, I suppose it’s possible that they are perspiring a little less heavily. It is possible that they are perhaps very thin and are not actually working quite as hard of it’s possible that they’re maintaining their body temperature a little bit better because they have more body fat and more water storage in that body fat. There’s a host of issues here that could be at play if they’re not getting thirsty, but ultimately what it comes down to is they shouldn’t be waiting until they’re thirsty anyways to drink. And they should be consuming close that bottle of water while they’re exercising every hour. So if they’re looking for enhancing anything from speed, which relies on proper hydration because your speed is going to drop by a certain percentage for every percentage of body weight lost, or if they are focusing on fat burning – which requires a water molecule for the beta oxidation process of fat burning to occur – either of those benefits are going to be diminished if they’re not drinking water. So you can come at it from that standpoint. Say, “Hey if you’re not thirsty you should at least know you’re not going to burn as much fat and you’re not going to be able to go as fat and so you’re not going to get as much benefit out of this ride.” So a good comparison to draw would be you get a ton of benefit out of consuming branch chain amino acids while you’re out there but your muscles aren’t getting sore necessarily and telling you that you need them. You just take them because it’s good for you. Co-enzyme Q 10, same thing. It’s great for the mitochondria. You’re not going to actually have some mechanism necessarily that kicks in and tells you to eat them because you’re getting slower, but you just consume that supplement because you know that it’s good for you. So take that approach with the water and that’s my recommendation. Great question.
Chuck asks: Can you help me figure my race day nutrition for the half Ironman when the race gets closer?
Ben answers: I can help you figure that out right now Chuck. Half Ironman nutrition is a little bit tricky because you’re going faster than you’re going in an Ironman and so you do want to eat a little bit less especially during the run and there are some pro-triathletes that don’t eat anything at all during the run on a half Ironman just because they’re running that half marathon so fast that all they have time to do is grab a little bit of water and they don’t want to actually slow themselves down by fueling. Now granted they’re running anywhere from 1:10s up to 1:18s and a lot of us are out there an hour and a half, two hours, over two hours. So we definitely do need to consume some food. My rule of thumb for the half Ironman is that you really take care of yourself nutritionally on the bike so you can get away with eating a little less on the run. So in most guys, Chuck, that means that you’re taking in anywhere from 300 to 400 calories an hour during the half Ironman bike and you’re starting to taper of that caloric consumption when you get about 20 minutes from getting off the bike and getting ready to run. What I do during the run is I fuel pretty minimally. I get down about 50 calories every half hour. Just barely enough to keep myself going so I can maintain as much speed during that half Ironman as possible without actually bonking from completely depleting my glycogen levels. So the idea is you fuel very well on the bike and you don’t fuel quite as much on the run. So 300 to 400 calories an hour on the bike, right around 100 calories an hour on the run. If your hands start to get tingly and you’re getting dizzy and you’re feeling yourself start to bonk, then you definitely want to take in more than that on the run. But practice a few of the half marathons off the bike – or half marathon pacing off the bike – so you can see how much you can actually eat and get away with keeping the speed up. In most cases if you’re getting over 150 calories an hour, it starts to get tough to really maintain speed. Because you’re shunting so much speed into the gut to help digest that food. For the swim, when you’re coming out of a swim, yeah you can take a gel and a couple of electrolyte pills in transition. You do lose a little bit of calories and salt while you’re out there. But it’s not completely necessary. It really depends on how fast you are. If you’re planning on doing anywhere from five and a half hours to under, you can get most of your fueling done on the bike. So I hope that broadly answers your question and of course I do a lot more specific nutrition consulting if you want like a full on half Ironman plan – we can do something like that. But that’s kind of the basic overview of what you’d be looking at. And then a follow-up question from Chuck. He’s doing the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon in May.
Chuck asks: The water temperature is going to be about 54 degrees for the 1 ½ mile swim. Besides my wetsuit are there any other thing is can do to not freeze to death in the water? I’ve heard wearing a second swim cap might help.
Ben answers: Yeah you could wear one of the neoprene swim caps. Technically if you wear one of those – for example Blue 70 makes one – you don’t need two. One of those is enough to keep your head warm. You definitely want to wear the full length wetsuit. You want to wear the gloves and the booties. They make the neoprene gloves and the booties that can go along with your wetsuit. But then the other thing that you can do and this is something I’ve talked about before, is you can use a muscle warming cream or a muscle warming rub to actually bring a little bit of blood flow to the extremities to keep you warm. This is a strategy that I’ve used before. There’s one made by a company called Greyhound and I’ve reviewed it before at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com if you go there and do a search for “Greyhound muscle warm.” They actually make this rub-on. It’s like a deodorant stick and you put it in the places you want to keep warm during the swim. Particularly the shoulders, the arms and the extremities – the legs. It helps out quite a bit. It has things like cayenne pepper in it, some essential oils that bring blood flow to the surface of the body. Definitely make sure that you do not touch any sensitive areas of your body such as your eyes or your lips or your crotch after you put this stuff on because it does burn. Also make sure you don’t touch your goggles after you put it on because it’s fat and oil based and it’ll smear your goggles. But that stuff helps out quite a bit. That’s a great question.
Okay, we have a special announcement because listener Rick asked a question – I thought it was a great question because we haven’t talked about it much before, but Rick has actually won a free month of membership to my Body Transformation Club for asking this question. So every week I am going to be giving away a free membership to the Body Transformation Club to the best question and if you want to claim that free membership that you won, just shoot me an email and I’ll actually give you the code that’s going to allow you to sign up for the Body Transformation Club and get that first month 100% free. So email me Rick if you want that, and that’s open to US customers only. I will still answer questions from international people but the Body Transformation Club, because it’s mailed in the US and I’m paying postage for all that, we can’t actually do it internationally. Not for $7 a month because it’s just too good of a deal and I really can’t jack up the price just to justify postage to international customers. So let’s get on to Rick’s question.
Rick asks: I have gained valued information from your podcast, thanks. I’ve heard many good things about forscolin. What do you know about it? Do you recommend supplementing a training regimen with this herb? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Ben answers: Okay, so here’s the deal Rick. Forscolin is actually a plant extract and the way that it works is that when your muscles contract one of the elements that’s necessary in the cascade of chemical signals to actually help your muscle contract and help your muscle cells signal to one another is something called CAMP. Or C-AMP. There’s an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase that actually activates the C-AMP. And the idea behind taking the forscolin is that it actually enhances or speeds up the activity of that enzyme. That’s the way that a lot of sports performance aids and fat burners and thing like that work – is they speed up the activity of enzymes that are responsible for activating certain reactions. It’s the way a lot of drugs work too. You either turn off the activity of an enzyme by decreasing its prevalence or its speed, or else you speed up the activity of an enzyme by stimulating it. So the idea behind forscolin is that it would actually assist you with intra-muscular cellular signaling and so it would be beneficial if you are for example combining your healthy nutrition and a fat loss protocol with something like resistance training or weightlifting. That’s where you would use something like that. I wouldn’t encourage you to take something like it if you’re not exercising at all just because you’re probably not going to be using it to its greatest benefit, but it has been used in muscle building and bodybuilding for a long time. It’s not a bulk you up type of supplement, it just helps you to build a little more lean muscle and keeps your lean muscle a little bit more responsive during exercise. One of the 1-2 combos that I recommend to my clients for fat loss actually has the forscolin in it. It’s called Lean Factor, and the Lean Factor – actually one of its primary compounds is that forscolin. So if you’re doing weightlifting and resistance training, yeah I would definitely check it out. So I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes to this podcast.
Patrick asks: Hey Ben, I wanted to ask you about a very popular brand of nutritional product that I see being sold at many stores and greatly displayed at a triathlon last weekend. The company is called Pacific Health Labs and they have a popular product that has been around for years. Endurox R4 and Accelerade. They also have a gel called Excel Gel and an energy bar that promotes appetite control. What are your thoughts on these products and how come you don’t suggest using these products in training?
Ben answers: Okay, well let’s tackle – well basically the whole idea behind the Pacific Health Labs is they were one of the first labs to put protein into their gels. So, the idea is that in studies a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein has been shown to help out with recovery and performance a little bit. So, the Excel Gel has actually put this formula into their gels, and we’ll talk about this energy bar in a second. But when you look at the label for the Excel Gel gels, what you’re getting is water, maltodextrin – that’s the dextrin blend – high fructose corn syrup, whey protein concentrate, salt, monopotassium phosphate, citric acid, malic acid, artificial flavor, ascorbic acid, vitamin E acetate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate as a preservative and then FDC red number 40. Now I don’t have any issue at all with the whole idea of consuming proteins along with carbohydrates in a gel. For most people a branch chain amino acid source of protein is actually going to be a little bit better than the whole whey protein that they’re using in the Excel Gel product. So I’m not a fan of the type of protein that they’ve chosen and the other issue is yeah, they’re using high fructose corn syrup. I’m sure you picked that up. Not a huge fan of that, and how the liver actually treats that in terms of propensity to actually store it as fat. And then they’ve got the sodium benzoate in there and the FDC red 40. Again potential – they’re chemicals, they’re preservatives and chemicals and I try and stay away from those as much as possible. The protein carb blend that I roll with – just because it doesn’t have some of these issues is the Roctane made by a company called GU. And the science behind the Excel Gel is good. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m not a huge fan of some of their ingredients. So I’d recommend you go for the GU Roctane. Another good brand, Hammer Gel has a good brand out there. I think they’ve got proteins in their gel now as well. So I would recommend those over this product. And then if you go to the energy bar that you’re talking about. It’s called a Forze GPS bar and it’s kind of a new bar that they’ve come out with and the claim by Pacific Health Laboratories is that they use a patented blend of fats, proteins and calcium plus fiber to activate the body’s natural appetite control signal. So they’ve got four flavors – chocolate peanut butter, cranberry nut, chocolate decadence and caramel chocolate. So, let’s go ahead and check out the ingredients on these bars. The first ingredient is granola which is made out of rolled oats, sucrose, canola oil, honey and molasses. And then soy nuggets made out of soy protein isolate, tapioca starch and salt, dried cranberries with added sucrose and sunflower oil, inulin – that’s where they’re getting their fiber – completely nutrient empty fiber but it’s fiber, rice syrup, glycerine, sunflower oil, agave syrup which we have talked about before in this podcast, very high in fructose – almost 90% fructose, agave syrup is, almost equivalent to a high fructose corn syrup, milk protein isolate, sunflower seeds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, fructose, dicalcium phosphates. Threw a vitamin profile in there, looks like vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acids. So they’ve got some vitamins as well. That’s the cranberry nut flavor. Pretty mixed feelings on this. You’re getting a lot of wheat products or oat products. I don’t know whether those are non-GMO or GMO. You’re getting a lot of sugar, a lot of the high Omega 6 content, free radical content, vegetable oils. You’ve got the soy in there. There’s quite a few red flags on this bar. Yeah they threw fiber in there so they could claim that it’s going to control your appetite, but I mean man there are so many other things in there that are going to stimulate your appetite and do some metabolic damage. Let me throw this out in comparison to you because here’s one that I use. It’s called the CocoChia bar and its ingredients are organic coconut, whole chia seeds, organic almond butter, xylitol, probiotics, organic agave syrup – again you get that fructose in there, non GMO brown rice syrup or brown rice protein. Sorry. Acacia gum, organic chocolate liqueur, organic cocoa and a grapefruit seed extract. So, again still getting some of the sweetness and still getting some of that sugar that you’re pretty much going to get in just about any bar. But a lot more of the either medium chain triglycerides based fats or the plant-based fats that are a little bit lower in the Omega 6 content. Plus a lot less of the preservatives and a lot less of the sugar sources in something like this. I’ve actually had the GPS bars. I’ve had this before and I can guarantee that the CocoChia bars satisfy my appetite a lot better. I mean a lot of times when I’m trying out all these products – it’s kind of a fun job I have, huh? Eating energy bars and figuring out which ones work. When I find the one that works for me, I mean I put it up on the Web site, I make it available to you guys. So I’ll put a link to that on the Shownotes as well, Patrick. It’s a great question. And again remember if you have a question email [email protected]. You can call leave an audio to 8772099439 or you can Skype Pacific Fit and remember brand new feature – you can text the word “fitness” to 411247. That’s 411247 and you’ll automatically get on to the VIP text list and you’ll get a response back on your phone that lets you click through at your own convenience at your own time and sign up for the VIP email newsletter if you’re not a part of the newsletter yet from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. So that’s going to be our show for today. Make sure that you leave us a ranking in iTunes. That helps out the show quite a bit and also check out the videos from Chef Todd if you didn’t get a chance to watch all those last week. Of course I saw them all and I’ve actually started to incorporate a lot of these little tips that I picked up in my cooking and it’s made it a lot more fun, a lot more practical and a lot more tasty too. So until next time, this is Ben Greenfield signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week.
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