June 10, 2010
Introduction: In this podcast episode: can you exercise hard if you have diabetes? How to look good naked, how much sodium is acceptable for fit people, how fast do multivitamins digest? Is egg protein okay? Is it better to run after a bike ride or later in the day? What’s the best swim workout? What happens if you don’t eat after a workout? How to get dressed during a triathlon, a drink called Eiro, caffeine capsules, a supplement called DMSO and what to do about a pear-shaped figure.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, what’s up? It’s Ben Greenfield coming at you once again. I am back from Hawaii where I did a half Ironman down there and am celebrating because I qualified for the World Championships in Ironman Triathlon. So there you go. If you’re listening to this podcast you don’t have to be a professional triathlete or an Ironman triathlete or even a triathlete at all. This podcast is designed for people who want to get fit, for people who are interested in sports, sports science, nutrition, and everything that has to do with all the above. And of course, me being a triathlete means that I do get a lot of listener questions about triathlon. Speaking of listener questions, we have a lot of them today. So I’m going to fly through the special announcements and then we’re going to hop right into the Listener Q and A as well as a very cool interview today. If you personally have diabetes or there’s a loved one in your life who has diabetes and you want to learn more about exercise and diabetes, we’ll be talking about that today. Now the subject in today’s featured topic is a little bit more focused on competing in events and doing a little bit harder types of exercise with diabetes rather than just the basic exercise for diabetes. But regardless, if you’re interested in doing a marathon or a triathlon or a 5k and you or someone you know has diabetes, then this would be a good interview for you to listen in to. So we are going to be going into that interview after today’s Q and A. Just a few announcements and then we’re going to jump right into a jam-packed Listener Q and A.
First special announcement today is for those of you who are interested in the difference between polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids and what that actually has to do with your health. I just recently published an article about that over at a Web site called www.hubpages.com. And as a matter of fact, they frequently run contests over there to let you vote on the best articles and I received an email just a few minutes ago that my article was nominated and that if people vote then I could win the contest. So I’m actually going to throw that right into the special announcements. I’ll put a link to the Shownotes. If you want to go vote for my article and read any of the articles – I have almost 100 articles over there jam-packed with videos and links and information – then follow the link that I’m going to put in the Shownotes to this episode. Now in addition to that, the Marathon Dominator plan that you may have heard me talk about over the past few weeks – I have created a video to show you more about what the Marathon Dominator is all about and why I wrote that program and how it’s designed for people who want to do a marathon. So go to www.marathondominator.com or follow the link in the Shownotes if you’re interested in the Marathon Dominator and what that’s all about. I also still have the www.bengreenfieldfitness.com T-shirts. And if you want a T-shirt, all you got to do is donate to the show. I’ll send you a T-shirt. I usually throw quite a few extra goodies in there as well for you. So if you again go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, donate to the show, help to keep the podcast alive and I will send you a T-shirt. And then finally for those of you who were wondering what the VIP Text Club is all about, basically you’ll get an average of about one text a week from that but it’s always going to include discounts and inside information that’s not getting released in my free newsletter and that’s not getting released at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. Again the Text Club is completely free. Your messaging rates apply. I know some people have the free messaging. Some people have the 10 cents messaging. Even if you’re paying 10 cents or even 20 cents a message and it’s costing you 80 cents a month to be in the VIP Text Club, it is well worth it. And I will eventually be giving you more in terms of phone apps for fitness, phone apps for nutrition. So if you’re part of the VIP Text Club, you have a phone, you like to use that to manage your fitness and your diet, you’re going to definitely be on top of the curve if you just text the word “fitness” to 411247. That being said, we’re going to move on to this week’s Listener Q and A.
So, remember if you have a question, you can email [email protected]. You can do as a few people did in today’s episode, you can leave a voice mail to toll free number 8772099439. If you’re outside the US and you want to make a free call to leave a voice mail, just use the free software at www.skype.com and Skype my user name which is Pacific Fit. That’s Pacific like the ocean, fit like fitness. Pacific Fit. Either of those ways would be a great way to leave your audio question and remember episode 100, coming up in just two episodes will only be answering audio questions. So if you have a question that you try to ask for episode 100, you’ll have to call it in so we can actually hear the listeners in that episode ask the questions themselves. So great way to get to know you and your personality a little bit better when you ask the question. And don’t worry if you get nervous, hang up the voice mail and call back and record it again. I’ve done that before myself with radio shows and podcasts. If you don’t like your voice message sounds, you can always re-record it and I will know, trust me, which one is the one that you actually want me to play on the podcast. So the first question this week comes from listener Mark.
Mark asks: I have traditionally used whey protein concentrate as part of my post-workout nutrition for harder or longer sessions. As a paleo nutrition plan eliminates dairy, I’m looking into alternatives. You’ve mentioned pea protein and hemp protein in previous podcasts. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on egg white protein as a acceptable substitute for protein.
Ben answers: It’s a great question. Whenever you’re looking at the effectiveness of a protein, basically there are a couple of things that you look at – what’s called the protein digestibility score and what’s called the biological value. And essentially the protein digestibility score measures how complete a protein is. So 1.0 would be a perfect measure of protein. That’s usually animal protein. Egg protein gets a 1. Whey protein gets a 1. Casein protein gets a 1. Soy protein actually gets a 1 as well. The other value – the biological value – is how much of that protein actually gets absorbed and utilized by your body, how much of it is actually useful to you. Egg actually scores a 100 on that as well which is very high. And most animal based proteins are always going to score higher than the vegetable based proteins. I’m not saying vegetable based proteins are bad but usually you have to combine them well in a complete diet to really get the extra value from those. Now as far as the egg protein is concerned, it has the high biological value, it has the high protein digestibility value. The only issue with the egg protein that I would use a little bit of caution with is that some people do have allergies to egg. It’s more common in children. The protein albumen in eggs tends to be something that can cause allergic reaction. You want to be a little bit careful if you tend to have low energy, if you tend to get sick a lot and you’re eating eggs as a big part of your diet. I would eliminate those and see what happens. I would not be concerned about things like cholesterol in an egg protein powder. It’s usually an egg white extract and I really personally wouldn’t be concerned about cholesterol at all with eggs, unless you have a genetic predisposition to very high amounts of cholesterol. Just because eggs have large numbers of the enzymes that actually allows you to digest cholesterol right there along with the egg. But with egg powder, it’s kind of a moot point. So yes, you’re getting a great biological value with the egg powder, great protein. But just be careful if you have an allergy to protein or to the protein in eggs. The other thing I would caution you about is that it can always be good to supplement with extra amino acids even if you’re getting these whole proteins. If you add amino acids in, you’re always going to get higher absorption. You’re always going to get a little bit of an extra kick when it comes to recovery and having the right amount of essential amino acids in your body – I have a great protein profile. If you’re a member, if you listened in to previous episodes, I did testing with Bioletics and my essential amino acids were still found to be low. I was deficient in a few of them so what I do now is I take a whey protein. I also use a hemp and a pea-based protein and then I take a whole amino acid powder source. I get my powder from www.bioletics.com. There’s also capsule based powders out there, but essentially you can just take those at the same time that you would take your protein just to give your protein a little bit or extra added value. So the next question is from listener Heela. And I apologize if I’m pronouncing your name incorrectly.
Heela asks: I am 25, female and train for aesthetic purposes only. Yes, I’m that shallow. I run and bike for the calorie burn and weight lift for the muscle mass. I eat 100% clean. My questions are regarding my diet. Question 1, since most of your diet recommendations are geared towards better performance, what would you recommend differently for athletes that don’t care about performance, don’t compete and just want to look good naked?
Ben answers: Heela has a follow up question regarding sodium but what I would recommend is that I go after more of kind of the mixed martial arts, high intensity intervals, a lot of body weight stuff supplemented with a few multi-joint type of lifting exercises. Going that route, you’re typically going to always have that very toned, leaned appearance that doesn’t have the bulked up weight lifting body building vibe to it. So for example, in a sample workout you might do a series of pushup and core exercises combined with pulling and pull-up exercises. Some high intensity training intervals on the treadmill, some tumbling types of exercises like burpee pushups and somersault pushups. You can even throw in some CrossFit style gymnastic type of exercises in there and all that stuff is always going to be better than doing dumbbell curls and overhead triceps extensions and cable pushdowns. Anytime you’re doing a lot of the full body more martial arts or gymnastics style training, you’re always going to have a better body when it comes to having that really balanced, lean, tone athletic appearance. Now of course the benefit to that is you’re also going to be very athletic. But if you’re not even concerned about that, you just want to look really, really great with your clothes on or your clothes off, then I would recommend the high intensity intervals combined with the multi-joint type of exercises and a lot more of the gymnastics mixed martial arts CrossFit style workouts. As far as anything I have out there, probably the perfect example of that would be my book Shape21 at www.shape21.com. There’s a lot of other good books out there. A guy named Martin Rooney just came out with a great book that’s got a lot of martial arts type of exercises in it, if you like to do more the jujitsu type of routines – that’s also a great resource. So, another question regarding sodium.
Heel asks: I love dairy and eat low fat cottage cheese lately. I noticed it has 450 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams and I eat a 200 grams container. (Okay so you’re getting 900 grams of sodium with that.) Is that too much to have on a daily basis or is it still okay since I train and sweat regularly?
Ben answers: As far as sodium goes, the sodium needs of an exercising person are always going to increase a little bit. Generally in most people sodium ranges from needing about 1800 milligrams up to about 2400 milligrams. If you close your eyes and picture a heaping teaspoon of salt, that’s about how much salt the average person would need on a daily basis. A lot of athletes can get a little bit closer to 3000 if they’re exercising quite frequently and I’m talking about 90 minutes to two hours of exercise and sweat a day. The average person exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day, you’d be fine right around in that 2000 milligram range. So really, you’re pretty good with the cottage cheese only getting half of that with the cottage cheese that you’re taking in, but do pay attention to labels and do pay attention to how much you’re salting your food if you are concerned about some of the swelling, some of the water retention, some of the loss of tone that can occur with that high sodium diet. Because again, you can kind of get that soft water logged type of appearance if you’re taking in significantly above that 2000 milligram mark and you’re not actually exercising enough to be sweating that out, losing some of the water and the salts that you end up taking in. So, during hard exercise, it’s a completely different issue. We don’t even have the time to go into the whole Ironman triathlon type of sodium intake. I am working on a very comprehensive article about that, that will be released in a Triathlon based publication this summer and it’ll be a very comprehensive article on hydration, heat acclimatization and sodium intake. But in the meantime, if you’re just wanting to make sure you hit about the ball park area that you need to be at, about 2000 milligrams for an active person is going to be fine.
Chuck asks: What would be more beneficial to my training? After a long bike ride, going into an immediate run or doing that run later on in the day and being able to go faster and harder on the run?
Ben answers: Now, Chuck is asking this question because he is a triathlete. Anytime that your goal is to combine a bike and run based workout, you’re always going to be better running after you finish a bike ride, just because that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing in a triathlon. You’re correct that if you ran later on in the day, you’d be able to go faster because you’d be recovered but in a workout that’s designed specifically to be a bike-run based workout, always do the run after the bike. Now, if you have something like track intervals, say you’re going to go do an 8×400 meter on the track and that’s supposed to be a high, high quality workout that’s just focused on run form, it’s focused on overspeed training. You don’t want to be completely cooked or dehydrated when you go into it, that would be a case where you do your bike ride, if you’re going to be doing a bike ride that day, for example, in the morning and then do your run later on in the day. Because there are different goals for that run than just teaching your body how to run off of the bike. But if the goal of that workout is to teach your body how to run off of the bike, then run right after you get off that bike.
The next question is, “If I’m only able to get into a pool once a week, should I focus on form and drills, harder endurance workouts or a combination of both?”
Okay, so let’s say that you can get into the pool once a week. You’re listening in and that’s all you’re able to do. You want to get the most bang for the buck, both from a fitness and a speed perspective from your swimming workout. What I would recommend is that you do drills, you do tempo work, you do power work and you do a little bit of hypoxic work that you can finish up with. So for example, what a workout would look like is you do a 600 meter warm up where you’re alternating six times between 50 meters of regular freestyle swimming and 50 meters of, for example, like a drill. You can do a side swimming drill, you can do a sculling drill, you can do a balance drill. There are fist drills, flicker drills, all sorts of drills. If you go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, there are a bunch of swim drills there. www.goswim.tv has a ton of really good swim drills and there’s no rule that you have to do the same drills all the time. You can mix it up. In the coaching that I do, athletes generally – I don’t use more than about 10 drills just because I like for people to be able to get really good at the drills that they’re doing and I don’t want to confuse them too much and have them sitting by the side of the pool with a big question mark on their head trying to figure out a new drill. I generally like to use right around in the range of ten drills, but you warm up with the drills and then you go into tempo work which I would define as anywhere from 200 up to 500 meter intervals where you’re swimming those as a 1×500, 1×400, 1×300, 1×200. You’re doing about anywhere from a 10 to 20 second rest after each, just getting your body used to having lots of lactic acid on board during that swim. Full recovery after that, other than doing some doggie paddling, some water treading, some breaststroke, some easy stroke and then you go into some power efforts. So for example, this could be like a 5×100 meter or a 10×50 meter or a 20×25 meter but it’s swum very hard, maximum pace, very fast and so you’re laying down some speed on top of that tempo work that you’ve done. Then you finish up with some icing on the cake. A little bit of hypoxic training. Try and swim like a 5×50 meter, breathing as little as possible. Like trying to swim a 50 on just one or two breaths. It’s a great way to finish things up. A 10×25 would also be an example of something you could do with hypoxic breathing. But by doing the drills and the tempo work and the power work and the hypoxic breathing, you’re kind of hitting all those variables that you would want to hit for like a triathlon training or fitness training type of pool session.
Chuck asks: I’m well aware of the benefits of taking in the right amounts of fuel and protein and carbs right after a workout. But when someone does not refuel within that recovery window, are there negative effects on the body or just a lack of positive recovery benefits?
Ben answers: Well, if you don’t eat after a workout, it’s all going to be downhill. Your body is not going to get the carbohydrates on board that it needs for the next day’s workout. It’s not going to get the carbohydrates on board that it needs to actually replenish lost glycogen stores during the workout that you’re doing or that you’ve just done. You’re not going to get amino acids from proteins, so your muscles are going to sit there essentially cannibalizing any other lean tissue in your body for amino acids because there’s nothing for you to actually repair muscle tissue with. It would be like driving your car, red lining your car with no oil, running on gasoline fumes, not doing any type of tune up work on it. It’s just bad for the body. You’re going to get high levels of cortisol, a stress release hormone. You’re going to suppress your immune system. Essentially there’s a lot of bad things that happen when you don’t fuel. Now at the same time, I want to warn those of you who are listening in and doing a 30 minute walk for your exercise session that your body doesn’t need a big amount of refueling after a 30 minute walk. I’m talking about people – and because I know that Chuck is a triathlete, he’s doing stuff like this – sometimes people are going out and swimming really hard for a half hour or going for a hard bike ride, maybe doing a little bit of weightlifting, finishing up 90 minutes later and trying not to eat anything to stay thin or decrease body fat percentage. That’s about the worst thing that you can do to your body. You go downhill very quickly. You’ll get that emaciated, starved marathoner type of look that doesn’t actually look healthy but just looks like skin on bones. I would really not recommend that you try and avoid fueling after a workout as a way to lose weight, especially if you’re working out hard.
Carmen asks: I received an email about a product called Eiro. A friend of mine knows health and nutrition and says it’s right up my alley. I’m trying to lose weight. I eat a very healthy diet, I exercise regularly. I just want to get your input on whether or not this is even worth looking into it or is it another juice hype?
Ben answers: Usually, whenever you get these emails about juice, it’s always going to be a network marketing company. And here’s the deal, usually network marketing companies do a really good job at picking really good ingredients and putting together a fantastic product. In this case, it’s got five different juices in it, some green tea extract, lots of good anti-oxidants – it’s a good little juice for the body if you want to drink your antioxidants. For example, after a really tough workout. Now, when you’re looking at juices, low on fiber, high on glycemic index – it’s going to bump up the blood sugar levels really quickly. So you’d want to be very careful with them if you were trying to lose weight. Drinking your juice – unless you’re actually juicing it yourself, getting all the fiber in the juice is always going to be not as good for you nutritionally as getting the whole product or using a lower calorie, kind of powder-based product. The other issue with the network marketing juice is they’re very overpriced. I looked into the price of this stuff and it looked like 12 packets were running right around $60. So that means you get 12 servings for $60. To put that in perspective, that Solar Synergy that I talked about at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com before, that stuff has about twice as many different types of juices in it. It’s a powder base and you can get a month’s supply of that for $25. So you’re essentially looking at nearly a quarter of the cost to go and go outside the network marketing vibe and just go after a direct source antioxidant in powder form, and that’s something that I will typically on a hard workout day add to a glass of water and ice. Sometimes I’ll throw in an electrolyte capsule in there and it works out really well. So, just be careful with the juice from the glycemic index perspective and from the cost perspective. Yeah, it’s usually going to be pretty good for you especially the high antioxidants and stuff if you’re exercising a lot, but I would just be careful not committing to that as the cat’s meow for your health and longevity.
Ryan asks: I’m a listener with a question about what to wear in my first triathlon. I wanted to buy a pair of those expensive tri-shorts or I haven’t wanted to buy a pair of those expensive tri-shorts since I wanted to go into it with minimal expenses. What I’m trying to figure out is what can I wear from the swim to the bike to the run that will dry quickly but be comfortable and supportive. I will be wearing a wetsuit during the swim. I thought of buying compression shorts and then pulling the shorts over them after the swim but I don’t know if the waistband would stay tight when they’re wet. I’ve also thought about just wearing a jockstrap under my swim suit. Any creative ideas for me or am I just going to have to suck it up and buy the tri-shorts?
Ben answers: Well, the idea behind triathlon shorts is that they have a pad in them that’s like the pad you’d find in bicycling shorts that makes it a lot more comfortable to ride a bike, but it’s a thin pad so it dries out quickly and doesn’t stay wet and soggy and cause a bunch of friction while you’re riding your bike. It’s also far more comfortable to run in. I never met anybody who regretted purchasing triathlon shorts after they had them, and even just one good pair is enough. Now that being said, for a short race, I’ve often raced in nothing but a Speedo. No pad, nothing else. Just a Speedo and Chamois cream. Chamois cream of Vaseline or something that you smear into your loin and groin area to keep any friction from causing some damage down there. So, what I’m saying is it would be fine for you to wear some tight underwear or compression shorts that would kind of keep everything in place as you’re running and moving. Make sure you use some chamois cream and some Vaseline and you can just wear those under your wetsuit and if you’re concerned about being modest, you can pull a pair of running shorts or a pair of regular sports shorts that aren’t too baggy and don’t have a lot of loose fabric over your compression shorts or your tight underwear after you get out of the swim. Now, you’re looking at a pair of triathlon shorts, if you find them online – you go to a website like www.trisports.com, another real good source is www.swimoutlet.com. You can usually find something on clearance that’s pretty dang affordable. So I wouldn’t be letting the price hold you back too much. You should be easily be able to pick up a pair for $25, $30 and I’ve got triathlon shorts I’ve had for three years and they still work just fine. You rinse them out with fresh water after you’ve swum with them in the pool and they do fine in the pool as well. You just got to make sure you rinse them afterwards so the chlorine doesn’t degrade them too quickly. Alright, hope that helps Ryan.
Roxanne asks: I enjoy your show. Although I’m not a triathlete, I find your show super informative and entertaining. I work out twice a week with a personal trainer. I do an insanity workout a couple of times a week. I try and fit in three or so one and a half to two hour runs a week. Holy cow. That’s a lot of running. (Holy cow, that’s a lot of running.) My question is that I’m trying to decrease my body fat in my lower extremities without much luck. I have very low body fat percentage in my upper body. Much higher fat body percentage in my lower body. After listening to your podcast, I really think it might be that I’m fueling improperly but unsure. How would you give advice to someone like myself who is not a competitive athlete as to what I can do differently to help knock down that fat?
Ben answers: Well, from your description it really sounds like you’re one of those people who will be classified as what’s called a pear shape. What that means is that you tend to store more body fat in your thigh area and your hip area. And before menopause, it’s very normal for women to store their storage fat, their excess fat predominantly in this area. And it could be from an evolutionary perspective and again I’m using evolutionary in the sense of the word of survival prior to industrialization that extra fat would help you survive during drought, during famine. And so the other thing is if you could easily store fats in your hips and your thighs then you would be able to take care of a baby much better during pregnancy, during breastfeeding when you’re carrying an extra body that needs an extra thousand calories a day, then that fat stored in the hips and the thighs can be quite handy. And that is something that can be built into your genetic blueprint based on your ancestry. So that’s one reason that the pear shape is so difficult to get rid of. Then also, the fact that if you happen to have a little bit higher levels of estrogen, then you’re also going to tend to be more prone to store more fat in those areas. Now, some of the things in addition to having high amounts of estrogen that can cause that to happen would be poor blood circulation to your hips and your thighs. Fluid retention meaning that you have a really high sodium intake or you have high levels of stress, high levels of cortisol causing fluid retention, and that can do that as well. Then cellulite in that area – just weak tissue. That’s getting more of the aerobic training versus the lean muscle kind of weight lifting style training can also do that as well. I’ve seen lots and lots of pear shapes doing things like triathlons and marathons. You see the fat in the thighs and the hips and you want to tell the person that you know what? You got to get some muscle in the hips and the thighs in addition to the fat burning that you’re doing if you really want to slim down that area. And so based on your description of what you’re doing, I have a few thoughts. The first is it sounds like you’re working out a lot. It sounds like based on that, especially with the high amount of running that you’re doing, you probably do have a fair amount of cortisol and stress buildup in your body and I would consider actually removing a little bit of the aerobic exercise, turning that more into the high intensity intervals that you’re done with more quickly, making sure that you fuel those intervals well, using some of the techniques that I’ve already talked about in this podcast. And, then ensure that you’re doing a lot of weightlifting and you can even make that medium weight, medium rep type of weight lifting where you’re doing side lunges, back lunges, front lunges, squats, dead lifts and you’re kind of ranging in that 10 to 20 rep range and trying to add some lean muscle to the lower body so you can catabolize that fat or metabolize that fat a little bit more quickly. You can even – if you really want to work your legs while you’re just sitting and watching TV – you can do pillow squeezes with your legs. You can push your legs out against your hands to work the outside of your hips. You can do leg extensions while you’re sitting on a chair. You can do bridges while you’re sitting on a chair. There are stuff you can do while you’re just sitting around to kind of keep the legs working. But ultimately what it comes down to is reducing stress. Not doing tons of long long, slow aerobic exercise. Make sure that you’re adding lean muscle to your lower body. And then as far as the fueling goes, follow a lot of the fueling recommendations I’ve talked about on this podcast. If you want a total introduction to pre, post, during workout nutrition; listen to a very quick six minute primer that I did over at the Get Fit Guy podcast. That’s at www.quickanddirtytips.com. I believe it was podcast episode number four where all I talked about was how to fuel your body before, during and after exercise. Very basic rundown of exactly what you want to do. Again that’s at www.quickanddirtytips.com. I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes.
Brian asks: I have a biking question. I tend to get numb on my right foot just behind my toes while I’m riding long distances. I’ve tried adjusting my seat and the clips on the bottom of my shoe but nothing seemed to help. When I transition to running, it takes about two miles for my toes to feel normal.
Ben answers: First recommendation is that if you’re not using bicycling shoes yet, do. Bicycling shoes tend to spread the entire force of the pedal around the whole foot rather than on focusing that force on just one area of the foot. If you can afford to get the type with carbon soles, that helps even more for force distribution across the entire foot. Make sure that your cleat on the bottom of those has not moved towards the front of your foot, and kind of have it more mid-placed right towards the middle of the shoe actually works really well for the longer distance riding. So move that cleat back as far as possible. If you decide you want to go with the real cycling shoes, make sure that your seat is not too low. That can also cause excessive force against the foot when you’re riding. And the other thing that I would recommend is that you look into a support arch inside your shoe that can spread the nerves that travel between the toes and essentially it’s called a metatarsal button – is what an orthopedist would call it when a shoe has a little bit of an arch in the middle of it that spreads out the nerves going down to your toes. The best arch that I found for riding is made by Specialized. It’s called the Specialized Body Geometry. You can get that at pretty much any bike show that’s a specialized dealer and that does a really good job of spreading out your toes while you’re riding.
Josh asks: I recently began taking a multivitamin in the morning and the problem is I’ve been taking them with coffee. I had no idea that was detrimental to the absorption process until listening to one of your podcasts where you address this. The thing is I’ve been feeling really good during my workouts since taking them and I’ve been doing it for quite some time but I don’t want to be flushing these pricey things down the toilet. I’ve got to have my morning coffee and don’t know what to do here.
Ben answers: So, Josh, the first thing that I’m going to do is I’m going to put a really helpful chart in the Shownotes of this podcast and the chart goes through all the different types of vitamins, iron, calcium, coffee, multivitamins – it just tells you what helps absorption, what inhibits absorption, when to take what and it breaks it down really easily. Now you’re looking at liquids only taking about 20 minutes to clear from the stomach before you kind of reduce a lot of the acids from the coffee and everything in the stomach. So you can get up at 6am, have a cup of coffee while you’re tooling around and then around 7, 7:30 have your multivitamin or even at 6:30 would be fine to have your multivitamin. When I’m talking about the foods, the fiber, trying to avoid taking in fibers with fats like fish oil – that’s where you’re looking at gastric emptying taking anywhere from the one to the three hour range. And if there’s lots of proteins and fats mixed in with those fibers, sometimes up to four hours. And so in that case, that’s where you would want to think about that. And if you don’t get a stomach upset, then take something like a fish oil anywhere from around 20 to 45 minutes prior to eating or wait a few hours after you eat to take something like that, if you’re tending to eat a lot of fiber. So it’s a great question and gastric emptying for liquids is always going to be pretty short. 20, 30 minutes. Gastric emptying for solids is going to be two to four hours. If you’re really concerned about getting that vitamin into the body as quickly as possible, you could look into a liquid vitamin. If you go to www.pacificfit.net, I kind of have an option for people who want to do solid multivitamins and an option for people who want to do liquid multivitamins. The increased ration of absorption is one advantage of the liquid multis. So that may be another way for you to go. Of course the problem with the liquid multis is I find that they’re less transportable. So, when I’m traveling as much as I do I find that the capsules to just be more convenient for the vitamins. But look at the chart that I put up and then just understand that with coffee, you’re looking at about 20 minutes of emptying to take place. I think that’s a really great question Josh. So I’m going to nominate your question for this week’s podcast question of the week and give you a free membership to my Body Transformation Club. We still do have a couple questions coming up, but I do want to give you access to Josh. Send me an email. I’ll get you into my Body Transformation Club and as a part of my body transformation club, that means that every week I’m going to be sending you a postcard with recipes, with exercises, with access to a secret video page where there are videos that I don’t show anywhere else that you are able to have access to. This week it was an exercise video. I think the week before, it was a nutrition recipe video. But either way, great way for you to get mail delivered straight to your mailbox from me with tips every week. So check it out.
Next we’re going to move in to a call-in question from listener Rick.
Rick asks: Hi Ben, this is Rick Simpson. I am wondering is there a caffeine tablet that does not positive for competition? Or are all the tablets just fine? Is the for instance No Doze, is that just fine and it won’t test positive?
Ben answers: Rick, great question. So, first of all I might want to clear up what might be a little bit of confusion here, but caffeine was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but just until 2004. After that, it’s been approved as a legal performance enhancing substitute. And one of the ideas behind that is because caffeine metabolism differs so much from person to person, it was hard to actually understand who had caffeine from a cup of coffee and who was taking illegal amounts of performance enhancing supplements. The idea behind caffeine is that it amps up your central nervous system, decreases the amount of pain that you perceive that you’re having and possibly even for endurance, could even spare the use of carbohydrate and enhance the use of fatty acids as a fuel which can be quite helpful for long endurance sessions and also for fat loss. Of course the effective dosage is pretty high. Most people don’t use enough of it to be effective. Effective dosage is 3 to 6 milligrams per kilogram of body mass. So if you’re the average sized guy, maybe you’re at about 70 kilograms, you’re looking at a minimum of 210 milligrams of actual caffeine. That would be like a No Doze tab has 100 milligrams in it. So you’d be looking at 2 and a half No Doze tabs. For anybody who’s done that on an empty stomach, that is a good little dose of caffeine. So the idea behind the caffeine is that it’s going to appear in your bloodstream regardless. If you take the tablet you’re looking at pretty quick absorption so the rate of absorption is going to show up in your bloodstream a lot more quickly. It’s not necessarily going to metabolize more quickly. Caffeine, you’re looking at still pretty quick absorption. Either way you’re looking at a few minutes up to about 20 minutes for the caffeine to appear and you’ll start to feel the effects within 30 to 45 minutes. So as far as the window before exercise, that’s when you’d want to take it. But be careful of the caffeine not because of testing or World Anti-Doping Association regulations, but be more careful because if you’re using it during a long session of training like anything over two to three hours, regular use can cause a lot of GI distress, jitteriness and you want to really limit how much you take in. I wouldn’t recommend that you do more than 50 milligrams per hour during an endurance event after you’ve already loaded with that 200 to 300 milligrams prior to actually getting out there. But the ultimate answer to your question is that it’s going to appear in your bloodstream regardless. There’s no way to mask the fact that you’re taking caffeine but it’s something you really don’t have to worry about too much either. So we also have a question from another call-in listener.
Edwin Lutz asks: Ben, I have a question for you for the podcast. I was wondering if you’ve ever used DMSO and if you’ve used it – I know a lot of people use it. It’s not really regulated for human consumption or the FDA was approving it at one point, they’re not anymore. I was wondering – I know a lot of college athletes that put me on to it, it seems to work but it’s hard to find any actual information on it that’s not filtered through people selling it. So I was wondering if you have any experience with it. My name is Edwin Lutz in St. Charles, Missouri.
Ben answers: So basically DMSO is an anti-inflammatory. It’s dimethyl sulfoxin I think is what DMSO stands for. It might be dimethyl sulfoxide, not positive. But DMSO is an anti-inflammatory. It’s usually something that you’d fine in a cream. You’d put it over a joint, over the skin. It gets absorbed and helps the joint to feel better. In the same way that a glucosamine chondroitin supplement would be used; DMSO would be used for arthritis, some issues with allergic reactions. There’s been deaths related to allergic reactions. That’s why it’s not approved by the FDA. Taking DMSO as a straight up supplement. But DMSO is metabolized when you take it through something called MSM. Methyl sulfonyl methane—something along those lines. But MSM is a pretty potent anti-inflammatory again, it works at the joint level to help with joint pain. MSM is legal. It’s fine and you’ll find it in a lot of pain relief creams. One that comes to mind would be like Hammer Nutrition which is a great sports supplement company. They have something like tissue rejuvenator and that’s got MSM in it. And essentially it’s well-absorbed through the skin. It’s just an organic form of sulfur and it helps with joint pain. It can also help with wound healing as well. So, as far as DMSO goes there is good research that shows that it can help with inflammation. Most of the sulfur containing compounds can, but because there’s been some adverse reactions to it, not really legal to use or not approved for sale in the US. However, MSM is going to get you a lot of the similar benefits and I haven’t seen any research that indicates that MSM is actually dangerous. So your answer is to look into the MSM as an alternative to the DMSO, and if you do get DMSO then just be careful with it. If you start to feel or see any types of rash, start to feel any types of adverse effects, just be careful. So I believe that wraps up all the questions for the podcast for this week. Remember, if you have a question you can email [email protected]. You can call toll free to 8772099438 or you can Skype to Pacific Fit.
Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and I know from the questions that I’ve been getting from many of you and also from just being around sports for a while that diabetes and sports – diabetes and competition and athletic events is something that isn’t discussed too much. But it’s something that is highly relevant and important to hundreds of thousands of people across this country and around the world. I’ve recently learned about an organization called Triabetes which is the world’s largest triathlon club for people with diabetes. While today’s interview isn’t necessarily going to be limited to a discussion of triathlon and diabetes, one of the team captains for Triabetes has agreed to come on to the call and talk about how diabetics can manage their conditions during sports, compete at a higher level, do triathlons, marathons and other sports that they’re interested in and be able to succeed and enjoy those sports. So I have team captain from Triabetes, Daniel Vincent on the call. David how are you?
Daniel Vincent: I’m doing good. I’m good, thanks.
Ben: Well, thank you for coming on the call today. And I know that the listeners who are listening in to this call may have a fairly decent idea of what diabetes is, but maybe not a good idea of diabetes and sports and whether diabetics can actually compete in sports at the recreational or professional level. So, my question for you is , is it possible for a diabetic to be competitive in a sport and if so, are there some diabetic athletes or teams that listeners might be familiar with?
Daniel Vincent: Absolutely. That’s a great question. One of which not too many people are familiar with. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, my doctors at the time said that I would never compete nor be as active as I once was. And after some research and finding that there are quite a few diabetics out there that are very active in the community, not only just recreationally speaking but competitively speaking, they’re out there making it happen and not letting diabetes slow them down. If you had looked at the Olympics this last year, Chris Freeman, cross country skier was a big diabetic candidate here. And granted he didn’t do as well as we would have hoped, he was a great representation of the diabetic community. For cycling events, you’ve got Team Type 1 which consists of all diabetics. It’s basically a professional cycling team and they’ve taken a number of first place finishes at numerous events throughout the world.
Ben: Interesting, and the entire team is made up of type 1 diabetics? Or just diabetics?
Daniel Vincent: The entire team for Team Type 1 is type 1 diabetics. There is a Team Type 2 but it’s not as aggressive.
Ben: Okay, well that kind of leads into a question that I have for you and that is the difference between diabetes type 1 and type 2 when it comes to sports and the management of sports. Can you give the listeners a quick summary of type 1 and type 2 but more importantly the difference between the two when it comes to competition and management during exercise and athletic events?
Daniel Vincent: Absolutely. Basically, type 1 diabetes, your body generally just doesn’t produce insulin anymore. There is either some environmental or genetic condition that makes it so your body just doesn’t produce that insulin that’s needed for your body to break down sugars. Whereas type 2, type 2 your body produces insulin but it doesn’t regulate that insulin and so it doesn’t use it efficiently and effectively. That’s most commonly associated with overweight and various environment factors that control that. As far as – one of the big problems we have had as athletes in controlling our diabetes is insulin management. For me, being out on – going out on a six, seven hour training ride or training ride and run – you’ve got insulin on board there and you’re trying to keep your sugar levels where they need to be in order to continue that momentum, continue that pace and that endurance that you’re going with but at the same time make it so that you’re not spiking out, you’re not three or four times where your levels are or where your levels should be.
Ben: Okay, interesting. So, as far as the actual management of the two different types of diabetes, when people are out there competing, what kinds of tools are used? I know that non-athlete diabetics will use a blood sugar stick to measure their blood glucose levels, but what do you do when you’re out competing? Do you use the same types of tools?
Daniel Vincent: I do actually. Myself I use an insulin pump. My insulin pump also connects with what’s called a CGMS. It’s continuous glucose monitoring system, which is a little transmitter that sits around my stomach. And it emits my blood sugars. It takes my blood sugars every five minutes. And it then pushes over to my insulin pump and tells me exactly what my blood sugar level is and where it’s going and what it’s been doing for the last hour or so.
Ben: So for you it’s a matter of as a Type 1 diabetic having that insulin pump constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels and you maintaining that balance of insulin and intake of nutrition. Now, for a type 2 diabetic, would it simply be a matter of measuring blood glucose levels and fueling accordingly?
Daniel Vincent: You know, that’s a great question. It depends on the type 2. There are many type 2 diabetics that are able to get through the day without having to take insulin. A lot of them can take medications that allow them to monitor or oral pills that allow them to kind of break those sugars down. So there are several type 2 diabetics that do need to have that insulin on board, just because their body is not utilizing their insulin and so they have to closely monitor their levels.
Ben: So how frequently should people be monitoring their levels during athletic competition?
Daniel Vincent: I’m constantly looking down at my pump I’d say every 20 minutes or so. I generally have to get a good… if I go down into a low blood sugar range and I’m competing in longer events, longer distance events – if I end up having low blood sugar, it ends up adding another 20, 30 minutes to my time just because it takes me that much longer to get my sugar levels back up to where they need to be to be able to finish the event.
Ben: Now, I’m not a diabetic by when my blood sugar level starts to drop during competition I begin to have a negative attitude. I start to generate a little bit less power on the bicycle. Usually I’ll feel a little slower, legs get a little heavier on the run. Is it pretty much the same for a diabetic when their blood sugar drops or are there other things that occur as well?
Daniel Vincent: It’s very similar. Your body starts shutting down. For me, I start to become kind of incoherent. You start getting the cold sweats. Very uncomfortable. Some people get nauseous with it. So what you’re describing is kind of the beginning phases of hypoglycemia, but overtime it does progressionally get to a worse – I don’t know if that’s the right word to use – but a four stop state.
Ben: Interesting. So as far as nutrition goes for a diabetic athlete. Are there special nutrition considerations. I know that some athletes will follow a strict percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fat but for diabetics, do you have certain percentages that you use or certain nutritional considerations that are important for success in sport?
Daniel Vincent: Absolutely. I’m probably not the best person to ask that question, but for me, every diabetic is different. But I usually stick to the 75, 25 ratio. With my carbohydrates I stick more to the complex carbohydrates trying to make sure that my body is able to utilize that. Granted, I work out just about every eight hours and so my body functions off of that consistency and that ratio.
Ben: What do you mean when you say 75:25 ratio?
Daniel Vincent: Well 75% carbohydrates, 25% protein.
Ben: What about fats? Are you taking in any fats?
Daniel Vincent: Excuse me, I do take a little bit of fats but not as frequent.
Ben: Okay I see. So as far as your actual carbohydrate intake you take up to 75% carbohydrates?
Daniel Vincent: Yes.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. Interesting.
Daniel Vincent: I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist. If I had somebody advise me, I’d be more than happy to oblige but that’s worked for me so far.
Ben: Do you also take nutrition supplements or is that something that diabetics take in terms of any type of special nutrition supplements?
Daniel Vincent: There is a lot of rumors going about as to what works best for everybody. One thing that I particularly like is the Hammer Nutrition products. I take a lot of their multivitamins. I use their gel series. I just find that it really works for me. Their gels don’t cause my blood sugars to spike. It does what it’s intended to do. And I find good results with it.
Ben: Okay, cool. So basically in terms of any type of glucose management type of supplements or things of that nature, you really don’t worry too much about that?
Daniel Vincent: I don’t. I don’t.
Ben: Okay, so what about as far as your training schedule? Like for diabetes, is there some special attention that’s given to the type of training plan that is used – the frequency of the training sessions, anything of that nature?
Daniel Vincent: You know, the key thing with that is just being mindful of where your sugars are at. I try and not to let diabetes be an excuse for me to not do what everybody else can do. So I just have to keep a close eye on what I’m doing, where I’m at, how I’m doing things and where I’m going I guess.
Ben: Now, what’s the biggest threat to you when you’re swimming or cycling or running, would you say?
Daniel Vincent: The biggest threat is low blood sugar. I don’t so much worry about the high blood sugar just because it very seldom happens. But being out in the middle of the water and having your blood sugars drop down to 50, you become just incoherent and unable to respond really effectively. It can be a challenge.
Ben: And how quickly can you turn something like that around by getting in the right type of blood sugar?
Daniel Vincent: Usually it’ll take me about maybe five to 10 minutes if it’s not too bad, not too far off. I’m able to kind of turn things around and get back into my groove.
Ben: Now in my case when I bonk, I don’t have any issues with insulin, but I have to eat a lot of glucose. A lot of high glycemic index glucose very quickly. For a diabetic, when that spikes your blood sugar, do you need to adjust your insulin levels directly after you have made that adjustment on the blood sugar levels?
Daniel Vincent: You know, it depends on the athlete. For me, my body is super sensitive to insulin. In all honesty, doctors feel that my body is still producing insulin but it’s not producing enough to run on its own. So, I find that when I take products such as what you’re describing, it’s not so much that I have to give myself insulin if I have to be out running or if I’m out doing something of that nature. So, I myself don’t have to worry about that but I do have friends that do have to keep that baseline or give themselves a little push of insulin as they’re running and eating.
Ben: Interesting. So I’m curious about Triabetes, about Team Triabetes and about other opportunities not just for triathletes but for diabetic athletes in general who can find support. So as far as some of the organizations that are out there, I know that as we were scheduling this talk, you mentioned Insulindependence as far an organization. What is that?
Daniel Vincent: Well Insulindependence is the mother company for Triabetes. It’s a non-profit organization that focuses on inspiring athletes, educating them and helping them explore their goals. One of the big problems we have with the community – and the community meaning everybody – is nobody knows too much about diabetes. They feel it’s a roadblock for us. And a lot of people feel that that’s kind of the way are bodies are… we just slow down. I guess I’m trying to find the right words for it, but it’s… basically with Insulindependence and Triabetes, they – Peter Nerothin and John Moore have set this organization up to help encourage people such as myself to not only go out and achieve my goals but to help and encourage others to go out and do the same. With the Triabetes program and being a team captain, one of the privileges that we have is we get to work with youth. We get to work and identify a youth that we mentor for about a year or a year and a half. We get to work with them, bring them to events and actually this November, we will get a chance to support our tri-buddy – is what we call them – and help them compete in their triathlete event. And then as we turn around and we do our event next May there in St. George, we’ll be able to have our tri-buddies go across the finish line with us at the end of the race. So it’s a great program for individuals but it’s also a great mentoring program to help inspire everybody with diabetes.
Ben: Interesting. Well, it sounds like what this boils down to is that if somebody loves the sport that they compete in, that if they have the correct tools like the insulin pump that you talked about and the glucose monitoring tools and they also have access to some of these supportive organizations such as this Insulindependence and Triabetes – and I’ll be sure to put a link to those in the interview Shownotes – then they can absolutely continue to find success. And from what it sounds like this cycling team you mentioned – Team Type 1 – I’ve seen them pop up every now and again in cycling results and they’re just as good as any cycling team out there.
Daniel Vincent: Absolutely.
Ben: I think for any of you listeners out there who have diabetes or who have a loved one who has diabetes who likes to compete, don’t let something like diabetes get in the way of achieving your dream in sports and competition. It sounds like there’s quite enough out there to enable you to do it. David, you’re one example and I really like what you guys are doing with the Team Triabetes and the tri-buddy program and Insulindependence, so thank you for coming on the call today.
Daniel Vincent: You bet, you bet. One quick note, I’m actually a Daniel.
Ben: Oh did I say David? My apologies. We’ll make sure that we get that right in the Shownotes too and I’ll put a link over to the Web site for which Daniel is team captain. So, until next time this is Ben Greenfield and Daniel Vincent signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Folks, I will put a link to Insulindependence on the Web site Shownotes for this episode, episode number 98. I will also put a link to everything else that I talked about including the www.quickanddirtytips.com podcast, the Marathon Dominator as well as other things I haven’t talked about – a trip to Thailand that I’m organizing for people listening in and other thing like the VIP Text Club and basically tons of stuff is always in the Shownotes. You’re missing out if you don’t look at the Shownotes after each episode. Definitely missing out. So if you have comments, if you have questions about the episode itself, go leave them in the comments section for this episode number 98 and until next time, this is Ben Greenfield signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
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