[Transcript] – “Drunken” Banter, Unplugging From Wearables, Ketogenic Mistakes In Exercisers & Athletes, Carb Refeeds, Alcohol Hacks & Much More With Brian Sanders.

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/brian-sanders/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:02:20] Guest Introduction

[00:03:05] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:04] A “Drunken Banter” Over Some New Products

[00:08:49] The Difference Between Ancestral Hacking And Biohacking

[00:11:15] Why It’s Important To Track Your Metrics Naturally, Without Wearables

[00:15:32]  The Most Ideal State To Consume Food And How To Stabilize Blood Glucose Spikes

[00:28:22] Takeaways From The FASTER Study And What It Involved

[00:32:28] What Ben Carb-Loaded Before Spartan Race Days

[00:35:50] Podcast Sponsors

[00:38:01] cont. What Ben Carb-Loaded Before Spartan Race Days

[00:42:25] The Best Way To Adapt Your Diet For Improved Longevity

[00:48:24] Ben’s Best Tips For Including Alcohol Into Your “Healthy” Diet

[00:59:09] Why Ben Says It’s Okay To Be Weird For The Sake Of Being Metabolically Well

[01:09:44] Closing the Podcast

[01:11:46] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

You, maybe, modify that ketogenic diet in the way that I did after the tests, which would be to not restrict carbohydrates to the extent to where you're getting some physiological blowback. And so, for Ironman, there was a certain point where I'd switch to just full-on sugar. So, we have this rift in society, right? We have the healthy people hanging out with healthy people and the unhealthy or fat people hanging out with people. What, then, needs to occur, you have to start inviting your unhealthy friends or your overweight friends to the same type of events, but just make sure they're always outnumbered.

Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Howdy, howdy, ho. It's Ben. I'm in my office right now, sipping a nice black cup of coffee. That's it. Just that, nothing but coffee. Sometimes, just plain old coffee bean, tastes pretty darn good without any crazy mushrooms and adaptogens and medicines added into it. I love it. I actually, on today's podcast, drink something rather interesting prior to the show. And, my guest/host, I guess you could say, because we just recorded this a couple of days ago in Austin, Texas, also drank said substance. And, we tried to avoid this podcast becoming, basically, the equivalent of two biohackers engaged in drunken banter.

I'm joking. We weren't actually drunk. However, we both slammed a shot of this stuff called Feel Free. And, they're not really like a sponsor of the show or anything. Somebody gave me a bottle of it down there in Austin, Texas, this feel-good entheogen that mimics the euphoric effects of alcohol. And, we both had a shot prior to the show, and it resulted in interesting chat.

So, first of all, that stuff, I have a link for them. I actually reached out to them. They gave us a link and a discount because I recorded and I'm like, “I should reach out to these people, so they can give my listeners a discount.” So, you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FeelFree, and use code, “BEN40.” That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FeelFree, and use code, “BEN40,” on a bottle of this stuff. I think that saves 40%, I believe.

Anyways, the guy who you hear me talking with today is Brian Sanders. He's a filmmaker, currently developing the feature-length documentary, “Food Lies.” He also hosts a podcast called “Peak Human.” He and I had a great discussion, chatting on his couch in his house right above the–well, I'm not going to say warehouses. Why was I was about to do that? Anyways, his house in Austin, Texas. We had a chat, and it was a great chat. And, I figured I would give it to you guys right here on the show. I don't know if I was being interviewed, if he was being interviewed, or if it's just two guys chatting on a couch.

But, anyways, you can check Brian out and everything that he does in the show notes for today's show. And, you can find the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PeakHuman. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PeakHuman.

This podcast is brought to you by the brand-new Kion Cold Thermo Challenge. That's right. You can get in on August 1st. What's the Kion Cold Thermo Challenge? Basically, we're hosting this cold thermogenesis challenge. If you're curious about how to use cold, if you're new to cold, or even if you're freaking Wim Hof, you don't want to miss this. So, what it is is we teach you everything you need to know about cold showers, cold soaks, how long, how cold, exactly how to do it, how to prepare, everything there is to know about cold thermogenesis, along with tons of accountability and support from thousands of other people who are going to be doing this cold thermo challenge, too.

And, when you sign up, you get a giveaway to win these epic prizes, like a signed copy of my book, “Boundless,” the book, “The Wedge” and “What Doesn't Kill Us,” by Scott Carney, jam-packed with more information on how to use cold, how to use heat, how to use light to enhance your biology. Few hundred dollars of Kion gift cards are given away for this, too. And, it's all free. It's all free, along with the “Cold Thermo Unearthed” e-book that you get that walks you through everything as well.

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Also, who wants meat? Who wants lobster tails and ribeye steaks? Well, I have an outstanding offer for you. ButcherBox, my friends at ButcherBox, they're giving new members free lobster tails and free ribeye steaks in your first box. That is a fancy dinner right there. You'd pay 200 bucks at a steak house for a couple of people to go out and have lobster tails and ribeye steaks easily. It's a limited time offer when you sign up at ButcherBox.com/Ben. It's 2/5-ounce lobster tails and 2/10-ounce ribeye steaks, all free in your first box at ButcherBox.com/Ben. It's all 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, wild-caught seafood. And, did I mention, free lobster tails and free ribeye steaks? So, get it now while it's still available. ButcherBox.com/Ben.

So, I guess we're recording.

Brian:  Yeah, we're recording.

Ben:  This is going to be interesting because you just gave me this Skin Food. This is your product, Brian, this Nose to Tail stuff?

Brian:  Yeah.

Ben:  So, the ingredients, I've been out in the sun doing a photoshoot all day because I'm a hot fitness model. So, my skin is probably a little bit dry or, at least, UVA and UVB'd. So, I'm just going to put some of this in my face. Grass-fed tallow, avocado. I thought you told me this was almost [00:05:39] ____. It's got plants a bit.

Brian:  [00:05:41]_____ will do.

Ben:  Avocado oil. Oil, it's going to kill me. Bergamot, frankincense. That's a psychedelic. Cedarwood.

Alright, well, I'll smear this on my face. Actually, I used to use extra virgin olive oil. Do you do this podcast as a video, also?

Brian:  Yeah, this is. We got it.

Ben:  OK, so people are getting a video. I used to do extra virgin olive oil on my face, just because it was easy to walk into the pantry and do it, and I figured, if I was buying olive oil, anyway, it works really well. And then, I realized, because I had some beef tallow. You can do beef tallow. I've experimented with ghee. Ghee doesn't work because it has that butyric acid smell. It's farty-smelling. Coconut oil isn't bad.

Brian:  Coconut oil is good.

Ben:  Beef tallow is the best.

Brian:  This is good. So, this is whipped, too. It's a whipped texture. And, some essential oils.

Ben:  I just put it on my skin and [00:06:31]____ was put on my skin. I thought this was a food product that you gave me. So, now, I don't feel quite this dumb.

Brian:  No, no. You're supposed to put it on your skin. It's good food for your skin.

Ben:  Do you need tallow? Is that grass-fed tallow? That's the metric for a healthy, what do you call, the beauticeutical, cosmeceutical.

Brian:  If you can eat it?

Ben:  I forget what you call it. If you can eat it.

Brian:  Yeah, that's what we're doing. It's grass-fed, grass-finished suet.

Ben:  Probably, still tastes like shit, but you could imagine.

Brian:  Well, my dog might start looking you.

Ben:  And then, what else? We've got this plant-based tonic. You haven't had this before, Brian, but Khalil, my friend at SunLife Organics, this morning–well, no. Last night, I had dinner and he gave me a shot of this stuff. It's called Feel Free. I'm not sponsored by them or anything. I'm not. This isn't [00:07:18]. It's called Feel Free. And, it's basically kava, which is relaxing thing, which you know all about because you're from Hawaii. But then, it's got kratom in it, which is interesting, kava and kratom, because kratom is like a non-opioid based painkiller. That's why most people use that, sometimes for sleep or sometimes for energy, depending on the strain. And then, kava is, basically, it's muscle-relaxant.

Brian:  It's a relaxer.

Ben:  It's like a euphoric muscle relaxant. So, I asked Khalil. I'm like, “How do you feel if you take this?” And, he said, “You feel euphoric.” And then, I went to their website, and it said you'd feel euphoric. That's why they call it Feel Free. So, I had a shot last night before dinner. And, I also had a cocktail, admittedly. But, I felt like I had four or five cocktails, but not clumsy. I was lucid but relaxed.

Brian:  Lucid, yeah.

Ben:  And so, you and I are drinking this right now on ice. I just did a shot yesterday, but it took 20 or 30 minutes for me to feel it.

Brian:  I'm already feeling it. I can feel it now.

Ben:  This whole shit might go south in 20 minutes.

Brian:  We'll see what happens. Maybe, we'll get rid of it in LA.

Ben:  Are your lips numb?

Brian:  My tongue is numb. I'm feeling good. Let's kick this off. You mentioned alcohol. So, it may or may not have been my birthday last night, and I may or may not have drinking alcohol.

Ben:  Really, is it your birthday last night?

Brian:  Yeah.

Ben:  Happy birthday.

Brian:  Thanks.

Ben:  How old are you?

Brian:  I'm 38.

Ben:  [00:08:38]____ by year.

Brian:  That's my goal, is to look young. I feel like we're doing a good job of it, staying in shape.

Ben:  You look pretty well-preserved.

Brian:  I'm trying.

Ben:  You sound like a mummy, well-preserved.

Brian:  You're a biohacking guy. I'm trying to coin the phrase, “ancestral hacking,” instead of biohacking.

Ben:  Ancestral hacking. It's a lot more syllables than biohacking.

Ben:  It is. It doesn't roll off your tongue, but it's like what biohacking does mimics our ancestral environment. That's what I think it should do.

Ben:  Well, some of it, yeah. The red lights mimic infrared from the sun or the grounding mats and the grounding shoes mimic earthing or grounding, or a cryotherapy chamber mimics cold water, or sauna might mimic a hot afternoon day. But then there's some things, like a hyperbaric chamber.

Brian:  You're getting closer.

Ben:  Is that better?

Brian:  Yeah.

Ben:  I've done this only a couple of times before.

Brian:  Keep pulling.

Ben:  A hyperbaric chamber. What is that similar? How often was ancient man, 30 feet —

Brian:  High on top of a mountain?

Ben:  No, 30 feet under the water, high oxygen. Or, yeah, same thing like altitude training, like hypoxic training devices, the Live02. That would be example of a biohack. Or, a fitness bike like Vasper, where you have your arms and legs included and you're exercising and you have cold.

And so, I think that there's a sector of biohacking that's mimicking natural living or what our ancestors might have done and allowing us to more efficiently do that, sometimes, in a shorter period of time in a post-industrial era, in which we are fighting an uphill battle where we might have to work indoors, so we need red light panels indoors.

Brian:  [00:10:31]_____.

Ben:  Or, we aren't sleeping in a cave, so we need a grounding mat on our bed. Or, there's glass and needles and syringes on the dirty Austin street, so you need to wear big built-up rubber-soled shoes. And so, you put grounding straps on your shoes. And, those would all, I think, fall under the category of mimicking in a post-industrial era using smart science what our ancestors would have gotten through natural means or what we can and should also get through natural means that we top off with those biohacks. But, I do think there's some other biohacks, like some of the stuff I mentioned, like the hypoxic training devices or the Vasper or hyperbaric chamber or stem cell injections, some of that stuff.

Brian:  That's an excellent–

Ben:  That's full-on modern science stuff that our ancestors would have done.

Brian:  Well, I appreciate that stuff. So, I'm just more into the ancestral hacks. I'm trying to do that. It's like a more natural version. Instead of getting all these gadgets, like sleep rings and this and that, I'm trying to just do it more naturally. But, yes, there is a next level that I appreciate. And, that's what you are more of an expert in.

Ben:  Nature threw me a big fat clue that, maybe, I'm not supposed to be using wearable yesterday, because I went swimming in Barton Springs. And, when you swim, your appendages shrink a little bit. There's shrinkage, not just crotchet shrinkage, but shrinkage of the digits and the toes. And, I got 20 minutes into my swim in my Oura Ring is now at the bottom of Barton Springs.

Brian:  Wow.

Ben:  It's the size 13, $400 stealth black Oura Ring, for the few Austinites who want to go underwater metal detecting, like Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings,” and come up with my precious. So, I lost my Oura Ring yesterday.

But, I like the idea of unplugging to a certain extent, like you've just talked about. Brian MacKenzie, and I think it was Kelly Starrett was his co-author, I think it was Kelly Starrett and I think it was Brian MacKenzie, and it could be wrong, but they wrote a book called, “Unplugged,” a few years ago about all the uses of heart rate variability monitors and power meters and stride rate metrics and muscle force meters used in fitness, and how sometimes, we can lose touch with the signals that our own body is telling us in that type of scenario, like the classic I woke up, I feel great, I had a wonderful night of sleep. I look at my wearable. It tells me my sleep was shitty. And, it was really six hours and I'm supposed to be tired today. And so, suddenly, I have a crappy workout because my ring or my watch told me I was supposed to have a crappy workout. And, I certainly think that we risk that.

When I was racing Ironman Triathlon I raced for Team Timex. And, Timex, of course, hooked us up with the $1,000 supercomputers the size of a pager that we wear on our wrists and the electric bike meters for power and the things we wore in our shoes for stride length, and even pretty event stuff, like stride rate push-off, power, everything for running, and metrics for swimming, even the swim goggles that display your stroke and stuff to you, like on the back of the goggle screens when swimming.

Brian:  Wow.

Ben:  And, I got two years in the racing with them, and I just burnt out on all that stuff. I was like, “I just want to go back to my cheap-ass $15-Timex and just pay attention how I feel when I'm running and pay attention how I feel when I'm cycling,” not because I think those other training metrics and training technologies are bad or not useful. But, I got to the point where I just burnt out on all that stuff. And, now, I'm very selective about what I wear and what I track. And, especially, for me, the biggest one is when I'm exercising. I just don't like to be wearing a lot when I'm exercising. I wear the ring. And, I used to just track HRV and recovery and every weight add lifted in all my sets, in all my reps, the Strava distance and all that stuff. I just like to move now and unplug.

And, it feels really refreshing. If I was a pro-athlete or if I was coaching a pro-athlete, I'd have a different approach. But, if you're just trying to live healthy and be natural, you don't need all that stuff, really.

Brian:  Well, you know what? I think it's good to start off with something like that. Levels gave me a CGM to try out for free. And, it was great. So, for two weeks–Actually, I worked for months.

Ben:  Continuous glucose monitor.

Brian:  So, for a month, I tried it, and I tried different foods and I learned a lot. And, I tried, if I ate sourdough bread, it was slow-fermented, it was the right kind of bread, it's spiked way more than potatoes.

Ben:  It's spiked more with the potatoes.

Brian:  [00:15:11]____.

Ben:  Although, theoretically, the sourdough bread should have a lower glycemic index.

Brian:  I don't know. Wow, this drink's hitting me, actually.

Ben:  Is it?

Brian:  But, for me, I know it's variable for the person, but I just think, “But, the bread is more refined food,” I think I I'm going to put.

Ben:  Yeah, it can be. But, a couple of things to think about that, especially, for our listeners who are using a continuous glucose monitor, and this is really interesting, is, let's say that, on paper, slow-fermented sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than wonder bread or regular bread, and the lower glycemic index on paper than a potato, assuming you're not talking about a potato that's been cooked and cooled and taken out to form resistance starch, which is a cool way to pack a potato or rice. And, let's say that's the case on paper. But, the interesting thing is, where's the wheat from? Is there glyphosate herbicide pesticide exposure that would be causing a sympathetic nervous system response that would actually cause your liver to start mobilizing blood glucose as a stress response? Do you have a food allergy or food intolerance to gluten or gliadin or other wheat proteins that you don't have to potatoes that would produce a similar effect?

For example, Tim Ferriss is super into the slow-carb diet. And, legumes would be considered a slow-carb food, and green beans would be considered one of those legumes. And, I was consuming green beans as, not a staple in my diet, but I would probably have green beans once or twice a week. And, I got one of those continuous blood glucose monitors, and I started tracking. And, my blood sugar would spike over and over again when I'd have these green beans, which are supposed to be a slow-carb food that wouldn't spike your blood sugar. And then, I did one of these food allergy tests called the Cyrex panel, which is a pretty good, like a gold standard food allergy test.

Brian:   Is it a blood draw?

Brian:  Yeah. They test via the blood, the white blood cell reaction to both the raw and the cooked version of the protein. And then, they have a special testing protocol where they'll do back-to-back tests. And, it's really gold standard. It doesn't result in a laundry list of false positives for your food allergies. I was pretty clean across the board, but the only thing that I flagged really high for was green beans. And so, now I'm like, “Well, it's not just the glycemic index of a food that dictates how it's going to affect your blood glucose. It's not just the bacterial profile in your stomach, in your gut, which we also know will affect your blood glucose response to foods based on the studies in Israel. But, it's also whatever your sympathetic nervous system is doing in response to that food,” which gets super wild if it's like, well, maybe, I don't know, let's just say you're divorced and you had a really unpleasant divorce and your partner had a certain food, like chicken, that they cooked for you.

Brian:  [00:18:12]_____.

Ben:  And now, your blood glucose spikes in response to chicken.

Brian:  It spike.

Ben:  So, there could even be a psychosomatic component. So, that's why I think sometimes testing can tell you a lot of stuff that you really, really wouldn't realize just intuitively from books or whatever.

Brian:  That's interesting. Or, even if people eat on the go and they're driving and they're like, “You're stressed out. Your body is in a stress state,” and you handle foods differently.

Ben:  I think it is so under-emphasized, the importance of eating in a parasympathetic state. Now, of course, I'm very much a proponent of chewing your food 25 to 40 times, saying grace or doing breathwork or both prior to a meal, sitting down rather than standing when you eat, not commuting when you eat. But, I've become so cognizant of the change in my bowel function, the gas, the bloating, the undigested food particles I can see in my stool, and all the things that happen if I've consumed a meal when I'm on the go. And, you combine that with the fact that I don't really enjoy meals that I can–If I make myself an amazing smoothie and I drink it while I'm headed to a doctor's appointment versus drinking while I'm sitting at home, reading some cool news, which is–because if I'm eating by myself, which I do sometimes at home, and not with my family, I'll choose activities that are more passive while I'm eating, like reading the paper or thumbing through a magazine, reading a cool blog post, that type of thing. And, I'm highly cognizant now, and I think a lot of people really should be, about whether or not I'm in a sympathetic or parasympathetic state when I'm consuming food.

And, of course, back to the metrics tracking, you could use something like a heart rate variability monitor until you really, really know, only, I don't eat until you figured out how to get your heart rate variability high before you eat, with, of course, the only exception being people who are ultra-endurance athletes who have to eat while they're exercising. The worst my gut's ever been in my life was when I was racing triathlon and had to eat while I was exercising. And, not only that, but the increased gut permeability that occurs when you're exercising becomes even greater when you're exercising in the heat. And so, I would be mowing down power bars while riding my bike in 90 degrees. And, I needed those calories, theoretically. Even if you're ketogenic fat-burning —

Brian:  That's what I was going to ask.

Ben:  –whatever. You still need, you're still burning appreciable amounts of glycogen. A lot of people like, “You're just riding your bike for endurance.” But, I'm like, “No.” If I got to tackle a hill and I'm pushing out 500 watts on a hill, or during a race I've got 20 seconds to pass somebody, which is the allotted time to do so, at least it was when I was racing Ironman, I'm burning huge amounts of glucose. And, therefore, you need a throughput of glucose, in addition to ketones and fatty acids.

Now, when I was racing ketogenically, I still used about a quarter of the amount of carbohydrate that my competitors were using because I use more ketones and amino acids. But, you still need that glycogen throughput. And, that amount of eating is just so hard on the gut because you're eating in that sympathetic state. So, when someone is commuting in their car and eating, picture that as the same state as a triathlete hammering a power bar while they're biking down the highway 90 degrees. You're creating the same gut permeability scenario or, at least, something that's somewhat synonymous.

Brian:  How many years did you do each? Did you do fat-adapted training?

Ben:  Yeah, I did traditional Gatorade Sports Science Institute-recommended 60% to 85% carbohydrates up to 95% carbohydrate intake on race week to load, which I was accustomed to, because prior to that, I was a bodybuilder. And, the best way to get super swole on stage is, after you've done your morning weigh-ins during which you're fully cramping and because you're dehydrated and glycogen-depleted, and I'd weigh in at 180 pounds that morning and do my posing and stuff where all the judges are. But then, typically, with bodybuilding, it's in the evening when you do your full-on pose-off with all the people in the audience cheering between the 8:00 a.m. pose and the six 6:00 p.m. show, I would go and punish waffles, potatoes, ice cream. All the carbohydrates I hadn't been eating for weeks on end, I would gain easily in a day 10 to 15 pounds of water and glycogen weight. My muscles would just be popping through my skin and look super swole on stage.

So, I was accustomed when I got to Ironman, this concept of deplete carbs somewhat. And, by deplete carbs, what I mean is, when I was following the standard recommendations, eat 60% carbohydrate intake, but then get up to 85, 90% carbohydrate intake by the time that the day of the race was. And so, I did that for six or seven years, and had really bad gas, really bad bloating. And, even though I didn't test for it at the time, probably had SIBO, which a ton of endurance athletes especially have, who are following those basic carbohydrate recommendations. Fluctuating blood glucose levels, all of this led to me writing my first book, “Beyond Training,” because I was trying to hack these issues and figure out what was going on. So, I got into the world of self-quantification, testing.

I performed really well on carbs because there's a saying, sugar is sometimes drug. And, it can be a super, super-effective performance-enhancing aid, especially, if you've been low carb, and then you introduce carbon into the equation, you feel like you're on steroids. But, the problem, of course, was all the metabolic and longevity side effects of that amount of carbohydrate throughput. So, then, I started to experiment with low-carbohydrate intake with ketosis. I had an extrinsic motivator because Dr. Jeff Volek asked me to be part of the FASTER Study at University of Connecticut.

Brian:  Zach, later, was part of it, too.

Ben:  Yes, Zach was a part of it. And, I was one of the selected ketogenic athletes. So, for 12 months, I followed a strict ketogenic diet, 90% full-on ketogenic.

Brian:  Like a traditional keto.

Ben:  Like a traditional, which, I think, for athletes, a lot of times, there's a mistake made, because we're told ketogenic diet is 30 to 40 grams, when, in fact, the research to date shows that endurance athletes stay in ketosis at a carbohydrate intake of up to 300 grams per day. But, for this particular study, I was closer to, probably, about 50, maybe 60 grams.

I remember that when I went in for that study, the pre-run the pre-three-hour treadmill run meal that they gave me was two strawberries in six ounces of heavy cream.

Brian:  Wow.

Ben:  The fat profile was accurate, but that was not enough calories. It was just nothing. So, anyways, I did that study. And, of course, during that study, I was still racing and everything and applying a lot of what I was learning in my training, using everything from exogenous ketones to amino acids to higher intake of electrolytes, just because your electrolytes get more strict when you're stripping glycogen from your body.

And, it got to the point where I figured out how to feel really good on that fueling approach. Although, after the study, I shifted into more of a cyclic ketotic approach with evening carbohydrate refeeds, the reason being that, A, my performance was better. Although, with the evening carbohydrate refeeds, I was able to be in ketosis. And, B, burning fatty acids for most of the day, briefly foray out of it, and by the next morning, I was at three millimolar ketones because I was so fat-adapted. And, the other reason that I made that modification was because, during those 12 months of preparing for Jeff Volek study, my TSH went through the roof, my free T3 and T4 and total both plummeted, my testosterone went to a state of hypogonadism. And, a lot of that was because I had enough calories. I wasn't energy-restricted, but I did not have enough glucose to go around at all.

Brian:  Did you have enough protein?

Ben:  Yeah, I think I did.

Brian:  Some of those keto are too low.

Ben:  And, not only did I have a decent amount of protein. I was probably at about 0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight, which I think was enough protein. And, I was supplementing pretty heavily with amino acids at the time due to advice that Peter Attia gave me when I balked during one of my races.  called him up on the phone. We had a chat, because he was experimenting with a lot of this stuff at the same time that I was, and he had been using branched-chain amino acids. So, I started to use the BioSteel branched-chain amino acids that he recommended during a lot of my training sessions. And, because I was training so much, that's a lot of amino acids that you're taking in, if you're training two hours a day.

And then, I also met another guy named Dr. David Minkoff, who was more of a proponent of, instead of using the branched-chain amino acids, leucine and isoleucine and valine. He, instead, was getting better results for both health and performance with his clients and his athletes doing all nine amino acids, the nine essential amino acids. So, I started doing that instead. And, I got so into the effects, the multitude of effects that the essential amino acids had that wound up being one of my flagship products at Kion. I was just using them so much. That's the way I formulate a lot of my supplements scratch my own itch and figure out how to tweak it and refine it and turn it into a product. And so, yeah, from a protein standpoint, I think I was getting enough and I was using a hefty amount of essential amino acids, too.

Brian:  Interesting. Then, what was the results of this study? What did the FASTER Study show? I don't really remember the–Do you remember the big takeaways?

Ben:  Yeah, the big takeaways were–Man, it was such an interesting study because I showed up to the UConn lab the day prior to the three-hour treadmill run, which was the big part of the test, obviously, for endurance because this was a study specifically on the effects of a ketogenic diet on endurance performance and ultra-endurance athletes, primarily, ultra-marathoners and Ironman athletes. And, the day before were muscle biopsies. And so, they were looking at the composition of the muscle itself, which involves a guillotine-like needle plunged into the quadriceps and hamstrings to extract muscle.

Brian:  Yeah. [00:29:11]_____.

Ben:  So, you're very bruised the next day while you're doing that three-hour treadmill. Every time my foot strike the treadmill, there'd be a little grimace. And then, they did, basically, every 15 minutes during the treadmill, run blood draws to analyze what the blood metrics were doing. And, that would include blood glucose, fatty acids, etc. They did a VO2 Max test, maximum oxygen utilization to exhaustion test, the evening prior. And then, they did a stool, like a microbiome test.

There was nothing that earth-shattering about most of the results, from a microbiome standpoint or many of the blood standpoint, aside from the fact that both groups were pretty equivalent as far as the VO2 Max was concerned.

Brian:  On the other group was a traditional high carb.

Ben:  What's that?

Brian:  Was the other group traditional high carb?

Ben:  Well, they would just say a traditional, not a traditional high carb. But, yeah, traditional by the way that you and I would judge things. Would certainly be high-carb, but what they found was that the ketogenic diet did not offer any substantial improvements in performance versus the traditional diet, but there was also no average decrement in performance, either. So, it was awashed. But, that's from a performance standpoint, and I would argue that it's not awashed from a metabolic health standpoint, provided that you, maybe, modify that ketogenic diet in the way that I did after the tests, which would be to not restrict carbohydrates to the extent to where you're getting some physiological blowback.

They also found, and I think this would be advantageous, also, for the ketogenic diet, that the endurance athletes who are following the ketogenic diet had, and this was based on the muscle biopsy, better glycogen conservation mechanisms. We actually developed the ability to be able to hold on to carbohydrates better in muscle. They didn't analyze the liver because the liver biopsy would have been super painful. But, they analyzed the muscle. And, we were storing our carbohydrates more efficiently, or, at least, not burning through our carbohydrate stores quite as much, which makes intuitive sense because we were burning fatty acids and ketones more readily.

I don't recall what the microbiome effects were. I would imagine there'd be a shift, just because there always is when you're consuming carbs versus fat in the microbiome profile. But, the main thing was, it doesn't help you, performance-wise, but also, it doesn't hurt you.

Brian:  That's big because people just think they assume you have to have carbs to do this type of events.

Ben:  And, if they would have repeated that test on a highly glycolytic audience–And, by highly glycolytic, I don't mean a powerlifter or volleyball player or a tennis player, but more like a CrossFitter or someone who is engaged in efforts that are repeated and that are longer than about 30 seconds in duration, which is the point at which you begin to burn an appreciable amount of carbs. So, let's say people who are doing 30-second to two-minute hard efforts as part of their sport. They probably would have seen, because studies since then have shown this to be the case, that the ketogenic diet does not allow for as good of a performance if you're engaged in a highly glycolytic sport like that, simply because you're burning a lot of carbohydrates.

But, what I would like to see, and I don't know if this has been done, would be, well, what if you go, maybe, not full-on traditional ketogenic but low carb versus traditional? So, maybe, you're having 200 grams or even 300, which this week [00:32:44]_____ ketogenic, that 300 is still considered low carb. And, I would imagine that if you just shift ketogenic to be slightly higher carb, you wouldn't see any performance decrements in CrossFitters and stuff either. And, when I've done Spartan Racing, which is kind of like CrossFit, I've certainly found that to be the case, because when I did four years of Spartan Racing, I was low-carb the whole time, just doing evening carbohydrate refeeds. And, I was fine from glycolytic standpoint.

Brian:  And, on race day would you use carbs?

Ben:  For the Spartan race days?

Brian:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, but similar to my Ironman approach —

Brian:  Just less?

Ben:  –way less of what would normally be recommended, with a super-easily digested carbohydrate. And, for me, rather than the traditional approach of using a gel, that's typically fructose and maltodextrin, two highly fermentable carbohydrates, which aren't good for people who have gut issues, or using the sweeter glucose-based blends, or even something like the UCAN SuperStarch, which a lot of ketogenic athletes use, but which is also highly fermentable. And so, you get a lot of gas loading after your event that I just couldn't handle.

What I found worked best was a potato-based starch. So, I would use brands, for example, like Vitargo or GlycoFuse, which allows for a high glycemic index but easily digestible carbohydrate to be consumed during exercise. But, I would use a quarter of what they recommended per hour, which I think came out to around 100 calories or so of carbohydrates per hour. And then, I would have a shot of ketone esters or ketone salts and about 5 to 10 grams of amino acids and electrolytes. So, I was essentially filling in the carbohydrate gap with ketones, amino acids, and electrolytes, instead of carbohydrates with a trace amount of carbohydrates. And, that worked really well.

And, the only modification of that was that, for something an Ironman triathlon, using that fueling approach, I still found that, towards the very end of the race, when you're about to go, at about the 13-mile mark of an Ironman, you really put your pedal or put your foot to the pedal, pedal to the metal, and just everything you have left for the next, anywhere from 70 to 90 minutes is been how fast you're running that last 13.2 miles, I would be going very fast and going to the brink of exhaustion at that point. And, all I did at that point was quit drinking the ketones and the amino acids and everything, and I would just drink Coca-Cola. All the aid stations had Coke. It was the perfect [00:35:29]_____ just caffeine.

Brian:  For your sugar, yeah.

Ben:  It's like caffeine, sugar, cold. And so, for the last slightly more than an hour of the race, it would just be pure sugar. But, at that point, it just hits you really, really well because you've not been using that up until that point. And so, for Ironman, there's a certain point where I'd switch to just full-on sugar at the very, very end.

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Brian:  I did a pentathlon in the Masters' Championships. So, without even eating, I did it fasted.  I don't even know why I did it. I just did as a goof, I guess. But, I'm going to train for another one, the decathlon. I'll do all 10 events in two days.

Ben:  Wow.

Brian:  So, I used to be a pole-vaulter.

Ben:  Wow.

Brian:  So, I was like, if I can pole-vault, that's the hardest event. And, I can. So, I just did it fasted, but I think I'll do that approach using carbs next time on the day, but train pretty fat-adapted.

Ben:  Isn't the decathlon pretty, I guess what you'd call, phosphagenic, meaning most of the efforts are 10 to 30 seconds in duration?

Brian:  They are. They're very short. Well, they do have a 1,500. So, it's basically a mile.

Ben:  Oh, there's a 1,500.

Brian:  Yeah, but there's 100, 1,500. There's hurdles, there's javelin, shot put, discus, long jump. They have all kinds of stuff. I don't think it was optimum, the way I did it, but I don't know. I just was messing around.

Ben:  Well, for something like that, I would certainly supplement with creatine, for sure. And, you get creatine from muscle meat, but just using a good 5 to even 10 grams. If you haven't been using it this point, I wouldn't use it now. But, in future events, loading with creatine, not loading with it, but using it consistently every morning, 5 grams. And then, you could use some, like your race or your event morning fuel could be something like some sweet potato or something like that to top off the energy storage just a little bit.

But, a couple of ideas. A, I picked this up from a guy named Steve. I forget his last name. He worked for Hammer Nutrition. Basically, his argument was that, prior to an event, if you eat a meal that's higher in carbohydrates, based on the equation I forget, you might know this. What's the metabolic theory that the body will shift into substrate utilization based on the predominant substrate you are consuming? If you consume carbohydrates, you're going to burn more carbs in the acute phase afterwards. If you eat more fats, you'll burn more fats in the acute phase afterwards. I did a whole podcast way back with a gal about this. And, she had a whole article about it. And, I'm forgetting the name of the equation. Anyways, it's not even that important, aside from the fact that it sound really smart if I can remember what it was. Was that that damn kava or kratom? Maybe, something like that.

Brian:  I know. My head's a little floating.

Ben:  Is it?

Brian:  Yeah.

Ben:  I feel like I've had, maybe, three cocktails right now. So, hopefully, this isn't too shitty of a podcast for people. But, anyways, his theory was that, if you eat a high-carbohydrate meal prior to an event, then you risk shifting yourself towards a state of carbohydrate utilization so effectively that you almost get a post-meal hypoglycemic drop due to the insulinogenic response to the carbohydrates. And that, therefore, what you should do, if you are going to consume carbohydrates during, is for your pre-event meal, have something that's higher in fat. And, this is actually what I started doing for Ironman, such as, for me, it was just a fatty coffee with a butter or coconut oil and some cinnamon and salt. It was like a traditional fatty coffee type of approach. I'd say the actual B-word for the actual coffee, but I don't want a cease-and-desist order for us using that without the trademarks. We'll just go the coffee.

Brian:  Fatty coffee, yeah.

Ben:  Actually, I think I can go with this because it's not trademark. Dave Asprey‘s wonderful remarkable recipe for coffee. So, when I would use that, basically, I would be able to keep myself in fat-burning mode. And then, once the event began and the hypoglycemic issue was not as much of an issue because you become a lot more insulin-sensitive and don't need as much insulin released once you're actually exercising, that's the approach that worked really well for me. So, it was like don't have any carbohydrates until the event actually begins, and then start having your carbohydrates. And, that works pretty well. So, that'd be something to think about, too.

Brian:  I'm interested in just longevity, I guess. I think everyone is interested in that. And so, you're talking about the carb refeed at night. This is what I landed on as the best way to do a diet, I think. And, I want to get your take. So, it's like you're fat-adapted. You, maybe, get fat-adapted for a period of time, but then add in the carbs back in at night. And, I just think you get the best of both worlds. What do you think?

Ben:  Yeah, not only do you get the best of both worlds for the reasons that I dictated earlier, meaning that you top off your carbohydrate levels, yet, still are in a relative state of fatty acid utilization, the majority of the 24-hour cycle, with a brief foray out of ketosis and fat-burning due to that evening carbohydrate refeed. You can ensure that you more rapidly return to a state of fatty acid utilization by engaging in or consuming something that would be a glucose disposal agent or that would cause you to be more insulin-sensitive prior to that evening carbohydrate refeed.

And, for that, the best thing is, prior to your dinner that's going to include carbohydrates, you would do either a weight training session or a high-intensity interval training session —

Brian:  Exactly.

Ben:  –or a cold thermogenesis, and/or you would consume a glucose disposal agent, like berberine or bitter melon, or even if you were out at a restaurant, you go up to the bar and just order bunch of bitters on ice. That's also a good hack, if you don't have anything on you. Ceylon cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, any of these traditional GDAs. Probably, the best one right now, being dihydroberberine, which is a form of berberine that seems to work very well, or tooting my own horn, the product I developed, the Kion Lean. That's why it's Kion Lean, which is bitter melon extract, chromium, and vanadium.

And, anything like that prior to that evening carbohydrate refeed is going to make you able to return to your state of fatty acid utilization much better; plus, the carbohydrates that you consume with dinner allow for a greater serotonin response to the carbohydrates. Thus, resulting in better sleep due to the melatonin upregulation that occurs from the carbohydrate feed.

And then, as if that weren't enough, the advantages of this, the other cool thing is, when you have carbohydrates for your evening meal, you tend to allow yourself to be more social. Because what's the most social meal of the day, typically, the one where you might be going out to dinner or having a meal with the family where there's four different food groups on the table, some of which contain carbohydrates? What's the meal that might be the least, I guess, in your control if you are going out to a restaurant or over to someone's house for dinner? Well, it's dinner. So, why not hack your day or engineer your day such that dinner would be the most macronutrient-flexible meal for you? Because, if you are one of those people, like a lot of people are, who has total control of, and less social effects on your breakfast and your lunch, and for me, my breakfast and my lunch every day is the same thing. Breakfast is a ketogenic superfood smoothie, and lunch is a salad with some fish or nuts or whatever. Then, by saving all your carbohydrates for dinner, you're making yourself just a fun person to be around socially, and not feeling like you got to go to a steakhouse and just order a stick of butter and some steak.

Brian:  Well, this is great because this is the best of all worlds. This is what I've been trying to think about forever. And, it's like you have a longevity mode for, say, 21 hours a day. I call it longevity mode. And then, growth mode for, say, three hours a day. So, I do do my workout. So, I'm in growth mode. I'm doing my workout. I'm doing brief intense exercise. I sprint. I do weights. I do weighted bodyweight dips and pull-ups with 40 pounds. And then, I eat steak with some carbs. And, I feel like that's just the best of all worlds.

Ben:  Perfect example, last night, I went to Arlo Grey in my hotel. Paul Saladino and Luke Storey and Stefano Sifandos and I had dinner. I love that dinner with people. All three of those guys have been in my podcast. And, it's fun because, what winds up happening opening the kimono for our listeners, is when people who have podcasts together get together, it's almost like the podcast just keeps going and we keep talking about all this crazy shit at dinner. So, I was working during the afternoon. I know I had dinner. I took a peek at the menu, as I'm prone to do, just to see what is going to be available to order. And, I saw some things like sweet corn and carrots Texas tomato salad with sourdough bread, a watermelon, gazpacho, some elements of the menu that dictated that. I was like, “So, there's some decent carbohydrate option and it's not all Twinkies and donuts.” So, I'll have carbs tonight, for sure.

And, prior to that dinner, I dropped into the gym. I did a 5 by 10 deadlift. I took a cold shower. I grabbed my Lean. And, I went to dinner and I ordered a bitters forward cocktail with dinner. And so, all of those things just shifted me into a state where I could punish a bunch of sourdough bread and stuff. And, I'm not wearing my continuous glucose monitor on this trip. I wear it for about a week out of every month or so. But, I guarantee that, by doing all that stuff before dinner, I'm super carb sensitive. And, it's not as though you're–People are probably thinking, “Oh, my gosh, you just turn dinner into an hour-and-a-half-long preparatory affair by the time I exercise and do my cold shower.” But, what I'll do is I'll just say, “Well, part of my workout today, I'll just short in the morning workout and make the evening workout a little bit longer or something that.” So, as long as you think ahead and plan ahead, I think the carbohydrate refeed strategy works really well.

Brian:  I think it's the best way to live. I do two meals a day. I just like to eat a lot in two meals instead of three. But, man, so I was going to bring up alcohol. So, if people do it, we got [00:48:38]_____ way long time ago.

Ben:  A long time ago.

Brian:  So, for alcohol, if you're going to drink–I like to drink socially. I know some people in the health community, they're just like, “I don't drink at all. I'm so healthy.” I appreciate that, but I do like to be social and have a drink on the weekends. And, I'll do tequila and soda water, is my go-to. So, do you have any other tips for people who, if they do drink, what to do before or after?

Ben:  Yeah, for sure. Hide your car keys, A. Well, when you say drink, let me say this. What I don't want to do, and I sometimes question if I should have done this in my book, “Boundless,” I have two pages that's the party protocol, Vegas protocol, whatever you want to call it, where it's basically, so you're going to go tie one on and you're going to have a lot to drink, here's what to do. And, it's everything from the charcoal, tortillas in the morning to the glycine and the activated charcoal and everything by the bedside and the electrolytes in a glass of water for every glass of alcohol that you consume, and ideas for the cleanest burning stuff, like tequila or vodka or gin, or organic wine versus a margarita mix or super sugary protocol, it's all in there. We could fill up an hour with those couple of pages in the book. But, the reason that I sometimes question that is, I just don't endorse drunkenness.

Brian:  Me, too.

Ben:  I value sobriety.

And, part of that is because, well, it's multiple. A, I'm a Christian, and the Bible has told me to be sober and to not be in a state of drunkenness. And, I think that's wise, just because we don't want a bunch of people out beating their spouses and poisoning their livers.

Brian:  [00:50:24]____ drunkenness. But, have a couple of drinks.

Ben:  But, yeah, having a couple of drinks. And, by the way, I should note that, because I have a big article coming out about this on my website tomorrow, actually. When I say that I value sobriety, some people are like, “But, you've done ayahuasca and you've journeyed with psilocybin and you've used plant medicines, and that's being drunk.” I think if you take a ceremonial plant medicine in the proper set and setting and it's highly controlled and for a specific intention and it's not some crazy party where you're going into the k-hole or something like that, I don't equate that to drunkenness. And, I think that the spirit of any wisdom given in the Bible or elsewhere about valuing sobriety is dictating that because you don't want a bunch of drunk irresponsible people wandering the streets.

Brian:  Makes sense.

Ben:  I think doing ketamine in a doctor's office under close supervision or —

Brian:  Therapeutically.

Ben:  –doing facilitated psilocybin journey, in a highly controlled setting, I don't think that's drunkenness. But, anyways, rabbit hole.

But, back to you having a couple drinks. So, first of all, I think that, of course, the clean-burning alcohols are super, super important. That means, if you're a beer person, you make sure you're drinking organic non-GMO-based grains. There are even some wheat-free versions of beer that you can have. Some of the gluten-free stuff tastes crappy, but go as organic as you can with selected ingredients on beer. For wine, go with something very similar to the Dry Farm Wines approach where it is low-irrigated crops that have not been subjected to as much water and grown in a traditional European biodynamic type of style, old world wines with, because they don't get as much water, they have lower amounts of sugar, slightly lower amounts of alcohol. The grape is more concentrated in antioxidants. So, an organic biodynamic wine. And, if you're out drinking and you don't know and organic and biodynamic isn't on the menu, then Italy, France, and New Zealand are the three countries that tend to still use primarily organic and biodynamic methods. And, shout-out to Dry Farm Wines because that's the majority of the wine that we drink in our house.

Brian:  It's good.

Ben:  And, I just get a case of that sent to my house.

Brian:  I had some of that last night.

Ben:  And then, aside from that, tequila, vodka, and gin are all pretty clean. They burn pretty clean. Stay far away from mixes, like margarita or seltzers or any of these premade cheerleader drinks, as my wife calls them, that are just super-duper sugary. You just lost all your [00:53:08]_____ response, by the way.

Brian:  No offense. Yeah.

Ben:  And then, if I'm having more than a couple of drinks, then something that will mop up some of the acetaldehyde and ethanol. And, that would be activated charcoal or chlorella. Glycine can also work pretty well for both vegetable oils and for alcohol, like I have 2 to 4 grams of glycine, which is nice also, because glycine will lower your body's core temperature prior to sleep. And so, that can also help with sleep.

And then, there is an extract that is remarkable at that post-drinking morning haze that just cleans out your system. And, it acts very similar to what I would have recommended in the past, which would be N-acetylcysteine or glutathione for helping your liver to detox the alcohol. You can take that the night of or the morning after, or both. But, there is another supplement that Shawn Wells turned me onto. And, I'll find it because I just started using it this past month. Just let me look up the name of this. It's like a raisin extract.

Dr. William Seeds, who I interviewed on my podcast about peptides. He had developed something called a chill pill, which was similar to the ingredients in this one. But, it's called dihydromyricetin. I can only find. [00:54:44]____ it called super smart, but about three capsules of that in the morning just beats the pants off, glutathione N-acetylcysteine, anything else I've tried in that respect. So, that and just hydration.

The other thing that I always traveled to bars with in my fanny pack, actually, unless your dog just ate them, so I don't have them any longer, is some type of really good, tasty electrolyte blend. Rob Wolf has his company LMNT. I've been using this one made by a guy I interviewed in one of my podcasts a couple of months ago, a Navy SEAL named Nick Norris. He developed this really tasty electrolyte blend that has lemon and raspberry called Protekt.

And then, in a pinch, I guess, pun intended, I'll also just sometimes have a little Ziploc bag with a really good salt. And so, I'll typically order in between my drinks sparkling water on ice, and I'll add electrolytes to it and/or salt. And then, the other thing that I add to it is hydrogen tablets, which are really good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. So, typically, I'll have–Let's say I'm going to have three cocktails, and for me, that's a party, baby. I'm going off the rails if I'm having three cocktails. And so, I'll have a cocktail, a really good bitters forward vodka, gin, tequila, whatever. And then, have electrolytes with hydrogen tablet. Then, have a cocktail. Then, electrolyzed hydrogen tablet, then a cocktail. Then, have some hydrogen tablet. Get back to the hotel or the room or wherever, pop some charcoal or some chlorella and some glutathione or that dihydromyricetin I just talked about. The next morning, same thing, glutathione, dihydromyricetin. And, that's a basic protocol.

Brian:  That's good, helpful. And, I heard vitamin E is a good hack. If you're going to eat at a restaurant, there might be seed oils and that type of thing, that if you have a vitamin E in your pocket, it'll help protect.

Ben:  Yeah, vitamin E is a pretty good solution for everything, from controlling the formation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in response to high fructose or high alcohol consumption, to–Sorry, I'm just blanked. That darn kava, kratom, Feel Free. What was the compound we're just talking about? It was not glycine. You just named it, what we're talking about.

Brian:  I don't know. Vitamin E?

Ben:  Vitamin E. We should leave this in there, just so the listeners can chuckle. This isn't quite to the level of Tim Ferriss when he drunk-dials his listeners.

Brian:  I heard about that.

Ben:  I'm hoping we're still giving lucid advice here.

So, anyways, vitamin E can help with that. It's a pretty good antioxidant, too. High doses, post-exercise, you want to avoid because it can blunt some of the mitochondrial and hormetic response to exercise. But, in the scenario of a toxin, like alcohol, or high intake of fructose–

Brian:  Specifically, seed oils, too.

Ben:  Or, seed oils, it could be helpful. Probably, I would say, if you're going to take vitamin E, get a good blend of both the tocopherols and the tocotrienols. A lot of vitamin E, it's just one or two of the tocopherols. One plant-based compound called Annatto. And, the company, Designs for Health, has a pretty good version of this. Their Annatto is all four tocopherols and all four tocotrienols. I think that Thorne's vitamin E product is similar in that respect.

So, basically, what I'm saying is not at all Vitamin E is created equal. Make sure you get a good one. So, vitamin E for that or for vegetable oil exposure. And then, Dr. James Di Nicolantonio had a research paper that came out a couple of years ago in which he showed that spirulina, and also, glycine, which I mentioned earlier, are both very effective at controlling some of the oxidative and cell membrane damage that occurs in response to vegetable oil consumption. So, let's say you're eating that, granted it's cold expeller pressed canola oil, non-GMO, a little bit better than your average canola oil at Whole Foods, and you're at the Whole Foods salad bar and your dishing up your plate and everything, then just swing through the supplement section and grab some glycine and/or some spirulina, and you can have that after you've had the canola oil. And, it's going to control and mop up some of the damage.

Brian:  I like this. So, I'm making the film. We're talking about “Food Lies.” I'm trying to put everything you've ever learned, I've ever learned, we've all ever learned into one film. What do you think are the biggest problems? I'm always interested in how did we get in this mess. Why is 88% of Americans metabolically unwell? So, what message would you put in a film? I was telling you what I was going to do. We're saying meat is a health food and we're saying avoid the processed refined grains, sugars, and seed oils. But do you think that that's it? How do you boil it down? There's so much going on there, so many theories. What do you think it is?

Ben:  We could dish out theories till the cows come home, even though I don't know what that means because I'm not a farmer or a rancher, and I've never quite understood that analogy or metaphor or saying. And, we could do the whole echo chamber thing that every other podcast on the face of the planet is doing, like eat real food, don't have vegetable oils, be careful with excess sugar, or yadda-yadda-yadda. We know, but here's where I feel that the disconnect lies because I have children. There's still almost like this prevailing fault or philosophy, especially, in parenting, where you don't want your kid to be weird and you want your kid to grow up having the life that a lot of other kids have. You grew up in America. You got to have gone to In-N-Out Burger. And, what, you've never had a Twinkie? That's a classic American food. And, oh, my gosh, there'd be nothing better than after this 4th of July party than to do our traditional greasy pizza because that's what our dad did and that's what our grandpa did, and that's just our tradition.

And, I feel like there's almost this approach, especially, amongst parents, because I see this a lot, is, all the other kids are having cake, so it's okay to have cake, too. Even though all the parents, when you talk to them, at the party, they're like, “I'm gluten-free and I'm super healthy, but let the kids be kids. Let them grow up, enjoying all of our American comfort foods,” or enjoying, whatever, from Canada, you got to have poutine. So, the problem is that, I think, we still have a lot of societal pressure to not be weird, to not deprive our children of having a normal upbringing. And so, they should be able to have these foods. It's going to be hard for us to say, “You're going to throw a birthday party, but at the birthday party, we're going to have coconut ice cream and root beer floats made with real sarsaparilla and more of the good stuff versus the junk food, because junk food is woven into culture as such a tradition and go-to that it's uncomfortable in many social scenarios to extricate that.”

And so, I think, really, where it starts is parents educating their children to be themselves and do what they know is right and be educated about the consequences, including the metabolic food consequences of the decisions that they make and to not be who the world expects them to be and to be okay with being weird and defying social norms and being actually like dad. And, when you go to a birthday party where there's going to be cupcakes and stuff, you've got a really good raw cacao dark chocolate bar slipped into your backpack, and you're going to have that while everybody else is having cupcakes.

And, this sounds trite, but, in many cases, shifting a habit this deleterious to a culture starts with parenting. It starts with the kids. And so, if every parent were to just start to educate their children better and also tell their kids, “Look, it's okay if you don't have cake. Some of the other kids might think that's weird, but dad's going to take you out to ice cream tomorrow night. And, here's a dark chocolate bar you can take to the party.” And, I think that that would make a bigger dent than a lot of people realize if we were to just get a lot of this junk food out of tradition, out of vernacular, out of expectations of what a child should be able to have the joy of experiencing through childhood because what happens is they finally turned 25 and start to have some metabolic issues and start to look into healthy eating and healthy food and realize that what they've been doing for the past couple of decades was just swallowing hook line and sinker, what everybody else in society was doing because they needed to be cool or not be a social outcast from the food and drink standpoint. And, if we can get kids to the point where, rather than making a bunch of crappy mistakes and fixing them later in life when it's finally time to lose weight or whatever, you fix yourself because you're suffering metabolically, if you just never went through that phase, if you just grew up eating healthy food because that's what people do, then I think that would make a huge.

It should be weird to have a Big Mac. If you're having a Big Mac, it should be like–

Brian:  That's weird.

Ben:  That's weird. That's like you're eating dog shit. And, we have to get to that point in society.

Brian:  That's the goal. But, it's like, how do we get there? You got to teach people, also. So, I just came from beach volleyball. I'm getting sand all over my couch.

Ben:  That's okay. I got to wrap pretty soon. I have to check out of my hotel soon.

Brian:  That's true. Well, I was going to say, so I talked to these people. They're like the normal people. So, I'm hanging out with these beach volleyball people. I'm trying to tell them all this stuff, the health. I'm sure you get into these conversations and you're trying to download people on all this information. And, they're just like–My thing is that you can give them all the information, but actually doing it is another thing. So, this is what you're talking about. It's like how to actually live lifestyle if you can know everything, but actually doing it is the hard part.

And also, I think changing your community. You're talking about changing parenting, but if your community of people around you do it, then you're not weird. So, that's what I was trying to say. So, now, I'm in Austin. I'm hanging with people that are like-minded. And, now, I am not the weird person because we have a barbecue and everyone just shows up with healthy food. I don't know how to get there.

Ben:  Healthy food, that is tasty. And, that's really good. And, I think that, when we hear this idea, and this has been shown in research, I don't want to fat-shame, but fat people, a lot of times, are fat because a lot of their friends are fat, or unhealthy people are unhealthy because the people they hang out with are also unhealthy. And then, the healthy people hang out with the healthy people. So, we have this rift in society. We have the healthy people hanging out with healthy people, and the unhealthy or fat people hanging out with fat people. And, what then needs to occur is you have to start inviting your unhealthy friends or your overweight friends to the same type of events, but just make sure they're always outnumbered.

And, that's what I love about the dinner parties that I threw out my house, is I'll have somebody at the party who is not accustomed to eating healthy food that's actually tasty. They're accustomed to, what's the bodybuilding meal, broccoli and chicken [01:07:16]____ they're accustomed to [01:07:17]_____ food. Giving my lean chicken breast with no oil and no salt on it and some unflavored broccoli that's steamed, and maybe a little bit of white rice on the side. And, they'll show up to my house and it's a coffee and cacao-rubbed fatty ribeye steak and a glass of organic wine and some type of amazing natural gluten-free carrot cake and some baked sweet potato fries, along with the meat. And, people eat that, and they're like, “How do you not gain weight on this food? How is this healthy?” I'm like, ” Because God actually made some really great ingredients. And, when prepared properly, you can eat really, really well.” And, yeah, you still need a certain amount of self-control. Let's face it. At the end of the day, calories in, calories out.

Brian:  Exactly.

Ben:  There's a lot to be said for that equation. And, you can get fat on ribeye steak.

Brian:  If you get 10 pieces of that carrot cake.

Ben:  Exactly. But, that's the idea, too, is you want to do what you're doing, Brian, but then, bring people who are unhealthy or who aren't accustomed into the crowd, into the circle. And then, they go out to their friends. And, we just start to spread the word.

Brian:  Well, that's how to make it sustainable. I always try to spread this message of, I'm so lucky that I found this and get to eat this food. It's every meal to me is amazing treats. And, if people knew, that they could have an amazing treat as a healthy meal, then, maybe, they'd actually do it.

Ben:  That's why I just wrote a cookbook.

Brian:  You do? I'm writing a cookbook, too.

Ben:  I promise, that's my last shameless plug. I think that education is a big part of it, but education with love.

Brian:  And, acting.

Ben:  With love, not with shaming. Yeah, and acting on it.

Brian:  Well, I have another plug. I gave you this Biltong. You can take it on the plane.

Ben:  Thank you.

Brian:  So, my Nose to Tail company makes this Biltong.

Ben:  I'll hold it up for your camera. Grass-fed beef, and then Biltong, it's like jerky, but it's more dense and moist, right?

Brian:  Well, yeah. It's slow air-dried, instead of baked at a high temperature, to dehydrate jerky. So, it's softer.

Ben:  Wow, this looks really good. And, I'm going to totally punish this on the plane. Thank you.

Brian:  Go for it. I know you got to go, but next time, we could play some volleyball. I didn't know you actually played volleyball back in the day.

Ben:  I did. I played middle for University of Idaho. So, I was a short middle at 6'2″, but back then, I had hops until I got into endurance sports and converted a lot of my fast switch into slow twitch. But, still, I like some twos or threes on the beach, for sure.

Brian:  Let's get back in it.

Ben:  So, I'm going to be back in Austin in October for my friend, Joe DiStefano's room event, and I'll hang out for a few days. And, we'll definitely get some beach volleyballing, as long as you promise to go do a little cold swim at Barton Springs with me.

Brian:  I'll do that. It's going to jump in after.

Ben:  Come on.

Brian:  Good stuff, man. Good meeting you at Paul's suite. We crashed and cornholed. I think we won 15-0.

Ben:  We beat Paul Saladino and his girlfriend, 15-0. So, they probably should have had more plants prior to that game. And, I guess the last thing is we should title this podcast “Drunken Banter” or something like that. So, again, my apologies to folks, if I lost track there a few times during the show. I'm going to blame it on this Feel Free plant-based tonic. But, honestly, it's pretty good.

Brian:  It's not bad. If you don't want to drink, we talked about alcohol, this is a pretty good alternative to alcohol. I feel like I'm buzzed.

Ben:  I feel I'm buzzed, too. Actually, I think Khalil told me he was going to ship me a box of this stuff. What I like to do sometimes, find out what my ceiling dose is. So, I may try two or three of these. But, I tell you what. It's a little bit different taking it and having a microphone in front of your face because you get self-conscious and you're like, “Do I sound drunk right now?”

Brian:  Relaxed.

Ben:  Versus if you're just drinking at a dinner party and just chatting with a bunch of people. But, shout-out to these folks, Botanic Tonics Feel Free. Maybe, I'll see if I can hunt down a deal or something from them. I'll send it over to you if I do. So, thanks for having me on, man.

Brian:  Alright, man. I guess let's just wrap it up. See you, then.

Ben:  Alright, that's a wrap.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the show notes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful, “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormones, sleep, digestion, fat-loss, performance, and plenty more.

Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes that I mentioned during this and every episode helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. So, when you listen in, be sure to use the links in the show notes, to use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.



On a recent trip to Austin, Texas, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my new friend Brian Sanders.

Brian is the filmmaker behind the feature-length documentary Food Lies and host of the Peak Human podcast. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Mechanical Engineering before turning to technology and selling an app company. Brian has used his technical background and love for fitness and nutrition to also work as a health coach and co-found the health, media, and technology company SAPIEN

Brian is also a speaker and the owner of Nose to Tail, which provides premium grass-finished meat to the 48 contiguous states.

Prior to this podcast, both Brian and I did a “shot” of a kratom/kava euphoric-inducing blend called Feel Free, so the podcast got a bit crazy! If you want to try a shot of this stuff for yourself, click here and use code BEN40 for a 40% discount.

In this episode, you'll discover:

– Brian Sanders and Ben's “drunken banter” over some new products…03:05

– The difference between ancestral hacking and biohacking…06:30

– Why it’s important to track your metrics naturally, without wearables…10:05

– The most ideal state to consume food and how to stabilize blood glucose spikes…13:20

– Ben’s biggest takeaways from the Faster Study and what it involved…26:10

  • Study on the effects of ketogenic diet in ultra-endurance athletes
  • Muscle biopsies for muscle composition
  • Blood drawings every 15 minutes
  • VO2 Max test
  • Stool microbiome testing
  • Both groups were equivalent with VO2 max
  • One group was given a traditional diet, the other group with ketogenic diet
  • The findings:
    • Ketogenic diet group did not offer any substantial improvements in performance than the traditional diet group
    • No average decrement in performance either
  • Endurance athletes on ketogenic diet had better glycogen conservation mechanisms, based on muscle biopsies
  • Highly glycolytic athletes, like CrossFitters, the ketogenic diet does not offer as good performance because you’re burning a lot of carbohydrates
  • Low carb vs. traditional keto diet for CrossFit athletes should be tried

– What Ben carb-loaded before Spartan race days…31:00

– The best way to adapt your diet for improved longevity…41:00

– Ben’s best tips for including alcohol into your “healthy” diet…45:10

– Why Ben says it’s okay to be weird for the sake of being metabolically well…57:05

  • Prevailing fault, especially in parenting on “classic” American must-have foods
  • Societal pressure enabling people to eat junk food
  • Educating our children about the metabolic food consequences
  • Knowing vs. doing
  • Growing your “healthy” community
  • Spreading the word on sustainable healthy eating
  • Ben’s Boundless Cookbook
  • Biltong jerky

– And much more…

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Brian Sanders:

– Podcasts And Article:

– Books:

– Food And Supplements:

– Gear And Tests:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming Events:

Episode sponsors:

Kion Cold Thermogenesis Challenge: Kion is hosting a Cold Thermogenesis Challenge, and if you’re curious about cold thermo, new to it, or even if you’re Wim Hof himself—you won’t want to miss this challenge.

Butcher Box: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones.

Ra Optics: Purchase a pair of Ra Optics Day and Night Lenses to optimize sleep quality, energy, levels, and health in the modern, electrically-lit world. Receive 10% off your order when you order through my link.

Levels Health: Levels is currently running a closed beta program with a waitlist of 100,000+ people, but you can skip that line and join Levels today by using the link levels.link/BEN


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

3 thoughts on “[Transcript] – “Drunken” Banter, Unplugging From Wearables, Ketogenic Mistakes In Exercisers & Athletes, Carb Refeeds, Alcohol Hacks & Much More With Brian Sanders.

  1. Alina Warren says:

    The topic of this show is about a number of issues that are affecting fitness. One of the more serious topics discussed was people using alcohol to cheat on a ketogenic diet, which can lead to health complications. “We don’t want people drinking during their keto days,” Sanders said. He also discussed avoiding other mistakes such as bad carbs and not unplugging from wearables after exercise–to see how well you’re recovering and what your heart rate is doing post-workout. Other advice he gave included carbing up before or after hard workouts, for instance if you need the energy; turning off notifications while working out; and an alcohol hack called chugging sparkling water with vodka in it to get in your daily hyd

  2. Alina Warren says:

    “Really, is it your birthday last night?” I asked the man sitting across from me. I had seen him earlier in the day and he didn’t seem like a guy into celebrating his own birthdays. When he said yes, my co-worker and I walked over to give him one of our celebratory surprises!

  3. Mia Emma says:

    Many people allow their smart devices to dictate how they live their lives, and they never take the time to actually enjoy all that the world has to offer. There are so many things in this life worth being excited and engaged with, after all. Disconnect for one week and you may be surprised by how much you have been missing out on by living your life via social media or online searches. Wearables need not be a time-sucking device; rather use it as a tool in improving your health, like Walkscope for weight loss or Fitbit for exercise goals. “If we’re able to consume without consequences, we tend not to view

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