[Transcript] – What Happens If You Take Too Much Creatine, A Notorious Deficiency On High-Protein Diets, How To Become A Nutrition Ninja & More With Chris Masterjohn.

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/chris-masterjohn-nutrition-masterclass-podcast/

[00:00] Introduction/ Health Gains

[03:47] About Dr. Chris Masterjohn

[06:59] Dr. Chris Masterjohn’s Involvement in the Weston A. Price Conference

[10:22] Why Dr. Chris Masterjohn Thinks Humans Need to Eat Their Body Weight in Food

[12:00] About the Laws of Thermodynamics

[12:38] Second Law of Thermodynamics

[17:52] Difference Between the Application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to Different Creatures

[19:55] Practicality of Knowing About Fueling the Body with Food

[23:59] Creatine and the RDA of Creatine

[30:04] Black Friday Deals/Get Kion/Organifi

[33:01] Importance of the Ratios of Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats

[39:03] Anaerobic Glycolysis

[44:54] Controversial Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diets

[53:11] Thiamine Deficiency

[59:38] Ketogenic Diets and Refractory Epilepsy

[1:00:53] Vitamin B6 Deficiencies in Ketogenic Diets

[1:05:12] About Online Classes by Dr. Chris Masterjohn

[1:08:54] Master Class with Masterjohn

[1:13:17] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield.  Got a smart cookie on the show today with me, my friend Dr. Chris Masterjohn.  We’re going to talk about what happens if you take too much creatine, high protein diets, and a notorious deficiency that can happen on those, how to become a nutrition ninja, and a lot more.

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In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“If you’re talking about adipose tissue having triglycerides and releasing the fatty acids in the glycerol from the adipose tissue, the transport time to get into the muscle cell is the limiting factor in why that’s not fast.” “…in order to deliver oxygen to your muscles, you need to rewire several things.  You need to breathe faster, you need to pump your blood faster, you need to bring the oxygen from your lungs through the blood to the muscle tissue and you need to do that enough that over time you raise the amount of oxygen in the muscle tissue and you max it out.”

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and if you always wished you were just a little bit better at putting your propeller hat on when it comes to biochemistry and understanding more about how your body processes food like fat, and carbohydrate, and protein, and how the insides of your cells actually work when it comes to things like nutrition and diet.  Have I got a podcast guest for you today!

He’s been on the show before and he’s pretty brilliant.  On his previous show, we talked about why sugar isn’t as dangerous as you might think; how your genetics affect your sleep, liver toxicity, and a whole lot more; his name is Dr. Chris Masterjohn.  Chris is not only a brilliant guy with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut where he’s worked as a professor.  Now, where are you a professor, Chris?

Chris:  I was a university professor.  I was assistant professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York from about August 2014 to December 2016.  Since January 2017 I’ve been all on my own.

Ben:  You got fired, you mean?

Chris:  No, I resigned my position in order to pursue an unemployed life.

Ben:  Ah.  A noble pursuit indeed! And by unemployed do you mean being a podcaster?

Chris:  That’s one of the things I do.  So, I do consulting with clients, I have a podcast, I make educational videos, I have a blog, I do some other stuff on my website, I do multiple things that all center around trying to take my fundamental expertise which is in nutritional science and my fundamental personality characteristic, that I think I can really do something unique with, which is my rebellious streak and out of the box thinking to take complex science and break it down either in a way that can meet people where they are so they can get something practical out of it and us it, or just translate it into new ideas that can be used for research or development.  So, I want to work on these multiple fronts all with taking my out-of-the-box thinking, pairing it up with my expertise in nutritional science, and translating complex science that’s just sitting there doing nothing into something really useful on these numerous fronts.

Ben:  Yeah, you do a lot of that on your podcast which sometimes makes smoke come out people’s ears because it’s so great at diving into the science.  It’s called “A Master in Nutrition” for those of you who haven’t heard of Chris’ podcast before.  I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for this show over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Masterjohn.  That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Masterjohn and john is spelled J-O-H-N.

Chris, by the way, presented along with me at the Weston A. Price Conference and so if you’re listening in and you feel like heading over to the fantastic city of Minneapolis this November, I’ll also put a link to this in the show notes where you can go and join us at the Weston A. Price Conference.

What are you talking about there this year, Chris, do you know?

Chris:  Yeah, I’m giving a couple talks.  So, one is a Monday session which is like a post-game where I’m doing a workshop all day long on nutritional status but then I’m also giving some talks on hormonal health and mental health I think.  Man, I’ve got to look up my talks! Hormonal health is definitely one of them.

Ben:  I know, that happens to me sometimes.  I forget what I’ve proposed to talk about until a few weeks before the event when I actually have to bust butt on an 8-hour flight to get a PowerPoint done and then I go back and check.

Chris:  I just give too many talks at that conference!

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  You’re all over the place there.  You’ve been to the Weston A. Price Conference, you tell me what, like ten times or something like that?

Chris:  I’ve been there ever since 2003 and I’ve been a speaker there every year since 2006.

Ben:  Oh, jeez! So, like 15 times!

Chris:  And I often have given two to three talks in one conference several times.

Ben:  Busy boy, jeez! Well, it’s a great conference.  We eat a lot of lard, and pork, and grass-fed butter there.  So, great place to be.

Chris:  Yeah, I mean, that Weston A. Price is really where I was born as a nutrition scientist because I mean, we’ve shared background stories before.  I was a history major before I discovered the work of Weston Price and I was a vegan, my health was falling apart, I discovered Weston Price and that was really what turned my health around.  And so, at that time, it was kind of early on in the internet where most people had the internet but there was no social media, there wasn’t even blogging, and so, at that time, a lot of people congregated on Yoohoo groups, or Yahoo Groups, excuse me, and…

Ben:  I was going to say Yoohoo, that’s chocolate milk.

Chris:  (laughs) No, weren’t into Yoohoo at that time, if we had it, we would be having chocolate milk and making it out of raw milk from the farmer.  Anyway, yeah.  That was where I found my online community and really developed a sense of where I could write things people cared about and so now, I’ve come into my own thing, spreading out, I’m all over the place now, but back in 2003/2004, that was really my community.

Ben:  Yeah, it’s a great conference.  So, that’s November 10th to the 13th for those of you listening in.

One of the things that of course we do at that conference, as I mentioned, is we eat and you had mentioned to me, Chris, one of the things you wanted to delve into today was why people actually need to eat such an enormous amount of food.  I wasn’t really sure what you meant by that if it’s because you think people are broken or just the human body needs a copious amount of food compared to say…  It’s kind of funny, last night I was reading a book to my kids I just bought them in Iceland called “Trolls” and it goes into how trolls sleep so much and lay around so much and they wake up and take a week to get out of bed when they wake up.  Contrary to popular belief, even though they’re so large, trolls don’t need to eat much food because they just lay around all the time and they have very slow metabolisms.  I’m guessing that’s not what you meant, but why do people need to eat such an enormous amount of food?

Chris:  I don’t think most people even realize how much we eat because we, first of all, we tend to think of our food, if we quantify it at all in terms of caloric intake, and most of us don’t have an intuitive way to correlate what is a calorie versus what is the pile of food that I’m actually eating would look like at the end of the day.  So, there was some data that came out a couple of years ago showing that the average American eats 2,000 pounds of food per year which is literally a ton! And there was an NPR article that came out about this, basically saying this is why we’re fat! We’re literally eating a ton of food a year! And actually it’s sort of silly if you skimmed off of whatever, I haven’t calculated it but, if you were to look at how much weight do you gain a year in order to become obese and you multiply that by the amount of food and you subtracted it, you wouldn’t be eating that much less than 2,000 pounds of food a year.

So, we all basically need to eat our body weight in food more than once a month and that’s kind of bizarre if you think about it because where is all the mass and energy going? I mean clearly we need to eat something because we’re made out of matter and clearly we need more energy on top of that because we do things and even when we’re at rest, out heart is beating, we’re creating body heat, this and that.  But, it really is answered by looking at the laws of thermodynamics.

So, the first law of thermodynamics is that energy is conserved.  That doesn’t really help us out because if we conserved our energy, why don’t we just reuse it? Why don’t we just have one heartbeat, use that energy again for the next heartbeat, use it again for the next heartbeat, we shouldn’t need to eat anything at all.

Ben:  Right, like a perpetual motion machine.

Chris:  Right, right! If the energy in the universe is fundamentally constant, why do we need to dig for oil, why don’t we just reuse everything? And so, the real answer is in the second law of thermodynamics which is often stated in numerous ways.  One is to say the entropy, or disorder of the universe, is always increasing.  But, an intuitive way to describe this is the second law is looking at the fact that everything is in motion and everything, no matter how steady it looks is buzzing around at least at a microscopic level, with random movements here and there.  If we don’t invest our own energy in an ordered and organized way to keep things in a certain place or to put one thing here and one thing there, then the dominant movements are random movements in any given direction.  So, because of these random movements in any given direction, everything has a tendency to disperse.  And if everything has the tendency to disperse movements, then that means everything has the tendency to fall apart.

If you look at what the human cell looks like internally, even if you were to look at just you or me.  On the outside we look very ordered, like our eyes are fairly symmetrical at the top of our head, our nose is in the middle, and mouth in the bottom, we’re very non-random.

Ben:  Right.

Chris:  But, when you actually take a microscope and you look at individual cells, you see this stunning complexity that makes even complex human machines, like look inside the inside of an Apple Watch or something, and it’s not going to look anywhere near as stunningly complex and intricate and organized as the inside of a human cell.

All of these things are kept in this order despite the second law that states that everything is always dispersing, randomly moving, and falling apart.  Everything is becoming disordered because of the fundamental laws of physics.  The second law then implies, that if we want to keep the two eyes at the top of our head, the nose in the middle, and the mouth at the bottom, or on a microscopic level, if we want to maintain that stunning complexity the way it is to make our cells work, we need to invest energy in: number one, creating that ordered environment despite the second law; number two, maintaining it despite the constant pressure of the second law to make it degrade; and then, number three, whenever our maintenance fails, we need to come in and repair it.  So, if you were to tally up the energy that we’re using, we’re devoting half of our energy to just those tasks.

But, then the second law also says that if you take any given thing that happens in the universe and some of it is an increase in order, it has to be compensated for by the increase in disorder of the surroundings because the disorder of the whole thing, the universe, everything all has to add up to a constant increase in disorder.  So, every time that we create order in ourselves or we maintain that order or we repair it, we have to release a larger amount of heat into our environment to satisfy the increase disorder of our surroundings.  And when you look at that, that explains why we take so much food, we eat out body weight in food once a month or more, and most of what we’re doing with that energy is releasing it as heat.  A good test of that is realizing…

Ben:  We’re releasing it as heat?

Chris:  Into the environment.

Ben:  And that’s why we need to eat so much food because we as human beings release our energy as heat?

Chris:  Well, the amount of heat that we release is related directly to the amount of order that we’re creating in ourselves.  So, you could push back on this, well, we have to release heat because we have to maintain a constant body temperature or something like that, but we could have evolved, if it weren’t required by the second law, we could have evolved better insulation so that we could use that heat more efficiently to maintain our body heat and not release it into the environment.  But we can’t because the second law of thermodynamics requires that the total disorder of the universe always be increasing.  The universe can be conceived of as any given system plus all its surroundings.  If you, Ben, are considered a system, then all of the order you’re doing to maintain your stunning complexity inside yourself has to be compensated for by releasing heat into the environment to increase the disorder of the environment.  So, Ben plus Ben’s surroundings is the universe.  As long as you’re releasing enough heat into your environment to compensate for what you’re doing inside yourself to be healthy, then the net disorder of the universe is always increasing, satisfying the second law.

Ben:  Okay.  Okay, got it.  So, does this make us different than other creatures walking around? Are we actually eating more pound for pound than any other creature or are you just saying this is physics, this is life in general.

Chris:  Well, there are two answers to that.  So, in terms of the second law and the principles, this is physics.  This doesn’t make us different from a rock, a rock’s a bad example on an intuitive level, but any chemical reaction or any physical thing, this is always true that whatever is going on in the inside to create order, to incorporate energy and build something complex, is always compensated for on the outside.  You could take a bacteria and its fundamental decay is in a bacterium, you are constantly taking…  Why does e coli need ATP? Well, that’s because e coli is constantly creating order in itself just to keep everything, you cannot have life without that complexity.  So, e coli is also releasing heat into the environment that’s disproportionate to proportionate or larger than the amount of energy it’s incorporating for itself.  The difference is with complexity.  So, if you compare e coli to a human being or you compare a human being to many other animals, then the degree to which we are more complex plus the degree to which we are more active, all of those things are going to sum up to a greater need for energy.

Ben:  Okay, okay.  Got it.  So, ultimately, what’s the takeaway as far as the practical aspects of this? Are you saying that we’d gain less weight if we figured a way to dissipate more heat or we should figure out a way to actually better use the food stuff we are eating?  Where does this fit in practically for human beings knowing why we need to eat so much food?

Chris:  Honestly, man, this is so devastatingly impractical, but I think you’re alluding to another point should we even bother learning stuff that doesn’t have an immediate take home for practical purposes.  I’ll tell you, man.  I’m teaching this stuff now because when I was in Brooklyn College as a university professor, I was teaching people who were on the path to become registered dieticians, nutritional chemistry, and I was trying to make it as practical as possible.  Now, registered dieticians, just like nutritionist or, you know, pick your specialty, but this is a deeply practical degree that people are working on.  Everyone who is in my class was there because they wanted a career in being a registered dietician and what they need to know is how to teach people how to eat, to teach people what to eat and when to formulate diets, all deeply practical stuff.

But, what I found was that, I want people to understand nutrition at a level that isn’t just what do I eat and when, but especially when they’re responsible for formulating other people’s diets and helping other people, these are the real people I’m talking about.  So, there are people who just don’t want to be fat and that’s the extent that they care about nutrition or they just want to be healthy or whatever or they just want a handful of guidelines, but right now, I’m speaking to the people who teach.  I’m speaking to the people who help other people with nutrition.  I’m speaking to the people who need to understand it at the next level and the thing is, when you only understand this is what I tell people what to eat and when, and how much to eat and when, then you don’t understand the whys and the mechanics behind those things then you become kind of like, an app but with a less sophisticated algorithm behind it.  You can only spit out certain things in response to certain things.  And that’s great when you’re dealing with people who all conform to the average case, but if you want to be in a good position as someone whose helping someone else, you want to be able to understand the times when people don’t behave normatively.

Like, I want to give someone 2,000 calories, but they’re behaving as if I was giving them 2,100.  I want to give someone 5,000 IU of Vitamin A, but they’re responding as if they need 20,000.  When things deviate from the way they look in the textbook of what to do, the only way you can reason through and make sense of that is when you understand how things work.

So, the reason I love opening any discussion like this of thermodynamics is not at all because someone is going to say, “well, wait a second, I’m going to do something right now with the explanation of why I eat my body weight in food once a month,” it’s really because of the next thing I’m going to talk about, no matter what it is.  You start off talking about nutrition and someone says “well, the RDA for vitamin A is 3,000 IU a day, but you store it in your liver, why does someone who’s 40-years-old who has a bunch of vitamin A stored in their liver need to eat vitamin A everyday?  Why don’t they just reuse what they have?”

Ben:  Mhm.

Chris:  That comes down to the second law of thermodynamics.  Ben, you come from fitness, right? Why should I bother supplementing with creatine when I have at least 120 grams of creatine in my body right now?

Ben:  120 grams.  And to put that in perspective, normal supplementation you’d be recommended five grams a day.

Chris:  Well, Ben, I took five grams this morning.  So, Ben, what’s the point, right? The point is that, every single day, because of the second law of thermodynamics, because creatine is designed to do something in your muscles and yet because of the second law, is going to move in random motions and do random things, it has this little vulnerability in it where it tends to bind to itself in a totally random fashion that you didn’t try to make it do that all but it just happened to bump into itself.  And it formed a ring that you don’t have enzymes that take apart and you use it to supply your muscular power anymore and that’s called creatinine.  And now, you’re peeing it out because you have nothing else to do with it.  So, every day even though I have 120-grams of creatine in my body, I’m peeing out two to three grams and if I want to make up for that, I’m going to have to take the amount that overshoots that a little bit to make sure that I’m compensating for it plus I’m compensating for the fact that I’m not going to 100 percent absorb it and so the second law can explain why these things are degrading in our bodies and why we need to input creatine into our system every day.

Ben:  When you say creatinine, let’s say you get your blood measured, and you see creatinine as something that shows up as being high, does that mean that you’re taking too much creatine or is that simply mean that you’re using the creatine that you’re taking?

Chris:  Are you talking about in your urine or in your blood?

Ben:  I guess I didn’t realize there was a difference.  Is there?

Chris:  Let’s get through this.  So, you have about 120 grams of creatine in your body.  You can, if you’re 70 kilograms, you can extrapolate up or down if your body weight is different.  So, 70-kilograms times 2.2 is 154 pounds.  The average person has 120 grams of creatine.  If you have 120 grams, you’re losing about two grams or maybe a little more than that, in your urine.  But what happens, first it degrades into creatinine in your muscle.  Then it gets released into your blood.  Then it gets cleared by your kidneys and in fact, it’s really interesting, the kidneys will cycle through sodium and potassium and all kinds of things, but they reabsorb over 99% of what they take in.  In other words, your blood filters through your kidneys and then a lot of the energy your kidney is engaging in all day long is just taking sodium and potassium and other electrolytes that went into that filtrate, that fluid that filtered through the kidney, and then sucking it back up.  And you look at that and you’re like “why don’t you just make less fluid go though so you don’t have to expend all this energy trying to reabsorb the electrolytes?” The reason is, a large explanation for everything that the kidney does, is that you have to cycle through all that fluid through the kidney because what you’re not reabsorbing is the creatinine.  So, the kidney is just all day long, passing through fluid that has creatinine and electrolytes then sucking the electrolytes back up and letting the creatinine go out in the urine.

So, if your kidney function declines, like if you have kidney disease or your kidneys just stopped working as well, the creatinine is going to get stuck in your blood.  So, your creatinine gets up in your blood, that’s a sign that your kidneys aren’t working as well.  If your creatinine goes up in your urine, that probably means you’re degrading more of it.  Now, if you’re supplementing with creatine, I’m not a doctor or a renal physiologist, but whoever is in charge of interpreting this data is going to have to take into account the fact that you’re supplementing with creatine when they’re looking at those values.  Just to be clear, you can get three grams of creatine from eating one to two pounds of meat a day.  So, you’re not doing something very abnormal or unnatural when you’re taking five grams of creatine per day as a supplement.  That’s sort of like if you’re taking 200mg of vitamin C.  You’ll say you’re probably not getting that from your diet, but if you’re eating a lot of fruits and vegetables you would.  So, 200mg of vitamin C is very natural.  Same thing with five grams of creatine.

So, it’s always the case that people have a significant input of creatine in their diet, but you’re probably not going to get five grams.  So, if you go into the doctor and you just took five grams of creatine that morning, and they see creatine in your blood, it’s probably going to be higher than it usually would and you should probably tell them you’re supplementing with creatine so they can take that into account.  But, in a natural functioning body with no supplementation, creatine going up in the blood is a marker of poor kidney function.  Creatine going up in the kidney is a marker of increased creatine turnover and that could be a problem.  If your muscles are basically falling apart…

Ben:  Right.

Chris:  … they’re going to release more of it for sure.

Ben:  But it would be normal if you were taking a lot of creatine for a little bit of extra creatinine to be showing up in the blood or in the urine?

Chris:  Yeah, yeah.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  Interesting.

[Music Plays]

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[Music Plays]

Ben:  Now, how about when we’re talking, kind of stepping back and looking at big picture because I’m curious about this from a dietary standpoint…

Chris:  Yeah.

Ben:  When we’re eating protein or carbs or fats, whether it’s a ketogenic diet or a high carb diet or a vegan diet or whatever, why does it even matter, the ratio of proteins or carbs or fat if everything winds up relying upon cellular respiration anyways?

At the end of the day, and I had a little bit of a talk with Denise Minger about this when I interviewed her, and it was fascinating, this idea behind “oh, if you eat carbohydrates, you’ll burn carbohydrates, and if you eat fats, you’ll burn fats,” and as long as you’re not eating too many damn calories, it doesn’t really matter what you eat when it comes to macronutrients.  What’s your take on that? Why does it matter whether we eat protein or carbs or fats, assuming we’re not eating too much of everything since it’s all going to get burned anyway at the end of the day?

Chris:   Yeah, so there are so many answers to this question and I’m going to try to get through some of them.  If you want me to go through them in a different direction, just poke me and put me in one because there are dozens of possible answers to this question.

Ben:  Kind of scared to poke you, dude, because a whole bunch of information comes out every time I do.

Chris:  Man, virtual poking, man.  You just got to poke me the other way.  The problem is you poke me once and you don’t poke me twice, you know what I mean?

Ben:  Yeah, I hear you.

Chris:  If it comes out, I’ll help you out.

Ben:  Alright.

Chris:  So, the first answer is it doesn’t matter.  So, as Denise was saying to you, that’s totally true.  If you take some on a mixed diet and then you ramp up their carbs real high, as long as they’re healthy, their micronutrients are met, everything is balanced otherwise, their carbohydrate oxidation is just going to go through the roof.  I mean, if you put someone on, even if it’s a hypercaloric diet, this has been shown experimentally, if you take someone on and put them on an 86% carbohydrate diet that is massively hypercaloric so that their total carbohydrate is exceeding their total energy needs, they’re going to get pretty much all of their energy needs from carbohydrates and then they’ll store the rest as fat.  Alternatively, if you just ramp up the fat, people are going to fat adapt, they are going to keto adapt, and their beta-oxidation and their fat burning is going to be way higher.  So, that’s totally true and one of the answers to that question is it doesn’t matter.

Another answer to that question which I think is probably your audience is probably familiar with this and certainly you are, is you have a certain need for protein because nitrogen in carbohydrate are fat.  So, we have a pretty remarkable ability to interconvert different things in our body, but we can’t make elements.

Ben:  Right.

Chris:  And protein is the one macronutrient, so you will never take carbohydrates…

Ben:  You cannot generate protein from carbohydrates no matter what.

Chris:  So, the elementary answer to that is correct and the advanced answer to that is false.  So, what is true is you will never, ever, ever take pure carbohydrates and turn it in to a protein because there’s no nitrogen in it.  The advanced answer is that there are pathways by which you could take some of the atoms from the carbohydrate and combine them with the nitrogen from other amino acids and turn them.  Eventually the carbons in the carbohydrate will make their way into a protein, you can do that.  You just have to eat a certain amount of protein or you’ll never make those muscles.  You have the muscles, right.  If you go on a protein-free diet, you’re just going to start degrading your muscular protein and you’re never going to replace it.  So, you’re going to waste your muscle mass.

To put some numbers on that. The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram body weight, probably the minimal that people need for healthy body composition is 1.2 grams per kilogram body weight.  That winds up being, you multiply kilograms by 2.2 to get pounds, but you know, athletes are routinely eating more than that and I think that a lot of people who have really specific body composition goals need more than that.  The RDA is based on the principle we were just talking about.  Someone on a low-protein diet, you’ll watch the amount of nitrogen that they pee into the urine and if they’re peeing out more nitrogen in the urine than they’re eating in the diet, then they’re not in nitrogen balance.  And if you’re peeing out more nitrogen into your urine than you’re eating in your diet, then clearly you’re not going to be gaining muscle.  You’re not going to be maintaining your muscle, you’re going to be losing your muscle mass over time.  So, the RDA is the bare minimum you need to prevent wasting your muscle away.

So, that’s one answer that’s fairly intuitive to people that you need to eat a certain amount of protein just because of the nitrogen that’s there and you need to make your muscle proteins, but there are other examples where it starts to matter.

Ben:  Okay.

Chris:  For example, there are things that you can’t do with anything except carbohydrates.  So, someone who is engaging in athletics has at their disposal in their skeletal muscle, they have three basic systems of energy.  You mentioned cellular respiration, that’s using oxygen to burn food for energy, you can burn protein, you can burn fat, you can burn carbohydrates, and that’s great.  You also have ATP and creatine.  These are already formed in your muscle just waiting to be burned really fast.  Right, so if you’re using cellular respiration, it’s going to take a little while to burn that energy, if you’re using ATP that’s already formed, it’s really quick, because it’s already there.  Boom, boom, boom!

Then the third is anaerobic glycolysis and anaerobic glycolysis is how you can get ATP from glucose right at the site of muscular contraction without needing oxygen.  This is how you produce lactic acid when you exercise.  When you do that, there are basically two situations where you have obligate needs to use anaerobic glycolysis for energy.  One is because of time.  So, if you start engaging in exercise that is exhaustive over the course of three to six minutes, like really intense exercise that will flatten you out in a few minutes, there’s going to be a period of time where, in order to deliver oxygen to your muscles, you need to rewire several thing.  You’ll need to breathe faster, you’ll need to pump your blood faster, you’ll need to bring the oxygen from your lungs through the blood to the muscle tissue and you need to do that enough that over time you raise the amount of oxygen in the muscle tissue and you max it out.  But if you spend six minutes of exhaustive exercise, it’s going to take you the whole six minutes before you get to running mostly aerobic.  During the course of those six minutes, you’re not going to be able to run on your ATP and your creatine alone for the speed and intensity you want, and within maybe five to 10 seconds, you’re going to start using some glucose to fuel that.

Then maybe, 30 seconds later, there’s going to be a window where, if you want to maintain your maximal intensity, you really have no choice but to use that glucose because you haven’t gotten enough oxygen into the muscle to maximize your cellular respiration yet and meanwhile, you’ve already blown through all of the existing ATP and creatine supply.  So, that window where you want to maintain intensity after five, 10, 15 seconds, but before three, six, probably nine minutes off in maybe even fifteen minutes sometimes to really get maximum aerobic, that time window is one reason you need to burn glucose for your maximal intensity.  The other situation is if you’re already maximal aerobic…

Ben:  And that can’t be done by driving your glucose from the glycerol backbone of say like fats or something like that?

Chris:  Well, I mean, not immediately, no.

Ben:  I mean, I guess what I’m saying is, I could eat a high-fat, extremely low-carbohydrate diet, go out and do a very glycolitically demanding event and be using glucose from the actual fat breakdown?

Chris:  There’s a yes to that and there’s a no to that.

Ben:  Alright, what’s the yes and what the no?

Chris:  Yes to that is over the long term.  Actually, let me explain the no first because the yes will make more sense.

So, one of the reasons that anaerobic glycolysis is so valuable in that context is because it can produce ATP in the muscle in the absence of oxygen right at the site of the action.  But there’s a second reason why it’s so valuable and that’s because the muscular glycogen is contained in the muscle cell right next to the contractile proteins that are contracting.  So, there’s basically no transport time, to get glucose from that glycogen at the site of the action.  There is about five seconds of regulation time.  If you are at rest and then you start sprinting, there will be a five second lag before you can tap into that glycogen storage because it takes five seconds for your cell to realize that you’re sprinting and realize you got to over and unlock that glycogen storage.  But, there’s no transport time to get from one tissue to another.  Even if you were talking about transporting glucose from the liver, the fact that the glucose needs to be released from the liver and travel through the blood and get into the muscle cell, makes it way slow.  Really makes it as slow as burning fat.  If you’re talking about adipose tissue having triglycerides and releasing the fatty acids in the glycerol from the adipose tissue, the transport time to get into the muscle cell is the limiting factor in why that’s not fast.  That’s the no answer.

The yes answer is, number one, yes if the glycerol is there, it can get into glycolysis, but more importantly, one of the ways you would not have your muscular glycogen tank on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet is that you would, over time, accumulate some glycogen from the glycerol backbone of the fatty acids.  So yeah, the carbons from the glycerol are ultimately capable of making their way into the muscular glycogen supply but the real limiting factor at the time where you actually start sprinting, or doing anything else that requires intense work, is not the possibility of getting a glycerol molecule in there, it’s the fact that you already have the glycogen stored there and maybe some of it came from glycerol.  That’s the yes aspect to your question.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  So it would be more of the glycogen that you stored…

Chris:  There’s controversy over how low carbohydrate, high fat diets affect your muscular glycogen stores and there’s a lot of room to figure out why different studies conflict.  So, Phinney in 1983 put people for four weeks on less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day and their muscular glycogen was cut in half, but when they were exercising at moderate intensity, they shifted their work away from burning glycogen into burning fat their exercise capacity that much.  Volek in 2016 took people that put themselves on low carbohydrate or high carbohydrate diets for six months and were marathon runners, and they didn’t have any difference in glycogen storage or glycogen metabolism.  Some people say…

Ben:  I know! I was in that study.

Chris:  Oh, you were? Oh, cool! I didn’t know about that!

Ben:  Yeah, it was a faster study.  I was a part of that.  I actually followed that diet for six months.

Chris:  Did you get all of your individual data?

Ben:  Yeah, I got all my individual data.  I’ve posted it on my site if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for faster study, F-A-S-T-E-R.  I have it there posted on Facebook too! But, yeah, that study was crazy! We rewrote the fat burning textbook in terms of nearly doubling the amount of fat that we oxidize during exercise after following that high fat diet for not just two weeks or a few days before the test, which is how most of these studies go, but again, for me, it was 12-months.  So, I followed a ketotic diet and we spared our muscle glycogen…

Chris:  How many grams of carbs were you eating?

Ben:  I was at right around 100 a day…

Chris:  Okay.

Ben:  Which for my level of physical activity at the time, competing heavily in Ironman Triathlon, was pretty dang low.

Chris:  Yeah, was your glycogen similar to the average trend there, was it basically not different?

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  So, my glycogen, and they did a pre and post-muscle biopsy to analyze your glycogen and if you’ve never had that done, for those of you listening in, it’s like a need, a guillotine, that they jam into your thigh to take the muscle out to see how much glycogen is in it before and how much is in it after in this case, we ran on a treadmill for three hours.  We actually had to get the punch of the needle into our thigh and then go pound on the treadmill for three hours which was horrible, while staring at this white wall in the middle of the lab since there were no TVs.  Then, we came back and got the glycogen taken again and then yeah, turns out there was a pretty significant sparing effect on glycogen by following this high-fat diet.

Chris:  Now, wait a second! So, I think this is a really important point.  You can look at that and say well your glycogen was spared because you were on that diet for 12-months and not for four weeks, but one of the big difference between what you were doing and what the subjects in Phinney 1983 were doing was you were eating 100 grams of carbs a day, Phinney restricted the carbs to less than 20 grams a day in the subjects in the 1983 study.

Ben:  I wonder how much they were training compared to an Ironman triathlete.

Chris:  Well, I’m sure they were not going what you were doing, I’m sure they weren’t.  That’s why I’m saying there is some legitimate controversy here because is it fair that you were 100 grams and they were less than 20 when you were burning through more carbs in your Ironman triathlon? Well, I don’t really know because there are too many questions as to what degree is this different from the absolute reduction in carbs versus the training versus the length of time.  So, I’m not saying we can look at these two studies and come out and say look you slash your glycogen in half when you’re less than 20 grams and you do nothing to it when you’re 100 grams, but I’m also going to push back when someone tells me look what we’re showing here is that if you eat the diet for six to 12-months, your glycogen is normal and if you eat the diet for four weeks, it’s cut in half. There’s just a lot of things that need to be faired out about how many carbs are you eating versus how are you training versus how long are you eating those diets and I don’t think we have the answers to that yet.

Ben:  Got it.  Now, when it comes to eating protein versus carbs versus fats and our percentages, what about how much it requires of the body from a micronutrient or vitamin perspective to process certain nutrients, like carbohydrates? Carbohydrates require a lot more thiamine to be burnt as a fuel compared to fat.  Do we need to take into account some of these examples of certain macronutrients like carbs or protein or fat being a little bit more demanding of the human body when it comes to actually processing those?

Chris:  Oh, yeah!

Ben:  Can you throw in some examples of how that would actually work? Explain why that would be important.

Chris:  Yeah, man.  So, carbohydrates require more thiamine is probably the best example of this because there’s a lot of research on why it’s actually practically relevant and there’s some other reasons as why it may be really relevant from anecdotes that are really interesting.  So, first of all thiamine is basically every time that you burn a carbohydrate and take a two carbon unit from it, known as Acetyl-CoA, and throw it through the citric acid cycle so it could get burned for energy, every time you do that, you use thiamine twice.  Every time you do that with fat, you use it once.  So, thiamine requires twice as much, excuse me, carbohydrate burning requires twice was much thiamine as fat.  For protein, it requires, there are some cases where you use thiamine for certain amino acids, and if you look at the percentages of those amino acids in your total protein intake and what you’re burning for energy, it’s basically you use a little bit more thiamine when you burn protein for energy than when you burn fat for energy but not that much.

So, the real big player is you’re using way more thiamine for carbohydrates than for your other fuels.  That’s interesting for two really practical reasons.  One is that, if you have someone with glucose intolerance, then thiamine supplementation might be able to help them and in fact there is some data on that.  There isn’t a large body of literature but there are some studies suggesting that thiamine supplementation at 100 mg of thiamine hydrochloride a few times a day will significantly improve glucose intolerance.  Although, not get rid of it.  So, it’s probably a really important piece of the puzzle.  We should also keep in mind, and this hasn’t been well studied, but there are other forms of thiamine, there’s: benfotiamine, there’s thiamine pyrophosphate which is the activated form and we know from alcoholics that ethanol for example, basically poisons thiamine metabolism many steps of the way, so it hurts intestinal absorption, it hurts storage in the liver, I’m talking about chronic alcoholism here, not having a glass of wine at night a couple times a week.

Chronic alcoholism is also damaging the activation of thiamine to thiamine pyrophosphate, the active form inside the brain.  So, I think we can take a lesson from that and say that “hey if you have people with glucose intolerance, maybe they’re not chronic alcoholics,” but who knows what else there is in our environment or in our diets or in our byproducts of poor metabolism that might be hurting thiamine absorption from the intestine, thiamine storage in the liver, thiamine activation in the brain just like in alcohol.  So, I think there is a lot of room for experimentation too, like thiamine hydrochloride has been tested, what happens if you actually take the active form thiamine paraphosphate to get a better blood-glucose response or do you get a better neurological response.

So, if you look at thiamine deficiency, the symptoms are overwhelmingly neurological.  So, in fact, in sever deficiency, you get encephalopathy and psychosis, but I think, at a moderate level of deficiency, maybe you’re running on brain fog.  Maybe if you eat carbohydrates and you don’t feel very good in the head, you feel  little foggy in the head, you feel like your brain isn’t running right, and you feel better on fat, well, that may well be related to thiamine.  It may not be the case that your diet’s thiamine deficient.  You can eat one serving of meat or even on a vegan diet, you just eat some unrefined plant food, you should be able to meet you thiamine requirement.

But, what if thiamine is being lost or degraded or it’s not being activated in the brain and what if we can study what’s the best form of supplementation or the best intervention to improve thiamine activation in the brain can we help these people who feel a little foggy headed when they eat carbohydrates or feel like their cognitive performance just doesn’t get right until they go high fat, low carb can improve their diversity of foods they can tolerate if we can study how to improve thiamine activation in the brain I think that’s very important.

But, I also think, if you look at ketogenic diets, and I’m not saying there isn’t an intrinsic benefit to keto, but ketogenic diets, providing they have enough protein, if you’re super keto and you’re trying to eat no protein so you can maximize your ketones, you’re going to wind up with a lot of deficiencies.  But if you eat a ketogenic diet that will include a couple servings of meat for example, so you get all your thiamine, you get all your b vitamins and stuff, that diet is really the diet that maximally spares thiamine.  So, thiamine deficiency symptoms are overwhelmingly neurological, and if people are reporting that “hey I got Lyme disease” or “I was exposed to household mold and I got brain fog and it never turned around until I started burning on ketones,” well, I think, that’s it’s very possible that that’s because whatever that environmental exposure was doing something bad to either thiamine or thiamine dependent enzymes.

Ben:  Right.

Chris:  And that’s why burning on fat…

Ben:  They couldn’t burn their carbohydrates efficiently because they didn’t have enough fat.

Chris:  Yeah, yeah!

Ben:  Interesting.

Chris:  I should also note that all of the enzymes that use thiamine also use other cofactors that also use lipoic acid which is, as you well know and your audience well knows, hurt by oxidative stress and heavy metals and all kinds of stuff like that.  So, some of these problems aren’t just about the thiamine, but they’re also about the other cofactors in those thiamine dependent enzymes that really correlate with thiamine in that way.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  What would be another example of the type of macronutrient intake that we consume creating a specific micronutrient or vitamin or mineral need?  One example that comes to mind, I’m going to take one up from underneath you in case you were going for the low hanging fruit, would be people who eat a higher fat diet seem to have an increased need for higher mineral intake or higher electrolyte intake which is why a lot of people do a ketogenic diet need more salts, need more electrolytes.

Chris:  Well…

Ben:  Or am I wrong? Go ahead!

Chris:  I’m not sure, I’m not sure.  When you eat a ketogenic diet, you do pee out some of the ketones and you pee out sodium when you pee out ketones.  So that’s part of it.  But what you need to realize is that a high fat diet is really low in electrolytes.  I mean, think about where the electrolytes are in your body fluids, water.

Ben:  That’s what I’m saying.  If you’re eating a high fat diet, you’d still have an increased need for extra electrolytes supplementation because of that, right?

Chris:  Oh for sure, but that’s because you’re not eating them.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s not because the processing of fats is causing some huge increase for mineral consumption because you’re not getting enough of it in your diet?

Chris:  There’s a little bit of that but it’s mostly because you’re not eating them.  I don’t remember the details of all of the studies, but in some of the earlier studies on ketogenic diets, they resolved some of the problems by retaining the juices of the meat because they realized that if they were eating meat and they were cooking it in a pan, a lot of the smaller number of electrolytes that are in that meat are all coming out of the juices and that was one way of losing it.  But if you’re on an all meat diet, you’re not really eating a mostly fat diet, if it’s beef, you’re eating a half fat half protein kind of diet.  So, the more you eat fat, the less electrolytes you’re getting because there’s very little electrolytes if any in fat.  The fat, I mean, by definition, these are the minerals that are dissolving in water.

Just to give you an example, I was dealing with some of my own health problems related to heavy metal toxicity and mold toxicity and I was needing a really high level of potassium in my diet, I just had to eat pretty low fat to get that potassium, man.  Just take a milk product, like yoghurt, I’m a fan of milk fat, I really am, I really don’t recommend most people eat low fat milk, but I’ll tell you what, you’ll get twice as much potassium from 0% milk and 0% fat yoghurt as you are from full fat yoghurt because the potassium is in the water or aqueous portion of that food and not in the lipophilic portion of that food.

So, it’s a combination.  You lose some electrolytes when you’re peeing out ketones.  You’re not really trying to pee out ketones though as you keto adapt, you should ideally consume your ketones for energy rather than pee them out.  So that loss is not huge and mainly people need to supplement because they’re not eating it in their diet.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  What would be another example then?

Chris:  By the way, man, real quick, that can be true for thiamine too.

Ben:  Alright.

Chris:  So, in the 1970s, there was a paper where they put people on a ketogenic diet for refractory epilepsy and this is epilepsy that doesn’t respond to drugs but it may respond to a ketogenic diet, and the refractory epilepsy ketogenic diet is an extreme one.  So, it doesn’t have a lot of meat because they’re trying to overwhelmingly run on fat.  And if you don’t supplement with B vitamins and you’re on that classical super, super high fat, low protein, low carbohydrate diet, you can get optic neuropathy in the case of the report I was just talking about, degeneration of the optic nerve from thiamine deficiency because you’re not eating it.  Like I said before, I said that the ketogen diet actually spares thiamine when it has enough thiamine in it and you need to eat some meat for that because you can get your thiamine from meat, you can get it from legumes, you can get it from grains.  A vegan can get it, a carnivore can get it, you just can’t get it if you’re only eating fat and you’re not eating the non-fat portions of your foods.  It doesn’t have to be carbs, it can also be proteins, but you’ve got to eat something other than fat to get your micronutrients.

Ben:  Okay, okay, got it.  Throw one other common deficiency you see in people based on either their protein intake or their fat intake or their carb intake.

Chris:  You know, I think thiamine is really the biggest one here that actually plays out commonly but the one other one that I think is relevant but much less studied and much harder to figure out is vitamin B6.  So, when you burn protein for energy, you need to get rid of the nitrogen and getting rid of the nitrogen almost always requires vitamin B6.  In fact, they discussed this a lot when they set the RDA for vitamin B6 and there were a lot of conflicting studies about whether high protein diets cause vitamin B6 deficiency and they didn’t set the RDA as a function for protein intake for vitamin B6 because there was too much conflict in the literature and there wasn’t a straightforward way to calculate when you eat this many grams of protein you need this many milligrams of vitamin B6.

I think that there’s so much conflict around that is because, let’s say you’re in the gym five days a week doing a bodybuilding routine, trying to maximize hypertrophy and you come back and you eat 400 grams of protein a day, 4,000 calories and you take a bunch of anabolic stimulator supplements or something like that.  Well, you’re going to eat a ton of protein but you’re not burning it for energy for the most part, you’re stuffing it into your muscles.  Now you take some other couch potato who watches TV all the time and doesn’t really do much of anything but occasionally goes and runs on the treadmill and that person doesn’t eat enough food, maybe that person is eating slightly hypocaloric, maybe they’re trying to lose weight, they don’t really know what they’re doing nutritionally or with their workouts.  So, they’re burning energy and they’re just stuffing in 2 or 300 grams of protein because they read it was good for them on the internet or something like that, right.  So, in that person, they’re going to be burning protein for energy because they don’t have the anabolic stimulus to put it into their muscles, they’re in a hypocaloric state trying to lose weight so they’re looking for whatever they can burn for energy, and they’re just putting way more protein than they need into their system.  I think that person is going to have their vitamin b6 needs go way up and that’s a case where you can start to see problems.

Now there are a lot of cases in between and there are so many factors where you wouldn’t really know it as an extreme case, but you might see signs on their blood work or on their organic acids or something like that that they’re not metabolizing their protein right and their protein intake is pretty normal.  Vitamin B6 is one of the nutrients you would consider in those cases because everyone is a little different.  You never know when the protein someone’s eating is actually getting burned for energy.  So, that’s why it’s hard to figure out, it’s burning protein for energy that’s going to increase the vitamin B6 requirement, it’s not eating the protein.  You have to be smart when you look at a case like that to really figure out if that’s the problem or not.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  So, B6 would be another one and B6 would be in the case of higher intake of, you said, protein for B6.

Chris:  Yeah, higher intake and burning it for energy.

Ben:  Okay.

Chris:  So, if you can eat the high intake and as long as you’re stuffing it into your… You’re just getting bigger biceps today because you ate more protein, that’s not very taxing to your vitamin B6 supply the way it would if you’re just eating that protein and getting rid of the nitrogen and trying to get rid of it through burning it for energy.  Burning protein for energy is really where you’re hitting your vitamin B6 needs.

Ben:  Okay.  Alright, got it.  There are a ton of things when it comes to little micronutrients we should be getting, how we process the things that we do process.  I know that you’ve got your podcast where you talk a lot about this, but you’re doing classes now as well online, is that correct?

Chris:  That is absolutely true, man.

Ben:  Okay, so how do those work?

Chris:  Yeah, so look, I started making these classes because I got a lot of people, man, who would say to me “I really love your stuff but I get 50% of it and if I could get 80% or 90%…”

Ben:  The only reason why I understand it is because I have a degree in physiology, dude.

Chris:  Right.

Ben:  If I didn’t, I would have to be taking these classes to be able to digest the amount of material that you put out.

Chris:  Right, exactly.  So, there’s three categories of people I’m making these classes for and one of these categories is the people who listen to this stuff and they’re like if I just had the background to be able to understand all that, I could really take what I do for myself, maybe what I do for my clients, what I do for my friends, what I do for my family, what I do for my patients depending on who they are, I could really take that to the next level.  I don’t want it to cost whatever the price of college is these days.  I don’t want it to cost $70,000 for someone to be able to get that value out of my podcast when I dive deep or out of a lot of the other stuff on the internet when other people are diving deep or out of the stuff on the internet that anyone with a background in science would be like that’s BS I’m going to spend my time elsewhere.

Right, so I want to find a way for people who really love understanding nutrition to get the background from step one to step two and secure that foundation at their own pace without spending a ton of money on it, like a college education would cost, and really be able to listen to something like this podcast and get 99% of it and get the other 1% when they listen to it a second time instead of getting 40% and giving up.

So, what I’m doing right now is I’m making a class on energy metabolism and this is the biochemistry of energy metabolism but it really starts from the bottom.  So, I never assume anyone knows anything and if someone jumps in on lesson 30, they’re going to be like, “man, that stuff goes over my head,” but I’m telling you, it won’t go over your head if you start at lesson one and you do lesson two after lesson one, man.  So, I really start from the bottom and I don’t even assume people like chemistry.  I just explain the basics and whatever because I really want to hit those people who don’t have the background and give it to them if they want to work hard enough to watch the videos straight through.

I think these are also great for people who maybe they already studied this stuff, but they need a way to review it.  Maybe they’re taking the RD exam, or they’re taking the MCAT or they’re taking, I don’t know, something that’s going to require them to tap into the biochemistry knowledge they already learned and it would be more interesting or more fun for them to review that stuff in my classes than to do it elsewhere to.  Then, there’s other people who, like you have a degree, you already have all this background, but, hey, some of it you studied 10 years ago, some of it you forgot about, so you want to be able to go in and find what I have that’s unique to say and filter it out.  You don’t want to find out how a chemical bond forms, you want to skip over that, right.

I set this up in a few ways.  This is Master Class with Masterjohn: Energy Metabolism and there’s three ways to engage with it.  One is if you subscribe to the master nutrition podcast, I send out the cliff notes where each lesson is condensed into 10 minutes of audio where you just listen to it over breakfast or whatever you’re doing and that comes out every day when there’s not something else on the podcast for the most part.  The second way is on YouTube, Facebook, and on my website ChrisMasterjohnPhD.com, you can watch the full lessons, the videos.  The reason I made them videos is because there are killer graphics that help really visualize all the stuff I’m talking about.  I think you can understand it way better if you watch the video than if you listen.

Ben:  Got it.

Chris:  The then third way, is you sign up for Master Class with Masterjohn Pro, MWM Pro, and this is premium features that you pay for that are all targeted towards you mastering the material and studying it at your own pace.  For example, there’s keyword searchable videos.  Like you say I want to know what Masterjohn says about acetyl CoA or something like that.  You go into the main lesson page, you search for your search term, all the videos that have it pop up, you click on the video, you just search for the term and it just brings you right to where I’m talking about that in the video.  There’s lots of self-pacing tools.  There’s lots of additional formats.  The transcripts are in webpage or PDF format, you can download them, you’ve got the slides in the transcript matched with the text that’s talking about the slides.  Right from there, you can hyperlink to specific textbook pages, to PDFs of research articles to whatever relates to that, forums, all kinds of tools all geared at really mastering this stuff and doing it at your own pace in your own way.  So, the price of MWM Pro is $120 a year and it’s not for the class, it’s for the whole system!

So, after I do energy metabolism, I’m going to start tackling other topics related to nutrition.  You can imagine in like five years, it’s going to be like an academy.  So, MWM Pro is your permanent access to getting the lessons to you before they’re released in public, getting those additional tools, and for listeners of Ben’s show, I have a special discount that’s not just a onetime discount, but it’s a lifetime discount of $20 a year!  So, it brings the price from 120 to 100 forever for one week from the opening of the show…

Ben:  So, it’s 100 bucks a year.

Chris:  Yup!

Ben:  Nice.

Chris:  And you get a ChrisMasterjohnPhD.com/Ben that will tell you all about it and you get the lifetime discount.

Ben:  Nice! I like it, and for those of you who have difficulty remembering any of that, just go to the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Masterjohn.  I’ll link to Chris’ website and the other podcast we recorded where we cover a ton nutrition science as well and you can access that and also I’ll put a link to Chris’ podcast and his website over there too, but the thing that Chris was just referring to is called the Master Class.  If you want to become a complete nutrition ninja, that’s the one you need.

Chris:  You want a master Master Class with Masterjohn, then MWM Pro is where it’s at!

Ben:  That’s right, that’s right.  It’s a good thing you got the word “master” in your name, dude.  Otherwise, you would be at a loss for marketing materials.

Chris:  Yeah, man, I’m capitalizing on that.

Ben:  Yeah, I know.  Well, Chris, that’s so much for coming on the show today and sharing this stuff with us.  We really only scratched the surface of the kind of stuff you go over on the Master Class, but I know that’s why you created the Master Class.

Chris:  Yeah, man.  Thanks for having me!

Ben:  It was amazing as usual.  You’re brilliant! For those of you who want to tap into Chris’ brilliance even more, check out the Master Class with Masterjohn and again, that will be over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Masterjohn.

Until next time, I’m Ben Greenfield, along with Chris Masterjohn, signing off from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  Have a great week!

Do you love health and wellness so much that you just want to read everything you can about it, but often find yourself understanding only half (or even less) of what you read? 

Do you need to learn biochemistry for school but wish you could learn the material in a more relevant, lively, or entertaining way? 

Do you already have a good foundation, but want a unique out-of-the-box perspective synthesized from a deep dive into the scientific literature? 

If so, today’s podcast is for you.

My guest is Dr. Chris Masterjohn, former podcast guest from the episode “Why Sugar Isn’t As Dangerous As You Might Think, How Your Genetics Affect Your Sleep, Liver Toxicity & More With Dr. Chris Masterjohn.

Chris earned his PhD in Nutritional Sciences in 2012 from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2012 to 2014, and served as Assistant Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College from 2014 to 2016. He now works independently in health and nutrition research, education, and consulting. Chris has authored or co-authored ten peer-reviewed publications.

His podcast, Mastering Nutrition, his two video series, Chris Masterjohn Lite and Masterclass With Masterjohn, and his blog can all be found on his web site at chrismasterjohnphd.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat, where his username is @chrismasterjohn.

In today’s podcast, we take a deep dive into Chris’s brand new program entitled “Masterclass With Masterjohn Pro: Energy Metabolism“, and you’ll discover:

-Why human beings need to eat such an enormous amount of food…[9:35]

-What happens if you take too much creatine…[23:57]

-Why it matters whether you eat protein, carbs, or fat, since all depend on cellular respiration…[32:45] 

-Why some macronutrients actually require more micronutrients than others to be burnt…[49:18 & 56:05]

-A missing nutrient that you must take in if you are on a high protein diet…[60:45]

-Why anyone should bother learning this stuff in mechanistic detail rather than just learning what to eat and when…[64:55]

-The new online “masterclasses” that Chris is now teaching…[68:50]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-Masterclass With Masterjohn Pro (special discount when you use that link!)

Show Sponsors: 

-HealthGains – Text the word “GREENFIELD” to 313131 to receive a $150 voucher toward your HealthGAINS treatment.

-KION – Purchase any three products and receive a free organic bamboo T-shirt! Go to  GetKion.com to check out the sale, and choose your three products.

-Organifi – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Organifi and use discount code BEN for 20% anything else!


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