September 28, 2023
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/qa-462/
[00:00:37] Ben's Morning Smoothie
[00:07:12] News Flashes
[00:07:37] Baking Soda Hacks
[00:33:37] Whether or not you should ice a muscle or ice the body
[00:40:39] LifeWave patches
[00:48:25] Closing the Podcast
[00:49:23] End of Podcast
[00:49:55] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
How to get your body to sleep in later, should you ice sore muscles, do LifeWave patches really work, and much more.
Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Alright, folks. Well, here we are, yet another solosode. And gosh, when I don't know what to talk about in the introduction to a podcast, I kind of feel the conversation just tends to go towards what do you have for breakfast this morning? So, what the heck, why not? I haven't talked about the recipe for the morning smoothie lately, so I'll fill you in on what happens to be in my morning smoothie right now. This is kind of similar to that YouTube channel. What is it? Can you blend that? Yeah, you would be surprised at the amount of things one can blend especially in my little Blendtec that I've been using lately. I burnt out my NutriBullet, so I moved on to the Blendtec.
Here is what my morning smoothie looks like right now. I fill the blender jar with ice. So, we got all ice. I had one dropper full of Omica Organics' Vanilla Stevia, kind of sweetens the ice, and then about a teaspoon or so of Colima Mexican salt. Don't worry, I will link to all my ingredients in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/462 if you want to go get this stuff on the internet. And, of course, support the show because I probably make 5 cents if you go buy some stevia.
So anyways, I put the stevia in there and I put the salt in there and then I put a little bit of Ceylon cinnamon in there, which is like a blood glucose disposal agent. And then, what I have been using, shout out to the company Once Upon a Coconut, they sent me a bunch of these coconut water cans. And yeah, coconut water's got a little bit of sugar in it, but it's mostly natural sugars, the same stuff I used to make water kefir at home. By the way, water kefir is a fantastic digestive hack. If you don't know how to make that, google make your own coconut water kefir. It'll change your life and your poops.
Anyways though, so I feel that that blender jar that's got the ice, and the stevia, and the salt, and the cinnamon with coconut water. Not a lot of it because I like my smoothy super thick like ice cream. Now, I haven't blended yet because then I take that blender jar and I wander into the pantry where I add one scoop of the Kion vanilla protein, 5 grams of the Kion creatine and I'll double that to 10 grams if I'm going through a period of sleep deprivation or a tough period of training. I'll actually go closer to 10 grams on the creatine.
Interestingly, they just had a study that came out on a paper that just came out a couple of weeks ago that was talking about how there's a pretty strong argument that creatine should be considered what's called a conditionally essential nutrient for humans. Meaning that recent advances in creatine nutrition and physiology suggests that the quantity of creatine your body naturally synthesizes is not sufficient to meet human needs. That doesn't mean you're not getting enough that you might need from, I don't know, like meat sources, for example. However, as a guy who works out, if I can spit that out, and who pushes my body, I like to add a bit of extra creatine.
Alright, so we have that blender jar, and now it's got the protein and it's got the creatine in it. Now, I will sometimes if I haven't been eating a lot of vegetables or whatever, I'll add a little scoop of greens to that like the Organifi greens or the athletic greens, for example. I'll just grab whatever greens happens to be in the pantry. And then, I wander back out to the blender engine, fire up the blender, and just smoke all those ingredients into smithereens, ice cream texture.
And then, I top my smoothie. What do I top that smoothie with these days? I top it with a little bit of shredded unsweetened coconut flake, some bee pollen. I recently had a podcast with a gal from Beekeepers Natural, Carly Kremer, and we talked about all the benefits of bee pollen. So, I put a ton of bee pollen, some coconut flakes. I usually like to crumble up a little bit of dark chocolates or a chocolate or there's a thing called a Keto Brick, which is a coconut butter type of dark chocolate bar. It's fantastic. So, I'll crumble a little bit of that in there. Sometimes I will even use these new little–they're called C60 Gummies. C60 is a potent antioxidant, one of the antioxidants that has been shown to decrease all-cause mortality in humans and massive longevity increases. So, sometimes I'll put some C60 in there as well. I get these little C60 Gummies from this company called Purple Power. But anyways, I stir all those toppings in and then I sit there and eat it with a spoon while I go through my morning emails.
Now, some of you might be screaming, wipe in, you don't do a raw liver smoothie anymore? Well, I actually should have told you back with the ice part, I do put 2 to 4 ounces of frozen raw liver that I keep in the freezer right in there in the smoothie. So, yes, I do that. Not every day, about three times a week now I put the liver in there. The reason I don't do it every day is because I tested my fat-soluble vitamin levels, and they were getting a little bit high. So, I back the liver off just a little bit, particularly because I'm concerned about potential for vitamin A toxicity. Huge issue if you're eating polar bear liver, but still something to bear in mind if you're a lot of liver, test your fat-soluble vitamins.
So, that is the smoothie. If you want to make this, I'll put the whole recipe at BenGreenfieldLife.com/462. But, you got ice, salt, stevia, cinnamon, the Kion vanilla protein powder. I think that's the best one, the Kion creatine, little bit of greens. And then, for your liquid, use coconut water. You could also use coconut milk or bone broth if you wanted to. Blend that all up and then add as a topping unsweetened coconut flakes, a little bit of dark chocolate or chocolate keto bar, some pieces of that, little bit of C60 Purple Power Gummies and some bee pollen. And, man oh man, that's a good smoothie. Still picking up bee pollen out of my teeth.
Alright, I got some questions to go through in today's podcast. I also have a few news flashes that we're actually going to kick things off with. Quick reminder before we jump into the news flashes, remember as I told you till I was blue in the face on the last podcast, Podcast 461, brand new Masterclass just came out. That's my brand new six-week course where I had a team of video professionals and education experts follow me through living my life there at my house for a whole week. We broke down every aspect of life optimization, and it goes into time, environment, space mind, body, spirit, career, relationships, finances, capital, family, completely proven done-for-you life design strategies. It's the ultimate life-hacking guide to full body, brain and spirit optimization. So, that is called the Ben Greenfield Life Masterclass now available kicking off with a six-day free challenge with me at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Masterclass.
Alright, so this is the part of the show, we push my little button here. By the way, did you guys know this entire thing is recorded on video? You can get the video version on YouTube, but I can actually press a little button, change camera angles. Oh, there we go. That's my good side. How do you like that? Hello, everybody. So anyways, this is the part of the show where I go through some recent compelling news flashes and articles in journal research that I've come across in the week since the previous Q&A.
Now, I've talked for a long time about the cheap performance-enhancing hack that is baking soda, sodium bicarbonate. Arguably some people use sodium citrate because you can get a little bit less of a gastric distress effect from sodium citrate. But nonetheless, sodium bicarb, also known as baking soda, the popular household product, and if you get the Arm & Hammer stuff, it doesn't have a lot of aluminum in it, you don't have to worry about that. The chemical formula of baking soda is NaHCO3. Okay, NaHCO3, what is that? Sodium, hydrogen, carbon, 3 oxygens. It's an alkaline salt, we would call it in chemistry. So again, we call it baking soda, this sodium bicarbonate bread soda, bicarbonate of soda, cooking soda. You can find it in nature, like in mineral springs. And, of course, you can find it as the white odorless, and most importantly, extremely cheap and inexpensive powder at pretty much any local supermarket.
So, here is why I'm talking to you about sodium bicarbonate and its effects on exercise performance and just overall muscle performance, really. I mean, you don't have to be a pro athlete or something for this to benefit you in your workouts and the way that you feel during the day, particularly if you tend to be a little bit acidic. So, in chemistry, pH is a scale that's used to grade how acidic or alkaline a solution is. So, if we have a pH of 7.0, that would be considered neutral, like pure water in an ideal situation has a pH of 7.0. Anything lower than 7.0 would be acidic. Anything higher than 7.0 would be alkaline. So, the pH of your body will vary depending on the part of the body that we're talking about. But, your blood has a pH of about 7.4 like slightly alkaline, while stomach acid is highly acidic, pH of 1 to 3.
Now, the pH of your body is very tightly regulated. That regulation is the acid-base balance. It's controlled mainly by your kidneys and by your lungs. This is one reason why if you are paying extra for some type of fancy alkaline water generator, you're probably going to better spend that money elsewhere not only because your kidneys and your lungs can maintain acid-base balance pretty well, but also because to alkalize the water in something like the average water alkalizing machine like a little Kangen or something like that. They have to pass the water over a metal plate. And so, I have concerns about long-term exposure to metal from these fancy alkaline water generators. I don't use one.
So anyways, when we're talking about this acid-base balance, what happens is during anaerobic exercise where you're working out hard, your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the available supply of oxygen. When that happens, your muscles cannot rely on oxygen to produce adenosine triphosphate, ATP, your body's energy currency. So then, what happens is your muscles switch to a different pathway, the anaerobic pathway. So, it's from the aerobic to the anaerobic pathway to make ATP. Now, a major byproduct of the anaerobic pathway is hydrogen, H plus, a lot of hydrogen in working muscles will decrease, make more acidic, the pH of the muscles, creating that acidic environment and leading to that burning sensation that you feel. Remember, it's not lactic acid or lactate that causes the burning or the muscle fatigue. That's old school. It's a myth. As a matter of fact, a lot of lactic acid can get reconverted into sugar that can be then burned to make energy. It's a pathway in the body called the Cori cycle. And, in fact, lactate may also help to reduce the accumulation of these hydrogen molecules in muscle, but as these hydrogen ions that are what are acidic.
Now, here's how sodium bicarbonate could help this. Sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has an alkaline pH of about 8.4. And, it can play a role in buffering excess hydrogen during anaerobic exercise. Now, your kidneys actually produce their own bicarbonate, HCO3, that helps your body maintain proper pH levels, is one of the main buffering substrates in your body because it can accept a hydrogen ion. Just everybody thinking back to the painful memories from high school chemistry probably know this. A bicarbonate can accept the hydrogen ion, and that would increase its pH to make it less acidic.
Now, during exercise, bicarbonate and other buffering agents can work to pull hydrogen out of working muscle and into the bloodstream, allowing the muscle to return to a less acidic state, allowing you to have less burn and a lower rating of perceived exertion and able to maintain longer or more intense bouts of exercise. Now, does this actually flush out in the literature? Absolutely. Scientists have been looking into sodium bicarb and how it affects exercise performance for decades. I think it goes back to more than 80 years ago. Supplementing with sodium bicarb has been shown to enhance speed, power, work capacity, time to failure. It's particularly beneficial for muscle endurance, which makes sense because that's when lactic acid can accumulate and hydrogen ions build up.
There was one pretty big study review that found with supplementing with sodium bicarbonate significantly increases muscular endurance and performance in both small and large muscle groups. And, it's especially beneficial during repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise. And, we're even talking about things like MMA, jiu-jitsu, boxing, all the way to triathlon, between about one and seven minutes in duration.
Now, a lot of these type of studies have also been able to show direct performance improvements and things like races. There is one that showed a 1.5-second performance improvement in the last 1,000 meters of a 2,000-meter rowing event. One and a half seconds for 1,000 meters is a lot. So, in terms of interval training, because a lot of lactic acid and hydrogen ions accumulate during interval training, it's no surprise that when they've looked into running, cycling, rowing, swimming, Olympic weightlifting, and CrossFit, that they have found significant improvements in workload and a significantly greater time to exhaustion with a decreased rating of perceived exertion when sodium bicarbonate is used to load prior to those type of high-intensity interval training type of workouts or competitions.
However, when we look at strength, the research is a little more mixed. There are some meta-analyses and studies that show significant improvements in muscle strength when sodium bicarbonate is supplemented in the hours leading up to the strength performance. There are others that show that it doesn't have as much of an effect. But nonetheless, we know that sodium bicarb, for the most part seems to have a beneficial impact on most forms of exercise.
Now, the amount that you find recommended and used in a lot of these studies, whether it's a capsule, or a tablet, or just plain old baking soda powder is about 0.3 grams per kilogram taken in the one to two hours leading up to exercise. You can do the math yourself if you know how much you weigh in kilograms. I'm around 70 kilograms, a little bit more. And so, for me, 0.3 grams per kilogram, roughly, let's say about 23 grams, which is what I would take for the one to two hours leading up to exercise, 23 grams of baking soda a lot of baking soda admittedly. But, the idea is if you split that into very small doses, you can avoid the gastric distress. I don't know if anybody's done. This is reminiscent of this, the drink a gallon of milk challenge where–this would be popular at the average fraternity or dorm room. I remember doing this in college. You're challenged to drink an entire gallon of milk without throwing up and you got to do it in an hour. I actually passed that test the very first time I did it by splitting the entire gallon of milk into equal 60 grand portions, small allotment, and drink a tiny bit each minute. Sodium bicarb is similar. If you take a little bit say every 15 minutes, you sip some water that has another say 4 grams of baking soda dissolved in it, and you're drinking that leading up to the competition or the race or the event for which you want to use sodium bicarb can be very effective. I actually add a little bit of sodium bicarbonate to my morning big Mason glass jar of water just for the alkalizing effects that I get from that. It's not near the amount that you need for performance-enhancing benefits, but it kind of kicks off my day with a little bit of alkalinity. And then, I can drink little sips leading up to a weight training session or high-intensity interval session. And again, if you take it in the one to two hours, that 0.3 grams per kilogram of baking soda, and you split it into small portions, you can get the ergogenic benefit without the stomach distress.
The only reason that I bring all of this up to you is because I was reminded of the benefits of sodium bicarb and wanted to rehash those with you because of a recent study that came out in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Brad Schoenfeld, excellent researcher, was involved with that. And, what they did was they took 19 resistant trained men, and they took that 0.3 grams per kilogram of sodium bicarb. They actually had another group take a placebo, sodium chloride, which doesn't have an effect. They follow this exact protocol, one to two hours prior to exercise, and they found that the sodium bicarbonate ingestion compared to the placebo elicited an ergogenic effect on muscular endurance, muscular power, and muscular velocity. In this case, they were using the bench press exercise.
I read this, and of course, it indicated what I just explained, the attenuation of the suppressive effects of acidosis on muscle contractility. And, I thought I should remind my listeners about this cheap performance hack because it works well. I wish more people knew about it. And, I love stuff like this that is affordable. It's kind of like reversing cramps, right? You don't have to buy the expensive electrolyte tablets or the fancy powders or anything like that. If you're out in a race or a marathon or triathlon and you cramp up, it's simply the taste of something very bitter or sour or salty that reverses the cramp. There's not even enough time from the taste to the reversal of the cramp to show that it's the absorption of, say, the electrolytes into the muscle, it's getting rid of the cramp. It's just the taste of something. It's called an inhibition of the alpha motor neuron reflex. It causes your body to release that cramps. If you have a cramp, you just have to taste something super salty.
So, for example, people are selling overpriced pickle juice and electrolyte tablets and all these different things that you can chew on, but you could literally, let's say you're going to a marathon and you're concerned about cramping, stop at McDonald's or whatever, grab those little yellow mustard packets. You take one of those and you squirt it in your mouth that taste, that bitter salty substance right when you start to cramp and it gets rid of that. Alright. So, I'm all about hacking when it comes to some of these cheap performances. As matter of fact, if you liked this stuff, great book I'm taking my sons through right now. It's called “Early Retirement Extreme.” And, that book is all about, as the name implies, how to kind of bootstrap yourself and engage in financial independence and mini-retirements throughout the course of your life. It's written by Jacob Fisker. And, everything from how to tie two forks together with the rubber band to make a whisk to the economic tables for walking versus running versus cycling versus driving versus carpooling, it's all in there. And, because my dear sweet sons are gearing up here to finish high school and go on a gap several months of travel throughout the world, I'm trying to teach them a lot about financial independence.
As a matter of fact, we have a Greenfield family constitution. And, in the Greenfield family constitution, one thing that's written in there is that when a Greenfield child is 16 years old or older, they must begin to pay for things like their car insurance, their cell phone bill, and just about any aspect that would involve costs of daily living. Mom and I will still feed and clothe our sons to a certain extent but they are expected to pitch in with the daily household expenses. Once they're 16, I think that's great in terms of building a lot more ownership and independence and education into an adolescence upbringing. And so, they're going through that book “Early Retirement Extreme.” And, of course, they're drinking baking soda and pickle juice and eating mustard packets. What a silly question that would be.
Let's go ahead and move on to zeitgebers. This was something that I was reminded of when I was reading in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine a paper entitled “Early time-restricted eating advances sleep in late sleepers, pilot randomized controlled trial.“
So, what this looked at is very, very simple. People who were sleeping in, and let's say you don't want to be sleeping in, you would rather get out of bed earlier, you have a problem with sleeping in, you sleep through the alarm, you use the snooze button quite a bit, you're just wired up that way. You don't wake up like a Navy SEAL at 4:30 a.m. You like a nice lazy morning where you're crawling out of bed at 7:00 am when the rest of the world has seemingly passed you by already, but maybe you don't like that, maybe you want to start getting up earlier.
Well, what they found in this particular study was that by shifting the feeding earlier called early time-restricted eating, you could actually phase shift your sleeping in backwards and get up a little bit earlier. Meaning, that if you're going to do intermittent fasting, you take that compressed feeding window, you start it earlier, and you end it earlier. What they found, in this case, was that by shifting breakfast into an earlier timeframe, they were able to actually get people to wake up an hour earlier because food is a cue that can jumpstart the circadian rhythm.
So, this is important because it's related to this entire concept of what are called zeitgebers. So, “zeitgeber” comes from a German word that means time giver or synchronizer. So, in sleep science and in neurobiology, a zeitgeber is an environmental or an external cue that can influence your circadian rhythm, which is the internal body clock that runs over about a 24-hour period of time. Now, that body clock can sync up with external cues. One very popular one is, of course, sunlight. You're no doubt aware of the benefits for sleeping well later on in the day of getting sunlight earlier in the day. And, the sunlight would definitely be one of those zeitgebers.
Now, these circadian rhythms and processes that go on in our bodies operate on internal clocks, so your hormones, your immune system, your digestion, every organ, you have all run on some sort of timing system. But, there's a master clock inside the body. It's called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the SCN. That keeps your circadian rhythms organized. So, it's like an orchestra conductor. It's job is to keep all your biological clocks aligned and in sync with a 24-hour day. And, when all the clocks are coordinated and they're getting these consistent external cues, the zeitgebers are causing your body to work like a symphony and play in tune and in time.
Now, light, like I mentioned, particularly sunlight is the SCN's most powerful influencer. By the way, I'm recording this podcast for you at about 11:00 a.m. in the morning in Spokane, Washington where it's dark and dreary and gray and raining outside and it has been all morning. However, here on my desk, I don't think you can see it with the camera because it's behind the camera, but I have one of these seasonal affective disorder, blue light-producing boxes that's blasting me with the equivalent, not quite the equivalent but something similar to sunlight while I'm inside keeping myself awake and alert and ensuring that I'm not going to, say, get tired way too late in the day because I've been in darkness earlier in the day. I also have in the cans installed above me in my office here a bulb called the Awake and Alert bulb. It's a biological LED bulb made by the company. I think it's called Biological Sciences who makes that one.
So anyways, I'm using light right now to keep me awake and alert and ensure that tonight I'm able to get tired at a natural time because I'm keeping my SCN queued in to the proper clock using the zeitgeber of light. This is the same reason that I avoid a lot of these blue lights at night. If you were to walk into my office at night, it would look like Amsterdam nightclub. It's all lit up with red light. That's it. Same thing with the bedroom, it's all red incandescent light. I use red light headlamp when I travel to get around the hotel room. I wear a red blue light-blocking glasses in the evening. And so, that's because I'm aware of this powerful zeitgeber, this light.
So, morning light will signal your brain to kickstart cortisol production into stop melatonin production. That lets your body know that day had started. As a matter of fact, if you were using melatonin to sleep with one of these high-dose melatonin suppositories that have become very popular of late thanks to my friend, Dr. John Lieurance, shoutout to MitoZen, I use those things when I travel to over-the-counter melatonin supplements, which of course are available in the U.S. not many other countries because melatonin is technically a very powerful hormone. But, if you take too much melatonin, a lot of people know we use melatonin–one of the best ways to get melatonin and the drowsiness from it out of the system very quickly is to get exposed to massive amounts of blue light early in the day. So, morning light, like I mentioned, it kicks off cortisol production, it stops melatonin production. And, that doesn't matter whether you're programmed to be a night owl or early bird. Okay.
Now, what happens here is that while light is a very powerful cue, there are other cues. And, that study that I mentioned earlier uses one of them, food. So, if you eat, and particularly if you eat a meal that contains about 30 to 40 grams of protein, earlier in the day, you're going to shift your biological clock backwards. Okay. this would be a reason that if you were to travel to a new time zone or a new location, skipping breakfast sometimes isn't the best idea if you're trying to get on the time zone of that region, like my family, and I just got back from Europe. And, even though typically when I'm in the U.S., I'll wait until 10:00-10:30 a.m. sometimes, have that glorious morning smoothie that I described to you earlier in this podcast. When I'm traveling, I'm usually, get out of bed, I do some stretching, some prayer, some breathwork, sometimes going to quick walk. And then, I'm not doing big gym sessions and fasting, especially the first few days that I get to where I'm going; instead, I have a nice protein-rich breakfast with some eggs and some nuts, maybe a little bit of sourdough bread and butter and olive oil and some fruits, typically around 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. around in that time range because I want to get my body on that clock, on that new clock as quickly as possible.
Similarly, if I arrive, let's say, into Tokyo, Japan on a flight from Seattle red eye at 3:00 a.m., I am not going to go to my hotel and start munching on nori and rice and natto or something like that, I'm going to wait. Even if I'm hungry, I'm going to wait until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. to eat because I want my body to get on that natural clock as soon as possible. Another good argument for not eating on an airplane or perhaps just using like ketones and amino acids on an airplane.
So, food is another way that you can cue your body sleep cycles, exercises is another, okay. Exercise helps to coordinate work and train your circadian clock and it can also, we know this, lessen the negative effects of disrupted sleep pattern. So, if you are in a sleep-deprived day, you can actually help yourself out by doing little micro workouts or particularly an aerobic exercise or a short micro like a five to 10-minute more intense workout spread at different intervals throughout the day can help with sleep deprivation.
Now, creatine, by the way, which I mentioned earlier, fantastic for sleep deprivation at slightly higher dosages, 10 to 20 grams, and then NAD, NAD patch and NAD suppository, and NAD IV or oral NAD supplementation also fantastic if you're sleep-deprived.
So, exercise helps with melatonin production later on in the day. There's some evidence that shows that two compounds in the body, the hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin and neuropeptide y are also regulated, the release is regulated by exercise. That helps your body clock function more properly. But, exercise has just like light and just like food, the ability to be able to phase shift your circadian rhythm. For example, if you have a hard time falling asleep at night, working out in the morning or the early afternoon can shift your circadian rhythm forward signaling your body to produce your sleep hormone melatonin earlier in the evening.
Okay. Similarly, if you find yourself sleeping in later than you would like to, well, if you do start getting up a little bit earlier, A, get exposed to a lot of natural light, sunlight or these blue light box boxes earlier in the day; B, have a protein-rich breakfast earlier in the day; C, do an exercise session earlier in the day. And gradually, you can start to phase shift your circadian clock in the direction that you want to bring it. Similarly, if you're getting up way too early and feeling sleepy way too early in the evening, and that's affecting you, particularly from a social standpoint, you can actually wait until later like mid-morning or even noon to eat, to exercise, to get exposed to a lot of blue light or sunlight. So, you can toy around with this and use any trick that you'd like. For example, if I'm planning on going to Vegas for a couple of days and I'm going to see a fight and I might go out to dinner after the fight–and, I definitely don't want to wake up at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 a.m. Sometimes in a couple of days leading up to a trip like that, I'll actually start to eat breakfast later, exercise later, get exposed to light later, sometimes wear my blue light-blocking glasses until 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. in the morning, and begin to shift my body's circadian rhythm forward so that when I get to Vegas and I go out to a fight at night and have dinner, et cetera, I can sleep in till 8:00 a.m. and my eyes pop open at 4:00 a.m. ready to go hit the gym.
So, anyways, light exercise and food are three of the biggies. Temperature is also kind of sort of circadian clock. It's not as powerful as the others, but your body temperature does tend to be higher during the day and then gradually decrease in the evenings. And so, if you keep your home thermostat set at a consistent temperature, let's say 72 degrees, that signal might be lost and that could disrupt your sleep by not allowing your body temperature to properly drop at night. So, keeping your bedroom cool at 60, 65 degrees is optimal for good sleep. And, you can if you want to start to fall asleep earlier and hence wake up a little earlier, you can start to lower your nighttime body temperature earlier in the evening right after dinner, take a lukewarm shower. I'll often go jump in the cold plunge. Some people say that the noradrenaline or the epinephrine or the excitatory neurotransmitter released from jumping in a cold plunge could disrupt sleep later on, I find that I'm pretty cozy, pretty settled down by the time I get into bed even if I'll jump in the cold pool after dinner. I don't stay in there a long time. I don't get into full-on shivering cold thermogenesis. But, cooling the body pre-sleep helps to send the body a message that it is approaching sleepy time.
Now, there are also sleep systems. I don't know if the Eight Sleep has this built in. I haven't looked into that one. I don't have that particular mattress. The last time I looked into it, you couldn't disable the Wi Fi. And, I get a little bit concerned about too much EMF in the bedroom. But, up until recently, I was using SleepMe, which is the cooling system that circulates cold water under the bed. But, that can be programmed to switch to warm water during the time period for which you want to start waking up. Similarly, I'm now using a different unit because SleepMe, they went through new ownership and I was having difficulty getting parts replaced, et cetera. So now, I have this unit called a BedJet. It does the same thing but with air. It's like air conditioning heating unit for your bed and a little tube goes right underneath the sheet towards the bottom of your feet. Even comes with special sheets that will fill up with the heat or the cold depending on what function you have. But, I have that set to go cold at night. So, it's blowing about 68-degree cool air at about 70% intensity, cooling myself at night. But then, at about 5:00 a.m. in the morning, it starts to gradually increase the temperature of the air. And so, I'm using temperature as a way to gradually wake myself up and keep my circadian rhythm shifted right where I wanted to.
Now, if I didn't want to get up at 5:00, if I want to start sleeping in, my lazy butt wanting to get up, I don't know, 6:30, then I could actually reset that temperature adjustment on the BedJet or if using a SleepMe, something like that, to start to get warm closer to say 6:00 or 6:15 or 6:30. So, it's very interesting how you can use temperature to a certain extent as well.
So, anyways, that recent study that showed that you could actually take a late sleeper and get them to wake up earlier by using food as a circadian timer and by, for example, not skipping breakfast but eating your protein-rich breakfast a little bit earlier in the day has something to it.
So, hopefully, you understand a little bit more about how zeitgebers work. Hopefully, you have a new word that you can throw around at your next cocktail party. And, I hope that can also help you if you're trying to phase shift your own circadian rhythms.
Okay. Alright, next up. This is actually hot off the presses. And, this is really interesting because you may or may not be aware but there's this debate going on right now about whether or not you should ice a muscle, whether or not you should ice a muscle or ice the body. The general idea is that even though we were taught, at least I was back in exercise physiology and athletic training when I was going to college at University of Idaho, the acronym Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation or RICE. RICE treatment is a common approach for treating the acute phase of sports injuries and even inflammation. And, the hypothesis that's been bandied about is that unfortunately by icing or by getting a muscle cold, you are shortening or restricting the body's natural inflammatory processes, not allowing the body to mount its own natural response to this hormetic stress and thus you are going to recover more slowly if you get cold after a workout or if you ice an injury.
Now, regarding getting cold after workout, I've talked until I'm blue in the face, I suppose pun intended about the fact that those studies have all been done at temperatures that get the muscle core temperature at about 1 Celsius or below indicating that if you're concerned about a cold bath or a cold soak or cryotherapy or cold shower or an ice bath, making you not get the benefits of your workout, you only need to be concerned about that if you're staying in there and it's really cold for 10, 15, 20 minutes or if you're shivering excessively when you get out. If it's just like a quick dip to make sure you're not pitting out and sweating work and your dress shirt, an hour later after your workout, no problem at all. If it's just taking a quick cold shower after an early evening workout back to the zeitgeber as a temperature to make sure that your temperature and your core temp comes down properly for sleep later on, fine. If you're doing a 90-minute ice bath after a big weight training workout, yeah, that probably will come blunt some of the satellite cell proliferation and the mitochondrial gains that you might be looking for from a workout like that.
But, this latest paper actually looked at whether icing would or would not promote muscle regeneration after an injury. Okay. So, this was a research that was done by Professor Arakawa Takamitsu and Nagata Itsuki over in Kobe and another assistant professor, Kawashima Masato. I believe I pronounced all of those properly. If I did not, then you can just put me on a Japanese Game Show in March. You can call the embassy. That's an old joke for those of you who might have watched that episode.
Anyways, so applying ice to muscle damage in a small percentage of muscle fibers in rats is what they wanted to look at. They've actually shown applying ice to muscle damage in a small percentage of muscle fibers in rats may promote muscle regeneration. So, why is this important? Well, basically, what they did was they took these animals, these rodents and they anesthetized them. Then, they took the muscle and they clamped it between the forceps to induce injury, obviously not something one could ethically do in a human study, hence the use of rodent models. Now, they attached a 500-gram weight to this forceps and induce an injury that affected 20% of the total number of fibers in the muscle.
And, what they hypothesized and how they plan for this study was they were inducing a similar degree of injury that would occur after sports exercise like vigorous exercise in the weight room or long-distance marathon running. So, they were actually planning ahead, they weren't just throwing darts at these mice and injuring them and putting them under ice. They're actually trying to make it pretty similar to what a human muscle would experience during an average tough human workout. They then did icing. So, they did three 30-minute icing sessions per day, each icing session about 90 minutes apart. Also, that's a pretty similar protocol to what some physical therapists or physicians might recommend to you. And then, they looked at muscle regeneration. That skeletal muscle regeneration was actually promoted by icing. And, they found this by showing significant differences in the size of regenerating fibers in the cross-sectional area of muscle in the injured rodents that were iced versus the ones that were not iced.
So, why would this happen? How would this happen? Why is this important? Well, let me explain. This actually is pretty important. Macrophages are immune cells that orchestrate the repairing process of injured muscle. Pro-inflammatory macrophages accumulate in a damage site right after you injure something. Okay. And, they expressed this almost like a gas. It's called inducible nitric oxide synthase. Might be an enzyme, but I'm calling it a gas because I just want you to think about this in terms of muscle blowing up like a balloon.
Now, that has the side effect. The disadvantageous side effect of expanding the injury side, this inducible nitric oxide synthase. What happens when you ice is it reduces the accumulation of these pro-inflammatory macrophages and prevents the expansion of the muscle. In other words, icing attenuates the recruitment of these pro-inflammatory macrophages to the injury site. And, that keeps the macrophages from swelling up the muscle to the extent where the injury hangs around.
Now, the positive effects of icing, this is why it's important, they had yet to be elucidated until now. Nobody was really sure why icing actually works to help an injury to heal faster. It turns out that because the influx of this nitric oxide synthase, this inducible nitric oxide synthase causes the muscle to swell and expands the injury size that icing directly keeps that from occurring. And furthermore, the advantages of icing an injured muscle like that outweigh any disadvantages of say the inflammation not being allowed to occur or the muscle not being able to mount its own anti-inflammatory response.
So, ultimately after reading this study, I was already convinced but I'm still convinced that when it comes to icing an injury, the pros outweigh the cons and you're not going to be injured for a longer period of time because you iced and that, in fact, you would actually accelerate tissue regeneration by doing something like icing.
Alright. Well, I've got one other thing that I need to talk to you about. So, here we go. And, by the way, I'm going to link to all these studies and resources if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/462.
Alright, I have been approached by a shockingly high number of individuals about these patches called LifeWave patches. They call them stem cell patches. And, they're about the size of a quarter. You stick them on your skin and what they say is that they activate your stem cells. I get a message a day it seems on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or a text from somebody like, “What do you think about these patches?” Now, half the time when people ask me are actually selling them, because LifeWave is a multi-level marketing company. And, a multi-level marketing company does not mean that they make a bad product. However, and this is coming from a guy used to help out some of these companies, I was a spokesperson for a couple of them. The problem is that baked into the economic model is an overpriced product because you have to figure out a way to be able to pay the downlines. And, a lot of times you're paying more for a product that may still be a good product but that isn't the best use of your money. However, when it comes to these patches, I mean, I had a big eyebrow raised I'm like activate your stem cells. How the heck is it going to do that? I thought maybe it was one of these magnets or subtle energy devices or quantum devices. Not that I have anything against any of those, but the research is a little weak. It's a lot of anecdotal data. It's a lot of how you feel loosey-goosey.
But, there are some papers on PubMed when you look up these LifeWave patches. No clinical trial listings that appear on the clinical trials website and no papers that seem to provide concrete evidence of any type of effect. One that I found was looking at they claim increases endurance, they did a test on collegiate cross-country runners, the energy patches had no effect on any substrate utilization or anything like that, no performance-enhancing benefits during exercise. Again, that doesn't mean they don't work, but I wanted to look more into what these patches actually are.
So, apparently, they focus on something called GHK copper peptide. That's a very popular peptide. A lot of people are smearing it into their skin for better skin. I put it in my hair for hair growth. If you're watching the video right now, yes, that's where these long flowing locks are coming from is GHK copper peptide added to my hair. A lot of people use it as an injectable into an area to decrease inflammation or to improve muscle healing. And, I actually do happen to know that the Dalton size, which is the size by which a peptide is measured is small enough for GHK copper peptides where it actually can be absorbed transdermally. So, if these patches actually have GHK copper peptide on them, then potentially you could be absorbing some of that through your skin and getting a good effect.
Unfortunately, when I look at this guy, David Schmidt, who's currently the inventor of this LifeWave X-39 patch, basically, he's more talking about something called phototherapy than about the patch itself. And, I know there's probably some people who sell these things that are probably trying to jump to the podcast right now screaming at me that I'm describing them the wrong way, but apparently, it's a transdermal delivery of GHK copper peptide. If I understand properly what these things are doing, and I'm going to pull up the page for them, it says, “Activate your stem cells. Patented photo therapy is designed to elevate a peptide known to enhance stem cell activity.” It doesn't even say if it has a GHK copper peptide in there or not, but apparently, when light interacts with this patch, it's either causing a release from the patch of GHK copper peptide or causing your body to release its own GHK copper peptide. And, it's unclear which.
Now, interestingly, GHK copper peptide can be activated by light. I've talked before about the benefits of putting GHK copper peptide transdermally into your hair after you derma roll and then exposing your head to infrared light or injecting it subcutaneously into an injured area and then exposing that injured area to sunlight or infrared light. So, I mean, there is something to the idea of activating GHK copper peptide with light. There's also something to the idea of the transdermal absorption of GHK copper peptide. And again, it's used for anti-aging, for skin. I've seen nerve regeneration research on it, wound repairing, antioxidant production. It seems to be an anxiolytic, so antianxiety effects.
And so, when you actually look at dosing for GHK copper peptide, it appears that about 1 to 2 milligrams daily is what is required to get a lot of the systemic healing and skin rejuvenation and hair growth type of effects. Go 1 to 2 milligrams of GHK copper peptide daily.
Now, how much does that cost? Well, I went ahead and look this up. So, 50-milligram bottle, they get on peptide sciences or some other peptide website of GHK copper peptide. I can't remember. We're looking at one maximum of 2 milligrams per day that you need, 70 bucks. So, if I'm doing 50 milligrams, it's going to last me 50 days. I'm going to pay $70 for about 50 days' worth of GHK copper peptide, okay?
Now, when I look at these LifeWave patches, let's say they actually have GHK copper peptide in them and they are increasing it in the way that they are claiming to increase it. Well, it looks like they're $150 for 30 patches, which if you're putting on one patch every day is $130 for, I'm sorry, $150 for a month. And, if you look at GHK copper peptide for a 50-day supply, it's $70. So, we're talking about less, significantly less than half the cost if you just buy GHK copper peptide yourself.
So, I mean, I don't know, maybe there's the convenience of the patch, maybe there's something else going on here that I don't understand. But, I guess I don't get why you wouldn't just save a ton of money and just get GHK copper peptide, and use that as an injectable or as a transdermal rather than spending a bunch of money that I suspect a great deal of is being spent to support a multi-level marketing website. Because the first thing I hear from people is, yeah, these are really great. The second thing is you're going to make a lot of money with these things. And, my Spidey senses always just kind of get activated when I hear that.
So, anyways, nothing against people who sell or use these LifeWave patches. I'm just like, I don't know, you could probably be thrown in a couple of really great steak dinners each month if you were to just buy straight GHK copper peptide yourself, which I don't sell, by the way. I don't sell GHK copper peptide. I'm just saying, I feel it's something that you should take into consideration.
Now, I did find one other study that says double-blind testing of the LifeWave X-39 patch to determine GHK copper peptide production levels. And, they did show a significant increase in the GHK copper peptide concentration present in the blood as a result of wearing the LifeWave X-39 patch for one week. And so, there is something going on. And, I suspect they actually have added GHK copper peptide to the patch and then there's some sort of form of phototherapy worked into the patch where you're getting light absorption that activates the GHK copper peptide. Certainly. If that's the case, great. But, I could do the same thing with injectable GHK copper peptide or transdermal GHK copper peptide for a fraction of the cost, combined with exposure to infrared light, infrared sauna, or sunlight. Just saying.
So anyways, since everybody's been asking me, that's my take on the X-39 patches. I don't think they necessarily don't work, I just think you might be wasting your money.
So anyways, I am actually running out of time on today's show. And, that is just about everything that I'm going to have the time to be able to cover. However, if you have your own questions or comments or feedback for me, if you'd like to add anything yourself, you can always go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/462. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/462. And, leave your own questions, your comments, your feedback. You can leave the show a rating or review. And, I know we didn't get to a ton of listener questions, but that question, by the way, was responding to Robie who wanted me to look into this company called LifeWave. So, that actually was a listener question that I replied to technically.
So anyways, I hope this has been helpful for you. Again, the shownotes are at BenGreenfieldLife.com/462. Remember to check out the new Masterclass at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Masterclass. Have an amazing week.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
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Have a question you'd like Ben to answer on the podcast?
Before asking your question, search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Life!
- Cheap baking soda hack for exercise performance: Sodium bicarbonate acts by attenuating the suppressive effects of acidosis on muscle contractility and elicits an ergogenic effect on muscular endurance, power, and velocity: Ergogenic Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate on Resistance Exercise: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study – take 0.3 g/kg body weight and you can split it into small doses in the 2 hrs. leading up to a workout (e.g. sipping on bicarb water)…13:27
- How to get your body to sleep in later: Here’s a cool way to reset your circadian clock if you find yourself going to bed later than you want to go and eat a solid breakfast in the morning rather than fasting for skipping breakfast (bonus points if you can include 30 to 40 g of protein, amino acids for collagen with that meal): Early Time-Restricted Eating Advances Sleep In Late Sleepers: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial…33:49
- To ice or not to ice? Some claim that icing will inhibit recovery… But here’s the latest science: To Ice or Not To Ice? Icing Can Promote Muscle Regeneration After Mild Injury…47:07
- Podcast with Carly Kramer:
- Sodium bicarbonate and its effects on exercise performance
- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
- pH is a scale used to grade how acidic or alkaline a solution is
- 7.0 – neutral
- lower – acidic
- higher – alkaline
- Body pH varies
- Blood is slightly alkaline at pH 7.4
- Stomach is highly acidic at pH 1-3
- The body’s pH is tightly regulated
- The acid-base balance is controlled mainly by the kidneys and lungs
- The long term exposure to metals from alkaline water generators
- During anaerobic exercise, body's demand for oxygen exceeds the available supply of oxygen
- Muscles cannot rely on oxygen to produce ATP
- Muscles switch to a different pathway – from aerobic to anaerobic pathway
- Major byproduct of the anaerobic pathway is hydrogen
- The pH of the muscles becomes lower
- It’s not lactic acid that we used to think
- How can sodium bicarbonate help?
- pH of 8.4
- Buffering excess hydrogen during anaerobic exercise
- The kidneys produce their own bicarbonate
- Bicarbonate can accept a hydrogen ion, increase it's pH to make it less acidic
- During exercise, bicarbonate and other buffering agents can work to pull hydrogen out of working muscle and into the bloodstream
- Muscle returns to a less acidic state – less burn
- Scientists have been looking into this for decades
- Study shows supplementing with sodium bicarbonate significantly increases muscular endurance and performance
- During interval training, significant improvements in workload and a significantly greater time to exhaustion
- For strength performance, mixed research results
- 0.3 grams per kilogram
- Taken in the one to two hours leading up to exercise
- Small sips to prevent stomach distress
- If you have a cramp, you just have to taste something very bitter or super salty
- Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker
- The concept of Zeitgeber and using food to shift circadian rhythm
- Zeitgeber is an environmental or external cue that can influence your circadian rhythm
- Early time-restricted eating can help in getting up earlier
- Body clock can sync up with external cues – sunlight
- These circadian rhythms and processes that go on in your body operate on internal clocks
- Hormones, immune system, digestion, every organ run on some sort of timing system
- Master clock of the body – SCN (SupraChiasmatic Nucleus)
- Ben has a blue light box – similar to sunlight, keeping Ben awake and alert
- Awake & Alert by Lighting Science LED bulbs
- At night, red incandescent light and blue light blocking glasses
- Melatonin suppositories (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Exercise is another way to cue your body's sleep cycles
- Eight Sleep Mattress
- SleepMe (use code BEN to save 25%)
- Should you ice your muscles?
- RICE treatment – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
- A hypothesis that by icing or getting a muscle cold, you are shortening or restricting the body's natural inflammatory processes, not allowing the body to mount its own natural response to this hormetic stress
- Thus you are going to recover more slowly if you get cold after a workout or if you ice an injury
- An experiment with rodents
- Induced injuries that would occur after sports exercise in people an average tough human workout
- They then did icing and looked at muscle regeneration
- Skeletal muscle regeneration was actually promoted by icing
- Macrophages are immune cells that orchestrate the repairing process of injured muscle
- Icing reduces the accumulation of these pro-inflammatory macrophages and prevents the expansion of the muscle
- Japanese scientists explained why icing actually works to help an injury heal faster
Want to submit your question for Ben to answer on the podcast? Submit here or send a direct message on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. To make it easy to spot, preface your question with “Q&A Podcast Question: (ask question)” and keep it concise, please.
Q: Robbie asks: I'd love for you to look into a company called “LifeWave”. I've been into biohacking, nutrition, and fitness (and following you) for some time. I've never had anything make me feel this way. It's a patch that turns on GHK-cu peptide which in turn stimulates stem cells. I'd like your opinion on the science behind it. He holds patents on the tech… 54:08
- Patches that activate your stem cells
- LifeWave is a multilevel marketing company
- No clinical trial listings and no papers that seem to provide concrete evidence
- Focus is on GHK-Cu peptide
- LifeWave X39 patch:
- GHK-Cu peptide is activated with light
- Transdermal absorption
- Used for antiaging for skin, nerve regeneration, wound repairing, as anxiolytic
- LifeWave patches are $150 for 30 days – too expensive
- Podcasts on Copper peptides:
- The 2 Most Potent Hair Growth & Hair Loss Reversal Molecules Known To Humankind: C60 & GHK-Cu – A Big Hair Podcast With Auxano’s Jay Campbell & Nick Andrews.
- The Big Beauty Podcast: Anti-Aging, Hair Growth, Gray Hair, Baldness, Beauty Myths & Beauty Truths, Dermarolling vs. Microneedling, Scars & Stretch Marks, Testosterone, DHT & Much More With Dr. Cameron Chesnut.
- Disrupt: September 28th – 30th, 2023
Join me for the Disrupt 2023 Event in Atlanta, Georgia, from September 28th – 30th. This event is oriented towards entrepreneurs and health practitioners alike, centered around the topic of making healthcare truly healthy. This highly practical and immersive workshop will feature live Q&As, my top secrets for career success, and much more! Learn more here.
- Couples Collective: October 25th – 29th, 2023
Couples Collective is an exclusive and immersive way to explore health, wellness, and mindset with your significant other. Jessa and I will be leading a health optimization and relationships workshop, alongside many other awesome couples. This is a small event, and access requires you to interview with event-holder OWN IT to ensure a right fit. However, for those who are said fit, this event is designed to bring you into deeper union within your relationship and onward into greater connection with your life, love, health, and happiness. I'm looking for 6 to 7 powerful couples to come join me at the event – are you one of them? Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
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BGL Masterclass: The course is structured to help you identify barriers and your biggest weaknesses that prevent you from making the most of your available time and resources. By the end of this course, you’ll possess the ability to confidently master all six major areas of life: time, environment, health, soul, relationships, and legacy. Visit BenGreenfieldLife.com/masterclass to secure your spot so you can optimize your life and leave the legacy you would be proud of!
Ben Greenfield Coaching – Elite Plan: It's time to transform your health and fitness journey with the new Elite Plan from Ben Greenfield Coaching. To learn more and join the elite ranks of high achievers who have successfully turned their knowledge into lasting transformation, visit our website at www.bengreenfieldcoaching.com/elite