[Transcript] – Q&A 465: How Fast Do You Lose Muscle If You Stop Lifting, Should You Take A Multivitamin, Biohacks For Jetlag & Much More!

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/article/qa-465/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:38] This Week's Solosode

[00:01:52] Was Ben wrong about vitamin C?

[00:07:35] How fast do you lose muscle after you stop training?

[00:25:44] The benefits of multivitamins

[00:36:01] Supplement list for airline traveling

[00:53:31] Listener Q&A: Ben's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

[01:02:31] End of Podcast

[01:02:53] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

How fast do you lose muscle if you stop weightlifting, should you take a multivitamin, biohacks for jet lag, I was wrong about vitamin C and a whole lot more.

Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this.

Hey, welcome to this week's solosode, Q&A. Once again, it's me coming at you all by my lonesome with no guest because just nobody really wanted to talk to me, what can I say? I'm a bore, it's just me here talking to you. The reason I do these solosodes is there's often many things that I would like to discuss and bring to light in terms of news flashes, articles, research, new findings, interesting materials. And frankly, I got to keep my mouth shut half the time probably not enough when I'm interviewing podcast guests. And ultimately, since I don't get a chance to talk a lot when that super smart person on the other end is talking, I like to get in front of the mic and share with you those things that I haven't had a chance to share with you.

All the podcast shownotes for today's episode you can find at BenGreenfieldLife.com/465. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/465. And, we are going to start with something that may have raised your eyebrow right off the bat there in my introduction. The fact that I mentioned I was wrong about vitamin C, I was wrong about vitamin C, and I'm going to tell you why right now.

Alright. So, in last week's episode, podcast 464, vitamin C came up, the topic of vitamin C, and I said as I've said a few times in the past that a whole food's source of vitamin C, meaning real vitamin C as it occurs in nature is superior to the ascorbic acid that you might find in many supplements these days. Now, there are some supplements that actually do use a whole food source of vitamin C. For example, the little scoop of vitamin C and minerals that I put in my morning glass of water made by Jigsaw Health. It's called Adrenal Cocktail. That has whole foods vitamin C in it. And, many times I've mentioned that that natural form of whole foods vitamin C is superior. There's a reason for that. The reason for that is something that I first learned from a guy named Morley Robbins. Morley Robbins is a fellow who designed the Root Cause Protocol, really smart guy who gets into the importance of things like copper and magnesium and vitamin C and mineral balance in our diets and our supplementation program. And, Morley makes a case what seems at first glance to be a pretty well-informed case that real vitamin C, as it occurs in nature, is what he describes basically a complete car that has an engine and a steering wheel and four wheels and a shell of the car. And, in that whole food vitamin C complex, there is an engine, that engine is this enzyme. So, bear with me here because I'm going to get nerdy. The enzyme is called tyrosinase. It's a copper-based enzyme.

Now, Morley argues that ascorbic acid and ascorbate which are kind of the so-called synthetic forms of vitamin C we would find in a multivitamin, for example, or an energy drink, those are just the shell of the car without the engine and without any moving parts. Furthermore, he says that synthetic vitamin C in addition to lacking that tyrosinase enzyme, which is important for copper, that synthetic vitamin C also lacks specific polyphenols. He calls them vitamin P. The polyphenol is called rutin and flavanone. And, he also says it lacks vitamin K and it lacks choline. And, when you put that together with it lacking tyrosinase, you essentially lose out the ability for vitamin C to allow for adequate absorption and the complete activity of different enzymes in the body, particularly those important for copper metabolism.

Now, that seems to make pretty good sense, but my friend who's a smart dude, he has a podcast, he has a Substack, and I've known him for quite some time. His name is Dr. Chris Masterjohn. He recently dug into some of these claims and I'll link to his full analysis on this in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/465. But, Chris points out a few very important things. First of all, vitamin C is not actually bound in complex in plants to anything. Vitamin K is but vitamin C is not. Furthermore, the best sources of choline as opposed to what Morley Robin says based on the fact that vitamin C complexes actually contain choline are seeds and nuts, which really have about the least vitamin C that you're going to find the plant kingdom. So, if you look at ascorbic acid, it's actually absorbed, about 70 to 90% of it is absorbed even when you're taking doses of hundreds of milligrams. Once you get above about a thousand milligrams or about a gram of vitamin C, that absorption falls to around 50% or so. And, urinary loss of ascorbic acid is also pretty minimal. So, you actually absorb ascorbic acid, meaning even these synthetic forms of vitamin C pretty well. So, ascorbic acid is an antioxidant. Many of us are already familiar that vitamin C is an antioxidant. It's an electron donor to different parts of your body including your respiratory chain, especially when you're under stress conditions, which is why vitamin C is so beneficial if you're beat up, if you're inflamed, if you're stressed out. But, ascorbic acid, meaning the regular ascorbic acid, not necessarily the whole foods form, of course, it's an electron donor and it can do all these things even if it's not from whole foods vitamin C.

Now, the is a good reason to avoid synthetic ascorbic acid because much of that is made from GMO corn, which means it could potentially be contaminated with glyphosate. But, as long as you're consuming ascorbate or ascorbic acid from non-GMO sources, which is easy to find enough on Amazon or at the health food store, you don't have to go out of your way to differentiate between your intake of whole foods vitamin C and ascorbic acid. So, I just want to make sure that I highlight this because I've said in the past to avoid ascorbic acid and to instead choose whole foods forms of vitamin C, and I should have instead said avoid synthetic ascorbic acid made from GMO corn. That's really the only thing you need to worry about.

Now, if you want to dig deep into the science of this and get into the weird nerdy brilliant mind of Chris Masterjohn, you can go read his Substack and I will link to that in the shownotes if you would to like dig in a little bit deeper so that you could impress all of your friends at your next cocktail party.

Alright, so I get asked a lot about how fast you lose muscle after you stop training. And, it turns out that there's actually some really good data that has come out recently on what happens if you stop lifting weights as far as how quickly you lose muscle. So, there's a there's a great article written by my friend, Greg Nickols at Stronger By Science in which he really recaps a lot of the latest and the greatest research on this. But, here are the most important things that you need to know if you've been wondering, “Hey, I've got a busy time in life, I'm not going to be able to lift weights. Am I going to lose muscle? Am I going to lose my gains, bro?” So, it turns out that there's a few key important points that you need to know. First of all, if you're young, if you're a young adult, if you're under the age of 40, you can get away with as much as a month of not training before you start losing too much strength and too much muscle mass.

Now, like I said in last week's Q&A when I was telling someone about how they could gain muscle without training, the use of sauna therapy or heat therapy can help you to stave off muscle loss if you're unable to strength train. I don't know if you're injured or something like that. Now, if you have enough time to go and do a sauna session and your goals are muscle maintenance or muscle strength, you probably could use that time to lift weights. You're going to, no doubt, get more strength, muscle gain, and muscle maintenance from weightlifting versus sauna. But, if you have about a month of training cessation, I should say, and you're a young adult, you can get away with that before you start to lose too much strength and muscle mass. Now, if you're older, and that would be above about the age of 40, it decreases. It decreases to about two weeks. So, if you're over 40, if you stop lifting and you stop lifting for more than two weeks, your losses in terms of strength and size will start to accelerate.

Now, in addition to that, what's called strength endurance seems to fade faster than maximal strength. Meaning, how many repetitions you can do, how well you can buffer lactic acid, your mitochondrial density, et cetera. So, that will disappear even faster while your strength gains will maintain.

Now, it's interesting because older adults who are pushing 60, 65 years old plus seem to lose strength and lose muscle at about twice the rate of younger adults once they stop training. So, the key takeaway message here is this. The older you are, the more important it is to figure out how to be involved in a strength training program that allows for frequency of training and consistency, coming in over and over again, even if it's just short weight training sessions a few times a week.

Now, there's also this phenomenon of muscle memory. Muscle memory dictates that the amount of time that it takes to regain lost muscle and strength, the so-called retraining period following a period of training cessation seems to be about half as long as the period of training cessation. What I mean by that is if you're unable to hit the gym for, let's say, 12 weeks, you should be able to regain the majority of your lost strength and muscle mass in about six weeks. So, let's say you've been lifting, you got to get, I don't know, surgery for a hernia because you strained your abdominals playing golf or pickleball or whatever, you should be able to, if you take let's say 16 weeks off from repairing that hernia and only doing light walking, not loading the muscles, et cetera, you should be able to get your lost strength and muscle mass back after 16 weeks off in about eight weeks. And this, again, makes it all the more important especially as you go into old age to have been strength training. Not just for the bone density because a lot of times the bone density you have at about the midpoint in life is close the amount of bone density you're going to have the rest of your life, which is really important if you're a woman who has a family history of say osteopenia or osteoporosis. It's important to start strength training as early as you can. Of course, as I've said before, the best time to plant a tree is the old Chinese proverb goes is 20 years ago or today. So, don't lose heart if you're listening and you're 70 years old and you haven't started strength training yet. You can definitely build muscle even as old as that. So, the trick here though and the takeaway message is strength train early in life as much as you can. If you have teenagers, kids, et cetera, try to start to teach them certain weight training techniques. This is why I take my sons to the gym with me or give them a strength training program as much as I possibly can because I want them to have that knowledge early on in life.

So finally, I would say the main takeaway message from this article about detraining is that if you have the time or the ability or the inclination to do any training, you can significantly mitigate the losses in strength and muscle mass that you'd otherwise experience during a period of total training cessation. What that means is that let's say that you are going through a very busy phase of life, maybe you're releasing a product, or you're publishing a book, or you've just had a newborn baby or whatever the case may be, even the smallest things based on the literature seem to help a ton with muscle maintenance or staving off the loss of muscle. And, that could go beyond the sauna example that I gave. For a lot of the clients who I work with in coaching, I was just doing this for a client the other day, he's going through a very busy period of life and I said, “Okay, I'm going to load up your training peaks.” Training Peaks is the program that I use for laying out the calendar that I designed the fitness programs for my clients in. I said I'm going to load up in there your busy day. 

What the busy day looks is you are going to drop and do 30 push-ups every hour. You are going to put a kettlebell on the floor of your office and every time you exit your office, you're going to drop and do 10 swings. You're going to do five pull-ups from the pull-up bar in the door frame every time you walk under the door and you're just basically doing these little tiny movement snacks throughout the day that even if you can't hit the gym still allow you to maintain or build strength or maintain or build muscle even in a phase of detraining or even during a very busy period of life. So ultimately, since I'm asked so often about how quickly you'll lose muscle after you stop training. I thought that you should know this.

Now, something that's interesting and related to this is I did come across one article called “The Minimum Effective Training Dose Required to Increase 1 Rep Map Strength in Resistant Trained Men.” So, what this means is how minimally can you train to not lose any strength at all, particularly in your all-out max strength training. And the takeaway message from this is that generally especially in younger men who train, but this is broadly applicable to the general population even though again, as you've just learned, the older you are, the more frequent your training might be required to be performing based on this research one single set, one set of six to 12 repetitions with a load that's about 70 to 85% of your one rep max, two to three times a week, reaching something close to failure for up to 12 weeks, can allow you to maintain strength even if you're unable to do a formal longer strength training program. So, what does that mean? Let's say I don't want to lose any strength in my legs, specifically as measured by a barbell squat and I can currently barbell squat, let's say, 300 pounds or so. I could just do one single set of a barbell squat for six to 12 repetitions at 70 to 85% of those 300 pounds with a pretty high intensity for 8 to 12 weeks. I mean, you do the math, that's what maybe 2 minutes to do that set three times a week. So, six total minutes of barbell squats. I can maintain my one-rep map strength for up to 12 weeks doing that.

So, there was this program that used to go around called The Cold Bar Training where it–I'm going to approximate it. I don't remember the exact details of it, but the general idea was a couple of times a day you would do a really heavy deadlift or a really heavy squat just lifting it off the ground and putting it down or doing one squat down from the rack and putting it back up. And, that was how you would build strength throughout the week, just these very quick kind of back to the idea of a movement snack tough set or tough one rep. And, that was a popular program, especially for trainers in the gym who maybe didn't have the time to do a formal strength training program but could just stop and do a few lifts during the day. Well, this research backs up the fact that we often have to, especially for maintaining intensity and consistency, train less than we think to be able to maintain or build strength. It just comes down to consistency and intensity. So, it's good to know.

Now, kind of paired along with this is the idea of when would be the best time to train because I'm often asked this as well. You can imagine I'm asked a lot of questions about this. There was a really interesting study that just came out that made me think about this a little bit. The title of the study was called “Associations of 24-hour light exposure and activity patterns and risk of cognitive impairment and decline in older men.” And, this study was looking at how to pair activity and light specifically if you wanted to maintain cognitive health, even though I think that we could probably extend some of the benefits to just overall strength and metabolic efforts. Well, it turns out that if you marry your hardest exercise session to light, meaning doing your hardest exercise session during the day, you actually are able to get more of the cognitive benefits of exercise. And, if you want to get into all the cognitive benefits of exercise, there's a great book called “Spark” by John Ratey that just goes into all the different things like brain-derived neurotrophic factor and vascular endothelial factor that are all fantastic for the brain as a response to strength training. Pro tip I'll throw in there, if you do training and you wear blood flow restriction bands or what are also known as KAATSU bands, you can actually maximize the amount of specific compounds that flood your brain post-exercise and allow for an even greater increase in cognitive health. But ultimately, it turns out that if you are able to do your training during the daytime, you get more of the cognitive health benefits versus working out in the night or when it's dark outside at 4:00 a.m. or say in the winter at 6:00 p.m. or something like that. Now, can you hack this? Absolutely.

For example, if I could find them here, there's a set of glasses for those you watching the video version on my desk, like these things are called–I picked these up at the biohacking symposium in London. They're a pair of glasses that produce blue light, put them on like this and if I can get them around my headphones here, they go on your face like this and they subject your eyes to bright blue light that simulates sunlight. And, these are used for circadian rhythm. When you travel, if you wake up too late and you want to start to stimulate your brain to wake up early in the day you can you can just bathe your brain in blue light with these glasses. I can't even find the freaking label on these things. Maybe I'll hunt it down and put it in the shownotes but it looks this, these little glasses.

There's another set called the Re-Timers that I have somewhere around my office as well, a pair of glasses that you put on. It creates bright greenish-blue light that your eyes get to see. And, you could technically wear these when strength training if you're unable to strength train during the day like if you're 5:00 a.m. at the gym or 6:00 p.m. at the gym and get a lot of the cognitive health benefits of training by being that nerd at the gym who's wearing the geeky blue light producing glasses. Another way you could do this and this is something I have in my home gym is there is a company called Lighting Science, and they make these bulbs called Awake & Alert bulbs. They're the same bulbs that I have in my office and they produce a very bright spectrum of light that contains a lot of the blues and the greens that we get from sunlight. And, it turns out that that helps me to simulate daytime in my office even if it's not daytime. Now, of course, if you're getting close to bedtime, you don't want to suppress your melatonin production nor shift your circadian rhythm forward in that manner with light. But, if we're talking about training, the big takeaway message here is that if you can do training when you are subjected to light either via biohacks such as artificial light that you are making from glasses or overhead lighting or maybe even one of those seasonal effective disorder light boxes that you might have in your gym or near your training space or you can train in the sunlight or you can train in the daytime, you're going to get more of the cognitive health benefits of training, which is really cool to know.

The other thing that I think is interesting, and this is not based on recent research, but there's a whole body of research behind this is that because of your peaking testosterone, your peaking grip strength, your peaking reaction time, and your peaking maximum power and strength production, technically for most human beings, the best time of day to do your hard training session is between about 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., between about 4:00 and 600 p.m. The best time of day to do an aerobic training session that would be more of a Zone 2 fat-burning intensity is actually earlier in the day within the first two to three hours of waking. And so, in many cases, if people have the freedom of time, I say, well, okay, get up, go for a walk, walk the dog, go for a swim, go for a bike ride to the coffee shop, whatever. If you're one of those people who likes to move a couple of times a day and then I always encourage people to do a little cold soak or cryotherapy or cold thermogenesis afterwards to mobilize some fat burning. And then, later on in the day, to get that twice-a-day metabolic burst and strength train or do the harder training at the more favorable time, for example, after work, do your strength training or your high-intensity interval training. And, that's a really good way to split up your day if you do have the luxury of time to be able to move or train twice.

Now, the important thing to realize is, of course, the best time of day to train is the time that you're going to actually do it. So, don't skip going to the gym because you heard that you weren't supposed to strength train in the morning from the Ben Greenfield Life podcast. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is if you're able to train in the afternoon or the early evening, then that actually is a better time to do it if you're wanting to time the hard stuff most appropriately.

Also, when I'm talking about artificial light, you should know that like I just said, training or getting exposure to artificial light within about two to three hours of the time that you're going to go to bed is not a good idea. I don't think that's any secret anymore. Many people are talking about it. This is probably why blue light-blocking glasses companies are making hand-over-fist cash right now from all the people buying their blue light-blocking glasses to keep their retina from being subjected to overhead blue light at night. Well, it turns out that yet another study has backed this up and this was in adolescence. They found that adolescence who were exposed to artificial light at night, and this just came out in the Journal of Chronobiology a few weeks ago had horrifically inferior, if I can talk today, blood pressure control than their peers who are not getting exposed to artificial light at night. 

As a matter of fact, this was a long-term study, a six-year study, and what they found was that younger participants who were in the adolescent years of, I believe they're around in the 16 to 18-year-old age range as they got into adulthood. If they had been exposed to lots of artificial light at night, clubbing video games, television, studying under bright overhead fluorescent lights, they had really poor blood pressure later on as adults. So, this is really interesting to know. It backs up yet again strength train when you're younger, avoid artificial light at night when you're younger, be careful with hefty seed oil and vegetable oil consumption when it comes to your cell membrane health through age when you're younger. The more of these things that you can do or that you can teach your children to do at an early age, the better.

And remember, if you're a parent listening in, I talk about a lot of these concepts in my book “Boundless Parenting,” more is caught than taught. Model this stuff. Be the parent who's not whipping out your phone 10 times at the dinner table. Be the parent who if the family's slipping into the basement to watch a show at night you're dawning your blue light-blocking glasses and you've purchased a pair for your children. Be the parent who is going out to strength train when you get home from work and inviting your kids out with you. Be the parent who's asking at the restaurant what they cook the fish in. And, if it's canola oil, ask them if they could use butter or extra virgin olive oil instead. You're not training your children, you're training your children's children. So, these effects are exponential as you model things as a parent or as an adult to the younger people around you. So, spread the wealth, spread the knowledge.

Next, we're going to talk about multivitamins. I recently interviewed these folks who run a company called Xtend-Life. I haven't really talked a lot about multivitamins before, but I'll link to that interview in the shownotes. It was really interesting. I learned a lot about multivitamins, and especially when I travel so I'm not having to throw 20 bottles into my suitcase when I'm on the road. I've been traveling with the multivitamin that I talked for an hour and a half about in that podcast episode with a couple of the folks who formulated. It's out of New Zealand. It's called the Total Balance Men's Premium. He was a 76-year-old inventor of formulations. He went around the globe kind of like hunting down the best of the best ingredients on the face of the planet and putting nearly 100 ingredients into this formula. Of course, all the basic vitamins you would expect like zinc and selenium and vitamin Bs and Ds and Es and Cs and As and the whole alphabet. But then, a ton of other things like Delta Gold tocotrienol complex and pau d'arco bark extract and turmeric and black current and piperine and resveratrol from Japanese knotweed root and lutein from Aztec marigold flower. You can't make this stuff up. It's crazy. Enzymes harvested by one-armed monks in the Himalayas.

So anyways, my wife's been taking their women's formula, my children have been taking their children's formula. I've been taking their men's formula. And again, a lot of times when I travel, I just want that simplicity when I travel of having this nutritional food so to speak. But, I've recently been looking a lot more into why it is that we might need to consider taking a multivitamin. If your friends ask you, “Hey, you don't need a multivitamin. Our ancestors didn't take pills,” whatever. Well, I've talked in the past about how with soil health declining and the fact that we're not getting as many minerals in many cases due to soil depletion from the plants that we eat that supplementing with certain things might be a good idea. 

But, it turns out that there's a big benefit to multivitamins that I wasn't aware of that I wanted to bring up based on some studies I found recently. So, it turns out that that scientist from Harvard Medical School in Columbia University showed pretty demonstrably that especially in older adults taking a multivitamin could allow for some pretty significant memory improvements. This was a study of over 3,500 adults including men over the age of 60 and women over the age of 65, they got a multivitamin supplement or a placebo and then they evaluated them at baseline and every year using this battery of neuropsychological tests over three years. What they showed was that those who took the multivitamin supplement had better immediate recall, which is a measurement of memory, like how quickly you can recall something that you've been shown or read at the first year point. And, that was maintained during all the follow-ups. Interestingly, the effects were most pronounced and people who had cardiovascular disease, and the research hypothesized that people with cardiovascular disease might have lower micronutrient levels that multivitamins might correct. But ultimately, the researchers estimated in the paper–listen to this, this is a quote from the paper–that taking a multivitamin improve cognitive performance by the equivalent of 3.1 years of age-related memory change. Meaning, they were giving these people three extra years on their brain with multivitamin supplementation.

Now, there's a separate study that, again, was a pretty big one, over 200 participants and these folks were getting older. They had a mean age of 73 and they were testing a multivitamin versus a placebo for improved cognition. They were using test to evaluate memory and cognitive functions when the study started and then annually. What they found was a 60% slowing of cognitive decline. Again, the equivalent to getting about two years of your brain life back, they had a significant increase in what's called episodic memory and executive function. And, these findings were published in the journal, Alzheimer's and dementia and once again give a lot of credence to the idea of multivitamins giving you a younger brain, giving you your memory back, which is really interesting. Part of this might be due to the B complex vitamins, boy, B complex vitamins that you find in many multivitamin formulations. So, for example, we know vitamin B6, vitamin B9 also known as folate, and vitamin B12 support cognitive function as you age and have been shown to play a major role in the development of dementia. Basically, when you're deficient in those specific vitamins, neurological and psychological dysfunction are associated with that.

Now, when you look at the research on this, there's actually a lot of research that shows that taking some type of complex that contains vitamin B may slow brain aging and interestingly even slow brain atrophy. Meaning, it can lower the rate of brain atrophy that occurs each year. And, we know there's an accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment. You can actually lower that or slow that with what are called homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. 

Now, it's important that you know that B vitamins help to lower homocysteine because unfortunately one thing that you'll find quite commonly these days in energy drinks, in energy bars, in poorly formulated multivitamins, et cetera, is synthetic folic acid. Now, if you've ever had your DNA test and found out or been told you're a poor methylator, this is especially concerning for you because folic acid can actually result in a buildup of this inflammatory molecule homocysteine that can accelerate brain aging. So, I actually, in what is called a homozygous for my methylation gene, many people are, meaning I don't methylate quite as well is not uncommon. I look at the label of any processed or packaged food I drink, any energy drink, et cetera, to make sure that there's not what's called folic acid or folate in there, synthetic folate. Now, the reason for that is because there's another form of folic acid that does not cause this called methyl tetrahydrofolate or MTHF. You want to look for that if something that you're consuming has folate in it. You also want to look at the label of your multivitamin to make sure that your multivitamin doesn't have folic acid in it.

There's a couple of things, for example, that I'll look at right away to see if a multivitamin is well formulated. The first is whether or not it contains synthetic folic acid. The other is that if it has vitamin D, D like dog in it that it also has vitamin K2 and magnesium because those help for vitamin D to get absorbed properly and keep vitamin D from bringing more calcium into the arteries resulting in a risk for calcification. So, there's certain things you kind of look for to see if things have been formulated properly.

Now, you also find in many multivitamins, nicotinamide riboside, which is also known as NR. It's a precursor of NAD, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. You hear about people taking NAD and NR and NMN supplements. Well, nicotinamide riboside is a form of vitamin B3, helps to boost the levels of NAD. And, we know that if you boost your levels of NAD, you lower biomarkers of neurodegeneration in plasma. And, they've actually shown that people who use some type of NAD supplement, in this case, one of the major studies was NR, nicotinamide riboside, they had a decrease in neuroinflammatory pathways. 

I recently did a whole podcast about NAD. I'll link to it in the shownotes. But, once again, it turns out that a multivitamin that contains something like niacinamide or nicotinamide riboside in it, that's also fantastic for staving off the decline in cognitive function and memory that can occur with age. So basically, it turns out that there's more to multivitamins than just the general shotgun covering your nutritional bases or making sure you don't get vitamin deficiencies. Specifically, the thing that really stood out to me is the potential for multivitamins for memory and for slowing brain aging. So, I just thought that would be really important for you to know.

Now, one other thing that I did come across was cancer when it comes to multivitamins. And, there was a study, it was big and this is why this one caught my attention, 2,442 participants. They found that daily multivitamin intake in these folks reduced lung cancer, which is one of the major cancers. I think it might be the top cancer actually that exists right now by 38% and previous research before that showed that daily multivitamin supplementation led to a statistically significant reduction in the instance of total cancer of all causes amongst men who were 50 years or older. There was another study that found that multivitamin use was associated with a 70% decrease in the risk of non-cardiac gastric cancer. Now, of course, I realize there's healthy user bias. The type of people who take multivitamins might not be eating at McDonald's, not be consuming as many rancid and process say vegetable oils. They might be exercising. They might be going out in nature more, sleeping better, et cetera. So, there is some healthy user bias there admittedly, but there is a lot of evidence that in addition to the memory and cognition piece that multivitamins are probably doing you a favor in the decreased cancer risk department. 

So, lots of interesting things to know about multivitamins. And again, that Xtend-Life one, I thought I want to turn this into a commercial for that, but it's just the one I've been taking. I think it's very well-formulated. And yeah, I don't take it every day. I take it a lot when I travel though. And, I travel a lot, 10 days out of every month it seems I'm on the road. So, good one to know about for sure. And, that one's the Xtend-Life Men's Balance, I think it's called, Total Men's Balance, something like that. I don't know. You can make a word cloud of the words like balance formula, multi, and complete and probably cover the names of just about every multivitamin on the planet.

Okay. So, next up, I want to talk to you about airline travel. I recently came across an article and this was published. I forget the website. It was a foXnoMad, foXnoMad website. It was about how traveling ages us. In the past, I've sided this fantastic paper. You could google this or maybe I'll link to it in the shownotes for you. It's called The Dark Side of Hypermobility. About all the effects that travel has on our circadian rhythms and our inflammation. And, this was an interesting article that got me thinking about this a little bit more because it really got into some wonderful ways to keep your body from getting damaged as much by frequent airline travel. Speaking of me being on the road for 10 days a month. So, we know that travel can be good for the mind. There's a lot of evidence to support the mental benefits of traveling like learning to speak a new language and getting the neurons firing to do that, getting better memory and better social stimuli and better cognitive stimuli by being in a new environment, engaged in new habits, trying new foods, perhaps being more physically active and walking when you travel. I'm not against travel, but jet leg and irregular sleep and varying leg rooms on different airplanes, et cetera, all have a pretty cumulative effect on the rest of your body.

So, one thing to think about is, first of all, the Earth's atmosphere protects us from solar and stellar and magnetic radiation, and it's less dense the farther you get from the surface of the Earth. So, the higher up you are, the more radiation you get exposed to. And, that radiation can be damaging to your cells and ultimately aging to your bodies and you're getting exposed to, of course, a bunch of other radiation as you go through the airport security and the X-ray scanners and everything else in addition to the 20 people on the plane who forgot to put their phones in Airplane Mode. So then, we have all the radio frequencies and all the planes have Wi-Fi now. You're basically getting a lot of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure when you fly.

Now, if you're interested in how much radiation you're actually getting exposed to during a flight, the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the International Commission on Radiological Protection, they actually recommend very frequent flyers and flight crews to be aware of the amount of ionizing radiation they've been exposed to. And, the FAA even has a free tool you can use to estimate your exposure over a given time. And then, they also had a study that was done by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist that found that levels of radiation increased to potentially dangerous amounts during some what are called solar energetic particle events–I realize it's getting pretty nerdy, but it means that when there are things that are solar flares or if you go to the–there's actually a website for this. Believe it or not, the space weather prediction alerts website, they actually recommend pregnant women be careful flying during times that there are solar energetic particle events because the amount of radiation gets that high. Anytime I hear that, I'm not pregnant, but if they're recommending that pregnant women be really careful with that amount of radiation, it's got to be something that I should at least think about or be aware about when it comes to radiation while flying.

Now, there are other issues too. We know that flying at high altitudes means less oxygen inside the pressurized cabins. That directly increases oxidative stress in the body. There was a study in the Journal of Nature in which the effects were measured on athletes training at moderate altitudes of over 3,000 feet for a couple of weeks measurable in increase in free radicals. Now, they're able to mitigate that with antioxidants and I'll get into that in a second, but it turns out that there's more oxidative stress in addition to more radiative stress when you're flying on an airplane. Now, you combine that with the idea that we are crossing multiple time zones which results in a circadian effect on your sleep, and you combine that with the effect that they've shown that jet leg and traveling across multiple time zones can have an impact on your gut microbiome. Meaning, the balance of bacteria in your gut, and it makes a pretty strong case for doing some things to mitigate the damage that can occur during airline travel, which of course will directly translate to mitigating the effects that airline travel can have on your overall blah feeling of jet lag when you get to wherever you're going.

So, what are a few of the things that I do or that I recommend? Well, when it comes to the radiation, I like to do things that can help my DNA repair and recover from that. So, NAD is very good at supporting DNA repair, particularly when it's combined with what's called a sirtuin. This would be something like Resveratrol. There are formulas out there that combine NAD with some type of sirtuin. Two that come to mind, there's one by BioStack Labs. They have a good NAD supplement. The company Neurohacker, they also have a good NAD supplement. And, using extra NAD when you travel is a good idea. I actually even have a patch called an Ion Layer patch that delivers a slow bleed of NAD into my system. And, if I'm on a long-haul flight like flying across the pond, I will actually put on an NAD patch during the actual flight.

Now, that's the DNA repair piece. It turns out also that there's something else that can regulate pathways that modulate inflammation and DNA damage, and that is, I don't even know, ketone esters. These are drinkable ketones. Companies like HVMN and KetoneAid that make these. Now, I like these for two reasons. First, they can modulate inflammation and DNA damage. Second, they are fantastic at satiating the appetite, which means you're less prone to eat the crappy airplane or airport food when you're traveling. I always have a couple bottles of ketones in my bag when I travel. They're less than 4 ounces and you can drink these as you travel. And, for a long-haul plane flight, I'll drink a bottle every couple of hours to keep my levels of ketone esters up.

Now, similar for the overall cellular protective piece, I'm just going to give you a little supplements list here for your airline travel pack is glutathione. Glutathione is fantastic to manage oxidative stress and inflammation. There are various forms out there. One of my favorites is called AlmsBio. It's this orange creamsicle-flavored glutathione that you hold in your mouth for about 60 seconds and swallow. It also has PQQ and CoQ10 in it, which are protected for the mitochondria. There's another company called Quicksilver Scientific that makes also a liposomal glutathione. And then, if you actually want to smell like a liquid dog fart because glutathione does smell a little sulfurous, they even make transdermal glutathione now. And, I actually have a bottle of transdermal glutathione on my bedside right now. I've just been messing around with a couple sprays at night. I don't even remember the brand of it, but you could google it. It's Auro, A-U-R-O, Auro Wellness. They've got transdermal glutathione. And so, glutathione can also be another really good thing to have in the bag. So, we're all talking about DNA damage and inflammation right now.

A couple of other things to consider for the inflammation and for the DNA. That would be hydrogen. So, whenever I have a glass of water on the flight, I not only put electrolytes into it like a packet of LMNT or Protekt or Quinton, but I also add a couple of these hydrogen tablets in. I get them from a company called Water and Wellness. Hydrogen is a selective antioxidant which can be really good for inflammation. Super simple to add to the water in the bottle that you might get on the airplane, that you might have in the bottle that you filled up before he got on the airplane. So, I'm a big fan of hydrogen as well.

And then, finally, antioxidants. Vitamin E, vitamin C, they're probably the two most potent antioxidants. Multivitamins have them. You can buy them in supplemental form. A lot of different ways to get them in, but not only eating a diet leading up to a long-haul flight or after a long-haul flight that's rich in color and flavonols and polyphenols and a rainbow of different plants and herbs and spices but also consuming some type of antioxidant from supplements or from a multivitamin, that can also be a really good idea before, after or even during the plane flight.

So, there is also something that you can do when you get to your final destination that is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory compounds known to humankind but also support sleep, and that's melatonin. I actually take high, high-dose melatonin when I get to where I'm going. We're talking 300 milligrams, don't laugh, in suppository form. There's a company called MitoZen, Dr. John Lieurance. I talked about him last week's podcast. He's the Doctor Strange of medicine. He designs his suppositories like NAD suppositories and methylene blue suppositories, and he's got nasal sprays of Rape' and essential oils and methylene blue eye drops, all sorts of crazy stuff. But, he makes these high-dose melatonin suppositories called SandMan. I put one of those in when I get to my final destination as soon as it's time to go to bed at night and I'll crush. Even I've crossed multiple time zones, a solid six to seven hours of sleep, which is pretty good and it's usually based on my Oura Ring data, pretty high-quality sleep. But, the cool thing about that is it's also managing a lot of the inflammation that you just learned builds up when you're on the plane flight.

So then, we get to the issue with the radiation. Now, I talked about how NAD and sirtuins could help to protect the body, but the only thing that you'll find that actually soaks up radiation if you were to go get a CT angiography at the hospital or some other medical exam that involves a radiation diet or you were to get a lot of X-ray exposure or you had to get a bunch of scans that involved radiation or you're traveling on an airplane where, again, you're getting exposed to both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, iodine is fantastic. Iodine is absolutely fantastic for radiation. It's the only thing I know of for kind of soaking up radiation that actually has research behind it. And, there are a variety of different iodine supplements you can find on Amazon. Life Extension Foundation, they have a pretty good ionizing or not ionizing, iodine radiation supplement. It's not sold as a radiation supplement but you can take about 100, 150 micrograms of iodine. And, I'll usually do that for three to four days after I've done a hefty amount of airline travel. And usually, when I've arrived to my final destination, I'll just pop a capsule of iodine just because it's so useful for radiation.

Now, the Earth itself actually creates a natural amount of anti-inflammatory and negative ions. This is important because all of your cells operate on this electrochemical gradient that dictates there should be a slight negative charge on the interior cell, slight positive charge on the exterior of the cell. And, when you're exposed to a lot of radiation, cell phones, WiFi, et cetera, you tend to get an influx of calcium into the cell. You can offset that via a couple of different strategies. One would be to use magnesium, which is another thing you could take in bed at night before you go to sleep because it is assistive with relaxation. You can take it at the same time as the melatonin. But, the other thing is that when you get in touch with the surface of the planet barefoot or wearing grounding or earthing shoes or using a grounding or earthing mat, there's even a company called Ultimate Longevity that sells these grounding mats that you can travel with, they just roll up inside your travel gear and you can lay them out in the hotel bed when you get to where you're going. Getting in touch with the surface of the planet is one of the best ways to reset the battery so to speak after you've been traveling. If you don't want to walk around like a dirty barefoot hippie outside your Airbnb or your hotel or the airport when you get to where you're going, they even make grounding shoes. There are companies like Earth Runners, for example, or Pluggz or a whole number of different grounding and earthing shoe companies. I'll link to a few in the shownotes. You can wear shoes, these typically have copper plugs in the bottom of them that allow for a conductive experience with the surface of the planet that you don't get when you're wearing big built-up rubber-soled shoes. And, those can be a pretty good option as well for your kicks when you travel.

So, so far, we've talked about things–and I'll put a list of this in the shownotes. We've talked about things like NAD and sirtuins for DNA protection, ketones, hydrogen, glutathione, and antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C for the inflammation and the oxidation. We've talked about melatonin for not just the inflammation but also the sleep. We've talked about magnesium and earthing or grounding to kind of reset the body's battery after travel. And then, the last thing I should mention is, this is funny, I actually have a Faraday cage in my bedroom. It's this little push-button silver-lined fabric that was designed for me by a company called Shielded Healing. Shoutout to Brian Hoyer who's a building biologist who figures out all the different sources of dirty electricity in your house and fixes them. And, I push a button in this Faraday cage like wraps around my bed while I'm sleeping. So, I'm in this dark protected cave that allows my nervous system to repair and recover, and it works. I can't even take a phone call or send a text message when I'm in there because it just blocks everything, including cell phone towers.

Now, there is a wearable Faraday cage. I say wearable Faraday cage, but I'm not actually walking on the airplane like someone in a Halloween costume with little feet sticking out of a box and my head coming out the other end. I have a jogging suit that looks like just a normal jogging suit. It's a green top black bottom and it even has a hoodie that you can put on as well for the head and it's lined with a silver coated fabric that blocks radiation and I travel. Whenever I'm traveling longer than about two hours on an airplane flight with that thing on. It's amazing. It works so well. I have to put it on, so I put it in my bag, and then I put it on after I go through security. Because if you wear it when you go through security, you freak TSA out because you basically ghost the X-rays and then they can't even see your body because it blocks all radiation, including scanning radiation. But, man, oh man, you put that thing on when you're on a plane flight and I just go dead to the world. I can sleep better. I feel better when I get to where I'm going. It's made by this company called No Choice. I'll link to those products in the shownotes as well. But, it's got a little clip at the bottom of them with an alligator clip on the other end. And, you can actually ground or earth yourself via your entire body through your clothing if you decide to do so when you get to your final destination. So, it's pretty crazy. I don't realize it's some advanced nerdy stuff, but No Choice makes some really good stuff. It's the only EMF-blocking gear that I found that will do the whole body. There are companies like Lambs that make t-shirts and underwear and hats, but for just a full-body suit that does everything, that No Choice stuff is pretty solid.

I would say that even though there are probably some other things that you could do when you travel that I haven't really brought up but that you probably already know about like hydrate. Don't drink a lot of alcohol on the airplane. Some of those no-brainers. The only other thing I should bring up because I'd feel remiss if I didn't is I do all sorts of little exercises on the plane. I will link to an article that has–it's called “10 exercises you can do on the plane without looking weird.” Neck rolls, shoulder rolls, shoulder stretches. This is all in your seat. Forward bends, calf raises, toe raises, ankle rolls, quad stretches, air squats in the airplane bathroom. Chris Farley style. Those of you who get the Tommy Boy reference. And, even walking back and forth, up and down the cabin a few times.

One of my favorite exercises I do on the airplane that I can do when I'm sitting in my chair is those cat cow moves you do in yoga where you arch your back and breathe out and then arch your back the other way and breathe in. I actually do that while I'm sitting in my airplane seat. I think I might have even read that in Kelly Starrett's book “Deskbound.” I think he gets into that move. Shout out to Kelly Starrett, but you wrap your hands around your knees and you kind of using your knees as a leverage, pull yourself up into an arch. I'm demonstrating on the camera. And then, punch over and then pull up and breathe in, and hunch over, then pull up and breathe in, and hunch over. And, it just works fantastically for kind of getting some oxygen, some movement. It's almost like a little bit of resistance training. Speaking of resistance training, another good one you compare with this is you put your hands on the outside of your legs and kind of press out against your hands like an isometric contraction and then place both fists on the inside of your legs and press in like an isometric contraction. So, you can kind of work out while you're on the airplane. And, hopefully, you're not breaking too much of a sweat in your giant EMF Faraday cage suit, but that's another tip for you.

So, there you have it. Those are a few of the little things that you can do to mitigate the effects of airline travel. And, I'll provide plenty of handy resources for you at BenGreenfieldLife.com/465.

Alright. Well, I did leave time for a question, listener question. If you have a question, you can actually go to BenGreenfieldLife.com. You can leave your question there. You can go to the shownotes for the show. Leave your question. I only left time for one question today, but it's an interesting one that I get asked a lot. Tom Franco says, would you be able to provide some insight on what you're eating day-to-day or what you have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Wow, this should be interesting, because it's mostly a cheesecake factory QDOBA, little bit of Mickey D's and Taco Time thrown in, but I take a multivitamin. So, we've established the fact that I'm fine and I earth. I wear my grounding shoes when I go to McDonald's so I'm fine. 

In all seriousness, my diet, I'm often asked about this. I don't know why people want to know what I'm e eating. It's kind of like I get these questions like, “Is fat bad, and should I drink coffee, and is this carnivore?” And the world-famous like, “Will this break my fast?” The answer is that if it has calories, it breaks your fast. There's your news flash.

So anyways, I will give you the run-through. I'm going to try and do this in five minutes or less. What I eat on any given day. So, here we go. Are you ready? Wake up, giant Mason glass full of water, 32 ounces of water. Typically, I put a scoop of that vitamin C stuff I talked about, the Jigsaw Health Adrenal Cocktails. I put a couple of those hydrogen tablets I talked about. I put a packet of minerals like Quinton or Protekt or LMNT or whatever, and I suck that bad boy down. So, that's the first thing I do. So, first thing is water.

Now, typically, I'm going around doing my morning stretches, my reading, my prayer, my devotions, et cetera, but about 40, 60 minutes later, so we're talking an hour and a half after I've gotten up, I have some type of a hot brew. It's not coffee every morning. Sometimes it's a cup of Kion organic coffee. Sometimes it's these fantastic mushroom blends from for Four Sigmatic that I like to froth up with a latte frother with some stevia and a little bit of salt. Sometimes it's some loose-leaf tea. I love the loose-leaf tea from a Kauai Farmacy. They make a great collection of organic teas that I order. Sometimes it's a drinkable chocolate. There are dried cacao shells and cacao nibs from this company called MiCacao. But, I always have a hot beverage. Sometimes it's mushrooms, sometimes it's loose-leaf tea, sometimes it's cacao, sometimes it's coffee, sometimes I'm trying out some crazy brew someone sent my way that's kratom and kava and ketones, and anything else that starts with the letter K. But basically, that's all before I would actually have breakfast. I fast for 12 to 16 hours. So, typically breakfast for me happens a couple hours after I've had that cup of coffee, after I've worked out, et cetera. I have breakfast around 10:00 a.m.

Now, I did just write a cookbook. I have all my favorite smoothie recipes in my cookbook, which you can see at BoundlessKitchen.com. There's my shameless plug for the podcast. But, these days what's my smoothie look like? Well, I kind of have a superfood smoothie. I blend it super thick like ice cream. What do I put in it? Here's what I put my smoothie right now. Raw liver bites, Kion colostrum, Kion protein, Kion creatine, stevia, salt, bone broth, blend it up. That's it. By the way, the raw liver bites, super easy to make. I get liver. I soak it for about 24 hours in buttermilk. I pulverize it in the blender. I pour it in little molds and put in the freezer and voila, you have nature's multivitamin right there, liver. You hear about how you should eat organ meats, why not hide them in your smoothie like your mom used to hide your vegetables in the spaghetti sauce. You don't have to add the liver to the recipe I just said, but for me, it's just a smoothie. So again, colostrum, protein, creatine, the liver bite is optional, bone broth. If I don't have that, sometimes coconut water or coconut milk. And then, I always top my smoothie with something crunchy. It's not the same thing every morning, but coconut flakes, cacao nibs, bee pollen, and I eat that. There's a company called Organifi. They have these black shilajit gummies. Shilajit normally tastes like total crap, but their gummies actually taste really good. I've been tossing a few of those in the morning smoothie as well.  So, breakfast is this superfood smoothie. I'll put a few of my favorite recipes in there in the shownotes for you. And again, five of my favorite smoothie recipes are in the new cookbook at Boundless Kitchen.

Lunch is typically not the big ass salad that I used to have. I find that when I limit my intake of raw vegetables and instead have my vegetables blended, pureed, mashed, boiled, and fermented, my gut thanks me and I get a lot less gas and bloating. So, for lunch, I'll have a protein base, some leftover grass-fed, grass-finished beef from dinner the night before, some salmon, some pastured pork or chicken. Sometimes it's the Wild Planet canned chicken or sardines or tuna or mackerel or herring or anchovies. But, these days, I'll have a bunch of protein, not a bunch but decent size, about 30-40 grams of protein on top of a giant bed of some type of insoluble fiber. Sometimes it's chia seed slurry, sometimes it's pumpkin puree, sometimes it's a chopped-up cucumber, sometimes it's a giant thing of Miracle Noodles which are these wonderful carb-free calorie-free noodles in shapes like fettuccini and spaghetti and angel hair. And, I dose all this with a giant helping of Primal Kitchen condiments like their mayo or their spicy ketchup or their Dijon mustard or my favorite, their buffalo sauce. And, I kind of have my own bastardized salad. I throw some vegetable powders on there. Shoutout to Dr. Thomas Cowan's vegetable powders. And yeah, I often will just have that all mashed up on a plate and I'll eat it, wrapped up into an organic rice wrap or a seaweed nori sheet like a burrito, like a giant breakfast burrito. Anyways, I do that with a big cup of bone broth, a little bit of apple cider vinegar, and a giant dollop of yogurt. I make yogurts. It's the yogurt recipe from the book, “Super Gut.” It's a Dr. William Davis‘s Super Gut yogurt which uses a special strain of probiotic called L. reuteri that's good for weight loss that suppresses your appetite, that increases the health of your skin collagen and your skin, hair, and nails. It doubles the level of your feel-good hormone oxytocin. It knocks out SIBO within as little as four weeks. It's like magic yogurt. So, I've been having a giant dollop of that with lunch for a couple years now.

So yeah, lunch is kind of crazy. It's all over the planet, but I love my lunch. So, I have a nice lunch, I watch some YouTube videos, listen to a podcast, make a couple phone calls sometimes, talk to some people. 

And then, dinner, I always start with a really good high-quality protein. Probably 70% of the time, it's fish, the rest of the time it's red meat or poultry or pork. And, I have a real nice fish that'll usually sous vide or grill or bake or broil. I'll have roasted vegetables. And, usually for me, that's carrots or beets or parsnip or yam. I have the majority of my carbohydrates at the very end of the day because that helps with serotonin and melatonin productions that might be sweet potato or yam or some of my wife's homemade sourdough bread or even a glass of organic wine or a can of those, what do they call them, the ketone cocktails by KetoneAid. And, it's pretty simple, it's meat and starch and veg, but all really healthy and really cooked up nicely. And so, dinner is pretty basic. And so, it's usually all dressed up again with more of the Primal Kitchen dressings and extra virgin olive oils and vinegars. And, I've got all sorts of recipes for dinner in the cookbook. But yeah, as you can tell, I'm very omnivorous. I eat nose-to-tail organ meats or nose-to-tail animals, including organ meats. I eat a lot of underground storage organs like purple potatoes and beets and parsnips and yams and carrots. I eat a lot of bone broth and bone marrow. I have that superfood smoothie every morning. And then, I do eat vegetables, but again, they're usually mashed or pureed or fermented or steamed or boiled. And, you know what I'll do also is I'll work on an article. I'll put my whole up-to-date diet in an article for you as well at some point that you can check out over at BenGreenfieldLife.com. And, I'll link to that in the shownotes once I've got it down.

So, that's a diet. Great question. It's always a fun one. If you have questions or comments or feedback about any of this stuff, you can let me know. You can find me at BenGreenfieldLife.com. Go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/465 for the actual shownotes, and you can leave your questions, your comments, your feedback there. Leave the show a rating or a ranking or review wherever you're listening to it, I understand that that helps out the show quite a bit. And, I hope you've learned a little bit and I hope that you now know how to put raw liver bites in your smoothie and work out with blue light-blocking glasses at the gym. So, there you go. Be just like me.

Alright, folks, thanks for tuning in. Have an amazing week. 

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Q: Tom Franco asks: Would you please be able to provide some insight on what you’re eating day to day again maybe even run through what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner the past week. I find myself having the same stuff all the time and it’s almost like there isn’t that many foods! Thanks dude absolutely love you.

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