Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast: the top 10 ways to boost your drive: also, when and how to use bitter lemon extract, can you suffer withdrawal from adaptogenic herbs, the best allergy remedies, ways to stop hair loss, and when to combine cardio with interval training.
Welcome to the BenGreenfieldFitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting-edge content from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Brock: Okay, I’ve got a big glass of water and I’m trying to warm up from my cold immersion. How are you doing Ben?
Ben: I feel like, this morning we’ve got lots of tech issues that we’re trying to overcome so this might be an interesting episode.
Brock: Yes Skype keeps hanging up on us for no particular reason and so… fingers crossed.
Ben: I think what we need to do is get like our own personal geek, like can follow us around, like one of these 12-year-old kids who just knows everything there is to know about computers and this new thing called devices that are sitting here on our desks. You know, some kid in a propeller hat to just kind of keep us dialed in the whole time.
Ben: There you go. Or, if you just have like a 12-year-old child you want to sell to us that we could hire…
Brock: Only a smart 12-year-old… we don’t want any dumb ones.
Ben: Well of course. Sell us your geeks, and we will use them. Send us your geeky masters. So… let’s jump in.
Brock: To get these interesting news flashes, just make sure to follow Ben on Twitter at twitter.com/bengreenfield and also on Facebook on facebook.com/BGFitness. And also, go to Google+ and find the Ben Greenfield Fitness on there as well.
Ben: That’s right. And this first tweet that I wanna talk about was inspired by the fact that I’ve been traveling a ton between like the Biohacking Conference in San Francisco and I was up in Vancouver and I’m headed all over the freaking place to the Endurance Live Awards and Team Timex Camp and Triathlon Business International and all these places in February. And it gets freaking hard to stay fit when you’re doing all these stuff. And I noticed that Sami Inkinen, whom we have had on the show before – he’s the guy who does Ironman in like under 9 hours and trains…
Brock: I know he trains like half an hour.
Ben: Yeah. Anyways, he has kind of a cool blog and I link to it because he wrote a cool article called “Why Hotel Gyms Fail” and he listed his 7 most annoying things about hotel gyms, so, great article, but some of them were, the gym opens at 8 am or later, with no exceptions.
Ben: You’re running into that, like you need to go workout, and he talks about how he climbs in through the window or like talk to the janitor to get in off hours, which is actually a good idea, I haven’t tried it but…
Brock: Yeah I never thought about it. That’s a good idea.
Ben: False advertising. One treadmill does not equal a gym. I’ve seen that many times. Like the treadmill and then like the one set of like 20-pound rubber dumbbells in the corner. Equipment doesn’t work and nobody was aware of it. And he talks about how the pedal being broken, with no electricity, the treadmill belt is stuck. You see that stuff in gym, so much. Like you could be, I’ve been running on a treadmill at a hotel gym and just literally like been almost thrown off because the belt just konk konk konk all of a sudden, dumps you. Anyways though, it’s good for a Youtube bloober segment I guess. Access to the gym is through the lobby, restaurant or a fine restaurant. I’ve actually had that happened, before when you wanna go workout, like you have to go through the lobby, through the restaurant, and you’re in your sweaty gym clothes or God forbids, your Speedos, whatever, in. Yea, that’s another annoying one.
Brock: I’ve actually had to go outside to get into the gym at the hotel too, which is no good in the northern climate. You’re all sweaty and in your shorts and you have to run through the snow.
Ben: No bathroom access from the fitness room. I’ve had that one before where you got to go all the way back up to your hotel room to use the bathroom if you’re using the hotel gym. Very deficient in bathrooms. He’s got a bunch of other ones on here too. Like no towels, no temperature control and I mean honestly, some of the stuff sounds kind of diva-ish but you know, the whole thing is that you don’t wanna rely on hotel gyms to stay fit and I just do what I call, and my apologies to any prisoners out there who’re listening in; prison workouts. I literally would just workout, same thing as I do in my office, pretty much like a 5-foot space. So I’ve got my suspension trainer and I’ve got my Fit 10, and I travel with both of those everywhere I go. So my Fit 10, I can do resistant sprints hard core, like all out, like I’m running 100 meters on the track by just attaching my little elastic belt to the door knob and running in place, sprinting in place. I combine that with my suspension trainer, and a few body weight moves and that’s it. I spend literally half my January just doing those kind of workouts. I throw in mp3 player anywhere from 30-45 minutes every morning when I’m traveling. I just kick my own butt. You don’t need a hotel gym if you’ve got a few of those kinds of things you can travel with so…
Brock: Yes I’ve turned the mp3 up loud enough not to hear people banging on the door telling you to keep it down coz you’re doing jumping jacks at 6 in the morning.
Ben: I’ve figured out how to do everything. Even how to get the heart rate up without jumping jacks. Or try this out. Try to do silent burpees, where you’re doing burpees like pushups, squats, thrusts, jumps, that kind of thing.
Brock: Squats, thrusts, jumps… now, I can’t say it.
Ben: You know, that thing. But you land really soft, and when you push off the ground, you’re trying to stay quiet, like; now I’m gonna offend all the Native Americans out there; the Indian style, you know, like you’re tip-toeing through the floors and that stuff can actually be more difficult when you’re trying to stay quiet when you’re doing it vs. when you’re bouncing all over the place. So, anyways, great article, we’ll link to that one, and I tweeted about that. Another thing I tweeted this week was stuff you probably didn’t know about thyroid testing and this was a pretty cool pdf I found on the Project Wellbeing site. Project Wellbeing is actually run by a guy named Steve Fowkes – he’s written the comprehensive book on how to use smart drugs like neurothropics that make you smarter and I’m getting him on the podcast – we’re gonna do a full on podcast about everything from herbs to aniracetam to all these different drugs and herbs and techniques you can use to enhance brain blood flow and enhance IQ. But he’s also got some good information on his website just about hormones and testings and stuff like that in general. Really cool pdf though in which he goes into thyroid hormone testing. And a lot of people have hypothyroid symptoms like cold hand and feet and low metabolism, difficulty sleeping, lethargy, memory problems, even hair loss, which I think we get into later on in this podcast, but…
Brock: I didn’t know that had to do with thyroid, I thought that was just winter. Everything you listed…
Ben: In Canada, everybody goes hypothyroid for about 6 months a year. But he talks about how you start out by getting what’s called the TSH test, like a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test if you’re concerned about your thyroid. But that only tells you what your hypothalamus thinks about your thyroid hormone level, so if you’ve high TSH it means that your hypothalamus is trying to churn out more thyroid stimulating hormone, to get you to produce more T3 and T4. It doesn’t tell you the actual level of thyroid hormone in your body, or the real effect that thyroid is or was not having on your body. And so he goes through this flow chart where, if you’re concerned about your thyroid, yea, the first thing you should do is get a TSH test; and I do a TSH test 3-4 times a year on myself; but if you’re concerned after you see that TSH, if it’s pretty elevated, then you go on and you get what’s called the Free T4 and a Free T3 test, which shows you the actual amount of thyroid hormone that’s circulating in your bloodstream. And then if you have concerns based off of low T4, low T3, you get what’s called a Reverse T3 test, which actually tells you what’s going on in terms of the tissue levels as far as like whether or not T3 is actually working to elevate your metabolism and how all these good energy effects the thyroid hormone can have on your body and if that is concerning, basically if you’ve really high what’s called reverse T3, which suggests that possibly there are some auto immune issues going on like inflammation, protein allergy, stuff like that, then you get what’s called the Thyroid Antibodies test, and that’s what tells you, you know, whether or not things like gluten or soy or diary or things of that nature may be damaging your thyroid tissue, but…
Brock: That's the test where you actually have to collect urine over the course of like 48 hours or something… isn’t it?
Ben: Not necessarily, you should, I believe that thyroid antibodies, you can get that at lab corp that's in single blood draw.
Brock: Oh, that's a lot easier than being in the ______[0:10:47.6] for 48 hours.
Brock: And a lot less gross.
Ben: I use, as most people know, I use WellnessFX for most of the stuff, and I just kind of scratched the surface in terms of this free pdf that's on this Project Wellbeing website and I'll link to that in the show notes. But you know, I spend a few hours a day now doing WellnessFX consult with folks and one of the things I see over and over and over again is elevated TSH. So many people have thyroid issues that are related typically to diet and autoimmune. Most of the times it's gluten because high levels of gluten can cause your body to have high levels of gliadin protein in your bloodstream and when your body mounts an inflammatory reaction against gliadin; gliatin closely resembles the same protein that makes up thyroid tissues so you end up doing a bunch of damage to your thyroid. Anyways though, high TSH, I see it all the time, it's elevated, and it leads to a lot of these issues in folks, and then you go online, and you look at T3, and you look at T4, you look at reverse T3, you look at thyroid antibodies, but, you know, if you're listening in and you're concerned about our metabolism, at least start by getting a TSH measurement. So, and by the way, all of our listeners gets 10% off anything, any of the tests from WellnessFX which can actually add up, ‘cause to do a full performance panel, where you're looking at like all your hormones, all your inflammation, your liver, your kidney, all your metabolic hormones like insulin and cortisol and insulin growth factor and all those stuff, that's, basically it's about $700 to that full-on eval (evaluation), 10% off, you kick off, what $70 off that, so that's, it's ‘bg2013’ over WellnessFX if you do that panel. Anyways though, geek out on thyroid and if we have any listeners actually left at this point, having dropped out due to the extreme science overload, I also tweeted a link to a video that I really enjoy. You've probably heard me talking about earthing, or grounding, before, on this podcast, and the fact that I sleep with what's called a pulse electromagnetic therapy device between my mattress and my box spring, I wear a bracelet that basically is like a grounding or earthing bracelet, a lot of folks like Tour de France racers and a lot of professional athletes use these grounding mats or these earthing mats but sometimes it can be hard to understand this stuff, and this was an hour and a half long free video that was on Youtube, the name of the video was “Resonance”, and I'll link to it in the show notes but what it goes into is how the electromagnetic frequencies that emanate from earth, earth's basic natural electromagnetic field is something that can really help to control or literally, you know the best way I can describe will be almost like suck out of you, the electrons that build up as we’re exposed to micro radiation and cell phone towers and cell phones and wifi and broadcasting stations and all these other stuff and by somehow giving your body the ability to be in contact with the planet earth, you not only mitigate a lot of this inflammation and electro magnetism that can build up in your body, but you also do things like stabilize your circadian rhythms that you can sleep better and you improve your basic energy throughout the day and a lot times you'll find that chronic pains subsides and you recover more quickly from your workouts and it's something that we can literally spend a couple hours talking about on our podcast as far as how the frequency emitted by the planet earth is different than the frequency that's emitted by a lot of these electrical devices that we come into contact with.
Ben: But ultimately what it comes down to is that we don't have as much contact with the planet as we did for thousands of years and when you combine that with a lot of the electromagnetic frequencies that we're exposed to, there's some pretty bad effects on the human body, and so this video goes into the science behind that and what we can do about it and it certainly is why I do things like sleep in a grounded state, I've got dirty electricity filters and ______[0:15:20.7] in every single outlet in my house. You know, I wear the encoder bracelet that emanates the same frequency that's emitted by the planet earth, it's called the Schumann frequency, it's about 7.38 Hz, and if this is the kind of stuff that interests you, if you spend much time in front of the computer or TV or you walk around with a phone in our pocket or you use a Kindle or an iPad a lot, or another thing is you fly in airplanes a lot, this is important stuff for you to delve in to, and I encourage you to either watch the video or do what I do and download the video and convert it into
Ben: ….mp3 and listen to it. I should listen to a lot of videos on my mp3 player other than watching them.
Brock: It sounds like it’s a really good alternative to wearing a tin foil hat.
Ben: It is a good alternative to wearing a tin foil hat. Even though I do that, too, as a matter of fact.
Brock: So do I. Yeah.
Ben: You hear some sort of crinkling while watching the podcast – a tin foil. I use recycled tin foil though. Just be kind to the environment.
Brock: It smells better too.
Brock: All right. We are always asking you to go to iTunes and leave a review and a ranking but now, you have an even better reason to do so than just _____[0:16:43.1].
Ben: That’s right. And here’s the deal: some of the reviews are just like same old same old. I wanna see some freaking funny crazy laugh out loud reviews. Keep them clean.
Brock: No swearing, no dirty words.
Ben: No being offensive. But what we’re gonna do is, for this week only, if you’re gonna leave a review on iTunes and we’ll put a link in the show notes to this episode, which is Episode #228, over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. If you’re gonna leave the show a review on iTunes and your review makes us laugh out loud or is the craziest funniest one that we’ve seen, what we’re gonna do is give you a free 20-minute one-on-one consult with me and this 20-minute one-on-one consult can delve into your nutrition, your fitness plan, lifestyle factors, health factors, detox, whatever you wanna talk about for 20 minutes, we’ll delve into it. All you gotta do is leave a review and then send an e-mail to [email protected] and basically just be like “hey, yeah, that was me, that was my review”. And you let us know, we’ll go read it and we’re gonna pick that one person to get that 20-minute one-on-one consult.
Brock: And this week, being it is January 30th when this podcast is coming out so week from tomorrow.
Ben: That’s right. If you leave a review at a different time and it really is a kick butt review, I mean, if you listen to the podcast a year from now, still shoot and e-mail and I’ll look check it out and if I like it, I’ll get a hold of you. Speaking of doing consults with me, coaching…some people know I coach a select number of individuals for triathlon, for fat loss, for performance and I’m rolling out a new coaching program for 2013 and this is not necessarily for everyone. It’s for people who kinda want the most cutting edge advice, who wanna kinda be on the edge, who wanna do a lot of these almost like weird fringe things that I do, stuff I just got them talking about, who wants to really have a zero guess work and basically more or less drink the cool aid, use all the nutrition concepts we talk about on the show, the supplements, the tools, the techniques, the strategies, but have it all spelled out rather than having kind of this vague idea what to do but not really having a very good idea of exactly how to implement it. I’m rolling out a new coaching program for 2013. It is called Black Box Coaching because it is going to make you indestructible. And I’m going to be doing a special video on this Saturday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific time. It’s Saturday, February 2nd at 6:00 PM Pacific time. It spells out everything. Now, if you can’t join that video, I’m gonna leave the video out for one week and I will link to it over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. If you signed up for my newsletter, I’ll send out and let you know where the video is available. You have one week to view the video and decide whether or not this new coaching program is for you.
And I am gonna have a couple of tiers available where there will be kind of a more advanced tier for people for whom basically money is no object and you just want some one-on-one interaction that goes way above and beyond anything you’ve ever experienced before and there will also be a tier available for people who want that guidance without necessarily spending too much on it. Anyways though, those videos are on Saturday, February 2nd at 6:00 PM and if you’re serious about coming on b0ard and having me be your guide to get you to achieving your goals, then you’ll wanna check that out.
Brock: Yeah. And speaking of videos, if you go over to precast, we’re doing another little video seminar over there, aren’t you?
Ben: Yeah. This Monday, I’m generally reading anywhere in the range of 4 to 6 books every single month. And over 2012, I read a lot of books. I went through nearly 80 books on health and fitness and nutrition. Some are good, some are bad. But what I’m going to do for anybody who wants to listen in or watch ‘cause this is gonna be a video, I’m gonna link to it in the show notes, live video in which I’m gonna show you my top 10 books that I read during 2012. I’m gonna give you the cliff notes, the important take-aways, answer all your questions about that the topics in that book and it’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’re doing that this coming Monday night and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes. That’s gonna be at 6:00 PM Pacific time. Can’t guarantee there’ll be a replay available of that one. I’ll see what I can do but either way, that’s this Monday night – the top health fitness and diet books for 2012. Consider this to be your cliff notes on steroids and you can check that out. We’ll link to it in the show notes.
Brock: And I bet a few of those books are written by some people who are going to be at the Become Superhuman Live event in March.
Ben: Quite possibly. The Superhuman Live event, I’ve gotten some questions from people about who else is gonna be at that, what it’s gonna involve and just real quick so that you know, some of the folks you may be familiar with, who’ve been in this podcast before or who are kind of at the leading edge of health and fitness. Dr. David Minkoff is gonna be talking about how to fix your body with advanced alternative medicine techniques that you can literally use in your own home or find at the clinic near you. Dr. Phil Maffeton who is most well-known for the Maffeton method, he’s gonna be talking about optimizing your internal biology through the use of music and sound. And a lot of this stuff is gonna be pretty hands- on stuff. You’re gonna wanna be there present to get the most benefit from the stuff. Dr. Toby Hallowitz – very cool story, glad I discovered this guy. He was pretty much dying from a very, very messed up gut and internal system and figured out some very cool natural cure specifically in terms of epigenetics and modifying his genes naturally. He’s gonna talk about how to modify your genes naturally. Jimmy Moore, who incidentally, I’m gonna be in his Ask the Low Carb Expert show tomorrow night, so tune into that over at askthelowcarbexperts.com. He is going to be sharing all of the results of this nutritional ketosis experiment – this low carb high fat diet experiment he’s been doing for the past year. He’s gonna spill the beans on everything and show people how to do this, what happens and how to test, strips and everything, just everything that goes on. Monica Reinagel the Nutrition Diva from iTunes – she is going to be talking about the inflammation factor and how to implement what’s called the inflammation factor rating system in your diet and all the things that you can do to reduce inflammation. Super, super cool lady and of course,
you’ll get to hang out with her at all the post event parties and everything like that too if you’re a nutrition diva fan.
Brock: Who isn’t?
Ben: Who isn’t? That’s right. Ray Cronise is going to be coming on and you’ve probably heard of Jack Kruse and cold thermogenesis and stuff like that. Ray Cronise is kind of in similar van except he has been kinda underground researching cold thermogenesis for the past couple of years. He sent me last week some of the results from some folks he’s been working with.
We’re talking like 15-20 pound fat loss per month if you’re using some of these new dietary and cold thermogenesis techniques that he’s been delving into. He’s a NASA engineer, the guy knows this stuff and he’s going to be (this is a stuff he’s never talked about before. I told him to save it for the conference.) coming on to the conference and revealing everything there. There’ll be more people. We’ve got Dr. Justin Mager come up from San Francisco to talk about testing your biomarkers – your blood, your sweat, your urine, everything you need to know about that. My personal naturopathic physician, Dr. Todd will be teaching you how to use antioxidants, when not to use them, when to use them and the whole idea behind whether free radicals are good or bad and when you wanna get exposed to the stuff and when you don’t. Nora Gedgaudas will be there as well. Nora Gedgaudas is gonna be delving into neurofeedback and biofeedback and how to cultivate a natural mental edge for peak performance. And of course, I’ll be there. I’ll be delving into how to implement a lot of this stuff on a practical level in terms of bec0ming superhuman and enhancing fat loss and performance using a lot of cutting edge techniques that tend to save a lot of time for my clients and folks I work with but I’m gonna delve into this stuff and kinda open up to folks who are attending in terms how to implement this stuff in your life and a large amount Q & A in that session as well. So, yeah, you can get in at superhumancoach.com. Not of tons seats left but if you wanna come out, we’ll see you then on March 8th and 9th in Spokane. It is gonna be pretty freaking amazing.
Brock: One of the coolest things about that entire list of people is that they aren’t necessarily talking about what you know them for. It’s a little bit of a surprise here and there so that makes it extra cool.
Ben: Oh yeah. There’ll be surprises all over the place. Some of the speakers are actually going to speak naked. No, I’m just kidding. But either way, Become Superhuman the Live event, superhumancoach.com, check it out.
Listener Q & A:
Alex: …bitter melon specifically, bitter melon extract by itself. I looked at a few studies in the past 10 years and I was just curious as to how best dosage would be or what the best usage would be as far the performance standpoint. I have noticed some nice effects since ordering it by itself but I was wondering what your thoughts were on usage. Thanks.
Ben: Great question! I’ve been using bitter melon extracts myself. I use it about 3 or 4 times a week. It’s something I just started to implement over the holidays when I was looking for a way to mitigate the effects of me being a complete pig and having no self-control with huge meals. Anyways though, the cool thing about bitter melon is it’s been used for a while by the Okinawan populations. Bitter melon is basically this melon (and it’s bitter) that grows (it’s got gallow pucker factor. I take it in a capsule form. I don’t actually eat but the gourd kinda becomes more bitter as it ripens and as a food that’s used in East Africa and Asian Indian, South America and the Caribbean to a certain extent. It’s used in salads and cooked into soups and curries and used as a flavoring for eggs and meat and stuff like that. But the idea behind it is that a lot of folk and traditional systems in many of these societies suggest bitter melon for use for like microbial infections and improving digestion, reducing gas, helping to reduce inflammation, fever reduction, high blood pressure, almost like as a cleanse. But of recent, a lot of study has been done on bitter melon and its effects on blood sugar. And they’ve actually compared this stuff to popular diabetic drugs like metformin, for example, and found that this bitter melon is super efficacious in terms of improving your insulin sensitivity and reducing the increase in blood sugar that occurs in response to, for example, like a large meal.
Now, I’ve found that when I take this stuff that if I eat a big meal or have a series of days where I’m overeating, I’ve had zero dent on the scale, zero dent on the body fat percentage. Actually, I tweeted at some point and I put it up on Facebook. Actually, I put it up on a recent post on the recent biohacking post that I did over at bengreenfieldfitness.com I took a shot of my abs over the holidays and…
Brock: You’re always excused to do that.
Ben: It was pretty amazing effect with the stuff. As far as dosing, what they’ve looked at, specifically in studies was what happens to your blood sugar levels when you use this stuff before and after a meal and the exact dosing levels that have been found to result in a significant reduction in blood glucose and improvement in insulin sensitivity after eating a meal (this was in diabetic patients) is about a thousand mg before a meal and 1000 mg after a meal. So if you’re to use like this MPX100 (I’ve no clue what MPX stands for). It’s just bitter melon extract and 2 capsules of that right before your meal and 2 capsules right after your meal.
Brock: Literally, right before and right after.
Ben: It’s not like digestive enzymes where it has to be right before but like 30 minutes before, 30 minutes after, like in that window…
Brock: You don’t have to wait for it to be digested like wait 2 hours or something after your meal.
Ben: No. You want the stuff in your bloodstream when food is getting absorbed and sugar is coming in through the small intestine and spiking your blood sugar. That’s when you want the stuff in. So, basically before the meal, after the meal, right around a 1000 mg would be perfect. That’s the way you use it and I’ve been impressed with it, so MPX100. Check the stuff out. Pretty cool.
Brock: Alex, I’m not sure if he meant to that in a specific way that I’m thinking but he did mention using it for performance. Is there any study that shows that it actually improves performance?
Ben: I wouldn’t use it for performance because here’s the deal: What I found, because I’ve tried it a few times and I made a mistake of a lot of times I do tennis in the evenings and I’ll take this stuff before dinner and then (‘cause my tennis is at 7:30) a lot of times I’m eating dinner and then going on tennis. It can have this hypoglycemic effect that shoves your blood sugar to the point where you don’t wanna go out and exercise or you don’t really have a good exercise session after you take it because your blood sugar is so low. So I don’t think you should use it for exercise. I would not recommend that just because it can kinda give you a bluff as it dumps your blood glucose down. I honestly think the best way to use it would be 2 before dinner, 2 after dinner and not if you’re gonna be exercising after dinner.
Brock: Great! Good to know.
Allison: Hi Ben and Brock! I want to ask a question about Tianchi. I’ve been taking it since about October of last year and I stopped taking it in January just ‘cause it’s expensive and I just wanted to try the bulletproof coffee. But after I stopped taking it, my hormones have just gone crazy. Not to ______[0:33:54.8] anybody out but I’ve had 2 consecutive periods that weren’t normal length periods like back to back ridiculous PMS symptoms, just crazy off the wall stuff I’ve never experienced before, just after coming off of that drink. And I’m just wondering if the adaptogenic herbs in it have somehow caused this. This is kind of like a symptom of coming off of those herbs that they’re regulating my hormones and now that they’re not, my body doesn’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do at this point. It’s kind of scary for me. I’m just
hoping that you could give me some advice as to what to do. Thanks guys.
Brock: So, withdrawal symptoms, it sounds like.
Ben: Yeah. Tianchi is an adaptogenic herb complex. I take this stuff everyday and I’ve had some days where I haven’t taken it and didn’t experience a withdrawal effect like Allison did. But I suspect a few different things could be going on here. Even though it is uncommon to have a reaction like this, it’s likely her body kinda readjusting to not having the herbs on a daily basis because Tianchi is a mix of this really, really highly concentrated adaptogens. There’s like in one little packet, it’s got about 40 lbs worth of adaptogenic herb powder. And they do things like boost blood production and regulate the function of your pituitary gland, your hypothalamus, your liver function, and so if you’re used to a lot of those beneficial effects or you need those beneficial effects and you get off of them, you could definitely experience some kind of an effect like this. As far as how that would actually happen, there are varieties of different herbs in the actual Tianchi complex and some of them for example, act on your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access which is highly responsive to stress. What can happen is that adaptogenic herbs and this is why they’re called adaptogens, they can cause your adrenal glands (the little glands that sit on top of your kidneys) to churn out more adrenal cortical steroids like cortisol if cortisol is low unless if cortisol is high. And so when you’re really stabilizing your cortisol levels like that if you do have a high stress lifestyle – lack of sleep, stress from exercise, that type of thing, you start into this stuff, you get your cortisol levels stabilized and then you stop cold turkey, then there may be some kind of a rebound effect in terms of you churning out more of these stress hormones or less of them as the case maybe. So that may be one thing that’s going on. The other way that a lot of these adaptogens work is via nitric oxide. And nitric oxide is very very related to blood flow – vasodilation, vasoconstriction, and blood flow. Many of these adaptogens are also considered to be smart drugs because they do improve blood flow to the brain. Many of them are considered, like rhodiola, to also be sports performance enhancers because they can improve blood flow to the muscles and a lot of this is due to that nitric oxide effect that they have. When you’re looking at something like PMS, headaches, things of that nature, many times this is related to nitric oxide as well. It’s related to blood flow and so for example, if you’ve got high levels of nitric oxide being produced, high levels of vasodilation, lots of blood flow and all of a sudden you get a rebound, vasoconstriction drop in nitric oxide as you drop off the use of an adaptogenic herb complex, you could also experience something like Allison is describing. As far as what I would do in a case like this if you’re using adaptogenic herbs and you want to come off them which, by the way, Allison is gonna need to do if she gets pregnant anyways, because there are many herbs that you shouldn’t take if you’re pregnant and Tianchi does contain some of those herbs, I would just kinda tight rate yourself off. I mean, these are in packets and you can literally use a full packet, you can also use a half packet or quarter packet. So, I would just tight rate off this stuff the same way as you would tight rate off coffee for example, and just gradually start to reduce how much you use so you go from a full packet down to half packet, down to a quarter packet. When I am overtrained or when I feel as though like when I’m testing my heart rate variability and my numbers are all off on that and I am super sore and not sleeping well, I’ve been up to 2 servings of this Tianchi on the daily basis and it works really, really well. But I could see how you’re gonna have kinda withdrawal effects if you get off of it. So, I would tight rate the body off of it and then don’t use it when you get pregnant anyways.
Brock: Yeah. Because she did mention trying to get pregnant and stuff. Do you think that it could interfere or not mix well with something like prenatal vitamin or any sort of like a boost for reproductive system?
Ben: Chinese adaptogenic herbs actually increase fertility. So this would be something that you actually would wanna use if you’re trying to get pregnant and then once you do conceive, you’d wanna tight rate off it.
Anonymous: I’m not gonna give you my name because of the subject matter but I’m 38 years old and I do triathlons. I recently did the Ironman 70.3 in Miami and yet I’m not having the drive I once had and I know obviously that’s natural. I’m 38 years old. I’m not 19 anymore. My wife said “why don’t you try some natural things” because generally, I probably feel like having sex once a month. I looked at your recommendations and I went out and got me some vitamin D3 which is a brand is Life Extension and some cod liver oil which brand is Nordic Naturals and then the Chinese herb Horny Goat Weed extract which is brand Now. I just wanted to know, are those brands good brands? Is there any way to get the Horny Goat Weed direct from the mountains of China shipped to my doorstep, more pure form than a capsule? Do you think Horny Goat Weed works? Thanks, Ben.
Ben: Well, I don’t know about you, Brock but I like drive.
Brock: I think that goes without saying for most of the human race.
Ben: It’s good and I have certainly…I don’t know about you but with endurance sports and chronic repetitive motion, I’ve seen that occur before – that drop in drive, the inability to get it up after a long day of training, even that lack of desire that can occur when you’re beating your body up.
Brock: That’s more like it I think. It’s not even so much sometimes, not being able to, it’s not even wanting to.
Brock: That’s a bomber.
Ben: Yeah. It is. He mentions cod liver oil and vitamin D. Those are great hormonal precursors – Horny Goat Weed extract or Epimedium (I think that’s called). Actually that stuff is in Tianchi, by the way. That stuff can work okay, too but those are not the most powerful things that I found when it comes to enhancing drive. I personally have guinea pigged a lot of stuff when it comes to (maybe this is the part when we turn off the show for the little listeners) sexual performance and drive and there’s some stuff that works really well and some stuff that is kind of a waste of money. What I wanna give folks are the top 10 ways that I’ve personally found to enhance drive for both males and females. What do you think, Brock?
Brock: Bring it on.
Ben: Do you think we should play background music for this part?
Brock: Oh yes, absolutely!
Ben: All right. We’ll do it. Here we go. Ben Greenfield’s Top 10 Ways to Increase your Drive: Number one is Oysters. There are a lot of foods out there – celery, almonds, strawberries, chocolate, red wine, a lot of these things are considered to be drive foods due to the fact the they can increase blood flow, that they have hormonal precursors in them. Some of them like almonds, for example, help you to produce specific pheromones that can make you feel more attractive or appear more attractive but when it comes to improving drive, it can’t beat oysters.
Brock: That’s almost a cliché. I’m surprised that it’s real.
Ben: Oysters are packed with zinc which is a mineral that’s central to fertility. But I guarantee if you go out to oyster feed or a shellfish feed. The other night, my wife and I were doing a crab feed and I just geeked out on the oysters and again, I don’t wanna get too explicit on the show but usually, after something like that, I will tend to wake up multiple times in the night with an erection and I have had some of the best sex of my life after an oyster-containing meal. They even kinda look a little bit sexually suggestive.
Brock: Were they raw or cooked or does it matter?
Ben: It doesn’t matter. They’re still gonna be packed with zinc. Oysters – I would highly recommend those as number 1. Number 2 is cold thermogenesis, specifically in the form of cold showers and there is a study that the Thrombosis Research Institute in England did back in the 90’s. And they saw that people who took daily cold showers saw significant increase in their immune response because of the increase in the number of the virus-fighting white blood cells that they got compared to people who took hot showers. And what the researchers kinda believe was that part of this was due to the fact that cold showers can increase your metabolic rate and that somehow activates the immune system and your body releases more white blood cells in response.
But in this same study, they also found that the cold showers increased testosterone production which in both men and women can significantly boost not just drive but strength and energy levels. Really, that’s one of my secret weapons every single day is one of the first things I do in the morning after I’ve kinda gotten up and around, done a little bit of my meditation and my heart rate variability testing, is I hop into an icy cold shower and then I do the same thing at night and especially when I know that it’s gonna be sexy time later on, I will try and get in a cold shower about 2-3 hours prior.
Brock: And how long of a shower does it need to be to have any efficacy?
Ben: I’ve found that as little as 2 minutes works. I try and stay in there for as long as 5 minutes. You eventually get to the point where you just feel like you’re wasting your time.
Brock: Wasting water, wasting time.
Ben: Yeah. But 2-5 minutes is what I would go for. It’ll work in both men and women but that’s another thing that I found to be incredibly effective at enhancing drive is cold showers. The next thing is a trick that I picked up back in my body building days. Backstage, before we’d go out and pose, we would do dark chocolate and red wine to improve blood flow to the muscles. So you always saw like if you go backstage of a body building show, there’s like dark chocolate wrappers all over the place and bottles of red wine.
Brock: And that makes the veins all pop out.
Ben: Makes the veins all pop out. But it works in a similar way to something like Viagra in terms of improving blood flow which enhances the sexual experience considerably and also enhance your drive. Now, any of these nitric oxide blends that are designed for workout – pumps or citrulline is common. Arginine is another common supplement. All of these have a similar mechanism of action in that they increase nitric oxide and enhance blood flow. And if that is combined with sexual activity, that’ll enhance blood flow to specific areas of your body that are going to make for better sexual experience. Any of these would help out as well and those would certainly be things that can help to enhance drive and also to improve the experience.
Brock: It definitely sets the mood as well.
Ben: Yup. On a related note, Viagra can be incredibly potent for this. It’s also expensive. You need prescription for it in many cases but there are generic forms of Viagra that you can get your hands on and I’ve experimented with this stuff before and honestly, like dark chocolate, red wine, nitric oxide, citrulline, arginine, all these other blends don’t hold a candle to Viagra or generic form of Viagra. There’s one called Kamagra and you can take this stuff if it’s been a hard day of training if any sexual thoughts cross your head that you would almost instantly become aroused if you got this stuff circulating in your bloodstream. If you travel to Asia, it’s pretty easy to pick this stuff up at Asian pharmacies and stuff like that. But you can order from websites, not cheap but, in my opinion, worth the expense of having a little bit shelved into the night stand in the bedroom or whatever. There’s a couple of websites where you can get this stuff called Kamagra which is essentially identical to Viagra but it’s gonna be less expensive and you can actually order online. One is at FasterKam.com. Another one is Kamagrafast2.com. Some people may consider that playing with fire or whatever. I wouldn’t overuse it but every once in a while, that stuff can be extremely potent. Just be ready for a long night if you use it. Let’s put it that way. The next thing and this would be something that is more of a method of enhancing drive from a hormonal standpoint and that would be engaging in frequent bouts throughout the week of heavy lifting and/or sprinting combined with avoiding chronic or excess cardiovascular exercise. This is the basis of my personal entire training program – whole quality over quantity approach. So, like my workout last night was 10 by 30 second sprints on the treadmill followed up by a series of deadlifts and that was it and then I rode my mountain bike home. And avoiding big long cardio sessions, avoiding that temptation to go out and do with all the Ironman triathletes for example, are doing – the 4-hour indoor bike rides while you watch a couple of movies and the 2-hour death march runs. The more you can limit that stuff and only put it just occasionally, inject it just occasionally throughout the training year and you’ll build up to your race just once or twice, the better when it comes to enhancing drive and reducing that drop in hormones that can happen from chronic cardio.
You combine that with heavy lifting, sprinting especially on the days for which you really wanna have high drive, hot date night, whatever, no long runs or bikes on that day. That day is deadlift squats and sprints. So that’ll be number 5 for me. Number 6 would be because I know a lot of cyclists and triathletes listening to the show, get the right freaking bike seat. I personally use the ISM Adamo saddle. I think it’s ismseat.com but that’s the one that has like a nose that doesn’t come up into your perennial area up into your crotch and it allows for enhanced blood flow or at least limits the reduction of blood flow when you’re riding your bike and I found night and day difference between that saddle and a long day and night saddle vs. a long day in a traditional bicycling saddle with a long nose that kinda goes right up into your softy parts there in your crotch which in both men and women can create some serious sexual performance and drive issues. What kind of seat do you use, Brock?
Brock: I use one that makes my parts go numb after about half an hour.
Brock: It’s really great. I don’t recommend.
Ben: I was going to say “is it a broomstick?” ISM seat – that’s the one that I would go for, for sure. Another thing that’s important and I know this is a problem these days with our extreme access to the internet but I would really be careful with anything resembling pornography or the use of porn. And I know again, we’re kinda delving into the explicit factor here but basically, if you look at rats (and they’ve done studies on rats where they took lab rats and basically just kept putting fresh females into the male lab rats’ cage). When they do that over and over again, what happens is the rat needs more and more dopamine for exposure because it almost gets desensitized to this repetitive exposure to new and novel females that are getting thrown into its cage. A similar thing can happen in the human brain where we experience this desensitization factor, this numb pleasure response when we’re getting exposed to basically the easy exposure that we don’t have to work for over and over again on the screen and in front of our face, that eventually makes your body need more and more of that stimulus and become less and less sensitive to the dopamine that’s released from that stimulus as time goes on. So the idea is that, I know that there’s been some talk out there about how pornography might increase testosterone levels and I think that it is true that you’re looking at (especially for guys) naked picture of the opposite sex might improve testosterone, I think that the damage outweighs the good of that in that you are triggering that dopamine release over and over again, and then you need more and more and more everytime it happens. It’s a big issue with internet addiction and porn addiction, too. But it can also decrease your drive just because it flies in the face of everything from an evolutionary or ancestral perspective. It’d be very, very uncommon for a hunter-gatherer to just have constant ability to basically to fertilize and attractive mate and that’s essentially what we’re doing if we look at porn repeatedly. There’s a really, really good website for that kind of stuff. It’s called yourbrainonporn.com where they get into a lot of the research studies that have been done on pornography and how it can decrease drive and affect the sexual response. That’ll be a good resource for you. Check out that website. I’m not saying that our anonymous caller is a porn addict but I do know that it’s out there and it’s something to think about. So that will be number 7.
Brock: That’s interesting. That sort of flips the anti-porn argument on its head. You’re still saying like it’s sticking with the anti-porn but I think it’s for the opposite reason that this it’s actually desensitizing rather than over-stimulating.
Ben: Right. Exactly. You gotta hit that button over and over again more and more to get the same dopamine response. That’s not too great for real life drive.
Next thing I would look into would be from a hormonal standpoint would be (especially if you’re an older male, if you’re pushing 35+ years old and females benefit quite a bit from this as well) bioidentical hormone replacement therapy with a compounded pharmacist. Now, this won’t be an option for you if you do like triathlons and stuff like that where you’re competing and you are competing in a sport in which they’re testing your testosterone and you could be banned if you have levels that are over and above what would be considered normal unless you have what’s called the therapeutic use exemption which is an exemption form that allows you to use that hormone. But there are compounded hormone replacement therapy specialists that can really, really help you out with sexual performance and with drive – the Wiley Protocol. If you check out thewileyprotocol.com, super good website in terms of hunting down a practitioner who is well versed in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I’m trying to get somebody to come to the Become Superhuman event as well to talk about this stuff from the Tahoma Clinic over in Seattle which is known as one of the world’s top clinic when it comes to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. But I would look into that and if you’re a woman listening in, one thing I’d look into as well and I’ll link to this in the show notes, would be progesterone and you gotta be careful with progesterone especially progesterone creams because they can throw off your hormonal balance quite a bit. Now progesterone is pretty potent stuff when it comes to turning a female into a wild raging wild cat. But I would suggest that you use the liposomal progesterone, the stuff that you put underneath your tongue. It’s like a drop, comes in like a drop bottle rather than using the cream application which tends to really jack up progesterone levels out of control. Either way, if you’re using any form of hormone, it’s gonna be prudent to test and to track and that’s why you should work with an endocrinologist or a Wiley practitioner or a compounding pharmacist. But for women, you can get away with using a little bit of this liposomal progesterone and that can have a good drive-enhancing effect without throwing your hormone levels too far out of lack like a progesterone cream or hormone cream would. That’s another thing to look into. So that was number 8. Number 9 would be to avoid large meals. One of the worst things that you could do for drive would be to go out and train all day, do the chronic extensive cardio, come back and eat 2000 calories. Large meals divert blood flow into your stomach or into your gut and so that’s much blood flow that’s available for your crotchy parts so I would not be eating big meals especially on days or nights (as the case may be) where you want to improve sexual performance, I’ll really limit your meals, your alcohol, too, incidentally because that can really throw a wrench of the equation but avoid large meals. Push yourself away from the table when you’re 80% full and that can have a really, really good effect at ensuring that you have good sexual performance later on in the evening or in the day so be careful with eating too much at night. And then the last thing, number 10, would actually be (and this kinda relates to the question about the Horny Goat Weed extract and supplements and stuff like that) to basically, use one of these type of sexual performance enhancing blends but to combine it with Chinese adaptogenic herbs like the Tianchi that I was talking about. I have found that in terms of a daily regimen that’s super duper effective to really almost be right up there with oysters thing ‘cause it’s tough for me to eat oysters everyday but I can do this everyday. So what you wanna do is get your hands on one of these blends that combine increasing blood flow with also improving your testosterone production and enhancing basically your stamina through the use of adaptogenic herbs. So what you’re looking at (some of the blends that I found to work really well would be the use of what’s called eurycoma extract. That’s something that’s been shown in clinical studies to increase your levels of DHEA, testosterone, growth hormones, insulin-like growth factor, all the things that are gonna help out with anabolic hormone production. And then tribulus which can also increase testosterone production especially in men. And then rhodiola cordyceps which are Chinese adaptogenic herbs that you’re gonna find in something like Tianchi.
And then there’s also something called L-Norvaline which has this really potent nitric oxide type of release. So if you can combine all this stuff in basically like a cocktail, it works really well. The two things that I found (if you’re looking for actual brand names), there’s one called Renew Male and all you gotta do is take one capsule of that about 2-3 hours prior to the time that you’re going to gonna be looking at sexual performance. And then you do Tianchi on an empty stomach earlier in the day. And I found that to be a really potent combo – Renew Male before sex 2-3 hours prior and then Tianchi earlier in the day mid morning, empty stomach and that actually could work for both males and females. You don’t have to be a male to use the Renew Male stuff. And that can have a really cool effect too. Those are my most potent recommendations for improving your drive and I think we’d definitely have to mark this one as possibly explicit now.
Brock: Mildly explicit.
Ben: Mildly explicit and I will put a link to that list in the show notes if you wanna review it and I’ll just leave it up there in the show notes for Episode #228 if you wanna delve into that stuff or write it down or whatever.
Eric: Hey Ben and Brock! My question for today is about Finasteride, also known as Propecia which is a pharmaceutical drug meant to stop your hair loss. My question is what happens to the testosterone that’s left? Does that mean you have more testosterone to use? Should I be careful about it becoming estrogen, should I be on aromatase inhibitor? Bye.
Brock: All right. Well, first of all, I guess how the heck is this stuff supposed to work? Whether it works or not is sort of up in the air but how is it supposed to work?
Ben: It’s all based off of pharmaceutical companies wanting to make money. Some of you may have heard this before. They’ve lost their hair and looked into those hair loss advertisements or articles or whatever. Hair loss is supposed to begin when your male hormone (we just got done geeking out on testosterone) gets converted into DHT or dihydrotestosterone and that’s done by an enzyme and this enzyme is called 5 alpha reductase. Now, the idea is that while dihydrotestosterone is a super potent form about 10 times more biologically active than testosterone and it’s actually important for it’s one of the most powerful male androgens we can have circulating in our body. The hair on the scalp can be insensitive to the activity of DHT or oversensitive to it, as the case may be. And that can result in male pattern baldness. And there are some serious issues with this argument in terms of there being very little evidence to show that excess DHT can actually cause this effect or that inhibiting the levels of this enzyme, 5 alpha reductase can actually improve hair growth. In the cases where it can improve hair growth, there are a lot of permanent sexual side effects that can be an issue ‘cause the idea behind like Rogaine or Propecia or this popular hair loss drugs is that they are very, very potent 5 alpha reductase inhibitors. Also, all of a sudden you dump your DHT levels to the floor in terms of how much of this very, very potent form of testosterone that you have circulating in your body and so you get all of the side effects that are not pleasant at all when you get on this stuff and a lot of it can be permanent in terms of the hormone issues that can occur. As far as what you actually should do when it comes to something like hair loss, the very first thing that I would do if you start to lose your hair and this goes back to something that we talked about earlier is I would look at thyroid function because hypothyroidism or low thyroid function, one of the primary symptoms of that is hair loss in both males and females. And there are a variety of different things that can contribute to low thyroid function but some of the biggies are a diet that includes inflammatory compounds like gluten, soy and dairy. Those would be 3 biggies.
Many people are sensitive to as compounds, you can get what’s called an immunoglobulin test to see specifically what you’re sensitive to but I would cut gluten and soy and any form of dairy (except a raw non-commercial dairy) out of the picture. I would also consider looking into supplementing with something to support your thyroid like using about 6 mg or so of iodine on a weekly basis like a Lugol’s iodine that you can just put into a glass of water ( a few drops of that into a glass of water). Combine that with a handful of raw Brazil nuts a few times a day and the combination of doing that with cutting gluten, soy and dairy out of the diet can have a pretty significant effect on thyroid function. So that’s one thing that I would look into when it comes to hair loss and male pattern baldness. Another thing that I’d look into is this hormone called aldosterone. And basically an imbalance in the levels of this hormone, aldosterone, which is part of your blood pressure regulating system, that can also be correlated with premature hair loss and elevated blood pressure along with an elevation in aldosterone would be basically how this would be caused. Now, the way that aldosterone levels are going to get shut up would be via a couple of different factors. One would be high levels of stress and cortisol which can be related to everything from lack of sleep to too much exercise to increased lifestyle stress. The other way would be vitamin D deficiency. And vitamin D deficiency can also increase this blood pressure regulating system. It’s called the renin angiotensin system and that can also increase your aldosterone levels. So addressing vitamin D deficiencies or going out and doing like a 25 hydroxy vitamin D tests seeing what your vitamin D levels are at and supplementing accordingly can help. And for most people, to get your vitamin D levels back up, it’s about 35 international units of vitamin D per pound of body weight, that should bring your vitamin D levels back up if they’re down and that’s true and you can do a cod liver oil through a liquid vitamin D like a Carlson’s liquid vitamin D. You can do it through that use of liver and organ meats, things of that nature. But vitamin D deficiency would be one thing you wanna look at. And of course, the whole stress-sleep component would be the other thing. But that’s what I would come at this from when it comes to hair loss what I would look at your thyroid. I would look at the response of blood sugar to stuff like stress and lack of sleep. And I would look at vitamin D deficiencies. I would address all that stuff rather than shutting down the body’s most potent male androgen is DHT stuff through inhibiting 5 alpha reductase with the use of these drugs like Propecia and Finasteride I think is what it’s called. But that’s what I would do.
Carlos: Hey Ben! Hey Brock! My name is Carlos. I have a question about the allergies. They’re hitting me really bad especially for pollen this year. Do you have any special recommendation, not necessarily medicine and I ______[1:08:27.0] that. Stuff like honey, I’ve taking that, it’s not helping that much. Do you guys have any recommendation of natural products or vitamins that would help me out with allergies?
Brock: Seems like even though you live in San Diego, isn’t it a little early for pollen?
Ben: I don’t know. Maybe we should have had Carlos call up and sneeze for us just to prove it.
Brock: I need to move to San Diego if they already have pollen.
Ben: Yeah. Sign me up. No, I do think that they have pretty good weather downthere. Natural products or vitamins that help with allergies, absolutely, there are stuff out there. And the very first thing I would do would be, don’t ignore the fact that you may just have a hypersensitive immune system due to lifestyle factors, specifically, dietary factors. And we’ve already geeked out on those a little bit on this podcast episode – things like gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts. Those are some of the biggies. You could get a food allergy test like a metametrics food allergy test and find out for sure if there are things that could be making you hypersensitive from an immune system standpoint. You could also listen in to the podcast episode that I did with Dr. David Minkoff. Like I entioned, he’s gonna be coming out to speak at the Superhuman Live event. But he’s been on this podcast 5 different times and I called him and got him on the phone when one of my sons started to experience exercise-induced asthma during his soccer game. And Dr. Minkoff gave me some great advice in terms of eliminating allergic triggers in the diet that pretty much completely eliminated his exercise-induced asthma.
So that’s one thing I would look at would be: common triggers from a dietary perspective and make sure there’s no immune triggers in your diet. Once you’ve done that, you can come at this from a natural product perspective but there’s one other thing that you should know about and this is also something that Dr. Minkoff mentioned in the podcast that I did with him. And that’s called the NAET therapy and you can read up a little bit about it on naet.com which I’ll link to in the show notes but it’s based off the idea that your central nervous system is one of the main factors that comes in to a pollen allergies and allergies to any number of things and it’s based a little bit on Chinese medicine because it’s based on the idea that energy disturbances or blockage in the flow of chi or life force along specific meridians throughout your body can cause allergies or sensitivities to certain compounds. And so in something like NAET therapy, what you do is muscle testing or kinesiology testing and we did a podcast about how that works a few weeks ago. To diagnose allergies by comparing the strength of a muscle in the presence or the absence the suspected allergen which may be placed in your mouth or on your body somewhere. And what happens is you are subjected to a series of acupuncture and acupressure techniques that open up and clear some of these meridians in your body improve the flow of chi and then you re-test it and you can go through multiple sessions of NAET to get to the point where the stuff kinda weans you off of the sensitivity that you have to that specific compound. Now, it sounds a little bit woowoo but I’ve talked to many many people who have completely eliminated things like bee allergies, pollen sensitivities, food allergies, stuff like that from using this NAET therapy. So you should be able to find an NAET practitioner in your area if you wanna try this out. Check out naet.com. So that being said, as far as things that would be natural remedies for pollen allergies, a few things that may look into: One was studied in the British Medical Journal and it was found that this substance was just as effective as popular antihistamine drugs without a lot of the side effects when used for pollen allergies symptoms and that is butterbur. And in that particular study, they gave one tablet of butterbur 4 times a day and that’s just an herb. Another way that you can do this would be via quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid and it’s thought to control your body’s release of histamines and other chemicals that have an effect on your immune system response to allergens. And quercetin is something that you can find in supplemental form and that’d be another one to look into. You’ll also find it in stuff like red onions and apples and things of that nature. Another one that you would look into would be Golden Seal. Golden Seal is something that we keep around our house and in a tincture, in an oil format because it’s kinda real potent antibacterial properties and a lot of times, it can be used as a substitute for something like an antibiotic. But when used in combination with something like a saline nasal spray, Golden Seal can really help to reduce the symptoms of pollen allergies, too, so you can literally combine a Golden Seal tincture with one of those saline nasal sprays that you can get at any pharmacy or drugstore and that can be a really potent one to combo as well. The last thing that I would suggest is this nasal spray that you can buy like on Amazon, for example. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes but it’s called Sinus Buster. This doesn’t sound too pleasant but Sinus Buster actually is a blend of this natural hot pepper extracts and it’s a nasal spray and you can spray it and it thins the mucus. It doesn’t burn that much. You’ll feel a little bit but it thins the mucus that’s caused by pollen allergies so whereas it doesn’t address the underlying issue of the allergy itself, it can make it way more pleasant and really shut a lot of the symptoms down.
Brock: Is it one of the nasal sprays that stays up there or is it a nasal rinse that is supposed to go in one nostril and out the other.
Ben: It’s just a spray. You just spray and inhale. Much more pleasant than stick in your nose down into a little ziplock bag of a cayenne pepper. I haven’t done it. I’m just imagining. Although I’ve inhaled the stuff because I tend to sprinkle it heavily on my foods and yeah, it’s called Sinus Buster. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Those are some of the things that I’d do when it comes to pollen and if you wanna call up and sneeze for the show, Carlos, just to prove that you guys have pollen already down in San Diego, we’ll play it on next week’s episode.
Brock: Just one lonely sneeze right in the middle of the show.
Jason: Hi Ben and Brock! This is Jason from San Francisco. I had a question for you regarding interval training. I’m currently using the Little Method on the treadmill and my goal primarily right now is fat loss. After I do the interval session, I like to do sustained cardio either on a real bike or stationary bike depending on the weather, of course. I was just curious that somehow doing the sustained cardio session after doing a high intensity interval training session would somehow negate the after burn effect that the interval session is giving. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Brock: I guess for people who don’t know, the Little Method is sort of a protocol of high intensity interval training and it’s like 8-12 reps of 60 seconds at 100% or 95% of your VO2max followed by a 75-second rest. It’s just another one of those protocols that has a specific interval.
Ben: Yeah. It’s 60 on, 75% off. So like compared to Tabatha interval which is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, it’s a little bit longer duration but it’s lower intensity than a Tabatha interval. It’s like Tabatha is supposed to be 20 seconds literally 200% or whatever, whereas, this is 60 seconds is slightly less than that with the 75 second rest period. So, you’d be looking at a full cardio interval session using that Little Method being 27 minutes long and you do it 3 times a week. Incidentally, I’m not a huge fan of using the strict interval sessions at the strict recommended times per week just because I get bored pretty easily. I talked about that 10 by 30 seconds sprint that I do. And I’ve done that on a weekly basis for the past 10-12 weeks but not 3 times a week. I just do it once a week. I’m not a proponent necessarily of strict interval training using the exact methods developed by the doctors Tabatha or Dr. Little or whatever. But either way, as far as when to do it, when you do your aerobic part, you do your aerobic efforts after the intense efforts or before the intense efforts. This was studied pretty recently. There was a study that came out in 2012. I forget where it was but they looked at the leptin response and the cortisol response when you did cardio after intense weights or cardio before intense weights and you could almost say that intense weights, because they’re very glycolytic and kinda energetically demanding in the same way that interval cardio is can give us a pretty decent idea of what’s going on here even though there’s no studies I’m aware that have been done on aerobic cardio after intervals, just aerobic cardio before or after weights. And what is found is that when you do the hard effort first, when you do weights first or in this case, the high intensity intervals first, what you see is a smaller reduction in the circulating leptin levels when you do the hard effort first. And leptin is that hormone that’s very, very important when it comes to things like your circadian rhythm, your appetite control, your ability to fight inflammation, that type of thing. So ultimately, what this means is that you’d be best served by doing your hard cardio intervals or your weight lifting first and then your easy cardio after. That doesn’t mean that the easy cardio after is supposed to be long and demanding and exhausting. It can literally just be anywhere from 10-30 minutes of easy cardio following the intense stuff. Once you start to get over and above that, you begin to get catabolic. You begin to get to that stage where you put your body through a very hard effort and then after that, you’re sending a message to your body that there’s not much food present and it’s forging that when you for long periods of time and that’s where the body will do things like start to go catabolic, eat away lean muscle mass, down-regulate your metabolism, etc. So if you do have a long cardio session to do, let’s say your scenario is such that you’re training for Ironman and you’ve got a 60-minute long run but you just based off your schedule, you gotta be at the gym lifting weights first. Do your weight lifting and then grab a piece of fruit and some amino acids or something like that or an energy bar or something and then go on and do your aerobic cardio.
So just realize, I’m not talking about long exhausting bouts of aerobic cardio after intense training just like shorter bouts like running home from the gym or like snow-riding my bike home from the gym but anything more than that, you’d wanna fuel in between the session. But the ultimate answer is aerobic after intensity
Brock: And more like just doing a long extended cool down.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly.
Brock: All right. Well, that wraps it up for this week and everybody, don’t forget, go to iTunes and leave a ranking but also, more importantly, leave a comment – a wacky, fun, awesome, excellent comment that we can look at and hopefully, make us laugh or shock us or something really impressive and you can get a 20 minute session asking Ben anything you like.
Ben: That’s right. And remember to check out bengreenfieldfitness.com where there’s a good article on the Great Yoga Debate this week where I posted My Take on Yoga as well as one of my listeners’ takes on yoga and that one generates some controversy. I recommend you check that out, see whether or not yoga is actually good for you or just makes you too stretchy.
Brock: Or just get into a flame more about yoga. That’s fun too.
Ben: And then also, I posted about whether Lance Armstrong could have increased his testosterone levels without cheating and in that, we delved into some natural ways to boost testosterone without actually using an injection or a patch or lotion or whatever.
Brock: Testosterone is the word of the week, I believe.
Ben: That’s right. For those of us who can’t spell it. So check that out. In our minds, we’re gonna mark this episode as explicit, I guess. I don’t know how to do that. We’ll figure that out and if not, we’ll just defend a lot of people and get Ben from iTunes. Be sure to sign up for superhumancoach.com so you can come hear Nora Gedguadas and Dr. David Minkoff and Phil Maffeton and come hang out with them, meet them. Cannot replace that experience and just make it happen. Free up that weekend, fly out, get one of our discounted hotel rooms and come and hang out with me and everybody else. We’ll put a link to all these special like precasts and videos and the new coaching that I’m gonna do for 2013. Lots of stuff to remember. Lots of special announcements. This is Episode #228 over at bengreenfieldfitness.com and of course, I can’t shut up yet because I recommended a lot of stuff in this episode and we use MyList for every single episode meaning if you go to MyList.com/bengreenfield, you can access a handy dandy list that includes all of the links and things that I talked about for this episode as well as pretty much any episode that we’ve done in the past so check that out too at MyList.com/bengreenfield.
Brock: It’s not just for Facebook anymore.
Ben: There we go. Wanna get personal access to all of Ben Greenfield’s secrets life? This March in Spokane, Washington. Ben is bringing the world’s best speakers straight to you. You’re gonna get step by step blueprints for performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, and hormone optimization and get inside or access to private parties special sessions for podcast listeners only. And of course, delicious locally grown organic meals. The conference is called Become Super Human and it’s already filling up fast. But you can get in now at bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman. You’ll come away from this live 2 day event completely set for life to achieve everything you want for your body, mind and performance. Whether you want to maximize fat loss, achieve an ironman triathlon, or push your body and mind to the absolutely limits of human performance. So visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman and we’ll see you live and in person March 8th and 9th, 2013.
Jan 30, 2013 free podcast: Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Drive Also: when and how to use bitter melon extract, can you suffer withdrawal from adaptogenic herbs, the best allergy remedies, ways to stop hair loss, and when to combine cardio with interval training.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right side of this page, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or (if you hate the sound of your own voice) scroll down to the “Ask Ben” form. Please don’t forget to give the podcast a comment/ranking in iTunes – it only takes a minute and it helps grow our healthy and fit community!
- Why most hotel gyms fail, via @samiinkinen.
- Stuff you probably didn’t know about thyroid testing (during this announcement, I mention the new WellnessFX for hormone testing).
- Great earthing/grounding video – this is why I sleep with Earthpulse every night.
Tunes Review Contest: Make us laugh! Leave the funniest, craziest (but clean) review on iTunes and win a 20 minute one-on-one consult with Ben!
Saturday, February 2, at 6pm PST – Coaching with Ben Greenfield. Ben is rolling out a new coaching program for folks who want to use the most cutting-edge training, nutrition, supplement and “biohacking” techniques that exist. It’s going to be pretty revolutionary stuff – basically allowing for huge results with very minimal time commitments. You can join Ben this Saturday at http://goo.gl/McL9M for a special video announcement that will go over the details. If you’re serious about coming on board, there will be a replay available (at that same link) which you’ll need to watch within one week of the video being released (after which all seats to the new coaching program will be closed for 2013.)
Top Health, Fitness & Diet Books of 2012: Ben read a LOT of health, fitness and nutrition books during 2012. As a matter of fact, he read an average of 6 books a month. Some were good, some were bad. Curious what he read? You can find out for free, and ask your questions LIVE.
Thursday, January 31, 12pm PST: Heat Prep For Cold Climate Athletes. In this webinar presentation, Ben Greenfield will teach you the science of the body’s physiological response to heat. You’ll learn how cold climate athletes who are non heat-acclimated can prepare for hot races via the research-proven use of body cooling gear, heat acclimation strategies, hydration strategies, dietary supplements, food choices and more. All USAT coaches are eligible for CEU’s from this course. Get in now.
Thursday, January 31: Join Ben for a LIVE Q&A on Jimmy Moore’s “Ask The Low Carb Experts“ to discuss low carb diets and performance. Tune in Thursday night at 4PST/7EST! Call 712-432-0900 or Skype freeconferencing. 7124320900. Use access code 848908.
Get featured on the podcast by creating your own MyList – here’s what to do (did I mention that it’s free?):
- Create your own “MyList” list that targets your passion in health, fitness or nutrition (gear, tools, supplements or anything else),
- Share your MyList right here by leaving a link to it in the comments section at the bottom of the page,
- I’ll choose the best list, and contact you for an interview about why you chose the items on your list.
Want to get lots of new customers in the health, fitness and nutrition industries? Sponsor Ben’s upcoming “Become Superhuman” Live Event? Full event sponsor details.
“Become Superhuman” Live Event With Ben Greenfield Coming To Spokane, WA, March 8 & 9, 2013 – Reserve your spot now! The video below tells you all about it and/or you can listen to this audio interview from the Wide World Of Health to learn more.
2013 training camps:
- February 22 to 28: Winter Triathlon Camp in Austin.
- March 2 to 8: Winter Triathlon Camp in Florida.
- April 5 to 7: Wildflower Camp.
- April 14: Vietnam Trip. The Laguna Lang Co Triathlon aims to build on the success of its sister event, the legendary Laguna Phuket Triathlon. Register for the race.
- Nov-Dec: Ben’s Annual Trip to Thailand (details TBA). Email [email protected] if you want in – it will fill up fast!
As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Alex asks @ 00:27:47
What is the best way to use Bitter Melon in terms of dosage, usage and should take it by itself?
~ In my response, I refer to MPX100.
Allison asks @ 00:33:31
She began taking TianChi after hearing about it on the podcast in October of 2012 and took it pretty consistently until about the beginning of January 2013. After coming off it she has experienced unreal hormonal swings, PMS that is amplified, and two full periods this month separated by only a week. She’s wondering if something in the adaptogenic herbs may have caused her hormones to go haywire when I stopped taking them. She is currently trying to get pregnant so this weirdness is kind of putting a kink in the works. She’s been to an ob/gyn and had a pelvic exam and other tests and found nothing.
~ In my response, I refer to TianChi.
Anonymous asks @ 00:39:43
He is 38 years old and races 70.3s and yet he doesn’t have the drive he once had. He knows he isn’t 19 any more but still… he would like to try some natural remedies. He tried Vit D3 (life extension) and some Cod Liver Oil (nordic naturals) and the Horny Goat Weed extract (NOW). Are those good brands? Is there a more pure form to get Horny Goat Weed? Do you think it even works?
~ In my response I list:
2. Cold Showers
3. Any nitric oxide, citrulline or arginine blend, or dark chocolate/red wine.
4. Kamagra: www.FasterKam.com www.KamagraFast2.com
5. Heavy Lifting and/or Sprinting + Avoiding Chronic Cardio
6. The right bike seat.
7. Avoid porn.
8. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy with a compounded pharmacist, particularly using the www.thewileyprotocol.com OR liposomal progesterone for women.
9. Avoid large meals
10. Herbal blends: RenewMale stacked with TianChi.
Eric asks @ 01:01:32
Is wondering about Finasteride (or Propecia). What happens to the testosterone that is left? Does it mean that he has more testosterone in his body? Should he be worried about it converting to estrogen?
Carlos asks @ 01:08:15
He is experiencing bad allergies this year from pollen. Is wondering if you have any recommendations for natural products or vitamins that will help with allergies.
Jason asks @ 01:15:23
Is using the Little Method of interval training on the treadmill. After he does the interval training he likes to do some sustained cardio training. Is that going to negate the afterburn effect that interval session is giving him?