Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: 5 Ways To Get Fit In Your Car, How To Drink Less Alcohol, Natural Malaria Remedies, Headaches From Swimming, 4 Ways To Avoid Heart Arrhythmias, and Supplements for Hepatitis B.
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 none run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: Good mornin’ to you!
Ben: Good morning Brock! How are you doin’?
Brock: Despite the fact that I went to bed at 9 PM–ish last night and then was wide awake between 2 and 4 AM and then went back to sleep, I’m actually, I look good, I feel good, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, you gotta get your beauty sleep for the podcast. You know what’s….
Brock: I’m simply gorgeous right now.
Ben: What’s actually important I think prior to podcasting is sleep deprivation because then you get your sexy, low morning voice, I think that help so far that….
Brock: I just smoke a pack of cigarettes, that helps.
Ben: That also too helps out. Speaking of smoking cigarettes and dumping toxins into your body we just got back from Florida two days ago and there was a notice on my door that they found a bunch of E coli in our municipal water supply and they have heavily chlorinated the….
Ben: Heavily, heavily chlorinated the water to the extent where my wife got chlorinated water on her shirt and like, bleached her shirt. So we’re boiling the water to kill the E coli and we’re letting it sit at the corner kinda wades off the top of the water which happens if you let it sit like an open jar and then….
Brock: And when they call it off gassing.
Ben: Yeah, it off gases. Just like me after I’ve had a lot of resistance starch and then adding lots of vitamin C and iodine and stuff to try and mitigate some of the damage of chlorine toxicity but man, yeah.
Brock: That’s replacing E Coli with something almost as dangerous in a different sort of a….
Ben: In retrospect you probably could’ve just gone to the grocery store and bottom at a Pellegrino.
Brock: Once again if you do not already follow Ben on twitter.com/bengreenfield, there’s something seriously wrong with you because there are awesome news flashes coming out everyday sometimes twice a day and you’re missin’ them.
Ben: Hmm, that’s right serious and all.
Brock: But you don’t miss them forever if you pay attention right now.
Ben: So here is the first news flash that I put out and it was about getting the most bang for your buck out of high intensity interval training. So there was a study that just appeared in the March 2014 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research on comparison of an elliptical trainer with the arm little things on it.
Brock: Okay so yeah, with the arm not just a foot one. Once you said the feeter it’s such a kinda waste of time.
Ben: Those are the one that we may use at the gym while we’re reading novels.
Brock: Yeah or fashion magazines.
Ben: Yes exactly so….
Brock: Actually I’ve seen dudes doing exactly the same thing.
Ben: Yeah, exactly that, are watching TV. So although I have to admit that I did some phone calls from the elliptical trainer at the hotel last week while I was on vacation so.
Brock: Yeah, but you could be using the armed one for that.
Ben: Hmm, it’s kinda like a standing workstation except that a standing elliptical station. Anyway, the elliptical trainer was compared to a bicycle in terms of its ability to predict power and be used as wingate test in sport science is a 30 seconds all out protocol designed to predict power and it turns out that the wingate test performed on an elliptical trainer was able to elicit a far greater muscular contraction and a bigger contribution from every energy system (meaning your oxidative energy system, your creatine phospholytic energy system, your glycolytic glucose utilizing energy system) basically, it blew the bike out of the water in terms of the amount of energy turnover that occurs when you use an elliptical trainer. So it turns out that if you’re gonna do a high intensity interval training and you’re able to choose between a bicycle and say like an elliptical trainer with the arm action or something else in its arm like say like a rowing machine or even hopping on like a steramill holding some dumbbells or burpees or something like that.
Contributing the upper body to the high intensity interval training session does indeed cause a pretty significant increase in energy system contribution during the interval and also they looked at post exercise oxygen uptake or how long it could boost your metabolism afterwards exactly and it will significantly greater to. So there you go, there is a good use for those funky looking elliptical trainers at the gym. Another study looked at body weight circuit vs. strength training for runners and I thought this one was really interesting. What they did was they took a bunch of runners and they put one group through a body weight circuit and this was like squats, pushups, lunges, situps, calf raises, back extensions, planks and step-ups and they have them during….
Brock: That’s all my favorites.
Ben: Yeah, all of our favorite things. They were doing about 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off kind of traditional circuit style training. They actually see a lot of endurance athletes especially doing and then they took another group of folks and they put them through strength training. So they used squat, they used leg press, box jumps, vertical jumps and situps (not my favorite exercise, throwing situps in there I don’t know why they did that) but they were using low amount of sets just 1-2 sets, 6-8 repetitions, about 2-3 minutes recovery between each set. Kind of a traditional strength training protocol and what they found was that compared to the circuit training, the strength training resulted in a significant improvement in endurance performance particularly via a greater neuromuscular recruitment of muscle tissue during endurance training. And so it was really interesting it turns out that if you have to choose between what might seem logical which would be like a cardio metabolic style weight training circuit or body weight circuit vs. kinda like a little bit more slow controlled strength training with long rest periods it turns out that the strength training gives you better bang for your buck when it comes to endurance running performance.
Brock: Wait, slow strength training?
Ben: Yeah exactly. Well I should put it this way, not slow strength training but strength training that is not metabolically demanding as like a circuit training protocol.
Ben: So really interesting kinda flies in the face of what you would think would be like the logical thing to do if you’re an endurance athlete at the gym but it turns out that strength training compared to circuit training especially like strength training with a little bit longer rest periods and using heavy weight, low reps, that actually gives you more bang for your buck. So there you go.
Brock: Well but I’m gonna just sort of be double fed because here if you were to include both like I look at the body weight circuits as being more of an injury prevention kinda thing where the other like you’re saying that this like strength training is more about recruiting more muscle fibers and getting more endurance out of it. So it sort of served a different purpose don’t they?
Ben: Well I’m gonna be the devil’s advocate and I ask you how the heck would a body weight circuit decrease injury compared to more intensive strength training circuit or strength?
Brock: I’m just thinking I guess in particular I was thinking that the workout that they used in the study like certainly this situps for one vs. like doing some body weight lunges and hip hikes and those sort of things.
Ben: Yeah, I think ultimately both of the types of training that they used in the study could be improved in terms of there you know like a strength training program, yeah, what you could do with the a strength training program is you do your full body strength training type of exercises but then you add in some of lighter kinda body weight exercises for injury prevention. But ultimately what it comes down to is body weight circuit training vs. strength training, the strength training wins hands down when it comes to making you say like a better runner.
Brock: Yeah, so it’s really like we’re sort of – I guess I got a little too focused on what the exercises they were actually using vs. the idea behind the exercises or the style they were doing it in.
Ben: Yeah, you know you need a cup of coffee.
Brock: I’ve had two, I don’t think – maybe I’ve had too many.
Ben: Like I’ve had my aeropress and I got the new steal filter on it so there you go.
Brock: I actually had some real upgraded high what you called brain octane in my coffee this morning. The real stuff.
Ben: Nice, nice. That’s like the fractionated medium chained triglyceride oil that’s got higher levels of caprylic acid in it. So you got even more….
Brock: Yeah, I’m going with just regular MCT oil and today I went for the brain octane. I did back off by a tablespoon just to avoid some potential disaster pants but no problem so far.
Ben: Well you’re more jacked on ketones than I am and keep me posted on the disaster pants as we progress through today’s podcast.
Brock: Like suddenly I drop the microphone you’ll know why. Sorry folks, derailed everything there.
Ben: There you go. So the next study that was looked at was combining sprint training and strength training with strength training by itself so basically putting high intensity interval training in with a strength training session and traditionally what folks have believed is that when you combine high intensity cardio with strength training like that, you not only inhibit strength gains but you inhibit your ability to gain or maintain muscle as well because it’s just too much cardio mixed in with the strength training. Well, what this study showed was that when you combine strength training with high intensity interval training sessions done during the strength session like doing some sprints at the end of your strength training workout or even mixed in with some of your strength training sets, not only do you get zero deficit in the amount of strength that you build and the amount of muscle that you’re able to build but you get over a 10% increase in endurance capacity and almost a 10% increase in power production as well. So it turns out that you can actually combine high intensity interval training session. You can do it at the same time as you do strength training and you can kinda get the best of both worlds. So the title of the study was Maximal Strength, Power, and Aerobic Endurance Adaptations to Concurrent Strength and Sprint Interval Training. Concurrent training refers to that combination of cardio and strength when you see that refer to typically where so you can have your cake and eat it too.
Brock: So it that’s sort of the backbone of like something like crossfit?
Ben: You know, it is somewhat similar to crossfit. Doing some metabolic style training at the same time that you do your strength training. So yeah, absolutely and like the previous study that we looked into that we just got on talking about that doesn’t mean that you combine like body weight circuits like lighter weight, higher reps circuits with a high intensity interval training. It’s looking like from both of these studies that really take it the most bang for your buck and it kinda get the ultimate workout you combine heavier lifting with some metabolic sets thrown in during the heavier lifting and as long as you don’t overdo it, it really gives you some pretty cool performance improvements.
Brock: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s the key there like that just sounds like a rest key for overtraining for me in some ways but if you can keep it under control you can really make some gains.
Ben: Yeah and that’s where you look at say like a crossfitter like you mentioned Brock that’s a great workout done 2-3 times a week but once you take a crossfitter and you know – I’ve worked with several and you start to track heart rate variability which is a really really good way to track the response of the nervous system to workout, you find that you tend to have a really hard time keeping your heart rate variability and your nervous system recovered once you exceed about 3 crossfit workout a week. So you know, the stuff is good but only done in moderation and in between each of those tough days you just do some yoga, some light swimming, some easy kinda fat burning type of workouts, that type of thing that’s really good mix vs. doing something very very metabolically intensive everyday. And then another thing I wanted to mention was antioxidants and this was a really good study over at our friend Mark Sisson’s Mark’s Daily Apple website where he ask whether antioxidants supplements are effective and looked at a lot of the studies that have been done on whether or not antioxidants actually work and there are few things that it really depends on. It depends on how much oxidative stress you have for one so he mentioned how giving antioxidant supplements to people who have elevated oxidative stress markers such as cardio vascular heart disease patients actually worked whereas folks who had lower amounts of oxidative stress doesn’t really seem to do much benefit for.
It depends on age….
Brock: That makes sense. If you don’t have….
Ben: Yeah, I mean that one makes really, really good sense but it also depends on age. So for example in elderly exercisers, antioxidant seems to enhance the effects of exercise whereas they don’t seem to have as bigger an effect upon younger folks who are exercising. It depends on your body composition so what they found was that obese and overweight people who use antioxidants tend to respond better to them when it comes to fat loss and response to exercise vs. folks who aren’t overweight and obese. And then they also found that the more antioxidants that you take the higher your tolerance for greater exercise intensities meaning that even though antioxidants have been shown in many studies to either not effect exercise or even to reduce the effect of exercise once you get into high intensity interval training and very metabolic intensive exercise that’s where antioxidants tend to give benefit. So what most of the studies are pointing to because I know there’s this question that goes back and forth about “Should I take antioxidants, should I not? Are they gonna reduce the effects of exercise, are they not?” what it turns out to be is that if you are a) unhealthy with a high level of oxidative stress from toxins, pollutants, unhealthy diet, being overweight and having a lot of the inflammation produced from fat cells that type of thing. Antioxidants seem to help in that situation, they also seem to help on a situation where you are dumping a bunch of oxidative stress on your body from a high level of exercise or very intense level of exercise. You know like ironman triathlon training or a ton of crossfit sessions that type of thing. However, if you’re a healthy person who’s not over doing it on exercise you know maybe doing you’re 30-60 minutes of smart exercise per day, not beating up your body too much, not creating a lot of oxidative stress, in that situation you might actually not be the person who benefit from antioxidant. What I’ve personally started doing with antioxidant based off all the studies that have been coming out is I dose with them accordingly. So on an easy recovery day like let’s say they may have a yoga session or a light swim, I don’t use for example one of the brands of antioxidant that I use is this little packet shot that was designed by my doctor called Lifeshotz and it’s just a mix of 12 different wild plant extracts that help to protect your body from environmental stressors while on an easy day, I don’t really need to be taking that type of thing and it turns out base on research on antioxidants that that may actually blunt some of my body’s ability to be able to step up its own antioxidant production especially on an easy day where I don’t need those but on a very stressful day, on a day where perhaps I am drinking much of chlorine that’s been dumped into my municipal water supply or on a day where I’ve been for example flying on an airplane doing a lot of travelling on a big city with toxins and pollutants and stuff like that. That’s when I will say “Okay, this is gonna be an antioxidant dosing day,” and that’s when I’ll take it. So I think that’s what people need to realize is if you have some kind of supplement that has antioxidants in it, you don’t need to use it everyday. It would just be one of those things where you kinda you pull it out and dose as needed on the days where you are experiencing a higher than normal level of oxidative stress.
Brock: I’ve actually been using it when I’ve had a couple of drinks and then like way before bed I just found this stuff – this company called Rain International sent me some stuff called Soul that I have been using occasionally after a couple of drinks right before bed thinking that might help things clean up a little bit.
Ben: Nice. Sounds like a very emotional antioxidant.
Brock: It is. Yeah, it’s very gentle for hippie.
Ben: Do you weep when you take it?
Brock: A little bit, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, just a little tear.
Brock: Just one single tear down my left cheek.
Ben: Here comes the rain. Okay, so the last thing is that I wanted to mention to folks that WellnessFx, the company that I do consulting for, they send me a lot of their triathletes and crossfitters and folks like that to look at their blood and biomarkers. They have what’s called a performance panel which they look at a lot of different performance parameters in athletes like testosterone, triglycerides and cholesterol inflammation, HSCRP, thyroid, blood sugar, liver health, kidney health and then some of the things that athletes send to be deficient in or have issues with like DHEA. Sex hormone binding globulin, cortisol, insulin, vitamin D, magnesium, the price to that panel used to be $699 and they just dropped it to $479.
So, that’s our new price, I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/276 over to their new panel but it’s pretty significant drop in price so I’d thought I let our listeners know it’s primarily just for the U.S. but for U.S. listeners you may want to check out that WellnessFx performance panel and when you get tested you can actually request me as your consultant, your friendly neighborhood blood consultant if you want me to take a look at your results so there you go.
Ben: So Brock, you just actually featured an interview in the Ben Greenfield fitness app. Well, can you tell me a little bit about it ‘cause I actually haven’t listened in yet.
Brock: Yeah, well it’s a – I’ve fellow named Troy Delaney who’s from a company called Evolved NS. They make a huge line of supplements, they’ve got all kinds of stuff. He actually send a bunch of stuff to you and I a few months ago and I decided instead of just sitting around and talking about how awesome their company is, and all that kind of stuff that I actually pick his brain about how supplements are made, how you can get some extra quality control in there, what the steps are that actually certified as like different certifications for the supplements and all that kind of stuff basically put him through the ringer on everything that he’s learned from starting this supplement company about, things that we should probably know.
Ben: Yeah, you grilled that ha.
Brock: I totally grilled them, yeah.
Brock: T’was good he knows those stuff and it was pretty informative.
Ben: Well, it’s very, very difficult actually to get access to those kind of interview and I’ll tell folks how you do it. First, you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/app where you go to the iTunes store and search for Ben Greenfield and then you pay the enormous amount of nothing and download the app and that’s it.
Brock: That’s pretty complicated.
Ben: So the Ben Greenfield app is totally free, it gives you access to a bunch of extra interviews that we do as well as like having the show notes and all the podcast kinda all in one place. We’ve got a google version or what you call it an android version, (where the kids call it these days the android) and an iTunes version or iPhone version. Super easy again free, if you don’t have the app yet you should grab it and yeah like Brock, Brock has a new interview on kinda like you know the supplements 101 and how they’re made in there and there’s a ton hundreds and hundreds of other podcast and insider step inside the app so check that out.
Brock: It’s really well with your premium subscription too, just put your name and password and all of a sudden Boom! You’ve got access to everything if you’re a premium member.
Ben: Yup, so check that out and what else? Oh, you know what? It’s sitting right in front of me that I’m actually, I’m holding it now. Did you hear that? That is the brand new copy of Beyond Training. It has actually shipped, I don’t – I have like an advanced copy ‘cause I wrote it so they sent me an advanced copy. They’re kind enough to do that – beautiful book though if I don’t say so much myself. It looks like according to the inside cover here, it’s retailing for 29.95 if you pre-order off Amazon I think you get $10 cheaper than that.
Ben: You can of course go over to beyondtrainingbook.com and as it says on the inside cover, let me read this to you Brock…. And oh by the way, in the acknowledgment it says, “Brock, Brock Armstrong. Thanks to Brock Armstrong, my sidekick on the podcast and trusted go to man for strange tests.” (laughs) But here’s what it says for those who don’t know about this book when we open it. It says, “This book is for every high achiever, exercise enthusiast, weekend moyer, Gym Junky biohacker and health nut who wants to achieve amazing feats of physical, mental, and lifestyle performance without destroying their body, mind, and life.” See?
Brock: I like how inclusive that list is.
Ben: Extremely inclusive.
Brock: I don’t think you missed anybody.
Ben: Yeah, nobody. So there you go. Check it out beyondtrainingbook.com. It’s real! I’m actually holding it so it must be real. I wasn’t lying, the book was actually written and it’s here now. So check that out, grab that and what else? We’ve got the men’s health contest.
Brock: Yeah! I checked yesterday, I haven’t look today and somebody’s actually ahead of you. Votes.
Ben: Uhm, how many votes did they have?
Brock: I think it was like 319 or something.
Ben: Oh oh, we got to mobilize folks so if you want to vote for me to be named by Men’s Health as a fitness professional who has a top mind in the field and potentially be the next big name in fitness, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth. Do us a solid and vote over there, vote multiple times, you could vote everyday. I just leave a little browser window open and go in there and vote everyday so check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth and anything else Brock? I think that is – oh, one other thing about the book, I’ve got a bunch of free hidden chapters in the book, audio downloads, extra videos and stuff, totally free over on our bit torrent page at bengreenfieldfitness.com/torrent. Now if these are too many url for you to remember, just head over to our show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/276 that’s really all you need to remember ‘cause everything we talked about and also all the resources we give out for our questions and stuff like that. The links to the study we’ve talked about, everything is over there. So check that out.
Brock: And if you have the app you don’t even have to remember that much, just go to the app and click on the episode.
Ben: That’s right you just open your phone.
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Robert: Hey Ben and Brock, I’m Robert from South Texas and I need some help maintaining wellness at work. I’m a police officer and believe it or not we’re not as active as one might think or I even imagined when I signed up because policing is very retroactive and unfortunately sometimes I spend up to 7 hours sitting in the car. The cramped up cockpit full of radios, antennas, computers and then personal gears: guns and tasers. I’m worried specifically about the in up pollution, posture problems – I get to constantly turn to the right to type on the computer, sitting and in the course to poor diet, circadian rhythm thing if that’s all out of whack as well, getting up and getting out of the car now is not practical especially it’s not safe for me to walk around and start doing burpees in a middle of parking lot or some parking garage. Personally I’m on a ritual inspired plant-based vegan type of diet, I’m into running, I do a lot of that like a lot of other social sports that kick balls, doing obstacle races and things like that but you know, sometimes I go whole shift without eating though because we’re just so busy or it’s not practical for me to pack my lunch sometimes I ride my bicycle to work. Trying to get some help but I can’t carry a bigger lunch bag with all my other equipment on the bike. So any help you can give me, I’ll appreciate that, it’s Robert and thank you very much.
Brock: I appreciate I think it’s kinda fun that Robert alluded to it but he didn’t actually come out and say anything about donuts.
Ben: Uhmm, donuts. (laughs)
Brock: ‘Cause really you can’t think of policeman being lazy without picturing donuts.
Ben: And a little cup of like dunkin’ donut’s coffee.
Brock: Yeah some really terrible coffee.
Ben: Really terrible like gas station coffee in the Styrofoam cup, yeah. You know, there’s so many different directions that we can go with this question because there’s obviously like Robert talked about EMF exposure, poor sleep, and erratic diets but one of the things that really kinda leaps out at me here that pretty palatable for everybody listening is Robert has to spend a lot of time in his car.
Brock: Seven hours man!
Ben: Yeah, sitting in his car and like he says he just can’t get out of his car and do burpees or jumping jacks or squats and so what I wanted to talk about a little bit here is just ways that you could get fit if you are stuck in your car. And there was this really interesting recent study that came out that I’ll link to in the show notes that – the title of the study is Alternating Bouts of Sitting and Standing Attenuate Postprandial Glucose Response. What that means in a nutshell is that what they had folks do was they just on an 8 hour work day had them alternate between 30 minutes of sitting and 30 minutes of standing using an electric height adjustable workstation.
and what they’ve found was that in the group that did the 30 sitting followed by the 30 standing for 8 hours vs. the group that just sat for 8 hours, the group that did the sitting and the standing had much better blood glucose response especially blood glucose response to the foods that they were eating during the day.
Brock: I wish they had a third group that was just standing.
Ben: Hmm, yeah.
Brock: ‘Cause there’s actually part of me that thinks that maybe the sitting and standing combination might actually be better than the straight up standing.
Ben: Yeah ‘cause you’re moving around.
Brock: Even though that’s what I do the whole day. I stand all day but I get the feeling sometimes I should sit occasionally.
Ben: Yeah, sit down, stand up, kneel, lunge, I mean like – I go through all sorts of positions during typical work day. I don’t just like stand there all day long which can actually be bad for your back and lead to varicose veins and all sorts of stuff. Like I in sort of different positions throughout the day like right now I’ve got one leg down – I mean my flamingo position, I’ve got one leg down in the ground, one leg kinda way up on the desk and my head tucked into my left armpit. So….
Brock: Tucked under your wing.
Ben: So anyways….
Brock: I get really up by the end of the day I get such tender tootsies when I spend the entire times standing, that’s my biggest concern.
Ben: I don’t know what a tootsie is in Canada. I can only imagine. The question is like can you still get the upregulation of like fat burning enzymes like lipase and some of the control blood sugar by moving and doing things in your car and I would imagine in those studies have been done on it but the answer is yes. You can definitely still engage some muscles, bump up the metabolism a little bit, do some postular type of exercises and still get fit while you’re sitting in the car. And I’ve got some ideas for Robert and the rest of our listeners on ways that you can do that. So the first would be by using isometrics which are contractions of a muscle without actually the joint. And some of the better isometrics that you could do in the car would be first of all, you put your hands on top of the steering wheel and you do a push down. So obviously the steering wheel is gonna move, I hope it’s not gonna move. You snap up the steering wheel of your police car, my apologies but you do push downs. So that straight arms are slightly bent elbows preferably keep your elbows higher than your wrist and your hands and you do a push down to engage the lats and the chest. You can also do bicep squeezes where you grip either side of the steering wheel and just basically squeeze as hard as possible or even hold underneath the steering wheel and squeeze up as though you’re doing a bicep curl. And then the isometric exercise that you should try is the chest fly where you’ve got one hand on either side of the steering wheel, you’re contracting your chest and you’re doing like a fly type of motion. So….
Brock: You crush your steering wheel between your hands.
Ben: Exactly, so steering wheel isometric push downs, hands at top of the steering wheel, biceps squeezes hands underneath the steering wheel, and then chest flies hands on either side of the steering wheel.
Brock: And how long would you hold those for?
Ben: Usually isometric it’s pretty good to go from 10-30 seconds. That’s a good length of time that’s gonna give you pretty solid workout.
Brock: And how many reps?
Ben: Just I mean like you could do one rep, you could do kinda depends on how long you’re sitting there case in the joint or whatever it is you’re doing when you sitting in your police car or driving.
Ben: Body weight resistance would be another really good one. Where a study using a steering steering wheel but you’re just moving your body. One is the elbow squeeze where – and this one you’ll have to let go of the steering wheel force so not while you’re actually driving but if you’re just sitting in the car….
Brock: So steer with your knees.
Ben: That’s right. Steer with your knees or do this in a stopped car or if you’re a passenger you can do this. You just take both of your elbows, you touch them in front of your body and you squeeze together as hard as possible. So you should feel chest contraction when you do this, a pec contraction.
Brock: I like how I could hear you doing that.
Ben: Yeah hitting my microphone as fast I’m out here. What I call a commuter crunch where you simply sit up as tall as possible, slightly arch your back and go through a crunch motion all the way down until you’re into as much of a crunch as you can get and then you slowly come back up while resisting your low back. So it’s just a basic seated crunch same as you would do if you’re using like a seated crunch machine in the weight room except you’re using your own body for resistance and if you really do resist yourself you’ll feel this one. And then another one that’ll especially help out Robert if he’s having there like reach to the right to use his computer on the car and kinda twist his torso one way it would just be a basic torso twist where you put your elbows at your side and you twist your torso in one direction, twist your torso in another direction and again really resist and you should feel how you can use your own body weight for resistant as you twist side to side.
So for body weight resistant, best 3 exercises: the elbow squeeze, the commuter crunch, and the torso twist. So that would be number 2. Number 3 would be deep core exercises. So for deep core what I recommend is first of all the infamous kegel exercise which is where you squeeze all those little muscles that you would squeeze if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. I would hope that our listeners aren’t forced into situations where they frequently have to stop the flow of urine but if that is the case you should know how to use those muscles. They’re also use in other situations of course, we’ll keep this podcast PG but kegel exercise is squeezing those kinda like urinary type of muscles as hard as possible holding for about 10 seconds and then releasing, so that’s number 1. Number 2 would be again the infamous glute squeeze where you’re just squeezing your butt as hard as possible holding for about 10 seconds and releasing.
Brock: I believe it’s a clench.
Ben: A clench not a squeeze. And then the last one would be the pelvic tilt where you’re simply tilting your pelvis back and then tilting it forward basically getting blood flow going to the pelvis kinda holding it in a tilted forward position for 5-10 seconds then slowly moving in a tilted back position holding that and all of our listeners who are driving right now should be able to be practicing these, if we cause a lot of accidents….
Brock: Which I’ll be doing rhythmic thrust with the pelvis bone.
Ben: If we get news in the newspaper or the TV that lots of fit people have been driving off the road, this is probably due to this podcast. So that’s number 3, deep core exercise, number 4, the neck isometric. I do a lot this and was trying to get a thicker neck for body building. I use a towel for resistance but you could use your hands for resistance if you wanted to and this simply doing a front contraction where you’re putting resistance on your forehead and trying to look down as hard as possible or resisting that and then putting your hand or a towel on the back of your hand and doing backwards neck isometric and then of course also you can put the resistance on either side of your head and do side isometric to one side or the other. So that’s another really good one – neck isometric.
Brock: That’s a good one for all your turkey necks out there.
Ben: Yes and if you get a headache you’re pressing too hard. Then the last thing I would recommend and this is something that I’ll toss into my car when I know I’m going somewhere and I’m gonna be stuck in traffic for a while like LA for example and I’ve got one in my truck and one out in our Rav 4 also and that’s a powerlung and this is something that we talked about a couple of weeks in a podcast with a folk who designed this resisted breathing device but you can literally – yeah, exactly you can do 10 reps of 3 seconds out, 3 seconds in using this powerlung. It’s a spring loaded resisted breathing device. What you do is you go to the powerlung website, we’ll link to that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/276. I’ll recommend there – I think it’s called there sport model I believe.
Brock: Yeah, yeah I think it’s the green one.
Ben: Yeah, the green one is really good like you get a really decent amount of resistant.
Brock: It’s hard, it’s really hard.
Ben: Yeah, it is tough if you jack the resistance all the way up, you can go blue in the face. I’ll use it in an airplane sometimes too, I found that after an airplane flight if I use it while I’m waiting for the plane to de-board just like again 10 reps of about 3 seconds in, 3 seconds out, I feel way better when I get off the plane. It almost like re-oxygenate your body. So through powerlung, yeah, it works well. Through a powerlung in your blood box I mean next best thing is you use this box breathing like do deep diagphramatic breathing, box breathing is like 5 second inhale hold for 5 seconds 5 second exhale that type of thing but really like a resisted breathing device like a powerlung will work much better too.
Brock: Or stop at McDonald’s and get a straw.
Ben: I was gonna say….
Brock: Suck the straw….
Ben: We’re on the same way of like the tiny little plastic straw that you have in your cheapo coffee cup, that’s another option.
Brock: Oh yeah, yeah there you go, Dunkin Donuts have them.
Ben: So there you go, you got steering wheel isometrics, body weight resistant exercises, deep core exercises, neck isometrics and then resisted breathing. I’ll put this list in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/276 for Robert and all of our other police officer listeners to listen into and there we’ve done our work to stop crime for the day Brock.
Jean: Hi Ben, this is Jean. I have a question. I was wondering if people are affected differently, physiologically by alcohol. My husband and I will have in the evening sometimes and if I overdo it I am a completely different person than I am. Normally I get more argumentative and I’m just one of those people that can’t overdo it while at least just somebody that is have to fall asleep or it is really negatively affects me? I also have to be honest, that I’m concerned that if I have one glass of wine I want to and so on so on, he’s the same way I guess but for me it seems to be harder to control. I’m not somebody that I wouldn’t concern myself to be an alcoholic. I don’t drink everyday or anything like that but it’s definitely more of an effort for me to say just have one glass compared to my husband and I also feel that there are some negative consequences if I just say ______ [0:41:12.3] who cares and just as I have more than I should. I just wanted to see if there is a different way that alcohol physically affects people and if there’s some people that like me possibly that just plain all shouldn’t drink because of maybe genetic issue or control, so I just wanted to get your thoughts on that and then also maybe some tips on if you’re gonna have one making it just one but I look forward to hearing your response. Bye.
Brock: I think I fall into the same category as Jean. I get a little crumpy sometimes when I’m drinking, a little aggressive.
Ben: Uhm, yeah.
Brock: I’m the guy who pokes you in the chest, hey, hey.
Ben: Yeah, yeah you’re the guy who I punched in the face.
Brock: Pretty much ha. It happened a couple of times.
Ben: The effects of alcohol are definitely going to be different from person to person and that’s just because alcohol is metabolize differently in people. So genetics is one thing that will affect this and any of us who have hang out with folks of for example eastern Asian heritage when drinking. Know that they have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase sometimes none existent levels of that. They can get very red in the face and drunk or nauseous or get rapid heartbeat very, very quickly when drinking alcohol and it can actually make drinking very unpleasant if you tend to come from that population. And this just a genetic difference in the amount of enzymes that are produced and people from different ethnic groups can have higher or lower rates of alcohol related problems depending on the type of enzymes that they produced for metabolizing alcohol. So there’s actually 3 different enzymes, it’s not just alcohol dehydrogenase I’d forget the names of the other enzymes but what it comes down to is that your genetics may affect your ability to breakdown alcohol or how fast or slow you metabolize alcohol. Interestingly, 23andme genetic testing kind of allows you to do something like look into your rate of caffeine metabolizing. As far as I know they don’t reveal anything about alcohol metabolizing but there is an interesting study out there that shows that there’s a specific gene that you have. It’s the same gene responsible for your response to smoking behavior and your response to nicotine and what that gene shows is that some people have a greater almost like addiction to nicotine than others. And it’s based on specific genotype, it’s a gene called RS105 something something.
Ben: Yeah exactly and that’s what I would have named it and what they found is that when you have both copies of this specific part of this gene that you tend to be more easily addicted to nicotine and more easily addicted to alcohol and be at a higher risk of abusing those and that’s actually a genetic signature that you can look at in 23andme and I can link over to exactly which it’s called a snip or an snp. I can tell exactly which one that is, you can get 23andme.com genetic testing and go see if you happen to have 2 copies of that specific marker and you would know if you happen to be one of those people who might be more prone to alcohol abuse. So there’s that. Weight is gonna affect things obviously so the extent of alcohol’s affect on the central nervous system is gonna depend how much alcohol is in your blood and generally the lower your body weight the less blood you have and the less water you have in your blood.
So the more water you have in your blood and the more blood you have period the more deluded alcohol that you drink is gonna be. So the smaller that you are the more that alcohol is gonna affect you which is one reason that women are gonna be more affected by alcohol. Another reason is that women tend to simply metabolize alcohol a little bit more slowly. So alcohol stays in our body for a long period of time and there are certainly some women that can drink me under the table so I don’t know this is universally true like when I went to ______ [0:45:37.7] for my brother’s wedding, there were 80 yr old grandmas drinking me under the table over there just because of their tolerance and the extent to which they you know vodka for example is a stable part of their culture but generally because of weights smaller size, less water and less blood overall. Women tend to be able to handle alcohol a little bit less than men. Age affect things as well, as you get older you get a higher fat-to-muscle ratio generally you tend to have lower blood volume and less body water generally and so any given amount of alcohol is gonna result in a higher concentration of alcohol in your blood compared to say like a younger person who might weigh the same as you so this can also mean that the older you get the less you’re gonna find you’re able to tolerate alcohol. Again there is that salty old person you know stereo-type that I think would probably defy this but in most cases the older that you get especially once you get above 65 you’re gonna find that you might feel your drinks a little bit more just because of less water in the blood and less blood volume overall. So that’s another thing to think about. The amount of food in your stomach is obviously can affect things, any type of medications like blood thinners or even if you doing like a high dose fish oil, you’re gonna be more prone to feeling alcohol because your blood is gonna be thinner. A lot of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs can affect this as well so you know the type of medications that you take are gonna affect your alcohol tolerance also. Ultimately there are definitely some people who base on their genetics based off of specific gene markers, based off their sex, based off their weight, based off their age are gonna respond different physiologically to alcohol. One of the tips that I would give you however if you tend to have a really hard time having just one drink would be to comment this from a dopamine perspective. So what that means is a lot of times substance abuse is based off of you looking for that increase in dopamine that you get when you take any given amount of the substance alcohol, nicotine, whatever. And there’s actually a specific compound called mucuna dopa also known as l-dopa that you can get in supplement form and a lot of times it’s use to help with sleep or with insomnia, it can use to simply trigger good feelings so it can be use for example depression like symptoms but it can also be used to almost give you that same feeling that you’d get if you’re like eat chocolate, eat carbs, drink alcohol like things that tend to be common food or drink based stimulants for people. [0:48:27.8] and you can take L-dopa at a time that you would normally be wanting to use alcohol like say at night, after work maybe you know, an hour after dinner or half hour before dinner, something like that. You can get a dopamine release that replaces what you’re looking for from that substance and you can get L-dopa you know, it’s just a natural herbal remedy. You can order that stuff off at you know, Amazon for example, and I’ll put a link in the show notes but it can be used as an alternative to caffeine, to alcohol, to really any stimulant that’s going to give you that dopamine fix so it’s just basically stimulating the dopamine producing neurons in your brain so I wouldn’t overuse this stuff but it’s something you can at least experiment with a little bit to see if that helps you out so it’s called Mukuna Dopa or L-dopa. And that’s something that you could certainly try.
Summer: Hi this is Summer from Eastern Oregon and my question is about GI distress. I also had some problems in that direction since about 2008 which is when I started running anything over 2-3 miles. I agree in what you have to say about fodmaps and I think they’re useful but I’ve currently went to, I recently went to Uganda and I had to be on the malaria medication and it’s a weekly mefloquine so I take it weekly and it’s crazy because right after I take it, I feel really great, I can run without issues but by the end of the week, right before my next dose I’m right back to where I started and so I’m wondering what that says about my GI problems and I would appreciate your input.
Thank you very much and I also wanted to say that I think Brock is amazing too. Thank you.
Brock: Thanks Summer, I think you’re amazing too.
Ben: Summer-Brock love fest. Let’s answer the question here.
Ben: Too carried away. I’m just jealous, I didn’t get a shout out. So anyways, yeah this mefloquine is pretty nasty stuff, it’s better known as lariam but it has some really weird effects on mental health and it’s actually described by some doctors as a modern day agent orange because of its toxicity. So a lot of times they’d give this stuff like soldiers or people who are like going to sub-Saharan Africa or parts of Latin America or Southeast Asia, or areas where malaria is a concern but like the US military has actually banned lariam on safety grounds because of hallucinations, psychotic behavior, suicidal inclinations, and then also physical side effects that range from everything from internal bleeding to liver damage to lung damage so there are neurological issues that can cause, there are psychiatric issues, there are gut issues, that would lead me to not recommend this stuff as like the top thing to use as an anti-malarial and you can actually look up and read a bunch of stories about military suicides and murders and incidents of self-harm directly linked to the use of this anti-malarial so I’m not a huge fan of this stuff. There are pharmaceuticals that are typically prescribed for malaria that are safer, a lot of times they are more expensive like you can pay up to $4 per tablet for this stuff but like a malarone is one popular one and that’s basically atovaquone or proguanil hydrochloride but the brand name is typically malarone, that’s a pretty good alternative to lariam. Doxycycline is an antibiotic, it’s been proven effective in preventing malaria. I’m not a huge fan of antibiotics for a variety of reasons when it comes to gut flora but I mean even that would be safer than this stuff. You know, there are some natural alternatives you can go after for malaria as well and I’ll address the gut issues here in a second and kind of like what you can do you know, even people who are not in anti-malaria who are listening in who just wanna address gut issues when they’re running, I definitely have some ideas for you and we’ll get into that in a little bit but first let’s talk about some natural herbal alternatives that have kind of been out there for malaria. So Chinese herbal medicine has used a specific treatment for malaria for a thousand years and it’s basically a sweet wormwood shrub and it’s called artemisinin and you can get this stuff off of like Amazon for example as an herb and it’s actually regardless, a very natural drug against malaria and it’s easy to get your hands on, totally natural, not a lot of side effects from this stuff, and you know, it’s appeared on natural websites like natural news and mercola as a pretty decent way that you can you can have anti-malarial and not get a lot of these neuropsychiatric or gut effects or something like lariam or an antibiotic. Now, there are some other things that you can combine with it to help out with its effects so arginine, a natural amino acid is again something you can easily get off you know, some website or health food store. Arginine seems to work very very well when combined with this stuff as an anti-malarial and then the other thing that seems to work really well when combined with this artemisinin is garlic. So garlic is obviously active against a lot of different viruses and fungi and bacteria and cancer but there was specifically a study back in 2001 that revealed that garlic has a really good potential in fighting malarial infections. Now, this is like the fresh garlic, like the stuff with active allicin so if you’re gonna use a garlic supplement rather than fresh garlic, use what’s called an enteric coated garlic supplement which is going to allow that active component to not get destroyed by your stomach when you take it. So that’s another thing that you could use and then the other thing that you could just use like a natural repellent against mosquitoes would be cinnamon oil and cinnamon oil has been shown to be even more effective than the traditional, I’m blanking on the name of it now, the lemongrass – the stuff that you’d see use in a lot of Eastern Asian countries to fight off mosquitoes. Well cinnamon oil seems to be more effective at repelling mosquitoes obviously which are gonna be some pretty good big carriers of malaria.
And one of the main ways you would get exposed to malaria. The cool thing is that garlic is not only effective in fighting malarial infections but a lot of times when you have garlic kinda come out of your pores, you tend to be less attractive to mosquitoes as well so that’s another kind of bonus for garlic and I always said it was interesting whenever we’d go on family vacations. My mom would never get bitten by mosquitoes and for blood pressure because her family has genetic high blood pressure. She’s always taking garlic and she would never be the person that got bitten by mosquitoes. That’s really interesting. So garlic is another one that you could look into. I’ll put a link to a lot of these stuff over in the show notes if you wanna look into like the enteric coated of garlic, the artemisinin that you can get as an herb, the arginine, and some of these things. Now, as far as gut issues, if you have gut issues when you’re running and you wanna figure out how to run long distances without GI distress, some of the better things that you can do would be first of all, this fodmap diet that Summer talks about, the low fodmap diet. A low fodmap diet eliminates what fodmap stands for which is, what is it, fructanes, oligo-saccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, so low fodmap diet. I actually have a 2 whole pages of my new book that I just talked about where I have this full chart of like all the fodmap foods and which ones to avoid but you could also, you could google fodmap diet and print that out, keep it in your refrigerator, kinda start to get familiar with a lot of these fodmap foods that you might do just fine with until you start running, until you get a lot of these blood flow kinda diverted away from your stomach and that’s when fodmaps can start to ferment and cause some issues in your digestive tract so we’re talking about like onions, garlic, wheat, apple, stuff like that. You tend to avoid.
Brock: So really, they won’t bother you at all until you start to do some sort of physical activity?
Ben: Well it depends on the person. But I found out with a lot of athletes, the fermentable foods don’t bother them until they start to exercise and that’s when it becomes an issue.
Ben: So yeah. So avoiding fodmaps just like for example on your long run days and just eating really simple you know, like if you’re gonna do a starch, like a white rice or a sweet potato, you’d have to skin sweet potato, without the skin, or skinned yam or just really simple foods and even seeds and some of the fiber and the shards in those can cause issues so you know, doing something crucial like a nut-butter and you know, maybe a little bit of sea salt, things of that nature can be much much better and that used to be one of my go-to pre-run meals with sweet potatoes and yeah, just a little bit of almond butter and sea salt and now it’s, now that I am fat-adapted and I am doing the high fat thing for so long, I don’t eat anything for long run, or long bike ride, you know sometimes I’ll take a little bit of amino acids so I don’t cannibalize lean muscle mass but that’s about it. So the Fodmap, the little fodmap thing can help out quite a bit. Colostrum is another biggie especially if you find that you tend to get gut issues and you live in a hot area because colostrum can decrease gut permeability in hot conditions and anybody who’s doing like you know like an Ironman you know in a hot location like Cas Mel or Los Cabos or Hawaii or Thailand or something like that, or a marathon in a hot location like Florida or California, colostrum would be way high up the list of supplements to load with for about 2 weeks prior to going into a run like that and it can also help to pop some like 1-2 hour prior to going out for a run. So colostrum has some really cool effects in terms of helping with the lining of your gut. Another one that really….
Brock: It actually has an acute effect like in an hour before the race like it was sort of a healing.
Ben: You can take it immediately before you go out. What it does is it closes the ______ [0:59:35.5] lining which is the little cell gaps in the stomach so you can out help with aton. That’s what it does in babies you know, colostrum is kinda a precursor or the early milk that you get for a baby and it helps a baby’s leaky gut that they are born with naturally to heal and kinda closes up the gut lining. It’s why children who grow up on soy milk or milk formula rather than on breast milk tend to have autoimmune issues later on in life because their gut lining never really closes.
They get a lot of undigested protein particles crossing through the gut into the bloodstream and it creates allergy and immune issues later on in life and a lot of times, people who are raised on formula as kids or as babies they can fix a lot of issues by using colostrums as a supplement so….
Brock: Really doomed.
Ben: Not doomed.
Brock: Doomed by your damned vegan parents.
Ben: Nice. Okay so another one is L-glutamine. L-glutamine is another really good one for healing the gut. Acts very similarlyto like a bone broth or like a collagen or gelatine powder that you might get off at Amazon but l-glutamine you know, if you don’t mind going out of your way to make bone broth it’s got pretty good effects. You’d wanna do from 1-5 grams of this stuff per day but l-glutamine can help out quite a bit if you tend to get gut issues when you run as well. That’s one that you could use for a series of days. If you tend to have a really low protein diet, you don’t do a lot of whey protein, you don’t do a lot of bone broth, you would probably benefit from using l-glutamine. A lot of times I find folks who get GI issues when they run. They just basically have a leaky gut and they need to fix leaky gut syndrome. And then finally if you want to just take, take out the big guns and just completely overhaul your gut, push the reboot button and fix everything, I recommend the combination of not just colostrum but also digestive enzymes, really good probiotic complex, oregano to take out any bad bacteria – yeast, fungus, stuff like that. And then slippery own bar can some of the things that help to restore the mucus lining to your stomach and that’s where the detox and gut healing pack over at pacificelitefitness is kinda like the ultimate solution. That one’s like, you’re looking at like it’s like 180 bucks for like a month you know, 30-day fix but that would be if you wanna put your foot down and fix all at once, you use something like that. And….
Brock: That’s kinda…. You only use that for 30 days and then you’re done, it’s not like you have to keep buying it every month.
Ben: I recommend 1 to 2 months for something like that. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, that would be another solution for you so those are some of the things that I would recommend and I know that we did get a negative review in iTunes this week because they said that we talk about supplements too much but considering that for since the dawn of mankind really, folks have been isolating specific nutrients and essential oils from plant derivatives and from the planet earth and from foods. That’s kinda better living through science and human beings have done it for a long time so I wish I could just tell you to eat a banana and everything would be good but that’s not the way the world works so that’s my thoughts on that whenever somebody says I’m talking about supplements too much I mean that’s kinda like what this type of stuff is used for so….
Brock: Yeah. Speaking of the guy who goes through most of the questions submitted to this show, I would not be exaggerating if I said more than 90% of them involve questions about supplements.
Ben: Yeah, and I mean that’skindalike you know, my degree is in not just exercise physiology in biomechanics but has an emphasis, my graduate degree has an emphasis in pharmaceuticals and nutrition science. I have a nutrition certification, you know, this is one of the things that I study so you know, if you don’t wanna hear us talk about food and supplements and exercises and stuff like that, go listen to I don’t know, what’s another podcast?
Brock: I don’t know, Ricky Gervais?
Ben: Ricky Gervais, there you go.
Brock: He definitely won’t tell you anything about being healthy.
Ben: Although he was hilarious in the muffet movie.
Brock: He is hilarious, yeah.
Trigraine: Hi Ben and Brock. I love the podcast. I’m having some issues that I would like your perspective on. I’m a competitive Masters runner who’s transitioned into triathlon mostly the 70.3 and Olympic distances. I swim, bike, and run three times a week for each discipline and I usually run right after I swim. But without fail, I get migraine headaches a few hours later after the workout finishes. I also have issues with hand swelling when I’m running. I always drink an electrolyte drink while I’m swimming and usually when I’m running. I’ve tried different drinks, I’ve tried electrolyte capsules but nothing seems to keep the migraines away and I am kind of at a loss on what to try and would want to welcome your perspective. Thanks a lot.
Ben: You know, this to me Brock, sounds like classic allergy to running. Probably shouldn’t run.
Brock: Yeah. I hate that.
Ben: I sometimes feel like I’m allergic to running too.
Brock: I’m more allergic to swimming, I think.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, some people are allergic to exercise in general. Get very swollen hands when they move. It’s sounds to me like if she didn’t have this issue, when she was doing a Masters running but she started when she transitioned into swimming. That this is most likely something that’s on the top of my mind lately, a chlorine sensitivity issue. So first of all, you know, early on in the show I was talking about the fact that my water, my local municipality’s water supply has been heavily chlorinated. I would do some of those things I am doing like we had a podcast where I interviewed a guy named Dr. David Getoff and the title of the podcast was “How to Reduce the Risk from Swimming in Chlorinated Pools and Drinking Chlorinated Water.”Well one of the first things I did when I got home and saw that notice on my door from the Pasadena Park irrigation district about the chlorine in our water was I went back to the show notes for that episode and read through them and the biggest biggest things in the show notes for that one and I’ll link to them if you wanna check them out or if you wanna go listen to the episode. Vitamin C was hugely recommended. It’s like one of the top things and you know, I have a collated form of vitamin C that doesn’t cause a lot of the issues that isolated ascorbic acid cause. It’s made by a company called American Neutriceuticals. I started taking it immediately at 10 grams a day so I do 5 grams in the morning, 5 grams in the evening and I keep doing that until the chlorinated water has kinda worked its way out of our water supply for sure without a doubt. The antioxidants, I mentioned earlier, that this would be one of those cases where antioxidants would be something to do and if you wanted to see if you for some reason are not producing enough antioxidants naturally, and you know, maybe, in many cases like that, it’s because you need to liver detox or because you’ve got some gut issues like the leaky gut issues that we just got on talking about. Direct Labs, for example, a lab testing company here in the States, they have what’s called a MetaMetrics Ion panel and that allows you to test and see which antioxidants you might not actually have adequate levels of and that you might be able to fix by addressing through you know, from a supplementation standpoint. So a metametrics ion panel can help out if it’s just you not producing enough natural antioxidants. You know, if you’re able to hunt down a pool that’s got like ozone as its primary cleaner, there’s another form of filtration called grander water, that would be really good but unfortunately, it’s tough to find a pool especially in like, I found that in colder climates, a lot of pools in Florida and California, they use like saline….
Brock: Yeah, we’ve got a couple of saline pools in Toronto. But yeah, they’re few and far in between.
Brock: Basically there’s a couple.
Ben: Yeah. And I’m, in my new house, I’m building an endless pool and I’m gonna be cleaning that with an ozinator but ultimately, if you’re stuck with chlorine, you just gotta try some of these other methods. So antioxidants, yes. Vitamin C, yes. The only other thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is some type of binder. You know, charcoal is one. The issue with charcoal is that a lot of times, it will absorb a lot of other nutrients from foods or supplements or other things that you might be taking. Chlorella is more expensive than charcoal but when it cause a lot of those issues, chlorella is a really good binder, it could bind chlorine, it’s something you’d find in like a green supplement, like a green supplements out there like EnergyBits for example. The company EnergyBits, one of the little bite-sized green tablets that they make is called RecoveryBits and RecoveryBits is just 100% organic, cracked cell wall chlorella and that one would be a pretty decent one to use for something like this.
Brock: When you say binder, you mean it actually literally binds to the bad stuff in your body and sort of ushers it out.
Ben: Exactly. It’s like pretty popular. A liver detox, if you’ve been exposed to chlorine, stuff like that. That’s another one that would help out quite a bit.
Brock: It’s like the bouncer on the nightclub that grabs on and takes you out of the club, out on the door.
Ben: When you been drinking too much like Brock and walking around and poking people, yeah, exactly.
Brock: Hey. Hey, you.
Ben: So there you go. Those are some of the things I would look at. We’ll link to that previous podcast on chlorine with Dr. David Getoff in the show notes for you as well.
Brock: If I may, I wanna interject this cause I actually coached 2 different swim classes this very week and at both of them, there was the issue of craning the neck in a very odd fashion while swimming.
And it seems like that could potentially lead to some headaches. Now, I don’t know if our caller had her stroke analyzed or had anybody watching her but getting her neck into that weird position where you’re not looking down at the bottom of the pool but you’re sort of looking straight ahead, maybe you need to pay attention to other people in the pool, and also when you’re taking a breath, just lifting your head just way too high over the water could add to some neck strain which could potentially be giving you some headaches.
Ben: That’s a really good point. And you know, one of the better tools I found to help out with neck position in swimmers is just like a front-mounted snorkel so that’s something that you could use for, to kinda train yourself how to look slightly forward while swimming without having to worry about the breathing issue getting in the way so yeah, that’s a really good point Brock.
Una: Hi Ben and Brock, it’s Una calling from Ottawa. Is there a supplement regime that won’t aggravate an arrhythmia? I was diagnosed with wenckebach heart block, supraventricular tachycardia, and atrial flutter in 2003 but I had a catheter ablation procedure in 2009 to correct it but my heart can still sometimes get skippy. I have my cardiologist’s blessing to maintain my run streak and 75-100k training weeks are perfectly fine and I’m told I can manage as far as I want. Recent holter monitor tests showed that I can go into arrhythmia as fairly and easily which I knew because I can set it off drinking ice water. But I’m able to reset the rhythm really quickly. My primary triggers were stimulate-related so I stay away from caffeine and cold meds. Having said this, I’m interested in TianChi or other protocols but I’m leary of trying anything that might send my heart into overdrive. I’ve heard mentioned on the podcast that some stimulants work on different pathways in the body and don’t trigger the same response. Considering it was a ginseng caffeinephototree supplement that hospitalized me in 2003, I don’t wanna take any chances. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks guys.
Brock: Hey Wenckebach sister. I’ve got Wenckebach.
Brock: Although I didn’t have the super ventricular, I got the opposite, I’m bradycardic…
Ben: Now, Brock, what has been your experience with Wenckebach, can you explain that to folks?
Brock: Well, what happens the distance between your heart beats or the Q and the R or maybe C and the S, I can’t remember, beats of your heart get further and further apart until you just basically just drop a beat but then generally my heart anyway, and this sounds like who knows as well, it just starts right back again and it’s fine. I don’t actually even notice that happens. It’s not a problem.
Ben: Yeah. And central nervous system stimulants like caffeine, you know is right, would definitely be an issue with something like this and that’s actually….
Brock: Actually her SPT.
Ben: Yeah, I suspect that when we are looking at for example, deaths during the swim of a triathlon, which are a huge issue nowadays, you get that cold water exposure and some of the mammalian diving reflex and all that dropping of the heart rate that you get with all the cold water exposure and you combine that kind of cardiovascular stress with the kinda like the trilogy of three things that are a huge issue especially like hard charging endurance athletes or type a folks you get the combination of a.) stress and just hyper cortisol from stress and the effect that has on the central nervous system b.) any type of stimulants that have been used and these are very very popular, everything from red bull to energy drinks to a bunch of coffee to all these stimulants that have a hundred plus mg of caffeine in them and then c.) you throw in electrolyte depletion especially in magnesium and over 75% of athletes that I see tested using something like that that WellnessFX performance panel I talked about earlier, they’re simply deficient. They’re red blood cell magnesium is rock bottom or not anywhere close to where it should be. You combine the high cortisol with the central nervous system stimulation with low electrolytes and that is a recipe for arrhythmias, PVCs, basically a host of electrical issues with the cardiovascular system and so going after that trilogy and addressing that first would be the number 1 way to start if you’re concerned about arrhythmias or if you don’t wanna be one of those you know, what’s the name of the guy the healthy runner who’s like the classic story of the guy who drops dead of a heart attack while running. Was it Jim Vics? I think his name was? Yeah, it’s on the tip of my tongue but I’ll, anyways, we see these healthy people dropping dead of heart attacks during their exercise or running or swimming and a lot of times it is that trilogy of caffeine, stress, and low electrolytes, low magnesium specifically. So….
Brock: Doesn’t low magnesium usually go hand-in-hand with high potassium? Or at least a bad ratio and that’s a pretty deadly too.
Ben: Yeah and high potassium goes hand in hand with hypercortisolism so you know, so once again, it all comes full circle. So a few of the things you can do, first of all, when we look at this from a central nervous system stimulation standpoint, yeah obviously avoiding caffeine would be prudent and yes Una, there are ways that without central nervous system stimulation, you can naturally increase energy. And that’s where adaptogens come in. So adaptogens are a class of plant extracts that help to balance your adrenals specifically. Help to slightly increase cortisol when cortisol is too low, such as might be the case with over training or adrenal fatigue, or help to decrease cortisol when cortisol is too high. They’ve got some really cool effects that’s why they’re called adaptogens because they adapt to the state that your body is in so some really well known adaptogens would be like ginseng. That’s one considered very potent especially for the cortisol component. Red ginseng in particular is very very good. If you’re not producing enough cortisol, your adrenal fatigued, you need to produce a little bit more. Holy basil is another that one is not really potent, kinda traditional anti-aging elixir but it can also help you fight stress, specifically….
Brock: I gotta say it. Holy basil batman!
Ben: Holy basil! Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng. That’s another one that really help to ease anxiety and it’s been used in Eastern medicine for a very long time for not just boosting the immune system but helping to lower cortisol levels. astragalus is another immune booster but it’s also another anti-stress compound. Licorice, kinda similar to red ginseng is something that can be good at increasing cortisol when cortisol is low but again, if you take like licorice and like red ginseng in combination with other adaptogens, it’s not like gonna throw your cortisol through the roof or something like that. That’s not the way that these work. So they’re really cool and they actually will adapt to the state that your body is in. Rhodiola is another pretty common one along with corticepts. You see those added a lot of times to endurance boosting types of compounds to help with adrenal activation of lung tissue but they can also help to combat anxiety. So as far as all these adaptogens go, yes I’ve certainly recommended before that TianChi, Chinese adaptogenic herb complex is something that I take but you know, you may do even better with something that has no caffeine at all so the TianChi has some caffeine and I love that for a little bit of mid-morning boost combined with a lot of these adaptogens, it’s very trace amounts of caffeine. But there, that’s a powder. There is a capsule made by the same company called inner peace and…. Inner Peace. Maybe we should play some lulling peaceful music as I describe Inner Peace. It is a reishi mushroom fruity body and spore, eleuthero root, radiola root, ashwagandha, schizandra, green tea complex, dessertbroomrape, which actually doesn’t sound all that great…
Brock: Doesn’t sound relaxing.
Ben: Broomrape doesn’t sound relaxing. Astragalus root, at the medium leaf, lycium fruit, and Chinese licorice root along with a component called sensoril. So there you go. Inner Peace. First time I took it I think I slept for like 3 hours. I took it and I took a nap after lunch hour and just out. So if you’re stressed out this just helps out but Inner Peace is not something you take right before a race or I wouldn’t because it’s a little bit relaxing but it’s something that you can use kinda like a daily tonic or like a nightly tonic. Brock, you’re taking it now right?
Brock: Yeah. I tried TianChi for a couple of months and it never really, it made me feel really unsettled but I’m digging the Inner Peace. I usually take it a couple of hours before bed. It’s nice, it’s good.
Ben: Inner Peace.
Brock: I feel peaceful on the inside.
Ben: Peace. The other thing that I would of course do would be to address the mineral intake so you could do magnesium. A lot of times I found for folks who tend to have more like blood pressure, over training, adrenal fatigue issues, they do better with almost like a full mineral complex like a trace liquid minerals.
I just over at bengreenfieldfitness.com published an article on salt and like the difference between kosher salt, sea salt, and iodized salt, that would be a good one to go read if you wanna kind of read up on which type of salt you should be using and the difference in mineral content and especially trace minerals between different types of salts. So go check that out. It’s just one of the weekly articles that I write over at bengreenfieldfitness. So check that out. I’ll link to that one in the show notes too. Those are some of the things that I would definitely go after.
Chris: Hi there Ben and Brock, my name is Chris. I’m a big fan of the show. Actually I like your show so much that I just subscribed to be a premium member. My girlfriend has been recently diagnosed as being hep-b carrier and the doctor says she’s probably been a carrier for over 25 years as she didn’t have the vaccination. One thing is the doctor said she has the 5% chance of ever recovering from Hep B as in not having it anymore. She’s done some further lab tests recently the doctor recommended and fortunately they said it’s not life threatening so she should carry on life as normal and avoid certain foods. I think one of them was chilli powder. I’ve no idea why but anyway, I was hoping that maybe you could recommend some supplements or lifestyle changes she could make in order to get better because I’ve believe that there must be something she can do to get better.
Brock: Well at least she’s just a carrier, she’s not actually sick and she’s not like life threatening or anything. That seems pretty good.
Ben: Yeah. Right there, yeah. That’s great. And then I would probably get a name badge that says that you’re Hepa B carrier. Wear it with pride.
Brock: Exactly. Yeah, show it to the people.
Ben: Hep-B carrier just means that you have hepatitis b surface antigen in your blood and technically that means you’ve had that surface antigen in your blood for more than 6 months and a lot of people can be hep-B carriers and not even know it. I suspect a lot of people who have had you know, tattoos and things like may even be hep-b carriers simply because needles are one of the ways that you get that. I have 5 tattoos. I could be, for all I know, a hep-b carrier. The problem is that if it’s actual active hep-b that’s a pretty serious health condition. That’s essentially an infection of your liver and if you don’t treat appropriately you can get liver failure and psoriasis and a lot of nasty effects on one of your body’s very important organs. So as far as ways to cure hep-B, you know, I don’t know if a lot of the things that are traditionally recommended for as a natural remedy for hepatitis b are going to affect you if you’re simply expressing the antigen to hepatitis b but don’t actually have an active like liver infection. However, I can tell you what I know about natural hepatitis b remedies and these may have an effect on the actual antigen that’s being expressed if you’re a hep-b carrier. So the things that are traditionally recommended are things that we’ve already talked about a little bit on this podcast. Adaptogens like schizandra specifically, which is just fun to say, schizandra….
Ben: Holy basil and schizandra. Schizandra, antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid and selenium, those can help to reduce liver enzymes, can help to reduce liver inflammation, fibrosis, and a lot of the things that are caused by hep-b. A lot of the things you also see recommended are like these myers cocktails like high dose vitamin b12 mixed with vitamin d and vitamin c and kinda like a multivitamin complex with some minerals. There are a lot of naturopathic physicians and medical facilities in most towns and if you were to likely google the name of the city that you live in plus myers cocktail, a lot of time you can hunt down a myers cocktail.
Brock: A myers cocktail, that’s like an IV?
Ben: Yup, exactly. It is an IV, yeah. And there, you know, I personally have not you know, experimented with any of that stuff for hepatitis b or have any experience working with folks who have hepatitis b. I’m not a doctor. This is technically not to be considered as medical advice but I’m just throwing out some of the things that I’ve seen recommended for this. The number 1 thing though that I have seen recommended for effective treatment for all of the different herpes viruses including hep-b is actually this stuff called BHT and BHT is butylated hydroxytoluene. It is an organic compound, it is an extremely potent antioxidant.
You can find this stuff on Amazon for example. There are certain natural things like phytoplankton, green algae for example, is highly capable of producing this BHT stuff. Sometimes it actually uses a food additive just because it has such potent antioxidant properties and using BHT in its supplemental form for hepatitis is something that is actually used by a lot of natural medical practitioners for viral infections that attack the liver so there is technically hep-a all the way through hep-e and all of these are something that BHT is used for by a lot of natural medicine docs. So that’s one thing to look into, again that’s something that I personally use or have experience with but I’ve certainly seen it recommended and there are 2 things I seen recommended with it. Lysine, is number one. That’s an amino acid you can take and then high dose vitamin C like a natural vitamin C you know, like 5-10 grams per day. Like the vitamin C. Again, I don’t have a ton of experience with hepatitis. If I had a pretty serious liver issue or found out I had hep-b I would certainly be looking into this BHT stuff with like a high dose vitamin C and like a myerscocktail so those are some of the things I would recommend. Again, huge disclaimer here. Gosh, especially since that Kevin trio guy got thrown in prison, that makes me nervous when I start talking about medical conditions and natural remedies and stuff like that. That guy was obviously also scamming a bunch of people out of lots of money but I know that one of the reasons that he was thrown in prison was simply because he was talking about natural remedies to fix medical conditions so that kinda makes me quick in my boots a bit but ultimately, that’s where I’d look into, it’s like BHT, some lysine, some vitamin C, that type of thing, and yeah….
Brock: Any idea why doctor might have said not to, or to stay away from chilli powder? Cause of the nightshade?
Ben: I’m guessing it was probably the same deal with like eggplant, peppers, tomato, like possibly an autoimmune issue or some type of liver aggravation from nightshades but I wasn’t really sure on that one or maybe he just doesn’t like Mexican food. I don’t know.
Brock: Chris if you ever find out, let us know ‘cause I’m super curious. I actually googled the heck out of that and couldn’t find a single reference.
Brock: Really annoying.
Ben: Speaking of Mexican food, we actually have a review this week entitled “Tinfoil and Organ Meat Goodness.” Did you see that one?
Brock: I didn’t.
Ben: Yeah, it’s good. It’s a great title, it’s a 5-star review called tin foil and organ meat goodness. And….
Brock: Sounds delicious.
Ben: It’s from mattlok and by the way, if you guys leave us a review, if we read your review on the show and you write us in to [email protected], tell us you heard your review, we’ll send you the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness gear package, the cool thermo reversible beanie that is actually quite fashionable in both hot and cold weather, the BPA-free water bottle and our sweet tech t-shirt that is not like a cotton tent but is in fact an actual workout shirt that makes you look sexy when you’re at the gym and also spreads the good news of bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: I think it actually accentuates my pectorals.
Ben: Yes, especially when you’re doing chest squeezes in your police car.
Ben: You can get the gear package at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. It’s 47 bucks for all 3 of those things, if you’re to buy them at street price it would be close to 60 so you can save a little bit off the cool tech shirt, the fashionable beanie, and the water bottle, and also when you purchase one of those gear packages, it’s huge in terms of supporting the show. So we really appreciate it and honestly we’ve given most of the gear packs away by reading reviews and unfortunately not a lot of people have actually been buying the gear pack. Probably because we haven’t been talking too much about that option but go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and we’ll send you a pack. That being said….
Brock: Shall I read it?
Ben: Yeah let’s listen to what Mattlok has to say.
Brock: Alright, “You have to listen regularly to appreciate the title.” It’s true, yeah, we do bring up tin foil hats on a very regular occasion don’t we?
Ben: And organ meat.
Brock: And organ meat, organs in general. “It is very rare to find a podcast that makes you laugh while hurting your brain at the same time. In a world where attention span is very rare Ben and Brock manage to keep us listening to 1 hr + podcast almost every week. I enjoy listening while I run even though I know it’s not ideal for my performance with the brain working so hard. Keep giving us long detailed answers to all the questions! Ben and Brock rock!”
Brock: I see literation.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, hopefully we’re not hurting people’s brains literally just figuratively.
Brock: Yeah, not sure I hope that’s just ‘cause we’re making them think. Not some sort of aneurysm causing frequency or something.
Ben: Exactly yeah. So plus he manage to make a rhyme in there so we gotta give that review away. So nice 5 star review, if you wanna leave a review, go over to our iTunes page and leave your review over there just do a search for Ben Greenfield fitness on iTunes. Be sure to grab the free app at bengreenfieldfitness.com/app, be sure to check out the show notes for everything we talked about over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/276. Tune in this weekend for a special interview that we’ll be releasing with one of the athletes I coached for Ironman Hawaii and also be sure to grab the brand new book at beyondtrainingbook.com and just a little hint here, I will fill you in on next week’s podcast but you may want to grab multiple copies and take a photograph of yourself holding those multiple copies because we’re gonna be doing a pretty cool contest next week starting next week that involves you showing off multiple copies of our brand new beyond training book. So check that out and yeah, I think that’s it I’m ready to go drink some more….
Brock: Don’t do it man, don’t do it.
This is bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition and performance advice.
Mar 26, 2014 Podcast: 5 Ways To Get Fit In Your Car, How To Drink Less Alcohol, Natural Malaria Remedies, Headaches From Swimming, 4 Ways To Avoid Heart Arrhythmias, and Supplements for Hepatitis B.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form…but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.
- Want to get the most bang for your buck out of HIIT? Choose an elliptical over a bicycle.
- Body weight circuits vs. explosive strength training for runners? The latter is better.
- Combining weight training and high intensity intervals does NOT (as many believe) decrease rate of muscle gain. It INCREASES it!
- Are antioxidants REALLY effective?
- WellnessFX just dropped the price of it’s performance panel big time, to $479. Worth a look.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast “Sidekick”.
5 Ways To Get Fit In Your Car
Robert asks: He is a police officer who needs help maintaining wellness at work. Contrary to popular belief, they are not as active as you might think. He will spend up to 7 hours in the car, crowded with gear. He is worried about EMF exposure, posture problems (has to reach to the right to use the computer in the car), sitting, poor sleep (crazy hours), erratic diet. He can’t just get out of the car and do burpees (not safe). He eats plant based, vegan diet. He runs and plays team sports when he can.
In my response I recommend:
–Hack your blood sugar study. Stand at work.
-Steering wheel isometrics – pushdowns, bicep squeezes, chest flies
-Body weight resistance – elbow squeeze, commuter crunch, torso twist
-Deep core – kegel exercises, glute squeeze, pelvic tilts
-Neck isometrics – front, back, side-to-side
–Powerlung and box breathing
How To Drink Less Alcohol
Jean asks: Are people affected differently, physiologically, by alcohol? She and her husband will have the same amount to drink and she will get negative and augmentative while he will just fall asleep. She also has more trouble having just one glass than he does. Are there some people who should just not drink alcohol due to genetics? Do you have any tips on how to have “just one” drink?
Natural Malaria Remedies
Summer asks: She gets GI issues while she runs anything over 2-3 miles. She has been taking mefloquine, a Malaria medication for travel to Uganda, weekly. Right after she takes it she feels great but by the end of the week her GI issues while running return. She has looked into the FODMAP diet but is looking for more suggestions on how to run longer distances without GI distress… other than taking mefloquine.
Headaches From Swimming
Trigraine asks: Competitive Masters runner who had transitioned into triathlon (70.3 and Olympic). She usually runs right after she swims and without fail gets migraine headaches after the run finishes (also gets swollen hands when she runs). She always drinks electrolytes while she swims and usually while she runs. She has tried plenty of drinks and electrolyte capsules but is at a loss of what to try next.
In my response I recommend:
–Vitamin C and greens and antioxidants for chlorine sensitivities/detox (use code BEN for 10% off EnergyBits)
–Previous podcast on chlorine with Dr. David Getoff
4 Ways To Avoid Heart Arrhythmias
Una asks: She was diagnosed with Wenkebach heart block, supraventricular tachycardia, and an atrial flutter back in 2003. She had an ablation to correct it all in 2006 but she still get “skippy“. She has her cardiologist blessing to continue to run and has a big year of races ahead of her. She still goes into arrhythmia easily (like when she drinks ice water) but would like to try things like TianChi to give her training a boost but is leery of stimulants. She has heard you mention that some stimulants act on different pathways in the body and don’t trigger the same response. Do you have any recommendations of supplements she could try that are less likely to trigger her arrhythmia?
Supplements for Hepatitis B
Chris asks: His girlfriend is a Hepatitis B carrier. She is not sick, which is great, but the doctor says there is no way to cure it and that she has probably had it for 25 years (since she wasn’t vaccinated). The doctor suggested some foods to avoid, like chili powder but says that she will always have it although it is not life threatening. He doesn’t want to accept that it is not curable and is looking for supplements, diet or lifestyle changes she could make to rid herself of Hep B.