Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Does Garcinia and Green Coffee Extract Help Fat Loss, Interpreting Your Own Blood Work, Should You Drink Ocean Water, Are Water Alkanizers Bad, How To Prevent Razor Burn, and the Pros and Cons of Protein Cycling.
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 tri athlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Ben: You know what that sound was Brock?
Brock: I wanna say beer.
Ben: Close. Even though we are gonna talk about beer in today’s podcast that was the sound of me opening my zero-calorie, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, caffeine -free, Zevia-flavored soda.
Ben: In a pleasant ginger ale flavor. It’s also vegan kosher and just like the water I bought the other day at Whole Foods, gluten-free. So how’s that going for it?
Brock: That’s great.
Ben: Yeah, by the way if my sound is a little off today or anything it’s because I’m stranded. I’m stuck in Austin, Texas right now. The first day I tried to get out of here to leave Paleo fx where I was speaking this past weekend, there was a hailstorm so that stuck me here one night. And then yesterday, no hailstorm, beautiful sunny day yet I still got a notice from the airport that my flight was delayed two hours unless I was gonna have to spend a night in Vegas. So, I just stayed in Austin the other day so…
Brock: I think you were staying somewhere nice. I saw the video you posted about the book coming out and it looks like a beautiful location.
Ben: I’m staying at the Austin Health Center. It is, well it’s originally, our sources were told it’s a fat farm, and…no offense…
Brock: And of course you wanted to go and hang-out there.
Ben: It’s not. It is a medical intervention facility that takes folks who have issues like leaky gut, messed up hormones, maybe weight gain and it’s just hooks up folks with integrated physicians who work out here at the resort with people and fix them. So you can get like, you know blood testing and I’ve been having, you know there kind of like breakfast, lunch and dinner includes bone broth – so I’ve been living a very healthy lifestyle. I’ve been living a lifestyle I would live if I’m extremely messed up. And I’m actually I’m gonna podcast with the owner. As a matter of fact right after we wrap-up, I’m gonna sit down with him and record a little podcast so we can talk to… you know what’s he’s doing and what we can folks know who you know. And if you know someone, if you’re listening and I know a lot of our listeners tend to be… a little bit healthier, but if you know somebody who is… in need of some serious medical management, this is kind of like a cool resort to send them to. And hopefully by me saying that on a podcast I have justified the fact that they’ve put me up for two free nights now.
Brock: Wow. I was just gonna ask how much it was costing you.
Ben: Yeah! So now – but very, very cool place and I’m going also get the doc – the integrated physician that works here on the podcast too next month. So, that being said, what do you think? You ready to flash some news at people?
Brock: Alright, although twitter.com/bengreenfield has mostly been dominated by talk of the beyond training book for the last well, probably twenty-four to thirty-six hours, it’s still a great place to go to find out all the latest and greatest news flashes that we’re about to cover right now!
Ben: Yeah. I don’t wanna talk about my book, I wanna talk about beer.
Ben: Ah, like you said Brock, I’m always putting stuff out over at twitter.com/bengreenfield and one of the first articles I tweeted this week was about eight beers that you should stop drinking immediately and…
Brock: Put that beer down.
Ben: But I can still continue to drink my Zevia.
Brock: Is that what it’s called?
Ben: It’s called Zevia. They are not a sponsor of the show, by the way. Although they should be, after this podcast.
Brock: Is there a Zevia beer at some point? The clear beer? Back in, like, the early nineties?
Ben: It’s very possible. It’s very possible. It sounds horrible but a Stevia-flavored beer. Eeew.
Brock: I don’t know if I’ll go for a Stevia-flavor but maybe I’ve got the wrong name.
Brock: Maybe it’s Zenia or… I don’t know. Anyway, back to the news flash.
Ben: Not Stevia, but there are many harmful ingredients that are commonly found in beer. This article goes in to and of course as we do with everything, we’ll link to everything we talk about over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/278 if you wanna go read this article. So the harmful ingredients that are commonly found in beer include: GMO Corn Syrup, GMO Corn, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fish Bladder, Propylene Glycol, MSG, GMO Sugars, Caramel Coloring, Insect-Based Dyes … not that I have anything against Insect-Based Dyes because I’m a big fan of them.
Ben: Well Cricket Protein bars are at the expos. BPA and lots more! And then the article goes on to list eight beers commonly found in bars that maybe you should think about stopping drinking. And the top eight are: Newcastle Brown Ale. We probably should’ve done the drumroll but I’m just jumping right in.
Brock: Yeah, just go for it!
Ben: Newcastle Brown Ale, Budweiser, Corona Extra – I think Corona’s fine if put a lime in it. Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra, Guinness – which I actually kinda like…
Brock: Yeah. That’s the only one in the list so far that I haven’t just turned my nose up anyway.
Ben: Yeah. Coors Light, of course, PBR is on there. I don’t think that qualifies.
Brock: Oh, the hipsters are gonna be so sad.
Ben: That PBR is beer. And then the article goes on to talk about some of the beer that is GMO free, organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered, lowering a lot of this artificial ingredients, grains and preservatives. And some of the ones that go over that are organic specifically are Fish Brewery Company, Lakefront Brewery, Brooklyn, Pinkus – Pinkus is a horrible name for a beer.
Brock: And that’s a horrible name for anything.
Ben: That sounds like a massive disease.
Ben: I’ve a got a case of Pinkus.
Brock: Can I drink your Pinkus?
Ben: Samuel Smiths, Wychwood, Bison, Lamar Street and Wolaver’s. And there’s a few other listed there some of the more popular ones that they “approve” of are Heineken. I’m picking some popular ones here: Amstel Light, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada – which they serve, I believe in the finish line of the Spartan Races.
Ben: Check out that. So you can go to a Spartan Race and drink guilt-free beer at the finish line while you’re getting a Spartan triathlon tattoo on to your appendage. And so yeah! I’ll link to this article in the show ‘cause it’s pretty interesting and kind of a good, good one to read if you’re into beer and kinda want to choose the lesser of the evils.
Brock: Yeah, we did have… we posted this on facebook as well. And a guy actually wrote back who is Brew Master I guess. It’s what they call them or Brew Meister?
Ben: Woah, is it like a dungeon master?
Brock: I think so.
Brock: I get it’s not quite as nerdy and a little more drunk, than a real master. But he wanted to point out that there were couple inaccuracies in that article that the High Fructose Corn Syrup while may be bad for you, actually during the fermentation process it’s actually metabolized out of the beer and so there’s no residual High Fructose Corn Syrup left in the finished beer…
Ben: I believe that. Kinda like sugar and kiefer.
Ben: Or sugar and kombucha, rather.
Ben: What else did he say?
Brock: He also said that the Fish Bladder is the standard clarifying agent that does not make it into the finished beer either.
Ben: That’s good to know because I didn’t want to be thinking about fish platter the next time I have a frosty one.
Brock: I’d have to admit, I just giggle every time I hear the word fish platter.
Ben: Oh such tiny little bladder.
Brock: And then the last thing was the Propylene Glycol is actually a refrigerant and they use it for cooling in the brews and also does not get into the beer.
Ben: Yeah. Well these are all good points but really, ultimately Brock… like for me, it’s the GMO thing. Like that’s the biggest thing because not only you have the issue with GMO crops being used for beer and everything else. Crops pronating and contamination the gin pool of all the other crops but you’ve got the increase in herbicide use from engineering all these GMO crops to be herbicide tolerant.
Ben: You’ve got some big issues with a potential harm of the environment from this herbicide you know in terms of harming birds, insects, amphibians, the soil. And another big issue if you’ve seen a lot of Dr. Jeffrey… I’m forgetting his name. He’s a big GMO researcher guy, puts up DVDs and everything.
Let’s just call him Jeffrey GMO.
Ben: There are some pretty serious issues that have primarily been demonstrated in lab animals, not necessarily in humans. I’m not taking my chances with GMO stuff, so I’ll just rather drink a beer that’s made from non-GMO sources, personally.
Brock: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s the reason to not pick one of the good ones. Yes. A lot of those will just crap beer anyway and they don’t taste good, they don’t do anything for you. And you’re actually giving money to really big corporations that say nice certain local stuff. So lots of reasons to avoid them.
Ben: Yeah, I don’t want to give my heart and money to PBR.
Brock: Or, Adolph Coors.
Ben: Well, speaking of messing up your body with GMOs. Let’ talk about al-u-minum, as they say in Europe? Do they say that in Canada too?
Brock: No. They say it without adding extra letters to it.
Ben: Ah, so this was kinda scary. There’s this article that came out in a European study that looked at the levels of aluminum in popular antiperspirants or deodorants. They found that the uptake of aluminum – literally the amount of aluminum absorbed into your body through your skin is above the maximum tolerable daily exposure level. Meaning that if you’re using a deodorant, you’re not just getting a little bit of aluminum here and there, you’re actually getting aluminum that is over and above from one application the daily tolerable limit for aluminum. So, it’s a pretty big issue. We’ve talked about personal care products of course before on the show and I think we’ve even gone over the right alternative aluminum recipes so to speak. Right now, I actually finished the bike ride a little bit before our podcast, so I’m still a little bit hot and bothered from that. So I slathered some coconut oil on my armpits and…
Brock: I hope you didn’t get hot and bothered over the bicycle, that’s so creepy and weird. I hope you just got hot.
Ben: Yes, hot… hot and sweaty.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: So, anyways, what I’d like to do for listeners just because I know that some folks may not wanna slather coconut oil in their armpits. And some people may not want to use something like you know baking powder or whatever, or baking soda. I wanted to give a shout-out to one that I found at the expo here at Paleo fx that I used a few times that worked out pretty well. It’s called the Primal Pit Paste and I know, cool name.
Brock: That’s a good name, I like it.
Ben: I’ll link to it in the show notes but it’s just basically organic coconut oil, organic raw shea butter, non-aluminum base baking soda, very good, organic arrowroot powder and organic essential oils. I tried it, I liked it. I used it during the expo and no one actually complained that I stunk so maybe they’re being polite or maybe it actually worked! But this Primal Pit Paste was actually pretty cool. It comes with a few different flavors, I was going to say, but scentsI guess, thyme and lemongrass…
Brock: Well sounds like you could actually probably eat it quite safely.
Ben: Yeah. Thyme and lemongrass, lemonade is another one; orange creamsicle. That’s some pretty cool flavors you know, the one the orange creams one is for kids. Lavender, patchouli, so all sorts of hippie little scents that you can throw into your armpits. And apparently according to the label, it’s vegan. So I guess youprobably you could eat it. So that’s another one and if that’s not enough inspiration for you to stop using common deodorants, I don’t know what it is.
Brock: Well, so what do they mean when they say maximum, maximal tolerable, maximal tolerable daily exposure levels?
Ben: Over in Europe it’s kinda similar to the… I guess it would be their total of the FTI over there. They actually have maximum exposure levels deemed to be acceptable for health reasons and one application of deodorant was enough to go higher than that.
Brock: So it’s obviously not like right, I would know, poisoning us or making us like visibly ill or dying but it’s just enough to make us slowly dying.
Brock: A little bit sicker than we ought to be in that kind of thing.
Ben: Your deodorant is slowly killing you.
Brock: So you can either be stinky or die quicker.
Ben: Mmm-hmm! Now the last thing I wanted to mention was a great article that came out called the Hundred Hardest Body Weight Exercises Of All time and I actually sent this article to my kindle so that I could take my kindle over to the park and try out some these exercises rather than printing off you know thirty-seven pages worth of body weight exercises. And I gotta admit, there are some in here that I haven’t seen before like the Archer Pull-up where you have one arm straight over the pull-up bar and the other arm is doing the pull-up as if you are pulling a bow just like an archer.
They’ve got the Crucifix Push-up in there where your arms spread out to the side in almost like a crucifix pattern during the push-up. They’ve got the, what else they have in there that I thought was pretty interesting? Oh, I’ll link to in the show notes ‘cause there’s like a hundred. They’ve got the Muay Thai Push-ups which is basically like a “clap push-up” on steroids where you’re doing the push-up but you’re literally getting your body up to about forty-five degrees with each push-up. They’ve got the Superman Push-ups, we’ve seen this before where your arms extended as far out as possible in front of you and then your legs’ right behind you and you’re doing a push-up in that position. And to make it harder you can do the Jet Jacqueline version which is where you’re on your fingertips and that’s spread out position. How about the….
Brock: There’s not a lot of movement involved in that one. You just have to lift yourself off of the ground.
Ben: Actually a push-up, it’s hard. I mean there’s some movement, if the movement is in, it’s though. But here’s the top three for any of you bengreenfieldfitness listeners who are insane or extremely fit. You got the One-Arm Pull up to a Hand Stand and that is exactly what it sounds like. A One-Arm Pull up into a Hand Stand and over the pull up bar. You’ve got the One-Finger-Hand Stand or you’re literally doing the hand stand on one finger and these last two are performed by monks. No surprise there, because they’ll require, I would imagine extreme amounts of meditation to block the pain from your fingers. And then the number one, what do you think the number one exercise is, Brock? The number one hardest body-weight exercise of all time…
Brock: I can’t imagine anything being harder than your entire body weight being on one finger, so I, I am at a lost. Maybe your tongue?
Ben: The number one hardest body weight exercise of all time is having a baby… no, I’m just kidding.
Brock: Are you serious? That’s not fair!
Ben: It’s balancing on two fingers. A hand stand balance on two fingers and there’s a video over there and I’ll link it for folks who want check it out but…
Brock: So two fingers like one on each hand?
Ben: Yeah, with one finger on each hand. And so it’s a two hand on a hand stand but using your fingers instead of your hands. It’s crazy. But I mean, some of those last ones are obviously most of us aregonna do but some of the other ones? Try this, this is what I did: I picked five that I’ve never done before that I felt like pretty tough and did a circuit of five. And it was tough but it was fun! You know, body weight exercises, new ones. If you’re stuck in a hotel room or like I am at a health retreat and you want a good workout, try those out! So, there you go!
Brocke: So, a huge sigh of relief was likely breathe by you and well, the rest of us that work for you and with you, when the book finally started showing up on people’s doorstep!
Ben: Yes. Actually I just belched. I drank PBR and belched. That was my sigh of relief. No, actually yeah. Beyond Training Book shipped, believe it or not, it actually is a real book and it’s available this week. And I’d like for any of you listeners who like this show, in one way support what we do to listen in. So I know you can zone out the entire rest podcast, but if you listen to anything… listen to this. I should say it in an English accent like an inspirational accent. If you listen to anything, listen to this!
Brock: (laughs) I don’t think that was anymore inspirational thought.
Ben: Okay so here’s the deal: we are giving away bunch of stuff. So the first thing is for everybody listening in, please understand that a big goal that I have for this book is for it to make the New York Times’ best-seller list and what influences that list is if you buy this book at your local bookstore. And so if you go to your local bookstore, and you buy a book and you take a photo of yourself purchasing that book, not just holding it in the aisle of the bookstore, but… be honest here, actually purchasing it, and then you upload that to Facebook, Google, Twitter, whatever your social network is or any of your networks, and then mark it with our hashtag for the book. And the hashtag, those of you who don’t know what a hashtag is, it’s the looks like tic-tac-toe, like a tiny little baby tic-tac-toe. You mark it with #beyondtraining or choose three people over the course of the next week. You do that, and you’re gonna get a private one-on-one 60 minute consult with me.
Brock: You take those, it usually worth like $250 bucks.
Ben: That’s actually, yeah, exactly. So, the other thing is if you’re total tech head and you wanna do Amazon instead, that’s cool but here’s the deal: if you purchase more than one copy on Amazon, which is really a good way to bump up the Amazon rankings, then you get free access to a two-hour workshop that I’m gonna do on Amazon. So all you need to do is purchase your copy on Amazon. But if you’re running or biking or stuff like that right now, you may not remember this well but it’s beyondtrainingbook.com/photo. If you upload your receipt to that, then that will get you the…
Brock: Just stop drinking soda.
Ben: I know I’m belching.
Brock: Belching your way.
Ben: Okay so beyondtrainingbook.com/photo. Two other things: so first of all there’s over five thousand dollars of swag bonuses, raffles, giveaways and a bunch of stuff we’re doing if you purchase five books or ten books. And that’s over at beyondtrainingbook.com/bonuses. You don’t need to remember that URL, you can just go to beyondtrainingbook.com and click on bonuses, it’s right there. And then here’s the last thing, I will do a keynote speech at your corporation, your club, your business if you’re kind of like a CEO, you manage the human resources division or whatever. If you have business or club or corporation and you purchase more than one thousand copies of Beyond Training, I will come out and do a keynote at your location. And so you’re gonna need to email [email protected] if you want in on that deal so that we can arrange it. Because you can do that thru Amazon, you can do it thru my publisher but either way you email me first bengreenfieldfitness.com and if you don’t wanna buy a thousand, I’ve got another deal. You can come spend a weekend with me eating healthy, exercising, seeing a lot of the biohacks, a lot of things I talk about in the book as far as training nutrition and lifestyle; brain hacking, sleep hacking, everything that I teach you how to do in the book; you can come and experience first-hand. Anybody who purchases five hundred copies or more, you can come spend a weekend with me. And same thing, email [email protected] if you want in on that. So there’s all that stuff! Photo of you on your local bookstore or you can do Amazon and upload the multiple copies. You can go at beyondtrainingbook.com, click on the bonuses section to see what you can get if you do five copies or ten copies and then email [email protected] if you wanna do five hundred or a thousand. And any of the above things let me say one another thing. Do I have to say one other thing, Brock?
Brock: Quickly. Say it fast.
Ben: Amazon review, Amazon review, Amazon review, Amazon review, Amazon review. Leave a review on Amazon because the powers that they told me that those really help the book rank highly and we’re almost to the top 100 books worldwide right now. So help, help a brother out, leave the Amazon review. Let us know if you have any questions over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/278; we’re just head over to beyondtrainingbook.com. Do it!
Heather: Hello! Lately on Facebook, I’ve seen a lot of people posting about this new product called Plexus? P-l-e-x-u-s. They’re taking about how they’ve lost weight and they have more energy and their food cravings have cut down, they’re sleeping better, etc. All these things sound really great and I look at the website and their product seems to be pretty natural and safe. But I wanted your professional opinion, Ben. Is this product something worth trying or is it just kind of expensive? P.S. plexusworldwide.com is where you could find it and the product is Plexus Slim. Would love to hear what you think. Thanks!
Brock: It’s nice to hear from Heather!
Ben: Heather. I remember Heather.
Ben: Yes, I won’t say her last name but I even remember Heather’s last name. Heather, I won’t say your last name. I don’t want a crazy podcast listener stalking you. ‘Cause we have a lot.
Ben: We have a lot of axe murderers and clowns listening to this show.
Brock: We do. That’s our demographic.
Ben: Scary clowns in Ben’s. So, just a horrible thought. This Plexus Slim, I looked up the ingredients of it and really, the two main ingredients are Chlorogenic Acid and that’s this green coffee stuff – the Green Coffee Bean Extract and then also Garcinia Cambogia which is another kind of darling of the fat loss industry right now.
Brock: So, it’s not Dr. Oz’s favorite thing?
Ben: Mm-hmm. So it’s a powder, now fortunately it doesn’t have a lot of artificial sweeteners in it. It’s flavored with Stevia, doesn’t have a lot of these fillers that are nasty but let’s go ahead and look at these two main ingredients: The Green Coffee and the Garcinia. So, first of all, as far as the Garcinia goes, garcinia is this fruit that comes out of Asia and India and it has this rhine as this sour flavor, kind of similar to tamarind. And the fruit has this compound in it called hydroxycitric acid or HCA and that’s the portion of it that’s been studied as a potential weight loss agent. So, back in the day, and this was about six to seven years ago, I believe. They did some research on garcinia and HCA. And it was kind of sort of promising. What they showed was that high doses of it appeared to suppress the accumulation of fat in lab rats. However, when they did subsequent research on humans, there wasn’t a lot of evidence the stuff was all that efficacious. So on one study, they put a bunch on overweight people on low-calorie diet for 12 weeks, half of them took garcinia and half of them took a placebo. And everybody in the study loses significant amount of weight. There’s no difference, yeah.
Brock: Yeah, hooray, hooray for everybody!
Ben: There is no difference between the two groups. No difference in the garcinia and no garcinia. And since that time, there have been a couple dozen additional studies done and the results kind of varied but ultimately there was a very low amount of benefit shown from taking garcinia. And then finally in 2011 there was a meta-analysis done of all the published studies on HCA as a weight loss aid for humans, and what they concluded from that meta-analysis which was a study of everything that they’ve ever done was that when taken with the reduced calorie diet, that’s’ the important part, HCA does seems to somewhat enhance weight loss but the impact was pretty slight. It amounted to around two pounds of fat a year. And I guess what I’m wondering, is that worth it to you as far as the amount of money that you spend on garcinia for that amount of weight loss. And you know, maybe could you use the extra time you might spend surfing the internet or driving over to Walgreens to buy Plexis Slim to instead do some burpees and get your extra two pounds of fat loss in that way, maybe. So as far as this Green Coffee Extract, we can kind of go to the overview of that as well. So supplements that have Green Coffee Extract in them are mostly based on one study which was funded by one of the major companies that markets Green Coffee Extract.
Ben: And they found that… I don’t know if it was Starbucks, I think it was the company that makes the raw ingredients that Starbucks uses. What they found the overweight people lost weight when they took a high dosed Green Coffee Supplement. Now the Green Coffee Extract that they took had a little bit of caffeine but not enough to actually explain the weight loss. And what the researchers in that study said was that this weight loss was due to an active ingredient in the actual coffee called chlorogenic acid. Now chlorogenic acid may help to stabilize your blood sugar response to foods that contain carbohydrates, starches, sugars, things of that nature. And we all know that coffee or I’ve said before in the podcast that coffee may help to mobilize the utilization of free-fatty acids, so potentially you could get a sugar stabilizing mobilization of free-fatty acid effect from a chlorogenic acid containing supplement. And this one study does indeed show that there could be an effect on weight loss and it’s about a five-month long study, it didn’t notice any issues with long-term safety or anything like that. So I would say of the two, garcinia and green coffee, green coffee almost appears to have potentially, a little bit more promise to it. Now, again, there’s not a huge difference in the chlorogenic acid that you’re gonna get in Green Coffee Extract versus a cup of coffee. So, you’re gonna be spending I don’t know how much is this Plexus Slim stuff that you have to know.
Brock: I didn’t look at the price.
Ben: I’m guessing you know, I don’t have the price in front of me. I’m gonna see here, looks like it’s a multilevel marketing company. So it’s got that going for it. So again, if it’s a multilevel marketing company I can guarantee you’re gonna pay out the wazoo for this stuff compared to drinking a cup of coffee. So, I would say you’d be better off doing… you know what I tend to do which is, you do a fasted morning workout with get some chlorogenic acid into your system just from drinking some coffee.
Do a fasted morning workout like a brisk walk, easy bike ride, like I just got to doing. You do that with a little bit of cold thermogenesis preferably. So what that means is for example, you get like a, like a vest from coolfatburner.com or you keep your house a little bit cool or you figure out another way to get your body go cold – cold showers, that type of thing. And you do that right after you have your coffee, you do a light fasted morning workout. And I found that to be extremely effective at getting people lean without the need to do anything other than that cup of morning coffee. I would say the other thing that I really like is this better known extract that something that I personally use to control blood sugar response to carbohydrate containing meals that something a lot of my clients have had a lot of success with. It would be something kinda similar to this Green Coffee Extract potentially kind of similar to the Garcinia but onethat I personally have experienced with versus the Garcinia and the Green Coffee which I don’t use, so I can tell you that MPX100 stuff works pretty well too. So I would be going after that kind of one-two combo, the morning cold thermogenesis with the coffee and the light fasted workout combined with MPX100 before your primary carbohydrate containing meal which would be probably your evening meal. And that’s the way that I would do it. So hopefully that gives you a little bit of direction with this Plexus Slim stuff and maybe we didn’t podcast this is in time you’ve already joined that multilevel marketing company and arespending lots and lots of money on two pounds of fat loss a year. And if so, our condolences.
Brock: I just finally found the price, it took me a lot of effort here. It was $84.95 for a 30-day supply.
Ben: Yeah that’s not gonna happen.
Mike: Hey Ben! It’s Mike from Toronto. And my question relates to all of your blood work, hormone tests you’ve done in the past and you continue to do. Do you have a nice summary sheet that kinda outlines what the normal pathological values for all of things that are important for testing, Hs-crp and all the stuff that you do. Just having normal values and in a nice summary sheet that I’ve been kinda take a look at. Thanks!
Brock: You know when I heard this question Mike, it kinda made me proud to be a Canadian because it’s a true reasonable question and you asked it in such a reasonable matter.
Ben: Hmmm, looks so reasonable and polite. Did you see the Canadian and the news anchor team led by Jim Carey in the recent movie, Anchorman?
Brock: No, I haven’t seen it.
Ben: They were so polite. They basically you know, they have a fight among all the news anchors that are sitting there like hitting hockey pucks at high speeds at the other news anchors and every hockey puck they hit, they’re like “Hmph, sorry!” Anyways Jim Carey is a great, polite Canadian.
Brock: Well, he is a – he is not a polite Canadian, but he is a Canadian.
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: Interpreting your own blood work. Mike, believe it or not Wikipedia has an excellent reference range for blood test page. Wikipedia is the most comprehensive one I’ve seen. I’ll put a link to the actual Wikipedia page but it’s really, really comprehensive in terms of reference ranges for blood test. In terms of enzyme activity, white blood cells, ions, trace minerals, acid, blood gases, cardiac test, lipids, endocrinology, all your hormones, pretty much everything that you want is on there.
Ben: So, I’ll link to that one because it’s really comprehensive, I’ve even used it before. But one of the things you always have to remember is that this reference ranges are usually what is given as normal values found in the population or the prediction interval that 95% of the population falls into where we call the standard range. Now in contrast the optimal range, the healthy range is typically much, much different than what might be the range’s gonna save you from dying.
Brock: Yeah. I’ve heard somebody explain lately that if you walk into your local Walmart and look around, the normal values are the average of all those people.
Brock: And if you want to be like those people?
Ben: There’s gonna be a huge amount of variability too, based on your age, your sex, your race, your diet, what can of herbal drugs you might be using, how much stress you’re doing; if you might be doing a bunch of CrossFits and training for Iron Man versus living a relatively sedentary lifestyle. I mean, these reference ranges vary quite a bit and I would say that even though for example, this Wikipedia page is very good place to start.
I tend to have certain markers that I look for in an athlete who I worked with that I consider to be acceptable. I can tell you whatthe most important ones are just to get you going. And so for example, if you would go and do a blood test, my favorite company to do blood test through this WellnessFX. They’ve got one really good one called the Performance Panel. I helped them design that panel, it contains most of what I like to see especially from working with an athlete or someone who’s exercising a lot. This one in particular test those type of things. So, one is CRP or inflammation, normal CRP levels will be indicated on this lab reference ranges as 10mg per liter. I like to see ideal CRP levels as being under 1mg per liter and the most of the folks I work with who are really healthy, we shoot about 0.5mg or less for CRP. So again, that’s kind of an explanation for the difference. Yeah, so the reference ranges will say you’re fine if you’re a 10, I like to see people below 0.5, me, as a hard-charging guy, I still run at 0.2 because I even maintain anti-inflammatory diet. I really try do a good job with, you know using curcuminand turmeric and cinnamon, and dark chocolate and a lot of these natural anti-inflammatories and that’s HS CRP. That’s one example. Another one that I like to see tested – I’m not gonna tell you all of them here because I’ve written a pretty comprehensive article on this. I’ll link this article for you, but another one is TSH. So TSH is another one where a modern medicine will tend to find very high TSH values acceptable. TSH is up in a range of four or five. Now TSH with thyroid stimulating hormone is something that’s going to be produced in higher levels when your body is trying to amp up the production of thyroid hormone. And so if TSH is high that means something is going wrong at the thyroid level. There’s some kind of a decrease in the conversion of your T3 to your T4 or there is some kind of issue with auto-immune disorders or high cortisol or very, very low carb diets affecting the thyroid TSH gets out of control. Now what I like to see for TSH is an optimum value between about zero point five and two. Not these levels of four and five that you’ll tend to see acceptable in a lot of these laboratory ranges. Another one is triglycerides and HDL and in many cases what they’ll tell you is having a very high triglyceride levels and very low HDL levels is bad which I agree with but these lab reference ranges will tell you to look for ratio you know, you’re healthy if your ratio is around four to one of triglycerides to HDL. And I actually completely flipped that on the tab and in the healthiest folks who I worked with, we tend to see by the one to one to a two to one ratio of HDL to triglyceride. Meaning your HDL levels are equal to your triglycerides or in some cases higher than your triglycerides. And that’s a really, really nice negative cardiometabolic risk factor. Now of course, more HDL has not necessary better once you start to see HDL creep pretty high above 80, that can be a sign that your body is actually mobilizing a HDL to fight off inflammation. I have seen really, really high HDL levels in folks, a lot of times it indicates there’s some kind of gut infection or gut inflammation present. And when you go and do like a GI Panel like a GI effects test will tend to find things like parasites used fungus, bacteria – things of that nature and people have super duper high HDL levels. So, that’s another one to look at when it comes to lipids. And then I would say since we’re on the lipid bandwagon, another one that’s again, if you’re looking for just reference ranges that you really can trust would be your total cholesterol. So, I like to get people’s total cholesterol above 200 because there is an indication that once your total cholesterol falls below 200, – and Nora Gedgaudas talked about this at our Super Human Conference. There are studies that have been done on this, you tend to see neural degradation and a drop in IQ in folks who’s total cholesterol levels dropped below 200 because they don’t have enough fatty acids present to do things like the formation of myelin sheaths, nerve repair, regeneration, DHA levels in the brain, things of that nature. But in most cases, if your total cholesterol was above 200, you will be flagged as someone who is at risk of having a cardiac event.
So I like to see LDL or rather total cholesterol above 200 with the contribution of LDL and HDL, low triglycerides, low… what’s called? VLDL or small LDL particles – in that case, high levels of this big, fluffy, relatively “harmless” cholesterol levels. It’s a good thing but again, if you’re just relying on like the reference ranges even on this Wikipedia page, you’re not gonna see that. So you do need to be careful for reference ranges, I think if you’re gonna get a blood panel done you’ll just need to have like an integrated medical practitioner or a naturopath; or someone who’s really dialed in, you know, like someone who’s on like the – the primal physicians or the Paleo Physicians Network; or you know, someone who has a functional medicine degree, something in that nature, walk you through your panel so that you know you’re getting advice that’s not based off reference ranges but that is based off of what’s really truly healthy, optimal and ancestral. So, can I get off my soap box now?
Brock: That wasn’t very so boxy, it was very reasonable.
Ben: Yeah! So as reasonable as you can get when you’re drinking ginger ale in Texas at noon.
Brock: I guess so.
Molly: Hey Ben and Brock, I listened to a podcast about health executive podcast, where Dave interviewed a woman named Kerri Rivera and she talked about drinking ocean water to cleanse the gut and she’s talking about it in regards to working with kids with autism and that’s part of her protocol or something that she uses sometimes but I was wondering what that would be like for the rest of us to do. I know that there are salt cleanses and everything but I just feel like maybe there is something beneficial about ocean water and like when it cleanses a system if it could also possibly replace some minerals and other nutrients into the body so obviously I’m very careful with what ocean water do I drink and where to get it and all of that but I just can’t find anything about it online, but it sounded very interesting to me and I am a big fan of healing from the earth so I really wanted to learn more about this. So I would love to know what you think. Thanks so much for all you guys do, I truly love your show.
Brock: I actually heard the interview that Molly is referring to and I – my immediate thought was that all these mothers are gonna go running down to kids to the beach and scoop up a whole bunch of water and feed it to their kids and all these for all these poorautistic children with terrible diarrhea.
Ben: Yeah. The guy that originally kinda came up with this idea of using what’s called chlorine dioxide as a way to get rid of parasites, yeast, fungus, bacteria that type of thing, that could potentially aggravate autism since autism can be auto-immune related and autism can be gut related. His name was Jim Humble and I’ve actually talked to him on the phone before. He’s a friend of my dad and my dad had me talk to him on the phone when I had mrsa because we were trying to figure out a way to kill off mrsa and he wanted to put me on like a chlorine dioxide protocol. I ended up going to a completely different route and going with essential oils instead, so I ended up doing essential oils and Chinese herbs, so I was doing like burberrin and oregano and some of these natural plant based extract that tend to have good anti-bacterial effect or have like anti-stuff effect but it was kinda interesting and I think there is certainly something to be said for using a powerful whole body disinfectant like chlorine dioxide for example. If you have a parasite, if you have a gut that needs cleaning out, there’s a big difference between using chlorine dioxide as an acute cleanse to fix and issue one time though and doing something like drinking ocean water. The problem with ocean water is you don’t need that much salt to stay alive, so the daily dose that you would need to stay alive is actually around 500 mgs a day. I like for athletes to actually to get closer to anywhere from 3-6 grams of salt, 3500 to 6000 mgs a day in order to…
Brock: And that’s really like 2 pickles.
Ben: Yeah, it’s not a ton but I mean if you’re not getting enough sodium in your body, your body can’t transport nutrients or oxygen – you have a lot of sodium dependent transporters in your body, can’t stretch, nerve impulses, you can’t move muscles obviously and cardiovascular muscles especially needs adequate amounts of both sodium, potassium and a lot of your trace minerals that yeah you’re gonna find in ocean water and other sources like vegetables for example to actually survive.
So when we’re talking about sea water though, we’re not just talking about like common salt that you’d find in your table like sodium chloride. There’s a lot of other compounds and elements and minerals or salt that you’re gonna find in ocean water. You’ve got Epson salts, you’ve got potassium salts, you’ve got iodine salts and so you’ve got a pretty complex composition when you’re looking at the dissolved salts in ocean water that at first glance, would make this stuff appeared to be potentially pretty healthy or alkalinizing or whatever you wanna call it, but when you look closer, basically ocean salt is classified as highly saline. So when you want to measure the amount of dissolved salts in the substance, you use a measure of salinity and that means that you take the amount by weight of the salt and the water which is expressed parts per million and you’ll get a part per million of a salt so like fresh water has around a thousand parts per million of dissolved salts. So about less than 0.1% of the weight of fresh water from a river or a lake comes from dissolve salt. And human blood is around 0.9% salt about 0.25% of our total body weight salt but actual blood is around 0.9%. Now on that salinity scale, ocean water is over 1% dissolved salts. Just remember I said that fresh water is 0.1, ocean water is over 1% and sea water is around 3.5% dissolved salts by weight. That means that it’s about 3 times saltier than human blood. Now once you start to put something like that in your body, if you take a lot of salt and you put it in your body, there can be a pretty big metabolic crisis that occurs so what happens is, to maintain proper concentration of minerals from every single one of your cells, water molecules are gonna leave the cell, they’re gonna rush up from the cell to try and dilute and carry off that sudden intake of salt into the bloodstreams, that leaves the cell dangerously short of the water that they need to carry on their normal functions or your cells are basically becoming de-hydrated when you do this and that can cause seizures, it can cause unconsciousness, it can cause brain damage, it can cause cellular damage, it can cause damage to the cell membrane, and in the meantime you’ve got a bunch of blood cells carrying all these excess salt to the kidneys and the kidneys are under a great deal of stress to actually excrete that high, high amount that high saline solution that you’re putting in to it. So the issue here comes down to a simple osmolality issue whereas yes, you do get a lot of compounds and elements from sea salt, the salinity is so high, you’re de-hydrating yourself when you drink something like that. Now, are there ways that you could get those same amount of elements and minerals that you’re gonna get in ocean salt without actually drinking something that’s that saline? Absolutely. And I’ve got a few recommendations that I would say folks should go after if you’re not trying to cleanse your body with chlorine dioxide and you wanna get a lot of these trace minerals that are in ocean water. One thing would be something that we’ve talked about before in the podcast, basic sea salt. So, I’ve talk before about that clumpy natural Aztecan base salt, this is taken directly from the salt flats, down in Mexico where the ocean water washes up that leaves this big clump of salts. Those are harvested, you sprinkled a little bit of that on your food and you’re getting all those trace minerals, over 80 different trace minerals that you could be getting from ocean, but you’re not putting the damage into your body by drinking ocean water. So that would be one thing, you use like a sea salt. Another thing would – and by the way sea salt is different than like a Himalayan rock salt, okay you’re gonna get more minerals from a sea salt than from a rock salt. Another thing would be…
Brock: And you could put it on your popcorn.
Ben: And you could put it on popcorn with a little bit of cayenne pepper and some grass-fed butter and a good movie. That’s hopefully what I’ll be doing with my wife if I can ever make it home from Texas. So trace liquid minerals would be another thing and you can find those for example over at pacificfit.net, that’s one of the mineral sources that they have over there and that’s just liquid minerals that you could take in a shot glass, you can pour it into water, it’s not super saline it’s still has all those trace elements.
I personally would rather use sea salt ‘cause I think it taste better. I like to put it on smoothies and on salads and stuff but trace liquid minerals would be another way that you could kinda skin this cat, and then the last thing and this one is interesting because I just finished up a podcast with this guy yesterday and I’m gonna release it this Saturday but it’s marine phytoplankton. So marine phytoplankton actually takes inorganic raw material in the ocean so it takes sea water, minerals, sunlight CO2 and it converts it into vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, a ton of really cool stuff and you can get concentrated marine phytoplankton in like a dropper. You can get all the benefits that you’d normally be going after by drinking ocean water along with huge amounts of chlorophyll which is an awesome detoxification agent and excellent for upregulating things like red blood cell capacity, oxygen carrying capacity, very, very cool stuff but basically just straight up marine phytophlankton so I would listen in to this Saturday podcasting review with the guy that harvest this stuff from the ocean ‘cause it’s super duper interesting. He uses like this – he essentially built ocean on land. He has this photo bioreactor where they filter the sea water, they breathe in, they concentrate it, they grow these species of marine phytoplankton and then bottle it in liquid form in this tiny little dropper and like one drop of this stuff has over a billion different cells and all these trace minerals from the ocean. It’s really cool stuff. So anyways, listen in to that podcast coming this Saturday. Ultimately, I would say if it comes to chlorine dioxide as a gut cleanse, as a whole body cleanse, I have seen some evidence to show that if you’re not overdoing it and it’s kind of like a short term thing the same way that you might use antibiotic protocol, there maybe some benefit there but I don’t think that long term it’s very great for people. I’m gonna put a big thumbs down on the ocean water based on the salinity and cellular dehydration issue but a big thumbs up on some other ways that you could get trace minerals. So that’s my thoughts on guzzling ocean water.
Brock: That’s your thumbs on guzzling ocean water.
Randy: Hey Ben, this is Randy calling from LA. I have a question for you about alkaline water systems, systems like the Kangen water system. A friend of mine recently bought one of these, spent about $3-4,000 on it and she claims she was told that it does everything from healing acne to curing cancer. So I wanted to get your take on this, my understanding is even if you correct the alkalinity levels in your gut and then your urine, let’s say that would not necessarily mean your changing the alkalinity levels of your blood and I don’t even know if that’s something that it’s important to do so any info you can give on this would be great and you guys are fantastic, I wait anxiously each week for your newest podcast so keep it up guys, thanks.
Brock: Wow! That’s a lot of money to spend on a water filtration system.
Ben: That’s right. Alkaline water systems, they’re all the raise these days, Randy.
Brock: Are they that expensive?
Ben: Randy! Ah, 3 or 4,000?Yeah, absolutely! Yeah I mean you can get cheaper on this but basically they’re just passing water over a metal plate which is my first issue with them ‘cause you’re getting potential metal exposure. Alkalinizing the water and they’re very, very popular as potentially being something that could change your pH. Now I’m not one of those guys who denies the potential benefits of using alkaline substances and the way that this goes is that different parts of your body have different levels of pH so your blood maintains a constant pH of about 7.4, your stomach is acidic it’s got a pH of around 4 and when we’re looking at kinda staying neutral, the ideal water to drink would have a pH of around 7.4 to about 7.6 and the….
Brock: So just like your blood….
Ben: Yeah, very, very similar to your blood. Now these alkaline ionizers, they, a lot of times, will be alkalinizing your water to a much, much higher percentage goes way over and above that amount of alkalinity and it’s not like more alkalinity is better.
You can run into issues if you’re getting for example 2 alkaline with your diet. Now I’ll give you people who are listening in, actually to that my Paleo effects conference I was talking and I was like “So, you people,” and I’m like “Why did I say that?” You too, our awesome listeners and friends out there, I’ll give you some links in the show notes to a few different really, really good books on understanding pH and alkalinity but the idea is that more alkaline is not better. It’s kind of a myth out there that it’s good to be alkaline and it’s bad to be acidic. So, it’s actually bad to be alkaline and it’s bad to be acidic. You can be too alkaline and some of the common symptoms that you tend to see associated with alkalosis are hypothyroidism. A lot of times you also tend to get low stomach acid which can affect your ability to digest proteins so it can have some effects in muscle wasting or muscle quality as well. A lot of times you’ll tend to see allergies and wheezing associated with higher alkalinity. You start to feel sluggish which is probably related to the hypothyroidism and you’ll tend to see – if you’re measuring bicarbonate levels in the blood which is actually pretty common in a standard blood panel,you’ll see elevated bicarbonate and a lot of folks think that most people are too acidic but you also tend to see people that are too alkalinic. They are consuming too many of these alkalinic foods or they are drinking a bunch of these alkalinize water and that’s not necessarily considered to be healthy. Normal blood pH again you know it’s gonna be between about 7.4-7.6 and you can influence blood pH a little bit if you are taking high, high amounts of this alkaline water and I actually talked to one lady who was pretty concerned because she was – I think she’s a podcast listener so she might be listening in right now but she got this one alkaline water filters and her kid starts drinking this alkaline water and had a seizure. The only thing that change was drinking this alkaline so it’s again, one of this things were more is not better and I would be really, really careful especially considering the fact that most water especially if it’s good mineral and rich filtered water is gonna have decent alkalinity as it is so what that means is if you are filtering your water and we talked about water filters a bunch on this show before and you are using anything from reverse osmosis to carbon or whatever the case maybe and then you’re either re-mineralizing your water or introducing other sources of minerals into your diet ‘cause like reverse osmosis filter and a carbon filter is gonna remove a lot of minerals from your water and you do – you wanna be aware of that if you’re drinking water and a lot of its minerals remove from it. So you might remove chlorine and fluoride and some of this stuff but you also would remove minerals from a good water filter like that. But you add back in the minerals using some of the stuff I just done talking about like sea salt and marine phytoplankton and trace minerals and things of that nature and then you’re good to go. That water is – it’s typically at a pH that is just fine. Now there are also acid/alkaline food charts out there. I’ll put a link to a really good acid/alkaline food chart in the show notes. I have yet to be convinced that you can drastically change the pH of your body by eating foods that are alkaline or eating foods that are acidic but usually the foods that are more acidic tend to carry a lot of parameters when we’re talking about like grains and things of that nature, that are less healthy anyway so I think the people who shift to more alkalinic diet tend to benefit potentially more from just the lower amount of processed ingredients gluten, etc. that they’re getting than they are from a distinct change in the pH. But ultimately acidic food charts, there’s something interesting to look at – when I do a blood test like a wellness fx panel for example. One of the things that I show on their CO2 and chloride, and if you measure out with very, very low levels of CO2, very, very levels of chloride, sometimes it can help to pull out an acid/alkaline food chart and begin to choose foods that are a little bit more alkalinizing like dark leafy greens, kale, and spinach and things of that nature while avoiding grains, sugars, starches, pbr beer, things like that. So a couple resources to look into this a little bit more, is there’s a really good book over there called The Battle For Health Is Over pH and I’ll link to that one in the show notes but it does go into why it’s important to consider pH but again the whole issue here is that more alkaline is not necessarily better.
I’ll also link to an acid/alkaline food chart for you if you wanna see some of the foods that are considered to be a little bit more alkalinic but I, ultimately, I’m not a fan of the alkaline water filters due to the metal issues and due to the potential for drinking water that is unnatural and actually too alkalinic.
Brock: Just stick with the whole primal paleo sort of philosophy that you’ve been sort of stuck in for the last in a while. If our bodies – if humankind was really meant to be so concerned of our pH, we probably we haven’t survived in tribe for as long as we did.
Ben: Hmm, yeah.
Brock: Sick of really over complicating.
Ben: or probably also would have been born with pH strips, that kind of stick out of our urethers that automatically alert us to whether or not we – we are high acid or high alkaline. So, yeah that would be way cool.
John: Yeah Ben this is John from Las Vegas. I have a quick question, out here in the heat if I end up shaving the morning of exercising outside, I tend to get really bad razor burn around my neck and I was just curious if you have any suggestions on how to prevent that or how to alleviate the symptoms once I get there. Thanks a lot, I’ll wait for your answer.
Brock: I used to get razor burn like crazy when I was younger. It was like, every time I’d shaved I just – my neck would just breakout. It’s gross.
Ben: How young were you when you were shaving?
Brock: I started shaving when I was like 8.
Ben: Oh wow! Geez! Holy cow! I’m sorry.
Brock: No I didn’t. I’m just…. (laughs) actually I start shaving in grade six and probably would like been… old.
Ben: Like I think that means you’ll gonna die early if you go through puberty when you’re 8. So…
Brock: Nothing else caught up. It was just the beard.
Ben: Yeah, for a while I didn’t really understand what razor burn was. Basically, you have razor bumps and this get created by ingrown hairs and they look like pimples and they can itch really bad and they can particularly problematic for people who have like curlier hairs because they tend to get ingrown hairs a little bit more in that case. Now, razor burn can produce this razor bumps and razor burn is just this rash that will show after you shave. A lot of times it tends to be from the blade, from an improper shaving protocol but if you do the right thing you can completely eliminate razor burn and especially eliminate the potential for producing these razor bumps. As an embarrassing side story I actually got razor bumps on my crotch the first time I kinda did like a speedo shape to get ready for a triathlon. So be really careful.
Brock: Yeah, that’s really from being hairy.
Ben: Yes, these protocols would especially apply if you are man escaping guys or girls, so I mean girls probably girls man escaping, they women escape, they women escape.
Brock: Ladies escape.
Ben: So how to prevent razor burns, so first of all of you have an actual beard that you’re shaving, you definitely want to soften it and the best way to do that is via hot steam. So if you want to get your beard really soft, you can even use hot steam and a hot shower and you can take some hair conditioner and you can rub that on your beard while you are in the shower and that will make your beard really, really soft. Soft like a baby’s buttom and that will – if you actually have a beard, make it much, much easier to shave. Now, exfoliation can also work out really, really well. So you might have like a loofah in your shower, that’s the weird thing that perhaps your wife uses that is the screngy little deal. I always wondered what it was until my wife told me it was for exfoliation. You can use a facial scrub, just make your own scrub but you can also buy scrub like there’s one brand called St. Ives Apricot Scrub and that’s actually an all natural scrub. Doesn’t have any nasty ingredients in it. I’ll link to it in the show notes, you can literally just get something like that off Amazon. But exfoliation prior to shaving can really help with razor burn ‘cause you just have, you get to use much softer touch when you actually do shave. So next up, you can use what’s called a badger brush. Now a badger brush is something you would use for example if you’re shaving your beard so you would use that brush after you lather up and you get the shaving cream and just an old school badger brush can work really, really well.
If you don’t have a beard and you are just shaving your face just as kinda like an upkeep type of thing, consider shaving with a safety razor because those safety razors have much, much lower levels of irritation and all the safety razor means is it has this little – I think it’s almost like a rubber little surface that comes before the blade that makes it much much less irritating to the skin. If you’re using one of these super duper high tech four or five blade razors, it’s a lot more difficult for them to kinda add that safety razor aspect to it. So I would just use a one to it like a three blade or max and get something that has one a little safety strips on it, that will help a lot too. Shave with the grain of course, guys, shave with the grain. My dad never taught me to shave. I had to teach myself how to shave. My dad never taught me how to shave so first time I shaved, I was just figuring stuff up for myself and I just kinda through the razor here and there wherever but I always shave with the grain. So you’re gonna soften, you’re gonna exfoliate, you’re gonna use a safety razor, you’re gonna shave with the grain, use light and short strokes (that will keep you from applying too much pressure, you don’t want big long strokes ‘cause you’re applying more pressure with the razor when you do that so you just want nice short strokes) and you wanna make sure that you take care of the blades on your razor too unless you’re using the dollar a month shave club which is actually really cool. I love the dollar a month shave club but if you’re not using the dollar a month shave club then what you wanna do is…
Brock: Somewhat slightly more interesting that the olive oil club.
Ben: Uhmm, you wanna clean your blade with alcohol so that you’re not only killing bacteria on the blade that might be able to infect some of the cut or the rash you’re producing especially if you really suck at shaving. But you wanna make sure that you use a sharp razor and use new razors as soon as that new – don’t be cheap with your razors basically if you don’t want razor burns, that’s what I’m trying to say. And then the last thing I would recommend is rather than using one of these razor burn creams or razor bump creams which tend to actually have a lot of nasty ingredients added to them, I would instead use one of the forms of oil that’s most bio-compatible with the natural oil that your body is naturally gonna produce that I’ve found that really, really helped, it’s my pick for post shave oil. Now I haven’t mentioned before that I do use olive oil a lot of times while travelling, when I wanna bring a little bit color to my skin before I go out, olive oil can actually has this really, really cool color bestowing aspect on the skin but I use emu oil after I shave. Emu oil. So if you try that, you’ll never go back, I swear. If you exfoliate, use a good blade, shave with the line of the hair and then use some of these emu oil after – emu oil is excellent stuff for this. You can find it on Amazon, super easy to get. I’ll put a link in the show notes to both of that and the exfoliating scrub that I recommend but that one two combos is really useful.
Troy: Hey Ben, this is Troy Delayne from evadentist.com and I want to see if you can cover protein cycling: the pros and cons as well as the benefits. Really appreciate everything you do, keep changing lives. Thanks a lot, bye.
Brock: Now, I have to admit I don’t really know what protein cycling means. I can guess…
Ben: It’s very simple. What you do is you get one of these rigs where you have a blender attached to your bicycle and as you pedal, you make yourself your protein shake.
Brock: Your protein smith, of course. Yeah, yes.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. It’s protein cycling. No actually.
Brock: Yes it’s pretty flintstones.
Ben: So, the idea with protein cycling is – think about like carbs cycling. So when you look at carbs cycling, your muscles store carbs in the form of glycogen and your liver also store carbs in the form of glycogen but the liver is kind of a secondary source and the muscles are gonna hold the primary amount of storage carbohydrate. You know, muscles are gonna hold around let’s say for the average person around 1600 calories worth of carbohydrate or as a liver is going to store around 300-400 calories worth of carbohydrate. So if you’re, say like, eating a low carb diet or going ketogenic or exhausting those glycogen stores, the energy is going to come from stored carbs in the muscle primarily. Now, it’s kind of the opposite way with protein since muscle protein can last longer than liver protein. What happens is when you drop your protein intake very, very low, your muscles are actually going to still contain free decent amount of protein while your liver is actually going to lose the majority of the protein.
So when you’re going on a low protein diet it’s basically your liver that lose a lot of that protein more as the muscles will maintain relatively high levels of amino acids assuming that it’s not a very, very long protein diet. When I say that you’re primarily just kinda burn through your liver’s protein, it’s usually about 3-4 days of eating relatively low protein. When I say relatively low, I’m talking about going down around like 15, 20% protein intake around 0.5-0.6 grams per pound which is not super duper you know like starving African child protein intake but it’s low for the average person who’s exercising and who’s maybe doing a lot of protein, easting a lot of steak, doing protein shakes, that kind of thing. So what you do is when you lower your protein intake, what happens is that the enzyme responsible for breaking down, assimilating and absorbing protein and supporting that process will basically go from being upregulated to being down regulated. And so what that means is that once you actually start back into a higher protein intake, you flood your body with an upregulation of these enzymes, you flood your body with amino acids, and it creates this very anabolic state (hypothetically). All of this is hypothetical I should have preceded by saying that. So the idea is that by going from high protein to low protein, back to high protein, you would increase your oxidation of amino acids, you would potentially increase your body’s ability to store amino acids for those times that you’re low in protein and you would increase your ability to build muscle on the days that you do the higher protein intake. So what this means is for example you might protein cycle by going low protein 3 days of the week, amping back up to higher protein 4 days of the week and on this 4 days of the week that you’re eating higher amounts of protein, those would be the days that you lift more weight for example. So now, theoretically this might work, it actually biochemically makes sense when we talked about for example limiting carbohydrate. When you drop your carbohydrate what happens is you increase your sensitivity to one of the enzymes that’s responsible for storing carbohydrate. And so then once you start to eat a bunch of carbohydrate again your body can kinda hyper compensate and store away more glycogen than it would normally. And so this is kinda similar except you’re doing this with protein. So, minor issues if you’re exercising and doing workouts that’s kinda breakdown the muscle like weight training workouts, running, kind of a more catabolic type of workouts, I’ve always recommended that on those days that you’re doing that, you consider slightly increasing your amount of protein intake anyways. And I recommend that for two reasons: number 1 because you want those extra amino acids available for repair and recovery, and number 2 because when you upregulate your protein intake you also get a little bit of gluco-neugenesis or conversion of those proteins into some of the carbohydrates that can be use for glycogen replenishment. So you know, I kinda sort of recommend protein cycling anyways just not in a traditional sense that you might see protein cycling diets recommended which is multiple days off of protein and multiple days back on and I’m never a fan of diets like that that kinda cycle vs. just kinda organically tweaking protein intake based off of your daily levels of physical activity. Now, I do recommend, if you wanna build muscle, you always maintain nitrogen balance or you exceed nitrogen balance and it turns out in most cases you don’t need anything more than 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound of protein, period. That’s actually came up during a talk – during Paleo Effects I forget which talk it was but somebody ask the high protein question and most of the people on the panel with me came to the same conclusion. They’re like maximum you need, you don’t get any benefits once you exceed this, is your .8 grams per pound of protein. Most people build muscle, etc. and do just fine on 0.7 grams per pound on an easy day, on a day you’re not really breaking down much muscle. You might benefit from some of the potential life extending benefits of limiting protein intake and going closer to like 0.5 to 0.6 grams per pound. So yes, I agree that you don’t need to eat the same amount of protein every single day but no I don’t think you’re gonna go way out of your way and protein cycle just because it seems like a little bit of a pain and I haven’t seen much evidence to show that it gives you any benefit vs. just eating more damn protein on the days that you tear up your muscles a little bit more.
Brock: And that gonna goes for all the macro nutrients too.
Ben: Yeah, it does like higher fat on easier days, lower carb, lower protein. Slightly higher protein, higher fat, moderated carbs on your normal days and then on the days where you’re going out and doing something completely epic and destroying yourself, those are days where you might need to really up your carbohydrate intake closer to like 30% or so. So you know, it’s – about those macro nutrient tweaks, I go over all these in chapters 11 through 15 of my brand new book. Did I mention my brand new book is out?
Brock: I don’t think so. No, you’ve got a book?
Ben: Over at beyondtrainingbook.com so yeah I mean, read the book. Read the chapter how much carbohydrate, protein, and fat do you need to stay lean, stay sexy, and perform like a beast. So, there you have it.
Brock: You know what’s funny about that? I don’t have a copy of the book.
Ben: Yeah, you’re supposed to get mailed one and I looked into it and – you and few other people felt that; Vinnie Tortorich was the other guy who wrote me, he is like, “Where’s my book, I was suppose to review.” So, I – there were about 15 names or so that didn’t get a book that were supposed that definitely deserved a free copy.
Brock: I feel a little bit better that Vinnie that didn’t get.
Ben: Yeah, there are actually quite a few people that didn’t get one and you can think my lovely publisher for that.
Brock: It’s funny they send me emails anytime there’s anything wrong but they don’t send me a copy of the book.
Ben: Yeah, I don’t know man, I don’t know. But, you did get a shoutout on our latest iTunes review.
Brock: Did I?
Ben: You did! And by the way for people listening in, we have the killer Ben Greenfield fitness tech t-shirt which I have laying over on the bed right now and I wear it to the gym all the time. Absolutely love it! I don’t just wear ‘cause it has my name on it, I wear it ‘cause it’s actually a pretty cool tech t-shirt.
Brock: It is!
Ben: The Ben Greenfield fitness beanie which is a pretty badass beanie that you can wear when you’re gonna go fight somebody in the dark alley, when you’re gonna go skiing, or just when you’re hanging out in your house, and pretty cool beanie when you’re going to rob a bank and then the Ben Greenfield fitness bpa-free water bottle from which you can drink any brand of beer, guilt free. So we will send….
Brock: And without attracting the attention of the cops.
Ben: That’s right! You can support the show if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear not beer and just….
Brock: We are working on a Ben Greenfield fitness beer and that will be up until 2016 though.
Ben: And you just buy yourself gear or you can win yourself gear if you leave an iTunes review and you simply go to iTunes and you click on the Ben Greenfield fitness show and you leave some stars and you leave a review and we’ll send you some gear and somebody won some gear this week.
Brock: Looks like it was cwknapp01.
Ben: That one, yeah.
Brock: That’s quite a name and the title of the review is “I have an Addiction to This Podcast,” five stars.
Ben: Five stars addiction.
Brock: How nice. And it says, “I’ve been listening to this podcast for about two months and there probably hasn’t been a day when I don’t hear Ben and Brock’s voice. I’m a full time student and the topics in this class help me bring new perspective to….
Ben: I didn’t know this was a class we’re teaching.
Brock: Yeah, I think that was supposed to be in the show, “helps me bring new perspective to my classes and often I can catch my professor off guard with my knowledge.”
Ben: On guard!
Brock: (laughs) Take that professor! “The tips they offer can be directly related to training for all types of athletes at all skill levels and the oddball humor of Ben Greenfield and Brock Skywalker (not sure if that’s his middle name but it’s awesome Armstrong) make the podcast enjoyable to listen to as well as beneficial. Just listen to one podcast and thank me later.”
Ben: Hmm, Skywalker really is your legal middle name, right?
Brock: It was, it was actually my legal last name for the years that I was married to Muffet Skywalker….
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: …. my ex-wife.
Ben: So, there you go cwnapp not only Skywalker his real middle name but we’re happy that you’re catching your professor off guard, hopefully you’re being respectful and as far as your….
Brock: You won’t get a good mark if you just gonna jerk about it.
Brock: even if you’re right.
Ben: ….. and as far as your addiction to this podcast, I would say replace your addiction with a healthy guilt free alternative like a Zevia, zero calorie soda or of course, what was one of the beers that we said was okay? Sierra Nevada beer.
Brock: Yeah actually the dog fish head, that sounds good.
Ben: There you go, dog fish head, Sierra Nevada, some Zevia zero calorie soda. Hey, thanks everybody for listening and have a healthy week and be sure to listen to this Saturday’s podcast where we talk about drinking Marine Phytoplankton.
Brock: If I remember to get it edited.
This is bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
Apr 16, 2014 Podcast: Does Garcinia and Green Coffee Extract Help Fat Loss, Interpreting Your Own Bloodwork, Should You Drink Ocean Water, Are Water Alkalinizers Bad, How To Prevent Razor Burn, and the Pros and Cons of Protein Cycling.
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- 8 beers that you should stop drinking now.
- SCARY: the uptake of aluminum from antiperspirants is above the maximal tolerable daily exposure levels. (and a Primal Pit Paste deodorant alternative)
- The 100 hardest body weight exercises of all time.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast “Sidekick”.
Does Garcinia and Green Coffee Extract Help Fat Loss?
Heather asks: She’s seen a bunch of stuff on Facebook about it and would like your expert opinion of Plexus Slim.
Interpreting Your Own Bloodwork
Mike asks: He is looking for a concise and easy to read chart (or list) of the “normal” values for all the blood markers you regularly test for.
Should You Drink Ocean Water?
Molly asks: She heard Kerri Rivera interviewed about curing autism with ocean water. It made her wonder what that would be like for the rest of us to do. Is there something beneficial about ocean water? Could it replace minerals and nutrients in the body? She can’t find anything about it online but likes the idea of healing from the earth.
Are Water Alkalinizers Bad?
Randy asks: A friend of his bought an alkaline water system (spent $3-4k on it) and she says that it can sure everything from acne to cancer. The way he understands it is that even if you correct the ph of your gut and urine that it would not change the ph of your blood. Is that even important to do?
In my response I recommend:
–The Battle for Health is over pH Book
–Acid Alkaline Food Chart
–Greens article on algae: Everything You Need To Know About How To Use A Slimy Green Plant to Slow Aging, Decrease Cravings and Recover Incredibly Faster.
How To Prevent Razor Burn
John asks: If he shaves the same morning as doing a hot workout he gets really bad razor burn around his neck. Do you know any ways to avoid that or alleviate the symptoms?
Pros and Cons of Protein Cycling
Troy asks: Would you cover the pro and cons and benefits of protein cycling?
In my response I recommend:
–My article on protein intake