Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How Does Warrior Breathing Work, the Best Way To Use DHEA, Should Kids Drink MCT Oil, Natural Remedies for In-grown Hairs, Applied Movement Neurology, and much more.
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Brock: I’ll try not to sound too gross for everybody but I’m picking almond butter and spelt that in my teeth.
Ben: That’s gross. If there’s one thing that I cannot stand when I’m talking to someone, it’s the smack of almond butter in their mouth.
Brock: I cannot abide…
Ben: I have too many healthy friends who eat raw nut butters while I’m talking to them. Gross.
Brock: I thought you liked it? I spread the word, that people should do that around you.
Ben: It’s like hacking hairballs when you’re talking on the phone, dude. Not cool. That’s just disgusting.
Brock: Okay, I’ll stop all my disgusting noises.
Ben: Was that your breakfast?
Brock: That’s already my lunch, actually. It’s already 12:20 here in the east. My breakfast was awesome, though. I had a… we talked about it a few weeks ago on the podcast, I’d fry up some green banana and some butter, and then I had two eggs, little bit of coconut milk and some flax seed.
Ben: Actually, that sounds really good.
Brock: It’s really good, and some cinnamon and some vanilla just to give it a little more excitement. Awesome. It makes my brain buzz too… like, I just feel super smart after I eat that.
Ben: That’s the starch from the green bananas, fermenting in your stomach and creating cytokines that activate, like, activation of brain neurons; it’s actually true. Resistance starch can make you smarter, by activating cytokines. It’s really interesting.
Brock: Well, there you go! That’s a little recipe I got from a book called “Paleo Girl”. For teenage girls that want to go Paleo.
Ben: That’s great. You’re carrying around “Paleo Girl” in your purse. My wife made brownies last night, so I had a kale smoothie this morning with a brownie crumbled up in it. It was really good. That was my breakfast.
Brock: So I took a bath last night in red wine. Some really smart guy tweeted about that the other day, and I thought, what the heck?
Ben: Oh no, you did not do that.
Brock: I know. That’s ridiculous.
Ben: That’s disposable income as an employee of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.
Brock: Even like lump sum Charlie, the cheapest wine I could find, it was still a bathtub full, dude.
Ben: bathtub full, two buck chuck. No, I tweeted this out, of course in all of our news flashes, they come out from twitter.com/bengreenfield every week. We talk about some interesting things. And this was on ESPN, that there’s this guy named Amar’e Stoudemire, and he’s actually a pretty good NBA player and he actually takes a bath in red wine to create more circulation in his body, and he makes the red wine hot so it’s like a hot tub full of red wine, and he says that it just absolutely soothes the body, and then there’s a quote in the article from the vinotherapy spa in the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which is where you could get these wine hot tub treatments, they say “great polyphenols fight against free radicals which cause 80% of skin aging”, and by the way 93% of statistics are made up on the spot. “In addition to their exceptional anti-oxidant power, polyphenols reinforce micro-circulation, protect elastic and collagen fibers, and prevent the destruction of fundamental elements of the skin’s support tissues”, and what they say is that they do not recommend soaking in red wine as the alcohol content will dehydrate the skin. So they instead actually use tracks of red vine leaf to soak in the bath rather than full on red wine, but this Stoudemire guy actually uses wine, uses red wine…
Brock: Yeah, seems like it would dry the hell out of you. It’s like rubbing alcohol all over your body.
Ben: Yeah, and then he says in the article, and I think this is pretty cool, I’m all about cold thermogenesis and epsom salts bath and different ways to treat your body with water, so he says you have this ancient tub so you kinda have a salt tub and a hot tub and a cold plunge in the pool, and then you just mix all of these things up. So this guy’s jumping back and forth from like, cold tubs to red wine baths to hot tubs to epsom salts baths.
I would love to see his little recovery chamber that he’s doing these all in.
Brock: And it would be quite amusing to watch a Keystone Cops version of taking a bath.
Ben: That’s pretty nuts for a 31 year old NBA player.
Brock: I guess he’s got the dough, I guess…
Ben: Yeah, and speaking of anti-aging tactics, there was another, probably more feasible study that came up, the more practically applicable study for our listeners who don’t have giant tubs full of red wine to bathe in, and this was the concept of exercise and the minimal amount of exercise that would actually prolong your life. I thought this was kind of interesting because when I’m out walking, or when I’m out running sometimes I wonder like how long would I need to run to be the equivalent of this walk, or vice-versa. Like if I go on a run, how long would I need to walk to have equated that run? You know, from like a cardiovascular standpoint or an anti-aging standpoint, and this particular exercise must not have minimum amount of exercise to prolong life: do you walk, do you run, or do you just mix it up? And one, the entire study is really interesting, it’s available for… well it’s not available for free, but you can go read the synopsis of it at least online.
Brock: That’s all they could probably understand, anyway.
Ben: Yeah, the abstract. But, I thought the interesting part of this study was that it comes to about a 3:1 ratio, so you can get extension of life expectancy from both walking and running, but a 15 minute walk can be replicated with a 5 minute run, or a 5 minute run can be replicated by a 15 minute walk when you’re just talking about the anti-aging and cardiovascular health benefits. We’re not talking about preparing for marathon or the performance benefits but it turns out that if you’re short on time and you need to get rid of your 15 minute morning walk, instead go on a 5 minute run, that’s okay and also if you’re maybe not feeling like running but you still want to get all of the blood flow and anti-aging benefits of movement, you can just go on a walk instead with the understanding that you’ll need to walk approximately 3 times as long as you’d normally run in order to get the equivalent benefits, so there you go. You can do a 12 hour marathon instead of a 4 hour marathon.
Brock: No, thank you. That sounds like… some kind of hell.
Ben: Yeah, and then, finally, and I’m kind of getting into farming lately because we’re building… no not farming, more of gardening, I should say; we’re building…
Brock: Extreme gardening!
Ben: …Extreme gardening. We’re building a bunch of garden beds right now outside of my house, a bunch of raised garden beds, and then once those are in, we’re starting into a barn that goes in behind the garden beds and we’ll put about a dozen or so chickens and one or two goats back behind in that barn although it’ll be a few months before add the chickens and the goats but right now folks, on the garden beds (and this is a really interesting article that caught my eye) that was about this Amish farmer that’s using a pesticide sprayer on his crops…
Brock: That’s not allowed!
Ben: Well, rather than putting pesticides in the pesticide sprayer, he’s putting like, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, he’s got like this mix of extremely nourishing compounds that he’s spraying his crops with. I thought the article itself was actually really interesting, and it’s certainly something that you can, you can use this concept yourself if you are, like a backyard gardener. You don’t have to get a full-on sprayer and you don’t have to go become an Amish dude… even though I do recommend you go read the article, but there are a couple of things that you can put in a backyard garden that can really enhance the mineral absorption that you’d get from the fruits and vegetables that you eat in that garden. You know, whether it’s like a, your back porch or you’ve got maybe some planters hanging because you have limited gardening space or whether you have a full-on backyard garden with raised garden beds, now what we use are minerals, okay so we use traced minerals that are actually mixed up and you can buy these off Amazon, you can get like organic traced minerals for your garden and…
Brock: Oh so you’re not putting like Gatorade on your plants…
Ben: Purple Gatorade. Yeah. No, you can actually go to Amazon; most of the brands of organic traced minerals are actually really good there, and you just sprinkle it all over your garden bed. Use exactly according to package instructions.
Basically you’re just sprinkling a few cups full of this stuff over your garden beds. Uhm, I’ll put a link in the show notes to some of the ones that we use, and then the other thing that’s really interesting is that if you live in a coastal area, like, when I was in San Diego a few months ago I was walking along the beach and there was just like seaweed everywhere, washed up on the beach, and seaweed is incredibly mineral rich. You can actually mulch seaweed in burlap sacks or garbage bags or whatever, and you can use that as a garden mulch on your garden soil, and it’s a fantastic way to mineralize like, a backyard garden, like a raised garden bed or a plant or pot in your porch, so just basically… seaweed. You can use fine, broken up seaweed and you just basically sprinkle that and put it in your garden and then there’s a great article actually, one of the blogs that I follow is called “EarthEasy” at EarthEasy.com. I really like it; it’s like a mix of organic living and gardening. I read that and I subscribe to the magazine Mother Earth News, like those are my two primary sources of gardening home setting info. Anyways, I’ll link to this article on Earth Easy about how you can go get seaweed off the beach and you can use that as a mulch and a compost in garden beds for really nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. So, yet another use for seaweed aside from wrapping your lunchtime salads in nori wraps.
Brock: I don’t think you can go down to the beach and get that kind of seaweed.
Ben: But actually, something I should mention is, while we’re on the twitter bandwagon, someone tweeted at me whether or not… I think it was a, maybe a blog comment on bengreenfieldfitness, but it was about nori and whether we should choose organic sources of nori and I actually linked to them an article on WH Foods that goes into the fact that a lot of these seaweed wraps that you buy at the grocery store, they actually tend to have higher levels of metals, arsenic, and potentially radioactive materials just from like the whole Fukushima thing so it turns out that it may actually be a good idea if you’re one of those people (like me) that uses nori seaweed to use certified organic nori and I haven’t been eating certified organic nori just because I haven’t really been thinking about it too much, but turns out that if you’re eating things from the ocean you do need to be a little bit careful, and so I’m going to start using certified organic seaweed for like, you know, when I make wraps and sushi and stuff like that. There you go. Not to scare people too much, but just one more thing to think about when it comes to optimizing your health.
Brock: Thank you, webisphere.
Brock: *British accent* Hell governor, I hear you’re going to London. That was a terrible British accent, I am sorry to all my British friends.
Ben: I’m gonna go have me some tea and carpets. Was that Australian?
Brock: Okay, yours was worse. Mine sounded more Boston, yours sounded more Australian.
Ben: Yeah. Sorry. I’ll have to work on my London accent so that people can understand me when I go to London, England.
Brock: If I may call it a couple of weeks, darling. Apparently I have to call people “darling” when I’m doing British.
Ben: No, I am gonna go to London, I am doing a… actually I’m speaking at a private event in London that none of our listeners are actually invited to. But I will, I’ll actually be on the London Real Podcast from over there, and I’ll be there in London from like the 4th to the 9th and Dr. Tamsin Lewis and I are planning on maybe doing some kind of like a little bit of a Ben Greenfield Fitness meet-up on November 8 in London. I think November 8 is a Saturday. So, anyways, if you’re over in London, I know we’ve been getting lots of emails and comments about that, we’ll keep you posted but we would probably do something, somewhere on November 8 and I’ll probably announce it in next week’s podcast or announce it on the facebook.com/BGFitness page. So, that’s the London deal yo. For those of you who are listening to this podcast when it first comes out this weekend, I’ll be racing back-to-back Spartan events down in Sacramento, so if you’re gonna be at the Sacramento Spartan races, come and say hi, and then November 9th to the 16th, my wife and I will be over in Israel, so if you’re one of our Israeli listeners, we’ll be in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, etc. shooting some health and nutrition and wellness videos and recording some podcasts for you over there. So that’s where the Ben Greenfield Fitness bandwagon is travelling around these days.
Brock: I’m jealous. All I get to go is Chicago next week.
Ben: Chicago’s cool.
Brock: Yeah, Chicago’s cool, and I get to…
Ben: Pizza to go along with your almond butter.
Brock: I’m going down to Encinitas, actually you’re gonna be there too. We’re both gonna be at the Unbeatable Mind retreat.
Ben: I forgot about that, yeah that’s December 1st and 2nd?
Brock: No, 4th to 7th.
Ben: 4th to 7th, December 4th to 7th. If you’re in the Encinitas or San Diego area, Mark Divine, the SEAL fit gentlemen’s Unbeatable Mind seminar where you can learn how to have an unbeatable mind. We’ll be coming up and I’ll be talking about biohacking your brain. That one.
Ben: All of those places, and then also, if you don’t happen to be in any of those places, we still got lots of goodies for you online. I’ve got an upcoming online conference called the En Theos Rev Yourself conference. You can check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/revyourself in which I interview 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance and recovery and nutrition. These are cool interviews because they’re video, and we talk about stuff, like I’m not a fan of online conferences where you’re like “I’ve heard that a million times before”. I actually get into some pretty cool things; I talked to guys like Doug McGuff, the Body by Science author, I talked to… who else is on there, you know like Mark Sisson, Mark Divine, Peter Attia, Jack Kruse, all sorts of different folks. So, I highly recommend you check that one out. It’s at bengreenfieldfitness.com/revyourself, it’s just like a free online conference. And then, just a couple other things: first of all, this podcast is brought to you by one of our favorite resisted breath training tools… called Training Mask. If you go to trainingmask.com you can check it out, these things are rock, it’s one of the cheapest, most practical and effective ways to grow a third lung, and I am not kidding when I mention like I did last week that I go out on my back porch and do yoga with my Training Mask on almost every morning, and it turns the average yoga session into an extremely beneficial, inspiratory, experatory muscle training session. That’s my top way that I use it, like I’ll go do runs and some body weight sessions, and like some burpee counts and stuff with it on but I just, I like doing yoga and having the yoga feel like it’s actually making me fit; not just flexible and decreasing stress but also building me bigger lungs so that’s how I recommend you use your Training Mask. Just do yoga. The other thing I’ve been doing with yoga is I’ve been doing loaded yoga with a kettle bell.
Brock: And getting drunk first?
Ben: No, you can actually do yoga sessions holding a kettle bell, so you can do like Turkish get-ups, you can do some of your warrior moves holding the kettle bell overhead, you can do some of your ground rotations with a kettle bell; it turns a yoga session into a very demanding resistance training session, but I’ve been just trying to do some of my normal yoga flow exercises while handling a kettle bell. If you do that and a Training Mask, man, we can make an exercise video. That would be great. We could trademark it. Something like… I don’t know what we would call it, Kettle Bell Yoga? Hypoxic Kettle Bell Yoga.
Brock: I still think you should be going by the name “The Masked Yogi”.
Ben: Hypoxic Kettle Bell Yoga is the next training system I’m gonna create. Anyways though, go to trainingmask.com and you get a 20% discount on that third lung that you’re gonna grow when you use code BEN2014, that’s code [email protected]. Check them out.
Brock: I keep my third lung in my pants.
Brian: Hey Ben. I recently attended a level 1 academy down at SealFit and my favorite revolution by far is when they brought in the Chi Young guy to do that warrior breathing. The experience was profound to say the least: I experienced intense feeling of oneness with all humanity, saw crazy visions of flaming, exploding zebras, and by the end of it, I was crying like a baby. However, when we walked out of the room, one of my teammates who was a pilot killed my medi-physical buzz by telling me that what we just experienced was pretty much oxygen deprivation, somewhat like altitude sickness. Basically, I just want to know your own thoughts and experiences with warrior breathing; maybe what’s going on at a physiological level that might trigger this type of psychedelic, out of this world experience. Thanks Ben!
Brock: Man, way to kill a buzz!
Ben: Awww. The warrior breathing. Actually, I wrote about this, and I’ll link to the article in the show notes for this episode. Of course, everything we talk about, you can grab the show notes. They’re extremely helpful; Brock and I spend a lot of time on the show notes, creating resources for you guys, and today’s show notes are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297 Anyways though, I wrote an article back from the SealFit Academy, because we did the same thing that Brian’s talking about the Chi guy came… I’m blanking on his name, but there’s this really cool, bearded guy who’s like a martial arts expert and lead you through this intense warrior breathing protocol, and I had the same thing. I was crying like a baby by the end of it, I was like, hallucinating, I was having visions, I was having extreme moments of clarity and breakthrough in terms of my life purpose, in terms of some of the ways that I want to raise my kids, and it was about… I think it was about a 75 minute session or so, that we were in there? Not just doing this crazy, intense breathing but also the visualization, the meditation, pounding, pounding music that this guy has that brings you through the protocol. I’ve never done anything like it in my life.
Brock: What do you mean by “pounding music”?
Ben: I mean it’s like, the music is… it’s like a little bit of like, kinda underground techno-ish music with some Indian type of flavor and kind of like yoga music on steroids, almost. Let’s just call it “Yoga Music on Steroids”. So, I wrote about this and I’ll link to my article that I wrote about my experience and some of the more specifics on the clarity that I had during that warrior breathing experience in the show notes for this episode. The type of breathing that you do while you’re doing that is very similar to what Wim Hof and I talked about; Wim Hof is the Iceman. I interviewed him and he talked about fire breathing, and this is how he increases (and scientists have actually measured this), he’s able to increase his core temperature by simply incorporating the same type of fire breathing protocol. A very long series of sharp and deep inhales, followed by not very forceful and less deep exhales, okay, so what you’re doing, and it sounds like this, *breathes heavily* it’s very sharp inhales, very brief exhales, you’re essentially, just like an excited puppy except they decided to call it warrior breathing instead of excited puppy breathing for reasons…
Brock: If you came to my fitness class, it would be Excited Puppy Breathing.
Ben: Excited warrior puppy. Anyways though, Brian says that his teammate killed his medic-physical buzz by saying that it was just oxygen deprivation. In fact, it’s not oxygen deprivation. It’s just the opposite, from the physiological standpoint. So first of all, just step back and think about this logically right: you’re inhaling more than you’re exhaling, so technically you’re breathing in more oxygen than you are blowing off CO2 right, your oxygen to CO2 ratio is increasing – I’m sorry, decreasing. Your body is going to be retaining extra CO2. Now this is very, very important to understand because oxygen doesn’t transfer from hemoglobin. Oxygen is carried around in your blood and hemoglobin, but oxygen is not going to transfer into your tissues. It’s not gonna transfer into myoglobin or oxygenate your tissues unless there’s something to drive oxygen from hemoglobin into tissues. Now to a certain extent, there’s the partial pressure of oxygen and the air is gonna help to drive some oxygen from hemoglobin into tissues, and when you’re just breathing normally, just like your normal day-to-day breathing as you’re standing around, you’re gonna be anywhere from about 97 – 99% O2 saturated, or like the average person is gonna be about that level of saturation in the bloodstream, like if you use a pulse oximeter and measure the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, most folks, 97 – 99%, right around in there. Now, when you breathe more, you’re gonna increase that O2 saturation but you’re gonna lose some of the CO2 if you’re just focusing on, basically normal hard breathing. Now, if the level of CO2 decreases in the body because you’re exhaling too much with like deep forceful breathing that focuses on the exhale rather than the inhale, then what happens is as CO2 disappears in your body, your level of carbon dioxide decreases; hemoglobin actually doesn’t release oxygen in the tissues.
The presence of CO2, or increased levels of CO2, is one of the primary mechanisms that will drive your body to release hemoglobin in the muscle tissue, and so what you’re doing when you are, when you’re breathing in and you’re forcing your body to retain more CO2 by breathing out less forcefully than you’re breathing in is your driving oxygen out of the bloodstream and into muscle tissue more readily. You’re actually hyper-oxygenating muscle tissue while decreasing blood saturation of oxygen. So, if you were to wear a pulse oximeter as you did warrior breathing, what you would find is that ideally, you’re gonna see your oxygen saturation in your blood, what you would measure with a pulse oximeter, like a fingertip pulse oximeter if you were to wear it during one of these sessions, it would drop from, say like 98 down to 96, down to 95, possibly even lower than that as your body gets saturated with CO2 and oxygen is driven from hemoglobin in the blood into muscle tissue, and because you’re doing this so forcefully, what happens is you are essentially hyper-oxygenating your body, and that’s a term that gets thrown around almost too much these days, it’s actually relatively difficult to hyper-oxygenate your body by say, breathing in pure oxygen like an oxygen bar or taking these oxygen shots and supplements that they sell now that are like these oxygen sprays that you spray into your mouth. The reason for that is that it, at the normal partial pressure of oxygen, you’re generally mostly oxygen saturated in your blood, and once you’re oxygen saturated, it’s very, very hard to get more oxygen saturated in your blood by doing something like breathing pure oxygen, but as far as the muscles go, you can oxygenate the muscles more readily by decreasing blood oxygen saturation and increasing the amount of oxygen that gets disassociated from hemoglobin driven into muscle tissue. Now, CO2 is one thing that can do this. Interestingly, lactic acid is another thing that can do this, or more specifically the presence of hydrogen ions, so as your body becomes acidic, what happens is blood saturation of oxygen begins to fall, and your muscles can become more oxygenated, so that’s just… it makes logical sense, right, when you’re pushing hard when lactic acid is getting produced and you’re getting all these acidic hydrogen ions built up in your body as a result of hard exercise, ideally you want less oxygen in your blood; you want more in your muscles so you can run from that lion, whatever it is that you’re doing. So, that, and the presence of CO2 are two things that can drive that curve more towards releasing oxygen in the muscle tissue. The last thing that can do it is this substance called 2,3 diphosphoglycerate or 2,3 DPG and interestingly when you train at high altitudes, your body produces more 2,3 DPG which drives, again, oxygen from blood to muscle tissues. That’s one of the effects of altitude training is your body more readily releases oxygen from hemoglobin, and in the muscle tissue. So there’s a few different ways to hack it but this warrior breathing, the reason that you feel like so awesome and psychedelic and light-headed and different and almost a rebirth when you finish this thing is you actually are hyper-oxygenated and one of the reasons that I know that Mark Divine includes it in the SealFit Academy, especially towards the end of it, is to help you with recovery because as you drive more oxygen into muscle tissue, that helps your muscles to recover a little bit more readily. So, that’s basically what’s happening; blood oxygen is beginning to fall, delivery of oxygen in the muscle tissues begin to increase, and as delivery of oxygen in muscle tissue begins to increase, it’s possible that your brain might be becoming a little bit more oxygen starved. I’m not quite sure of how the distribution of oxygen between muscle and brain is distributed when that curve shifts due to the presence of carbon dioxide, but ultimately, you are not oxygen depriving yourself. If anything, you are oxygen depriving your blood but increasing oxygen to your muscles, and either way, the way I do it is if you’re having a total breakthrough, and all these cool feelings and crazy visions, and emotional feelings like that’s great, that’s good and it’s just not… even if it was just oxygen deprivation, great. That’s what it takes for you to have some kind of an emotional breakthrough, who cares?
But that’s what’s going on in a physiological level with warrior breathing, that’s how warrior breathing works.
Brock: And that’s something that monks have been doing for, like, hundreds of thousands of years. They do chanting, which is sort of restricting your oxygen and your breathing and then actually throwing in some self-flagellation so they’re actually like beating themselves while they’re doing these chants and kinda achieving the same sort of thing.
Ben: Yeah, but just ‘cause something’s been doing something for thousands of years doesn’t mean… like, they haven’t been having sex for thousands of years and I just can’t get on board with that.
Brock: You mean the monks?
Ben: Yeah, monks. So just ‘cause a monk does it, doesn’t mean we should do it.
Buddy: Hey guys, long time listener, reader and buyer of books, I wanna get your thoughts on DHEA. Ben, I think you mentioned on twitter a while back that if you weren’t competitive, then you would consider it, so for non-competitive, non-athletes, what are your thoughts, concerns and, precautions, and where will be a safe place to start if someone wanted to move forward while with a trusted brand. Thanks a lot, bye.
Ben: Yeah, I did indeed saying a few times that if it wasn’t banned by the World Anti-Doping Association, I probably would use DHEA ‘cause it has some cool effects, and by the way just as a total… not a total segue as set aside here, a lot of people ask me about the WADA banned supplements list and like what’s on it, what’s not on it, it’s so easy to search and go find out. Like, I’ll put a link in the show notes to the official WADA banned supplements list and there you go. Now you have it, you can bookmark it, if you compete, you know okay. So just go, like anytime you start taking anything, go search there first because that is important and of course the WADA is the only authoritative body of sports leagues, organizations on the planet and maybe there is some other sporting league and you may also want to check, but the WADA is the main one, and DHEA is definitely on the WADA banned supplements/substances list (currently). As far as DHEA and what it can do… But first of all… What is…
Brock: Yeah. What the heck is it? Why would they ban it?
Ben: Your body makes DHEA. It’s a naturally occurring hormone that can convert into testosterone or estrogen in your body, and DHEA was originally marketed as an anti-aging supplement but is now used as a testosterone booster, as a hormone booster and for a few other reasons that we’ll get into in a second, but it’s an androsterone. Technically DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA. You can supplement with it, your body can actually make DHEA naturally, we’ll talk about how you could do that, but, like I mentioned it’s converted by your body into sex hormones, mostly testosterone and estrogen and this may help with drive, it may help with sports performance, etc. As far as the studies that have looked into DHEA and the notable significance of the studies, the number one thing that it has been shown to do in most studies is to increase testosterone and the interesting thing that you should know is that the vast majority of literature finds that it increases testosterone in women where it can help significantly with drive in women. I think a lot of girls who want increased sex drive (or increased testosterone) may not realize this; the DHEA actually, of all demographics where it can have the greatest effect, it’s in women. So yeah. Guys, slip a DHEA pill over to your girlfriend or your wife and… there you go.
Brock: We do not condone this behavior.
Ben: We do not condone this behavior. So anyways, estrogen is the other thing, and this is also of note because if a woman is struggling with estrogen dominance or over-dramatization of testosterone something like that, DHEA is actually not the best idea of something to take. It would be for a highly active woman, or to a lesser extent for a man, DHEA would indeed be a performance enhancing supplement due to its ability to increase testosterone and increase blood DHEA. The few things that it can help out with, studies have shown it can help out with bone mineral density, it can help with that; it can help to decrease sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG. SHBG is what can keep your total testosterone from getting converted into free and more bioactive testosterone so DHEA is good for that. Tons of studies have shown that it definitely increases drive, it’s been shown to decrease fat mass, it’s been shown to increase lean mass, it’s been show to increase what’s called IGF1 or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 which is a highly anabolic hormone and it’s even been shown to increase subjective well-being while decreasing cortisol.
So yeah, lots of cool effects of DHEA and in most studies, the dosage range is about 25-50 milligrams per day, although for the purpose of pure testosterone enhancement especially in males, it tends to be higher than that. It tends to be closer to 200 milligrams of DHEA that you would use for something like that. So that’s the deal with DHEA as far as supplementation goes. If you’re going to look for a specific brand of DHEA and you wanted something that’s not potentially gonna be laced with other steroids or sterones and this is important to me, I would… like, there’s a variety of different brands out there, because I don’t personally use DHEA I can’t speak personally about the effects of different brands but I’d go with Thorne. Thorne Research is, it’s incredible well-betted, it is a physician’s brand that’s been used for a very long time as a third party-certified and extremely, strictly regulated supplement company so I’d go something like Thorne. You can get it off Amazon, just basically like a Thorne DHEA, they’ve got anything from like a 25 up to a hundred milligram capsules so literally, Thorne DHEA. That’s not Thorne FX, it’s Thorne Research, same company that owns Thorne FX but Thorne Research produces a lot of physician’s lines and a lot of anti-aging docs use Thorne as their preferred source of DHEA. So I’d go with Thorne if I was gonna supplement with it, but there are other ways that you can increase DHEA; naturally, even if you are competing and you’re not wanting to take some of these that are banned in the WADA list, there are things that can definitely help with hormone production and with DHEA. One would be the consumption of oysters and any of these types of shellfish that are associated with increased drive, that can help to increase DHEA so going to an oyster feed or doing the whole shellfish, seafood payaya type of thing, that’s one way you could do it. Exercise, specifically lifting heavy stuff can increase DHEA so it’s another good way to do it is just to basically lift heavy stuff; sprinting is a close second for an exercise that can increase DHEA. Chronic stress can decrease DHEA, I know that I’m not producing any groundbreaking news flashes here, these are all the things that can help out with our hormones, but decreasing stress can help out quite a bit. There are several medications that can really put a damper on DHEA and on drive in general, but birth control pills are one of the biggies when it comes to decreasing DHEA or decreasing testosterone, so something to think about. And those would be really the biggies; lift heavy stuff, sprint, de-stress, be careful with pharmaceuticals that affect fertility, those are the ways where you can naturally increase DHEA. So that’s the skinny on DHEA!
Chris: Hi Ben and Brock. Love the podcast. It’s really brought out the inner nerd in me that I never even thought I had, so thank you for that. Question is, I have a six week old baby boy and he is breastfeeding and he doesn’t sleep very long, 2 hours is really the most he sleeps even at night. I wanted to start playing around with giving him a little bit of MCT oil in his bottle that I give him at night when his mom is sleeping; it is breast milk, I did try two nights in a row I gave him just one milliliter, 1CC of MCT oil in his breast milk in the bottle. I wanna know your thoughts on that, in my opinion, he did seem like he slept a little longer and more comfortably. I’m just thinking those fatty acids will fill his belly and make the digestion a little slower. Want to know your thoughts and ideas on this. Thanks.
Brock: One CC is not very much MCT oil, I guess for an adult that would be a ridiculously small amount, but…
Ben: Yeah, you gotta be careful with the baby or you could literally have a diaper moment. We joke about that with adults and excessive consumption of MCT oil; with a baby, I know you’re gonna have a diaper moment but I’m like, I don’t know if you’ve ever overdone MCT oil, Brock, but it doesn’t just cause you to have the runs but it’s like the burning anus runs like…
Brock: Yeah, you do too much MCT oil. I haven’t done that.
Ben: Yeah. It’s not a cool feeling, it’s like eating too much Thai food.
It just doesn’t feel that great coming back out, it’s got a little bit of an acidic burn and… yeah.
Brock: Weird. It seems like you’re just making it slippery.
Ben: Yeah, and during exercise you can generally top out, like an adult can generally top out about 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil per hour and trust me, I’ve experimented with this a lot, I did a research on it, we did a whole podcast on it last year at some point after Ironman Canada when I was experimenting with MCT oil and we found the research studies that showed that the maximum human tolerance for MCT oil (and basically if you’re just gonna use it over the course of a day) you top out right around 1 to 2 tablespoons per hour, depending on your size. So, you don’t need too much of these stuff in order to get that effect, that metabolic effect. We delved into the physiology of MCT oil last week, so go back and listen to podcast number 296 if you want to know what’s going on with MCT oil but when it comes to kids, it’s really interesting because when you look at breast milk, breast milk is naturally very high in fat and that means that most newborns who are breastfed are actually getting a ton of ketones and that’s because breast milk’s fat content is very much geared towards medium-chain triglycerides and so babies are already keto-adapted, and generally stay keto-adapted until you start feeding them cheerios, and Gerber sweet potato mash, and fruit roll ups and everything else. So, anyways it’s really interesting though if you look at the composition of breast milk, it’s designed to help babies develop and help to build their brains and their central nervous system due to the amount of medium-chain triglycerides and fat soluble vitamins that are found in it. So, obviously if breast milk is chock full of MCT oil, then adding extra MCT oil to breast milk is just adding a little bit of something that’s already in there. I personally think that in a mother who’s eating a normal, ancestral diet who’s not starving herself, who’s gaining enough fat soluble vitamins, I think breast milk is a pretty good composition for babies, period. I don’t necessarily endorse messing with it. If you add MCT oil to a bottle and it seems like it helps your baby sleep better, I would suspect it’s more due to the extra calories than it is due to the fact that that’s how shoving your baby even more deeply into ketosis even though technically they are burning those MCTs as medium-chain triglycerides and churning out ketones is a byproduct of MCT metabolism, that’s possible. And we see that when you look at kids and MCT oil, it’s a well known therapeutic remedy for kids with epilepsy or seizures to put them on a ketogenic diet or to use MCT oil quite liberally in their diet, and it’s well accepted in medical literature that it’s just fine and it’s safe for kids in that type of situation again, in moderation. In terms of the actual dosage, it’s one of those things where you have to pay attention to symptoms, gas bloating, diarrhea, etc. but most kids can get away with anything from about 5 to 10 tablespoons of it during the course of a day, maximum for most young kids. Ultimately though, because breast milk is so high in ketones and in MCT, it’s really not gonna be a big deal to give it to a baby just exactly what they’re getting anyways, it’s one of the reasons that giving a child soy milk or soy formulas or baby formulas that are lower in fats, that don’t have as much medium-chain triglycerides in them really shorts them not just from a central nervous system development standpoint but also a gut healing standpoint ‘cause breast milk has lots of colostrum and probiotics and all the things in it that help with the lining of the gut. So I would say probably Chris what I would do in addition to adding MCT oil to the breast milk in the bottle to help your baby sleep better is maybe give them the nice pipping hot cup of bulletproof coffee in the morning, just to get them going. Give them a little blended coffee.
Brock: You should rub the MCT oil all over them.
Ben: That’s right, put a little ice cube in the bulletproof coffee so they won’t burn their little mouths but… no seriously though MCT oil in babies’ bottles of breast milk, it’s not gonna hurt them but understand that they’re already getting a ton of it in mom’s breast milk.
Jasmel: Mr. Greenfield, Mr. Skywalker, question about ingrown hair. I have ingrown hair on my face, and of course it got worse once I got to my adult life and also everytime I shave, so I guess my question is if there is anything that you may recommend for me to do since antibiotics on my face (also cream and I also ingested antibiotics) didn’t work, I’m looking to see if there is anything else that I can try. Thank you, I appreciate it guys.
Brock: I used to get terrible ingrown hairs in my neck. Like, just at the bottom of the beard…
Ben: I’ve never had a problem with ingrown hairs until I started manscaping and because… African Americans are one population that tend to get more ingrown hairs just because their hair’s more curly, and as most people know, the hair down there tends to be curly hair and so what ingrown hairs are (also known as razor bumps) hairs that have curled around back into your skin instead of rising out of your skin and I never really had to deal with them, again until I started manscaping a little bit and started getting all these little razed red bumps that look like little pimples and discovered the magical experience that is in ingrown hair so yeah. It tends to happen in the beard area, legs, armpits, bikini area, and it can create inflammation, it can create redness, it can be a little bit embarrassing when you get these little spots forming and there are certainly things that you can do about it though. Let’s talk about some of the ways that you can get rid of ingrown hairs aside from putting antibiotics on your face, which I don’t necessarily recommend, remember that.
Brock: I’ve never even heard of that before…
Ben: Yeah, I mean it would be a way to clear up any type of bacterial inflammation that results from the wounds that are created by an ingrown hair but it’s not gonna get rid of the ingrown hair, period.
Brock: So when you get like a slight infection in the ingrown hair?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So, one of the best ways to do this is to use and exfoliator, I mean you can easily make your own exfoliators; my wife in the Ben Greenfield Inner Circle, she’s always creating these videos and she’s got a bunch of handouts in there, on it; how she creates all her own natural personal care products, and one of the things that she does is just a skin exfoliator, and you can just use basic sugar, if you just want a basic skin exfoliator, you can mix sugar with some extra virgin olive oil, or some coconut oil, or your preferred oil of choice and you can stir in some essential oils into that… we had a whole podcast on essential oils, but some really good topical essential oils are like tea tree oil, that’s a good one, lavender is another really good one, and that’s it. It’s just sugar, usually about two part sugar to one part oil, and you put in a few drops of essential oil and that’s a very simple three ingredient homemade scrub and you just scrub that into your skin and then you rinse it off with water. You can do that everyday, you can do that a couple of times a week but that’s just a basic skin scrub.
Brock: Watch out ‘cause the dog will try to lick it off.
Ben: That’s right. One use for sugar that’s actually okay. Baking soda can also work pretty well, you can do the similar thing with baking soda, in a pinch you can use toothpaste but basically with the baking soda, you can just make like a paste with baking soda and you dip a cotton ball on that paste and you dab it on the skin, you let that sit for a while and you wash it off with water. That’s very, very similar with the type of thing that you can do for like, acne and zits and spider bites and things like that, to just draw some of the inflammation out, and that can also exfoliate a little bit. Tea Tree Oil, again, that essential oil that I just mentioned, that’s great as a topical that you can literally just put some on your fingers and rub it into the area where you’re getting the ingrown hairs and that can help a ton. So, that’s another one. Black tea bags can get rid of ingrown hairs because they have tannic acid and that reduces redness and inflammation, the way you do this is you just get the teabag wet, like you moisten it with warm water, and then you just rub it over the affected area for a few minutes and that’s it, and then you make your friends some tea.
Brock: Your enemies.
Ben: …after you’ve cleaned your bikini line with the black tea bag. So, yeah, but black tea bags are another one that you can use. Honey, actually has some really cool antibacterial properties, especially Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey is great from everything like road rash to scrapes to cuts to burns and it’s very, very simple: you just put a layer of honey right on the skin, you let that air dry for 10 to 15 minutes and then you rinse it off. Or if you prefer to walk around with a sticky face, you can keep it on there, but yeah honey works really, really well, and probably the last thing I’d recommend and another thing that most folks should have around their house anyways because it has some great internal yeast and bacterial cleansing properties (and it’s very alkalinic) is apple cider vinegar. And that’s also great topically for these type of things and very similar to the way that you use baking soda, or you use tea tee oil, you can use a cotton ball, you put some apple cider vinegar on the cotton ball and you just dab that all over the infected area and you let the skin absorb it, you leave it on there for 10-15 minutes and then you wash it off.
That’s another way that you can do it. You can use apple cider vinegar, you can use an exfoliator, you can use the tea bag method, you can use manuka honey, and you can use essential oils, all things that… we have certain things that are just like staples in our house anyway and probably everything that are just scribed except sugar, are things that I recommend having around anyways in your natural care medicine cabinet, so try out some of those things and that’s what I would do.
Brock: So how does exfoliating make the hair not grow back in on itself?
Ben: Well, it helps the ingrown hair actually come out of the skin. It removes dead skin cells, and it actually will pull the ingrown hair out of the skin as you’re rubbing that exfoliator into the skin because an exfoliator, it creates friction so as you’re rubbing and creating friction, the ingrown hair is coming out.
Brock: Okay, so the dry skin or the dead skin or whatever was holding it in, once it’s gone it can rise.
Ben: It can rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
Brock: Display itself in all its curly glory.
Ben: …in your beard, or your pubes. So, there you go. Help that little ingrown hair become the ingrown hair that it was always meant to be.
Brock: I’m glad you said pubes.
Aaem: Hi Ben. My name is Aaem Henry and I’m calling ‘cause I’m curious if you’ve ever heard of applied movement neurology? It’s a program/certification/application where you learn about the nervous system as it pertains to movement, blending functional neurology, biomechanic gymnastics, and balancing, and martial arts. It’s supposed to increase strength, improve mobility and enhance athleticism. I’m curious, again if you’ve heard of applied movement neurology, if you know anything about this program and if it’s worthy of looking into further. As someone in health and wellness, I’m a personal trainer and I am really big into progressive calisthenics; I feel like it’s very holistic, it’s a holistic approach to strength building and this applied movement neurology seems like something that could pair up really well with that and yeah. I’m just curious what your opinion is. Okay, thank you!
Brock: I had a sneaking suspicion when I first heard this question that we talked about this before but after I did a bunch of searching around on the website, I don’t think we have!
Ben: We talked about something that’s basically the same before, and that’s Z-health and both Z-health and applied movement neurology are based off of the same type of theory of activation of the brain and the nervous system and optimizing activation of the brain and the nervous system by training the brain and the nervous system, and kind of getting the ultimate combination of balance and eye movement and joint motion and coordination and the activation of proprioceptors or the cells or joints that can sense movement and kinda using movement patterns, using training to actually get all of the complexities of the nervous system to work together. So, that’s kind of the idea behind applied movement neurology or behind Z-Health is that your brain and your body will basically get better and work better together when they practice or get exposed to certain movement patterns and this can also help with everything from like corrective exercise to pain relief. So, for example one of the things that Z-Health has is they’ve got this thing called the vision gym that allows you to actually not have to wear glasses anymore. It retrains your eyes and I own this system and it’s just a series of eye charts that you use to train your eyes, it’s a series of exercises that you do with a pencil like divergence and convergence exercises as you hold a pencil close to your face and then farther away from your face. You do the same thing with your hands, you practice tracing giant circles with your eyes, you do palming exercises and cupping exercises over your eyes, you’ve got balancing exercises where you’re balancing and looking at an object close to you while you’re standing on one foot and then an object farther away from you while you’re standing on one foot and it’s just a way in which you’re training your nervous system to communicate with your joints and this feedback tells your body where it’s at in space and tells the eyes where they’re at in space and tells your body how fast your appendages are moving; it helps to retrain movement patterns, it helps to train your nerves.
I mean, your nervous system is the fastest system in the body and your nerves communicate with lightning speed and what you’re trying to do is train all that to work in coordination. I mean you look at faulty movement patterns or you look at bad eyesight or you look at muscles that someone has a hard time turning on or coordinating during performance, a lot of times it’s not muscular-skeletal, it’s nervous system related and a system like Z-health or applied movement neurology is basically one of those things where you’re training your nerves, and if you look at this from as simplistic standpoint, you can do everything from making sure that you’re not neglecting balance exercises in the gym to doing plyometrics to training your eyes, even like training your ears to training your joints, and that’s the basics behind it. Now, I’ve never really done much with applied movement neurology but I do own some of the Z-Health stuff, I plan on going to one of the Z-Health’s certs sometime in 2015, I plan on going to one of those and I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297 to the podcast that we did with Eric from Z-health ‘cause it actually is a really cool program and you can just like get books and CDs, and like this vision gym that I mentioned for example from them to fix your eyes and make it so you don’t have to wear glasses, and that’s really amazing stuff that not a lot of people are tapping into.
Brock: Cool! So you’re gonna actually get, become a cerfified Z-Health practitioner?
Ben: I don’t know if I’m gonna be a certified practitioner but I mean basically like the people that run and own Z-Health, I’ve met them at a few conferences and every time I meet them they try to convince me to come to one of their certs and I really want to because again like I mentioned given this vision gym thing that I own, it’s amazing. Like, I’ve got 20-20 vision anyways but I’ve done it a few times and I’m stuck in the DVD, and I knew some of the little eye chart patterns like the 3D vision charts that come with the program just to train my eyes and keep them activated and it’s kind of fun to do as a nervous system training. Those type of things are great on a recovery day, right, on a day where you’re not gonna beat yourself up with the weight training session or swim or bike or run, you can just train your vision or you can just train your nerves or you can do this kinda stuff without beating up your muscles and your joints. So, yeah I’m a huge fan of the system and you should check ‘em out, and I’ll just put a link to the podcast who do it with the folks of Z-Health but I suspect it’s very, very similar even though I haven’t seen any of these stuff from applied movement neurology, I suspect they’re probably pretty similar.
Brock: Very cool!
Ben: Yes sir, and speaking of very, very cool, we got a very, very cool review that someone left us and as usual, if you go to iTunes and you leave this show a review and we read your review on the show, then you get a sexy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear package sent straight to you and if you wanna see what you get, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear you’ll see the sweet t-shirt, you’ll see a water bottle, you’ll see the beanie hats, all that fun stuff so check it out, and if you hear your review read on the show, just email [email protected] and we’ll send you straight to your door steps. Before we read today’s review though, just real quick, I did mention last week that we are looking for a main sponsor for bengreenfieldfitness.com, this means that you get a featured sidebar ad that’s gonna get exposed to the 350,000 unique visitors that we get each month to bengreenfieldfitness.com and what we are looking for specifically, I can tell you the exact dollar amount, is we’re looking for an $8000 sponsor for the year which is actually, compared to most advertising fees, that’s actually a pretty slamming good deal for a yearlong sidebar ad at bengreenfieldfitness.com. Do not apply if you happen to be a business that specializes in something that we do not support for example, if you know the CEO of Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes, we probably will not feature their sidebar ad on our show, but if you or someone you know happens to come to mind as being someone who would fit as like a cool corporate sponsor or a personal sponsor of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, just email [email protected] and again it’s 8k for the year, featured sidebar ad, 350,000 unique views a month. And specifically what we would be using your sponsor money for, is for the actual internet fees to support this show.
So, there you go. That being said, Brock, what do you think? Do you want to read the review?
Brock: I just wanna, I wanna be one of the sponsors and just like have my picture on the side, not sell anything, just be like, just me.
Ben: Just your beard with a few random ingrown hairs.
Brock: Yes. Some really good infected ones. That’ll teach the people who go to the website. Okay. Anyway. The review is from… hey it’s from Kay-el. Isn’t that Superman’s name?
Ben: I have no idea.
Brock: Yeah, I think that’s his real name. Damn, Superman reviewed this show. Nice. It goes like this: “Ben delivers great content in a way that credits the listener with some intelligence, but also demands that his guests know and can back up what they are saying. Ben is a respectful Devil’s Advocate who helps his guests get their main points across clearly and convincingly.” Do you think of yourself as a devil’s advocate?
Brock: You advocate for the devil?
Ben: I advocate for the devil.
Brock: “I appreciate Ben’s healthy skepticism when no science substantiates claims and his support of an idea when the science is there. If you want to follow a hacker extraordinaire, then get in the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast train. I’m sleeping, eating, and exercising better after about ten episodes. You will do.”
Ben: My healthy skepticism. Yes.
Brock: It’s better than an unhealthy skepticism. That’s what I have.
Ben: That’s a very polite and kind review, and I cannot think of anything bad to say to Kay-el or anything I could say that would give him a hard time. Usually, I give our reviewers a pretty hard time, but that was actually pretty good aside from the fact that he said he’s sleeping and exercising better after about 10 episodes when in fact we have hundreds and hundreds of episodes. So Kay-el, you need to get busy neglecting your family, your friends, your career and your hobbies and just start listening in to all those back episodes.
Brock: So I think he has to start neglecting his sleep and eating and exercising.
Ben: That’s right. So, that being said, you probably want to (after listening to this episode) rush out and make yourself a Kale smoothie with brownies in it. So make sure that you’re doing so wearing your brand new training mask from trainingmask.com, use your 20% discount code, BEN2014, check out everything from today’s show over on the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297. Don’t forget to hyperoxygenate while you’re making your Kale smoothie with brownies wearing your training mask, and, until next time. Have a great week.
Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
Oct 22, 2014 Podcast: How Does Warrior Breathing Work, The Best Way To Use DHEA, Should Kids Drink MCT Oil, Natural Remedies for Ingrown Hairs, and Applied Movement Neurology.
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.
- The anti-aging benefits of a 5-minute run match those of a 15-minute walk.
- Would YOU take a red wine bath?
- I think this is a great idea to spray plants with a pesticide sprayer…only to put something different in the sprayer. (and how to use seaweed to mulch your garden and organic trace minerals for your garden).
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November 17-21, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
How Does Warrior Breathing Work?
Brian asks: He recently attended a level 1 academy at Sealfit. His favorite evolution of the academy was the qigong guy that lead them through warrior breathing. He experienced intense feelings of oneness with all of humanity, crazy visions of flaming zebras, and was crying like a baby by the end of it. When he walked out of the room a teammate killed his metaphysical buzz by saying what they just experienced was oxygen deprivation, similar to altitude sickness. What are your thoughts and experiences with warrior breathing? What is going on physiologically that might trigger this type of psychedelic experience?
The Best Way To Use DHEA
Buddy asks: DHEA. What are your thoughts, concerns, feelings? You once tweeted that if your weren’t competitive, you would consider using it. Where would be a good place to start? Trusted brand?
Should Kids Drink MCT Oil?
Chris asks: He has a 6 month old baby body who doesn’t sleep very well. He wants to try giving him some more MCT oil. The baby is breast feeding and Chris has tried adding 1 cc of MCT oil with breast milk in his bottle and it seemed like the baby slept better. What are your thoughts on this idea?
In my response I recommend:
–Upgraded MCT Oil
Natural Remedies for Ingrown Hairs
Jasmel asks: He gets ingrown hairs on his face. It has gotten worse as he has aged and also gets worse when he shaves. He has tried antibiotics on his face as a cream as as a medication. Is there anything else he can try?
Applied Movement Neurology
Aaem asks: Have you heard of Applied Movement Neurology? It is supposed to increase strength, improve mobility and enhance athleticism. Do you think this program is worth looking into further (he is a progressive calisthenics trainer) and thinks this sounds like something that might pair up with that.
In my response I recommend:
–My podcast with the folks at Z-Health