Episode #117: Fitness & Nutrition Q&A With Ben Greenfield

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Fitness, Podcast

Ben Greenfield (pictured above) just returned from racing a triathlon in Jamaica to respond to this week's massive listener Q&A

Click here for the full written transcript of this episode

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Listener Q&A:

Bethany asks: After my second baby I experienced a fairly significant diastasis recti and have been avoiding crunches, back-bends, and front planks upon advisement these may worsen the diastasis.  I have been trying to hold in my transverse abdominis muscle with all weightlifting and started performing the side-planks you recommended after your last podcast.  Are there any other exercises you think may be useful for helping the split close?

Greg asks: I train with a triathlon team for Ironman and Half Iron distance races. The front runners tend to form a tight peleton during bike training, drafting heavily and taking turns with the lead. I've avoided this, not only because you can't draft during a triathlon, but because it seems like I would be cheating myself out of the complete workout. For example if we had a 100 mile ride, if I was in a peleton, would it turn out to be an effort of a 70 or 80 mile ride?

Rick asks: I am sure you probably read the headlines about this swimmer's unfortunate death during a race — I never thought about heat exhaustion during a swim. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on this topic that you could share in your podcast. http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/10/24/swimmer-dies-overexertion-race-uae-officials-say/

Ron asks: You spoke about taking “fish oil” for joint improvement.- how often and in what form do you use it? Also, I curious about the Double Bonded Protein….taking it 6x a day seems like a lot.! Is this due to your body size and consumption of calories? Would you recommend this to someone who is 5'11” 175 or do you need to take a hard look at each indiviudals need for fueling and recovering to determine whats the right amoun for them to take? Nutrition cover at your triathlon training camp?

In my response to Ron, I mention the Pharmax capsules and Udo's from Bioletics.

Erin asks: I think you might be able to help me with a problem I have been having for quite some time (progressing over a year). I am experiencing quad fatigue and ache (right side only) while riding my bike. Sometimes the fatigue goes down into the outer calf. The symptoms come and go depending on resistance (hill/wind will aggravate thigh more). It happens on all bike rides, but it can be quite frustrating on longer bike rides. Yesterday I did a flat 90 miler with a lot of wind averaging 18mph. It was pretty tough. I took in 1700 calories (excessive I think), thinking that caloric intake might be the problem. No change. I have had numerous sport muscle massages, most recently every 2 weeks, and have noticed little change. My bike has been fitted and refitted by a respectable fitter 3 times in the past 5 months. No change in the hamstring fatigue. Been to chiropractors, and PT's that were no help.

Kevin asks: I am a 61 yr old male, I exercise regularly and am very fit. I engage in hillwalking which can be quite strenuous at times. Recently I noticed that no matter how much water I am drinking during a normal working day my urine is quite dark. By chance I had a routine blood test that showed bilirubin at 23 (norm <17) and Alt at 37 (norm 7 to 35). All other results were normal. I never smoked and I have never had more that 3 units of alcohol in a week. Do you think the increased levels are due to increased exercise and strenuous activity?

Christian asks: Why do I often have trouble staying warm for several hours after a long workout?

Steve asks: I am a college student who have been training and competing in triathlons for about 10 months. I train about 15-18 hours per week including weight lifting. I have always been skinny and i am about 5 foot 10 and 145 pounds. I am probly about 5-6% body fat. I am a pesco-vegetarian and i take several vitamin and mineral supplements each day. What can i do to increase my body fat percentage?

Deb asks: This year I've had a spotty triathlon season and have been plagued with ongoing foot injuries. It started with a bad case of plantar fasciitis this spring – and into the summer. I had to drop out of races, scale down to lesser distances and drop from half ironman races to half iron aqua bike races. It's been very discouraging to say the least. The plantar fasciitis has since healed but I'm now plagued with a severe bruised heel on my other foot. It sounds benign but its incredibly painful and debilitating (almost as much as PF) and I'm out of commission yet again with my running. I've had 3 biomechanical running analysis' and they all come out the same – I have excellent running form with a perfect midfoot strike. I've been a Chi runner for over a year now and its paid off – at least with my form. Is there anything I can do to expedite the healing process of my ailing heel? I've got orthotics, heel cups, I tape it, ice it, heat it, massage it and do the best that I can to stay off it (near impossible to stay off it completely). I don't know what else can be done. Are there other modalities which can help – i.e. ART, Graston Technique, IMS…anything…

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/foot-heel-pain/bruised-heel-1

Peter asks: What's your take on Yakult? I understand probiotics are good for digestive tract balance, but how do I know if I need to take it? Are you aware of any peer-reviewed medical studies that have been performed on Yakult or a similar product?

Troy asks: Hi ben, I'm new to fitness and I am also a smoker. My wife and I got a gym membership to LA fitness. My question to you is where should I begin? I know the first thing I have to do is quit smoking but with that aside where is a good place for me to start? I'm 30 years old and I weigh 200 lbs. Can you give me some tips on nutrition and maybe and exercise routine that I can do to just get the ball rolling? I love your show and I'm learning a lot from you. Tx for your time.

Michael asks: Just bought a Kurt Kinetic Fluid Trainer…do you know where I can find some free online workouts (intervals, strength, power, etc)?

In my response, I mention Indoor Trainer Workouts in a Binder by Dirk Friel.

Gerry asks: I'm looking at improving my nutrition for the coming 2011 season and looking at Supplements and foods. In Canada a Vitamin product called 7 Systems is a daily packaged product that is endorsed by several Canadian athletes. Could you have a quick look at the ingredients and give your opinion on this product?

Patrick asks: What kind of things do you look for when reading labels? I recently heard of the following two rules of thumb: 1g of protein per 2g of CHO to balance insulin response and 1g or less of saturated fat per 100 calories. Do you agree? What are your “red flags” when dealing with prepackaged foods?

In my response, I recommend that Patrick listen to Podcast #79.

Darrell asks: I have 2 preschool daughters, so, from October to April, our house is pretty much a large petri dish for flus and colds. Illness usually kills my exercise regime and causes me to the opportunity to give in more easily to sweet, high starch, low value foods. The result is a longer than necessary down period and a very real amount of inertial to overcome before I can get back into the my rhythm. Any advice you can provide?

In my response to Darrel, I mention Enerprime.

Jeffrey asks: I have had neck surgery 2 years ago and chronic issues with my low back (stenosis, bulging discs and arthritis-the hat trick!). I changed to a mid-foot strike with the help of Vibram FF and Nike Free running shoes. My back issues are almost non existent and I am feeling great. What is your opinion of mid/fore foot striking and minimalist shoes?

Mark asks:  I realize that my protein intake, especially after working out, is lower than it probably should be so I have considered using whey protein powder  to increase my protein intake but am unsure of the best way to incorporate it.  Would it be more beneficial to replace the chocolate milk with a whey protein drink and then eat my normal oats?  Should I drink the chocolate milk and mix the whey into my oatmeal to consume more protein with my first meal?  Or should I try something else entirely? I have heard that heating whey powders to high temperatures can detract from the proteins' benefit, but I have also noticed that you, yourself, mix whey into your morning oatmeal.  What is your take on cooking with protein powders?

David asks: I am the coach of a 4th Grade boys traveling basketball team.  Many weekends over the winter we'll play in tournaments which space games our through the morning and afternoon.  Families often take their kids out to lunch, and typically end up at McDonald's and other fast food places.  I would like to give the parents and kids some recommendations on what to eat between games to properly recover and fuel for their next game and to avoid the costs of fast food.  Chocolate milk is the only thing that comes to mind.  Can you provide me some recommendations I can pass along to them?

In my response to David, I mention the Cocochia Snack Mix.

Do you have a question for Ben? Just click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page and leave a voicemail, leave a Skype voicemail to username “pacificfit”, or e-mail [email protected]

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Remember, if you have any trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected] And don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes 2 minutes of your time and helps grow our healthy community! Justclick here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback. Brand new – get insider VIP tips and discounts from Ben – conveniently delivered directly to your phone! Just complete the information below…

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6 thoughts on “Episode #117: Fitness & Nutrition Q&A With Ben Greenfield

  1. JoeBruin88 says:

    Ben, when you get a moment, I would appreciate it very much if you could point me towards any scientific literature about increased liver enzymes in athletes. I read some anecdotal stuff here and there, but I know you have access to scientific/medical literature/studies. If you could point me towards some articles to read about this topic, I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance.

  2. Bryan says:

    cyclo-club.com has some really good bike training videos for your indoor trainer.

    1. that's true. We interviewed Graeme from Cyclo-club over at http://www.rockstartriathleteacademy.com and he gave our members some discounts…

  3. mer says:

    Deb with heel pain,
    Unfortunately I agree with Ben that it might be a rest injury, but for me the cross training recommended in the Marathon Dominator program (and given in other podcasts) kept me from losing my fitness/endurance and hating myself. I wound up being ready for a marathon even through the horrible fascitis!

  4. Jeff Hoening says:

    Great show, Ben. As a plantar faciitis "survivor", I encourage people to shift their mindset from healing this ailment to instead, first resting and then strengthening the foot. This mindset shift (along with 3 months off of running and substituting cycling, indoor cycling classes and aqua jogging) kicked this monster for good. Check out www.heel-that-pain.com for some helpful (and free) videos. Foot taping (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy1ZEJ-kKTg) and an exercise picking up small stones (or use jacks) with my toes and putting them in a cup worked for me. Remember: to heal (or heel), first rest and strengthen.

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