Episode #132 – Full Transcript

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Episode# 132 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/02/episode-132-a-big-fitness-and-nutrition-qa-including-is-deer-antler-spray-healthy/

Introduction:           In this podcast, aphrodisiac foods?  Is textured vegetable protein healthy?  How long does it take to recover from energy drink addiction?  Are tiny, red bumps on your skin dangerous?  Can you have food allergies and not know it?  How much magnesium should you take?  What’s the minimum you can eat and drink while running?  Is ASEA water good?  A supplement called E21; getting fitter for basketball; toe pain while running; is all fish oil created equal?  Is P90X a good workout?  Raw protein powder; deer antler spray; cutting back on alcohol; infra-red treatment for weight loss; N.O.-Xplode and Jack3d supplements; kids running long distances; home-made sports recovery drinks, and fitness for fibromyalgia.

Ben:                Hey, this is Ben Greenfield and as you can hear from the introduction, we had a ton of questions come through this week and I was going to release an interview today with Paul Newsome, from swim smooth.  He was going to be talking about how to actually figure out your body type to help you learn how to swim or become a better or faster swimmer.  Now, I’m going to put off that interview until next week, but if you like to jump the gun and learn about swim typing, go check out BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for swim typing or just read the latest posts there, were I talked about how to figure out which one of the 6 body types you fall into and how that affects the way that you should be learning how to swim or the way that you should be swimming.  So if you’re a swimmer or a tri-athlete or a wanna-be, then go check that post out.  Now, the other thing is that in today’s podcast, I will be going over a Q & A and if you have a question for the podcast, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page; you can ask your question on Twitter, by following [email protected], or you can go to the website, BenGreenfieldFitness.com, click on the show notes for any episode and right there on the show notes, you can leave your question.  So, let’s jump right in to this week’s content after a special announcement.

Ben:                Well, it is Valentines Day; at least Valentines Day is quickly approaching and love is in the air.  My friend, Chef Todd, actually has come out with an aphrodisiac foods website, where he teaches you how to create a romantic meal at home, and he gives you a bunch of aphrodisiac ingredients that you may or may not have known, where aphrodisiac foods, things like coco powder and how to use a balsamic vinegar to create a toe-tingling pan sauce; how to combine aphrodisiac ingredients from the opposing sides of the palette to create real excitement and food for place, so to speak.  He’s got a ton of very cool cooking secrets over on that website and some stuff that, if you have a loved one and you like to romance them with food, you aren’t going to want to miss.  So, I will put a link to Chef Todd’s aphrodisiac foods website in the show notes to this episode, and I’ll also put a link to a totally free book that he has about how to have chocolate at every meal.  Now I’m not going to pretend that I think having chocolate at every meal is healthy, but that is a pretty cool trick to have up your sleeve when you want to romance someone so, be sure to check out his free downloadable book about having chocolate at every meal and also, the link that I’ll put in the show notes to his aphrodisiac foods website, and by the way, when I say in the show notes, I’m referring to the show notes for this episode, episode number 132, where I’ll put links to everything that I talk about.  Lots of resources there to supplement this podcast, so let’s go ahead and jump forward into this week’s listener Q & A.

Listener:        Hi Ben, how are you?  I love your podcast; this definitely changes my life.  My question today is in regards to a program called P90X, I was wondering what your thoughts are, in terms of, kind of a, beginner-do-it?  What kind of fitness do you need or shape you need to be in to be able to do it?  What are your thoughts?  Do you think it’s just the way to go?  That’s it, talk to you later bye.

Ben:                Well, P90X is definitely the rage these days; it’s created by a company called Beach Body and it comes in this CD set and basically, it’s a combination of cross-trainings, using a bunch of different modes of exercise with muscle confusion so, throwing new moves at your body before your body has a chance to adapt to those new moves.  So it relies on the fact that your body, if you’re doing the same program over and over again, eventually becomes efficient at those movements and then you quit getting results.  So by using, the term that they’ve coined, muscle confusion, you keep your body from quickly adapting and you have better results.  Now, P90X is a pretty tough program; they claim that’s going to burn a thousand calories an hour, frankly, you’d have to be in very, very good shape in doing this program at literally, 100-110% intensity level to be burning a thousand calories an hour.  About 600-800 calories an hour for most people, is a little bit more realistic but you basically have these 12 different DVD workouts; they range from body part workouts like chest and back or shoulders and arms to plyometrics workout, cardio workouts, ab workouts, they even have a yoga workout so, lots of variation in the program and it’s probably a little bit better than just going to they gym and say, sitting down in the weight lifting machines and working out, but you do need to be cautious if you’re just getting in that exercise, it’s really not the best program for beginners because it’s going to kick your butt and leave you pretty sore.  The nutrition in the program, kind of emphasizes that you take in higher protein and lower carbs during the 1st 30 days or so, and then you gradually increase carbohydrate intake as you get fitter, which I actually like; that’s a good idea because if you’re not very fit and you’re just getting started into a program, eating a lower amount of carbohydrate will help you out because you’re not burning a ton of calories and as you get fit, begin to burn more calories, you’ll benefit from increasing carbohydrate intake so, that’s a pretty good approach.  Holes in the program, again, like I mentioned, can be a little bit tough if you’re just getting started into fitness, or if you have a joint injury; it doesn’t rely on like, kind of a food allergy controlled, holistic type of nutrition approach, and so that’s another thing that you want to be careful of, it is a little bit higher in some of the inflammatory foods and doesn’t really take into account holistic eating or eating real foods, choosing things that don’t have a lot of artificial sweeteners or processed ingredients in them, things like that, but ultimately, it’s a program that’s going to get you decent results.  Now, of course, I can’t talk about P90X without telling you that my recommendation as a healthy, kind of holistic alternative to P90X would be my book and DVD set called Shape21, over at Shape21.com.  I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, but it is similar to P90X in terms of the muscle confusion aspect, but much more focused on a lot of the things that I preach and encourage people to follow when it comes to healthy nutrition that’s going to bring you up the back end of a workout program, a lot healthier with a little less damage to your body in terms of your nutrition intake, so great question.

Dan:               What are your thoughts textured vegetable protein, also called textured soy protein?  Is this going to be helpful or hurtful for me to consume?

Ben:                So this textured vegetable protein is pretty popular in restaurants and mass production of only vegetarian foods but just a lot of processed foods that need protein fillers in them, and it’s made from a mixture of proteins that they usually get from soy beans; you can also get in from cotton seeds, you can get some from wheat or oats, and the way that it’s made is, you get this starter protein like the bean, and you feed it into a barrel that gets heated up to about 150-200 degrees and the steam inside this barrel basically makes this spongy type of chunky protein product that can soak up a bunch of liquid and so, it’s about 50% when it’s dry and then you can re-hydrate it and that actually drops the protein percentage down a little bit but you can mix it with meat to basically reduce the cost of a meat-based product like a ground beef, which a lot of restaurants do, they’ll mix textured vegetable protein with meat.  A lot of vegetarians will use it as like a chunk or a steak or you can get it in like a flake form and nugget form; you can get it in long strips or tiny little grains and basically, it’s just a cheap protein filler.  Now, the fact that it is primarily comprised of soy, should give pause if you are concerned about the intake of what are called phytoestrogens or phytic acids.  Now, there’s varying research when it comes to soy, but ultimately, the idea is that these phytates in soy could reduce the absorption of certain nutrients and minerals from the food that you’re consuming and they may not be the healthiest thing to be consuming in excess.  Now I’m not as concerned about the phytic acid that you’re going to get in, say, eating a little textured vegetable protein here and there, as I am about the incredibly high pressures and temperatures that the starting product is exposed to, as well as the fact that most of it’s made from genetically-modified soy beans and occasionally, like these wheat and oat sources that are heated to very high temperatures.  Anytime you’re processing a food to this extent, you’re going to damage a lot of the structure of the food, you’re going to create a lot of free radicals or inflammatory particles in the food and basically, decrease the quality of the food so, it is a protein source; it’s a low-fat, low-carb protein source, but it’s one of those things that you should not use as your primary protein source just because of, not only of phytoestrogens and the phytic acids but also the fact that the protein itself is fairly nuked, for lack of a better word so, hopefully that helps you out and just turn around the label and look at the label and things you consume to see how much textured vegetable protein is in it; you can also ask at restaurants how much they’re using, a lot of fast foods restaurants though used it as a filler in their meat, because it’s cheap.

Paul:               My question is, how long does it take to reverse the negative effects caused by energy drinks?  I’ve had 2 a day, monster red bull habit for about 5 years.  Does stopping consumption have an instant effect or is this something that will occur over time? 

Ben:                Well, the idea is that when you’re consuming that amount of energy drink, you’re causing your adrenal glands to release a lot of adrenaline, and this could eventually, it could eventually cause something called adrenal exhaustion or adrenal fatigue; I personally think that those buzz words are thrown around almost a little bit too much.  Technically, you really got to beat up your adrenal glands and be living in a very, very high stress situation to get a full-blown adrenal exhaustion and typically, you’re going to be bed-ridden for a long time if that happens, but kind of, a low-grade adrenal fatigue can occur in people who are drinking a bunch of energy drinks and causing their adrenal glands to be constantly stimulated.  So, once you stop, there’s no research on how long it would take to “rebuild” your adrenal glands, but you should be looking at anywhere from about 4-8 weeks to where you’re actually starting to feel good and I’m just saying that from personal experience and from the experience I’ve had with my clients who have cut down from multiple cups of coffee during the day or multiple energy drinks.  It’s usually a couple of months before you really, fully feel like you have good energy without consuming those type of things, but you can definitely speed the process along.  One of the things that you can do to get over adrenal fatigue more quickly, is to make sure that you’re getting anywhere from 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep at night, so you’re going for an uninterrupted sleep in a dark, quiet room and possibly taking something like a magnesium supplement before you go to sleep to help you relax and fall asleep a little bit better.  Reducing other stress in your life can really be good or using stress management type of techniques, breathing techniques, yoga, trying to eliminate things that cause stress, eliminate social situations that cause a lot of stress in your life, moderating your physical activity, not dong really hard workouts, and going with, kind of, lighter aerobic workouts or very brief bouts of intense physical exertion, will help versus going out and doing like marathon-style training or triathlon training or long bouts of heavy weight lifting.  You can eliminate your exposure to chemicals like common household cleaners, toxins, environmental toxins like chlorine, fluoride would be another one that I’ll talk about a little bit later on this week in the next, upcoming inner circle podcast, plastics, phytoestrogens, we just talked about soy, and then, also taking in some supplements that can, kind of, help you get over adrenal exhaustion; magnesium, I already mentioned, is really a good supplement; gamma-aminobutyric acid, it’s abbreviated GABA, you’re going to find that in a lot of sleep or recovery supplements, that’s another good one to take; vitamin C would be good; I also get on like a B12 supplement, any of those can really help, as can any of the common Chinese adaptogenic type of herbs, so, for example, like a shiitake mushroom extract would be one example of an adaptogen that can help you bounce back from adrenal fatigue a little bit quicker.  Those are most of the things that I would focus on; I guess, if you wanted to go down the herbal root a little bit more, you could look into some common relaxation supplements like a lavender, they’re doing like aroma therapy with a lavender in your bedroom, using something like a valerian root or even just like a chamomile tea before you go to bed at night.  Lots of things that would commonly be used as stress reduction techniques can also help you get over adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion a little bit more quickly and kind of, reverse some of the damage that energy drinks can do to your body, so hopefully that helps.

Heather:        I’ve had tiny, red bumps on the back of my arms for most of my life.  They don’t itch; I’ve heard it maybe an omega3 deficiency but that hasn’t helped.  What can you do about tiny, red bumps on the back of your arm?

Ben:                In most cases, a lot of people get these; they look, kind of like goose bumps or these little rough bumps on your skin and you do commonly get them on the back of your arms, they’re usually a little bit red; there’s actually a name for this, it’s called keratosis and basically what it is, is your body produces keratin and some people’s body produces excess keratin; keratin is a totally natural protein; it’s found all over the place in your skin, but if you produce excess keratin, it can surround and entrap your hair follicles, and what happens is you get a plug or what’s known scientifically as an area of what would be called hyperkeratinization, and what that plug does is it appears as this little red bump and sometimes, it can get a little itchy but for the most part, it’s not something that you have to worry about in terms of health risks, it’s just a natural, genetic condition; sometimes, there’s a little ingrown hair in there as well, which can be kind of annoying, and sometimes, the people who get this keratosis also have eczema or rather, dry skin conditions and there’s not really a full-out cure for it, but you can definitely use a skin cream; I would use like a vitamin A-based skin cream; there’s one called Retin-A, which is something that’s used in the treatment of acne.  That wouldn’t necessarily be something that you’d have to take, versus just like a regular, over-the-counter lotion that has a little bit of vitamin A in it, and the way that those work is they increase the cell turnover on the outer layer of your skin, which decreases the amount of keratin in the outer layer of your skin, and so those pores become a little bit less likely to become blocked, which is the same reason that these type of vitamin A lotions are used for acne treatments as well.  If you want to just go down the natural root, you could try something like a milk bath because the alpha hydroxy acid in milk, can help to reduce some of that keratin on your skin as well; sunlight exposure can help; coconut oil, if you apply that to the back of your arms as something else that’s been suggested for this condition, but those are some of the things that you can look into as well as regular exfoliation; just using a good skin cream, keeping yourself hydrated, exfoliating, and doing some of the common things that you use for skin care.  So, hopefully that helps; I wouldn’t be too worried about the keratosis or those little red bumps.

Mike:              If one had food allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, would it be obvious or could one suffer minor effects unknowingly?  For example, I’ve drunk milk all my life without ever noticing any direct negative effects; is this enough to eliminate concerns or might there be more subtle or indirect issues?

Ben:                Well, this whole food allergy thing is interesting because more and more people these days are complaining of food allergies, and there’s one hypothesis out there called the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that because we’re living in such a clean environment now and we have so many ways to eradicate basically germs in our environment, that our immune system, because it doesn’t have any germs to fight, becomes hyper-reactive against foods, and that’s one of the reasons that more and more food allergies are popping up or more and more people are complaining of food allergies nowadays.  There are cultures that don’t complain about food allergies at all, and the instance of something like, say, a peanut allergy in kids is virtually non-existent, and a lot of these cultures have a little bit lower hygiene than our typical western culture does.  The other issue is that because, especially parents become hyper-sensitive and I’m guilty of this myself, to exposing their children to things that their children kind of got a little bit red or itchy with when they’re very young, what happens is you never give your kid a chance to be able to fight that off; peanuts are a perfect example, there’s evidence that kids who have peanut allergies were given very small amounts of peanut and then just a little bit more over time, get over that allergy very quickly because their body learns to handle it, but as far as having a food allergy and walking around with it and not knowing it, the body’s pretty good via gas bloating, acne inflammation, diarrhea, things of that nature, in telling you if you’re not able to tolerate certain foods or perhaps, may even be allergic to certain foods.  So either, your body simply does not have the ability to process that food, you don’t have the right enzymes to break the food down or you just fall on genetically or because of things that you’re exposed to as a kid, have a full-on allergy to that food.  Now for the most part, your body will tell you if that’s happening, but as far as minor effects of food allergy, yeah, you could absolutely have like a low-grade inflammation in your gut that’s slightly reducing the amount of nutrients or minerals or vitamins that you can absorb from your food, and you wouldn’t really know it, you just kind of, get sub par energy from the foods that you’re consuming or sub par recovery, for example, when you consume a protein drink, and the only way to really know is to just go out and fro example, do a GI panel; I put a link in the show notes to episode number 131, the podcast before this to my favorite GI panel that I recommend to people who want to check for food allergies, and that’d be a great way to check and see if you actually have an allergy and then, even if you’re not feeling a lot of the symptoms, you could still reduce that intolerance to that allergy, and I’m throwing around those words as if they’re the same, but really, an intolerance just means that you might, for example, not have the proper enzyme to digest the food like lactose intolerance is milk intolerance and, if you take a lactase enzyme, then you have the means to fight that intolerance.  To fall-on allergy means that your body is producing an allergenic or an inflammatory reaction against the food that you’re consuming, that’s typically a little bit more serious and a little bit less simple to overcome without just simple avoiding the food that you’re taking in, but either way, whether it’s an intolerance or whether it’s an allergy, something like the GI panel that I was talking about last week, would be a great way to check and see, but ultimately, what it comes down to is that food allergy and food intolerance is a real issue these days and although it’s unclear why it’s becoming more and more of an issue, it is something that is well worth your time looking into, if you plan on doing something like say, eating for the rest of your life so, check out that GI panel.

Paul:               You’ve spoken a lot about taking magnesium prior to bed.  How many milligrams of magnesium do you recommend?

Ben:                Well, it is a funny question because, well, I do recommend magnesium for multiple reasons including, getting adequate minerals and being able to absorb calcium and also, allowing for a better relaxation and deeper sleep.  I started off at 300 milligrams of magnesium and I got a little bit of loose stool when I was taking 300 milligrams.  Now, I take close to the 1200 milligrams and I’m fine, so I gradually increase my tolerance over time; took me about 6 months or so to build up to that amount of magnesium, and it’s really reduced any amount of cramping when I exercise, it really helped with my sleep, and I do a combination of natural calm magnesium and topical magnesium oil.  Now, in terms of a good place to start, I’d start right around there, like 300-400 milligrams of magnesium and just gradually build up until you get a loose stool and if you get loose stool, back off and you’ll eventually get to the point where you can tolerate higher levels of magnesium but I’ve never really seen anybody taking in a lot greater amounts than 1000 milligrams without getting some of that loose stool effect so, for the links to magnesium, what I’ll do, because I was just talking food allergies and GI panels and magnesium, I want to send you guys to the four corners of the earth to get this stuff.  I will put a link underneath the question from Mike about food allergies and underneath your question Paul I’ll put a link to the magnesium and the GI panel as well.

Aimee:           I’ve been training for my 1st half-marathon while trying to lose weight.  How many calories do I have to eat during the run, to keep the fat burning or should I just try to keep pushing through those low points when I seem to bonk on my long runs?

Ben:                Kind of a tough issue; you’re trying to lose weight, you’re going out in these long runs and they seem like the perfect opportunity to shed fat, but then you bonk.  My recommendation is that you do your long runs, at least until your marathon is getting pretty close, like until you’re about 4 weeks out from your marathon, you can do your long runs with fairly minimal fuel onboard so, for example, for a female, something right around the range of 100 calories an hour or 1 gel, would be able to get you through, say like a 2-hour run, without getting super low blood sugar although you’re going to be pretty hungry when you finish that run because technically, you should be consuming closer to 250 calories an hour, but once you’re getting within about 4 weeks to that marathon, the issue is that you’re not only going to have to run at lower speeds, but you’re also going to do some potential damage to your immune system and risk getting sick before your marathon if you’re minimally fueling during you long run, so not only do you want to train your gut to take in the amount of food that you plan on eating during your marathon or that 200-250 calories of carbohydrate an hour, but you also want to keep your body healthy and keep yourself able to go fast.  So, once you’re getting pretty close to that marathon, don’t try to lose weight during your long runs, instead, use other days or other situations, and chloric control and other situations to try and lose weight and really fuel those long runs for performance, but you should be able to get away with a minimum of about a 100 calories an hour and be able to get by without bonking.  The other strategy that I’ve used before is to basically go out and run as far as possible, until you get to the point where you’re completely low on energy and getting really close to the point of bonking, and then you begin to fuel, you bump your blood sugar with a couple of gels and you continue to fuel regularly, such as every 20-30 minutes until you get back home.  So there’s a few different ways to do it, but just be careful with any of those type of strategies as you’re getting closer and closer to your event, because it will really reduce performance.

Jeff:                I was wondering if you have ever heard of ASEA water. 

Ben:                So, ASEA Water, you guys may have seen it before, it comes in like these blue bottles and says A-S-E-A on the side of it, and it’s basically water and it has sodium added to it, like about 123 milligrams of sodium per serving of water.  So, it tastes kind of salty; I’ve used it before, I’ve used it in training, I had somebody send me a bunch of bottles and I tried it out, and the idea behind the adding the salt to the water and creating the water the way that they make it, they have this chemical process whereby they start ASEA as a pure water, they add salt, and then they produce at a neutral PH; the idea is that if you produce water like that, you can reduce any amount of free radicals in the water and make the water a little bit more conducive to cellular uptake and using your body’s natural metabolic processes, and it probably is true that this stuff’s a little bit healthier than like, the regular tap water that you get but, dang are you paying a lot for salt water.  I didn’t notice anything at all when I took it, and maybe that’s just because I’m already taking anti-oxidants and doing other things to control some of the amount of free radical productions going on, but I really didn’t notice much with it.  Some people swear by it; I think that there’s a little bit more to it than it being expensive salt water, but I have yet to feel any effects from using ASEA and one of my, I guess key reasons for using a supplement would be that I can actually feel it or notice differences when I’m using it, and I really don’t notice that with the ASEA water and it is expensive, considering that it’s essentially like a balanced PH water with salt added to it.  I know a lot of people listening to this podcast are ASEA reps because it is a multi-level marketing company; trust me, I get emails about it almost everyday, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s going to change your life.

Elizabeth:      What is E12 recovery supplement?

Ben:                E21 recovery supplement is basically same thing – it’s got electrolytes in it, it’s got some anti-oxidants in it, and then like most of these things, they find something really unique to throw in there and in this case, they put a green-lipped mussel into the E21 recovery product, and the reason that they put the green-lipped mussel in there is that apparently, it provides a source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and carbohydrates, particularly something called a mucopolysaccharide, which is kind of a long-chain carbohydrate that could be good for your cartilage.  You can get most of that stuff from less expensive foods that you eat, and I remember that at 1 point, someone sent me a big jar of pearl extract to improve bone mineralization and to help with calcium intake and I wrote back and I said, “Is there any evidence to this, if there’s any better than me popping like a calcium supplement or maybe drinking milk, eating yogurt, having some dark leafy greens and there’s absolutely no studies that compared this stuff to just taking in real food or less expensive calcium sources, and it’s kind of the same thing with this; if I’ going to pay for green-lipped mussel, I want to see the study that says that the mucopolysaccharide carbohydrates and the green-lipped mussel are any better than the type that I would get from say, going out and grabbing some oysters or taking in some inexpensive sea food.  So, the idea is that you just want to go look at the research and I couldn’t find any research that says that the green-lipped mussel is superior to anything else.

Jim:                I’m 35 and looking to join a professional basketball league in New York.  Can you recommend any workouts that can help me become faster and allow me not to tire out while playing full court?

Ben:                Alright!  Well, I know that most of you listeners don’t want to go join a professional basketball league, but this philosophy that I’m about to describe to you is something that you can use for any sport that you approached, called Sports Specific Training, and the idea is you want to look at the physiological demands of the sport that you’re playing and adjust accordingly.  For example, Andre Agassi, before he really started to get good, had a trainer that was having him run 5 miles a day.  Now, in a game of tennis, you’re not running 5 miles continuously at any point during that game; you’re running lots of very quick 5 to 15-second spurts, and so, when Andre switched to a training style that had him running very short, fast repeats with whole recovery periods, e got much better at tennis.  Well, you take a game like basketball – lot of times, basketball is a very quick 5 to 10-second sprint followed by light lateral movements, walking, putting your arms up, things of that nature, so an example of like a basketball training program would be, set up a treadmill to be on a sprint level and you sprint for 10-20 seconds on the treadmill or in the gym or outdoors, and then you do light activities in between each of those sprints, so you would do, for example, like an elastic band lateral side-to-side walk and you could do some push-ups, some over-head presses, some hops, and then after about 2 minutes or so, hop back on the treadmill and do more sprinting.  So, the idea is that you want to train with a great deal of sport specificity.  As far as workouts that could help you not tire out while playing full court, the 1 that I described would be just fine, typically, because basketball does require some amount of endurance if you’re not playing with subs or you’re playing the entire game, you’d also want to throw in just a couple of longer runs during the week, like anywhere from about a 3-5 mile distance run, that just helps to build-up your base endurance, but the primary part of your program should be comprised of short sprints with, in between those sprints, performing activities that stimulate some of the muscles you’ll be using while you’re rebounding, jumping, blocking, pushing, screening etc. so, always think about the specificity of the sport that you’re participating in – don’t just go out and say, run on treadmill blindly. 

Darrell:          I run 2-3 miles at a time for a total of 12-18 miles a week and I use A6 Enduro Shoes.  Recently, the tip of my 2nd toe has been really sore; I notice it as I pushed off during a run and while relaxing in the evening.  Is this a common issue for runners?

Ben:                Well, in anybody who’s got a 2nd toe that’s longer than the 1st toe, this is something that you’ll see quite a bit; when your longer toe is longer, it’s called Morton Syndrome, and it’s just a long, what’s called the 2nd metatarsal bone, so that bone or that area of the toe takes on a little bit more pressure when you run.  Now typically, when you’re feeling pain in that toe or the toe right beside it, so like the 2nd or 3rd toe on your foot, it’s what’s called a capsulitis, and what that means is that around the joint of that toe, you got this capsule or this area of ligaments that’s comprise of very tough tissue and if you get a bunch of stress placed on that tissue, the ligaments can become inflamed.  Now, you can treat that the same way as you treat, like an ankle ligament sprain, you can do some icing, you can do some light stretching, you can tape it a bit just to keep that toe from excessively bending, and then you can also focus on flexibility in your foot.  Now if it’s something like a stress fracture, that’s going to be a little bit more serious and require you to take some time off of running, but in most cases, if you looked it on your foot and your 2nd toe is longer than your big toe, it’s most likely that you just have capsulitis; little bit of icing, working on the flexibility of that big toe, and then just taping it during the next few runs to keep it from overstretching would be the best way to go, and I’m not a doctor, I’m not a podiatrist, but that’s what I’d do if it was me; I mean, there’s a lot of things that can go on in the foot, beyond just like an inflammation of the ligaments, but if it’s just that then I wouldn’t worry too much; if it’s a stress fracture, yeah, you may need to take some time off of running.

Craig:             I’m currently following a half marathon plan but having trouble with fueling and fluids.  When I’m riding my bike, I take a large wig of plain water every 10 minutes.  I’ve tried taking in that same amount of fluid while running, but end up with stomach distress.  What do you suggest to keep my fluid intake up for that amount of time?

Ben:                Well, the whole idea behind this is you never want to drink as much while you are running, as you do all your bicycling so, for example, when I’m out doing an iron man triathlon, I drink a pretty big bottle of water each hour while I’m on the bikes, so I drink the equivalent of about 28-32 ounces of water, especially in hot conditions while I’m on the bike, and cut that nearly in half as soon as I go out and run.  Well, research has shown us that people who finish a race fastest, finish it dehydrated; it’s simply impossible to take in the amount of water that’s necessary to fully hydrate your body and also, finish in a very quick time, so know that you are going to get dehydrated on the run and the actual number of ounces of water that you’d be looking at taking in, it’s going to range from anywhere from about 12 up to around 17 ounces of water an hour.  So, let’s say for example, that you’re taking a sip of water every mile or every mile, you take for example, like a 2-3 ounce sip of water every mile, to get close up to around that 12-17 ounces of water per hour so, just know that you don’t want to be even trying to take in these same amount of fluid while running as you do while you’re cycling, and that will help you out quite a bit.

Josh:              I know you’re not a doctor, but I wanted to get an idea of what you think of an issue I’m having.  About a month ago, I started your triathlon dominator package and I went out to do my run.  I used some old, beat up racing flats I had as I wanted to make every second count, but I think they were a bit too worn out and I hit a lot of jagged rocks while running.  Since doing that run, I’ve been having some minor bone pain under my left foot that usually starts hurting after about 5 miles and then continues to hurt until I’m done running.  Not sure if I’ve bruised the bone or what, but any words of wisdom to help me possibly get over this?

Ben:                Well, all sorts of things can cause pain on the bottom of your foot.  So if it’s around in your heel area, and it sounds like your pain is a little bit more in the toe area, but if it’s around in your heel area, usually you’re looking at like a bursitis or a plantar fasciitis, which would be both inflammatory conditions that respond pretty well to rest and to stretching, kind of like the other foot pain question, but the other thing that can happen is you can actually get trauma and this would especially happen if you’re wearing some real thin shoes, you can get trauma to these little bones that are underneath your big toe, they’re called sesamoid bones, and when you get pain in those bones, it’s called sesamoiditis and it’s a pretty common cause of pain in your forefoot, so those bones basically act as a lever for the tendons that flex your toes as you’re running, specifically your big toe, and because of that, they can get a lot of pressure and trauma on them while you’re running, so sometimes, it can be a dull ache and a lot of times if it’s real bad, that can be a sharp pain and sometimes it can even get swollen or kind of red.  What you can actually do with that is control it the same way that you would control inflammation, so I mentioned before ice, for example, you could soak your foot in a big bucket of ice or some very, very cold water a few times during the day; you can strap your big toe to keep it from bending upwards so you can tape it; you can use a real world good cushion inner sole in your shoe, to protect that sesamoid bone from pressure from the ground, and in some cases, to actually make it go away if you want to run through it and not rest until the pain goes away, you may actually need something like a cortisone injection, and the cortisone injection into the foot is a safe place to get an injection – that’s not 1 of the places that you’d need to worry too much, in terms of getting a cortisone injection, but I’d control it via just the same way that you control inflammation, some rest, do some taping on it, get some ice on it and if it’s really bad, they actually will remove the sesamoid bone surgically, but that would typically be if you’d actually fractured the sesamoid, and it doesn’t sound like you’ve gotten to that point; you’d have a really sharp pain if that were the case.  So, in a lot of cases, this is something runners never need to hear or never want to hear but a lot of times, it just requires some rest, some ice, some TLC and foot pain goes away.  I’ve beat up my feet over and over again in anything, from tennis to basketball, to volleyball, to weight lifting, to running, to cycling, and every time, a few days of rest, I do use quite a bit of icing on the foot and it goes away, and remember, toes are very easy to tape – you tape 1 toe to the other, it can provide a lot of support; you can also just tape 1 toe to keep it from bending too much.

Pat:                 I just need to ask you, does it matter what kind of fish oil I take?  It seems like there are tons of varieties at the grocery store and on the internet and at the health food store, supplements and stuff and I won’t buy any if I don’t know which I should be taking so, I’d appreciate your answer, thanks a lot, buhbye.

Ben:                Okay good question.  1st of all, taking any kind of fish oil is typically going to be better than taking none at all.  So, as long as the fish oil hasn’t been heated to really high temperatures, as long as you open it up and you can’t get a really smelly fish odor, it’s still going to provide some joint in cardiovascular benefits and it may not be the best thing on the planet for you, but it will be better than taking no fish oil at all.  Fish oil can reduce your fatty acids, your triglycerides, your cholesterol; it can help reduce, especially, the small LDL particles which are the ones that are responsible, for example, for getting people heart attacks from high cholesterol, and it can really help to stabilize plaque or reduce plaque formation, but if you really want to get the best absorption and the best benefit from a fish oil, there’s a form called “natural triglyceride” and that’s the best form to be taking.  So what the triglyceride form is, is it’s the form found in the body of fish that protects them from cold temperatures, so like a cold water fish would be like, say for example, like a salmon or a krill or a mackerel, those would be the type of fish that are going to have really good fish oil sources; the problem is that most fish oil on the markets are in ethyl-ester form.  Now without getting too deep into the science, what that means is that the omega3 fatty acids in that fish have been removed from the triglyceride component and then they react them with an ethanol alcohol to form ethyl-ester, and it’s a little bit cheaper way to get fish oil, but it’s also not quite as well absorbed as what would be called the triglyceride form, and if the form isn’t actually specified on your bottle, it’s most likely the ethyl-ester forms, since the triglyceride form is a lot more expensive to process and so, most people who are using the triglyceride form are going to brag about it on the label of their fish oil.  1 example of a triglyceride-based fish oil would be the Pharmax brand – I will put a link to that in the show notes for you, but ultimately, in a nutshell, the triglyceride form of fish oil would be the better form so, you’re definitely not going to find that at a place like Wall Mart or the typical grocery store unfortunately, so it’s a little bit hard to get your hands on but if you want to make the most bang from your buck for your fish oil, which also means you got to take less of it, then the triglyceride form would be the stuff to go for.  So, great question.

Bryan:            I’ve heard you compare various protein powders.  Please compare those with the benefits of the garden of life product ‘Raw Protein”.

Ben:                So, the label on the garden of life product “Raw Protein” says that what they’ve used is a brown rice protein, an amaranth sprout, a kimwa sprout, a millet sprout, a buckwheat sprout, a garbanzo bean sprout, a kidney bean sprout, lentil bean sprouts, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sun flower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, chia seed sprout and sesame seed sprout.  When you guys see the sprouted term used, when you sprout a bean or a legume or a grain, it really enhances the absorption and the amount of nutrients and vitamins and minerals that you’re going to be able to get from that source, so this is a great-looking protein; it’s very similar to the living protein that I’ve recommended before in this show, that you can get over at PacificFit.net, but this garden of life raw protein is definitely a great protein – it combined a lot of amino acid sources, so even though there’s no actual meat-based source or like a whey protein or a casein protein in there, you’re still getting a full amino acid profile from it, granted, for example, like after a workout, whey protein is going to be a little bit more fully absorbed, but if you’re going for like a vegan or a vegetarian-based protein source, this stuff would just be fine to take, and most of the garden of life products are actually decent as well.  I tried to get the guy who owns garden of life on the show – he actually has a really cool story, but he was booked out for basically, like a year so I couldn’t get him on, but ultimately, that garden of life would be fine.

David:            Yeah hey Ben, my name is David Star.  In podcast 129, you were talking about IGF-1 and meats and dairies, and well, I have a question about the IGF-1 spray.  Have you heard of it?  It became really popular when a Steelers football player admitted to using it, but fairly, the spray is something that you spray into your mouth and it contains velvet deer antlers, sometimes a toxin of it that is sprayed into your mouth.  I just want to know if it’s any safer than the IGF-1 that’s found in the animal, meat and dairy products and if you get off, give me your suggestions on whether it’s safe or not and the pros and cons.  Okay Ben, thank a bunch and I look forward to hearing the answers, thank you buhbye.

Ben:                Well, this is an interesting question about deer antlers spray, and the idea is that they’ll harvest this stuff from velvet that covers the antlers of deer, specifically, they harvest it over in New Zealand, they grind it into a powder and then it gets put in a capsule form or a liquid form, and it’s sold over here in the US for about 70 bucks a bottle and it contains natural amounts of what’s called IGF1, which helps with growth hormone release and that’s why it’s banned by the NFL because the WADA or the World- Anti-Doping-Association-monitored sports don’t allow people to take human growth hormone or things that cause huge amounts of human growth hormone release.  This deer antler’s been used in Chinese medicine for a long time, and the idea behind it is it originated as this aphrodisiac that help to regulate sexual function but because it can help to release human growth hormone because it does have these levels of what’s called insulin-like growth factor 1 in it, it can also help with recovery and muscle formulation and that’s 1 of the reasons that deer antlers can grow at incredible speeds on male deer, because of this IGF1 and the fact that it’s helping them release hormones that allow them to grow.  Now there’s been a few small studies that have done on it, or that have been done on it; 1 study looked at it’s anti-aging effect and proved that deer antler could promote memory and learning function because of some of the things in there that stimulated RNA, it’s been shown to increase testosterone in male mice, and also improve the activity of monoamine oxidase in the brain, which is another thing that could help with memory or learning function.  The other thing that deer antler contains is what’s called chondroitin sulfate, which is 1 of the main things you’re going to find in glucosamine chondroitin, so it could help out a little bit with joint pain and the Russians have actually used deer antler quite a bit as an anabolic agent, again, for athlete performance and muscle growth, and although the risks of it weren’t really looked at in these studies, it was shown to have a pretty variable effect in sports during training and performance and recovery, how they tested it in athletes running 3000 meters and found that they improve their 3000-meter time by almost 44 seconds by using a deer antler and as far as the health effects, the main thing that you’d want to worry about are the same things that you’d want to worry about with anything that causes growth in the human body, or a release of growth hormone and that is the potential risk of cancer with long-term use because anytime you’re stimulating cells to grow at a more rapid rate, then they would naturally, you can risk some type of carcinogenic formation or a tumor formation, so even though there haven’t been studies that have been done on it, I would definitely be careful with this stuff; I would definitely not use it if you’re competing in any type of WADA sports, if you’re trying to build a bunch of muscle or you’re trying to amp up your testosterone levels, this stuff is probably going to help you but because not a ton of research has been done on it, I personally, like if it was me, I wouldn’t be taking it just because I don’t want to be doing a testicular examination on myself in the shower 1 day and discover a lump because I’ve been dumping too much human growth hormone down the hatch.  So that’s where you just need to be careful; for example, I did mention that I take something that’s like a very light, gentle growth hormone precursor before bed at night, some nights to help me to get to sleep and it’s nothing compared to the amounts that would be in something like a deer antler velvet so, great question.

Jenny:            Do you have any suggestions for cutting back on drinking wine?  I would love to become a 1-glass person on the weekends rather than a 3-glass person, which has too many calories.

Ben:                Well, the idea, Jenny, behind drinking the wine is that the alcohol results in the production of acetate when it’s metabolized, and acetate it going to be preferentially burnt as a fuel before any of the carbohydrates or the proteins or the fats that you’re eating and so technically, when you’re consuming alcohol with food, you burn less of the food for energy and store a little bit more of it away as fat, and of course, with heavy drinking, you also decrease testosterone levels and decrease recovery and cause sleep interruption, a lot of the other things that can occur with heavy drinking, but for a 3 glass of wine type of deal, the main thing that you would have to worry about is the calorie consumption and the fact that you’re not going to burn as much of the food that you’re eating for energy, so as far as cutting back on the wine and reducing your intake, I wouldn’t approach this from the same perspective as I would, say an alcoholic or someone with an alcoholic addiction because that doesn’t seem to be what you’re asking; I would instead approach it in the same way that I would, like a psychological trick to reduce certain consumption of certain type of cheap foods.  So 1 of the things that you can do is consume from a smaller container, so make sure that your wine glasses are very thin and tall, and well, it will look to your eyes and it’ll look to you like you’re drinking a lot more wine than you actually are, you aren’t really drinking as much, if you’re drinking it in a tall, thin container as you would from like a wide fish bowl type of wine glass.  So, drink from a tall container, that’ll help out quite a bit; get 1 of the pumps that you can use to reduce the pressure and remove the oxygen from the wine so that it retains its flavor and its quality, without you having to feel like you have to consume the entire bottle over the weekend, so that means that you could, for example, pour yourself 1 glass, put the cap on, pump it and then throw the wine in the fridge or back into your wine cabinet or your cellar and be able to take it out the next weekend and still enjoy it; it’s granted it’s still not going to have as high quality as it would when you 1st opened it, but that’ll at least give you peace of mind that you don’t have to consume the entire bottle all at once, or consume the entire bottle over the weekend.  I would definitely use some of the same strategies as you would to control carbohydrate cravings – meaning that if you can manage your insulin sensitivity, you’re going to have a little bit less of craving for the type of sugar that you’re going to get in wine, so I would look into something like the thermal factor supplement that I’ve talked about before; I’d look into the use of natural blood sugar stabilizers like cinnamon; I’d look into vanadium, chromium; listen to the inner circle podcast number 4 that I did with my wife on carbohydrate cravings; use some of the tactics that we talked about in that podcast, specifically the supplements that we talked about, to reduce any type of carbohydrate cravings that could be driving you towards wine consumption, and then the other thing that I’d do, and this is something that I’ve done before myself, is I’ll take like a sparkling water and I’ll add something that has a lot of the qualities of wine into it; for example, I’ve got this Nutra rev – it’s like a liquid, kind of like a berry extract and it’s got a really high tannin content, and so, if I add that to a little bit of carbonated water, I kind of get that same type of flavor enjoyment as I do with the wine without getting the alcohol or the calories; that’s another thing I’d look into, that one’s called Nutra rev.  I will put a link the thermal factor and the Nutra rev in the show notes for you and hopefully, some of those tactics help you out quite a bit.

Armie:           I was researching infra-red recovery treatment found a claim that infra-red treatments can burn up to 600 calories an hour by just sitting in them.  What do you think?

Ben:                Well, the idea behind these infra-red treatments is that you wrap your body in these devices that are like warm pads and they heat up your body via infra-red light, and what happens is that, that is a form of energy and it radiates energy and apparently, helps to improve circulation; so as your body tissues heat up, your blood circulation improves, and by enhancing circulation, you increase metabolism, clearance of toxins – 1 of those buds words that gets thrown around quite a bit, and that amount of sweat or water volume that you also lose can cause a little bit of weight loss as well, without causing you to actually go out and do something uncomfortable, like say, exercise.  Same idea behind saunas and steam rooms, you kind of get a combination of the increase in heart rate, improving circulation, because your body is trying to cool itself but you also get that loss of fluids or that sweating effect which can potentially clear some toxic byproducts, if they happen to be circulating in your bloodstream and it’s something that’s been used in Eastern medicine for many thousands of years as a clearance remedy, this idea of sweating or improving or increasing body heat, so there’s definitely a little bit behind the treatment; it’s 1 of those things where I never recommend this type of stuff as a primary weight loss strategy, I recommend it as something that you could use to supplement weight loss – if you have some extra time left over after doing your interval training or weight training or going out and doing aerobics.  Now if you have a joint limitation or you just can’t get yourself to the gym, you don’t want to workout but something like an infra-red sweat treatment sounds like a pretty cool idea to you, you’re not really going to do much damage by doing something like this.  If you have a pre-existing cardiovascular condition, be advised that your heart rate is going to get jacked up a little bit because you will be, how to try and regulate your body temperature by shoving some extra blood to the surface of your body, but ultimately, it’s not something that’s going to harm you and yes, you are going to lose weight.  The majority of it will be water volume and then you’ll get, probably the equivalent of an extra 80-100 calories per day, from increased cellular metabolism due to some of that improved blood circulation so, realize that most of the weight you’ll lose will be just a water loss, not calorie burning.

Kevin:            I want your thoughts on the pre-workout products N.O.-Xplode and Jack3d.

Ben:                Well I’ve talked about N.O.-Xplode before, on this show and, 1 of the things or 1 of the areas where I talked about it in even more detail is my Get fit Guy podcast.  Now each week, I do about a 5 to 10-minute podcast over at the quick and dirty tips network, and I did 1 on whether or not muscle-building supplements actually work and in that podcast, I went over nitric oxide in pretty great detail.  I will put a link to that actual episode in the show notes for you Kevin.  Now what I didn’t talk about was this Jack3d supplement and Jack3d, which is spelled J-a-c-k-the number 3-d, like Jack and then the 3, is the E turned backwards, kind of creative.  It’s basically got arginine in it as the primary ingredient, and arginine is just a precursor for nitric oxide production.  So if you’re taking Jack3d and you’re taking this Nitric Oxide Xplode at the same time, you’re wasting your money on a bunch of excess nitric oxide because once you get over anywhere from about 4-5 grams of an arginine supplement per day, you’re really not going to get any extra advantage from taking more of it, so doubling up nitric oxide supplements is flushing a lot of money down the toilet because anything that has nitric oxide in it is notoriously expensive.  So the other thing that Jack3d has in it is of course, caffeine, as most of these pumped-up weight lifting or muscle-building supplements do, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s actually no evidence that caffeine helps with weight lifting, however, all the benefits from caffeine that have been shown in studies, have been done on endurance athletes who are doing things like running or cycling or swimming, so the only thing caffeine’s going to do is kind of, wake you up, but a red flag from these that the Jack3d also has a ton of sucralose and acesulfame potassium in it, as well as vegetable stearate and silicon dioxide so, you’re getting a bunch of preservatives in chemicals, along with your arginine.  Now I, personally, do take a nitric oxide precursor for about 2 weeks prior to racing; I take 1 called Carnage from a company called Millennium Sports, and the reason I like it is because it’s a capsule, it’s not a powder, so I don’t have to worry about getting a bunch of artificial flavors and sweeteners and preservatives in there along with the capsules; that one’s called Carnage by Millennium Sports.  Most of clients are familiar with that because you get like a 50% discount on any of that stuff, but that’s the 1 that I take and then I’ll put a link over to that muscle-building supplements that a podcast that I did over at the Get Fit Guy.

Dale:               My son wants to run Bloomsday.  I’m concerned 8 years old is a bit too young to run a 12k race.  He ran 3 5k races last summer and he runs about a 9 and a half-minute mile.  Should he stick to 5ks until he gets a little bit more mature?

Ben:                Well, as far as kids and distance running, the main thing, of course, that you want to worry about is the same thing that you want to worry about with kids and weight lifting, and that’s basically a growth plate compression and kids have what are called “epiphyseal plates” in their bones, that are growing, and if those are exposed to mechanical stress, they can not only get injured or fractured but they can also reduce your child’s ability to grow properly.  Now, that’s a risk, as is the risk of stress fractures because kids have a little bit lower bone density.  Patellofemoral syndrome or pain in the front of the knee because that ligament tends to be easily stressed in kids, is another thing to worry about, and then chronic tendonitis or overuse syndrome, again, because tendons are not quite able to take as much repetitive impact in children as they are in adults.  So you’d want to be really careful if your child was complaining of knee pain or if there was anything going on, in terms of joint pain, bone pain, things of that nature, and there hasn’t been a ton of studies that have looked at what actually happens to kids when they run those type of distances, but 1 of the things that you’d really want to be careful with is that your kid is getting enough minerals and vitamins because they’re going to be burning a lot more calories than they are, if they were say, going out and just playing a little bit of pick-up basketball or something like that, and then you’d want to use recovery protocols as well; you’d want to make sure that they’re consuming adequate post-workout nutrition, that they are getting their feet up after they go out and run, and as long as you’re really taking care of nutrition needs and as long as you’re not pushing your son to run, running a 12k is doable, it’s just 1 of those things where there is evidence that it may stun his growth and if he’s complaining of any type of joint pain, you’d want to pull him out right away.  Now the reason I’m concerned about this is because when me and my brothers were at that age, we’d go hiking in the hills for hours and hours and hours and come back home and be just fine; we’d cover probably twice the distance of what your son’s going to cover in Bloomsday, but we weren’t running, we were doing combinations of walking and jogging and hiking and sitting and killing snakes and putting or feet in the creek and so, you just want to be careful, that you tell your son it’s okay to walk some of it, jog some of it, run some of it, eat during it if he’s getting hungry, eat afterwards, and just use a little bit of common sense and never ever have him push through any type of joint pain whatsoever, because it’s going to be a lot easier for him to get a stress fracture, tendonitis than it is, an adult.

Lisa:               I’m looking for something to drink after my long runs; I like Gatorade, but I’m looking for something that’s cheaper and uses natural ingredients that I can make on my own.

Ben:                So, home-made sports electrolyte drink that’s similar to something like Gatorade.  1 of the things that you can do is just use a pure, organic fruit juice or a juicer, like fruit that you’d juice in a juicer, and then you just mix that with organic sea salts, so you would fill a sports bottle with about half juice and half water so you’re not getting too high of a sugar concentrate, and then you add a pinch of organic sea salts, so you’re getting all your minerals and electrolytes in there and you suck it down.  Now, you can also use coconut water – that’s another great source of electrolytes, especially potassium; sometimes it’s not super high in calories, so you’d want to add just a little bit of extra, say like a raw honey in there or another fruit juice type of source, like you could mix it with a 100% pineapple juice or mango juice.  If you want a little bit of an extra pick-me-up, you could also brew a green tea and put some green tea in there as well.  What I would like to do is with this question though is I’d like to turn it over to you listeners, if you have home-made sports recovery drinks that you’ve made, just because this is 1 of those questions, kind of like chicken casserole.  There’s a thousand different drinks out there; I’d like to hear your comments, so if you could leave them as a comment in the show notes for this podcast, podcast number 132, to help Lisa out, that’d be great, but Lisa, in response to you, if I were going to make my own sports drink, I would just get a 100% juice, cut it down, half and half, that with water and put a pinch of sea salt in – it shouldn’t taste anymore salty than, say like a pedialyte (if you ever tasted kids’ pedialyte), and then the other thing that I’d do is consider just mixing a coconut water, half and half, with juice.

Lisa:               My boyfriend, who I live with, isn’t active and he never has been.  He has fibromyalgia and experiences a lot of pain.  He’s tried to start a couple different things like P90x and he was also trying to play in a recreational basketball league for a couple weeks, but everything so far has really caused his fibromyalgia to act up.  Do you have any recommendations?

Ben:                Well, fibromyalgia is 1 of those conditions that can be very difficult because there’s no actual diagnostic test to diagnose fibromyalgia; it’s just based on symptoms.  So if people are getting fatigues, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, head aches, arthritis, restless legs syndrome, unexplained pain in certain joints or muscles, all of that can be diagnosed as fibromyalgia, so it’s kind of a catch-all term that’s very difficult to figure out, but 1 of the main things that happens is that joint impact in the exercise can cause a lot of pain, and especially things like jogging or heavy weight lifting or sports, anything that requires jumping or moving rapidly or other exercises that can load the joints up, can cause someone with fibromyalgia to feel quite a bit of pain.  The fact that your boyfriend has tried P90x and recreational basketball league, suggests that he’s chosen 2 activities that would definitely aggravate a fibromyalgia condition.  For fibromyalgia, the type of things that should be done would be what are called closed kinetic chain activities, so those are activities where you’re really not touching the ground – that would be, for example, like going to the gym and using the machines at the gym like the chest press, shoulder press, leg extension, leg curl, arm curl, tricep extension machine, and using those in, just basically a circuit – going 3 or 4 times through and doing 15 reps for each exercise.  Walking, bicycling, swimming, water aerobics, any of those can really reduce the loading along the long bones in the musculoskeletal system and minimize any of the type of joint pain or joint trauma that someone with fibromyalgia is going to feel.  Doing a lot of cross training can really help to reduce excess stress on a joint, so for example, a combination of all the activities that I mentioned rather than just choosing 1 and doing that throughout the week, can be a lot more beneficial and a lot more pain-free than just say, riding a bike 3 times a week, but the interesting thing is that when people have who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia have been studied – those who engaged in a combination of flexibility and cardiovascular fitness can program, all experienced a significant decrease in pain and part of that is because of the release of a lot of these pain-controlling endorphins that exercise is going to produce.  So it’s just a matter of starting off with very light, non-weight-bearing type of activities like a weight lifting machine at the gym, like swimming, cycling, walking, for example, up an incline on the treadmill, and using those type of things to reduce pain and possibly get them to the point where you can do things like play basketball or try-out P90x or something like that, but definitely don’t start with those activities.  So, that is going to wrap it up with our last question of the day, so remember, I will put a link to lots of things that I talked about in the show notes to this episode, episode number 132.  Please help Lisa out, and if you have your own ingredients for a home-made sports recovery drink that you like to make, then throw it on to the comments section for this podcast for Lisa, and then be sure to tune in next week where I’m going to talk more about swim typing with Paul from swim smooth and again, if you want to jump the gun, then go check out the blog post that came out this week on swim typing, and also, check out chef Todd’s aphrodisiac wet foods website and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well.  So until next time, this is Ben Greenfield, signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

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