Introduction: In this Podcast, which is better high protein, low carbohydrate or high fat, low carbohydrate? Also, what is hip dysplasia, how to deal with a baker’s cyst, how carbohydrates are listed on packaged food, trouble sleeping after an evening workout, what type of milk is best, HUUB wetsuits, should you use over the counter testosterone creams, how does Muscle Activation Technique work, and what is the ENG3?
Brock: Hey everybody, welcome to Episode 202. This is the episode where Ben’s going to tell us about the inside of every portable potty inSpain. And I’m going to tell you how to grab and eel unexpectedly while swimming in a lake.
Ben: Oh boy, this should be fun.
Brock: It’s going to be a good one.
Ben: Yes. I literally just got in last night from a 24-hour layover in Paris.
Ben: That was actually my fault for misreading a ticket. And it’s usually not a big deal. But I happen to be traveling with my wife. And it always makes it that much more embarrassing when you miss a flight. It’s not just you that is suffering from it. But anyways, I got to spend a romantic night inParis.
Brock: I could say it’s hard to call it suffering when you’re inParis.
Ben: We were in an airport hotel. But I did get my workout in. I did stairway sprints. It was a ten-story hotel. So, I got some stairway sprints in. And the way that I did my workout in theParishotel, I thought I’d share this with listeners because I was doing it. And I was thinking that I got to tell my listeners about this workout because it worked out pretty well. I went into the stairwell which nobody uses anyways.
Ben: Everybody just uses the elevator. And what you do is you sprint to each landing of each floor. And every time you get to a landing, you do ten push ups. So, you start at the bottom. You sprint to one floor and you drop and do ten. And then you sprint to the next floor and drop and do ten. And you alternate in between push-ups by taking two stairs at a time and then one stair at a time.
Brock: So, you do quick feet for one and then bigger lunging steps for the next.
Ben: Yes. And then I had an espresso and a bar of dark chocolate. And then I got on the plane.
Brock: That sounds perfect.
Ben: But actually, the race that I was at was the ITU World Championships over in Spain. And I just put a link to my race report over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Brock: I got to say I read the race report. And I actually got stomach pains on your behalf.
Ben: Yes. And what it comes down to, I’m writing an article right now on this for Lava Magazine. But for the past four to six months or so, I’ve pretty much worked most of the gliadin proteins out of my diet. It’s that protein molecule you find in things like wheat, rye, and barley. And the thing is that when you’ve worked gliadin out of your diet and then you bring them back in, the inflammatory reaction in your bowel and the effect on the mucosa lining of your small intestine is pretty significant.
Brock: It’s more significant than it would’ve been had you just continued to eat.
Ben: Right. Basically, if you’re gluten-free and gliadin-free and then you get some trace exposures which happen to me during race week. When you’re really trying to operate at 100 percent intensity, it can mess you up a little bit. And I ended up basically for the last hour of that 75-mile bike that I was hammering pretty hard, I ended up not being able to really eat anything at all. It’s because it was just coming back up. And it really came back to bite me on the run in terms of hypoglycemia and all that jazz. So, everything from nutrient loss to mal-absorption of nutrients to indigestion to leaky gut syndrome to fat mal-absorption to aggravating lactose intolerance. All of these things are issues with gliadin exposure after you’ve dropped it out of your diet. I’m working on a big article on that right now for Lava Magazine. But essentially what happened was I had some tapas here and there and a few exposures to wheat in some of the dinners that we had. And it was one of those deals where you don’t really realize how even a little bit can come back to bite you until you’re standing there on the starting line. And you’re trying to get everything you can out of your body. And it’s just not happening. So, it’s a big eye-opener. And if you want to check out the article, I’m writing about it, you can go over to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and link over to the race report and read it a little bit. And then you can check out the upcoming issue of Lava Magazine for more on that fun portable potty filled experience. What’s the deal with the eels dude?
Brock: I was just swimming in Lake Ontario last weekend. I was just doing my regular workout. And during one of the strokes I felt this weird thing in my hand. And it was like I felt muscle and it shook and disappeared out of my hand. And I didn’t actually see it. But it was alarming and shocking. And there were a lot of lifeguards all floating around in boats near by. And when I got close to one of them I just popped up for a second and asked them what they would say the chances are of me actually just having grabbed a fish. And one of them looked at me and said that it was probably an eel as if it was no big deal. Apparently, Lake Ontario’s got tons of American eels . And they go into different areas. And the area that I was swimming in had tons of them. They’re absolutely harmless. They’re just like fish.
Brock: They’re not going to bite you. They’re not going to sting you or anything. So, I wasn’t worried. I continued to swim. And that’s the spot I’ve been swimming in for a while. I’ll go back. But it was just if I had actually tried to grab an eel on purpose, there’s no way I would’ve done it. But I actually did it by accident.
Ben: You need to go swim with barbeque sauce and that way you got some unagi.
Brock: Apparently, they are delicious. So, I should’ve kept my hand closed and swam to shore.
Ben: Alas! I love unagi.
Brock: Okay. Twitter.com/BenGreenfield and of course Google+ have all kinds of interesting stories almost everyday. If not, every second day and sometimes multiple times a day. And this is a time when Ben’s going to highlight a couple of few of his favorites.
Ben: I’m always keeping my eye open at some of the things that are floating around out there in terms of studies that can help folks out. And one of the things I saw was something that came out in Echinacea specifically on Echinacea supplementation improving running economy and maximum oxygen consumption after you use an oral Echinacea supplement for about four weeks. And Echinacea is something that a lot of folks have turned to as a way to boost the immune system. And to potentially decrease the duration of a cold or an upper respiratory tract infection although, there’s not much research to back that up. But this study was pretty statistically significant in terms of four weeks of Echinacea supplementation and its ability to increase the manufacture of red blood cells. And it’s the same reason that the guys in the Tour de France dope. Of course they don’t dope. That’s all rumor. Or they try to get their EPO up. It’s pretty amazing though and the extent to which Echinacea almost parallels the effect of doping in terms of its ability to increase red blood cells.
Brock: Really? It’s that significant?
Ben: Its pretty dang significant.
Ben: We’re talking about 8000 milligrams or eight grams of Echinacea.
Brock: Eight grams wow.
Ben: It’s for an extended period of time. And that’s a lot of Echinacea.
Brock: That is.
Ben: The average pill I think if you were to get Echinacea capsules, it’s something like 100 to 200 milligrams around in there. So, you’re looking at almost 80 of those per day. There may eventually I would imagine come to market some type of concentrated liquid Echinacea supplements. I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one. The mechanism of action is not something that I completely understand. But there’s definitely a fact in terms of the ability to produce more of those oxygen transporting red blood cells. And I just wanted to mention it as something interesting. And it’s something that I’ll certainly keep my eye on in terms of the research. And the availability like a high dose concentrated Echinacea extract and whether or not something like that is safe and even doable without gastric distress for example.
Brock: I should mix that with some beet juice and make this superhuman formula.
Ben: And a little tequila.
Brock: Yes and a little tequila, of course.
Ben: The other thing that I noted for you guys out there speaking of tequila is that and this was what I actually tweeted. It was that sugary drinks when you’re out at the bar or any other times that you’re a pre-sex. It may affect your bedroom performance and not from the alcohol per say. And the reason that I tweeted this was a study that showed that glucose ingestion acutely lowered testosterone secretion in men. It means that they did a study where they fed healthy men glucose and measured concentrations of testosterone for the first 120 minutes following glucose ingestion. And there was a significant drop off in testosterone. It was right around 12 to 20 percent in terms of decrease for those two hours after consuming oral glucose solution. So, when I first tweeted this, I thought it was pretty significant. But then I looked at the study a little bit more closely. And basically, when they tested these men following glucose ingestion, it was between about eight and12 pm during the day. Now what happens and you may have heard me talk about this on the show before, it’s usually around between eight and ten am that your testosterone levels peak due to your morning cortisol release. And they’ll gradually start to decrease from that point during the day. So, at any given time during the day when you get your testosterone levels measured, they’re going to fluctuate. And you can see. For example, from early to mid-morning into noon, there’s a significant decrease that would’ve paralleled what they were noting in this study from the glucose ingestion. So, there’s a big question mark here on whether or not the drop off in testosterone was due to the sugar consumption. Or it was just the natural decrease in testosterone that happens based on your circadian rhythm. So, I tweeted this. After I tweeted this, I started to look into the study a little bit more. And I thought that part of this could just be and this is something listeners should be aware about if they’re testing testosterone levels. It’s that they do naturally fluctuate a little bit.
Brock: But the study was showing that the decrease was more significant in the people who were ingesting the glucose over the people who weren’t.
Ben: Yes. You did see a little bit more from the glucose ingestion.
Brock: Yes. So, it’s not completely reliant on the time of day because there was an increase. But it does parallel what’s going on in your body anyway.
Ben: Yes. And I would say that if you want that natural testosterone high that you should be sticking to some of the higher fat foods anyways.
Brock: And beer.
Ben: Brazil nuts, red meat, and of course beer which we all know is a very high fat food.
Brock: And it boosts your testosterone through the roof.
Ben: That’s right. Another way to boost your testosterone and this is something else that I tweeted is your rest interval. Specifically, I tweeted to quit sitting around at the gym and linked to a study that looked at the influence of rest interval length on acute testosterone. And what was found was that when the rest period between strength training sets was decreased from 90 seconds down to 60 seconds. There was a significant increase in total testosterone. And the reason that I tweeted to quit sitting around at the gym was I think that in a lot of situations, you see too many people sitting around for long periods of time. When in reality unless you’re lifting for large amounts of strength and power and doing some really heavy complex sets, you don’t need to be resting for a long period of time at the gym. And this study showed that by decreasing your rest period, you can actually increase your testosterone response to a workout. So, I thought that was good to know.
Brock: Yes. And you get done in a less amount of time and back to whatever it is you were doing.
Ben: Yes. So, there are two ways to bump up that testosterone. Don’t eat a lot of sugar and don’t rest as long in between sets at the gym. So, there are a couple of other things that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com since our last podcast. It’s because there have been a couple of weeks since our last podcast. There’s a post on algae and specifically spirulina and chlorella. I talked about some of the benefits of it and some of the sources of it. And it’s an interesting article. You should check it out. That’s over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com about everything you know on how to use a slimy green plant.
Ben: It’s to slow aging, decrease cravings, and recover faster. And it’s pretty cool. There’s this stuff called chlorella growth factor that you can get in algae extracts. It’s one of the ways that chlorella massively multiplies based on this cocktail of nucleic acids like RNA and DNA that it has in it. And you can get some of those benefits when you supplement with it. So, I wrote and article on that. I posted a healthy travel how-to video. I posted that straight out from the Inner Circle actually. So, you can check that out if you want to get a glimpse into the world and the type of things my wife and I teach to our private Inner Circle members. You can check that out. And then, there are a couple of posts on whether weight training counts as cardio and how to do a swim-run workout.
Brock: Yes. I liked that one. That was some really inventive interesting procedures there.
Ben: Yes. So, I love swim-run workouts and posted some great workout ideas for you. So, that’s about it in terms of the news flashes for this week.
Brock: Okay. So why don’t we start off with the Audible audio books as a sponsor of this particular episode of BenGreenfieldFitness. And if you want to cash in on that Audible free audio book, you can go to AudiblePodcast.com/Ben. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/Ben. Don’t just go to AudiblePodcast.com because you’ll miss out on the helping out the show. And also, you can get a free audio book.
Ben: Yes. And I’ve got a good one for you. It’s a movie that we watched on the plane. It was The Hunger Games. I thought it totally sucked.
Ben: It’s because I read the book. The movie totally sucks compared to the book. It’s just a big warning to you folks out there. If you’ve seen the movie and think that it’s good, read the book or listen to it. You can listen to it over at AudiblePodcast.com/Ben. It’s one of the top selling books on Audible. I don’t who reads it. I’m not sure who narrates it. But I enjoyed the book immensely. And I thought the movie was just dumb. There’s too much character development in the book to be able to squeeze it all into the movie. And I really lost my attention after about an hour or so.
Brock: That’s often the case though. Any story that relies heavily on character development, you can’t do it in two hours.
Ben: Yes. The movie is rarely better than the book. But check out The Hunger Games over at AudiblePodcast.com/Ben. You don’t have to be a 13-year old teenage girl to enjoy it. I actually thought that myself.
Brock: But it helps.
Ben: But it does help quite a bit. Another thing that I wanted to mention was WellnessFx. And I am working on a blog post. After our call today, I actually have a call with my WellnessFx practitioner. Basically, in WellnessFx what you do is and I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But basically, you get a baseline measurement and it’s pretty big. You look at total cholesterol, HGL LDL, your triglycerides, and then reflections of your LDL particle size. It’s basically what’s called LPA and APO-B which is a better marker or whether or not higher cholesterol is an issue compared to just measuring LDL. You test inflammation with a HSCRP test. You test your metabolism and your hormone status through glucose test, A1C test and some thyroid measurements. You can test your liver and your kidney health through a bunch of different measurements like albumin and creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and stuff like that, vitamin D, all of your electrolytes. And then what happens is all of this is graphed for you on your own dashboard. And then you work with health practitioners. Most of the doctors in there are either naturopaths or MD/PHD or MD’s who have a lot of integrative medicine experience who are very into using things like nutrition and supplements rather than pharmaceutical drugs. And they work on you to get your numbers better. The other cool thing is that as you retest, you can track the numbers and how they vary from test to test. Anyways, I’ve been really geeking out on it. Like I said, I’m working on a blog post about it. But for now, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for folks. If you want to go through WellnessFx to get all your health markers tested, I really like it. And it’s not because you can’t go out and get these tests from a place like Direct Labs which you’ve heard me talk about on the show before. But if you really want a convenient dashboard to be able to track all of this stuff and to be able to visually see what’s going on with your scores. And you can also be able to have doctors who can actually be able to look at your scores as well and have phone calls with you. I think the whole telemedicine thing is pretty cool. And this thing is at the cutting edge of it.
Brock: That is cool. Did you say the whole thing they do from the saliva test?
Ben: It’s some saliva and some blood.
Brock: Okay. I thought that that’s amazing if they’re getting that all from your saliva.
Ben: Yes. That’s a lot of drooling. And then, the last thing that I wanted to mention of course is the upcoming Thailand trip. Brock and I are going to be in Thailand. A bunch of other folks are doing an adventure to triathlons over there. There is some fun staying out in the cottages on Railay Bay in the middle of nowhere. It’s going to be a blast. We’ve still got a couple of slots available for that trip. So, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes. It’s coming up in the end of November and the end of December. You only live once. And this is a really fun trip.
Brock: I can already taste the food.
Ben: Yes. And if you think that you can’t get that time off work, you can’t afford it, Thailand seems so far away. You don’t want to be lying on your death bed wishing that you’d traveled the world and seen some new things and experience life a little bit. And this is a great way to do it. I’ve never had any regrets when I’m going to Thailand.
Brock: I’ve never had any regrets when I’ve done any travel.
Ben: It’s all good. No matter what happens, obviously travel can be stressful to one extent. Like me, I got in late last night after having literally been on trains, plains, and automobiles and flight delays and all this jazz getting back. But I’d go do it again in a heartbeat. It’s living. So, it’s fun stuff.
Listener Q and A:
Brock: Alright. We’ve got some great questions as usual. And let’s start it off with an audio question from Jenny.
Jenny says: Hi Ben and Brock. My name is Jenny. I am a triathlete. And I have a hip dysplasia. It’s not severe. But it definitely affects my training. And my problem is it’s primarily on my left side. I feel a pinching in the front or my hip. And I really have to avoid a lot of motions that are like a squat deeper than 90 degrees and things like that. It’s something that affects me all the time where sitting too long is a problem. And it actually is somewhat unpredictable at times. I’ll have a rest day and I’ll still feel it. So, it’s pretty frustrating. And I was just wondering if you have any ideas on any particular stretches or exercises that you recommend to deal with this. I do the hip flexor exercise quite a bit. And that helps. And I use a rumble roller which is awesome and scary at times. Anyways, any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you so much. Goodbye.
Brock: A hip dysplasia. That does not sound comfortable.
Ben: Yes. A hip dysplasia is not something like IT band friction syndrome or you get it from training too much. It is literally a condition that you can be born with or that can develop when you’re a baby. Interestingly, a lot of times you can actually affect the hip angle and the way that the hip attaches to the socket in babies based off of swaddling the baby too tightly. It’s essentially carrying a baby incorrectly in terms of the way that it sleeps or the way that you carry it affects the baby’s hips. And hip dysplasia is something that can develop in babies based on the way that you care for them. And that would be developmental dysplasia of the hip that can exist in those first few weeks or months of a baby’s life. You can also have a congenital hip dysplasia which would mean that your hip socket is too shallow or your femur is on the wrong place. And when that happens, it can really affect your comfort and your range of motion in your hips when you’ve got this congenital hip dysplasia. It’s where your hip socket is too shallow. And it can be on one side. It can be on both sides. But it can do a lot of things. It can affect the ability of the hip or the propensity of that hip to dislocate. It can change the way that the muscles around the hip are forced to work if you’re trying to run and you’re running with a hip angle that’s a little bit different. It can definitely affect things like knee comfort and lower back comfort. And so, hip dysplasia is something that can certainly make chronic repetitive motion like running a fairly uncomfortable thing. You can get grinding in your hips and pain in the thighs and in the butt. And it’s definitely something that can affect you quite a bit. Surgery is obviously one option. You can get the hip socket reshaped. That’s something that’s better done and better tolerated in younger people and a lot of times in older patients who get surgery for hip dysplasia. They’ll reposition the actual hip socket but not really change its shape. It’s a little bit less invasive and a little bit less traumatic. But in either case if you didn’t want to actually go in and get your hips operated on. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that you’re keeping your hips as mobile as possible. You can get a lot of massage and fascial work and body work done around the hip area. It’s so that you’re doing as Jenny mentioned the foam rolling preferably having a massage therapist work on your glutes. That’s your glute medius, your butt, your hamstrings, your piriformis. Hip flexors just basically trying to improve range of motion in the hip. That can help out quite a bit. I don’t know how much Jenny weighs. But weight loss can help out quite a bit. It’s because if you take your body weight, you want to multiply that by about three. And that’s the amount of force that your hip joint gets exposed to when you’re stepping or landing. So, weight loss can certainly help out.
Brock: Even when you’re walking?
Ben: Yes. It’s pretty significant the amount of strength that the hip joint has to take on when you’re overweight. So, when you’re running it’s actually a lot more than that because you have to take into account the momentum and the breaking action of the hips. But it’s about three times the amount of force relative to body weight. That’s how many pounds the hips have to deal with just in day to day weight bearing.
Ben: Yes, exactly.
Brock: Pounds abounding.
Ben: A natural anti-inflammatory like Capraflex which I’ve talked about before. It’s a blend of glucosamine chondroitin, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and those types of things. That can help out a little bit with the type of joint pain that you can get with hip dysplasia as can an anti-inflammatory diet. It means you’re eating a lot of fish and fish oil supplements, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, all of these natural anti-inflammatories. And then, you’re avoiding things that tend to be more inflammatory like processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine. A lot of times with joint pain, foods in the night shade family can be an issue too like tomatoes, potatoes, egg plants, and red peppers. If you do get a lot of joint pain, getting those out of the diet can actually help out. You’re going to find that cortisone shots or steroid shots are recommended in some cases. These days a lot of times, you can get the same type of effect in terms of pain killing effect from what’s called prolotherapy which is still an injection into the joint area. But it’s not an injection of a corticosteroid. It’s an injection of a sugar water type of supplement that still increases inflammation but doesn’t cause that same huge spike in cortisol. Or it doesn’t inject some of the corticosteroids or what’s called the side effect of the cortisone flair which is something that becomes quite painful for a day or two. That injected cortisone crystallizes. And then it can potentially weaken tendons, soften cartilage around the area a little bit. So, you want to be careful with corticosteroid injections. Those are some of the things that I would suggest. You’re still going to be fighting an uphill battle with hip dysplasia. But you may be able to control things with the strengthening of the hips and the core, working on the soft tissue areas. You continue the foam rolling that you’re doing but you also preferably get a massage therapist to dig in to those glutes especially in the piriformis a little bit more. Those are hard to hit with a foam roller. And then, you look into some of the natural anti-inflammatory and an anti-inflammatory diet.
Brock: And don’t be afraid of the rumble roller. Just don’t be scared.
Ben: That’s right. And the rumble roller for those of you who are scratching their heads, Brock uses one. I use one. We should put a link to it in the show notes. But basically, it’s like a foam roller with big ridges on it that dig into your muscles a little bit more. And they’re really firm compared to the average foam roller. So, they’re much more efficacious in my opinion.
Brock: I’m trying not to say anything like ribbed for your pleasure.
Brock: I won’t say that.
Ben: I’ve got an oversized foam roller. It’s called magnum.
Brock: Okay. Our next question comes from Andre.
Andre says: Hi Ben, my name is Andre from Orlando, Florida. And I got a question for you about knee pain. I have left knee pain. It’s a mild knee pain around my joint. Now, I ran an ultra marathon back in February. And ever since then, the pain has subsided. But it hasn’t gone completely away. I’ve done an Ironman. I’ve done a couple of half-Ironman’s. And I’ve ran a bunch of marathons. But I’ve never had pain like this before. I do have a tight left IT band. It’s chronically tight. And I was just really concerned about the knee pain. So, I had an MRI done. And the only thing that came back on the MRI was that I had a tiny baker’s cyst. There was no swelling of the joint or anything like that. But the thing is I know to strengthen the leg, you’ve got to do squats and lunges and those types of exercises. But whenever I do anything even without weight, the knee gets swollen. It gets flared up. I haven’t been able to do any lunges or anything like that. I’m a little concerned because every time I do a hard effort like a sprint race like this weekend I had sprint race. And I jumped off the bike. And I ran pretty well. I ran a six-minute mile pace. And today my knee’s killing me and today’s Wednesday. So, I’m a little concerned because I do have two half-Ironman’s coming up this year. And at the end of the year I’m doing IronmanArizona. I want to be in the best possible condition I can be. But this knee pain is just slightly holding me back. And I was just wondering what your thoughts on that are. I appreciate any input. And I love your podcast. So, thank you very much.
Brock: Well, we have a lot of injured listeners today.
Brock: Take it easy everybody.
Ben: It might be a podcast effect. Folks put on the podcast and they could run for two hours while listening to the podcast. Maybe that’s why we’ve got so many injured listeners.
Ben: The first thing is listening to Andre’s question. He’s doing sprints, half-Ironman triathlons, getting ready for an Ironman. This is something that you see a lot. And it’s not just with knee injuries and little flare ups like this. But just injuries in general, it’s like you’re signed up for an event. And you just want to go and not quit. And a lot of times these nagging injuries that you’re fighting through end up turning into full-blown issues after a while. So, you need to be careful. And I definitely want you to be open-minded to maybe stepping back and not doing the chronic repetitive motion training and endurance sports until you get this issue taken care of. I’ve always seen the best results in terms of healing up injuries quickly when the athlete just stops the chronic repetitive motion. That’s the running and the cycling. And he just returns to basic strength training and basic mobility work for a good four to eight weeks before jumping back in. But I know that’s very hard especially when you’re signed up for events. It’s not only because you don’t get your money back in most cases but because you’ve signed up. You’ve told friends on Facebook and your family and everybody that you’re going to do this event. To a certain extent, there’s this pressure to push through the injury. Baker’s cyst, that’s something that usually arises due to some type of an underlying injury in the knee. Usually, there’s a little bit of meniscal tear. There can be a little bit of cartilage wearing. And you get this Baker’s cyst that arises which is this little swelling inside the bursa. That’s behind your knee joint. Sometimes it can be in the membrane that surrounds your knee. But it’s essentially just like a cyst or an area of swelling. A lot of times it’s with simple rest and a little bit ice and some elevation and the basic way that you’d manage a lot of these strain and sprain type of injuries. Baker’s cyst can go away. If they’re really big, you can get them drained or surgically removed. And a sports medicine physician in many cases can do that. Sometimes a general practitioner can do that. But I know when I worked for a few years in the same office as a sports medicine doctor. You’d see a lot of cysts. And a lot of times you aspirate them to reduce their size. And then you can sometimes inject them with cortisone to decrease the inflammation after aspiration.
Brock: Aspiration is when they stick the needle in and actually pull the fluid out, right?
Ben: Yes, exactly. But like I mentioned, a lot of times, there’s something else that’s causing the problem of this swelling. And usually, it’s some kind of arthritis or meniscal tear. If you’ve got an MRI and none of that type of stuff is showing up, it could just be that you’ve got this Baker’s cyst that isn’t caused by some other disorder in the knee. I mentioned prolotherapy earlier. And that’s where you inject a non-pharmacological or non-corticosteroid based solution into the area. And it irritates it. It reinitiates an inflammatory process. And when you reinitiate the inflammatory process, that can help to decrease the pain and swelling for long term. You get a little bit of short term discomfort. But you can definitely speed up healing. And there have been a few studies that have shown Baker’s cyst to be fairly responsive to prolotherapy. So, that’s something that you could look into. But like I mentioned, a lot of times these things respond pretty well to ice and compression and some rest and some elevation. If it were in my case and I were signed up for a half-Ironman or an Ironman, what I would do is I would go in for the prolotherapy. And then I would also be doing the ice, the compression, and the elevation. And I’ll be taking anywhere from five days up to a couple of weeks off in conjuncture to that prolotherapy. And I would just be working on some strength training and maybe a little bit of aqua jogging to maintain that cardiovascular capacity. But I’d get in it right away rather than stringing this thing along and continuing to race and train on it. It’s because Baker’s cyst can turn into full-blown issues. And it will get bigger and bigger if you just try and push through them.
Brock: And remember, you’re the only one who’s really going to worry about whether or not you cancelled a race or not. Most people are so busy. Well, everybody’s so busy with their own lives that when you tell them you had to cancel an Ironman because of an injury, they’re going to say it’s a bummer. And then they’re going to move on. They’re not going to dwell on it or go around telling unless they’re a total jerk. They’re not going to go around telling their friends that you signed up for an Ironman and bailed out.
Ben: Yes. That’s the thing. It’s always bigger in your own head. So, that’s a good point Brock for sure.
Brock: So if you need to take the time, take the time. And bear in mind that Ben didn’t say four weeks laying on the couch.
Ben: Right. You can definitely go do stuff. Do it and go listen to the episode we did with Doug McGuff on how weight training can be cardio. I mean you go do to that protocol a few times a week. And you’re definitely going to feel like you’ve done an Ironman.
Brock: Alright. Well, let’s move on to the next audio question that comes from Ty.
Ty says: Hey Ben, I’m a new listener. My name is Ty. And I was wondering and I have a few questions about carbohydrates. I was wondering on the ingredients list how do you differentiate between and a complex carbohydrate. I’m trying to figure this out but I can’t find any answers to it. So if you could answer this question, it’d be great. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Ben: So, the simple sugars vs. the complex sugars on a food label. This gets confusing. It’s because when you look at a label and I’m sure that you’ve done this Brock. And you look at the total carbohydrate content on the label. A lot of times, the actual amount of sugar that’s listed on there doesn’t add up to the total amount of carbohydrates that are listed on the back of the label, right?
Ben: So basically, the reason for this is that the total carbohydrate content that they’re going to show on the label of a food or not what they’re not going to show on the label. But it’s the total carbohydrate content that’s in the food is the total grams of sugar, the total grams of fiber, and the total grams of starch that are combined. So basically, if you look at the label and it’s says that it’s got 40 grams of total carbohydrates and it’s showing that it has three grams of fiber and one gram of sugar. So, that means that there’s 36 grams that are unaccounted for. And that means that it has 36 grams of starch. And that’s starch being anything from a maltodextrin to dextrose to any number of longer chain sugars. And that can potentially be classified as complex or a more complex carbohydrate than the actual sugar that’s added. So, in most cases, you take the total carbohydrates. You subtract the sugar. You subtract the fibers that are shown in the nutrition label. And that gives you the amount of more complex carbohydrates. The issue is that when you look at a complex carbohydrate, a lot of times it’s going to spike your blood sugar just as high as most of these simple sugars. The amount to which wheat can spike your blood sugar is just as much as white bread as just as much as table sugar. So, in many cases, a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate. It’s when the carbohydrate is mixed with protein and mixed with fat that you tend to see the greater amount of benefit of the carbohydrate not spiking up blood sugar quite highly. If you’re just looking at complex vs. simple, a lot of times it really doesn’t matter. So, it’s having a carbohydrate with a protein or fat. It’s always going to be better than just looking at the label and trying to have the carbohydrate that shows lower amounts of sugar on the label. Even if it shows lower amounts of sugar on the label, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have really high amounts of starch.
Brock: Just the idea that you’re actually looking at an ingredient list on a label is probably enough to make it not really worth worrying about whether it’s simple or complex. Just get away from the labels. Get away from the packaged foods. And that’s where you’re going to see the bigger difference between a simple and complex.
Ben: Yes. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for packaged foods, I actually take you to my kitchen. And I show you the packaged foods that I keep around my house. There’s not that many of them. But there are a few like olives, coconut milk. There are so few. Those are the only two I can think of. Almond butter is another example. But most of the foods don’t have labels because they’re peppers and bananas and kale and things that you don’t necessarily turn over and look at the label. So, that is a really good point. I’d get away from the label in the first place. You’re going to have to worry a lot less about this stuff anyways.
Brock: Okay. Our next question comes from Eve who is a monthly donator. Thank you very much Eve. It’s really nice that you are interested in keeping the podcast going. And her question is this.
Eve says: I train for and do Olympics or 5150 triathlons. I seem to do well with hard training efforts over lunch. But if I do track interval training in the evening for 50 to 60 minute or even swim intervals, I often mess up my sleep like having elevated heart rate, chest pain, and restlessness during the night. I’m assuming I have an unfavorable hormonal response to T3 crash, and adrenaline to mobilize glycogen and etc. I love group training in track and swim in the evening. But if I cannot get the sleep issue sorted, I have to get back to morning and lunch training. Do you have any ideas on how I can increase my tolerance for evening training except lowering intensity?
Ben: If you’re training in the evening and you’re doing an intense training session prior to bed. A lot of times, the inability to sleep can often simply be from increased body temperature just because you usually sleep a little bit better when you’re a little bit colder. And that can be something as simple as cold shower or cold bath post-workout. But in many cases, there are bigger issues going on especially in Eve’s case where she mentions that she has been on a thyroid supplement before. It was for low T3. It’s possible that this is more of a cortisol issue. When you’re looking at lying awake in bed with this elevated heart rate, chest pain, and restlessness during the night a lot of times that can be related to elevated cortisol. Many times you get what’s referred to as a pregnenolone steal. And it means that pregnenolone which is a hormonal precursor that’s a precursor to everything from estrogen to testosterone to most of the hormones that are created in your body. When you’re shuttling that towards cortisol production, you tend to get this drop in T3. You get this drop in thyroid hormone. You have lack of ability to recover properly from your workouts. And that is usually due to the higher cortisol levels. So, part of this is probably cortisol related. And a few other issues that are red flags are the chest pains she experiences during the night. If it’s not related to her cardiovascular health which doubt that it is, usually there’s some type of food intolerance issue going on. Or there’s even a lack of ability to produce adequate stomach acid which is also related to increased stress. And a lot of these issues can be fixed with supplementation or I should say band-aided with supplementation. She could take a hydrochloric acid supplement before her meals along with the digestive enzyme. And she could take a Chinese adaptogenic herb to work on the cortisol issue a little bit. But what this comes out to ultimately, is that there’s going to be and I know that I just mentioned this to Andre after his question. There needs to be a rest that takes place. Typically, to really try and decrease cortisol levels and bring her body back into the place where it doesn’t have this big surge after workouts. Or it doesn’t have this hyper cortisol response post workout. And a lot of times that does mean backing off of the triathlon-style training, the track interval training in the evening, the swim intervals. And you just take sometimes it can be as little as a week of just reduced activity. Sometimes it can be longer than that. It can be four to eight weeks. It depends. But basically backing off on that and allowing your body to bounce back from the hyper cortisol can help out quite a bit. It’s because you eventually get to place where you can get adrenal exhaustion which makes cortisol drops off the map and you’re just tired all the time. And rather than that elevated heart rate and chest pain and restlessness during the night, you’re just a zombie. And all you do is sleep. So, I would definitely make sure that you nip this in the bud before that happens. And what I would do is in conjunction with a good period of rest until you actually feel like you’re able to get out in training hard. And you can test it out in a couple of sessions that you’d back off and take a rest. You get onto a good Chinese adaptogenic herb complex like tea and chi is a good one. You get on some digestive enzymes. Get on an HCL type of supplement before your meals. And then as far as the chest pain goes, I can’t really hear somebody write in and say that without telling you that you may want to go see a licensed medical professional. You get on an EEG stress test to make sure that you don’t have any heart abnormalities going on. That would certainly be prudent for sure.
Brock: Yes. I have a long history of bad sleep patterns. I’m just one of those people who don’t sleep very well. But I really found the combination of taking a nice cold bath a couple of hours before going to bed but not right before going to bed and magnesium. Those two things have really helped me with my sleep. I fall asleep. And I stay asleep a lot longer and a lot more solid than I ever have in my life. As long as I get those two things in and I don’t have to do it every single night but maybe every second night or three times a week.
Ben: Yes. And that was one of the issues that I dealt with before my triathlon was lack of sleep. But when I travel internationally, I travel with my earth pulse which is the pulse electromagnetic frequency device. And I travel with magnesium and melatonin. And I usually don’t have any issues with sleep when I’m traveling internationally. But what happens is when you create a net inflammatory state which can be done through training or it can be done through diet. And it’s what happened in my case. That can massively enhance the cortisol response. And so, that’s another issue here. It’s that if there are any food tolerances and food intolerances going on particularly gluten or gliadin exposure. That can certainly amp up the cortisol levels even more. And that of course can affect your sleep. So, that’s something else to look into. It’s what you’re actually eating. But yes Brock, the magnesium certainly helps a lot in terms of relaxing you when you combine that with cold shower or a cold bath.
Brock: Absolutely. Alright, let’s continue on with our injured listeners here. And Kate’s got some pain in her hips and her knees.
Kate says: I have been suffering from a pain in my hips and knees whilst running for the past year and have recently visited a sports therapist in order to get to the bottom of the problem. He used Muscle Activation Techniques to reduce tension in my body and I could definitely see an improvement after just an hour. I found this technique very strange as he worked on an area in my neck to active a muscle in my leg. I was wondering whether you have had much experience with MAT and what your thoughts on the technique are.
Ben: Yes. We interviewed a Muscle Activation Technique practitioner in the past.
Brock: It’s probably about a year ago.
Ben: Yes. He was in Tim Ferriss’ four hour body book. And he came onto our podcast and talked about Muscle Activation Technique and how it works. So, we’ll certainly put a link for Kate to that podcast. But the basics is that it’s abbreviated MAT. And the whole theory behind MAT is that when you have a muscle that becomes very tight or in Muscle Activation Technique what the call hypertonic. Or a muscle that becomes too weak or inhibited. It affects the range of motion of the joint that that muscle crosses. So, the principle behind MAT is that muscle tightness that forms is a way that the body is trying to protect itself. And if a muscle remains stuck or in that tight or shortened position, it changes the ability of the muscle to produce force or to decelerate or break force. And that leads to a change of your joint range of motion and sets you up for injury. It’s basically the idea. Imagine if you were trying to walk on ice. When you’re trying to walk on ice, you walk with this really short restricted range of motion. And a lot of times that’s because your muscles are all tightened up. And so your joints are moving through the proper range of motion because you’re trying not to fall in the ice. And you can picture an injury that is treated with Muscle Activation Technique similarly to what you’re trying to get rid of the tightness or the apprehension. And a lot of times it can be due to a pre-existing injury, ankle sprain or strain, a sprained knee, and things of that nature. That basically sets up that muscle to be tight or in this state of spasm. So, when that happens, that tight muscle shuts down a lot of the range of motion. You don’t get a lot of the right sensory motor feedback from your nervous system. It means that some of the other muscles around that muscle can change or become overworked as well. And essentially, it creates this area of injury and reduced force potential. What the Muscle Activation Technique is designed to do is to restore the balance and restore the function of that muscle. Typically, it’s through specific pressure that’s placed in the muscle area. And a lot of times, it’s uncomfortable and it hurts a little bit. But what can happen is that when you get this Muscle Activation Technique pressure in an area, it ca help out quite a bit in terms of reducing a lot of that inhibition that occurs. And as far as working on, did she say the neck to affect the leg?
Ben: A lot of times that related to your fascia and just the fact that you have this entire fascial lining that’s basically from your toes to the top of your head. And if it’s tight on one spot, it can certainly affect function somewhere else. I didn’t mention this. I keep referring to things that I experience last week or this week while I was traveling. But when I was in SpainI saw a massage therapist. And it was this guy in this hole in the wall apartment. It took me about an hour to find his place. But he was recommended to me to a pretty decent runner there in Spain. And the guy is an osteopathic physician and massage therapist. He was basically looking at my neck and shoulders which were a little bit tight when I was in the aero position on the bike. He completely fixed my neck and shoulders by doing some mobilization of my sacroiliac joint. And it’s simply because of the way that the movement of the spine affects your neck and your shoulders. So, by freeing up my SI joint, he was able to restore mobility to my hips which restored mobility to my spine which restored mobility to my shoulders. And so sometimes it’s not fascia related as much as its spinal column related. But in any case, certainly by working on a muscle in one area of the body, you can affect another area of the body. Usually, it’s the case like that where the hips are affecting the neck and the shoulders or vice versa. It’s like when you have an axis out in your neck and that’s affecting the movement of your hips. Or sometimes it can be a fascial issue where by freeing up some of the fascia in the hips and the IT band, you affect the mobility or the knees or of the ankles. But I would certainly go and listen to that MAT interview that we did. That’s the basics of it. That’s why tightness from one muscle can affect a lot of other muscles that surround that joint and alter the joint’s range of motion. It’s basically like a guarding function.
Brock: Awesome. Our next question comes from Ben. And it’s a quick and straight to the point kind of question.
Ben says: What type of milk would you recommend for a child and would that recommendation change based off of age? I’m curious about raw milk vs. goat milk vs. almond milk vs. coconut milk.
Brock: The cage match, all the milks vs. the other milks.
Ben: To the death. The deal with milk is because it has animal milk and it has a lot of these insulin-like growth factors and hormones in it. Animal milk is always going to enhance the ability of a growing child’s bones and muscles to get as big as possible vs. a plant based milk like almond milk or coconut milk. It’s the reason that breast-fed babies are less likely to suffer from things like diarrhea or GI issues, pneumonia, ear infections, flu, any of these issues. It’s simply that human milk was designed to have complete nutritional superiority compared with animal milks and plant-based milk like almond milk and coconut milk. But you certainly get to a point where from a social perspective especially in American and Westernized societies, kids are pretty much done breast-feeding at a fairly early age. And they’re switched over to animal milk. I suspect that some of the cultures where kids breast-feed just a little bit longer have got it right. And it’s just because breast milk is so much more superior in terms of the bio availability of the protein.
Brock: Sorry, by a little bit longer, how long do you mean?
Ben: I mean until kids are in between three or four years old, right around in there.
Ben: It’s for awhile. But I don’t remember how long we did breast feeding before we switched to goat’s milk which is what we switched too. And now, our kids do a raw cow’s milk just because we can’t really get our hands on a raw goat’s milk right now. But human milk has higher fat percentage in it. It’s about four and a half percent of fat. And that’s higher than goat milk. It’s higher than cow milk. And a lot of that fat is long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like DHA or arachidonic acid as well. And those are really important to nervous system formation, brain formation, brain growth, eye growth or proper formation of the nervous system components responsible for vision. And you’re going to find all that stuff in very good quantities in human milk. It’s another reason why the breast milk is superior. You find a higher lactose concentration in human milk. And usually, you see a little bit better tolerance to lactose sugars in kids who were breast-fed. And there’s actually less protein in human milk. And even though there’s less protein, the size of the proteins in human milk is more balanced. They’re easier to digest. They’re smaller. You tend to get a lot less of allergenic reactions to them because they’re all very well digested. And that also is very good for a baby or a small child because it protects the kidneys from having to filter a lot of the waste products of protein. And like I mentioned, it makes a lot less allergenic. One of the issues of cow’s milk is it’s got a lot of beta-lactoglobulin in it. And that is a protein that tends to be something that creates more of an allergenic reaction among the people who were drinking animal milk. So, human milk is going to have a higher amount of all these things like enzymes, growth factors, the immunoglobulins to support the immune system. It’s pretty much everything that a child or a baby would need. When you look at goat’s milk vs. cow’s milk vs. almond milk vs. coconut milk, the milk that would be the most like the milk that I just described breast milk or human milk would be goat milk. And that’s simply because of the size of the goat. It’s closer to the size of a human. Yes, it’s still lower in a lot of these long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. It’s still slightly higher in that beta-lactoglobulin which can be a protein that is a little less tolerated by a human. But if you’re going to do any of these to get a child to grow, the goat milk would be the better choice especially when a child is really small. Like a raw cow’s milk is not too bad. Like I mentioned, that’s what our kids drink now. It’s just like an unpasteurized, unhomogenized cow’s milk from a local farm or part of a share of five to six families to take turns driving to the farm to get it. It’s about an hour or so from now. Interestingly, that’s actually where my wife right now. She’s driving around to get the milk. But that’s compared to a coconut milk or almond milk in terms of growth factors, the proteins. It’s the things that are going to help our kids in terms of muscle, fat, and everything else. It’s really not too bad. And when we were doing the goat’s milk, we did the powdered goat’s milk from Mount Capra. That’s also not too bad. But our kids tend to like the raw cow’s milk a lot better than the powdered goat’s milk. And at this point, that’s what we’re giving them. They still get coconut milk. They still get almond milk. But in terms of the protein content of those, the growth factors in those, the type of things in those that are going to help a growing animal to get bigger. They don’t hold a candle up to goat’s milk or cow’s milk. The other important thing is colostrum. You’re not going to find colostrum in coconut milk or in almond milk. And colostrum is something that really helps the lining of a growing child’s gut to form properly. And it keeps a kid from growing up with leaky gut syndrome or something like that. Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, you tend to see more of the colostrum in the winter and in the early spring. You see a little bit less of it in the summer. But ultimately, at any time a human milk, cow’s milk, and goat’s milk is always going to have higher trace levels of that colostrum compared to plant-based milk. So, the order that I would go in for a kid would be goat’s milk, if you can get a raw natural version from a goat’s farm. Powdered goat’s milk is also an option like I mentioned that Mount Capra makes that and then cow’s milk if it’s raw milk. And then your almond milk or your coconut milk would come after that.
Brock: I think it’s important to remember that almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk, all of those are only milk in that they are white opaque liquid. They’re not really milk. They’re not coming from biological process that’s making them into milk. They’re really a beverage.
Ben: Yes. They’re not being milked from the tit of the coconut.
Ben: Or the tit of the almond.
Brock: So as much as we treat them as interchangeable, they’re not really the same thing.
Ben: Yes. That’s a good point.
Brock: Okay. Our next question comes from Nadaleen. And Nadaleen, you went into great detail and that’s fantastic. I’m going to do my best to summarize what you’re asking here.
Nadaleen: I’ve been trying to follow a low carbohydrate high protein diet in order to lose weight and I’m unsuccessful so far. I did a four mile running race this morning and noticed my breath began to really smell during it and afterwards my husband commented that I needed to brush my teeth. Reading up on it, it seems that it could be either dehydration, ketosis or that I’m burning muscle and not fat. I often get shaky during long rides as well, and feel that whatever I eat is not being absorbed by my body. I have noticed as I’ve switched to protein from carbohydrates that I get shaky and am also less hungry on long rides. So, my body is shifting. I’m just not sure how, whether it’s shifting in the right direction, and if I should be more patient with fat loss.
Ben: Well, the issue is the low carbohydrate high protein diet. That’s the typical type of Atkins diet. Anytime you’re getting an ammonia smell when you’re exercising whether in your sweat or in your breath or anything else. What’s happening is you get a combination of muscle glycogen depletion which is depletion of your body’s storage carbohydrate stored in your liver and your muscles with protein breakdown. Typically, it’s either protein breakdown from your skeletal muscle itself or breakdown of the branched chain amino acids within the free amino acid pool circulating in your blood stream. You get that ammonia smell due to the breakdown of ATP to ADP and AMP and ammonia. And it does indicate that you’ve got a lot of proteins being burnt as a primary fuel. It can mean that you’re breaking down your body’s own skeletal muscle tissue. Or you just got too much protein in your diet. In a healthy ketogenic state, you’re not going to get much of that ammonia smell in the sweat or in the breath. It’s because you are burning primarily fats as a fuel or ketone bodies as a fuel and not actual protein as a fuel. And you still will get some of what’s called acetone which is released from your breath and from your urine that has this fruity smell. But that’s a little bit different than the ammonia that you’re producing from the protein breakdown in skeletal muscle or in the amino acids that are circulating in your blood stream. So, what this comes down to is that if you’re going to go low carbohydrate, you need to go high fat and a typical ketogenic diet. It depends on the version of the ketogenic diet that you use. Lyle McDonald was one of the main researchers that first came out with the ketogenic diet. In terms of the percentage of fat to protein to carbohydrates, that’s about 60 percent of fat, 35 percent protein, and five percent carbohydrates. There’s another ketogenic diet that you could do. It’s closer to 70 percent fat, 15 percent protein, and 15 percent carbohydrates. But either way, you’re looking at 60 to 70 percent fat anywhere from 15 up to about 35 percent protein and five to 15 percent carbohydrates. Whereas if you’re doing an Atkins diet type of high protein low carbohydrate diet, that’s closer to 60 to 70 percent protein. And then you get ten to 20 percent fat and five to 15 percent carbohydrates. So, that’s the issue. That’s the mistake a lot of people make. That’s the reason you’d get this blah feeling. And it’s ultimately not that healthy for your kidney or your livers. It’s going high protein low carbohydrate rather than high fat low carbohydrate with moderate amounts of protein. So, I’m definitely a fan of being in a state of ketosis just because it can improve your mental focus. It can really help to promote the loss of body fat. It can vastly improve loss of body fat. It can help with type-two diabetes. It can potentially be very useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and various cancers. It promotes cardiovascular health. Compared to being high protein low carbohydrate, ketogenesis, in a high fat low carbohydrate situation, helps to preserve your lean body mass better. It helps to keep you from breaking down skeletal muscle more when you’re in that ketogenic state especially if you’re going low calorie. So, there are a lot of benefits to it. But you just need to make sure that you do it right and stay high fat rather than high protein.
Brock: Cool. Alright, our next questions all come from Kenny.
Kenny says: I have two questions. Huub wetsuits marketing seems like a perfect fit for me. Is it all hype? And the second is about testosterone. I am a 42 year-old male and my level is slightly below normal. If I take an over the counter cream or supplement, is this going to give me more energy? Make me stronger? Is it considered cheating in my training?
Brock: What do you want to go for here? Do you want to talk about Huub wetsuits?
Brock: Do you know much about those?
Ben: Well, I’m currently wearing a Blue 70 wetsuit. And one of the guys involved in the design of those was Dean Jackson. He’s a pretty cool dude. But he’s not with Blue 70 anymore. He’s not with this Huub wetsuit company. And he actually designed these wetsuits in conjunction with the guys over at Swim Smooth. And Paul Newsome over at Swim Smooth is my swim coach right now. I send him swim videos. And he tells me what to do. The fastest Ironman that I’ve swam was 56 minutes. And race that I did this past Sunday, Ironman is 2.4 miles, and this race was 2.8 miles. And I swam it in an hour which would’ve given me an Ironman swim split of 54 minutes.
Ben: I’m definitely getting faster in the water. So, these guys know what they’re doing over at Swim Smooth. And the idea behind this hub wetsuit is they’ve designed two varieties of wetsuits. One is for swimmers who swim naturally. And one is for swimmers who have legs that sink when they swim. So, a lot of triathletes specifically have poor body position in the water. And over at Swim Smooth, they call it sinking leg syndrome. It’s because we’ve got these lean muscular legs and really poor hip flexibility and poor ankle flexibility. And you get a lot of drag when you kick because the legs are sinking. They’re kicking a little bit too much. There’s a lot of bending of the knees. So, one of the things that they did with this wetsuit that they’ve designed was to basically give you more buoyancy in your legs. And it’s based on the placement of the buoyancy panels. And they’ve got another wetsuit that is designed for people who kick properly. They designed a wetsuit that has a couple of different options based off of your swim type. And there are some aspects of the suit and it’s what they call exoskeleton for added buoyancy. They have this arm crossover deal on it to help your arm properly position in the water. And it keeps you form snaking your arms too much through the water. There’s a calf release on there to help with blood circulation in your lower leg if you’re calf cramping or you’re foot cramping in your wetsuit while you’re swimming in open water. There are a lot of the aspects of the suit and this maybe because the same guy who designed the Blue 70 suit that I swim in designed this suit. It’s like the break-way zipper for faster transitions. And the type of stretch and flexibility in the shoulders, a lot of those things are similar to a Blue 70 type of wetsuit. But if you really have a very inefficient kick, I would say that this might be a wetsuit for you. If you want to try a wetsuit that’s got a lot of different size options, they’ve got quite a few different size options for this. They have two different buoyancy profiles based again if you’re that sinking leg type of kicker vs. a good kicker. I think there are two different wetsuits that they have. I’m not sure if they might have more than that. But everything that I’ve seen of it, I like it. But honestly I’ve never worn it. I don’t even know if Dean listens to this podcast. If he does, he needs to send me one so I can try it out.
Brock: Send two.
Ben: Send some for Brock to try it out. I don’t think their cheap that’s for sure.
Brock: I was going to say that the Huub wetsuits are very spendy.
Ben: But Tyr makes a wetsuit called The Tyr Freak of Nature. And that’s the one Lance Armstrong wore. I think it’s a 15oo dollar wetsuit.
Ben: But I don’t think this is that much. But either way, I don’t see anything wrong with a wetsuit. Everything I’ve seen about it looks like it’s pretty intriguing. And again, everybody who’s behind its design, I’m a fan of. So, I’d try it out if you want to get it. I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Brock: Okay. Let’s go to Kenny’s second of three questions.
Kenny says: I’m a 42 year old male and my testosterone levels are slightly below normal. If I take an over the counter cream or supplement is this going to give me energy, makes me stronger and is it consider cheating in my training?
Ben: Over the counter testosterone creams, I wouldn’t touch them. You’d want to work with a compounding pharmacist to make sure that when you’re using a testosterone cream to get your testosterone levels up. And it will get your testosterone levels up. It’s that or a therapeutic injection would. The issue is that you’d want to make sure that you’re titrating properly and you’re dosing properly. And you’re not just randomly smearing testosterone cream around your body. This stuff is super dangerous. If it gets on your kids, it can cause things like early growth of their gonads and early onset of puberty. And if you’re taking too much, it can increase your risk of cancer. It can cause some real mood issues. Read the book Doper Next Door. Just go read that book. It’ll take you a few days to read. It’s not super long. The name of the book is Doper Next Door. It’s about a guy who used testosterone creams and testosterone injections. He was a bike racer just like an age group bike racer just to see what it would do for him. He worked with a compounding pharmacist on what’s called a Wiley practitioner. Wiley practitioners are able to advise you. They’re doctors who have this Wiley certification. For women, they’re able to prescribe and accurately adjust dosage of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. And for guys who are getting on testosterone cream, the same thing. In order to be able to use one, legally to do something like a race like say you want to go out and do whatever a triathlon or something like that. You need to have a therapeutic use exemption. It means that you filed with the corporation that puts on the races that you’re racing in. You filed a therapeutic use exemption based on a note from your physician and an explanation from your physician that you have been diagnosed with clinical hypogonadism and very low testosterone. That’d be the only way you can get away with going out and competing and doing so legally. And all that would mean is that you’re testosterone is so low that this cream or this lotion that you’re on is getting it high enough to where it’s at least in. And it’s in laboratory normal values and not spiked way higher than it should be. Or it’s spiked higher enough to an extent where you’d have an unfair advantage. But you’re playing with fire if you’re just going out and getting testosterone cream or even injections. Patches like an androderm patch is a little bit safer because those automatically titrates the dosage. But you’ve got to be careful with this stuff. And I’d check out that book Doper Next Door. I’m personally a bigger fan of just using natural methods to enhance testosterone like grass-fed meat, Brazil nuts, cod liver oil, vitamin D. You can do a little bit of d’ aspartic acid, tribulus is not too bad. There are methods out there that are completely legal and natural to enhance testosterone and that also aren’t going to make your body have to rely on exogenous testosterone. It shuts down your endogenous production. It means that once you get off this stuff, you feel like crap because your body has quit making its own testosterone because it’s become reliant on the cream or the injection. I’m a bigger fan of addressing the underlying issues that would accompany low testosterone rather than going straight to the injection or the cream.
Brock: And getting it in your diet is so much more delicious too.
Ben: Yes. Those creams don’t taste very good.
Brock: No, not at all.
Ben: Can you imagine eating a testosterone cream?
Ben: I’m not sure what would happen. I’m sure that the sublingual absorption would probably put you over the top. You’ve got to be careful with that stuff.
Brock: Yes. Okay. Let’s move onto Paige’s question.
Paige says: Is it possible to cycle ketogenic periods? For example, you’re fasting all night, exercising, and then waiting until dinner to break your keto state. If so, would it be beneficial? Or would you benefit just as much as from the fasted workout? Would this kind of cycle cause fat gain since you are eating an increased amount during keto state. Also, how could you monitor to know you are in this state? Would the strips be enough or should you monitor other things as well?
Ben: The whole deal with ketogenesis and this could be an hour long podcast where we’d give you the crash course on a ketogenic diet. But in standard ketogenic diet, what you’d want to do is you take your weight. Let’s say you weigh 200 pounds. And you find out your approximate amount of lean body mass which means that you find out your body fat is 20 percent. So, if you weigh 200 pounds and your body fat is 20 percent that means that you’ve got 160 pounds of muscle. And you eat one gram per pound of protein per day. So, in a case where you have 160 pounds of lean body mass, you’d have 160 grams per day of protein. So, let’s say you figured out your protein needs on a ketogenic diet is going to come out anywhere from 25 to 35 percent. So again, you take your weight. You multiply that or you take your total body weight. You find out your body fat percentage. Once you’ve found out your body fat percentage, that’s what percent of you is fat and what percent of you is muscle. Once you’ve found out what percent of you is muscle. You multiply that by one and that’s how much protein you eat in terms of grams per day. And then after that, everything else would be fat except for about five percent. And that would be the carbohydrate. And that’s it. So, once you’ve figured out how much fat, how much protein, and how much carbohydrate that you need to be in ketogenesis, you’d want to get yourself into a ketogenic state. And you want to stay in that ketogenic state for anywhere from about two to three weeks. And the first few days of that are very uncomfortable. It’s anywhere from the first five to ten days. You can be tired, sluggish, moody, irritable, and light-headed. And that means that your body is beginning to burn more fats as a fuel and rely on ketones for energy. Once those symptoms disappear, that’s a pretty good sign that you’ve become fat adapted. And usually, you’ll be fully fat adapted after about two or three weeks. I don’t really recommend you do a lot of re-feeds, re-feeding days, carbohydrate re-feeds, and stuff like that until you’ve gotten into that ketogenic state. Once you’re into the ketogenic state, you can start doing the type of stuff that you’re proposing in your question. And that’s getting into a place where you do what’s called breaking your ketogenic state. I recommend that especially in people who are exercising a lot, you just take your highest activity days of the week. And that’s where you break your ketogenic state. And you actually have a higher carbohydrate intake like 30 to 40 percent of your total daily intake is carbohydrate. That’s just for anywhere from a 24 to a 48-hour carbohydrate load period. And then, you get back into ketogenesis. That’s’ what’s called a cyclic ketogenic diet. So, you start out with a standard ketogenic diet to get yourself into fat burning state for two to three weeks. And from there, you can go into a cyclic ketogenic diet. The question here about what exactly does Paige want to know Brock?
Brock: Basically, she wanted to know if she’s going to get as much benefit from that as just doing a fasted workout.
Ben: The issue with doing a fasted workout rather than having some amount of energy on board from doing some coconut milk with a little bit of protein powder and a handful of nuts before you workout. It’s that you’re going to feel pretty blah during the workout, dead, unable to dig. In many cases especially if we’re talking about an intense workout or a weight training workout, you’re always going to do a little bit better with a meal beforehand. And that’s even if you’re staying in a ketogenic state. Than if you’re doing a waiting all day long or waiting all night long and doing a fasted workout. So, to really get good workouts in most cases, pre-workout fueling whether or not you’re keeping yourself in a state of ketosis. It’s going to workout better. And you can monitor everything that I just mentioned with keto sticks. So, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance is a great book for this. That’s written by Doctor Volek and Doctor Phinney. I’d check out that book for sure. If you’re a triathlete and you’re doing this, read my book over at LowCarbTriathlete.com. And either of those would be good resources for you.
Brock: That interview that you did with Dr. Peter Attia was really informative too.
Ben: Yes. You can to the interview we did with Peter Attia for sure.
Brock: He mentioned a few times about how it was very uncomfortable getting into that ketogenic state. His wife tried to convince him to bail out on it because it was becoming unbearable.
Aug 2, 2012 free podcast: Which Is Better: High Protein, Low Carb or High Fat, Low Carb? Also: what is hip dysplasia, how to deal with a baker's cyst, how carbs are listed on packaged food, trouble sleeping after evening workouts, what type of milk is best, HUUB websuits, should you use over the counter testosterone creams, how does Muscle Activation Technique work, and what is the ENG3?
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As compiled and read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Audio Question from Jenny:
Triathlete with hip dysplasia. Not severe but it does effect her training. She feels a pinching in the front. Squatting over 90 degrees hurts. It effects her all the time (sitting for a long time hurts) even on a rest day. Any particular stretches or exercises that might help. She does the hip flexor stretch and uses a rumble roller (despite it being scary at times).
Audio Question from Andre:
He has mild left knee pain around the joint. Ran an ultra marathon in Feb and ever since then the pain has gotten better but hasn't gone away. Has runs a lot in the past and never had this issue before. Has a chronically tight IT band. Had an MRI that only detected a tiny Baker Cyst. He wants to do squats and lungs but can't do them or the knee flairs up again. Every time he races it hurts a lot again. He has a few races coming up and wants to get healed.
Audio Question from Ty:
On the ingredient list, how do you differentiate between a simple and a complex carbohydrate?
I train for and do Olympic/5150 triathlons. I seem to do well with a hard training efforts over lunch, but if I do a track interval training in the evening for 50-60 min, or even swim intervals, I often mess up my sleep (elevated heartrate, chestpain and restlessness during the night). I'm assuming I have an unfavourable hormonal response – T3 crash, adrenaline to mobilize glycogen etc. I love group training (track and swim) in the evening, but if I cannot get the sleep issue sorted, I have to get back to morning and lunch training. Do you have any ideas on how I can increase my “tolerance” for evening training, except lowering intensity?
I have been suffering from a pain in my hips and knees whilst running for the past year and have recently visited a Sports Therapist in order to get to the bottom of the problem. He used Muscle Activation Techniques to reduce tension in my body and I could definitely see an improvement after just an hour. I found this technique very strange as he worked on an area in my neck to activate a muscle in my leg. I was wondering whether you have had much experience of MAT and what your thoughts on the technique are?
~ In my response, I mention my MAT podcast interview.
What type of milk would you recommend for a child and would that recommendation change based off age? I'm curious about raw milk vs. goats milk vs. almond milk vs. coconut milk.
I've been trying to follow a low carb high protein diet in order to lose weight (unsuccessful thus far). I did a 4 mile running race this morning and noticed my breath began to really smell during it, and afterwards my husband commented that I needed to brush my teeth. Reading up on it, it seems that it could be either dehydration, ketosis, or someone said if your body doesn't burn fat well, it could be that I'm burning muscle and not fat. I often get shaky during long rides as well, and feel that whatever I eat is not being absorbed by my body. I have noticed as I've switched to protein from carbs that I get less shaky and am also less hungry on long rides. So my body is shifting, I'm just not sure how, whether it is shifting in the right direction, and if I should be more patient with fat loss.
1) huub wetsuits – marketing seems like a perfect fit for me. Is it all hype?
2) testosterone – I am 42 year old male and my level's slightly below normal. If I take an over the counter cream or supplement is this going to give me more energy? Make me stronger? Is it considered cheating in my training?
Is it possible to cycle ketogenic periods? For example, fasting all night, exercising and then waiting until dinner to break your keto state. If so, would it be beneficial? Or would you benefit just as much from a fasted workout? Would this kind of cycle cause fat gain since you are eating an increased amount during keto state. Also, how could you monitor to know you are in this state? Would the strips be enough or should you monitor other things as well?
~ In my response to Paige, I mention http://www.lowcarbtriathlete.com
I have a question about a machine a friend uses – the ENG3. They swear by it (says it helps their lungs and recovery time) but when I looked it up I don't really know what to make of it (except that it's expensive). If you have any info that would be great. They said I could give it a try but I always like to know what up before I jump in.