Episode #174 – Full Transcript

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Nutrition, Podcast, Transcripts

Podcast # 174 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/12/what-diet-is-the-best-diet/

Introduction:           In this podcast, what diet is the best diet, cardio and muscle loss, outdoor winter training, preparing grains, Dr. Weil’s Pyramid, getting lean antibiotics, training for climbing expedition, what is super compensation, “ cultured” vitamins, rapid weight fluctuations, good leg workouts, and electromagnetic radiation.

Brock:           Hey everybody, welcome to the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast.  And this week, Ben’s here.  How exciting!

Ben:                 It feels a little weird to be back.

Brock:            I’m glad you’re back.  It was fun doing it on my own so to speak last week.  But I did feel a little bit lonely.  So, this is a good thing.

Ben:                Yeah.  I’ve got this foreign object, this microphone in front of my face.  I’ll have to figure out what to do with it now.  I’m a little groggy.  Brock and I, well we didn’t have a mix-up.  I messed up.  We actually typically record this podcast on Wednesday mornings.  And I have this nice little built in alarm clock in my home.  It’s called two three year-old boys.  And they generally show up in my bedroom sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 for snuggle time.  So, usually that’s enough to wake you up when a stinky three year old boy show a full head of hair into your face and snuggles up to you.  And that didn’t happen today.  The reason being is that we actually get raw milk.  We get raw milk from a farm here in Washington.  And my wife with a group of about six girls takes turns driving to the farm to get the raw milk.  And my wife got up early at the butt crack of dawn this morning.  She took off at 5:00a.m, grabbed the kids, took them with her, and went to go get the raw milk so they can be home in time for their piano lessons.  And I was left there sleeping.  And my eyes popped open just a little bit before nine.  And consider that Brock and I were scheduled to record at eight.  I’m a little bit behind.  But I’ve had my cup of coffee.  I woke up.  I did the dance.  I made the coffee.  And I’m here and in one piece.  So, Brock on air, live, my apologies.

Brock:             No problem.  I completely understand.  And most people don’t have that good of a story or at least a story that I was expecting.  It was one that involved beer.

Ben:                No.  No beers involved.  And by the way, I know that and you had mentioned that I wasn’t here last week.  And the reason for that is and I believed you mentioned in last weeks podcast is that I was down racing in Thailand.  And a bit of a long story there.  We won’t get into it on the podcast.

Brock:             I did get into it a little bit.  I read a bit of your race report and mostly the part about you pouring your guts.  I hope you don’t mind if I figured that you put it on the interwebs.

Ben:                 No.  I won’t bore the folks who aren’t interested in a combination of food poisoning and injury.  So, you can head over to BenGreenfieldtri.blogspot.com which is where I write about things like race reports.  And it’s kind of a “me” blog.  So, that being said, I guess we better, because we have a huge amount of questions to go through.

Brock:            We sure do.  We’ve got a lot of questions to go through.

Ben:                 Alright.  Let’s move in.

Brock:             Absolutely.

Special announcements:

Brock:            Alright, special announcements Ben.  What have we got going on this week?

Ben:                This Thursday, for those of you who are really on top of things and listen in to the podcast right when it comes out, this would be tomorrow night, Thursday at six pm.  I’m teaching a webinar.  If you go to USA triathlon, they have a really good database for web-n-r over there for triathlon.  And most of them do have a nominal feed from anywhere from I think about five to twenty bucks.  But I’m actually teaching one tomorrow night about transitions and how to do triathlon transitions much faster.  I’m just going to talk you through everything that I do and all the little tips and tricks that get you through transitioning lightning fast.  So, swim to bike, bike to run, super quick.  That’s tomorrow night at 6pm or Thursday, December 15th at 6pm.  So, we’ve got that going on.  And then, of course the weight training for triathlon book is still selling like hot cakes over at iTunes and also on Amazon  for the kindle, and Barnes and Noble for the Nook, even though the hard copy doesn’t come out until February.  Actually, you can pre-order that on Amazon.  It’s at a really good price right now.  And it’s basically everything that you need for your weight training this off season.

Brock:             And it makes a perfect Christmas or Hanukkah present.

Ben:                Yes, exactly.  It’s for the weight lifter in your life or the weakling in your life.  And then this coming Tuesday, I am actually merging into the next decade of my life and turning 30 on December 20th.  And the only reason I mentioned that on the podcast is because I tend to get really generous on my birthday and give away lots of big gifts to anybody who happens to be following me on the internet.  So, if you haven’t yet been following me on Twitterand we’ll put a link to this in the show notes for this episode.  What is this Episode 174?

Brock:             174, that’s right.

Ben:                174.  So, if you head over to the show notes for episode number 174, follow the link to follow me on twitter.  You can also fan the Ben Greenfield fitness page on Facebook.  I guarantee I always give big gifts on my birthday to my fans, to my followers.  And since this is my 30th birthday, it should be no exception.  I’d recommend that you head over there and get on board by Tuesday, December 20th.

Brock:             Cool.  I remember last year, there was some pretty exciting stuff going on in your birthday.  I was only new to the BenGreenfield world at that point.  And I was like, what is this guy doing?

Ben:                And speaking of Twitter, I’ve got lots of tweets to go over.

Brock:                          Alright.  So, let’s move into the news flashes.

News Flashes:

Brock:             Okay.  In the land of the Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, what have we got coming down the pipes?

Ben:                 A few different studies that turned my head this week that I tweeted about.  And I wanted to go over a little bit more detail here in the news flashes.  The first was that there was a study that looked at glycemic index.  And for those of you who aren’t familiar with glycemic index, it’s a measurement of how quickly carbohydrate is released in the blood stream and appears as sugar after you eat a meal.  And glycemic index was looked at in a study in which they investigated a low glycemic index food which would be something like yogurt or oatmeal versus a high glycemic index food which would be like a sports gel or a sports drink or honey or something really sweet.  And what they found was that when you ingest foods that are of a different glycemic index, a low or a high, whatever, about 30 to 60 minutes prior to exercise, there’ no change in exercise performance.  There’s no change in what are called your beta and dorfin levels which influence your ability to exercise to exhaustion.  And there’s no change in your carbohydrate or fat utilization.  So ultimately, what this comes down to is that you do not need to be afraid if you’re eating a sports bar 30 minutes before a five k or a triathlon or any other event.  No need to be afraid that this is going to cause spike in the blood sugar and then a drop in energy which a lot of nutritionist warn you against.  It simple doesn’t happen.  And the study backed that up.

Brock:             There’s a whole chapter about that in endurance planet’s twenty feeling myths book.

Ben:                Yeah.  And I was actually pleased to see this study came out because it came out after the book.  And there were others.  But I think this was the best one so far that looks at glycemic index and exercise.  So, I’ll put a link to that study in the show notes and into anything else I mentioned here in the news flashes for anybody who wants to read more.  RunnersWorld.com, they’ve got good articles over there every now and then.  I saw a really good one this week.  Basically, it talked about running rules you should break.  It invests really big into articles that dispel myths.  And this one was a good one.  It went over everything from how you really don’t need to stretch before you run to how there’s really not a big reason to do strides or bursts of intensity in your warm up to a marathon or anything like that.  Basically, it went over six different myths.  And I’ll put a link to that article in the show notes.  But for anybody who is running this winter, it’s a good read.  Six different rules, pretty common myths in running, six running rules you should break.  One interesting one was they actually recommended that you not cap your marathon longest run at 20miles if you’re training for a marathon because most people actually hit the wall within a mile of the length of their longest run.  And they say that for anybody who is gunning for an actual time goal in a marathon, give it up to possibly running a long run as long as 29miles.  I thought that was interesting and possibly not doable for a lot of people.  But, there are some non-run off the mill information like that in this article.

Brock:             That’s interesting.  Did they talk about that being like a mental thing because I know a lot of people just mentally have so much trouble envisioning the fact that they are going to run a marathon when they never actually run one leading up to that.

Ben:                Yeah.  They did.  And these recommendations are coming from big running coaches like Jeff Galloway.  And I think he was the person that actually brought up this particular point.  And yeah, absolutely, he mentioned in the article that it definitely was partially mental.  So, it’s a good read.  I’ll put a link to it in the show notes.  Another interesting study that came out looked at intensity and looked at how little you could actually get away with when it comes to working out.  And the ability of very short workouts and a low amount of exercise per week and still being able to improve your metabolic health.  And whenever you hear that term metabolic health being thrown around, typically they’re referring to your ability to regulate your blood sugar levels.  There are some other thing like blood pressure and cholesterol.  But really, the thing that’s most looked out when it comes to exercise and metabolic health.  It’s the ability of exercise to allow you to regulate your blood sugar levels and maintain what’s called insulin sensitivity.  And this study looked at folks who were doing very short exercise sessions, ten minute exercise sessions.  And they were doing those just three times a week.  And during those ten minute exercise sessions, they basically had just a few very brief all out sprint.  So, these exercise sessions were on the bike.  They went for several weeks.  They did ten second sprints in their first week.  They did about 15 seconds in their next week.  And then I think they finished up right around about 20 to 30 seconds as the maximum amount of time that they actually went hard during that ten minute effort.  And then they compared that to just a normal lifestyle, a normal average Western sedentary lifestyle.  And they ran this study for six weeks.  And what they found was that the folks who were exercising for just ten minutes three times a week significantly improved not only their blood sugar sensitivity and their metabolic health but also their aerobic capacity or their actual fitness, the cardiovascular respiratory fitness.  So, it’s very interesting and encouraging for busy folks who want to get away with a quick ten minute workout.  I don’t think that you could necessarily get in shape for a marathon by doing that.  But it is encouraging for folks who are really busy.  And even if you are a fitness enthusiast, a fitness junkie and you just don’t have time to work out as much as you’d like to or you want to, just know that a quick ten minute workout can still get you a lot of benefit.

Brock:             That’s a really intense ten minute workout.

Ben:                 Well, you know what, not really because in the past I’ve recommended high intensity interval training.  And that’s really intense.  That would be like going for ten minutes and doing 20 seconds hard and 20 seconds easy for ten minutes.  This was just a ten minute relatively nonchalant bike ride with just a few very brief very hard efforts.  It’s just a few of them.

Brock:             So, it’s just the ratio of intense to non-intense.  You can get away with a lot less.

Ben:                 Yeah.  This is one of those how little can you get away type of studies.  There was another interesting study.  Again, I know a lot of marathoners, a lot of runners listen into this, a lot of people training right now.  And this was an interesting study because most people think that after you run a marathon or do a triathlon or do any intense physical effort, that there’s this immuno-suppressive effect whereby you have this suppression of immune function and you actually get sick a few days after that effort.  And this was a study in medicine and science in sports and exercise, a relatively large study that looked at a few hundred runners from the London marathon.  And they actually had them analyzed for a reaction for common allergens that you’d inhale while you’re out running.  And the levels of these allergens were just through the roof in these folks.  And a lot of the signs and symptoms that they were showing that you’d think might be because of flu or a cold or some type of other opportunistic upper respiratory track infection that pops up after you’ve done a hard effort.  They were just allergies.  So, knowing that, you can really come at your marathon a little bit differently if you don’t what to feel like crap a few days after.  And you can focus on things that would reduce the allergenic reaction.  You know, really focus on lowering intakes of things like wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, things that might cause a lot of cross reactivity and kind of a hyperactive immune system that could have a stronger allergenic response.  And if you really need to try a little bit of anti-histamin or something like that, it is going to have a pretty significant effect considering that it’s likely not a cold that you’ve come down with but just an allergenic reaction from all the inhaling that you do during the event.

Brock:             Interesting.  I’ve always have been under the impression that you’ve taken such a toll in your immune system and in your body in general especially ingesting all the really simple carbohydrates like taking the gels and the Gatorade at the same time.  You’ve just basically beat yourself up to the point where you’re a weak little kitten.

Ben:                 Yeah.  It turns out its a little bit more allergy related which is interesting.

Brock:             Very interesting.

Ben:                 And then the last thing that I wanted to go over was an eating frequency study.  And this was on the Journal of the American Diet Association.  It came out last month.  And the title of the study was that eating frequency is higher in weight loss maintainers and normal weight individuals than in overweight individuals.  And they looked at the number of snacks that people ate during the day.  And they found out that sure enough people who were of normal weight or people who were maintaining their weight were snacking more frequently.  And it was based in dietary recall like a 24-hour dietary recall.  So, this wasn’t a super strict study where they had people living in a lab inside a cage watching their meal intake.  But based on self reporting and the reason I bring this up is because this is going to be a study that once a lot of nutritionist and personal trainers see it, they’re going to runaway with this.  And they’ll go start telling their clients that they need to be doing the grazing and snacking six to ten times a day.  And that really does keep your metabolism elevated and is associated with weight loss and weight maintenance.  And the fact is, if you go and look at the study in detail, the highest amount of snacks consumed was an average of 2.3 snacks a day.  Okay.  So, we’re talking about your normal breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then throwing a snack in between each is the highest amount of snacking.  We’re not talking about packing an apple, a sandwich, a yogurt, some mini carrots, a power bar, an energy bar, and a sports drink, and a little bit of dark chocolate and heading to work so you can snack ten times during the day.  That is the type of snacking that really keeps your blood sugar levels elevated during the day.  It doesn’t teach you how to really control your appetite and burn fat as a fuel.  And really, I think it’s a waste of time and energy if anything else.  So, know that if your see people siding this study about eating frequency, that the actual frequency was a maximum of two snacks a day and was actually closer down towards, once you average everything out, closer towards to one and a half snacks a day that the higher eating frequency group was doing.  So, just know that.

Brock:             I think for most, North Americans, that doesn’t qualify as snacking.

Ben:                Yeah.  If you talk to the people who graze and snack, they’re just way up there, like literally ten snacks a day.  So, that’s it for the news flashes.  I tweeted a lot of other stuff this week in terms of things that I came across in the literature and also on the web.  But those were some of the main points that I thought would be interesting to the folks on the podcast.  And if you want to get more of those and find out the news flashes right when they come out, just go to Twitter.com/BenGreenfield and you’ll be able to find everything there.

Brock:            Alright.  Definitely check out the show notes.  We’ll put links to everything in there.  So, I think it’s time to move on to our huge enormous bag of listener Q and A.  Is that right Ben?

Ben:                 Good thing I had that coffee.  Okay, let’s go.

Listener Q and A:  

 

Brock:             Okay.  Well, we’ve got tons and tons to get through.  So, let’s dive right into our first audio question from Patrick.

Patrick says:              Hey Ben, this is Patrick over in Nashville, Tennessee.  I’ve got a question for you.  I’m a personal trainer at a gym.  And there’s an on going debate between myself and some of the other trainers who tend to come from anaerobic sports, you know football, or body building competition.  They’re always throwing claims around that doing a lot of cardio specifically intervals longer than 30 seconds or one minute will tend to burn off too much muscle on the upper body.  And as a runner and a triathlete, I know that as long as you’re taking in enough calories, that’s really not the case.  But I was hoping to get your input on that and specifically if you have any research that I can look at to argue one way or the other.  Thanks a lot man.

Brock:            So, what do you think Ben?

Ben:                 Short answer, yes.  And here’s why.  When you’re exercising or when you’re doing like basically prolonged aerobic exercise, what happens is your body has a mechanism to preserve its carbohydrate stores.  So, it can go for as long as possible while still burning some carbohydrate as a fuel.  Not only because carbohydrate allows you to exercise for longer periods of time under a little less discomfort but also, once you do switch to fat burning as your carbohydrate stores get lower and lower, you still burn fat more efficiently when you have a little bit of carbohydrate on board.  So, when you’re out running long or biking long, a little bit of carbohydrate always does you well and because of that your body has a mechanism to keep that carbohydrate preserved.   And it’s called cortisol.  So, when you produce cortisol during prolonged aerobic exercise, what happens is it gives you the ability to use alternate fuels.  So, it allows you to tap in to your amino acid stores from muscle as well as amino acid stores from any protein that you happen to have floating around in your digestive track.  But most of us aren’t eating a steak before you go workout.  Cortisol can impair how much carbohydrate gets entered into the actual muscle.  And it steps up the amount of amino acids and fatty acids that end up being utilized by the muscle.  It also can step up the amount of amino acids that are processed by the liver to increase glucose production.  So, all of this stuff happens when you’re out doing an aerobic run.  And what that means is that your body is basically breaking itself down for fuel.  Or it’s breaking itself down so you can conserve your carbohydrate stores for as long as possible especially when you combine that with chloric control, lower carbohydrate intake, a diet that’s set up to control your overall weight so you can run faster.  You definitely get a harder time preserving muscle mass.  And this is why I do things like recommend that you take an amino acid capsule before you go out and do a long run because it preserves your muscle stores.  If you want to get rid of muscle, don’t do that.  And make sure that you do workout in a relatively low fueled state.  But if you’ve got muscle that you want to preserve and you don’t want to get super skinny or lose too much muscle doing long workouts, you take some animo acids before you go workout.  And what happens is that cortisol causes less dipping into a muscle mass to get those amino acids and instead relies on those amino acids that you’ve supplied through the diet.  So ultimately, yes.  Running can definitely lower muscle mass as can any type of long aerobic exercise.  And when I say long aerobic exercise, I mean stuff that’s exceeding that 45 to 60 minute range.

Brock:            So, it sounds like Patrick didn’t lose his bet.  But he was leaning towards that.  Well, sorry about that Patrick.  Okay, the next question is from Erling.

Erling says:     The winter is coming.  And I was wondering if it’s bad to do hard outdoor training in cold temperatures for the lungs.  Last year in Oslo, Norway, it was -20 for a long period.

Brock:             I’m assuming because it’s Europe, that’s -20 Celsius which is pretty cold.  So, yeah, is training outdoors in the winters, is that bad for you?

Ben:                Gosh.  It’s cold here.  So, I’ve been thinking about this myself.  And actually, the topic of a recent show was things you can to keep warm over at endurance planet.  There’s an episode there called ask the ultra round where every week they talk to Tim Wagner who is an ultra runner.  And he runs in just crazy temperatures.

Brock:             Lucho.

Ben:                 Exactly.  His nickname is Lucho.  So, that’s an interesting podcast.  He talks about the type of things he wears when he is out in the cold.  But as far as what happens physiologically and whether or not you need to be afraid of damage to your airways or frozen lungs.  Again, I’ll give my short answer first.  And the short answer is no.  You really need to be more concerned about your extremities then you need to be concerned about anything internal.  You need to be concerned about basically keeping your hands warm and your feet warm and your face warm because those are all the things that are going to be most sensitive to the cold. If you look at people who are doing marathons out in the South pole or the North pole where you are going to get temperatures below 50, really high winds, high altitudes.  None of these folks are getting freezing in the lungs.  And most of them have been interviewed after these events as well as after doing things like summiting Mount Everest or doing anything else that involves long periods of time in conditions that most people wouldn’t even dare run in.  And there has never ever been a case of anybody in the history of sports like this, freezing their lungs.  So, even though ethics keeps us from doing an actual study where this is looked at in laboratory conditions like in an exercise physiology lab that is set up in a freezer.  There is no risk of actually freezing your lungs.  However, there is a risk of airway discomfort.  And what happens is that when you get in to cold air that’s really dry, you get airway narrowing which is basically it feels similar to exercise induced asthma or like you’re breathing through a straw.  And the thing that you can do to help you feel less of this airway narrowing as you exercise is you want to basically heat the air before it comes in.  And try and hydrate the air a little bit.  And the way that you do that is you trap some natural water vapor before you breathe in.  And the way that you do that is by breathing through a scarf or some other type of mask that you wear on your face while you’re out running in these types of temperatures.  So, I personally use a scarf.  I love to run with a scarf.  I wrap it all around my head and my neck a few times.  It keeps my nose warm, my ears warm, and my neck warm.  And then I breathe through that when I’m out running in really cold conditions.  And it really traps that air.  It builds up the water vapors from your exhaled air.  And so, you’re breathing back in hydrated air and your lungs stay a lot more comfortable in conditions like that.  So, there’s no worry that you’re going to hack up a nice frozen lung.  And there are no worries that your airways are going to freeze shut or anything like that.  But there are certain things you can do to make the process a little bit more comfortable when you’re out running in the cold.  And I would also recommend and this is interesting but we’ll put a link to it in the show notes.  I did an interview with Tim Farris and Ray Cronise last year.  And it was about how you can hack cold conditions to enhance weight loss.  Meaning that you can cause your body to step up its activity or what’s called brown fat which is your metabolically active fat.  And that will happen as long as you can figure out a way to exercise in the cold but keep your extremities warm.  And Ray goes into this in greater detail on that particular podcast.  But what it comes down to is you can do this fat loss session where you get up in the morning without having breakfast.  You bundle up your hands and your face and your feet.  But don’t wear too many layers on the rest of your body so that you basically aren’t staying super warm.   And you’re slightly chillier than you’d like to be during your walk or your light run.  And then you go out for a really light 20 to 40 minute session.  And that can really step up the brown fat activity and your ability to be more metabolically active.  With the trick being that if your face gets really cold or your hands get really cold or your feet get really cold, your body will start to down regulate your metabolic activity.  So basically, you’re trying to cool down your core without cooling down your extremities.  It was a really interesting interview.  And Ray is a smart guy.  He wasn’t just pulling stuff out of his butt.  He’s a NASA trained engineer.  And he’s done a lot of studies looking into stuff like this.  It was interesting.

Brock:            Yeah.  I remember listening to that one.  I found it very interesting.  Being from a cold climate myself, I use to lead a running group in Edington, Alberta which is very far north.  And the temperature would often be -30 Celsius or colder.  And the only thing I’d add to what Ben said and especially for men who have a little bit of a spare tire around the mid rift, that is an area that is quite difficult to keep warm especially once you get sweating.  So, that’s an area you have to look out for frost bite.  And also, guys, wind proof underwear is very important especially right in the front because you don’t want to frost bite your junk.

Ben:                I’ve done that.

Brock:            And it’s quite easy to do.

Ben:                 Yeah.  I’ve done that on a bike ride.  It’s not pleasant.  So, think ahead.

Brock:             And women, same thing with the spare tire for men, just the butt because you don’t have enough circulation back there.  So, keeping just some extra layers back there is really important.

Ben:                So, if you’ve learned anything from this show, it’s to insulate your butt and your spare tire.

Brock:            And don’t frost bite your junk.

Ben:                 That’s right.

Brock:            Next question.  I think we should move along.

Andre says:     I’ve heard you a few times talking about soaked and sprouted grains.  So, what is the proper way to do it?  How do you sprout grains like Kinwa and things like that?

Ben:                That’s a good question.  So, let’s not get into the why too much because folks can go back and listen to episode number 172 to learn why your even think about soaking or sprouting grains.  And on that same level in terms if grains and their potential health or lack there of, we will be also interviewing the author of the book Wheat Belly which goes into this in a greater detail.  And you can look for that interview in two weeks.  We should have that interview with Doctor Davis coming out.  But as far as soaking and sprouting goes, I’ll give you the brief overview.  And if you want a little bit more detail than this, my wife and I recorded about a 20 to 30 minute video inside the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle where we show exactly what we do in our kitchen and what we use for soaking and sprouting.  And I’ll put a link to the inner circle in the show notes.  And also, the cook book Nourishing Traditions is a really good cook book also for not only soaking and sprouting but also fermenting in pickling food.  And it’s really making sure that you get the most or maintain the highest nutritional quality from the food that you are eating.  But as far as actually sprouting a grain, basically what you need are jars.  So, you’ll have different jars that you use to sprout your wheat, spelt, millet, rye, kinwa, whatever.  And you fill these glass jars not quite half full of whatever grain that you’re going to be sprouting.  And sprouting times and soaking times are going to vary per grain.  Kinwa’s basically going to soak overnight.  So, wheat can take a little longer than that, a few days sometimes.  But basically, you fill the jar not quite to the half way mark with whatever grain you’re going to soak and sprout.   And then you fill the rest of the jar with water.  And what you want on top of the jar is what’s called a sprouting screen.  And it’s basically almost like this mesh that goes over the top of the jar.  And then the lid of the jar screws over that mesh.  But the lid that you use is one of those lids of the jar that’s open on the top.  So essentially, the top of the jar is just this mesh covering.  So, what the mesh covering is used for is after you’ve soaked your grains in this glass jar, you drain the jar the next day.  So, you let them soak overnight.  And then you drain the jar.  And that screen catches all the grain when you drain the jar.  So, then you rinse the grain by pouring water back into the jar through that screen.  And you shake it a little bit and let that water roll around.  And then you drain it again.  And then you basically allow the grains to continue to drain.  And then pour the water out.  And continue to do this about two to three times a day, rinsing the grains, shaking it around, pouring the extra water out, allowing them to drain, and then setting them back out and allowing them to dry.  So, it’s only the first night that they actually soak in water.  And after that you are just basically rinsing them.  And they’re setting out dry.  And after about anywhere from overnight sometimes for something like kinwa, it can just be literally a matter of hours to two or three or four days for something like wheat.  You’re going to notice these little sprouts coming out of the grain.  And at that point you have sprouted your grain.  And you can use for whatever you’re going to use it for.  We have a food dehydrator.  And once you get that food dehydrator, you can dehydrate the grain and let it really dry.  And once it’s nice and dry, you can grind it.  And you can use a coffee grinder, a blender, or a food processor for that.  And at that point, you’ve got what you need to make flour or whatever you want to use for muffin or bread or cereal or whatever else.  So, that’s basically how you do it.

Brock:            That’s great.  The length of the inner circle I think will be a really helpful thing.

Ben:                Yeah.  It’s one of those things which are useful to see via video.  And I mean, the whole deal with the inner circle, actually my wife does a lot of stuff in there.  But basically, it’s a bunch of secret insides like never before seen pages and posts from Ben Greenfield fitness.  We do a video seminar every month.  We add bonuses like meal plans and stuff like that.  People have access to be able to see my daily diet.  And essentially, it’s an extra bonus material.  And we really focus on the healthy living and the cooking concepts quite a bit.  So, it takes 17 dollars a month to be apart of the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle which I think based off of what we give you is worth it.  And we’ll put a link in the show notes.  It’s basically BenGreenfieldFitness.com/innercircle.  But we’ll throw a link in there too.

Brock:              Great.  Okay, the next question comes from Ron. And Ron has a quick little question.  He just wants to know what you think of Doctor Weil’s food pyramid.

Ben:                Yeah, sure.  Doctor Weil is a fairly well known naturopathic physician.  And I like most of the stuff that he puts out.  And he recently published a food pyramid.  It’s basically what he calls an anti-inflammatory food pyramid.  And for the most part, it’s a little bit of a change up from the typical pyramid that you see put out by the FDA because it stacks a lot more fats towards the base of the pyramid.  And it adds in some things that you don’t see like supplements and tea and herbs and spices.  And at first glance it looks pretty decent.  But once you look at it in a little bit more detail, there are a lot of things in there that I’m not a big fan of.  For example, he’s got fruit portions at three to four portions a day which for anybody trying to lose weight.  I found that that amount of fructose really does not do you any favors when it comes to weight loss.  I like to limit folks to know more than two servings of fruit per day like a banana in the afternoon, maybe a big handful of raisins with breakfast in the morning.  At the base of the pyramid, he has quite a bit of pasta, beans and legumes, and whole grains.  And again, go back and listen to podcast number 172 where I talk a little more about why those types of things can be inflammatory.  And how, if you don’t prepare them properly, they can do some real damage to you in terms of your blood sugar levels and your gut inflammation.  And I think it’s ironic that he has called his food pyramid the anti-inflammatory food pyramid when he has those three to five times a day.  I have a serving of grains about once every two days probably.  So, he’s got three to five times a day having whole and cracked grains on there. And then pasta as well two to three times a week.  So, you’re taking Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and sitting down to your bowl of spaghetti or whatever else.  Beans and legumes a couple times a day is another potential inflammatory food if you’re not soaking it and preparing it correctly.  And then just a little bit farther up on the scale, he’s got whole soy foods one to two times a day.  And he doesn’t differentiate between fermented soy which is basically the healthy form of soy that has had its phytic acid and a lot of its nutrient inhibitors disabled and non-fermented soy like soy nut and soy milk and tofu and edamame.  He’s got that stuff one to two times a day.  So, you’re having grains three to five times a day.  You’re having tofu one to two times a day.  You’re having your beans and legumes one to two times a day.  You’re having fruit three to four times a day.   Anybody who actually takes a look at this and follows it the way that it’s written, I guarantee is going to feel horrible and get really fat.  So, I know that that sounds harsh.  But I’m a little bit disappointed in his pyramid considering that I’ve liked in the past especially the medical stuff that I’ve seen Doctor Andrew Weil put out.  So, that’s what I think of this food pyramid.

Brock:             Yeah.  It’s actually pretty interesting to hear you disagree with him so much on the food pyramid because I heard him interviewed the other day.  He was on NPR radio show.  And so much of the stuff that he was talking about was really bang on with things I’ve heard you say Ben.  And it’s really interesting to hear that it’s so different.

Ben:                Yeah.  Even his sources of protein, granter kudos he does a good job recommending healthy fats more towards the base of the pyramid.  He actually has a lot of fat on there.  Omega three fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.  He’s got you doing walnuts and avocadoes and seeds and hemp seeds and extra virgin olive oil five to seven times a day.  So, there are a lot of fat portions.  Actually, I don’t even recommend that much fat because again, when it comes down to practical weight loss where I’m at in the trenches.  I’m helping people lose weight.  With that much fat everyday, you actually get to a point of diminishing returns and people start to gain a lot of weight unless they’re exercising a ton.  But then farther up, where talks about protein, he tells you to eat lean meat.   If you’re following the same logic, you should be eating fatter cuts of meat.  So, that you’re getting your conjugated linoleic acids and other forms of healthy fat like saturated fat that’s going to come from your meat base sources.  So again, I don’t understand why he recommends healthy fats at the base of the pyramid.  But then farther up, he basically recommends that you choose leaner cuts of meat which is kind of flies in the face of research that we’ve seen recently on CLAs and saturated fat and the benefits of these other things in meat.

Brock:            Well, it’s a good reason to get them on the show.

Ben:                Yeah, we should.  We should look up Doctor Andrew Weil and try and get him on.

Brock:            Yeah.  If anybody has any connections to him, please let us know so we can follow up.

Ben:                 And I’ll argue with him about his pyramid.

Brock:             Awesome.  I’ll be front row and center for that one.  Okay, the next   question comes from David.

David says:    Ben, I am a triathlete and focus on this 70.3 distance and moving up to a full ironman next season.  I want to lean up, get stronger, and be in a solid position for next season.  I eat okay.  But there’s a lot of room for improvement to my diet which would allow me to drop my body fat but still allow my muscle mass to grow over the off season and keep that muscle mass as I start the race season next year.  What diet would you recommend?  Start with a low carbohydrate diet and then convert to the rev three or any other suggestions.  Keep up the podcast.

Ben:                 Okay.  A quick thing, David mentioned rev three.  I didn’t want to confuse anybody.  But I published a book last year called the rev diet.  Do not be confused with the rev three triathlon series.  Those are totally separate just so you know David.  But the rev diet, basically the reason that I published that was I had a lot of people coming to me who had messed up diets.  And what it would take to fix their diets, detoxify their bodies, remove the inflammation, and clean up the diet was not the same type of diet that someone would be able to be on for life because you are talking about a lower amount of calories.  You’re talking about a lot of detective work and a lot of awareness of every bite that you’re putting into your mouth.  And the complete elimination of soy and gluten and dairy and a lot of other foods too pretty much anything that could aggravate things like a candy there or a yeast issue in the digestive track.  Things that can potentially cause inflammation, weight gain, anything that might potentially have food toxins in it.  And so, it’s a really squeaky clean diet like an annoyingly squeaky clean diet.  People, they would just shoot themselves.  They can go for a year on a diet like that.  So, I built this diet plan.  Basically, you spend two to four weeks eating really healthy, total elimination diet, total detoxifying diet.  And then you move into like a phase two where you’re gradually trying to introduce new food groups and supplements that support the digestion of the slightly greater number of calories that you’re eating.  And preferably, you combine that with starting to exercise more whereas when you’re detoxifying your diet and doing a lot of anti-inflammatory stuff.  You can’t exercise that much during that phase because you’re just not eating enough calories.  And then the third phase of the rev diet, what’s called the vitalize phase or the v part of the rev diet, is higher calorie intake and it’s optional.  But that’s the part of the diet that you’d move to if you feel great.  And you want to start to train for ironman or do a marathon or start doing cross fit everyday and your calories need to go way up.  So, that’s the part of the diet that’s higher calorie, pick this if you’re really training for a competition.  So, you’ve got your reboot phase which is the initial detoxifying phase.  Your evolve phase or what is called the e part of rev which is where you start to evolve into a little bit more supportive diet.  And then the vitalize phase where you really want to amp up the activity levels.  So, that’s what that diet is.  And it’s at revdiet.com if you want to check it out.  But in comparison to something like the low carbohydrate diet is it’s just a, whether it’s for life or year or forever long you do it, a diet that’s designed to teach your body how to burn fats more efficiently.  And how to still get enough calories to maintain high levels of physical activity.  But it is lower carbohydrate in the rev diet.  It’s designed for people who are addicted to carbohydrates and need to get off of them, people who maybe have some pre-diabetic and some insulin sensitivity issues, people who basically just need for health reasons and performance reasons or weight loss reasons to get less carbohydrate in their diet.  Moving on to David’s question about muscle mass, it really returns to where we started.  And that is if you want to drop your body fat but still allow muscle mass to grow, you need to be eating a diet that basically gives you adequate amounts of protein preferably dosed amino acid intake and timed very close to your workouts.  Like to two to three hours before your workout, you bump up amino acid levels with higher intake of protein.  And then whenever you do a long workout, making sure that you are doing long workouts in a well fed state.  So, you’re not going catabolic.  And you’re not getting that cortisol release.  And then you engage in any type of focus on weight loss or fat loss apart from the workout.  So, that’s how you maintain muscle mass and still lose fat.  You don’t do any calorie restriction or starved workouts or anything like that.  And you instead focus on weight loss during the times that you are not working out.  You don’t eat as much for breakfast.  And make sure that you are not snacking within two hours before bed time.  But you don’t restrict your body or starve your body before, during, or after a workout.  And that allows you to maintain muscle mass.  I talk about that concept in my upcoming tri-ripped book which is for triathletes who want to maintain muscle mass and do triathlon and still look really good, that whole concept of keeping muscle on the body.  So, the diet that I would recommend for David would probably be closer to the vitalize phase of the rev diet just because you do want to maintain muscle mass.  And it sounds like your focus isn’t like on hard core weight loss.  I would probably not do the low carbohydrate diet as much as I would like the vitalize phase of my rev diet book.  And essentially, it incorporates the concepts that I just described.

Brock:            That sounds great.  He’s really describing what I think would everybody want to do on their off season is really lean up and get a little bit more muscle mass built up in time for the new season.  So, that’s probably a good advice for everybody out there and that’s involved with that sport.

Ben:                Yeah.  And I personally, for me from a mental perspective, I don’t focus on leaning up doing the off season that much.  I spend November and December.  And frankly, I’m eating treats.   And I’m drinking more alcohol than I would normally drink.  And I’m not exercising as much.  And the exercise that I do is really short and intense.  And I like that feeling of being in good shape and not totally letting yourself go when January rolls around.  But also, being mentally ready to live a little bit more like a monk as you move into your real training and your preparation because I find if you focus too much on fat loss and calorie control and all that jazz during the holidays, you feel you missed out when January rolls around.  And you’re more likely to fall of the bandwagon moving forward.

Brock:             Yeah.  Good point.  Alright, we actually have two questions that are along the same vein about antibiotics.  So, the first question is from Jim.

Jim says:        I know you recently went through having to use some antibiotics for an infection.  I have to take Cipro soon for an intestinal infection and I heard it is nasty.  And you can’t train because it affects your tendons and ligaments especially your Achilles tendon.  Would you know how long I should wait before resuming training?

Brock:             So, that’s what Jim asks.  And then Dan serves along the same vein I guess.

Dan says:        Hi Ben, I was wondering if you’d have any knowledge on fluoroquinolone antibiotics, avelox, cipro, etc, and the damage they can cause.  In April 2011, I had a sinus infection and was prescribed Avelox.  And right away, I started having knee pain while running and biking.  And it got worse and worse.  And in June, I could barely walk without pain.

Brock:             So, he is looking for some advice or some direction.  He feels like he went from a super healthy fit 35 year-old to somebody who can barely move without worrying about snapping something.  So, that sounds pretty serious.

Ben:                 Right.  Yeah.  Well, fist of all, what was the name of the first person that asked the question?

Brock:             Jim.

Ben:                 So, Jim referred to me being on antibiotics.  This is actually last year.  And I wrote a big post on this afterwards at BenGreenfielFfitness.com.  We’ll put a link to it in the show notes from this episode number 174.  But it was called the art of using antibiotics and how to limit the damage.  And what had happened to me was I was working out in the gym and ended up contracting a staff infection from the gym.  And I need to get on a really powerful antibiotic series.  And I basically wanted to do as much as I could to limit the potential damage that that was going to do to my gastrointestinal track.  Now, it wasn’t a fluoroquinolone antibiotic like cipro which can affect your tendons and I’ll talk about that in a second. But it was definitely a type of antibiotic that can really do a number on the gastrointestinal track.  Basically, what happens is that when you consume an antibiotic, it’s designed to kill off bacteria.  And you kill a lot of the beneficial bacteria that’s in your intestines.  And so, that downs the balance of your intestinal track which is really where a ton of stuff happens from digestion and nutrient absorption to immune system function.  And one of the things that can happen is what’s called dysbiosis which is where yeast can grow unchecked because your flora in your intestinal track has become imbalance.  And what happens is that when yeast thrives in your digestive track they can literally poke holes through the lining of your intestinal wall.  And you get what’s called leaky gut syndrome.  And it can mess you up for a very long time.  And so, what you want to do as much as possible when you take antibiotics is to try and limit the damage that can be caused especially in terms of the throwing off of the balance of your intestinal track.  So, antibiotics are really powerful.  And while you can take probiotics while you are taking antibiotics, they’re really not going to do you a whole lot good until you’re off your antibiotics protocol.  I pop probiotics anyways if I’m on antibiotics.  And I take a lot of them.   I usually double dose on probiotics and continue to do so for a full month after I’ve been off the antibiotic protocol.  In addition to that, I would recommend that you take some type of anti-yeast supplement.  I personally use oil of oregano as an anti-fungal and anti-yeast three times a day about four to five drops of an oil of oregano taken sublingually to help out with any potential yeast infection as you are on your antibiotic protocol.  Now, like I said, the good bacteria in your stomach is still going to take a pretty big hit if you’re on a really powerful antibiotic like I was on clindamycin.  And that’s really powerful.  And one of the things that can stand up to that a little bit better is one strain of probiotics that you don’t find in most supplements.  And you need to make sure that the probiotic supplement that you’re taking while you are on an antibiotic specifically has this one in it.  And it’s called saccharomyces boulardi.  I know that that sounds really hard to spell.  But basically saccharomyces boulardi is how you pronounce it.  And if you were to ask your pharmacy if they carry any probiotics that has that particular strain in it or if you were to go, just read the article that I wrote over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  And you can see how it is spelled and be able to find it.  But basically, it’s a probiotic strain.  And it’s going to stand up to the antibiotics a little bit better.  And it’s again, one that you want to take and continue to take after the antibiotics have run their course and you are not on them anymore.  And I also make sure to eat a ton of fermented food which really contains a naturally high amount of probiotics.  I was doing sauerkraut and pickles.  You can pickle turnip, carrots, and beads.  You can eat kimchi.  And you can kiefer and yogurt and do as much as possible to get good bacteria into your system.  The antibiotics hit your liver too as you process those as well as any other pharmaceutical drug.  So, I recommend that you get on a good liver protecting supplement and well as stomach protecting supplement.  And what I was doing was a milk thistle extract which is really good for detoxifying the liver.  So, anytime that you’ve been exposed to a high amount of pharmaceuticals or even frankly on a bender, too much alcohol, milk thistle extract can certainly help out quite a bit in detoxifying.  And I was also doing aloe vera juice which really helps to protect your stomach.  And it can ease up on some of the potential for stomach bleeding or stomach ulcers from some of these pharmaceuticals as well.  Antibiotics can make you nauseas.  So, I recommend that you get your hands on some ginger root and some ginger rips, some ginger tea, ginger capsules.  Ginger can really help settle your stomach.  And so, I was doing that as well.  A high fiber supplement is good because probiotics need prebiotics.  Probiotics feed on basically a form of carbohydrate found in fiber.  And so, you can take a cilium seed supplement or some type of fiber supplement that really helps to feed the good bacteria that you are trying to maintain and allow to flourish in the presence of the attack that you are under from the antibiotics.  And then the last thing would be a glutamine supplement.  Glutamine does a bunch of stuff in the G.I track.  But it can repair your intestinal lining especially if you have had a yeast infection.  And you do have all those holes that have been poked to your digestive track.  It can help with the elimination of yeast infection.  And so, you could take an amino acid supplement that has glutamine in it.  Or you can just get glutamine in its isolated form.  But glutamine is really helpful as well.  And if I were ever on antibiotics, I would do the same protocol.  Again, the glutamine, the high fiber supplement like a cilium supplement, some ginger, some aloe vera, and milk thistle extract and then a lot of probiotics in fermented food along with some oil of oregano.  As far as this whole tendon issue and muscle issue, yeah absolutely, there’s a big problem when you take the type of antibiotic that has quinolone in it.  And the reason that that is the case is that fluoroquinolone based antibiotics and fluoroquinolone in particular has a really high affinity for connective tissue.  So, it can build up and get highly concentrated in bone and cartilage and in a lot of those muscle areas where some of your bigger tendons attach in particular the Achilles tendon is a major one.  And that really increases the risk for tendonitis especially in the Achilles or rupture in the Achilles.  It can affect other joints.  But the Achilles is the one that has the most potential for getting ruptured when you’re out running if you are on antibiotics.  And this is well known among all physicians.  Unfortunately, a lot of them really don’t advise their patients against running when they are on something like levaquin or any other fluoroquinolone.  And so, those tendon ruptures can happen.  And then you are screwed for a longer period of time.  So, if I ever were on a fluoroquinolone, I wouldn’t be engaging in activities that are non-weight bearing primarily, cycling and water-based exercise like aqua jogging and swimming.  And the issue with those antibiotics is that they’ve actually observed tendon ruptures occurring as long as six months after the actual treatment administration of the drug.  And this has been way back since the ‘90s that fluoroquinolones have been associated with this.  Ultimately, unless you absolutely have to be on a fluoroquinolone, I recommend that you get on an alternative antibiotic.  And a lot of the times fluoroquinolone is prescribed because it’s really powerful.  And clindamycin is a non-fluoroquinolone based antibiotic that also is pretty powerful as well.  I don’t want to get into the realm of giving out medical advice now which I’m getting dangerously close to.  So, what I would say is that if you’ve been on a quinolone and you want to play it completely safe, switch to non-bearing weight exercise at least for the next few weeks.  And consider not doing anything really hard for the next few months if you really want to reduce your potential for rupturing a tendon or developing tendonitis.

Brock:            Wow!  That’s kind of alarming stuff I have to admit.  When you are taking an antibiotic, you are not really expecting those kinds of reactions.  And I guess, like you said, the doctors really should be warning at least somebody who is obviously very active.

Ben:                Yeah.  You would think but unfortunately not.

Brock:            Well, Jim and Dan, that should give you a lot of stuff to work with and hopefully that helps you out.

Ben:                Yeah.  And I’ll put a link to that antibiotics article that I wrote in the show notes.

Brock:             Awesome.  Okay, the next question comes from Kai.

Kai says:        The three most discussed options to the Standard American Diet are vegan, zone, and low carbohydrate.   Have any studies been done which objectively compare the health benefits of these three intake approaches.  With your recent release of the low carbohydrate diet for triathletes, what is your opinion on the zone diet?

Ben:                Well, there have been studies that have compared multiple diets.  What were the three that he asked about?

Brock:             Vegan, zone and low carbohydrate.

Ben:                Yeah.  There have been no studies that have looked at those three in particular.  Probably, the biggest studies that looked at comparing different types of diets that we can actually learn from and maybe apply to these question is one that was in the Journal of American Medical Association and one that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.  And the first, the one that appeared on the New England Journal of Medicine was back in 2009.  And that compared weight loss diets with different compositions of fat and protein and carbohydrates.  So, they basically took four different diets.  And they have a relatively large number of people that they recruited.  It was over 800 people.  And they took these four different diets that range from carbohydrate intake from 35 percent all the way up to about 65 percent.  And basically, the acutal calorie intake was controlled.  So, they were engaging in caloric restriction or the type of calorie control that you would expect for weight loss.  But everybody was taking in a different range of fats and proteins and carbohydrates.  And it varied way across the board.  None of it was what I would consider to be low carbohydrate since the lowest carbohydrate intake in history was 35 percent.  And the highest carbohydrate intake was 65 percent.  But that’s a pretty good span of carbohydrate like that range from 35 up to 65 percent in terms of comparison.  And the main finding was that every single diet that they looked at in this study which was a long study of a lot of people with four different ranges of proteins and fats and carbohydrates.  Every diet was equally successful in promoting significant weight loss and weight loss maintenance over the entire two years that they ran this trial.  And they also did self reporting on hunger, on appetite, on food satisfaction.  And there was no significant difference between the four different ranges of fat and protein and carbohydrate intake there as well.  So, the most interesting that I found about this study was that if you look across all the groups even though the actual weight loss was the same between all of them.  They found that actual adherence to the diet in terms of drop out rate from the study and the ability of people to stay in the study was directly correlated to basically these focus groups that they were running during the study.  So, they had these group sessions that were held once a week during the entire range of the study.  And the folks who actually showed up at the group sessions and were staying accountable those were the people that were the most successful in terms of their weight loss and their adherence to the diet.  And so, the whole big that I’d take away from the study like that is that when it comes to a diet, the most successful one is the one that you’ve enable yourself to adhere to.  So, if you’re trying to control your calories and lose weight, maybe a vegan, maybe a low carbohydrate, maybe a zone diet or whatever.  But either way, which ever you look at, you need to be able to adhere to it.  And that’s really important.  And the most interesting thing about this study was that people were staying accountable.  You can stay accountable through blogging and twitter and facebook and anything else.  It doesn’t have to be by going to group sessions.  But that was what helped people be the most successful.  Not the actual macronutrient range of the diet but the accountability factor.  So, the other study that the bigger one was on the Journal of American Medical Association.  And that one probably comes closer to answering the question because it looked up the Atkins diet.  So, we’re talking about a really low carbohydrate diet because in the Atkins diet the maximum amount of carbohydrate that you’re supposed to eat is twenty grams a day.  And I think that you can get close up to 50 grams a day towards the end of that diet.  But the Atkins diet would be considered the low carbohydrate model.  It’s not a perfect low carbohydrate model but it’s a low carbohydrate model.  So, they compared the Atkins with the zone which is 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat.  It’s actually pretty close to what I eat.  The ornish diet is high carbohydrate, lower fat.  The ornish diet would be closer to a vegetarian based diet like being fatphobic.  You keep your dietary fat at a maximum of ten percent of your total dietary intake.  And then the learn diet, and I don’t remember what the learn part of that stands for.  We could probably make up a bunch of potential things.  But the learn diet basically has a little bit higher carbohydrate intake.  It’s about 50 to 60 percent carbohydrate.  So, we’ve got a lot bigger range here.  We’ve got basically ten percent carbohydrates all the way up to almost 90 percent carbohydrate in this study.  Again, it was pretty big.  They had a few hundred people.  The trial lasted 12 months.  And this is one that you hear cited by a lot of low carbohydrate advocates because the people that were following the Atkins diet had more weight loss.  Or at least in the actual study and the conclusion of the study, they say that those assigned to follow the Atkins diet had more weight loss and more favorable metabolic effects at one year than women assigned to the other diets.  Now, a few things about this study are that first of all, it was done on overweight or obese women.  So, this wasn’t a generally normal weight population.  This was an overweight or obese population.  And what they found again was that the Atkins diet was considered to be a little bit more effective.  But when you actually get your hands on the study and you look at it, you see that the Atkins diet like lower carbohydrate intake, it was beating all the other diets at the two month check point that they did and then again in the sixth month checkpoint that they did.  But when you get to the end of the study like at the actual 12th month checkpoint and you look at weight loss, it’s the same between the Atkins and learn and the ornish.  And so, the only diet that the Atkins diet beat was the zone diet in terms of statistically significant weight loss.  It beat the zone diet by about six pounds over an entire year.  So, when we are looking at a zone diet like a 40-30-30 versus a low carbohydrate, the low carbohydrate appears to win out.  But here’s the issue, again folks you’ve got to get your hands on the studies and look at them because the Atkins diet is supposed to be like I mentioned 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.  It was like nothing.  That’s just what 80 calories of carbohydrate.  It’s very little.  What they actually averaged out to if you look at what the groups who were on the Atkins actually did, was they were up at about 30 percent carbohydrate intake.  None of them adhered to the actual Atkins diet.  And the zone diet was way above the carbohydrate intake that they were supposed to be at.  So, nobody was successful and when I say nobody that means that the entire group as a whole was averaging like ten to 20 percent more carbohydrate intake than they were supposed to take in.  The ornish group that was supposed to be at ten percent of fat of the total calories almost doubled that during the study.  The learn group which was supposed to be limiting their saturated fat intake, they had doubled the intake of their targeted saturated fat.  And so ultimately, the study that’s cherry picked by the low carbohydrate groups, what it comes down to is that everybody lost weight and everybody was eating more carbohydrate that they were supposed to.  And the Atkins diet wasn’t really the Atkins diet.  So again, what we get here is that lots of diets all working and everybody in the group lost weight.  So, it’s what you can adhere to for just looking at weight loss.

Brock:             Yeah.

Ben:                Just looking at weight loss.  It’s what you can adhere to.  That’s going to help you to lose weight.

Brock:             That’s the whole thing that I’ve been thinking this whole time you’ve been talking is all these studies focused on is weight loss.

Ben:                Yeah.

Brock:             So, I guess if your primary reason for wanting to be on a different diet like a way of eating on a daily basis and not a way to starve yourself, these studies really don’t have a lot to say about that.

Ben:                 You can draw rough parallels between weight loss and metabolic health.  You’ll know if you lose weight, you’re improving your blood sugar sensitivity and your insulin sensitivity and probably decreasing your levels of bad cholesterol and lowering your blood pressure.  So, you can draw a rough parallel which is why it generally considered that overweight and obese folks for the most part are less healthy.  And so, I think you can draw rough parallels in terms of health benefits.  But I think the ultimate answer to which diet is best is that there is no diet that is best.  And my advice is if you are confused, choose a diet that a.) Has no magic pills or magic juices or magic parts associated with it.  You get on this diet where you’re subscribing to drinking really expensive juice per year.  And b.) Don’t choose a diet that completely vilifies a certain food group.  Like a diet that tells you that you can’t go near grains of legumes.  And then c.) Pick a diet that you could adhere to.  And I think if you at least follow those three things, you’re well on your way to finding a good diet for you.

Brock:             Yeah.  I think being able to go out and actually enjoy life is an important part of being on a diet especially if you’re going to try and stick to it.

Ben:                 Exactly.  And your diet can change throughout the year too.  It can change based on your activity levels and everything else.

Brock:            Yeah.

Ben:                So, that being said, I guess we spent a long time on that question.  And this will turn into a super podcast if we don’t move on.  And so, hopefully that helps out a little bit.

Brock:             Okay. Our next question comes from John.

John says:     Hi Ben, great job on the podcast.  I’m preparing for a mountain climbing expedition this spring.  Expedition climbing differs from other endurance sports such as triathlon in a number of ways.  An expedition may last two months or more.  The summit day may last 12 hours or more with only short rest breaks.  The aerobic system is taxed by high altitude.  The average intensity is less than race type sports.  But peak intensity is just as high.  You need good full body strength to carry a heavy back pack while performing climbing moves with balance and flexibility.

Brock:             So, he wants to now how you would train for this.  What specific workouts would you do?

Ben:                It sounds like a cool expedition.

Brock:             It does.  Yeah.

Ben:                So, as far as the altitude goes, more and more studies are showing that a lot of these altitude tends, altitude chambers, fancy expensive altitude exposure mechanisms don’t really work all that well.  And so, I would get carried away with those as much as I would.  As much as you can try and engage in living low and training high which is the form of altitude training that’s been shown to have the most benefits when it comes to getting your body ready for something like this.  So, that means that multiple times throughout the winter, you’re trying to go on a drive or trying to get yourself up to altitude, train for a few days at altitude at the most, or even just a full day for altitude at the most.  But then do most of your living which is going to allow you to recover more quickly and basically absorb that training a little bit more effectively back down at a lower elevation.  So, it’s called live low, train high.  So, if you can arrange that, it’s logistically difficult.  But that’s really the best way to go about the altitude training when you can get away with it.  As far as looking at this from strength and conditioning stand point, the type of things that I would be doing.  First of all, if you are limited to like a gym type of training and don’t have access to a lot of hills around your area to train on, I would be doing a lot of weighted climbing on an actual stair mill which is the type of stair master that is actual stair steps that move like a stair mill or like a treadmill.  And you can do that weighted.  So, you literally bring your pack to the gym and a couple of light dumbbells.  And you can put some ankle weights on your feet to simulate your boots and heavy your pants.  And you just climb.  And you can do that as intervals.  That’s going to get you the most bang for you.  But you know a sample workout to get you ready for a summit day that’s going to last 12 hours or more would be four minute intervals with ten minute recoveries where your intervals are at a fairly intense climbing pace.  So, it’s not incredibly exciting.  But again, you’re going to be climbing for 12 hours anyways starting at the side of the mountain.  So, you might as well get used to it.  So, the next thing I would do would be a ton of glute work, high knees step up with a barbell on your back, single leg squats, hip hikes which is where you’re standing on platform and dropping your hip to one side and raising it back up, lateral leg raises.  For both of the back of the glutes as well as the side of the glutes, I would be doing a lot of glute work because that’s going to be really important for your climbing capability.  As far as the next part of your body, I would be focusing on core work and specifically when you’re working on your core, do standing core exercises.  A couple that I would focus on would be standing torso twist where your holding on to a cable and doing torso twist on one side and then torso twist to the other with the arms extended.  Standing cross body chops, its chopping low to high, chopping high to low.  It’s still on a standing position because again you’re definitely not going to be working on your core on a seated or lying on a plank position during this summit.  That pack is going to pull your shoulders forward.  So, I would be doing a lot of shoulder stability work like standing rows and a standing shoulder blade retraction.  It’s pulling your shoulder blades back and then standing in single leg rows which is where you can literally hold on to a cable and row while standing on one leg, doing a lot of work for the shoulders in a standing position.  So, shoulder stability work.  And the other thing that you can do to fight against that hunching forward mechanism is to focus on chest flexibility.  You can do door frame stretches where you lean into a door and stretch out the chest muscles.  And by the way, just about everything I’m talking about I’ve videos of over at youtube at my youtube channel.  That’s youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness.  So, you can go over there and see pictures of all these exercises I’m referring.  The way that I would put this together is I would be doing two-a-days.  I would be doing your conditioning on the A.M and your strength on the P.M for the strength work, doing glute work, core work, shoulder stability work that I just described.  And if you don’t have time to do that then alternate the days, conditioning one day and then strength the next day.  And then just spend as much time on your feet as possible.  Get a standing work station, a standing desk.  You can stand while you’re eating, stand while you’re talking, stand while you’re talking on the phone, and just get used to lots of time on your feet so that you train a lot of those postural muscles the smaller postural muscles that could easily become fatigued with a 12 hour summit day.  So, that’s what I would be doing.

Brock:             I have actually seen guys over at the gym before with the full gear, the hiking boots, the big pants, the big jackets, and a back pack on those stair mill things.  And it’s quite a sight to watch those guys go.  But it’s funny at first.  And then after an hour an a half when I’m putting my regular clothes on and heading home and they’re still trudging up there.  That’s serious.

Ben:                 Yeah.  So, the only thing that they’re missing there is their shirt.  I think a shirt is essential.  I’ll throw that in there too as well for my answer is to bring a shirt to the gym if you’re going to do stair mill work.

Brock:             I have nothing to say about that.  Okay, so onto the next question from Jen.

Jen says:         I learned about super compensation decades ago and that certain muscles need approximately 48 hours to get into the super compensation state.  Now, to be honest, I never felt that it worked or that it didn’t.  I just did it.  Does this principle still matter?  And if so, how would one figure these cycles out for runners who run everyday?  Does this principle work or is this type of exercise different?  How do trainers like you figure out how often one specific person has to put a load on their body to get the best results?  Or is super compensation just a thing for body builders?

Ben:                 Cool.  That’s a good question.  Super compensation sounds really fancy.  But basically, all it means is that your body recovers from a workout after the workout not during the actual workout.  So, while you are working out, you are breaking down muscle fibers.  You are depleting nutrients.  And you are fatiguing your body and your muscle system and your nervous system.  And from this state of fatigue, your body starts to rebuild itself.  So, when you rest, you increase your protein synthesis which rebuilds the muscle fibers.  Your nervous system and your hormonal synthesis returns back to their original baseline levels.  And you begin to do what’s known as compensation.  And if you really recover for a long time, you get into a phase of super compensation which is where your body is totally 100 percent healed.  And the problem is when you let yourself go into super compensation too much, it takes too much rest and recovery to get there then you start to get out of shape.  So, the ideal scenario is that you only reach a level of super compensation which where you’re literally doing rest and recovery for two or three full days.  You only reach a level of compensation at certain periods of time throughout the year preferably as you are getting closer to a race or an event or something for which exercise is really important.  And most of the time, you’re just reaching that compensation phase where you back up to around baseline.  So, it varies depending on your sport.  And that’s the thing.  This really is the concept of what’s called periodization which is where you set up certain times of the year where you are super compensating more often to allow your body to grow more fit during those times of year.  And then there are other times of the year where you’re not getting into the super compensation phase very much just because you are trying to beat up your body and keep it in this really fatigued state for longer periods of time.  So that the post fatigue super compensation is even higher.  So, this is stuff that you hire a coach like me to actually help plan for you.  And the thing is, if you want to learn this yourself, go pick up a book called periodization of sport.  And I’ll put a link to it in the show notes.  It’s by Tudor Boompa.  It’s called periodization of sport.  And it teaches you how to set up your entire year that you super compensate when you want to be super compensating.  And then, how I can track this with an athlete is that there are a few things I can use.  The athletes that I coach can go into the system that I use to coach them with which is called training peaks.  And they can log their heart rate and their morning rate.  And they can leave feed back on their workouts.  They upload their heart rates from their workouts.  And I can basically see what’s going on with their body during their workouts.  But one really cool way to do this is with something called rest wise.  So, if you go listen to podcast episode number 122 which I’ll link to in here.  In podcast episode number 122, I interviewed the guys from rest wise.  And they have this whole system set up where it basically graphs your recovery scores.  And from there, when I see the recovery scores really dipped on any of my athletes who are using rest wise and sending me their recovery scores via that system.  Then I know that that athlete needs to be brought into a compensation phase.  If I’m seeing rest wise scores that are constantly dipping or constantly low, and so that really helps me know when to plan out the workouts and how hard to go and when to lay off as well.  It’s just keeping my finger on the polls of an athlete’s recovery period.  So, hopefully that gives you a little bit idea of how to use super compensation, what it is and basically what you would do in terms of tracking your recovery.  And when you’re finding that your recovery scores are really dropping and your morning resting heart rate is really high and your heart rate variation is off the charts.  And you are beginning to show a lot of the signs of over reaching or over training, then you go into your compensation phase.  And then you just rinse, wash, and repeat throughout the year timing periods of super compensation to occur before the areas where you want to be really fit like before an event or a race.  So, that’s how you would do it.

Brock:            There you go Jen.  I hope that helps.  That made complete sense to me.  I’ve never heard it called that before.  But it makes total sense.

Ben:                Yeah.  That’s the scientific term.

Brock:            Alright.  The next question comes from Kathy.

Kathy says: Hi Ben.  Thanks for all the info you put out.  Can you talk a bit more about multivitamins?  I remember someone asking you about taking inexpensive multivitamins.  And you talked about the differences in low and high quality.  But do you think taking a good multivitamin is good insurance even for someone who eats soundly and includes lots of different vegetables.

Brock:            Then she has a second part of the question where she asks about this particular kind of multivitamin that is quite expensive and it has a lower dose.  But the idea is that it’s cultured.  So, it’s a vitamin that’s cultured.  And therefore, they say it absorbs much effectively.  So, the lower doses are okay.

Ben:                Yeah.  So, we’re talking about the whole concept of whole food multivitamins.  And the reason for that is when you isolate a nutrient which is what a vitamin is.  It’s just a bunch of different isolated specific nutrients.  And then you add that to the diet in the form of the pill or the capsule.  It’s a little bit different than when you get it from food.  It’s isolated.  So, it doesn’t work quite as well.  Like the vitamin C in an apple is more effective than the vitamin C in the airborne tablet that you dissolve in your ginger ale.  So, what manufacturers are doing is they’re to get closer to putting the actual source of the fruits and the vegetables into a capsule as like a blended up whole food nutrient.  So, they’re trying to include a lot of the components of the whole food that that vitamin would normally be found in into the capsule itself.  A lot of times when you take a whole food multivitamin, you got to pop 12 to be the equivalent of a normal non-whole food vitamin which would require you to get the same amount of vitamins from two.  Whereas whole vitamins are like horse pills compared to the normal ones.  So, I don’t think that anyone would disagree that getting your nutrients from eating a whole food source is going to be better.  And anytime that you’re getting nutrients and vitamins and minerals from food, they’re going to be better absorbed than when you get them from pills or from capsules.  But the idea behind whole food vitamins is that they’re more expensive to make.  And I’m going to be straight up here, even though all the multivitamins that I recommend to folks and I do recommend them to old people, to children, and to people who are exercising a lot and depleting their bodies quite a bit.  All of the vitamins that I recommend would definitely be considered as whole food vitamins.  I recommend them based out of my faith that getting your nutrients from whole foods or as close to a whole food source as possible is going to be better than getting them from an isolated nutrient.  And I don’t want to give anybody the misperception that I’m basing this off of some type of big study that’s been done that has compared whole food multivitamins with whole food multivitamins because ultimately, such a study doesn’t exist at least not that I’m aware of in terms of a good study that compares the two sources of vitamins.  So, when you’re looking at a cultured food vitamin that has probiotics that helped you enhance the delivery by stepping up the activity of the digestive system to whole food vitamins that include a lot of these complex compounds from whole food in the actual vitamin themselves.  You probably are talking about a benefit.  But again, you’re spending a lot of money on something that hasn’t necessarily been proven with the study.  However, if you are going to take a multivitamin which I do recommend if you are aging or elderly, if you are a growing child or your exercising a lot and you need some extra vitamin or nutrients sources.  I recommend those types of vitamins.  The one that I actually recommend over at pacific fitness and I’ll put a link to in the show notes.  It’s a liquid vitamin.  And that’s just because supplements have to be absorbed and assimilated into your body.  And for something like a vitamin where you want a really complete absorption, if that pill or capsule doesn’t have to be dissolved in a liquid form before it gets absorbed or assimilated.  You get a little bit better absorption and breakdown.  So, the one that my kids take because my kids take a multivitamin is the kids calm multivitamin.  And then this other one is put up by Peter Gillham natural vitality is called organic life vitamin that also is a liquid multivitamin.  And I really do like the liquid source if you’re going to go with a multivitamin.  Finally, last thing is I personally don’t take a multivitamin.  I eat a lot of really good food.  And then I add in the vitamins that I want to add in which for me is vitamin D.  And then I also have a higher dose of a vitamin B supplement that I’ll take sometimes before a workout.

Brock:            That liquid vitamin, how does it taste?

Ben:                It’s pretty good.  My kids love it.  It’s got this orange fruit punch flavor.  And it’s not bad.

Brock:            I just had this feeling that it would be just disgusting stuff.  But that’s great if it even taste good. 

Ben:                Yeah.  It does.  It tastes fabulous.  You can drink it all day long and see what happens.

Brock:            You’ll turn into a god.  Alright, our next question comes from Brandon.  It’s an interesting one actually.  He goes into a long story.  I’ll to paraphrase before I ask the question.  On thanksgiving break, he went away from his college weight room and wasn’t doing any workouts.  He wasn’t lifting weights or doing cardio.  And he saw a big decrease in his weight quite quickly.  It was seven pounds over five days.  And then he came back to school.  And he went back to his regular routine.  And he shot up seven pounds over his normal weight.  So, I don’t know what his normal weight was.  But he shot up even higher over the course of five days.

Brandon:       Ben, I was wondering how quickly cortisol and/or water cause major fluctuations in weight gain.  Could these factors cause gains that would indicate over consumption of calories?  Or do the calories play the primary role in the weight gain that these factors make more apparent?

Brock:            So, it’s sort of which one is coming first here, the cortisol or the egg.

Ben:                Yeah.  It’s definitely the cortisone.  So, cortisol inhibits your sodium loss through your small intestine.  So, what that means is you retain sodium as your cortisol levels go up.  Interestingly, a little personal anecdote, I’ve had cortisone injections a few times during my life.  And I always notice I feel, in addition to being stressed out from those extra cortisone levels, I feel like I’m a little bit bloated for a few days after getting a cortisone injection interestingly.  So, usually sodium is balanced with potassium in your body and because cortisol causes that sodium retention as well as an excretion of potassium, you basically get this water retention which is also caused because cortisol acts like an anti-diuretic hormone.  So, about half of your intestinal waters that flow in and out of your intestines, that’s controlled by cortisol.  And you get a lot less loss of water again when you have higher levels of cortisol.  If you’re stressed out, if you’re back into your normal work routine, even if you are working out a ton, that can also cause really high cortisol levels.  But all this stuff can cause almost immediate bloating, food retention, water retention.  That can cause that huge fluctuation of weight gain that can happen a lot more quickly literally like almost in a course of a day compared to putting on fat from increase calorie intake which usually takes place over a week or two to actually from increase calorie intake start to really significantly gain weight.

Brock:            Yeah.  That’s good to hear because with the holiday season coming in, I think everybody is probably worried that jamming all that food into your body over the course of two days.  It’s not the greatest.  But at least it’s not going to result in what happened to Brandon.

Ben:                 I’m not trying to be gross here but frankly, if it’s an acute phase of over eating and you’re a relatively healthy individual, you’re going to end up pooping most of that out.  You’re not going to absorb it all in, balloon up and become fat.  I mean, don’t think if you eat 6000 calories for a holiday meal because a pound of fat equals 3500 calories, you’re going to gain almost two pounds of fat.  You simply don’t have the ability to absorb all that.  And most of it is going to pass through.  It’ll end up in your large intestine.  And you’re just going to be spending a lot of time on the toilet the next day or the next couple days.

Brock:            Yeah.  But we still shouldn’t take that as a free license to go for it and to go crazy.  Well, we’ve got another two here.  Steve and Petra both wanted to know some information about leg workouts.  And I’m guessing this is above and beyond the legs like Lance Armstrong post.  So, if they haven’t taken a look at that yet.  Steve and Petra, go take a look at that as well.  But here’s Steve’s question first.

Steve says:     What are the best weight lifting/resistance training exercises for the legs for distance runners?  I typically get a lower leg or hip injury two or three times a year running.  And I believe it’s from doing a little resistance training for my legs.

Brock:            Petra’s question is a little more in depth.  But it revolves around the same thing.

Petra says:      Thanks so much for everything that you put out here Ben.  I’ve learned so much from everything that you’ve post.

Brock:                          She was very grateful about that.

Petra says:     I’ve run my entire life or at least since I could track.  And I mainly do long distance races.  And I have completed three marathons and just completed a half marathon.  Now, my goal is to qualify for Boston like every other competitive runner out there.  I honestly think that if I could figure out how to lean up a bit more, I would be able to be a much better runner than I am now.  And I’m just unsure how to combine running strength and nutrition all together.  I think the problem that’s holding me back is that I’ve always struggled with developing muscle tone.  I’m lean but I don’t look like a lean ripped runner.  My upper body is more toned than my lower half and I could still use some more help.

Brock:            So, she’s looking for some strengthening exercises that would be able to put muscle on under the fat in her legs.

Ben:                I know that those two are involved questions.  But I want to step back and simplify this because basically they’re both asking the same thing.  How are you supposed to lift weights for running because one person wants to get stronger, one person wants to put on a little bit muscle.  But ultimately, because you should always be building muscle that is functional and not just isolated body builder style muscle that doesn’t do anything for you in terms of your running speed or power or efficiency or economy.  When you’re looking at lifting weights to become a better runner, everything should be focused on the performance aspect of adding that muscle.  And know that the lean muscle benefit and the aesthetic benefit will follow.  That’s the entire basis of this new tri-ripped triathlon training/muscle program that I’m putting together that comes out in January.  And it’s also the basis of my weight training for triathlon book.  Although, the weight training for triathlon book is even less focus on aesthetic than tri-ripped is and more focused on pure power and performance.  So, the types of workout, the type of exercises that you’re looking at doing are primarily exercises that involve hip extension.  That’s going to be the action that you want to pursue when it comes to lifting weights for running.  So, the reason for that is that the push off phase of running involves hip extension.  And regardless of whether you’re a high cadence runner or a low cadence runner, regardless of your running style, ultimately the harder you’re able to push off the ground, the faster you’re going to be able to go thus the greater distance you’re going to travel per step.  So, for that reason, I would not focus too much on leg extensions and leg curls and even leg presses which really don’t put you in a position where you’re in contact with the ground because you’re usually lying down while you’re doing them.  And I would instead focus on squats and single leg squats and dead lifts and single leg dead lifts and any type of cable exercise where you are kicking with the cable attached to your ankle.  It’s like an ankle based attachment that comes with a cable apparatus at the gym.  If you just choose three different modes of exercise, those are the three different modes of exercise that are going to most significantly increase the power of your hip extension.  Now, there is a fancy contraption at some gyms.  My YMCA has one.  And I love it.  It is an exercise machine where you get into it.  You’re leaning forward with your chest against a pad and then you’re kicking out behind you forcefully extending your hip behind you with one foot placed on a platform.  So, you’re literally kicking out behind you.  That’s a fantastic exercise for improving your hip extension capabilities.  But a lot of gyms don’t have them.  It’s called a hip kick our machine or a leg kick out machine or something like that.  So, that being said, squats, dead lifts, and cable kicks in any direction are going to help you out quite a bit.  And typically, rep range is going to be anywhere in the range of six to ten reps for improving your power and your strength.  And I would highly recommend if you haven’t got your form dialed in with those that you hire a personal trainer for one session to teach you how to squat and dead lift properly.  And those would be the exercises that should form the basis of you developing increased power in your hip extension and being able to run faster.   And also being able to add some lean muscle to your body because especially the squat and the dead lift those are very anabolic exercises.  They’re very good at developing muscle as well as power and strength.  So, I hope I didn’t simplify that too much.  But I really wanted to just give Steve and Petra pun intended something they could just take and run with.  And that’s what I would start off with immediately at the gym for both injury prevention as well as strength and muscle development for running.

Brock:            Yeah.  I think that that would definitely answer Steve’s question.  Petra, I apologize.  I think I butchered your question.  I was asking Ben.  But I believed he answered it really well.  And also, if you go back and listen to it earlier in the episode, there’s been quite a bit of talk about gaining muscle mass and losing fat.  At the same time, I think we talked about that a couple of times in this episode.

Ben:                 We did.

Brock:             So, hopefully that answer and these couple of other answers you could get all the information that you were looking for.

Ben:                 Yeah.  Just rewind for or five hours back to this podcast.  I think we’re getting towards the end aren’t we?

Brock:             We are.  This is our last question.  I started the episode with a little bit of in gray in my beard and now it’s completely white.

Ben:                It’s almost noon and I still have not breakfast.  Alright, let’s do it.

Brock:                          Nadine’s question is the last question.

Nadine says:              On the website, you have a link that deals with preventing your computer from sabotaging your health.  The link talks briefly about electromagnetic radiation and its effects.  There’s been some research about the effects of wireless as well on the blood brain barrier.  Also, toxicologist Devra Davis has written a new book called Disconnect that deals with some of the effects of wireless technologies.  What do you think about athletes using heart rate monitors and power meters that pulse in the wireless range for example a four gigahertz pulse?

Ben:                 Wow. That’s interesting.  Well, yes I did write an article at BenGreenfieldFitness.com about how to prevent your computer from sabotaging your health.  I’ll put a link to that article.  But basically, the reason that I wrote it is because I use a laptop.  And it sits on my lap.  And a lot of times, I would literally have high amounts of crotch discomfort and heat in my legs and radiation and heat going into my thighs and my crotch.  And that concerned me frankly.  And in addition to that, I would have headaches after spending long periods of time staring at the computer.  And it was just a strange feeling in my head and my eyes.  So, what I did was I wrote an article about a couple of fixes that I used for that.  I used a type of reading glass or computer glass called a gunnar.  And it literally is designed to block or shield some of the radiation that comes off the screen of your computer.  And then I also have a heat absorbing electromagnetic field radiation absorbing pad that I set my computer on when it’s sitting on my lap or even just on my desk.  It absorbs some of the heat from the computer so that it can sit on my legs and do a little less damage that way.  So, I don’t want to give anybody the impression that I’m out in left field when it comes to electromagnetic radiation because you do get a lot of folks talking about high carcinogenic effect of an electromagnetic field.  And the studies on that aren’t really conclusive.  So basically, to understand this a little bit more completely just understand that an electromagnetic field which is also known as EMR or electromagnetic radiation, that’s just a region in space through which energy passes.  So, it’s created by electrically charged particles, power lines, electrical appliances, radio waves, microwaves, and also this person stated heart rate monitors.  All these stuff produces an electromagnetic field.  And a lot of people fear that that could cause cancer.  Although there is no conclusive or consistent evidence that that could be the case.  And I’ll mention a few of the studies that have been done.  But basically, you’re getting this electromagnetic radiation from photons.  So, the energy of a photon, how much actual energy that that electromagnetic radiation in a form of a photon has depends on its frequency.  So, for a cellphon, EMF is ten million times weaker than the type of energy that radiates in a field that literally does cause radiation like something that could cause cancer.  So, the thing is that a lot of folks really want to try and prove that electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer.  So, there is in 2006, it gets cited a lot.  There was research done in Sweden that found increase risk for brain tumors in people who use cellphones or cordless phones help up against their ears.  But that was a really small study.  And they basically did it with self administered questionnaires.  So, it wasn’t that comprehensive or impressive.  It contrasted in a Danish study with 420 thousand mobile phone users.  And they found zero association or increase risk of cancer.  And that was done on the same year.  So, they’re using the same type of technology.  They found another study that really had no increase risk associated with short term mobile phone use.  That was another Swedish study that came along a little bit later.  And there are some studies that have found in laboratory animals some effects from microwave exposure.  But there were no actual effects that have literally been high enough to be of carcinogenic alarm.  So, there are a lot of scare stories out there.  There are a lot of really small fringe cited studies out there.  But the fact is that there’s no compelling evidence that electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic frequencies could cause cancer or high heart rate or high blood pressure or anything else that’s cited by folks as being an issue.  This magazine or this book that was cited what was the name of it?

Brock:             Disconnect by Devra Davis.

Ben:                We’ll put a link to that in the show notes.  And I may go read it just to see what she has to say because I certainly have my mind open to this type of stuff because that is as you now just based off the way my body felt after using that computer for a long period of time regardless of whether or not I was at risk for cancer which I don’t.  I just didn’t like the way that my body felt.  So, I got these glasses and this heat pad to reduce some of my exposure to these electromagnetic frequencies and electromagnetic radiation.  When I go to bed in my house, I try and unplug as many things as I can in the bedroom because I find that I sleep better when I’m not getting exposed to a lot of these energy and EMF exposure.  And I would treat your heart rate monitor and your exercise devices the same way.  I wouldn’t be using them unless you have you.  I wouldn’t be walking around during the day and sitting on your desk with your heart rate monitor on.  I wouldn’t have your big heavy GPS based wrist watch on all the time. I would be disconnecting yourself when you can disconnect yourself.  And again, I’m not basing this on research.  I’m saying you’re going to get cancer or anything like that.  I’m just saying to play it safe.  And frankly because I just feel better when I try and limit my exposure to a lot of these electronic devices.  Like I use in my cellphone, I use an air tube headset rather than the type of headset that can have higher electromagnetic frequencies.  And if you really wanted to go crazy, you could go to a website.  I know that’s called lessemf.com.  And they’ve got radiation blocking headbands and brain coat hats and t-shirts and pretty much everything you can think of to block electromagnetic radiation.  And I guess if you want to go to work wearing your big safe guard apron that protects you against any form of radiation that could come at you from anything.  You could do that.  But ultimately, my answer is a little bit simpler.  Just don’t use electronic devices unless you need to be using them.  And if you use anything that you feel causes heat or discomfort or headaches or anything else like that, try and find something like I did that blocks some of that radiation or absorb some of that radiation.  So, I think that we probably scratched the surface of emf.  And I think for that reason I’m writing a note to myself right now to go check this book out because I am interested in this topics.  And if I find it compelling, maybe we’ll contact the author.  And we’ll get her on the show and talk with her a little bit more about this.

Brock:            Yeah.  That would be very interesting.  I’m looking around the room right now that I am in.  I am surrounded by stuff.  Like there are two computers.  There’s a printer.  There’s a wireless generator.  There are two different cellular phones.  There’s light.  There’s everything.  So, it’s almost like the bacteria problem.  Like people who are using the bacteria hand wash is washing constantly because they’re trying to avoid bacteria.  Well, you can make yourself crazy if you try to avoid all electromagnetic radiation in today’s society.  So, just like you said Ben, just limiting your exposure is all we can do because otherwise you can make yourself nuts.  And you can be the guy wearing the tinfoil hat.

Ben:                Yeah, agreed.

Brock:            Nobody wants to be that guy.

Ben:                 Tinfoil hats are very uncomfortable.

Brock:            They never look good.

Ben:                They don’t last that long either.  It’s very non-durable.

Brock:            Okay.  Now, we are dragging it out for absolutely no reason.  And we actually have finished our final question.  We just have one last thing here.  I wanted to read a testimonial from listener Christian.

Christian says:  Good morning!  I finished my first Ironman two weeks ago at Ironman Florida.  I couldn’t have done it without your triathlon dominator plan.  And two more weeks of recovery and then training starts for Ironman Florida 2012.  My goal for next year is sub 11 hours.  Thanks Ben.

Ben:                Cool.  Nice job Christian.  By the way, thank you for the donation.  Anybody that donates to this podcast, I truly appreciate it.  I’d spend about 300 bucks out of my personal wallet every month to support all downloads that folks are doing.  And when people go in and give a buck, it helps.  It helps a lot.  Whether you are donating a dollar or five dollars a month, I really truly appreciate it.  And that’s the reason that I can sleep in until 8:30 in the morning and roll out the bed and figure out that I overslept for the podcast.  I get on and do the podcast until lunch because of the support from listeners like you.  So, if you want to keep this podcast going, donate.  And for any reason you can’t donate, at least leave us a ranking at iTunes or say something nice.  And of course, everything we talked about today which I know is a ton, we will put as a link in the show notes.  We try and make the show notes as comprehensive as possible.  And you can get those at podcast number 174 over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  And another good way to support the show is if we talk about books, follow our Amazon links because that means Amazon will pay us a few cents when you buy a book.  And pretty much anything we talk about, if you can go to the show notes and check it out, that always helps to support the show.  So, that being said, I’m really looking forward to giving away some stuff myself on my birthday here coming up.

Brock:             Fantastic.  That’s very exciting.  So, I guess that’s it for this week.

Ben:                Yep, absolutely.  And folks, happy holidays.  I know we’re right in the middle of the holiday season if you listen to this podcast when it comes out.  And I just like to wish warm holiday wishes towards everybody who is listening in.  And I hope that you really are enjoying yourself.  And have a great Christmas and New years.  And we’ll be in touch next week.

Brock:            Awesome.  Well, this is Brock.

Ben:                 And this is Ben Greenfield signing out from BenGreenFieldfitness.com.

For personal nutrition, fitness  or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net

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