Introduction: In this podcast: The Bionx Supermodel Interview Part II, the ketogenic cycle diet, Smartphone apps for calorie counting, barefoot cross training, is distilled water healthy, commuting to work on a bike, taking fat loss supplements before a run, doing a half Ironman after a marathon, pain on the inside of the knee, and cramping from tea and coffee.
Ben: Hey folks, Ben Greenfield here podcasting to you from a crisp fall morning in Spokane, Washington. In today’s podcast I’m going to answer more fabulous questions from you, the listener, and I’m also going to give you part 2 of the interview on Bionx Supermodel with James Autio. So sit back and enjoy episode number 119 from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
If you have a question for the podcast, remember you can email [email protected]. You can Skype to username pacificfit or you can call toll free to 8772099439. And the first question comes from Listener Dan.
Dan asks: I have read about the ketogenic cycle diet and was wondering if you could provide a brief review of it.
Ben answers: Now we’ve talked about ketosis on this podcast before and what ketosis is it’s the body being in a state where it’s using ketones or a certain type of byproduct of fatty acid breakdown for energy. And the body actually very efficiently uses ketones as energy. The danger of using ketones as an energy source is blown out of proportion in a lot of the medical fields because it can be a risky state for something like a diabetic to be in. But for the average person who just wants to burn through storage fat, lose weight, burn adipose tissue, etc., tapping into ketones as an energy source is a very efficient way to be using energy versus relying on constantly high levels of circulating blood sugar. And this cyclic ketogenic diet that Dan asked about is really something that we’ve talked about on this show before and essentially it’s pretty simple. What happens is you cycle through a period of fairly low carbohydrate eating and then you follow that up with a couple of days where you actually reload your carbohydrate stores. Now, the cyclic ketogenic diet per se actually requires you to eat less than 30 grams of carbohydrate on your low carb days and then for example on the weekends or after 5 to 6 days to load up with about 60 to 70% carbohydrate intake. And for those of you who don’t know what 30 grams is, that is just a little bit over 100 calories of carbohydrates. So really you’re burning through a lot of ketones and then you’re reloading your body with carbohydrate so that you don’t go crazy and you actually refill your muscle’s carbohydrate stores, then you go back and you do it again. Now this strategy can be actually a very effective strategy for burning through fat especially in people who are willing to take that extra step to really focus on consuming that low, low amount of carbohydrate intake. But it’s something that’s very difficult to adopt as a lifestyle. So for example, a bodybuilder who is preparing to cut body fat for a show, this would be a great idea for them. It really allows you to burn fat very efficiently. You heard me talk about intermittent fasting last week where you quit eating two hours before bedtime and then you don’t eat for two hours after you get up and sometime in between that time, you get in about an hour or so of fat burning cardio and the idea behind that is with that intermittent fasting strategy you’re also tapping into ketones and those fatty acids during the time that you’re fasting which is mostly just overnight and for a couple of hours a night and for a couple of hours in the morning. Now doing the intermittent fasting for someone who just wants that as a lifestyle is a lot simpler than only eating about 100 calories of carbohydrate everyday. That means you’d be limited to a little bit more than a piece of fruit everyday. It’s very difficult. If you’ve ever tried to eat less than 100 calories of carbohydrate – very difficult to do. It’s doable but it’s a tough lifestyle unless you’re willing to make some real radical changes in your eating patterns and for people who are endurance athletes or triathletes – I know a lot of you listen to this show – not a good idea at all. For someone who’s relatively inactive or who doesn’t do a lot of endurance sports, chronic repetitive motions – swimming, cycling and running – say who’s doing body building… this is a way that you would be able to shed fat pretty quickly. And for the average sedentary person, you could also shed fat pretty quickly with something like this. But again, pretty tough to adhere to and maybe not as practically effective as intermittent fasting which really anybody can do including the triathlete or endurance athlete or an athlete because you get access to carbohydrate. You just don’t get access to calories at all or carbohydrate during the night when you’re asleep and for a couple of hours before bed and then a couple of hours when you get up. So great question Dan.
Alan asks: Is it possible that drinking caffeine – tea or coffee – before working out can cause cramps? I ask because I have repeatedly been getting cramps in both the right side of my neck and my chest.
Ben answers: Well, it is true that caffeine in general can inhibit the absorption of some minerals and nutrients and so technically you could be at an electrolyte deficiency if you were taking in caffeine on a regular basis. And especially not focusing on getting adequate mineral intake or taking in electrolytes or salts especially during exercise. The other issue is that of caffeine is of course a diuretic and low water on board or a state of dehydration can also contribute to cramping since water is necessary for maintaining the electrical conductants in your muscles. But repeatedly getting cramps in just the right side of your neck and your chest – I wouldn’t be going down the nutritional route as much as I would be looking into the possibility of a pinched nerve somewhere up around in your shoulder region where there’s a lot of nerve plexuses and bundles of nerves. Same thing in your neck region. I’d be looking into that region. Pinched nerve is something that you could get looked at by going to a sports medicine physician. You could get that looked at also by a chiropractic physician. The other thing that I would look into would be the potential that you have a rib out of place or you may just need something as simple as a neck adjustment by a chiropractic physician. Folks, any time that you’re getting cramps especially localized to a specific area, dig a little bit deeper than just dehydration or a nutrient deficiency or something like drinking too much coffee and tea. Look into equipment, if it’s in the feet you can look into your shoes being too tight or too loose. If you’re a cyclist, maybe your pedals are turned the wrong way. But look into some of this other stuff if it’s moving up your upper body like pinched nerves, sacroiliac joints out of place, ribs out of place, neck adjustments. Get your body looked at. If you can have anybody from a sports medicine physician to a physical therapist to a chiropractic physician to an active release technique practitioner, to anybody who does good body work… actually look at you and do some diagnosis on you. It can be very helpful when you’re getting localized muscle cramps.
Mike asks: I cook a lot, mostly with “real” food, and generally it’s pretty complex. Do you know of any Smartphone apps that you can plug either a recipe into and then it will tell you what the nutrient/calorie content of a set amount would be?
Ben answers: There’s a lot of iPhone apps out there that are going to count calories for you. Not necessarily ones that are going to allow you to create a meal based off of a range of foods and calories that you feed in that I’m aware of. The Training Peaks software that I use to coach my athletes and my clients has that capability and it does have phone delivery but it’s not a phone app per se. Some ones that you could look into though would be the calorie counter phone app for the iPhone. That’s probably the most comprehensive phone app out there. It does give you access to the nutrient and calorie values for pretty much any food on the planet. It gives you a set of pre-set foods you can choose from, let’s you create your own pre-set foods or put custom items in there. I suppose if you were to add up all the items from the meal you were making and put those together, you could technically use that to create the calorie counter, the nutrient counter for a meal. So maybe that calorie counter app would actually work. Another really good one is Live Strong has a phone app. That’s a pretty decent app. Another one is for the Droid and that’s actually just the calorie counter app for the Droid. Same thing but they’ve got it on a Droid platform too. It’s 2.99, 3.99 – something like that. That will be worth looking into. So the calorie counter app. Look into that one. Look into Training Peaks and look into the Live Strong app. Last one might be the Tap and Track. Tap and Track lets you track a lot of foods. Really strong restaurant database that you can choose from as well. You’ve also got access to over 100,000 different food items. It’ll give you your daily calorie needs, your daily calorie limits. That’s like $3.99. That’d be another one to look into, but try those out and folks if you’re listening in and you have a phone app that you’d really recommend in terms of calorie counting, leave it as a comment in the Shownotes for this podcast, for podcast number 119. And of course this should go without saying, make sure you download the free Ben Greenfield Fitness phone app while you’re at it. And all that is, is it gives you all my podcasts, my videos, my blogs, my emails. Everything just kind of in one spot on your phone. So it’s kind of a convenience based app.
Paul asks: Just wondering, with so much focus on the benefits of barefoot running, wouldn’t it make sense to do cross training barefoot? I usually do yoga and core workouts barefoot as I feel it gives me a little more of an unbalanced feeling. Other than considerations of things like weights falling on your feet, and athletes foot in a gym, couldn’t all cross training benefit from going barefoot?
Ben answers: Short answer is yes. Absolutely. When you’re walking barefoot, you’re strengthening ligaments, tendons, bones in your feet. You’re exposing the natural surface and curvature of your feet to the ground. You’re essentially doing a lot of benefit from a biomechanical perspective and also a foot endurance perspective when you do the training that you can do barefoot, barefoot. So yes I do yoga barefoot. Whenever I’m working out at home I’m barefoot. Whenever I’m at home, period, I’m barefoot. I walk around a lot barefoot. I run once a week barefoot. So I do quite a bit barefoot. But there are practical limitations. For example, most gyms will not allow you to go barefoot in their gym for hygienic reasons. Also if you’re lifting heavy weights, the stability of a shoe can actually help out quite a bit. Now most people who are runners, triathletes, endurance athletes – they’re not lifting heavy enough weights to really worry about this too much. But if you’re doing cross fit, if you’re doing Olympic style weightlifting, if you’re doing some power lifting – shoes can actually give you quite a bit of benefit from a stability perspective. But for the lighter work, the cross training, the yoga, etc. I would encourage folks to go barefoot as much as you’re able to do without offending folks or getting too stinky in the gym or even getting kicked out of the gym because you’re breaking the rules. The last thing I want is someone in a Ben Greenfield Fitness.com t-shirt to be getting in an argument in the gym with a personal trainer or a gym employee because I told you you could go barefoot in the gym. Remember what they say counts as the rules.
Les asks: I was wondering what your opinion on drinking distilled water on a regular basis was.
Ben answers: Ok, so distilled water. For those of us who took chemistry classes, that was the water that was always there that they said don’t drink. You just use it for your laboratory procedures and one of the reasons for that is that distillation removes a lot of things from the water so dissolved solids like salts, bacteria, calcium or iron – all of that can stay in the water while what happens is the distilled water is basically water that’s been converted into steam and drawn out and condensed and all those minerals and everything else have been removed. So it’s basically pretty much just H2O. Just hydrogen and oxygen. And a lot of people will say that it’s healthier than tap water or spring water or purified water because it basically doesn’t have anything in it. So you don’t have minerals in it but you don’t have impurities in it. Some folks will argue that not having minerals in water, not having anything in the water actually makes the water more able to flush away minerals or toxins from the body. And then you get another camp that believes that distilled water actually leaches minerals from the body, that it could damage your feet, that it doesn’t contain some of the things that natural spring water would contain that would actually be healthy for you. And then the other concern is that there is some evidence that distilled water can absorb more carbon dioxide when it’s exposed to the air which could lower the PH of it, which would basically mean that you’re drinking water that is more acidic and it’s been suggested that of course acidity could lead to more health problems. That’s why we want to avoid a high intake of acidic foods like processed starches and sugars. It could be a good reason to avoid acidic water as well. Now of course at most grocery stores, you could get distilled water. You can buy it in the one gallon containers, some bottled waters will use distilled water or what’s called de-ionized water as a base and then they’ll add back in the minerals for taste. There is not really compelling evidence either way that drinking distilled water is going to be more harmful for you than drinking regular water. There’s also not very good evidence to show that it’s better for your health and drinking regular water. So there’s no evidence that shows that it detoxes the body. Of course there’s no evidence to show that regular water detoxes the body either. Regular water does have minerals in it. I’m a bigger fan of using regular water versus water that has been basically stripped of just about everything via the distillation process. But there’s not a ton of evidence that drinking distilled water is really going to do that much damage to you. At the same time, I don’t want to give folks the impression that drinking regular water is all you need to do to drink minerals. Even if you’re drinking very hard water which tends to have more minerals added to it… in a day, that’s going to give your body maybe – it basically translates to be in the range of about 5 to 15% of your daily mineral needs that you’re going to get from undistilled water. So it’s not like you’re not going to need minerals and electrolytes that you’re getting from the vitamins and the nutrients and the minerals in vegetables and fruits and real food anyway. So I don’t want to give you the impression that you’re going to be getting all your minerals from non-distilled water. So if you’re drinking distilled water, you’re not missing out on a ton – maybe 5 to 15% of your daily mineral needs. Now as far as the concept of it possibly depleting minerals from the body, the basic idea behind this is that when the distilled water hits your small intestine, it comes in contact with your intestinal lining and can actually leach minerals from your intestinal lining because the minerals will go from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. The area of low concentration being the distilled water. But if you’re eating and you’re drinking distilled water with a meal. Picture the meal. You’ve got all these organic and inorganic compounds. You’ve got hydrochloric acid from your stomach. You’ve got tons of stuff in that food bolous that’s going into the small intestine. The fact that the distilled water with the slightly lower mineral content than the regular water is mixed in with that is going to leach minerals from your body to the extent where it might be harmful for you – putting you at risk for mineral deficiency, osteoporosis, stuff like that. I’m not too convinced by that and there’s really no studies that I’m aware of that I’ve been able to find that show that that could be an issue. Basically throw distilled water in a blender with some steak and potatoes, throw regular water into a blender with steak and potatoes – drink that down, you’re basically putting into your body the same thing that’s going to be in your body once it hits your small intestine anyways. And I’m afraid there’s not really going to be a huge difference or very significant difference in the mineral absorption or in the leaching of the minerals from your body from a meal that’s absorbed with distilled water versus with non-distilled regular water. So basically what it comes down to is I would drink regular water, if it were me. But if you’re drinking distilled water, not a ton of evidence that it’s going to do a lot of damage to you.
So let’s move on to the next question which was asked via Twitter by sensei K and remember if you want to ask a question via Twitter, just go to Twitter.com and follow Ben Greenfield.
sensei_k asks via Twitter: Any adjustments needed to periodized tri training to accommodate aerobic 10 mile rides to & from work 5 days a week?
Ben answers: And basically what this question is getting at is if you’re following a triathlon training program and you’re riding your bike to work everyday, there and back 10 miles, do you need to modify the program? The answer is yes. That’s five days a week. That’s 50 miles a week of riding. That can add up, specifically for example I did commute to work for a while five days a week and that was on my bike. I basically use that as nearly 100% of my triathlon training. The only modification I made was I went on a long ride on the weekends. If you’re tacking 50 miles of bike riding typically you might be dodging traffic, going fast, going slow, ducking cars. You’ve got maybe a backpack on. That adds up. You can’t just shrug that off as not having an effect on your body. So I would definitely count 50 miles of commuting as at least two sessions – probably closer to 3, 4 training sessions on the bike per week. And the modification that you’d make to your program is you would actually need to decrease the number of bike sessions that are in your structured program if you’re getting that much commuting in. Because the other thing you have to think about with commuting is it’s also a two a day workout. So you’re kind of beating up your body, sparking your metabolism a couple of times during the day and again you can’t just shrug that off and act like it’s just added bonus for your body. There are recovery implications to that amount of training or tacking an extra 10 mile commute on everyday. So the exception to that is if you’re riding very easy. If you’re never pressed to make it to work on time, if it’s kind of easy – what we would call zone 2 heart rate riding – you might be able to get away with just kind of counting that as a little bit of added fat burning calorie burning type of bonus and still get away with doing the other harder bicycle sessions that are in your program during the week. But again that would be if you’re just riding very aerobically when you go to work. If you’re riding hard like you’ll see a lot of commuters do, you need to take that into account in your program and shorten some of the bike workouts or eliminate them all together.
John asks: Next year, I’m running a marathon with my son one weekend and competing in a half Ironman the following weekend. Is one week enough time to recover from an easy marathon effort in order to truly compete in a half Ironman the following weekend?
Ben answers: Well it is fairly amazing – the dearth of research that exists on long term follow up of marathon runners and how long it takes them to recover. There’s ton of research out there on inflammatory markers, on cytokines, on neutrafils, on all these things that indicate muscle damage or inflammation in the hours or the day after a marathon when you would expect that stuff to be high anyways. But aside from a study on Ironman triathletes that found that it took about 19 days for inflammation to clear, and really the acute inflammation about 5 days to clear – the high soreness type of inflammation – not a lot of studies that have been done on actual marathoners when it comes to this. And it’s really interesting because you’d expect that there’d be a lot of studies out there that kind of examine marathoners for two to four weeks after a race to see how long it takes for those inflammatory markers to clear, for their soreness to subside and there’s really not much evidence out there. However, if you just look to marathoners in general, you look to big name marathon coaches like Jeff Galloway or Hal Higden, most of these folks in their training programs for marathons – and these are guys who’ve done a lot of marathons, who’ve worked with a lot of very good marathoners – they’re saying about 2 to 3 weeks in terms of soreness, in terms of being able to come back and do high quality workouts – what you’d be looking for to recover from that strain of running 26. 2 miles. And the recommendation is that you actually do easy work or you avoid hard intervals, hard racing one day for every mile that you run in the marathon. Now this is assuming though that you’re running that marathon at race pace. And like you say, if you’re just kind of doing that as an easy marathon with your son, kind of guiding him through staying aerobic, conversational pace the whole time, legs aren’t really sore or burning the entire time. My recommendation would be recover well, take your ice bath, get your topical magnesium, get some amino acids, some protolytic enzymes, some high protein foods into your system, put your feet up for a couple of days, recover, some light easy non-weight bearing work like swimming or elliptical trainer and then a little bit of aerobic work later on in the week again… nice easy stuff, you should be fine. If you’re not really racing that marathon or running it hard, you should be fine. My one recommendation or word of caution to you would be in those days leading up to the half Ironman you not go out and do a lot of the race pace strides and harder race pace work that I would recommend that folks do usually prior to a half Ironman and you instead just let your body recover, do a little bit of light aerobic work to get the blood flowing and you should be fine. But again it’s interesting how little research exists out there on marathon recovery times.
Now we have another marathon question. Lots of questions from runners today. Must be marathon season.
Jeffrey asks: I am currently training for a Marathon and because of my schedule I do all my runs in the early morning. Typically I will run before I eat and then within 45 minutes of my workout. For my long runs I fuel up first thing in the morning and I am overweight so I am using the LeanFactor and ThermoFactor supplements to lose weight. My question is this, should I take the supplements before I workout or should I wait until my second meal of the day before starting the daily regimen?
Ben answers: Well, the idea behind those Lean Factor and ThermoFactor supplements Jeffrey is that the Lean Factor really enhances the activation of something called cyclic AMP in your lean muscle tissue. And it can enhance your ability to sustain the lean muscle contraction and also amp up the amount of carbohydrates that you burn while you’re working out. So I would actually recommend that you take the Lean Factor before your run. However, that ThermoFactor is all based on the use of chromium, vanadium, bitter orange extract and things like that to stabilize your insulin and your blood sugar levels. And exercise also stabilizes your blood sugar and your insulin levels so I actually wouldn’t use the ThermoFactor before that exercise session. I would use that later on in the day. Technically about 30 to 60 minutes before lunch and 30 to 60 minutes before dinner so that your blood sugar levels are more stabilized for lunch and dinner and you tend to store less as fat and also eat less. The Lean Factor, I would actually take that prior to your run and then you could also take it later on in the day prior to a meal because the other thing that it has in it is gugolsterons which can help a little bit with cholesterol management and mobilization of cholesterol. So that’s the approach that I would use. I’d take the Lean Factor, for example, with your morning workout and with lunch and take the Thermofactor with lunch and with dinner. And for those of you who are listening in and want to read more about what those Lean Factor and ThermoFactor supplements actually are, I will put a link to those in the Shownotes for this episode – number 119.
And then we have two questions about knee pain.
Chris asks: I have some moderate inflammation on the inside of my left knee. Do you have any advice on how to relieve this pain or stretch this area of the body and how to strengthen my body laterally without a recurrence of this pain?
Graeme asks: Just wanted to get your advice on some exercises that will help to prevent Runners Knee.
Ben answers: Now pain on the inside of the knee, pain on the front of the knee… usually about 90% of the time, it’s due to a kneecap tracking problem so your kneecap which is also called your patella is that little sesame seed shaped bone and it slides over a groove between your thighs called the femoral groove as your knee bends and straightens. For example while you’re running. So if let’s say your muscles on the front of your thigh – your quadriceps – are weak or they’re stronger on one side than the other, that muscle imbalance can pull the patella or the kneecap to the left of the femoral groove or to the right of the femoral groove causing it to maltrack and that results in pressure and friction and irritation on the cartilage that’s on the under surface of the kneecap anytime your knee is in motion. So anytime you’re running or going up and down stairs, riding a bike, etc., you’d feel that mal-tracking causing that friction which is in turn causing inflammation and pain. And like I said, this is usually due to some kind of muscle imbalance and can sometimes be due to a mechanical error or a gear error. What I mean by mechanical error or gear error is if you’re a cyclist for example and you have your shoes turned too far to the outside, you could actually be putting yourself in a state of what would be the equivalent of over-pronation on your bike and getting pain on the inside of your knee. Another example would be over-pronating while you’re running. So you basically are wearing a shoe that’s too light for you. You’re not wearing an over-pronation orthotic, you’re wearing a shoe that isn’t stable enough and so the pronation or the normal inward roll of your foot is causing your arch to collapse – that makes your lower leg and your knee internally rotate and again can cause pain on the inside of the knee or some of that runner’s knee pain. So, two areas that you’d want to address would be the muscle imbalances and the mechanical errors for both of you. From a muscle imbalance perspective, one of the exercises that I really like to do for the quadriceps is cable kicks. And these are very simple to do. You go to a gym or you can even use an elastic band in your home and you attach the cable or the elastic bands to your ankle and you do a series of kicks with your foot internally rotated so your toes pointed in and you do those until the muscles are burning and then you take a break for a little while and then you do a series of kicks with your toe pointing straight forward and then you do a series of kicks with your toes pointed out. So for example, you could do 15 kicks toe in, 15 kicks toe straight, 15 kicks toe out. And you’re doing all of this keeping your knee almost locked out. So what you’re doing is you’re strengthening the quadriceps muscles that surround that knee cap and keep it in the properly tracked position. Now for example, I tend to have a weak vasis medialis, which is the muscle on the inside front of the thigh. And that muscle can be targeted more effectively when I’m contracting the quadriceps with my toes pointed out. So, when I do something like a cable kick forward exercise, I will prioritize doing more reps with my toe pointed out than I will with my toe pointed in or my toe straight forward. But that’s a great exercise. Believe it or not, even though I rarely recommend this exercise, the leg extension machine at the gym can really help to isolate and build up your quadriceps, especially if you have specifically a quadriceps weakness or a quadriceps deficiency and a lot of times folks who are runners or cyclists, they have real tight hamstrings, fairly strong glutes and hamstrings, weak quads and so strengthening the quads can help out quite a bit. The issue with the leg extension machine is if you already have inflammation and pain it can aggravate it because your knee is bending and extending. Whereas with the cable kick forwards, your leg is straight, there’s not a lot of friction that’s occurring when you’re doing that exercise but the quadriceps are still in a contracted position. Now, if your leg is really weak and you have a serious case of muscular imbalance, you may need to simply do the very simple exercise where you sit down on the ground with your leg straight and out stretched in front of you and you simply lift your leg off the ground and then switch to the other leg, lift that leg off the ground and engage your quadriceps in a very light contraction working back and forth between the legs and you can wear ankle weights to make that exercise a little bit harder if you need to. It’s kind of like an easy version of the cable kicks or the elastic band kicks. And then finally of course, have a bike fit or have someone look at your bike if you’re riding a bike and you’re getting pain in the inside of your knee, usually it’s because your toes are pointed too far out or your seat is too low and if you’re running, look into getting an overpronation orthotic. Look into getting a run-gait analysis and look into using a shoe that’s designed for stability or a shoe that’s designed to control over-pronation and all those things ought to help. So, great questions this week folks. And remember you can ask a question – I love to get audio questions. Haven’t been getting a lot of them lately but if you’d like to ask your question via voice mail, it’s free to call toll free in the US, 8772099439 or you can for free contact me via Skype, via the free Skype conferencing software. My username is pacificfit. I’d love to hear from you.
We have a special message and then we’re going to get on to the interview with James Autio and if you missed last week’s interview or part one of this interview, go back and listen to podcast number 118 and I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes.
Ben: Hey folks this is Ben Greenfield and I’m back with part two of the interview about Bionx Supermodel with James Autio. In part one we left off talking about the theory behind Bionx and how James spent literally several decades creating the formula that is now in this completed product. And today we’re going to get more into the nitty gritty of what exactly is in Bionx Supermodel, why what is in there is in there and why it’s different than some of the other ingredients you might find in other supplements. So James, thanks for coming back.
James Autio: Well thank you for inviting me Ben. We ran a little bit longer than we thought last time so we have to finish up here today. One thing I wanted to correct – I made an error. I said that I gave the rankings of the people who were customers of our for Hawaiian Ironman in 1992 – what I meant to say was the year was 1990 for that.
Ben: Gotcha. Well I’m sure not too many people noticed but those triathlon history experts out there may have. So what exactly is in Bionx and I know that you’ve before told me how you have it split into different sections in terms of the physiological benefits but can you walk me through each of those sections and the ingredients that are in each section?
James Autio: First, I’ll discuss the process of design and how Bionx – how we go from the process of selecting the nutrients and then selecting a manufacturer and then what we do in terms of evaluating performance at the overall system level. Overall system level is the human organism level. And so when it comes to selection of nutrients, that’s where we’re very dependent upon classical reductionist science and reductionism – there’s two facets to that. One is empirical reductionism which is where you’re using reductionism to create a scientific environment where it’s very controlled, where you have a single variable and you have the control group and sometimes you have crossovers and you have peer review and you have peer review journals and so that’s the testing ground for us evaluating individual nutrients and new nutrients are coming out all the time that are more sophisticated than previous ones. Various claims are made about them. So claims are made in the magazines, in the glossy advertisements which I ignore and where I go is into the peer review research and also into clinical research for individual nutrients and evaluate them from that point of view. So, through the lens of systems engineering this particular part of the process is you’re assembling a parts list that is going to be going into a specification and it’s all for the end purpose on what is this product going to be for? And Bionx Supermodel is designed to be like a metabolic Swiss army knife so that no matter what stress the organism encounters it’s going to be able to adapt to the highest efficiency possible because everything that is needed is available in real time during the adaptive process which I think we’ll get into a little bit later. So that’s the end game. The end game… is we want to create a molecular environment that when you are training and then you are adapting to stress that you are going to have the greatest adaptive yield possible meaning that your performance is going to increase because you caused damage during training and then you have to super compensate and that’s the whole reason that you train. So backing it up now to selection of nutrients is that we’re looking at all the different nutrients that are potential candidates for playing a role in adapting to stress which basically means it’s everything – every possible nutrient could play a role. So we go through the screening process by looking at the clinical research, peer review research – either or both. And then we don’t just pick a nutrient just because it came out and it’s the hottest and it’s the greatest and it’s the one that’s most hyped because there’s a safety element that goes into this as well. Sometimes people will ask me, Jim why don’t you have this nutrient in there or that one and that’s because it hasn’t been out long enough to have a safety or an efficacy record. So you won’t always see the fanciest things in Bionx Supermodel for that reason. It’s a safety reason and there may be a lot more hype there or something may come out about it in terms of toxicity or some kind of side effect so I’d rather have that come out in the process of where it’s in a holding pattern or kind of in the pipeline than rather be in my product. So that’s the reason why that happens. So the first step is the selection of nutrients. It’s a screening process, looking at the research and out in the brochure I list a lot of the studies that have been looked at so I think people get the idea. The idea here is that we’re using classical reductionist science – nutritional science – to evaluate potential clients that could go into what we look at as the parts list. And so once that’s done, we have a parts list. When you go to a label on a product, that’s what you’re looking at, it’s a parts list and it has to be done in a certain format because the government makes you do that. And there’s a lot of loopholes there that people can do. For example, like with minerals they can say calcium and then list calcium oxide, calcium ascorbate and calcium from Albin laboratories and list all the different forms. Calcium oxide… list all these different forms but they may say 300 mgs of calcium and there’s a list, but see legally all you have to do is list in descending order of the concentration of elemental calcium. And so this is a way for companies to give the impression that they’re using calcium from Albin Labs – the very expensive form as opposed to calcium oxide which is not very well absorbed at all and because the person is naïve they’re looking at it and they see 300 mgs – they don’t know how many mgs of each type is in there. It’s just in descending order… proprietary. And when I say proprietary, it makes me laugh. If anything, it should be a formula that’s been in progress now and refinement for 15 years and even before that. But when you see proprietary – it usually means that someone is trying to hide the concentration of expensive nutrients in there because they only have the list in descending order. And so when you see the numbers – the numbers, it’s a quantitative thing. When you look at a label, it’s quantitative, it’s not qualitative and the difference being that different nutrients have different bioavailabilities in the body like one may be five times more bioavailable than another one. So you don’t need to have as much as that. And plus when you have multiple nutrients and you’re mapping out the metabolic network that you can begin to harvest the benefits of synergy and so therefore you can reduce risk. In other words by having higher dosages you can end up getting into your risky ranges of potential toxicity or you can reduce that because now when you have synergies that are in place you can reduce the amount of a particular nutrient because you’re going to get the benefits coming from the composite effect of all of it being in there simultaneously.
Ben: Gotcha. So with that understanding, go ahead and walk us through what’s in the Bionx Supermodel.
James Autio: First let’s get into… the next step is the manufacturing. Because this is an area… let’s cover that Ben. Ok, so now what I’ve said so far is it’s the process of how we screen nutrients and create a parts list or create a roster of all the best things so basically what you have with the Supermodel is you have 80 of the best agreed micronutrients complexes in the world, of all micronutritional classes as a starting point. Not as an ending point, that’s a starting point. And many of these nutrients that you’ll see in advertisements in magazines… just that one nutrient. The company will be touting just that one nutrient. We have well over 30… you have to manufacture it and the average person would think that’s an afterthought. That ok, you dump a bunch of stuff in a vat and out pops a pill or a capsule or tablet and nothing could be farther from the truth. So what I look for is the first step is making sure that the quality control certifications are there for the laboratory. If a laboratory says that they’re high quality and they don’t have third party verification, you can assume that the quality control is not there. Because quality control comes from third party verification. In other words, there’s somebody making sure that you are up to a standard. And the highest quality standards in the world are ISO 9001. ISO means International Organization of Standards. And the laboratory that we use is ISO 9001 certified and they’re also ISO 70025 accredited and I’ll explain what that means. So having this level of quality is the highest level of quality you can have for a manufacturer. ISO 9001 – ISO does not refer to the nutritional industry per se. It refers to all industries. If you go to Hyundai or if you go to an aerospace company like Boeing, you’re going to see ISO standards there as well. The only standards that are perhaps higher than ISO are millispeck standards. I worked at Lockheed for almost 10 years and millspeck is where you have the highest standards possible where you have incredible redundancy because you cannot have any defects because it’s so mission critical you cannot have a failure. That’s the mindset that I’m coming from. I wish I could have millspeck. There is no such thing as a millspeck nutritional supplement product. But that’s the idea, that’s the standard that I’m setting for the next best thing is ISO 9001 certification. Next step is there are certifying bodies that just deal with – the part of the business is just doing this third party inspection of the laboratories themselves and NSF is an organization – I think they originally started out of the University of Michigan. That’s where they’re located, right near the University of Michigan and they go in and they make sure laboratories meet certain standards where in Douglas Labs is that they’re CGMP. They’re current good manufacturing practices. They’re up to NSF guidelines. And plus Douglas Laboratories is regularly inspected by the FDA. And very few manufacturers are regularly inspected by the FDA because the majority of the clients of Douglas Laboratories are doctors and chiropractors. Internationally they provide medical grade nutritional products. They’re not the common supplements. And then beyond that, they have a brand new manufacturing facility with all new laboratories – and the laboratories – these are costs that other companies don’t have because they’re not legally mandated but because of what Douglas Labs does and who their clients are such as myself and hopefully your audience – is they do additional testing. So the label tells you what’s supposed to be in the product but you also have to test to make sure things that are not on the label are not in the product. Like for example toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury and then another laboratory – the microbiological laboratory is inspecting for molds, yeast and pathological bacteria and the government just recently randomly went out and tested 40 herbal supplements on the market and they found that 16 of them – in other words, 40% of these herbal products that they randomly tested had pesticide residues that exceeded legal limits which is basically one out of two almost. So Douglas Laboratories which has – one of their laboratories has gas chromatography mascotostrophy which is for determination of pesticide residue levels. So these are additional costs that are borne by our company and by our customer because that’s what’s required. Ok, now getting into why is this required – because when you’re developing a product that has the complexity of Bionx Supermodel which has 80 of the best agreed nutrients, you can’t just dump things in a vat. You have to have the manufacturing equipment as well to end up with a product that has a homogenous blend and what I mean by that is let’s say you have a blender and you’re mixing a smoothie and you’re throwing in strawberries and flax seeds and banana and grapefruit juice or what have you, and you mix this up – so you have a recipe and you’re dumping all that in the blender, you hit the button and now you pour out a glass. Now the assumption is that what’s in that glass is going to be directly proportionate to your recipe but that’s not necessarily true because the quality of your blender is going to determine whether it’s homogenous. What I mean by that is you might pour a glass that has five strawberries in it and you might pour another glass that has three strawberries in it so that the label – getting back to nutritional products – the label is based upon what went into the original vat, in other words how many strawberries and how many blueberries and how many bananas but the bottle that you buy on the shelf doesn’t necessarily reflect those proportions because the quality of the blender has to be able to produce a homogenous blend. And with Bionx Supermodel, you have ratios of around 12,000:1 in some cases with some trace minerals to say gross quantities of connective tissues substrates. So in order to have each tablet and cap really have the kind of homogenous blend evenly made across the entire batch is not an easy thing to do. Most manufacturers would have no comprehension on how to do this because you have to deal with all the different viscosities and all the different consistencies of the raw materials. You have some things that look like grass that are in the product and other things that are fine powders and other things are sticky. When you deal with the physical properties of all these diverse nutrients that you have in Bionx Supermodel, it’s a nightmare in order to make that product. So the average person has no comprehension of the engineering hurdles that must be overcome and the quality control that must be overcome just to be able to manufacture this. The next step is over the last 20 years we use an engineering process of evaluating how the product performs. In other words, we get out of the scientific world which is the controlled environment in the laboratory – we have this single variable and everything is controlled which is what we use for the screening process of nutrients – but once you get into the real world, we’re thinking in terms of engineering which is where you don’t know how many variables you’re dealing with. Like when you’re training for Ironman there are a lot of variables out there that you know of. There’s a lot of unknown unknowns. So what we’re concerned about is improving the reliability of the product to the best that is possibly by doing field testing of the product and getting feedback from not just athletes but Navy Seals or people doing high altitude climbing or people doing Race Across America, doing extreme things over the years. We begin to get feedback from people that are out there in the real world pushing this human performance envelope. And getting feedback from them about what the benefits are. And so now we can start to get into what somebody can expect to have from using the Bionx Supermodel because the idea here is that when you’re training you have to – rather than the conventional view of where you’re training to get faster because of the training – throw that out the window and instead view training – the training process, when you start to look at it from the perspective of a biological system – training is causing damage. And so when you’re out training the first thing you need to think about – like say you’re going to go on a 100 mile ride, what you need to think about is ok I’m going to go out on this 100 mile bike ride and it’s going to traumatize me in a lot of different ways. There’s going to be structural damage to connective tissue, there’s going to be all kinds of tissue to cell membranes, electrolyte balances are just going to be wiped out and various nutrients are going to be expended or converted into other substances that may not be able to resynthesized to their original state and then energy is being lost. So you do this 100 mile ride, you’ve done all of this damage so the first thing to think about is ok, the ride caused all this damage and now you go into the adaptive response phase which the whole idea that it really comes back to – Hansel Yai’s book The Stress of Life that was written in 1956 which talked about ok, there’s a stress response and then there’s an adaptive response to that stress and if it’s an overwhelming stress that you go into an emergency state. Sort of like a metabolic mash unit so to speak. Ok, so the thinking here is that you’re going to do all this damage to the body to train. The purpose of the training is to improve your performance or create what I call a Delta P. In the economic world they talk about seeking alpha where alpha is an economic return that is above what – an excess positive financial return. The same thing happens here. The reason for your training is you want to become faster or stronger or whatever your sport is, but you want to improve that Delta P. So your performance improves. Ok, how does your performance improve if you just went out and caused damage so that actually your performance has degraded. When you get off the bike after your 100 mile ride, your performance is actually degraded quite significantly and a test for that would be go do another 100 mile ride immediately and you’ll quickly realize oh your performance is not the same as your first 100 mile ride. Ok, so the body’s viewing this as this major stressor that you just threw at it. It has no idea what you’re trying to do. It’s perceived damage so now it’s going into its mode to have an adaptive response. And now I’m going to tie this into the purpose of Bionx Supermodel. Ok, you’ve got this alarm response where the body needs to compensate for the damage you already did. In other words, if you could produce such and such a time at a 100 mile bike ride, the first thing you’re going to have to do is compensate for what damage you did and restore energy stores that were lost just so you can equal what you did. That’s the first thing. But the reason why you train is not to go out there and beat your head against the wall so you can do an exact performance. Again, it’s so you can have an improved performance. Ok, where does that improved performance come from? Well that gets really complicated. That gets back to ok, the body is perceiving on several different levels the stress and on a higher level it’s not about going faster on your bike, it’s about mobilizing resources and adapting to stress so that your survival capabilities – your ability to survive is enhanced. That’s really what’s going on. So really what it comes down to is ok the body is going to respond in a way to improve its survival prospects. Ok, so this perception, most of it occurs at the system level which is really the way to look at it is that something’s going on in the combined assets of your neurological immune and endocrine systems, you view that as one big information processing system that’s involved with perception. And then at the cellular level you also have perception that is mostly going on with the cell membrane and signal pathways that come into the cell and out of the cell and signals also coming from the system level. So now you have all this information traffic, which is this field of bioinformatics is where it’s really impacting what this is. It really has changed things dramatically and I’m just tying into that in terms of how does that apply to improving athletic performance? Well it’s one and the same because the organism doesn’t know anything about athletic performance but it knows a hell of a lot about perception and adaptive response. So now I’m going to tie in the Bionx Supermodel. So the damage has been caused and the reason for your training was to improve your performance or have an increased Delta P, but in order to have that increased Delta P, you had to have an increased Delta F which is stress. Stress was that 100 mile ride. Delta F would be – ok next I’m going to do 110 mile ride. A Delta S is that 10 miles, the difference between what you’re going to be able to do next time because you have an improved Delta P minus what you did. That’s the change. You’re looking at the change in your performance relative to the change of the stress caused – that caused the adaptive response which enabled your improvement and performance. So now how does this happen? A major role of what happens is micronutrition has to have its presence in a way such that all of the responses that the body has are going to be met in real time in a pretty narrow window. In other words, your window for adaptive response is not months, it’s really a matter of hours. Most of it occurs in 72 to 96 hours. So you have to have everything available for it to adapt to stress to maximize your return. To have your maximal improvement in that Delta P. If you’re missing anything that is really, really crucial then you’re going to actually go backwards. In other words you just broke your butt riding for 100 miles but if you do not have the necessary resources to just get back to an even keel, your performance actually degraded. Now as you get into better and better condition, what happens is your margin for error gets smaller and smaller until it shrinks to nothing. And here’s what I mean by that. Training for Ironman and many other sports like it is that you are creating an artificial environment as far as the organism is concerned. Because what you are doing, you are not designed to do. And so our adaptive capacity which has genetic/epigenetic limitations is at some point going to reach a point in your training to where your adaptive capacity is only equal to the stress that you caused in your training. Let’s just say getting back to the 100 mile ride. For some people, that 100 mile ride – the damage that it caused in order to create that stressor is going to be equal to your adaptive capacity which means that there’s nothing less on the table to improve performance. So that means you are in what I call performance arrest. Performance arrest means that you cannot improve because the damage that’s caused by a stressor to elicit an adaptive response – it cannot yield an improvement. And this happens to everybody. Now here’s the real kicker here if everybody’s grasping the idea, is that the biggest potential upside of what you have available as far as the six inputs to improving performance – the biggest potential upside is micronutrition. And why is that so? It’s because the whole field of micronutrition – the whole theory behind it has always been based on a deficiency model of what is the minimum micronutrition to avoid pelegra, beri beri, scurvy… deficiency. And it’s never been a focus on optimal micronutrition to have the greatest adaptive response to a training stress especially at the limits of human performance. So this is a totally different problem. And so ok, is there testing? Yes there is for some things. When you go out and do nutritional testing it’s just testing for your basic vitamins and minerals and so you go to spectra cell labs in Houston, they test for some other things that are important like OT 10 and lipoic acid and a few other things. But there are hundreds of other nutrients that are not being tested for and the testing is only telling you what’s going on in a fairly narrow window. With Spectra Cell they’re testing your white blood cells so you get a longer window that you would from a normal blood test and that’s why Spectra Cell, I like that if people are going to do testing do it with Spectra Cell. But see, what you’re not doing is you’re not testing for what the micronutritional demands are in the dynamic state while you are training and while you are adapting to stress – is that nobody knows what the demands are for various nutrients. All you can do is what I do. I look at the metabolic network and look for all the bottlenecks. And so what I’m doing is I’m finding out where all these bottlenecks are and then you have to have an appropriate dosage. That’s why this product has a scalable dose design. It’s the only product that does this. Rather than saying take two tablets twice a day, it has a table on it which gives for a given body weight and stress level – the dose level varies with that stress. So the red zone and then there’s a yellow zone and a green zone and a blue zone – the red zone is for when you are under extreme stress and you’re looking for the best possible adaptive response. That’s the dosage that you use under those conditions. And what is being provided is that this entire spectrum – going back to the original part of the discussion – is that there’s this roster of all the best nutrients of all the different categories. The manufacturers are going to an elite systems integrator. That’s the company that takes all this source materials and then manufactures the product. You have the elite system integrator in the tablets and the capliques of Bionx Supermodel when you’re taking an appropriate dosage that you are supplying a vast array in appropriate concentration to best address what the body’s needs are to adapt to stress at the performance margin. That’s the difference. That’s the only product in the world that can do that.
Ben: Gotcha, Ok, cool. So what is it exactly that you’ve put into it?
James Autio: Can we briefly go – on the website there, there is a part of the brochure. It has a section – it’s called global collection of best agreed nutritional botanical ingredients which is 17 pages long. And so, this goes into a description of the nutrients in the reductionist format and also cites studies. Like for example, some of the key nutrients for energy production – acetyl L-carnitine – which is not to be confused with L-carnitine which is – for the most part it is mostly used in research for neurological performance but it also plays key roles in energy production. And this is the nutrient – see, one of the things is there are many nutrients that the body can make and because there is at least a theoretical synthetic pathway to make these nutrients, they’re not essential nutrients. In other words, they don’t make the status of being a vitamin. A mineral is a mineral, but a vitamin has to be some nutrient that the body cannot make itself. So here’s the Achilles heel in that type of thinking. That type of thinking sort of works when you’re a couch potato. You’re not a person that’s highly stressed. But what happens when you start to introduce great stresses, especially stresses that go beyond what the human body is capable of doing chronically is that your body is not able to synthesize these nutrients such as acetyl L-carnitine and beta alanine and lipoic acid. There’s just – you’re not going to meet the demands. And so the magic of biological systems is you have enormous resilience. Which means if we didn’t have the kind of resilience we had, we wouldn’t be around today. So we can adapt to metabolic stress that’s caused by just very low levels of nutrients, and you will survive but that’s the goal of improving human performance in athletic events – is improving your Delta P. The whole basis of the networks in the body is mostly about resilience. It’s about rob Peter to pay Paul. We can rob Peter to pay Paul really, really well. So you can get by at very low levels of all kinds of things. But it’s what I call a plan B scenario. A plan B scenario is one where a plan A scenario cannot be executed because there’s shortage of something. It may be something that’s 3 or 4 enzymes away. Each enzyme is a catalyst in the metabolic pathway. Say you wanted to get from A to E but you’re low in something that activates an enzyme that’s C. So that pathway is stunted and you can’t use it very well. So thankfully biological systems have other pathways that can get to E so they’ll be used but they’re not as efficient. So therefore your overall adaptive response is not as good. And when you start pushing the envelope – the performance envelope – to where you’re adaptive capacity is no longer up to the task of compensating for a stress, now you’re in deep doo doo. Because you’ll undergo performance arrest. Sure, all athletes have reached the point to where they reach a plateau and they wonder why they don’t improve. That’ll change everything, right Ben? It’ll change their training or change their coach. They’ll change their diet and sometimes that helps. They change how they sleep. They’ll change their bike, they’ll change their shoes. But the one thing they don’t change is their micronutrition because they don’t realize that there are so many possible upsides by making a major change there. That if you start removing the shortcomings in your micronutrition, all of a sudden you can have a major breakthrough in performance. So a major breakthrough – so what happens is you reach this point where you’re on the verge of a breakthrough or a breakdown. A breakdown occurs when all of a sudden you introduce a great stress and something really bad happens. Metabolically and constructionally, it can be like an avalanche. All of a sudden, it’s one stress too many on the camel’s back and now you’re done. All of a sudden, it could manifest in an immune response to where all of a sudden you get sick. So the body’s really smart. Oftentimes it’ll get sick at the worst possible time in your perception. Maybe three weeks away from Ironman and now all of a sudden you get sick. And you’re going oh my god I got sick and now my performance is going to be bad. Well, it’s because you were pushing the envelope there and it wanted to pull over. So by making you get sick it’s able to pull you over. Now on the other side of the coin, you can have a breakthrough. A breakthrough is that the way you need to look at the limitations – like say you’ve reached this performance plateau and you’ve done everything, you’ve hit your head against the wall. You’ve done all these different things to try and get over this plateau when you can’t just do it. And the way you have to look at a system comes from systems engineering. You have to look at it like an onion. There’s many layers of limits. So you bump up against a limit and it’s kind of like trying to figure out the combination on a lock. 13 left, 15 right, 8 left. No, that didn’t work. You’re trying all these different lock combinations but you’re at a limit. The easiest thing you can do when you reach a point where you’ve been stuck – you’ve been stuck in the mud – performance limit for a long time – is introduce this Bionx Supermodel. You have this broad spectrum of all of these different nutrient classes of this high up high quality homogeneous blend, great manufacturing. You’re replacing all of these possible limitations that are causal on why you’re stuck in the mud. So even when you taper, this is the very smart thing to do. Physiology of taper is not well understood at all. It’s weird on how all kinds of things can happen physiologically to where you have a big performance increase even though – even in terms of your perception, you think that your performance has degraded because you’re not working. You equate good performance with working hard when actually you should equate working hard with degrading performance. Because as I said, when you’re training, all you’re doing is causing damage. So all the upside to your training comes from adaptive response. You need to focus on that. So the ship is sinking, instead of trying to push the envelope harder, introduce the idea of pulling the envelope. Pulling the envelope is the other side of the curve. It’s to where instead of having maximal stress and you’re not adapting well, what you’re doing is you’re using a much less stress but the focus on adaptation. That’s what a taper is. A taper is where you’re forcing yourself to shift, to make a 180 degree shift from pushing the envelope to pulling the envelope. So the focus shifts to adapting to stress. What I’m saying is people should think about doing that more often during their normal training cycles and certainly in terms of micronutrition because micronutrition as I said – micronutrition is the silent killer of performance because you never know why you’re not improving. There’s no clues. There’s no clue to why you’re not improving. When you introduce Bionx Supermodel into a situation to where you have these onion layers of limits, probably many of your next limitations will be micronutritional barriers. Some will not be… I’m not trying to sell the idea that micronutrition is going to be the keys of the kingdom of removal of barriers of winning forever, because it’s not. There could be many other things in play. But it’s the easiest one to do and it’s also the most likely one that I have seen. So therefore there’s massive upside in somebody doing this. At least trying this concept and I would say a good one third of people will notice big benefits right away. Some people will have miraculous benefits. I’m not saying it’s going to make you walk on water but there’s some people – it’s kind of like the story of Androclys and the lion. Androclys one day met the lion and the lion had a thorn in its paw. And so Androclys took the thorn out and so the lion was forever in gratitude to Androclys. So it’s kind of like this. It’s like you’re this big lion but you’ve got five thorns in your paw which are all micronutritional – not necessarily deficiencies but they are not at optimal levels. So you’re not having a maximal adaptive response. So you’re pulling those thorns out. Don’t you think that’s a good idea to do before doing something else? Pull the thorns out and believe me, you can see big improvements in performance by doing that.
Ben: Gotcha. So you mentioned there’s a PDF available that kind of has a list of the components.
James Autio: Yes.
Ben: What’s the title of that again?
James Autio: On the homepage, which I’m sure you’ll give people the link, it’s called… let me go to the website.
Ben: Because what I can actually do is I can link that PDF.
James Autio: Yeah, you can just pull that PDF if you want Ben. It’s called Profiles of Key Nutrients of… because we could be on the phone for another hour for me going over the nutrients…
Ben: So I’ll put that as a link for folks to read. The impression that I’m getting from the two discussions that we’ve had so far is that there’s a lot more that goes in to the creation of a nutritional supplement than I think a lot of people are aware of and this particular supplement that you’ve designed was created not necessarily to be affordable but rather the ideal supplement that one would take if cost was not an object but performance and having the body do what it’s supposed to do was kind of the Holy Grail.
James Autio: Right, that’s the idea. So, the net result of this is that – see my vision of this is that I’m not in a nutritional supplement business. I realize legally and even on the masthead and label, it has to say dietary supplement. The law says that. But that’s not the business I’m in. If somebody is calling me up and they want a vitamin, I can refer them to somebody else to buy a vitamin because I’m not really in the vitamin business. Most people when they really think through why they want this nutrient or that nutrient, it’s not because they want the vitamins. They want some particular kind of benefit. But if their thinking is reductionist, they’re thinking ok if I’ve got a sore foot I take a product for sore feet and if I’ve got a sty in my eye, I take a product for a sty in my eye but the biological system doesn’t work that way. It works as an entire unit. You need to have all the nutrients required to have the best possible response and when you’re training, you’re causing enormous damage to everything on the body. When you’re riding your bike, it’s not just about depleting glycogen and using fat and using your heart. Your immune system is getting thrashed. When you get off a long bike ride, you have immunosuppression. You have a window of about three hours to where you’re a target for upper respiratory infections big time. Because your immune response just drops like a rock. The moment you’ve done a long training session like that. So there’s so much that’s going on. It’s neurological. I think there has to be more of a focus in athletic training, not on the stimulus side but on the adaptive response side for improving neurological adaptations to training. You’re really focused upon the muscle but it’s much more about the peripheral nervous system and also essential nervous system. But there’s a lot of upside to be had there by using nutrients that are being stressed. There’s a greater demand for them imposed by the training that people realize, and because unfortunately – this is unfortunately – they’re not vitamin status, they’re not considered that important. Because the statement is if the body can make it, the body can make all it needs which is not true. As you get older – that’s for age group people… now here’s where it really gets to be a killer. For age people, when you get into your fifth decade, sixth decade and seventh decade, you have changes in gene expression for the synthesis of some of these conditionally essential vitamins. For example lipoic acid and Co Q 10. These things drop off like a rock. You need those in very great concentrations. Co Q 10, the turnout per day is about two grams per day and most people make about 500 mgs per day and the dietary input is quite low and so that’s something that’s being highly stressed. Where it’s being highly stressed is that Co Q 10 is involved in the electron transport chain which is after the Krebs cycle, you have the electron transport chain but you also have the electron transport chain which is called beta oxidation. It’s where the body has a switchpoint between using carbohydrates or fats – the beta oxidation is at the front end which goes in right before the Krebs cycle and that is critical for another demand for Co Q 10. This is because you need to improve beta oxidation to improve fat metabolism. And that’s the lifeblood of training for Ironman is adaptive response so that one of the key adaptations is improving your maximal lipid power which I talked about in the first discussion. Well now I’m tying that into the nutritional needs of when you’re stressing that system out, when you’re going 100 miles and the next time you’re doing 110 miles and over the years let’s say you’re going on some ridiculous 180 mile ride because that’s the stress needed to improve it – you still need to have those nutrients there in very high concentrations to have that adaptive response because you have diminishing returns. As you get older, it gets far worse. Therefore the need to have all of these nutrients in the appropriate conditions after conditions of real time demand becomes paramount and that’s the point I’m trying to make. We need a totally different paradigm to look at things. This is influenced by systems engineering. It’s influenced by bioinformatics. It’s influenced by epigenetics.
James Autio: It’s survival. Survival not just at the organism level but also at the species level. So this all comes together and the only commercial offering that addresses this is this particular product and to manufacture it requires the engineering expertise in order to make it happen – engineering deals with the real world of making stuff. Science is about – the basic concept of science is not to prove anything. It’s to disprove. When somebody says this is scientifically proven, they’re either a liar or they’re ignorant or they’re snake oil salesmen because science proves absolutely nothing. Science – all it can do is disconfirm or falsify. That’s the purpose of science – testing a hypothesis. If it works then the hypothesis lives. If it were disproved then it dies, it’s replaced by something else. That’s the process of science. The process of engineering is like Gmail when it came out. It said beta, right? It said beta for years. And so engineering is about continuous stepwise refinement in the real world that’s really messy. You have this unknown number of variables. It’s all kinds of what they call black swan events or fat tail events that come out of nowhere and that’s why in engineering you have to overbuild things because you don’t really know what you’re going to encounter in the real world. You can have this rare event that can sink your ship. If the Titanic had one more water tight compartment, the Titanic would have survived. It was overbuilt to be able to handle such a size iceberg or Katrina – the levies can handle a class 3 hurricane but not a class 5. So if they were overbuilt they would have been able to handle it, but it wasn’t because it comes down to cost. The same thing is about Bionx Supermodel. This thing is being built to be able to deal with stresses of say a Navy Seal that’s been deployed, he’s at high altitude being stressed out, half starving, being shot at or high altitude climber that’s going to go from base camp to the summit of Everest and back in one move without oxygen. It’s those kinds of things for people – the clients that I have, they’re interested in improving their performance. They’re calling because they’re looking for a reliable tool to be able to enhance their performance the most it’s possible in the micronutritional dimension.
Ben: That makes sense. Well what I’m going to do since we’re running short on time is I’ll put a link to the Bionx Supermodel in the Shownotes. I’ll also put a link to that PDF in the Shownotes and then as we release these interviews, if you’ve been listening in or you have questions about some of the things that James talked about then leave them as a comment in the Shownotes and we’ll address those but in the meantime, James, thanks for coming on the call, coming on to the show and spending time explaining the idea behind Bionx.
James Autio: It was my pleasure Ben.
Ben: Alright, folks. So until next time, this is Ben Greenfield with James Autio signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
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