Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How Artificial Light Makes You Fat, Does Red Meat Really Cause Cancer, Can Household Cleaning Chemicals Get In To Your Food, What’s The Best Grip For Pull-ups, How To Use Resistant Starch, How To Use ketones, and much more!
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Brock: Dude, I’m ready to rock this morning. I am so amped and I did take a lot of nootropics, so maybe that’s it.
Ben: You actually have food. You’d food in your mouth when we first connected here on Skype to record today’s podcast.
Brock: I did. I delightfully ground bison burrito that I made at home.
Ben: A ground bison burrito. And then you followed that up with nootropics? Is that why you’re chewing on – were nootropic capsules?
Brock: I was downing some alpha brain and I’d already have my 5 grams of creatine earlier this morning and some Ciltep.
Ben: Oh geez!
Brock: So I’m on Via -!
Ben: Yeah, well. You should be a handy-dandy sidekick to have around for today’s episode.
Brock: Or I’ll start short circuiting half way through the show and be like – gegege –geek- geek! Anyways…
Ben: And you follow-up over – all over PubMed. Well, I…
Brock: How are you doin’?
Ben: I’m good! I have had a glass of water this morning. It’s a little bit of ginger tea so I’m feeling like an under cheer. I’m a bit sore though. I – for the first time yesterday, and actually for one of the first time since I’ve moved into the country, so to speak, I took my ElliptiGO out which is my…
Brock: Oh nice!
Ben: … giant stand-up dorky-ass looking half-bike, half-elliptical trainer apparatus, and I took it out through the farming fields around my house, and where as usually I get strange look from people riding three-wheeled bicycles on the bike trail. This time I was getting even stranger looks from dudes in pick-up trucks ‘cause I was just tooling along in my little shorty shorts in my ElliptiGO, waving at farmers.
Brock: As long as they didn’t throw empty beer cans at you or something.
Ben: It was a great workout. Great workout. So, I’m feelin’ a little bit today, the results of my ElliptiGO and also the beer can bruises on my skull.
Brock: Of course.
Brock: Despite of the light concussion that Ben received from getting – being divide your cans, he’s been tweeting things out like crazy at twitter.com/BenGreenfield, and we’re gonna cover those now.
Ben: That’s right, okay. So, here’s an interesting one. And if you’re listening to this at night being bathe in light, you may wanna stop ‘cause you’re gonna get fat. This is an article from Calories Proper – Calories Proper is kind of a cool website. They’ve got some good stuff, and the title of this article is “Artificial Fat Regulates Fat Mass: no bueno”. And the way that I post it…
Brock: By the way, what? Artificial… light.
Ben: What did I say? Artificial fat?
Brock: Artificial fat, yeah.
Ben: Artificial fat. That was confusing, yeah. Artificial light regulates fat mass: no bueno. That is for non-Spanish speakers – that’s no good. Despite not eating more or moving less – what that means is that when you’re exercising, and you’re dieting, and you’re moving less, and you’re still unable to lose weight, and still unable to lose fat, it turns out that light actually plays a pretty key role here in the biological systems that regulate fat loss. And this was a pretty good short to sync article on some of the research of light that’s been done on this. For example, prolonged daily light exposure increases body fat mass through attenuation of brown adipose tissue activity. What is that mean? It means that basically if you are or having elongated day cycles. And I talked about this a long time ago when I interviewed the author of the book – Sleep, Sex, and Survival, I think was the name of it. T.S. Wiley, called Lights Out about how we live and when you know, in our post-industrial era where we have access to artificial light, we can live in a state of perpetual summer. And when that happens what it looks like is we down regulate the activity of brown adipose tissue. So let’s say you’re one of those people whose like doin’ cold thermogenesis, cold showers, doin’ all that kind of like biohacky stuff to lose weight, well, guess what? If you’re also staring at your cell phone for a half hour before you go to bed at night, it’s actually gonna attenuate some of those effects.
So, that was an interesting thing mentioned in this article. Another one, was the fact that you’ll burn fewer calories to do the same amount of work, and that can be caused by what’s called leptin resistance – meaning that when you have a disregulated circadian rhythm from having like you know, 12-16 hours of lighted day vs. a lower amount just like the fall or winter as an example. You’re actually going to down regulate your metabolism specifically through alterations in the hormone leptin which helps to regulate appetite. Another one was when which they studied the hypo caloric diet – I’m not quite sure of many diets that aren’t hypo caloric to a certain extent.
Brock: I guess by definition, right?
Ben: Yeah, right. Low calorie intake, but then the y induced circadian disruption and they found that even the weight was lost from muscle than from fat compared to a non-circadian disrupted state. So, really, really interesting. You know, if anything that take away messages, get lots of sleep, wear blue light blockers at night if you’re gonna be watchin’ TV and stuff like that. Get access to good high quality sunlight during the day ‘cause it’s not just about darkness at night, right, it’s about sunlight in the morning or during the day. And then the other thing that of course helps to regulate your circadian rhythm is food which means that breakfast skipping especially if you do have a disregulated circadian rhythm, may not be the best idea. So, interesting article.
Brock: Or snacking in the evening too much.
Ben: Or snacking in the evening too much. Yeah, exactly.
Brock: So, did they talk about the – like is it just light through the eyes or is it actually light on the skin and evening that’s making the difference.
Ben: Yeah. Well, that’s the interesting thing is you do have photo receptors on your skin that are sensitive to light and they’ve done studies on this showing that even in someone’s sleeping in a blocked out room with eye mask on, the brief exposure – what they did in one study was brief exposure to just a surge of light during the night, no go off intervals, it’s like the equivalent of a pen light against your skin. And they found that this was able to actually disrupt sleep cycles. So, yeah.
Ben: Yeah! So keep, keep that roommate with a pen light far away from you. Uhm, what’s another one – red meat. Red meat causes cancer. We all know that.
Ben: Of course, yes! All of us barbeque-eating folks walking around with giant tumors growing out our back sides. Well, it turns out that red meat has been somewhat acquitted in a recent and very large meta-analysis, and just as a reminder, meta-analysis is where you integrate data from a bunch of different studies both new and old to see what the data actually says rather than looking at one individual study. And in this case, they looked at data from 27 different independent perspective cohorts studies and they meta-analyze each of these studies, and the only reason I’m saying all these is ‘cause I sound really smart when I use words like perspective cohorts and meta-analysis. But frankly, they’re just looking at a bunch of studies. It’s like a study of a bunch of studies. What they found was that the cancer causing effect of red meat disappeared once you accounted for some factors that go above and beyond just eating meat vs. non-eating meat. For example, whether or not that meat has been processed, whether or not that meat has a high amount of nitrite and nitrates in it which you’re gonna find in a lot of commercial bacons and sausages.
Ben: Yeah, and that along with unopposed levels of sodium chloride like really, really high levels of processed meat. You know, beef jerky, things of that nature. Meat that’s combined with a high junk food diet. So, once they looked at all of these different variables, they found no association between red meat and cancer once lifestyle variables were accounted for. Which means that if you take say like a – let’s say like a blue zone, right, like the Loma Linda blue zone which is Seventh Day Adventist, live a very healthy lifestyle, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have any fun. I’m just kidding. Seventh Day Adventist has a lot of fun!
Brock: So much. Way more fun than us.
Ben: Way more fun than us. Skateboards and chandeliers and I don’t know what else. They’re swinging from – they swing from chandeliers in their church. Isn’t that what they do it?
Brock: Oh yeah, I think that’s…
Ben: I just offended a bunch of folks. I’m sorry. My apology.
Brock: Oh, they’re just not very many of them.
Ben: I’m not…
Brock: It’s okay.
Ben: Of those people… uhm, anyways though, so what this is suggesting is if you take one Seventh Day Adventist, let’s just continue with that analogy since we’ve lost all our Seventh Day Adventist listeners anyways… uhm, and you give them red meat but you keep all their other lifestyle factors the same, like eating healthy, good sleep, not smoking, not drinking, not clubbing, you know, eating garden food, whatever.
And then you compared to someone who is a Seventh Day Adventist not in red meat. You’re going to not increase the risk of cancer, the risk of death, and the one who you gave the meat to, so, and I think this would be a great study. Take Seventh Day Adventist, bring them into a lab, put them in cages, feed them meat vs. not… I should stop. Okay.
Brock: I’m sure it’s totally ethical. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Ben: I actually – no, but in – it’s like to be – I have many Seventh Day Adventist friends. They’re very cool, cool people, so just sayin’, just trying to dig myself out of that hole. Okay, finally last thing that I tweeted was – here’s a good reason not to carb re-feed sometimes. And this was a study that just came out that looked at manipulation of carbohydrate availability in people who were engaged in high intensity interval training. So what they did was they compared a group that they gave adequate or a normal amount of carbohydrates to -around 200 grams or so of carbohydrates as a recovery supplement between very hard exercise sessions. But then they had another group that they didn’t give as much carbohydrates, they didn’t do what we were considered as a carb re-feed. That group got about 15-20 grams of carbohydrate. So a lot less, you know, when you get from some seeds and nuts, and kinda like that – the high fat and moderate protein, low carb type of approach. Now, what they found was that the increased in the mitochondrial content as a training effect was similar between both groups but then they also showed that the group who was on the train low – the low carbohydrate state, they actually experienced a longer time to exhaustion. Hypothetical because of increased fat oxidation or a little bit of a glycogen sparing type of effect. And when we looked at some of the research that’s been done on glycogen and training in the glycogen depleted state, it does turn out that not only is there a little bit of a glycogen sparing effect but there is, for example, and this was state that they’ve done on swimming endurance. They’ve found that in addition to increasing fat oxidation, training in a low glycogen state, boost levels of a muscle protein that’s called glut4, and glut4 is this protein that sits on your muscle cell walls and it’s required for transport of glucose from the bloodstream into muscle cells. And so when you train in a low glycogen or in a low carbohydrate state, you enhance your ability to actually uptake glycogen in other situations. You actually enhanced your glycogen storage capacities which should come in handy if you’re training for an actual event like a racer or triathlon or something like that, where you’re actually gonna want your body to be able to conserve of course as much as that high octane fuel as possible. So, there’s of course also like the anti-aging benefits. Some of the down regulation of what’s called M-tor which is – you know, it’s very anabolic but being in a consistent anabolic state can have of course synergetic effect or potentially life-shortening effect. So, all sorts of reasons to look at occasionally having workout where you’re training in a state where you kinda wish you can have carbohydrate but you’re not giving it to your body. And even having some days or even if you’re exercising a couple of times a day, you’re not doing what a lot of folks do which is a carb re-feed. And the way that I pulled this off myself ‘cause this is the way I live my life in this, you know, in the state in many cases of low glycogen availability as I simply eat zero to very low levels of carbohydrate all day long whether or not I’ve worked out, and I save any amount of carbohydrate intake for dinner. So, even though I’m getting enough carbs by the very end of the day, and having carbs with dinner by the way, speaking of circadian rhythm which was what we’re talking about earlier, it’s also a great way to keep your circadian rhythm from getting disrupted is to save carbs all day long then have carbs with dinner because you’re more insulin sensitive at that time of the day, but what also happens is you’re able to have your cake and eat it too. You’re able to get all the benefits of low glycogen, but still be able to maximize glycogen stores for the next day’s workout after following a low glycogen diet most of the day, and doing your training in a low carbohydrate state. So, I’ll link to that study in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/318, and we shall now take our propeller hats off, put them aside and talk about fun stuff.
Brock: So apparently you’ve been hanging out at the local library.
Ben: The local library. My wife and I have been actually doing a series of library talks here in the Spokane area on Healthy Home Fermentation.
I get a lot of local Spokane library so I definitely wanna give back occasionally, and go on actually educate some folks, so we actually spoke last night, and we recorded our talk as I do sometimes when I give talks, seminars, speeches, etc. We put them up on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Premium channel. So, if you’re listening in and you want access to all these extra episodes, or another extra episode we recently did was about how you can use like space age material foam for like desk mats and shoes, and have a foot strengthening, not a foot weakening effect, we did one on how to find a good doctor no matter where you are in the world. We did this most recent one – Healthy Home Fermentation, we’ve got all the Beyond Training book chapters being uploaded one by one, and so that’s a shocking price of $9.99 a year to get into the premium – a part of Ben Greenfield fitness at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium. So, you can check that out at that URL. So there you go. Learn how to ferment, have some kombucha and some sour dough bread, with some nice homemade yogurt and pickles, and what else you’re gonna ferment? So, there you have it. Happy gut. Also, speaking of happy gut, last year I spoke in an event, one of the guys who actually spoke at it was a Jeff Leach, the dude who hang himself upside down and injected the poo of a Hadza tribesman into his butt so that he could grow some kind of an athlete warrior gut bacteria in his tummy, and see what happened to his gut flora.
Brock: Did he really hang upside down for that?
Ben: He did hang upside down to allow to take apparently that inversion. This is a well-known strategy for allowing poop pills and fecal transplant to take more readily.
Brock: What do you think gravity could have that much effect against your whole like your intestinal movement.
Ben: You should hang from an inversion table sometime and see what happens. You should hang from an inversion table after putting something in your butt sometime.
Brock: That is the real question.
Ben: Then see what happens.
Brock: Does halitosis win over gravity, or gravity win over parasites?
Ben: Actually interesting. I’ve found that sometimes it’s just useful like hanging from an inversion table like if you’re like constipated or you got like some gas or something, it actually get things moving. You’d think that they just kind of shove stuff deeper inside you or something like that but…
Brock: Wrong way! Wrong way!
Ben: But it actually can shift your gut a little bit and when you finish your inversion, you can actually have little bit of gut distress, or gas bloating or something like that, but we digress, we digress. The reason I brought this up is I’m going back to speak at that same event. I don’t know if Jeff Leach will be back there. There be a lot of great speakers though – it’s called Nourish Vermont. It’s in Burlington, Vermont – well worth coming to. June 3rd through 6th. So it’s coming up soon, myself, my wife, my boys will be there, and you get to enjoy nutrient-dense locally grown vegetables, and pastured and grass-fed meat, and raw dairy and fermented foods, and all sorts of healthy vitals along with some great talks including one by yours truly. So, come check that out. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/318. And then finally, I think I’m going to bring this up now, Brock. I didn’t even warn you about this but I’m going to bring it up now. Can you cue some sad trombone music? (Music playing) Because I went to iTunes to see what kind of review we could read for this week on iTunes, and discovered that since our last podcast, not a single person has left an iTunes review of the show.
Brock: I’m gonna play the trombone again. (Music playing)
Ben: We’re not going to giveaway anything on today’s episode because we have nothing to giveaway. My heart was broken. I fell asleep sobbing myself to sleep last night, drowning in my own tears. I was not only weeping, I was also tearing my clothes, and sprinkling ashes on my head in a very biblical way.
Brock: Oh, I don’t know what that is.
Ben: Yes. Anyways though, so if you’re listening in and you want to – you wanna remedy this, please I beg of you. Go to iTunes and leave a review. Why? Because not only do you help both Brock and I feel much better about ourselves, and we need that, but you also spread the wealth. It’s good karma. You spread the love, you let more people know about the message we’re trying to preach. And here’s what it gets all sappy – healthy ancestral living combine between very cool feats of physical performance and really using your body in its fullest capacity. And why not spread the word about that. Why not. So, go to iTunes, leave a review. I’m gonna come down off my “preach it brother” soapbox, and we’ll put a link to go leave a review.
If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/318 and as a bonus when you leave a review, if we read it on the show, we send you a bunch of cool swag.
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Listener Q & A:
Terrence: Hey there Ben! I absolutely love the show and I’m hoping you can solve a small domestic dispute between myself and my girlfriend. So we have a small space and we were talking about the relative safety of putting cookware and/or room temperature storable vegetables (onions, potatoes, etc.) in the same cupboard as the household chemicals, you know, e.g. under the sink. I think there’s some potential for danger and some of these cleaners to create toxicity in these foods, and even the pot and pans that we may store there. Am I being way too anal or she putting us on the fast train to cancer, or is the answer somewhere there in between? Thanks!
Brock: The fast track to cancer…
Brock: Your girlfriend is trying to kill you.
Ben: What I wanna know is if he’s actually like skewing the potatoes on the actual spray bottles full of the anti-stain cleaning chemicals, or he’s just kind of like storing the potatoes next to it, or perhaps dipping the potatoes in the actual chemicals like kinda floating them in some bleach…
Brock: We should give him the benefit of the doubt and just say, they’re next to each other.
Ben: Okay, okay.
Brock: That’s my inclination.
Ben: Let’s say that they’re next to each other. Uhm, first of all…
Brock: Which are actually in my house as well.
Ben: Oh! Interesting.
Brock: Terrence is not alone.
Ben: Okay. So when we look at household chemicals, they’re considered to be base on municipal regulations, hazardous waste. In any product that’s poisonous or toxic, or can catch on fire or it’s likely to explode, or can mix with other chemicals, and cause a dangerous reaction, or can be away, or corrode other materials. They’re considered hazardous waste. So not only are pesticides fall in to this category but like paint, paint thinner, stains, varnishes, motor oil, fuel, oven cleaner, drain opener, household cleaning chemicals. So, there’s a few reasons for this. One is that of course, they can be dangerous for children, they can be dangerous for pets. You’re not supposed to eat them but another reason is because they leach. They actually go into the air. Believe it or not even when you screw on a lid unless it’s one of those lids with the rubber stoppers, you know, that completely forms a seal.
Brock: An airtight seal.
Ben: An airtight seal. You get a lot of leaching…
Brock: Hermetic seal as they call it in Latin.
Ben: And then when you look at anything that has a skin that you would eat, that’s not a very permeable skin, okay? So a skin that’s less permeable that you maybe go less out of your way to buy organic, would be like a banana or an avocado, right? Like that’s a skin that you don’t really eat. Strawberries, potatoes, onions, etc. in most cases, you’re a lot of times eating the surface of that and not only do you have a lot of these particles sticking on the surface but we know that the flesh of vegetables and the flesh of fruits absorbs things like pesticides and herbicides, etc. So when we look at – at household cleaning products, there are a few things that I would look at, and if the products has this specific items in it, I would not have that product close to your food or perhaps the only other thing that I can think of is if you are have the food in like a glass Pyrex container, right, or some kind of a container where there is a shield around the food. So, phthalates – you’re gonna find phthalates in pretty much any household product that has fragrances like air fresheners, dish soap, even like a fragrance toilet paper. And companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents so you won’t find phthalates on the label but if you see the word fragrance, that’s a very good chance that phthalates are present and those are hormonal disruptors or what are known as endocrine disruptors. And they absorb phthalate chemicals can go straight to your organ, so when you’re using any type of laundry or cleaning chemical, go fragrance-free or – I’ll put a link in the show notes to an entire article I’ve written about how to make your own cleaning chemicals, called how to detox your home. It also includes information about how to create your own personal care products, but you wanna choose fragrances that are natural. Essential oils for example work very well for that to use like clothes, lemon, things like that.
Another one to look at for in addition to phthalate is perchloroethylene. It’s usually abbreviated PERC, you’ll find that a lot of times in cleaning solutions, spot removers, carpet, and upholstery cleaners, and PERC is a neurotoxin. The EPA also classifies it as a possible carcinogen. So, that’s another one to be careful with. Look for PERC, look for triclosan and triclosan is usually a liquid dishwashing detergents or hand soaps that have been labeled as anti-bacterial because triclosan is…
Brock: Oh yeah, that stuff in the hand sanitizer.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: That’s why I know that thing.
Ben: And the problem is that it promotes the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. So you could be growing super bugs on your potatoes right before you fry them up and eat them. So, that’s another one I would be very careful with. When you look at fabric softeners, in fabric softener liquid and also fabric softener sheets, you’ll usually find what are called quaternary ammonium compounds or what we like to affectionately call quats. It sounds like a cute pet, but quats are actually another type of anti-microbial same as triclosan, they can help to breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And they’re also skin-irritant which means they’re also a gut-irritant, and they did one 10-year study of contact dermatitis and they found quats that you get from fabric softeners to be one of the leading causes. Kind of ironic that what you put in your laundry could actually be causing skin conditions, but it’s true, and it’s interesting that you can simply add a couple of drops like lavender essential oil to your laundry and it can smell fantastic. You don’t need fabric softener or dryer sheets to soften clothes or get rid of static. Vinegar actually, we use vinegar and that works just fine. You have a little bit of white vinegar and it removes the soap residue during the rinse cycle, it helps to prevent static clinging in the dryer, and then you can put a little lavender in there. Obviously the article that I’ll link to in the show notes goes into much more detail. I’m not trying to provide you with useful advice on this podcast, just to scare you. (chuckles) But all the useful advice you go to…
Brock: It’s working!
Ben: …. bengreenfieldfitness.com/318. So few others to look for, window cleaner, kitchen cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, usually you’ll find 2- butoxyethanol that’s the number 2-butoxyethanol. And this one is actually something – it’s called the glycol ether and it can contribute to pulmonary edema which is like a lung swelling and lung conditions, severe liver and kidney damage and this is according to the EPA’s website. Sore throats when inhaled and narcosis which is basically tissue death. So, those nice fried onions could be causing tissue death. Another one is ammonia – a polishing agent that you’ll find used for like plumbing, you’ll also find it in glass cleaner. Ammonia is mostly a lung-irritant, so really an issue with like chronic bronchitis, and asthma. By the way, if you wanna shine the surface, you know what works just as well as ammonia without the same lung irritation?
Ben: There’s two things that we use. Vodka, yes, and toothpaste. Vodka and toothpaste, yup. There you go.
Brock: That’s a waste of vodka.
Ben: It is a waste of vodka.
Brock: I do not approve of that activity.
Ben: I agree, I agree. Chlorine also. Chlorine is one that you’ll find in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, scouring powders, and obviously, we’ve talked about chlorine before on the show, and it’s potential to be a respiratory irritants, and a thyroid disruptor. So, chlorine is another one to be careful with. And then finally, sodium hydroxide. That’s oven cleaners and drain openers, and most of the issues of sodium chloride is skin contact and inhalation, extremely corrosive but unfortunately if that happens to be on food, you can of course consider your gut to be just like your skin except in fact that gut has a greater surface area expose to the environment than your skin, and is a little less hardy than your skin. And so, just think about your gut like you would your skin and don’t put things into or on your gut that you wouldn’t put into or on your skin. So unless you’re willing to smear your oven cleaner on your skin, and your eyes. I would not be eating a potato or an onion that has been exposed to oven cleaner fumes and particles. So, have I made my point?
Brock: I think so. I think I’m going to summarize this right now. Terrence, you have to break up with your girlfriend.
Ben: I thought you’re gonna say, he’s gonna die. So bengreenfieldfitness.com/318, Terrence. I do love your name, Terrence.
Brock: And we’ve said he’s name whether we’ve ever said anyone else’s name.
Ben: Terrence. My son’s name is Terran. And, how to detox your home article, you can find it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/318.
Aaron: Hello Ben and Brock! My name is Aaron, I live in Langley, British Columbia. What are the differences between all of the grip variations you can use while performing pull-ups for instance – wide grip pull-ups vs. narrow grip. Are some more effective for strength than others? What sort of bar thickness should I be looking for? I love the podcast, keep up the great work!
Ben: Mmm, this is a good question. So first of all, let me get into grip strength really quickly here, first of all.
Brock: Yeah, we did the thing about the grip strength that was probably six months ago? So you can…
Brock: do a search on the website and…
Brock: we did go into grip strength really in depth.
Ben: And like I mentioned on the last show, I’ve actually hired a coach to help me with my obstacle course training. And one of the things he has me doing now is using these Captains of Crush Hand Grippers. Have you seen these before, these Captains of Crush Hand Grippers?
Brock: I haven’t seen that particular brand, I don’t.
Ben: Yeah, they’re – they’re the ones that like…
Brock: Sounds cool.
Ben: the guys who win like the World’s Strongest Man competition and like this is what they’ll use and they’ll sell them like a 150 lbs and 200 lbs and 250 lbs, I just have the one that’s called the Number One which goes up to a 140 lbs.
Brock: Are they sorts of look like brass nickels…
Brock: except you’ll squeeze them.
Ben: Yeah. They’re made of aluminum and alloy steel and then produced by this company called IronMind. I mean, you can get them on Amazon, we can put a link in the show notes to folks wanna get themselves a Captains of Crush. But these grip trainers are extremely difficult and when you look at grip training as something that can and has been proven to increase testosterone, and to increase growth hormone, and to as the Captains of Crush advertisement goes, “Unleash your Inner Gorilla!”
Ben: These things are actually pretty cool, but one of the reasons that they work is because you have to start you know, if you ever seen one of these grip trainers, your hands starts with the hands spread apart, right? And almost a bio-mechanically disadvantages position…
Ben: And then you have to squeeze in order to increase your grip strength. Well, the same can be said for a pull-up when you look at bar thickness. So the thicker the bar, the more bio-mechanically disadvantages your grip is at and in general, the thicker the bar obviously there’s a lot of dimension returns once you get to a bar so thicky, you know, you can’t wrap your hands around it. But for the most part, the thicker the bar or the more uneven or awkward to grip the bar you know, such as like a piece of wood or like bouldering and rocks, the greater the effect is going to be on your hands strength and your grip strength versus a thinner bar. And the other thing to consider when it comes to pull-ups before I get into like wide grip versus narrow grip is thumbs on versus thumbs off. So, if your goal is to focus on forearm and biceps strength and grip strength, thumbs on is superior. If you wanna activate your lats and your upper back, your rhomboid, your levator – a lot of these upper back and shoulder muscles a little bit more intensively – thumbs off is better.
Brock: Hmm. So thumbs off Sir, are you basically just sticking your thumb back towards your face Sir?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Your thumb is just kind of wrapped back where your fingers are rather than wrapped around the bar. The same could be said for lat pull-downs, right? Like anytime you wanna target your back for lat pull-downs, wider grip, thumbs off grip – it’s gonna target more of the upper back. But they actually did a study at the Department of Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University and they did electromyographic analysis or EMG analysis of the lat muscle that big you know, wingy muscle on your back, your biceps brachii and your middle trapezius – of course the sexiest muscle on the entire planet – the middle trapezius. And they look at the different hand positions to determine which one created the greatest amount of muscular activity. Now the caveat here is the use of pull-down, not a pull-up, but it’s a very similar motion. So what they found was that when you use a – an over-handed wide grip – you had the greatest amount of muscle activation in the back. The biceps showed similar activity whether you did a narrow grip, an underhanded grip, an over-handed grip, etc., the biceps didn’t really seem to change all that much.
Brock: Really? That’s surprising!
Ben: But wide over-handed grip had the best effect on training the back muscles and giving most bang for your buck out of the pull-up. But the other thing that’s important to realize is that there wasn’t a huge difference between wide and narrow. It was not extremely statistically significant, so if you have access to wide bar – using a wide bar hurts your shoulders – you can use a slightly narrow grip but the trick is to make sure that you are using an over-handed non underhanded grip, because over-handed is gonna give you a lot more training for your rotator cuff or your back, etc.
Brock: And when you say ‘narrow grip’, do you mean basically like right above your shoulders?
So if shoulder width will be narrow grip and…
Brock: more of a Y shape would be?
Ben: Narrow grip, you can generally consider to be anything inside the shoulder so as far as width and wide grip would be as shoulder width or farther apart. Now, another thing to realize here is that if your shoulder joint is limited in movement – so rotator cuff issues, you can’t abduct or externally rotate or flex your shoulder very well, then removing external rotation from the pull-up will allow you to continue working when shoulder pain limits optimal movement. And what that means is that if you switch to a – what’s called a neutral grip, you have access to a neutral grip which is where both of your fingernails on either hand are facing each other – you know what I’m saying?
Brock: It was like a hammer…
Brock: Like a hammer grip?
Ben: Yeah, they also call a hammer grip. I’m remembering the days now when we use to hammer curls when I was a body builder. We do hammer curls, you do reverse curls, you do regular curls, preacher curls, cable curls…
Brock: It’s a whole day of curls.
Ben: concentration curls, strip curls, stat curls, pyramid curls, bounce curls…
Brock: *curse word*
Ben: Name it. But anyways though, if you do have shoulder pain or shoulder limitations that neutral grip is gonna work much, much better for you enforcing yourself into external or internal rotation with an overhand or an underhand grip so that’s a skinny impulse. If you wanna get the most bang for your buck ultimately, slightly thicker bar, wide grip, overhand grip, thumbs off if you’re focusing on your back, thumbs on if you’re focusing on more of your grip in your forearms. So there you have it, go get jacked.
Par: Hey you guys, thanks for an awesome show. This is Par from Sweden. I would just like to ask about Ketoforce. What are the possible applications for a marathon that’s Ketoforce from – I don’t know the branding but it’s been on your show. Thanks so much.
Brock: So I guess Ketoforce must have finally made it to market, ‘cause I think last time we had somebody on talking about it wasn’t available to the public.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I have some at my house.
Ben: I do, I do. It’s right next to the potatoes and the onions and oven cleaner.
Brock: (chuckles) Of course.
Ben: So speaking of oven cleaner, it doesn’t taste that well, by the way. It doesn’t taste that good. So Ketoforce, or any supplement that is basically comprised of ketone bodies, Ketoforce is specifically a beta-hydroxybutyrate and what’s called sodium and potassium salt form. Now when you ingest beta-hydroxybutyrate, you raise the levels of your blood ketones for about two and a half to three hours after you ingest a liquid ketone. Now, normally you would simply produce ketones as a byproduct of fat metabolism, and I believe I spoke about this a little bit the last time that I interviewed Dr. Peter Tia on the show.
Ben: But the idea here is that rather than achieving ketosis via fat metabolism, you are achieving ketosis literally by consuming ketones. And so the idea here is that you can safely without having a diaper moment, use something like a serving of ketones up to three times a day to elevate your blood ketones. It’s a very, very alkaline because it’s a salted extremely alkalines, got a pH of like 10 or 11. So you’d typically wanna mix it with something just slightly acidic like a grapefruit juice would be a perfect example. And when you take it, what they’ve shown is that you not only get elevated ketone levels but you also get an increase in economy and efficiency specifically the exercise data has shown a slight decrease in oxygen utilization for any given work load. Meaning, that you and I believe that the study was done on cycling but basically you’re able to use oxygen more efficiently. And theoretically the way this works is that ketones reduce oxygen consumption because ketones can generate more cellular energy per unit of oxygen burn compared to glucose and compared to even fat so they’re very efficient fuel.
Brock: So they’re sort of skipping the Krebs cycle? Or skipping the…
Ben: Mmm, yeah. They’re completely skipping the Krebs cycle and the cells simply burn ketone so, well the Krebs cycle would normally work on what’s also known as the citric acid cycle, is fatty acids will feed into that cycle you know, along with glucose, pyruvic acid, etc. and one of the byproducts of that cycle in addition to ATP is ketones which can then go on to actually be utilized as a cellular energy source. So you know, and this could be use for variety of uses. It could be use to increase your ability to get into a deep state of ketosis if you’re already following a high-fat diet…
or exercising with lower carbohydrate higher fat intake. It could be use as a way to try to achieve the best of both worlds, right? To eat you know, a slightly higher amount of carbohydrate like say 30% of carbohydrate or something like that which is – which for ketosis is considered high, but then at the same time you dump ketones into your body so you’re also in ketosis. So you got high blood ketones, and also high blood glucose theoretically. I don’t necessarily endorse that approach, and to be frank with you, I haven’t done a lot of experiment with this particular supplement because it came out right about the time that I was finishing my year-long foray in the strict ketosis. And, because I’m just – I’m one of those guys whose more of like a real food type of person, right? Like I’d rather have like a nice you know, kale smoothie with some coconut oil and some almond butter to keep myself high-fat rather than chugging down liquid beta-hydroxybutyrate that doesn’t taste very good. You know, it’s not something that I can say I have a lot of personal experience with, but that’s what it is – that’s how you’d use this. So if you were using it to run a marathon for example, a serving is considered about 30cc and the actual bottle will come with the dosing instructions, but you would consume prior to exercise. If you were gonna consume it during your marathon and you know that within about thirty minutes, you’re gonna be in a state of ketosis, you’d consume two to three servings of that 30cc serving about thirty minutes before you head out to do your marathon, and it’ll elevate ketone levels for good three hours, so just run like the wind. And if you want to use it during, you could theoretically also just like take one serving thirty minutes prior and then one serving an hour in and then one serving in another hour in with whatever other beverage that you’re using. You know in my case, if I personally were doing this and wanting to go more of the ketosis root, I would for example, have a – have a flask like a running flask and I’d have some MCT oil in there, some UCAN SuperStarch, some electrolytes and a little bit of this Ketoforce so that you’re basically either going to maintain high levels of ketosis during the entire marathon or you’re going to be running with an equivalent of Molotov cocktail…
Ben: strapped around your waist because I cannot guarantee that when beta-hydroxybutyrate’s get all hot and bothered mixed up with MCT oil and Superstarch that you may not create some kind of a new version of a waist bomb, so let us know how that goes.
Brock: But one more – one quick question on this. If you’re not somebody who has been following a low-carb diet or isn’t what I guess people refer to as “fat-adapted”, would you be able to get the benefits of Ketoforce, still?
Ben: Absolutely, because it’s completely skipping the entire step and you’re just dumping a bunch of ketones into your body. So…
Ben: There you go. Sneaky.
Rob: Hey Ben. I have a quick question about resistant starch. I’m just kinda confused on how to implement it into your diet as far as if you should eat it with any protein or fat or if anything? Messes with its abilities and if you eat it with other carbs, does that add to the carb load or does is still act as an indigestible carb? I just kinda leave that question ‘cause it doesn’t seem to ever get talked about how you should implement resistant starch into your diet. And yeah, I just – wondering about that and thanks for any reply.
Brock: It’s been a while since we talked about resistant starch.
Ben: I think we actually talked about resistant starch last week briefly because I had the – I had a stomach flu issue…
Brock: Oh, that’s right.
Ben: I was looking for something that I could eat that was gonna be safe for my stomach ‘cause I didn’t have like the bananas, apple sauce, rice toast type of approach. And so, I had some of these Natural Stacks and we’ll link to this into the show notes if you want this, called the Natural Stacks Resistant Starch Complex. And this is actually – the ingredients are common resistant starch sources and I’ll explain what those are in a second – but unmodified potato starch – so it’s got unmodified potato starch from premium grade high starch European potatoes…
Brock: Not kept and guaranteed.
Ben: You know, were probably not kept next to the disinfectant. Raw green banana flour – so banana flour made from the pulp of unripe bananas before the sugar content has developed.
Ben: Ah, Inulin…
Brock: Makes your mouth feels so nice and fussy.
Ben: Exactly. Inulin which is basically a root that attenuates blood glucose response, and supports digestive health, but also helps to feed gut flora.
Trehalose which is basically a mushroom sugar about half as sweet as sucrose with very, very low glycemic index and a very slow digestive process, and then cinnamon because that can further help to lower blood sugar and regulate blood sugar, so those are the ingredients of that particular stack – it’s like a powder. And I would say that it taste fine and I felt fine and the only complain I would say is that you have or at least I experienced – potato tasting burps afterwards.
Ben: A few times.
Brock: That’s not so bad.
Ben: It wasn’t. I can think of worse than potato tasting burps. So anyways, what is resistant starch? Well, resistant starch is all of the starch and the product of starch degradation that are not absorbed in your small intestine. So, instead of being cleaved by the normal carbohydrate digesting enzymes that are in your gut, and then causing those carbohydrates to be absorbed as glucose, resistant starch like the potato-based starch and the green bananas and the things I’ve talked about. That travels through your small intestine into your colon, it’s a – the glucose is not absorbed and when it get into your colon, your colonic gut flora metabolize resistant starch into short chain fatty acids. So it’s not necessarily resistant starch as much as it is starch that kind of has delayed digestion until it get to your colon at which point it is used to produced short chain fatty acids. So, of course that would be good if you were trying to limit surges in your blood glucose but there other health benefits too. For example, when you digest fibers like this in your gut, and you produce C short-chain fatty acids, one of the things you produce is butyrate. And butyrate is one of the prime energy sources for your colonic cells, so it’s very, very good for the health of your large intestine. It’s the same reason that someone would drink say, bulletproof coffee to get the butyrate from the butter. It of course improves insulin sensitivity and decreases blood glucose, it can also inhibit endotoxins and reduce leaky gut, and so you know for someone like me who had a stomach flu or someone who’s got like allergies and autoimmune conditions, it make come in handy for that. It can increase satiety simply because you have these big bowls of kind of fiber passing through the gut. It may actually bind to and expel bad bacteria – what that means is it may actually kind of like push bad bacteria through the digestive tract. By the way, I should note that after last week, after realizing that I had discovered resistant starch could work away okay for stomach flu, Chia Seed Slurry like Chia Seed Gels…
Ben: do a similar action, they push things through your digestive tract, they line the coating of digestive – of your digestive tract like this protective – it’s like this colloid like this gel, this clumpy gel but it’s very, very soothing to your stomach. So we’re talking about when I’m talking about resistant starch, I’m talking about like Chia Seed Gels – we’re talking about something very similar like bone broth in terms of the way that it would make your stomach feel. A lot of people swear by this for like increase in sleep quality when used at night, increase in even the production of like vivid dreams what you call them? Dream…
Ben: Yeah, lucid dreaming.
Ben: And of course, feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Now here’s my take on biohacking you way into resistant starch using something like you know, like a resistant starch powder – you know, like the one I mentioned from Natural Stacks. I eat so many freaking vegetables each day; I like twenty to twenty-five servings of vegetables in any given day. You know from spinach, carrots and we have this enormous vegetable garden in our backyard with eight raised garden beds, I mean like our refrigerator’s overflowing with vegetables and vegetables can have a similar action as resistant starch when it comes to lowering blood glucose, keeping you satiated and then also fermenting in your colon to produce fatty acids and butyrate. I would say that compared to vegetables, resistant starch, you could technically do more of it than you could vegetables simply because you’ve got less bulk right? Less fiber bulk if you’re using a resistant starch versus vegetables to achieve this effect. I also don’t thing that you get the same lucid dreaming effect as you do from resistant starch when you’re using vegetables, and many resistant starch supplementers have noted that they had a better thyroid function and not necessarily can bench that high amounts of vegetables especially cruciferous vegetables or spinach – stuff like that can improve thyroid functions, so you’ve got that going for you too.
So this kind of like liquid ketones, I think I’ve said this before in the podcast, I’ve never done one of those resistant starch diets or you just like go on a full on resistant starch diet to fix your guts or to lower blood glucose. I know a lot of our listeners have – some of them have experienced extreme amounts of gas and bloating, some have felt fine, it’s one of those things that you may want to experiment with. As far as mixing it with protein or mixing it with fats or eating it with carbohydrates, it’s relatively versatile like you can mix other things into a diet that is high in resistant starches and one of the things that I’ve seen a lot of folks do is simply eat their normal diet but at the end of the day, rather than having desert or even in some cases as a substitute for dinner, have a source of resistant starch instead. And that could be everything from rice or potatoes that have been cooked, and then cooled because cooling changes the structure and makes them more resistant to digestion – that would be potatoes, grains and beans specifically can do that as can a rice that’s been cooked in a coconut oil. But then you can also do like green bananas – green or plantains…
Brock: That’s I basically starts my almost every day off with a green banana.
Brock: And I find that really just has worked well for me for my brain and for my guts.
Ben: Mmm, yeah. You put it in your butt and hang from an inversion table? Or do…
Brock: I do! How did you know?
Ben: That’s what I thought.
Brock: You’ve been watching me through my window.
Ben: That’s right, been telescoping up to Canada. Well, that’s probably green bananas up the butt a good place to end today’s show.
Brock: Of course.
Ben: Yeah. And…
Brock: What else can we say when you just said that?
Ben: What else can we say? And of course again sad, sad face because we don’t have a review to read.
Ben: It’s still a happy day though, because we did hopefully give you a lot of good information on the podcast. But yeah, leave a review over on iTunes if you get a chance, we’ll put a link on the show notes where you can do that. We’ll link to everything else that we talked about as well: the Natural Stack Resistant Starch, my How to Detox your Home article, the Captains of Crush grip trainers so you can unleash your inner gorilla. And then this weekend, what do we have coming up this weekend for our special interview? Do you remember, Brock? I can look.
Brock: If you stall for a second, I will surely remember. It is uhmm…
Ben: (voice sound)
Brock: High Protein Breakfast Myths, Genetic Testing for Exercise, Demystifying Brain Waves and more!
Ben: Oh, it’s a good one. It’s a good one. I’m – yeah. I’m actually… I’ll keep my lip shut but you’ll definitely wanna listen to that one, it’s pretty cool. Like I know I say that a lot of times but like this one actually, it’s pretty cool. So, yeah – so listen to that. It’s coming up this weekend. Download it, give it a listen and thanks for listening to this one. Head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/318 for the show notes and have a happy day.
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May 20, 2015 Podcast: Can Household Cleaning Chemicals Get Into Your Food, What’s The Best Grip For Pull-Ups, How To Use Ketoforce, and How To Use Resistant Starch?
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Can Household Cleaning Chemicals Get Into Your Food?
Terrence says: He hopes you can settle a slight domestic dispute between him and his girlfriend. They have a small living space and are wondering about the relative safety of keeping cookware and storable veggies (onions, potatoes) in the same cupboard as the household chemicals. He thinks there is some potential for danger in some of the cleaners to create toxicity in the food and even cookware. Is he being too anal or is she putting them on the fast track to cancer?
In my response, I recommend:
–How To Detox Your Home article
What’s The Best Grip For Pull-Ups?
Aaron says: He is curious about the difference between grip positions for pull-ups. For instance wide vs. narrow grip. Are some more effective for strength than others. What sort of bar thickness should he be looking for? He loves to do muscle-ups (because they are fun) but are they dangerous to do and are they good for building strength?
In my response, I recommend:
–Captains Of Crush grip trainer
How To Use Ketoforce
Par says: He has heard you talk about Ketoforce before. He is wondering how it could be used for running a marathon? What are the practical applications for using it?
How To Use Resistant Starch
Rob says: He has a question about how to incorporate resistant starch into his diet. Should it be mixed with protein? Or fat? Does anything mess with it abilities? If you eat it with carbs, does it add to the overall carb load or does it still not digest like a carb? How should he be implementing it into his diet?
In my response, I recommend:
–Natural Stacks Resistant Starch