Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Can You Train Your Body To Burn More Fat, Is Bulletproof Coffee A Scam, The Best Anti-Aging Exercises, Can You Use Dried Herbs In A Smoothie, Should You Use Nasal Breathing When You’re Exercising Hard and much more!
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that for natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest effort to see…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Brock: Dude, you’re back!
Ben: Yeah, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news, Brock.
Brock: Uh-oh. (chuckles) What? I hope the bad news doesn’t have anything to do with the hunting accident of any sort.
Ben: (laughs) I was thinking that we’d want the bad news not to involve the colonoscopy that I had done.
Brock: Oh, is that due. I forgot about that.
Ben: Yeah, so two weeks ago we didn’t actually record the podcast two weeks ago because I was getting a colonoscopy and then last week I was off in the mountains of Colorado hunting. So here’s the good news and the bad news.
Ben: Good news is that my colon is clean and shiny as a baby’s butt which is probably…
Brock: (laughs) Is that’s the way it’s supposed to be?
Ben: Probably a weird analogy to use…
Brock: That is a weird analogy.
Ben: In this case.
Brock: I understand what you’re saying, everything is good down there. “Up your old Wazoo” as they say.
Ben: I’m clean as a whistle so I can now rest in peace for the next 20 years knowing that I – unlike the members of my family who inspired me to go get a colonoscopy in the first place, do not have strange growths or warts or polyps or whatever you call them growing on the inside of that tube.
Brock: And nothing weird cut in the folds and…
Brock: Like that?
Ben: Nothing. No gerbils, no strange insects…
Ben: Nothing. So, not even a kernel of corn. The other thing, the bad news is that I did spend a week and a lot of people have been asking about this on Twitter and Facebook. It’s been a week way high up in the mountains of Colorado Hunting Elk and I came back. (sound effect)
Brock: Not empty handed?
Ben: Empty handed.
Brock: Ugh. Bummer, dude!
Ben: Had a great time doing some hard core acclamation training but really, we saw early season hunting, the elk weren’t calling so we had a hard time hunting him down. My guide was a fat little really fully red-faced dude who I didn’t really fell like chasing elk into the trees so…
Ben: We spend a lot of time sitting on hilltops, I look in through binoculars at elk that taunted us for about a thousand yards away – unable to actually hunt them down with our bows.
Brock: Hmm. So when you see them that far away it’s not possible to just sort of sneak slowly towards them or is that…
Ben: That is… that’s theoretically possible but everything from the winds to the cover, to the fact that these were smart, old big bulls was not in our favor – so that means that this year, I’ll be vegan, I guess.
Brock: I guess?
Ben: Cut out the cucumbers.
Brock: Ah, back to Vegan.
Brock: I’m guessing you must have had some sort of internet connection on the mountain top while you’re chasing those willy deer ‘cause you were still active on Twitter.com/bengreenfield the whole time you’re gone.
Ben: You’d be surprised on what kind of bar reception you can get from AT&T at 12,900 feet – it’s pretty crazy.
Ben: Yeah! Actually I have of those solar panels that are attached into your backpack and I could literally like work while I was up there. You know, look in through binoculars and stuff – kinda cool.
Brock: (chuckles) I guess that’s good although who wants to do that?
Ben: (chuckles) Exactly.
Brock: Part of the escape is escaping.
Ben: Yes, that’s right. And not burning your eyeballs out with the phone while engaged in solar radiation on mountain top.
Ben: Well, I did out a few things I wanna talk about that caught my attention this week. The first was a really interesting study in the British Medical Journal of Exercise and Medicine – I believe is what that one is called.
Ben: And what they looked at was fat oxidation, whether you could train your body to burn more fat. Now, the reason that I thought this study was interesting was because up until this point in the annals of time, in the annals of exercise science and people in white lab coats studying rats running on tiny wheels inside cages, we’ve all thought that you basically burn more carbs as you exercise in a more intense pace and you get to a certain point where fat-burning almost shuts off completely.
And what they wanted to look at in the study was “Oh, hey, what if you are a well-trained athlete?” In this case, a well-trained runner. What if you have built up the capacity to be able to oxidize fat at very high intensities? Is that even possible? And so what they did was they took at group of well-trained runners, and then they took a group of really crappy recreational trained runners.
Ben: Nobody wants to be a recreational runners.
Brock: Bunch of jerks.
Ben: Yeah, bunch of jerks. And they compare them. They had them both perform a very high intensity interval training session on the treadmill getting them up to a really, really hard intensity, right? Like more than 85% of maximum heart rate up close to VO2 max. And what they found was that both groups experienced similar rises in like blood lactic acid, similar rises in like how hard they’re working even though of course, they’re well-trained runners – were working or moving a lot faster.
Ben: And they all had similar carbohydrate oxidation rates also, right? As they were all burning once they got up to that really high level of intensity, similar amounts of carbohydrate. What they found was that in the well-trained athletes, they actually even at high, high intensities were experiencing as much a 3-fold higher rate of fat oxidation. So not only were they’re burning more calories over-all but they were burning a much larger percentage of that from fat than we’ve been previously led to believe in studies that are primarily been done on a less well-trained athletes. And so, you know, believe it or not some people may think this is like a you know, kinda like slap yourself in the head obvious, but this is the first time that a study has shown that you can train yourself to burn huge amounts of fat even at high intensities and this has actually implications for all people who ask about what can I do high intensity exercises if I’m in like ketosis or farm restricting carbs…
Ben: And it turns out that you can train your body to oxidize a crapola of fat at high intensities so…
Brock: But… so these – like that study that you did at the University of Connecticut whenever that was like two years ago, whenever they actually took people who had specifically be on a low carb, high fat diet and random through. So the training was actually happening specifically to use more fat…
Ben: Well the difference – the difference is that entire study was done at aerobic heart rates and we…
Ben: We already know the difference in like fat oxidation versus carb oxidation based like if you with a high fat diet and you go under aerobic exercise you burn more fat. We’ve known that for a while. What this study now shows is that ‘hey, it happens at really high intensities’, right? Like what we would call like glycolytic or phosphagenic type intensities you can actually train your body to burn a lot of fat in those scenarios, too. So practical implications, if you’re listening in – now we cut to the chase. You may want to experiment with perhaps not eating as many carbohydrates prior to a hard workout and just see how it works out for you especially if you’re well-trained. You can probably get away with it more than what you think so.
Brock: I guess what I was asking was do you necessarily have to change your diet or is it just being well trained as an athlete in general that helps.
Ben: Yeah, this study didn’t look at diet at all. These guys were you know, well-trained runners who were most likely eating a typical western diet. So it’ll be interesting too what happen if you actually – if they know they should like ketogenic diet you know maybe…
Brock: Yeah or even just a low or low carb, high fat diet.
Ben: You know it’s five-fold, seven-fold, phenomenal, cosmic increases in fat.
Brock: (laughs) I knew you’re gonna go to the cosmic thing.
Brock: Ode to the fat-burning power!
Ben: Speaking of ultimate fat-burning power, I came across an interesting article on Soulspot. The title of this article’s quite sexy. It says, it’s called: The Man Who Can “Cure All Diseases” Reveals His Secret Healing Diet.
Brock: Wait, this thing is on Soulpatch?
Ben: Soulspot – which is soulspottv.com. It’s called ‘The Man Who Can “Cure All Diseases” Reveals His Secret Healing Diet.’
Brock: Let me guess, he has something to sell ya.
Ben: The man who can cure diabetes, cancer, STDs, HIV and much more…
Ben: Reveals disease curing diet. Well, usually I completely ignore articles like this because yes, you are correct – usually you go to the site and they’re trying to sell you some cure-all supplement/books/whatever and make crazy claims. And in fact they do that at the end of the article. But what I thought was interesting was at the beginning of it where he talks about avoiding hybrid foods, and that’s like the core part of the diet is avoiding hybrid foods. Now what is a hybrid food?
Ben: You ask?
Brock: I do ask.
Ben: Well that’s the food that is half machine and half man.
Ben: No it’s actually…
Brock: It’s a cybernetic food.
Ben: It’s the offspring of two plants or animals of different breeds, varieties or species that you produce through human manipulation for specific genetic characteristics. In other words – like genetically modified, hybridize plants. You know, marijuana is a perfect example, right? You got like indica strains, sativa strains then you have like hybrid indica sativa strains. I love to use pot-head analogies.
Brock: How paranoia.
Brock: I don’t know what you’re talking about Ben Greenfield.
Ben: Anyways, what they bring attention to in the article is that many of these foods have been bred to be very palatable – high in starch, high in sugar and many of them have been studied and found to contain interestingly lower levels of minerals than like wild non-hybrid foods. So when you eat a bunch of say like hybrid fruit, you’re getting a very large sweet fruit low in minerals or hybrid genetically modified vegetable, a very starchy vegetable that’s been bred for calories not necessarily for nutrient density. And then the article goes on to show how many hybrid food go hanging on a grocery stores these days – like the most common ones are seedless apples…
Ben: …kiwis, seedless pineapples, seedless citrus fruits – which I always thought were very convenient, right? Seedless grapes ‘cause you can chew them and I don’t have to spit the seeds out. Seedless watermelons – I can’t believe they’re taking away my seedless watermelons ‘cause that’s like you know, the next best thing since sliced bread ‘cause you don’t have to spit out the watermelon seeds.
Brock: It’s better than sliced bread – sliced bread sucks.
Ben: White potatoes, cauliflower, cashew, oats like if you’re – in those big lists, I’ll link to it in the show notes for this episode which you can find at – where are the show notes, Brock?
Ben: 330. There you go bengreenfieldfitness.com/330, and then what they list is a list of foods. Now I do disagree with the way that they said the list of food – they say ‘Here’s a list of foods you need to eat in order to reverse Cancer, reverse AIDS, reverse Sickle Cell, Lupus, blindness – prank here’s blindness…
Ben: Mesothelioma, Herpes, depression and just to maintain overall optimal health’ – I may agree with that last claim.
Brock: Yeah, the last one’s seems plausible.
Ben: Yeah and I do like their list of foods ‘cause it’s kinda handy. It’s like ‘okay, well we know that most things that have been bred to be seedless maybe also high on starch, low on minerals’ so you know, has a list of the fruits that are not canned or seedless or hybridize that you can find in the grocery store. It has a list of grains that are typically not hybridize like amaranth, kamut, quinoa, rye, spelt, tef and wild rice. It has a list of like the nuts and seeds that are better, that are less likely be hybridized like Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts – anyways, it’s interesting, it’s thought provoking and then at the end of course they move in to like all of this magical bio-mineral therapy supplements that you need to buy as well which I’m not necessarily convinced are going to reverse blindness or get rid of that strange growth down there.
Ben: But ultimately I think it is interesting to think about not eating foods that have been hybridized to be big, starchy, sugary because of the potential health effects of that so you know, it’s interesting – it’s thought provoking.
Brock: Yeah. Yeah, I guess one of our food have been specifically bred only for pleasure.
Ben: Yeah, yep.
Brock: That’s where the problem comes in.
Ben: Yeah, be careful with the weird seedless watermelons that kids were making these days.
Brock: Although isn’t watermelon, it was hybridized to begin with like the original watermelon was much more like a gourd, like sort of thick and yucky…
Ben: Be careful with that path of thinking, Brock, you will go blind.
Brock: (chuckles) Again?
Ben: So finally, since we’ve already talked about colons once, why don’t we talk about them again?
Brock: No, I’m sure we’ll do it again.
Ben: So Jeff Leach. I met him in Vermont a couple years ago we spoke at some conferences together. He’s the guy who went and visited the Hazda tribe in Africa, and the poop from a Hazda warrior shelved up his back side, he’s like a…
Brock: Is it Hadza?
Ben: Hadza. What did I say, Hazda?
Ben: I didn’t know where Hazda is.
Brock: I think one’s a Toyota.
Ben: Oh yeah, yeah. I think you think of a Mazda.
Brock: (laughs) Oh, maybe.
Ben: He had a poop from a Mazda shelved up his butt. No it was actually a Hadza warrior, and he did a fickle transplant to see what would happen if you implanted into a typical western gut – you know, like an ancient hunter gatherer or a micro-bioman. He’s working on the results of that study, etc. but he has a really interesting website that I like – it’s called the Human Food Project over at humanfoodproject.com. And he has an interesting…
Brock: It looks like a cannibal website.
Ben: It does a little bit. Yeah, yeah.
Brock: Anyway, sorry (laughs).
Ben: You visit a lot of cannibal website? (laughs)
Ben: Anyways, he actually accompanied a couple of Hadza hunters to some hunting blinds where they had a bunch of tall-grassed ambush animals, and they killed a Zebra with a poison-tipped arrow.
And the interesting part about the article which is actually quite long and goes into you know, what goes into a hunt and what they do after the kill is that when they had removed the poo pellets from the colon, they toss the colon onto a fire and they let it sit on the fire for about a minute but not long enough to actually get rid of all the little microbes and bacteria that cling to the inside wall of the colon. And then they cut the colon into chunks and eat it more or less raw to get all of the good bacteria and the probiotics and all these things out of the colon. So we’ve talked before about like eating bone broth and marrow and the joints of animals and all these things that we tend to neglect in western culture. But I had never up until this point thought about actually throwing a colon on a fire and eating a colon. I’m very glad that I didn’t read this prior to my elk hunt and have a successful hunt because I probably would be still picking elk colon out of my teeth.
Brock: Perhaps. So wait, so they de-poopified the colon first?
Ben: They took the poo out and then they actually eat the colon. Now we know that like babies who are born vaginally they actually – it’s gross to think about, I know but their task…
Brock: I think that factor is really high here…
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: Just hang on, folks.
Ben: Yeah. Just use your gag reflexes.
Brock: (gag noises)
Ben: (laughs) That’s gross. Hey, do not make noises like that on my podcast.
Brock: Okay, sorry.
Ben: (laughs) That’s disgusting.
Brock: Are you one of those people that reacts badly to that? Like if somebody throws up near you, do you throw up?
Ben: I just don’t like the sound of grown men gagging.
Ben: Yeah, that’s grosses me out. So anyways though, we know that when the baby passes through mom’s birth canal they pick up little fickle like pieces – like little pieces of fickle matter and that’s what populates the good bacteria inside their gut. And we also know from a ton of research that’s been done over the past 5 years is this concept of poop pills or fickle transplantations makes sense if you have like dysbiosis gas bloating you know, basically we call rectal issues or irritable bowel syndrome with things of that along those lines, but eating colon is a new one that I actually haven’t read before and the story of the entire hunt is quite fascinating. I’m not just bring this up because of the colon, I just thought that – that left out of something quite interesting that these hunters, these ancient hunter warrior people would actually eat that part of the animal. So, if you are interested in reading this, you can definitely go and check out and see what else they do when they’re hunting and if you are a hunter then, there you go, there’s one little trick to add your filled dressing protocol – just take your toothbrush.
Brock: And if you’re a cannibal?
Ben: Go to humanfoodproject.com.
Ben: I got a new exercise for you, Brock.
Brock: Bring it on.
Ben: It’s called “alternating steelbell rows”. How’d you like that?
Brock: I like the sound of it.
Ben: My coach, ______ [0:18:16.7] gave this to me to prepare my grip for Spartan races and it’s actually quite, quite a big cardiovascular stress as well. What you do is you put a like a sandbag or one of these steelbells like the ones from Onnit, our sponsor for today’s show, but you get one of these steelbells – you put it out in front of you and you grab it off the ground, just rip it off the ground and row it, right? Like a one-hand row and then you just slam it back into the ground and grab it with the other hand and row it with that hand and you go back and forth.
Brock: I see. Alternate those between one in each hand but the alternation I can see how that will really work your grip ‘cause you’re actually letting go and grabbing.
Ben: It’ll work your grip more to have one in each hand but it’ll also be almost impossible like it’ll be really though. But these steelbells from Onnit, they work really, really well for this and Onnit has a bunch of fitness gear but I would say that especially with my obstacle course training, these steelbells are the best. They’re just like durable and they come already full and you can get them at onnit.com and they give us a discount just for listening in to this podcast. If there’s anything you take away, it’s gonna be a giant-ass steelbell that you get to do rows with. So you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield and when you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield that instantly and when you use a code, they’ll give you 5% off fitness gear and 10% off of supplements, so there you have it. Onnit. Steelbells. Go.
Brock: Save some money, folks.
Ben: The other sponsor for today’s podcast is actually a company that makes cool little things named after presidents…
Ben: …and prime ministers. They’ve got the Winston set – you Winston Churchill fan, Brock?
Brock: Of – who isn’t?
Ben: And they also have a Truman set. These people are obsessed with…
Brock: Mmm. That one makes sense.
Ben: – obsessed with world leaders. So it’s Harry’s over at harrys.com. What is the Winston set? Well, the Winston set gives you foaming shaving gel, this cool German-engineered blade, it’s also got basically like a shaved creamer – what do you call an after-shave thing to make your face…
Brock: Yeah, I think the ‘after-shave’ thing is typical to…
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Moisturizing shave cream and hydrating foaming gel are the two things that that comes with because apparently, good old Winston Churchill with as smooth as the baby’s butt and yes I know, I said baby’s butt twice…
Brock: He loves baby’s bums.
Ben: So far on today’s episode. Moisturizing shave cream, hydrating foam gel – that is what you get in the Winston set but wait, there’s more! Because the Truman set, I think the razor’s cool in the Truman set – I’ll put the link in the show notes so you could go to harrys.com and check it out.
Brock: Ooh, it comes in different colors!
Ben: Yeah, it’s got an orange blade – that one has the…
Brock: Orange handle.
Ben: The ergonomic handle design. Yeah, with the contour and the core and the – I didn’t know razors have a saddle but it’s got a saddle with several ridges and a smooth indentation for better control, just you don’t nick your jugular. So anyways, you get $5 off the Truman set or you can get $5 off the Winston set – pick your poison and you go to harrys.com, use code: ben. That’s code ‘ben’ at harrys.com. So there’s that.
Ben: What else? If you happen to be near Helsinki, Finland at the end of this month, September 23rd and 24th, I’ll be speaking at the Biohackers Summit there. And you can check that out at biohackersummit.com, there’s still time to grab your plane tickets to Helsinki or hop on a boat or horse, a bicycle, however you want to get to Finland and come over there to delve into everything from like implanted chips and gene therapy to bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistance, virtual reality – should be interesting.
Brock: I’m so jealous. I would love to go to that.
Ben: I may come back with like a third green eye popping out on top of my head like an implant.
Brock: Dude, if you don’t, I’m gonna be so disappointed.
Ben: Yeah. I’ll come back…
Brock: Use your third arm.
Ben: I’ll come back with some kind of an implant. I’ll keep it a secret ‘till I come back, and what else? There’s one other thing I wanted to mention it’s kinda interesting – I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. Last year I had a conference, an online conference, where I sat down with 25 people like Dr. Mercola, and Mark Sisson, and Nora Gedgaudas, and Ari Meisel, Commander Mark Divine, John Kiefer, Kelly Starrett – ton of folks and I interviewed them. I interviewed them all for like 40 to 60 minutes and didn’t really talked about it too much, it actually got published over at this website called Entheos, then they took it down, they decided they didn’t wanna do online conferences anymore.
Ben: So I said, “What the heck? We’re gonna put it up at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com”. So I put it up over there, there’s 25 interviews if you’re bored or if you want to listen to some pretty cool folks. I tried to dig in and make them talk about things they don’t usually talk about, and it’s $47 so just get the videos, all the notes, everything – I’ll put a link to it in the show notes but I have to say, I am pretty proud of it. It took me really, really long time to interview all these people, and then it got taken down and I was kinda pissed, and I got my hands on all of videos and everything, and it’s taken a little while to get them uploaded, but now that they’re uploaded and they’re ready, and you can go get ’em all for $47, they don’t expire or anything like that so, there you have it! It’s called the “Rev Yourself Conference”, Rev Yourself Conference. And I kinda like it but it almost sounds like (curse word) yourself.
Ben: It’s not the (curse word) yourself conference.
Ben: But you can get it. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/330 or you can just go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com and do search for it over there or whatever – use your noodle, you’ll find it if you wanna get it.
Listener Q & A:
Trevor: Hey Ben! I would love to get your thoughts about an article online that I recently came across. It was titled “Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider”. It talks about several folks you’ve discussed on your show before such as the Food Babe, Dave Asprey and John Kiefer, and suggested things like Bulletproof Coffee and Carb Backloading as being scams. What do you think? Any recommendations for us common folk on how to dig through some of this confusion?
Brock: This article has been circulating like wildfire if you follow the people that I follow on Facebook and Twitter for the last few weeks.
Ben: Yeah, “Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider”. This article is about fitness marketing – it’s about fitness marketing. It’s about everything from like these articles about the Food Babe blogger being full of (curse word) to Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee to John Kiefer’s Carb Backloading protocol.
And, basically what the article goes into and we’ll link to it in the show notes if you want to go, read it – is that you can’t trust people in the fitness industry who sells stuff because it’s all marketing hype. And actually the article itself makes some really, really good points in my opinion that a lot of people may be aren’t aware of when it comes to the fitness industry. Like for example, most people don’t know is that the like the physique to grace the front of a fitness magazine actually don’t look that way and they especially don’t remain that way either round. They go through all these special water manipulation techniques, a lot of times with like photoshop to get this peak, short-lived physique for the photo shoot to sell you the supplement or to be on the cover of the magazine, and then they basically go back to having a normal body. There’s you know, that’s called the cutting and bulking cycle.
Ben: And then he goes into how some folks just skip that altogether and they’ll even like posts before or after photos on a website trying to sell you a supplement or trying to sell you a book. And these photos are literally take them like minutes apart – all they do is change the lighting and the kind of shorts they wear and that type of thing. And you know these fake transformations, I think just about any website that shows the transformation that’s been doctored is something to avoid, period. But it’s interesting how he goes into that, but then he starts to delve into talking about some folks who we’ve had on this podcast and some folks who I’ve hung out with in the fitness and nutrition industry like take John Kiefer for example, who I actually just mentioned, right? Like I interviewed him on carb backloading or carb brief eating or carb niter, whatever you wanna call it as part of that Rev Conference I was talking about. And this guy who wrote this article who thrown Kiefer under the buses carb backloading has a compelling premise by following a simple set of rules you can lose weight by starving your fat cells and enjoying your favorite foods: cherry turnovers, ice cream, fries, curse (curse word) yeah, you’d be an idiot not to want that. And then he goes on about how Kiefer sites a bunch of scientific references to back up his claims that this carb backloading protocol actually works – you can just eat junk food all night. This is a case where the person who wrote the article probably doesn’t really know Kiefer and hasn’t hung out with him – at least he doesn’t look like it, and maybe hasn’t talked with him about his true feelings about that protocol. Like Kiefer’s take – Kiefer and I talked about this on the interview that I did with him: it is… yeah, you can, in a post workout state in the evening, when your muscles are more likely to take up carbohydrates and store them ways glycogen the next day. You can get away with eating more carbohydrates when you’re in that scenario, and there’s even some research that based on circadian rhythms that your insulin sensitivity may peak a little bit in the evening after that initial morning peak, and that also may allow you to – even if you haven’t worked out right? Like if you worked out in the morning that you could still take some of those carbohydrates from an evening meal and soak them away storage glycogen for the next day’s workout rather than being shuttled to the liver to be converted into triglycerides or stored away in adipose tissue, and he’s not a gluten-free guy. He actually makes the argument that we live in a society where if you go completely gluten-free, you don’t get this hormetic effect that gluten can give you, that mild stress that allows you to potentially be able to handle gluten when you do get it, right? When you’re out let’s say you go do like Sealfit Kokoro when you gotta eat MREs or you’re like me, you’re up in the mountains you know hunting elk for a week and you have access to like hamburger buns and you know, some meat from Safeway, right? So, his argument is that not only can you eat carbohydrates at night but that they don’t need to be completely gluten-free. However, he has said before, he’s like you know that he’s had like a cherry turnover after work and this guys takes that and runs with it – I don’t think that that’s necessarily the case, I don’t think it fairly paints the picture. And then he goes into Dave Asprey, he says that you know, Dave Asprey had this assistant to work for him who reported that Dave Asprey was wrong to have his assistant just go on PubMed and find anything that remotely resembled claims that Dave was making about his supplements and just use those as research so that it looks like there’s science to back up the claims. And then this guy goes on to say that you just have to eat more butter to lose weight and that if you haven’t figured out by now the whole butter for weight loss recommendation is about as real as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. And frankly, once again…
Ben: …you gotta educate yourself and step back. Sure, I’ve looked at the blood and biomarkers of a lot of people who have consumed Bulletproof Coffee and a lot of them eat way too much butter, grab a Bulletproof Coffee then they’ll go off and have like eggs and bacon too, so that the body is not burning the triglycerides from the butter and the Bulletproof Coffee but instead jacking up blood triglycerides, increasing the triglycerides to HDO ratio, increasing risk factors for coronary heart disease, abs of freakin’ lately.
You can destroy yourself if you use something like Bulletproof Coffee and you don’t do it the right way, but done in moderation, meaning drinking Bulletproof Coffee in the absence of other calories or even blending any form of coffee with fats so that the fats were able to carry terpenes in the coffee that would not normally cross the blood brain barrier and instead allow those terpenes to cross the blood brain barrier to enhance the wakefulness effects of coffee – that’s science, kids. That’s proven stuff, so regardless of let’s just say worst case scenario, right? Like Dave Asprey, and you know, I’ve noticed that this is on like their PQQ, right? Like their unfair advantage mitochondrial support compound page that says it’s gonna allow you know, Olympic athletes to break new record, etc. and if you go look at all the research, you know it’s a bunch of research done on mitigation of free radicals and mice – not any improvements in performance in Olympic athletes. And so yeah, if you go look at the research, there’s definitely not as much research as you would think that there’s so be to back up the claims, right? Just like that blindness – you know, curing blindness, hybrid diet that we just talked about, right? Like a lot of good advice but also some marketing claims. Now, I’ll step up right out there and tell you like I’m a capitalist, I’m okay with somebody having a good idea and profiting from it. I do agree that in some cases you know, for like John Kiefer to say “eat cherry turnovers all night long and lose weight”, if he said that, I don’t know if he did – then yeah, I think that that’s a little bit misleading. Or if Dave Asprey says “one Olympic athlete is going to break records and this is going to change the way that you know the world’s athletes perform”, well you know if he’s saying that research has it that’s true and yeah, I would take issue with that, but if he’s saying that’s what he thinks is gonna happen and you know, it’s just one of things where buy or beware, right? Like go educate yourself, go look at the research yourself – don’t be an idiot and if you see claims, go research them. I could probably go to PubMed right now and find out if hybridized GMO foods have any association whatsoever with like cataract defects, blindness, glaucoma, etc., right? And I could go research that for myself so you know, I would say that rather than having some blanket roll that you’re gonna follow that says that you’re not gonna buy anything from any fitness person who market stuff, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Now, I do have some sources that I personally use to get good unbiased advice or at least to keep me abreast of the latest research so that I can make educated decisions when I see a new supplement come out, or I see some new fitness technique come out, and I think that’s important. That if you are gonna buy something, you don’t just buy it based on the claim or when someone tells you but you go out and you do your research. So I wanna give you a list of some of the – some of the research sources that I use. Is that cool with you, Brock?
Brock: I think that’s…
Ben: Is that okay if I do that?
Brock: …fantastic because that’s exactly what I do and I think also when I do buy stuff and it doesn’t work out for me, I don’t get mad at the people who sold it to me. That’s the other thing I don’t understand like if you do go ahead and buy this stuff then like give it a try, if it doesn’t work, oh well. If it does work, fantastic!
Ben: I will admit, there are too many people in the fitness industry taking like 20 research studies, toss them at the bottom of the article to make the article look like it’s legit and if you go on, you look at the research studies, you see that they actually don’t match up to the claims being made in the article, right? So like you know, hybridized foods caused blindness and then you scroll down and you might see that whatever, the consumption of ungodly amounts of GMO-based soy in rats caused some you know, cataract issues, right? You can’t extrapolate say it’s gonna you know, eating a seedless watermelon is gonna make a human blind, right? So you the listener, yeah, you have to go – you can extrapolate sometimes but a lot of times you can’t – so I mean, go look! Go look at the actual research studies and see what they actually say and yes, that takes work – it takes work. It takes you not being…
Brock: Not a lot of work, though.
Ben: Not being lazy and just clicking ‘buy’ on Amazon. So what are some of the – or some the sources I use? I like the website, it’s Examine – the Examine Research Digest is really good, unbiased research, yes, they do have affiliate links to Amazon-based supplements on that website, but what they don’t do is tell you that about those supplements are going to make you a sex god, you must go buy them right away and you must only buy the Examine branded ones, you know. So I like Examine Research’s Digest, I’ll put a link to all of these in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/330 for those of you who wanna subscribe to some of the same research that I do.
Alan Aragon’s Research Review just unbiased research released once a month, they take 10 to 20 of the top studies in fitness, nutrition, health for that month, they break them down, they talked a lot about statistics, it’s a good education as well – a good way to see how a smart person breaks down the science and even shows that a lot of these research studies are flawed, but it teaches you methods, analytics, statistics, you got a prone on your propeller hat to read this stuff but that’s another good one. Alan Aragon’s Research review that one’s like $10 a month, I think the Examine Research’s Digest is – I wanna say somewhere around $20 a month, I don’t remember, I pay for both of them.
Brock: Yeah. I wanna know what the atomic weight of Alan Aragon is.
Ben: Ah, you made a joke.
Brock: I made a chemist periodic table joke.
Ben: That’s funny.
Ben: Stone Hearth Newsletters – this is a free one – Health, Medical & Science Updates, okay? They just send you the latest health, medical and science updates, good way to keep abreast of the literature, good way to know what’s going on and to you know, keep your finger on the tab of whether eggs are gonna kill you on Monday or you know, save you on Friday depending on the time of the year that we decide to vilify eggs. SuppVersity is a good one – suppversity.com website – they actually break down a lot of good research studies in fitness, nutrition, supplementation and they don’t really sell you – I don’t think anything, I don’t know if there’s ads on that website, but it’s good writing, it’s good material. I need to get that guy on the podcast some time actually ‘cause I like his stuff. Another one I like even though he does have a book to sell is the Perfect Health Diet website, just because Paul Jaminet – the proprietor of the said website – is a former astrophysicist and like software programmer, he’s just really smart, he breaks down studies in really, really good way. We’ve talked about many of those studies before in the podcast but that’s another one that I personally follow. Few more I like, Mark’s Daily Apple the “link love” that he releases every weekend that’s just chock full of like the latest fitness, nutrition research, Chris Kresser does a similar thing with his Round Up – releases just a bunch of kinda like the latest – it’s kinds like we do in our News Flashes section of this show but you know, a lot of those sources you know the Perfect Health Diet blogs, SuppVersity, Stone Hearth Newsletters, the Examine Research’s Digest, Alan Aragon’s Research Review, Chris Kresser’s Round Up, Mark’s Daily Apple “link love” – now you’re starting to build if you’re kinda like you know, and I spend you know good hour each morning reading 40 to 60 different articles you know, and a lot of them are articles that I find through some of the sources I’ve just listed. But if you start to educate yourself, you don’t need to worry, you don’t need to worry of someone’s pulling a fast one over on you because you know how to go out and research that stuff for yourself. And again, like I mentioned you know, I’m fully aware I own a supplement’s website, right? Like greenfieldfitnesssystems.com sells fitness gear, it sells supplements – a lot of supplements that I’ve personally created the actual formulations for, or that I have formed relationships with the people of different supplement companies I’ve gone and toured their facilities, invented their stuff, I will speak to their ethics and their quality, and the fact their stuff isn’t laced with unhealthy ingredients, there is coaches on that website, there’s gear right? There’s stuff like I make money in the fitness industry, that’s what I do. It’s what I’ve done since I was 15 years old teaching tennis lessons in my back yard and but I won’t do is make claims that is unfounded or that is not based on research and if I do make that claim, I will say right away that it’s woo-woo, right? Like I wrote a whole article on chromotherapy two weeks ago on bengreenfieldfitness.com about red light and blue light and yellow light and green light, and the effects that ayurvedic medicine has proposed that those have on the human body. And I said right away, “Hey folks, there’s zero research to back this up, this is total woo-woo. This is blue sky stuff but I can tell you that when I go in my sauna and I use the blue light in the morning and I use the red light at night, I feel better and I sleep better.” And I’m fine telling you that, and if you wanna go you know, get a sauna, here’s my link and I make a few bucks off of that and I’m fine with that like but I mean the deal is be straight forward, right? Like tell people what’s up, tell them if there is research, tell them if there isn’t research, don’t blow the research out of freaking proportion and you know, this guy makes some good points in this article but I think he also shelves some people under the bus without actually knowing their full story. And I think you do have to be careful with that because you know, these people are out there supporting their families and I think that there are some folks who – let me put it this way, I never like it when just one side of the story is being told. I like to see both sides of the story, I’d love to see Dave Asprey right like come on and talk about you know, like his assistant army whose quoted in that article like his former assistant who says that he like flaked on research and stuff like that.
I’d love to see Dave’s response in the comments right? Like that’s the cool thing about the internet, too is we can have conversations just like we’re having right now, people can come out and defend other people, people can defend themselves and so I would say at this point you know, any fair journalism at least who’ll give a crack to the other guy that to tell their other side of the story.
Brock: Yeah. I’d love to live in a world where altruism was where you’re able to make a living off of just being good, just being a good person but you can’t – you can’t just live off of the well-being of others, you have to make some money and that’s okay.
Ben: I’d love to live in a world where to be a bad-ass hunter gatherer, you don’t have to eat colon.
Ben: It’s just not the reality.
Brock: You don’t know that. Maybe it’s delicious.
Bill: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Bill Montgomery. Thanks for answering my extreme master question. I have two more questions for you: every weekend I climb the mountain typically elevation games between 3,500 and 5,000 feet, nearly only one time 5,000 feet one time a year, but I carry 20.5 lb. pack and do you think that’s good type of exercise? And I’m 70 years old by the way, I’ve got a few knee problems, also tore my quad tendons last year but they’re healed up quite a bit. So wanna see what you thought about that. Appreciate it, thanks. Great, great job guys, bye.
Brock: I like the cut of Bill’s jib.
Ben: I like the cut of Bill’s jib. I don’t know what jib means, I don’t know what cut means, I don’t know if I just offended Bill, I don’t know if that some…
Brock: No, it’s a good thing.
Ben: …strange, Brock-ish, Canadian phrase but…
Brock: No, that’s a sailor phrase. It’s like if you‘ve cut your jib properly, then it’s a – then you’re smooth sailing.
Ben: Hmm. Nice. Okay, well, cool. I’m both circumcised and I have a cut jib then, so.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: There you go. Anyways, you know what’s scary about mountain climbing? And this is actually 6000 plus, plus feet and by the way, whenever you hear about altitude, it’s almost always 6000 feet at which effects kick in – whether be the positive effects of training altitude or like altitude sickness and the deleterious effects of altitude.
Brock: Yeah and altitude in quotation marks is 6000 feet.
Ben: Right. And I was sleeping you know, everywhere we – I basically range from 11 to 13 through Colorado last week and I was thinking about this little bit because when I worked here in the exercise physiology lab in Spokane, that one of my colleagues there studied mountaineers. And he actually studied this older guy that climbed Mt. Everest, and they did like a brain scan of this guy after he had climbed and what they found was that there – when he returned from altitude, the spaces that surround the blood vessels actually drained brain fluid when you are climbing at altitude and what that can cause is brain cell death and what are called subcortical lesions in the frontal lobes. Meaning if you spent too much time with lack of oxygen at very high elevation, your brain actually shrinks. So, the walls of blood capillary start to leak – that leak fluid can cause swelling, it can press the brain outward against the skull, it can cause the optic nerve to swell like against the back of the eye, it can affect vision…
Ben: (chuckles) just like seedless watermelons, and…
Ben: Basically, high amounts of time spent above 6000 feet and even more so above 8000 feet can actually start to be bad for you if it’s combined with like hard, physical exertion, okay? And the guy who we studied was an old guy or not the guy who we studied, the guy who might call you during lab studied was an old guy and he actually had irreversible brain damage from climbing.
Ben: This goes on Everest. So you do have to be careful if you are (chuckles) basically an old mountaineer, right? Like, be careful and know that there’s a lot of diminishing returns with time spent at altitude performing hard when the air is thin. But climbing a mountain 3500 to 5000 feet like Bill says, carrying a pack – I’m a huge fan of that – I’m a huge fan of that because it’s ancestral, right? Like you’re out, moving, carrying, combination of lifting heavy stuff, cardiovascular fitness – I like it. And you don’t, even if you’re listening in, there are ways that you can do that’s right, like I’ve been doing a ton of inclined treadmill work. I have this thing called Nordic, what’s it called? The Nordic Track, Nordic Trainor – it’s an inclined treadmill, that the Nordic – it’s… I’ve… nordictrack.com something like that. Anyways though, it goes up to 40% inclined and the cool thing about that is I can stare at the white wall of my garage, that’s not the cool part, that’s the….
Ben: …boring, shoot yourself in the head part, but you can climb and climb and climb and not descend because that’s the tricky part about mountaineering and especially mountaineering with a pack on.
And I screwed my knees up a couple of times this year competing in those Train to Hunt competitions ‘cause you’re running down steep hills with a really heavy pack on. You know in this case, a 100lbs. but basically, the idea is that if you are hiking weighted, remember what goes up must come down. And so if you’re old and you’re concerned about like joint-pain, knee-pain, hip-pain etc. but you wanna get the benefits of climbing, you may have to figure out a way to kinda hack things like you can hike on an inclined treadmill, you can hike on stairs. There’s this one workout that my coach gave me a few times when I was travelling and you would climb the hotel’s stairwell, right? And then you take the elevator down and then you climb the hotel stairwell and take the elevator down, so that’s another kinda cool way to mitigate the effects. You can do…
Brock: Bill can get a helicopter to meet him at the top of the mountain.
Ben: You can do push-ups in the elevator. Yes, you can get your helicopter or you could I mean, that’s what a lot of skiing is like back country skiing, right? And I like that, too. Like you hike up and you ski down, so and that takes some stress off of knees as well. So anyways though, I like it but I would caution Bill that you’re still missing out on some of the things that have been shown to cause like testosterone to stay elevated or growth hormone to stay elevated or even to decrease the rate at which telomere shorten as you age. So specifically, that is the stimulus of type 2 muscle fibers. So what this means is that when you look at for example, they did a study at Boston University and they found that when you replace type 1 muscle fibers with type 2 muscle fibers which is primarily what you do now with endurance training, now with long periods of time spent climbing but rather with strength training, right? Like 4, 6, 8, 10 reps with heavy weight, with either slow and controlled or even in some cases like powerfully in a gym, you can actually turn on and off genes by activating type 2 muscle fibers in a specific type of genes that are called the AKT1 gene – that gene decreases the rate of which telomere shorten. It has this anti-aging effect and there are some other studies that have shown that there is a growth hormone effect as well as a testosterone increasing effect that occurs in response to lifting heavy stuff that you don’t get with endurance-based exercise. I will personally, like two things I guarantee that I will do going into old age and while in old age is a.) I will take creatine because creatine has been shown to have cognitive performance benefits in elderly in multiple studies to stave off like symptoms of Alzheimer's and stuff like that. And I will also lift heavy weights not only to stave off muscle loss but also to maintain growth hormone, to maintain testosterone into decrease the rate at which this telomere shorten. So yeah, I’d say like if hiking weighted works for you, that’s fine but understand that that’s still not resistance training, right? For me to hike up a mountain, that’s still hundreds or thousands of reps versus you know, like whatever, 8 squats under a barbell. So I’d say do both, don’t rely, don’t put all your eggs in the mountain climbing with the 20.5 lb. pack bucket, so that’s my advice. By the way, I just got on writing a really in what in my opinion is a good article. Pat myself on the back there, “praise my own lips” as my mom used to say – no, what she’s not praising my lips. Don’t let your own lips praise you.
Ben: Also don’t praise your own lips.
Brock: Don’t praise your own lips.
Ben: Even if they’re supple and red and beautiful. It’s called “How To Look Good Naked and Live a Long Time” and in it I go into something you and I talked about on a podcast a few weeks ago, Brock. We talked about what would the perfect exercise routine looked like if you wanted to a.) look good naked plus b.) live a long time, that article’s coming out on Monday. So I’m not gonna belabor the point right now on the show but if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, or if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com this Monday, you’ll get to read the entire exercise program that I recommend for the combination of looking good naked, living a long time and being like those people who in the back of airline magazines with their shirts ripped off which also involves injecting ungodly amounts of horse steroids in your left butt cheek but we won’t touch that.
Brock: You know without having read that article, I have a feeling you’ve had me doing that workout program for the last couple of months.
Ben: I started to do a lot of research and I’m on implementing these set of strategies with my clients now – these things are a little more proven – one of the reasons for that, too is more and more now and I’m not coaching triathletes and marathoners, I finding myself more coaching like CEOs and people who wanna live a long time, people who want to look good naked. I’m like – I’ve been coaching a lot of prostitutes actually.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: (chuckles) Fun!
Ben: So, yeah, it’s fun stuff. Prostitute CEOs.
Bradley: Hi Ben, this is Brad in Pennsylvania. My wife uses the Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner to clean our countertops. Is this the safe way to clean our countertops? Or are there better options out there?
Brock: I’ve seen that method stuff all over the place these days, it’s popping all over.
Ben: Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner. They actually have the limited edition beach sage version on Amazon. Did you know that?
Brock: Is that the scent?
Ben: I believe that beach sage is probably the scent. I would guess is that what’s referring to although perhaps it has little chunks of beach sage we’re gonna… there’s that too, seems like they would gum up the works of the spray bottle. I’ll tell you what, here is the simple and easy step for any of these stuff, so rather… allow me to teach you how to fish rather than giving you a fish. So there’s a website called the…
Brock: About fish?
Ben: Don’t get distracted, Brock.
Ben: There’s a website called the environmental working group ewg.org. I’ll put a link to this in the show notes and on the environmental working group website they have a guide. They have guides that rank from a score of A all the way down to a score of F. Cleaners, personal care products, you name it, right? And including some of these method products as well as I mean literally 20,000 different products they have on this website or maybe as 2,000 – I don’t know – I’m not good in Math but they’ve got thousands and thousands.
Brock: It doesn’t really matter.
Ben: At least 2,000. Anyways though, whenever I am analyzing a cleaner or something that I want to use that I’ve decided is just gonna be a pain in the ass to make myself, I go to this website. So let’s go there right now, shall we?
Brock: Yes let’s.
Ben: (Tun-tun-ta-tun sound) ewg.org, okay, I’m there. I’m gonna search for Method All Purpose Surface Cleaner – okay, ewg.org – it turns out they don’t have beach sage on, they’ve got ginger yuzu though.
Ben: Let’s click on ginger yuzu. So ginger yuzu – it looks like it has a B, they give it a B.
Brock: It’s not bad.
Ben: What they say is that the ingredients disclosed on the label are purified water, glucocide, ethyl levulinate glycerol, sodium citrate, ethanol, fragrance oil blend, coconut oil, annatto extract – here’s the one that concerns me because a lot of these benzos are have potential for carcinogenicity – I spit that one out: this one’s called benzisothiazolinone. I don’t know what that is, so I don’t know if I would spray it on the same countertop that I’m chopping kale on. They say that the reason it gets a B+, this particular one is that it has looks like it’s got mild concern for cancer, respiratory effects and nervous system effects. So that brought it down a little bit of a notch and the reason that there are some of those concerns or some of those things that I just listed. And I could go back to general purpose cleaners and I could see what products scored an A, so I’m gonna click A – so I… okay, here we go: number 2 on A is Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner. When I click on that one it’s got a A+, doesn’t have any cancer risks in it, it’s still got something that it says may cause asthma or respiratory issues for some people specifically sodium lauryl sulfate and coco betaine. But it’s a cool website because I can go in there and just search for anything I use and again, like it’s in my opinion almost always best to just make it yourself but I know a lot of people don’t have the time to do that. So use the environmental working groups website, I mean that’s what it’s there for – that’s where all those family environmental working group people on white lab coats are there typing away in a room full of servers somewhere – that’s what they’re doing: is making this easy for you. What do I do for cleaning my own surfaces? Well first of all, I’ll put a link in my show notes to an entire article I’ve written on How to Detox Your Home. There are literally dozens and dozens of recipes from me and my wife in that article but my go-to is I take a few drops of oil of oregano as an anti-viral, it’s an anti-bacterial, it’s not gonna make you blind, you can eat as many cherry tarts as you want while you take it (laughs)…
Ben: And I mix that with water and a little bit of lemon and spray that on the countertop and that has some very, very good deep cleansing effects and it works, right? Like I always have a bottle of oil of oregano in the fridge, too just for using you know, if there’s a sickness going around the house or if I have to knock out you know, some kind of infection: big toe nail fungus, you name it. But you know, I use oil of oregano with some lemon juice. My wife’s got all these different blends that she uses that I go into that detox your home article but ultimately, like that’s my method. As you go to the environmental working group’s website, you use their handy-dandy search function, if you don’t have the internet or your workplace is blocked the environmental working group’s website, then just tap a friend do this for you or…
Brock: Or go to the library.
Brock: Go to the library, many ways you could skin that cat, so there you go.
Aleksi: Hello Ben and Brock. This is Aleksi from Finland – yeah, that crazy sauna country (chuckles). I really love the show and it has been the highlight of our morning to listen it for learning new and awesome things about health and fitness overall, so thanks! But anyways, here’s my question: can I use dried herbs to make my own greens drink? Thanks!
Ben: Aleksi is from Finland.
Brock: (chuckles) Yes.
Ben: That’s why Aleksi’s name sounds like Helsinki. As a matter of fact I think everybody in Finland has a name that ends in “I”.
Brock: S – I.
Ben: I think I need to change my name to Binki – to go over there and speak at the conference. It would probably be a good idea. Binki Greenfield-ski, Greenfieldski – there we go, Binki Greenfieldski.
Brock: That’s… that’s almost foolish.
Ben: (murmurs) What’s the Nostrovia? Yes, Binki Greenfieldsinki Nostrovia. What do we drink? Okay, dried herbs to make a greens drink – so, yes! You could absolutely use dried herbs to make a greens drink. Here’s the deal: I don’t do a lot of greens drinks, I don’t do a lot of juices and frankly it’s because I like to get the fiber, and I like to get the satiety and the prebiotics that is like the fiber compounds that probiotics in your gut will feed on. And so, I tend to do smoothies and like shakes and stuff like that more than I tend to do juices. But I will often go out and I’ve talked about this on a recent podcast you know, when we interviewed like the wild crafted herb botanist, people like that – and I’ll go out on my property and I’ll find nettles, I’ll find mint, I’ll find wild dandelion and I’ll find like plantain – I’ll bring those back and gather them together and some are herbs and some are plants and some are grasses and I would put those into my smoothie, right? I’ll coat it with my coconut milk and my chocolate and all that jazz, and I’m a huge fan of adding in these types of herbs and plants to smoothies. As far as which ones I’m a fan of – first of all fresh is gonna be better than dried. Not only are you gonna get better texture, more water content, more fiber but the fresher versions of herbs tend to simply have more anti-oxidant activity versus the dried versions – so that’s something to think about: the fresher, the better. You also get more – we talked about this on a recent podcast about chlorophyll, how when you eat fresh plants you get high amounts of chlorophyll on your blood stream and there’s new evidence showing that the UVA and UVV radiation from sunlight may help you to convert that into ATP – really kinda cool stuff.
Ben: Showing that humans are indeed plants.
Brock: We’re just like trees.
Ben: We are no different than plants. That’s right. Let’s be quiet and grow for a little while.
Brock: (makes sounds)
Ben: (grunts) That doesn’t sound like growing. It sounds like something else.
Brock: I have a new leaf!
Ben: (laughs) I do not have a leaf. Okay, anyway, the herbs that I like. So some of the ones that I use: basil – also known as basil, depending where you’re from.
Ben: Basil is good for your kidneys and actually helps to remove waste products and toxins from your bloodstream, so specifically targets the kidneys – good for the kidneys, I’m a fan of adding that one. Cilantro has the ability to bind heavy metals and that one I’ve talked about before on the show before, it’s good for like liver detoxification – I’m a huge fan of adding that to smoothies as well. Mint as a digest thief – mint is a really, really good herb, and then another one that I like is parsley because parsley is similar to cilantro and also basil, has a little bit of detoxification effect in terms of helping your kidney and or your kidneys in most people’s cases…
Ben: …and your liver. But it also helps your bladder you know, parsley is something that’s known as like a natural remedy for UTIs, it also helps to filter fluids and flush them out of the body – so parsley is another one. Those are four that I typically have, will have around in our refrigerator: basil, cilantro, mint and parsley.
Brock: That’s will cure blindness.
Ben: They also cure blindness, that’s right. But there are ton of others that you could use, right? Like thyme, cinnamon, clove, cacao, ginger, nutmeg, pepper and turmeric are really good combinations ‘cause pepper helps the – what are called the bioperines in pepper helps to activate the curcuminoids in turmeric. So that’s always like a good blend to add in if you want yourself little black pepper, turmeric smoothie which just to me sounds like a hideous way to start your day but…
Ben: If it appeals to you, then do it. Anyways though, bigger fan of doing the smoothie route though and I kinda got sidetracked but the reason is because not only you get more fiber and more probiotics, but you are less likely to be just like mainstreaming starches, sugars or fructose in your bloodstream which is a lot of times what juicing can do.
I’m sure there are juicing recipes that I like, right? Like I like to blend up for example, ginger, turmeric and carrot juice and then once I make it, I add some olive oil and I add some sea salt – that’s actually a nice kinda tangy-like juice like that one.
Ben: So I call my anti-inflammatory blend “Ben Greenfield’s Famous Anti-inflammatory Blend”. Anyways though, the other thing that I should mention, there are a bunch of paper bags hanging all over from the ceiling of our kitchen right now because my wife is drying herbs in the kitchen, and that’s actually kind of a cool way to do it as well. She’s written the title of each herb on a paper bag and she has it hanging from the top of the kitchen and then will grind those, right? You can use your pepper grinder, you could use your mortar and pestle – whatever you like and you could grind the herbs, you could even put them and this is kinda cool, she talked about this in a recent Inner Circle magazine that she puts out every month. You can fill an ice cube tray half, full of water and you put the herbs in the ice cube tray and this actually freezes them in the water. And you can thaw them or pop them out whatever you wanna use mint sauces and soups and stuff like that. So what I would say is anybody wants to get started on the herbs and the smoothie bandwagon, like I mentioned, I like parsley, mint, cilantro and basil as like the my four go-tos, but there’s a lot of other – a lot of other good ones as well but I always try to pick just like 2 to 4 throw ‘em smoothie. Yeah, they’re fantastic and I’m a big fan of herbs – herbs of all variety. Dried herbs, fresh herbs, my friend Herb who picks up the garbage on Tuesday, you name it.
There'sa: Hi Ben. Hi Brock, this is There'sa calling from Minnesota. I have a question regarding nasal breathing and breathing ladders specifically nasal breathing. I have been training for the Chicago marathon, and after listening to some of your recent podcasts about this, I decide to start breathing nasally while rather than through my mouth as I run. Now the first week I did this it was very difficult, however, within the last three weeks it has becoming increasingly easier and I have noticed a significant amount of energy that I’ve gained specifically on my long runs. Now, my question is when I go to run my event, do I do it with nasal breathing or do I incorporate mouth breathing to get even better results for the Chicago Marathon, or do I just use mouth breathing alone? Not really sure how to proceed when it comes to running events while training with nasal breathing. My next concern is I developed an awful sore on my lower lip – I assumed this is from keeping my lips closed and having my lower teeth rub in that area. It is almost like a cold sore on the inside of my mouth. Eventually it goes away but I’m just wondering if there’s a way to prevent that or to keep it from happening especially during my long runs. Thank you so much for answering my questions. I appreciate your podcast so much; they have certainly become a part of my running – not to mention they have made me more efficient runner and a faster runner at that. Keep them coming!
Ben: (nasal breathing sounds) That’s my nasal breathing sounds like right now.
Brock: It’s pretty clear.
Ben: That’s the problem with nasal breathing. (nasal breathing sounds) is that right there, nasal breathing in the morning. We call them snot rockets.
Brock: I’m pretty cool right now.
Brock: It’s pretty good.
Ben: So the fact is, and I talked about this quite a bit in my book and I’ve talked about this before in podcast interviews with like Budd Coates who wrote the book “Running on Air” who or John Dourard, Douyard.
Brock: John Douillard.
Ben: The guy who wrote the book – I think it’s called “Mind, Body, Life” or something cheesy like that. Anyways though, both these guys talked about breath work in fact that there’s like this ayurvedic approach to breath work nasal breathing that’s been shown in literature to have a variety of effects. And it’s why I’m a fan of nasal breathing not only when you’re just like, you know typing at the your office or whatever but also during exercise. So some of the benefits that nasal breathing has: first of all you got these upper lobes in your chest and what are called barrier receptors and they’re activated…
Ben: (laughs) No, barrier receptors.
Ben: Boobs are different.
Ben: Yes. But barrier receptors are fun, too. Barrier receptors, if stimulated by shallow chest breathing can cause a cortisol release, and when you do nose breathing, you avoid that and you activate more of your parasympathetic than your sympathetic nervous system. Which is why if you’re getting something like tracking heart rate variability and you begin to breathe through nose rather than through your mouth, you’ll notice almost immediately, your heart rate variability score, the strength of your nervous system interplay begins to increase.
So what else? The lower lobes of your lungs tend to be activated a little bit more when you’re doing nasal breathing, and these lower lobes profuse more Co2 out of the body, and there’s another study that shows that when you do a nasal breathing you tend to remove more Co2 and you remove Co2 more efficiently which is a good thing. It results in kinda more like alkaline effect because one of the bout waste of the body, monitors and adjust your PH and in addition to the kidneys is via your breath. So, some other things when you breathe into the lower lobes of your lungs which is what happens when you do nasal breathing, that massages and exercises your diaphragm, and so you get a lot more diaphragmatic action when you do that, and when the diaphragm has a lot to contract and relax, that massages the stomach. And so there can actually be some assistance with digestion as well which is really interesting. So you may find that by avoiding shallow chest breathing – your constipation goes away, so there’s that, too. So deep nasal breathing is good for your digestion. It engages more of the ribs – it’s interesting to say it looks at rib activation in nasal breathing and they found that the ribs acts as like the livers that help to massage the heart and the lungs in almost exact like this cage that squeeze the heart and lungs during the day. And you enhance that effect when you are doing a nasal breathing versus shallow chest breathing. Nasal breathing has been shown to pull lymph fluid from the lower part of the body, up into the chest cavity, into the heart and healthy and active lymphatic flow is of course how our bodies supports healthy immune system activity. Another study looked at nasal breathing and alignment of the spine, the head and the neck, and when you breathe through the nose, you automatically pull yourself into better postural alignment. So but wait, there’s more!
Ben: Nose breathing is shown – been shown to increase the production of nitric oxide, so nitric oxide is vasodilator, expands blood vessels, increases blood flow, protects organs from damage and it’s been shown to be produced in higher quantities during nasal breathing compared to mouth breathing which is probably why nasal breathing also lowers your heart rate like ‘cause your vessels are bigger, there’s less resistance to your heart pumping and also lowers your breath rate. Nasal breathing has been shown to increase alpha brainwave activity as well. So beta brainwaves are more associated with the stress response, alpha brainwave’s in more of like that deep relaxation or meditative state brainwave and nasal breathing increases the alpha brainwave activity. It’s been shown that nose breathing exercises has used during recovery from exercise – results in shorter recovery times where you pay back your oxygen debt more quickly and better endurance during exercise. The last thing that I noted in terms of research is that compared to mouth breathing, nasal breathing results in 50% more parasympathetic nervous system activation. Meaning way less of a fighter-flight response. So, all of that being said, if I haven’t yet convinced you that you need to train yourself to be comfortable breathing through your nose, both at rest and during exercise – if I haven’t yet convinced you of that, then you’re probably one of those who (inhaled through the nose) tries to breathe through their nose and this happens, right? (inhale sounds) and it just like you can’t get a breath. Well, there is good news: there are two products that athletes – well one has been used for a long time, one is new and both of these are recommended by those two guys I’ve mentioned Budd Coates and John Douillard who wrote these books on nasal breathing. And a lot of athletes including like Chris Froome – the guy who… I think Chris – did he win the Tour de France, last year?
Brock: I don’t…
Ben: Yeah they’re – one ______ [1:09:01.8] he came darn close, Chris Froome. Anyways, a lot of like endurance athlete, marathoners, cyclists are using these now – and we all know if they use it, you should too.
Ben: That’s the life.
Brock: Everything they use on the tour should be used in everyday life.
Ben: (laughs) We all know that. Assuming that you are going through P-test, Breathe Right Strips are number one – so Breathe Right Strips if you have difficulty with nasal breathing, they can open up your nasal cavities and help you to move air in and out. I will warn you, if you have seasonal allergies like hay fever and you go out on a run using a Breathe Right Strip, you’re gonna take your hay fever and like push the maximize volume button on it. You gotta be careful. So if you have allergies, fix the allergies before you go out on a run with Breathe Right Nasal Strips breathing through your nose, and we’ve had other podcast about How to Fix Seasonal Allergies. But there’s another one that’s even sexier, it’s called the Rhinomed Turbine Nasal Dilator.
Brock: (curse word)
Ben: The Rhinomed Turbine Nasal Dilator, and it is exactly what it sounds like – it’s this, I have not used it before I would admit, I’m still old school, I still uses the Breathe Right Strips when I wanna go out for a run and use the deep nasal breathing, and I’m a little bit congested.
But the Turbine which you can actually get off of Amazon – it’s a basically like a nostril stent for lack of a better word right? Like it right and going on top of your nose like a Breathe Right Strip, it goes inside your nose. It comes in 3 different sizes, so whether you have a small and dainty nose or whether you have a biohacked nose that you’ve had implanted at the Biohackers Summit in Finland, you can basically get these Turbine Strips and insert them gently, insert them gently into the – into the nasal cavity and they apparently…
Brock: There’s only picture on Amazon on how you put that into your nose?
Ben: They do.
Brock: Oh, they do! There you go, okay. Ah, that makes more sense. I couldn’t figure out where the little arch way went.
Ben: Yeah they kick the butt of these Breathe Right Strips apparently. Full disclosure, I have yet to try the Rhinomed – it’s on my wish list on Amazon, it is $16, so I gotta save up for it.
Brock: $16 for three.
Ben: I didn’t know that they were sort of disposable. I guess it makes sense that they’ll be disposable; otherwise you’d have a green, crusty Rhinomed Turbine Nasal Dilator sitting on your bed stand after each workout which would be gross.
Brock: That so you could wash them.
Ben: You could wash it, that’s right. Washable would be more environmentally friendly. So anyways, as far as nasal breathing, I would say that yeah, as far as using it during your race, I would totally nasal breathe during the marathon. When I did – I don’t know if I was in Canada or in Hawaii a couple of years ago I wore the Breathe Right Strip all during the bike and did the deep nasal breathing and just to keep myself not only in a low heart rate zone but also to get all the benefits that I just got on talking about. So yeah, I’m a fan, just you know as of anything – perhaps you’re training perhaps in your racing? Probably not gonna work for you if you struggle with seasonal allergies, I can tell you right now, but otherwise definitely worth doing – yes, you can use nasal breathing not just during like longer endurance efforts but also during more intense efforts, you just have to train yourself to move that amount of oxygen in and out and it takes going out and doing workouts while forcing yourself to breathe nasally, so…
Brock: I just wanna – I know There'sa like the way she was asking the question, it seems like she wanted to know more about like if she was to now switch, now she’s trained herself to sort of work on the nasal breathing if she switch to mouth breathing, could she actually get more benefit from that at this point in her training ‘cause she’s sucking to be able to get more air through the bigger hole.
Ben: Yeah, I see what she’s saying. So theoretically, if you’ve done batch of nasal breathing, you may have a stronger diaphragm, you may have stronger inspiratory and expiratory muscles, and you may somehow move more oxygen and like increase what’s called tidal volume when you switch from nasal to mouth breathing. But at the same time, you lose a lot of the benefits that I just got talking about, right? Like alpha brainwave production, activation of the lower lobes of the lung, lower lobes of the lungs, your activation of that cage that surrounds the lungs and the heart. So, I would say that you know, going back to what I was talking about as far as like research and stuff goes. I’ve seen no research tell theoretical blue sky but theoretically yeah, like if you’re used to nasal breathing and you start doing mouth breathing instead when the going gets tough, you may feel like you’ve got access to a whole new world of oxygen.
Brock: Yeah, I’d say like in – especially in the Chicago Marathon, it starts off pretty flat and it gets a little wonkier near the end, so maybe at three quarters of the way through the race is when she should maybe switch to mouth breathing and get that final kick.
Ben: So if there’s anything you learned from today’s episode, when things get wonky, breathe through your nose baby.
Brock: (chuckles) If you learned one thing.
Ben: So speaking of wonky, we do have a review for this week. But before we actually get to our review, don’t turn off the podcast ‘cause we do have something we wanna tell you about here towards the end so. But first, iTunes review. So, since it’s been a little while since I’ve reminded you of this. If you haven’t yet left a review in iTunes, please do so, it helps us – it helps us get ranked really, really high in iTunes, it helps us be a podcast like ‘This American Life’ or ‘Serial’ – not really.
Brock: Not really (chuckles).
Ben: But it does help us to get ranked higher in the health and fitness podcast section since nobody can really beat out any podcast that comes from NPR.
Ben: That being said, go leave us an iTunes review and if you hear your review read on the show and you email us or email specifically [email protected] that’s [email protected], we’ll send you a surprise gift pack with things like a tech t-shirt size, a BPA-free water bottle that just check out just fine in the environmental working group’s website, and also a beanie cap or as Brock would call it – a toque.
Brock: A toque!
Ben: A toque! So that being said, Andy left us a review this week – 5 star review that says “Changed. My. Life.” Now take this one away, Brock.
Brock: That means is to use punctuation a little less liberally. Yes, I will take this away. “When I first started listening I thought the show was kind of boring, a little monotone – but after one week and above 4 episodes I was hooked!” Like that?
Ben: I like that.
Brock: (chuckles) “I listened to y’all when on my walks.” That’s hard for me to say, that’s such an American thing to say.
Brock: That was difficult. “I found myself devouring the shows; I’ve learned so much and have made many professional improvements to my health and body comp. I highly recommend the podcast to my friends and fellow gymmates. Thanks for all y’all do and spreading the y’all word, y’all.”
Ben: I felt you should’ve read that in a deep Southern accent with all the “y’alls”…
Brock: Thanks all y’all.
Ben: Well y’all…
Brock: What’s up y’all?
Ben: Child, y’all want some sweet potato pie? How about some cherry tarts with your butter?
Brock: Some sweet potato pie.
Ben: Mmm-mmm. Eat that butter, baby. You go (curse word) right off your waistline y’all. Y’all hear me now? Anyways yes, speaking of boring and monotone – here’s the deal, ‘cause I did say we’ll announce something special. We have a very, very special guest who is joining us for next week’s Ben Greenfield Fitness Q & A show. Stay tuned because it is a voice that you may become very, very familiar with – in weeks to come I’m gonna leave at that, no I won’t leave at that, I will tell you. I’ll give you two clues: sexy, Australian.
Ben: So, there you go. Stay tuned. More to come but in the meantime, check out the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/330.
Ben: Y’all get out there, have some colon with your butter, have a great day.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
Sep 9, 2015 Podcast: Is Bulletproof Coffee A Scam, The Best Anti-Aging Exercises, The Most Natural Way To Clean Countertops, Can You Use Dried Herbs In A Smoothie, and Should You Use Nasal Breathing When You Race?
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
- Yep, you CAN train your body to burn more fat, despite what Gatorade may tell you.
- Aside from the very end where he sells you a bunch of supplements, this is actually an interesting dietary approach.
- When was the last time you ate some colon?
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Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! New chapters released every 7-14 days.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Is Bulletproof Coffee A Scam?
Trevor says: He is curious what your thoughts are on the recent article “Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider“. It talks about a lot of folks who you’ve discussed on your show, like the Food Babe, Dave Asprey and John Kiefer, and things like Bulletproof Coffee and Carb Backloading being scams. What do you think? Any recommendations for us to dig through the confusion?
In my response, I recommend:
–Mark’s Daily Apple “Link Love”
–Chris Kresser’s “The RoundUp”
–Alan Aragon’s Research Review
–Examine’s Research Digest
–Stone Hearth Newsletters Health, Medical & Science Updates
–Perfect Health Diet blog
The Best Anti-Aging Exercises
Bill says: He climbs a mountain (3500-5000 feet) nearly every weekend. Plus he carries a 20.5lbs pack. He is 70 years old and has had some injuries (knee problems and tore his quad last year). Do you think that is a good form of exercise? *he also asks about Cool Fat Burner Vest – we’ll direct him to old episodes*
The Most Natural Way To Clean Countertops
Bradley says: He and his wife use the Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner to clean their countertops. Is this a safe thing to use to clean or is there a better option out there?
Can You Use Dried Herbs In A Smoothie?
Aleksi says: He is wondering if he could use dried herbs to make his own greens drink.
In my response, I recommend:
–This month’s Inner Circle Healthy Home workshop herb drying course
Should You Use Nasal Breathing When You Race?
There'sa says: She has been training for a marathon using nasal breathing alone. It was hard at first but then it got easier and easier and she has noticed that she has more energy, especially in her long runs. When she actually races the Chicago Marathon, should she incorporate mouth breathing to get even more air or should she continue with 100% nasal?