[04:18] News Flashes: Coconut Oil is Pure Poison?
[11:53] Does a Low Carb Diet Shorten Lifespan?
[16:05] Inulin vs. IMO in Energy Bars
[23:49] Special Announcements
[29:48] Listener Q & A: How to Biohack a Float Tank Experience
[49:30] Reversing the Damage of EMF
[1:06:25] Training with the Maffetone Method
[1:13:52] C-60 for Anti-Aging
[1:20:39] Giveaways and Goodies
[1:24:07] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast: Is A Low Carb Diet Bad For You, Coconut Oil Controversy, Inulin In Energy Bars, Reversing The Damages Of EMF, and much more.
Ben: Brock, I’m beat up.
Brock: Oh no! What happened? Did you get in a fight?
Ben: Kind of? I got in a massage fight… I think. If that’s what you call it.
Brock: Very relaxing fight.
Ben: Yeah, I have a massage therapist. So, I get a massage every week. I try to get a massage every Tuesday night and my massage therapist is… she’s got sharp elbows. She’s got very strong hands. I think her grip strength is probably much, much higher than mine or anyone you see on the World’s Strongest Powerman Competition or whatever that show is on TV. Anyways though, she’s got these big meaty fingers and sharp elbows and she does these crazy techniques. She’s got this one where she pins my teeth and then has me open and close my jaw and she’s got another one where she drives her elbow into my hip flexor and has me extend my leg while I hold my breath and then I release my breath. It causes this massive hip flexor to release, but I wake up the next morning and I feel just… not bruised up, but just a little bit beat up. And then, I feel pretty amazing within about 24 hours.
Brock: And you do this once a week?
Ben: I do this once a week.
Ben: Yeah. So I do a little bit of foam rolling, a little bit of lacrosse ball and stuff like that throughout the week and sometimes I use those crazy massage devices, but once a week I try to lay down on this table that makes pulsed electromagnetic field frequencies, PEMF, and it kind of shakes my whole body. So, if I try to talk during my massage I sound like this. And then, she massages me and she comes over at 8:30, right, about the time my kids are going to bed, and just works on me until about 10:30 and then I go to bed and sleep like a baby.
Brock: It’s interesting that you bring up the massaging in the jaw because I actually, for the first time ever, had that experience not that long ago where she actually put on, my massage therapist, put on these rubber gloves and put two fingers just below my jaw inside my mouth.
Ben: Aw, I was hoping you were going for the jaw.
Brock: And… I’ll just continue. And she put some pressure on there and sort of had me open and close just a little bit. And it was intense! But…
Brock: About an hour later, I was just like, I could talk better, everything was just moving better, it stopped clicking because I’ve got a click in my left jaw bone, not technically TMJ, but just a click that pops up when I’m feeling a little stressed. So, that was a new experience for me, but I’m definitely going to have her do that again because that was an awesome release.
Ben: Good to know your jaw clicks when you’re stressed out. The Human Garage does that when they put on… The Human Garage in LA, they do the rubber glove thing, but my massage therapist just works on it from the outside – no gloves required! However, does your massage therapist use coconut oil because if so, we’re about to talk about how she’s poisoning you.
Brock: Oh crap!
Ben: So Brock, did you see what the Harvard professor has come out with and said? It must be true because they’re a Harvard professor.
Brock: If you’ve had that much schooling, you better be right.
Brock: But, I sort of go ‘huh?’ when you refer to something as ‘pure poison.’ Unless it is pure poison. But, yeah.
Brock: And that’s why we’re all dead.
Ben: This professor, Karin Michels, she based her warning on the high proportion of saturated fat in coconut oil, said it could raise LDL cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease, citing that it contains 80% saturated fat, which is more than twice the amount found in lard or beef drippings, and this thing just took off. Everybody ran with this whole coconut oil is pure poison headline and I looked into some of the research behind coconut oil and whether or not it would be pure poison. Frankly, the fact that she says that it raises LDL on that vilifies it kind of concerns me right off the bat because we know that LDL, in the absence of other risk factors, isn’t really that big of an issue. I actually like to keep my LDL high. I wear that thing like a badge of honor. It’s good for cognition and good for hormones, but anyways there are some studies that go into coconut oil and some potentially deleterious effects of it.
For example, they looked at heart health in one study, and this was way back in the 90s, and they looked at a diet that supplied 75% of the fat calories from coconut oil and they compared that to palm oil and corn oil. And, they did find that there was a high amount of triglycerides and LDL in the folks who had the coconut oil, with triglycerides being the one that might be concerning if you’re concerned about fatty liver issues or potentially really unfavorable triglyceride to HDL ratio. But, no bodies in the streets. There was another study in 2011 that did find high, high intake of coconut oil, compared to extra virgin olive oil, seemed to increase some markers of inflammation. And, you have to be aware that in many of these studies they’re feeding rodent models coconut oil, soy oil, lard, these strange laboratory feeds, and franken-fuels. So, you’ve got to take all this with a grain of salt and a dollop of coconut oil, of course.
Brock: And a dollop of coconut oil! Mmm.
Ben: There were a few other studies, one looked at the polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio to saturated fatty acid ratio in the body and found that it was changed a little bit, you know, maybe you have a decrease in your intake of omega-3 fatty acids when you shift a whole bunch of your fats towards coconut oil, but that’s really not rocket science to figure out. If you decide to shift all the oils and all the fats you take to coconut oil and you aren’t consuming any fish oils or any Mediterranean fats, yeah, that would be an issue. And then, there are a couple of studies that show some amount of gut inflammation when, again, rodents are fed copious amounts of saturated fats and coconut oil, especially in the absence of, and I wrote an article about this two years ago, in the absence of dietary fiber and plant intake meaning that if you’re going to fill your face with coconut oil or butter or any other form of saturated fat, you may want to consume some plants along with it. I’m just saying. So, but when you actually step back and you look at human trials in which they feed actual humans coconut oil and then put them through laboratory tests, you see a pretty different response and there have been studies that were done in the past year on this.
One looked at coconut oil fed to humans, healthy humans, and they found that it increased HDL levels and it increased the proportion of what are called anti-inflammatory lipid subfractions in red blood cell membranes meaning that it actually increased the health of the cell membrane. There was another study that found that, in terms of coconut oil, and this was compared to sunflower oil, there’s absolutely no difference in metabolic response, no rise in blood sugar, no deleterious effect from a metabolic standpoint. There was another study where they took coconut oil and they, again, gave a bunch of coconut oil to real, actual humans…
Brock: Not tiny, little fury ones.
Ben: Yeah, it raised total cholesterol, it raised HDL, and it raised LDL, but ultimately, when compared to safflower oil and some other oils they were feeding the women in this study, there was no increase in inflammation with the coconut oil. There was another study that found that coconut oil, when combined with plant intake, could actually reduce endotoxins and clean up the body, probably because of some of the lauric acid or the caprylic acid in coconut oil and then of course there’s the fact that coconut oil is fantastic for reducing bacterial colonization in the mouth, which is why I and my children do coconut oil pulling every day.
So ultimately, the big argument made in The Guardian was that coconut oil is pure poison because it raises LDL, but we know that LDL is an independent risk factor for heart disease anyways and we also know that coconut oil, as part of a varied diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and plants is absolutely no issue. So basically, eat your other fats, eat your plants, don’t shy away from coconut oil, it’s not pure poison.
Brock: Now, I just want to go back to when we first started this conversation, you said that you wear your high LDL as a badge of honor, now do you keep an eye on the density of the LDL because I remember you bringing that up in the past that there’s still, part of the LDL, that may not be all that beneficial?
Ben: Yeah, you can look at the structure of the LDL particles and what you would like is for the LDL particles to be of large and what we would call, this is the highly scientific term, fluffy variety.
Ben: So, yeah. You want a full cholesterol panel that allows you to look at the actual LDL particles. You also want to evaluate whether or not you have high levels of inflammation, high levels of blood glucose, very unfavorable triglyceride to HDL ratio meaning really high triglycerides, extremely low HDL, those are the type of risk factors that could cause cholesterol to become oxidized. There are also a few specific conditions like familiar hypercholesterolemia, there are genes like PPAR-gene, there are genes like the APOE gene, certain things that respond unfavorably to a high intake of saturated fats more. Those are present in some people, but ultimately this article is bonkers if it’s just saying that coconut oil is pure poison because it increases LDL.
Ben: And as if that weren’t bad enough, yet another article came out this week that I got a whole bunch of questions on and that was whether or not a low carbohydrate diet shortens lifespan.
Ben: This was a… Did you see this one?
Brock: Yeah. I saw this one and, yeah, I won’t… I was going to spoiler it, but I won’t spoiler it.
Brock: Go ahead.
Ben: And don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of my sourdough bread and my sushi and my sweet potato fries. I’m a fan of carbohydrates. They definitely fit into my diet. I’m a total foodie. I’m headed to Japan next week actually and I’ll probably eat boatloads of white rice over there.
Anyways though, this study says that Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. Basically what it found was that when you have a high intake of carbohydrate and a low intake of carbohydrate, both were associated with increased mortality and that was the takeaway and then of course the fact that the low carbohydrate diet along with the high carbohydrate diet was associated with an increased risk of mortality, of course media took this and ran with it and just basically said, ‘well a low carb diet is going to kill you.’
Ben: So, especially if you add a bunch of coconut oil to your low carb diet because then you’ve got pure poison.
Brock: You may as well just stab yourself through the heart.
Ben: Yes, so this study had a bunch of weaknesses. So they collected data over the course of 25 years, so it was a pretty long study, and people were asked to report their diet as far back as six years. So what did you have for dinner five years ago on a Friday night, Brock?
Brock: A hotdog?
Ben: Exactly. Exactly. They also found that the low carb enthusiasts were more like to be male and males automatically have a higher risk of death than women, meaning they die earlier than women. The low carb-ers were more likely to be diabetic, they may have switched to a low carb diet because they’re diabetic, but they didn’t count for the fact that some of these folks may already have a risk factor by being diabetic. They were more likely to be sedentary; they were more likely to smoke, specifically cigarettes.
Brock: Hmm, weird.
Ben: They were more likely to eat fewer plants including fruits and vegetables, which ties into the coconut oil discussion we just had; and they were more likely to be overweight and the scientists did not control for any of these variables in this report. They also didn’t look at alcohol intake and there have been other studies, epidemiological research, that has found that carbohydrate intake goes down when alcohol consumption goes up. So not only were these people male, diabetics, sedentary, smoking cigarettes, eating fewer fruits and vegetables, likely to be overweight, but they were also like to be consuming more alcohol. We don’t address any of those variables and then we simply say, ‘well, a low carb diet appears to be able to reduce health and lifespan.’ I mean, this study has so many holes in it that it’s not even funny. And of course, when we know that controlling glycemic variability, even if you’re not eating a low carb diet, just controlling your blood glucose decreases cardiovascular risk factors, increases metabolic health, reduces inflammation, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers overall risk for mortality. We can basically put a… How do you say it? Bury this study in a deep dark hole six feet under?
Brock: Yeah. Put a nail in it?
Ben: Yeah, put a nail on the coffin of this study because it’s a bunch of bull… So, ultimately, again, I’m not against carbohydrates, but I don’t think that a low carb diet shortens your lifespan. So, that is my take, for all the people who have been tweeting at me asking about coconut oil, asking me about low carb, that’s what I have to say about that. And, there’s actually one other thing I’ve been getting a lot of comments about.
Brock: Oh yeah?
Ben: Would be…
Brock: Is it your hair?
Brock: How’d you get your hair that way?
Ben: I do. Yeah, I’ve got pomade. I use this stuff called… What’s it called? Nature’s Blessing hair pomade. It’s got coconut oil in it and olive oil…
Brock: Uh oh!
Ben: So my hair is going to die from pure poison because it’s a low carb coconut oil-based hair pomade that I use. So, my hair is going to hell in a handbasket.
Ben: And that’s not what I’ve been getting questions about, though. It’s this whole inulin versus IMO issue. It’s no secret that I launched the Clean Food Bar that I’ve been working on for the past year – the Kion Bar. Just chocolatey, salty, coconut-ty goodness and it’s coconut flakes, and cacao nibs, and chocolate liqueur, and cocoa powder, and chia seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, sea salt, the list goes on and on! I just wanted to pack as much real, tasty superfoods as I could into a bar. And one of the things that I talked about in the podcast that I published along with that bar was the fact that I chose to use an organic honey for the probiotics and for the lack of its ability to be able to spike blood glucose and the taste and a whole host of other reasons I chose to use organic, nutrient-dense honey as a sweetener. And, what I did not choose to use was this stuff called isomaltooligosaccharide which is also abbreviated IMO and I got a lot of questions about that because a lot of bars contain IMO. I also got a lot of questions from people who wondered whether or not IMO was the same was inulin, which is also something that you see in a lot of bars. So, I want to clear up the confusion about when you’re looking at the ingredient label of your energy bar and you heard me talking about the dangers of IMO or the potential dangers of inulin, what you actually need to look at.
So IMO, this isomaltooligosaccharide, if you turn it over and you look at the label of your energy bar, basically an oligosaccharide or an IMO is something that food industry makes. They use starch that they process from crops, typically wheat or barley or oats or tapioca or rice or potatoes, they break them down enzymatically and what they produce is this stuff that’s called a high-malto syrup which is supposed to be somewhat indigestible in the human gut. It’s considered to be a non-digestible food ingredient and these oligosaccharides pass through the colon where they wind up getting fermented by the bacteria in your colon. So it can also be classified, technically, as a prebiotic. But the fact is, and I highlighted this in that big podcast that I did about the new Kion Bar, is the idea that it has been shown in research to actually be able to spike blood glucose. So isomaltooligosaccharides is marketed as a low calorie sweetener, you find it in a lot of low carb bars, and it’s labeled as fiber, but it actually is about anywhere, depending on its source, about 2 ½ to 3 ½ calories per gram and has been shown to actually raise blood sugar.
There was a big controversy a few years ago with Quest Nutrition because Quest Nutrition was using IMO in their bars and marketing them as a low carb bar with a high amount of dietary, prebiotic fiber, but it turns out that it actually spiked blood glucose. So, this turned into an issue and Quest wound up switching to a different form of fiber, I forget what they switched to, but ultimately they got rid of that form of fiber. I think they switched to a form of corn. But what you’ll find, even though soluble corn fiber doesn’t really show an impact on blood glucose, there’s still a lot of other companies using IMO in their bars – a lot of companies that are marketing this as a low carb, no carb bar and I have yet to see IMOs be proven to be something that doesn’t spike blood glucose. Now, there are a few people who have done independent trials of their bars that use IMO from specific sources. My friend Dr. Mercola, he uses in his energy bar a cassava. So, cassava is the source of the IMO and he’s shown me some of his blood glucose data and it appears that this IMO derived from cassava doesn’t really appear to be an issue. So it’s possible that there are some forms of IMO that are not an issue, but the majority, the lion’s share of the IMO in most of the bars out there spikes blood glucose and is not really turning a bar into a low carb bar.
Now, the other form of fiber that you’ll find in bars is this inulin stuff. And inulin is not necessarily IMO. So, inulin is a natural storage carbohydrate. We find it in a lot of these type of carbs that cause farts, right, like Jerusalem artichoke, and chickaree, and asparagus, and garlic, and one of the reasons for that is inulin winds up being extremely fermentable in the human gut. A lot of bacteria can utilize what are called the fructooligosaccharides that you find in inulin. And so, they’re relatively unstable in gastric acid, they aren’t broken down very well by the bile, and so whereas inulin doesn’t seem to spike blood sugar as much as IMO, it results in you being that person nobody else wants to hang around with after you’ve had your energy bar because you’re basically a tooting machine. So, that’s the idea behind inulin. I also did not want a bar, especially because a lot of people are consuming this bar while they’re out, I’ve got Ironman triathletes using it, marathoners, and people who are hiking, and people who are just using this, for example, for their kids for soccer games and tennis. I didn’t want to create just a giant fart in a package. So, that’s why I chose not to use inulin and also not to use IMO.
But, the idea is that, yeah, there are some forms of IMO, it appears cassava is one of them that doesn’t seem to really do much of a number on your blood sugar levels. And whereas inulin appears to be a little bit more favorable for blood sugar levels, there’s the whole farting issue with inulin which kind of makes me not likely to consume too many bars with inulin in them. That’s kind of the idea behind using honey, not using IMO, not using inulin, ultimately if you look at your energy bar label and it says inulin, it’s probably still low carb and it’s got a lot of fiber in it, but it’s going to make you fart. So, that’s your decision. And then, if it’s got a lot of IMO in it, you need to look at the source of the IMO. And again, IMO is derived from a whole bunch of different sources these days, but you may just need to go off by n=1 and pull out a blood glucose monitor and if you have a favorite energy bar that has IMO in it, just see if it affects your blood glucose. For me, personally, because honey has the ability to lower the glycemic index of a food, doesn’t cause much of an insulin release at all and doesn’t spike blood glucose in me. The Kion Bar works really well for me and my own blood glucose values. If you are afraid of honey and you feel as though honey is going to give you fatty liver disease and deleteriously effect your metabolism, maybe you just need to go out and find a different bar. But, that’s the idea behind the question of inulin versus IMO. Does that clear things up a little bit?
Brock: Mhm. I just wanted to point out that these news flashes were brought to you by Kion’s new fart bar!
Ben: That’s right. No, it’s a non-fart bar, dude.
Brock: I mean non-fart bar!
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It’s true. You can get it over at getkion.com/bar. Get K-I-O-N.com/bar.
Ben: Well Brock, we already talked about how this podcast is brought to you by a bar that’s going to kill you and ramp your blood sugar levels up through the roof with all that organic honey that it has in it. So, why don’t we continue to harm people by giving them pure poison cereal?
Ben: This brand new organic coconut flake cereal. So, have you had this stuff by the way?
Brock: No, sadly Thrive Market still does not deliver to Canada. Sons of b****es!
Ben: Well, you spilled the beans because I was going to say this podcast is sponsored by Thrive Market and one of the things I order from them is this amazing cereal that’s basically organic coconut meat, organic coconut water, and organic palm starch. It, with a touch of coconut milk or almond milk or hemp milk, tastes absolutely fantastic. You can sprinkle some nuts in there, some almonds, whatever you’re accustomed to sprinkling on cereal. What is it up there in Canada? Rainbow sprinkles?
Brock: Maple syrup of course.
Ben: Maple syrup, of course! So anyways, Thrive Market. What is Thrive Market? Well, they’re this online grocery store. They have over 4,000 different organic products that you can filter by organic or paleo or gluten-free. You get 50% off of every single item every time you order, any order over I think about 49 bucks always ships for free. They’ve got an app where you can easily order on the app. You can order online. They’ve got a whole bunch of stuff on there like healthy items like this coconut cereal that you can’t freakin’ find on Amazon with better prices on most of the organic stuff than you actually get on Amazon. I’ve no clue why more people don’t know about Thrive Market, but it’s the best place to go for organic groceries. They also give, to all of our listeners today, free shipping and a free 30-day trial because it’s one of those things where you buy a membership and that’s how you get all the savings. And, it’s all over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thrive. So, grab yourself some coconut cereal and any other hippiedippie healthy item that you want to throw in there.
Ben: They’ve also got coconut manna, they’ve got coconut… They just have a whole store full of poison!
Ben: So, grab everything over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thrive.
Brock: If you don’t want to leave your house to get your poison, Thrive Market.
Ben: That’s right. Why don’t we just continue down this coconut bandwagon with another thing that I consume frequently that’s got coconut in it? I didn’t realize how close I am to dying until I really started to think about this, but there is this stuff I have, typically after dinner. I mix myself up some of this and I actually put some drops of CBD in it and then I blend it. But it’s turmeric, ginger, reishi, lemon balm, turkey tail which is a mushroom, not the actual tail of a turkey, black pepper which allows you to absorb the turmeric better, acacia fiber, coconut milk, and cinnamon. And, they put all this stuff together and they call it Golden Milk. It’s made by this company called Organifi. Turmeric and reishi infused gold and it’s this gently dried superfood powder, I blend this up, again, I’ll add some CBD to it if I’m drinking it in the evening, this is the ultimate night time beverage. I also like to have crunchy, chewy things on my tea. I almost turn my tea into a smoothie. So I will occasionally sprinkle either cacao nibs or coconut flakes on top of it and it is amazing.
Brock: It’s like a soup baby.
Ben: Yeah. It’s like a soup, kind of, like a chunky soup. Now it sound disgusting. No, it’s actually really good. It’s Organifi Gold and you can get it for 25% off right now. You go to Organifi, that’s Organifi with an ‘I,’ organifi.com or bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi and use the code there and you save 20% off of this amazing golden milk.
And then, if the golden milk is too hot for you or if you want a little something to go along with your golden milk, you can actually get a cold pack for your balls. I’m totally not kidding.
Brock: I know. I transcribed the commercial for this… or the ad for this and I was like, what? But it’s true!
Brock: It’s a cold pack for your nut sack.
Ben: It’s a cold pack for your nut sack made by this company called Primal Cold. It’s based on the idea that when you get your balls cold, you can increase your sperm count, you can increase your testosterone, I don’t know if there are any other benefits besides sperm count and testosterone, but hell, that’s enough for me! So, if you want to get your balls cold with a special pack designed specifically to cradle your balls and keep them cold, that’s what this jetpack does. We’re not joking. You have to see this to believe it. They make this thing called the jetpack. It’s Primal Cold and they’re giving everybody who wants to make cold your secret sexual weapon 15% off your order if you want to do cold thermo for your nut sack. You enter code BEN at primalcold.com, just like it sounds. The one I’m talking about is called the Jetpack. I think they sell some other things too for cold thermogenesis, for women for example who just want to use… I think they have one of these cold packs that you put on your body to increase your adipose tissue to brown fat conversion. But ultimately…
Brock: Do you have to put on your tubes?
Ben: Yeah, the one I want is for the balls. I have one up in my freezer. I put it on the other day and it, as advertised, makes your balls cold. So, there’s that.
Brock: I’m interested in getting my testosterone up, but I’m not that excited or interested in getting my sperm count up. So I’m thinking of just putting it on one nut, maybe?
Ben: You could do a trial. Just get half and wrap it around one nut and see what happens to one nut versus the other nut. There’s all sorts of cool experiments you could do with it. So, check it out! It is primalcold.com. 15% off called the Jetpack.
Ben: Brock, by the way, I totally forgot during our News Flashes to mention any upcoming events that people can partake in. Totally forgot! And of course, if you’re listening in, you want to go visit the comprehensive show notes where I’ll link to all of the coconut oil, and the low carb diet, and the inulin versus the IMO stuff that we talked about, everything else. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/389. That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/389.
Brock and I bust ass on theses show notes so you better go visit it. But we have over there a bunch of different events that you can go to and one that’s coming up, I’m particularly tickled pink about, is this bio-hacking conference in Toronto where they’re bringing in a whole bunch of researchers and physicians and biohacking experts, which basically means people who stick strange things into their orifices, nostrils, ears, anuses, you name it. If you want to go and hang out with people who shove laser lights in their holes, then come to this SPARK Biohacking Conference. It is October 14th through the 16th in Toronto, as you say up there, Toronto, Ontario.
Ben: You don’t say the ‘T’ in Ontario though?
Brock: We do in Ontario, just not in the second “T” in Toronto.
Ben: That’s weird and now I’m confused. Anyways though, Toronto.
Brock: Yeah, we’re a confusing bunch.
Ben: Toronto, Ontario. The SPARK Biohacking Conference. Check that one out. I’m also going to be speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada at a seminar called Live It To Lead It, which is like a health retreat. I’m going to be speaking at the World Congress of America Academy of Anti-aging Medicine in December. Whole bunch of stuff and there are still just a few rooms left, this is planning ahead for those of you who are type A, next June 23rd through July 7th, I am bringing a crowd of our listeners on a health retreat in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland, of all places. And you can come join me in this health retreat where we’ll be doing detoxification, health classes, and amazing organic foods, it’s going to be one of the highlights of the summer for me personally. And plus, you get to hike in the Swiss Alps every day. So, that one I’ll put a link to in the show notes. I think there’s three rooms left, all the rest are sold out. But if you want to go to Switzerland with me in June, you can get in on that. I’ll put a link in the show notes: just got to bengreenfieldfitness.com/389. So, there you have it.
Now can we answer some questions?
Brock: Yes, please!
Ben: Alright, here we go.
Shane: Hey, Ben, it’s Shane from Calgary, Canada. Just a quick question, just wondering if you know of anything you can take when you go into a float tank? I’ve had pretty good experiences so far, but I’d love to be able to go deeper. Thanks, man.
Ben: You ever been in a float tank, Brock?
Brock: I sure have!
Ben: What do you think of them?
Brock: I wasn’t wowed. I wasn’t blown away. It was nice. It was quiet.
Ben: I’ve gone through so much as an open water swim competitor and Ironman triathlete, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the black line of the bottom of a pool and spending a lot of time deep inside my thoughts while swimming for hours in the ocean and I find that when I go into a float tank, I personally, and this is just me, and I have used substances that I’ll talk about here in a little bit in a float tank before. I haven’t found that it moves the dial much for me.
Ben: And I occasionally have breakthroughs, but when I’m in that float tank in isolation, I have the breakthrough, but I don’t have a notepad or something I can write down that thought with and I think of it, say, ten minutes into my float session. For the next 50 minutes, all I think about is that thing that I don’t want to forget.
Brock: Don’t forget the thing. Don’t forget the thing. Don’t forget the thing.
Ben: So then I can’t relax which I why I think I mentioned this before on a podcast that float tanks should install voice recorders inside the float tank so if you come up with something interesting that you want to remember later on you just voice it, you name it, and then it records your float tank session and you can listen to it when you finish your float tank.
Brock: That’s a good idea. You could just leave your phone nearby and just be shouting “Hey, Siri! Hey, Siri!”
Ben: Right. That would work too, although I want that mp3 recording in my float tank session.
Brock: My watch just started… It’s now transcribing what I’m saying because I said “Hey, Siri” several times. Oh! Now my phone is doing it. Oh, jeez!
Ben: I don’t use Siri. I don’t use any of those stuff. Anyways though, so I would love to hear my hallucinations and deep primal screams and everything else that I release while I’m in that float tank.
It was designed though, originally, by this guy, at least from my understanding, this guy named John Lilly. This was an interesting cat. You know about John Lilly?
Brock: Yeah, didn’t he almost die in one?
Ben: Well, this was back in the 60s. Back in the 60s, he somehow got funding by NASA to research whether it was possible to teach dolphins how to speak and NASA’s logic was that if we could somehow learn how to communicate with dolphins, we would have a better understanding of how to converse with extra-terrestrials, if they would ever pop down to us for a visit. So, it’s extremely logical.
Ben: Anyways though, he took a house in the Caribbean and he flooded it with water so that the dolphins could live as closely as possible with him and his research team. And there were even allegations, for example, that they would have sex with the dolphins inside of this flooded home. Don’t worry, if you’re listening in, float tank experience does not necessarily involve a dolphin making love to you or vice versa. But anyways, apparently that was one of the things that happened with this whole Lilly thing and he lost funding for the project, but he kept getting into this float tank stuff and he was really into sensory deprivation tanks. He would not only do sensory deprivation tanks, but he would actually use what would be considered then just recreational drugs. And, he originally started to do this to see if there was a way to get rid of his headaches, but he wound up shooting up ketamine, even IV ketamine, while he was inside of a sensory deprivation tank along with some other psychedelics such as LSD. And this was what he did – this was Lilly’s thing, was these isolation float tanks and he was kind of like the Father of Isolation Tanks and also injecting things like ketamine or taking LSD before you get into a float tank. So, he…
Brock: And his wife had to save him at one point because the ketamine paralyzed him, I believe, and he was drowning. So, his wife had to sneak in there and pull him out.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. That’s something that ketamine can do is sedate you to the point where you feel as though you’re…
Brock: But he was undeterred. He continued to research and do it again.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And somehow these sensory deprivation tanks have become quite common and floated up again, so to speak, in the United States and in Europe and there are people putting them into their homes now. But, they’re been around, like I said, since the 60s or even as early as the 50s. They’ve been used on and off in Europe, for example, since the 70s. And, what folks aside from John Lilly were doing in terms of psychoanalytic researchers and neuroscientists, was they were using the tank to increase creativity or connection to others, or concentration, or to even bring about some type of a psychedelic experience.
So, the way that it works is these float tanks are filled with water that’s almost the same temperature as the human body. They put a bunch of Epsom salt in there, usually it comes from magnesium sulfate, and the salts let you float on the water’s surface, the same way you would in the Dead Sea, for anyone who’s ever gone on toured over Israel – same type of feeling. So you feel really light of body and really peaceful, but you don’t have to tread water or try to stay up. So even if you’re not in the water, you just feel like you’re laying on this bed of this bed of air that’s the same temperature as your body. And, the idea is that this is supposed to induce this deep state of relaxation and turn down the body’s fight-or-flight response. They’ve shown that it may help to lower cortisol levels, it may help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and might even help with things like hormone balance or immunity and even normalization of digestive functions, probably because of the gut-brain axis and the fact that when you downregulate the sympathetic nervous system, you get a little bit of a relaxing effect on the gut. And typically there’s no incoming stimuli, there’s no sensations, you’re in the dark, you’re inside of a tank, typically there’s no music playing and there’s no guided meditation, and you pretty much just are there with your breath in the dark.
It’s an interesting experience, you don’t feel the water on your skin because it’s almost the same as your skin temperature. It would be very similar to meditation in terms of the way that you feel during, but it kind of steps up a notch as far as the actual sensation. So, you’re in about ten inches of water, there’s like 1,000 pounds of salt that they’ve dissolve in there…
Brock: Yes! Salt?
Ben: And depending on where you go. Yeah, it’s like 50 to 150 bucks and you typically float for one to two hours. You don’t get cold and you don’t get wrinkly, you’re just in there deprived of everything. So people do this if they’re jetlagged and they do it for burnout and fatigue, they’ll do it for headaches, they’ll do it for mood related disorders, and there is some pretty compelling research behind it actually working for a lot of these reasons that people do it for. And there are certain things, like I mentioned, that you can take to enhance the experience of a float tank and that kind of gets to Shane’s question. He wants to go deeper in the float tank.
Well, one thing that a lot of people will use before they get into a float tank, you’d think this would amp you up, but it seems to be able to regulate the mood a little bit, especially if you’re using the correct form, would be some kind of a nootropic or what we would call a smart drug, right. So, Alpha BRAIN by Onnit is one that you’ll see a lot of people will use. They’re one called CILTEP by a company called Natural Stacks. There’s another one by Onnit called New Mood which is a little bit more relaxing. I’m personally a fan of this one called Qualia, Qualia Mind, which is 40+ different nutrients for the brain that could help you with focus or thought pattern while you are in the tanks. That would be one.
Another one would be one that I use quite a bit to enhance my parasympathetic nervous system activation via the endocannabinoid system and that’s CBD. You could use just straight up weed, a lot of people use THC too, although some find that the psychoactivity is kind of uncomfortable in the tank. But I will take, typically before bed now, about 30 to 50 milligrams of CBD and I sleep like a baby. I’ve been publishing my sleep scores, I recently put one up on Instagram at instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, you could see all my crazy insider stuff. My sleep has been just through the roof! All I do is a little bit of CBD and right now a packet of this stuff called Sleep Remedy made by Doc Parsley. I take that, I sleep like a baby. If you don’t want to sleep in the float tank, I would say leave out the Sleep Remedy stuff, but just high dose CBD is another one that you can use if you don’t want to dig into the psychedelic realm.
Another couple of things that seem to work really well in a float tank: one would be a form of breath work called box breathing.
Brock: Mhmm. That’s what I do too.
Ben: And there’s a pretty good app, I’ll see if I can hunt it down and put it in the show notes, made by Commander Mark Divine, the Navy Seal Commander Mark Divine. He’s big in the box breathing. He’s the guy who taught it to me and he’s got an app, you can technically play the app in there in the float tank although box breathing is very straight forward. It’s just four count in, four count hold, four count out, four count hold and there are some people, free divers for example or spearfisher people will get themselves up to the point where they’re doing a 20-second in, 20-second hold, 20-second out, 20-second hold. I go on walks sometimes where I’ll try to do eight steps in, eight steps hold, eight steps out, eight steps hold. All sorts of things you can do, but essentially it’s like this symmetrical breathing pattern that is in-hold-out-hold. That one works really well for meditation, also works really well for float tank experience. So, that’s another one to play around is box breathing.
In terms of tones and sounds, like I mentioned in a typical float tank experience it’s quiet, but you can enhance the experience. I was talking about my massage, I have this collection of CDs called Wholetones. It was created by this guy named Michael Tyrrell and these are musical tracks that are recorded at a specific frequency that will induce a pretty intense state of relaxation I’ve found. I mean, I set that massage table up in between these two speakers and just blast that Wholetones the entire time my massage therapist was working on me. I’m pretty sure she likes it. She hasn’t complained yet about the loud music blasting through the room. But it’s like this very peaceful guitar and piano driven music that I really like and if I were to use a float tank frequently, I’d consider something like that. You can even get a little underwater MP3 player if you wanted something in your ears while you’re listening to these Wholetones by Michael Tyrrell. So, I’ll link…
Brock: He’s been on the podcast before, right?
Ben: Twice, actually. Yeah. He’s an impressive composer and a pretty smart dude. So yeah, there’s the Wholetones.
And then the last thing, of course, would be what a lot of people go straight to and that would be using either LSD or ketamine in the tank. And John Lilly, when he did a lot of the research into consciousness and a lot of research into the use of psychedelics in these isolation tanks, he used both. And, ketamine is a little bit more of… not a downer, but what would be the word, Brock? It’s a sedative basically?
Ben: Yeah, ketamine has got a lot of interesting chatter around it now.
Ben: It’s not really a depressant, but a lot of people are using ketamine as just a way to relax. And I’m not necessarily a fan of turning to a drug for sedation versus your own breath or controlling stress in your life or trusting a higher power that things are going to be okay, but ultimately ketamine is something that a lot of people use for anesthesia, the use for pain management, and the use for depression and I have never used ketamine prior to going into a float tank.
I have done a float tank high on weed, I’ve done a float tank on LSD for some of that merging of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and honestly it’s just kind of entertaining. You kind of go into this isolated kaleidoscope experience. I have not used mushrooms before, although that would be another one especially if the water is not too called or too hot and really is truly the temperature of your body because mushrooms will enhance your sensory perception and can make you uncomfortable if you’re in cold water or hot water. That would be one I haven’t used either, but I have use LSD in a float tank and I have been high in a float tank and both were interesting experiences, but, like I mentioned, they didn’t really move the dial much for me. One just felt like being high and laying on my back in my backyard. The other felt like just sitting inside a kaleidoscope for an hour. So ultimately, you can try LSD or ketamine, but I didn’t really find them to be that mind-blowing as far as the overall experience.
So there are simple things you can do too, for example, try not to go to the bathroom before you go in so you don’t have to think about peeing while you’re there in the float tank.
Brock: Yeah, don’t pee in the float tank.
Ben: Yeah. Try it with a special foam pillow that they’ll give you in many float tank experiences because sometimes you can find it a little bit more comfortable to float with a pillow. Sometimes music, like I mentioned, can enhance the experience. So I would consider that. I mean, if anything, I would go with something like box breathing, some of the Wholetones music, try Qualia Mind because you’re going to get this blending of a psychedelic and a CBD-type experience without having to necessarily… basically psychedelics and I have a podcast coming out about this. Regular and frequent use of them can really do a number to dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter regulation and I know that all the burners out there, the Burning Man enthusiasts and the people who are big time into hedonistic use of psychedelics might cringe to hear that, but it’s true. It’s not that great for you.
I might use LSD once a month, I might use psilocybin now maybe once a month also. I got to a certain point last year where I was microdosing quite a bit, right. I did the psilocybin every three days for a good three month stint. I was doing LSD every Friday when I do a lot of my fiction writing. I’ve really, really stepped back on my use of psychedelics just based on my concerns about dysregulation of dopamine and serotonin. So, I’m pretty careful with them now and even with psychoactive compounds like THC I’m much more bullish on CBD now. Yeah so, I’m careful with these things, but ultimately, try picking up an underwater audio player, grab some Wholetones, learn some box breathing, or pick up a box breathing app, ketamine and LSD seem to be interesting for some folks, they didn’t really do a lot for me aside from change up the experience a little bit, try Qualia, maybe try some CBD, and those would be the biggies.
Brock: Hey, have you ever tried to thing called a Theta Chamber? I know the other name for it is Virtual Float Tank.
Ben: No, what’s that?
Brock: It’s pretty crazy actually. It’s sort of like this space-age looking coffin that you get in. They put on this eye mask and headphones and then the entire thing closes and the coffin spins one direction and the arm that the coffin is on… I shouldn’t call it a coffin, but that’s the only thing I can think of, rotates the other way. So you’re actually rotating in to different directions at the same time. And once it gets going, you basically don’t feel like you’re moving at all and they play these binaural beats into the headphones and different patterned lights on the eye mask and that thing, that blew my mind! I didn’t think it was doing anything, but I was in there for 20-minutes and it felt like two minutes and when it started to slow down and I realized it was over I felt this profound sadness just wash over my body like I was just like, ‘oh no it’s over!’ and I didn’t even realize how much my body was enjoying being in that state. I thought that was way better.
Ben: That only happens to me when I’m at the fair, like for a ride at the fair. I pay $10 for The Zipper and it lasts two minutes.
Brock: But you don’t barf on this one, hopefully.
Ben: Oh, okay. I was going to say, sounds like something out of that horror movie, Saw. So, sounds fantastic. Yeah, that’s interesting. No, I’ll have to look into that. I’ve never seen that before, but of course, you do need to be careful if it produces a lot of EMF because we actually have a few people who are concerned about EMF.
Brock: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
Sheridan: Hey, Ben. There’s a lot of talk about EMF. I listened to your building biologist podcast, I was just curious your thoughts on biohacking tools out there if you work in a high-EMF exposure area, if there was something you can do? For example, I work in a shopping center and the whole shopping center’s meters are right outside of our windows. I’m not the owner, so I can’t put up curtains and shielding material and all that. So, I didn’t know if standing on foil while I’m at work would help or if there’s other gadgets out there like rings and watches and these cubes if you knew of any brand that was legit. I know the Stetzer Filters or the Greenwave you suggest for dirty electricity, but just exposure to meters and high EMF zones, if there was any other devices you recommended? Maybe wearables or such. Thank you so much for your podcast. I enjoy listening. This is Sheridan. Thank you.
Brock: So I really like this question from Sheridan and I included it because we actually had a very similar question from a guy named Chris and I was like, well okay if two people are asking this question, let’s dive into it. Now, Chris actually worked at AT&T and then he worked at Apple for his entire career and that’s where he was getting his EMFs from.
Ben: Yeah. And I’m not going to kick the EMF horse to death as far as waring about the dangers of dirty electricity or electromagnetic fields. We know that nonnative electricity appears to have a pretty profound effect on cell membranes and also on electrons and protons as they tunnel through cells. And this effects calcium channel release, it effects the electrochemical gradient across the cell membrane, it effects the movement of water through both intracellular and extracellular fluids. I mean, go read a book, I’ll link to this book, it’s like the tinfoil/non-tinfoil hat guide to EMF. So, I’ll link to that in the show notes because it goes into the research far more comprehensively than I could right now. But, there’s a reason that not only do I not use Siri, but I don’t have any smart device on in my home. I disabled WiFi and Bluetooth on just about everything that exists around me and I actually use, because I do travel a lot and I do stay in hotels and I do get exposed to a lot of EMF, I use a lot of the strategies that I’ll explain right now to mitigate or reverse some of the damage from EMF.
Now, I should mention, I already mentioned them once: Joe Mercola. He and I had a podcast where we talked about how to reverse the damage specifically from cellphone radiation. And I will link to that podcast in the show notes because we went on for an hour on everything from how to measure your EMF exposure to how the bugs in your gut are affected by electromagnetic fields. We talked a lot about it as well as the shocking facts about how much EMF has increased since… just in the past few decades.
Brock: And Dr. Mercola takes it to a whole new level too! He’s basically got a Faraday cage that he sleeps in.
Ben: Yeah, well… we might all consider ourselves to be fools compared to guys like him ten years from now.
Brock: Yeah, I’m not saying he’s wrong. I’m just saying that’s how far he goes.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, no when people are dropping dead from coconut oil and their low carb diet and their EMF exposure, he might be the last one standing, laughing at all of us. Anyways though…
Brock: I know your fingers are going to fall off from wearing the Oura Ring.
Ben: I put it in airplane mode. A lot of people don’t, but even my self-quantification ring I have that thing in airplane mode. So, ultimately there are certain things that have been studied and can affect your ability to bounce back from EMF. One interesting one, and a pretty recent research study, was on resveratrol which we would find in grape skin extract. There of course is some amount of resveratrol in wine although you’ve got to drink a hefty amount of wine to be able to get the full 1,000 milligrams, 500 milligrams twice a day they’re using in this specific study. But what they did was they studied workers who had long term exposure to high voltage electricity lines and they found that resveratrol significantly reduced the adverse impacts of the electromagnetic fields that these folks were exposed to. Probably because of the profound antioxidant effect that resveratrol can have. And antioxidants in general have been looked into as ways to protect against free radical DNA damage in cells because we are really looking at a big increase in reactive oxygen species and free radical generation during exposure to EMF. That’s really one of the… when you account for all that electron and proton stuff I was talking about and calcium channels and increase in what’s called AMPK activity, the reason for all of that or the consequence of, I should say, all of that is essentially increase in free radicals, increase in reactive oxygen species, too much of an inflammatory, oxidizing reaction. So, it makes sense that a pretty potent antioxidant like resveratrol in a study has been shown to reduce some of the effects of that.
There are other antioxidants that can work similarly, but I should note that if you’re going to do resveratrol and you want to do it up around the dosage that they use in a study like this, I would look into… there’s a pretty good one made by Thorne, it’s called ResveraCel. What I like about that is they combine it with another thing I’ve talked about before that will support function of cellular mitochondria called nicotinamide riboside or NR. They throw some quercetin in there, which is another pretty potent antioxidant that can slow the breakdown of resveratrol, and then betaine, which is something that can help with methylation which is also deleteriously affected from EMF. So, they probably could have called this, maybe they should remarket it, as the EMF Blocker. Basically it’s called Thorne ResveraCel. That’s one that I would recommend as a good source of resveratrol. I don’t remember the actual amount of resveratrol, I think it’s around, in a capsule, you’re getting around 100 milligrams or so. I’m not saying take 10 capsules per day of that to simulate what they were taking in the study because remember these were people working on power lines. You don’t necessarily need to take 1,000 milligrams of resveratrol a day, but even just taking a couple capsules of this stuff, which is I think the daily recommended dose, would be prudent if you want to mitigate some of the effects of EMF.
Now, of course you can get antioxidants from wild plant intake, from turmeric, from herbs, from spices, from a lot of these curries and even sulfur-rich foods, but ultimately you may want to engage in a little better living through science and try a more potent from of an antioxidant like a resveratrol supplement.
Some of the other things that appear to be either downregulated or decreased with exposure to EMF: one would be a lot of these methyl donors. Like I mentioned, taking nicotinamide riboside or betaine can help out a little bit, or betaine specifically with methylation which is important for just about every metabolic reaction in the body that seems to be deleteriously effected by EMF, but any sulfur-rich food is going to help a lot with that; cruciferous veggies like broccoli, garlic, onions, cauliflower; there are even supplements that are sulfur-rich supplements. MSM is probably the most popular, like putting a teaspoon of MSM into a daily glass of water; even beets are pretty rich in methyl donor capabilities. So, just consuming a diet rich in dark fruits, dark vegetables, and sulfur, sulfur is stinky things, that can help out quite a bit as well. So, you might have bad breath and nasty farts, but at least you’re not going to die…
Brock: That’s what I was thinking.
Ben: You’re not going to die of a brain tumor. So, there are other things that they say, but I haven’t seen much evidence for, the same things you’d see in detoxification, like Shilajit and fulvic acid and humic acid and clay and a lot of these binders, I’m more prone to give people a word of caution against just taking a bunch of those to limit the effects of radiation or EMF just because you can sometimes free up toxins or metals from one tissue of the body or one area of fat and simply redeposit them into other areas, unless they’re excreted properly.
So you want to use a systematized detoxification program if you’re going to do a detox. I like Dr. Dan Pompa has one called the True Cellular Detox, Dr. Chris Shade has one called the Detox Cube, Dr. Brian Walsh has one, I forget the name of his detox program, but those are just a few of the guys I really respect when it comes to good, systematized, structured detox programs. But I also have seen very little in terms of actual research behind detox programs and EMF. Those are probably something prudent to include if you’re living in a post-industrial era anyways. But, yeah, Dr. Brian Walsh, Dr. Dan Pompa, or Dr. Chris Shade, look up any of those cats as they do pretty good detox programs. Brian’s is about 10-days long, Chris Shade’s I think is I want to say 14-days or so, and then Dan Pompa’s is a little bit more comprehensive and that’s the one I do every year – it’s a three month detox. So, you could look into those as well.
There are other things that you’d want to pay attention to. For example, melatonin tends to be pretty deleteriously affected by EMF exposure and is very good for protection from EMF and there are some studies that show that it helps to reverse damage to brain neurons caused by EMF exposure. So, using a melatonin supplement prior to bed – even supplementing with something like tart cherry, tart cherry extract, tart cherry juice. That’s one of the more potent ways to enhance your own endogenous melatonin production. They’re also a decent exogenous source of melatonin as well. Tryptophan is another. Tryptophan is a good precursor to melatonin and serotonin and there are supplements like HTP- Thorne actually makes one as well. They make that resveratrol that I talked about, but they also do an HTP supplement that you can take. So, that would be another one to look into.
Another, and this is something that Dr. Mercola and I talked about during the podcast that we did on limiting the damage from cell phone radiation, would be something that shutdowns some of these what are called NF-kappaB pathways and some of the inflammatory pathways that develop in response to radiation and EMF, and that’s any source of hydrogen-rich water like hydrogen rich water tablets, hydrogen-rich water generators. So, I’m pretty much getting hydrogen-rich water every single day and that’s a really good way to fight the battle against inflammation oxidation. The cool thing about that one is it doesn’t blunt to hormetic response to exercise. So, you’re getting a shutdown in oxidation, a shutdown in inflammation without necessarily shutting down, say, your satellite cell response to exercise, which is something with high-dose antioxidants like vitamin C or vitamin E you could actually get. So, that’s another one.
Iodine. Iodine is interesting because iodine seems to protect against any kind of radiation and helps to repair damage after EMF exposure. So, you can eat a diet that’s rich in seafood and seaweed derivatives, but there’s stuff called Lugol’s Iodine, you can buy it on Amazon. The tolerable upward limit is about 1,000 micrograms a day. I wouldn’t use much more than that because the jury is still kind of out on whether iodine in supplemental form is safe at high doses. So, I wouldn’t do much more than 1,000 micrograms per day if you were going to use iodine. You can also get iodine from raw milk if you’ve got access to raw milk; you can get it from eggs; you can get it from sea vegetables like spirulina or chlorella for example. So, those would be some that I would look into when it comes to iodine. This Lugol’s iodine, it’s like a droplet that you get for example, like I mention on Amazon, that one works really well also.
I know I’m throwing a lot of stuff out there, but I’ll mention a few other things that I would look into.
Ben: One would be curcumin and also ketone esters – either one of those are going to act similarly on those same anti-inflammatory pathways as hydrogen-rich water. So, not only being in ketosis, but also using a ketone ester like, I like one called KetoBlitz made by Patrick Arnold, that’s one y0u can get on Amazon. These are spendy, they’re I believe close to 10 to 15 bucks per serving, but doing even just one serving per day or taking ketone esters when you, for example, have flown on an airline. Those would be the times when you’d pull something like that out even though it’s more expensive. So, the company HVMN, pronounce “human,” they make a good ketone ester. So does the company KetoBlitz.
Another thing that I would consider would be the fact that you can experience some of amount of mineral depletion during exposure to EMF because the protective calcium coating from the outside of the cells is affected and so your cells will dump a bunch of calcium and magnesium and selenium and potassium and that causes a deficiency in minerals. So supplementing with a really good salt, trace liquid minerals, there’s a company called Aquatru I recently interviewed the guy who developed this Aquatru water filter on a recent podcast when we also talked about the fact that they have Aquatru Trace Liquid Mineral drops. You can get those. There’s another company called Natural Vitality that makes a little shot glass you can keep in the fridge or a bottle you can keep in the fridge and do a shot glass of those trace minerals. Again, like I mentioned, you could use just a really good mineral-rich salt like a Keltic salt or a Colima Aztec salt is the one that I use. So, that would be another thing to do is to pay attention to minerals.
So, ultimately, I would say as far as the lowest hanging fruit is concerned, first of all, as far as EMF mitigation, read that book I was talking about, “The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs”, Mercola is coming out with a new book on EMFs which promises to be really good, there’s another one that I wrote called “How To Biohack the Ultimate Healthy Home”, I’ll link to that in the show notes as well. And then, if anything I would do hydrogen-rich water, I would do ketone esters if you can afford them, I would do a little bit of iodine daily, take some melatonin before you go to bed, use some form of resveratrol such as this Thorne ResveraCel, use some form of HTP which would actually pair well like that Doc Kirk Parsley Sleep Remedy stuff that I talked about when I was mentioning the float tank, that’s got both melatonin and HTP in it. So that would be a pretty good solution. And, those would be… Oh, curcumin would be another and lots of minerals. The only other thing, I know I’m throwing a lot out there, but we live in an era where we’re fighting an uphill battle against this stuff, would be support for the red blood cells. Support for the red blood cells particularly because those can take a pretty big hit when it comes to membrane damage from EMF exposure. There is a company called Biotropic Labs and they make a stack, they make it for athletes who are competing at altitude, it’s like blue-green AFA, so there’s some chlorella and iodine sources in there, they have beetroot in there so you’re getting a decent methyl donor, liver anhydrate, and then they have a bunch of nitric oxide precursors in there along with things like citrulline and malate- really, really potent stuff for pre-workout or pre-sex, but ultimately it acts on red blood cells. So, if you wanted to enhance your red blood cell health that would be another one to throw into the mix.
And I realize that this sounds like you could be swallowing 20-25 capsules a day, but if that’s affecting your pocketbook or your happiness, you can just give a big ol’ big middle finger to cellphone companies and smart home device companies and everyone else who’s creating all these devices that are pretty much bombarding us with EMF all day long. You’ve got to do something to battle that if you want to live in a post-industrial area and not more to a pristine, Himalayan mountaintop. Those are some of the ways you can do it. So, I realize that that’s a lot and I’ll try to link to most of this stuff in the show notes so it’s just all written out for you and you can go spend 2,000 bucks on your daily supplement protocol to protect yourself against EMF.
Callan: Hey, Ben. I am a 27-year-old female. I would consider myself a pretty fit person doing HIIT training four to five times a week, nothing too crazy, but I can definitely run on a sub-7-minute mile. I’m really trying to build my endurance base or my aerobic base. I’ve started to get a little bit into triathlons and I really want to perform well in them. I’ve heard a lot about the Maffetone method where you spend three to six months building your aerobic base and never touching the anaerobic zone. What are your thoughts? Is that still a real thing? Should I take three months off and just run at an aerobic heart rate? Let me know what you think if I should incorporate strength training and HIIT training into that regimen or if you really think I should just take the three months off and train aerobically. Thanks, Ben! Bye.
Brock: It’s been a while since we talked about good ol’ Dr. Maffetone isn’t it?
Ben: Good ol’ Maffetone. He’s a good guy. He’s a good guy. He came up here when I did that conference in Spokane and he spoke about music in the brain. He kind of pivoted from being an endurance coach into a musician. He’s still got a great website, good newsletter, good book over at PhilMaffetone.com. This whole MAF method, essentially, painting with a broad brush, it involved using primarily aerobic training to build a bigger aerobic engine: doing lots low-level aerobic work at a relatively low heartrate to increase your endurance, made famous originally by Mark Allen who won multiple… How many Ironman Triathlons did Mark win?
Brock: Yeah. I want to say seven, but that’s…
Ben: Yeah, six or seven.
Ben: And he had hired Phil Maffetone as his coach when nothing else was working. I mean, he would go on runs and have to walk up hills to keep his heartrate low enough.
Brock: He’d go run in the middle of the night so people wouldn’t see him running so slowly.
Ben: Exactly. Yeah, because it involves a large amount of base anaerobic work. And, I wrote quite a bit in my book “Beyond Training” about the Maffetone method and the fact that this whole idea of what is called polarized training: doing a good 80% of your training in this Maffetone method aerobic zone and then only about 20% of extremely high intensity interval training with very little time spent in the gray zone, in this kind of like in-between zone between aerobic and highly anaerobic appears to be the actual training method that‘s used by the lion share of some of the best endurance athletes in the world. Endurance athlete teams, Ironman marathoners, rowers, cross-country skiers, they typically, most of them, either intentionally or even naturally fall into this 80-20 approach, 80% aerobic training, 20% high intensity interval training. Problem is, in my opinion, is you’ve got to do a lot of aerobic training to really see the results that you need to if you’re looking to become an extremely good aerobic athlete from something like the Maffetone method. And, you need to either neglect most of the other skills to just go out and train aerobically or need to figure out other ways to skin the cat.
Like me, personally, I have a walking treadmill in my office, I stay physically active all day long, I stop a lot to do kettlebell swings and walks and strolling on the treadmill. So, I have this low level aerobic activity all day long and then I’ll do something like a high intensity interval training workout at the end of the day. So I’ve almost kind of hacked this 80-20 approach into my day which allows me to… I run maybe five miles a week right now, but it allows me to get out there and still compete in Spartan Races and things along those lines without a huge amount of formal aerobic training or formal Maffetone method training.
If someone has almost zero time and they really want to enhance their endurance, well, it’s important to understand that there’s kind of two different ways you can increase your mitochondrial density and aerobic endurance. One is via this what’s called the AMPK pathway which is what this Maffetone method style of training will stimulate and the other one is via a separate pathway that also causes favorable endurance training adaptations, but is more responsive to high intensity interval training – that one is called the PGC-1alpha pathway. So, voluminous endurance training seems too activate more of this AMPK pathway and then the other form of training seems to enhance this PGC-1alpha pathway. So ultimately, there’s two different ways to skin the cat, but if you don’t have much time, you can still get some pretty favorable endurance training adaptations and mitochondrial density with just doing high intensity training and not spending the relatively large amount of time that you need to engage in to do Maffetone training.
I need to be fair though because the Maffetone method is not just going out and doing a bunch of aerobic work. His whole method is you’re controlling inflammation with the right kind of diet, you’re mitigating high glycemic variability by paying attention to the style of the carbohydrates that you’re eating, you’re maintaining adequate vitamin D status, adequate folate status, you’re managing stress, you’re doing a lot of neural function and brain stimulation, there’s a lot of things he recommends from antioxidant intake to destressing for maintain healthy aging. It’s kind of like yoga, right. We’ve bastardized yoga in western culture to think that yoga is just stretching and breathing when yoga is in fact an entire lifestyle that incorporates life methods, purpose, belief in a higher power, mental discipline, spiritual practices, and then also the physical, stretchy component that we harp on in America at the neglect of all these other variables. So, it’s important to realize that if you’re going to do the MAF method and say whether or not it works, you need to do his whole method that he actually uses with his professional athletes and not just say I’m going to go out and do an hour long run every day at an aerobic pace and I’m doing MAF method now. Does that make sense?
Brock: Yeah. Yeah, it’s… you’ve got to eat right, you’ve got to sleep right, you have to… Stress is a huge thing. Dr. Maffetone talks about stress I think as much as he talks about his running and cycling and swimming.
Ben: Yeah and if you go to my last book, it was all about maintaining the ideal amount of endurance while also having good longevity and good health, that’s at beyondtrainingbook.com. You can get that book. I really explore this and unpack it a lot more thoroughly in the book, but the big picture is make sure you’ve got a lot of time in your hands if you’re going to rely upon aerobic training, formal aerobic training, to get fit because it does take a lot more time. If you want to hack it, figure out a way to stay active all day long like I do with low-level physical activity and then just throw in some HIIT training at the beginning or at the end of the day. And if you just have zero time and you’re stuck in a cubicle and you have to choose between MAF training or just doing a really good intense high intensity interval training session, know that the human body responds pretty favorably to HIIT and kettlebell swings and tabata sets and things like that to build endurance and you can still get a decent amount of endurance just with doing that really dense intense training.
Kim: Hi, Ben. My name is Kim. I am interested in your opinion on Carbon 60.
Ben: Well, I’m actually working on a book right now on antiaging and longevity and C60 is something that pops up in that book because it does fly under the radar, but it’s been shown to increase the lifespan of rats by, brace yourself Brock, about 90%. About 90%.
Ben: Yeah, it’s got other names. It’s got some funny names. So, it’s also known as buckminsterfullerene, also as buckyballs, but it’s an antioxidant. It specifically works on fats within the body and it removes something called superoxide. So it binds with this superoxide and removes it and that’s a toxic byproduct of cellular metabolism that can contribute to excessive tissue breakdown. It also has some pretty potent scavenging capacity for reactive oxygen species. So, maybe it’d fall into EMF stack that we were talking about earlier. Some have hypothesized that with C60 it might get attracted to the mitochondria and assist with carrying what are called proton superoxide acceptors through the mitochondria, essentially enhancing the activity in the electron transport chain of the mitochondria. It might also be able to absorb protons. Protons are just these positively charged hydrogen atoms in the body and then could actually enter the mitochondria bound to these protons and that could also lead to a decrease in reactive oxygen species.
So, a lot of different ways it appears to be able to work, but in the studies that have been done, I like mentioned, 90% increase in lifespan for rats seems to prevent nerve cells from dying, meaning it decreases amyloid-beta plaques. So, this is in mice… mice had a decrease of Alzheimer’s when using C60, protects against free radical formation, prevents inflammation, seems to have some ability to deactivate viruses and prevent nerves from dying, it appears to also prevent fat cells from growing in size, and prevents the development of insulin resistance, and finally, it has some kind of a skin protective effect because when applied topically in a skin lotion, it stops the development of sun burn. So there’s a lot going on for it. It’s almost like I feel like a used car salesman now talking about C60.
As far as the risks given, there’s not a lot of risks that seem to exist around it unless it’s mixed with the wrong kind of oil or unless it’s given in very high amounts which seems to be able to cause some amount of DNA mutation. So, you wouldn’t want to overdose with it, you’d want to make sure that you use the doses that they used in some of these studies and you would also want to make sure if you purchase it that it’s mixed in, and this is typical, some type of an olive oil medium, that’s the most common medium that you’ll find this stuff mixed in. Here in the US, for example, I don’t know if you can buy it on Amazon in Canada or not.
Brock: Don’t seem to be able to.
Ben: Yeah, in the US, you can get it in olive oil, you can also get it in coconut oil, and the dosage ranges tend to vary. I’ll put some links in the show notes to some of the studies done on dosing so you can make sure that you dose accordingly. There are also some very good calculators online that allow you to calculate your C60 dosage. About four years ago, I bought C60, I used it for a brief period of time. I didn’t notice anything, but I also wasn’t testing my telomere length or anything like that at the same time I was doing it. Why don’t I take it now? Just because I’ve got a lot of other things I do for mitochondrial support and I just haven’t really swallowed to pill, so to speak, of buying this stuff because it’s 65-70 bucks a bottle and a bottle might last you maybe a month. It’s a little bit of an investment. And the bigger bottles you can find on Amazon, you’re looking at 200-250 bucks. But, I would be interested to see who out there has done, for example, a telomeres measurement or experienced other quantifiable results from something like C60. But ultimately, it’s pretty intriguing. The amount of things we can find in nature that seem to have a pretty dramatic impact on longevity and decreasing inflammation, but I guess I should come full circle and say that you really cannot beat sunlight, good mineral-rich water, grounding/earthing meaning getting outside barefoot on the planet earth, and fresh air, and then lots of time with friends and family, right. So, if you just want the free, cheap, and easy alternative to all these things that I’ve named, that’s your lowest hanging fruit and then all this other stuff is like the icing on the cake. So, there you have it.
Brock: Except does it regrow your hair? I’m on a website right now, while you were talking, I was searching around and Carbon60plus.com has a hair regrowth formula and it’s only $79.95.
Ben: Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe first before you buy C60 you should just grab some of those ice packs for your balls and analyze the impact that that might have on hair. I think that would be more interested that using C60, first.
Brock: Yeah I should put the ice pack on my head or…?
Ben: You could try that too – do the head and the balls. So yeah, a lot of different options.
Ben: Actually, photobiomodulation appears to be pretty good. I had the Joovv guys over at my house doing a podcast the other day and this use of red and near infrared light on the scalp seems to have some pretty good effects on hair growth. So, there’s a lot of other things you can do. I also have this new essential oil that I use made by Essential Oil Wizardry called Sexy Hair and that’s got a whole bunch of essential oils in it. And so, I rub that into my hair now each morning and it’s supposed to be a volumizer and increase the growth of follicles and all sorts of cool stuff. I figured that combined with the amount of sunlight, and the fact that I do a daily treatment with this Joovv light for photobiomodulation, I think I’m going to maintain a sexy head of hair well into my 80s, 90s, 100s and beyond.
Brock: I’m going to maintain the sexy baldness like Patrick Stewart or the Rock. I like it. Or, Terry Crews.
Ben: Yeah. Okay, so do we have anything we want to giveaway today, by the way?
Brock: Of course, we always do!
Ben: Alright. So, this is the time of the show…
Brock: Make it so!
Ben: When we… That was more Sean Connery.
Brock: Sean Connery, yeah. It was good though.
Ben: We will read a review. If you leave a review on iTunes, especially if you leave us five star and you hear your review read on the show that means that you qualify to win a free Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear Pack with a sweet tech t-shirt, and a beanie, and a water bottle. And, we’re going to read a review now. Again, it’s a great way to support the show- you go leave a review, it just spreads some love around. And Brock, you want to take this one away? Brock always picks the reviews.
Brock: Sure. Well, I’ve got…
Ben: I never know what to expect.
Brock: I could… Do you want to choose? I’ll read the titles of them. You can choose.
Brock: Because I can’t decide. So, one is called “best inappropriate jokes ever,” another one is called “no ‘buts’” and buts is in quotation marks.
Ben: Let’s got with “no ‘buts.’”
Brock: Okay, so this one is from Gourmet grownup and it says “Ben delivers a consistently high quality, research-based podcast that covers all aspects of health and wellness. The occasional banter and ‘rabbit holes’ only enhance the show, giving it a five star ‘edutainment’ rating. In terms of length, I would be disappointed if they were shorter. Keep up the fabulous work!”
Ben: That’s a pretty good one, “edutainment.” Edutainment – that’s what we are!
Ben: Yes. That is, for those of you who are a little slow in the uptake, a combination of entertainment and education. So, I’m just saying.
Brock: You almost got that wrong didn’t you.
Ben: Yeah, I almost did. Alright, well. I am off to teach a webinar for KionU which is my mentorship program for coaches, physical therapists, trainers, and physicians. So I’ve got to go get ready for that. But in the meantime, Brock and I will finish up the show notes. We’ll put everything for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/389. Be sure to grab yourself a box of the brand new tasty, chocolatey, coconut-ty, and salty goodness of the Kion Bars.
Brock: No farts included.
Ben: We’ll link to everything else including all the illegal performance enhancing drugs that you can use inside of a float tank, everything that you could do to protect yourself from cellphones except the actual tinfoil for your tinfoil hat, buckminsterfullerene for those of you who want to try buckyballs for hair growth or anything else, and of course the world famous ice pack for your testicles. So, I think that covers it, Brock, yeah?
Brock: Ice pack for your nut sack!
Ben: Alright. Later guys. Bengreenfieldfitness.com/389 is where those show notes reside. Brock, catch you on the flipside.
Two post-recording notes for this podcast from Ben: “1) I neglected to mention that float tanks are indeed a wonderful way to hydrate the body with magnesium, and are like epsom salts or magnesium chloride baths “on steroids” for cellular rehydration; 2) PEMF is a technology that can mitigate damages of EMF. I discuss that here.”
Aug 30, 2018, Q&A Episode 389: How To Biohack A Float Tank Experience, Reversing The Damage of EMF, Training With The Maffetone Method, and C-60 For Anti-Aging.
News Flashes [00:04:18]
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Special Announcements [00:23:49]
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–Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories about his morning, day and evening routine!
– October 14 – 16, 2018: SPARK BioHacking Conference, Toronto, Ontario. The 2018 SPARK Bio-Hack Conference features a series of talks by leaders across a range of fields with an eye on optimizing human performance, recovery, and longevity. Researchers, medical specialists and other biohacking experts will share provocative, informative, and inspiring presentations meant to amplify your life. Registration is now open, secure your spot here.
– October 11 – 14, 2018: 2018 RUNGA California Immersion Retreat, Napa, California. Runga is going to Napa! Join me, my wife, Jessa, Joe DiStefano and a small, intimate group of like-minded individuals for a weekend-long getaway. We’ve rented a beautiful mansion located in one of the most iconic countrysides in America– Napa Valley. We’ve thought of everything that you could possibly need to gently “press the reboot button” on your body and completely tune in to your heart, mind, body, strength, and spirit. Join the waitlist!
– November 1 – 4, 2018: Live It To Lead It Health Centers of the Future Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada. Create the life you want, the marriage you want, the family you want—all fueled by a practice that radically changes the lives of your patients. this three-day event, you’ll learn the latest medical discoveries in cellular health, get a marketing plan for scaling your practice and find ways to build residual passive income. Join me!
– December 2-8, 2018: RUNGA Retreat, Dominican Republic. You’re invited to join me at RUNGA in December 2018. Join me in the Dominican Republic, one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, for this retreat. In all RUNGA activities, RUNGA invites you to come home to yourself. To see everything you’ll be getting into, just click here. Use code BEN when you register so you get your gift when you arrive! I’ll be there, too. Join the waitlist here.
– December 13-15, 2018: World Congress 2018 Hosted by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. If you attend any conference this year, make it the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s 26th Annual World Congress. The fact is, in an era of andropause, low drive and deteriorating men’s health, it’s shocking that both practitioners and the public aren’t aware of ancestral wisdom and modern scientific and medical tactics that can be used to optimize male physiology. It’s time that changed, and I’ll be teaching exactly how to make men, men again. Join me!
– June 23 to July 7, 2019: Swiss Retreat and Liver Detox, Swiss Alps, Switzerland. Join me for an immersive health retreat on the Swiss Alps in 2019. Just click here to know more or reserve your spot now.
Giveaways & Goodies [01:20:39]
-Grab your Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
-And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
Listener Q&A [00:29:48]
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.
How To Biohack A Float Tank Experience [00:32:25]
Shane says: Wondering if you know of anything that you can take when you go into a float tank? I have had great experiences so far but I would LOVE to go deeper!
Reversing The Damage of EMF [00:49:30]
Sheridan (and Chris) says: I am curious of your thoughts around biohacking tools if you have worked in a high EMF exposure area? Is there something you can do, after the fact? For example, I work in a shopping center and the whole center’s meters are right outside our window. — Chris also asked a similar question about how to undo the damage of working at places like AT&T and Apple for his entire career.
In my response, I recommend:
–My interview with Dr. Mercola on how to reverse damage from EMF
-Ben’s “How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home” book
–The “EMF/Tinfoil hat” book Ben mentions
-Ketone esters (Ben mentions HVMN and Ketoblitz brands)
–Lugol’s iodine (no more than 1,100 mcg of iodine per day – the tolerable upper limit)
–Time release melatonin
–Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy
-Red blood cell support (I recommend this stack from Biotropic Labs)
–TianChi for full spectrum antioxidant support along with large intake of wild plants/herbs/spices
–Aquatru Trace Liquid Mineral drops or Natural Vitality Trace Mineral shots
Training With The Maffetone Method [01:06:25]
Callan says: I am a fit 27-year-old female doing HIIT training 4-5 times per week. I can run a sub-7-minute mile but I am trying to build my endurance and aerobic base. I have gotten into Triathlons and want to get good at them. I have heard about the MAF method where you spend 3-6 months building your aerobic base and never touching the anaerobic zone. Should I take 3 months off and train aerobically? Is that still a thing? Should I add strength and HIIT into that or do I need to take the time off to train aerobically?
In my response, I recommend:
C-60 For Anti-Aging [01:13:52]
Kim says: I am interested in your opinion in the atom cluster called Carbon 60.