[00:00:33] Ben's Massage
[00:03:03] News Flashes: You Do NOT Need to Train to Failure to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy.
[00:08:45] Ketogenic Diet and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: A Frenemy Relationship?
[00:15:47] Coffee Induces Autophagy
[00:21:23] How Do People Learn to Cook a Poisonous Plant Safely
[00:27:46] Podcast Sponsors
[00:35:10] Listener Q&A: How to Protect Yourself from Pesticides
[00:42:48] Why HRV Results Are Different Between Devices
[00:57:56] The Best Sirtuin Activators
[01:07:59] Giveaways & Goodies
[01:09:54] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
How hard do you need to train for muscle gain, ketogenic muscle building, protecting yourself from pesticides, HRV measurements, and much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
So, Jay, I got a massage last night. Very nice, lovely, long massage, and I am sore as hell today and feel like I have the flu, [00:00:46] _____?
Jay: No, no. I mean, you get one of these every single week. Why do you think this one was different?
Ben: I think it's because I didn't get a massage for like three weeks and, A, she just goes deep and you get some of that slight fascial and muscle damage really. It's like freaking elbows that are scalpels going up and down my spine. And then a big part of it is your lymphatic system gets pretty flushed out from a massage and it does dump some inflammation and some metabolic products into your tissues and into your bloodstream that can make you feel a little crappy the next day. So, yeah, this was a double cup of coffee morning.
Jay: Did you feel it right after or is that just this morning?
Ben: No. It's always the next day. I mean, I get wonderful massages, but yeah, every once in a while, if I wait too long and I–because my massages are pretty long. They're like two and a half hours long, and I get them on top of that pulsed electromagnetic field table, so it opens and closes your cell channels as you're laying on that thing. And so, that amplifies the effect a little bit too, I think. So, basically, I was electrocuted and had surgery without anesthesia for about two and half hours last night. So, that's probably why I feel a little bit this morning.
Jay: And I'm assuming your masseuse did some box jumps on your back, too. That might have something to do with the pain.
Ben: I refused to get a massage from any therapist that does not use their feet at least one point during the massage, so yeah.
Jay: Indeed. Man, I've got a massage coming out Friday, so I'm excited. I'll ask for the feet.
Ben: Yes. Ask for the feet and get electrocuted while you're doing it. By the way, we have a lot of good questions to spend a little while since we made a little Q&A podcast baby together.
Jay: I know. I thought maybe I'd lost my job.
Ben: No, no. You were not fired.
Jay: That's good. Didn't Sasquatch come and unplug all of your equipment last time we were supposed to do one of these?
Ben: I forget. It was that or a snowstorm or, I don't know, deer running the breaker or something. Some kind of nature assailed us, but anyways, here we are. So, what do you think? Should we do this?
Jay: [00:03:02] _____.
Ben: Alright. Well, this is the part of the show of course where we talk about some of the different studies and research that caught my attention. And the great Brad Schoenfeld, who's always putting out wonderful articles specifically, typically based around like sets, wraps, protein timing, muscle gain, muscle loss, muscle hypertrophy, et cetera. He recently published a pretty good article in the strength conditioning journal on whether or not you actually need to train to muscle failure to build muscle. And it was a really interesting article because I think a lot of people, including myself at one point or another, have been led to believe that you really do have to train to absolute failure or even the point of forced repetitions at the end of a set to be able to build appreciable amounts of muscle.
And it turns out that there are a few key aspects to consider, a few takeaways from this article by Brad. And I'll link to it in the show notes if go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/405. It'll be in there. But first of all, the current evidence, if you look at all the different studies on muscle hypertrophy and training to muscle failure, if you stop two to three repetitions short of failure, you can actually get similar effects on muscle size as if you train to true muscle failure. So, first of all, there is no need to push through those last few reps with crappy form. You can actually stop short of failure and still get hypertrophy.
Another set of studies showed that if you train to muscle failure, you can slow down post-exercise recovery by an additional one to two days. So, if you're trying to train with high weekly frequency, or if you're an athlete who's trying to recover more quickly, again training to failure, when you look at the fact that you don't need to do it to put on muscle size anyways and it takes one to two extra days to recover, that should also give folks pause about doing these go until smokes coming out your ears and our eyeballs are popping out.
So, a few other takeaways where that training to muscle failure can be more relevant when training with low loads. Meaning, if you're stuck doing a bodyweight training session or a light load training session, or you're in one of those crappy hotel gyms that only has up to 25-pound rubber dumbbells, then in that case if you're using light loads, then because it takes more repetitions to trigger as many motor units as if you're training with high loads, training to failure may be a little bit more of a priority if you're using light loads versus heavy loads. So, what I mean by that is if all you have access to is your bodyweight for squats, you might actually get more benefit out of doing like 100 bodyweight squats to failure. But if you have a barbell loaded up with a hefty amount of weight, let's say two times your bodyweight, even though you could push through and do like six reps to failure, you could get away with just doing like four reps with really good form, which is important too because of course anytime you're training to muscle failure, you do increase the risk of injury.
Now, another interesting takeaway was for people who work out on, let's say like machines at the gym, let's say you're doing like a machine circuit, and that's not to say that those are the best things to train on, but if you're new to exercise or, whatever, you're cognitive fatigued at the end of the day and you just want to hit the machine circuit at the gym, it turns out that the single-joint machine based exercises like, let's say a leg curl, or a bicep curl, or a tricep extension, or one of those type of non-multi-joint exercises on machines, you actually can get better benefits out of training under those low-risk exercises, single-joint exercises to failure. And then for the multi-joint exercises, like let's say a lat pulldown or a chest press or a leg press you actually do not need to train to failure. So, some of it can depend on the type of exercise being done, and whether it's multi-joint or single-joint.
Those are just a few of the takeaways, but I think some of the most important ones were, A, you don't need to train to failure to build muscle, B, if you have light loads like bodyweight stuff, bodyweight push-ups, bodyweight squats, it might actually be important to go a little closer to failure. And then for single-joint exercises, better to go to failure; for multi-joint exercises, not necessary. And then if you do go to failure, understand that it actually is going to take a much heftier amount of recovery one to two extra days.
Jay: Huh. See, I just go for as many bicep curls as I can until the muscle completely separates, and then I just wait for recovery. What's wrong with you?
Ben: Just wait for something to tear, roll. Have you ever seen that when some of these bicep muscle tears?
Jay: I did. I actually am —
Ben: [00:08:01] ______ bodybuilding off.
Jay: It's pretty rough. I actually saw one dude who was squatting and tore his Achilles and saw it roll up and he fell to the ground, and it was not a beautiful sight.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. If you've never seen a tendon roll-up after being torn, either in the biceps or you had down in the Achilles, it's another common spot. It's pretty nasty. I think it was the documentary “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” where a dude–I think it's because he was injecting his biceps, but bicep actually blew up.
Jay: Yeah, I remember that. It was indeed. He had a hematoma that ended up exploding, and then he had to call the hospital. I think they ended up having to cut out half of his bicep and looked pretty gnarly.
Ben: Yeah. It's nuts. Wow. Well, speaking of building muscle, here's another interesting study that I thought was really fascinating. It was called Ketogenic Diet and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: A Frenemy Relationship? It went into the —
Jay: Very scientific term.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, exactly, the frenemies. Now, what this one looked at was this idea that a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet will actually stimulate these AMPK pathways, and what are also known as PGC-1 alpha pathways, which are wonderful for things like aerobic adaptations and building new mitochondria or increasing mitochondrial density. But you actually see a pretty steep downregulation of mTOR pathways that would be responsible for muscle growth. Now, at the same time, there are some studies that show a favorable growth hormone and testosterone response to a higher fat ketogenic diet with the idea behind that being that it might not be ketosis per se as much as your body having more fatty acids for development of hormones and testosterone precursors, et cetera.
So, what they did find were a few interesting takeaways from this one. First of all, muscle protein synthesis is a pretty important consideration here, meaning that that's what's going to be necessary, the muscle protein synthesis exceeding muscle protein breakdown in somebody who say like weight lifting on a ketogenic diet. And it turns out that a big factor here is that a protein-rich ketogenic diet can allow for enough muscle protein synthesis for muscle hypertrophy on a high-fat diet, even the absence of a lot of carbohydrates, which would normally be something that would stimulate those mTOR pathways.
But if you're doing a ketogenic diet, it turns out that you do need a little bit more protein to build muscle. Whereas I've always said for muscle maintenance, you need a minimum of 0.55 grams per pound of protein, and preferably up towards that 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound range. If you're on a ketogenic diet, you should definitely shift towards the higher end of that range if your goal is muscle gain or muscle hypertrophy. So, like 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound. You don't get a lot of added benefit once you exceed about 0.8 grams per pound. And of course, if you're doing a keto high-fat diet, then you're getting up to the point where your protein percentage intake might be so high that it's at the sacrifice of your fat percentage intake. But if you're following a keto diet, then 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound I think is pretty prudent when it comes to protein.
And another thing that was interesting in this article was the idea that these beta-hydroxybutyrate compounds that increase when you're on a ketogenic diet may actually accelerate muscle regeneration. They inhibit what's called histone deacetylase, which is something that can actually increase lifespan, but may also accelerate your muscle repair and recovery. And so, what you could also do if you're on a ketogenic diet and you wanted to enhance muscle repair and recovery even though your glycogen resources might be a little bit lower would be to supplement with like these ketone esters or ketone salts before you weight lift so that you're actually allowing for increased muscle recovery that normally would be suppressed on a lower carbohydrate diet that wasn't stimulating these mTOR pathways.
So, A, eat 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound of protein, and then B, consider supplementing with these beta-hydroxybutyrate salts or ketone esters that you'd find made by companies like HVMN or KetoneAid or some of these folks that are making these pre-workouts that are kind of a shot in the arm anyways and wonderful for giving you a little bit of extra energy during exercise but may actually accelerate your muscle repair and recovery. So, that's another thing to consider. And then finally, when it comes to this idea of ketosis and muscle hypertrophy, another interesting takeaway from the article was this idea of the carbohydrate sparing effect that ketosis can cause, meaning that you actually long-term eating a lower carbohydrate intake get to the point where your body can spare a little bit of glycogen during exercise, meaning that you won't burn through it quite as quickly.
And this got me to thinking about another way that you could actually spare glycogen during exercise and allow for yourself to go longer even in the absence of a lot of carbohydrates, and that would be creatine, which allows for a lot of these [00:13:49] ______ to stay elevated even if you don't have a lot of glucose in your body. So, I think creatine–and to a lesser extent, you can actually use what's called HMB and ATP that's like a one-two combo that the research goes back and forth on for its efficacy for hypertrophy, but especially in someone who's limiting carbohydrates, that stack of doing creatine, HMB, and ATP might be a good idea to further accelerate the amount of glycogen sparing that you get while lifting on a ketogenic diet. So, a few kind of cool takeaways from the article, but ultimately, ketosis seems to be unfavorable for muscle gain largely until you add adequate protein and then you consider the addition of some of these things like ketones or creatine, HMB, ATP, et cetera, and that's where you can have your cake and eat it too so to speak for ketosis and muscle gain.
Jay: So, I've had some bro conversations with people, whether it'd be in the gym or from doing functional fitness with someone. And the argument continues to come up that if they increase their overall protein intake, yes, they may have more muscular gain in that sense, but they're also afraid of this whole mTOR activation. I feel like there's myths that are being thrown all around on that in, but do you think that there is much to worry about in regards to muscle gain and longevity and mTOR activation with increase in your protein, like you're noting?
Ben: Yeah. So, for that, the key is to actually have periods of time where you're getting cellular autophagy, where you're getting some of that catabolism. And so, that would be a situation in which, yeah, eat 0.8 grams per pound of protein but have, for example, a 12 to 16-hour daily intermittent fast, or even consider–and this segues nicely. I don't know if you did that on purpose, Jay.
Jay: See what I did there.
Ben: But into another thing that I wanted to bring up, and that was ways that we can induce autophagy, ways that we can accelerate this autophagy, this natural cell cleanup that we know is associated with increased longevity. So, the idea behind this is that autophagy may have a tumor-suppressive type of effect. It can rid the cell cytoplasm of a lot of these aging structures, kind of rejuvenate the non-nuclear portions of the cell. We know that it participates in hormesis, which is the ways that cells adapt to low levels of stress and become more resistant to higher levels of stress.
There are a host of pathways that occur in response to the type of autophagy that you get from, say, fasting or exercising on an empty stomach that appear to have a pretty stark longevity enhancing effect. Well, one study that came out last week was entitled Coffee Induces–actually, it wasn't last week, I'm sorry, it came to my attention last week. I think the study was actually published in 2014, but it was entitled “Coffee Induces Autophagy In Vivo.” And so, what this looked into was both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and the effect of that specifically on rodent models for increasing autophagy. And it turns out that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, although the caffeinated coffee had a slightly increased effect, could actually both stimulate autophagy in a pretty profound manner, like in a lot of tissue, liver tissue, muscle tissue, heart tissue, et cetera.
And so, from a practical standpoint, this would mean like if you are going to do intermittent fasting and you want to upregulate autophagy from something like a fasting protocol, you could, for example, prior to a morning fasted exercise session, consume either caffeinated that would be preferable, but even decaffeinated coffee to accelerate autophagy. And then that got me thinking a little bit about the interview that I did with Dr. Mercola, who uses these autophagy-inducing agents in the evening. And so, you could accelerate it on both fronts. You could intermittent fast, get up in the morning, have some coffee, and then go exercise. But then some of the things–and I'll put his whole recipe in the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/405, but you could also use some of the things that he recommended in my podcast with him to accelerate autophagy while you sleep.
And so, after I interviewed him, I had all this stuff ordered from Amazon in raw powder form, and I keep a jar in my pantry, and you can just, if you mix it all in the same jar, just take a couple teaspoons of this at night and stir it into hot water, and it's basically Pau d' Arco, which is like a powdered tea. And then something called garcinia powder, quercetin powder, glycine powder, and chamomile powder, and you just blend, but it's about a half teaspoon of all of them and then one teaspoon of the Pau d' Arco. And you put it all in a jar and you can just take this autophagy tea right before your nightly fast that limits mTOR activation and it increases autophagy. So, that combined with coffee in the morning. And to return to your question, Jay, about increased protein intake on a ketogenic diet potentially suppressing autophagy, what you could do is actually increase it using some of these methods, like fasting and coffee in the morning in a fasted state, and then this autophagy tea at night as part of your overnight fast.
Jay: Right. And so, to clarify too, this article is saying that coffee will induce autophagy in the presence of fasting, not just that you drink a shit ton of coffee and there you go, you're in a state of autophagy, correct?
Ben: Actually, in this study, the mice were not necessarily fasted. They weren't on any type of fasting protocol. Coffee was inducing autophagy either way. But again, since we know that caffeine specifically can accelerate your mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue, then it would actually make sense to increase the process even more by consuming coffee in a fasted state. They say in the study that it was really the polyphenols in the coffee. It's the caffeine that can accelerate that fatty acid utilization. But apparently, it's the polyphenols that simulate autophagy. So, a caffeine pill would probably be less preferable than an actual antioxidant-rich cup of coffee to accelerate the process so you're getting the best of both worlds.
Jay: Yeah. Did you see it was this dose-dependent? How much were they giving these rats? I was trying to look through and I can't see.
Ben: You know what, I forget the actual dosage. I could probably find it. I'll link to the article in the show notes if somebody wants to dig in. In most of these studies, it's the equivalent of, for humans, somewhere between like 200 and 400 milligrams of coffee, or of caffeine, which would be like decent-sized cup of coffee.
Ben: And a lot of these studies, even as low as 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, which you get from a shot of espresso, can often cause a lot of these effects.
Jay: Right. Yeah.
Ben: And of course, we know green tea also has polyphenols and caffeine in it, so you could probably get a similar effect with green tea.
Jay: Exactly. Is Joe Mercola‘s tea, does it taste okay? Not that it matters, I was just curious.
Ben: I don't know. My taste buds are completely destroyed. I dumped so many powders into my mouth. I had no clue. Oh, and then one other interesting is it's not really a study but more of an article, but I thought I had some good takeaways in it. So, it was about these explorers in the 1800s and the title of the article was “How Do People Learn to Cook a Poisonous Plant Safely.” And of course, this returns the idea of books like Steven Gundry's Plant Paradox saying plants have all these built-in natural defense mechanisms, therefore, we should completely avoid them, or at least avoid them to a pretty great extent. Whereas I say, “Why not deactivate those plant defense mechanisms by sprouting, and fermenting, and soaking?” And even Steven Gundry has in his book, he's like, “Pressure cook a potato if you want to deactivate some of the, I believe, the alkaloids in a potato from doing damage to your gut or de-seed a tomato and skin a tomato.”
And so, there a variety of ways that you could inhibit some of these natural plant defense mechanisms. As a good illustration of this, they talk about these explorers who led the first European expedition across Australia, and these guys got stranded at a creek in Australia and the local people gave the explorers these cakes that were made from crushed seed pods of this fern that grew in the swamps where they were at called nardoo, N-A-R-D-O-O.
Jay: Sounds exotic.
Ben: Yeah. What happened was though that the trio, after getting this nardoo, decided that they wanted to try to make their own nardoo cakes. So, they made them and within a week, two of the guys wound up dead because they did not realize that nardoo is packed with this–it's an enzyme called thiaminase, which is very toxic to humans. It breaks down all of your vitamin B12. So, essentially, it fills you up but then completely starves you of nutrients and you die. And what the local indigenous population does is they roast the nardoo spores, and then they grind them with water, and then they expose the cakes to ash, and each of those steps deactivates the thiaminase. But of course the explorers didn't know this and they just saw that the population were eating this nardoo so they did it and then they died.
They used another example in the article about cassava, which is a little bit more common than nardoo, and that is very, very widely used, especially in Africa as a starch source. It is also very toxic, cassava roots. And you can, of course, get cassava root powder and cassava starch-based wraps in the U.S. now, but the problem is that it can cause the release of hydrogen cyanide. It can basically give you cyanide poison if you just eat cassava root in its raw form. However, if you take the cassava and you process it properly as a lot of these African tribes do, like they'll scrape it, they'll grate it, they'll wash it, they'll boil down the liquid, they'll leave the liquid to stand for a couple days to ferment it, and then they'll bake it. All of that deactivates the hydrogen cyanide.
And what the article goes into is how–this is all like cultural knowledge. This stuff gets passed down from generation to generation, and over time, what happens is a lot of these tribes and indigenous populations, they develop these complex rituals for deactivating these plant defense mechanisms. This knowledge, it's not like it's hidden. It's not like it's uncommon, but humans do over the course of multiple generations learn how to deactivate a lot of these natural built-in plant defense mechanisms. And probably, one of the better resources I think for people who are eating plants, and legumes, and grains, and seeds, and nuts, and some of these things that's similar to cassava or nardoo could kill you in high amounts or at least do some hefty damage to the gut.
If you look at, for example, the work of the Weston A. Price Foundation and you go to their website and you look at some of their instructions and manuals for deactivating a host of different plant defense mechanisms, or you buy a book like “The Art of Fermentation” by Sally Fallon, or “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon, these books, they don't just give you recipes like–whatever. Here's your chickpea hummus recipe. Use chickpeas and blend with olive oil or salt or what have you. They instead teach you how to first soak the chickpeas and rinse them and deactivate some of these lectins and even pressure cook. And so, the takeaway here is for a very long time in human history, plants have killed people when they're just consumed in their raw form straight from nature, but that doesn't mean that they're inherently bad. Many cultures have stumbled upon multiple steps to make the consumption of a lot of this stuff far less risky.
Jay: So, I can go back to eating all my plants now in their natural form, or maybe not.
Ben: That's right. Well, I mean, there's some people like Dr. Saladino, who I have in the podcast, who just say, “Well, screw it. Let's just make things easy and just eat meat.
Ben: And I think for people who have limited time on their hands and don't want to get into all this deactivation of built-in plant defense mechanisms or maybe don't have a personal chef or something, that can be like the lazy way out. Just eat fish and meat, and some organ meats, and some very clean starches or carbohydrates that aren't going to cause a lot of damage such as raw honey or maybe some pumpkin puree without the skin and the seeds. I certainly use a diet like that often when I'm at home and it's nice because it's just simple. You don't have to think that much about, “How many oxalates am I getting from the spinach and the almonds? Did I rinse and soak my quinoa and set it overnight?” It does make cooking and food prep a little easier when you don't have to go out of your way and all you need to do is just cook the meat a little bit.
Jay: Sure, yeah. Well, then I'll reconsider adding my nardoo back. I mean, I saw it in sprouts and I thought, you know, I just don't know. And I'm over here like laughing at guys dying. It's kind of a funny way you told it and so I was thinking, “Ah, they're just like–whatever [00:27:40] ______ what they're eating and they die in the end.”
Ben: We just destroyed nardoo for so many people.
Jay: We did.
Ben: Alright. Well, let's go ahead and give folks some sweet-ass discount code, shall we?
Jay: Let's do it.
Ben: So, this is the part of the show where we tell you about some sweet-ass products that we've found and give you fat discount codes for them. The first is Kion. Kion sponsors every single podcast. When we talked, for example, earlier about the ketogenic diet and amino acids and increasing the anabolic or hypertrophic potential of something like ketogenic diet, nothing beats Kion Aminos. They are our top-selling product. They're complete building blocks for muscle recovery, for reducing cravings, for better cognition, for the immune system, for the gut. And you're getting bioabsorbable protein that rivals that of like steak and eggs in a capsule or in a powder. They're extremely popular and they're giving all of our listeners a 10% discount code on the Kion Aminos. You use code BGF10 at getkion.com. I think I recently saw you on Instagram, Jay. Didn't you post a photo of your pre-workout Kion Aminos pump?
Jay: Oh, of course, man. I try to do that anytime I can because it feels so explosive in the best way possible. I mean, when I take those things, I am pumped up. And so, I get into the gym and it's nonstop action.
Ben: Yeah. Very simple pre-workout or–I have a lot of marathoners and endurance athletes who I work with, who will pop that stuff every hour and it's just a huge shot in the arm. So, check out the Kion Aminos at getkion.com and use discount code BGF10.
And there's another sponsor of today's show that just came out with two brand-new flavors of their wonderful, guilt-free, gluten-free, low-carb cereal. It's Magic Spoon, and they just sent to my house their new Pumpkin Chai, which is cloves and nutmeg and sweet pumpkin. It tastes like fall. And then they also just launched their blueberry flavor, which is literally like eating Froot Loops with again, none of the sugar, none of the crap.
This company, Magic Spoon, has done a really good job. They use monk fruit extract and a little bit of coconut oil, some chicory root fiber. There's a bunch of protein in the actual cereal itself. So, I think it comes out to something like 10 to 12 grams of protein per serving of cereal, so it's great for [00:30:13] ______ as well.
Jay: Oh, dang.
Ben: Yeah. And they're giving all of our listeners free shipping on cereal. They have a 100% happiness guarantee. If you don't like it, they'll refund your cereal. No questions asked. Again, it's gluten-free, it's grain-free. You go to magicspoon.com and use code BENGREENFIELD. We'll get you the free shipping. So, magicspoon.com. And I highly recommend–actually, the Pumpkin Chai flavors is really good. It's really solid.
Jay: Nice. I got to get my hands on some of that stuff out.
Ben: Yeah. It's good. This podcast is also brought to you by Joovv, these Joovv red lights. All of our listeners get a free gift, a bonus gift with their order at J-O-O-V-V.com/ben. But one of the really cool ways is that I've been using the light now that the winter has set in and it's darker outside when I get up in the morning. There are a lot of health practitioners, guys like Dr. Jack Kruse, a recent podcast guest of mine who's a young man who's a real expert in light, Matt Maruca. They laud the benefits of seeing the sunrise, seeing the red light of the sun as the sun comes up. But often in these winter mornings, you got to wait a long time for that to happen.
But what I've been doing is just going to my office. I start working on my computer. I flip on these red lights and basically, you're getting all the light spectrum of sunlight in the morning without actually needing to, whatever, wait until 8:00 a.m. to see the sunrise, or on the flip side in the summer, get up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. to see the sunrise. So, these lights really let you tap into the sunrise, and similar the sunset benefits of seeing the sun during its natural cycles even if you can't get outside, man, they're also wonderful for things like seasonal affective disorder and the type of low mood that sets in during the winter months. So, they're called the Joovv, the Joovv red light panels, and they even make a small one called a Go. You can take it with you anywhere. I'm headed to Dubai this weekend. They'll be throwing one in my bag for Dubai. So, yeah. Check out the Joovv, J-O-O-V-V.com/ben.
Vuori. Vuori is another one. They are basically this new clothing company that make athletic clothing that is built to move in and sweat in but it looks really good. They have this–I don't even know if I'm allowed to say something like lululemon, I guess, if I am not supposed to, I'm in big trouble now, but they're kind of like that for guys, and they look really good. Most of the time, if you see me at the gym, I'm wearing Vuori gear. They have a really good four-way stretch. They dry quick. They're sustainably made from recycled plastics and they just work for anything like weight training or yoga or surfing, you name it, and they've got a really great selection of shorts, and yeah, they fit good, they look good. Everybody's getting a fat discount on these Vuori clothes. You go to vuoriclothing.com then use code BEN25. It's V-U-O-R-Iclothing.com and use discount code BEN25 at the vuoriclothing.com.
Jay: If people haven't tried that Vuori, they really need to, I'm just going to say that. I've got my Ponto Performance Pants on right now, the softest yoga pants I've ever worn in my life, just to throw that out there.
Ben: I'm glad you decide to put pants on for the show.
Jay: For one day.
Ben: It's an audio show, you didn't have to do that. And then finally, Four Sigmatic. Four Sigmatic makes these wonderful mushroom blends. I've been a fan lately. I get on these different kicks with their different trim blends. Lately, I've been lazy, and instead of selecting my mushrooms precisely and systematically, I've just been putting their whole shotgun formula into my morning cup of coffee. So, this is the one that's got reishi, chaga, cordyceps, maitake, lion's mane, tremella, agaricus, which is really great one for the immune system support, shiitake, which is also really great for the immune system. So, this is good stuff for the cold and flu season. It's got a lot of little nootropic pick-me-ups in there, a lot of adaptogens, and that's their 10 Mushroom Blend. So, it's pretty much everything. They call it the shield blend because it's so great for the immune system, a lot of these different mushrooms.
So, if you don't have time to drink lion's mane in the morning and chaga in the afternoon and reishi in the evening, you just do all this stuff in your cup of coffee in the morning. And then they got a little twist of rosehip in there for the vitamin C for the immune system. It's a solid blend. And again, solid discount, too. They're giving all of our listeners 15% at foursigmatic.com/bengreenfield. It's F-O-U-Rsigmatic.com/bengreenfield. So, you can get your mushroom on over there.
Noah: Hi, I'm Noah. I'm 16. I'm really interested in grounding and earthing and walking around in the grass around my house, but the problem is, including even my house and a lot of my neighbors, they use pesticides on their grass and I'm worried maybe that's bad for my health, maybe it seeps into my skin, or maybe I'll even track it inside. What do you recommend I do about that and still to be able to get that grounding effect? I'm just worried about pesticides. Thanks.
Ben: Well, Jay, maybe Noah should just knock on his neighbors' doors and bring them a little wild plant foraging book and tell them about all the deleterious effects of the great American lawn, how much water that we waste on that, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fact that you're not getting a chance to eat the wonderful liver supporting dandelion leaf. I think that should be the play. He just needs to go and educate his neighbors on the benefits of wild plant foraging and the deleterious effects of owning a lawn.
Jay: So, that's one way of doing it. I don't disagree with you. Or he could just stop walking in his neighbor's lawn.
Ben: That's true, too. Yeah. Well, I mean, when it comes to pesticides, yeah, dermal exposure specifically is something that has been studied up on quite a bit and pesticides have been proven in many studies to be absorbed in high quantities through the epidermis. And the rates of absorption kind of varies depending on the part of the body, but they get absorbed based on the research that I could find about 12 times faster than any other part of the body if they wind up on the genitals. So, A, don't go drag your butt across your neighbor's lawn. Four times faster at the head, three times faster at the trunk, but then they can also get absorbed by the hands and the feet, too. The higher the temperature is, either the ambient temperature outside or the higher the temperature of the part of your skin that's in contact with the pesticides, the even faster they're going to absorb.
There's another reason why you got to be careful with like hot water in the shower and shampoos and soaps that are not clean or have a lot of parabens and phthalates in them. When the skin is hot like in a hot shower, they get absorbed that much more. I mean, they are an issue. And when you look at pesticides and safety, I mean, it's pretty bad in terms of what they can actually cause. There's zero safe limit when you look at kids because kids have very low levels of detoxification enzymes in their liver. That's also why kids shouldn't use alcohol or much, much lower doses of any pharmaceuticals. They're simply not small adults. They literally do not produce a lot of these detox enzymes in their liver, so pesticides can really accumulate in children.
And we know that glyphosate, which is probably the worst, it actually stops the normal development of nerves in children. It blocks their ability to be able to use glycine because it simulates what looks very much like that glycine molecule so kids' collagen suffers, and in adults, it can cause a lot of gut damage very similarly. And there are a lot of different pesticides out there. Obviously, in our home systems, we have the ability to be able to use organic soils, to be able to use natural sustainable biodynamic farming processes and regenerating our soil in a way that eliminates a lot of these potential toxins from the soil. But of course, when you got in nature and you're on your neighbor's lawn, et cetera, the dermal exposure is pretty great too for a lot of these things.
I don't need to, I think, harp too heavily on the dangers of pesticide exposure because that has been proven over and over again. But when it comes to going outside barefoot, it is something that can be an issue. So, what I would recommend are a couple of strategies. A, right now while we're talking, Jay, I'm grounded. I bought one of those grounding mats from Ultimate Longevity after interviewing Clint Ober. I travel with one that I just throw right underneath the sheet when I'm in a hotel room or anything. So, I'm getting a lot of grounding and earthing without necessarily needing to be outside barefoot, which would burn the skin off my feet anyways at this point because it's about 22 degrees outside. That's one strategy is you buy these grounding and earthing products. They can ground you when you're indoors.
Jay: And they're fairly inexpensive, too. I mean, I use them as well. I'm barefoot when I'm in my office and standing on one. I also have one under my keyboard as well that my hands rest on. So, they're not too bad.
Ben: Yeah. And you can buy any number of grounding products from a website like lowemf.com too where you can ground your laptop, ground your computer, ground just about anything. So, that's smart to do. Another thing is there's this company called Earth Runners and they use this grounded conductive lacing system and then copper plugs on the bottom of the sandals. They also sell like these grounding systems that you can use to outfit any shoe, these plugs that you can put into any shoe. And so, when you're wearing these sandals, you're actually grounded no matter where you're at. There's a stainless steel thread on the bottom of the lace and then a copper plug circuit on the bottom of the sole. I own a few pairs of these things. And obviously, in the winter, they're not quite as easy to use even though you can get like those wool sandal socks or the five-toe socks to wear them with.
But the Earth Runners, I'm a huge fan of this concept of earthing shoes. And then on Amazon, you can buy these grounding shoe straps. They're called Earthlings, and they're simple straps that you could outfit around any tennis shoe, any running shoe, and it's just basically a conductive strap that allows you to be grounded while you're still wearing your shoes, which I think is a fantastic idea, especially considering you could take them off one shoe, put them on another shoe and kind of mix and match from shoe to shoe. But they have this conductive silicone layer on the bottom of the pad that causes you to be able to get the conductivity into your body from the ground even if you're wearing a normal set of rubber-soled shoes outdoors. So, that's a cool idea as well.
So, those would be the top two things I would recommend would be like earthing sandals or these earthling straps. And then one other interesting anecdote that I learned when I was looking into pesticides is that if you've been exposed to pesticides, lactic acid bacteria can actually help your body to break down pesticides. So, that would be like consumption of fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut specifically, like some of these fermented cabbages and plants. They can actually reduce the damages from pesticide exposure. So, if you are dragging your feet or, God forbid, your genitals across your neighbor's lawn, you could just have some nice bibimbap or some kimchi afterwards, or maybe a little bit of sauerkraut and a sausage and give yourself a little bit of extra protection against the pesticides.
Jay: There you go.
Jay: Yeah. The Earth Runners are sweet too, by the way. I get comments on them all the time. Everybody calls them My Jesus sandals because they're super minimalist. They look just kind of like a piece of thread coming across the top of my foot, but they are phenomenal.
Ben: Yeah. They're fashioned after the Tarahumara Indian tribe. So, as soon as you put them on, you can automatically run 100 miles across the desert. No questions asked.
Jay: I was wondering why I was able to do that.
Marcy: Hi, Ben. This is Marcy. I take my HRV every morning and I use two different apps, Elite HRV and SweetBeat HRV. Why would it be that some days, one of the apps will say that my HRV isn't good, I need to take a recovery day, but then the other app says things look great and I can work out how normally do? I found over the last few weeks that the apps aren't in sync and they're not telling me the same thing. So, if you can help me out there on why that might be the case, if I need to do new baselines with both of them, that would be helpful. Thanks.
Ben: I get this question a lot, right? Like, my HRV is different between my Oura ring and my WHOOP wristband and Elite HRV. And then there's that app that I use sometimes in the morning for more precise measurement of HRV called the NatureBeat app. And the reason for that is that a lot of people don't realize there are a variety of ways that you can monitor heart rate variability, a variety of methods. So, for example, there's one method called the time-domain method, which measures the variation of the intervals between cardiac cycles. And typically, some kind of smoothing algorithm is used for that that allows that variation to be expressed in typically a value between like 0 to 100. So, it's easy to actually check. And the most common one that's used by a lot of these devices is called the RMSSD, which I think is root mean squared standard deviation.
Jay: You got it.
Ben: So, they'll take a log of the RMSSD using this time-domain method to measure between beats of the heart. By taking the log of that, you get a nice easy-to-read value of 1 to 100 as your HRV value. But then if you look at like the Apple watch, they use a different smoothing mechanism. They use one called the SDNN, which is the standard deviation between the NN intervals and like a QRS wave of the heart. So, you're going to get different results from an Apple watch that uses SDNN versus say like an Oura ring, which uses RMSSD.
And then when you look at some other parameters, there's a lot of interesting things when it comes to HRV and how it's measured and when it's measured. So, what I mean by that is there are things that can cause your heart rate variability to be widely variable on day-to-day measurements depending not only on what kind of device that you're using, but how you're actually measuring. For example, nearly every research study on heart rate variability is done on folks who are prone for five minutes while taking their sampling measurements, not like running around exercising.
So, it's kind of like weighing yourself using a body fat scale. You'd want to make sure because those body fat scales, the bioelectrical impedance body fat scales are based on your hydration status that you are doing it every single morning in the same state of hydration, preferably at the same time of day, or else you're going to get widely varied results. And the same could be said for heart rate variability measurements, like it needs to be something that's done at approximately the same time each day. Another thing that can affect it are certain foods or medications such as beta-blockers, for example. That's something that notoriously can throw off the HRV and give your results that are far different from measurement to measurement.
And there are a few other things to take into consideration. One would be whether you're using like a Bluetooth-enabled chest strap to gather your HRV data versus a fingertip measurement versus a wrist-worn measurement. All of these are going to give slightly different metrics when it comes to HRV, specifically based on the amount of so-called noise, signal noise that is produced by these type of systems. So, it's not only the algorithm that's used, it's the technology or the hardware that's used. It's your state as far as whether you're laying down, standing up, whether you're on say something like a beta-blocker.
A few other things that can cause issues is if you have any type of cardiac abnormality, for example, you have a paraventricular contraction or some type of electrical abnormality of the heart, what's called an ectopic beat, then you're not going to get accurate HRV analysis. Another thing that can throw it off would be the use of any type of antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or even plant medicines which can act very similar if you're using like psilocybin or something that would dump up a lot of extra serotonin into the clefts. That can also affect heart rate variability.
So, the takeaway here is that you have to really know that you're measuring in the same state from HRV to HRV measurement and that you're using preferably, if you're mixing and matching technologies, technologies that use the same type of smoothing algorithm like RMSSD rather than just using technologies that are using different algorithms. Like an Apple watch is going to be totally different for your HRV versus say an Oura. So, I recommend you stick to preferably the same device. I use, like I mentioned, the Oura ring for just taking samplings during the night while I'm laying. We'll do five-minute measurements during the entire night, then smooth those out and give me a 0 to 100.
And then I also like that NatureBeat app just because when you wake up in the morning and use the NatureBeat, you can see your QRS wave. It's basically doing like an EKG-based heartrate tracer. You could see your sympathetic nervous system, your parasympathetic nervous system. It's got a food allergy measurement in there where it'll measure your pulse response to certain foods that you've eaten so you can see if they're–it's not as precise as getting like Cyrex blood-based food allergy test, but it can give you clues about where you're at from a food standpoint. It's got a biofeedback algorithm in there so you can literally watch your breath go up and down as you're measuring your HRV and see how you can alter your HRV using certain breathing techniques. So, I'm a fan of doing something like the NatureBeat in the morning as a really good check-in to get a deep dive into your HRV metrics than just using real-time HRV measurements like the Oura ring or something like that throughout the rest of the day and the night to just get real-time measurements as you're going through your day.
Jay: Good thoughts all around. I think I'll just add a couple more things just because this tends to be kind of a passion area of mine. This is what I do clinically as well. But one of the things that I'll say is that if anybody's using any type of device that utilizes SDNN, so that would be the Apple watch, honestly, I think any of those data points that you're going to get from it are fairly null and void. And the reason being is because when you look at research on SDNN measurements, these are always based on 24-hour recordings. That's because the total variance of HRV increases with the time of recording. So, this means that we can't really accurately compare the SDNN of two time periods of different links, and it needs to be within a 24-hour period.
Also too, I have a lot of people asking me because they get confused about their numbers when they look at SDNN versus RMSSD. Because norms on SDNN are based on 24-hour norms, we typically see that someone who's considered healthy has about 100-millisecond variants in their SDNN, whereas somebody who's typically healthy with an RMSSD has about 72 milliseconds. And that's because when we look at RMSSD, that's actually not–it doesn't factor in nearly as much of breath influence. So, basically, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, the up and down fluctuations of your breath cycle do not influence RMSSD nearly as much as SDNN.
So, for instance, if you have someone who's a big-time meditator, they can actually influence their SDNN a lot more so than they can influence their RMSSD because that's a much more static look at HRV. For instance, too, I have people all the time ask me about their Oura ring numbers and they say, “You know what, I've got like a 42 or a 45. Is that bad?” Actually, 42 is considered the mean in research for RMSSD with about a standard deviation of 15. So, I always say for me when looking at peak performance or optimization, I always try to aim for about two standard deviations above the mean, so I can be in about the 90th percentile because I'm awesome like that. So, about 72 milliseconds or higher is kind of what I aim for.
So, a lot of people ask about that because they're so confused because they'll look at their Apple watch and they'll say, “Well, on my Apple watch, I had 115. On my Oura ring, I'm having like a 50. What in the world is going on here?” And that's typically the primary difference. And then the other thing I'll say about this too is that if you're really looking at vagal tone or vagal coherence, which is the balance between your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, I would opt more for looking at a power spectral analysis. So, looking at the frequency domains, low frequency, ultra-low frequency, very low frequency, and then high frequency. And the low frequency and high frequency is what I pay attention to the most. However, there's nuances all in-between.
Ben: So, when you say you're looking at the frequencies, when again would it be important to look at the frequencies and what situation?
Jay: Yeah. It really depends on what you're doing it for. Are you doing it for sports performance or stress reduction? So, I think that you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that you need to time it correctly, which means that you need to take your measurements at the exact same time of day, and preferably in the same situations. Also too, it depends on like if you're modifying your breathing patterns. So, if you're taking your HRV, let's say with a Polar or Elite HRV app in the morning and you're modifying your breathwork to get it down to, say, six breaths per minute, four and a half to five breaths per minute, then that's going to significantly impact your HRV scores and you're not going to get as much of a static representation of what your HRV is because you're causing it to go up or to go down all the amplitude.
So, for me, I'm generally looking at–if I'm looking at stress, honestly, I'm going to look at the low-frequency band. So, I'm going to see where somebody at in their low-frequency band. And also, too, I might also look at their very-low-frequency band because that's more of an indicator of sympathetic dominance. And when I'm working with someone who's doing sports performance, I'm actually going to make sure that they're in that low-frequency band when they're about to serve a tennis ball, because we want to shift back and forth and be able to go from essentially parasympathetic state to sympathetic state, and that's in that 0.05 to 0.15 band, which is the low-frequency band.
Ben: Yeah. And I think that the important takeaway here then would be if you want to see how certain activities such as breathwork are able to impact your nervous system, then yeah, sit down with something like a NatureBeat experience, experiment with like box breathing, four-seven-eight breathing, alternate nostril breathing. And you can kind of see in real-time how this breathwork is affecting your HRV, but at the same time, understand that you may also have a very low HRV that you can artificially elevate for a short period of time by doing breathwork. And if you're looking at that in real-time, you can't artificially elevate it and say, “Okay. Now, I'm recovered because it's going to go back to a lower score once you're finished with that breathwork.” But the breathwork can be used to induce a temporary state of relaxation, but you want to pay attention to what the score looks like before you do anything to artificially change it.
So, you wake up, you roll over in the morning, you use NatureBeat to take your HRV, or you glance at your readiness score or your preparedness to train on something like a WHOOP or an Oura. That will tell you the true details about how big of a stress your body is able to handle for the day. But then if you do want to engage in some active recovery methods, then you can measure in real-time while you're doing those recovery methods, or as you just alluded to, Jay, if you wanted to amp yourself up pre-workouts, you could do something like take out an HRV app, measure low-frequency score, do some breathwork or anything else, even listening to some motivational music that might increase that LF and cause you to be in this sympathetically driven state. And then you could go do your exercise session and then do something that would induce a parasympathetic state like, again box breathing, or a brief cold soak, or a quick meditation session, or something like that.
Jay: Yeah. No. Exactly. You hit the nail on the head because think when it comes down to it, like I love the Oura ring because it is taking my HRV when I'm not thinking about it, because when I'm thinking about it, we know that both cognitively and psychophysiologically, I can change my HRV. It's really not that difficult. But on the other hand, the flipside, what's great about it is that the more we practice breathwork and the more we practice say like a skill like meditation, we can actually entrain our nervous system to increase its HRV on its own to enhance our baroreflex.
And so, I say that it's not that we're necessarily just artificially inflating our HRV, we are and on one hand, but on the other hand, we're also helping to entrain the nervous system so that when times of stress occur, when we're looking to be at our optimal state, whenever something occurs that we need to fluctuate between parasympathetic or sympathetic dominance or just have that balance, then we're really able to do so. So, I think that no matter what, like it's not to say don't do breathwork or don't artificially inflate your HRV, that's actually a good thing. Just don't think that it's a static representation of your overall recovery. And so, use your Oura ring.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Cool. Well, hopefully, we have just a few listeners left after that detailed scientific deep dive into heart rate metrics, so our apologies for going down the rabbit hole. But I did recently, for those of you who need more basic overview of HRV, I did recently published a big article on what HRV is and how to interpret it. So, if you go to the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/405, I will link to that. I'll link to this NatureBeat app that I use, as well as the Oura ring that myself and Jay also use. So, check all that out.
Jay: Hi there, Ben. My name is Jay, and I think I have a little misunderstanding. I'm hoping you could clear up for me. In your recent podcast with Angelo about your new book, you guys discussed sirtuin-activating compounds. Now, in this same podcast, you also discussed the plant paradox diet and mentioned that sometimes you will put clients on this depending on what they have going on. And it was my understanding that sirtuin-activating compounds actually come from natural plant defense mechanisms that you might be avoiding in the plant paradox diet. So, I was wondering what you might think about this conflicting of ideas, or if I'm misunderstanding something, it would be great if you could clear that up. Thanks so much. Bye.
Ben: Well, like I mentioned, we came full circle. We're back to the plant paradox diet, man.
Jay: Mm-hmm, by design.
Ben: Yeah. So, sirtuin. Sirtuins are pretty cool. I actually interviewed Dr. David Sinclair yesterday and didn't release that show yet, but we had an interesting discussion, and of course, a big part of his “Lifespan” book is based on these sirtuins. And in short, sirtuins are these seven different proteins and they play a role in aging by controlling cellular health. So, they're only active in the presence of NAD, which is why the use of NAD supplements or NAD IVs along with the consumption of sirtuin-rich foods is actually a really good one-two anti-aging combo.
So, when it comes to these sirtuins, different proteins are working in different areas, like a few of them work in the mitochondria, a few of them work in the nucleus of the cell, a few of them work in the cytoplasm of the cell, but the basic role of all of the sirtuins is that they modify proteins. They remove what are called acetyl groups from proteins. Now, acetyl groups are like these physical tags on proteins that other proteins recognize and react with. And so, what a sirtuin can do is it can actually deacetylate certain molecules, remove the acetyl group, and that kind of tees up the molecule to complete its job properly.
So, for example, sirtuins can really help to protect DNA because they deacetylate. They take an acetyl group off of what are called histones. So, histones are these proteins that are part of the condensed form of DNA called chromatin. And the histone is this big bulky protein that the DNA wraps itself around. And when the histones have the acetyl group on them, the chromatin is open, it's unwound. And when it's unwound, that means that DNA is getting transcribed. But if the DNA stays unwound, it's more vulnerable to damage. So, when the histones get deacetylated by the sirtuins, the chromatin gets closed, it gets wound back up. So, the DNA gets protected from damage because gene expression actually slows down when these sirtuins go to work.
And the sirtuins are very interesting because they have different names. The first one was discovered in the '70s and it's called SIRT2, and that one affects the ability of cells to engage in reproduction. There is a whole bunch of other SIRTs like I mentioned, seven different SIRTs that do different things, but SIRT2 is the one that's been really studied quite a bit when it comes to activating it being directly associated with the ability to be able to prolong life. And SIRT2, again interesting, doesn't do anything unless it's in the presence of NAD, which is again why consuming sirtuin-rich foods or taking sirtuin activators and then also using something like NAD is a really cool one-two combo when it comes to kind of going after this fountain of youth or actually decreasing a lot of cell damage.
So, probably, one of the more well-known sirtuin activators is resveratrol. That's what Dr. Sinclair did a lot of his research in. This was blown out of proportion at one point when people said, “Oh well, that means drink a bunch of wine and you're going to live a long time.” When I interviewed Dr. Sinclair, he literally has buckets of pure resveratrol at his house that he uses in pure supplementation form. And you do need to be careful with resveratrol because a lot of sources are from peanut skins, not grape skins. And peanut skins actually have an inflammatory protein in them.
I'm a fan of like Thorne for a while. They were doing a compound that I think is still available called ResveraCel, which is a combination of different sirtuin activators, including resveratrol. But resveratrol is certainly one that is pretty powerful when it comes to, from a supplementation standpoint, something that can activate these sirtuins. And to return to Jay's question about the plant paradox diet, the plant paradox diet is not a plant-free diet. It's simply a diet in which you're being careful with a lot of these plants that might have a higher amount of lectins in them or certain compounds that could be damaging, particularly lectins. But the nice thing is these foods, like eggplants and tomatoes and red pepper or raw legumes or grains, they're not necessarily all significant sources of sirtuins. So, I'm not convinced that the plant paradox diet is, to use the word appropriately, paradoxical with having a lot of sirtuins in the diet.
Another really powerful sirtuin-activating compound and I discovered this one when I was writing my new book Boundless, and I talked about this in Boundless, is fisetin, and fisetin is this plant polyphenol that you get from things like pomegranate and wild strawberries. You can even get like pomegranate powder or wild strawberry powder. It's very rich in sirtuins. And sirtuins have been shown to reduce a huge number of age-related pathologies and to expend both your median lifespan and your maximum lifespan. So, fisetin is a really, really good source of a sirtuin-activating compound.
And similar, another one is quercetin. They have similar names, but quercetin, you'll find that in dark leafy vegetables and in red onions and in apples. You get it in black tea and green tea and red wine. That also can be consumed in supplemental form, and it's another really, really great sirtuin-activator, black currants or another, and cacao nibs or another. Like a lot of times, if it's dark blue, or dark brown or dark purple, it's really, really good in terms of its sirtuin-activating potential. So, probably some of the better ones, if I were to list a few that are not going to be that damaging to the gut but also really good as far as a sirtuin-activating compound, would be black currants, turmeric root or curcumin powder, and dark cacao powder or cacao nibs, wild strawberry extract, pomegranate extract, and resveratrol or red wine to a certain extent. Extra-virgin olive oil is actually not bad as well as is omega-3 fatty acids from something like fish oil.
So, essentially, this is one of the reasons that the Mediterranean diet, particularly like a lower-carb Mediterranean diet may be so helpful due to its anti-aging effects. It's just because it's so high in a lot of these sirtuin activators. And again, a lot of these, like I mentioned, either A, they can be cooked in such a manner that would deactivate a lot of the plant defense mechanisms so you could take like, for example, a dark leafy green which has some sirtuins in it, not a lot but some and you could boil it down and discard the water and use the dark leafy green itself, or something like chocolate. That's a naturally fermented food. So, you're already deactivating a lot of the lectins in the chocolate bean when you're just consuming dark cacao or dark chocolate.
If you're looking at something like wine, like a really well-filtered organic, biodynamic wine is not going to have a lot of gut disrupting properties to it. So, yeah, I am a big fan of sirtuins. And again, from a stacking standpoint, I guess it's pun intended because sirtuin-activating compound is actually called a stack, but you can stack your stacks, meaning you can take something like a blueberry powder, wild strawberry powder, and at the same time, use something like an NAD supplement so you're activating the sirtuins, and that's a really good play for cellular longevity.
Ben: Yeah. So, there you have it. You can have your plants and eat them, too.
Jay: Yeah. So, I don't know–
Ben: So, much about the–go ahead.
Jay: I was just going to say I don't know a ton about the plant paradox diet, but is it eliminating all-natural plant mechanisms, or I should say, plant compounds? Because the way that Jay's phrased this maybe because it sounds like it's a non-plant diet.
Ben: No. In Dr. Gundry's book, he just says to limit things that are high in lectins. But if you read the book, they're still recommending cruciferous vegetables and asparagus, garlic, onions, cooked sweet potatoes, even dairy and meats but like pasture-raised meats or A2 milk. And so, it's just a very clean diet that specifically helps people who have leaky guts or gut issue have their plants and eat them, too. So, it's not a plant-free diet, it's more of like a lectin-free diet.
Jay: Got it.
Ben: And so, that's it. That's the clarification.
Ben: What I'll do though is I'll link to all this stuff that I talked about in terms of sirtuin-activating compounds and the research that Jay and I went over, some of our fat discounts from sponsors and all that stuff if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/405. And I think this is also the part of the show where we give away some swag, yeah, Jay?
Jay: Yeah. So, I've got a review from cgp28. They titled this review Top Class, and they said, “Hands down. This is the best podcast and podcasting world pertaining to body, mind, and soul. The building blocks to self-improvement are contained in this podcast. Look no further than the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast to begin learning the ins and outs of becoming a better version of yourself.” Such kind words.
Ben: Those are pretty kind. Those are powerful words, powerful. And that means that we're going to send you a powerful gift pack with Ben Greenfield Fitness toque, a nice beanie to keep your head warm in these cold holiday seasons, BPA-free water bottle, and also a sweet Ben Greenfield Fitness tech t-shirt that you can work out in. All you need to do is email your t-shirt size to [email protected] It's [email protected] We'll send you some sweet swag. And for everybody else listening in, anytime you leave a review, whether it's in Stitcher, or Spotify, or Overcast, or Apple podcasts, it always helps out the show tremendously. And of course, my new book as well will help to support this show a ton. You can get that at boundlessbook.com. So, that being said, Jay, we remembered how to do this, we made another podcast baby.
Jay: You're right, we did. I got to nerd out on HRV, too. So, it was a good day.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, you certainly nerd it out, dude. I think people might need to rewind and listen to that one again from half speed.
Jay: Just send me questions. I'll answer them on your website, too.
Ben: Boom. Leave your comments, your questions, your feedback at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/405. Thanks for listening in. Jay, have an amazing day, dude.
Jay: You, too, brother.
Ben: Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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Here's where Ben is speaking and traveling around the world coming soon:
- April 24 – 26, 2020: Paleo f(x): Austin, TX. Join me and dozens of health and fitness experts to discover the latest breakthroughs in epigenetics, biohacking, Keto, AIP, nootropics, blood testing, strength conditioning, sleep, stress and much more. Try out delicious new foods, discover new workouts, and even try new gadgets in the biohacking lab. Register here, and get your Expo Pass for just $99 (44% Off!).
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How To Protect Yourself From Pesticides…35:10
Noah asks: I'm 17 years old and I'm really interested in earthing and grounding. I love to walk barefoot on the grass, but a lot of my neighbors use pesticides for their lawns. I was wondering if I should be concerned about these pesticides getting into my skin or other negative effects on my health.
In my response, I recommend:
- Erthe grounding strap
- My podcastwith Clint Ober on grounding/earthing
- Dermal Exposure Associated with Occupational End Use of Pesticides and the Role of Protective Measures
Why HRV Results Are Different Between Devices…42:50
Marcy asks: I take my HRV every morning, and I use two different apps to do so: Elite HRV, and SweetBeat HRV. Oftentimes, one of the apps will say that I should take a recovery day, while the other app will say that everything is fine and I can workout as normal. Either way, they're not at all synced with their results. Is there something I should be doing, like new baselines with both of the apps? Any insight would be appreciated.
In my response, I recommend:
The Best Sirtuin Activators…58:00
Jay asks: I have a bit of a misunderstanding I was hoping you could clear up for me. In your recent podcast with Angelo Keely, you discussed sirtuin-activating compounds. In the same podcast, you also mentioned the Plant Paradox diet and mentioned that sometimes you will put clients on this depending on what they have going on. It was my understanding that sirtuin-activating compounds actually come from natural plant mechanisms that you might be avoiding in the Plant Paradox diet. I was wondering what you might think about this conflict of ideas or perhaps I'm just misunderstanding something?
In my response, I recommend:
Giveaways & Goodies…1:08:00
– 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!