Podcast #217 fromhttp://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/11/episode-217-what-kind-of-magnesium-is-the-best[0:00:00.0]Introduction: In today’s podcast: How to learn to swim, What type of magnesium is best, What kind of cinnamon is best, Are all omega 6 fats bad, high heart rate with ketosis, how much to eat to fix amenorrhea, and is sugar in protein powder okay? Welcome to the BenGreenfieldFitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non run of the mill cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.Brock: Hello everybody and hello Ben!Ben: Brock, what’s up?Brock: I am standing in my living room looking out at a beautiful sunny day here in Toronto. It’s way too nice to be in the middle of November.Ben: Nice. I am sipping my morning drug of choice which interestingly has no component of marijuana in it although that was just legalized in my state of Washington here.Brock: So progressive the Washingtonians.Ben: So, I’m doing this coffee – coffee and a brownie.Brock: Skunky brownie.Ben: You know, what’s kinda interesting is that cannabinoids and marijuana – that’s a banned performance-enhancing drug.Brock: I know.Ben: Anti-doping association.Brock: That’s so weird.
Ben: I know. It’s not in any study that I think you could ever find on PubMed ever been shown to give us a shred of performance benefit.Brock: None. Maybe it’s the Cheetos that you’re eating at the same time.Ben: Yeah. The increased calorie consumption has that effect but yes, it baffles me. I think it just probably just so they maintain positive role models or what not in athletes. That reminds me, by the way, I interviewed a biochemist professor about doping and the different forms of illegal performance-enhancing drugs out there and the effect they have on the body. So, I’m gonna try and push that out this weekend for listeners who want to geek out on the biochemistry of doping.Brock: Cool!News Flashes:Brock: Okay, to get these and other interesting news flashes hot off the presses as they say, make sure to follow Ben on twitter.com/bengreenfield and also at Google +, and you can find those links if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and I think we’ve got stuff from both of those today.Ben: That’s right and speaking of performance-enhancing drugs, let’s start right off with this one. I tweeted that energy drinks plus smoking equals heart attack. Put down the cigarette and I’ll put down my joint. The Journal of Caffeine Research (interesting little journal) did a study on the combined effects of ephedrine- containing dietary supplements, which is like 50% of the fat burners out there, combined with caffeine and nicotine on the structure of rat hearts (I think primarily because this would have been somewhat unethical to do in humans…would’ve been fun for some folks though, I’m sure), they looked at whether the nicotine that’s present in cigarettes can combine somehow negatively with the ephedra and fat-burning compound you find in many dietary supplements out there along with caffeine and sure enough, they found some really cardio toxic effects of this combination of ephedrine and caffeine and nicotine. They found changes in heart tissue morphology, they found changes in the cardiac cells, and ultimately, much increased risk of having heart issues when you’re doing something like energy drinks plus smoking.
Brock: Crazy! So, it’s not actually like what we normally associate with smoking like the tar and all the chemicals and stuff that is in the inhalant. This is actually just specifically the nicotine that’s causing the problem.Ben: Yeah. That’s the scary thing is that nicotine is what’s known as the sympathomimetic and it’s not necessarily present in a lot of fat-burning supplements even though it probably would be somewhat effective, it’ll be dangerous as a fat-burner if it were. But there are many compounds that closely simulate the chemical action of nicotine in a lot of fat-burning supplements and especially the ones that contain ephedra or ephedrine, the ones that contain caffeine. There are many ways to increase the metabolism or to burn fat or to get a fat-burning effect from a supplement but these caffeine plus ephedra components especially if you happen to be a smoker as well, are doing some really nasty things to your heart.[0:05:14.3]Brock: Read the ingredients list, people.Ben: Yeah. It’s kinda related to the post that I did over at bengreenfieldfitness.com this week. I talked about fat-burning supplements that can be used for damage control primarily like blood glucose control, improving insulin sensitivity, and helping out with fat burn in the presence of large meals. Basically, I put out that post leading up to thanksgiving and all these holiday meals where people tend to eat a lot of calories as a way to control the potential for the body to turn those calories into fat or to churn a lot of triglycerides into the blood stream and there are fat- burning supplements out there, like I read about in that article that I (for lack of a better word) approve. Right now, literally like a half hour ago, I took one. I’m right now jacked up on bitter melon extract and the reason for that specifically (it doesn’t actually taste bitter), incidentally, it’s like an Okinawan thing – they chew on bitter melon rinds. But it has this effect of not only improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity but it enhances your ability to form this highly metabolically active brown adipose tissue. So, I combine it with…or I’ve been for the past week and half since I’ve had it (this stuff just came out in the market) but I’ve been combining it with wearing this cool fat-burner vest that
I’m wearing right now. I use that one to combo to (basically in the morning) help me to burn fat a little bit better and for me, it’s not that because I’m obese or overweight, I just know that you and I and the group of athletes that we’re taking over to Thailand next week are gonna be climbing a lot of hills and I want to maintain body weight.Brock: Fair enough. Yeah, I was kinda concerned about that ‘cause you don’t have a lot of fat to shed but getting your body into that state of enhancing the fat adaptation helps for racing in one way but also staying a little bit lighter for pulling yourself up the hills definitely helps in other ways.Ben: Yeah and I’ve got 2 different kind of thanksgiving celebrations this week ‘cause I’ll be on an airplane to Bangkok during the real thanksgiving so, that’s another situation which shall use this stuff.Brock: I’m not gonna point out that the real thanksgiving actually happened at the beginning of October.Ben: You mean like the one with the native Americans that…Brock: And the pox-ridden blankets? No. The Canadian Thanksgiving.Ben: Oh…Gotcha. Yeah. I didn’t know you guys did that kind of stuff out there. That’s cool that you’re progressive like that. We better move on.Brock: Yes.Ben: Speaking of progressing…fermented tea…I tweeted about fermented tea which we also know by the sexy term of kombucha- A recent study done by the Department of Agro Bio Science over in Kobi Japan with that fermented tea and what that did to glucose tolerance in mice. And it was pretty cool because the different forms of kombucha not only increased what’s called the glut 4 transporter which is responsible for transporting glucose and allowing you to actually utilize it more effectively after you’ve consumed carbohydrate. But it also increases the protein expression of your insulin receptor which would increase insulin sensitivity. And so, whereas drinking gallons of kombucha or kefir or any other fermented beverage actually is not likely for you because of the potential for yeast infection. Doing one or two
bottles of the stuff a day has some pretty cool effects in terms of blood glucose control.Brock: Now, a lot of the kombucha that I found especially available commercially actually has quite a bit of sugar in it. Would that help to offset that problem?Ben: Well, that’s because of our Western palate and I think most of it is too sweet. What we do when we make it at home is we add sugar to it but it’s for the fermentation process. The more sugar that you add to it, you can leave the sugar in the kombucha bottled and what it does is it’s fermented by the bacteria in the kombucha and you just get a little bit more bubbly kombucha and the sugar has already been digested and converted into lactic acid _____[0:09:40.1] so you’re not metabolizing it. The bacteria are metabolizing it. But many manufacturers will add sugar after the fermentation phase to basically sweeten the kombucha so, yeah, you do need to be careful. I’ve noticed you can get up to 150 calories a pop in a bottle whereas real kombucha should be like 5 or 10 calories.Brock: Gotcha.[0:10:01.7]Ben: And then the last thing I wanted to mention, when out on Google+ and for those of you who aren’t aware, we actually do mini blogging over at Google+. You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and if you scroll down the right side of the page there, there’s a link to Google+ and one of the articles that came out this week on Google+ is in New York Times. It’s entitled The Island where People Forget to Die.Brock: That’s pretty forgetful.Ben: Yeah. And it looked at this island off the coast of Turkey and there’s a ton of centenarians there and people who are living super long but high quality lives. What they did was they had some journalist and I think a couple of epidemiologists went over there and looked into what these folks were doing from a dietary and a lifestyle activity standpoint to try and draw some corollaries for people that know a little bit more about how they could live long high quality lives. And they did find some interesting things in
terms of their diet. It was a very very kind of traditional Mediterranean diet but it had some unique components, for example, it’s very low in dairy except for dairy from goat’s milk in which case, that dairy intake was fairly high from goat’s milk – moderately high or even higher than many Western diets in red wine. Generally, a lot of folks will be pleased to hear. Large amount of beans but stewed like not necessarily fermented but beans that had really been well soaked. We’re not talking about grabbing a kidney beans out of a can at the grocery store but making your dishes with peas and fennel and garlic and olive oil, basically like Greek stews almost. There’s a lot of coffee and interestingly tons of tea from a bunch of different plants that these folks were literally picking up in the hills like wild plants, wild herbs and that’s really interesting because a lot of our pharmaceuticals that we use more traditional Western culture are really derived from natural compounds. Natural compounds can’t be patented and sold so, we tend to see them marketed as pharmaceuticals instead but doing things like wild mint tea and rosemary tea and another type of tea called artemisia which helps to improve blood circulation and they did lots of dandelion and spinach like grims that are good liver cleansers, lots of honey, lots of homemade bread. I’m guessing the bread probably from the more ancient grain that doesn’t have as much activity in terms of digestive irritants and even lots of coffee. So, I think that we can definitely take a note from what these people are doing. One thing that’s really important here is lots of fresh air and outdoor activities and tons of cultural activity like having friends and playing outside (for lack of better words or better terms). That’s how you live a hundred years.Brock: I want to go there.Ben: There you go. So, get a lot of clean air and wine. Grab your Cabrini and go skipping out in the field.Brock: Perfect!Special Announcements:Brock: Okay. So we already sort of alluded to the post that you did over at bengreenfieldfitness.com over the last week or so but if you haven’t checked it out, make sure you got over there and take a peek especially if you’re about to indulge in some holiday feasting
‘cause there’re some very good strategies to take care of that or at least help you along the way.Ben: Definitely geeked down on fat loss in the past couple of articles over there so check those out for sure. And then a couple of other quick things: I will be brief in the special announcements ‘cause anyway, you’re kinda long there in the opening. I’m now offering nutrition consulting to people. I used to only offer nutrition consulting combined with exercise coaching. Now, I am offering nutrition consulting for people who already have a personal trainer, who already have an exercise coach, who already have a training plan that they’re following. You can still do the deal where I’m actually programming your meals into training peaks and giving you my private client forum access and doing phone calls with you. You can check all that out. We’ll put it in the show notes but if you just need a nutrition help and you don’t necessary need the fitness component, that’s available to you now on more of like a coaching basis rather than just getting me on for a single phone consult.Brock: And I guess if you’re looking for even more information and more access to Ben and all his information, you should go to the Become Super Human Live event in Spokane Washington.Ben: Yes. And if you get in by December 1, we’re gonna enter you in the contest to win one of 2 prizes – a private one-on-one consult with me while you’re out here or free ticket but you need to register by December 1. It’s at bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman.[0:15:12.6] A lot of people are wondering how is this gonna be airing event to the podcast and the big big thing about this event is it’s not information. It’s experience and it’s solutions in real time, Q & A with some really really good folks that I’m gonna have there. I’m gonna reveal the speakers very soon but this is something that you’re gonna wanna be at. Local organic food, tons of information that’s gonna change your life and I guess we should probably just play the commercial for it to move on, huh?Brock: Yeah. Exactly but I just wanna say personally, I’m most excited about Ray Cronise being there.
Ben: That’s right.Brock: That guy is freaking amazing.Ben: He’s fat-burning NASA dude.Brock: He’s from NASA! Wanna get personal access to all of Ben Greenfield’s secrets life? This March in Spokane, Washington. Ben is bringing the world’s best speakers straight to you. You’re gonna get step by step blueprints for performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, and hormone optimization and get inside or access to private parties special sessions for podcast listeners only. And of course, delicious locally grown organic meals. The conference is called Become Super Human and it’s already filling up fast. But you can get in now at bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman. You’ll come away from this live 2 day event completely set for life to achieve everything you want for your body, mind and performance. Whether you want to maximize fat loss, achieve an ironman triathlon, or push your body and mind to the absolutely limits of human performance. So visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman and we’ll see live you live and in person March 8th and 9th, 2013.Listener Q & A:Alexander: Hi Ben and Brock! It’s Alexander here from Glasgow. First of all, I need to thank you both. I’ve been listening to your podcast for the last 6 months and although I’ve been always quite slim. I always have this sort of as Ben called the skinny fat look and I’ve already embraced his high fat diet over the last 6 months. I’ve also stopped eating wheat after reading Dr. Davis some fantastic Wheat Belly book and I’ve shed 4 kg in the last 4 months which is quite a lot considering that I was already on the about 70 kg. And furthermore, with your training recommendations, I’ve managed to knock 20 minutes off my marathon pace time. I’ve done from 349 to 329 in 5 months which I could not really believe when I did it. So, what I’ve done now, I’ve signed up for Ironman next year and although I’m a good runner and good cyclist, my swimming is rather poor and I was wondering what recommendations Ben would have how to best start with proper swimming training. Thanks very much and keep it up. I love the show. Bye.
Ben: Well, first of all, Alexander, congratulations on using that ironic approach of a high fat diet to beat your skinny fat look. I think that’s great.Brock: Most people will not believe you when you tell them that but it works.Ben: It’s not as cool as your accent but it’s pretty cool. As far as learning how to swim, it’s a great question. What I did when I learned how to swim, and this is just the way that I learned was I went and got a book from the library and it was one of those waterproof books with the pages that don’t dissolve when chlorinated water hit them and I just kept that at pool side and I swam drills, I asked the lifeguards questions, and then I took about 5 different little mini clinics that I found in the area where coaches came in and they’d videotape you and teach you drills whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advance. I know many areas have those kind of clinics going on. I teach some here locally now but that combined with lots of reading and looking and watching really helped me. Now, based off with my schedule, I wasn’t able to get into any masters classes but master swim classes are also good. You don’t have to be, as the name implies, a master of the sport. Master just refers to age – you can be beginner, intermediate or advanced and you can go into masters workouts and they typically have different lanes for different skills and lot of times, there is a coach or an instructor there at poolside helping you out.[0:20:06.2] Now, if you just wanna pick up and you’ll go Christmas shopping or whatever for some of the best swim resources out there, I’ve got some things that I definitely recommend and I will make sure that I link to this stuff in the show notes and the other thing that I’ll do is we have a MyList for every single Ben Greenfield Fitness episode and what that means is if you go to facebook.com/bgfitness, there are very very helpful lists there called MyList and not only can you see lists of everything we talk about in the show notes but you can also click on stuff, go check it out, you can like it, you can share with others and it’s definitely a cool little facebook tool that we’ve been trying to use more to make things more useful for you guys. Anyways though, as far as
some of the things I’d recommend, some of the things I’ll be sure to put on that MyList, there are some really good books out there. I like the one by Swim Smooth. It’s a complete coaching system in one book. I own it. It’s probably the best swimming book on my shelf and it’s just called Swim Smooth. That’s a really good one. They also have a DVD. Swim Smooth does and it’s called Learn to Swim Freestyle. I do have some more advanced swimming DVDs that I think are also good and I own all their DVDs but that one - Learn to Swim Freestyle, obviously, you can’t put a TV at the bottom of the pool and watch it but if you just watch that a few times during the week when you’re going to the pool, that helps really really well also. So as far as learning resources, I’d save that book and that DVD.Brock: Buy on their website as well. There’s a great questionnaire on their website. They will identify your strengths and your weaknesses so you’re able to choose what you need to be working on to sort of address any deficiencies you might have on your stroke and I wish that all my athletes as well (the athletes that I coach), at least the beginners, to watch. There’s an animation right on the homepage of their website that is basically like the perfect swim stroke. And if you sit and watch that for a few minutes before you go to the pool (everytime for a few weeks in a row) and really embody what that animation is showing you, that can really help as well.Ben: Your loved one might get jealous though.Brock: He’s pretty handsome, Mr. Smooth.Ben: I think they have a Mrs. Smooth too.Brock: What?! I’ve been watching Mr. Smooth for years.Ben: Maybe it’s Mrs. Smooth, topless, I don’t know. Anyways though, a few actual tools or pieces of gear you’d come into the pool with you. I like the Finis freestyle or paddles – these are special paddles that rather than just providing resistance, actually guide your hand into the correct position. I also like the Finis fins that are specifically designed to teach you how to point your toes properly during the kick. If you’re gonna have a little back pack that you take with you to the pool, I’d have the fins in there, I’d have the Finis freestyle or paddles. And then the last thing that I
would include are what are called PT paddles and these are very very similar to swimming with your hand in a fist except they’re actual paddles that you hold and you wrap your hand around the paddle on that keeps you from using your hands so you learn how to use your forearm a lot better. I’ll put a link to all of these stuff in the show notes but you could go to Swim Smooth, you’ll probably spend like 50-200 bucks over there getting all these stuff and then you’ve kinda just got this package that you get in your house and that’s a lot of the stuff you can use to swim. I know they got some multi buy discounts over there too. You purchase 2 or more products and use some kind of a discount or something like that.Cathy: Hello Ben and Brock! This is Cathy from Oregon. Thanks for a great podcast. Today, I have a question about magnesium. I’ve taken Calm (the brand) on and off for several years to help with insomnia but recently in the last couple of months, I’ve tried the Calm brand again and I had a horrible stomachache the next day and as well as like it was like taking a tranquilizer. The next day, I had to take 2 to 3-hour nap, it would just knock me out. This actually happened several times so I tested it and I absolutely know it was the Calm. So, I’m wondering if you have any ideas why this may be. It was the Calm brand with calcium and potassium. I’ve tried another magnesium that has magnesium glycinate and that’s fine, I don’t get that issue. So I’m wondering maybe if it’s the magnesium citrate and the magnesium ascorbate that’s in the Calm brand. Would that make any difference? Or maybe it’s the addition of the calcium and potassium or I don’t know what. So, any thoughts on that would be great. Thanks very much.[0:25:12.5]Ben: I’ve heard this, Cathy, about magnesium citrate before.Brock: I have experienced this from the exact same thing that she is taking as well.Ben: Like taking a little bit or taking a lot of it?Brock: Taking 2 tsp like it says on the side of the bottle.
Ben: Yeah. Magnesium citrate in high amounts has certainly been shown to draw a lot of water into the bowels and it can cause some of the diarrhea type of effect. But some people are very sensitive to it even in small amounts. A lot of people, they don’t experience that kind of loose stool from like a magnesium citrate until they get to above 500 mg or so of it. And I personally use the natural Calm. I’ve been using it more as kind of a way to calm me down when I wanna take an afternoon nap, I find that it works really well for that. And for me I use about a heaping tsp of it or so which is I think it comes out to right around 300-400 mg of magnesium citrate. It is true that different people’s digestive systems handle magnesium in different ways and so the first thing that you should know here is that the whole reason we’re having this conversation in the first place is that magnesium is one of the most underrated and ignored minerals when you look at it compared to calcium which gets pushed all over the place. But magnesium is essential to literally like 300 different enzymatic processes in your body. And we’ve had Dr. Carolyn Dean on the podcast before and she calls it The Master Mineral because it has so many different functions in terms of cellular activity and glucose balance and because of performing practices–over fertilization or over (what do you call it when you dump stuff on the soil?)Brock: That’s fertilization or you mean pesticides.Ben: Yeah. Well that too – pesticides and herbicides, I guess it would be just over fertilization. For some reason, for me that brings up conjures of images of having too many babies or something like that, for top soil conditions, basically. A lot of people are magnesium deficient. The problem is that when you don’t have enough magnesium, you aren’t able to use calcium properly, so, you’re supposed to have a calcium to magnesium ratio right around like 2:1. And most people are way way higher than that in terms of their calcium to magnesium ratios. Now, you can look at your magnesium levels (I recently did this). You get what’s called the red blood cell analysis. You can also do what’s called the spectra cell analysis and that’s a really really simple blood test to determine your magnesium levels and it’s something that you should be able to do just about anywhere. You can also, if you wanna do kinda something a little bit more qualitative and I’m getting a guy on the podcast. Actually, I already did the interview
and I should release it next week. You can do muscle testing which I know a lot of people think it’s kinda woowoo but after I talked to this guy, Dr. Ken Best, who’s a doctor in LA. I actually think that there is quite a bit to be said for muscle testing where you can literally have magnesium in your mouth or potentially even be like holding magnesium and do muscle testing to see if you might have some kind of a deficiency in magnesium, so, a little bit quicker way to do things than a red blood cell analysis. First thing to realize is that you’re gonna get decent amounts of magnesium from fruits and vegetable that are grown in really good soil and you can even add magnesium. They sell minerals that you can add to your topsoil if you have your own garden to increase the magnesium content of your food, so we use special kinds of fertilizers and compost in our garden that increases mineral content of the vegetables that we grow and that really helps us get a little bit of extra magnesium. You can also use a trace liquid mineral supplement. And a lot of times, people who don’t tolerate magnesium citrate very well do just fine with this and that’s like a full spectrum minerals. There’s one that I use called the Natural Vitality and it’s not just magnesium but it’s a bunch of trace minerals as well. The only problem with that is it technically doesn’t have as much magnesium as most people and especially sweating active individuals should get. So you’re still gonna need to supplement with some extra magnesium even if you’re doing a natural like a trace minerals. Now, there are a ton of different forms of magnesium out there and this is where it gets confusing for people because you’ve got magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate and magnesium threonate and all of these different forms of magnesium. And studies go back and forth on the bio availability of these different preparations of magnesium.[0:30:16.0] Essentially, magnesium in any form is gonna be bound to something when it’s in a supplement. Sometimes it’s bound to citrate, sometimes it’s chelated and what that means is it’s attached to an amino acid. Sometimes it’s found in oxide form as magnesium oxide. Now, what research is very very clear on is that magnesium citrate which is what you’d find in the natural Calm or in a lot of the popular magnesium supplements that are out there in the market, magnesium citrate is going to be better absorbed than magnesium oxide. Magnesium chelate is also gonna be
better absorbed than magnesium oxide. And this is based off of studies that have been done that have looked at red blood cell levels of magnesium after taking either form of magnesium. However, once we get into a lot of these kind of like which amino acid is better and is glycinate better than threonate or either of those better than citrate, it kinda bounces all over the map in terms of what studies show and what people actually tolerate. My ultimate solution for this and my recommendation to Cathy would be to just bypass the digestive tract all together and use a magnesium lotion or magnesium oil and you can literally get fantastic absorption. One spray or one little bit of oil applied to the inner thighs, under armpits, any area of high blood flow, is gonna give you right around 10 mg. 10 sprays of magnesium oil would give you a hundred and you can literally completely bypass the digestive tract, eliminate all these issues altogether and still get the benefits of magnesium through transdermal application and that’s something that I’ve spoken about before in the podcast when I interviewed Dr. Mark Sircus. It’s about transdermal magnesium. That’s what I would look into and your problem is not uncommon with magnesium citrate. Usually it happens more when people are taking a lot of it. One of the things that a lot of people do is they’ll use the magnesium citrate but not drink enough water with it and that can basically keep you from absorbing properly and cause to get more complications when you take it without water but regardless it sounds like for you it’s a pretty serious issue even little bits of it so I’ll just switch to a transdermal magnesium.Brock: The stomach problem I found actually went away after using it for a little while and one of the keys was especially with that natural Calm (I haven’t tried the other ones) is to make sure you do mix it with warm water to begin with or even hot water. If you just sort of stir it into cold water, that’s when I got the stomach ache, not necessarily the loose stool but it actually kinda hurt my stomach a little bit. The other problem that she was talking about was being completely knocked out even like the next day and needing to take a nap and stuff. That’s something that I’ve experienced on a really irregular basis with using the natural Calm.Ben: Yeah. I suspect that that may be a little bit more of a dehydration loss of electrolyte effect from that. The osmotic gradient of using is correctly pulling a lot of water into the colon and just leaving
you feeling similar if you drank the night before and dehydrated yourself that way. That’s what I suspect. Of course, it could be possible that you’re just going in the woowoo mode from the deeper sleep that magnesium can give you. But yeah, it’s tough to say on that and I can’t really find many studies that show that that type of post day effect of magnesium use. And of course, one of the things that I should also mention and I know we’re going all of these questions so I’ll go ahead and end it soon but magnesium glycinate, I do know that a lot of alternative medical practitioners and naturopathic physicians, that’s kind of the darling magnesium for them, is magnesium glycinate form. So, if you don’t wanna use transdermal and you do wanna use oral, I’ll put a link in the show notes for you to some magnesium glycinate which doesn’t for many thing I’ve seen have any lower absorption than a magnesium citrate.Debbie: Hi Ben! This is Debbie from San Antonio, the diabetes capital of the United States. You have recommended cinnamon to increase insulin sensitivity as well as increase fat burning. I was wondering if you knew in the studies, was cinnamon verum or cinnamon cassia used. I understand that the cassia variety is almost exclusively sold in the United States with the verum type used ever almost everywhere else in the world. Just wanting which type is the most effective. Love your podcast.[0:35:02.9]Brock: So, congratulations on coming from the diabetes capital of the United States.Ben: Yeah. It’s a great accomplishment.Brock: I didn’t know they have that kind of designation.Ben: I’m sure women’s health or men’s health or something like that named it. Anyways though, cinnamon, we talked about it last week in terms of how as little as 2 tsp has a very stark effect in terms of what it does when you have cinnamon with cereal as far as lowering the blood sugar effect of something like cereal is great for insulin sensitivity, good for not necessarily increasing fat burning but more kinda increasing or improving blood glucose control which has an indirect effect on your ability to burn fat. You are correct in wanting to differentiate between the 2 different
forms of cinnamon because technically, there’s only one true cinnamon and…Brock: One cinnamon to rule them all.Ben: That one cinnamon has been shown in research to be more effective than the alternative forms of cinnamon or what would be called cassia, basically.Brock: It’s the hybrid.Ben: Yeah. Cassia is the hybrid. And then Ceylon cinnamon or what’s also known as cinnamon verum, that’s true cinnamon. And it’s usually more expensive but it is more closely associated with potential health benefits like blood sugar regulation. The reason that sometimes they’re confused that both these forms of cinnamon belong to the same family of plants and the same genus but they’re technically different compounds chemically. The nice thing is though that even this cassia cinnamon has been looked at in studies and has been shown to improve glycemic control and shown to have a little bit of this anti diabetic effect. So if you don’t wanna spend the money on the real true cinnamon, you can still get decent effect albeit a slightly less potent effect from the fake cinnamon – from the poser. It’s interesting if you get the bark you can actually notice the difference in the bark. The bark on the true cinnamon is kinda thinner and a little less curled and the fake cinnamon is really really thick bark. So, thinner layer bark is one indication that you’ve got a real cinnamon on your hands.Brock: Yeah. You can crumble it up very easily with your fingers. It’s quite…like I’ve broken it up in just sort of mashed it between my thumbs and sprinkled it on top of stuff and that’s not…if you did that with the other stuff you’d be gnawing on it for a good half hour.Ben: Yeah. And we get our cinnamon from Cosco which I believe is just a regular cassia-based cinnamon but we got through so much where we used to get this mondo packages over from Cosco. If blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity is really really important for you like if you have diabetes, for example, and you want the more potent one, that’d be a case when you’d wanna spring for the true more expensiv6e stuff but in most cases, I think it’s kind of a mute point.
Brock: Have you ever sniffed them side by side?Ben: I have not.Brock: It’s really interesting. The cassia (the regular one) smells like cinnamon but the Ceylon stuff smells more like cinnamon candy.Ben: Interesting!Brock: They’re little like hot mollies or the cinnamon parts.Ben: It’s got its skin down. It’s doing a good job as a poser.Brock: Nice work.Glenn: Hey Ben! My questions about omega 6 and it being a possible cause or contributor to inflammation. Up until around 6 months ago, I was supplementing with an all-in-one flexi olive oil, fish oil, omega 3, 6 and 9. And then I read about omega 6 possibly contributing to inflammation. I suffer from pretty severe Achilles tendonitis as a distance runner and I did have some relief when I cut the 6 out and switched to just straight fish oil with omega 3 only and I’ve been given a new supplement from a friend of mine that’s an omega 3, 6 and 9 plus sterol supplement. I really wanna try it but I’m just hesitant with the omega 6 and whether you think it’s okay to incorporate supplements while fighting inflammation. All right. Thanks. Bye.Ben: This can be kinda confusing for folks because omega 6 do kinda get a bad wrap. Big picture, we hear omega 6’s are pro inflammatory omega 3’s are anti inflammatory. When we look at this though, omega 6’s are basically a polyunsaturated fat that are essential to the body. Both omega 6 and omega 3 are essential to the body. That means neither of these fats (omega 6 or omega 3) are produced by your body so you have to get them from your diet.[0:40:09.4] And the only difference between the 2 is that you look at polyunsaturated fat and it’s polyunsaturated has multiple double bonds in that carbon chain whereas a monounsaturated fat has one double bond that appears in that chain. And that chemical change makes polyunsaturated fats more unstable especially during the processing that you might get in creating like a vegetable oil. And so any amount of light or moisture or air or
heat or pressure can damage a polyunsaturated fat which reallyleads to the reason that they have gotten a bad wrap is becausethese damaged polyunsaturated fats, when you do studies on folksfor everything from brain function to bone health to heartfunction, we tend to see some issues creep up with a high amountomega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption that you find inmany Western diets. And specifically, if you look at the omega 6to omega 3 ratio, a very very high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio isassociated with chronic disease risk factors. But it’s stillimportant to be clear that omega 6 is extremely important. Omega6 does have a physiological role within the body but the issue hereis the actual source of omega 6 fatty acids. The reason, if you lookat this from a chemical standpoint that omega 6 fatty acids areactually important is that they metabolize to an anti inflammatoryand they metabolize to an anti inflammatory that reducesinflammation in many areas of the body. The eyes are a perfectexample. If you don’t have enough omega 6’s in your diet, you canget what’s called ocular surface inflammation and it can affectyour eyesight. Now, the type of omega 6 fatty acid thatmetabolizes to the specific anti inflammatory that can help outwith something like eyesight is not derived from vegetable oils likesunflower or safflower or soybean oils that are added to a lot ofprocessed foods or the omega 6 oils that you find in crackers andchips and in cookies and cakes and stuff like that. You get a lot ofthese type of omega 6 from basically seed-based oils specifically,these are called omega 6 linoleic acids and you find them in thingslike black kern seed oil is one example, borage oil is another,evening primrose oil is another. You’ll find many of these omega6 fatty acid compounds that are out there like Udo’s oil is apopular supplement. And they’re using a lot of these type oflinoleic acid sources of omega 6’s and not just taking canola oiland dumping it in there along with some fish oil or something likethat. That’s one example of a healthy source of omega 6 thatactually has an anti inflammatory effect. Another example of anomega 6 source that would have a good effect in terms of itsavailability without being damaging for you would be chlorella orspirulina. Those are also gonna be good sources of the type ofomega 6’s that have this anti inflammatory effect. And then ofcourse, the type of thing that can improve the absorption of theanti inflammatory compounds at omega 6’s are omega 3 fattyacids. Ideally, you’ve got some good healthy sources of omega 6’s
coming in along with decent levels of a healthy omega 3 fatty acid source and you’ve got that one 2 combo as far as this anti inflammatory effect that could give you some good response in terms of your Achilles tendon. But if the omega 6 fatty acids are from vegetable oil sources, it could have just the opposite inflammatory effect. A couple other things that you should know about this is that omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, if you’ve got a lot of inflammation going on, if you’re exercising a lot, if you’re exposed to a lot of pollutants, toxins, etc., those can metabolize to pro inflammatory compounds. One of the dietary components that can keep that from occurring is a very popular natural anti inflammatory called curcumin extract. And I’m a big fan especially in people who are injured and who have some muscle or some inflammation issues going on or who just need to recover faster, big fan of not only using a good pharmaceutical grade cold water fish oil like an omega 3 fatty acid but also using a curcumin extract. And generally, a pill or a capsule is even better that just cooking with turmeric.[0:45:01.5] Another thing that I would really recommend that I really like to inhibit inflammation and basically what this does is it enhances what’s called neutrophil apoptosis which is cell death of neutrophils and that signals the macrophage component which are cells that they’re like your clean-up cells and helps in the clean-up debris from injured sites and lactoferrin is a specific type of protein that does that. One of the compounds that you’ll hear me recommend to people who are injured is called the Capraflex. The reason for that is that it has lactoferrin and curcumin extract in it along with tart cherry juice and ginger and a bunch of other stuff that really helps you out from that standpoint. So, I would use something like that, I’d use a nice cold water pharmaceutical grade fish oil, I’ll eliminate vegetable oils from the diet but I wouldn’t necessarily paint all omega 6’s with a broad brush and say they’re all bad.Brock: So you’ve gotta look at the balance and you’ve gotta look at the source.Ben: Yeah. And this 3, 6, 9 plus plant sterol supplement that Glenn is using, I believe is comprised of these natural linoleic acid forms of
omega 6’s that would be just fine. And the plant sterols wouldn’t be an issue as well. Many food manufacturers now are adding plant sterols to like margarine and mayonnaise and yogurts and stuff like this to try and make them look more healthy. I’m not a fan of those but natural plant sterol sources actually do have some good evidence behind them in terms of helping lower small oxidized cholesterol particles so, using an omega 3, 6, 9 with plant sterols, I don’t see anything wrong with a supplement like that.Jason: Hi Ben! My name is Jason. I’m a new listener. I had a question about the ketosis diet. I recently started that about a week ago and on day 5, I woke up with a resting heart rate that was pretty fast – about 110. I quickly looked on the internet for answers and read that said that they experience this when their carbs are too low. So, I just ate some carbs in the form of candy and seems it took care of that. So I upped my carbs a little bit in the diet but then I experienced it again on day 7. I am working out, I’m doing some circuit training in P90x and some bicycle riding 4 days a week of workout. Both times it happened I didn’t workout the day before but I did drink moderate alcohol in the form of vodka and soda water. I’m just wondering why I’m getting this elevated heart rate from the ketosis diet. Thank you.Ben: Jason, maybe you just had a bad dream or an exciting dream and you woke up excited or scared – one of the two, or both perhaps. Anyways though, it’s pretty common with ketosis in causing an increased resting heart rate and it just comes down to basic physiology. Your cardiac output – how much your heart actually puts out is a combination of your heart rate, so how fast your heart beats per minute and also your stroke volume or how much blood your heart actually pumps with each stroke. And then the other thing that’s important to realize is your blood pressure is a function of that cardiac output that I just mentioned as well as what’s called peripheral resistance. And so, what this means is that if your blood pressure drops, two things have to happen – either your heart rate or your stroke volume has to increase or your peripheral resistance which would basically mean your blood vessels get smaller, that has to increase. The reason that I’m describing this to you is because when you switch to a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, your body is gonna shed a lot of storage carbohydrate. Storage carbohydrate can carry up to 4 times its weight in water so you’re gonna lose a lot of water and
your blood pressure is going to drop. And when that happens, when blood pressure drops, that drop is detected by what are called baroreceptors in your aorta and these baroreceptors send a signal right into your brain – into your medulla which is a section of your brain that’s responsible for doing things like sending signals to your heart. And your medulla will send the signal back to your heart to increase not only your heart rate but also your force of contraction. And this can occur just chronically like all day long if you’re in a state of low blood pressure that’s been initiated by a drop in your storage muscle glycogen or a drop in your storage water.[0:50:01.5] This is why in an article that I wrote over at bengreenfieldfitness.com on supplements that ease the transition into a low carb or a ketogenic diet, this is why I recommend sodium and taking in electrolytes like using trace liquid minerals blend. I would also get some Himalayan sea salt and start salting your food using effervescent electrolyte tablets but getting enough salt in your diet is super important and a lot of people think “oh I’m messing up my body ‘cause I’m not getting enough carbs, I must be producing a bunch of cortisol and I’m stressing out my body” and that’s what’s happening and a lot of times, that’s not the case. It’s just pure electrolytes. I was telling this story over on the I do a sports nutrition for Endurance Planet at enduranceplanet.com. We’re talking about how I literally almost collapsed during a tennis match last week and I was flabbergasted because I’ve got enough fuel on board, I’d even done my carbohydrate, I’d done Superstarch, and it was during a tennis tournament and it was an important match so I was fuelled up. And I realized that my blood pressure was dropping. It was not a matter of not having enough energy on board. It was a drop in blood pressure so I literally went out and had a salted banana. I went out to the tennis court cafeteria and got a banana, got a bunch of salt, poured it on there. And I was fine within 10 minutes. And so, understand that a lot of the issues they experience with low carb ketogenic diets, they’re just simply electrolyte issues and that fact that you had some alcohol which we know can dehydrate you and throw off your electrolyte balance suggests even more so this is probably the case.
Brock: I remember Dr. Peter Attia when he was talking about the ketogenic diet he actually drinks bouillon or eats bouillon cubes.Ben: Yeah. I’ll have one or two bouillon cubes which is super salty - 1 or 2 grams of pure sodium per hour. Just be careful of that stuff a lot of times, they can have MSG and stuff in it. I don’t personally do that but yeah, look at the electrolytes for sure.Jennifer: Hi Ben and Brock! A few weeks ago you did answer the question about exercise-induced amenorrhea and suggested that in order to bring periods back, women should stop exercising for about a month and eat a pretty high fat diet. I wondered if when that month is over, you can begin resuming your old training schedule or if done, the problem would just come back again. I guess, I just like you to talk a little bit more if possible about that “reset button” you discussed and just explain how exactly it works. I also wondered, (I noticed you have you have a lot of triathlon folks out there) but I wondered if you have any specific half marathon or running-focused training book. All right, thanks a lot.Brock: Okay. So, let’s get it out of the way. The last question you asked about the marathon books. Ben, you’ve got Marathon Dominator, right?Ben: Yeah. I’ve got the Marathon Dominator program which you can get at marathondominator.com. I wrote that along with the Jill Bruyere, a running coach over in Seattle. She and I worked on that together and it’s a 4-day a week running program with a bunch of weight training and injury prevention protocols and nutrition assistance and everything you need really is in there and that’s a good program. I also do custom programs. I’m working on a program right now for a crossfitter, for example, who’s doing a marathon and we’re doing that one on 2 days of running a week just because he’s getting enough metabolic stimulants from his WODs that were going 2 runs a week and interval training session and a marathon kind of a longer run on the end of the week. Yeah, I do custom programs for people, too, if you don’t wanna something like the Marathon Dominator.Brock: For those of you who are wondering, a WOD is a workout of the day.
Ben: Yes.Brock: Not being gross.Ben: It’s also a spit form. Anyways, I think one is WOD and one is WAD.Brock: Yeah. It’s hard to see the spelling on a podcast though.Ben: It is. Just imagine. Anyways though, amenorrhea…I know that we geeked out on amenorrhea (as folks do) a couple of weeks ago. I think we talked about this and how it’s really related in many cases to chronic energy insufficiency and calorie restriction so that’ll put your body under stress and that leads to hormonal changes. Basically, hormones that are produced by the hypothalamus in your brain and those signal your ovaries to produce estrogen and also to produce progesterone and those hormones get decreased. And since estrogen and progesterone are needed for your normal menstrual flow and for you to stay fertile, what happens is your body kinda shuts down production of sex hormones whereas, for many women, they find that to be convenient to have amenorrhea and to not have to do with the cycle.[0:55:23.1] It’s also quite damaging and it’s not really ideal from a health standpoint to be infertile, for example, if you just step back and you look at something like your bone density, estrogen is super critical for keeping your bone density elevated and when you get that drop in estrogen, you also get that drop in bone density and you don’t get that back. What you arrive at about 25-30 years old that with bone density is what you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. To me, you’re looking down the road at hip fractures and stress fractures and stuff like that. That’s one of the bigger concerning issues with amenorrhea is the bone density standpoint. And to answer Jennifer’s question a little bit more specifically, yes, they’ve done studies where they’ve looked at the type of energy intake that’s necessary to more or less pull you out of amenorrhea because you do have to increase your calorie intake while preferably decreasing your activity levels. There’s one study in the International Journals Sports Nutrition that found that the chronic energy deficit that causes amenorrhea could be reversed
and you could start to produce proper amounts of estrogen and progesterone again with 20 weeks of increasing your calorie intake combined with at least one complete recovery none activity day per week. Now, another study that followed up from that actually found the specific calorie intake that helped out with this was 200 to 300 calories per day – increasing your calorie intake by 200 to 300 calories per day along with lower physical activity levels. They actually had folks taking some supplements in that – calcium, iron, zinc, B vitamins, some of the stuff that people who are energy deficient tend to be deficient in and that helped out with that. Ideally, what I would do if I were trying to increase my calorie intake to the point where I wanted my body to make enough hormones because I was hormone deficient, is I’ll go get a resting metabolic rate test and find out what your resting metabolic rate is and basically never go under that, ever. And that would be a very very good way to do it and evidence shows that you can turn yourself around in about 20 weeks or so by using a strategy like that.Brock: And then if you’re actually exercising on top of that, would you then compensate for the amount of estimated calories that you’re burning during those exercise bouts?Ben: Yeah. That’s a really good point. If your resting metabolic rate is 1300 calories per day and then you’re exercising to the tune of 500 calories per day, 1800 calories would be your minimum calorie intake for that day.Brock: So you never wanna be running at a deficit.Ben: Yes. And if you’re standing work station, taking the stairs, parking far away and you’re doing all things that kinda help keep your metabolism elevated, you can multiply your resting metabolic rate by about 1.2 as a starting factor. So activity is a daily living effect that too if you really wanna be anal about these things.Brock: And I guess you kinda have to be if you wanna get yourself out of amenorrhea.Ben: Yeah. And then test 24-hour urine sex steroid test or do a test with direct labs and keep an eye on your estrogen and progesterone levels and you’re gonna see a surge – you’re gonna see those going up as you do the right things.
Tim: Hey Ben! My name is Tim Skafidas and I’m a personal trainer here in Crestview Colorado. I’m hoping to come to your seminar on March. Love your show. I’ve learned a lot. I got some Deep 30 protein that you recommended and I know it has 7 grams of sugar. My old protein is called Whey Advanced from the people’s chemist has zero sugar and he claims any positive effects are negated due to the fact that any protein pattern has sugar in it. Thanks for everything.Brock: Tim asked a boat loader questions and we just couldn’t answer all of them so this is probably the most interesting one.Ben: Sorry, Tim, the other questions just sucked. No, they were good.Brock: That’s not true (that they were good).Ben: It was like a 4-minute long question. Whey protein and whether or not it should have sugar in it. You’d think that it should at first glance if you understand physiology because you know that carbs spike your insulin levels. And when you spike your insulin levels and you’re doing that along with food intake after workout, it could technically improve your amino acid uptake and cause greater enhanced muscle repair and recovery.[1:00:11.3] But when you look at this and you study it, there’s actually a study that was done out there in Canada, Brock, where they looked at muscle protein synthesis and breakdown after resistance exercise in men. In one group, they had consumed protein and the other group, they had consumed protein that had a bunch of sugar added to it. And as you would expect, the protein + sugar group, they did get a greater insulin response but both groups had similar rates of protein synthesis and similar post exercise effects like level of soreness and level of muscle building and that kind of stuff so, it just goes to show that you don’t actually need carbs in a protein powder to build muscle and you don’t necessarily have to take carbohydrates and sugar along with protein post exercise to build muscle. The impact of this for some folks is that it is true that there is a potential downside to taking carbs and that they could (in someone who’s had an energy surplus) shut down fat oxidation or they could cause a rise in blood glucose and that’s just from the excess energy from the carbs. Protein in and of itself
is still gonna cause a big insulin spike that’s why I recommend doing stuff like coconut oil and almond butter and things like that if you’re gonna snack before bed and not to do protein or carbohydrate. But ultimately, what it comes down to is that protein powder doesn’t have to have carbohydrate in it. Now, protein powder is not going to be harmed by having carbohydrate in it. You’re still gonna get just a fine effect from protein. In the case of something like Deep 30 protein, which I personally have just about everyday, I have a serving of Deep 30 protein. My inner circle members who see my diet everyday know that it’s kind of a staple in my diet. It’s got 7-8 grams of carbohydrate in it and the carbohydrate is just from a couple of little things that they add in there for some color and a little bit of extra flavor. Specifically, it’s a little bit of beets juice and it’s little bit of carbohydrates that come along with the goat milk that’s in there – that’s in that protein. You get some of that goat milk-based carbohydrate as well. Those are the main components. They’re completely natural. They’re really nothing to worry about and frankly, for that particular protein, the fact that it’s got a bunch of probiotics added to it – a specific type of probiotic called ganeden BC, which literally makes us the only protein I’ve ever had that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to have to crap out a straw 2 hours later or mess up your stomach. It sounds nasty but it’s spore-forming probiotic. That means that inside the bacterial cell, you got this spore which is like a seed that safeguards the cell’s genetic material when a protein is sitting in the shelf and once that spore gets into your small intestine, it produces a bunch of good bacteria and actually enhances your digestive system and enhances you immune system - super unique part of this protein and then you get a bunch of extra electrolytes from the goat-based minerals that are in it. The benefits of this stuff, the taste of it, far outweighs any risk at all from the 7 or 8 grams of carbohydrate that are in it which are frankly very very small drop in the bucket and do not affect the efficacy of the protein at all.Brock: So, actually, just fold up the nutrition label here and for the coconut dream, it says the total carbohydrate is 11 grams but the total sugar is 7 grams.Ben: Yeah. When a label says that, the difference between the total listed and the sugar is just fiber which technically is indigestible- based fiber stuff like that. Another would be the beet extract for
example in there, I think. Maybe the beet extract is in a strawberry for the color. I don’t know. I don’t know how the label pulls up in front of me.Brock: Okay. Well, it makes sense.Ben: Yeah. Anyways though, I’ll put a link to Deep 30 protein in the show notes. But as an animal-based protein, I’m not a fan of that. I like the living protein for vegan-based protein, I like the Deep 30 protein as an animal-based protein, so, I highly recommend and you don’t have to run from the sugar in it and as an aside, when you mix the strawberry splash with coconut milk, it tastes like a Wendy’s frosty.Brock: All right! Well, on that delicious note, that wraps it up.Ben: As Brock gets his car ready and go get a Wendy’s frosty.Brock: Totally hmmm.[1:05:01.1]Ben: So, a couple of things for folks. One would be definitely go over to MyList over at facebook.com/BGFitness and check out the MyList for this episode if you want links to the swimming recommendations and the Capraflex and the protein powder and everything else that we talked about. But then, a quick request from you guys – a couple of request from me. One would be, as many of you know if you listen to the podcast for a while, Brock and myself and a group of triathletes are going to be in Thailand starting next week. Brock and I will be podcasting to you from Thailand.Brock: Fingers are crossed, just in case, something bad happens.Ben: Unless Brock is trampled by an elephant.Brock: I plan to try that anyway.Ben: However, Brock will there longer than I will and potentially, unreachable for a couple of weeks there in December.Brock: Off the grid.Ben: Off the grid. I wanna know what you guys would like for me to do. If you like me to answer the questions by myself, if you want me to
get a stand-in host, if you want me to completely just leave the podcast on the curb for the couple of weeks while Brock is gone and neglect it altogether, whatever you would like for me to do, leave it as a comment in the show notes for this episode – Episode #217. So, go over to bengreenfieldfitness.com, let me know what you’d prefer for that and if having the podcast without Brock just makes it way too painful an experience for you, I’ll completely understand even though ______ [1:06:37.8] too much.Brock: I could record a whole bunch of smart ass comments that you could just drop in every once in a while.Ben: The other thing is that if you get a chance, please leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes and a rating. That really helps out the show. As it does, leave a little donation if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com because, especially with this morning’s show, and all the hiccups and the recordings and my dog barking and all the other little behind-the-scene stuff that you guys don’t know about, this thing actually is a little bit of a labor of time.Brock: Yeah. I forgot to press “record” this morning. I’ll _____[1:07:16.3] up. We need to start over again.Ben: That’s all right. It’s in your ears now so, enjoy folks and we’ll end these things. This is Ben and Brock, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net