Podcast #281 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/05/281-are-
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Are Weeds
Healthy To Eat, Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights, MCT Oil
Allergies, Low T4 and Low T3, Can Tattoo Ink Cause Cancer, and
Natural Remedies for Night Sweats.
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.
Ben: Brock, what are you sippin’ over there?
Brock: I’ve got some of the ginger root beer Zevia.
Ben: Ginger root beer Zevia. We switched roles, you’re now drinking
Brock: Yeah, I’m belching throughout the entire show.
Ben: I had a friend invited over the house the other night who hadn’t
had soda in two years and I gave him a Zevia.
Brock: Did you blow his mind?
Ben: And I drove him to the hospital when he reeled over with a heart
attack. No, he actually liked it quite a bit. He said he didn’t get the
heart burn that he normally got… so, there you go.
Brock: There you go!
Ben: Stevia-flavored soda! Chalk another one up. Um, I’m drinking
Brock: What the heck is Tulsi tea?
Ben: Have you ever heard about Tulsi before? Tulsi is acclaimed in
India as the “Queen of Herbs”. And it’s actually this nourishing
herbal tea that has a bunch of health benefits. It’s got anti-
oxidants and adaptogens and one of the actual ingredients label
here if I could show it to you it’s basically, Tulsi which is the actual
tea leaf and then organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic
lemongrass and organic licorice. So it’s a powerful adaptogen that
balances energy levels, uplifts mood and is repeatedly noted in
ancient Indian scriptures dating back over 5,000 years. So,
blessings and namas-freaking-te.
Brock: Alright. Let’s get right into our first news flash…
Ben: Our news flashes. And of course I talk about these over at
twitter.com/bengreenfield all week long. And speaking of
namaste, I actually did my first series of coffee enemas this week.
And I simply tweeted out that I was doing them. I didn’t give out
the nitty gritty - Ha-ha – details. But I’m actually doing this,
because I am preparing a workshop for all the members of my
inner circle on coffee enemas. Why you wanna do them?
Brock: Oooo. Meaning to inner…?
Ben: Detoxes in general and there’s actually some really interesting
things that go on in terms of activation of your sympathetic
nervous system and a different load of antioxidants and some of
the chemicals and caffeine that you get when it is being absorbed
via your intestinal mucosa versus being taken orally. And there
are some very interesting things that occur from a detox
standpoint too that I personally was able to experience the joy of.
So I’m gonna go over all this in a workshop but in the links for this
episode bengreenfieldfitness.com/281, right?
Ben: Okay, cool. For any of my inner circle members or anybody who’s
planning on joining up the inner circle, who wants to kinda get the
head start on this before I teach the workshop at the end of this
month, I’m gonna link you over to this stainless steel enema kit I
used. Do not use the plastic cleanse cause they’ve got plastics in
them and the last thing you wanna do is be plastic… have plastic
filled coffee up your butt. Make sure you use a good mold-free
coffee. I used the Bulletproof coffee in a whole new way no grass
fed butter in this case and then I’ll put a link to some really good
coffee enema articles and resources for those of you who are
skeptical of the science and actually wanna dig in to the science,
so this week I made and tried some Tulsi tea enemas. We’ll see,
Brock: Interesting. I gotta ask that I’ve had a couple enemas long time
ago, but on the instructions that actually said to hold it in until the
pressure becomes urgent.
Ben: Yeah, that’s actually what you’re supposed to do. I actually re-
define the word “urgent”. For I never have gotten the urgency, I
think that perhaps I have an oversized colon, I don’t know. Maybe
I need more coffee. But, there you have it. So if you want, go over
the show notes, it’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/281. If you happen
to be any of our listeners who are still listening after realizing that
you’re listening to a couple of dudes who have both had enemas.
So speaking of morning routines though, let’s go into something
maybe slightly a little bit less weird.
Brock: Yes, let’s veer off in a different direction.
Ben: So, a new study that came out. And the study was in European
Journals Sports Science and it was titled Sleep or Swim. Early
morning training severely restricts the amount of sleep obtain by
elite swimmers. In this study, what they found was that swimmers
who have early morning exercise routines, in this case at 6 AM.
Brock: That’s not early.
Ben: It’s early in my book. Any exercise before 4 PM is early in my book
unless it involves enemas. Anyways, these athletes were sleep
deprived. They were getting less than six hours of sleep per night
compared to athletes who are not engaging in exercise in the
morning. They were getting up earlier; they were experiencing
less deep sleep and they had severely restricted sleep. And…
Brock: Do they really need to do a study to prove the people who are
getting up really early in the morning were getting less sleep?
Ben: Well it’s the similar… basically the way they set up the study is
they set it up that these folks would technically have the capability
to be in bed for the same amount of time as the folks who weren’t
doing early morning sleep sessions but just the fact that you rip
your body out of bed early in the morning to do something hard
actually causes changes in your circadian rhythm in terms of your
psychological and physiological functioning that make you kinda
go wide awake earlier in the morning. You train your body how to
get that cortisol “I gotta run from the lion” type of thing going on
early in the morning, once you start in the hard morning
Brock: Aha, so you actually like building a habitual reaction to waking up
which is like… “Wake up and go, go, go!” Not like “wake up and
ahhh! Enjoy the morning.”
Ben: Exactly. And this is why, in addition to the fact that your body
temperature, your reaction time and your post workout protein
synthesis peak in the afternoon or early evening. This is why my
morning workout is just a little bit of journaling and some deep
breathing and some yoga and yes the occasional enema. And I am
a big, big fan of just tapping into primarily your parasymphatetic
nervous system in the morning and where you kinda like rest and
digest your nervous system and saving the hard stuff for later if
you can. Obviously, if the only time you can work out is in the
morning, you’re probably going to of course, be fitter if you do
that versus not exercising at all. But ultimately, easy stuff in the
morning, hard stuff in the afternoon or early evening is not only
good from a fitness standpoint but it turns out also really
favorable from a circadian rhythm standpoint.
Brock: Interesting. So I guess… like I know a lot of people probably
listening to this have been going… “but I really enjoyed my
morning run, like, getting up and going for a run is how I get
ready for the day.” So you’re not saying like “Don’t do that”, just
don’t go out and do a whole bunch of sprints.
Ben: Yeah, I used be in morning workout guy too and I re-trained my
body and now, I still have a routine. It’s very important to start off
your day with a routine and multiple studies have shown this to
increase productivity, decrease stress and it’s a habit, that the
wealthiest people in the face of the planet all have morning
routines. Not that wealth is synonymous with success; it’s all a
different discussion. But ultimately, your routine doesn’t have to
be a workout. And in my case, it is, you know, I fill out my journal;
I take my heart rate variability; I lay in bed and do a little bit of
deep breathing and then I get out of bed; I do yoga; I take a cold
shower and then my day begins. And that’s my routine every day
without fail and I even have the same thing for breakfast every
morning, but ultimately, you know, the big picture here is try not
to slaughter yourself in the morning if you don’t have to. You can
save it for later in the day. So I’ll link to that in the show notes, I’ll
link to that in the study.
Brock: I can’t believe that your first thing isn’t go pee.
Ben: Hmmm, you know what, I actually… I do pee also.
Brock: Cause it’s pretty much the thing that gets me out of bed.
Ben: I thought that was a given.
Ben: D.I.Y Magnesium BiCarbonate recipe. This was an interesting
article over at biohacksblog.com. One of my favorite…
Brock: You love that website.
Ben: Now they’re doing a series right now on magnesium and how to
make your own magnesium oil and make your topical magnesium,
cause frankly a lot of these magnesium sprays and stuff, they’re
expensive. So, there’s actually… we talked about acidity and
alkalinity last week, and magnesium bicarbonate is actually a
pretty alkalinic substance that you can put into your body. It can
help with the metabolic acidosis that’s created during exercise. It
can also, of course, have some pretty cool effects thus far as
cleansing, detoxing and kinda cleaning you out as anyone who has
overdosed on magnesium bicarbonate knows.
Brock: You don’t even have to be overdosed by much… just a little.
Ben: Yeah, and what they give on this article is a recipe for making your
own kinda like poor man’s magnesium bicarbonate. It’s very, very
simple. You just need a milk of magnesia which you can get in any
grocery store. And you have some chilled, carbonated water and
you want by a liter of that so you can literally just get a liter of
soda water from your local grocery store and then your milk of
magnesia. You slowly add about 3 tablespoons of milk of
magnesia to that carbonated water and then you quickly replace
the cap on the liter water bottle, you shake it for about 60 seconds
and after about a half hour or so, you’ll get some dissolving of the
magnesium and some settling of the soda to the bottom. Then,
you shake again. And you do that just off and on throughout the
days, you come back to the bottle then you put it in the
refrigerator and what happens is once you pour that out, you’re
going to have a magnesium bicarbonate drink that has… I think
it’s about right around 615 milligrams of magnesium in a liter but
basically if you’re to go through that liter of water over a couple of
days for example, you’ll get a nice kind of effect in terms of getting
magnesium without necessarily having to go out and buy
magnesium. And so we’re talking about, literally pennies for
making your own magnesium bicarbonate water. It’s really
absorbable especially in the Co2. So…
Brock: Very cool!
Ben: It’s actually… I’m just reviewing the article; its 1500 milligrams
that you get in that liter of water so, enough magnesium for
several days. So there you go and interesting articles too they’ve
got over there on making your own magnesium spray and
magnesium oil so, I’ll link that one over in the show notes for
those of you who wanna get your magnesium but don’t wanna pay
top dollar for it.
Brock: Presumably you can add some lemon or lime or mint or
something to make it taste a little better as well.
Ben: Yup, exactly. I actually keep a little bottle of chocolate-flavored
Stevia and essential peppermint oil in my cabinet and I actually
add that to carbonated water. The Stevy gives a nice chocolaty
taste, the peppermint oil has a nice like cleansing effect that has a
very, very good antibacterial properties and it’s like drinking
Christmas every day – Carbonated water bottle. And then finally I
wanted to mention a study that came out that looked into high
intensity interval training. Now, I’ve talked before about how
doing high intensity interval training can cause the same type of
increases in mitochondrial density as long, slow or aerobic
training. And how there’s kind of two ways to skin the cat when it
comes to building up aerobic-based or ability to engage in
endurance exercise. One is to do short high-intensity intervals;
the other is to do like long slow-endurance training. Both have
different pathways to achieve the same effect when it comes to
mitochondrial density. And what this study looked into was it
compared a 30 seconds on, 4 minutes off form of interval training.
So it’s about four times through a 30 seconds very, very hard; 4
Brock: With a big rest period. Long rest periods.
Ben: It combines… compare this with 4 minutes of continuous training
that burnt about the same amount of calories or generates the
same amount of watts by the time the workout was done. So one
hard 4-minute bout at a moderate phase; versus four 30-seconds
all out bouts. It turns out that the four 30-seconds all out bouts
did give some good fitness adaptations, but the 4-minute bout
actually resulted in higher increases in your Vo2 max and an
actual improvement in performance. So, what this means is that
you can kinda choose between getting the improvement in the
Vo2 max and in the improvement of performance versus the
improvement in mitochondrial adaptations at first glance.
But what it turns out to be is that you can actually get the best of
both worlds if when you’re doing interval training, instead of
doing very, very short effort followed by long efforts, you actually
do a high intensity efforts with short rest periods. That gives you,
based on another study that I’ll link to in the show notes, that
gives you an increase in mitochondrial density AND an increase in
V02 max. So the trick here is if you wanna get peak aerobic
adaptations with interval training, you need to do a style of
interval training that is lighter than very, very hard efforts
separated by long recovery periods. It’s very, very hard efforts
followed by short recovery periods. So the difference would be
let’s say doing a Tabata set which is 20-seconds hard, 10-seconds
easy, eight times through versus doing a 30-seconds on, 4-
minutes off. The Tabata set would be better because it gives you
mitochondrial adaptation, it gives you improvements in oxygen
consumption and improvements in performance versus the high
intensity interval training which just gives you the improvement
in the mitochondria but if the rest periods are too long, you don’t
get an increase in performance or peak oxygen uptake. So
ultimately especially if you’re an endurance athlete or anybody
who wants to get as many benefits as possible out of all the high
intensity interval training, do it! Go all out! Really sacrifice
yourself during that session but use short rest periods rather than
long rest period and you’re gonna get better improvement. You’re
also gonna be in a lot of discomfort and pain, but ultimately, that’s
the better way to interval train; it’s go all out, short rest periods
not long rest periods.
Brock: Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.
Ben: If I could do a Montana accent, I would do a Montana accent right
now to get you ready for your obstacle race – my Montana
Brock: I think I talked that way for some reason, I think Montana
probably sounds more like I do.
Ben: My wife is from Montana, and they do not talk that way.
Brock: Well, she doesn’t.
Ben: Monatanans sound exactly like you would expect Montanans to
sound, relatively normal.
Ben: Anyways, yes we’re gonna go over there and do a Spartan race and
I’m excited about this because I’m in a process of launching a
brand new podcast for not just Spartan racers, but like tough
mothers, tough guys, dirty dash, lawyer dash, I don’t know what
the other trademarks there or out there. Did I miss any, Brock?
Brock: I think you made some up there.
Ben: Mad run?
Brock: Self Flagellation run? Hahaha.
Ben: Anyways though, we are now taking questions live the audio
format specifically for obstacle racing – what kind of gear should
wear? how do you eat? what’s the best way to train? what’s the
best way to prepare? what are the distances? – Basically anything
you want to know about training for obstacle racing, myself and
Hunter McIntyre, who is the number one-ranked Spartan athlete
in the world, we are just to launch this podcast. And you can go
leave your question now at obstacledominator.com the podcast
launches in the 30 days. It’s gonna come out twice a month and be
chalk-full of news, tips and of course, answers to your questions.
So if you want to like me get into this whole Spartan racing,
obstacle racing thing which is a real hoot, that’s gonna be a good
way to get your questions answered and to kinda fulfill that or
drive that passion for obstacle course racing. So check that one
out at obstacledominator.com.
Brock: I think in Montana they actually say, “It’s a hoot in a half.”
Ben: A hoot in a half. I believe on our drive over there we go past
Montana’s Testicle Festival. Did you know they have a Testicle
Brock: I didn’t.
Ben: Every year, there’s been a big Testicle Festival depending to the
consumption of rocky mountain oysters which theoretically
increase your testosterone levels. So, there you go.
Brock: Only theoretically?
Ben: I haven’t seen the studies. I would believe that they literally do in
the same way that consuming thyroid gland would help out your
thyroid. Also we just released a premium podcast episode this
week on the bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium channel.
Brock: That’s two weeks in a row!
Ben: That’s right. And this one entitled “How A Top Silicon Valley
Executive Lost 40 Pounds of Fat And Became A Kettlebell
Swinging, Paddleboarding, Semi-Pro Tennis Player With 8-Pack
So it was really interesting. It was just like a whole episode of he
and I going over biohacking and all of our best tips as far as
biohacking fitness, nutrition tips, some travel tips through the end
but it’s pretty jam packed with some good content. It was with a
guy named Paul Sebastian who’s a Silicon Valley exec and he’s got
a cool story, so I interviewed him, and obviously if you own our
free bengreenfieldfitness app, I wish you get it at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/app, you probably saw that appear in
there with a little lock put next to it. You click that unlock button
it’s $9.99 a year to access all our special secrets inside our
episodes. So check that one out.
Brock: They’re not that secret.
Ben: That’s right. And then the last thing is… Men’s Health is still doing
their search for the next big name in fitness and I’m still in the
running. As a matter of fact, if everyone who is listening to this
podcast right now, just went and voted, we’d blow it out of the
water because we’ve literally got tens and tens of thousands of
podcast listeners each week. So if you’re listening, out of the
goodness of your heart, go to
bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth and cast one tiny vote that
will launch me to the forefront of appearing on the next cover of
Men’s Health magazine in a Speedo riding a motorcycle.
Brock: With an enema.
Ben: With an enema sticking on my backside. So…
Brock: And holding it… with a sense of urgency in your eyes.
Ben: I can’t tell if it’s urgent or just aggressive. Or just healthy. So check
that out over bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth.
Adam: Hi Ben, this is Adam from Newcastle, Australia. I just read your
link in regards to foraging for food in the garden. I’m just
wondering if the common weeds we find in the backyard and the
bush land are actually edible. How could we incorporate them into
the diet and if it’s safe to do so? And also, are these weeds more
nutrient dense than things like kale and spinach, things that we
got on the green grasses. I just wanna know what your thoughts
are on these. Thanks mate.
Ben: I feel like this could be kinda dangerous.
Brock: Eating weeds? Yeah, well eating anything that’s just sort of
growing in your backyard then you can specifically plant. Well you
hear stories of people picking mushrooms and having some pretty
interesting evening so…
Ben: Don’t you ever watch naked and afraid?
Brock: Exactly what I’m worried about.
Ben: All you have to do is take your clothes off and you’ll survive. As
long is a boat waiting for you after 21 days for that rescue. All
joking aside, I’d actually read a lot of books on wild edibles and
wild plants by the way, not to be confused with wild edibles which
you’ll find all for a place known in Washington State in Colorado.
Brock: Was that a brand name?
Ben: Speaking of weeds, no, that would be just like pot brownies and
pot gummy bears, all that delicious stuff. Anyways though, there
actually is or there are a lot of weeds that you can eat. There’s
some really, really good books devoted to this. One of my favorites
from one that I own is called A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants.
And I’ll put a link to the one I own in a show notes, it’s actually for
Eastern and Central… it’s basically for North America, not for
Australia, so there might, maybe if you get that stuff and you live
in Australia you might die because maybe the stuff that’s edible
here in America is poisonous in Australia. I don’t know. But it
goes overall the edible wild plants or the poisonous looks alike;
the stuff you can eat the stuff you can’t eat in just simple tips.
Like, you hold it up to your lip and you rub it on your lip and if
you get some numbness or irritation, it’s probably a pretty good
sign it’s gonna do that to your intestinal mucosa.
Brock: Yeah, thanks a lot. The words of wisdom.
Ben: Another pretty good book on just like foraging in wild plants and
improved methods of preparation that can enhance flavor and
nutrition is Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. That also is a
really good book and so if you got that book and then a good book
about foraging like “A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants”, you
have a pretty good starting off point for eating plants. But I
personally, before I make my smoothie, I go out to our backyard
and we’ve got all sorts of little plants growing back there and most
of them are not wild plants per se like the ones I’m about to tell
you about. But I go out in the back and I’ll pick you know the
mint, thyme and basil; and sometimes I’ll grab some little red
cabbage leaves and some kale and all sorts of little things.
We have going back there in the backyard and I just… I have my
omniblender and I just pulverized them in the Omniblender
which was this emulsifier-style blender that kinda makes the
vitamex look weak. But, anways, I pulverized them in my
omniblender and that’s my smoothie! And some of the wild plants
that are actually just fine for you to eat, to kinda get your creative
wheels turning, one is dandelion. Dandelions are really, really
good as a liver detox, they’ve got a little bit of bitter taste but their
leaves are really good. They’ve got more beta-carotene than
carrots and you can literally just put dandelion leaves on salads as
part of the salad green. That’s one thing that grows quite
commonly that you can eat. Probably not if your neighbor has
been spraying with round-up but otherwise, go for it! Purslane is
another, and that’s one pretty common to find and it’s got this
little shinny round-looking leaves on it. It’s got a ton of
antioxidants and that’s one really high in Omega 3 fatty acids. And
that’s another one it’s got this little reddish stem; if you Google it
you’ll see actually what its look like. It’s called purslane, p-u-r-s-l-
a-n-e. And that one is also totally edible, totally safe and a
notoriously difficult weed to kill, so why not just eat it?
Brock: Why not?
Ben: Why not? Another one that you tend to see quite a bit is
lambsquarters. And lambsquarters is actually a weed that’s a lot of
times called wild spinach because it’s loaded with calcium, and
protein and vitamin A and C and K. Similar to spinach, it actually
has more of all those stuff than spinach does. And it’s really easy
to eat, you could just wash it; you could sauté in olive oil add some
salt or garlic or black pepper; maybe some lemon or lime as you
can do with a lot of this weeds to make them taste good. But you
could also use something like that in a smoothie, you gonna find a
lot of times if you’re camping or hunting, it’s a very easy plant to
identify but it’s called lambsquarters – and that’s another really,
really easy one to identify and find and eat.
Brock: So you would say that is one of the weeds that would be more
nutrient dense than something like kale?
Ben: Lambsquarters is really nutrient-dense, yup it is, it is. And then
there’s all sorts of good ones, another one that you see a lot in the
U.S. though, I’ll give one more and I apologize, I don’t know if you
have this in Australia or not, but it’s a red clover. And red clover
actually has a really good detox effect (speaking of coffee enemas)
against colon cancer, prostate cancer and it’s a got a lot of really
interesting compounds in it that helps specifically in that
department. So it’s the actual flower, you can eat the flower, it’s
like this reddish-purplish flower and the clover flower has lot of
protein in it. And you can also eat the leaves as well! So that’s not
one that I would overdo… it, kind of like soy, has some
phytoestrogens in it and so you wouldn’t… you probably got a
bigger problems on your hands if you’re eating enough red clover
the way you can grow man-boobs with it, but ultimately a red
clover would be another example. Now, you know, listening to this
on a podcast is probably not quite as good as getting a field guide
to edible wild plants. But I would get that field guide and it’ll show
you somebody’s weeds that can be just as, if not more nutrient
dense that kale and if you have a lot of these growing around you
not only do you get to save money but it’s also fun. It’s a cool way
to explore your environment. And again, be careful if there’s
spraying going on in your area: pesticides, herbicides; if you leave
near busy road, you’re probably better off just buying like organic
kale from the grocery store or from your farmer’s market. But the
wild world of edible plant is actually pretty cool too. And if you
ever do find yourself found in the episode of naked and afraid,
you’re just gonna be a total rock star.
Ben: For exercise in general is it better to use resistance bands or free
weights? And for strength training, is it better to use free weights
or resistance bands?
Brock: So the other day, I took my resistance band and I tied it around
the banister and I put a free weight at the end of it.
Ben: Oh yeah, that’s a good… like a slingshot technique.
Brock: See, I just slingshot it at myself. So basically I’ve been working on
my whole ninja reaction time, but also catching the weight was
really good plyometric kind of thing.
Ben: Yeah, works better blindfolded. The answer is neither resistance
bands nor free weights. The answer is both. No actually, there’s
kind of pretty big myth circulating around that resistance bands at
the gym or resistance bands, resistance tubing, things in that
nature, that it is somehow inferior to free weights.
It’s not inferior, it’s just different. It has own unique snowflakes.
Brock: It’s special.
Ben: But there are some cool properties that elastic resistance has that
free weights don’t have. So for example, elastic resistance is not
gonna rely on gravity to provide the resistance, and this means
that it may mimic everyday activity or sport specific activity a little
bit better because free weights (like dumbbells or kettle bells),
they provide resistance in a vertical plane – the direction of
gravity which is basically going straight down. So if you exercise
with the free weight in a horizontal plane, like moving a dumbbell
from the left hand in the left side of your body to the right side of
your body, there’s not gonna be any resistance to that movement.
Or when you twist your body side to side, do sidekicks or side
punches or movements that might mimic a tennis swing or
basketball pass, you’re actually going to get a better mimicry of
that movement if you use elastic resistance; pretty much anything
that occurs in a horizontal plane. And there was actually you
know, like a study they did in American Journal Sport in Madison
that looked at collegiate tennis players who trained using elastic
bands, and they had a significant improvement in their shoulder
strength and the speed of their tennis serve. They did another
study that compared free weights and resistance at the Louisiana
State University and they compared elastic band training for the
rotator cuff muscles and the training is often done in a horizontal
plane versus free weight dumbbells, and they found out in
baseball players, the elastic bands were far more effective than the
dumbbells. So that’s one thing that’s very, very useful for anything
that occurs in a horizontal plane, resistance bands are going to be
superior to free weights. You can also pretty easily change the
muscle emphasis by changing the direction of pole of the elastic
tubing or the elastic band and that really makes them useful if you
have your foot or your ankle or your quad for example, attached to
a band for resistance and then you’re squatting or stepping. You
can easily change the emphasis that you put on your quadriceps or
on your hamstrings. So for example, if you squat or you step and
you’re using elastic band resistance, that can really help to protect
your knee in all planes of movement because that elastic bands
are gonna pull in different areas with this continuous tension
versus just stepping or standing with free weights which was only
gonna provide that vertical force. So for example, I’m a big fan of
tying, using one of those mini bands, you know what I’m talking
about that it attaches one ankle to the other ankle?
Ben: I’m doing my side to side shuffles but step up, squats, things of
that nature while you actually have that elastic band resistance on
you. So that’s not a bad part that you can’t get it with free weights.
Brock: So where do you get the elastics tied around, your ankles to your
knees or where?
Ben: You can do… you can for example just the touch of the elastic
band from your ankle to a stationary object and do steps and
swings like that or you can literally do squats under tension;
meaning you could do a squat but have that elastic band tied in
your ankles together providing the tension your master walks
forwards and backs, sidewalks. There’s a lot of movements in
terms of shifting of muscle groups as you’re moving that you don’t
get with free weights. So that’s another thing I like to use elastic
for. Another thing that’s kind of useful that elastic resistance is
that it provides continuous tension so when you lift a free weight,
like a dumbbell, the tension on your muscle actually gets removed
at certain points in that range of motion. So like when you do a
bicep curl with a dumbbell, as you curl the dumbbell up towards
the shoulder when you get to the very top of that movement, the
dumbbell is literally providing zero resistance because there’s
almost no (in physics we’d call it) a moment arm or lever arm.
There’s nothing there because gravity is just pushing straight
down the dumbbell whereas when you do a bicep curl with an
elastic band for example, you get tension through the entire range
of motion because the elastic material is providing the resistance
and it’s not gravity that’s providing the resistance. So you get
more tension to the greater range of motion a lot of movements
from using the elastic band. And the other thing that happens is
that as the range of motion increases, there’s what’s called linear
variable resistance. So what that means is that as the range of
motion increases the resistance that the elastic band is providing
increases. So for example, using the bicep curl analogy: as you
curl your hand up toward your shoulder, the resistance is gonna
increase as that material stretches.
And so you actually use a greater amount of muscle fibers as you
do that curl and the other thing that keeps you from doing is
cheating, because the more you cheat, the harder you pull. You’re
not gonna actually be able to use momentum to move it faster,
you’re simply gonna apply more resistance, the harder that you
pull on it. They’ve done studies on this. Like the Journal on
Strength Conditioning Research had a study where the athletes
who use elastic band training in addition to a free weight training,
actually had greater recruitment of muscle fibers that were more
tact through any specific range of motion, and ultimately, when
they compare the folks who used elastic bands and in addition to
free weight training, they had significant more leg power than the
people who only used free weight training. So ultimately, you get
similar benefits to free weight training but you get this linear
variable resistance, you get an increase in the number of muscles
that are used and an increase in the number of directions that
those muscle fibers are actually used. The other cool thing that’s
having… that you get from having something like a resistance
band around is if you read for example, the really good book
becoming a Supple Leopard, that has a lot of tips in it for traction
which is where you distract two joints apart to for example
increase recovery, decrease inflammation in the joint; a lot of fluid
to move more freely in and out of the joint. And that’s something
where for example, I have one of these big fitness bands from… I
got it from Rogue Fitness. They sell this big really nice hardcore
fitness bands, and I can put one end of that on a bed post or any
other stationary object and then the other end of it I can loop
around my upper thigh and then as I pull myself away from that
bed post, I can literally distract my hip, because that resistance
band is pulling my hip in a horizontal plane. That’s something
that would be very hard to do with a free weight but that’s a great
move for runners for example. They get hip joint or hip
distraction or… I’m sorry, but not hip distraction, but hip
compression. From running, they can distract that hip so if you’re
a runner you can use resistance bands for traction or really if
you’re a thrower you can use the resistance band for horizontal
traction on the shoulder at a very, very similar way but attaching
it to a stationary object and then the other end goes on your upper
arm. I’ll put a link to the bands that I used and to that book.
Brock: By distraction you mean like actually sort of pulling the joints
apart right? Like you’re actually slightly separating them?
Ben: No, by distraction I mean, that you get a little balance at the
bottom that you pushed that says, “Look over here, look over
here.” It distracts you from anything else that you’re doing.
(laughs) Yes, that’s what I mean by distraction.
So anyways, I’m a fan of resistance bands, I don’t use them only; I
also use free weights but they’re definitely something that
shouldn’t could be incorporated into program and of course
there’s a portability aspect too. Like, I can throw one of these
rogue fitness bands, for example, into my suitcase while I’m
travelling and throw that and there with my coffee anema bucket
and I’m happy, I’m good to go.
Brock: TSA is all over you.
Ben: That’s right.
Sandy: Hey Ben and Brock! This is Sandy from Wynnewood
Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. I was newly turned on
to the podcast, but in the short time I’ve been listening I am a
huge avid follower so, totally on board, love you guys. So, here’s
my question. I’ve been making bulletproof coffee for about the last
month and the bottle drips a little bit, the bottle of upgraded brain
octane oil, the MCG oil and I was thinking, “Hey! It’s healthy oil
right, so, rather than washing off, I’m rubbing it into the back of
my hand.” Well, I’m finally come to realize a couple of days ago,
the back of my hands are like covered with hives or bumps or
something and I certainly don’t know, maybe ‘cause I used
laundry detergent, or maybe ‘cause I used new lotion but it only
means that the issue is really with the MCT oil at the back of my
hands. So my question is this, I’m rubbing it at the back of my
hand and I’m having an allergic reaction, does it mean when I
consume it internally I’m also having an allergic reaction? I don’t
think so ‘cause I used other products with the coconut that I don’t
have a reaction to but why would it react continuously on my skin
but be okay in my stomach? If I’m having allergic reaction
internally, how would I know? Any helps you could provide on
this, any light you could shed would be much appreciated.
Looking forward to looking to many more episodes. Best wishes,
Brock: You know, I’ve done exactly the same thing, I haven’t gotten any
bumps or hives or anything but man, that brain octane stuff is –
it’s expensive, it’s like liquid gold, you don’t wanna waste it.
Ben: Yeah and that’s isolated, isolated like fractionated caprylic acid
form of coconut oil.
The important thing to realize here is that Sandy isn’t getting any
issues with the actual coconut oil, just the MCT oil itself and so
there’s something in that MCT oil that isn’t in the coconut oil. I
was actually able to dig in to this a little bit and there’s a few
studies that have shown what’s called allergic contact dermatitis
from medium chain triglycerides particularly what are called the
caprylic acid components of those medium chain triglycerides.
Now, a lot of times what you’ll find is that when those MCT’s get
extracted from coconut oil or palm kernel oil which are two of the
sources that they’re extracted from, they’re actually used as
emulsifiers in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and in many cases
when people have contact dermatitis or this allergic skin reaction
or mild skin irritation to any number of different cosmetics or
pharmaceuticals, it’s actually due to this component of medium
chain triglycerides that’s in the pharmaceuticals. So it doesn’t
have to be in like an MCT oil or this might a common ingredient
in lotions as well. What this appears to be is one thing called
cocamide DEA and that’s one of this emulsifiers and cocomide
DEA is what’s created when you react fatty acids with coconut
oils. It’s something that’s created as a by-product of the mini-
chain triglyceride extraction from the coconut oil itself and it’s
one of the things that you can tend to be allergic to. So if you
weren’t allergic to coconut oil, you would be allergic to the fatty
acid by-products and the cocomide dea that’s produced once the
coconut oil is subjected to the actual extraction process. Now,
what’s important to realize here is how these MCT’s are actually
being extracted. What happens is, they take a coconut oil again or
palm kernel oil is the other source that they get medium chain
triglycerides from, and they hydrolyze them to liberate the fatty
acids from the glycerol. So there’s two different things there –
they wind up with when they hydrolyze say a coconut oil – you get
fatty acid and you get glycerol and then you separate the fatty
acids typically by something called fractional distillation which is
this boiling process. For anybody who took Chemistry in high
school or college, you probably have fun memories of fractional
Brock: Or if you ever are still in your basement….
Ben: Or maybe suppress that painful memory –yes, if you are still in
your basement. So you get this esterification reaction between the
glycerol and the fatty acids and you can carry that out at a high
temperature and typically you’re off the news like a catalyst to
exhilarate that reaction and then a lot of times to remove all the
odors and the flavors that might not be all that - that nice smelling
from the final product. You can deodorize them to get a product
that has a bland flavor or that’s kinda odorless and colorless and
obviously this entire process is going to result in the production of
some by-product like this cocomide DEA and it can also cause the
release of – another thing that’s called dicaprylyl maleate and
that’s not a medium chain triglyceride but it’s what called the
synthetic dye ester which is produced when alcohol reacts with
fatty acids which can occur if alcohol is used at all during the
distillation and extraction process which is quite common.
Ultimately, what this comes down to is that, yes, this is something
that can definitely happen and one of the things that you gotta be
aware of is that if something is causing a skin reaction or some
type of dermatitis or irritation, it’s probably going to cause the
same type of irritation on the intestinal mucosa level. And so, if
you wipe a bunch of MCT oil on the back of your hands or on your
skin, my apologies to Dave Asprey and bulletproof coffee and
MCT oil and all that jazz, but you probably should not be using it
if you get an allergic reaction. And again some people are not
sensitive to this, they don’t get an allergic reaction at all, again you
could just use coconut oil which isn’t going to have the by-
products that some people are sensitive to that’s in the medium
chain triglyceride and the product but ultimately, the answer is
yes. You could totally be getting this from MCT oil, totally possible
to get contact dermatitis from MCT oil and I’ll put a link to the
study that kinda goes into allergic contact dermatitis from
medium chain triglycerides if you feel like some good bed time
Brock: So what’s you’re saying is Sandy can probably like if she’s making
bulletproof coffee in the morning, she can make it with some
coconut oil and not have that problem. Also, not good as much of
the ketones I guess being transferred to her brain but she can still
enjoy the morning ritual.
Ben: Yeah, sure, or you could just not use the oil – or use the gi and
grass-fed butter if you still wanted to get kind of some of that fatty
coffee effect and….
Brock: And still get the CLA and….
Ben: Yeah, exactly! So, there you go.
Brock: Yes, all is not lost Sandy.
Thyroid: Hi Ben and Brock! First off, I love the show, just wanted to say
that. I have a question for you guys about a thyroid issue that I’m
having. I went back and reviewed old podcasts and markers and I
haven’t found anyone with the same issues that I’m having. I was
feeling overly tired, unmotivated, things like that. I thought it
might be testosterone, so I went to my bathroom and had a lab
test on. My testosterone was okay at 406, but my hyperthyroidism
was in “the reverse” that most people have it. My T4 was low at
3.6 and my T3 was low at 1.6 but my TSH was actually 1.25. So, I
have a thyroid in “the reverse” when I found. That doctor said that
what he has seen in the past is that in patients with eating
disorders, it was often a type of hyperthyroidism that they have;
he doesn’t know if that’s eating disorders causing that or if it is
some sort of another disorder that makes more act causing eating
disorders. I was curious and I’ve never seen this before, having a
natural way sort of reverse this and get things up in line.
Ben: Well, you know what the fix is for any thyroid issue on the face of
the planet, Brock?
Brock: It’s got to involve the internet, right?
Ben: Yeah, the internet or enemas. No, actually it’s taking as much
spinach and kale and preferably some goitrogenic foods like soy,
putting them on a blender and drinking all that down on a daily
Brock: That sounds awesome!
Ben: …. And all thyroid issues will be fixed. No, I’m just kidding. It’s a –
I’ve been studying up on the thyroid quite a bit and been watching
this Thyroid Sessions which is this online conference going on
about the thyroid right now. This is actually talked about a little
bit – this is issue of – in which you can have low T3 and you can
have low T4. So, both of your thyroid hormones or your primary
thyroid hormones low but then your TSH can be just fine and this
is actually something that is a common thyroid issue. I’ll explain
exactly how it happens in a second, but Chris Kresser gets into
this in his thyroid session and Bridgit Danner mentions it, Suzy
Cohen goes into it in her sessions. So there’s a few thyroid
sessions that kinda dig into this and some pretty good detail and
I’ll link over to that over in the show notes at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 or actually you can just go to
bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroid to check out some of those
sessions. You need to understand that this all begins with this set
point. So on the same way that your body fat and your weight
typically has a set point, this neurobiological system that regulates
your weight, you also have a set point of what’s called your HPT
axis or your hypothalamic pituitary thyroid axis which is your
hypothalamus, your pituitary and your thyroid, to be Mr. Obvious.
What that axis does is, it regulates the production of specific
endocrine hormones that include TSH, T3, and T4. So what
happens is that often you may get a failure of TSH to rise like it
would normally do if T4 and T3 were low. And that can be caused
by alterations in the set point of this HPT axis. So the way that
this works is there are some neurons in your hypothalamus. You
have this area of your hypothalamus called your paraventricular
nucleus and that area of your hypothalamus is responsible for
causing TSH synthesis in your pituitary gland and that TSH
synthesis in your pituitary gland is gonna be the message to your
thyroid gland to turn out more thyroid hormones. So in a typical
situation, your pituitary gland would be churning out more TSH
in response to low thyroid and you would see low T3, low T4 and
high TSH. Now, there are some things that can cause a change in
the HPT axis that result in even when T3 and T4 are low for you to
actually not respond by producing more TSH. And the two things
that can actually affect the HPT axis in this way are: number 1,
what are called inflammatory cytokines and number 2 would be a
leptin resistance or declining in your serum leptin levels.
Now, this first issue, the inflammation is something that may be
caused by a variety of factors and it’s typically fasting or very, very
low calorie intake that can lead not only to decreased levels of T3,
and you see this a lot of times in athletes who are controlling
calories, who are not eating enough food, or not eating a lot of
carbs but a lot of times that fasting or that diminished calorie
intake is accompanied by a decrease in your circulating leptin
levels. That can basically inhibit some of this release of TSH and
you still have that low TSH in the presence of low T3 and low T4.
The idea here is that when your thyroid hormone gets produced
and it gets released in the circulation by the thyroid gland, it’s
normally bound to thyroid binding globulin and thyroid binding
globulin is this protein that most thyroids is bound to. So what
happens is the concentration of thyroid binding protein is gonna
decrease as a result of something like inflammation. What that’s
gonna manifest in is fall in thyroid binding proteins in a decrease
in the total – it’s called the protein bound or the total T4 and T3
levels. A lot of times we get these two things happening hand in
hand especially in athletes – low calorie intake, not enough
carbohydrates, a little bit of an increase in serum leptin and then
inflammation or the production of inflammatory cytokines from
everything from stress, lack of sleep, exercise, things of that
nature. Basically, the more inflammation, specifically from an
inflammatory cytokine called interleukin 6, that you have
circulating in your blood, the less active thyroid hormone that
you’re gonna have available to your cells and to your tissues. So
the other thing that can happen if you have inflammation is a lot
of times and I see this in a lot of folks who do gut testing, it’s
accompanied by bacterial infection or bacterial overgrowth.
Bacterial overgrowth can cause what’s called lipopolysaccharide
formation in which this bacterial endotoxin winds up in the
bloodstream and also downregulates THS, T4 and T3 levels. So
the big picture here is that when you see low THS, low T4 and low
T3, in most cases that’s accompanied by inflammation, not
enough calorie intake, or both. Now the only caveat to that is that
some people actually have a genetic defect that causes a thyroid
binding globulin deficiency and they’re actually born with what’s
called TBG deficiency. That’s just something that you can actually
have from a genetic standpoint and in that case, no matter how
much you do after inflammation, all these other things you’re
gonna have: low total T4 and low total T3 in the presence of
normal TSH and it’s not a very concerning deficiency, it’s not that
big of an issue but if you have it, that’s the other thing that would
cause this. But in most cases that’s not the case and what I would
do if I were you, is I would test. So that the test that I would get is
first, I would test your inflammation, so you can literally go to a
wholesale lab testing company like Direct Labs for example, I’ll
put a link to it in the show notes and you can order like an
interleukin 6 test and an HSCRP test to see if you are inflamed. If
you wanna take inflammation to the next level, you could also get
like a gut test in conjunction with that so you could see if you’ve
got leaky gut syndrome, if you’ve got bacterial overgrowth. The
one that I recommend is just called the GI FX Comprehensive
Panel. That can loosen it whether or not you might be at risk of
getting some of these lipopolysaccharide bacterial endotoxins into
your bloodstreams, so you should get your inflammation tested. I
would also do a blood leptin test and that way you can see
whether you have high, high levels of leptin circulating in your
bloodstream and that’s, again, something that you can just test via
a simple bold test and something that you could order through
Direct Labs to see if this due to a leptin issue. The last thing that
you may wanna test to see if this is an issue with simply not
having enough thyroid binding globulin is you can get what’s
called a serum thyroid binding globulin test, okay, a TBG test. And
that would be the last test to show whether or not you simply have
an insufficiency in this actual thyroid binding globulins. Now
what I wanna point out here is that there are literally like 10
different things that can go wrong with your thyroid and thyroid
binding globulin deficiency is just one of them.
I’ve been learning a ton as I kinda go to these thyroid sessions and
the way that I’m doing is I downloaded the pdf’s, I’m listening to
the audios and I’m studying up on it just because thyroid is
something I’ve kinda had to deal with quite a bit on my own lab
panels. I would encourage anyone who has thyroid issues like –
this stuff isn’t just for docs or trainers or nutritionists, or people
like that. It’s really actually very, very interesting information in
terms of like practical food and supplement and activity and lab
interpretation, kinda take aways from a thyroid standpoint. So I
would go and check it out and that’s kinda where we start with
this, I of course, have to make the disclaimer that I’m not a doc
and I would take any of these as medical advice. I’m not trained to
manage a thyroid disease; I’m just trying to churn out enough
information to make you cross eyed and (laughs) yeah….
Brock: I gotta say, it’s the last like 5 minutes your voice started to turn
into the teacher or one of the parents from peanuts.
Ben: Wawawawa….. how does it go?
Brock: Wawawawa…. 2, 3, wawawa.
Ben: Now, our listeners are smart, go back and rewind if….
Brock: Smarter than me.
Ben: Yes! Unless they’re Canadian, which means that they’re all in the
same IQ latitude.
Brock: We actually are sure, sure of our brains.
Ben: Yes, yeah.
Todd: Hey Ben, this is Todd of Georgia. I have a question regarding
tattoos. Recently I read an article that – maybe some issues with
tattoos and specifically I guess the paint that is used in the
nanoparticles that might prove to give us some problems down
the line and I’m just wondering what your thoughts were on that
and you know a lot of times in ironman they often aspire or are
interested in getting a tattoo after ironman or two so – just like to
see your thoughts on that. Thanks a lot!
Brock: You know, speaking from experience, getting a tattoo hurts.
Having a tattoo…
Ben: Hmm, thank you Mr. Obvious.
Brock: Yeah, but having a tattoo removed really hurts and if you think the
ink is doing damage to you when it’s nice and stuck together
under your skin, when you’re actually passing it through your
system because you’ve had it removed and broken up by a laser,
that’s even worse.
Ben: Do you pee it out?
Brock: Yeah, you pee it out, you sweat it out, you probably spit it out.
Ben: That sounds uncomfortable. I’d rather just wear long sleeve
clothing. Well, they actually looked at this, they did a study were
they use an atomic force microscope that allows you to look at
your skin at what’s called the nano level and they found….
Brock: Atomic microscope!
Ben: Atomic force microscope and my illudium q-36 explosive space
Brock: It’s always a modulator.
Ben: They found out that there are a few things that happen. First of
all, when you get a tattoo, it removes collagen or remodels
collagen which is your body’s main connective tissue and…
Brock: I love that my collagen remodeled.
Ben: Yes! (laughs) Collagen remodeler, look them up in your local
yellow pages! Nano particles from tattoo ink were found to exist in
the collagenous network of the skin and around the blood vessels
and that means that the ink particles are actually leaving the
surface of the skin and potentially travelling elsewhere in your
body. Potentially, like winding up in organs or tissues and because
they’re ultra microscopic, they may be able to do some damage
and there’s some concern about toxicity and the carcinogenic
effects. They did a study in the British Journal of Dermatology
where they found that nano particles are actually found in tattoo
inks and black pigment colored tattoos contain the smallest
particles which would be like the most damaging because of their
dimension size and their ability to potentially cause some cellular
effects. Black in, what they have done…studies have shown that it
may contain some of these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and
those are some of the benzenes that are carcinogenic and the same
type of thing you’d find in suit and charcoal. The same reason you
wouldn’t wanna overdo a steak. The other issue with tattooing is
they’re not really that well regulated. My question is whether how
dangerous these nano particles actually are. So, one nano meter is
one billionth of a meter which is really, really small. So a human
blood cell is 8,000 nano meters….
Brock: Thank you Mr. Obvious.
Ben: ….and a human hair is 80,000 nano meters. Some people may not
know that a nano meter is one billionth of a meter, Brock.
Brock: (laughs) No, it’s was just the part when you pointed out that that
was really small.
Ben: (laughs) Oh yeah, I got you. By the way, that’s pretty small. So it’s
definitely got potential for making its way into cells and causing
some effect and as far as studies have actually been done on the
scientific evidence on whether or not tattoos are dangerous,
first of all, when we look at traditional tattoo pigments, they were
traditionally based on inorganic compounds with pretty low
solubility like salts of metals like iron and titanium, cadmium and
copper that generally stayed on the skin level because they weren’t
that fine and again the exception in that is black which usually
consist and consisted of these fine particles of carbon. If those
heavy metals are getting absorbed by the body, those can be
potentially toxic but there’s not a lot of evidence showing that
they’re spreading from the skin to other areas. However, the black
ink definitely contains, the studies have shown this, the polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, it contains a lot of these nano particles
and those could potentially be carried elsewhere in the
bloodstream and cause some effects. There’s never been like a
study on people who are tattooed vs. people who are clean and
there would be so many variables in the study like that just
because of the nature of the way that people who get tattoos live
compared to the way that people don’t get tattoos live, that I
would suspect we’d probably find more cancer and higher
mortality in the tattoo carriers, anyways. Ultimately – I’ve got
four tattoos and….
Brock: Yeah, I was trying to think how much black is in your tattoo? I
don’t think there’s that much, is there?
Ben: There’s – I’ve only got one area and one of my tattoos is black and
that’s the tribal sun pattern on my shoulder. The issue here is risk
vs. reward. For me, it’s kinda similar to a notch in my belt and I’ve
only ever gotten tattoos for things that are meaningful to me like
the tattoo of the Greek calamic symbols for water and earth on my
hip for my children. The tribal sun tattoo on my shoulder which
has the symbol for chi energy in it, the Ironman tattoo on my back
with the fire and water bursting out of it from the first time I did
the Hawaii Ironman World Championships and then my wedding
ring is tattooed on my finger and I probably do have some nano
particles and probably do have a bit of metal exposure from
those and potentially, hepatitis C. However, I do, not just based
on tattoo exposure but exposure to metal from break dust from
the roads and metal exposure from toys made in China and from
car keys, and all the other metals that are all around us, I do a
metal detox once a year so I do a thirty day detox, I use a spray
that goes underneath your tongue and you hold it underneath
your tongue for 60 seconds, it’s called “metal free”. It’s just this
metal chelator and it carries the metals safely out of your body
and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you. So first of all I
do that, and you know, when it comes to nano particles I did come
across another interesting article that shows that they’re looking
at tattooing diabetics as a life saving protocol for diabetics by
actually giving them a tattoo that has nano ink in it, that monitors
continuously the amount of sugar in the blood stream and you
could simply have a device like a wrist watch worn over the tattoo
if you don’t want people to see you got a tattoo, and these nano
particles are able to detect glucose and they flores when they
come and contact with glucose and then you can have a sensor
that gives an output reading of the actual levels of glucose
detected, so you can continuously monitor something like, blood
glucose and theoretically, just by any molecule by using this nano
particle solution. So, unfortunately, the research is pretty scant as
far as whether or not they definitively ‘cause cancer or other
issues. I would say if you want any advantage on life and you
wanna be as clean as possible, don’t get tattoos or if you are gonna
get a tattoo, avoid the color black and go for the lighter colors
specifically. So, that’s kinda my thought there and I would
definitely, in any case, tattoo or not, do a metal detox at least once
a year, like that’s just something that I do and that I recommend
to everybody so, hopefully that helps point in the right direction,
Brock: My tattoo is all black.
Ben: Hmm. You just tattooed your entire back black?
Brock: Yeah. Well, I was in a motorcycle gang and when I got thrown
Ben: That’s right.
Tyler: Hey Ben and Brock. Im from Toronto, Canada here. With the last
four months, I slightly reduced my carb intake making my ratios
roughly 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. My training has
been quite extensive with millage upwards of 80-90 plus 2- 3
hours of core work per week. Within these four months I’ve
noticed that I wake up about 2-3 times a night to take a pee. This
drives me, and more importantly, my wife crazy. In addition to
the constant urge and pee I wake up and notice that my bed sheets
are soaked from excessive back sweating.
I rarely drink alcohol, and I try to limit my water intake after
8pm, normal I hit the hay around 10. I have no problem in getting
to sleep, typically from 7 or 9 hours daily. On a more positive note,
I look great, feel strong, and excited to take on the spring racing
season where I look to post PBs in the 5k, 10k, half, and full
marathon distances. Love this show and I owe you guys the world
for changing my perspective on training, nutrition, and how to
live a holistic lifestyle. Keep on geeking out! Cheers!
Ben: You know, Brock, what the ultimate remedy is for night sweat, the
ultimate natural remedy for night sweat is?
Brock: Uhh. I don’t know.
Ben: Grow back hair. It absorbs everything. You’ll just be like a giant
Brock: Estimated, sloppy, wet, rug.
Ben: Getting up 2 or 3 times a night to pee, believe it or not, is not
normal, especially if you’re not drinking a bunch of water or
alcohol before bed and night sweats are also something you
should not be getting on a regular basis. Now, in women, we tend
to see, of course, hormonal fluctuations, resulting in night sweats
and a lot of times, this is due to an overreaction by the
hypothalamus. So, your hypothalamus is responsible for
controlling your body temperature and a lot of times if the
hypothalamus is responding improperly to your hormonal signals,
you wind up with night sweats. And specifically in men, it’s low
testosterone levels that are commonly the cause of fault signals
sent to the hypothalamus combined with high cortisol or stress
levels, and that’s something that obviously a lot of athletes, and
especially like hard charging, endurance atheletes suffer from;
night sweats due to this hormonal imbalance of a testosterone
cortisol ratio that’s way, way too low. So, the first thing that you
need to do is coming at this from a hormonal standpoint, when it
comes to sleeping and sleep disruption, I’m a big fan of looking at
some of what Chinese medicine has given us, and Chinese
medicine has definitely given us a lot of information when it
comes to night sweats, specifically in traditional Chinese
medicine. What night sweats are considered to be is a body that’s
deficient and what’s called Yin, and Yin is one component, you
know we see the Yin and the Yang balance in terms of the key
balance in Chinese medicine, and a deficiency in Yin is associated
with night sweats with red cheeks, with hot flashes, with a lot of
thirstiness, with a red tongue, with an overheated state, as the
body essentially tries to flush fluids out of it, and a lot of times a
low level of chi can also open the sweat glands and lead to this
night sweat issue. So, enriching Yin or dressing a Yin deficiency is
the way that Chinese medicine often approaches this and there are
specific compounds that are used in Chinese medicine to address
a deficiency of Yin, and some of the things that you may wanna
look in to, one of the first things that Chinese medicine addresses
is the spleen and the blood, and a lot of times, blood deficiencies
are something that Chinese medicine would consider to be
associated with Yin issues and I always like to come back and tie
this into, some of what we have at our disposal form like a, self
quant and a Western medicine standpoint, and I would say
definitely, in addition to looking at testosterone cortisol levels,
you may want to look at a complete blood count, iron levels,
ferratin levels, red blood cell levels, hematocrit, hemoglobin,
because the deficiency or drop in many of those would, in a cross
over style in Chinese medicine, indicate a Yin deficiency. So that’s
one thing to look into. Another thing that Chinese medicine
recommends for night sweats are specific acupressure points on
areas of the hand, particularly that little acupressure point that is,
if you turn over your hand, you look at your pinky, and you travel
down your pinky, down your hand all the way to your wrist right
around the point where you can see little tendons going into your
hand, if you were to clinch your fist, there’s this little notch that
you see when you clinch your fist, and acupressure gets that
specific point, you should be sensitive once you press against that
little point on the outside of your hand, like the base of your wrist,
the pinky side of your hand. That’s an acupressure point for Yin
deficiency and for night sweats. The cool thing is you could do
acupressure, when I was talking about the biohacks earlier, they
actually did a blog about hitting the acupressure not just with
your own finger but you could use these little red light lasers and
that’s laser acupressure and you could literally use little pens and
hit the little acupressure points by shining that red laser pen and
causing an increase in blood flow along with pressure
as you put pressure on the acupressure point. That’s not going to
address the underline issue but it may help a little bit when you
wake up in the night and kinda getting back to sleep and
addressing some of these issues and do 30-60 seconds of
acupressure with your finger or with a pen prior to go to bed at
night or when you wake up at night. Another thing that is
recommended in Chinese medicine are some specific adaptogens.
Schizandra is one. Which I really think sounds cool, like Schizam.
They should’ve called it Schizam…dra. There’s another one called
Romania, there is a Fedora Route, there’s a few that are actually in
the Chinese adaptogenic herb complex that I take, that I
recommend to people for hormonal imbalances, that Tianchi
stuff. So I would recommend that and I would also recommend
something that’s going to address the mineral imbalances that can
lead to this night sweats. So acupressure against that little pinky
area of the body addressing testosterone, cortisol deficiencies,
some Chinese adaptogenic herbs would all be things that could be
helpful here. When it comes to like supplement things that you
can take, one of the supplement packs that I recommend or stacks
that I recommend would be to do something like take tianchi and
use that just like in the mid-morning not in the evening but in the
mid-morning on an empty stomach and that’s the Chinese
adaptogenic herb complex that’s got about 40 pounds worth of
herbs and in one tiny packet and you take that along with
something like the trace liquid minerals and that would a pretty
good combo to do something like that. Trace liquid minerals
would just be a couple of shots of that before you get to bed at
night, you could also do a bunch of Himalayan sea salt and some
water and that would be another way that you can address some
of these mineral imbalances. Ultimately you may need to address
the underlying testosterone issue as well and when we talk about
addressing the underlying testosterone issue, I would say go read
the most recent post that I just put up. I just put up a 30 minute
video at bengreenfieldfitness.com in which I showed the results of
my own comprehensive blood panel that I did and one of the
things that I really geek out on in that particular video is thyroid
and testosterone. Especially if you’re a guy who’s concerned about
low testosterone, that’s one that I would watch. Speaking of
testosterone – by the way, we have a special video for our listeners
over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/love in which Brock and I
engaged in testosterone fueled exercises with a tennis ball and
show you some really cool things that you can do with a tennis
ball to improve fitness.
Brock: I wish everybody at home can see my face….
Ben: That can come out when we talk about enemas. We’re really
screwing ourselves over on this episode. Brock has a girlfriend
and I’m happily married and not that we are necessarily like….
Brock: Just stop. Just…
Ben: Okay, alright. So anyways…
Brock: This is not headed anywhere good. So let’s move along to talk
about our iTunes review.
Ben: Let’s talk about our review, yeah.
Brock: We do have a really good review this week from doc Rob. He gave
us a five star review and if you’re listening doc Rob then you hear
us reading your review which we’ll do in a second, send an email
to firstname.lastname@example.org and Ben will send you some
Ben: Some s-w-a-g – I’ll send you a tech t-shirt, sweet beanie, water
bottle and by the way if you’re listening and you want to leave a
review, go and do it, but if you just wanna freaking support the
show and the millions of dollars that we spend each month on
hosting fees because of all of our fantastic listeners, go to
bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and grab yourself some gear. It’s
47 bucks for this sweet package that arrives at your home and I
actually personally ship those so, there you go.
Brock: It’s a bit packed with love…
Ben: Yeah, anyways back to the review.
Brock: … and some extra testosterone. Actually I have to bring this up
because I see the name Jillian Michaels in here. Did you know
that Jillian Michaels is now hocking the squatty potty?
Ben: I knew it. I knew she listens to our podcast. Hi Jillian!
Brock: Hi Jillian!
Ben: Hey, remember to reference us when you give people poop tips.
Brock: Anyway, okay, so doc Rob says, “I was introduced to this podcast
by my girlfriend that said, I found this new podcast, it is so good
that I’m never gonna listen to Jillian Michaels again. If she liked
you that much, I thought I would give you a listen…” Dot, dot,
Ben: So take that Jillian. So maybe we should – let’s play some Jillian
Michaels. Let’s play folks out on some Jillian Michaels. What do
you think Brock?
Brock: Ah, sure?
Ben: And remember to go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 for the
resources on everything that we talk about today, the
newobstacledominator.com podcast, the thyroid sessions,
resistance bands. We pretty much put everything that you need
over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 – that’s where the transcript
eventually appears too. So, check that all out and have a
wonderful week. Bye Jillian!