Introduction: In this episode: Does Coolsculpting Fat Loss Surgery Work, What Are Omega 5 and 7 Fats, Should You Exercise Your Chest Every Day, Will A Paleo Diet Cause Gout, 5 Ways To Stay Healthy At College, Are Bluetooth Headsets and Wireless Heart Rate Monitors Dangerous, and What Should Your Ratio of Vitamin A, D and K be?
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 tri-athlete, 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: Oh Brock I gotta tell you, I’m pretty racked, pretty sore today and I’m glad that Wednesdays are podcasting recording day are also now my recovery day ‘cause I hopefully need it.
Brock: What did you do to yourself?
Ben: Well I’m doing the Eight Weeks to Seal Fit to prepare for my hell week for civilians that I’m doing in August down in San Diego.
Brock: Oh that’s right. Ben is actually joining the Navy Seals.
Ben: (laughs) I’m just pretending.
Brock: Oh damn.
Ben: It’s my armed forces envy, wishing that I actually served my country at some point. I’m just gonna do the hell week instead. But yesterday’s workout was Murph, which I’m sure cross fitters are familiar with as being the one mile run, three hundred squat, two hundred push-up, one hundred pull up, one mile run workout. So, I did murph, but the only difference was that I did murph with thirty pounds and a backpack.
Brock: And people shooting at you.
Ben: Yeah. I don’t know what’s sore.
Brock: Communist shooting at you.
Ben: My arms from doing all the pull ups with the backpack on or the chafing that’s sworn into my lower back from the backpack rubbing.
Brock: (laughs) Can’t see. Somehow I ain’t thought of that. Gotta put a whole crap load of what’s I called body glide across everywhere.
Ben: I should’ve.
Brock: Just take a bath in it.
Ben: Exactly, 20/20 hindsight. So I’m actually logging all these workouts that I’m doing for all my inner circle members, not only photographing my food. So, I took a nice photograph yesterday….
Brock: Are you running it through Instagram like all the hipsters do?
Ben: Flickr actually. So, I’m photographing all my food and uploading all my workouts and the reason I’m doing this now is because, if you go back and listen to like podcast number 1 of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, let me put it this way…
Brock: That’s actually… It wasn’t a podcast, it was chiseled into a rock with a hammer.
Ben: So we’ve come a long way baby, when it comes to the type of health techniques, workouts, nutrition, supplements, biohacks, basically everything that I personally implement on a daily basis and implement now with my family and my kids, and it can get confusing sometimes to figure out what I’m doing now, what’s working now, kind of assemble everything that we talk about in this podcast and in my books and the kind of want easy to implement system or one system to where you can kinda just get in and ask questions but also see how I’m doing these stuff on a daily basis and so the inner circle is kind of the way to do that and we’re in the process of revamping the whole inner circle right now to where my video workshops, that I do each month, are gonna be a lot more Q & A in terms of me talking about how I’m taking the research that we, for example, talk about on this podcast and I’ll be walking around my house with the video camera, showing folks how I’m actually implementing what I’m implementing, Jessa’s gonna be doing a lot more cooking videos and we’re actually bringing a film crew over to our house at the end of this month to shoot a bunch of episodes for the inner circle. For ten bucks a month, it’s actually gonna be a pretty cool deal. So, I didn’t mean to turn that into a commercial.
Brock: No, but it’s interesting that you bring up the whole evolution of the things that you do and the things that you believe in ‘cause we do get questions from the podcast that people say things like, “Hey, you used to say that phytoplankton was… the jury was out on phytoplankton but you seemed to have change of mind.”
Ben: Yeah, and now I take it every morning.
Brock: Yeah, you do change your mind.
Ben: Two years ago I would’ve told you that enemas were one of the strangest, most woo woo things on the face of the planet but next week I’ll be…
Brock: You’re giving yourself one right now!
Ben: Yeah. On Sunday actually I’m going to be experimenting with coffee enemas and bringing the results of that episode to the inner circle as well.
So, all sorts of interesting things that are evolving in my life that I wanna make sure to share with people, so that’s all at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle and if coffee enemas aren’t enough of a news flash, we’ve got some others coming your way now.
Brock: Alright. So what’s the first News Flash for this week Ben?
Ben: First News Flash… By the way I put out all these News Flashes over at twitter.com/bengreenfield if you wanna check ‘em out.
Brock: And actually quite often at facebook.com/BGFitness as well.
Ben: Yes, on the Facebook page. But the thing that we talked about a few weeks ago is this whole idea behind pH diets and whether or not pH diets actually work, whether pH diets are a myth and kind of this….
Brock: By pH you mean, like alkalinity and…
Ben: Yeah, this idea about whether or not you can actually change your pH with the foods that you eat, and this has never really been studied in super great detail and the theory has never really been validated about whether or not you can maintain proper pH in your body with the foods that you eat, and whether or not that’s gonna actually affect your health at all. The idea behind this is that there are certain foods that are alkaline forming and certain foods that are acid forming when you digest them, and that’s not actually something that is argued, that is something that is a scientific fact. Every food that you eat leaves a residue in your body after it’s digested and that residue is called (in nutrition science) “ash” which I’ve always thought was a funny term.
Brock: I actually thought it was because they measure that by actually setting it on fire.
Ben: I am not sure if that’s why but they call it ash.
Brock: Pretty sure that’s actually how they determined the alkalinity is that they burn, say spinach, and then take the ash and check the pH balance of that. I think that’s where it comes from.
Ben: And then spread it over the ocean or into the Grand Canyon to… spinach that died.
Brock: Yes, of course. Everyone cries a little bit.
Ben: So, yeah. Some foods kinda confusing ‘cause like lemons will taste acidic as you can tell by their pucker factor, but they leave an alkaline residue upon digestion or an alkaline ash. So lemon would be considered an acidic food but not an acid forming food and the idea is that some people would say that if we eat too much acid forming food, our blood or our tissues become acidic and that might promote disease but again that’s something that has always been kinda blue sky and not really flushed out in the science until this week. So there’s a new study called Dietary Acid Load and Risk of Type Two Diabetes and in this study they actually quantified the acid load from an acid forming diet versus an alkaline forming diet and found that risk of type two diabetes was actually increased in folks who were eating foods that were more in the acid forming format, and that would include things like a high amount of meat, a high amount of commercial dairy, low amount of vegetables, low amounts of fresh fruits, that type of thing. And the idea behind this is that insulin resistance is one thing that has been reported with low urine pH and what’s called ahigher anion gapwhich is essentially a marker of metabolic acidosis. There’s another thing that will increase when you eat a lot of acid forming foods and it’s called serum lactate and that’s also been associate with a higher risk of type two diabetes. So there are some biological mechanisms that kind of point to the idea that may be a way that an acid forming diet could actually cause insulin resistance or increased risk of type two diabetes, but this study, which I’ll link to in the show notes, actually shows that a diet with a high acid load does indeed result in increased risk for type two diabetes and it’s the first one that I’ve ever seen that actually shows that there is something to this whole pH diet thing and paying attention to the alkalinity or the acidity of the foods that you eat. I should of course mention that, just like I talked about a couple of weeks ago, being overly alkalinized, eating or drinking a bunch of alkaline water and having some sort of counter top alkalinizer, that type of thing is not something that I recommend. I think that you can definitely be too alkaline, however, paying attention to, especially getting a lot of alkaline foods in the diet, that’s where I tend to see people mess up the most is not getting enough things like, dark leafies, cruciferous vegetables, some good fresh fruits, you know not fruit juices but fresh fruits, and then paying attention to fatty cuts of meat, not just lean meats for example, those are some of the ways that you can alkalinize a diet, and it turns out that there really is something to this pH balancing diet.
Ben: Super interesting. It’s relevant to me ‘cause I’ve done, for example, 23andme.com genetic testing, I’ve seen that I had higher than normal risk for type two diabetes and it’s something that I always bear in mind. And by the way for our listeners over in the show notes, just like we do with all the show notes, I’ll put resources, but at bengreenfieldfitness.com/280, I’ll link not only to that study, but also to a really good acid alkaline food chart that you could print out and put on your fridge if you wanna see if things are acid forming or alkaline forming.
Ben: So, speaking of acid forming diets, I’m not sure if you saw this article at Esquire, Brock, but it’s called How To Drink Beer All Night Without Getting Drunk, did you see this?
Brock: I didn’t see this. That sounds like no fun at all. What’s the point?
Ben: I know. It does kinda sound like no fun. Basically there’s this guy who has come up with this way to be able to drink beer all night without getting drunk and the idea is that he uses yeast. You know, like brewer’s yeast that you use for getting vitamins into your body, it’s kinda big among…
Brock: Like nutritional yeast?
Ben: Yeah, it’s like what hippies spread on their salad, that kind of thing.
Brock: I put it on my pop corn.
Ben: Yeah that is kinda good in pop corn. Active dry yeast and you can buy this stuff at the grocery store but it has an enzyme in it called alcohol dehydrogenase. Like, I think we’ve talked about in the context of Asian folks who don’t do quite as well with alcohol ‘cause they don’t naturally make much of this alcohol dehydrogenase. The idea is alcohol dehydrogenase can break down alcohol molecules and metabolize them rather than them metabolize, by say, your liver. So, theoretically, if you have that enzyme in your stomach, when the alcohol first hits your stomach, the ADA (or the Alcohol Dehydrogenase) starts breaking down the alcohol before it gets into your blood stream and your brain, and really mitigates the effects of the alcohol and this guy swears that he’ll drink beer all night and never get drunk and has actually even filed a patent on the process of kind of like an anti-getting drunk supplement based on active dry yeast. So, I thought the article was interesting but to me it fails a little bit from a biological standpoint.
Brock: Well, wouldn’t you end up with a terrible yeast over growth?
Ben: Well, first of all, that’s certainly one issue. If you have yeast fungus or candida or anything like that, not only should you not be drinking beer or doing it a high amount of some fermented foods, like wine and beer anyways but the last thing you’re gonna wanna be doing is a bunch of nutritional yeast, that’s bad news bearers if you’re like a candida fungus yeast in the digestive tract type of person. The other thing is that, that alcohol dehydrogenase basically gets nuked once it hits the acidic ph of your stomach, so the only way that you’d be able to do this is to somehow drink the yeast at the exact moment that you were drinking the alcohol in order for this to really actually be able to act effectively against the alcohol. So if you’re gonna do nutritional yeast as a way to keep yourself from getting drunk when drinking, you would have to literally like have your little powdered yeast product sitting there next to your beer and do like, you know, a drink of beer and then a little bit of yeast, and then a drink of beer and a little bit of yeast, and beer, and possibly a social embarrassment, and definitely a logistical inconvenience. It’s an interesting article to go read and theoretically it could work but I don’t think it’s quite as easy as they point out in this Esquire magazine article and I also wanted to point that out because everybody and their dog, like Joe Rogan and Adam Curl and all these folks were retweeting out this article and it’s not quite as simple as they make it sound but…
Brock: It’s not simple and it’s also like, why would you wanna do that?
Ben: And that’s the other thing. Unless you really, really enjoy the taste of beer, I don’t see why you wanna drink it without getting drunk. I personally, this is my dirty little secret, I have a glass of wine everyday and I actually have my glass of wine, after I finish my workout before dinner, so completely empty stomach, ‘cause I workout at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, I’ll come back from my workout, take a shower, do my cold shower and recover and everything, and the first thing I do is have a glass of wine ‘cause honestly, after my workouts, four hands of glass of wine pretty much spins the dials of my brain.
Brock: Totally yeah.
Ben: I’m a total cheap date. That’s my drink for the evening and I feel great and if I have wine after dinner, I got to drink 2 or 3 glasses before I really feel the happiness inducing effects and relaxation effect of the wine so, yeah, wine is my kind of… Actually, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing lately. I grab a handful of those amino acid capsules, pop a few of those back to get some protein in my blood stream and then have a glass of wine and that’s my post workout routine these days.
Brock: That sounds like a nap waiting to happen.
Ben: Yeah. There you have it. And then, the last study I wanted to point out that I also tweeted about was the leg press vs. the squat.
Brock: Oh, I like this one. I love it when Science backs up the things that I already love.
Ben: That’s right. So certain exercises can cause higher levels of testosterone growth hormone and cortisol release, all of which are going to assist with your anabolic response to that workout. Yes, even cortisol, you’re gonna want it in certain amounts when you’re exercising because it is a helpful stress based hormone in certain context. Well, in this study they compare the acute hormonal response of the leg press exercise with the squat and found, no big surprise here I think, that the free weight exercise, the squat, induce a greater hormonal response, a significantly greater hormonal response than a machine weight exercise, like the leg press. And I think, and this is something that I was talking about on a recent podcast I did with the alpha male podcast guy, we were talking about this and I mentioned that chopping wood is another activity that has been shown to increase testosterone, even more so, compared to exercise, any type of functional free weight activity, and we’re talking about how you can go to your local tire store and ask them for a big heavy tire, they usually have their old junk tires in the back, you bring that back to your house, you buy a sledge hammer, or you use whatever sledge hammer you might happen to have out in your garage, and you hit the tire, and that’s a great way to increase testosterone, that or flipping the tire. Anything, where you’re swinging, squatting, moving a free weight around, cattle bell swings, all of these type of things are gonna jack up testosterone significantly, especially compared to long, slow, chronic cardio for example or even weight machines. So if you’re looking to amplify one of your bodies’ most potent fat burning hormones, testosterone free weights are gonna be the way to do it.
Brock: I like it.
Ben: And speaking of increasing testosterone, let’s talk a little bit about hair on your face. We actually answered a listener question about razor burn a couple of weeks ago but I’ve got a pretty good tip for folks listening in, and this particular podcast episode, episode #280, is brought to you by Harry’s which is….
Brock: What the heck is Harry’s?
Ben: Harry’s makes these really high quality shaving blades. They engineer them in a factory in Germany and I’ve actually got one of their blades and it’s probably the most beautiful shaving blade I’ve ever seen. It’s got this weight to it. You know when you just hold nice things and it just feels different? ‘Cause I’ve used disposable razors and I use the dollar month shave club before and like this is an actual nice razor. They actually…
Brock: Is it a straight razor?
Ben: It’s a three blade razor and so it’s still like, it looks a standard razor like a, you know, similar to like a Gillette but it’s actually about half the price of a Gillette. You can even get your actual razor handle engraved with your name like it’s one of those nice things it’s kinda like driving a Mercedes Benz just like this nice German engineered blade that’s made in this 93 year old German factory and they ship them to your door and comes with some shaving cream and they use this all natural you know, paraben and thalates and chemical free, basically toxin free shaving cream and it’s a really kinda clean cool way to get your shave on and they have been so kind to give our podcast listeners an actual discounts. So, whether you’re a guy or a girl, ‘cause I know, I’m hoping many of our female podcast listeners actually do shave their legs, or their pits, or perhaps other areas of the body prefer laser not razor, but anyways, you can use code “Ben” over at harrys.com and you save 5 bucks off of this shaving kit from Harry’s, and like I mentioned, they sent me one to check out and it’s actually pretty cool and it’s just like probably one of the nicest things in my bathroom now.
My Harry’s shaver. So check it out, harrys.com and use five dollar discount code: Ben.
Brock: Did you get your name engraved on it?
Ben: Not yet.
Ben: First of all, I owe all our premium podcast listeners a big apology because I interviewed Dr. Mark Sircus this week, who is our crazy Brazilian Physician friend who lives down in Brazil and he did the interview from this loud coffee shop in Brazil and so it was a little bit difficult to understand but this was an interview that we did about the biomat which is my new sleep pack device of choice. So we got into how the infrared waves and how the negative ions that are really so biomat that assist with sleep and health and even have cancer fighting properties and things of that nature. So, first of all my apologies to the premium listeners but there’s still quite a bit of value in that episode and that is part of our premium service because we put out, basically if you wanna get access to over 350 back episodes of Ben Greenfield fitness, a bunch of hidden videos, audios, pdfs, extra interviews that I do few times a month, you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium and its $9.99 for a year of premium access and the most recent one was that podcast with Mark Sircus. So if you have the Ben Greenfield fitness app and you notice as your scrolling through your episodes, that is something that appears to be locked, if you click that little unlock button, it’ll let you in and you can join the premium access and get access to Mark Sircus and his loud Brazilian coffee shop.
Brock: It’s fun because you can actually try to understand the conversations that are happening in the background.
Ben: If you speak Portuguese. So, the other thing is that I recently spoke at the thyroid sessions on how exercise destroys your thyroid and what you can do about it and I took all the resource that I talked about as far as thyroid is concerned and I put them over at so if you just wanna go read my notes, what I recommend to people who are exercising a lot, who wanna avoid thyroid deregulation, go check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroid but both there and in the show notes for this episode, we’ve got links to these thyroid sessions and I actually got the digital access pass for the thyroid sessions and downloaded all the pdf’s and I’ve been reading them on my kindle just because, for me, it’s actually faster to read that it is for me to listen to the episodes and I’m learning a ton of stuff about thyroid that I didn’t know before. Like, for example.…
Brock: I was gonna say, “give me an example.” Because I’ve got to admit, I don’t know much about the thyroid and I also don’t really feel like I need to be worried about it.
Ben: Yeah. Well…
Brock: Maybe I’m totally naive. I don’t know.
Ben: Well if you’ve ever start with weight loss, fat gain, low testosterone, poor sleep, constipation, gas, bloating, anything like that…
Brock: You just described my Saturday night!
Ben: It definitely can have some link to thyroid and there’s this really, really interesting info in there like, I’ve always been one of those guys who has attempted to mitigate some of the effects that cortisol and high amounts of exercise can have on the thyroid by using a combination of selenium and iodine. Selenium from Brazil nuts and iodine from both seaweed and then also from like a liquid drop that I have that has iodine in it. And as I was going through some of these thyroid sessions, what I found was that there was actually a law of diminishing returns when it comes to iodine supplementation and too much iodine can actually do some damage to your thyroid and I started to do the calculation, figured out how much iodine I was getting from a combination of seaweed based sources and this iodine dropper and I was up around 500 micro grams per day, it turns out this was the presentation from Dr. Christianson, I think, on thyroid sessions that it’s about 350 micro grams of iodine per day that you can start to do some damage to the thyroid gland.
So, I learned that I may be actually over doing it on the nori and the iodine dropper and I should back that off a little bit. I’m learning a ton of things ‘cause all the doctors in there are specializing in thyroid and in my talk, I talked a little bit more about carb fat protein ratios for optimizing thyroid during exercise, some of the considerations as far as like, desiccated thyroid gland, organ meat, some of the other hacks that you can use to mitigate the effects that exercise can have in your thyroid gland, but ultimately, the whole online conferences, like digital access to these videos, audios, PDFs, it’s pretty cool stuff. So check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroid.
Atanas: Hi Ben. What is your opinion about coolsculpting? Is it good or not so good? Thank you.
Brock: I think it was just like maybe two years ago, I saw tons of posters popping about coolsculpting. It seemed to be a thing that was all raged there for a bit.
Ben: Yeah, I thought it was just like some kind of an ice sculpting competition.
Brock: It totally sounds that. That’s what I fear too, they’re gonna take like a cold laser and just carve off parts of your love handles.
Ben: And turn you into Olaf from the cartoon Frozen, they turn you into a snowman.
Brock: That’d be cool!
Ben: That’s my kid’s favorite cartoon character right now, Olaf, from Frozen.
Brock: I have not seen that because I do not have children.
Ben: It’s a funny movie. But coolsculpting is kind of this alternative to liposuction in which they use this none invasive, tissue-cooling applicator, and the way that it works is it’s a vacuum applicator that you put over the area of tissue like let’s say your butt. And it holds the butt between two cooling panels, so to like suck a little air off your butt, and hold these two cooling panels and take all the heat out of that area and that theoretically causes fat cell apoptosis, or fat cell death, fat cell reduction and loss of subcutaneous fat, but the way that the vacuum suction is set up is that it doesn’t actually cause damage to the skin so you get loss of subcutaneous fat without damaging the skin and the idea is that you go in for a few sessions of fat layer reduction using this cool sculpting treatment and it would be something that you use instead of something like liposuction. You know, I looked up on studies on this and there’s a few small studies primarily done on animals that I’ve looked into this and I automatically and just did it just to make sure that they weren’t destroying human tissue but the technical term for it is cryosurgery or surgery at very low temperatures used for tissue destruction, in this case, fat tissue destruction, and for example, I found a study that was done back in 2008 in all things black yucatan pigs and what they found was that, when they did about ten minute long treatments of this fat based cold exposure to the pigs that the lipid area, underneath the skin, was significantly lower, and that there was a loss of adipose tissue without actual injury to the skin and without scarring. And so the results of the study indicated that you could actually get a localize loss of subcutaneous fat through this type of cooling. My question is, how expensive is it, is it gonna be covered by insurance, and, ultimately, is this something that is going to be superior to just doing something like putting on the cool fat burner vest from coolfatburner.com or by doing cold showers, cold thermogenesis, by going out in the morning in your backyard if you live in a cool area doing some yoga on your back porch while it’s still a little bit cold, doing some shiver walks, you wear your going for a walk t-shirt and shorts while it’s cold outside. All of those things can cause lipolysis, up regulation of lipase as well but a lot of other cool effects that this liposuction doesn’t cause, like for example, up regulation of adiponectin, which can reduce systemic inflammation, can increase fat burning, can increase metabolism, can have some effects on risk of diabetes by elevating the burning of glucose and insulin sensitivity, decrease in inflammatory cytokines, increase in pain tolerance, improvement in nervous system stability, I mean, like there’s all of these effects you get from just incorporating temperature fluctuations in to your day-to-day routine that you’re not gonna get from something like this.
This surgery seems like a quick fix that ultimately doesn’t offer quite as many benefits as like cold thermogenesis for example. It seems like an idea though.
Brock: Yeah. You sorta like end it to liposuction which also has the same problem of once the liposuction is done, you’ve got sort of this window where you’re sure you don’t have the fat but it’s going to come back if you don’t have any other changes in your lifestyle.
Ben: Yeah, and I think, and what’s interesting, and we talked about this to Dr. Cate Shanahan when we had her on the episode, is that in most cases, fat cells are going to become other cells such as nerve and muscle cells or they’re going to shrink, so you’re either gonna get fat cell conversion or shrinkage of fat cells with a capability for those cells to still become full of energy and still be able to enlarge once you begin over eating, for example, or for the muscle cells and bone cells or nerve cells that were converted from fats cells to get converted back into fat cells and actual fat cell death is something that can be pretty difficult to achieve. You can do it with exercise and ancestral eating and very low levels of inflammation, but fat cell apoptosis or cell death is not the easiest thing to pull off, the thing that’s interesting about this cryolipolysis is that it does actually cause controlled cell death of the fat tissue itself, so it’s like you get rid of fat tissue and you don’t actually risk it coming back assuming that afteryou’ve done the surgery or the procedure, you actually pay attention to your diet and your exercise plan and I wouldn’t necessarily use this as an excuse to eat twinkies and sit around all day.
Brock: Pop a bunch of yeast and drink a bunch of beer.
Ben: Yeah, it’s interesting. It’ over at coolsculpting.com. I’m not sure how many folks around the world actually do this test. I would imagine that you could probably find a surgeon in your area who could do something like this but yeah, it’s basically called coolsculpting. If you wanna explore go check out coolsculpting.com and get your icy cool vacuum on.
Brock: And you can take your pig there too.
Ben: Your black yucatan pig.
Brock: Actually if there’s one thing I’ve learned from myth busters, it’s that a pig makes an awesome human analog.
Brian: Hey Ben, Brian Clark! Love the show. I have a quick question for you. Omega 3, 6’s and 9, we have these in nova health benefits. I’ve been a lot of reading on Omega 5’s and 7’s, what is the real advantage of an omega 5 and 7? And second question is, is there any reason that an ironman triathlete or somebody doing a lot of endurance training should be taking 5 or 7? Alright, love the show, thanks!
Brock: Yeah, what the heck, omega 5 and 7? They’re like the forgotten step-children.
Ben: I know, seriously, is if we didn’t have enough to think about already with the omega 3’s and the omega 6’s.
Brock: And the omega 9….
Ben: Okay, so we’ve got – yes, you don’t just have omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. There are others. So you’ve got for example, omega 5 fatty acids. Examples of these would be like a myristoleic acid or punicic acid and these are different types….
Brock: Right. Are we supposed to know what that means?
Ben: Yes. These can be found in black Yucatan pigs.
Brock: Yes! Of course!
Ben: Actually, it’s found primarily in pomegranates and pomegranate seeds. You find a lot of omega 5 fatty acids in pomegranate seeds and it can get converted into conjugated linoleic acid or CLA pretty easily. CLA is a pretty cool way to increase the ability of your mitochondria to burn fat as a fuel.
Brock: That’s the stuff that we’re trying to get by buying all that grass-fed butter.
Ben: Yup, exactly and speaking of butter fat as well as coconut oil, your body will actually generate omega 5 fatty acids as those are metabolized. So, if you’re eating coconut oil, if you’re eating butter, if you’re eating pomegranate seeds, those types of things, you’re getting plenty of omega 5 fatty acids and your body actually can generate those fatty acids on their own unlike omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids which you actually have to get from your diet. Your body can actually make those which is why they are called essential fatty acids whereas omega 5’s and omega 7’s and omega 9’s are non-essential fatty acids ‘cause your body can manufacture them itself.
Brock: Good old body.
Ben: Omega 7 fatty acids, an example of that would be like a palmitoleic acid. There’s another form of omega 7 fatty acids that you find in grass-fed meat, that you find in dairy and it’s also one of the naturally occurring trans-fats. So we hear a lot about trans-fats and they’re get thrown under the bus because they are found a lot of times in modified fat based foods and they’ve been outlawed in many States. So the idea though is that there are naturally occurring forms of trans-fats and the way that the fat is actually oriented from a bio-chemical and structural standpoint is just different than a factory made trans-fat. You find naturally occurring trans-fats in grass-feed meat and dairy and in most cases those are omega 7 fatty acids. You also find them in macadamia nuts and you also find them a lot of times in like a grass-fed dairy, like a good organic dairy. So, omega 7 fatty acids, if you’re eating grass-fed meat, if you’re eating dairy, if you’re eating nuts and in particular macadamia nuts, you’re getting a decent amount of omega 7 fatty acids and again your body can actually manufacture omega 7 fatty acids out of the other fats as well. So once again, you know, you don’t need to be rushing out and purchasing some omega 7 fatty acid supplements or pills or something like that. Or asking for omega 7 fatty acids where you’re getting the cold vacuum sac out of you.
Brock: I do enjoy a good handful of macadamia nuts though.
Ben: Hmm, especially when you’re in Hawaii. I think covering them in chocolate possibly amplifies the omega 7 fatty acid affect, so.
Brock: I believe it does for everything.
Ben: I like to believe chocolate macadamia nuts are healthy. And then omega 9 fatty acids, those are mono-unsaturated fats that are all over the place and meat and olive oil and avocados and just about any nuts, you don’t need that many of them. Your body can manufacture them from other fat sources so omega 9 are something else that again are a good fatty acids but deficiencies are pretty uncommon assuming your eating meat, dairy, nuts, things of that nature and then even things like pomegranate seeds and avocados. So ultimately, omega 5’s, omega 7’s, omega 9’s are all really good fats but you don’t have to worry about buying a supplement that has those in them. If you’re eating a good healthy fat base diet, you’re getting enough of those in your diet. So, as far as the omega 3’s and the omega 6’s go, my whole deal with that is on any days that I’m not eating fish, I’m not eating sardines, I will actually use a fish oil and I’ve got a pretty simple rule, I take 4 grams of a mix of fish liver, fish oil, astaxanthin which is a natural antioxidant that keeps the fish oil from getting rancid with a little bit of vitamin E and I use something called Super Essentials, they’re like this black dark fish oil capsules because of the astaxanthin content, a little bit of anti-aging effect from astaxanthin and that’s the way I roll. Yeah, I just basically do 4 grams a day, easy peasy and skip it if I’m already eating fish or anything like that.
Brock: So you see those like bottles of udo’s oil, they make a 3-6-9 and I think Now Foods makes a 3-6-9, so there’s no real point in having that then.
Ben: Not the 9, no.
Brock: Why on earth do they make it then? Sons of bitches.
Donald: Hey Ben, the name’s Donald. I have a friend, he is really big on working on his chest and he does it every single time we worked whether it would be 3 times a week, four times a week, occasionally 5 times a week. He always work out his chest, 2-3 sets, 12 reps, sometimes 4 sets back to back days, he doesn’t care. Everything looks fine. So my question is, is that safe? I know everybody’s body is different but I want gains in my arms so I thought maybe I will try that with my arms, back to back days, twice a week, 3 times a week, but I just feel that it’s unsafe and so far he hasn’t have any problem with it, he doesn’t even get sore. So, is that a specific thing for the chance where you can work it more or can you do that with any muscle group? What are the benefits of that, what are the downfalls of that? Thanks a lot!
Brock: So I believe there is a chapter in a book that I have sitting on a table nearby. I can’t remember the name of it but a – do you know what I’m talking about?
Ben: I do and I do talked about this in my new book – about how long it takes you to recover from a workout and whether or not you should work the same muscle group everyday.
It’s in chapter 6, so if you didn’t get the book yet, go grab it from beyondtrainingbook.com. Okay, so they’ve actually done studies on this – how long muscle repair takes because if you’re working your chest but you can’t meet or exceed whatever you were doing in your previous chest workout then it’s really not gonna do you much good at all to be working your chest again. So, for example, case and point I had whatever how many pushups I did yesterday. I guess it came out to 200 pushups with the 30 pound weight on my back. I have no need to crank out another pushup for good 3-4 days or so afterwards and they’ve actually looked into this. There are some studies done at McMaster University and The Washington University School of Medicine where they found that muscle protein synthesis increases by about 50% for 4 hours after a workout and this repair process peaks about 24 hours after a workout. Now, the idea though is not that the muscle is completely repaired after that 24 hours. In most cases with the average resistance training program, it’s actually about 36 hours before that process is complete. So for looking at this from a pure muscle standpoint, it’s an approximate 36 hour recovery time before another true high quality session on that same area is doable or isefficacious. So basically what it comes out to is a minimum of about a day and a half. So if you work your chest on a Monday morning, it’s gonna be at least Tuesday afternoon before you benefit it all from doing another chest workout. And in most cases will I tell people is that the 48 hour window is a little more – it’s a better rule to stand by and the reason for that is not just because of the pain in the butt issues with trying to space workout by a day and a half right in to 1 day or 2 days but also because your nervous system is an important component here because in the same way that your muscles can get fatigue or become torn and injured, training damages your nervous system and specifically you’ve got this local nerves at the actual muscle sight and it’s called your neuromuscular junction and that joins your nervous system and your muscle together so that your brain communicates with your muscles and when you release inflammatory cytokines and responds to muscle damage which is induced by training, you know, like when you’re doing your bench pressing, doing your pushup or doing your chest workout, those inflammatory cytokines actually dock on receptors in this neuromuscular junction and they hamper neuro recovery which means that even if the muscle fibers themselves are repaired, your nervous system could still be under recovered and you aren’t going to be able to actually transmit nerve signals as well to, say, your chest muscles until those inflammatory cytokines have subsided. They have done studies that have looked into inflammatory cytokines and recovery of the neuromuscular junction and that takes about 48 hours or so to fully recover at the neuromuscular junction level. So, even though in my book I get into everything from your blood to your bone, to even your metabolism and how long some of those take to recover along your anabolic vs. your catabolic hormones. The main two things that I would be thinking about when it comes to back to back chest workouts would be: local nervous system fatigue and then muscle fiber fatigue with muscle fibers needing about 36 hours and that neuromuscular junction needing about 48 hours and if it comes down to pure neuromuscular fatigue such as you might get during like a body building session where you might be working the same muscle group for good hour or in some cases, 2 hours if you’re doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger esque biceps workout where you just like doing incline curls and decline curls and standing curls, seated curls and true body building type of workout. It’s about 4 days before your muscles and your nervous system are fully recovered and that’s why in some body building routines, they’ll take a full week before they actually return to that same body part. So working the same body part day after day, especially when it comes to actual resistance training, is not that great of an idea. And by the way, as far as the nervous system goes, you can track that I mean, that’s what heart rate variability testing is. If you’re rolling out of your bed in the morning and you’re tracking your heart rate variability like I can tell you that today, after doing that muff workout yesterday and it was actually – that workout was preceded by push presses to failure.
So sets of 10 push presses until I couldn’t do 10 anymore and that was with 120 lbs. So, that was prior to morph destroyed my shoulders when I did that workout. I did my heart rate variability testing this morning and even though my parasympathetic nervous system which is the high frequency component of heart rate variability. Even though that was nice and robust and somewhat high, because yesterday’s workout wasn’t that aerobic at all, frankly neither was the day before, they were both similar kinda like hardcore resistance training type of workouts. That high frequency score looked really good on my heart rate variability but my low frequency score yesterday was low and today was even lower. So I’m watching over the past two days, my sympathetic nervous system get dug deeper and deeper into a ditch. Now, by recovering today and doing my typical recovery day that I talked about in last week’s podcast which is basically a little bit of some cold shower, a trip to the sauna, some foam rolling and an easy swim, by doing all of that today, I allow my sympathetic nervous system to bounce back even stronger. So, I dig it into a hole and I allow to bounce back and basically get this super compensation effect and that is basically using tracking of my nervous to enhance or biohack my recovery even more. So, if for example I notice that both my parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system scores were both low this morning, I won’t even do an easy swim or anything like that. I will just have this – be a complete sit around and do nothing day. So, it comes down to your muscle system, your nervous system around 48 hours between working the same body part and if you’re really destroying part, minimum of 4 days.
Brock: I have a feeling that Donald’s friend can get away with this kind of thing because he’s probably doing what I see a lot of people do in the gym which is really not working all that hard. Like probably going in like doing like 3 sets of 15 at like say 70% of maximum one rep like so, he’s not lifting really heavy, just sort of thrown some weights around and I mean, there’s a whole problem with doing that.
Ben: Yeah. That’s the other thing is you’ll see people go and then just like half ass it everyday and that’s also the group that doesn’t see results. On the flip side, though, if you’re working the same muscle group everyday, you can’t help but half ass it again because you aren’t getting that nerve system firing, period. So you are simply unable to meet or exceed the previous day’s performance. So again from super compensation to really bio hacking this whole recovery thing. I get into it in great detail over at beyondtrainingbook.com so grab the book if you wanna dig in to this even more.
Daniel: Hey, Ben! This is Daniel from the L.A. area. After a couple years of eating a very high protein body-building like and then paleo-type diet, I’ve started to develop some gout pain, so what I’m wondering is how do I get rid of these uric acid crystals in my body once and for all. Is there some sort of detox I can do to start getting rid of them? I’d eventually like to start enjoying chicken, fish and steak again. Also, I plan on starting Dan Johns’ mass building program with all the amino supplements that you recommend in the correct amounts. Any other recommendations that you have in case this is something that I just can’t get rid of? Thanks a lot, Ben. Really enjoying the podcasts.
Brock: I know we talked about gout probably some, probably a couple of years ago. But it wasn’t specifically revolving around this kind of diet.
Ben: Yeah! And gout, just a quick 30-second overview of gout – it’s this inflammatory arthritis that you get when you have elevated levels of uric acid in your blood. And the uric acid forms these crystalline-like deposits in your joints, in your tendons, in the surrounding tissue. And you get a lot of times in your feet just because of the….
Brock: Yeah! For some reason it’s the big toe disease.
Ben: Yeah! It’s almost like gravity kinda moves it down there, so at your feet, your big toe joint. The number one way to get uric acid build up in your blood is via the metabolism of purines. And purines are present in all foods but they’re especially present on something like a paleo diet. Foods that are rich in red meat, turkey, even organ meats, a lot of fish and seafoods, a lot of these foods are purine-rich foods that actually result in the production of uric acid when they’re metabolized. So the idea here is that although you can get higher uric acid intake from high purine foods, there are also some things that aggravate this issue that I think are a bigger issue than the purine-containing foods themselves.
So, for example, you tend to see that high levels of uric acid and gout flares are present when both c-reactive protein and interleukin 6 are high, and these are cytokines that are produced in a state of inflammation. So, systemic inflammation in conjunction with a high purine diet is one of the things that’s gonna aggravate gout, and that could be everything from over exercise with inadequate recovery, which we just got done talking about to another issue that you tend to see quite a bit especially in folks who are not paying attention to the source of their meats. And that’s an imbalance in omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratios. So this is something you would get, say if you’re eating –let’s say you’re eating a paleo diet but you weren’t paying attention to the source of your meat…
Brock: Just like chickens that are fed corn.
Ben: Chicken that are fed corn. Cows that are fed grain. You’re getting a lot of omega 6 fatty acids that they’ve shown in studies wound up in your blood stream when you eat the animals that are fed the omega 6 fatty acids. You are what you eat – ate- is what this comes down to. So high levels of omega 6 fatty acids you tend to see in seeds, and nuts and trail mixes are really popular a lot of times in the paleo crowd as well. And you need to check if they are roasted, or have vegetable oils added to them which are gonna increase the inflammatory nature of them versus whether they are raw and whether they are moderated in terms of their consumption ‘cause seeds and nuts in general are gonna have pretty high levels of omega 6 fatty acids compared to omega 3’s.
Brock: Yeah! Even things like walnuts and macadamia nuts still…
Brock: Still sway harder towards the 6.
Ben: Yeah! You can eat them ad libidem. So that’s one issue is what your inflammatory potential is. Another issue is fructose and high intake of fructose may also cause an increase in uric acid particularly due to the elevated triglycerides that can occur with high intake of fructose. So high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, stuff like that, is gonna have pretty high levels of fructose which is gonna elevate triglycerides. You don’t see a lot of paleo folks doing a ton of fruit. I don’t think that’s as big of an issue in that population but if you are that person who happens to be doing soda, if you have other sources of fructose in your diet, or yes, even high amounts of alcohol. Wine for example is gonna have fructose in it. You wanna be careful and I would pay attention to your triglycerides even if that means getting a blood test to see what your HDL to triglyceride ratio is. It’s a really important measurement to take. And that’s another thing that you’re gonna wanna bear in mind, it’s not just the inflammation…
Ben: ..inflammation but also your fructose intake. So ultimately, I don’t think that eating a paleo diet is gonna cause gout as much as a paleo diet that’s high in commercial meats or that has fructose introduced into it. The other thing that you should bear in mind here is what we talked about in the news flashes and that’s this idea behind metabolic acidosis and the pH of the foods that you eat. And this is where that acid alkaline food chart might come in handy that I’ll link to in the show notes, in shifting your pH towards alkaline. So, for example you look at – an acidifying vegetable would be for example corn. Another one would be lentils. An alkalinizing vegetable would be something like kale or mushrooms or onions or sweet potatoes. An example of an acidifying fat source would be something like – and again you can print this chart out and put it on your refrigerator would be like peanuts, peanut butter, cashews, legumes, walnuts. All of those technically produce an acid ash upon their actual metabolizing. Whereas if you look at more alkalinizing compounds or alkalinizing proteins – almonds, and chestnuts, are actually a little bit more alkalinizing than things like walnuts, and peanuts, and pecans. So that’s another example. Even when you look at sweeteners, Stevia. God bless the Zevia soda again. Stevia is actually an alkalinizing sweetener whereas like Carab or sugars- all of those are acidifying. All alcohols from beer to hard liquor to tequila to wine, all of those are acidifying whereas…
Brock: Not tequila!
Ben: Yeah. Apple cider vinegar is alkalinizing. Kombucha is alkalinizing. Green juices like wheat grass and kale juices and things like that, those are alkalinizing.
Ben: So, I would be paying attention to a chart like that as well. I think that’s gonna be a pretty important component here although that, I’ll of course be the first to say, is not based off of science that has been done on acid-alkaline intake versus gout but just the idea here between trying to reduce metabolic acidosis, decrease some of the effects of that high uric acid build up and gout. Ultimately protein breakdown, doing a high amino acid, high protein diet is not something I would recommend if you’re doing a masking protocol, I‘d recommend you do more alkalinizing vegetables, you do higher fat intake, you do a really nutrient-dense higher fat diet. I’m actually getting Dr. Terry Walls on the podcast next month wherein we’re gonna go as far as talk about how you can do an extremely dense, nutrient dense ketosis diet. And just like some of the mistakes people make when they shift their diet towards fat, don’t get enough nutrients in but very similar to the type of thing I do. I have – I test my blood four times a year. I have extremely low inflammation, I have an extremely favorable HDL to triglyceride ratio and I also have a very low level of net acidity based off of my chloride and my CO2 levels. These are all tests that I get through Wellness FX. And if you look at my diet, it really is -it looks like a plant–based diet. Tons of dark leaf greens, tons of vegetables, and then I have moderate amounts of protein, usually about one serving of meat a day. Not a huge steak but just like a can of sardine, that’s your equivalent, and then lots of fats- avocados, and olives, and olive oils all that good stuff. I would be focusing more along the lines of that and you’d be surprised that how few amino acids and how little protein that you need to do something like masking, you really don’t need to exceed anything above 30% of your total daily intake from protein sources.
Brock: Actually, speaking from experience, I went really high in the protein when I was doing Dan Jones’ masking protocol. And all I did was get kinda fat. I got really strong but I also got –I’m still trying to get rid of the roll I put on around my belly.
Ben: Yeah! It’s basic gluconeogenesis – the proteins that are unutilized once you get above 0.8 grams per total pound of body weight, those will get shuttled to the liver and converted into fats. So, high protein diets can make you fat.
Brock: Yeah! I was surprised if I was lifting that much that I was just gonna turn it all into muscle.
Ben: No! You stop turning anything that exceeds above 0.8 grams per pound into muscle and the rest will just basically get converted to fat, or nitrogenous waste by-product which is not all that great for gout. So, there you go.
Brock: Look at that blubber fly!
Jennifer: Hi, Ben! This is Jennifer from Birmingham, Alabama. I love your show. I have a daughter that is going to college in the fall and my question is just how to keep her healthy in college. I’m concerned, she’s very healthy right now but what are some tips that you can give me for – she’s worried about the cafeteria thing all the way to keeping her dorm room healthy. I think there could be molds or there’s fluorescent lights everywhere. What are some of your best tips on how I can keep a freshmen college student and runner healthy? I’m glad to hear your advice. Thanks so much!
Brock: Luckily, I never went to college. So I didn’t have to worry about these.
Ben: Well, I’ll tell you how it goes, Brock. College is actually really, really healthy.
Brock: Is it?
Ben: Yeah! You show up and everybody who goes to college each gets assigned a personal trainer and the cafeteria’s full of juice vegetables and healthy supplements and things like that, and you get it all for free. Alcohol is generally shunned and early to bed is really the rule at most colleges at least here in the Unites States.
Brock: And drugs are not tolerated.
Ben: Drugs are not tolerated.
Brock: At all. Definitely no experimentation.
Ben: Yes. This is the opposite show, by the way. So it’s the opposite of everything we just said.
Brock: In fact, I have gone to college and it was horrible. It’s when I lost all my hair and…
Ben: I wish I had known how to be healthy before I went to college because I probably would have added years to my life.
Brock: So Jennifer rules for asking this question. You will protect your daughter from the things we were not protected from.
Ben: Possibly, if she is open to your advice. She may be a rebellious woman who wants to go…
Brock: She goes, “Screw you, Mom!”
Ben: And discover the world for herself and say, “Screw Ben Greenfield and your damn podcast, Mom!” I’m gonna go to…
Brock: In your face!
Ben: Yeah! My kids are six years old and they’re not gonna be in college for at least another couple years. And…
Brock: But they’re already saying, “Screw you, Ben Greenfield! In your face!”
Ben: There are definitely some things I would do and there’s honestly so many places you could go when it comes to being healthy but what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna tell you five of the top things that I would do if my kids were going off to college and I wanted to equip them to be as healthy as possible. So…
Brock: Ben Greenfield’s top five college tips!
Ben: That’s right!
Brock: We can do the theme song.
Ben: Don’t give up your day job. Okay, so snacks first of all. Healthy snacks are one thing that you’re gonna wanna equip your kids with. I would actually, if you don’t already have an Amazon prime membership, get one. Because you can get a lot of these healthy snacks just off of Amazon prime even if your child’s college experience happens to be in a healthy grocery store oasis. So some of my top snacks that I recommend you have around – these are really good snacks for travel, for college, or whatever, going to class, that type of thing –here we go, BPA-free sardines and BPA-free canned salmon. The salmon is gonna have less of an odorous effect as the sardines but those BPA-free cans that- nutrient dense proteins, usually there’s some oils in there, that’s pretty good. A good grass-fed beef jerky, and there’s a bunch of companies that make these from Onnit to US Wellness Meats to Primal Packs, but basically having those around also really, really good. Fresh fruit or you can also get dried fruits and any combination of that and even like going after the more dense super food fruits like goji berries and blueberries. And then you’ve got also a lot of sprouted food you can actually get in packaged format, like sprouted raw foods. There’s a really good website. It’s Barefoot Provisions. I found them at Paleo FX. I think it’s barefootprovisions.com and they sell a bunch of raw, sprouted healthy foods. And a lot of these like super foods like goji berries, and blueberries, and these rare nuts from some deep jungle of Peru that you’ve never heard of that have these amazing omega-3 fatty acid ratios, and just like all these really cool foods that are actually not as expensive as you’d think especially if you buy them in bulk. Coconut flakes, just like a basic Bob’s Red Meal, organic unsweetened coconut flake. That goes really well along with dark chocolate cacao nibs. You can get all of those off of Amazon Prime. I personally I’m subscribing for both unsweetened coconut flakes and dark cacao nibs ‘cause they both go on my smoothie every morning. That’s how I add texture to my kale smoothie every morning. I make my kale avocado smoothie and then I stir up coconut flakes and dark chocolate cacao nibs into it.
Brock: I just don’t wash my kale.
Ben: That also will give it a nice gritty texture.
Brock: Makes it nice and gritty.
Ben: Coconut oil- really, really good. It’s great as a detox. It’s great for controlling yeast and fungus and things like that. Not that your daughter is gonna be drinking it all. But it’s also got lots of good healthy appetite satiating fats in it. And you can get her a bin of coconut oil. Olives are also a decent fat source. So I would say a lot of these BPA-free canned fishes, some stuff from barefootprovisions.com, Amazon Prime membership for coconut flakes and dark chocolate cacao nibs, and coconut oils, some olives. Those are some of the staples. Most of those you can order without necessarily having to go to the grocery store. So that’s number one. Number two I would say would be – she’s gonna get exposed to lots of artificial light in the classroom, lots of artificial light probably in whatever dorm or house that she’s staying in. But she does have control over her bedroom and the lighting in her bedroom, and I would say go over to lowbluelights.com and get some really good low blue light lights that are going to allow her to have really natural circadian rhythms especially in the bedroom and make sure that she gets rid of fluorescent lighting and things like that in the bedroom, which is gonna help anyways because she’s probably gonna be on her kindle or her iPad. She’s probably gonna have her laptop open for studying in the bedroom but we can at least limit artificial lighting from other sources. And then when it comes to the kindle, the iPad, the smart phone, the computer, go get her a decent set of blue light-blocking glasses. So I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/280 for a good spot you can get the low blue light bulbs, good place for some of these other foods I talked about. But also just like a basic set of stylish Gunnar glasses that she can wear.
Brock: Those will really help her meet the right kind of guy, too.
Ben: That’s right. That’s right.
Brock: All guys love the blue blockers.
Ben: Should we do the whole hot nerd thing. She takes off her glasses and lets down her hair and suddenly she’s a princess. So the blue light blocking glasses and another thing, I would also get her a book for when she does go to the grocery store.
One of the best books I can recommend to you is Rich Food Poor Food.
Brock: Oh, yeah! Good one!
Ben: Ultimate grocery purchasing system. So what that teaches you are all of the foods that you can get at the grocery store including even a store like Walmart that are actually wholesome micronutrient-rich food, everything from where to find the best raw organic cheeses, to which type of eggs at most common grocery stores are best. If you’re gonna get milk, which kind of milk at the grocery store’s gonna be better. Basically it’s eat this, not that type of guide that give you some pretty good rich foods sources in every aisle of the grocery store from desserts to snacks, to sauces, even like hotdogs, which hotdog’s gonna be good. So that’s a really good book. I’ll link to that one in the show notes for you. I would snag that off at Amazon as well and tuck that away into her backpack as you shove her off to college.
Ben: And then the last thing- so many directions we could go with this but I would say that hacking her environment to ensure that it’s really healthy is another kinda step up that you can give her. And you’re gonna find that a lot of – especially in a college environment where you have these homes a lot of times that are getting rented out that have been around for a really long time especially if it’s one of these older universities with lots of older homes around it which is the way a lot of universities are. Or if it’s like a dorm room, usually those are poorly built construction. A lot of times you do have mold, moisture, things of that nature. I would look into getting her a HEPA air filter. And this may sound like a weird suggestion, but for everything from mold, to toxins, to all the personal care products and nasty perfumes and endocrine disruptors and things like that she’s gonna get exposed to. If she has a HEPA air filter in her bedroom in college, that would be a really, really helpful thing you could get for a 100, 120 bucks. I’ll link to a really good one on Amazon. But you can even go one step further when you get a HEPA air filter and you can get a HEPA air filter with what’s called a negative ion generator in it. Now negative ions are something that are naturally generated by moving water like rivers, and waterfalls, and crashing waves and you’re gonna find natural amounts of negative ions in crisp, clean mountain air and when you’re out in nature surrounded by trees, etc. and typically in indoor environments especially environments that are rife with electromagnetic field exposure like computers and wifi routers and stuff like that, you get a ton of positive ions generated. And what a negative ion generator will do, is that it will mitigate a lot of these effects of exposure to positive ions and kinda rejuvenate a lot of the stressful effects that you get when you’re exposed to a lot of these indoor electrical ion producers. So it’s the same reason that I sleep on a biomat which has a negative ion generator in it. It’s the same reason that I have what’s called the harmonizer on my desk next to my wifi router and the harmonizer’s very similar to a Himalayan rock salt lamp. It releases negative ions basically full of minerals that naturally release negative ions very similar if I had a waterfall on my office except I don’t have a waterfall in my office. So the – I’ll link to a good HEPA air filter with the negative ion generator on it. I would have one of those if she lives in a room that does not have good air or that has a lot of chemical exposure. If she lives in a pretty clean area, I would just get a negative ion generator. I was first introduced to these by my dad who is actually in the water business. He does water filters and structured water and so he had done a lot of research into the ability of good water to generate negative ions. Mark Sisson over at Mark’s Daily Apple has a really good article on water and negative ions but the one that my dad sells on his website at greenfieldnaturals.com is called the harmonizer. I’ve got one in my refrigerator, one next to my wifi router, and one in my bedroom. And these are negative ion generators. It’s this silver-looking device about the size of a – about the size of a pill bottle. And I asked him for a code for folks listening in today and the code that he gave me for 15% off of one of those negative ion generators, is ben15. Use code ben15 at greenfieldnaturals.com.
And I think that same code works for all of his water filters and all that jazz, too. So go, say Hi to my dad who sent me to college, thanks a lot, Dad, with no negative ion generators, and also no Amazon Prime membership. So, thanks for nothing, Pops.
Brock: And no awesome advice from people like us. You know one thing I’m gonna add right here at the end- Jennifer tell your daughter just stay away from the zigzag rollies. A vaporizer is definitely the way to go or at least a rollies ball.
Ben: Zigzag rollies? And make sure you take your nutritional yeast.
Hyesun: Hi, Brock and Ben! This is Hyesun from Ohio. And I’m the one who emailed you guys about the EMF from blue tooth technology. I was just wondering specifically about the heart rate monitor straps and now the new heart rate patches from Sweet Beat since these things are right on our bodies. I was just wondering if you had any concern about them. Also what about EMFs from the biomat? I wanna get a biomat but I’m sort of concerned about the EMFs coming out of it. So I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks so much. Love your show. Bye!
Ben: Well this is actually something that concerns me to the point where I actually use – I use a headset and it’s actually a –I’m using a headset right now plugged in to my microphone while I’m podcasting. And it’s an air tube headset. So rather than transmitting sound to my ear through blue tooth, it’s the same thing I use with my phone, it transmits it through air tubes. And you notice this huge difference when you’re talking on the phone once you use one of these air tube headsets. If you go back to using a regular headset, a blue tooth headset or even just like the wired headset that comes with an iPhone, you’d notice a huge difference and all of a sudden you get this little teeny kind of head achy type of feeling up in your ear. It’s weird. It’s like going from eating healthy food back to junk food then back to healthy food. You know it’s a big difference.
Brock: I actually got one out. So is it -is it more like a stethoscope sort of idea or you’ve got like the sound is happening up one end and then the sound waves is going through air?
Ben: I’ll link to the one that I use on the show notes. It’s a hollow air tube and it’s called an anti-radiation headset. I’m not super convinced about one part- it actually has one of these EMF protectors on it. I haven’t seen much evidence that those actually work, these little metal things that you put on the phone to control EMF. But the actual frequency itself is not transmitted via EMF up to your ear. It’s literally transmitted via sound waves that go through this air tube. So really, really cool. None of the radiation that you’re gonna get from a blue tooth device. And this kinda leads into this whole blue tooth issue is that blue tooth transmit at about a 2.4 gigahertz frequency. So there’s three different power classes of blue tooth. You have class 1 transmitters and these are blue tooth devices that have a range of about 100 meters, and they have a peak transmission power of 100 milliwatts. And then you have class 2 transmitters and that’s what’s usually found in the mobile device and they have a range of about 10 meters and they operate at about 2.5 milliwatts. And then you have class 3 transmitters which are really weak blue tooth transmitters and they’re gonna operate in the range of less than 10 meters and have a peak transmission power of 1 milliwatt or less. So first of all, for any of the blue tooth devices that you use if you are gonna use blue tooth, I would shoot for a class 3 where it’s not even gonna work if it’s in the range of less than 10 meters. Okay, so if you’re getting a blue tooth signal and you’re more than 10 meters away, I actually wouldn’t be using that based off the amount of radiation that you’re gonna get. The interesting thing as far as what science says about blue tooth radiation is that there are a bunch of studies that show that electromagnetic fields and I’ll link to this in the show notes, from blue tooth lead to increases in blood pressure and affect things like cell membranes and body heat in the same way that a cell phone would, for the same reason that a cell phone has a warning on it, if you read the warning that you’re not supposed to bring that thing near your head or near your body just two hours of exposure to EMF from a cell phone or a blue tooth headset can literally cause irreparable DNA damage. So it’s not something that I recommend that you use. Of course, the idea here is that the class 1, class 2 transmitters are a bigger deal. The milliwatt exposure is something that you do need to take into consideration and some blue tooth advices, or devices, have lower milliwatts than others.
Most of these personal devices that we carry around from a Fit Bit to a Jaw Bone to the Sweet Beat heart rate variability monitoring, those are somewhere between a class 2 to a class 3 transmitter. So you’re gonna be around 2.5 milliwatts or less for most of these devices that- just because they’re so close to your body and you’re not relying on being far away from the device, typically they are attached to you. So you are definitely getting less from something like that. But even if you look at something like, let’s say one of these blue tooth technology like the Sweet Beat heart rate variability monitoring, for example, that’s still around 2-2.5 milliwatts. So that’s about one two hundredths the power of an average cell phone. But it’s still on your body. And so this is why I don’t personally monitor my heart rate variability all day long. I’ve experimented with doing that a little bit but I still have reservations about being exposed to blue tooth as much as possible. So if you take a look at my office right now, I am hardwired into my wifi router with the radio signal on my wifi router turned off. My cell phone is on the desk completely off. My laptop is actually plugged into a dirty electricity filter, a green wave dirty electricity filter so there’s no electrical surges coming to the laptop. And then I got the air tube headset on. And my wife’s desk top which is on the desk across the room, I’ve thrown out her blue tooth mouse and her blue tooth keyboard. And both her mouse and her keyboard are hardwired into the computer, just the typical old school USB style. So my office has close to zero EMF.
Brock: Your office looks like 1997.
Ben: Yeah! Basically! And the only thing I’m missing is a landline which I’ll probably put into my new house, just a basic landline for talking on the phone. So I am pretty careful with this stuff and it’s the same reason that am building a new house and everything they asked me about controlling my washer and dryer via my iPad and using wireless signals for the music in the house or using wifi in the –from the router for the internet. My whole house is hardwired. I don’t’ have any wifi or EMF because even though there’s convenience, I don’t want it. I don’t want to expose my cells to that.
Brock: So you’re not getting that google-powered atmosphere control?
Ben: None! Not even this smoke alarm like the Nest which is the wifi that protects your house. I pretty much got my house-it’s pretty old school. So there’s about as much EMF in there as you’re gonna get in a log cabin.
Brock: You’re such a hippie.
Ben: I am a hippie. And then this biomat. The biomat you do plug that into the wall but the biomat actually has what’s called an EMF interceptor on it. So. what that means is that there’s this big unit between the actual biomat and the outlet in the wall. And it has a chip in it. It’s basically this carbon-style chip that mitigates EMF or basically –it’s almost like grounding the biomat. So it’s this dirty electricity filter, it’s this big black unit. My only complaint about it is it has these little lights that turn on. So I cover those up with a little cloth at night so I don’t have light exposure in the bedroom. The biomat even though it’s plugged in does not give you exposure to the same amount of electrical pollution as you would get from say like a grounding mat or earthing mat.
Brock: Interesting! I didn’t know the biomat was plugged in. I thought the whole idea was that it was just crystals sort of emanating and stuff.
Ben: No. It is plugged in because you need power to generate the actual infrared waves. So…But it’s got this special layer of double fiberglass and carbon in that unit between the wall and the biomat itself and that cuts off the EMF and they actually have done studies on it and there’s this chart that came on the biomat where it compares a general electric device like a lamp plugged in next to the wall with the biomat. And the EMF generated by the biomat is close to zero. It’s almost close to nothing. So it’s pretty safe as far as that goes. Yeah! I’m careful with this stuff at the expense of my personal convenience. So there are things I would love to be able to do like track my heart rate variability all day, or turn on my washer and dryer from my car or something like that but I just don’t because I do not like the way my body feels with constant EMF exposure and I‘ve got some real reservations about itself. I’ve kinda taken a step backwards in terms of modern living in that sense.
Meg: Hi, Ben and Brock! This is Meg from Marietta, Georgia.
My question is about vitamin A and vitamin K. Currently I take 10,000-15,000 international units of vitamin D everyday And I’ve heard you mention on a couple of occasions that high amounts of vitamin D are okay provided I get adequate amounts of A and K. But I’m not sure what an adequate amount would be. The recommended daily amount for A is 5,000 international units and for K it’s 80 micrograms. And my question is – are these amounts considered adequate for my daily vitamin D consumption? Anyway, that’s my question. Thanks so much for your help. I love the show and keep up the great work. Have a great day. Bye!
Brock: So Meg is doing some serious high dose going on here with her vitamin D.
Ben: Yeah! You gotta be really careful with vitamin D toxicity, with vitamin A toxicity. I know this podcast is getting a little long so I’m not gonna get into this too hard core but I’m gonna put an excellent article for you written by one of my favorite fat vitamin researchers Dr.Chris Masterjohn in the show notes for you.
Brock: Did you call Chris fat?
Ben: What’s that?
Brock: Did you just call Chris fat?
Ben: No. Fat research- yes, I did call him fat.
Brock: He’s a fat researcher.
Ben: He’s a fat researcher. So vitamin A toxicity is more common than vitamin D toxicity. So you need to pay a little bit more attention or be more conservative with the vitamin A that you’re taking. And taking too much vitamin A can actually nullify the benefits of taking vitamin D. So in your case, you are on 5,000 of vitamin A and 10-15,000 of vitamin D. The fact is that- what Chris has shown in his research is that you’re gonna wanna be close to a 1:1 to a 2:1 ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D. And generally the rule that I follow with supplementation is for every thousand international units of vitamin a that you take, you take a thousand to 2,000 of vitamin – for every thousand of vitamin D that you take, you take a thousand to 2,000 of vitamin A. So 1:1 to a 2:1 ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D. If you look at natural amounts of vitamin K2 that you’d get from a basic intake of a couple servings of fermented food on a daily basis, you’re gonna get somewhere between 100 and 300 micrograms of vitamin K2. So in addition to that vitamin A and vitamin D ratio, you’d wanna be at somewhere around 100-150 micrograms of vitamin K2. So in your case, you’ve got –looks like you’re taking high dose vitamin D and then 5,000 of vitamin A and 80 of vitamin K, I think is what she said, so not enough vitamin A, not enough vitamin K, and too much vitamin D basically would be an example of her. Now the issue here is your body can synthesize vitamin D from sunshine if you’ve got adequate levels of fat intake. You can get decent levels of vitamin A from the carotenoids that you’re gonna find in yellow and orange and red fruits and vegetables along with the high levels of vitamin A you’re gonna get form intake of organ meats. You’re gonna find vitamin K2 is generated by your own gut bacteria. If you’re eating a lot of fermented foods. And so unless you’re exercising a ton and you’ve got a bunch of hormone and steroid turnover and cortisol formation from exercise, I don’t think you gotta go out of your way to take a bunch of vitamin D or vitamin A or vitamin K. You just follow some simple rules like get 15-20 minutes of sunshine everyday, like midday sunshine on your bare skin. Like a combination of UVA and UVBB and preferably after you’ve done that, don’t go take a soap-based shower or bath later on in the day ‘cause the vitamin D that formed in your skin can’t be absorbed into your blood stream if you do that. So you’d wanna get your sun exposure but not take a hardcore bath or shower afterwards.
Brock: You’d wash it down the drain.
Ben: Yeah! I only take a, incidentally a soap-based shower once every three days. And everything else I do is all water-based. The only exception to that is I do swim sometimes in chlorine which probably nukes just about any vitamin D formed on my skin.
Brock: You don’t need to use soap ever.
Ben: Yeah! Exactly! Another thing that you can do of course is to eat a lot of yellow and orange and red vegetables and fruits, eat a lot of fermented food s and then include organ meats once every week to once every two weeks. Both alcohol and cigarette smoke will destroy keratin and prevent retinol formation. And retinol is your activated vitamin A. So you’re gonna wanna be careful. I know most of our listeners are not cigarette smokers, but a lot of them do like to throw back a few glasses of wine in the evenings so for the same reason that we talked about, acidic diets, gout, uric acid, fructose, triglycerides, etc. You don’t wanna overdo it from an alcohol standpoint.
So be careful there as well. And then of course as far as antibiotics go, be very careful with that because you can destroy the gut bacteria that convert vitamin K 1 to vitamin K2 But ultimately if you are including a really nutrient-dense diet, getting sunlight exposure, not washing all the vitamin D off your skin, and getting your rich sources of carotenoids, living pretty healthy when it comes to smoke and alcohol and things like that, you don’t have to take a lot of these mega doses of vitamins. So for hard charging athletes who are taking something like vitamin D, I don’t recommend much more than 2,000 to a maximum of 4,000 international units of vitamin D each day. And if you are taking that, you wanna eat some organ meats that you’re getting a lot of your vitamin A and you’re gonna wanna look for about 1:1 to 2:1 ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D. And then also get in about 100-300 micrograms of vitamin K a day which you’re naturally gonna get if you’re eating a lot of fermented foods. And that would be a pretty good little scenario. But ultimately, I’m pretty disillusioned with vitamin D mega dosing and I’m really not a huge fan of it. And again this comes down to – like we’re talking about earlier as far as the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle for example and me talking about things there and showing what I do in my day to day life there, that might be in contrast to stuff I talked about in the podcast two years ago. ‘Cause 2 years ago, I would’ve said take 35 international units of vitamin D per pound of body weight period. And I would not even talk about sunlight exposure and organ meat. So this all an evolution and what I say 50 podcast episodes ago changes based off of the research that I find and things I discover as we go. So…
Brock: If we had more time in the day, we should back through all the old podcast and bleed things out.
Ben: Yeah! I’ll do that and then probably about 18 years from now, that project will be complete. There you go.
Brock: Alright. I was gonna say that that was the last question but I think there may be one more.
Ben: Somebody was sneaky. They worked the questions into their iTunes review. We always at the end of our podcast give away swag. So over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear you can actually support the show by grabbing yourself a cool Ben Greenfield Fitness tech t-shirt which I’m wearing right now as we speak.
Brock: I think you’ve been wearing it the last three weeks in a row that we recorded.
Ben: I have. And not using soap so I’m a little gamey. But I have been using my hairy razor. I’m not hairy, at least. Just gamey. So we like to say I’m gamey, not hairy, actually, which would be a great name for a movie.
Brock: Or a band!
Ben: The sequel to When Harry Met Sally is Gamey, Not Hairy. Anyways though, you can get a tech t-shirt, you can get a sweet ass beanie which is a really, really cool beanie that goes on your head not your ass despite my colorful description. And then you can get a BPA-free water bottle. And all of that is available on this one $47 package from bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. But you could also just win the gear if you didn’t want to go over there and support the podcast by buying the gear and you can win the gear by just leaving us a review on iTunes. So we’ll put a link over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/280 or you can go and leave your review or you can just go to iTunes and do a search for the podcast and subscribe there and leave us a review and Brock is gonna be kind enough to read us this week’s review.
Brock: Actually, first I’m gonna say not everybody who leaves a review gets swag. Just to be clear you kinda made it almost sound like we give everybody…
Ben: Yeah! We randomly choose one person each week. We don’t even randomly choose you, we actually choose you based off of how cool your review is. And then if you hear your review read, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send your swag, include your address and your t-shirt size of course. So, that being said, what do we got this week, Brock?
Brock: We’ve got mnweathernut has written and the subject or the title is Exercise and Diet for Dummies.
Ben: Five stars!
Brock: And it goes like this, “I have an abundant interest in fitness and health-healthy eating. But I prefer to leave the research and experimentation to the experts. Ben and Brock do an excellent job sharing their experiences and expertise. Also enjoyable are the fun tidbits of research from science journals thrown in at the beginning of the episode.”
Ben: That’s a well-written review.
Brock: Yeah! It was even – it was a pleasure to read in my sing songy voice.
Ben: Also enjoyable!
Brock: And then the sneaky little bugger out a question at the end and says…
Ben: He worked his question into the actual review. I don’t know if he can do that. But what the heck! What did he say?
Brock: We could just pretend it wasn’t there.
Ben: Let’s read it.
Brock: Alright. “I’ve never heard/read any one’s opinion on eating tripe. Any reason this is left out when talking about paleo style diet? I’m thinking about tripe served in pho or tacos.
Ben: Well, tripe is an organ meat that is derived from beef stomach and sometimes in South America intestines and just like any offal meat, that’s o-f-f-a-l, not a-w-f-u-l, by the way, it’s got lots of fat soluble vitamins and vitamin B12 and zinc and phosphorus and selenium and choline in it which means it’s fantastic for your thyroid as well. And I’m gonna point you towards probably the most comprehensive article on tripe and tripe recipes and all sorts of cultural variations on tripe that I have ever seen. And that is simply, drum roll please, the Wikipedia page for tripe. Not to be confused with the progressive rock band, Tripa. So…
Brock: Speaking from experience, I’m guessing. Got the wrong Wikipedia page?
Ben: So tripe is – it’s good stuff, I do recommend it. I personally do not have any recipes for it although my wife just purchased half a pig and is planning in doing a whole snout to tail thing with it. I think she’s going to use the book Beyond Bacon for that. Not to be confused with my book Beyond Training. And she’s going to I’m sure include tripe in our diet over the next few weeks. So I’ll be sure and hearken back to that in future podcasts episodes if it happens. So, that’s the deal with tripe. Check out the Wikipedia page for tripe. I’ll link to it for you in the show notes along with links to all of the other helpful things that we talked about from the thyroid sessions to the fish oil that I’m using to the acid alkaline food chart, all the healthy things you can give to your loved one in college, to everything. So check that all out.
Brock: To the never-ending contest over at Men’s Health?
Ben: That’s right. To the never-ending contest over at Men’s Health at bengreenfieldfitness.com/280. You can check it all out and enjoy and this weekend we will of course be back with a special podcast episode and don’t forget to join the Inner Circle for $10 a month because it is going to be an incredible experience. It’s only gonna get better this year so check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle and we’ll shut up now and let you return to your normal lives.
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