Introduction: In this episode: What’s The Healthiest Way To Tan, How To Biohack Getting Ripped, The Best Exercise To Get Fat Adapted, Can You Get Fitter Without Exercising, Does Zone 1 Training Affect Recovery, Can Electrical Stimulation Help Bones Heal Faster? And Brock’s finally back!
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: So I looked at my calendar just now and it said to call Brock but I don’t really remember who Brock is or why we’re talking.
Brock: I was hoping you’d remember.
Ben: How was your up dude?
Brock: It was amazing. I mean… well, the only problem with Europe is… and here’s my biggest complaint. There’s no history.
Ben: Hmm, that is true.
Brock: It’s just like totally boring, nothing olds, nothing new.
Ben: Yeah, everything’s new. Yeah.
Brock: It’s like, it’s so boring.
Ben: Yeah, there’s a lot of places in the world like that. Like Kyoto, Japan and Stonehenge and you know, it’s like, yeah.
Brock: I spent a few days in Berlin and there’s just nothing has ever happened in Berlin. Nothing!
Ben: Oh, that’s hilarious. Well, it’s good to have you back. I have to admit that we had some pretty cool podcast episodes with Rhonda Patrick and hmm, gosh I don’t remember. There are a couple of other interesting people and…
Brock: Yeah, I got to catch up and listen to all those things.
Ben: Yeah, they’re pretty good. Obviously not so good because I can’t remember their names when we had it on. I’m sure… (laughs)
Brock: You won’t tell them. I hope they’re not listening.
Ben: They’re back there on iTunes somewhere. So…
Brock: Anyways, so what have you been up to?
Ben: Ah well, you know what?
Brock: Other than forgetting people’s names.
Ben: I’ve had an interesting week. I was over in Quebec City, I was up in Canada.
Brock: Yeah! You’re in the La Belle Rolles.
Ben: Yeah, where everybody spoke French and I was pretty surprised ‘cause I pretty much all I know is Merci and Bonjour. So I race a couple of Spartan races up there. It was an incredibly steep ski resort. Just up and down and up and down. So I race what’s called a Super Spartan which is about nine miles of obstacle racing on Saturday and then visited the spa of my hotel and did as much hot-cold therapy as I could.
Brock: It maximizes the recovery time.
Ben: Yeah. I thought about getting a massage but it didn’t feel like paying 200 bucks so basically I gave…
Brock: That’s 200 bucks Canadian. That’s like 50 bucks American.
Ben: Yeah, something like that or… did they call them loonies up there or just…
Brock: Loonies and then we have also toonies.
Ben: Yeah, loonies and toonies. Anyways, I didn’t wanna pay loonies and toonies for a rob down so basically I gave myself a little self massage in my hotel room and then woke up the next day. I did a Spartan sprint the next day in the same territory and that hurt quite a bit. It took about 10 minutes for the likes to finally open up and remember how to run again after the previous days activities and then I’m actually trying to do what’s called a trifecta in a week. So I’m gonna race – I’m gonna go down to Salt Lake City and race a Spartan Beast here on Saturday and so within 7 days I’ve done all three distances of Spartan racing and actually if any of our listeners who are out there trying to do like back to back, hard workouts or like back to back races. I know we’ve got some listeners who are crazy enough to do something like an Ironman or a couple weekends or marathon. Just a few notes and I’m expounding on this on my next inner circle workshop but when I’m going from two races on one weekend to a big race the next weekend, rather than actually doing workouts on each of the days this week instead I do a lot of the things that naturally increase production of growth hormones and decrease of inflammation but they don’t involve much physical activity. So, I do what’s called and I think we’re gonna talk about this later on in the episode Zone 1. Very, very easy spinning on my bike over to the gym and basically I sit on the sauna for about 20-30 minutes and get some of the training benefits that a sauna gives you without actually training and then I go and do cold and for me the river here is cold enough to argue and sit in the river but you could also do the cold shower. So I do some hot therapy, some cold therapy, very easy aerobic training, I do some foam rolling and then because I drive around in my car more than I do ride my bicycle around during a recovery week, I keep a towel along in my car and do a lot of breath training.
It’s between an expiratory muscle breath training and then foam rolling everyday. So basically every single day this week, I am making my body better and helping it to recover faster but I am not actually exercising and so for me that accomplishes two objectives: number 1, I get very jittery and a little bit grumpy when I’m not able to actually feel like I’m moving around and kinda helping my body to get better and then the other thing that helps with of course is I bounce back a lot faster ‘cause I got to tell you I was pretty sore on Monday when I rolled back in the airport here in Spokane.
Brock: I don’t even know how long those tech races take you?
Ben: You know, it’s about an hour and a half and forty five minutes on Saturday and about 50 minutes on Sunday and that doesn’t sound that long but you are in battle the whole time because I try and hang on in front of the pack and I came in top ten in both races out of I think there were about 3,000 people the first day and about 7,000 the next day. To kinda race towards the point in to the pack like that, you’re suffering the whole time so I would say it is harder than triathlon in that respect. If I were to compare like a Spartan sprint to a sprint triathlon, the Spartan definitely takes the cake.
Brock: hmm, interesting ‘cause actually the reason I ask and the reason I’m really interested in this is that I just signed up for a tough mudder.
Brock: I got all excited ‘cause you would be doing all these races and I was like, “Fine, okay there’s one in Terrano. So what the heck”? I signed up yesterday night. Now, okay what do I do?
Ben: Those are easy to get ready for. You just basically find some kind of an apartment or house that has poor wiring and you subject yourself to certain random of episodes of shock therapy and then run around the room in between and you’ll be good to go.
Brock: We must have a huge pile of news flashes after all these weeks of not doing a podcast.
Ben: Yeah, you know, I’ve been tweeting out quite a bit over at twitter.com/bengreenfield and every single day like my rules everyday I have to at least say one interesting study that I’ve found and I’ve picked out a few that I thought were kinda interesting for today’s podcast. Speaking of shocking yourself to death to get ready for your tough mudder. You know, our friend Alex Hutchinson actually I shouldn’t say he’s our friend because he’s not our friend.
Brock: Well, I met him once but I think that’s not quite a friend, an acquaintance.
Ben: Yeah, he doesn’t really like to come to our birthday parties or anything but we both read his blog over at Sweat Science. He wrote a really interesting article about whether or not it’s safe for people who are over the age of 40 to exercise hard because there’s like this unwritten rule especially in among cardiologists that the risks of interval training when you’re over 40 outweigh the benefits and that somehow once you push yourself to the point where you’re exercising at a high intensity that the risks outweigh the benefits compared to lower intensity exercise and that you’re risk of having a heart attack is gonna go up the older that you get.
Brock: Please tell me that’s a lie.
Brock: Please tell me that’s a lie ‘cause I’m almost 43 and I’ve been doing intervals like crazy.
Ben: Yeah, and Alex actually, he pointed out that really there’s only have been one study that was in the journal “Circulation” that really truly looked into this in like a pretty large population, a pretty large N and that was about 49 hundred cardiac patients and they had an average age of 57.8.
Brock: That’s a very important 0.8.
Ben: And what they’ve found was that during a 129 thousand hours of moderate intensity exercise that these people had one – there’s one fatal cardiac arrest among the entire population. And during and after 46,000 hours of high intensity interval exercise, there’s two non-fatal cardiac arrest. What Alex points out is that first of all, those numbers are so small that you really can’t make any comparison or come out and say that traditional model exercise vs. high intensity interval training is safer.
The other thing that has been found and it was cited in this paper was a whole pile of research on the cardiovascular benefits of high intensity exercise and the fact that there’s a lot of epidemiological studies that have consistently found a greater reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease with high intensity exercise in the person with moderate physical activity. So basically if you’re over 40, first of all don’t be scared about exercising at an intense rate as long you’re not doing like I don’t know, whatever like a cross-fit war everyday or 3 Spartan races in a week. (laughs) And by the way, I don’t necessarily feel that what I’m in the middle of doing is healthy, I’m just trying to put a notch on my belt basically. I should come around and say that. The other thing is that probably the fact is that even you’re 70 years old and you’re healthy, you don’t have – you know, you’re not stressed out, you don’t have high blood pressure, history of heart disease, that high intensity interval training is still gonna be fine for you. I think that the reason that people, let’s say – we see for example older men dying during triathlons, I think the reason that we see that is a cluster of events. We got this type A personalities, with high cortisol levels, typically a relatively poor diet or at least a mineral depleted diet particularly with respect to magnesium, putting themselves in a stressful situations. In water, where if you do pass out, you’re gonna die and I think when you put that entire cluster of events together, that’s where you see things like say deaths in something like triathlon in older males particularly but I think that there are a lot of factors there that could be mitigated. So ultimately, guys who are over 40, ladies who are over 40, the benefits of interval training outweigh the risks.
Brock: I don’t remember if Olga did interval… well, she must have ‘cause she ran short distances.
Ben: Hmm, yeah and that was a fantastic interview that we did with the author of the book “Why Does Olga Run”. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and look for that one, it’s on exercise, anti-aging, longevity. She did a lot of interval training…
Brock: And you guys caught into comparing her to somebody like Ed Whitlock who’s like 80 some year old marathon runner who does nothing but Zone 2 and as well and how she actually looked younger than him even though she was older.
Ben: She looked fantastic, her mental faculties were better, but unfortunately, it’s interesting that you bring that up, I don’t know if you know this but she just passed away yesterday I believe.
Brock: Yeah and I’m sad about that but you can’t really mourn, somebody who had such an amazing life.
Ben: Yeah, amazing story and if you people haven’t read that yet, I keep a list of some of my favourite books over on my Ben recommends page if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you click on the Ben recommends section, that’s on my list of books that I recommended among about 20 others that are kinda like my required reading for people who wanna optimize their health.
Brock: So rest in peace Olga.
Ben: Yeah, very impressive lady. Also, barefoot running. A really interesting review that was in the Journal of Sport and Health Science. It was Barefoot running survey: Evidence from the field was the name of this paper. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/285. What this study looked into was a survey of a few hundred runners and they surveyed them on their habits with respect to barefoot runner and when I say barefoot running, minimalist running is included in that, you know, vibrams…
Brock: Not literally barefoot.
Brock: Without shoes and socks.
Ben: Yeah, that too. Barefoot running, vibram running, minimalist shoe running, just basically all of the above. What they found was that a big portion of the runners about 60% of them tried barefoot running due to the promised of improved deficiency. About 53% to get rid of the past injury and about 52% just because of the recent media hype around barefoot running. Amazingly almost 70% of the runners participating in the study experienced no new injuries after barefoot running and again almost 70% actually had their injuries go away after they started barefoot running with the greatest percentage of injuries that declined being injuries to the knee and knee pain in almost 50% of the runners decreased after they shifted to barefoot running. I think that there are two very interesting takeaways from this paper and again I’ll link to the full paper but in one section of the paper this is what the research said, “there’s little evidence to support the current practice of prescribing elevated running shoes with cushioned heels and pronation control systems to prevent injuries.
The long industry standard of prescribing running shoes based on arch type maybe incorrect. In fact minimal unsupportive shoes might actually improve rehabilitation outcomes as compared to conventional running shoes.” And they go on and make a lot of other interesting observations but in the very, very end they say that the majority of response in this survey indicated that they develop no knee injury after starting a barefoot running regimen, second, those that did primarily experienced foot and ankle injuries indicating the need to progress slowly a.k.a. not to go out and get vibrams and run a marathon and then sue vibram so that new areas of loading can adapt and then finally the survey results indicate that the majority of barefoot runners had previous running injuries that resolved after starting barefoot running programs.
Brock: That’s awesome!
Ben: So yeah! Really interesting and I’ve been, you know, I do like when I was doing Ironman last year. Both of my Ironman races I ran in Skora’s which are a minimalist pretty much like a zero drop running shoe and now for my obstacle races and my Spartans, I’m running and we actually – I believe you called in a question Brock to the obstacle, I don’t know if our listeners know, I have a new podcast that I’m doing with the top rank Spartan athlete Hunter McIntyre. It’s called Obstacle Dominator podcast over at obstacledominator.com. Really short half hour podcast, just to go to the obstacle racing and we talked about shoes and I mentioned that I’m racing in this Vivo barefoot, it’s called the Breatho. It’s very similar to their trail freak shoe, extremely large logs on the bottom, zero drop in a puncture resistant sole and those are working very well for me, for Spartan racing and so I switch to those after losing my shoe or racing in Montana because it got sucked off so this fit a little bit better and wrap around my foot quite naturally. So anyways, we’ll link to that article in the show notes again at bengreenfieldfitness.com/285 and then finally there was a study that came out in the Journal of Nutrition about what kind of things that you should drink if you wanna rehydrate after exercise. Now, part of these papers are flawed, for example in the abstract they say for example: in cases of dehydration exceeding a 2% loss of body weight, athletic performance can be significantly compromised. That’s actually not true. Dr. Timothy Noakes has shown that first of all the winners of most races are anywhere from 6-10% dehydrated and they win and that the ultimate measurement of whether or not your performance is going to decline during an event is your core temperature not dehydration. And so even though that’s a flawed statement, the outcome of the study is really interesting. They compared how quickly you could rehydrate and what they compared was an electrolyte beverage with carbohydrates mixed into it. A plain water…
Brock: Wait, carbohydrates mixed in it?
Ben: Yeah, electrolyte carbohydrate mix and then a plain water control and then an electrolyte amino acid mix. It’s an electrolyte carbohydrate mix with Be Like Gatorade basically, an electrolyte amino acid mix would be like taking electrolytes, you know, like a scoop of electrolytes and a scoop of amino acid powders and putting them into a bottle and drinking that and then drinking plain water. What they found was that compared to the electrolyte and carbohydrate mix and compared to the water mix that within 4 hours the amount of hydration specifically cellular hydration and what’s called urinary specific gravity which is the measure of concentration of solutes in the urine, the rehydration capabilities of mixing electrolytes with amino acids were significantly higher than any of those other beverages. So ultimately, if you want to rehydrate as quickly as possible after you finish a very tough workout in the heat or a big race or anything else like that, get amino acids in your system along with electrolytes in one beverage and that’s gonna be the best way for you to rehydrate unless you wanna use my method which is basically you act like you’re sick as possible near death’s door, you stumble to the nearest ambulance or medical tent and you flop in there and basically ask for an IV and that’s a really good way to rehydrate.
But if you don’t happen to have an IV in the comfort of your own home, mix amino acids and electrolytes and you can hack rehydration as quickly as possible. So there you go.
Brock: I can’t believe Ironman Kona World Championships is only like 4 months away. It seems like we were just there.
Ben: Yeah, I am literally already kinda stating to dial in my plane tickets to head down and this year I won’t be racing in Ironman Hawaii but I’m gonna be watching and also for anybody – I know a lot of our listeners are gonna be down there racing. A lot of our listeners are into triathlon, crazy triathletes. They are…. Yeah. There’s an Ironman Sports Medicine Conference down there, the reason I’m mentioning this is I’m gonna be speaking on nutrition myths and alternative methods of fueling, this like an Ironman triathlon and I’ve been to that conference multiple times. It takes place during that week, I’ll link to it in the show notes. I’m not financially affiliated with the conference or anything like that. I just think it’s a good conference, again I’ll be there speaking and there are CME’s and CEU’s available for anybody who’s in the medical profession who is gonna be there – Mark Allen is gonna be teaching a little clinic, they have a bunch of sessions for physical therapists and athletic trainers, nurse practitioners, exercise physiologist, so great conference and the cool thing is you can go down there, go to the conference and then party at night with the triathletes and watch the race at the end of the week and kinda be there during the super bowl of triathlon. So, it’s called the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference and I highly recommend that you check it out if you gonna be down there in Kona and you’re a medical geek.
Brock: I’m still working on some reason for me to be down there again this year.
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: Anybody can make up a reason for me to be there, please let me know.
Ben: Yeah, we gotta get Brock back on the big island. The other thing and I guess this is really only in the special announcement that I mentioned is of course as we talked about in a couple of podcast episodes recently, I’m in a board of advisers now for the sports nutrition company Thorne FX and like I mentioned I’m now using their multi-vitamin and their fish oil and some of their other stuff but I’ve gotten a lot of kinda complaints from people like Australia, UK and scattered about Europe and Canada and all those strange other regions of the world.
Brock: Hmm, we are just kinda just another regions of America…
Ben: The international shipping rates were pretty tough. They just reduce yesterday shipping rates by ½ to 1/3 based off of all those complaints. So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/thornefx, you can check that out, you save 10% automatically and then they drop international shipping rates by ½ to 1/3 so for those of you who were kinda feel in the wall of shipping, that’s all fixed. So there you go.
Brock: You know, the real solution is we just all have to move to America. ‘Cause in Amazon prime actually is worthwhile.
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Celia: Hi Ben and Brock, it’s almost summer and I’m gonna be tasting Italy again. I stopped lying in the sun to tan about 10 years ago because of all the sun spots I was getting on my chest, arms and legs.
I use sunscreen on my runs and when I have gardening, but I really wanna be tan again. Have you ever research the safest way to chemical tan? Is a spray on at a tan shop which I’ve never done or over the counter products? You might have used them being vital for a test so I thought you might know. Thanks for answering my test questions but I love it and I really enjoy the show. Thanks.
Brock: What are you chewin’?
Ben: Hmm, I was out of to the room to get some chocolate. I was hungry. Actually…
Brock: Well, Celia was asking her very important question and Ben was getting chocolate.
Ben: Now, here’s the deal. I literally was – before we got on the podcast, I was doing that cold soak in the river so all of a sudden like a half or end just happens to me after I did that cold stuff, I got hungry. So I grab a chocolate and a glass of wine because as we all know cold thermogenesis increases glucose clearance so your body sucks up carbohydrates in the muscle like they’re going out of style so the one time I’m reacting in my chocolate and in my wine which is – oh, it’s a good mix. This one I’m podcasting at 5:30PM after a soak in the river. So, there you go. But this was a good question and I did listen to it so I’ve – yes! We have to repeat it…
Brock: Yeah, yes, okay, focus, focus.
Ben: Okay, so first of all as far as tanning in the sun is concerned and sun spots are concerned, I don’t really have a big issue with tanning in the sun because you get your mix of UVA and UVV radiation and we’re meant to get a balance of UVA and UVV together. We’ve talked about this on the podcast before but basically UVA radiation is the stuff that penetrates your skin pretty deeply and it passes through things like clouds and window panes and water and ozone and it’s the thing when in isolation that has been implicated in for example, melanoma and DNA damage and it also doesn’t create any vitamin D so it’s you know, when you aren’t getting that in conjunction with UVV it’s pretty useless. UVA doesn’t just provide no vitamin D but actually breaks down vitamin D, it binds to the vitamin D receptor. So if you just getting UVA which you can get from some of these tanning beds for example or from say like – ah, here’s an interesting way that it can happen just like sitting next to a window and getting a ton of sun exposure. A lot of times window panes will allow UVA to come through without UVV and when you’re flying on an airplane, I learned this because I was talking to Jack Kruse yesterday. There’s a few things you don’t wanna do when you’re flying on an airplane: one is sit next to a window with the little window curtain open because you’re getting massive doses of UVA. He actually told me about – we were doing a podcast for something I’m releasing later on. A bunch of interesting things like you don’t wanna sit in the emergency exit row because that’s where the fuselage goes through and that’s where we get expose to the highest amount of free radicals if you’re sitting in the emergency exit row.
Brock: Bummer! I love that.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So he had a lot of interesting observations and also another observation he had was that the x-ray machines that you pass through at the airport, basically the dose that you get of x-ray is next to nothing compared to what you’re getting from just like EMF and wifi routers and stuff like that so.
Ben: Yeah, – we don’t know I mean, total segue but anyways we are meant to get a mix of UVA and UVV. So, UVV the problem with that is, it can burn. It doesn’t penetrate deep enough into your epidermis to trigger melanoma but it can cause some of these sunspots and the thing is UVV counteracts UVA damage and UVA keeps vitamin D synthesis from getting out of hand. So essentially UVA and UVV work together so the best thing that you can do if you wanted to tan was get out into the sun at sometime around the time when the midday sun is directly overhead like close to noon where you get a good mix of UVA and UVV. Later on in the afternoon there’s gonna be more UVA production, you’re more likely to burn. Earlier in the day you get a little bit more UVV exposure but you’re not getting some of that balance of the vitamin D synthesis. So basically if you’re gonna get out in the sun getting around noon is a good time to do it. Now as far as healthy ways to tan, if we were gonna just not have a chance to get outside period or we didn’t wanna go outside because we were concerned about sunspots thing along those lines,
the first thing is that there’s some talks that goes around about this tanning beds that produce wavelength of light that’s around 633 nano meters and there’s a guy named Dr. Mercola that actually sells these tanning beds that he claims even though I’ve partly – the research may exist but I haven’t seen any but he claims that these systems they produce only UVV rays and the rays are mixed with red light in this 633 nano meter range and the idea here is that when you put both of those together that you’re not getting a deep enough exposure to UVA light to where you’re getting a production of melanoma but you’re getting enough UVV light to get a little bit of a tan. Now, I haven’t seen any long term research on whether or not there’s any risk of skin cancer or anything like that that would exist with a normal tanning bed from this type of tanning beds but I think the only place to get them is on Dr. Mercola’s website. There’s one called the sun’s splash, there’s another one called (they’ve got dumb names – sun’s splash, all tanning units have dumb names) another one called the D-Light as in vitamin D, light.
Brock: That’s a great name.
Ben: Yup, there is something though to that whole 633 nano meter range because that’s very close to what’s you’re gonna get from red light exposure and red light exposure like the light that you would get from – just like, I’ll put a link in the show notes ‘cause I actually have a $10 light bulb that I shine on my body for about 20-30 minutes before bed and that’s because it’s been shown to improve growth hormone, it’s been shown to improve sleep quality by about 15-20 minutes meaning you’ll sleep longer in the morning when you get exposed to that red light at night. But also when you’re skin gets exposed to light in that particular light range, it stimulates skin cells and at least the production of collagen and the elastin. So basically as you age, collagen and elastin breaks down and that’s when you start to see wrinkles and folds in the skin but you can reverse some of those process as well as improve oxygenation and the formation of a lot of these small blood vessels towards the surface of the skin when you get expose to red light. You don’t have to go and buy like a multi-thousand dollar 633 nano meter tanning bed to get that particular benefit for your skin. Red light is not gonna tan you but it can really give you like this skin firming kinda anti-aging type of appearance on the outside of your skin. It’s literally as simple as – there’s a few different ways that you can rig up a red light bulb next to your bed stand like I have. What I do is I just have this whole tripod that you normally put like a camera light on and I just have my red light plug into that and just flip on the bedroom and churn it. It also helps you wake up in the morning as well. So now when I wake in the morning and I’m writing in my journal and kinda doing my morning habits, I write my journal and meditate, I do a little deep breathing, track my heart rate and all that jazz, I have that red light turned on. So very, very simple I just flip it on before I go to bed and scout like 5,000 hours worth of red light. The one that I use is called the triangle bulb and it’s a 250 watt red heat lamp and it’s literally $9 off of Amazon.
Brock: I’ve got one by my bed but it’s actually one of the ones that you put on like the back of a goaly’s net in Hockey and then when somebody scores in the bedroom it just flashes like crazy.
Ben: Does it make the noise the ehhhhhhhhh? (make up noises) Cool! Nice! I like it, it’s a great idea.
Brock: Then it basically make a noise when I score.
Ben: A shot countdown clock or anything like that are meant to. So anyways, I would be a little bit more prone to do something like that than I would be to buy one of these tanning beds from like the Dr. Mercola website just because I always hesitate when I don’t see much research behind something. There are some things out there that people have raised eyebrows on me about like for example I’ve talked about structured water before, well, there is a ton of research at University of Washington by Dr. Gerald Pollack who I had on the podcast on for example structured water. So I’m okay with recommending that in certain situations. I haven’t seen the same kind of research on this specific tanning beds that Dr. Mercola recommends so I’m kinda (sounds) I mean, you could try it but I can’t guarantee that that amount of UVV exposure that those tanning beds give you without at being balanced by UVA as we would experience nature is necessarily beneficial. So I a little bit hesitant on that one but the other cool thing is that there was this really interesting study
that they did on the ability to tan the skin with supplemental tanning formula and this was a study that they did in a laboratory in Paris and they found significant tanning effects without exposure to any type of UV radiation from the intake of specific nutrients. In this case they used a mix of beta carotene, lycopene – like you’d find in tomato, vitamin E and vitamin C and you can actually get the exact supplement. I found exactly what they use in that study in Paris, you can get it off at Amazon and it’s like this totally natural mix of nutrients that you ingest and its design to naturally darken your skin without you being expose to light at all. It’s got – (I don’t even know how to pronounce it) it’s like Oenobiol, it’s o-e-n-o-b-i-o-l. It’s called a tan enhancer lotion and it doesn’t have – I’ll talk in a second about some of the issues with the spraying tans but it doesn’t have any of the issues of those and it just a lotion that you put in your body and actually that’s a pretty interesting research studies on it and it turns out that that works pretty well. You could try if you don’t want to use a supplement, you could achieve some of that same type of thing from food. For example, omega 3 fatty acid intake and this was actually in mice that have shown to increase resistance to sunburns and melanoma formation. You could just basically include a lot of fish oil and then these things that can help to tan the skin if you wanted to get them naturally from food for example vitamin E, you can get that egg yolks, olive oil, avocado, sunflower seeds, raw nuts. You can find vitamin C pretty readily available like lemons, lemon juice, vegetables, fruits. You can find vitamin B in many cases in meat, dairy, eggs, that type of thing. You can get a lot of the skin protecting carotenoids that are in these lotions with astaxanthin which you’ll find in marine algae. So you could also just eat a diet pretty high in wild caught fish and get it that way. And then a lot of the flavonoids and the polyphenols you’ll gonna find in like grape seeds and red wine and herbs and spices and coffee and cacao and the wine that I’m drinking wine right now. So, I’m actually tanning as we speak by drinking wine. And then, few of the other things that you want to avoid when it comes to skin and tanning will just be alcohol consumption and high amount of omega 6 fatty acid from vegetable oil- those are the two fastest ways to age your skin very quickly. I say alcohol consumption I mean to the extent where you’re producing inflammation. So basically like getting drunk. The other thing that kinda flies under the radar is gelatin. Gelatin is super duper helpful for preventing sun induced damage and that’s just as simple as working in some bone broth or getting like organic gelatin or collagen off at Amazon like the Great Lakes or the Bernard Jensen gelatin. So, uhm and you know, I used to use the rub on bronzer, the sun stunner. I was actually – I modelled for a spray on tan business when I was in college because I was a body builder to do the spray on tan and then they actually would have me walk around the gym and show people my tan and I realized ‘cause I was a spin instructor too that when you do a spin class, the tan actually sweats off so you get like this tiger stripes. Anyways though, spray on tans are not a good idea. The one of the main ingredients in them is something called dihydroxyacetone and that’s this color additive that darkens your skin by reacting with amino acids on your skin surface layer. It’s abbreviated to DHA and you don’t wanna confuse that with the docosahexaenoic acid which is the healthy DHA that you find in omega 3 fats. This DHA is not good because it actually has a lot of contaminants in it specifically lead, arsenic, and mercury. So when you have this DHA containing products that are sprayed on you in a booth, even if a lot of that isn’t getting absorbed to your skin particles, you’re getting it through your eyes and your nose and your mouth so you wanna be super careful with the spray on and rub on tans especially if you look at the label and it has this dihydroxyacetone, stay far away from that form of some sun tanning. I would be pretty careful with that, I don’t know of any bronzers that are natural that don’t contain DHA. If I wanna to get my skin as good as possible, I keep eating the type of diet that I eat, I would if I would really serious about making my skin a little bit
darker I would consider using like this Oenobiol rub on like tanning solution that naturally darkens the skin without actually using a bronzer and then I would just get sun exposure sometime between 11am and 2pm so you get that mix of UVA and UVV. And then the infrared light before bed at night if you just get like a light for 10 bucks off at Amazon.
Handsome: Hi Ben, if you are preparing for a 1-2 days photo shoot where you want to look as lean and as best as possible, how would you go about preparing for that? Would you do kinda of a carb depletion and repletion in the week leading up to it? Or would you take a different manner and what would be the training look like along with that? And also, on the days after the shoot what would you do to make sure that your body stay looking as good as possible for as long as possible. If you have any insight on that I’d really appreciate hearing it. Thanks a lot and I love the show that you and Brock do together.
Ben: So is it just me or do we have a lot of vain listeners.
Brock: Everybody just wants to look good. That’s okay!
Ben: I want tan. I wanna get ripped. We actually, sip a wine here – we talked about this a few weeks ago, I think it was maybe podcast –it’s like 282, 283 where I talked about how back in the day when I was a body builder I used to do these complex sodium-loading, sodium-depleting diuretic protocols to hack the process of getting ripped. And it worked but it’s pretty tough on the kidneys, pretty tough on the body that’s why I don’t consider body builders necessarily be a healthy sport, but that’s the same protocol that a lot of models and fitness enthusiasts will use to do everything from looking good for a photo shoot to looking good for a day at the beach to anytime that you know that you’re gonna have to be naked or be in a swimsuit or something like that, trying to basically get your skin to tighten and eliminate bloating. Now first of all, I should say that I think a lot of people look softer than they should because they’re stressed and cortisol causes a shift in aldosterone an anti-diuretic hormone that causes you to retain water and to have that bloated, soft look. And I think that – I will give my biohack here for getting ripped at the risk of your kidneys taking a hit. But before I do that, let me mention that getting cortisol down makes a huge difference in most people. And it sounds dumb, but just like de-stressing and getting rid of bloating that way is a huge, huge win for getting rid of that kinda skinny fat look. But let’s say you wanna do the whole carb-depletion, carb-repletion, sodium-loading protocol to get ready to be in a swimsuit at the beach or look as cut and as ripped as possible, ‘cause I got this down to a science when I was a body builder and there’s a way that you could do it. I’ll make this pretty easy to understand. I’m not gonna get super duper deep into the hormones. I’m just gonna tell you exactly how to do it. And it’s a little bit of a science. If you miss the window, you end up looking bloated. You don’t wanna look bloated so you wanna make sure that you maybe try this at least once apart from a photo shoot or very important day at the beach before you pull it out for real on a pro level. So the first thing is two weeks out, you wanna count back about two weeks from the day that you wanna look ripped, from your photo shoot, stepping on the stage for a fitness competition, whatever you want. Count back two weeks from that, you wanna start loading up on sodium. Now I’m not a big fan of doing this via the way that a lot of body builders do which is just a lot of table salt and a lot of sodium-rich foods because I don’t like a lot of the health implications of unopposed sodium. I’m a bigger fan of using sea salt and minerals, basically increasing sea salt and trace mineral intake so you’re getting sodium along with a lot of your other trace minerals. But essentially you start loading up on sodiums. We’re talking about anywhere in the range of about 2-6 teaspoons of sodium on a daily basis or salt on a daily basis and the higher levels would be if you’re doing a lot of say, like, sauna, sweating, still working out pretty hard, that type of thing. But you’re gonna wanna increase your sodium intake about 3 to 5 times higher than it would normally be. When you first do this, your body is gonna hold more water, but after you’ve maintained those high sodium levels for a few days, your body will eventually adapt. So you’re gonna basically be holding the same amount of water as you did when your sodium intake was normal or when it was slightly low. So you start off by loading up on sodium and you wanna do that about 2 weeks out from the time that you wanna look good.
At the same time that you do that, you wanna gradually drop the carbs. Okay, so the reason that you would wanna drop the carbs is so you up regulate levels of glycogen synthase which is the enzyme responsible for causing storage of glycogen. And so when you load on carbs later on, you’re theoretically gonna be able to load on the higher number of carbs, okay. So you increase your sodium two weeks out and then you gradually begin to drop your carbs by the time you’re one week out from when you wanna look really, really good, you’re eating a pretty low carb diet, okay. So like 10-20% carbohydrate. So pretty low, you’ve got depleted muscle glycogen levels and you’re at the same time eating a lot of sodium. Now the next thing that you wanna do is, especially if you’re still working out, but also to help increase water levels that are basically –what’s called your intramuscular water levels, you can add creatine into the mix. I’m a big fan of creatine loading during this last week and so what you do is you’ve been on a high sodium diet and a low carb diet. Now you’re one week out, you start loading up on creatine. I would not recommend a creatine monohydrate powder just because that can increase water levels outside the muscle, directly under the skin and cause a soft look. You want a creatine that doesn’t cause that bloating look. There’s one – there’s a company called Millennium Sport. They make what’s called an enteric-coated creatine that doesn’t cause – it’s the same one that I take just for racing and for very hard workouts. That one doesn’t cause that type of bloated look. But stacking with creatine while you’re doing this sodium-loading, carbohydrate-depletion protocol can be really effective especially if you’re having difficulty with dropping carbs super duper low and still being able to maintain energy levels. So I like about 10 grams of creatine on a daily basis for this one. Millenium Sport is over at milleniumsport.net and any of our listeners get a 50% discount on that stuff. The code at millenniumsport.net, and I’ll put it in the show notes, it’s M-S-T as in millennium sports technologies, MSTBG09. So that’ll get you 50% off their creatine. You could also find it on Amazon, bodybuilding.com, places like that. Anyways, that’s step 3. The next thing that you do is a week before, you actually drop the sodium. So you’ve been at a high sodium intake, now you drop the sodium. Okay, back to a low sodium intake, or back to under 2,000 milligrams, under about a teaspoon of sodium per day. So as you drop that sodium down, you’re gonna start to lose water. Okay, so you go from high sodium intake to low sodium intake. Two weeks out, you’re at high sodium intake. One week out, you’re at low sodium intake. And we keep the sodium low. At the same time that you drop the sodium intake, you start drinking a bunch of water. So one week out, you’re drinking anything from about one and a half to two gallons of water a day. And you’re gonna do that all the way out to two days before the day that you wanna peak. Okay? So…
Brock: So you’ll be peeing like crazy that week.
Ben: Yep, exactly. So basically you’re up regulating the hormones that are responsible for dumping water like your diuretic hormones that when you cut water, the activity of those diuretic hormones stays up and you basically pee out a bunch of water. You lose a bunch of water and the fact that you’ve cut sodium also means that you’re not gonna retain much water. Okay, so, we’re basically trying to trick the body into losing as much water as possible while retaining as many carbohydrates as possible. So that’s what this all comes down to, okay? So again just to review just so listeners don’t get lost here. Two weeks out, you are going to load up on sodium all the way up to one week out at which point, you’re gonna start to cut sodium. All the way from two weeks out to one week out, you’re gonna be dropping your carbs, you’re going on a very low carbohydrate intake. And about one week out, you’re gonna start to load up on creatine. Okay. So now you’re two days away from the day that you wanna look really, really good. And there are two things that you do two days out. Two days out you cut water and you cut it a lot. And when I was doing body building, I would do this in conjunction with taking a diuretic and I was actually this last couple of days peeing dark yellow. That’s how- and this why I’m saying it’s not necessarily – total caveat I’m not saying this is healthy but if you wanna hack the process of getting ripped, this is how you do it. And I use dandelion root extract as a diuretic to just basically shed as much water as possible. And you’re only doing that for two days.
Okay, so it’s still unhealthy if you’re doing it a lot, but I mean it’s just two days. So two days you’re dumping water, taking diuretics, and you are also carb-loading. So you shift from that low carb diet into a high carb diet, eating a lot of sweet potatoes, yams, chocolate and wine bring vascularity to the surface so those are really good. But basically for two days, you’re cutting water and you’re carb-loading. And when you get to the end of that second day, so two days out you’ve been cutting water, you’ve been carb-loading, you wake up on the morning of that last day and you’re thirsty but you’re pretty shredded, pretty ripped, and you know what, if we’re getting paid a lot of money to be in a magazine cover or its kinda like your big chance to look as good as possible, this will do it. It’s not healthy but that’s basically, that’s the protocol. That’s what I did when I was a body builder.
Brock: That’s crazy.
Ben: And it works, you know! It gives you that camera-ready body. But it’s – it’s a chore. But if you kinda enjoy that type of thing, kinda tricking your body, it can work. Again, I think a bigger win is just decreasing cortisol which is retaining water. But again, creatine, loading on sodium, dropping carbohydrates, and then dropping sodium, loading carbohydrates, and then kinda doing that water load followed by water cut, throwing creatine into the mix, that’s kinda everything. So, there you go.
Brock: Is that what your buddy Hunter McIntyre did when he was on the cover of – was it Men’s Health?
Ben: He’s been on a bunch of covers, but no. We actually talked about that in today’s Obstacle Dominator episode.
Brock: Did he give away his secrets?
Ben: For folks who are listening in. His secret was basically just getting covered in a bunch of mud.
Brock: I guess. That works!
Patrick: This is Patrick. You mentioned in a podcast that it takes six months to become fat adapted for exercise. Now my question is –is this only affected by diet and how much training, specific type of training actually plays a role in this. My background is more strength and power being a college offensive lineman. And but I’m starting SealFit training which you’re familiar with since you mentioned it in a podcast. Love the show. Thank you.
Ben: Well the answer to Patrick’s question is pretty interesting because when I ran an exercise physiology lab and I did this for three years. I had a lot of athletes come up and I would hook them up to an indirect calorimeter which measures the amount of carbohydrates and fat that you’re utilizing as a fuel.
Brock: That looks like a scuba diving mask you stuck in your mouth, right?
Ben: Yup, exactly! The athletes, like the soccer players, basketball players, football players, people who are used to on and off type of training, it’s very, very interesting when you look at their carbohydrate and fat utilization while say, running on a treadmill, they would have these large shifts. They’d go from carb utilization to fat utilization and it was almost as though their body had been trained to cycle between those energy substrate pathways. And then when you take the people who are doing more steady-state exercise, the triathletes, the marathoners, etc. they would generally be at a little bit higher state of fat utilization and that at a steady state of fat utilization during the entire treadmill protocol or bicycle protocol whichever one that we’re doing on them. Interestingly, you saw similar patterns at rest as well. More fluctuations and almost like a wave curve of carbohydrate and fat utilization shifting between carb and fat utilization at rest in folks who are doing a lot of the interval training and more of a steady state energy utilization in the folks who were doing more steady state training. So what this means is that even though interval training is gonna get you fitter faster, you’re gonna have a higher post exercise metabolic rate, you’re gonna have an increase production of fat-burning hormones, etc., if you work in some kind of steady state exercise into your protocol, it’s gonna accelerate the rate at which you become fat-adapted or in other words, it’s gonna train your body to burn fat as a fuel source a little bit more efficiently. And this is why I like to get the best of both worlds in the folks who I’m training for fat loss. What I mean by that is you do your fasted fat burning in the morning at a very aerobic level and basically what will be considered your fat burning zone. Approximately your – what’s called your anaerobic threshold heart rate or the heart rate at which your muscles start to burn.
Generally you subtract about 20 beats from that, and that’s your approximate fat burning zone. For me, my muscles really start to burn and I start to breathe really hard at a heart rate of about 170. And so I can approximate my fat burning zone at being pretty close to 150, and it’s generally like an aerobic conversational pace. You train your body how to do brief bouts. A lot of people overdo this. They go out for 2 hours, 3 hours, whatever, but brief bouts on a daily basis about 20 minutes or so generally in the morning in a fasted state a little bit of caffeine can help you tap into that fatty acid. And you do that as many days as you can each week. And again, all you need is about 15-20 minutes. And I like to also when possible add in one session each week that’s a little bit longer, like a hike or a bike ride or a swim or a walk or you’re going out for anything from 1-2 hours in that fat burning zone. You don’t overdo that workout. That’s only about once a week. A lot of people overdo that and they try that – I find a lot of women do this every morning. They’ll take that fat burning easy exercise that I talked about and they’ll do it for 2 hours every morning or 1 hour every morning. Don’t do that. About once a week is all that’s required for that kinda fat-adapted fat burning zone type of exercise preferably in a fasted state like on a weekend. And then in the morning, every morning, that’s when you do your aerobic fat burning. So that way you’re getting that steady state fat adaptation. And later afternoon or the early evening when your body temperature peaks and your protein synthesis peaks, and your reaction time peaks, that’s when you do the hard stuff. So, that way you get the best of both worlds and you can accelerate your ability to become fat adapted when you work in that type of training rather than just doing the high intensity stuff or just doing the SealFit training. If you look at something like SealFit, what you’ll find is that in a typical SealFit protocol -‘cause I’m doing SealFit right now, that’s my training as I’m using Mark Divine’s Eight Weeks to SealFit and just kinda throwing in, like I substitute a few of the workouts for skill-based obstacle training workouts and swims and stuff like that but for the most part, I’m using his SealFit training. He has durability worked in, like aerobic durability training. And you could split that up and rather than doing the durability training at the end of the workout like he had it written in, you could take that durability training and shift that to be your morning aerobic workout. And then save every other aspect of SealFit training for later on in the day. So you could just kinda tweak the workouts around, kinda do this steady state stuff earlier in the day, and harder stuff later in the day, and do the steady state stuff in your fat burning zone in a fasted state. So that’s what the way I would do it.
Dom: Hey there, Ben. I’ve a question. Can cold thermogenesis and ketogenic diet alone improve one’s stroke volume and resting heart rate? Or does it have to be combined with some form of exercise in order to reap the benefits?
Brock: It’s a good question. We got some good questions today!
Ben: We got a lot of smart cookies listening in.
Brock: Smart people asking smart questions.
Ben: Geeks! Yeah, I feel guilty that I’m drinking wine and eating dark chocolate while I’m answering questions.
Brock: Okay, for the next two questions, we’ll make sure they’re really easy.
Ben: Okay, so I’ve seen zero evidence that a ketogenic diet is gonna improve your stroke volume or your heart rate directly. Now the fact is when you’re producing ketones, when you’re burning fatty acids and you’re producing ketones, or you’re, say using one of these fancy new supplements that’s literally drinking ketone bodies like beta-hydroxybutyrate salts for example, you are providing a fuel that’s a preferential fuel for diaphragm and heart tissue. So theoretically, you might be allowing your heart muscle to tap into a fuel that it can burn a little bit more readily or more efficiently. But I’ve seen zero studies that show a direct improvement in stroke volume or drop in heart rate from that occurring. Okay, so there’s a little bit of a disconnect there. So I can’t say that the ketogenic diet is gonna improve your stroke volume or your heart rate. And when you look at cold thermogenesis, there’s some very interesting things that happen during cold thermogenesis, like you get an increase in the production of adaponectin which is a hormone that breaks down fat and shovels glucose in the muscles and increase the density of your mitochondria. You get an improvement in immune system because you get an up regulation of glutathione production which is an extremely powerful antioxidant. You get an increase in the number of immune system cells. You get a decrease in the rate at which telomeres shorten. So you get the same cellular longevity effect that you might get from calorie restriction or from intermittent fasting or from exercise.
You get reduction of inflammatory cytokines. You get faster glucose clearing, meaning that blood glucose gets burnt off as fuel to heat the body so that you can essentially produce ATP from heat rather than – or you can produce heat from calories rather than producing ATP from calories. You get what’s called skeletal muscle uncoupling which basically means that you burn calories and generate heat through the shivering process as a result of what’s called thermal loading and Dr. Rhonda Patrick and I talked about this a little bit on our podcast that we did on heat. But skeletal muscle uncoupling and activation of heat shock protein and clearance of a lot of basically what are called junk cells or an up regulation of what’s called apoptosis, all of that occurs in response to cold. But again, I don’t necessarily think that you’re gonna see a direct improvement in stroke volume and heart rate aside from the fact that your muscles might become a little bit more efficient at utilizing glucose and nutrients, so you might have more oxygen, more blood to go around in general. The fact is that if you really want to truly improve your cardiovascular efficiency, improve your stroke volume, improve your heart rate, you need to combine interval training which is going to take care of the heart rate side of things meaning that you’re going to become more efficient at delivering oxygen to muscle tissue and you’re gonna improve capillarization of muscle tissue when you do interval training, and also heavy weight lifting, or anything that subject your muscles to pretty intense load. If you combine that with aerobic training which is going to increase your stroke volume, then again kinda similar to my response to the last question, you get the best of both worlds. And you get an increase in stroke volume and an increase in heart rate. That’s why for example, cross fitters who don’t do any endurance or volume whatsoever, and I think we talked about this a little bit a couple episodes ago, you actually don’t get much of an increase in stroke volume with something that only has high intensity interval training and weigh training. You actually have to do aerobic training to get that increase in stroke volume, or a significant increase in stroke volume although your heart rate does – your resting heart will drop and your delivery of blood to working muscles will improve. You don’t get a significant improvement in the actual ventricle volume, or the filling of the ventricle before it pumps the blood out into the rest of the body.
Brock: That’s funny, I was just gonna say maybe we should explain what a stroke volume is.
Ben: Yeah! It’s basically just how much blood volume your heart is gonna pump out per stroke. So, ultimately though, cold thermogenesis and a ketogenic diet, those work pretty well together or at least cold thermogenesis and even just like a high fat diet work pretty well together but they’re not necessarily going to produce a huge amount of cardiovascular benefit in the absence of exercise. The human body really was meant to move and to, as Mark Sisson says, lift move, sprint, or Art De Vany or whoever first said that – you combine that with things like temperature fluctuations and restriction of high amounts of modern carbohydrates and that’s kinda the best case scenario.
Blake: Hi, Ben! For starters, absolutely love the book but I do have a question in regards to the Minimal Ancestral Ironman training plan you have included in your book. How does the – how does riding bike everyday, pulling children preferably at zone 1 probably at 8-10 miles an hour, how does that affect the minimal training plan? Yeah, let me know. Thanks! Love the podcast!
Brock: Blake actually asked more questions but I figured this was the most interesting of all of them. He went on and on too long. So sorry, Blake.
Ben: Zone 1 training and I mentioned this earlier, that’s where you’re going so easy that it’s boring, yawn training. And that has a really good effect at improving blood delivery to working muscles without stressing those muscles or causing a huge decrease in muscle glycogen or tearing of muscle fibers. And I actually really like that as a form of recovery and as a way to actually enhance your ability to bounce back from workouts. The only caveat is that most people think they’re doing zone one training, and they’re really doing zone 2 or zone 3 training.
Brock: Zone 3, yeah! That’s what I found.
Ben: So zone 1 training would be like- maybe like you’re treading water easily in the pool, not swimming laps, but just treading water. Or you’re walking around at a very leisurely pace that isn’t causing you to breathe harder, you’re not feeling that impact in your legs much at all.
Brock: I call that saunter.
Ben: Yeah, exactly! So zone 1 training is pretty hard to do pulling a bike trailer. I’ve pulled a lot of bike trailers in my day. And I don’t think I’ve ever been in zone 1 pulling a bike trailer, ’cause you’re pulling a bike trailer. So I would just say – the short answer is yes, the long answer is are you really truly in zone 1? ‘Cause zone 1 that’s a heart rate. For most people that’s a heart rate of about 80 to a maximum of about 100. And that’s not very high above resting heart rate. So make sure that you’re truly in zone 1. I like – and I’m gonna be doing the give away of one of this, hopefully next week, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Facebook page over at facebook.com/BGfitness. I like these Weehoo bike trainers. And these are the ones where your kid sits in it but your kid has to pedal. So the bike trailer attaches to your seat post and extends out…
Brock: Make these little bastards work!
Ben: Yeah, exactly! And they actually make them for twins. So they’ve got a double or twins or just two kids. So they got a double option and a single option and the kid pedals and I could see how you could stay in zone 1 pulling a Weehoo bike trainer ‘cause your kid is doing some of the work. And they’re not as heavy as some of the other bike trailers as well. So that would probably be a pretty good way to go. I’m not financially affiliated with Weehoo or anything like that. They didn’t send me a trailer that I could give away on Facebook, but that is – that would be a pretty good way to go I would say if you really want to use it for recovery would be make your kid do the work.
Davey Navy: Hey there, Ben and Brock! This is Davey Navy. I was out playing some soccer working my way up for this World Cup excitement and somebody came in and decided to break my fibula bone in my ankle. So I’m well into the healing and recovery process, eating lots of good food, and I was curious about a home e-stim and particularly I was looking at this supposedly portable system by Omron which is available at the local drugstore. Could you guys do a review or summary of what are the better home e-stim products ‘cause I’m at the point of my recovery now where I’m gonna be doing some e-stim to help the muscles all come back in addition to all these flexibility I’m doing. Have a great workout, guys! I’m watching.
Brock: Bummer, Davey!
Ben: Yeah, bummer!
Brock: Although I do want to say one thing. Go!
Ben: Go! Do you watch any World Cup matches?
Brock: Actually, yeah, I watched in Croatia. The first night of the World Cup happened while we were in Croatia, and man, those people are crazy for soccer or football.
Ben: Oh, yeah! I think the U.S. plays tomorrow Germany I believe at the time this podcast….
Brock: So the U.S. loses tomorrow, you mean?
Ben: Yeah, that’s gonna be ugly. Anyways, first of all Davey, I’m sorry to hear about your fibula. This Omron that you asked about like the cheaper ones at the drugstore, I’ve talked about this before in a podcast as far as the difference between electrical muscle stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or what’s called TENS, but most of what you see at the drugstore including something like the Omron, those are TENS units. So they’re good for back pain, they’re good for stimulating subcutaneous nerve receptors, but they don’t actually stimulate muscle or stimulate blood flow and recovery to an extent. Like a Band-Aid, they mask pain. So they’re useful if you need to cover up low back pain or you need to just like take care of pain, but they’re not really gonna hold a candle to electrical muscle stimulation or pulse electrical magnetic field therapy. So that first thing that I just mentioned – pulse electromagnetic field therapy, that is a form of – it’s what’s called P-E-M-F and that’s actually FDA-approved to fuse bones. And a lot of docs would use it to reduce swelling, to reduce joint pain and to speed up healing of bone. So that’s something that I’d recommend. There’s one called the Earth Pulse and it’s like this little doughnut-shaped PEMF device that releases a magnetic frequency that’s much, much different than what you get from a magnet. So putting a magnet around an area that needs healing – there’s a little bit of evidence that you might get a mild heating effect and maybe a little bit of an increase in blood flow.
But when you expose bone to pulse electromagnetic field therapy, you actually get a stimulation of osteoblastic activity and a true increase in bone healing. And that’s why it is – that’s why PEMF is FDA-approved specifically for bone healing. So if I ever broke a bone, knock on wood, because it’s been a long time since I’ve broken any bones, the very first thing that I would do is get PEMF on it. Actually, I’d probably find it a good friend who had oxycodone and I’d have that and glass of wine and then I’d get out the PEMF ‘cause breaking bones hurts. So PEMF would definitely be one therapeutic modality I’ll look into. By the way, it’s way different than electromagnetic or EMF, electromagnetic fields. PEMF is a much lower frequency, it’s pretty close to what’s called the human frequency which is the basic 7.38 hertz frequency the planet earth naturally emits. It’s way different from the magnetic fields you might get exposed to from say a wifi router. So you don’t need to be concerned about PEMF. It can accelerate repair of bone. It can accelerate repair of soft tissue. And there are many good studies, I mean you can go over to PubMed and look into it. It’s definitely not even close to woowoo or anything like that. So PEMF definitely. And then the other thing that I would consider for accelerating healing or at least decreasing inflammation would just be electrical muscle stimulation which is different than PEMF in that it is causing a contraction of the muscles. So PEMF is kinda like ultrasound, it passes through tissue, deep into tissue, causes an increase in blood flow and an increase in growth factors, increase in osteoblastic activity. EMS actually causes a muscle contraction. So this is where you put the electrodes. You stick the electrodes around the area that’s injured and you turn it on, and your muscles are literally contracting. And it comes like the handheld unit, that unit is replacing your brain. So rather than your brain sending a message through your spinal cord to the muscle, you’re using a handheld unit to deliver an electrical stimulation to the muscle directly via the electrodes. So that’d be like a compacts- what’s that?
Brock: I was just gonna say that would have a double effect of helping heal the bone but also help not get super out of shape.
Ben: Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. It’s really good if you broken something for maintaining a muscle’s ability to contract and even getting a training effect, it’s actually kinda funny, I was just a t a conference with Dave Asprey in Toronto and he had an EMS device this was on Friday night at the bar at the Shangrila Hotel in Toronto and he was helping people get their biceps stronger and doing ab training sessions with an EMS device in the hotel bar, pretty funny. Getting some strange looks. But the – interestingly, there’s different wave forms of electrical muscle stimulation devices. And so this is where you kinda wanna choose whatever’s is gonna best for you. I’m a nerd so I have both, I have on called the Compacts. And that’s best for strength power training, helping a muscle to become more fit with electrical muscle stimulation. And then there’s another device that uses a different what’s called a different wave form. It recruits muscles in a little bit more slower and gradual format and also releases them in a more slower and gradual format, and that’s better for injured tissue. That one’s called the Marc Pro. So, interviewed the folks who do Marc Pro. They have a discount code for any of our listeners. It’s discount code Ben. Knocks like 30 bucks off of it at markpro.com. But I’ve got both. So I’ll use the Marc Pro if I have kinda injured an area or I need a little bit of healing. I’ve been using it this week to help myself bounce back a little bit more quickly from the Spartans. But you could also use something like the Compacts for training your quads and hamstrings to not get unfit while you’re rehabilitating from an ankle fracture or an ankle break. And then the other thing that of course you’d use is PEMF or pulse electromagnetic field therapy. The device I use for that is called an Earth Pulse. So that’s where I would start. And then of course eat your egg shells. Everybody knows the egg shells help pump bones heal faster.
Brock: And they’re delicious!
Ben: Delicious! That’s why God made blenders.
Brock: I’m gonna add one more thing that really helps with broken bone healing, this little thing you can find over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/love.
Ben: Oh! A tennis ball?
Brock: No! That’s a gift from Ben.
Ben: Oh! What is it?
Brock: At bengreenfieldfitness.com/love?
Brock: You have to go over there and find out, won’t you?
Ben: Okay! Alright! Go check it out! I forgot what’s you’re on now.
Brock: Just a way to spread the love.
Ben: That’s right! That because we all know that gratitude and spreading love will make your bones heal faster. Speaking of spreading the love, we do want to do a giveaway to the listener who left us a fabulous review in iTunes. But before we read that review, I’m going to spread the love to one of my friends. And he wrote me the other day and told me that – and this is a guy who actually came on my podcast. His name is Jordan Harbinger. And he came on, he talked about how you could kinda go outside your comfort zone and get better at things like friendships and relationships and networking. And he actually…
Brock: And how not to be creepy. That’s the biggest takeaway…
Ben: Yeah! And he’s got this podcast over at Art of Charm and this isn’t like a paid advertisement for him or anything but he wrote me and we’re talking about how there’s a pretty kind of big crossover between the men and the women who listen to our show who are interested in health and fitness and the men and the women who listen to his show who want to kinda take that and extend it to friendships and relationships and networking. So I just want to give him a shout out. That’s over at artofcharm.com. It’s not a necessarily like a pick up dating gaming type of podcast. It’s a lot more tasteful than that.
Brock: And he seems to recruit a lot of executives and secret service people. That’s so cool!
Ben: I listen to his podcast. I think it’s good. So I give him a shout out. artofcharm.com. That being said, let’s charm people with some disaster pants, shall we?
Brock: No! You should not do that!
Ben: So this review came in is called Health Hacks and Disaster Pants. It’s actually a –it’s a five star review. Want to read it out?
Brock: Yeah! I’ll read this. It’s from fez481. Fez481 says, “This is a great podcast. Ben and his sidekick Brock present a wealth of information on health, fitness, and sometimes life. As an obsessive competitive bike racer for 25 years, it’s unusual to find information that I don’t know or hear about. Ben delivers the goods with study synopses, new technologies, and the best methods to get fit, drop fat, do what you want to do to become faster, fitter, and achieve goals. Pay attention, though, too much too soon may lead to disaster pants or worse!” Geez, what’s worse than disaster pants?
Ben: Oh no, I was wondering. So if you can think of something worse than liquid exploding diarrhea while you are fully clothed, then I guess that would be it.
Brock: Too much too soon.
Ben: I’m also kind of wondering what he means by too much too soon. Maybe he means that if you take all the advice that we give you on this podcast such as taking creatine and dumping carbohydrates and hopping on your bike trailer pulling your kid behind you with the Weehoo while you’re wearing your EarthPulse, that you might experience a disruption in your bowel function.
Brock: I think that’ s a pretty good Ben.
Ben: Yeah! Start slow. That’s probably a perfect thing to end on. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/285 where we have of course all the helpful show notes. And by the way, I shall also end on this. Look for some big changes on the website over the next couple of weeks. We’re gonna make it way more user-friendly. And I’m also doing a lot of new things inside the Ben Greenfield Inner Circle. We are expanding that out big time, meaning that I incorporate a lot of the things that I talk about into my day to day routine, into my workouts, into my nutrition, into the way that I raise my kids, into the way that myself and my wife eat. And I really wanna be able to talk about those on a more interactive and a deeper level with the folks who are members of my inner circle, that’s the whole $10 a month thing at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. And my goal over the next year is to make that pretty much like the most valuable thing on the face of the planet that people could ever access when it comes to tapping into how to use some of the stuff that we talk about on this podcast on a more practical and deep level. So yeah, so check that out too and you’re gonna notice that the entire website of bengreenfieldfitness.com is gonna change to make the Inner Circle easier for you to access and really kinda a one-stop place to be able to just get as much help as possible from me because that’s what I want to do is help you and your kids and your family and everything to make this world a better place. So let’s all sing Kumbaya around the campfire now.
Brock: I’m holding my own hands.
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