From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-434-2/
[00:01:10] A Knee or Hip ‘Replacement’ Without Surgery? It’s on the Horizon
[00:05:47] New Flashes
[00:06:30] Individual dietary choices can add–or take away–minutes, hours, and years of life
[00:10:07] The Most Sustainable Foods
[00:15:47] The Corruption of The Human Diet
[00:25:47] “Five Anti-Aging Nootropics that Scientists Believe May Defeat Death”
[00:31:12] Best Pre-Workout Mix
[00:34:41] A New Meta-Analysis on Creatine
[00:36:22] Podcast Sponsors
[00:46:37] Can NAD Be Used for Psychiatric Conditions Such as ADD Or ADHD?
[00:50:13] What About Some of the Sleep Aids Affecting the Brain?
[00:56:37] Why Do I Crave Food After Taking a Cold Shower?
[01:03:52] Why Do I Feel So Sluggish Every Morning?
[01:14:08] Featured Review
[01:16:54] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast: Five death-defying supplements, what foods kill you the fastest, the best pre-workout mix, and much, much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Jay, what’s going on, dude?
Jay: Man, living the dream. How about you, man?
Ben: I’m also living the dream, Jay, slash, hyped up on pain meds today. I’m on oxycodone.
Jay: Are you serious? Oh, man.
Ben: Yeah, this ought to be an interesting show. Oxycodone–And, I thought about taking some kratom, but I just followed doctor’s orders, just a little half capsule. I got a knee surgery a couple of days ago.
Jay: Wow, I knew you were having some significant knee problems and you had been for a while, but didn’t know it was going to require surgery. What type of surgery was it?
Ben: Well, the Wall Street Journal actually, timely enough, just published an article called a “Knee or Hip Replacement Without Surgical Procedure.” And, I’ll link to that particular article in the shownotes for today’s podcast at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435. Fascinating article that gets into this whole idea that cartilage has no blood provision or nerves and a restricted capacity to fix itself. Yet, there’s a lot of cool protocols coming out in regenerative medicine that restore and regrow articular cartilage, which is that layer of connective tissue that covers the end of our bones and allows our joints to maneuver. In the past, we have to get that type of thing resurfaced or get a knee joint replacement, which, a lot of times, in a young person like me who’s young, been pushing my body really hard for the past 20 years, the idea of getting a joint replacement is not that exciting of a prospect, especially, considering those joint replacements don’t last for a really long time.
So, this article got into everything from brand-new experimental drugs, like one called sprifermin, which stimulates the cartilage cells, these little cartilage cells called chondrocytes, to regrow. It gets into another injectable drug called lorecivivint. And, that inhibits the proteins that cause cartilage degeneration and the development of arthritis. And then, it also gets into these really cool procedures like an intraosseous procedure where you would actually take bone marrow out of a patient’s, say, hip. And then, what you would do is you would go in with a needle and digital ultrasound-guided imaging and drill little holes in the surface where you see cartilage degeneration, in the same way you would fertilize a lawn, and then you just fill all those little holes with the bone marrow. And, the bone marrow stimulates the new cartilage to grow in a similar way as you would get if you were to literally just repair all the cartilage, almost like a surgical glue, a surgical cartilage glue patch.
So, anyways, Dr. Matt Cook, who really specializes in all these cutting-edge regenerative medical protocols, two days ago, he actually did that exact protocol on my knee.
Jay: Oh, man.
Ben: And, it is minimally invasive, but it’s still invasive. He had to put me under ketamine and nitrous oxide laughing gas. I don’t remember anything. I remember walking in the treatment room and don’t remember much past that. But then, about 12 hours later, just all those areas that got really, really needled and a bunch of bone marrow injected, they did get pretty painful to the extent where I couldn’t sleep.
And so, I do have a little bit of oxycodone, so I’m I’ve been hyped up on pain meds. Not hyped up, but I should say micro-dosed on pain meds and stuff.
Ben: I’m a little bit I unlucid today. That could be why. But, as long as I’ve been beating up my knee and as much as I’ve had this type of protocol on my radar for a while, we’re actually going to cover it all. Well, at the time that this podcast is coming out, I think my podcast with him will already have been released. But, it’s pretty cool protocol. And, I think he did a bang-up job with it. And, my knee feels alright, aside from some of that pain that kicks in. And, he said that will last about three days or so, and then subside.
Anyways, how about you? You on any drugs today?
Jay: No, not at all. Is alpha-GPC a drug? That’s about all I’m on today.
Ben: Alpha-GPC. It’s like a smart drug, you mean?
Jay: Yeah, a nootropic.
Ben: Well, we’re going to get into some cool nootropics today, actually.
Jay: Nice. That’s super interesting about your knee. I don’t know what is up with you and I and our knees. When are you supposed to feel the beneficial effects of this? I know you’re just going to fill in the deleterious pain, but how long does this take to operate or work?
Ben: To my understanding, within a week or so, once some of the surgical discomfort goes away, it’s already starting to regenerate. I’m doing other things to speed along, like hyperbaric and a little bit of infrared light therapy. I did some NormaTec boots this morning. Literally, right now, while we’re talking, just so my quads don’t completely atrophy, I’ve got the–what do you call it? The Marc Pro electro-stim, that’s pumping away.
Ben: If you can hear a low-level buzz in the background, it’s electrical muscle stimulation jamming away on my quads. Because you know me, I got to multitask while we’re podcasting.
Jay: You always hit as many birds with one stone as you can.
Ben: That’s right. So, we’re going to jump in today’s News Flashes. As usual, we’re recording this podcast live on Clubhouse. We do this on Wednesday mornings, typically a couple of times a month around 10:30 a.m. live. I always send out via the Ben Greenfield Fitness newsletter when we’re going to be recording. So, if you subscribe to that free newsletter at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, you can find out when we’re going to record these shows on Clubhouse.
And, what we’ll do is we’ll go through the news flashes, and then we’ll open it up to our wonderful Clubhouse audience here for a little bit of Q&A. So, what do you think, Jay, should we jump into the news flashes?
Jay: Yeah, man. I’m excited about these.
Ben: Alright, let’s do it.
Alright. So, this is pretty interesting. There was this new study. And, it was in the Research Journal of Nature and Food. And, what they did–It was mildly depressing, I suppose, for people who don’t eat that healthy. But, they figured out which foods take a certain number of actual minutes off of your life and which foods actually may do the opposite, actually grant minutes of healthy life to your body.
Jay: Every time you eat it?
Ben: Yeah, basically. For instance, they found that eating one hotdog costs a person 36 minutes of so-called healthy life. So, they were looking at healthspan and lifespan. They found eating about 30 grams of nuts, a little handful of nuts and seeds, provides a gain of about 25 minutes of healthy life.
Jay: So, you just eat a couple handful of nuts and then your hotdog at the same time, you offset it. That’s it.
Ben: That’s exactly what I was thinking, exactly. Processed meat was a biggie. It was 0.45 minutes lost per gram of processed meat consumed in the US. They analyzed thousands of different foods, including the carbon footprint, which I’ll talk about in a little bit because the carbon footprint of some of these foods is pretty interesting as well.
And, there’s a cool little graph that I’ll link to in the shownotes for people don’t want to read the whole study and just show some of their popular foods, like wild-caught salmon, it’s about 20 minutes. An apple–It looks like about 15 minutes or so for an apple. Whole grain toast, about 30 minutes. Who knows how much healthy-user bias, how much they customize this based on people’s unique guts and biomes? I would tend to agree that things like the soda, the hotdog, the processed meat, the things that fall on the right side of the curve in terms of decreasing life, really truly are probably the most deleterious. I do think that there are some people for whom whole-grain toast, if you got gluten sensitivities, etc., that might actually subtract a few years, or minutes, at least, of quality life, or at least you might not live shorter but you might paint the back of your toilet seat a little bit more frequently, depending who you are.
Jay: That’s true.
Ben: But, the hotdog was the most profound. I think the hotdog was basically the worst thing on there. One hotdog, 36 minutes subtracted from your life every time you have a hotdog. And, I’m assuming we’re not talking about a grass-fed, grass-finished beef dog or pastured pork. I assume we’re talking about the average American hotdog here.
Jay: And, what are people pairing that with? When you eat a hotdog, people are eating chips and fries and beer and shit. Again, are they just singling out those foods, or are they like, “Look, these people are eating hotdogs. Therefore, they’re taking this amount of time off their life,” not factoring in there also eating the processed spread that’s in the hotdog or around the hotdog, then the fries, the chips.
Ben: That’s what I figured. I think Paul Saladino, he’s called that the James Bond effect where they say that meat could shorten lifespan, but a lot of people who eat meat are the same people who, because meat has been so heavily vilified, are also drinking beer, shorting themselves on sleep, maybe, not wearing their seatbelt, people who just live a risky life in general and ignore standard health advice, there’s some of that going on, too, I suppose, because you could do a healthy hotdog and you could do an unhealthy hotdog. It depends on how you do it. And, obviously, if you’re having a hotdog, a lot of times, you have a soda too or some other processed meat.
Jay: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: The ones that fall right in the center of the curve are interesting, like an egg was hit or miss. But, again, what kind of egg are we talking about? So, either way, that was interesting. It’s an interesting index and gives me pause about processed meat and hotdogs, at least.
So, the other part of it, though, was the idea that they looked into sustainable foods. And, even though this was a different article and a different take on what is called the “government’s new national food strategy based on a yearlong independent review of which foods are most sustainable, like good for you/good for the planet.” And, this one, I believe, was primarily done in the UK. But, we can still glean some interesting information from it, like oats for example.
Oats can be grown at high altitudes. They’re good break crop, meaning they can be sown in between harvest to replenish the soil. And, a good oat, especially, if you do the overnight oats where you’re fermenting a little bit and soaking them and making them super digestible, if they’re grown without artificial chemicals, in a way that’s friendly to the ecosystem, oats are one of the more sustainable foods that you can eat. So, oats were in there.
Another one was locally grown vegetables, preferably fresh or fermented, or pickled. The more you can–no surprise here–shop at farmers’ markets and shop locally, but in particular, locally grown fruits and vegetables seasonally consumed fruits and vegetables were pretty high up there. And, that wasn’t really a newsflash to me.
At least, muscles and bivalves, so we’re talking about oysters, mussels, clams, scallops, all these things that thrive on microscopic organic matter, while their cultivation transforms waste into carbon storage, and of course, for anyone who enjoys oysters and clams and scallops and, maybe, some seafood paella, some pretty delicious food as well, and farming mussels, for example, it’s super simple. You just lower ropes into the sea, and the mussels attach themselves to the ropes. You don’t have to feed them. You come back in two and a half years and just harvest the mussels, that’s how they actually “farm” mussels. So, that’s a really sustainable source. All these mussels and bivalves, obviously, if they are grown in an area where the seawater is pure, that’s another pretty decent option for both your body and for the planet.
Another one they got into is pulses. And, they’re very, very nutrient-dense. So, do you know what a pulse is, by the way?
Jay: No, heartbeat?
Ben: Well, close. So, a pulse would be–let me think of some examples of a good pulse. Gosh, I’m trying to remember if legumes would fall into that category. I’m pretty sure they do. But, beans, lentils, peas, those would probably be the top few. I believe the definition is it’s just an edible seed that grows inside a pod. And, in many cases, again, to make them digestible and to unlock a lot of the proteins and the complex, slow-burning carbs, and the vitamins and the minerals that are in pulses, you still need to do things like soaking and fermenting and sprouting. But, they definitely top the list or are on the list of sustainable foods because they have the ability to self-fertilize the soil. They have these root nodules that contain bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia.
And so, even if they aren’t grown organically, actually, legumes don’t even need any artificial fertilizer, which, of course, can degrade the soil. So, the pulses actually allow carbon to get locked in. And, beans, lentils, etc., especially, if they’re used with livestock and crop rotation, which is what this article gets into, that’s another super-duper safe food and nutrient-dense food for the planet.
Seaweed was on there. Seaweed, like your algae for example, your spirulina, chlorella, stuff like that, seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide. But then, it also reduces the acidification of the ocean. So, you get all these microorganisms and see life that flourishes. And then, it relies on nitrogen and phosphate to grow, so you could grow seaweed in areas where there’s agricultural runoff. And then, you could convert those pollutants into actual nutrients, which is super cool. So, it can be used as a bioremediate, but then also as a food. So, seaweed’s another one that’s up there.
For meat, venison was really high in terms of a nutrient-rich meat that’s produced from the grass and forage plants and trees that humans really can’t utilize as well. But, deer populations are so routinely cold or harvested. They don’t outstrip the supply of wild vegetation. They encroach on farmland, so you’re getting rid of pests in some areas as well. So, venison, like white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, axis deer, it’s actually a pretty sustainable source of wild meat, probably, one of the more sustainable sources wild meat.
And so, they also get into waste food, like preserving and making stock from meat and fish bones, using the skins and the seeds and the leaves of a lot of the fruits and vegetables that we consume. They got a recipe on there for banana skin curry, which actually looks pretty good. And then, they talked about other companies that are repurposing waste, taking surplus bread and turning that into beer, or taking surplus fruit and turning it into condiments and chutneys.
So, really great article, and it got me thinking about why not do a cookbook just chock-full of locally grown vegetables, fresh and fermented and pickled, maybe, some oats and mussels and bivalves, some pulses, some seaweeds, some venison, some waste food. Maybe, that’ll be my “Boundless Cookbook 2,” just save the planet and eat good.
Jay: Yeah, coming soon. Love it.
Ben: Anyways, eat this to save the world. Great, great article. So, now we know what will take minutes off of our life and will add minutes to the planet.
One interesting article that came out as well that I think is along the same vein of some of the things that we’ve been talking about. It was just fantastic. It’s called “The Corruption of the Human Diet.” And, it was on the on the RootCause MD website. I forget who writes that website. I forget the name of the person who runs it. Maybe, you could look it up. I was thinking it was Tim Noakes at first. But, I don’t think it is Tim Noakes.
Jay: Yeah, I can check.
Ben: Yeah, check out who runs the RootCause website.
But, basically, what they got into was an abbreviated list of all the major events and milestones that deliberately accelerated our collective loss of ancestral dietary wisdom. Probably, the worst things that have happened over the past few years for us from a perspective like losing touch with ancestral dietary wisdom and the way that we would have eaten from an ancestral standpoint. Do you want to hear what a few of them are, Jay?
Jay: Yeah, Ben, tell me.
Ben: And, I realized some of this stuff is going to be controversial. So, one was, drumroll please, the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I have many friends who are Seventh Day Adventist. Nothing gets it. But, it says the active promotion of vegetarianism and the discouragement of animal meat consumption in adherence to puritanical religious beliefs didn’t do us a lot of favors. They believed animal foods encourage the sinful tendency of masturbation, like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were developed to keep guys from masturbating, lower their libido. But then, you’ve also got the issue with monocropping, with excess consumption of grains and carbohydrates in the absence of adequate proteins and fats and this religiously motivated vegetarian propaganda that made its way into mainstream dietary consciousness.
But, it wasn’t really sustainable healthy vegetarianism. It was more like Kellogg’s Cornflakes breakfast cereal type of vegetarianism, nutrient-poor, grain-based, anti-aphrodisiac foods, literally, shut down sexual expression, which is interesting when you look at the origin of that diet. And, again, I’m not saying this to offend Seventh Day Adventist. It’s just one of the things that’s listed.
Another one was the invention of Crisco. So, in the ’20s, Procter & Gamble commercially hydrogenated cottonseed oil as a substitute for what we know now is pretty healthy in moderate amounts, like butter and lard. So, Crisco was the very first mass-produced seed oil. And, that was the beginning of the commercial movement to replace nutrient-dense animal fats with really heavily processed polyunsaturated plant oils, which we now know are highly oxidizable and highly proinflammatory vegetable oils. But, Crisco was what got the ball rolling on corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, all these inedible plants that got turned into cash crops for industrial processing and marketing for human consumption, it started off with Procter & Gamble’s Crisco. So, that was another one that didn’t do as much of a service.
He lists the diet-heart hypothesis.
Jay: [00:18:52] ____.
Ben: Epidemiologist Ancel Keys, right? He proposes diet-heart hypothesis, which postulated that saturated animal fat because it had a deleterious effect on blood cholesterol, which we also now know is not true, was the chief cause of agent of coronary heart disease. And, that whole unrigorously based correlative epidemiological observation that he made up all this, or, at least, it was a lot of correlation, not causation, but it basically ignored the pathological contribution of refined sugar and carbohydrates to heart disease and vegetable oils and disregarded the fact that there was conflicting evidence about the idea that saturated animal fats might actually be good for you. And, it started half a century of this universally promulgated misconception that animal fat is inherently harmful. So, that was another one in the ’50s that happened.
The closing of the gold window was an interesting one. So, this was in ’70s when Richard Nixon basically severed the last remaining link between the US dollar and the gold standard. That happened in the ’70s. But, when he did that, consumer prices skyrocketed. And, that included food prices. So, he appointed this guy named Earl Butz, who was an agronomist and agri-business lobbyist to the secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, with the goal of bringing down the price of food. But, the way that Butz did that was by forcing small-scale farms to consolidate into bigger operations that facilitated industrial monocropping farming methods that stripped our soil of nutrients and allowed for corn subsidies, grain subsidies.
Jay: Yeah, subsidized corn.
Ben: Yeah, the cheapness of ultra-processed, high-fructose corn syrup as this ubiquitous food additive. And so, it allowed for, again, cheap, nutrient-poor, energy-dense plant crops, like corn and wheat and soy, to take over and become really cheap. So, that’s why pop was so inexpensive and still is so inexpensive, or corn and wheat and soy-based foods are easier for people to afford than foods that might arguably be more nutrient-dense or healthy for them. So, that was an interesting one.
Later on, in the ’70s, the development of the American dietary guidelines, which were actually written by, you guessed it, a vegetarian Seventh Day Adventist.
Jay: Here they come again, man.
Ben: It was a whole plant-based, high-carb diet, the traditional American food pyramid that has since seems to be falling out of favor a little bit, as we’ve realized that extremely low consumption of healthy fats paired with very high carbohydrates and huge intake of glycemic spiking grains and stuff might not be that great. But, there’s been five decades of dietary guidelines that were based off these original ADA guidelines that reflected the interests of the agricultural lobby, the food industry, and the Seventh Day Adventist doctrines. And so, we’re fighting against 50 years of damage that that caused. So, that was another one.
Big Pharma and statins, the rise of the statin class of medications added Big Pharma to the list of another powerful lobbyists that would allow for the ongoing pathologization of saturated fats because statins inhibit your body’s natural synthesis of cholesterol, which we now know is essential for every cell membrane and as a numerous positive role for endocrine function and beyond.
But, when Big Pharma developed statins, they contrived this medicadable disease called hypercholesterolemia. And, this was allowed for a lot of statins to be sold, but it also allowed in the same vein for red meat and eggs and full-fat dairy to become demonized and replaced with largely polyunsaturated seed oils, and then monocropping and the problem with American soil that we now have. But, a big part of that was not only due to some of those other things I’ve been talking about, but Big Pharma and statins contributed as well.
And then, a couple of other that were interesting. Even there’s a whole bunch that are discussed in the article, one was interesting. It’s the RoundUp glyphosate in Monsanto. And, this was in the mid-90s. I remember this because I guess I was probably 15, 16 years old when RoundUp Ready was invented. And, genetically modified cotton was the first commercial crop that could be sprayed with industrial herbicide during its growth cycle.
But, resistance to glyphosate, which was the main ingredient in RoundUp, got bread and the corn and soy and a whole bunch of other edible crops in that GMO technology allowed farmers to spray RoundUp all over the place that could kill competing weeds, but it left the crop standing. And, now, we know that glyphosate exposure is a human carcinogen associated with a host of human diseases, it disrupts your key microbial metabolism pathways in your gut. It disrupts normal commensal microflora in your gut.
And, we know that the use of glyphosate on food crops resulted in detectable levels in finished food crops. So, we had this widespread use of industrial pesticides and herbicides on both GMO and non-GMO monocropping operations. And, despite glyphosate falling out of favor, a lot of those operations continue with other forms of pesticides and herbicides in the United States, particularly, to this day.
Jay: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: So, that was another big one.
And, I would say one more that was interesting was the whole–and we touched on this with the hotdog thing, the carcinogenicity of red meat. This was pretty recent. It was in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is an arm of the World Health Organization, WHO, they declared red meat as a probable carcinogen based on the interpretation of 22 different experts’ take on the literature. But, it was a bunch of these poor-quality epidemiological studies that didn’t take into account some of the stuff that we talked about, like where’s the meat coming from, what’s the health status of the person eating the meat, what else are they consuming along with the meat–soda, French fries, whatever. And so, that was another one that did not do us any favors when it comes to the root causes of disease caused by dietary and political factors.
Just a fascinating article, though. I’ve only scratched the surface in explaining it. But, I’ll link to it in the shownotes. It’s called “The Corruption of the Human Diet.” Isn’t that fascinating?
Jay: Yeah, it’s super neat. I don’t think that there’s a ton of controversy in this, at least, amongst the people that are listening to this podcast. However, I think, if you talk to the World Health Organization, if you talk to the FDA, they would probably have a lot to say about each of these about how we were falsifying the information. But, I think there’s just too much compelling information for us not to look over each of these as probable or potentials, at least, for being the corruption of the human diet. And, you can see this just really clear path of how we’ve gotten to some of the ideology and the commonly held beliefs now on food by following this path. So, yeah, super intriguing to see it this way mapped out.
Ben: Yup. And then, here’s a sexy one: “The Five Anti-Aging Nootropics That Scientists Believe May Defeat Death.”
A hyperbolic of type of pipe dream of transhumanist type of title. But, it is interesting that they list five. I think I’ve talked about all five other in my book or on the show before. So, the five of them are C60. And, C60, it’s called a fullerene. It’s 60 carbon molecules. It’s considered a super antioxidant, the same thing I’m using for my hair for hair growth. But, it’s this little carbon molecule. It chelates toxins in the body. It’s a very powerful antioxidant. A lot of people get what’s called a Herxheimer reaction when they first start taking it because it just claws toxins out of your deep tissue. Then, they enter your bloodstream. So, some people get a pretty powerful detox reaction to it.
But, it really is one of the darlings of the anti-aging and the beauty industry now. And, it’s also a little bit of a nootropic as well in terms of turning your brain on. In longevity clinical trials, it extends lifespan in the animals by 90%. And, that was an animal trial in which it prevented the tumors that typically kill off rats. So, carbon 60 is one. So, C60.
Jay: Have you used that one?
Ben: Yeah, I’ve used it before.
Jay: I’ve never tried that one. I think I’ve tried everyone on this list, but not that one.
Ben: I don’t use it orally right now, but I used it on my hair. It’s part of that Auxano GHK Copper Peptide C60 blend that I use. So, maybe, some of this get [00:27:09] _____ bloodstream, I would imagine, since my skin is an [00:27:13] _____.
Jay: Nootropic through the scalp, I like it.
Ben: NMN, NR, or NAD was the second one. What NAD does is, basically, it helps to protect your DNA and it increases the health of your mitochondria. So, it’s metabolized normally from vitamin B3. But, as Dr. David Sinclair, probably, the most popular Harvard anti-aging scientists who’s championed the use of these things, it’s like you use resveratrol, or these sirtuins, like blueberry and dark chocolate and stuff, that helps to accelerate the activity of your sirtuin genes, which help to protect your DNA and extend life.
And then, nicotinamide or NMN or NR or any of these NAD precursors or IVs or anything like that, those are the fuel for the sirtuins to work. So, that’s why you look at some companies, like Thorne, for example. They’ve developed an NMN, or I think it’s NR, is their product. But, they combine it with resveratrol. Perfect example of stacking a sirtuin within NAD precursor. And so, NAD is up there, along with C60.
Another one is glutathione. Glutathione is interesting because it’s just basically an electron lender. You have all these lone electrons, these molecular interlopers that are needing to be cleaned up and washed out of the body. And, glutathione, particularly, if it’s in liposomal form or what’s called acetyl form, which makes it more absorbable, I use a brand called Alms Bio, which combines glutathione with, I think, MitoQ and PQQ and some other mitochondrial protections. But, it tastes like an orange creamsicle. So, it’s really good. That’s an example of a bioabsorbable glutathione. Quicksilver Scientific has another really good one. It’s like a liposomal glutathione. But, glutathione’s number three.
And then, CoQ10. And, that’s actually something that is in that Alms Bio glutathione that I use. Basically, CoQ10 is something that helps to protect the mitochondria. Ubiquinol is the form that seems to be the best way to take it. It’s a reduced form of coenzyme Q10. It’s better absorbed than what’s called oxidized Q10, which is called ubiquinone. But, if you use ubiquinol, basically, CoQ10 is one of the best things you can do for your mitochondria. So, that definitely falls in there as well.
Jay: I never conceptualized it as a nootropic, though.
Ben: You could stack all these together. It’s interesting, they’re titling these anti-aging nootropics because a lot of people don’t talk about these as smart drugs. But, if your cells and your mitochondria are working well, your brain is going to be operating a little more cleanly, too.
Jay: It makes sense.
Ben: And then, the last one–I didn’t really know about this much until I was doing research for my last book, “Boundless.” But, it’s called SKQ1. It’s also an antioxidant. It’s a really powerful antioxidant. It basically drags a molecule of a different antioxidant called PQQ into your mitochondria. And, that also does a great job at protecting the mitochondria, like the C60 or the CoQ10 or the glutathione does. So, a lot of these have activity in the mitochondria.
But, those are the five of them. Those are the five of them. So, we’ve gotten–I don’t think there were in any order of importance: C60, NAD, glutathione, CoQ10, and SKQ. And, I would definitely agree that if someone were to stack those five together, you’d really be staying a step ahead in the whole anti-aging game.
Jay: Kion is the next supplement. I hear what you’re saying.
Ben: Again, some companies will take that and just fairy-dust some supplement with barely any of the actual amount necessary to induce the effect. That what some companies will do, like, “These five are good for you. I want to take 1/10 of what they actually used in the study to make a supplement stack it on there.”
Ben: Say it’s a proprietary blend. So, make sure that you actually look into studies and dose accordingly. In “Boundless,” in the chapter on anti-aging, I actually have all the doses for all those listed. I don’t know if I’ll memorize, but you’d be surprised at how many supplements don’t actually have the efficacious amount in them.
And then, the last thing I want to mention, speaking of efficacious amounts, remember how I did that post that just took off? It went viral. I talked about this pre-workout blend I’ve been using. And, it’s amazing. And, I researched all the things that could technically allow you to just crush a workout without having had enough calories prior to the workout. So, what I tweeted was you basically do 5 grams of creatine, 50 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent of small cup of coffee. Although, you can just get caffeine tabs. Preferably, time-release caffeine tabs from Amazon to time release 50- to 100-milligram caffeine tabs.
One serving of ketone esters, like KetoneAid or H.V.M.N. or Oxford or any of these companies that do these ketone esters, do one serving of those, about 10 grams of essential amino acids. The Kion Aminos is perfect for this. That’s what I’ve been using. And then, 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate, which actually is a lactate buffer, like Arm & Hammer baking soda. So, you combine creatine, caffeine, ketone esters, essential aminos, and sodium bicarb. You just stir this all up into a cup 30 to 45 minutes before your workout. Drink that down. And, when I wrote, it was like, try this and tell me you don’t think you’re on steroids.
And so, a couple of things came out. First, the folks at Infopathy who developed that device that allows you to charge up water with the frequency of any different supplements, they actually made what they call a super pre-workout complex, that, basically, you put your glass of water on top and press start transfer. It’s on Infopathy’s website now as an actual recipe. So, now, they’ve got my stem cells. They have this Ben Greenfield stem cell mix. But then, they added my pre-workout mix.
Ben: And, all these ketone esters, essential amino acid, sodium bicarb, creatine, and caffeine, and just infuses the water with that. And, I noticed about, maybe, about a third to a quarter of the effect I’d get from actually taking all those supplements, but considering it’s more free because you’re basically using the idea that water can carry frequencies of certain molecules similar to homeopathy. Again, I didn’t believe in that thing when I first got it, but I use it now to charge up my water. And, you could if you want to double up, make your pre-workout mix, and then run this Infopathy device pre-workout mix on your pre-workout mix and double up the efficacy of your pre-workout mix.
Jay: I could see it being potent. I think any of those things by themselves has a fair amount of potency to them. But, you combine them all, and I think that you will feel a huge, what bodybuilders referred to as the pump in the gym. I think you’ll get a really good blood pump. One or two things that I would even think about adding, just for me. And, this is personally because I love taking these pre-workouts. Let me know what you think, Ben. What about adding also, too, some beetroot powder and some citrulline to that? Do you think it makes it a little bit too potent to add that in? Or, do you think those are viable options?
Ben: You can add a blood flow precursor because nothing I really listed is much of a blood flow precursor.
Ben: You could totally do that, like, well, beetroot or citrulline or arginine, yeah, absolutely.
Jay: Those are my favorite things to add in.
Ben: I guess I just forgot about that because I take a handful of Viagra every morning. So, didn’t saw the need. But, yeah, you could add that in.
And then, there was one new study. I’d be remiss not to briefly mention this.
It was a new meta-analysis on creatine. And, they actually showed higher dosages, especially, for seniors, who want to use creatine for what it’s been shown to be helpful for in seniors which is muscle maintenance or muscle gain. They found that, in seniors, you could actually nearly double the dose I’ve been recommending. They got up to about 9 1/2 grams as being safe and efficacious in seniors, which makes sense because you tend to see lower levels of creatine and lean tissue anyways as people get older.
So, it appears that if you are an older individual, I would say if you’re 50-plus or so, you could actually get away with doing a little bit more creatine, like doing close to 5 grams a couple of times a day. So, as I age, I might start to slowly increase my dose of creatine, just based off of what I’ve seen to this, just a very basic inexpensive creatine monohydrate.
So, that was interesting, just a brand-new study on creatine that literally came out a few days ago.
Jay: That is interesting.
Ben: So, I’d figure I’d give it a shoutout on the podcast.
Jay: Did they say anything about any potential additional water retention or bloat because of that?
Ben: Only if you do that loading phase where people will take 20-plus grams a day for a week, which I’ve never recommended.
Jay: No, it’s terrible.
Ben: If you do a loading phase, you can see that. But, unless you throw in a loading phase, they showed the sweet spot is about 3 up to 9 1/2 grams of creatine. And, I’ll link to that study. I’ll link to all the studies that we talked about, including that knee or hip replacement without surgery article if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435.
And, I suppose what we could do now is just open things up to Q&A. What do you think?
Jay: Yeah, let’s open it up.
Ben: This is a big deal. I have changed my mind about essential amino acids. That’s right. You heard me. Forget everything I’ve ever told you about these so-called EAAs. Maybe, I’m being a little bit dramatic here, but now that I have your attention, there’s actually some new information in the realm of essential amino acids that I’m pretty darn stoked to share with you.
My company, Kion, we recently embarked on a huge undertaking. We worked with a third-party independent research firm. We conducted a meta-analysis of all the most recent amino research out there. And, lo and behold, we learned a thing or two about our ratios of our amino acids, as well as the ratios of every single product out there. And, most of them, including ours, we’re not optimized as good as they could be optimized.
Now, I just released a banger of an article about all of this research. And, you can go check that out in a link that I’ll put in the shownotes for this podcast. I’m going to summarize it for you here. There’s an overwhelming body of research that pointed to one amino acid in particular for the incredible effect that it has on muscle protein synthesis, muscle repair, muscle recovery, and a whole heck of a lot more. And, that amino acid is leucine.
So, that’s the first thing that I did, was I adjusted the leucine content. I bumped up the dose of leucine. Then, I added histidine.
Now, histidine, the longstanding belief behind that is that your body could create histidine on its own in the presence of the other EAAs, the other essential amino acids. Well, it turns out that idea was based on an outdated method of testing. And, at Kion, we want to go for the best of the best and the most up-to-date stuff. So, when we looked at the new research, we used something called the tracer method, which observes amino acids directly inside muscle and we now know that the manufacturing of histidine inside the body isn’t as efficient as it was once thought and isn’t as efficient as the idea that most other supplement manufacturers are operating off of.
So, the last thing that we found in addition to adjusting our leucine and histidine content in ratios is that, as you may know, amino acid supplements aren’t exactly well-known to be tasty. They fall into the same category as ketone esters. Incredibly efficacious, not super tasty. So, the Kion Aminos, we had before cracked the code on making them more delicious than the average amino acids. But, being the overachievers that we are, we actually went ahead and improve the flavors even more. So, our new Cool Lime and Mixed Berry powders, I’ve been internally testing them, I guess, literally and figuratively. And, they kick the butt off of any amino I’ve ever tasted.
The flavor scientists at Kion, they spent months tinkering with only the best natural ingredients. We work with some of the best formulators out there. We really kicked those flavors up a notch for the Cool Lime and the Mixed Berry.
Not only that, but I’ve gotten some feedback from some people that the tablets we’ve been using leave a chalky taste in people’s mouths. So, we figured out how to also encapsulate the tablets in a capsule, an easy-to-swallow capsule made of 100% natural plant-based ingredients rather than the tablet. So, we adjust the histidine, we adjust the leucine, we made the flavor of Cool Lime in Aminos way better. And, we changed the tablet into a capsule.
And, the all-new Kion Aminos, I’ve been experimenting with these new ratios. You thought the other aminos were good. These things are even better. And, nobody else in the industry has even touched what we’ve done as far as the ratios and the flavor. So, if you haven’t yet tried essential amino acids, if you’re already using them but you want the new upgraded version that we’re doing at Kion, you’re going to love this new formula. So, you can get them at GetKion.com/BenGreenfield. That’s Get-K-I-O-N.com/BenGreenfield. So, check these new bad boys out.
By the way, my new cookbook is available. It’s selling like hotcakes on Amazon, even though there are no hot cake recipes inside the cookbook. It does have things my wild plant pesto and reverse-seared pork chop and my sons’ baked donuts recipe and my wife’s fermented sourdough bread recipe, all sorts of crazy rubs and biohacked cocktails, you name it. Anyways, it’s all over on Amazon and also at BoundlessCookbook.com. So, grab that cookbook. And, if you already have it, do me a huge favor, please. Leave a review, because that’s what helps get the word out. And, that’s what might get me around to writing a second cookbook. Don’t tell.
Alright. So, I have this new announcement about something I’m super excited to share. I have developed a new training program that allows you to have me as a personal trainer in your back pocket no matter where you’re at in the world. It’s a complete fully structured exercise and training program that I made that gets delivered to you every single week. It’s on this new app called the Ladder app. It’s launching on September 20th. And, it’s unlike any training experience I’ve ever created. I know I can be expensive to work with as a trainer, but what I wanted to do was open up all my secrets to people who may not be able to afford working with me, who want to be able to tap into my knowledge, see me demonstrating exercises, get all the workouts written out by me using my minimal effective dose of exercise methodology, which maximizes things like cardiovascular endurance and strength and stamina in the minimum amount of time. This whole thing is based around you burning fat, gaining muscle, getting you in the best shape of your life. And, I’ve designed the whole thing to be sustainable for your 20s all the way up to your 90s. Every single workout that I make on this app has me guiding you through movement videos, has all the coaching cues in there. You can master every movement. You can stay motivated. And, it’s really cool, because there’s a whole team surrounding you that are also doing the program along with you. So, you get real accountability, a fantastic community. And, the Ladder app makes it super easy to not only chat with all the other members of what is called Team Boundless, which is the name of my training program. So, you’re going to be training along with Team Boundless. But, you get to send me one-on-one messages to ask me training questions, to get nutrition tips, to keep me updated on your progress.
So, this type of personalized fitness consultation and training with me usually cost thousands of dollars a month. But, it’s 60 bucks a month on the Ladder platform. So, if you have always wanted to work with me but haven’t been able to afford it, you want to tap into my secret exercise and training programs exactly what I do, from biohacking to nutrition and beyond, if you’re tired of planning your workouts, you want to achieve this incredible physique, you want the accountability of a community, I’ve got all in there on Team Boundless. So, it’s the Ladder app, is what it’s called.
Here’s how you can get in, because this thing is going to launch on September 20th, and you can secure your spot on the waitlist because it is going to fill up fast. Here’s what else you get your first week for free. So, you go to Ladder.Fit/JoinBoundless. I’m going to spell that out for you. Ladder, L-A-D-D-E-R, Ladder.Fit/JoinBoundless to secure your spot in the waitlist and get into this brand-new program that I’m super-duper stoked about.
I want to tell you about this stuff called Glow. It’s made by Organifi. My friend, Drew Canole, who is hyper, hyper into super high-quality organic ingredients, he helped to formulate this stuff. It is a plant-based beverage, a powder, that helps support your body’s natural ability to produce collagen, to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, to protect the skin from sun exposure and toxins. It’s got five times the moisture of hyaluronic acid, with this stuff called tremella mushroom, which helps to hydrate your skin more effectively than hyaluronic acid, which a lot of people use at anti-aging facilities. But, this stuff you can literally just consume.
It’s got plant-based bamboo silica, which helps to support collagen production, repair the skin, and protect against sun damage, like internal edible sunscreen. It comes in this refreshing raspberry lemon-flavored beverage. You just put one scoop in the water. You consume it any time of day. And, it’s you’re drinking beauty.
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Charles: Hey, good morning, Ben. Good morning, Jay. Good morning, Sophia. This is Dr. Charles R. Freeman here in San Diego, and greetings to those around the world. We are involved in many [00:46:49] _____ in San Diego. We detox people of alcohol, high levels of opiates. And, we use IV for anywhere between six days and 10 days, depends on the severity of the addiction.
I heard you mentioned NAD. At first, I was thinking this question might be a little bit off-topic, but then you mentioned it. Do you guys believe that NAD can also be used for different psychiatric conditions? I’m thinking in particular ADD or ADHD because of the neurological components of it. And, maybe, other complex anxiety disorders, like OCD. What’s your experience on that?
And, it’s really good to be connected here. And, I’ve been really enjoying the topic. My first cousin, Anthony, [00:47:43] _____ the audience. And, he’s an amazing athlete, very expert in physiology, biohacking, nutrition, etc.
Ben: Basically, just in case we didn’t get that question coming through okay from the dock, he was asking about NAD as a potential for something that could increase brain health, particularly, for ADD or ADHD. And, this is actually something that I’ve seen in the past. I believe that it was a study where it was a clinical research study. They gave 20 mgs. or so of NAD. And, you saw basically, based on a measurement of brain function, they’re doing a brain scan, I think it was a–it wasn’t a qEEG. I think it was something very, very similar to a SPECT scan. But, they found that in an ADHD person, the brain’s frontal lobe cells have less activity. That’s compared to a person without ADHD.
And, upon the consumption of NAD, in this case, it was NADH, what they actually showed was, the brain’s frontal lobe activity, where you would see an increase in the areas of cognitive function and relief of some ADHD symptoms, that actually seemed to return with the higher levels of NAD in the blood.
Now, I should note here that, from what I’ve seen in terms of whether you should supplement with NAD or whether you should supplement with NR or whether you should supplement NMN, NMN, one of the precursors for NAD, appears to be the one that may best wind up in the hypothalamus and may best be indicated for some of the brain or the nootropic effects that one might be looking for with NAD.
But, this particular study was using 20 milligrams of what’s called NADH, which is–they’re using a stabilized form of NADH. And, I don’t know what brand they were using. But, ultimately, yeah, it appears that there could be some promise for ADD and ADHD treatments with NAD. And, overall, I think NAD is just wonderful for cognitive function.
There was another study I talked about in the podcast a while ago about the idea of NAD actually being one of those things that, along with creatine, speaking of the devil, seems to help out quite a bit with cognitive performance in a state of sleep deprivation. So, ultimately, yes, it appears that there’s something going on there with NAD. And, the good doctor has brought up a good point. So, let’s go ahead and take somebody else up on stage.
Male: Hey, Ben. I just have one question with regards the [00:50:15] _____ benzodiazepines [00:50:18] _____ that are used for sleep and anxiety.
Ben: Well, I suppose, since I’m ramped up on pain meds right now, you can.
Male: I am a behavioral medicine psychologist holistic removing the psychotropics that are very dangerous. Of course, benzodiazepines have been correlated with Alzheimer’s, dementia long-term. There’s good research on that now. Ambien, Lunesta, some of these other blackout drugs that are used for sleep are killing brain cells, of course. Now, the [00:50:51] _____ and the other analgesics, there’s been a class action lawsuit and they paid a lot of money [00:50:57] _____. We believe that Ambien and Lunesta are going to be the next targets for prospects in lawsuit. What are your experiences just in terms of people’s acceptance of this as knowledge or people just want the silver bullet of getting to sleep and they don’t really care about the consequences on their brain health and longevity [00:51:20] _____?
Ben: This is the classic benzodiazepines or Valium or something of the like actually makes people think that they’re asleep. And, a lot of people who will pop one or half of a benzo to get to sleep. But, it is as, I think, Kirk Parsley, for example, has described it as such, and so as the guy who wrote the book, “Why We Sleep,” Matthew Walker, it’s more like taking a sledgehammer to the brain because benzodiazepines are rapid eye movement or REM sleep suppressant medications. And so, basically, because REM sleep plays a really important role in learning and memory consolidation, you’ll tend to see people who sleep and rely upon benzodiazepines for sleep, they don’t get the same type of learning and memory consolidation as they should be getting because you see a real significant drop in rapid eye movement sleep.
And, I even think that, right now, they’re trying to look into newer drugs that may actually enhance REM sleep. This is one of those deals where you stack another drug on top of another because of the deleterious effect one has. And, I don’t know if that’s the best way to go versus using more natural forms of anti-anxiety type of strategies, meditation, and Yoga Nidra, and breathwork, and other things like that to get after the same anti-anxiety effects people are looking for when they use a benzodiazepine, or even things like vagal nerve stimulators or things like the NuCalm device or the–There’s a whole bunch of devices out there now. The Apollo, the Hapbee, a lot of these things that will stimulate either electronically or magnetically what many people are going after when they use one of these benzodiazepines, which just shuts down your REM sleep cycles.
But, ultimately, I think the biggest problem is a real, real disruption of learning and memory consolidation in people who use benzodiazepine for sleep. Essentially, you’re just asking for a stupid pill before you go to bed will significantly affect on sleep architecture. So, I don’t know. What do you think, Jay?
Jay: So, the biggest components that I would focus on here is the disruption of sleep architecture that has been evidenced by benzodiazepines. So, two primary things. One is, yes, taking a sledgehammer to REM sleep for memory consolidation and recovery. Also, two, a disruption in deep sleep. And then, also, we see some significant impacts less on an acute stand, but more so in a chronic stand from central nervous and autonomic nervous system functioning. And, how this manifest is actually one of the proxies is HRV.
And so, what we’ll see is, with individuals who take benzodiazepine when they go to sleep, let’s say it’s Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, what they’ll see is an inability to directly go into deep sleep right away as we normally would be with the typical sleep architecture. And, they will see that heart rate variability has this really interesting movement because of the GABA receptor activity and vagal attenuation modulation. We’ll see heart rate variability spike really, really high as if the person is experiencing this significant vagal response. But then, we have this really sharp decrease in heart rate variability as the half-life of the medication wears off throughout the night. So, what we end up seeing is that, comparative to their orthostatic baseline, after a benzo, it will go way up and then sharply go way down far below the reaches of their baseline.
And so, what this is showing us is that, yes, it’s having vagal attenuation which basically just means that it’s affecting the vagus nerve in a way that they would want it to have happened. But, the problem is that the recovery is not there. It doesn’t recover back to the baseline. It actually syncs well below the baseline of this person experiencing anxiety.
So, this is problematic because, yes, in the short term, it can provide some really good effects for the individual who really needs some transient relief from anxiety, or maybe even needs help with falling asleep. But, the problem is, again, it completely changes the architecture of sleep and it completely changes vagal attenuation, and the person, over a long period of time, will become conditioned and habituated to this response. And so, their orthostatic baseline of heart rate variability, again, a good proxy from nervous system functioning, will then begin to shift in the direction that we do not want to see reducing their natural ability and resiliency to adapt to stress and anxiety.
So, there’s a lot of potential problems with it. More education, more research needs to be had. But, that’s, I think, a pretty strong and compelling starting place.
Ben: Good points. Good points. Interesting discussion. But, yeah, I personally, especially, considering the fact that due to the impact on REM sleep, you tend to see a lot of daytime sleepiness with the use of benzodiazepine. And, I’m not a fan, unless I’m on a really, really long-haul airplane flight and I just got to crash out. Even then, honestly, I’d rather have an edible and watch a good movie.
So, let’s bring somebody else up on stage here, Sophia.
Kevin: I have a pretty simple question about cold shower. I recently added a 30 to one-minute cold shower after my workout or before I have a [00:56:49] _____ breakfast. But, I have the feeling that afterwards, for the rest of the day, my cravings for food just went up compared when I don’t have a cold shower. Do you have an explanation for that, some mechanistics or so? Thank you very much.
Ben: I definitely know why this happens because I wear a continuous blood glucose monitor, baby. Cold absolutely plummets your blood glucose. And, people who are pretty sensitive to that and people who, maybe, follow a relatively strict low-carb or ketogenic diet in which their liver and muscle glycogen stores, might not be high enough to be able to supply enough glucose to restore that hypoglycemic episode you see can often occur after cold. You just get damn hungry. It’s the reason you hear about guys Michael Phelps eating 10,000-plus calories a day. It’s that cold water. In addition, maybe, a little bit of weed, really spicy appetite.
And so, typically, what I found to be a really good strategy is, A, be really careful if you’re doing a lot of cold in the morning with any blood glucose disposal agents, like berberine or bitter melon or apple cider vinegar or Ceylon cinnamon or these things that people will take before a meal to lower their blood glucose. While there are some people who, I find, don’t see a significant blood glucose response to cold thermogenesis, they actually can benefit from some of the ability of some of those compounds to not only help to lower blood glucose but also assist with the conversion of the relatively metabolically inactive white fat into metabolically active brown fat.
So, sometimes, those types of supplements–And, we have a whole podcast I’ll link to in the shownotes about the kind of compounds that you can consume prior to cold thermogenesis to amp up the conversion of white fat to brown fat, like bitter melon or berberine or Ceylon cinnamon or a black pepper extract or Grains of Paradise pepper extract. There’s a lot of little things that can do it. But, if you tend to just get super-duper hungry after cold, you may want to avoid some of those.
Another one would be just taking anything that’s going to allow you to have an alternative substrate to glucose in your bloodstream. Probably, my two favorites for that would be, prior to doing a hefty amount of cold or doing a workout, sometimes, my sons and I, in the summer, especially, we’ll do a workout where we’ll do a round of Wim Hof, two minutes in the cold bath, 30 push-ups, and do five rounds of that as our cold and body weight and breathwork workout for the day. Well, I’ll do something like a shot of ketones and amino acids, very similar to that pre-workout blend that I talked about because my body is getting something to burn to replace a lot of that glucose that’s dipping after cold thermogenesis.
I’ve also found that, if you’re getting yourself to the point where you’re shivering, that’s where you really start to burn a lot of calories. And, if I know that, I want to avoid consumption of hyper-palatable foods or caloric hyper-compensation after cold. I’m careful not to stay in so long that I get to the point where I’m shivering because it appears to be the shivering that really, really spikes the appetite significantly. So, I’d be careful with your length of time, too.
Like me, I like to do 30 to 39 degrees, in that range, for two to five minutes. And, I know, with that, I can get all the benefits of cold without being hell of hungry, chew my arm off afterwards. If it’s hotter than that, say, 40 to 55 degrees, sometimes, I’ll go up to 10 minutes. But, basically, if I get myself to the point of shivering, I know I’m going to be super-duper hungry. And, the fact is that you get a lot of the benefits of cold thermogenesis without actually getting yourself to the point where you’re having to shiver to warm yourself up, which just burns a ton of calories, which is great to know if you’re using cold to burn fat or to lose weight. But, also, you have to be cognizant that it’s pretty easy to overconsume calories afterwards. That’s where I throw in things like ketones, which are a great appetite-suppressant, amino acids.
There’s another one I’ve found that’s a really, really good appetite-suppressant I’ve been using lately. They advertise it as an adaptogenic energy complex, but it’s a blend of kratom and kava. It’s called the Feel Free. And, if I do a bottle of Feel Free or even if I take a bottle of Feel Free and some aminos or some ketone esters, that’ll crush my appetite for five or six hours. That’s another really, really good one that I’ve found. How about you, Jay, any post-cold thermo appetite and craving hacks?
Jay: Yeah. So, you definitely stole my one in regards to ketone esters. I’ve really used that. And, what’s funny is that my experience, Kevin, is very similar to yours. So, when I, in isolation, do cold thermogenesis or a cold plunge and I don’t take something like, say, ketone esters, I will experience the same response as you, Kevin. And, I think it’s because of the extreme blood glucose drop, me being a lower carb athlete.
But, one of the other things that I have started doing here within the last, probably, four to six months or so, because I just have not been doing a lot of cold in isolation, I’ve actually been doing a lot more hot-cold contrast, so I’ll do a lot of work in the sauna, some breathwork in the sauna, about 20 minutes or so, in about 200 degrees dry sauna, then immediately into a cold plunge. And, I actually get to the point of shiver. I want that effect. And then, I get back into the sauna, and it’s another 15, 20 minutes, and then back into the cold plunge. And, I don’t know. Maybe, you have some insight on this, Ben, but it’s probably due to the extreme fluctuations in blood glucose, the spike that you get from going into the sauna and then the huge drop, and maybe the [01:02:32] _____ out. I don’t know. I’m just bull crap in my idea on this here. But, I have found that that, even outside of using ketone esters, that hot-cold contrast, has actually been a great way for me to not have that post-hunger craving type experience. So, I don’t know. Do you think that might offset, Ben? What’s your idea on why am my experience that?
Ben: Well, yeah, the heat spikes the blood glucose and allows for a mobilization of liver glycogen, particularly, a little bit of muscle glycogen into the bloodstream. And, the problem is, of course, by raising the glucose transiently through heat combined with cold, you’re getting a lot of the recovery effects of hot-cold contrast, but you might be defeating the purpose of a lot of the fat loss that you want with the cold.
So, I would say, if you use that strategy, finish with the cold. And, you may find that just adding a little heat could actually allow for just enough blood glucose to get released where you don’t see as much of a hypoglycemic episode after the cold. So, it’s pretty straightforward strategy. If cold makes you hungry, do your cold, but then get a little bit warm afterwards or get warm at a certain period of time while you’re doing your cold, like going back-and-forth from the heat to the cold. And, that could help out a little bit, too.
So, great question, Kevin. And, hopefully, that gives you a few little tips. Let’s do one more question. Let’s bring one more person up.
Gabriella: Hello. Hi. My question is I, for as long as I can remember, just take a long time to feel awake when I get up. I just thought that was nothing I could affect, until just a few months ago I thought, hopefully, I can change this, because by the afternoon I feel great, I feel wide awake. I recently learned about there’s a sensor on the bottom of the eyes. So, to get bright light in the morning first thing has been really helpful. But, I still have–I feel like I almost have a congested head. Does something about the act of being horizontal might be–I don’t know enough about this stuff. That’s why I’m asking. Could that be it? Or, should I exercise closer to the morning? Or, is it just some sort of hormone that gets released that would make me feel just many, many, many hours after I’m up at about that time when I finally feel like myself?
Ben: This is called sleep inertia, is what you’re referring to. You have all these sleep stages that you go through. And, we already established that benzodiazepines are the hottest thing for those sleep stages, but you got your first three stages, your non-REM sleep stages, and then you have that REM sleep, which is what the benzodiazepine seem to pretty significantly impact.
Now, what sleep inertia is, part of the brain take time to fully wake up even after you’ve actually woken up. And, the part of the brain that’s responsible for your physical functioning is the brainstem arousal system it’s called. And then, you have the part of your brain that controls your thinking and your decision-making and your self-control. And, that’s called the prefrontal cortex. And, the brainstem arousal system is going to become active basically right when you wake up. But then, the prefrontal cortex takes more time to become active and alert. And, until the prefrontal cortex becomes active, you’re going to feel tired, you’re going to feel groggy, you’re going to have that delayed waning away of your sleep inertia.
And, the reason for that is typically because of melatonin, the sleep hormone. That’s why a lot of people would take a lot of melatonin, they’ll be super groggy when they wake up because melatonin has to make its way out of the prefrontal cortex. And, it gets really, really bad if, A, you oversleep or, B, you get ineffective sleep. So, getting sufficient sleep is, of course, the most important thing, paying attention to your wind-down routine, light in the room, cold in the room, no business or work in bed, just sleep in bed, a safe environment, the absence of noise, a lot of the type of normal sleep hygiene principles that I’ve talked about a lot in the past.
Now, couple of things to think about caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine has a pretty long half-life in many people dictating that, for some people, drinking a cup of coffee after 11:00 a.m. What caffeine and alcohol can do is they block the neurotransmitters that are responsible for melatonin production. So, be super careful with caffeine and alcohol, particularly, before bed. And, even a heavy exercise session or a heavy meal within three hours before you go to bed can impact or impair that sleep inertia when you actually wake up.
Don’t use snooze. Don’t use an alarm clock. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. And, that really reduces the impact of sleep inertia as well. So, it’s some normal sleep hygiene concepts.
We know that a ton of sunlight and bright light in the morning is one of the best ways to get melatonin to fade away pretty quickly. So, get a lot of light exposure in the morning. And then, I’m a big fan of a lot of ayurvedic principles for clearing morning drowsiness, primarily, things like dry skin brushing, jumping up and down on a mini trampoline, splashing cold water on the face, doing gargling and coconut oil pulling, and a lot of these things. I actually had a whole podcast where I talked with this ayurvedic physician for an hour about her morning routine. And, those are exactly the same type of things that I do when I wake up. So, working in some of those ayurvedic principles in your morning routine.
And then, there are certain biohacks that I love, like the full-body red light panels. That does a really good job, especially, when I use those and turn on all the lights in my office, especially, if I can’t get out in the sunlight when I get up. Caffeine is one of the best ways to counteract sleep inertia. And, caffeine in the morning is just a go-to for knocking down some of that sleep grogginess. There is a machine called the BioCharger. And, it’s a mix of radiofrequency, infrared light, negative ion frequencies and PEMF. And, there’s some functions on that, like morning wakefulness functions and one function called Clearhead that I swear by, if I’m drowsy in the morning. And, now, we’re getting into some of the more expensive biohacks. But, something like that and something like the Vielight, which is an infrared light that you can put on your head that specifically shifts you into an alpha brain wave alert type of zone, that or the Apollo, the sound-producing Apollo wristband, and/or the electromagnetic frequency-producing Hapbee device, like the Apollo, the Hapbee, the BioCharger, and the red light panels are probably the top four things that I use in the morning to really use technology to wake myself up if I’ve been traveling a lot, I’m outside of my time zones, etc.
And then, all these ayurvedic things like coconut oil-pulling, tongue-scraping, cold water splashed in the face, a little bit of stretching and foam-rolling, a little bit of jumping up and down on the trampoline, and some dry skin-brushing, and then some of those technologies that I talked about.
And then, finally, I have a whole article about these things called the five Tibetan longevity rites. And, because I sleep differently and I’m on different sleep cycles, especially, when I travel, I do those five or those–yeah, it’s five of them. The five Tibetan longevity rites, even though it’s part of this whole morning travel stretch routine that I do that I have a whole article on–I’ll link to it in the shownotes if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435. And, that’s more of moving all the energy through the invisible chakras and meridians in your body. And, some people think it’s woo, but if I’m groggy and I want to feel like a million bucks, that Tibetan longevity exercise really seems to wake me up and shift me out of morning grogginess as well.
So, those are a few of, probably, my biggest go-tos. You got any to throw in there, Jay?
Jay: Yeah, absolutely. I love this question. I would say I’m naturally a morning person. So, the highest level of energy I have are between the times I wake up and then about midday. And so, I’m having to utilize more. I don’t know. You could even, I guess, refer to biohacking strategies later in the day.
But, there are a few things. A lot of what you’ve mentioned, but some other things, too, just to keep in mind. So, there was a great podcast that was done here, probably, about three or four months ago, maybe not even that long ago, that was on focus and health and waking up and work efficiency, which was done by Dr. Andrew Huberman on his podcast.
And, one of the great things that he talks about, because he really studied the efficacy of utilizing different strategies, especially, through pathways of the eyes, to help with focus. And, one great subject matter he brought up, he said, when he wakes up, one of the first thing he does is he gets up, he goes outside, which Ben has already mentioned, get a lot of blue light, sunlight, to help wake up the nervous system.
But, also, two, he generates forward movement. So, he goes on a walk, the first thing is he does. And, what this also helps to do, he doesn’t look down at his phone, he doesn’t look down at the ground, he allows himself to look out at the landscape and everything that’s passing him by. And, this is termed as optic flow. And, what optic flow helps to do is it generates a lot of the hardworking circuits in the brain to wake up and become focused to the environment. It’s a very self-preservation protection type of mechanism that we have built in. So, the amygdala and limbic system in the brain is activated, as well as the frontal cortex to be able to consolidate this information into something meaningful and practical.
So, I like this idea of optic flow and really trying to look out to the horizon, look at things moving in your environment when you’re on your walk in the morning. But then, also, two, just the generation of movement in and of itself can help with waking you up. So, that’s one thing I like to do.
The other thing, too, if I’m having a particularly tough time waking up in the morning and caffeine is not working for me, enhancing optic flow is not working, or maybe isn’t as effective as I’d like it to be, then I will utilize, and this is going to probably be a no-brainer coming from me, and you should expect it, is I’ll utilized breathwork. And, the way I utilize breathwork is actually not through engaging in [01:12:47] _____ parasympathetically activating breathing. I’ll actually do much more vigorous Wim Hof style-esque type breathing in order to activate the sympathetic nervous system. And, I have found that to be so effective in just giving me a punch to the face, a slap, like “Wake up.” And, it can be so effective, because the last thing I want to do is turn to more caffeine, get jitters and whatever.
So, I would say those are the only two things that I would add. You can start throwing in biohacks if you need them, like you’ve mentioned later on. But, just a couple of additional things.
Ben: There was one thing I was thinking of as you were talking about that, the Wim Hof, the pranayama style breathwork. I actually–And, proceed with caution, folks. I don’t want anybody to get a concussion or TBI. Maybe, we could just do a podcast on that if they do. But, I will often do some of my breathwork while I’m jumping up and down on the trampoline in front of the BioCharger.
I’ve had people come visit my house, they’re like, “What’s your morning routine?” I’m like, “Come, jump on the trampoline in front of BioCharger with me.” We’ll have a cup of coffee, stand out in the sunlight. You’re going to feel like a million bucks. So, hopefully, that gives you some ideas, Gabriella.
And, we’ll link to everything that we talked about at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435. But, as we’re prone to do, we’ll finish up by giving away a little goodie here. So, this is the part of the show where, if you’ve left a review for this show, and that’s anywhere. Our fine, fine podcasts are found Spotify, Apple, Samsung, anywhere. And, we read your review on the show. We’re going to send you a handy-dandy gear pack with Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie and cool T-shirt and a BPA-free water bottle, all sorts of goodies. You just need to email [email protected] with your T-shirt size, and we’ll hook you up with all that. So, email [email protected], if you are the person whose review is about to be read. Jay, you want to take this one away?
Jay: Yeah, let’s do it, man. So, this one comes from jeiffert, E-I-F-F-E-R-T, jeiffert. And, he say, “Thank you so much, Ben, for all you do. Your insightfulness, knowledge, passion, and experience is truly remarkable. I learn more from your work than a dozen other health and fitness books and podcasts. Having been an elite athlete transitioning to life, your work has changed my life. Your book “Beyond Training,” podcasts, cookbook, all your wisdom nuggets, everything. Thank you.”
Ben: That’s so nice. I like it. It makes it sound like elite athletes don’t have a life, athletes with no life–
Jay: They kind of don’t.
Ben: –transition to normal life, living like a monk to living like a real person. I get it.
Well, great review. Email [email protected] We’ll send you a sweet T-shirt and BPA-free water bottle and a beanie, probably, a BPA-free beanie, too. And, I’m pretty sure the T-shirt is BPA-free, too.
Jay: Better be.
Ben: So, plasticize your body. Speaking of which, I started up a sous vide this morning in my plastic-free Stasher bags. You know what I’m sous vide-ing all day that I’m going to prep tonight?
Jay: Oxtail, ooh, yummy.
Ben: I’m going to make grilled oxtail that I’m going to sous vide all day. Then, I’m going to grill it. Because, oxtail needs a long, slow, break down all the collagen. Eat a tail. My hypothesis is that eating tail might help to repair my knee.
Jay: It makes total sense.
Ben: Extra collagen, right? Yeah, it makes total sense. Eat joints to repair joints. Like supports like, as they say.
Well, folks, for those who joined us on Clubhouse, thank you so much for the awesome questions. We’ll be back in the next couple of weeks. For those of you listening in this podcast when it comes out, all the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435. Everything we talked about, knee or hip replacements without surgery, that weird electronic way to get my pre-workout complex in, everything that we talked about, the research studies, you name it, we’ll put all the links in there. So, go BenGreenfieldFitness.com/435. Jay, I’ll catch you on the flipside, man.
Jay: Yeah, man. It’s been a blast, as always.
Ben: Alright. Later, folks.
Well, thanks for listening to today’s show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful, “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I’ve ever recommended for hormones, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…
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- Individual dietary choices can add–or take away–minutes, hours, and years of life…06:30
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- The corruption of the human diet…EXCELLENT summary of everywhere we’ve “gone wrong”…15:55
- “5 Anti-Aging Nootropics that Scientists Believe May Defeat Death”…25:50
- In my opinion, the BEST pre-workout mix you can make yourself that beats the pants off anything on the market is:
Try this and tell me you don’t think you’re on steroids and this…31:15
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- The Secret Darling Of The Nutrition Supplements Industry & Why Ben Greenfield Has Changed His Mind On Amino Acids: Myths, Deception & Truth Of BCAAs vs. EAAs.
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–The Boundless Cookbook: Optimize your physical and mental performance with nutritious and delicious Greenfield family recipes. This is your roadmap to a culinary journey that includes ancient food and wild game preparation tactics, biohacked smoothies, meat rubs, cocktails, desserts, and beyond—without any restrictive diet, limited ingredients, or tasteless “health foods”! Order yours today here!
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Listener Q&A :
Q: Can NAD Be Used For Psychiatric Conditions Such As ADD Or ADHD?…46:45
In my response:
- ADD/ADHD Treatments with NADH Increases Brain Health
- BGF podcast:
Q: What About Some Of The Sleep Aids Affecting The Brain?…50:15
In my response, I recommend:
- Dr. Kirk Parsley on Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind podcast: The Vital Importance Of Sleep For Performance And Health.
- Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
- Benzodiazepines are REM sleep suppressant medications
Q: Why Do I Crave Food After Taking A Cold Shower?…56:35
In my response, I recommend:
- Glucose Disposal Agents:
- Feel Free Kava Botanic Tonics (use code BEN40 to save 40%)
- Kion Aminos
- Ketone Esters
Q: Why Do I Feel So Sluggish Every Morning?…1:03:45
In my response, I recommend:
- Sleep inertia
- BGF podcast with Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya:
- Full-body red light panels (JOOVV)
- Foam rolling
- BGF article:
- The Five Tibetan Rites
- Andrew Huberman podcast: Maximizing Productivity, Physical & Mental Health With Daily Tools
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