Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Podcast #253 from to-sleep-better-how-to-track-your-sleep-are-fillers-in-multivitamins-bad/ [0:00:00] Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: New ways to sleep better, how to track your sleep, should blood sugar go up when you exercise, are fillers in multivitamins bad, should you get your hip injected, and how to eliminate decision fatigue. Brock: Okay, so the tables are turned. This week if you hear children in the background, it’s not on Ben’s end, it’s on mine. And not because I magically had children….. Ben: I’m not gonna say did the stork come? Brock: It sure did in a big way. Ben: That was quick.Brock: Yeah, yeah, you put the order in with a stork in there and they’re pretty prompt. Ben: Why are there children in your presence? Brock: I’m currently in Edmonton and I’m at my sister’s house and she has a 2 year old and a 4 year old and I think they’re trying to go to bed right now which, I don’t know if you have this problem with your kids or did have, but they don’t wanna go to bed. Ben: Well, I can tell you one thing. Watch your testosterone levels. Brock: Oh. Ben: Expectant fathers have a decrease in testosterone. I learned this at the ….. Brock: Ah, I wish. I was hoping you’d say the other thing. I was gonna like, be right with testosterone for being around children. Ben: No, unless you like to fight children, probably not. I learned this at the Ancestral Health Symposium. Brock: Seriously? Ben: Yeah, this past week and one of the first talks was, it was titled something crazy like Ferraris, hamburgers, and porn. I forget the


Listen to this podcast at to-sleep-better-how-to-track-your-sleep-are-fillers-in-multivitamins-bad/

Transcript of Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Page 1: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Podcast #253 from



Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: New ways to

sleep better, how to track your sleep, should blood sugar go up when

you exercise, are fillers in multivitamins bad, should you get your hip

injected, and how to eliminate decision fatigue.

Brock: Okay, so the tables are turned. This week if you hear children in the

background, it’s not on Ben’s end, it’s on mine. And not because I

magically had children…..

Ben: I’m not gonna say did the stork come?

Brock: It sure did in a big way.

Ben: That was quick.Brock: Yeah, yeah, you put the order in with a stork

in there and they’re pretty prompt.

Ben: Why are there children in your presence?

Brock: I’m currently in Edmonton and I’m at my sister’s house and she has a

2 year old and a 4 year old and I think they’re trying to go to bed right

now which, I don’t know if you have this problem with your kids or

did have, but they don’t wanna go to bed.

Ben: Well, I can tell you one thing. Watch your testosterone levels.

Brock: Oh.

Ben: Expectant fathers have a decrease in testosterone. I learned this at the


Brock: Ah, I wish. I was hoping you’d say the other thing. I was gonna like,

be right with testosterone for being around children.

Ben: No, unless you like to fight children, probably not. I learned this at

the Ancestral Health Symposium.

Brock: Seriously?

Ben: Yeah, this past week and one of the first talks was, it was titled

something crazy like Ferraris, hamburgers, and porn. I forget the

Page 2: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

exact name but it went in to like, the evolutionary psychology of like

fertility, and sex, and hormones and among other things, I learned

that like 99% of Ferrari owners are male ….

Brock: I’m not surprised.

Ben: And their testosterone rises when they drive sports cars and there is

of course a decrease in testosterone when you are in the presence of

children because that’s like this ancestral mechanisms that you don’t

wander away from, you know, from the family basically. There’s

actually some other cool stuff that I have there, I mean, I guess this

might be a good chance for me to give listeners a heads up that the

ancestral health symposium is this, it’s basically this symposium

about the ancestral health and let me think ….. (what are some of the

cools things I learned?). Okay, so from that same talk, men

statistically when you look out, when you like flash photos in front of

them, they prefer women that have basically some meat, some fat on

their legs and on their butt and that’s because if women are low on

body fat in those specific areas, it results in unintelligent children. So,

there’s another interesting take away.

Brock: Uhm, don’t tell Jessa that, ‘cause I’m not gonna tell Eleanor that.

Ben: It would actually be women who have gone below their natural levels

of essential body fat stores …….

Brock: Okay.

Ben: By doing way too much exercise and like not eating enough food so


Brock: That makes sense.

Ben: Some cushion for the pushion apparently is actually good when it

comes to fertility and intelligence and all that jazz.

Brock: It’s good for more than one thing.

Ben: As well as for vitamin D, learned that the number one place you get

vitamin D rather than from supplementation is in this basically beats

supplementations pants is the combination of high levels of

cholesterol like high levels of circulating cholesterol in your blood

stream and sunlight exposure so those 2 factors put together are way

more important when it comes to vitamin D levels than any

Page 3: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

supplement you could ever take. Also, I learned, you could dose on

your fish oil like in 1 big dose every few days if you want to, if you

don’t wanna take fish oil everyday.

Brock: Goes down once a week or twice a week or something.

Ben: I have no clue how that is ancestral. I guess in the fact maybe

somebody, caveman Grog caught a bunch of fish and eats it.

Brock: Usually I guess they probably would though, they’d go out on hunch,

they’d go out on fish spring it all back and then like they don’t have

fridges or freezers to keep it in so they just ….

Ben: So, they just eat it.

Brock: Eat it all up.

Ben: Yeah. What else was interesting? There was a talk about, more about

vitamin D, about how crucial vitamin A and vitamin K are to actually

utilize vitamin D.


So, if you’re taking vitamin D supplements you have low dietary intake of vitamin A

and vitamin K, you’re kinda screwed in terms of vitamin D. Toxicity,

so that’s another thing to kinda kinda bear in mind.

Brock: Yeah.

Ben: Fatty liver disease, there’s interesting talk on fatty liver disease and

basically how like almost 40% of the population has fatty liver disease

now and like 10% of American children have fatty liver disease.

Brock: Oh man!

Ben: Yeah, it’s crazy and the number one places that you get fatty liver

disease kinda aggravated from a dietary standpoint are omega 6 fatty

acids, fructose and glucose. So omega 6 fatty acids, of course is the big

word for vegetable oil, so, something to be careful out there. What

else ….

Brock: Isn’t it usually like what’s in it been sort of historically been from

alcohol abuse?

Page 4: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: Well yeah. It can definitely be aggravated much more quickly by high

amounts of alcohol and pharmaceuticals and things of that nature but

most people don’t realize you can destroy your liver with excess levels

of ……

Brock: with vegetable oil….

Ben: Of fructose or vegetable oil. And I’m not talking about like you know,

fiber and polyphenol laden fructose from like an apple. I’m talking

about like you know soda ….

Brock: Slurpees.

Ben: Yeah. Slurpees. There was an interesting talk on macular

degeneration and how high blood glucose and like super high levels of

insulin are actually toxic for your eyes and a couple of best things you

can do for your vision is to eat eggs like specifically egg yolks and to

get out in the sunshine, so, another reason to get out in the sunshine.

Brock: Like get your eyeballs out in sunshine like no sunglasses or with, not

that specific just go outside.

Ben: Just get out in the sunshine. I don’t think if it’s sun gaze is necessary.

Brock: Little mirrors and reflect the sun up in your eyeballs.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. So a couple of highlights for me I guess were this Kyle

Maynard guy who has no arms and no legs. He actually, he’s amazing,

he’s like a wrestler (you may have seen him on Youtube or whatever)

he’s a wrestler, he just became the first man that crawled Mt.


Brock: Wow.

Ben: Amazing dude! He taught a combat class …..

Brock: Cool.

Ben: Where he taught us like a bunch of self defense techniques and those

kinda cool he has us to a bunch of tabata sets at the end. Did a bunch

of primal workshops with Darryl Edwards from, awesome, awesome instructor when it comes

to kinda having fun and playing when you workout. He is actually,

when I go over to London, for any of our listeners who are over at

Page 5: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

London, the official meet up with me in London, what we’re doing is

we’re actually gonna meet on Saturday, Sept. 14th, we’re going to do a

like a 6 hr workshop with Darryl in the park, we’re we just like

working out in the park and playing and climbing and doing all this

stuff and then we’re gonna go out and have dinner after we’ve kinda

workout all day.

Brock: Awesome!

Ben: And so, there’s an official facebook page for that so, if you go to the

show notes ….. what’s this episode? 250….

Brock: 253.

Ben: So, if you go to if you’re in London,

Sept. 14th then we’ll have that going on so, did a lot of that with Darryl

Edwards, he’s pretty cool and then got to have dinner with Mark

Sisson and his wife, Carrie which was a lot of fun.

Brock: Nice.

Ben: So, we got to sit around and have some food and chat about all things

health, nerd, ehhh, he’s actually really cool about Markcism is from so shout out to him. And yeah those are .….

Brock: I think I’d be afraid to eat in front of him. I just be like so nervous

about everything I’m eating, he’s scrutinizing.

Ben: You know what, it was a set meal and so of course dessert was

included and they brought like these chocolate cupcakes and like

some kind of a gluten-free custard and like this sorbet and everything

and Mark and I actually did the exact same thing like we have 1

spoonful sorbet and called it good so, he practices what he preaches.

There you go.

Brock: And tell the waitress to bring you a spike to sit on instead of a chair.

Ben: That’s right. Where are you going with this?

News Flashes:

Brock: as we mentioned. This is episode 253,

if you go there and scroll down a little bit you’ll see these links to this

Page 6: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

news flashes and there’s some really really interesting ones. I’m

excited about this, this idea about asking for an IV.

Ben: asking for an IV.

Brock: ….. at the end of the race.

Ben: Well yeah, I guess we can start with that one and yeah, since I’m

racing Ironman Canada this weekend, I can tell you right off the bat

that I would do a total flop and what that means is I will pretend I am

in dire need of an IV when I cross that finish line and stumble drunk

like into the medical tent …..


Brock: It doesn’t take much really just have to look a little like gaze sort of

that like 100 yards scare and stagger a little bit and they’ll take you


Ben: You have to cross the finish line before a lot of people are actually in

the medical tent and then look like you need an IV. And the reason for

that, they did a study. I always kinda tried to get an IV after a race if I

can but what they did was they studied rehydration mode after

exercise dehydration on cardiovascular function and so they had a

bunch of people kinda voluntarily dehydrate themselves during

exercise and then they tested oral hydration, IV hydration, or oral

plus IV hydration. And an oral plus and IV hydration just kinda blew

the other 2 methods of hydration out of the water ….

Brock: Which is surprising ….

Ben: When it comes to restoring your cardiovascular function which is

really important not only because you know, I wanna recover as fast

as possible so I can drink a lot …..

Brock: So you can party.

Ben: No, so my heart doesn’t go bonkers but also like I’m getting a full-on

stress test of my heart like about a week and a half after Ironman

Canada. I wanna go and see ….

Brock: They’re doing a whole like inject the dye and put you on the treadmill

and do the radioactive thing? That’s so cool.

Page 7: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: I’ve done that a few years ago and it’s really cool.

Ben: So we’re gonna find out if I have holes in my heart or valve issues you

know, any of the stuff that you’ve heard maybe through the great find

that endurance athletes seem to worry about. I’m just gonna go find


Brock: Find out if the walls are thickening the muscle.

Ben: Yeah. I’ve tried to space it a little bit from Ironman because obviously

the heart is a little bit messed up for a few days anyways.

Brock: What would it be, inflamed? Yeah.

Ben: I think I’ve got like 10 days out from the race so shouldn’t be too bad

so yeah. Get an IV you have the option after you do a race. What else?

There was a, or fuse them at home when you happen to have some IV

bags I don’t know, in your gym bag. How your brain becomes

addicted to caffeine. New York Times had an interesting article this

week. Kinda, you know, a lot of people think that caffeine is addictive

but the fact is that it’s not really the caffeine that’s the culprit so much

as this other molecule that caffeine mimics in your brain called

adenosine and what happens is caffeine structurally resembles this

adenosine molecule and adenosine is what makes you feel tired right

and what makes you wanna go to sleep and be relaxed or whatever.

Now since caffeine structurally resembles adenosine it fits into the

brain cells receptors for adenosine and kinda blocks them off so

adenosine can’t bind to the receptors, so you can’t get tired. So what

your brain does when you’re dumping a bunch of caffeine molecules

into your precious head, is it generates a bunch more receptors for

adenosine because the existing receptors for adenosine are blocked so

you build up all these receptors to adenosine and you eventually need

more and more adenosine to actually get tired and you need more and

more caffeine to block those adenosine receptors so the idea is that

what you’re doing is actually making a chemical like a structural

change in your brain when you drink high amounts of caffeine over

time. Now what I thought was a cool take-away from the article was it

takes like 7-12 days to kinda reboot that receptor system so the idea

was, yeah, the idea like the way that I roll is I drink a cup of coffee

each morning and I do Dave Asprey’s upgraded coffee. I like the way

it tastes. I frankly, I rarely do it BulletProof style. I just drink it.

Page 8: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Just like the fact that it has no fungus.

Ben: Yeah. It has no fungi.

Brock: No fungi. No mold.

Ben: No mold. No microtoxins. So I drink that and then I every month or

so, sometimes every 2 months, it kinda depends, I switch to decaf for

a week or 2 and reboot those adenosine receptors and keep myself

sensitive to caffeine but also allow myself to become tired at night

when those adenosine receptors come out. So we’re gonna talk about

sleep in today’s podcast but one way that you can really hack your

sleep is to make sure that you don’t override these adenosine

receptors constantly so it’s a cool article. It goes way, into way more

detail. We’ll link to it in the show notes for 252 over at Ben Greenfield


Brock: 253.

Ben: 253. So go check that one out and then speaking of coffee, why don’t

we just talk about milk, our other favorite beverage.

Brock: Delicious. They go so well together.

Ben: This was another article. It was actually a study in the Journal of

Agriculture and Food Chemistry and this was a few months ago and

what scientists did in the study was they analyzed 20 samples of milk

like cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and human milk incidentally which I

thought was interesting.


I don’t know why they chose that but they found that the ingredients

that were added to the animal or the person’s diet affected the milk

significantly and they found contamination of a ton of different things

like triclosan which was an anti-fungal, and beta estradiol which is a

sex hormone and florfenicol which is an antibiotic and literally over

20 painkillers, antibiotics, and chemicals in milk.

Brock: And these are none naturally occurring substances I’m guessing.

Ben: These are things that shouldn’t be in the milk. These are things that,

basically we’ve talked before, I think on the show, I’m pretty sure

we’ve talked before about how you are what you eat, ate. Meaning like

Page 9: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

if you’re eating meat from a cow that was fed a bunch of antibiotics or

omega-6 fatty acids from grain and soy, you wind up with a lot of

those fatty acids, those omega-6 fatty acids in your body. Well, it’s the

same thing with milk. You are what you drink, ate, I guess, I can say,

or was injected with, or whatever. So yeah, sex hormones, antibiotics

anti-inflammatory, anti-fungals, painkillers, all that stuff winds up in

the milk so it’s just a really good reason to be careful. You don’t have

to like, you know, go to your local mom pop farm and like you know,

smuggle raw milk out of there but I mean at least look for the organic

milk from like grass-fed cows. I mean, at least so just know that. I’ll

link to the article if you wanna come check out the study for yourself

and see what it says and yeah, just be careful …..

Brock: Cool. Or not cool.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. So and the study was done in Spain and Morocco so I

would suspect that we might be even messing our cows even more

here in the US but …..

Brock: Yeah that’s …. and anywhere in North America. I’m sure we do the

same thing in Canada.

Ben: Yeah. So last thing ….

Brock: You know, I don’t know how you do it with kids in the background. I

can’t stay focused. It’s just like running around then suddenly

somebody stops and somebody screams. It’s mayhem.

Ben: Are we live? Are we live?

Brock: Yes.

Ben: Okay. I thought you were just throwing up your hands and you’re like

screw it, let’s not podcast anymore.

Brock: I’m done. No, I’m giving a high-five to all the parents out there for

being able to multi-task. I don’t even have to do anything and I’m

losing my mind.

Ben: Yeah, it’s called Valium. Diazepam. So the last thing is that we talked

a couple of episodes ago about how we were looking for a really good

way for people especially in the UK. We got a lot of UK listeners who

wanted like urine analysis, stool analysis, blood testing, but they

couldn’t order it from you know like WellnessFX where I get a lot of

Page 10: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

my bloods done here in the States. Like Direct Labs. Well Tamsyn

Lewis who is a listener of the show, who has been a guest on the show,

she wrote to me and they’re actually now testing over in the UK and

they’ve got a couple of docs and a clinic over there so if you want, if

you’re listening in and you’re living in the UK and you’re looking for

like a urine or a stool or gut analysis, I’m gonna give you the URL for

Tamsyn. It’s, that’s sporty spelled with an i-e. so if you go to,

apparently that is the place to get hooked up with a knowledgeable

doc and some testing and all that jazz so there you go.

Brock: Get her autograph while you’re there too.

Ben: Yeah. Get her autograph. Doctors love that when you walk into their

clinic with a pen and a pad and have her sign your chest or whatever.

Brock: Yeah, she might think that you’re trying to forge her signature on a

prescription pad.

Ben: Could you sign this?

Brock: Can you sign this prescription pad so ….

Ben: Brilliant, brilliant. I just need your autograph doc.

Special Announcements:

Brock: You’re leaving for Canada tomorrow, I’m heading to Whistler the day


Ben: That’s right.

Brock: And we’re gonna meeting up, actually probably first time I’ll see you

there as well as we’ll see everybody else at the meet up at Mogul’s

Café on Friday at noon.

Ben: For anybody who’s gonna be at Ironman Canada, I know you got a lot

of triathlete listeners on noon, Friday, August 23rd, a couple of days

this podcast comes out. Meet up at Mogul’s Coffee House up there on

the mountain and we’re going to have a meet-up, whatever the hell a

meet-up is.

Brock: I think it just means like sit and chat. Nothing fancy.

Ben: Sit and have forced conversation at noon.

Page 11: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Yeah.


Ben: And then also, while Brock and I are up there, good excuse for you to

go and grab access to the premium podcast ‘cause Brock and I are

gonna be recording a pretty big podcast like ketogenic diets and

triathlon performance and kind of all the geeked out stuff that I’m

doing in those last few minutes literally leading up to Ironman. To get

on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Premium podcast, it gives you access to

all of the hundreds of episodes we’ve had in the past because normally

you only have access to the last 10. Gives you access to all the

premium episodes, all the insider videos, ton of stuff. You don’t even

have to have the Ben Greenfield Fitness app to get this stuff but you

go to It’s 10 bucks for a freakin’

year for that.

Brock: What?

Ben: So 10 bucks a year, do it. We don’t extra price, you know that.

Brock: Every time you say it though, it’s like a knife in my heart. I thought

this is how we’re gonna get rich.

Ben: No. We’re going to get rich by filming a video up at Ironman Canada


Brock: Oh.

Ben: For all the podcast listeners, Brock and I are gonna be filming a video

that we’re going to turn into a basically a cool bonus for everybody

who subscribed to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Newsletter which is

actually free which you can get at so check

out the premium, check out the newsletter and then …..

Brock: Check out the hangout if you’re in Whistler.

Ben: Yeah, the hangout in Whistler. We already mentioned the dealio

going over in London, the meet-up over there.

Brock: That’s September 10th to 12th.

Ben: And then … Yeah. The last thing I wanna mention here as long as

we’re shamelessly promoting things before we jump into this week’s

Page 12: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Q&A. Our kinda main sponsor for Ben Greenfield Fitness is of course

Pacific Elite Fitness who we sometimes mention on show, sometimes

don’t but basically..

Brock: We often have a lot of things to do there anyway.

Ben: It is the finest provider of nutritional supplements and things that I’ve

personally researched and handpicked and put into basically like a

birch box that gets into your house. Everything from fat loss packs to

endurance packs to muscle packs, you name it. It’s all over there at If you’ve ordered from that site in the past, I know in a

lot of cases there’ve been shipping issues. You’d be pleased to know

that all the shipping there is now centralized and shipped from one

nice little warehouse, all gets sent in one box, not multiple packages,

straight to your house. Everything’s tracked now and you get a nice

little tracking code so, so there you go. If you want the convenience of

just like getting everything in one package, sent to your house and

you want the peace of mind that I’ve gone out and kinda handpicked

all these stuff for you, there you go.

Brock: There actually are a few things that are available there that aren’t

available anywhere else too so.

Ben: That’s right and I ….

Brock: That’s an added plus.

Ben: If I were really on top of things, I would be able to tell you but I don’t

know. What is available there that isn’t available anywhere else?


Brock: I think the MPX100.

Ben: Oh yeah. MPX100, Oregano, a lot of the stuff you can’t get

internationally like X2 Performance and stuff like that like we ship

anywhere in the world. So….

Brock: Oh finally, I can get some X2 Performance. That’s awesome. I forgot

about that.

Ben: There you go.

Brock: Sweet.

Page 13: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: So.

Rolynn: Hi Ben. This is Rolynn from Salt Lake City, Utah and I have just read

your article a couple of weeks ago about how to fix your gut and how

to hit the reboot button and the best way to detox your body. So May

of 2013 I did the Ironman St. George 70.3 and that was about the

peak of my stomach cramps and my bloating and ever since then my

workouts have suffered, my time has decreased, my energy has gone

down and so when I read your article, I decided to check to see if

perhaps I was gluten-intolerant so I went about 2 and a half weeks

gluten-free which seemed to correct a few of the problems and then I

decided to hold in the last 4 days to complete your detox and reboot

system and after following the advise found in your column which

was fantastic, I dropped 3 and a half pounds of body weight, I also felt

cleaner. I felt healthier. I felt that the supplements and the things I

am eating following the detox, I could feel it benefitting my body and

so I posted a run and also a bike ride 2 days following the detox and I

posted some PRs and also some 6th place over-all at some segments

with Strava and I haven’t had these results since May and I was

getting frustrated up until the time I read your article so I just wanted

to send a big thanks to you and your wonderful article about eating

gluten-free prior to race days and most days and also for your detox

system, the 4-day challenge. It was fantastic.


Listener Q&A:

Heather: Hello. I’m sure you’ve noticed Body Health just put out a new

supplement called Healthy Sleep Ultra and Ben, I wanted to know

what you thought about it. It’s a little expensive at $60 a bottle but I

know that Body Health has really good quality supplements like the

Map supplement. So is it worth trying out? What do you think? I have

sleep issues. I’ve tried a lot of stuff including a lot of things you’ve

suggested on your blog. Even your recent sleep blogs and I just, I still

wake up super early and can’t get back to sleep and it’s very

frustrating so this is a totally different kind of supplement that might

help with that. I’m all about buying it, I just definitely wanted to know

your opinion on it first. Thanks. Peace.

Brock: And Body Health is, that’s Dr. Minkoff right?

Ben: You know what, yeah, it is Dr. Minkoff.

Page 14: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Yeah. Heather, he’s on it in every way. I’m on his newsletter and I see

all the Body Health stuff.

Ben: I think he owns that company and that’s the same company that

makes the master amino pattern that I take.

Brock: Yeah if anybody doesn’t know who we’re talking about, Dr. David

Minkoff was one of the speakers at the Become Superhuman event.

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: Like in March. He just blew my mind if I am…. Not that everybody

didn’t blow my mind in that thing but he was, he was really fantastic.

Ben: Yeah. So the ingredients on this stuff. There’s some pretty common

ingredients for relaxation specifically 5HTP which kinda helps

stabilize your neuro transmitter levels, there’s melatonin there,

there’s what’s called pyridoxal 5 phosphate as well as phenol amino

butyric acid. Basically a lot of neuro transmitter precursors and

natural relaxants. You know, if you read the article that I recently

wrote at, I talk about this concept of neuro

transmitter repletion and this may not sound like a ties to sleep at all

but it really does. Essentially, if you have imbalances of

neurotransmitters, that is one of the biggest causes of tossing and

turning at night. There are other issues that can cause you to have

insomnia such as you know, staring at your kindle for too long before

you go to bed, such as not having a dark room and having too much

stimuli before you go to bed and caffeine, parasites for crying out

loud. But neurotransmitters are a big issue and in that article, what I

talked about was how in a lot of times simply eating adequate protein

or using essential amino acid supplements for example. 2 really good

ways to kinda get amino or neurotransmitter building blocks into

your body. For a lot of people who need kinda reboot or a reset, that’s

not enough and so you know, if you really have severe sleep and

relaxation issues, it could be a pretty good sign that there are

neurotransmitter imbalances going on. And one, probably the most

popular example of something like neurotransmitter repletion that

works really well for like mood disorders, for depression, for sleep

and some pretty sever sleep issues like insomnia, it’s taking a blend of

tyrosine and 5HTP. And you’re going to find a lot of supplements out

there have this blend of tyrosine and 5HTP so you could go to like

Now Foods for example on like Amazon or whatever and get tyrosine

and 5HTP and the approximate ratio is like a 10 to 1 so 3000

milligrams of tyrosine and 300 milligrams of 5HTP split into 3 daily

Page 15: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

doses like 1100 In the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.

Now, there are some supplements and they are different in this

healthy sleep ultra supplement which I haven’t personally used but

there are some supplements that actually have this tyrosine and

5HTP in that exact same ratio. And these are neurosupplements that I

haven’t talked about before on the podcast but they include, there’s a

few additions which include TravaCor that’s made by a company

called Neuro Science. I’ll put a link to these in the show notes. There’s

one called Neuro-5-HTP which is made by a company called Biotics

and there’s a company called CraveArrest by Designs for Health. The

reason it’s called CraveArrest is a lot of times, the same

neurotransmitter imbalances that affect your sleep function, so affect

your appetite function.


So all of these are kind of, you know when you’re repleting

neurotransmitters you need to be careful ‘cause you can create

imbalances like if you take only 5HTP or you take improperly

balanced 5HTP it can for example, deplete dopamine or if you are to

just take amino acids that weren’t balanced, just like say sulfur based

amino acids that would deplete dopamine and also deplete serotonin.

So you gotta be careful. Those 3 brands that I just listed off are in the

correct ratios, probably the best one, it’s the most expensive, it’s like

60 bucks for a bottle but it’s that TravaCor stuff by Neutro Science.

You can get tested though, there is a test that you can get. Like if

you’re in the US, there’s a test called the neuroadrenal test and you

can get it over at Direct Labs. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. It’s

called the neuroadrenal expanded test and what it screens for is it’s a

urinary test and it screens for serotonin, dopamine, a bunch of

different neurotransmitters and kind of like amino acid precursors to

neurotransmitters so that way you could kinda see what you might be

deficient in. You can get that test and see okay, well, you know what

my 5HTP levels are fine. I really don’t need to be taking one of these

supplements that’s got 5HTP in it ‘cause that’s not the issue for me

with sleep. Or maybe you’re going to find out that, you know, you’ve

got 5HTP dopamine imbalance so maybe you need to focus more on

the dopamine aspect of things in which case you take like you know, L

Dopa or Mucuna or something like this and you know, this is one of

those things that I work with people a lot with in consults and you

know, it’s something that sometimes you need a little of handholding

with but it’s certainly is something that flies under the radar when it

comes to sleep, right? When we take our magnesium and we wanna

sleep in a dark room and all this jazz but we don’t think about the fact

Page 16: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

that our brains might be chemically imbalanced and a lot of times, it’s

due, (I talked about this in the article) it can be due to gut issues, it

can be due to amino acid deficiencies, all sorts of things can cause

neurotransmitter imbalances I mean, stuff we’ve talked about before

like bad coffee you know, sensory overload. I’ll link to the actual

article in the show notes, the pretty recent one that I wrote but

ultimately, as far as this stuff goes, the Healthy Sleep Ultra

ingredients. I haven’t personally tried it. It does have a lot of these

amino acid precursors to neurotransmitter or neurotransmitter kinda

precursors like 5HTP that make it kinda fall into that category of

neurotransmitter repletion but then it’s also got melatonin and stuff

in there. Now, I personally don’t like using sleep supplements that

have melatonin in them. I kinda side with the idea that you don’t

necessarily want to take a bunch of melatonin because you may risk

shutting down your body’s own production of melatonin. I only use

melatonin when I travel….

Brock: Okay.

Ben: And I use about 3 milligrams not right before I go to bed because it

can wake you up when it hits your bloodstream but about 30-60

minutes before bed, I use the melatonin. But I only use it when I

travel. I do not like to become dependent on the stuff and I suspect,

from some of the things that I’ve seen, that it may shut down some

endogenous production of melatonin or make you a little insensitive

to melatonin so you know, and Dr. Minkoff by the way is a brilliant

doctor. I’m just telling you, you know, the way that I’m seeing things

and you know, this is certainly something I’d use without a doubt

what if you know, I were travelling but not sure I’d use it as a daily

but there you go. That’s what I know about some of these, some of

these neurotransmitter repletion sleep type of supplements so.

Michael: My name is Michael and I’m a big fan of your show. I was calling to

ask a question about sleep tracking type devices. I know you talk a lot

about sleep on the show. I personally use a device called the sleep

tracker. It’s made by a company called Innovative Sleep Solutions. I

don’t, I was wondering if you’ve heard of that one. You know, the

company claims that their devices say 90% accurate compared to like

an actual sleep study would be so yeah, I wasn’t sure if you’ve heard of

that and maybe what your thoughts on that specific device and also

any other you may think are better or just as good that are on the

market right now so thanks a lot Ben. I look forward to hearing your

response. Take care. Bye.

Page 17: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: I’ve been using an app called Sleep Cycle for the last, actually for like

3 or 4 years now and I just switched over to Sleep Time, the Azumio


Ben: Yeah.

Brock: And I only switched up on that one because it syncs up with Argus

and I’ve been trying out every freakin’ thing on Argus so it’s nice to

have everything just sort of pile into 1 app.


Ben: Yeah. And for people who don’t know, the Argus app is a free app. It’s

an iPhone app made by a company called Azumio which actually puts

out some really great apps and it tracks like, as long as you’ve got your

phone around in handy, it tracks like sleep and steps taken and you

can snapshots of your food and log your food. Some of my higher end

clients who are doing what’s called black box coaching where I

basically track your entire life for you and they’re using Argus to track

and you just share your Argus data with me and I can log in via

iPhone and look at it and it shows like deep sleep phases, amount of

time spent sleeping and what’s called sleep efficiency, stuff like that.

So Argus is a decent app and that’s a good one Brock. I do like that

one. I personally don’t track my sleep at all and no, I don’t track my

sleep at all. I find that when I fret about sleep and I roll over and I’m

looking at my sleep levels and everything, it starts to take a little bit,

for me personally, this is just me, it starts to take for me, a little bit of

me the enjoyment out of sleep. I just….

Brock: It takes the fun out of it.

Ben: Yeah. I just like to and I’ve used the Jawbone, I’ve used the Argus, I’ve

used all these different apps out there. The Sleep Time app which is

the other one by Azumio. There’s a good one by MotionX called the

Sleep by MotionX app. If you’re an android user, they’ve got the Sleep

Bot. If you want one of these wearable sleep tracking devices, you’ve

got the fitbit or the Jawbone up or this other one which I’ll talk about

in a second that he asked about, the Sleep Tracker but ultimately, I….

This other…. There’s 2 things. Number 1 is I just, I find that when I’m

tracking my sleep like that I just kind of obsess a little bit and

sometimes it takes me longer to fall asleep or I’m, you know, you

know it’s similar to when you are so concerned about insomnia, not

falling asleep that it creates a vicious cycles that it keeps you up?

Page 18: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Yeah, it’s like when you have an early flight to catch and you end up

not sleeping….

Ben: I hate that.

Brock: Because you’re so worried you’re gonna sleep over.

Ben: Similar to that, you’re like so worried about what your sleep app’s

gonna tell you when you wake up about your deep sleep cycle versus

the number of hours that you slept versus your sleep efficiency. It

almost keeps you awake at night because you’re trying to like get a

good score so you’re like go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep.

Brock: The gamification of your sleep patterns….

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: It’s not a good thing.

Ben: Yeah so I personally am not a fan of it. Now, ironically, I do like some

of my, some of my clients to use it so that I can see how their sleep is.

But in an ideal world, we get all of that sorted and then they don’t

have to use the app anymore once there’s this kinda trust relationship

that okay, you’re making all the right choices, I can see your sleep,

you know, I emailed one of my clients just this morning and gave her

a pat in the back because I was looking over her sleep and she’s been

like 90 plus efficiency score for the past week which means she’s

falling asleep really fast, she’s gotten 8+ hours of sleep at night, 40-

50% of that has been in deep sleep phases and that’s great. It’s

wonderful that you can glean that like that from technology but I

think that we just need to be careful becoming too dependent on this

and that it’s good for looking at every once in a while. Similar to like

tracking your calories….

Brock: Yeah.

Ben: You know, I’m not a fan of like tracking your calories everyday but

just doing an audit every now and again, that’s cool. So that’s my

thoughts on these sleeping apps. Now first of all, as far as the sleeping

test goes, obviously they are more convenient than a sleep test. If you

wanted to go in for a sleep study, what would happen is you would

show up for the sleep study and they do a portable equipment now

that you do for home testing if you wanted to do kinda like a home

sleep study but what they do is they put surface electrodes on your

Page 19: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

face, on your scalp, and these send electrical signals to measuring

equipment and these signals which are generated by your brain and

your muscle activity, they’re recorded digitally and they also put belts

around your chest and your abdomen. I don’t know how the hell

people even sleep in these sleep tests….

Brock: I’ve done a sleep test before and I did not sleep for very long.

Ben: Yeah. To measure your breathing, they put this oximeter probe on

your finger to measure how much oxygen is in your blood. You cannot

even come close to that with one of these sleep apps that like

measures whether or not you roll over during the night. It’s like….

Brock: Yeah. All it’s picking up is vibration and sound.

Ben: Yeah. A sleep study is gonna destroy any of those apps or wearable

devices, let’s face it. I mean, you know, and they’ve got everything

from like nasal air flow sensors to record air flow and snore

microphones and like electrooculograms to record eye movements

and I mean it’s not, electromyagrams to record face twitches and

teeth grinding. If you really really want to get a good idea, you go to a

sleep lab but even then it’s like is that really gonna reflect the way that

you’re sleeping?


Brock: You’re not at home, you’ve got all these things attached to you….

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: There’s people watching….

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Brock: It’s not realistic.

Ben: Exactly. Exactly. So if you were gonna get a test like the gold standard

would be the sleep test and the accuracy of any of these things, I

question and like this sleep tracker that Michael asks about. They say

in their website that it comes within 95% accuracy of the professional

sleep monitors used in clinics. I would question that data but

anyways, it’s a watch. It’s a watch that you wear. I think that’s cool

because it doesn’t necessarily require you to remember to use your

phone or whatever. It’s kinda like a jawbone or a fitbit, it’s already

Page 20: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

around your wrist. It looks like the sleep software that the sleep

tracker comes with. It’s a little bit more comprehensive than what you

might get from a jawbone or fitbit. It has a waking feature where it

will detect when you’re in your phase of sleeping that’s kind of coming

out of deep sleep phase and gradually wake you based off of that and

it has kind of a little bit of an educational software in there where it

helps you understand your sleep patterns and how to improve them

so I would say that of all the sleep devices that I’ve seen, this one is

probably the most impressive. You know….

Brock: I’d actually have one more thing to that as why it’s impressive is like

most of these, well all of these other ones we’ve been talking about,

you have to have like your phone, your android or iPhone really really

close to your head….

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: All night long. So you’re sitting there with a phone that’s not only

close to your head but it’s actually turned on because it needs to be

measuring all the sound and the vibrations and stuff so….

Ben: But you can keep it in airplane mode for sure.

Brock: You can. That would mitigate at least the wifi signals and stuff but

you’ve still got a cell phone sitting right by your head.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I should say that I actually do have my cell phone on my

nightstand when I’m sleeping. It’s one of the few things that I have in

the room that is actually turned on because I like to listen to white

noise when I sleep but it’s in airplane mode and I don’t use the alarm

at all because I fell that alarms are a little bit disruptive and I like to

kinda train my body to just wake up when it wakes up. But if you

wanted to use an alarm and you wanted to wake up at the optimum

time, this sleep track would be a cool way to do it. Also, one of the

more impressive devices that I’ve seen in terms of the data that it

actually spits out of you. It’s 150 bucks which is not too bad….

Brock: It’s not bad.

Ben: And it’ll give you some cool data. If you’re into that and you wanna

track your sleep, and I’ll put a link in the show notes to where you

could buy it. You could get it off at Amazon if you follow our link in

the show notes, we make a few bucks and you support the show.

Page 21: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Throw a nickel in our hat.

Ben: Other than that, I have no financial ties to this thing but yeah, it’s

interesting so you know, that’s kind of the way I feel about sleep

tracking though, I’m like you know, these devices are cool but

ultimately, I think you just need to kinda unplug and I think there’s a

point where the value of data begins to be a little bit, you just tend to

kinda geek out on it too much and I think you need to be careful so.

Brock: Amen.

Jason: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Jason from Michigan and I have a question

related to gluco immunogenesis. I am a type 1 diabetic for 3 years

now. I’m 31 and I’m having a little bit of problems with my glucose

readings in the morning. At night it will be at a normal range but

when I wake up, it will be like sometimes 120 and within a half hour it

immediately jumps up to 150 and when I do an exercise such as

kettlebell it can even go up to 170. And so what I do is I take more fast

acting insulin in the morning to combat that and I think that’s related

to the dome phenomenon where your body needs more energy so

your liver produces glucose to kinda keep you going. I was wondering

if you had any ideas that could help me with that. I would like to

know if there’s some natural remedies, any sort of herbs or special

foods I can eat. Now I’m doing intermittent fasting where I stopped

eating at 6 or 8 o’clock at night and I don’t eat ‘til noon. I’m pretty

much doing a low-carb or ketogenic diet even though I don’t test for

it. If there’s anything you guys could suggest that would be really

great and thanks again for all your help. Have a good day.

Ben: So we’ve talked about this on the show before.

Brock: Yeah we’ve talked about the reaction of the blood sugar actually going

up while you’re exercising.

Ben: Yup. Yeah, totally normal.

Brock: It’s exactly what he said. Jason nailed it. It’s like exactly what’s

happening. It’s like you’re breaking down the stuff your body’s

kicking some extra sugar into your system so it can…..


Ben: Yeah.

Page 22: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Has the ability to give her and it’s totally normal.

Ben: Yeah, you’re running from a lion, you’re running from a bear, running

from your mother-in-law, whatever.

Brock: Running from that terrifying woman in the spandex in aerobics class.

Ben: That’s right and your liver whether or not you’ve eaten is gonna churn

out some blood glucose. It’s going to cause breakdown of storage

glycogen and churn up the blood glucose and it will do so whether or

not you’ve eaten or in a fasted state. Fasted.

Brock: Or if you’re in ketosis.

Ben: Yeah, I mean if you’re in ketosis. I’ve had my blood glucose be as high

as 90 completely fasted, having not eaten for 16 hours and I’ll wake

up, have a cup of coffee which is mildly stressful, exercise a little bit

which can even be more stressful and bodaboom-bodabing, you know

the blood glucose level shoot up so this is a natural response. I’d be

more concerned if the blood glucose levels didn’t shoot up…..

Brock: Yes.

Ben: ‘Cause it would mean you were reaching adrenal fatigue and you

know, have really low cortisol levels or something, something like

that, you know, low morning cortisol. Now as far as some of the ways

to control that, first of all don’t worry too much about controlling it

‘cause it is natural. Next, understand that that jump is going to be

slightly less pronounced the more metabolic efficient you are, the

better you are at burning fatty acids as a fuel and kinda creating those

ketones as a byproduct of burning fatty acids as a fuel but sometimes,

it takes a long time to get in to that metabolically efficient state and

we talk about this, we talked about this at the Ancestral Health

Symposium, on the panel I was on there about how it may take as

long as 1-2 years, and you know Jack Kruse talked about this…..

Brock: Yeah.

Ben: On the podcast.

Brock: Jack said 3 or 4.

Ben: And the reason for that is because the mitochondria or what take up

fats and turn those fatty acids and turn them into ATP and generate

Page 23: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

what’s called acetylcholine in the process and the acetylcholine gets

converted into ketones so your ketone levels arise and we test your

blood ketones, it’s a good sign of how many fatty acids you’re using as

a fuel and as you can imagine that more mitochondria that you have

the greater the rate that which you can use fatty acids as a fuel. And,

you can technically get your mitochondria measured you can like

infrared measurement of mitochondria it’s not that hard to measure

mitochondria but the fact is that it’s takes, you know, longer than

sure, I mean it’s 2 to 3 weeks to get your brain kinda shifted into

ketone utilization and really comfortable there as far as not feeling

like crap on a low carb or ketotic diet but you know, it takes a

significant period of time especially if you’ve been eating a diet of

cheerios and bread for several years or for most of your life to get

back into that fatty acid utilization. This is something I was talking

about on the nutrition episode with Tawnee the

other day is like you know babies when they’re drinking their breast

milk start off in a ketotic state. Breast milk is a lot of fats and the baby

has a ton of ketones circulating in their blood stream and in an ideal

world we never take our babies and our children kinda out of that

stage like we keep them in a state where they’re not eating lots of soda

and cereals and sugar and experiencing these constant spike in blood

glucose so you know maybe once we all kinda get nutrition dialed in

and start to feed our kids more kinda natural diet, we’ve just got a

bunch of people runnin’ around with really good functioning

mitochondria, and good fatty acid utilization. But until that point the

blood glucose spikes are probably going to be a little bit more

pronounced. Now, you do need to be careful trying to shove blood

glucose back down to low if you’re diabetic because essentially aren’t

producing insulin so when you’re in that type 1 diabetic state your

pancreas, the pancreatic what they’re called the islets cells in your

pancreas, those are not producing insulin. When you’re unable to

produce insulin you’re going to have to be of course on an exogenous

sorts of insulin like an injection and if you’re trying to shove your

blood glucose levels down using supplements and you happen to be

using like an insulin injection on top of that, you really risk

hypoglycemia so you need to be really really careful you know like

using supplements like I’ve recommended for example like bitter

melon extract before and the MPX100 is really good supplement for

people who have eatin’ a bunch of carbohydrate when they want their

blood glucose levels back down but pairing something like that with

insulin, I mean heck even pairing something like that with exercise

can cause some pretty serious hypoglycemia so you gotta be careful

using supplements. Now what is more exciting to me is the idea that

there have been a lot of studies that have literally looked into

Page 24: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

regeneration of pancreatic cells, regeneration of the ability of the

pancreatic islets to produce insulin.


And I would point Jason towards some of these research because

there are natural compounds that you can find that can actually really

help with genesis of these beta cells to potentially and I know this is

totally going on a limb but potentially reverse some of the symptoms

of type 1 diabetes. Some of those compounds, one would include

arginine and arginine is an extremely, there are ton of different

benefits of arginine, it’s a nitric oxide precursor it’s kind of the active

ingredient in a lot of testosterone supporting supplement and also a

lot of nitric oxide type of supplements but arginine is capable of

stimulating the genesis of beta cells in animals with diabetes so

arginine supplementation or the consumption of arginine rich-foods

would be one thing to look in to. Avocado seed extract and

consumption of avocados has also been shown to be something that

may have a protective effect on pancreatic cells. I would look into rock

lotus extract that’s another one and that’s actually a component of

that bitter melon extract that I talked about, the MPX100 again.

Probably not something to combine with insulin injections but

certainly something that has shown some promise in terms of its

effect on diabetes and in this case, the pancreas. Berberine, which is a

plant compound that you find in herbs like goldenseal extract for

example which is something I recommended in the past as a natural

antibiotic that something that can induce beta cell regeneration in

diabetic rats and you know it’s been used literally for thousands of

years in Chinese herbal medicine to treat diabetes. That’s another one

to look into. Curcumin or turmeric, ton of different anti-inflammatory

benefits of that but in type 1 diabetic rats, curcumin has been shown

to stimulate beta cell regeneration as well as pancreatic cell survival

when pancreas are like transplanted between animals. So that’s

another one to look into is curcumin. Few others I wanted to mention,

one would be like manuka honey like a good high quality honey and I

realize that there are probably any pharmaceutical rep listening into

the show is probably snickering because you know honey seems like

this totally natural compound and how it could be medicine but it has

actually been shown …..

Brock: Also sweetener which is something you don’t usually prescribe to


Page 25: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: Alright, but like a good high quality natural honey can have positive

effects on type 1 diabetes including beta cell regeneration and it’s

something else that has been shown in studies to assist with beta cell

regeneration. A couple other things, one would be stevia which is

pretty easy to find that has been shown to fix damaged beta cells in

studies and then there’s another one called black seed extract which is

a, it’s a supplement that you can find like health food stores but they

did a study in humans and found that in humans eating 1 gram of

black seed extract per day increased beta cell function and insulin

production in diabetics. So that’s another one to look into. Ultimately,

I think a lot of this stuff flies under the radar ‘cause you can’t make a

lot of money of it they aren’t FDA approved drugs, they’re not

patented but if you’re type 1 diabetic listening in, these are things that

you should look into, I’m not a doctor ….. but I certainly wouldn’t

ignore some of the data that’s out there as far as like these natural

derivatives we can find in nature that may have an effect on type 1

diabetes so there you go.

Jennifer: Hi Ben, this is Jennifer. So, I take several supplements including L-

carnitine liquid form, glucosamine chondroitin, CLA, 5HTP,

magnesium with calcium, that’s just cutting down on a few of all of

the supplements that I generally take. I’m concerned or at least I

questioned the other ingredients that are in each in every

supplement. Other ingredients including vegetable cellulose, silica,

vegetable magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium

phosphate, and vegetable stearic acid to name a few. I have no idea

what these components are. My question is, what is their impact on

the body, the metabolism and could there be any long term effects or

consequences anyways, can you please shed some light on these?

Thanks in advance and thank you and thanks to Brock for

consistently bringing amazingly, interesting, fascinating, and

beneficial information.


I appreciate each and every podcast and I’m really a devoted listener.

Thanks again and keep up the positivity.

Brock: I was excited when I heard this question ‘cause it’s something that

crossed my mind, I’m sure it’s crossed a lot of people’s mind and you

look at the non-medicinal ingredients in anything and it’s like

sometimes list as longer than the stuff that actually in like supposed

to be in there.

Page 26: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: Yeah.

Brock: Like what is all these stuff?

Ben: And how much magnesium silicate is winding up in your poo. Yeah, it

is an issue you know for example, magnesium stearate is a big one

and that’s formed by adding magnesium to stearic acid and it’s a

lubricant so you use it to make supplements that helps the machinery

that make the supplement to ran faster and smoother and it prevents

pills and capsules from sticking to each other but it can also cause

some issues with your cell membranes, it could in high amounts

suppress your natural T-cell production which are your natural killer

cells that are key components of your immune system, and

magnesium stearate is usually sourced from hydrogenated oils like

cotton seed oil. It’s been shown to potentially be contaminated with

calcium hydroxide, with bisphenol A or BPA, with a lot of hazardous

chemicals. This is an issue not only with magnesium stearate but also

with a lot of the other common things that you’re going to find in

multi-vitamins or in supplements. Artificial colors for example in a lot

of children’s gummies and supplements that are colored. Most of

those are derived from coal tar which is toxic. Magnesium stearate, I

already talked about but there’s another one called magnesium

silicate which is very very similar. Titanium dioxide which is a

naturally occurring oxide in titanium, you’re gonna find a lot of times

using vitamins as a pigment but it’s a metal and a lot of times long

term exposure to metals can lead to some problems with immune

function in your body. The type of multivitamins that don’t have as

many issues when it comes to these stuff are what are called whole

food vitamin supplements. Typically these are the supplements where

you have to take an annoyingly large handful of them because they’ve

been combined with whole foods in order to allow them to have better

absorbability but they a lot of times have fewer fillers, fewer

colorants, fewer coatings. The other thing that you really wanna make

sure that you pay attention to if you’re trying to avoid the fact for

example that magnesium stearate has a lot of harmful contaminants

in it is you wanna look at the actual quality assurance on the

supplement that you’re taking in needs to have good manufacturing

processes, so it needs to have what’s called a GMP certification, it

needs to preferably have used an independent third party lab to check

the raw materials for contaminants and for the correct dosage and the

gold standard that I would point out for supplement that you’d wanna

look for is what’s called an NSF Certification and NSF Certification

costs supplement companies a lot of money but it’s a third party

verification that goes above and beyond anything else from the face of

Page 27: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

the planet when it comes to verifying lack of contaminants and toxic

compounds but also purity of the supplement itself. It a guarantee

that the supplement actually has what it promises to have in it and I

agree with completely with Jennifer’s concerns. I’m concerned a lot of

times about some of the supplements that are in my covered. It is

difficult in many cases to find supplements that are completely free of

some of these things that are necessary for them to not stick to each

other and for them to not completely degrade in the bottle. I would

say that at least make sure that CGMP try and look for something

that’s NSF certified and try and get the whole foods version of a

multivitamin or other supplement and you’re at least gonna cover a

lot of your basis when you do something like that. I am, I think as I’ve

talked about before on the show, I am in the process of trying to

design and come out with a supplement that covers as many basis as

possible but it’s also healthy, safe, is NSF certified, CGMP certified, all

these jazz. I’m still honestly a good 20 weeks out or so from actually

having a viable product in hand that’s actually able to be used with

peace of mind by anyone and is also something that would allow that

you use one supplement, open up your refrigerator and have just 1

bottle in your refrigerator. It’s been something I have been working

on for the past year and a half and I’ve kinda capture into the radar

because I’ve talked about a couple of times on the podcast but I don’t

really wanna talk about this too much until it’s really ready for people

to use and I’m pretty excited, well hopefully be ready by the end of the

year but it is one of those things you can take with complete piece of

mind until that point at least look for CGMP, look for NSF, look that

it’s mixed in whole foods formap and that at least will help out a little

bit so that will keep you from turning green going 8 eyeballs on your



The other thing I would mention is that if you wanna get tested for

toxins, tested for chemicals, contaminants, PCBs, all of this stuff. You

can do testing, I’ll put a link to the test from Directlabs that you can

get but they do toxin testing, they do porphyrin testing and you can

go and see what kind of stuff is built up in your body and kinda act

accordingly. It’s one of the reasons that detoxing every now and again

like going supplement free, fasting and juicing, having like maybe you

know, a month that of each year that you really detox your body. In

this day and age, post industrial era is probably a good idea so, there

you go.

Page 28: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Will: Hi Ben, this is Will from Denver, Colorado. I’m just calling for

some advice, the reason I’ve got diagnosed with a torn hip

labrum, good news is that it can be repaired ______ [1:02:25.1] but

my bad news is that my doctor told me that I have very little cartilage

left in my hip and he recommended something called Synvisc. I don’t

know if you’re familiar with that but I just wondering if you have an

opinion on that if it’s worth the money and also if you had $50 to

spend on supplements, what would be the best use of that money -

$50/month that is. Thanks for the advice and want the show.

Brock: I personally never heard of synvisc, have you heard of that?

Ben: I haven’t heard of synvisc, I’ve heard of what synvisc is made up of

which is essentially highly ironic acid which is highly ironic acid

injection. Now, the whole idea behind this this synvisc is it’s a field of

medicine called viscosupplementation. Anybody who’s ever had joint

pain should probably know about this but it’s based off the fact that

there’s a decrease in the viscosity or the elasticity of the synovial fluid

which is the lubricating fluid in your joints. We have osteoarthritis,

what happens is the natural highly ironic acid in your knees or your

elbows or wherever, it has a lower molecular weight than what you’d

find in a normal healthy knee and so the idea is that if you replenish

the highly ironic acid and you’re able to somehow recreate normal

synovial fluid you can restore a lot of the normal function to a joint

and allow it to move a little bit better. So how ironic acid is a mix of

what’s called glucuronic acid and acetylglucosamine similar to using

something like a glucosamine chondroitin supplement. So it allows

you to restore your natural highly ironic acid, it is kind of a lubricant

and a shock absorber in the synovial fluid and it’s you know, just what

it sounds like it’s an injection of what you need back into your joint.

The issue with viscosupplementation and these injections are not that

they don’t work because most of them have been shown to work and

this synvisc for example is different than a lot of the others in terms of

its actual molecular weight being as close as possible to synovial fluid

you can get. It’s got higher elasticity, higher viscosity, it’s got better

studies behind it so it’s kinda unique but the idea is that a lot of

people have immune based reactions to these proteins that are getting

injected into their knee and sometimes end up getting a lot of

downstream autoimmune effects that can end up for example making

them hyper sensitive to foods, end up making them break out, get sick

more easily, kind of a lot of things that might happen if you are to say

eat the food that you are allergic to like soy or wheat or dairy or

something like that. And of course, the other issues that injections

can be expensive so this is one of those things where I would say if

Page 29: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

you get injected and you notice any issues whatsoever, I wanna be

careful with it and you know, it’s one of those trade-offs, do you want

your knee to feel better vs. having some autoimmune issues or some

potential immune side effects and that’s just kind of a call that you

have to make, it comes down to what you find most important to you

but certainly these injections worked and there’s enough studies

behind them that show that especially for something like

osteoarthritis or complete loss of synovial fluid they were, I suspect

with my participation in marathons and triathlons and stuff like that.


I probably have some knee degradation and some joint issues when

I’m 56 years old that leave me wanting to do something like this and I

would certainly go out and at least try it and if I have side effects

potentially think about some other options but it’s one of those things

that’s not, it’s not completely unnatural like your body it’s just

injecting extra of what your body kinda naturally already has in there

so in my opinion it’s better living through science and does have some

decent effects on your joints. If you’re gonna take supplements first

though I can tell you exactly what I take, I would look into fish oil….

Brock: I wasn’t sure if you’d wanna answer that, yeah, $50 question.

Ben: Two things, super straight forward, they’ve done studies with fish oil

and osteoarthritis and found significant improvement in overall pain

and reduction and the need to use anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen

or advil when fish oil is used. So anywhere from 4 – 10 grams of good

high quality triglyceride based fish oil. I would certainly do that, the

other one that I would look into that doesn’t have many studies

behind it but that I found just from my personal use and the use of

athletes that I’ve worked with is Capraflex and Capraflex is this bone

and joint formula made by a company called Mt. Capra and it’s a

blend of 17 different foods and botanicals and enzymes that are

natural anti-inflammatories, that are mineral blends that are

compounds such as lactoferrin which help bone to regenerate,

glucosamine chondroitin, cherry juice, ginger, turmeric, acerola

cherry extract, all of these different proteolytic enzymes. In this last

week leading up to Ironman I’ve been poppin’ 12 of those a day just so

that ‘cause I know I’m gonna feel a lot better in my 20 of the run with

my joints pretty much kinda rebuilt from all these training I’ve been

doing the past 20 weeks leading up to this race so I would do fish oil, I

would do Capraflex and I would go higher than what I normally do

you know, I would go higher than that 2 – 4 grams of fish oil and do

Page 30: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

closer to 5 – 10 grams. With Capraflex, I wouldn’t just take 4 or 8

which is kinda little lower dose of those but I’ve be pushing 12 a day

in terms of supplement like Capraflex. That’s what I would do from a

supplementation standpoint and then for the last I would look into,

would be like one of this Ironman suits or one of this cool new

prosthetics that just turn you into a complete badass like robot, I

would say like the, have you seen like lasers on it? That you could ….

Brock: Oh of course, yeah, you have to get the lasers.

Ben: Yeah, I would do the lasers for sure for the lower …..

Brock: That’s like getting air conditioner in your car, you gonna put this on

your suit.

Ben: If you could do it 2 for 1 I’d also do something like the shield force on

the upper body like around the arms and stuff so you could deflect

bullets, rockets, hammers thrown by demigods, all that jazz and …..

Brock: Yeah, of course.

Ben: Uhm, yeah so that’s the direction I’d go.

Brock: That’s gonna be more than $50 a month. So, I think we’re trying to

stay on a budget.

Ben: Yeah, yeah.

Brock: Silly Will. Oh wait! Hey, I was just gonna let the next question play

but it’s not actually an audio question, I have to read it. You know,

I’m lazy but I’ll read …..

Ben: Do you remember how to do that?

Brock: Oh, I’ll see. Give it a shot. Brian wrote, “you recently talked about

decision fatigue although I believe this is a problem for me on

occasion I feel my problem is more decision overload. Too many

variables in the grand scheme of is this the right day to do the

workout, right time to eat this, right ingredients, right

protein/fat/carb make up etc. It seems like there’s always another

level of decisions to make, what should I do to simplify this?

Ben: That was an effing train wreck dude.

Page 31: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: That wasn’t my fault there, I read exactly what Brian wrote And Brian


Ben: And this is why we have people call. Call their questions in.

Brock: Exactly.

Ben: Okay, so Brian just ….

Brock: I may sound like an idiot.

Ben: Wants to know about decision fatigue. The New York Times had a

really interesting article on decision fatigue recently. It’s a long

article, I’ll link to it in the show notes but the take away of it is that

making decisions about food or exercise or work or life or

relationships or whatever and resisting temptations get really hard

and they especially get hard towards the end of the day when you’re

mentally zapped and this decision fatigue is responsible for gradually

poor choices, more and more indecision, more fatigue, more

frustration, more stress as the day progresses.


What experiment show that they report in that New York Times

article is that we all have this finite store of mental energy for exerting

self control and every little decision that we make and the more

choices that we have to make throughout the day the harder it gets for

our brain to continue to make decisions. So the result is that by the

end of a big day when you’re low on mental energy you’re gonna be

more likely to give in to an impulse and whatever, eat the snickers bar

that’s in your freezer which is in the great place to keep snickers ….

Brock: It’s really the only way to have a snicker bar.

Ben: Frozen snickers, amazing! Or just like to avoid making decisions all

together and just be like, I’m gonna workout or try to workout, I’m

just gonna go flop on the couch and turn on the tv, so the worst part

is that a lot of times we aren’t aware how mentally tired we are from

all those little choices and we just kinda keep on going through life

making all these mistakes especially as the day goes on and potentially

not making the decisions that we know are right simply because we

don’t wanna make decisions at all or we take easiest road out. What

compounded is that as we go throughout the day, our blood glucose

levels tend to drop speaking of blood glucose and this can be

Page 32: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

responsible for poor decision making as well if you’re going on this

blood glucose roller coaster rides during the day. What the article

came out to in terms of what it recommended was if you wanna make

the best choices you need to make sure that you eat a good breakfast

full of like slow release fuels like proteins, like some healthy fats,

some lower gylcemic index carbs, be careful scheduling endless back

to back meetings and then reserve your biggest commitments and

your biggest decision times before the afternoon or in the morning

when your decision fatigue is going to be lowest. I think that’s a really

good place to start but I think there are some problems with that. For

example, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck at of

your workout, technically doing a hard workout later on in the day is

better than doing it earlier in the day and the issue isn’t necessarily

going and doing the workout but knowing what you’re supposed to

do. This is why at the beginning of the week, I generally get out my

Evernote document for the week and I write out what my workout are

gonna be on each day so that by the end of the day when I’m kinda

mentally fatigue from writing articles and doing consults and doing

all these other stuff, you know, homeschooling my kids just

everything I do, I don’t have to sit there and think, okay what do I’m

gonna do for a workout now. I just look at my calendar and it says,

you know, ride your bike to the gym, do 3 by 5 bench press squat,

clean deadlifts, ride home. And so I just go and do it and the decision

fatigue is gone that’s why it’s really important to kinda have a set plan

for that type of stuff. As far as a few other things that I recommend

when it comes to decision making fatigue, I wrote this big article

recently about “How to Quit Mowing Your Lawn” and ten other time

saving productivity tips, one of the things I talked about is keeping

clean mind and what I mean by keeping a clean mind is, or clear mind

is, whenever I have a task or a reminder, an article I wanna read

whatever, I get it out of my head as quickly as I can so my head is

never rattling around with all these thoughts that I think can truly

lead to decision fatigue so I mentioned Evernote. So, I’ll use Evernote

and whenever I have something come across my radar, I think of

something while I’m walking around or standing in line or driving, I

basically pull up an evernote doc, write it down, shove it into

whichever day I wanna do it ‘cause like I have an evernote doc for

Monday, for Tuesday, for Wednesday, for Thursday etc and it’s just

out of my mind. Okay, so it’s kind of that, it’s almost like the whole

Arthur Conan Doyle where he writes in one of the first Sherlock

Holmes episodes where Watson is talking to Sherlock Holmes and

shares with him some facts and Sherlock like, “I’m just gonna try and

forget that as quickly as possible” and Watson ask why Sherlock says

that because all these random things rattling around in your head

Page 33: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

detract from your ability to solve problems and I probably horribly

misquoted that but I believe that’s kinda just the gist of it. The idea

though is that ….

Brock: I gonna get the accent right so that’s one thing for sure.

Ben: Yeah, my dear Watson. Anyways though, yeah, so you keep your head

clear using stuff like that. Whenever I come across an article I wanna

read, I don’t distract myself and get down to read the article, you

know, I can talk about this New York Times articles and these

different things that I tweet, all I use is a send to reader app on my

browser and when I find an article I wanna read, I click the send to

reader button and it sends it to my Kindle so that I just have it on my

Kindle, I know it’s stack away for reading later and I quit worrying

about it and just out of sight, out of mind.


I use a program called BusyCal on my computer and BusyCal let’s me

schedule meetings and events and write them in the BusyCal and then

it pops up and it gives me a reminder and I can even use this program

called follow up then or everytime I write an email, I can CC like one

day at or 2 days at and it

reminds me like one day later or 2 days later, it will pop up on busy

cow and say, “Hey, follow up on this” if the person never responded to

the email so I never also have to have these random thoughts popping

into my head like, “Oh, I sent this email to that person, did they

respond to me? I don’t remember if they responded to me. I wonder if

they even got the email.” So, I used that combination of follow up

then and BusyCal to kinda keep a clear hear that way. I also, I read, I

keep a pen and a pad next to my bed and write it down if I wake up to

get it out of my head so I’ve got access to it the next morning. For me,

that’s the best way to beat decision making fatigue is if you’ve got a

clear head, you make decisions just like that , you’re just like BOOM! I

know what I’m gonna do because I don’t have other thoughts

distracting me and that’s probably the biggest tip that I can give to

Brian is to keep a clear head. I talked about a ton of other stuff from

that article, I’ll link to it, it’s one of the articles that I’m using in my

book but I’ll link to it in the show notes over at for Brian to read but keep a clear head

and it takes some index to the brain and that’s where it start.

Page 34: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Brock: Nice! So Brian I’d say just go ahead and make your decisions and just

don’t worry about them, the chips fall where they may. I think you’re

worrying about it too much.

Ben: That’s right and when it comes to right to eat this, right ingredients,

right protein/fat/carb make up all that jazz, pretty much don’t do

anything except listen to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast and you

can’t go wrong and pretty much ignore everything else. So, there you


Brock: The first question that you should ask yourself is, “What would Ben

do?” and the second question is “What wouldn’t Brock do?”

Ben: Wwwbd, what wouldn’t Brock do? Wwwbd, that’s also, that doesn’t

work, they’re both wwwbd.

Brock: Oh yes, they might forget who are they supposed to be following, who

they’re supposed to be ignoring.

Ben: Any who, should we give something cool away? Since we’re ……

Brock: ….. Yeah, it’s to visit ITunes and find an awesome review that

somebody has left us and preferably a 5 star review if you don’t mind.

Ben: That’s right. I kinda like your visit ITunes, we should play like a Mr.

Rogers type of soundtrack as we read this like ….. and play the tinkles

of the dreams going back in time. There you go…. So,

Brock: I don’t have any ……

Ben: Can you actually get some Mr. Rogers music to play as I read this?

Brock: Absolutely!

Ben: Bingo.

Brock: Here it come.

Ben: This review is called superhuman education. Now, if you hear your

review read on the show then we will send you a super duper prize

pack straight from, all you have to do…..

Brock: Hi, Mr. Greenfield!

Page 35: Ben Greenfield Podcast 253

Ben: All you have to do is go to bengreenfieldfitness…..

Brock: I missed stupid little cat that looks like a …….

Ben: Or go to ITunes and leave your review. So this review is called

superhuman education and it’s by Gary3. Here’s what he says,

“although Ben says on too much, these guys know their diet and

performance info. Both triathletes, their ability to breakdown

performance tweak and supplements efficiency is second to none.

Highly entertaining and tongue and cheek, one of my go to podcast to

fitness info.”

Brock: Alright, that was a rocky start but …… what’s his name? superhuman

education or Gary3. Yeah, folded over the fire.

Ben: Uhm, so I guess …… I’m gonna wrap the podcast. You can go to that’s bengreenfieldfitness/love and

well, if you go there there’s some cool stuff so check it out. Podcast

review, much of cool stuff in the show notes.