Download - Ben greenfield Podcast 50

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Podcast #50 from

Introduction: In this podcast episode: how to get smarter, the top 10

questions about fat loss, nutrition and human performance;

information about the HCG diet for fat loss, how to shock

your diet off a weight loss plateau, the link between

magnesium deficiency and heart attacks in athletes and

Listener Q and A on cafeeine , blood sugar levels during

exercise, weight lifting for tritahletes, liquid vegetables and

much much more.

Ben: Wow, as you may have guessed from the introduction there

is a ton to cover in today’s podcast. This is in my opinion

going to be one of our best podcasts ever and one of the

reasons for that is this is the 50th episode and we didn’t have

a podcast last week. So I’ve got to double up on the content.

Before I get to anything, you know I know that some of you

out there have had some trouble figuring out how to

subscribe to the podcast or maybe didn’t even know that you

could subscribe to the podcast on something like iTunes and

then some of you also didn’t know that you could subscribe

to the blog and you can literally get automatic emails

whenever anything comes out. I just put the finishing

touches on an update on the page that tells you how to

subscribe, so if you go to,

there’s a really apparent link in the upper right hand corner

that says how to subscribe. If you click on that or you know

someone who’s trying to subscribe and doesn’t know how

and they click on that it’s literally just like a 1, 2, 3 easy as pie

way to make sure that you automatically get the free audio

episodes and don’t miss out on any of the content. So as I

mentioned in the introduction to today’s interview – jam-

packed – we’ve got a featured topic which is an interview

with Dr. Arlene Taylor. She’s one of the world’s leading brain

experts. Brand spanking new Journal of Strength and

Conditioning Research just hit the shelves. I’m going to be

bringing you the most relevant research from that. We have

Listener Q and As on caffeine, liquid vegetables, blood sugar

and weightlifting for triathletes and I do have some special

announcements coming up as well and actually after I record

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this podcast, I am throwing my podcasting equipment into a

backpack over my shoulder and biking down to the local

Farmer’s Market where a couple of weeks ago I came across a

Native American fellow who was selling a topical ointment

that’s been passed down through his family for managing

muscle inflammatory conditions and so I’m going to find out

exactly what he’s putting in that stuff. So look for that next

week along with a lot of other cutting edge next week

including some information about water. Let’s go ahead and

move into this week’s content.

Ben: This week’s Listener Q and A presents some pretty

interesting questions from listeners and I want to start off

with a question from Listener Andrew.

Andrew asks: I was hoping you could clear up some confusion I have about

caffeine. Currently I avoid caffeine at all costs. I consume no

caffeine whatsoever. My question is if caffeine can be part of

a good nutrition plan, would it be ok to have a cup of coffee

each day? Or perhaps to begin drinking green tea? What is

your opinion on the FRS energy products and the caffeine

they contain? I’ve heard glowing reviews of that product line

even from Lance Armstrong himself. (Ooh la la, the Tour de

France champion has endorsed it so it must be good.)

Ben answers: We actually covered FRS energy drinks quite a bit. I don’t

want to completely blow off your question Andrew, but I’ve

covered those drinks twice in the podcast so far. So I’m going

to put a link after your question in the Shownotes but the

synopsis when we covered is that the thing that makes FRS

energy drinks unique is the component in them called

quercetin and quercetin is actually an immune system

booster you find in things like red onions and apples and it

has been shown in research to help with immune system

support, or the time that someone actually had a cold or the

flu. But, the other things that are in the FRS energy drinks

aside from of course the caffeine were a little bit suspect.

Some artificial colorings, some artificial sweeteners that are

suspect in terms of their health and of course the large

amounts of sugar and typically the small amount of

phosphoric acid and things of that nature that needs to be

placed in a soda or energy drink. Caffeine in general is in my

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opinion a great tool in your fat tool box, in your energy tool

box. The problem is you can’t overuse it. I personally do an 8

to 12 oz cup of coffee in the morning and occasionally in the

afternoon if I have a very busy day or very hectic day I will do

an energy drink that’s the equivalent of about one quarter

cup of caffeine and it’s a green tea based energy drink. I use

one called Delta-E. It happens to be the same one that Dr.

Arlene Taylor also uses. She’s the lady that I interviewed

today. But that’s one that I use. Caffeine is something that’s

beneficial. If you build up a tolerance to it, it’s not that

beneficial and you could actually do a little bit of damage to

your liver and your kidney if you’re one of those people that’s

consuming three 30 oz cups of coffee during the day. But a

little bit of coffee to give you a jumpstart is great. It has

what’s called a glycogen sparing effect, meaning that it helps

you to burn less carbohydrate, a little more fat. It helps with

your focus, it helps with your energy levels. It helps stimulate

your central nervous system which is a good thing in a lot of

cases, especially for those of us who need a little jumpstart to

our day. So absolutely I do condone the use of coffee on a

limited basis. As an athlete I do abstain from coffee for at

least 7 days prior to competition and then I take it on the

morning of the competition. So you can use it as what’s

called an ergogenic aid as well. For more information

specifically on what my opinion is on the FRS energy

products – that I’m not super convinced Lance actually uses

– write into me if you’ve seen him drink it. All I’ve seen is

him endorsing it but I didn’t see him suck one of those down

before the individual or team trials in the Tour de France this

week yet. So, listen in to my previous podcast about that

Andrew. Great question.

Amy asks: I’d like to see if you can clarify some information I’ve been

hearing. Set me straight in other words. I’ve heard if your

blood sugar is between 70 and 90 before you exercise, you

will burn more fat. That is apparently the optimal level for

burning the most fat. Can you confirm whether what I’m

hearing is true or false? Also I’m told that you are supposed

to drink your blood sugar level 20 minutes before exercise.

Ben answers: Amy, I don’t know if you’re diabetic and that’s why someone

was talking to you about this, but for those of us who are not

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diabetic, checking our blood sugar levels, monitoring our

blood sugar levels before and during exercise is really not

necessary. Granted you could get it to an ideal level, but in

most cases our body, if it is insulin sensitive and if it does

operate directly – which it does not if you have diabetes type

1 or type 2 – then your blood sugar levels as long as you’re

eating a healthy diet are going to be right where they need to

be. However, I want to answer your question a little more

specifically. You say that you’ve heard that blood sugar levels

are supposed to be 70 and 90 before you exercise if you want

to burn more fat. Well yeah, 70 and 90 – it’s called

milligrams per deciliter in terms of your actual concentration,

but 70 to 90 is low. Ok? You are going to tap into your body’s

fat reserves because you don’t really have much carbohydrate

circulating around to burn. Look at it this way, when

diabetics have a blood sugar that’s lower than 100 that’s too

low for them to exercise safely. They risk passing out or

having even bigger problems if their blood sugar is lower

than 100. So if your blood sugar is 70 to 90 and you go

exercise, you probably aren’t going to have much energy at

all. Yeah you’re going to burn fat but I mentioned a few times

the research that shows that people who consume a

carbohydrate based meal at the 30, 60 and 90 minute mark

during exercise end up having a higher exercise post-

metabolic rate and they end up burning more calories overall

during the exercise session than if they exercise starved. So it

returns to the point that I drive home over and over again to

my clients and on the show. The one time that you do want

to take care of your body and the one time you don’t want to

be at a caloric deficit is when you’re exercising because if you

take care of your body from a fueling standpoint while you’re

exercising, you will actually in the long run burn more

calories and burn more fat. So as far as blood sugar levels 20

minutes prior to exercise that you mentioned, not really

necessary unless you are diabetic. And if you are diabetic you

want those numbers to be about 100 to 250. Definitely not

70 to 90. So that’s really low.

Wayne asks: I’m shooting to go 9:40 or lower at Arizona. (Ok, let’s set this

up. He’s an Ironman triathlete. When he says 9:40, he means

he wants to do Arizona Ironman triathlon at 9 hours and 40

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minutes.) And I’m going to be doing some intense training

for it. My question is should I hit the gym again during the

summer for strength training, etc.? I think the answer is yes.

I’m currently sitting right around race weight but lifting

weights tends to make me put the weight back on.

Ben answers: Now when I am writing up strength training plans for the

Ironman triathletes who I coach online, the way that I do it is

we do quite a bit of foundation building. We do quite a bit of

hip strengthening, core strengthening, rotator cuff

strengthening and spend up to 3 hours a week in the weight

room during the offseason and during what’s called the base

season. However, once we get around to race season, time is

precious. Unless you’re a professional triathlete who has a lot

of time to train, time is precious and those 3 hours that

you’re spending on the gym are 3 hours that you could spend

swimming, biking or running. So what I do is I use a

technique. I’ve got about 12 different workouts that I draw

on and for anywhere from 2 to 3 times a week, we do shorter

exercise circuits of 20 to 40 minutes that are short, that are

high intensity but that allow the athletes to maintain the

benefits of the foundation phase that we laid in the offseason.

I actually have all those workouts put together. That’s what

my book – The Top 12 Resistance Training Routines for

Triathletes – that’s what that book is actually all about. It’s

just those workouts that we use during the race season as in

boom, hit the gym, get the 20 minutes in, the 30 minutes in

and then boom, leave and go back to your life. Go back to

your training. So for example, on a typical bike day in the

offseason I’ll ride my bike for 45 minutes and then I’ll be at

the gym for an hour or 2 and a half hours, 15 minutes by the

time I get out of there. And that just about flips during race

season. During a race season on a typical bike day, I’ll bike

an hour and 15 minutes and I’ll be at the gym for maybe 20,

30 minutes. So, it really does flip. It really does change in the

race season. The other thing I design those workouts to do is

not put on mass, not put on muscle. Just to maintain the

amount of muscle that you do have. And then our final

question was a call in question from Listener Sue.

Sue asks: Working 14 hours day right now, I don’t have any time to eat

vegetables. Is there any creative way or good way that I can

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get vegetable nutrients aside from putting a salad in a

blender and drinking it on my way to work? I look forward to

hearing back from you, thanks a lot. Bye bye.

Ben answers: Sue, yeah. There is. But if you’re listening to the show or for

anybody listening to the show, I don’t want you to use what

I’m about to tell you as an excuse not to eat vegetables. All

I’m going to give you is some information about a way that

you could get in the equivalent of a few salads in a blender on

your way out the door to work. But I really want you to focus

on eating raw vegetables and raw fruit sources as well

because the interaction of all those components in their

whole raw form is going to be a lot better utilized by your

body than a supplement. But if you do want to drink your

vegetables, there are many types of supplements out there

that are basically green powder – the one that I personally

take is called EnerPrime. I’ll put a link to it in the Shownotes

but it’s everything from spirulina to green barley grass. It’s

got a vegetarian enzyme complex in there. It’s got rice

maltodextrin, shitake mushroom extract, beta carotene, the

full spectrum of multivitamins and it really is what you can

get if you were to grind up a few salads in a blender and then

some. It’s got about 32 different nutrients in it and what I do

when I’m in a rush is I take a teaspoon or a tablespoon of

that and I use it in a powder and I just mix it in a glass of

water. Sometimes I’ll pour a little bit of OJ in to sweeten it

up but you drink that down, and that’d be one way to do it.

The same company that makes this stuff – the EnerPrime –

they also make a capsule form. If you don’t like to take it in

powder. So that’d be one way you can do this, Sue. But I

really encourage you if you’re doing that, when you finish

your 14 hour day, still try and get a big salad in. Still try and

get some real food in if you can and bring some stuff to work

too. Bring some mini carrots, throw some sugar snap peas,

some broccoli, some cauliflower in a zip lock, bring that

along. You can put a little bit of sea salt on it or put a little bit

of apple cider vinegar mixed with stevia on it if you want to

sweeten it up a little bit, but ultimately there is a way that

you can get your vegetables in. Just don’t use it as an excuse

not to eat your vegetables. So I’ll put a link to that stuff in the

Shownotes. And remember, if you have a question, not only

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am I giving away a free copy of my 100 Ways To Boost Your

Metabolism DVD to the best question this week but you

might also get your question on some of those new videos

that I’m making to answer questions. So email me

[email protected] or call the show toll free

8772099439. And we’re going to go ahead and move on to

this week’s research from the Journal of Strength and

Conditioning Research.

Ben: Ok so one of the deals is that as a certified personal trainer,

that means that I have to be a member of the organization

that certifies me and what I happen to be a member of is one

of the most respected certifying agencies on the planet. It’s

called the National Strength and Conditioning Association,

and they put out a peer review journal called the Journal of

Strength and Conditioning Research and every month I

receive this, I dig through it and I find the stuff that’s most

applicable to the clients that I work with. So while you may

not care about the swing velocity of a reverse jujitsu double

jump kick when somebody has taken in half a gallon of

caffeine and creatine pills, what you may care about are

some of the more down to earth practical tips that you can

glean from this journal. So what I’m going to try and do is

filter for you and give it to you in a format that’s easily

understandable. Because your ears would go buggy if you

read some of the descriptions in the research and you got to

be able to dig through it and find the actual applicable advice.

So the first study that I want to look at and I literally just

have the journal sitting in here on my desk that I’m looking

through. I know there’s a lot of triathletes that listen to the

show. This study is called The Influence of Different

Breathing Frequencies on the Severity of Inspiratory Muscle

Fatigue Used By High Intensity Front Crawl Swimming. And

what this study looked at was the difference in the amount of

fatigue during a 200 meter freestyle swim, when people

drink every second stroke – that’s stroke, stroke, breathe –

with people who breathe every fourth stroke. So they weren’t

looking at arm fatigue or leg fatigue or anything like that.

They were looking at the actual inspiratory muscle fatigue

and they were doing that by looking at the amount of tidal

volume or air volume that people move in and out of their

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lungs – the lower tidal volume after this 200 meter indicated

a greater amount of inspiratory muscle fatigue. Well what

they found was there was a significantly greater amount of

inspiratory muscle fatigue after the breathing every four

strokes when compared to the breathing every two strokes

and so the takeaway message from this is your lungs can get

tired and you should think about training your lungs the

same way you would train your arms and your legs and the

whole idea is that when your lungs have to breathe off all this

Co2 that’s being generated from your muscle activity, they

will get tired. And so not only do we know now that the

inspiratory muscles are proven to be susceptible to fatigue –

somebody’s like “Duh, I can tell that I breathe hard or I have

a harder time getting oxygen when I don’t breathe as much

when I’m swimming.” But the second takeaway we can take

away from this is that if you train your lungs – one thing I’ve

been doing since I read this article is whenever I finish a

swim workout, I throw in ten 25 meter repeats of what’s

called hypoxic swimming where all I do is swim from one

end of the pool to the other end and my goal is to not take a

breath the whole time. I rest 20 seconds and then I do it

again and I do it again. And I do that 10 times back and forth.

My arms don’t get tired, my legs don’t get tired when I’m

swimming fast… but my lung muscles, they get tired. And

I’m noticing a difference in that type of training. So that’s

what we can take away from that research study – if you

don’t want to get as tired, breathe more often and think

about actually training your inspiratory muscles.

The next study that I looked at – there’s about five of them in

here – was the Effect of an Acute Bout of Plyometric Exercise

on Neuromuscular Fatigue and Recovery in Recreational

Athletes and this study looked at plyometric exercise which

is kind of an explosive, jumping, maximal twitch type of

exercise. It’d be like jumping on and off a box, doing lunge

jumps, doing clap pushups, that type of thing. And what they

found was that high volume plyometric training actually

resulted in a pretty significant impairment of force after the

workout. They noticed that the impairment remained for

about 2 days after that workout. But the whole idea is that if

jumping and bouncing and doing that type of motion causes

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the type of what’s called eccentric loading of the muscle –

that causes that muscle damage – well you might want to

avoid that type of activity prior to any let’s say 5k, 10k,

triathlon competition, sporting event, that’s going to require

for your muscles to be at their peak amount of efficiency or

their peak performance. And so what I would recommend

that you do, and I mentioned this once before on the show –

I know there’s a lot of triathlons out there listening in. If you

are tapering for a triathlon and you’ve got that last week

leading up to your triathlon, prioritize the non-plyometric

type of activities. Meaning you’re going to do a lot more

swimming and you’re going to do a lot more cycling because

you put your run of training and you’re not going to lose your

fitness on the run if you’re not running much that week. But

being that plyometric exercise can leave your muscles unable

to produce their peak force and you’re going to want that

wattage, you’re going to want that force when you’re out

training. So avoid plyometric motions, especially in excess

during a week when you’re going to need your muscles.

So the next study was really interesting. It was The Effect of

Sprint and Interval Training in Body Weight Reduction On

Power to Weight Ratio in Experienced Cyclists. Once again,

I’m catering to you endurance athletes, to you cyclists who

are out there listening in and the purpose of this study was to

see what had the greatest effect on the power to weight ratio:

doing interval training, which was some really high intensity

sprints separated by a good amount of rest and then basically

they were doing that kind of sprint training sessions two

times a week for about 10 weeks. And they compared that

group to a group that didn’t do any of the interval training

but they intentionally reduced their body weight. They went

on a diet. They didn’t fast but they went on a diet. And they

lost a bunch of body fat. And then they had a third group and

the third group performed both these interval training

sessions and they also purposefully reduced their caloric

intake and lost weight at the same time. Now the actual

workout – the actual interval based workout that these

people were doing was 5 minutes of warm-up and then they

did four to five 5 seconds super all-out maximum sprints

with about 30 to 45 seconds of rest after each and then they

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did another 5 minutes of aerobic exercise and then they did

an all out effort as hard as possible for 30 seconds, at their

highest possible cadence. So this was just a bunch of real

short 5 second to 30 second intervals. So, what did they find

from this test? Well remember they’re looking at power to

weight ratio, which is a good thing. You’ve got a good power

to weight ratio, you’re going to climb a hill a lot faster, you’re

going to go a lot faster on your bike and you’re going to do a

lot better if you’re out there racing. What they found was that

the people who did the intervals for 10 weeks, they had a

really significant improvement in their power to weight ratio.

It got better. The people that were doing the dieting, that

were purposefully restricting their diet – guess what? Their

power to weight ratio also improved and got better. But

here’s the kicker. The people who did the intervals and

combined the intervals with weight loss, their power to

weight ratio actually decreased. They actually lost their

power as a cyclist when they tried to combine dieting with

intense aerobic exercise. So what this comes down to is that

what probably happened was during the prolonged 10 week

caloric restriction period, they actually didn’t retain enough

protein or their dieting didn’t retain enough protein to repair

their muscles and they broke their bodies down and lost

power by combining diet with intense exercise. The takeaway

message for you is that if you are a competitive endurance

athlete or you’re a competitive athlete in general, try not to

be losing weight and going after performance at the same

time. Try not to get to that point where your sprint triathlon

that you’re doing is 2 weeks away and you think oh gosh I got

to lose 5 lbs. You’d better have lost that 5 lbs a long time ago

when you don’t have to do the intense exercise. So what it

comes down to is you take care of your body when you’re in

the offseason or base season or during the times when you’re

not having to compete hard so when it comes time to

compete hard, you don’t have to go on a diet and do your

hard training at the same time. Because what this study

found is that that actually hurts you a lot more than it helps


So the next study looked at The Effect of Sugar Free Red Bull

Energy Drink on High Intensity Runs Timed to Exhaustion

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in Young Adults. Red Bull gives you wings right? And so I

guess what they were looking at was whether or not it really

does give you wings. So they had a bunch of young adults do

a run timed to exhaustion test at 80% of VO2 max. They did

one run timed to exhaustion test one week and then the next

week they did another one and they compared sugar free Red

Bull with a sugar free placebo, which was basically lemon

lime, tonic water and lime juice. And what they found was

that the sugar free Red Bull did not influence that run timed

to exhaustion. So both groups averaged about 12 minutes at

80% VO2 max before they hit the wall. And the group that

took that Red Bull didn’t go any farther than the other group.

Now I just have my own little twist on this study because I

suspect that caffeine is an ergogenic aid. There have been

multiple studies, multiple meta studies which were studies

of studies that have found that caffeine really helps with

exercise in almost any situation from explosive exercise to

endurance exercise. However, Red Bull has a lot more in it

than caffeine. It has a lot more bad stuff in it than caffeine.

Artificial sweeteners for example, we talked about this with

the FRS energy drinks earlier in the show. It’s possible that if

these kids had just taken caffeine and not taken a Red Bull,

they may have improved their run time to exhaustion. But

when you’re sucking down a lot of crap in addition to your

caffeine, I wouldn’t expect you to get any faster. So that’s just

my twist on the study – don’t use this as an excuse not to use

caffeine or not to use energy drinks, they have their place.

But make sure you use healthy ones that don’t have artificial

sweeteners and don’t have a lot of preservatives and

phosphoric acids and other crap in them. Go after the

healthy stuff that you can pronounce all the ingredients on.

You know what you’re getting.

The next study, and this is the last one was a study entitled

Carbohydrate Ingestion During Exercise Does Not Delay the

Onset of Fatigue During Sub-Maximal Cycle Exercise. In this

study, what they did was they compared people who ate

during exercise about every 15 minutes to people who didn’t

eat during exercise and what they found was there was no

change in the amount of time people were able to exercise –

it was about 90 minutes before they had that onset of fatigue

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and they weren’t able to keep up their – in this case – their

cycling wattage any longer. So, what this shows and this is

something we already kind of knew as exercise professionals

was that the body does have enough storage carbohydrate on

it to where if you’re going to go out and exercise 90 minutes

and in this case they exercised 90 minutes at about 60 to 65%

intensity, your body can handle it just fine. You don’t have to

be taking Gatorade, Trail Mix or oranges and apples,

chocolate bars to the gym for a 90 minute workout. You

don’t have to do that. You’ll last through the workout. You’ll

be able to maintain intensity assuming it’s not a super

intense workout. However I don’t recommend working out

for longer than an hour without actually taking some type of

exercise fuel because it does affect your post-exercise

metabolic rate and it does have implications for your

recovery. So yeah you can last, but you may not be in quite as

good a shape and you might not actually recover the same

way than if you had taken in a carbohydrate. The other thing

I want you to think about this study is it was done at 65%

VO2 max. That’s not very hard. If you’re going to go out and

snack hard for 90 seconds, you’re definitely going to benefit

from carbohydrate ingestion and those higher blood sugar

levels. So, with every study that you see like this, take it with

a grain of salt. A lot of this stuff annoys the heck out of me. A

lot of this stuff ends up in the media and the media takes it

and runs all sorts of different ways with it and leaves us with

an inability to really interpret the information the way it

should be interpreted. So if you have things that you have

questions on – studies that you’ve seen that media has been

talking about that you have questions on – feel free to email

me and I’ll talk about them on this show. I’ll look into them

and I’ll dig through and find out how they actually did these

studies. So, that is this month’s research from the Journal of

Strength and Conditioning. I know this has been a pretty

long wait but we’re going to go ahead and move on to this

week’s featured topic with the world’s leading brain expert,

Dr. Arlene Taylor.

Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and on the other

line today I have one of the world’s leading speakers on brain

functions and I don’t like to throw this word around too

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much but she’s sometimes referred to as the Brain Guru. Dr.

Arlene Taylor is with us today and she specializes in brain

function. In a sense really unleashing somebody’s potential

for their brain to thrive. So she does seminars, consulting,

coaching, she’s been on television and radio. She has

multiple books on brain function, CDs, DVDs, I’ve read a

couple of her books. I actually have one sitting in front of me

right now that I read on a plane that really impressed me. It

really changed the way that I approach a lot of the things that

I do in live. It was called Mind Waves and it was kind of an

exploration of the way that we operate in terms of being

auditory or visual or kinesthetic and I thought the book was

just fantastic. It was really practical information. One of the

things that I started thinking about after reading this book

was gosh, we talk so much on this show about your biology

and optimizing human performance and optimizing your

health and your immune system but very rarely do we talk

about your mental function, about your brain function – and

that is Dr. Taylor’s specialty and today we’re going to talk

about practical ways that you can actually optimize your

brain function and why you might want to think about doing

so. So Dr. Taylor, thank you for coming on the show today.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: It’s my pleasure. Good morning.

Ben: Tell me a little bit about your background in the brain. What

got you started on this?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: You know Ben, lots of people ask me that and it’s sometimes

difficult – since I was born in the late 1800s, you understand

– it’s sometimes a little difficult to go back and trigger

memory for one or two particular incidents. What I can tell

you is that for as long as I can remember I’ve always been

interested in the brain. It just seemed like such a mystery

back when I was a child and of course that was long before

we had any of the brain imaging modalities. But somewhere

along in my life, I began to realize that the way I was living

my life – there ought to be an easier more effective way to do

that. Everyday just seemed so difficult and I thought life does

have its ups and downs but there’s got to be a better way.

And at that point, I was working on a Master’s in

epidemiology and health education and I was looking for a

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couple of elective classes to take, and as I was looking at the

board, there was one that said male, female brain differences

and I remember some of the people, some of my classmates

standing around laughing and going well duh? Who needs to

take a class on male, female brain differences? We know the

differences. And I thought hmm, I guess they’d wouldn’t be

offering a class if it was just about the obvious differences so

I enrolled.

Ben: Now was this before Men Are From Mars, Women Are From


Dr. Arlene Taylor: That was before that, yes. Before John Grey came out with

that book. So, I enrolled in the class and I swear Ben, it was

the most exciting class I had ever taken because we were just

starting to get some of the male female differences brain

research and it so hand in glove went along with my interests

and I just never looked back from there. In fact, I continually

– I’m doing research myself on aspects of brain function at

one of the health centers where I lecture but if I get a new

piece of information I try to put it back up fairly quickly on

one of my blogs or brain tips or somewhere on the website to

stimulate other people’s interest in the brain because it is

anything interesting.

Ben: Now, this may seem like a stupid question but I would really

like to hear your take on why somebody should be taking

care of their brain. Now when I say taking care – the reason I

put it in that sense is kind of in the introduction, I mentioned

that we talk a lot about taking care of your body, we talk

about nutritional supplements on this show, we talk about

exercise, we talk about fitness, we talk about eating healthy.

But before we talk about how to make your brain healthy,

why should somebody even care? Are there issues with the

brain – is there a health or non-health of the brain?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Well first of all, there are no stupid questions. I know you

meant that tongue in cheek Ben, however all progress begins

with a question, and sometimes the question may not sound

terribly erudite but it’ll stimulate someone to think about

things in a new way. Now, this is my brain’s opinion and this

is all I have because every brain is unique and we only have

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our own opinions. We can take the opinions of others and

make it ours but that’s all we have and once I understood

that – it’s been a long time since I had a foolish argument,

the kind that we hear all the time like “I told you that,” “No,

you didn’t,” and we waste time and energy on foolish

arguments. So having said that, all we are is our brain in

essence. And while I am absolutely committed to

maintaining the health of the body and supporting immune

system function, if you have a strong body and a good

immune system function but your brain has gone to pot, you

cannot meaningfully even use your level of health and

engage meaningfully in a life. And the last part to go is your

brain. So for me, everything pretty much starts and ends in

the brain and the reason that I want a healthy body is to help

support brain function. And the reason I want a healthy

brain is so that I can use my healthy body for as long as I

possibly can for the full extent I possibly can which for me is

aiming to be about 120.

Ben: You mentioned… you used the phrase “When the brain goes

to pot” or allowing the brain to go to pot. Let’s be a little bit

more specific and what I want to know is how does

someone’s brain go to pot? What happens when someone’s

brain is unhealthy? On a physical level?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: There are many factors that impact whether or not the brain

is healthfully functional. And some of those, we can do

something about and some of them, we can’t. The current

research suggests that more than half of the factors that

impact the health and functionality of a person’s brain are

within our partial if not complete control. So those are the

areas on which I want to concentrate. The kinds of factors,

the kinds of behaviors that will help to keep my brain healthy.

Now trauma sometimes, we cannot prevent trauma. That can

affect the brain. There are times when we have inherited or

familial tendencies that are not negative to the brain and

sometimes we can’t prevent those. Although there are studies

that indicate, if you know what those are, sometimes you can

do things to delay the onset. For example, if you know that

diabetes runs in your family, being really proactive about

taking care of your diabetes can in many cases help to reduce

the impact to the brain. Then there are things like viruses

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and bacteria and other infections, and you may be able to

minimize those by living a high level wellness lifestyle. So

you can’t do everything. But you can do something and my

brain’s opinion is you figure out what you can partially or

completely control and that’s where you put your time,

money and energy.

Ben: And what type of factors can we control when it comes to our


Dr. Arlene Taylor: Oh my goodness, there are so many of them. In fact one of

my latest books is 21 Factors that you can control that have

to do with age proofing your brain and that goes – if I want

to put it in a nutshell Ben, it’s living an absolutely high level

wellness lifestyle to the best of your ability, meaning that

you’re taking responsibility for what you eat, for what you

drink, for how much water you get on a daily basis, for

exercise, for learning how to manage stress, for taking time

to play, for getting enough sleep, for challenging your brain

everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes and so on and so


Ben: Now when I am not doing these types of things, what

happens to my brain? If I’m eating in an unhealthy manner,

if I’m not exercising, if I’m not engaging in things that

socially stimulate my brain, what actually happens?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: There can be any number of things that can happen. For

example, there are no muscles in the brain per se. And the

only way that we really clean out waste products from the

brain and bring it micronutrition and oxygen and glucose

and other things that the brain needs is through exercise.

When we do physical exercise, especially aerobic it helps to

increase the rate at which the blood flows through the brain

and that’s very good for it. Something as simple as brain

breathing several times a day, getting more air into your

lungs and more oxygen to your brain can be very, very

helpful. Not stimulating your brain can lead to what we often

refer to as a lazy brain. Meaning most people are aware that

your brain is filled with neurons – those specific cells that

have an increased ability to talk to each other, to share

information, how we think cognitively and by the way we

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now know that your heart has a lot of neurons as well which

is fascinating in that that gives some basis for the emerging

body of knowledge on emotional intelligence. But if you don’t,

these neurons don’t touch each other. Most people got that

in high school or college biology, there’s a space in them

called the synapse or the synaptic gap and part of how well

we think is related to the size of that gap. So when you are

regularly, routinely stimulating your brain think of a neuron

as your hand. Your palm represents the cell body, your

thumb represents the axon – that large protection for most

neurons – and then your fingers represent what we call

dendrites that pull information into the cells. Well look at

your hand and sort of form a loose fist. Take your other hand,

form a loose fist and about a couple of inches apart from

each other. Now stretch each hand out, your fingers as far

out as you can go, both hands and now picture that this

space between your hands is about a quarter of an inch

across. That’s a rough model of what can happen in the brain

when you don’t keep stimulating those neurons and keep

them stretched out. You gradually, as the dendrites and

axons begin to contract from lack of use really, this canal,

this synaptic gap between them begins to widen. Now it takes

longer for the little neurotransmitter boats if you want to use

that metaphor to carry the information across the canal to

another dendrite. And it can actually come to the point

where it’s so far across that the boats just don’t make it. And

then the brain can begin to exhibit symptoms of what we call,

colloquially, senility. Meaning the person is just not thinking

quickly and clearly. And in the absence of other brain

damage or other chronic conditions, this can be reversed just

by starting on a program of really stimulating the brain every

day. And that’s pretty exciting to watch Ben.

Ben: And when you talk about stimulating your brain every day,

are there specific exercises that people can be doing to

ensure that this gap – this highway between neurons –

remains as free flowing as possible?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Absolutely. There are specific exercises. I will start broadly

and say that anything that’s challenging to the brain and

involves new information or material can help those neurons

stay stretched out. That’s why for example, travel is very

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good for the brain because you’re seeing new things, eating

new foods, smelling new scents, seeing new people, doing

things the brain has never done before. Now, you can look at

going perhaps to the junior college, if you’re done with your

formal education and taking a class for fun that your brain

doesn’t know that subject or taking that subject further. And

as you consciously have the brain do that, it will be very

stimulating. There are any number of what I call brain

aerobic exercises that you can do that range anywhere from

Sudoku to crossword puzzles to brain perception, puzzles. I

just finished with a co-author another book called Age

Proofing Your Memory. And it’s filled with examples of those

types of exercises. So we believe that that will make a huge

difference in a person’s brain function barring some of the

factors that you can’t do anything about. However, even

those factors, Ben, if you understand what they are, you can

be proactive to minimize that. For example, we know for

example how traumatic trauma can be to the brain. So if

you’re riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, you do want to wear a

helmet. If you’re in a vehicle, you do want to wear your

seatbelt and you do want to avoid tailgating. You do want to

look around your house and get anything off the floor,

especially as people get older, that might be a trip hazard.

Because falls are a big problem for people if they fall and hit

their heads. So, even the factors that you can’t totally control

– that’s why we call them accidents – they were unplanned,

you can minimize them. For example the 13th of July I’m

going to have my left hip replaced. I have a familial history

for several generations back of osteoarthritis and it has

affected that hip. I’m planning to have a spinal anesthetic,

not a general on purpose to minimize the anesthetic effects

to my brain. Now there might not – every surgery you might

not be able to do that. But I’m doing what I can to minimize

the negative impact to my brain.

Ben: Interesting, and these specific lifestyle habits that people can

incorporate such as the Sudoku, the crossword puzzles that

you talked about, stimulating the brain by visiting new places,

trying to travel, opposing those… are there lifestyle habits

that you think people engage in these days that would be

damaging to the brain? In addition to things that we know

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about like drinking too much? Are there other things that

people do that you think are affecting the brain in a

deleterious way?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Probably lots of things, especially for diet. High fat, high salt

diets can contribute to atherosclerosis which is a narrowing

of the blood vessels in the brain and when you can’t get

enough oxygen through the brain that’s a problem. Things

like exercising on a bright sunny day right beside a busy

highway, because that means the breaths you take while

you’re exercising will theoretically contain a large number of

free radicals from vehicle exhaust. And free radicals are not

good for the brain. You want to avoid those. So I always

encourage people to exercise away from highways where

there’s a lot of traffic, simply to avoid taking those chemicals

into your brain.

Ben: Now what about exercising indoors? Do you think the type of

toxins, cleaners, things of that nature, for example used in a

commercial gym would also be something that someone

should consider when it comes to their brain health?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Boy, that’s a hard one. I think it would depend on the gym

and I think it would depend on what people’s alternatives

were. There’s nothing flawless in this world, Ben. Nothing.

You always give up something to get something. So let’s say

you’re in a gym and they put in a new carpet and there is

going to be some amount of (inaudible), if that is your

alternative to be safer and to be protected for half an hour or

an hour breathing in vehicle exhaust then I’d take the gym.

So it begins to be a matter of – weigh things. Cause and effect.

Which one do you think would be the least damaging? And I

don’t worry about it. I analyze things, take which I think is

my best option and then just go for it, knowing that nothing

is ever going to be flawless but there can be definitely

benefits to prevent what you can if you want to put it that


Ben: Now one of the things that I was thinking about as you were

talking about continually keeping your brain, for lack of a

better word, entertained is the fact that people fall into day

to day lifestyle habits that put them into a rut or into a

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routine and it sounds to me like what you’re saying is that it

may be beneficial to break out of that routine as you go

through your day to day activities.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: I think it’s so – it’s not beneficial, I think it’s mandatory Ben.

Ben: What are some practical ways that people can incorporate

things into their lifestyle that allow them to break out of that

routine? Obviously travel is a great example but that’s

something someone has to plan for and lay a schedule, but in

terms of just being able to get home or being at work and

having a quick chance to stimulate the brain, what are some

things that people can do other than Sudoku and the

crossword puzzles?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Well let’s just make a comment about travel. I’m not talking

about a 3 week trip to China, although if you can do that so

much the better. But you can travel a different way to work,

which will be different sights and make your brain function

in a different way. You can take yourself or the family across

town to see something you’ve never seen before. That is a

form of travel. So you don’t have to think only of the big stuff.

Ben: That’s a good point. I actually – a lot of times after a long day

at work where I’ve been stressed for several hours. I will

literally – I never thought about why I did it – but I’ll just

drive a different way home than I usually drive and maybe

subconsciously I’m just trying to keep myself entertained and

stimulate my brain. That’s a good point about travel.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Another thing that you can do is you can read aloud for a

minimum of 10 minutes every day because studies have

shown that something entirely different happens to the brain

when you’re reading aloud as compared to reading quietly or

silently to yourself. So you can read out loud to your kids, to

your partner, to your cat, to yourself but reading aloud

everyday is critically important. Many people in this country

sit for many hours a day watching television and that’s what

we call pastic picturing meaning that you’re processing in

your brains something that another brain has created and

while the research does show that a little television can be

very helpful – in other words, people who watch no

television often seem to exhibit in some studies the same

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brain characteristics as people who watch a lot. So the

recommendation is watch about an hour a day, be careful

what kind of programs you want to watch. But one of the

biggest things you can do is just turn the tube off in favor of

for example reading a book, because when you are reading

silently or aloud, you are creating internal pictures in your

brain about the information that you’re reading instead of

looking at pictures created already by somebody else. You

can decide for example to turn all the pictures upside down

on your desk or piano or mantle for a day or two and your

brain when it looks at them will go oh my goodness, that’s


Ben: Interesting.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: And then you can put them right side up and a week or two

later turn them on their side. Anything that gives the brain

something new to look at. If you are primarily right handed,

decide you’re going to learn to eat with your left hand and

believe me it’s going to be just a tad messy at first but it will

really be worth it. In my case I certainly was born with a

functional left hand but I was so strongly right handed Ben

that I could hardly do anything with my left hand except

have it be decorative and when I began to learn this

information, I decided ok, enough of that we’re going to

stimulate my brain in a new way. So I have two computers. I

have one at the hospital office and I have one at the

Realizations, Inc. office. So I made the decision that when I

was at the hospital office, I would only and always use the

mouse with my right hand. However when I was at the

Realizations, Inc. office, I would always and only use the

mouse with my left hand. Believe me, it was a steep learning

curve. It took me weeks to get me really facile with that hand.

But I would be hard-pressed now Ben to tell you that my left

hand is not almost as good if not as good as my right hand

when it comes to using the mouse.

Ben: Interesting, and people can do this with things as simple as

brushing their teeth and eating, right?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Absolutely.

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Ben: It seems silly that that simple change of just picking up your

fork with your left hand rather than your right hand could

actually make a difference in securing the health of your

brain but it sounds like from what you’re saying is that

research has actually shown that simple things like that can

actually help?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Sometimes, the simpler activities are actually more beneficial

to the brain than what we would consider complex activities.

Take mathematics for example, studies indicate that simple

math problems done quickly are probably more challenging

to the brain overall in terms of the type of stimulation we’re

talking about than complex. So you take a page or you buy a

book that’s got a page of simple math problems – addition,

and you do one for subtraction, one for division, one for

multiplication and we’re talking simple here Ben. We’re

talking 12 – 10, 7 x 6, 20 divided by four, 3 + 2 and you do a

page of those, timing yourself with a stopwatch. Now your

goal is to do it again the next day and see if you can beat your

time and you keep doing that until you get the lowest

possible time. Now you take another page and you go

through that process again. And this appears to be much

more stimulating to your brain as a way to keep those

dendrites stretched out than the more complex, algebraic,

geometric problems.

Ben: That’s a great suggestion. That’s something that I guess

occasionally I’ll play mental exercises like that on the way to

work where I’ll take 2 + 2 and take the product of that and

add 4 + 4 and just see how far I can go and how quickly I can


Dr. Arlene Taylor: Good.

Ben: Those are the types of things I guess I sometimes do when

I’m bored but they actually can help make you stronger and

increase your brain health.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: If you feel bored and what we know now suggests that the

more extroverted a brain is, the more likely it is to become

bored unless there’s a lot of variety or stimulating stuff going

on around it. So if you anytime feel bored, that’s a marvelous

time to pull a book out of your pocket and do some simple

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brain aerobic exercises and if you’re driving, you can’t pull

anything out of your pocket, but you could definitely do it

mentally, as you just explained. And that’s fabulous for your

brain Ben.

Ben: In your book Mind Waves, you talk about the difference

between the ways that people’s brains function from an

auditory, visual or kinesthetic perspective and while the book

goes into a great deal of detail about the differences between

all those, I think that one of the biggest things that I took out

of that book was the fact that if you are, for example.. which I

am, an auditory person, it helps your brain to grow, to

engage in activities that actually don’t cater to what your

strengths are. So for example, for me as an auditory person I

would want to engage in for example kinesthetic or visual

activities. Can you talk for just a second about how that

actually works and give me a couple of examples?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Well if you’re born with an unimpaired brain and I say that

sort of tongue in cheek Ben, because we all have impaired

brains, but in general if you’re born with a brain that’s

generally considered to be normal, average – we have the

ability to process sensory stimuli which is the only way really

we can relate to each other in the world and the world. When

we’re little kids, we talked about seeing and hearing and

smelling and tasting and so on, things. In general, you can

lump all of those types of sensory data into three groups. You

are visual and that means what you take in through your eyes

registers more quickly and intensely in your brain. Or your

auditory and what you hear registers more quickly and

intensely or you’re kinesthetic and what you smell and taste

and sense in terms of the clothes against your skin and the

temperature in your room and body position and muscle

action registers most quickly and intensely in your brain.

That doesn’t mean that you use all three. It means that if

you’re subjected to all three, one type usually gets your

attention most quickly. So your point that if you’re primarily

auditory and so am I Ben, which means we’re usually pretty

comfortable speaking and listening and reading because

reading is processed in the same part as the brain as

listening – you can read of course with your eyes and your

ears or your fingers – it will be more stimulating to our

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brains to do things for which we don’t have this immediate,

quick, intense response to. So since visual is my least sensory

system – meaning I have eyes and I think things are out

there but I don’t see detail in the way that people do that

have the visual sensory preference – I get myself books for

example that have find the differences between two pictures

so that I can help my brain to take information in visually in

the way that ordinarily I wouldn’t gravitate toward to

because I’m so auditory. I can eat a bite of food and ask

myself am I able to identify some separate flavors in this

particular type of food which is very kinesthetic and

something I wouldn’t ordinarily do. I can burn a scented

candle while I am reading a book which is going to be

stimulating my sense of kinesthesia which will perhaps give a

different flavor to what I’m doing while I’m reading the

books. So, Ben, the ramifications – the potential – they’re

endless. They just depend on how creative you want your

brain to be.

Ben: What I really appreciated was the fact that you can even

incorporate this into your relationships, for example being

an auditory person I am not as strong – and that’s actually

where I ranked the lowest in the book – was the kinesthetic

awareness. Just doing something as simple as not

appreciating the fact that sometimes like in your family to be

hugged or touched more. Just after reading the book I

realized oh gosh, I maybe give my wife a big hug once a day

and I could be doing that five or six times a day because if

she’s a kinesthetic person she’s going to appreciate that even

for myself as an auditory person, I find having a conversation

with her to be something that I appreciate quite a bit. She

might appreciate a hug just as much.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: It’s so key Ben. In fact the reason that I put the sensory

preferences on my website and anyone can go download it

free of charge and you did to figure out what their preference

is. Most people, we believe, have one. Because the bottom

line is that if we’re not aware, we tend to relate to others in

our preference because we believe that takes less energy in

our brain. Now if you happen to be partnered with someone

who has the same sensory preference and your kids all have

the same sensory preference, it’s a non issue. But that

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doesn’t always happen. If you’re auditory and your wife is

kinesthetic and let’s say you have a visual and kinesthetic

child. Neither one of whom is auditory – then figuring out

what they are allows you to affirm them, to nurture them in

the use of sensory stimuli that will register most quickly in

their brains. And that’s how they feel loved and valued and

comfortable. It’s so easy to do once you have that awareness.

Your example is absolutely magnificent. As an auditory, you

tend as I do to relate to others through sound. Whether that’s

a word or a “hmmm” or something like that, that registers

quickly in our brain. But if you’re dealing with a kinesthetic

who is into odors and taste and touch, that won’t register

very quickly in their brain and the first thing I want to

remind people is that yes kinesthetics relate to touch but

they are very discriminating about who touches them. So I

don’t ever run up and hug a kinesthetic unless I know they’re

open to that, but if they are they’re going to feel affirmed by a

hug in a very different way than they would feel affirmed if I

just said, well hi Jane I’m really glad to see you today. It’s

critically important for children. When I have a parent bring

a child to me and say “This year my child is not doing well in

school and I don’t know what the problem is.” The first thing

I’ll look at is can we figure out what the teacher’s sensory

preference is and can we figure out the child’s preference.

Because if they’re very different, that child may be struggling

to learn simply because it’s so difficult to learn in a sense that

it takes more energy in the brain and so on.

Ben: Interesting. Now I know that one of the things that the

audience is quite into is exercise and I just want to touch on

this before I move on to the last issue I wanted to ask you

about and that is that I’ve been thinking as we talk about the

fact that people tend to also get into a rut with their exercise

routines and I personally just wanted to throw a word of

encouragement out to you and that is at the end of every gym

type of routine that I do, and typically I’ll go to the gym for

about 30 to 40 minutes, I always save 5 to 10 minutes to

throw something new at myself. Whether it be a new exercise

machine or a new balance device or something that keeps my

body and of course my brain guessing during the exercise

routine, so as you’re out there in the audience listening in,

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realize that these types of techniques can also be used to

enhance your brain fitness so to speak. Is that right?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: That’s such a good way to put it. In fact, the brain gets

quickly. For example, about 18 to 24 months after you begin

a romantic relationship, the brain goes “Ok, been there, done

that. Now what else can we do?” And that’s the critical

importance – to make a commitment to have a primary

person your whole life, you need to continually do things

differently with each other to keep the brain excited. Well

exercise is exactly the same and many people get bored with

the same type of exercise and the brain doesn’t like to

continue something for which it does not get a reward. So

one of the key important things that you can do is always

change up your exercise routine. Let’s just say for example,

and you’re the exercise guru, so you can refine this more

than I can – but let’s say you go to the gym and you do 15

minutes on a treadmill and you do 10 minutes swimming

and you do 10 minutes on a weight machine. You do that that

in that order a few times and your brain starts yawning

metaphorically. So change it up if you possibly can all the

time. Swim 10 minutes then do your treadmill then do your

weight. The next day do your weights, treadmill and swim.

Next time do treadmill, swimming, weight. Do you see what I


Ben: Yep, and that both from a brain perspective and a fitness

perspective is important because whenever you’re putting

the muscle into new angles it basically isn’t allowed to adapt

or become efficient at that movement and that actually has

quiet a good crossover into getting fitter.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: I think there’s so much crossover Ben, if people just

understood that they can be exercising and we do need the

aerobic exercise. We also need some stretching and some

balance and some flexibility. But if they do those exercises in

a novel way – we’re not talking unsafe – we’re just talking

novel in the way they’re doing them or the order in which

they’re doing them. They will also be stimulating the brain

which of course has the potential for allowing the brain to

stay healthier longer and therefore help them to be able to

exercise longer. Because you know as well as I do that

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athletes at every age seem to be healthier in general than

non-athletes. So we don’t have to be Olympic competitors

but we can do something every day, every week to do both at

the same time. Another thing you can do is if you are

auditory and enjoy books on tape, which I do, which also

other people can learn to do even if they’re not auditory –

instead of just listening to the same music over and over on

your iPod while you’re on the treadmill, try listening to

something on tape that’s cognitive – a story that you have to

follow a storyline that you’re making pictures in your brain

while you’re exercising. If you do this on a topic that you’re

already interested in, it can be amazing how you can hardly

realize the exercise time has gone by because your brain was

also engaged cognitively.

Ben: That’s a great point. Now there was one other thing that I

wanted to ask you. I have a supplement that I talked about

before on the show that I take for energy called Delta-E and

one of the things claimed on the literature is that it has a

component in it that actually helps with your mood. It helps

with your brain function and I got a magazine in one of my

orders that actually had an article by you about that

compound called Theanine. And what I was curious was

number one, is that something that you supplement with or

that you take? And number two, is it something that really

can help with the brain function or the mood?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: That’s a very complex question. First of all, yes. I take Delta-

E everyday of my life and absolutely believe in what it does

for my brain. Not only the B complex that it contains but

especially the L-Theanine which is really quite a player. And

there are some research articles out that indicate that for

many people it is able… having adequate levels of L-

Theanine helps to improve memory, learning ability and so

on and so forth. Now, here’s the kicker. Not every brain

needs the same thing. So when I take a nutritional product

and I take two of them every day. Delta –E is one of them,

the other one is EnerPrime which has as its base green

superfood, I picture that I am giving my brain this exposure

to a marvelous buffet. Many other brains can go to that same

buffet but I might need certain things on that buffet for my

brain that another brain won’t need but they’ll need

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something else on that buffet. And that’s why it’s so difficult

to say, you take this micronutrient and it will do blah blah

blah for your brain. If your brain doesn’t need that particular

piece you’re not going to notice a lot of difference but if it

does you can notice a huge difference and since L-Theanine

for example does a lot of different things, most brains that I

have interacted with that take the product definitely see

some benefit and I’m taking it because I believe that long-

term, it can help to strengthen both my brain and my

immune system.

Ben: Interesting, so is that something that you think people are

deficient in or something that people aren’t getting enough of?

Or is it something that there still needs to be research done


Dr. Arlene Taylor: Well I think there is ongoing research right now that

indicates, unfortunately, just like many adults in this country

especially as they get up to the age of 50, 55 are dehydrated,

are not drinking enough water everyday which is lethal for

the brain because dehydration tends to increase the

production of free radicals. It appears that as the brain gets

older, it begins to drop its levels of L-Theanine. And one of

the things that L-Theanine reportedly does for the brain is

stimulate the release of nerve growth factor or NGF as it’s

called. And that particular factor contributes to the growth of

dendrites – those little fingers on your neuron hand. And it’s

definitely needed by the brain cells that use acetyl koline for

signaling, meaning that it’s important for the cells to help

you be alert, think quickly and calmly. And so I believe that

at almost any age people can start perhaps preventing the

decline of amounts of L-Theanine in the brain by going

ahead and taking it. It also reportedly activates something

called the 5th taste sense on your tongue. There’s a Japanese

word for that which I can’t pronounce which has to do with

your taste buds being able to process how delicious

something else.

Ben: Interesting.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: Now one of the problems in our culture is monosodium

glutamate. My brain’s opinion is that it is really lethal. It is a

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brain toxic. And I try to avoid anything that’s got MSG in it


Ben: I heard the fuzzy feeling that you get after you eat Chinese

food is the feeling of a million brain neurons. I don’t know if

that’s true.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: I don’t know but I ask in every Chinese restaurant if they use

MSG and if they do, I don’t want to eat there. But here’s the

problem. Anything that’s MSG or chemicals that end in –ate

are called neurotoxic substances. Well L-Theanine activates

that 5th taste sense which theoretically can do for your taste

buds what MSG would do without the neurotoxic effects.

And I love the taste of food even though kinesthesia is my

second sensory preference, so I believe that I am enjoying my

food more now that I’m taking Delta-E.

Ben: Interesting. I thought it was interesting to find out what the

world’s leading brain authority actually supplements with for

their brain, so that was good to know. Now do you have any

final resources to which you would point the audience to

learn more about brain function? I know that you mentioned

the survey – the brain sensory survey that you have on your

website – anything else that you think would be helpful for

the audience in terms of growing their brain?

Dr. Arlene Taylor: What I’m trying to do, Ben, is make my website the most

complete and user-friendly resources for what I’m able to

discover about brain function. So individuals can go to my

website which is basically my name, it’s really easy. and they can click on “Brain Bits” and

every week there’s a little new brain bit about what we’re

learning about brain function. They can go to something

called “Brain Facts” and there are dozens of links that will

take them to the little piece of brain function research and

where I found that. So they can do a tremendous amount of

brain stimulation by looking at those types of resources and

then if they find something, for example, that they’re really

interested in then they can get books or look on the Internet

for additional information and all of that is going to

stimulate brain function and hopefully help them retain

cognition for a very long time.

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Ben: That’s fantastic. You have several books out. I’m going to put

a link to at least the book that I have sitting here in front of

me, just because it’s the one that I most recently read. I’ll put

a link to that one in the Shownotes as well as a link to your

website where I’m sure that people can find out about the

other books that you’ve written. Just very easy to read,

simple to understand books. It’s not like they’re textbooks on

neurofunction – but I’ve actually enjoyed your books because

they’ve got stuff that I can just practically implement right

away. So that’s very useful. But I wanted to thank you for

coming on the show today, Dr. Taylor.

Dr. Arlene Taylor: It’s always my pleasure to talk to you Ben. It’s fun to talk to

somebody who has similar interests in health, immune

system, exercise, the brain. Of course when we talk to people

about similar interests, we always feel a little bit smarter and

we can exchange information with each other so I appreciate

being your guest. Have a wonderful day.

Ben: Alright, you too, Arlene. Thanks.

For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s

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