Using Fitness & Nutrition To Hack Brain Function w/ Ben Greenfield
Where do I even begin? When I think of Ben Greenfield, I think DEPTH. He has competed in bodybuilding, Ironman triathlons for almost a decade, and raced professionally as an obstacle course racer. He actually signed a contract with the Spartan Race Pro Racing Team for 2017. His podcast is consistently in the top 5-10 in the Health category on iTunes. In 2008, he was voted the Best Personal Trainer by the NSCA. Ben is undoubtedly recognized as one of the top 100 most influential people in health & fitness. He stays on top of the latest cutting-edge research when it comes to weight loss, muscle gain, nutrition, anti-aging, brain function, multi-sport performance, and beyond. My palms were sweaty for this episode because I wanted to stay sharp and keep up with Ben as closely as I could.
(6:56) - Deciding to go the fitness route vs modern medicine
(10:05) - Using novelty and variety of sport so you don’t get stuck in a rut of comfort
(13:37) - Eating for brain function
(18:50) - Liquid nutrition
(23:00) - Using genetic data, DNA analysis, and blood testing to see how dietary and fitness changes are affecting you physiologically
(30:45) - The importance of reading and writing to stay ahead of the curve
(33:30) - Make art everyday
Resources we may have mentioned:
Ben’s breakdown of the Hulk Load Shake
Steal Like An Artist
How you can connect with Ben:
Hey, this is Ben Greenfield, and you're listening to the airborne mind show.
Hey guys, Misbah Haque. Thank you so much for joining me today and welcome back. So if you've been loving the show, I haven't been pushing this too aggressively, but I would really appreciate it. If you could head over to iTunes and leave a five star review, I've been getting a lot of cool emails, DMS, and things of that nature, letting me know how much you enjoy the show. And that usually makes my day, but if you want to go above and beyond and you want to be awesome, search the airborne mind show in your podcast app and hit, write a review and leave your thoughts. Good or bad. I'd love to know. I think the other thing I would encourage you to check out is all the free training firstname.lastname@example.org. So if you sign up for any one of the warmups checklists, guides, whatever it might be I sent you about one to two emails per week.
They're fairly short. The first one is when the podcast is released, you'll stay updated with that. And the second one is a weekly athlete digest, which I send out every single Friday. And that's a Roundup of all the training videos, all the blog posts, all the articles songs I've been listening to. And I typically share things on there to my email list that I will not on social media. I don't know why, but I consider everybody on my list to be, you know, an insider and a true fan. So if you love the podcast, he loved the videos and he just wanna support the show. Make sure you head over to the airborne, mind.com and check out some of the resources and sign up. Now today's podcast is brought to you by audible.com. So if you're listening to this podcast, you know, you understand that you can do something else and you can listen to this at the same time, whether you are listening to learn, be entertained or whatever it might be, background noise.
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Where do I even begin? When I start to talk about Ben Greenfield, this guy has competed in bodybuilding. He competed in iron man triathlons for almost a decade. And he is a professional obstacle course racer. He actually just signed a contract for the Spartan race pro racing team for 2017. And when I think of Ben, I think depth, this guy is able to go so deep on a variety of topics, health, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, muscle gain, anti-aging biohacking sports performance, you name it. His podcast is consistently in the top five or top 10 in the health category. And he has a ton of content that has been around for a very long time. He was voted the best personal trainer in 2008 by the NSCA. And he's also recognized as the top 100 most influential people in health. He's also written a book called beyond training, which is a New York times bestseller.
And man, like, I pretty much wanted to get into how he uses fitness and nutrition and all these different things to optimize brain function. Because I think if you're listening to this podcast, you realize by now that if you go down, everything else goes down, right? So whether you're a coach, an athlete business owner mom, dad, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, right? You understand that if you are not performing at your peak potential that affects everything else around you, right? So this was a such a wonderful conversation. He is a really busy dude. So I wanted to kind of get his insight on how he's able to do this. Now we also are super pressed for time. We had only about 30 minutes or so. So I did my best to try to pack in as much as possible. And so with that being said, I hope you enjoy this one. And more importantly, I hope you do something with it. Please enjoy Ben. Welcome to the show, man.
Thanks for having me on dude.
Yeah, man. You know, you, you have your own podcast, you are somebody who was voted the best personal trainer by the NSCA in 2008, you were also, you know, on a path to, you know, studying medicine and along the way you ended up pursuing fitness in a pretty unique way at the time. And so for those who don't know, tell us a little bit about how you got started in all of this and where this fascination of, you know, this deep fascination of fitness and nutrition performance kind of came for you.
Well, I've always been interested in getting the most out of the body and the brain. I guess when I was younger, I was a tennis player. And so running up the Hills back behind my house, learning how to use agility, ladders, learning how to potentially branch out from having a big Mac every day before tennis practice, to eating things that might support the body a little bit better. You know, all of it kinda kinda stemmed from, from tennis. And then I branched out into competitive bodybuilding did almost a decade of iron man triathlon. I race professionally now in obstacle course racing. But a lot of it for me has been trying to figure out how to get the most out of the body to keep it from dying during some of these masochistic events that I do. But of course, I'm also on a constant quest to try and get the most cognitively out of myself as well, just because I, you know, I'm, I'm running a lot of companies and, you know, like you mentioned, you know doing a lot of podcasting and, you know, also quite a bit of, of writing and freelancing and speaking.
And so for me, a big part of it also is just wanting to get the most out of the brain. So honestly just you know, spending time in the trenches, doing what I love to do and, and trying to maximize human potential. So, you know, for, for me, it's it's, it's always been an infatuation of, I've never been like, you know, morbidly obese or sick with some horrible disease or something like that. It's just something I've always been interested in.
And why did you end up pursuing the fitness route versus kind of the medical or, you know, medicine world?
Mm, well, it did when I was in college, like I took all the pre-med courses. I I love science, you know, I, I took 28 credits a semester during four years at college and, you know, had a four O GPA and, you know, it was on top of my class and everything, but you know, I got accepted to some medical schools coming out of my undergraduate degree and decided that I wanted to spend a little bit more time kind of delving into and deciding what I wanted to do. So I, I got a master's degree in biomechanics and exercise physiology and then wound up getting offered. What at the time for me was a lot of money to work in the private sector in hip and knee surgical sales. So I did that for like four months and over the course of that time got totally disillusioned with modern medicine, you know, working with all these orthopedic surgeons who had like big houses and boats, and we're really not that happy with life.
And they were working in, in a broken medical system and, you know, planting overprice, hips and knees into, into sick patients. And it was just like, it wasn't, like I realized the hospital was like one of the most dangerous places to even step foot into because of all the disease and bacteria and nobody seemed happy and it was just like, it left a really kind of bitter nasty taste in my mouth being, being in modern medicine. And so I, I mean, I, I literally like quit that job four months in and walked across the street from my apartment into the local gym and asked for a job. And at that point I had been personal training all through college for five years. I'd manage the wellness program at university of Idaho. I had like a sports nutrition certification. I had a conditioning coach certification.
Like I looked pretty good on paper. And so so yeah, I mean, I, I started within about two months managing the entire gym and then branched out and started my own series of personal training studios and gyms. And for the next six, almost seven years just basically help people get fit and did a lot of did a lot of kind of cutting edge stuff. Like we had high speed video cameras in our facilities where we'd analyze gait, you know, bicycle fits. We did a lot of like platelet rich plasma injections. We did blood and biomarker testing, you know, back when almost no personal training facilities or doing anything like that partnered up with local physicians and the medical community, and did a lot of kind of like exercises medicine with them did indirect calorimetry and VO two max testing for metabolic rate evaluations. So, you know, I, I kinda kinda took all the science and nerdiness that I'd learned in university and in studying to potentially become a physician and kinda kind of trans mutated that into the fitness sector instead.
Yeah. And we're going to come back to the blood and biomarker testing, cause that's something I'm also curious to ask you about, but you know, something I find fascinating about you is that you choose your, you know, you're a competitive athlete, you've been a triathlete, you've done obstacle racing. But you also throw things like tennis and jujitsu and all these different things that are just different expressions of movement, but you do it with the intention or at least, you know, one of the intentions are to, or how it affects you cognitively. Right. It just makes you think a different way. It just makes you react a different way. What's your thought process? How do you choose like, okay, this is the type of exercise that I'm going to do for this day, because I'm trying to get this specific stimulus out of it.
Well, first and foremost, it's whatever seems to be the most fun, right? Whatever makes you happy. But you know, in addition to that, if you want to get a little bit more scientific first of all, of course, novelty, variety and challenge have been shown to do things like connect left and right brain hemisphere is increased gray matter cause better neuroplasticity and neurogenesis improve rate of motor neuron, firing, you know, there, there's all sorts of things that take place when you introduce new challenges to your body and your brain. And so part of it for me is every single week I try and do something that is new and that could be using the same modality to achieve something new, like learning a new song on ukulele or guitar or something like that, or going to play tennis, but experimenting with a one handed versus a two handed backhand.
And sometimes it can be learning a new modality altogether. Like for example, I've recently kind of, kind of take them dive into gymnastics training, for example, right. I'm learning how to do handstands and, and muscle ups and things that, that are entirely new for me. And so, you know a big part of it is just kind of keeping my finger on the pulse of what seems fun at the time. What seems interesting. What's kind of come across my plate as far as an opportunity, you know, what, what my kids might be interested in, you know, like my kids right now are into they're, into jiu-jitsu and they're into chess and they're into, you know, little, little things that, that are attracting me along the way, just cause it's ways I can spend time with my kids. But ultimately there's not, there's not a whole lot of a whole lot of planning or precision that goes into the activities that I choose as much as I just make sure that I'm constantly seeking out novelty and variety and challenge.
And then kind of like my rule that I live life by is every day I need to do at least one thing that kinda makes smoke come out my ears in terms of something that makes, makes me a little bit uncomfortable from a, from a mental standpoint. So I don't get stuck in a, in a row of comfort from that standpoint or it could be something that makes my body struggle, not just my brain, you know, like going anaerobic for two minutes or doing something uncomfortable, jumping into a cold pool or whatever. But then every quarter I try and do something that just scares the hell out of me, whether it's some kind of an event that I've signed up for, or, you know, an open mic night or you know, or traveling to some, some exotic locale where I don't speak the language and I'm not familiar with, with the area, you know, just something that, that really keeps my body and brain guessing on a far more intensive level than I might do in the comfort of my own home.
Yeah. So you, you use these you know, different expressions of movement to stay sharp, both physically and mentally. How do you incorporate nutrition into all of this? Like, you're obviously experimenting with tons of different things, but are there certain things that we should pay attention to? If we're trying to improve cognitive function something, something maybe we should look out for when we're designing our food profile and really diving into nutrition.
Well, first of all, I don't get too anal retentive about nutrition. Like I pretty much eat anything. You know, we have goats and chickens and, you know, the forest out here that I live in solid, anything from wild plants to fermented grains and beans and legumes to homemade sourdough bread, to goat milk, to, you know, roosters and chickens and eggs that get sacrificed for, you know, whatever. Like I don't, I don't have a specific like nutrition philosophy in terms of like a restrictive diet, as much as if it's real food, I eat it. But when it comes specifically to your question about brain performance, yeah. I mean, there's definitely things that I go out of my way to do, for example, you know, eating foods that are rich and, and that's really important for, for your brain health. And so I do a lot of things like eggs with the yolk organ meats things along those lines, you know, a lot of wild caught fish, a lot of grassfed beef.
I avoid fluctuations. I don't avoid sugar and carbohydrates, but at what I avoid are fluctuations in blood sugar or anything that would cause any activity or food that would cause long-term rises in blood sugar, because it's the time during which blood glucose stays in the bloodstream or rapid fluctuations in blood glucose, which would necessitate a release of insulin by the pancreas that tend to be most deleterious. And so what that means is for example, I'll choose the time that I eat carbohydrates to be the time that they're going to spend the least amount of time in the bloodstream, or cause the least amount of fluctuations in blood sugar. So that would mean, you know, for example, in a, in a post-workout scenario specifically, you know, post resistance training or post high intensity interval training, you have a real upregulation of the glute four transporters responsible for transporting glucose into muscle glycogen, for example.
And so it's during those times, you know, in a post-workout scenario within anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours after workout, that I will eat the majority of the days carbohydrates. And for me, that's at the end of the day because you know, your body temperature and your grip strength and your reaction time and your post-workout protein synthesis, all that peaks between about four and 7:00 PM. And so that's kind of like the ideal time of day to do a hard workout. And so that means that most of the carbohydrates studied or are, are occurring with dinner, you know, for me to do sweet potatoes or yams or rice or whatever, and the same could be said for fructose, right? Like your muscles don't have the enzyme necessary for taking fructose and converting that into muscle glycogen. So any fructose that you consume is going to either get converted into liver glycogen, or if your liver glycogen stores are empty, it's going to get converted into triglycerides, which can be an independent risk factor for heart disease and cause some metabolic issues if you're not careful.
So if I'm going to consume fructose, right, like fruit or wine or alcohol or something like that, I'll do it when I know that my liver's glycogen stores are a little bit tapped. So, you know, for example if you, if you really want to do fruit and I don't do a lot of fruit anyways, but it would be like after an overnight fast, like with a morning smoothie would be one time you could do that. Or for me it's usually because I haven't had much carbohydrate during the day and I finished up a hard workout. Usually I'll have like my, my daily glass of wine you know, at about 7:00 PM in the evening, you know, at some point after workout, when my liver's had a little bit of its glycogen stores kind of tapped out than say, like having a glass of wine after dinner, when my liver glycogen stores have already been replenished by what I had for dinner.
So, you know, little things like that, I'm definitely aware of specifically when it comes to blood sugar. And part of that too, is that I'm so kind of careful with that as I have done genetic testing and I do have a relatively higher than normal risk for type two diabetes. And so I'm very careful with my, with my blood sugar levels. And there's also this concept that you know, the, the, the more ketones that your brain is utilizing for fuel typically the more cognitive clarity that you tend to have and the lower your risk of things like dementia and Alzheimer's. And so that, that's another reason, you know, from, from not just a metabolic standpoint, but from a cognitive standpoint that I, I try to be careful, especially with, with sugar fluctuations, but of, of, of anything that I pay the most attention to when it comes to diet, it is, it is blood sugar and, and to a slightly lesser extent fructose.
Okay. And you know, I watched your video the other day on the Joe Rogan Hoke load shake. And this is from a long time ago, but I, there were some additions and some tweaks that you made to that, and you had some really cool explanations behind that. And we don't have to stick to just the, you know, the Hulk load shake, but what are your thoughts on liquid nutrition in general and using that as kind of a means to get in some of those micronutrients and, and things we may not be getting, you know, from you know, real food throughout the day?
Well, I don't consider a smoothie to be not real food. I mean, all I do in the morning is I just take a whole bunch of plants. Sometimes it's, it's wild plants that I've collected from the forest, like nettle or wild mint or Oregon grape root or, or something along those lines. Sometimes in the, in the winter, it's more things that we've purchased from the grocery store, like kale or bok choy or spinach. And I throw that in a blender with some coconut milk or some bone broth, a little bit of a lemon juice or lime juice, you know, typically some kind of collagen or gelatin source, whether it be bone broth or whether it be like a powdered college in, or a powder gelatin. I blend that up and then I throw a whole bunch of chewy things in there, right? Like nuts and seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes.
And sometimes some like some raw dark cacao, you know, things along those lines. And I eat it out of a mug with a spoon so that the digestive enzymes in my mouth get to work on it and it kind of gets solely absorbed. And sometimes I'll take an hour to go through a smoothie. And so I'm definitely not like making some liquid that I'm, that I'm sucking down, just cause I tend to get that, that doesn't tend to satiate my appetite and you get better nutrient absorption when you, when you chew your liquids, versus when you, when you drink your liquids. But as far as like the whole liquid nutrition thing goes yeah, there's, there's not really much of a difference in terms of absorption with liquids versus solids unless you're exercising, in which case they have shown that, that liquid nutrition sources during something like a marathon are going to be better absorbed than a, than a solid source.
Right. So if you're running a marathon, you choose like a gel or a drink versus something like a, like a bar, but ultimately in your, in your day to day nutrition, it doesn't matter that much. I, I frankly just do the smoothie because I like it. Not because I'm under the impression that I'm going to get better nutrient absorption than if I did like eggs and spinach or something like that. So ultimately I just, I like to drink a morning smoothie, but there's nothing magical that happens with, with liquid versus solid from, from that sense. I mean, you know, when you're, when you're trying to really maximize micronutrient absorption, you got to delve into the world of, of like like IVs, for example, in order to, to, to really like push nutrients into your body at a faster rate than you'd get from food.
And I certainly do things like that. Like, you know, like later on today, for example, I'll give myself a Myers' cocktail, we're all, all tie a tourniquet around my, my bicep and I'll shove a needle into my vein and do a push Ivy of glutathione and vitamin C and vitamin B12 and a whole bunch of different nutrients into my system. And that's really how you mainline micronutrients into your body. You don't, you don't really get any significant difference between like eating a salad versus drinking a smoothie aside from the slight fact that, you know, when, when you, when you blend something, you do get a pretty rapid breakdown of cellulose from plant-based fibers. And you do increase the rate of absorption, but there's not really a significant difference in terms of your macronutrient status. If you were to say, drink a smoothie versus eat a salad or blend your eggs versus versus fry them or something like that. So ultimately I just like having a big, a big big blended shake, full of tasty things for breakfast. And, and that's really why when I do that, but, you know, like my kids do scrambled eggs with, with vegetables and you know, so does, so does my wife too. And so, you know, it's, it's just kind of kind of more personal taste, anything else?
Absolutely. so coming back to the blood testing and the, you know, biomarkers, you've gotten to work with a lot of you know, CrossFitters and, and triathletes and, and been able to notice, like, what are the, what are some things that we are deficient in? And I feel like you know, somebody who is involved in functional fitness and is doing it for health and longevity we're kind of heading towards, you know, a place where we can be a little bit more objective with this stuff, right? Like, I think you've mentioned before, it's a great idea for CrossFit gyms, maybe to partner up with you know different blood testing, you know places that can, that can provide that service. And so that you can be a little more objective about what you're doing. So tell a little bit about that. Like, if somebody wants to get started, where should they, like, what are some things we should be looking for? What are the types of tests that we should be getting? You know, how, how is that of benefit to people? Sure.
Or, yeah. So, so what I'll typically do, like when when a client comes to me for, for coaching or for, for a consults, or when somebody asks me like what what's kind of like the best test that I should get. Typically my recommendations are first of all, just once in a lifetime, get a genetic evaluation you know, you don't, you don't have to get a full $10,000 genome sequence. There actually is as low as $1,500 now. But just like a basic, like a 23 and me there's another company called DNA fit that I like. There, there are other, even less expensive sources where you can get your, your genes test and that's a salivary test by the way, done from your own home for as little as a hundred bucks. But you can take that data and you can export it to other websites like genetic genie or [inaudible], there's actually a really, really good website called not 23 in me, but 23.
And you, that has a list of all the different sites and services out there that you can import your genetic data into. And the genetic data is important because it's not only interesting to see where your ancestors came from. Like, are you from like a Northern European population that would have traditionally had more fish and meat and fermented foods and salted and cured foods, or are you from say like a Sub-Saharan African or, or Southeast Asian population where your carbohydrate intake might've been higher and salt intake might've been lower. But also, you know, what kind of sips do you have for specific risk factors? Like, do you, do you have poor methylation status? And so do you need to go out of your way to take a multivitamin that has methyltetrahydrofolic in it, or, you know, do you naturally produce lower amounts of indogenous antioxidants?
So would it be a good idea for you to supplement with glutathione precursors or, you know, inositol cystine or superoxide dismutase or some other, you know, sulfur based antioxidant, or do you have, like I mentioned for me, like higher than normal risk for type two diabetes, so you're going to really go out of your way to control blood sugar levels or you know, another one that I test high in is higher than normal risk for prostate cancer, right? So I go out of my way to eat like a fresh tomato every day, or a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes every day. And typically I'll, I'll cook those down to concentrate some of the vitamin C and the lycopene content. And so that that's a valuable test to get, at least once in your life would be a DNA analysis. I'm also a big fan of blood testing.
I do blood testing quarterly to kind of keep my finger on the pulse of how dietary and activity changes that I make are affecting things like my cholesterol particle count my vitamin D status. My thyroid hormone status, white blood cells, red blood cells, a whole bunch of things that are really, really best to test via blood. And so I typically will go through, for example, a company like a wellness FX. They're really good for, for blood testing and forgiving you almost like a dashboard that you can log into that allows you to compare previous tests to your current tests and to kind of like, keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on. Like it's a good centralized place to keep track of your, of your, all your data. So I'll do the blood test quarterly, and I recommend everybody to get a blood test at least once a year DNA tests to be once in a lifetime, a stool test is another one that I really like to look at everything from like parasites to yeast, to fungus, to any type of inflammatory markers, such as like a lactoferrin in the digestive tract.
You can even look at things like, like pancreatic enzyme production, all sorts of interesting things when it comes to a stool analysis that blood and that saliva can't tell you. And so that's also something that I recommend kind of like blood to do on a yearly basis. Although if you're symptomatic, like let's say you've traveled to whatever Thailand and you've come back and your, your guts feeling kind of odd. I mean, you, you might just do that as a one-off test more often than once a year, depending on, on your lifestyle and your symptoms. But I am a fan of, of doing a stool test to about once a year or so. And then the, the last test that I like in addition to this, to a saliva and a blood in the stool would be some kind of way to test your hormones.
Cause even though a blood test will test your hormones, your hormones fluctuate throughout like your normal 24 hour cycle. And so typically doing like a, I used to recommend like a salivary test for hormones, and that's where you drip saliva into a tube for four, a four times over the course of 24 hours to look at at your cortisol and testosterone and how they're kind of fluctuating and changing throughout the day. Now there's a, there's a better test for that. It's a urine test called the Dutch test. And so I recommend that instead, if you really want an accurate glance at your hormones. So you look, it'll tell you testosterone, cortisol, DHA, GA, even things like melatonin, and that one's called the Dutch test or dried urine test for hormones. And that's one that I also recommend, especially for like athletes or people who really need to need to check on their hormone status or anybody who struggles with things like, you know, brain fog, fatigue maybe wants to test and make sure they're not, you know, having adrenal issues.
That's, that's a pretty good test to get. And so, you know, your basics are blood guts, saliva for DNA, and then urine for hormones. And then that, that kind of covers it. But if you really want to take a deep dive or you, you, you are medical issues or performance issues that you just can't figure out, or you just want to like kinda kind of cover every base possible. You could also get like a really extensive micronutrient evaluation. So there's like a company called Genova that does a, an ion panel. That's like all your amino acids, your fatty acids, your minerals, your micronutrients, all these things that some of these more basic tests don't cover. I don't think that that's necessary unless you've done these other basic tests and you're still having like issues. You can't put your finger on, or you just want to, like, super-duper customize, let's say like your, your supplementation protocol or, or, or, you know, or even your dietary protocol, you know, that that type of ion profile comes in really handy too. I, I try and keep a running list of most of the lab tests that I recommend or that I come across, so that I've found to be helpful email@example.com. If you go there and you click on labs, you can see a lot of these labs I talk about, but those are some of the biggies.
Okay, awesome. And I'll get that linked up in the show notes. Now this one, so I've heard, you mentioned that you read and listen up to maybe like five books per week, and sometimes that's podcasts included in the mix. How do you kind of view that learning process and how do you take in all that information? And you know, what is the implementation kind of look like for you?
Well, it's just like riding as a muscle, right? Like, so if I like I'm writing a fiction book right now, and if I write for like 15 to 20 minutes a day, it's a lot, it flows a lot better than if I were to say, just like, wait until Saturday and write for two or three hours on a Saturday. And the same could be said for reading, like reading is like a muscle, especially speed reading. So I generally have a, you usually, I'm trying to get through a book about every two days or so, like, like a, like a proper size like paper book and, and a lot of my reading I'll do in the evening, for example. But, but yeah, I mean, I, I just, I, I buckled down just like, I'm going to lift weights, right? Take out a pen, take out the book and check out the table of contents and see what I'm going to read.
And then I go through each chapter with a pen reading with intention. I have a rule that I can never go backwards in a book. So knowing that I'm never going to see that page again, really helps me ensure that I'm getting the most out of that page. I just go from top to bottom, flip the page, keep going. I mean, I've been doing it since I was eight years old. You know, I would go get books from the library and, you know, bringing home at 4:00 PM and read until they were done, you know, which would often be like two or 3:00 AM. And yeah, I mean, I read hundreds of books every year using that method and literally just sitting down and reading and I always have a book around rarely watch TV. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to anything currently going on in Hollywood.
But I read with, with veracity every day, like every day, no matter what I mean, like, you know, even if it's like late at night and I've been to a party and I've had a few drinks and have, you know, whatever, my wife and I have had sex that night and, you know, it's like 1:00 AM or what, like, I will still roll over before I do, before I flip off the light, I'll grab a book and I'll read at least two chapters. That's always my bare minimum. And that's just something I do. I I've just realized that that's what in many cases sets me apart from my competition or whatever it is just like being really on top of the latest cutting edge research and health, fitness, nutrition, biohacking anti-aging and beyond. And so I'm just always, always reading books.
Very interesting, man. And I want to be respectful of your time. So I have one more question for you. What should a coach or athlete take away from this podcast? You know, how can they make themselves better by listening to this?
I would say one of the best things that you can do and that I find that most people don't do enough of is they digest a lot of content, especially the type of people who listen to podcasts or who read books. Like I, like I just mentioned et cetera, but a lot of people really don't use that content creation muscle enough. And so another rule that I live life by is that I create art every day. And that might be that every, that, that I am recording a podcast or an audio book, I am shooting a video. I am writing an article, but not a day goes by that. I don't create a piece of content. So, you know, over the past decade that I've been in this business, I've created you know, well, over 30,000 different unique forms of content that are out there for people to access.
It's like kind of a slow rolling snowball in terms of, of content. But if you, every single day create something, even if it's small and put it out there for people stuff adds up pretty quickly. So that's my biggest recommendation, especially for like athletes or, or coaches is, is don't let a day go by where you don't create something helpful for the world. And you'd be surprised at, at how much of a, how much of a benefit you do for both yourself and the rest of the world. When, when you do that, even though it's a little bit uncomfortable think about creating content as something that you do before you digest content. And so typically when my productivity and my creativity levels are high early in the day, I create something. And then, you know, a lot of that book reading and stuff that I talked to you about earlier that's something that I'll save for later on in the day, because I found that the digestion of content takes up less cognitive and physical energy than the creation of content. So it's a big thing is, is make our everyday baby.
I absolutely agree with you. And I think a barrier that a lot of people have is that, Oh, well, this already exists. Or, you know, people are already talking about this. Like, I have nothing new to add to the conversation. And I would recommend two books. I don't know if you've read these before, but steal like an artist and show your work by Austin Kleon. I think those are two staples that if you, if you, it just gives you a bit of a different lens and different perspective on how to view art and how to how to make it, how to think a little bit more creatively and how to share it as well.
Yeah, absolutely. I've read both those. Those are, those are great resources.
Awesome, man. Well, once again, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. How can we support you? Where can we point people to, where can people learn more about you?
You can just Google me Ben Greenfield, and you should come across. Most of my material I also have a book that's jam packed like 500 pages of bio hacks and tips and you know, everything from performance to digestion, to hormones and sleep and beyond. And that's over at beyond training book.com if you want to get my book. But yeah, those are, those are a couple of good resources for you. My website's Ben Greenfield, fitness.com and that firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awesome, man. Well, once again, thank you so much for doing this
Cool, man. Well, thanks for having me on I'm honored.
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