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Ben Greenfield Fitness: Diet, Fat Loss and Performance

Free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from BenGreenfieldFitness.com! Call your question in to 1-877-209-9439. Tune in to the latest health, fitness and multi-sport research, non run-of-the-mill interviews with exercise and medicine professionals, and new cutting-edge content from the top personal trainer and wellness coach in the nation. Exercise, eat, swim, bike, run and live better. Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for the incredibly useful shownotes and for ALL episodes in our archives and the handy-dandy phone app, visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/premium! This podcast includes fitness, nutrition, health, diet, wellness, workout, exercise, triathlon, Ironman, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, Paleo, Spartan, vegan, vegetarian, muscle gain and fat loss advice from America's top personal trainer.
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Now displaying: May, 2014
Did you know there is a protected vault of premium audio, insider interviews, secret videos and over 200 previous episodes of the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast? Sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription now starting at just 1.99 to get access to everything!
May 31, 2014

Meet Brian Johnson.

Brian Johnson is the Philosopher & CEO of en*theos - a company that Brian describes as "creating cool stuff to help people optimize their lives".

I first met Brian two years ago through my .mp3 player - where I listened to him walk me through 100 of the greatest personal growth books - in about 20 minutes per book, via "The Philosopher's Notes".

Later, Brian and I connected through random chance when I helped him and his wife interpret their WellnessFX blood testing results, and then I began online coaching Brian for muscle gain and fat loss.

As I grew to know Brian, I realized that he has an incredible story, in which he has combined fitness, health, happiness and business success into a very cool package.

He also had some interesting characteristics, such as: -He never sent e-mail. Ever. -He never said anything negative. Ever. -And he is a very unique combination of self-quantified biohacker, philosopher, CEO and family man.

On this podcast, Brian shares with you his story, and his biggest keys to achieving the ultimate combination of fitness, health, happiness and business success. Resources In This Episode:

-"The Philosopher's Notes"

-My Entheos class: "REV The Human Machine"

-How to Meditate Without Moving To The Himalayas (free class)

-Longevity Tea

-Phenocane / curcumin anti-inflammatory

-WellnessFX

-Coaching with Ben and his team

-Finding Joe DVD documentary

If you have questions, comments or feedback for Brian or me about how to achieve the ultimate combination of fitness and happiness, then leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com!

May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014 Podcast: How To Run A Marathon With A Knee Injury, Can Heat Make You Burn More Fat, How To Do Magnesium Baths, Stevia vs. Artificial Sweeteners, Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps, and Hidden Causes of High Blood Sugar.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form...but be prepared to wait - we prioritize audio questions over text questions.

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News Flashes:

You can get these News Flashes hot off the presses if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

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Special Announcements:

-Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Ayahuasca But Were Afraid To Ask - Click here to go Premium and listen to Ben's "Ayahuasca 101" interview with coach and Ironman athlete Stephanie Holbrook.

-Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at http://www.ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast!

-Ben is speaking at Concordia University - 10 Tips for Achieving the Most Out of Business, Body, and Life. 100% FREE Event - 7:00 p.m. CST, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - Concordia University - St. Paul Campus (and Live Broadcast Online). Learn how to get the most out of your life with noted athlete and entrepreneur Ben Greenfield. Ben will share practical, real-life tips for increasing your productivity, improving your physical well-being and enhancing your mental performance. Join him as he shares his life journey and the lessons learned along the way, including studying sports science in college, launching a successful string of personal training studios and gyms, beginning an online fitness career, and finally becoming recognized globally as one of the top nutrition, health, and exercise experts in the world. Click here to RSVP on Facebook!

-Ben is now uploading both is weekly workout logs and diet photos to the Inner Circle. Every week Ben discovers new exercises, workout tactics, fat loss tricks, biohacks, deep sleep tips, detoxes, recipes, supplements, etc. - but people often feel like they’re “behind the curve” - constantly trying to wrap their heads around what’s working best at any given time, or what’s going to be best for them and their bodies. In Ben's monthly Inner Circle video workshops and diet and exercise logs, he and his wife Jessa teach you exactly “what’s working now”, so that you can stay on the razor-sharp, cutting-edge of fitness, nutrition and lifestyle optimization. When it comes to “assembling” everything that Ben talks about in the podcast, books, etc. into an easy-to-implement system, the Inner Circle is the way to do that. Click here to try it out now for 10 bucks a month!

-Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week's top iTunes review - gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben - leave your review for a chance to win some!

-----------------------------------------------------

Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

How To Run A Marathon With A Knee Injury

Tony asks: He was diagnosed with IT Band Friction Syndrome. He went for Physical Therapy and it cleared up but he still has some pain on the front of his knee, just below the patella. He has tried everything he can including: Hokas, Cortisone (which just increased the pressure), Straps, Bands, Joint Supplements and Anti-inflammatories. His marathon is in a about a week - what can he do to give himself the best chance of finishing?

In my response I recommend: -My Bulletproof Knee program -Bauerfeind Genutrain Soft Knee Brace -MarcPro Electrostim ($32 discount at http://www.MarcPro.com with discount code "Ben")-FrozenPeaz-Natural Injury Pack

Can Heat Make You Burn More Fat?

Michael asks: He has seen a lot of people in Holland (where he lives) doing cardio with heat packs on to burn off stomach fat. He hasn't seen any research to support this idea. After reading your articles on cold thermogenesis, he is wondering if heat packs might even have a reverse effect on burning fat.

In my response I recommend: -The Fat Burner vest and Gut Buster vest at http://www.CoolFatBurner.com -Study: Aerobic fitness determines whole-body fat oxidation rate during exercise in the heat. -Article: Tim Ferriss's/Rhonda Patrick's article on hyperthermia

How To Do Magnesium Baths

Ian asks: He has been using the Natural Calm bath salts in warm or hot baths. Now he is wondering is he should be using it in a cold bath (he takes a cold bath outside before and after his workouts). He doesn't drain the cold bath after each session (only every few days) so he is wondering how many days the magnesium would be good for?

In my response I recommend: -Magnetic Clay Magnesium Bath Flakes

Stevia vs. Artificial Sweeteners

Jessica asks: She is curious about the difference between artificial sweeteners and Stevia. She has read a bunch of articles about whether it is good or bad for weight loss and cravings - or over all health. The findings are quite controversial. She is also wondering if the chemical breakdown is different.

In my response I recommend: -Zevia soda -Chocolate SweetLeaf stevia drops -Podcast episode 15 and episode 237 -This infographic on Stevia

Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

Peter asks: His wife and daughter both struggle with menstrual cramps and he tries to keep them away from things like ibuprofen. They do some magnesium (how much is too much) but the pain doesn't go away. Do you have any suggestions? Phenocane? Seems like these pains must be masking something.

In my response I recommend: -Hormone Testing -Adaptogenic Herb Tian Chi -Inner Peace herbs-Vitamin D balanced with Vitamin K -Vitex

Hidden Causes of High Blood Sugar

Sanket asks: Recently he did a fasting blood test where his A1C came to 5.5. His blood glucose was 116 after a 14 hour fast. He has noticed that if he works out moderately hard his blood sugar stays high for 2 to 3 days. If he doesn't exercise it is more like 80-85. He has a sedentary job, exercises once a week. He eats high fat but also grains. He fasts 11 to 12 hours a day. Are these blood sugar levels normal? Is there any way he can bring the A1C levels down?

In my response I recommend: -Testing for pancreatic insufficiency via Direct Labs GIEffects Panel -Testing for thyroid and hormones

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-- And don't forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!--

Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

Podcast music from 80s Fitness (Reso Remix) by KOAN Sound. Buy this track now!

May 27, 2014

You may have been hearing a lot lately about something called "Ayahuasca".

From the movie "Wanderlust", in which Jennifer Aniston tips back a cup of ayahuasca, to bodybuilder and six-time Mr. Olympia winner Dorian Yates lauding it's benefits, it seems that this drink seems to be appearing everywhere.

But what is ayahuasca? Is it safe? Is it legal? Does it enhance physical or mental performance? How do you feel when you use it? Does it mess up things like muscle gain or fat loss? How is it different than other adaptogens? Is it addictive?

You'll find out the answer to these questions about ayahuasca and much more in this Premium podcast episode with Superhuman Certified Coach Stephanie Holbrook.

Resources we discuss in this podcast:

-The Superhuman Coach Certification program

-Graham Hancock's TED Talk

-The National Geographic Article on Ayahuasca

-Oklevueha Native American Church

-The Sacred Science Movie

-Don Jose Campos's site

-StephanieHolbrookFitness.com

May 24, 2014

Jordan Harbinger

I used to be extremely, painfully shy.

So shy in fact, that I would literally hide in my bedroom when we had visitors to the house, and my parents were forced to coax me away from my fantasy novels to merely come out and make brief eye contact with our visitors...

...before I disappeared back into my bedroom to go back to my novel.

As you learn in my new book, I also thrived on hamburgers and pizza - and my version of a salad was iceberg lettuce drenched in ranch dressing.

But I'm no longer that way, and now I not only podcast, but I also love to speak and engage socially, and actually get paid to travel around the world and talk to lots of people about how to change their fitness, health and lives!

My guest on today's podcast is Jordan Harbinger (pictured right), who has a knack for helping guys just like me to build the skills and confidence necessary for social success.

Jordan has always had an affinity for Social Influence, Interpersonal Dynamics and Social Engineering, helping private companies test the security of their communications systems and working with law enforcement agencies before he was even old enough to drive.

Jordan has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war-zones and been kidnapped -twice.

Jordan will tell you - the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of), just about any type of situation. At his website, The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with his students and clients.

During our discussion in today's podcast, Jordan and I delve into the realm of body language, personal habits, and social confidence.

-What kind of body language mistakes that fit people with nice bodies make which hold them back socially...

-How to reprogram your brain to actually like and appreciate things like kale smoothies and ginger juice...

-A simple eye trick to get you to "fake it until you make it" with extreme social confidence...

-Why bars and clubs are not necessarily the places to go to to enhance your social intelligence and ability to build relationships...

-How I went from eating fast food, being ultra-shy and reading fantasy novels to being named as one of the world's top 100 most influential people in health and fitness...

-And much more!

Do you have questions about body language, personal habits, and social confidence? Then leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com and either Jordan or I will respond!

May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014 Podcast: How To Lower Lactic Acid Burn During Exercise, Should Multivitamins Have Fish Oil, Multivitamin Timing, Can Digestive Enzymes Make You Gain Weight, How Muscle Testing Works, and How To Get Rid of Water Retention.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form...but be prepared to wait - we prioritize audio questions over text questions.

-----------------------------------------------------

News Flashes:

You can get these News Flashes hot off the presses if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

-----------------------------------------------------

Special Announcements:

Ben is speaking at Concordia University - 10 Tips for Achieving the Most Out of Business, Body, and Life. 100% FREE Event - 7:00 p.m. CST, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - Concordia University - St. Paul Campus (and Live Broadcast Online). Learn how to get the most out of your life with noted athlete and entrepreneur Ben Greenfield. Ben will share practical, real-life tips for increasing your productivity, improving your physical well-being and enhancing your mental performance. Join him as he shares his life journey and the lessons learned along the way, including studying sports science in college, launching a successful string of personal training studios and gyms, beginning an online fitness career, and finally becoming recognized globally as one of the top nutrition, health, and exercise experts in the world. Click here to RSVP on Facebook!

Ben is now uploading both is weekly workout logs and diet photos to the Inner Circle. Every week Ben discovers new exercises, workout tactics, fat loss tricks, biohacks, deep sleep tips, detoxes, recipes, supplements, etc. - but people often feel like they’re “behind the curve” - constantly trying to wrap their heads around what’s working best at any given time, or what’s going to be best for them and their bodies. In Ben's monthly Inner Circle video workshops and diet and exercise logs, he and his wife Jessa teach you exactly “what’s working now”, so that you can stay on the razor-sharp, cutting-edge of fitness, nutrition and lifestyle optimization. When it comes to “assembling” everything that Ben talks about in the podcast, books, etc. into an easy-to-implement system, the Inner Circle is the way to do that. Click here to try it out now for 10 bucks a month!

Men's Health is launching a search for the next big name in fitness. They're looking for the best trainer that they haven’t yet discovered – a fitness professional who is a top mind in the field, but who also looks the part, and who has the ability to captivate any audience. Click here to vote for Ben to be the Men's Health Top Trainer or visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/menshealth.

Below is the replay of Ben's multivitamin FAQ. If you trouble playing below, then click here to go watch it... and click here to check out the multivitamin Ben recommends. Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle. And of course, this week's top iTunes review - gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben - leave your review for a chance to win some!

-----------------------------------------------------

Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

How To Lower Lactic Acid Burn During Exercise

Thea asks: She would like to know why within a couple minutes of exercising she gets severe "lactic acid" burn. It doesn't matter if she is spinning, running or climbing the stairs. Even before she has really done anything yet. Do you know why this is and if there is any way she can make the beginning of her exercising more pleasant?

In my response I recommend: -X2Performance

Should Multivitamins Have Fish Oil?

Fishy asks: Why doesn’t the ThorneFX multivitamin have fish oil in it?

In my response I recommend: -ThorneFX EPA/DHA -My article on multivitamins -My Multivitamin FAQ

Multivitamin Timing

Diane asks: How does the ThorneFX multivitamin compared to the “anti-competition” multivitamin technology in the Nutrience multivitamin from Jayson and Mira Calton. It’s a two-a-day powder for morning and evening, so curious how it compares to Thorne?

In my response I recommend: -My article on multivitamins -My Multivitamin FAQ

Can Digestive Enzymes Make You Gain Weight?

Cathy asks: She has heard lately that amylase inhibitors may be used for weight loss by slowing down the digestion of carbs and thus lead to better insulin sensitivity. By that logic would digestive enzymes be good for gaining weight? First, can amylase be used for weight loss? And if so, is her logic correct?

In my response I recommend: -Carb Backloading -ThorneFX Enzymes -MPX100

How Muscle Testing Works

Erin asks: She is curious to know more about muscle testing for or applied kinesiology that practitioners use to test for nutritional deficiencies.

In my response I recommend: -My "How Muscle Testing Works" podcast -ICAK practitioners

How To Get Rid of Water Retention

Susan asks: She's in desperate need of help. She is two weeks post-contest and is experiencing severe water retention, she's gained 10lbs, mostly in her belly. She looks pregnant. She didn't binge after the competition, she just went back to her regular per-competition diet. She was expecting some water gain but not this much.

In my response I recommend: -Chinese Adaptogenic herbs like TianChi

-----------------------------------------------------

-- And don't forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!--

Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

Podcast music from 80s Fitness (Reso Remix) by KOAN Sound. Buy this track now!

May 17, 2014

Author, fighter and family man Mark Tullius (pictured sparring above) first appeared on this site a few weeks ago in the article "Endurance Sports, MMA and Extreme Exercise – Are They Worth the Risks?"

Mark describes himself like this:

"I'm a father and a husband, a brother and a son. I'm an Ivy League grad who worked in a warehouse, an MMA fighter with too many defeats. I'm the bouncer and bodyguard, the drunk guy in the fight. The jailer and the jailed, the guilty and innocent.

I'm a writer shaped by influences, too many to count. I grew up on King and Koontz while force-fed the Bible. I narrate Dr. Seuss and Disney nearly every night. Like you, I've seen things I wished I hadn't, heard some truths I won't forget.

Writing is my heavy bag, the sparring partner that doesn't punch back. It's where I shed my armor and cast off the blindfold, take a look at myself and the world around me. The writing takes me wherever it wants. Dark alley or dinner table, classroom or morgue. I go along for the ride and try to capture the moment, show life like it is and let you be the judge."

Today, we're going to take a deep dive with Mark into unlocking the psyche of competitive sports, head and other injuries, testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) in MMA and other sports, the best training programs to turn yourself into an absolute beast and much more.

Resources discussed in this episode:

-Martin Rooney's training plans for MMA

-8 Weeks to SEALFIT

-Lumosity Brain Games and Brain Training

-N-back training

-Onnit Alpha Brain

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about this interview with Mark Tullius? Leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and be sure to check out Mark's Amazon author page to see all his books!

May 14, 2014

I don't think it's any secret that often have a giant, fat-filled, "ketogenic kale shake" for breakfast...

...and sometimes not just for breakfast, but multiple times during the day, especially on busy days. Heck, there's been occasional days where I have had a shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You’ll need a powerful blender for this one. Take a couple large handfuls of kale (preferably dinosaur kale that's been lightly steamed and drained), and toss the kale into the blender. Then add a handful of raw almonds, 3-5 raw brazil nuts (purchased in the shell, like this), 1/2-1 avocado, a teaspoon cinnamon, 1-2 tablespoons dark chocolate powder and 4-6oz full fat coconut milk (preferably the BPA free variety like this). I'll often also add in a handful of fresh herbs (i.e. mint, cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc. – which are fantastic for cleansing the gut and liver too).

Then push blend.

After 30-60 seconds of pulverizing, you can stir in 1-2 heaping scoops grass-fed, cold-processed whey or vegan protein powder and for a bit of added texture (yes, I like to chew my smoothie for better nutrient absorption), 1 teaspoon sea salt (I highly recommend this Aztecan stuff), and a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes with a tablespoon or two of organic cacao nibs.

It tastes magical.

And this recipe has never ripped me out of ketosis - despite it being a good 800-1000 calories if you make a big one! Here’s a video of me punishing the process of gracefully making a variation of that Ketogenic Kale Shake.

Now that shake is certainly a good example of a high-fat, low-carb meal that keeps you in ketosis - and I discuss the benefits of ketosis in Chapter 14 of my book "Beyond Training. But perhaps more importantly, the shake is also extremely nutrient dense, a characteristic of low-carb meals that is often lost in an era of simply guzzling MCT Oil or consuming insane amounts of heavy cream and butter. 6_1_07_chairLack of nutrient density is one serious danger of ketosis, and my guest on today's podcast is going to explain why that is, tell you the best way to achieve ketosis, and also give you the best nutrient dense foods that you must include on a ketogenic diet if you truly want to optimize your vitamins, minerals, nutrients, micronutrients and hormones. Her name is Dr. Terry Wahls. Dr. Wahls is a board certified internal medicine physician and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, where she teaches internal medicine residents in their primary care continuity of care clinics, sees patients in a traumatic brain injury clinic and conducts clinical trials. But she is also a patient with a chronic progressive neurological disorder - secondary progressive multiple sclerosis - which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. But during this time, Dr. Wahls did not give up. Instead she began reading the medical literature night after night, looking for her own answers about what drove disability in the setting of MS. She delved into the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology, and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements. Dr. Wahls adopted a nutrient-rich Paleo diet, gradually refining and integrating it into a regimen of rich nourishing foods, neuromuscular stimulation, and the spin on a ketogenic diet that you're going to discover in this podcast. bicycle And amazingly, she healed herself. First, she walked slowly, then steadily, and then she biked eighteen miles in a single day. In November 2011, Dr. Wahls shared her remarkable recovery in this "Minding Your Mitochondria" TEDx talk that immediately went viral. Now, in her new book "The Wahl's Protocol", Terry shares the exact details of the protocol that allowed her to reverse many of her symptoms, get back to her life, and embark on a new mission: to share the her protocol with others suffering from the ravages of multiple sclerosis and autoimmune and chronic diseases, but also people who simply want to maximize their performance, health and longevity. During our interview, you'll find out:

-The science of why ketosis works for things like nervous system disorders, improving physical endurance, or healing the body.

-How Terry used a ketogenic diet during her healing journey.

-Why Terry need to modify the ketogenic diet, and what some of the potential dangers of a ketogenic diet actually are.

-A "day in the life" of nutrient dense eating for ketosis.

-The most important things to measure if you're going to do ketosis.

Resources from this episode:

-The Wahl's Protocol book

-MCT Oil

-Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

-Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil or SuperEssentials (which has fish liver oil in it).

-Metametrix Ion Panel from DirectLabs

-Fasted, fat-burning, ketogenesis expert and nutritionist Barry Murray, who was interviewed in this podcast episode and is now a nutrition consultant and coach for Pacific Elite Fitness! You can hire Barry for a consult or for coaching or consulting by clicking here. He specializes in fasting, endurance exercise, low-carb, high-fat protocols and ketosis.

-My Premium podcast episode: “Insider Pro Athlete Nutrition Consult with Ben Greenfield”. In this Premium episode, you get to sit in and hear me analyze the diet of a professional athlete I work with. Click here to go Premium for $9.99/year.

If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to maximize the nutrient density of a ketogenic diet, then leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com!

wahls_protocol jacket 8.20.2013

May 12, 2014

2 years ago, I decided I was fed up with supplements.

Just freakin' tired of all the tablets, capsules, pills, powders and oils. And bottles. Lots and lots of plastic bottles scattered everywhere.

I distinctly remember the day I finally decided something needed to change. It was when I swung open the door of my refrigerator to dive into my daily regimen of vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients, micronutrients, fish oils...

...and I realized it was getting overwhelming. Sure, it was better living through science, but it was anything but simple.

I'm sure you've experienced the same thing.

You open what seems like nearly a dozen different bottles to launch into your morning supplement regimen....

...or you pack your suitcase to travel and struggle to prioritize which bottles to shove into your limited suitcase space...

...or you spend an inordinate amount of your precious time tracking, ordering and restocking your vitamin D or your fish oil, or your greens, or your multi-vitamin or your minerals or your antioxidants or your amino acids...

supplementsYou get the idea. Supplement clutter, supplement confusion and utter lack of supplement simplicity.

------------------------------------

9 Reasons You May Not Want To Throw Out All Your Supplements

Now don't get me wrong. I don't think supplements are an inconvenient and unnecessary curse that should simply all be tossed out.

There is certainly evidence that consuming nutrients from a healthy diet can be more beneficial than relying strictly upon supplements, but even if you're eating a “healthy” diet, studies have shown that it is nearly impossible in our modern era to get all our nutrients, vitamins and minerals only from food. For example, a recent paper by scientists from the Council for Responsible Nutrition in Washington reports:

"Large portions of the population had total usual intakes below the estimated average requirement for vitamins A (35%), C (31%), D (74%), and E (67%) as well as calcium (39%) and magnesium (46%). Only 0%, 8%, and 33% of the population had total usual intakes of potassium, choline, and vitamin K above the adequate intake when food and multivitamin use was considered. The percentage of the population with total intakes greater than the tolerable upper intake level (UL) was very low for all nutrients..."

"...Conclusions: In large proportions of the population, micronutrient sufficiency is currently not being achieved through food solutions for several essential vitamins and minerals. Use of age- and gender-specific multivitamin supplements may serve as a practical means to increase the micronutrient status in subpopulations of Americans while not increasing intakes above the upper intake level."

So how on earth could this be? Is the planet broken or something?

There's actually nine reasons for the failure of modern diets to supply our bodies with all the nutrients we need.

First, modern commercial farming practices strip our precious soil of nutrients. When plants are repeatedly grown on the same land for year-after-year (a relatively new phenomenon in agriculture that beats up our land but gives us lots and lots of calories), the overused soil loses it's nutrients faster than they can be replaced.  Over time, the plants have fewer nutrients to grow, so the farmers are forced to fertilize.  Fertilizer does indeed contain enough nutrition for a plant to survive until harvesting, but not enough nutrients to support your body's nutrient needs. As discussed in the excellent book "Not On The Label: What Really Goes Into The Food On Your Plate", this results in plants that up to 75% fewer micronutrients. This problem is compounded by the fact that most plants are not harvested fresh, and the nutrients degrade as they often sit on airplanes, trucks, shelves, and counters for weeks before they arrive on your plate.

Second, most modern fruits and vegetables are grown for maximum sugar calories, and not maximum nutrients, and because of this much of your fresh produce that us humans would have historically relied upon for nutrients are instead artificially high in calories, fructose and other sugars while being low in nutrients.  And of course, this is all passed on to the animals (including you!) that are eating the plants. For example, one study in the Journal of Nutrition and Health found copper levels have dropped by 90% in dairy, 55% in meat, and 76% in vegetables!

Third, pesticides are making this problem even worse.  Because polyphenols are produced as a defense against bugs and pathogens, plants exposed to pesticides will be lower in precious polyphenols compared to organic ones. To make matters even more frustrating, even if you buy organic plants, this is no guarantee that they haven't been exposed to pesticides! So unless you're going out of your way to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables in a pristine backyard garden which contains soil that you've treated with added minerals, you are at a huge risk for malnourishment and nutrient deficiency that adversely affects your performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, and hormone balance.

Fourth, it's not just nutrient-poor plants that are affecting the nutrient status of the actual animals we rely upon for food, but it's also what many of those animals are being fed - especially grains. Compared to grass-fed meat, grain-fed meat is lower in antioxidants, micronutrients, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, but unfortunately, eating high-quality, organic grass-fed (and grass-finished) meat, pastured pork and naturally raised poultry is simply not a reality for many people living in urban environments or frequently traveling.

Fifth, the nutrients in your food aren't the only things that are disappearing - your liquids are being affected too. Unless you're drinking from your own well, or relying upon fancy mineralized water such as Pellegrino, Perrier and Gerolsteiner, your bottled water, filter water and tap water is also often stripped of precious minerals - and if does indeed contain adequate minerals, these are typically accompanied by enormous levels of flouride and chlorine. So this means that unless you want to spend lots and lots of money on fancy water, you are stuck in a situation where you must filter your water to get rid of the dangerous stuff, then figure out other methods, such as supplementation, to get the minerals you'd normally be getting from the water.

Unfortunately, milk is not much better than water. The majority of nutrients in milk are found in the fat, so while organic raw, unpasteurized, full-fat dairy is high in nutrients, most of us simply don't have ready access to it, especially at the typical grocery store.  In addition, pasteurization can destroy many of the nutrients in both skim and full fat milk.  Modern, conventional milk and other dairy products from grain-fed cattle can also be higher in aflatoxin and other mycotoxins, which increases your nutrient needs even more, creating a vicious cycle.

So whether it's due to nutrient-poor plants, nutrient-poor animals, nutrient-poor milk, or nutrient-poor water, most diets are now so micronutrient deficient that they require on average 27,575 calories to supply all the essential nutrients that you need. In other words, in our modern era, you would need to be stuffing your face all day long to actually get what your body needs, and this does not into account the fact that if you are trying to lose weight by restricting calories or if you are a physically active person like a triathlete, marathoner, Crossfitter, weightlifter, or other exercise enthusiast, then your risk of nutrient deficiency is going to be even higher! 

In other words, if you are A) trying to lose weight by not stuffing your body full of excessive calories or B) an athlete  or physically active person, then you're pretty much guaranteed to be at a constantly malnourished nutrient deficit (unless you figure out a way to somehow squeeze in all those added nutrients). The older you get, the fewer nutrients you absorb, so as you age, the worse things become. And that's reasons six (weight loss), seven (exercise) and eight (age) that you may need a little help over and above what you'd get from food.

So let's say you dig a well, grow your own produce, milk your own goats, eat strictly grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish, you're relatively young and you avoid excessive physical activity or calorie restriction for weight loss. Then you're safe, right? No added nutrients necessary, right?

The unfortunate ninth fact is that unless you live on a pristine mountaintop in the Himalayas, you're exposed every day to airborne pollutants, xenoestrogens from plastics and BPA, environmental toxins, mold, industrial solvents, electromagnetic fields, heavy metals, fluorescent lighting, constant stress, sleep disruption and a host of other modern-day assailants upon your biology. Your body simply wasn't mean to deal with these physiological stressors - all of which vastly increase your need for nutrients to help you fight the daily battle.

So for the nine reasons above - depleted soil, nutrient-poor produce, pesticides, conventional meat, subpar water and milk, weight loss, physical activity, age, and our modern post-industrial living environment, you definitely shouldn't throw out all your supplements.

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Is It Possible For Supplements To Be Simpler?

So this was the conundrum I found myself in two years ago as I stood in front of my refrigerator door and sighed in frustration at the dizzying array of supplements and bottles.

I knew that because of my extremely active lifestyle and the other reasons I just listed that I couldn't and shouldn't just throw out all my supplements.

I knew that I needed to keep my precious nutrients topped off for better performance, faster recovery, optimized fat burning, clean digestion, superior mental focus, better sleep and hormone balance...

...but I also knew that I was sick and tired of having to lug around a bunch of bottles, painstakingly use a weekly pill box to keep track of my supplements like an old man tracks his medication, and constantly be headed over to Amazon or some other website to re-order something I was running low in. 

And then there was that gnawing worry at the back of my mind that any of these supplements I was ingesting could be laced with something like chemicals, toxins, metals or illegal-performance enhancing drugs that could potentially damage my body, put pie in my face and get me banned from competing in a sanctioned sport like triathlon.

I wanted better living through science.

But I also desperately needed more simplicity.

And I knew that somewhere, somehow, there must be a way to have both: the ultimate combination of science and simplicity.

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Seven Criteria a Multivitamin Must Have

At that point, I embarked upon my quest to discover the greatest multivitamin on the face of the planet - something that could cover all my bases from a nutrient standpoint without requiring a dizzying, inconvenient and exhausting array of pills, bottles and packets. After all, that's kind of the definition of a multivitamin, right? It supposed to cover multiple needs.

As a nutritionist, personal trainer, exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach with strict standards about what I find acceptable for myself or my clients to ingest, I also had a very distinct set of criteria that I knew a multivitamin must have - seven criteria to be precise...

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My Multivitamin Criteria #1: Capsules, Not Tablets

Before completely shoving tablets under the bus, I'll acknowledge the two benefits tablets possess.

First, because tablets are pressed together so hard, more nutrients can fill the same amount of space than you can put into a capsule. Second, it’s cheaper to make tablets than capsules. There are several drawbacks, however, to using tablets.

First, tablets are much harder to digest. Because tablets are packed together so tightly and need far more binders and diluents to keep them together, it takes much longer for them to break down in the digestive system.

A capsule, on the other hand, breaks down within just minutes of hitting your digestive tract. This is important because of the little known fact that most of the nutrients in a multivitamin actually need to be absorbed in your stomach. When a tablet takes too long to break down in the stomach, and passes on to your intestinal tract, its content will be far less broken down and absorbed.

And that means expensive pee.

Tablets also need lots of extra nasty ingredients, such as binders, lubricants, coatings, disintegrants, and other excipients. These ingredients must be added to make the tablet stay together, to make the tablet shiny, and to make the tablet break apart.

Tablet press machines compact the powdered nutrients together (that have already been mixed with binders and lubricants) with a tremendous amount of force. Then, to make the tablets shiny and easier to swallow, the tablets are often sprayed with coatings such as shellac (just like the shellac found on furniture but instead labeled “pharmaceutical glaze”) or coated with “vegetable protein,” (most often a protein derived from GMO corn).

Yuk. I'll take a capsule, please.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #2: One Morning Dose & One Evening Dose

Your body needs nutrients throughout the course of the day, not just one huge shotgun dose when you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to bed at night. So I needed to find a multivitamin designed in such a way that it delivered important nutrients for daily metabolism and activity in the morning dose, and important nutrients for recovery, rest, and sleep in the evening dose, but without a dizzying array of capsules.

I'll admit that it does take slightly more discipline to take a multivitamin twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – but it’s a much better way to deliver the optimal nutrients at the optimal times throughout the day.

After all, you'd rarely eat only breakfast or only dinner, right? I figure if I can handle at least two meals, I can handle two supplement doses - as long it's not a dozen different bottles of stuff.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #3: Low Number of Capsules

One extremely inconvenient factor in most multivitamin formulas out there is the number of capsules necessary for daily use if you truly are going to be able to get all the nutrients that you need from a single formula.

I think that taking three capsules in the morning and three capsules in the evening is practical and doable for me. Anything less than the six capsules per day can significantly reduce the efficacy of a multivitamin formula, but once you get over six capsules, it becomes a pain to manage, difficult to swallow, and a hassle to travel with.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #4: Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly Capsules

Most capsule-based multivitamins use capsules made from bovine gelatin - that's cow. And although I do not personally eat a plant-based diet, I have many clients who are either vegan or vegetarian. So I wanted the actual capsule material to be made from the best alternative to cattle-based bovine gelatin. The ideal answer would be a capsule made of cellulose, which is a natural, vegetable-based material, and is pure plant fiber (usually from pine trees).

In other words, I know it's important to many of my clients and friends that no animals be harmed in the formulation of a good multivitamin.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #5: No Magnesium Stearate or Other Nasty Fillers

Magnesium stearate is probably the most common flowing agent that you will find in the “Other Ingredients” section on the Supplement Facts box on any multivitamin label. Magnesium stearate is a lubricant that is used to manufacture nutritional supplements to help powders flow through manufacturing equipment faster. It allows more tablets to be manufactured per hour and is therefore a cost-savings choice for a manufacturer.

However, studies have shown that magnesium stearate can reduce the absorption rate of some nutrients. It literally wraps around nutrients and keeps them from being absorbed in the digestive tract.

So although magnesium stearate is not necessarily harmful, it can vastly reduce the effectiveness of the nutritional supplements that you are taking.

Instead, I'd rather see a multivitamin use something like calcium laurate, which helps powders flow through the manufacturing equipment, but is a completely naturally-occurring material that does not inhibit absorption. Calcium laurate is not as effective of a flowing agent as magnesium stearate is, so products can’t be manufactured as fast, but it can certainly get the job done without the need to use magnesium stearate.

When it is necessary to fill the capsule with something in addition to a nutrient or botanical, I'd rather see a multivitamin manufacturer use magnesium citrate, a the pure element reacted with pure citric acid; cellulose, a pure plant fiber, magnesium citrate-laurate, a pure element reacted with citric acid and lauric acid (a small fat molecule that does not inhibit absorption), silica, a pure element found in sand, and the amino acid leucine.

Any of these fillers are completely natural and allow you to take a multivitamin without worrying about unnatural or harmful ingredients you might be ingesting.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #6: No GMO's

For  personal health and longevity reasons, and for consideration of the earth's environment, I avoid like the plague any product that contains Genetically Modified Organisms (known as GMOs). Unfortunately, most multivitamins contain GMO-laden ingredients - as well as corn, gluten, and some of the other nasty fillers mentioned earlier.

This requires that any multivitamin I would ever use would need to closely analyzed by the manufacturer and guaranteed to be absolutely certain that none of ingredients are derived from GMO sources nor that they utilize GMOs in their production.

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My Multivitamin Criteria #7: Certified to Have No Banned Ingredients

As I mentioned, it's very important to me that any supplement I take is not only CGMP certified (manufactured in a certified good manufacturing practices facility to ensure purity), but is also free of any ingredients that would get me banned from competing in triathlons, or taint my body with unnatural steroids or hormones.

For years, I've been under the impression that something called an "NSF For Sport" certification was the strictest, third-party verification standard by which to judge whether a supplement contains these potentially illegal or banned ingredients.

Turns out, I was wrong.  

There's something even more strict than NSF. And that is Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the pharmaceutical regulatory agency of Australia. Considered the toughest regulatory agency in the world, the TGA inspection and certification is conducted at a pharmaceutical level standard. Yes, that means the supplements certified by the TGA are verified to be as pure as an actual pharmaceutical drug.

For me to hold a multivitamin to as strict a standard as a TGA certification would be tough. Only a handful of U.S. companies are able to achieve the status of holding a TGA certification and there is really only one dietary supplement company in the U.S. that ever has completed all three strict levels of a TGA certification, since the certification requires not only a review of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) every two years, but also on-site inspection of every aspect of a multivitamin's quality control, laboratory procedures, pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices, and standard operating procedures.

But that's not all.

I'd also prefer for a multivitamin to be certified by Informed Choice. Informed Choice requires five samples from three different production runs of product to be tested, which would further guarantee, because of extremely rigid raw material and finished product testing and production procedures, absolutely no ingredient banned by any amateur or professional organization.

In other words, I want rock-solid, bulletproof confidence that I can hand any multivitamin that I endorse or personally use to the best athlete on the face of the planet with zero reservations about whether or not the multivitamin is pure or might get them banned.

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Notoriously Neglected Ingredients That A Multivitamin Must Have

I also know that there are notoriously neglected ingredients in most multivitamin complexes that make them barely scratch the surface of your true nutrient needs, especially if you're a hard charging athlete, exercise enthusiast, an aging person, a busy professional living a CEO-esque lifestyle, or anyone else with advanced nutrient needs.

Take Vitamin D, for example. The 200-400IU of Vitamin D found in most popular multivitamins is basically enough to keep a child from getting rickets. This is not even close enough to support optimal hormonal balance and physical or mental performance. Problem is, the multivitamins that actually do indeed have the 2000+IU per day of Vitamin D that I like to see do not include optimal amounts of Vitamin A or Vitamin K to allow for ideal absorption and utilization of Vitamin D, or reduced risk of Vitamin D toxicity.

Or take Vitamin K - a crucial fat soluble vitamin usually found in complete zero amounts in a multivitamin. The body actually needs nearly 400mcg per day of Vitamin K to support bone health, calcium and magnesium balance, and vitamin D absorption, among a host of other metabolic and immune-boosting functions. Yet strangely enough, it's not included at all in most multivitamins.

So what else is neglected in most multivitamins that I searched for on my quest to find the greatest multivitamin on the face of the planet?

1. Vitamin B6, B12 and B2 In The Correct Form

The bioactive form of Vitamin B6 is Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate. But the most common form found in most multivitamins is Pyridoxine HCl, which is not the active form of Vitamin B6. So the Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate is a must-have in my opinion. The most common form of Vitamin B12 used in nutritional supplements and processed foods is cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin, however, is absorbed at a much lower rate than methylcobalamin, which is the form of vitamin B12 that a multivitamin should actually have. Riboflavin 5’-Phosphate is the bioactive form of vitamin B2, but unfortunately Riboflavin HCl is the form commonly used in multivitamins, and that form needs to be converted in an extra step in the liver to the active form. Why do most multivitamins cut corners on these forms of Vitamin B? They're either uninformed, or going for the cheap alternative.

2. Folate In The Correct Form 

Folic acid is the most common form of folate used in nutritional supplements and fortified foods. However, a significant percentage of the population has trouble converting folic acid to folate, which is the natural form found in foods and in the body. A good multivitamin should use a form of folate called  l-5-methyltetrahydrofolate to ensure folate is absorbed. It does cost considerably more than folic acid, but again, I only want a multivitamin with ingredients that work - not that just look pretty on a label and then give me expensive pee.

3. Minerals That Are Actually Absorbable

Minerals by themselves are poorly absorbed, but when bound to an amino acid (also called a "mineral chelate") they are absorbed much better. Technically the most absorbable form of a mineral is the bisglycinate chelate form, and to avoid the minerals in a multivitamin simply creating expensive pee, I would specifically like to see calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum minerals in a chelated form.

4. Curcumin That Is Actually Absorbable

Curcumin is one of my favorite supplements, and has received a lot of attention recently as a potent natural anti-inflammatory nutrient that can control brain and muscle inflammation, positively affect muscle health, joint structure and function, and antioxidant activity in the gut, liver, and heart. But the trouble with most curcumin ingredients is that they are extremely poorly absorbed. However, there is one form of curcumin called the phytosome form which was developed by the researchers in Milan, Italy, and has been shown to be absorbed 29 times better than a standard curcumin extract. This is the only form of curcumin that I'd like to see in a multivitamin.

5. Green Tea Extract That Is Actually Absorbable

Green tea is another powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have a mild effect on raising metabolic rate and improving fat oxidation. But like standard curcumin extracts, standard green tea extracts are not well absorbed either. But the same researchers who discovered the curcumin phyotosome have also developed green tea phytosome, which provides a much better absorbed form of green tea extract, and would also ideally be in a multivitamin.

6. Adaptogens

Stress-fighting adaptogens are another notoriously missing component of most multivitamins, but in our hectic era are a must-have for sleep, de-stressing and hormone balance. One of the most potent adaptogenic compounds that I discovered in my multivitamin research to both lower cortisol levels and raise testosterone levels is called "Relora", and is a blend of magnolia officinalis and phellodendron amurense. If added to a multivitamin, it could also help curb cravings and stress-related eating, and help calm the mind and support rest and relaxation prior to bedtime. As a high intensity guy, this addition would be a very important to me as a necessary multivitamin ingredient.

Remember - this all comes down to simplicity. This means that if you or I can't get our hands on a capsule-based, pure and safe, minimalist and simple multivitamin that provides everything I just described above...

...then it means we are instead forced to buy 6, 8, 10 or 12 different supplements to supply our daily nutrient needs and fill in all the "holes" the multivitamin isn't giving.

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Where A Tiny Town In North Idaho Fits In

So that's what I've been doing over the past two years.

I have been taking a deep, deep dive into educating myself on the wide world of nutrients, supplements, ingredients, fillers, formulations, encapsulation technology and every aspect that goes into creating a multivitamin.

And I have literally been pulling my hair out and hitting dead-end after dead-end as I have been trying to hunt down something that meets my strict quality criteria for a multivitamin.

Of course, I have also found it incredibly frustrating when my clients, or readers, or podcast listeners or me have to simply keep on taking a crazy number of supplements or buying an unbelievable number of bottles and spending inordinate amounts of money when it's so straightforward to see what a multivitamin that meets all our daily nutrients needs should really have (and not have!) in it.

I've even gone so far as to consider simply hunting down the raw ingredients and formulating my own multivitamin.

But frankly, I'm an author, an athlete and a teacher - and don't fancy myself as a supplement manufacturer. I just don't have a desire to get into that business.  I simply want a multivitamin that I can, with a clear conscience, recommend to you and also take myself. Is that asking too much?

And then it happened.

During one of the dozens and dozens of phone calls I made and countless hours attempting to hunt down the perfect multivitamin formulation, a raw ingredient manufacturer informed me of the existence of a new multivitamin formulation created by a company called "Thorne Research", in Dover, Idaho.

That's right - just 60 miles from the front door of my house, in the tiny town of Dover, Idaho, are the Thorne Research facilities (pictured below). After months and months of searching, it turns out the solution could possibly be right in my own backyard.

Thorne-Research

For over 30 years, Thorne Research has set the standard for exceptional formulations, quality and purity in the dietary supplement industry - and is considered the most respected nutritional supplements brand in the healthcare practitioner space.

That's right - this is is the stuff physicians use with their patients. I'd actually heard of Thorne before, but always knew it was just for the fancy doctors and clinicians so I couldn't really access it or use it.

So until recently, none of the coveted Thorne Research products were available for me or any other personal trainer to actually recommend to our clients, readers or listeners. Instead, these high-quality, private formulations were only available for physicians or dietitians to use with their patients, and only for certified health care providers to use with their clients.

But then, in January 2014, Thorne Research created a new branch called "ThorneFX".

ThorneFX was specifically designed to address the growing demand of fitness experts like me who are seeking a solution for our clients, but don't have the privileged access to the fancy formulations that normally only a doctor or clinician would be able to prescribe or order.

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The Greatest Multivitamin On The Face Of The Planet

So I thought it was pretty interesting (and exciting) that I now had access to some of the highest quality formulations on the face of the planet, produced in a facility just an hour's drive from my house.

But it turned out there was even more good news.

I also discovered that when Thorne Research created the ThorneFX branch, they had not just created a multivitamin formulation but they had specifically left no stone unturned to launch the most powerful, absorbable multivitamin on the face of the planet. This was a multivitamin that possibly met all of my strict criteria, but that previously had never been available to the general population unless their doctor or dietitian knew about it.

It's called the Multi AM/PM Complex, and I immediately got my hands on it. Upon closer inspection and using it for 30 days, I instantly knew that this is not your typical multivitamin.

Formulated with superior forms of vitamins and minerals, Multi AM/PM Complex is actually two unique formulations - an AM formula is designed to support daytime energy, and a PM formula designed to support better rest and recovery in the evening. Some of the key differentiators in Multi AM/PM Complex include:

-Vitamins K1 and K2 (most use only K1 or no K2 at all). 

-Natural folate (5-MTHF) instead of folic acid. 

-Methylcobalamin instead of cyancobalamin. 

-Chelated minerals to ensure optimal absorption.

-Higher dose of magnesium and calcium than typically found in a multivitamin.

-Curcumin Phytosome (curcumin complexed with phosphatidylcholine for superior bioavailability)

-Green Tea Phytosome (green tea complexed with phosphatidylcholine for superior bioavailability)

-Relora, a blend of adaptogenic plant extracts to aid in relaxation, curb late-night cravings, and balance cortisol, testosterone and DHEA levels. 

The Multi AM / PM Complex (pictured below) literally satisfies every criteria I require in a multivitamin: all the notoriously neglected ingredients, a TGA and Informed Choice certification, no GMO's, no nasty fillers and ingredients, a capsule instead of a tablet...everything.

Multi-AMPM-ComplexI couldn't believe when I first found out about the new formulation.

Three easy capsules in the morning, three in the evening.

Boom.

Simple science.

My quest was over.

Mission accomplished.

See for yourself - below are the label and full ingredients.

Morning dose - three capsules contain:

Vitamin A (3,000 IU as Beta Carotene and 2,000 IU as Palmitate) 5,000 IU
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 250 mg
Vitamin D (as Vitamin D3) 2,000 IU
Vitamin E (as d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acid Succinate) 20 IU
Vitamin K (100 mcg as Vitamin K1 and 100 mcg as Vitamin K2) 200 mcg
Thiamin (as Thiamin HCl) 50 mg
Riboflavin (as Riboflavin 5’-Phosphate Sodium)  12 mg
Niacin (as Niacinamide)  60 mg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate)  20 mg
Folate (as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt)*  600 mcg
Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin)  600 mcg
Biotin  500 mcg
Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium Pantothenate)  45 mg
Calcium (as Calcium Bisglycinate Chelate)  38 mg
Iodine (as Potassium Iodide)  75 mcg
Magnesium (as Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate)  63 mg
Zinc (as Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate)  10 mg
Selenium (as L-Selenomethionine)  100 mcg
Copper (as Copper (II) Bisglycinate Chelate)  750 mcg
Manganese  (as Manganese (II) Bisglycinate Chelate)  1.5 mg
Chromium  (as Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate) 200 mcg
Molybdenum  (as Molybdenum (II) Glycinate Chelate)  50 mcg
Curcumin Phytosome** (Curcuma longa extract  (root) / Phosphatidylcholine complex)  200 mg
Green Tea Phytosome** (Camellia sinensis  extract (leaf) decaffeinated / Phosphatidylcholine complex)  75 mg
Choline Citrate  50 mg
d-Gamma Tocopherol (from Mixed Tocopherols)  24 mg
Boron (as Bororganic™ Glycine)  1 mg
Lutein (from Aztec Marigold extract (flower) (Tagetes erecta))  300 mcg

Evening dose, three capsules contain:

Vitamin A (600 IU as Beta Carotene and 400 IU as Palmitate)  1,000 IU
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid)  150 mg
Vitamin D (as Vitamin D3)  500 IU
Vitamin E (as d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acid Succinate)  20 IU
Vitamin K (100 mcg as Vitamin K1 and 100 mcg as Vitamin K2)  200 mcg
Folate (as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt)*  400 mcg
Biotin  500 mcg
Calcium (as Calcium Bisglycinate Chelate)  50 mg
Iodine (as Potassium Iodide)  75 mcg
Magnesium (as Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate)  107 mg
Zinc (as Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate)  20 mg
Selenium (as L-Selenomethionine)  100 mcg
Copper (as Copper (II) Bisglycinate Chelate)  750 mcg
Manganese  (as Manganese (II) Bisglycinate Chelate)  1.5 mg
Chromium  (as Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate) 200 mcg
Molybdenum (as Molybdenum (II) Glycinate Chelate)  50 mcg
Proprietary Blend**  200 mg
Magnolia officinalis (bark) extract  
Phellodendron amurense (bark) extract  
Choline Citrate  100 mg
d-Gamma Tocopherol (from Mixed Tocopherols)  24 mg
Boron (as Bororganic™ Glycine)  2 mg
Lutein (from Aztec Marigold extract (flower) (Tagetes erecta)) 600 mcg

The science is obviously there - every nutrient your body needs.

But the simplicity is so amazingly refreshing - especially when I pack to travel and literally have one morning bottle and one evening bottle to toss into my suitcase - and of course, a heck of a lot of extra space in my refrigerator.

Better yet, if you need some icing on the cake - such as anything extra added in like some extra fish oilpre-workout amino acidsan added shot of Vitamin D, a vegan protein powder, a whey protein powder, a highly absorbable form of irona tasty drinkable fish oil complex for the kiddos - ThorneFX has all that too, with the same huge, unparalleled quality that I've never been able to find before.

It's like a one-stop shop for everything I have ever looked for or wanted in a nutrition supplements line.

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Summary

So that's it: pure and simple.

I have never before been able to recommend a complete multivitamin that satisfies all my criteria. And I have always had a refrigerator full of a bunch of bottles.

But now the problem is solved.

And yes, this means that the ThorneFX Multi AM/PM Complex is now my recommended, go-to source for the ultimate combination of science and simplicity. Furthermore, the entire ThorneFX line is now something I back, endorse, vouch for and am now using in my own personal daily routine with great success.

And the best thing yet? 

An entire month of the Multi AM/PM Complex is just 34 bucks.

You heard me right: 34 dollars.

So rather than forking over hundred of dollars for bottle after bottle of fancy supplements, powders, tablets, pills, and oils, you get one multivitamin that hits all your needs for a mere fraction of the price. Go ahead - spend that extra money you were blowing on 10 different supplements on a fancy steak dinner or chock it away for your kid's college or your next car.

Of course, if you're familiar with me, my podcast, or articles I've written in the past, then you may be wondering...

...what about the other supplements I've previously recommended?

What about TianChi?

What about Supergreens?

What about my Gut Fixing Pack, Endurance Pack or Fat Burning Pack?

The good news is that all of these are still available and still consist of specific ingredients that I may use with certain clients or recommend in certain situations when the need arises. After all, everything I have recommended in the past is all excellent, extremely high-quality stuff, and if you're happy with what you're currently using...then that's fine!

But for science, simplicity, peace of mind, and some extra room in my refrigerator and my suitcase, I am moving in the direction of shifting nearly my entire personal supplement protocol to ThorneFX - and specifically what I have discovered to be the greatest multivitamin on the face of the planet: the Multi AM/PM Complex.

Leave your questions over on the blog post for this episode, feel free to ask me about how to use or implement any of the ThorneFX supplements into your current protocol, and leave any questions about any substitutions or replacements for other supplements you're currently taking. I promise to personally respond and walk you through everything.

Enjoy the new simplicity in your life!

May 11, 2014

In this Premium episode, you get to sit in and hear Ben Greenfield analyze the diet of a professional athlete he works with. If you like what you hear, you can also have Ben analyze your diet and do a consult with you over at http://pacificfit.net/items/one-on-one-consultation/

May 10, 2014

You spend countless hours training, working out, and buffeting your body...

...and thousands of dollars on gym equipment, training equipment, health supplements, healthy food, and if you're a triathlete marathoner, cyclist, adventure racer, obstacle racer or anything like that, travel and race entry fees too...

...but if you're overlooking your hormone health, you're often either taking two steps forward and one step back, or stagnating in your performance and fitness, or worse yet, backsliding in your results!

Go take a look at the results from your last workout or event. What was the time gap between you and the top of your category, beating your last workout, or making the progress you wanted?

5%? 10%?

Here's the important thing you need to know - your hormones could be holding you back. And an optimal level of cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and melatonin could easily be the difference that changes your body, your sleep, your libido, your energy and your training and racing season.

It's time to learn how to make a difference, and to discover the 8 signs that your cortisol and adrenals may be broken.

So in today's podcast, I am joined today by two of the founders of the functional medicine practice Nourish Balance Thrive. Christopher Kelly is a Pro mountain biker, certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner and a recent graduate of the Kalish Institute.

Along with Christopher, I interview Dr. Jamie Busch, also a Pro mountain biker. Jamie is board certified in Family Medicine and by the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. During this episode, you'll learn about how to recognize adrenal stress, how to test adrenal stress, and what you can do about it.

Christopher has also given you seven simple signs below that can help you decide if it’s time to get to know your adrenals a little more intimately.

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7 Signs Your Cortisol And Adrenals Are Broken.

1. Reduced interest in all things sexy.

Been a long time since you woke up, um, excited? Finding yourself coming up with lots of reasons you really need to just ‘get some sleep?’ Yeah, it’s not fun, and it’s not normal, even for athletes. Sex hormones pay the price of increased adrenal hormone output, which is directly affected by proper digestion, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, sleep patterns, amount of training, pretty much everything. Testing your adrenals along with your sex hormones tells you exactly what you need to do to get yourself back on track.

2. Uneven energy throughout the day.

You drag yourself out of bed but really you’d rather hit the snooze button. A coffee outage is a major crisis. The rest of the morning is not too bad, but fatigue sets in soon after lunch. What a wonderful time to take a nap! You don’t get as excited about working out as you used to, but feel much better after a really long warm up. These are all signs of cortisol dysregulation. Cortisol follows a diurnal rhythm, highest first thing an hour or so before sunrise, reaching a nadir a couple of hours after bed, but that doesn’t mean that first thing should be your most energetic time of the day, instead you should perceive a consistent level of energy throughout.

3. Sudden onset sugar and carb cravings.

You’ve just had lunch and yet you’re still hankering for another handful of nuts or maybe one of those gluten-free Paleo bars. You have a standing date with the office snack pantry and coffee machine at 3PM. Cortisol affects carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism, and low cortisol nearly always means low energy. Eating for symptom relief always leads to weight gain, especially in the presence of other hormonal imbalances.

4. Disrupted sleep.

On rest days you sleep like a baby, but every other day is pretty hit or miss. Race day? Forget it, no rest for the wicked. Wired and tired. All. Night. Long. The half life of cortisol is hours, and high cortisol means high energy and low melatonin, the sleep hormone. In addition, training might not be your only source of stress. High nighttime cortisol can also be associated with an infection, or GI pathogen like H. pylori or Blastocystis hominis.

5. Slow or little muscle gain despite strength training.

You’re losing interest in strength training because you’re just not seeing the gains. If you really go for it the delayed onset soreness affects your other training for days. DHEA and testosterone are essential for long term muscle building projects, and over producing cortisol will always lead to low levels of both because they are produced from the same precursors. It makes perfect sense to favor the stress response over building new lean muscle. Your body doesn’t need new muscle if you might not even survive the day.

6. Injuries. A lot of them. Most of them ending in ‘itis.’

You’ve started collecting more insurance bills than race medals every season. You keep getting injured, and you don’t even know how. Cortisol is hormone designed to liquidate your assets, and overproducing it leads to excessive breaking down. Too much breaking down leads to injury. Not to mention the inflammation and reduced ability to recover from said injuries.

7. Less than stellar digestion.

Really dreading that race food. Runner’s trots. On the bike isn’t much better. Oh the bloating, the bloating is the worst. In the presence of stress, digestion is inhibited. There isn't enough time to derive the energetic benefits of the slow process of digestion so why waste energy on it? Chronically over producing cortisol leads to chronically poor digestion, sometimes through lowered immunity and infection.

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What You Need To Know About Testing

Any one of these scenarios can be the start of a vicious cycle. Athletes and busy, hard-charging individuals alike place a heavy burden on the adrenal system, so it’s even more important to figure it all out. Establishing a baseline can save you tons of time trying to pinpoint every little sign and symptom, it will allow you to start and end the season at a place of health. The best part? Figuring it out isn’t hard. This one simple saliva test that we discuss in today's podcast, and the help of a well trained practitioner, allowed me to design a diet, lifestyle and supplement protocol which after just six months showed some quite remarkable improvement. For example: DHEA-S ng/ml: before 1.75 after 7.6 (+434%), Testosterone pg/mL: before 62.9 after 109 (+173%). As regular readers of BenGreenfieldfitness will know, long term supplementation with hormones is a bad idea. Supplement with testosterone, and first you’ll get disqualified if you are racing or competing, and next, your body will downregulate its own endogenous production and sensitivity to it. A more intelligent solution then would be to uncover and address the root causes of the stress that appears on the test result. Each individual is unique, but a good protocol should take into account eating to maximise nutritional density, getting sufficient rest, a well thought out training program, and lab-based supplementation.

For me, there were far more than seven signs that I needed to get to know my adrenals, but it turned out to be the single most important training exercise I may have ever done.

If you have questions about about this or other tests, then leave your comments at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and I promise to answer!

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