The Joe Rogan Experience – Ben Greenfield

Key Takeaways

  • The carnivore diet is really like an elimination diet – so perhaps the benefits people experience, are the result of eliminating much of which causes them issues, and aren’t solely from eating meat
  • Marijuana seems to lower testosterone temporarily
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, seems to act on a lot of mTOR pathways in the body, and inhibits them
  • “The skin is a mouth” – it readily absorbs what you put on it
  • Get a 23andMe DNA test – it will give you a TON of useful information
  • Lectins can cause certain people to have inflammatory responses to vegetables 
  • Things like coffee, rosemary, and thyme, when rubbed on meat, decrease the carcinogenic aspects of the burnt/charred areas
  • Try natural/man-made remedies before trying supplements
  • We actually have photoreceptors on our skin (this is why you should still make the room you’re sleeping in fully dark, even if you’re wearing a sleep mask) (We love the Manta though. 15% off with PODCASTNOTES15)
  • To reset your internal clock when traveling – Use light, food, and movement
  • Ben says CBD can enhance the amount of time you spend in deep sleep 
  • THC decreases sleep latency (how long it takes you to fall asleep) -but it reduces the amount of time you spend in deep sleep
  • Glympthatic system activity is increased when we sleep on our sides

Supplements and Products Mentioned

Books Mentioned


The Carnivore Diet

  • Ben hasn’t gone on it
    • But he did try eating ribeye steaks for dinner every night
  • Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) (it’s in red meat) is associated with gut damage
    • But eating meat with fiber can mitigate this
  • Dr. Rhonda Patrick talked a ton about the carnivore diet in these Podcast Notes
  • It’s really like an elimination diet – so perhaps the positive effects people experience, are the result of eliminating much of which causes them issues, and aren’t solely from eating meat
    • “I don’t know if there are a lot of components of the carnivore diet that are actually healing the gut, as much as it’s the absence or elimination of the foods that are harming it”
  • Many people experience complete remission of autoimmune issues while following the diet

Infrared Saunas

  • Ben has one
    • Joe has a dry sauna in the studio – he keeps it at 190 °F
      • He tries to either sauna, or do cryotherapy, every day
  • Ben often does yoga while in his infrared sauna, or a kettle bell workout – he’s even brought an exercise bike in (sounds like a Peleton)
  • Infrared (IR) saunas are a tad cooler than dry saunas (they run about 155-158 °F, compared to dry saunas which can get as hot as 190 °F)
    • Even though they’re cooler, the photons of light released by the IR panels penetrate very deep into our tissues, resulting in a deeper sweat than a dry sauna 
    • You can also stay in longer than a dry sauna, as it’s not as hot
  • There aren’t many studies on the benefits of infrared saunas, but there are TONS on the benefit of dry saunas
  • Ben eventually wants to get a dry barrel sauna

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD)

  • Ben does a weekly push IV NAD injection 
    • A push IV results in a lot of nausea – “It’s very uncomfortable”
    • Ben says it takes him about 10-20 minutes – he “does 2 ticks on the syringe at a time” (it’s a 30 mL syringe)
  • Normally most people who get 500-1,000 mg of NAD, will sit under a drip IV for 4-6 hours
  • In these Podcast Notes – Dr. David Sinclair said NMN can boost NAD levels
    • Ben says that NAD crosses the blood brain barrier easier than NMN or nicotinamide riboside (NR) – (David Sinclair said the exact opposite, see the above Podcast Notes. Dr. Peter Attia, in these Podcast Notes, also said something similar, contradicting Ben’s statement here.)
  • There’s some evidence that long term NAD supplementation may suppress your body’s own NAD production
  • For us at Podcast Notes, hands down, when it comes to a brand of NR, we can’t recommend Elysium Basis enough (use the code “podcast10” at checkout to receive 10% off). We, Matt and Yoni, have been researching the company and trying Basis out for the past 3 months. Basis is a proprietary formulation of crystalline NR and pterostilbene that supports cellular health by increasing and sustaining NAD+ . Elysium Basis is the only NR supplement we’ve found that has run gold-standard clinical trials, owns their own supply chain (which means metals, other molecules, etc don’t get in your supplement), and they continuously test the product for stability long after it hits the “shelf.” In short, it’s effective AND safe.

Nerve Hydrodissection

  • Ben had a nerve hydrodissection on his left knee to help with meniscus issues
    • How does this technique work? – They inject a needle into the knee, guided by ultrasound imaging. Fluid is then shot through the needle and it acts just like a scalpel/knife would.
    • The procedure only takes about 10 minutes
    • It removes adhesions in the joint, and acts to separate nerves which may be rubbing on scar tissue and causing pain
    • He did it at BioReset Medical in San Jose, CA
    • Ben says it completely healed his knee pain
    • Joe has had meniscus issues in the past – he’s had 3 Exosome shots over the last few years

Other Medical Talk

  • Joe cured a full length rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder with peptide and BPC-157 injections
  • Ben has tried the peptide Melanotan II
    • It’s been used in the bodybuilding industry
      • When you inject it, it gives you a tan
    • Another side effect – “You can massive boners that last a very long time”
      • It’s actually used as a drug to treat erectile dysfunction


  • Marijuana seems to lower testosterone temporarily
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, acts on a lot of mTOR pathways in the body, and inhibits them
    • For more on mTOR, check out these Podcast Notes
      • In short, we inhibit mTOR by fasting – this triggers something autophagy (damaged cell death)
      • mTOR is activated when we eat protein/amino acids
  • Ben recalls a study – the endocannabinoid system, when stimulated, reduces some of your sense of fear when it comes to experiencing new adventures
    • Thus, people who often smoke marijuana, are more likely to seek adventures
  • Joe doesn’t buy the fact that marijuana lowers your reaction time
    • Many kickboxers train while on marijuana
    • It’s thought that people who use marijuana regularly become used to the effects, and over time, don’t experience a lowered reaction time
      • First-time users on the other hand – good luck, your reaction time will definitely be slowed
  • Joe says marijuana has enhanced his abilities in Brazilian Jujitsu
  • Other cannabinoids
    • There are 113 of them
    • “THC-8” is an anti-inflammatory 
      • Ben said “THC-8”, but it looks like he may have meant Delta-8-THC
    • Many people use CBD (aka cannabidiol) in conjunction with THC for inflammation
      • They have a synergistic effect
      • Here’s a great brand of CBD we recommend at Podcast Notes (Code PODCASTVIBES for 15% Off)

More on CBD

  • Joe has been rubbing CBD oil on muscle injuries and has had great effects
    • Ben suggests using CBD in combination with an electric stimulator for muscle injuries
    • “The skin is a mouth” – it absorbs readily what you put on it


  • People with certain types of genetic polymorphisms (people who have two ApoE4 alleles) have a higher inflammatory response to saturated fat
    • For this reason, these people shouldn’t be on a ketogenic diet
    • “Everyone’s body responds differently to all sorts of different diets, and it’s so difficult for people, especially if they haven’t done a lot of research, to try and determine the best diet”
    • Dr. Rhonda Patrick talks a lot about ApoE4 in these Podcast Notes
      • ALSO – People with an ApoE4 allele have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
        • People with one allele have a 2-3 fold higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
        • People with two alleles have a 10-15 fold higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Ben has the ApoE3, ApoE4 polymorphism
  • Both Ben and his kids have the gene that doesn’t allow them to generate appreciable amounts of vitamin D from sunlight
  • Ben’s kids don’t possess the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which allows for the increased expression of glutathione 
  • Ben’s kids also have genetically low brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (Ben calls it miracle grow for the brain)



  • Things like coffee, rosemary, and thyme, when rubbed on meat, decrease the carcinogenic aspects of the burnt/charred areas
    • Anything that’s an antioxidant will do this – blueberries, red wine, dark chocolate – “You dry those, you powder them, and that’s a great rub”
    • For this reason, it might be a good idea to eat some form of antioxidant when you consume meat
    • “You want to prepare your food in a manner that renders it digestible, and in a way that unlocks the nutrients”


  • Vegans tend to build up deficiencies in creatine, taurine, and unless they’re eating algae – DHA, EHA, and other essential fatty acids
  • Vegans can also build up long term cortisol deficits – this can alter your cell membranes
    • Ben doesn’t expand on this
  • BUT – “You can definitely do it [going vegan] right” – Just look at Rich Roll
    • But if you’re not careful – “You can build up deficits long term, even though you feel good in the short term”
      • The same thing with the carnivore diet


  • Metformin is a drug that helps lower blood glucose levels by improving the way the body handles insulin 
  • Joe and Dr. David Sinclair talked about it a bit in these Podcast Notes
    • Joe is thinking about taking it
  • Ben says there are a few negative side effects:
    • Lactic acidosis
    • It inhibits the electron transport chain in mitochondria – essentially this down regulates metabolism
    • It can result in vitamin b12 deficiencies
  • “Metformin and rapamycin for different reasons, are two compounds I don’t think I would ever take”

Go Natural First

  • Use the above to lower blood glucose levels, instead of jumping on metformin
  • Get real sun instead of supplementing with vitamin D when you can
  • Walk barefoot in the grass before buying some sort of pulsed electromagnetic field mat

What does earthing and grounding do?

  • This expands off the above point – Walk barefoot in the grass before buying some sort of pulsed electromagnetic field mat
  • Research shows it reduces inflammation and improves joint pain
  • The earth natural emits electromagnetic frequencies (between 3-100 Hz)
    • For reference, Ben says your cell phone emits about 1,000,000 Hz
  • “It’s like exercise for your cells”
  • “It takes the same frequencies you’d get from the earth, and just magnifies them”

Continuous Glucose Monitors

  • Ben wears one – a Dexcom G6
    • He plans to wear it for about a year to learn about how various foods, and his workouts, affect his blood sugar levels
  • What has he learned so far?
    • His blood glucose spikes in the morning from black coffee 
      • Ben says coffee causes your liver to engage in glycogenolysis (the releasing of glucose into the blood stream)
    • Green beans caused his blood sugar to rise more than they should
      • Ben got a food allergy test through a company called Cyrex Labs
        • It needs to be ordered through a physician
      • (He discovered he was semi-allergic to green beans) – hence his abnormal blood sugar response from eating them

A Great Quote

  • “To me, I want the marriage of performance and longevity. I don’t want to live a long time if I can’t kick ass.”

Standing Desks and Ergonomics

  • Ben uses a standing desk
  • A great book which might help you change your mind about getting a standing desk – Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World
    • (I highly, highly recommend this book)
  • Ben also uses a TruForm treadmill walking desk
    • He doesn’t do much work while walking on the treadmill, but he’ll often record podcasts and take client calls
  • All day long Ben is changing positions
    • Sitting
    • Standing
    • Leaning on stool 
    • Standing on the balance board
  • Joe has Capisco chairs in the studio – this is what he sits on when recording podcasts
    • Joe also has a few saddle chairs – he used to use them before buying the Capisco chairs for the studio
  • Someone sent Joe a Focal stool

Circadian Biology

  • Zeitgebers are cues that regulate your circadian rhythm
  • So when traveling, here’s how you can help reset your internal clock
    • Use Light
      • This is a huge one for Ben
      • He has these light emitting ear-buds (the Valkee Human Charger)
        • Aubrey Marcus talked about them in these Podcast Notes
        • Why do these work? – We have photoreceptors in our ears
          • We actually have photoreceptors on our skin as well (this is why you should still make the room you’re sleeping in fully dark, even if you’re wearing a sleep mask)
          • If you do want a sleep mask, we love the Manta. Truly black-out and you can get cooling rings for your eyes. 15% Off with PODCASTNOTES15
      • Ben also uses the V-Light at home
      • And lastly, he uses these ReTimer Light Therapy Glasses– these shine in the eyes
    • Food
      • “You want to wait to eat until it’s actually meal time in whatever area of the world that you’re traveling to”
    • Movement
      • This is one of the best things you can do to reset your internal clock – Joe agrees
        • “A rigorous workout makes all the difference in the world in terms of how I actually feel, when traveling”


  • Joe’s routine:
    • Joe tries to intermittent fast 5-6 days a week for 16 hours
    • He hasn’t done any long term fasts
  • Ben’s routine:
    • Every day Ben intermittent fasts for 12-16 hours
    • He does a fasting mimicking diet (FMD) 4x a year
      • For more on a FMD, check out these Podcast Notes
      • Ben only restricts his calories to about 40%
        • During these periods, he makes a stew containing split mung beans and basmati rice called Kitchari (it’s an Indian Ayurvedic cleansing stew)
          • He puts some coconut yogurt on it, and has the stew for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 5 days straight
    • 1-2x a month, Ben tries to go from Saturday dinner, until Sunday dinner without eating
  • What breaks your fast?
    • The rule – if it has calories, it breaks your fast
      • Coffee doesn’t
      • Butter in your coffee does
      • Green tea doesn’t 
  • If Ben works out while fasting, here’s what he takes:


A Book Recommendation

CBD, THC, and Sleep

  • Ben takes ~100 mg of oral CBD before bed every night
    • Here’s a great brand of CBD we at Podcast Notes recommend (15% Off with Code PODCASTVIBES)
    • Many sleep studies involving CBD, utilize 100-900 mg of CBD, but the average serving size on a CBD tincture is ~10 mg
    • He’ll often take a tad of melatonin as well
  • Ben says CBD can enhance the amount of time you spend in deep sleep 
  • THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, decreases sleep latency (how long it takes you to fall asleep)
    • But it reduces the amount of time you spend in deep sleep

The Glymphatic System

  • This is our brain’s detox system that ramps up during sleep
  • Ben says glympthatic system activity is increased when we sleep on our sides

They Say Sleep on it For a Reason

  • Ben says it works 
    • Dr. Matthew Walker talked about the idea of sleeping on a problem in these Podcast Notes
  • Ben has another one – “Walk on it”
    • You make more brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) when you walk while learning

Fiction Before Bed

  • Ben loves to read fiction right before bed – his go to is the Harry Potter series at the moment

The Best Salt You Can Buy

  • The ideal salt is high in minerals, and low in metals
  • The top of the list – Celtic Salt


  • The Spokane River is very polluted with metals
    • Ben says the allotment of fish that you’re supposed to eat from it, is only about 1 fish/year
  • Ben is staying at the Hilton in LA which has Upgrade Labs in the basement
    • They have a cryotherapy machine and an infrared sauna
    • They also have a Vasper Training Systemhere’s how it works
      • While using the system, cold water is pumped through these blood pressure type cuffs 
      • When you take the cuffs off, there’s an amplification in growth hormone, testosterone, and even stem cell mobilization
  • Photobiomodulation therapy seems to help traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
    • It seems to restore blood flow to the brain, by increasing alpha and gamma brain wave production
    • The therapy delivers a wavelength of light that activates a part of the mitochondria called cytochrome c oxidase, resulting in increased mitochondrial activity and blood flow
  • When Ben got a concussion recently, he did a self-administered infusion of sugar alcohol (he used “mannitol”, but doesn’t remember how much), followed up with stem cells which he had stored at Forever Labs (
    • Ben says that injecting sugar alcohol into the bloodstream makes the blood-brain barrier more permeable, thus allowing the stem cells to more effectively cross into the brain
  • Ben has been using a coffee rub for ribeye steaks
    • He finely grinds the coffee, and mixes it with cayenne pepper, and paprika
    • Joe is a fan of the Traeger Prime Rib Rub
  • Muscle Memory
    • Joe and Ben start talking about a recent Dr. Rhonda Patrick tweet
      • “The cells that help build and maintain muscle fibers that are gained during training persist even when muscle cells shrink due to disuse or start to break down. This allows for more and faster growth when muscles are retrained.”
    • Why does this matter?
      • Ben brings up a good point – if you take steroids to grow muscle, and then stop, in theory… the cells that help build that muscle remain even after you’ve stopped. 
      • Because of this, it’s sort of like – “once a steroid user, always a steroid user”

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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