Top 5 Reasons You Are Losing Muscle Mass | Podcast #369
Muscles are essential to everyday movements, and if you noticeably lose muscle mass — especially without knowing why — it can be alarming. Losing some muscle mass is normal as you age. However, losing muscle mass quickly or atrophy, especially in the context of other symptoms, can indicate an underlying illness.
In this video, Dr. J and Evan discuss the top reasons you lose muscle mass aside from aging. Preventing a loss of muscle mass can also be achieved by exercising regularly (such as functional strength training) in conjunction with a balanced food template of lean meats and proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
However, if the loss is due to an underlying illness, it must also be addressed and mindfully managed with a trusted healthcare professional or your functional medicine doctor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
2:33 – Functional movements
3:37 – Infections
7:21 – Vegan-vegetarian
9:35 – Autoimmune digestive disorders
12:21 – Hormones
15:06 – Types of muscle building
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be chatting about the top five reasons you are losing muscle mass. This is really important. All right. If you’re losing muscle mass, it’s gonna be essentially an all-cause predictor of mortality, increased mortality. So, we gotta make sure that we’re keeping our muscle mass and or improving our muscle, especially as we get older, we need good muscle to support and stabilize our body so we don’t get hurt, we don’t slip, we don’t fall, we don’t get injured. We don’t slip a disc so to speak. So, we have to make sure that we are keeping our muscles strong and functional. Evan, how are we doing today man?
Evan Brand: Doing really good. I talked with a guy actually this morning where his mother, due to age and related muscle loss, fell, broke her hip, got in the hospital, had to get surgery, got an infection, died. So, I’m not saying everyone is gonna end up like that. But my God, look at how quickly something just like a fall due to lack of muscle strength and mobility could turn into something scary where you’re hospitalized, you’re getting surgeries, you end up with a hospital acquired infection then you’re on antibiotics then you go septic, I mean, this is crazy and so I hope we can help people prevent. This is such a common story. I mean, how many times have you heard, like, old granny falls, breaks her hip and that’s the end of her. She never recovers. It’s like, that’s not good. And so, fortunately, in the past, up until the past couple years, both of my grandparents right around 80 years old, they were playing tennis and they were still active in mobile so I just encourage you guys, just because you’re getting grow older that doesn’t mean that you need to become a couch potato. Even some of her friends that she’d played tennis with are in their mid-80s, still playing tennis, still moving well on the court. So, I just encourage you to find something that you love first and foremost. Use exercise as a side effect of having fun, meaning, if it’s pickleball, if it’s tennis, if it’s ping pong for all I care, I mean, basketball, volleyball, I mean, whatever you can do it. It doesn’t have to necessarily be intense. That’s all fun stuff, maybe competitive, fine. But exercise is a side effect of it. But if you’re just trying to depend on willpower to go run a mile, I think that’s a terrible long-term strategy and I don’t think you’re gonna like to continue with it, like my row machine, you and I both, we have the same row machine, we love it. You can go on there, and you can do little games, you could do just row, you could pick like, oh, I’m gonna, I wanna burn 10 calories or I wanna grow 500 meters and you have this like goal that motivates you to do something, but at the end of the day, all this physical performance is gonna pay dividends.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Exactly. 100 percent. So, when I kind of, when I lift weights, I’m always trying to do functional movements, I think as you get older, especially as you know, you move into adulthood, you want muscles, right, you want to look fit or lean or trim right? You wanna feel solid but you wanna have functional muscles. One that allows you to do housework or click pick-up your kids easier and feel more confident or do well at your sport or just be able to enjoy life and feel good like if you think about, like, getting into a car, right? You get into a car, it’s like a one-legged kind of squat, right? So, I’m a bigger fan. As you get older, trying to do more unilateral body movements, meaning like a one-legged squat, a one-legged lunge or a lunge obviously with that, you know, you can look at discrepancies in your body. If you’re doing a squat, you know, you have other sides that you can compensate for but when you’re doing one-legged movements either a dead lift or a squat or a lunge or a step-up, it magnifies imbalances in the body. I like that because most of the time, when you’re moving, you’re actually on one foot in a sense and so it’s good to do movements like that so you start to develop a lot of the stabilizer muscles that support you when you’re moving so you don’t get hurt.
Evan Brand: Let’s get into the functional stuff, like the functional medicine stuff, not functional movement but like functional reasons, I’m gonna go ahead and say, number one as a category of infections and you and I can break this down as much as you want. Yeah. I’m gonna say infections because you know my story, you saw me, I lost like, 25 pounds without trying and some of it was related to H. pylori. I think the parasite also wrecked me so I would just say infections as a whole.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so when you have inflammation in the gut, right, it can be cause by infections like a parasite like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Blasto, H. pylori, bacteria in that category, SIBO, general dysbiosis, bacteria imbalances, right? It creates inflammation in the intestinal tract, right? Whether it’s small intestine, large intestine, if you look at where these nerves sit on the spinal column, they sit in the lower thoracic to lower lumbar spine, and you know, let’s say t10 to L5 or so. Maybe even, maybe even S1 and when you have inflammation in the intestines, it’s on a two-lane nerve root highway from your intestines to your spine back to the muscles, right, so we have what’s called a visceral somatic reflex. So this Visceral means organ, somatic means muscles. So inflammation in the organ can actually take that signal of inflammation put on that two-lane highway to the muscle and it can actually create that muscle to shut down or not be fully facilitated or active and so with inflammation in the intestines can cause that. Now, women know this just think about the average women that has PMS and has PMS symptoms of back pain. It’s their ovaries having inflammation or hormonal imbalance that’s then refluxing to the muscle, right, visceral organ, somatic muscle. So, women know that if they have PMS or if you ever had a gallbladder issue, you feel it in your shoulder, if you have appendicitis, you feel it in that lower right hip quadrant, right? If you have a heart attack, you feel in the jaw down the left side down the left arm so we know there’s this organ muscle connection so a lot of people can have muscle issues because their core and their back gets very weak due to inflammation in their intestinal tract and the more inflammation there is the less likely you’re wanna, you’re gonna, wanna lift and want to do one of them, you know put resistance on your body because you’re just more inflamed and you’re more likely to get hurt and injured.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, if you, now, not all people lose weight and I’ve seen many women who gain weight magically 20, 30, 40, 50 pounds, sorry ladies, sometimes it happens that way. It’s where you gain weight due to infection but for me and I’ve seen other men the same, you lose weight, so I don’t know, I would just say this, any fluctuation whether it’s weight gain, including muscle loss so you could gain weight and still lose muscle right. You could gain body fat and lose muscle so whether it’s a significant, let’s say 10, 20 pounds or more weight loss or weight gain with no explanation, I would definitely look into the gut, start looking for infections and as you mentioned, the strength is important and people don’t want to get strong if they feel like crap and so for me, luckily, my gut’s much better and now I feel good with resistance training whereas before I was just so depleted. So, let’s go into reason number two, I’m gonna say nutrient deficiencies, now, this ties directly into infections right because in the case of H. pylori, if it’s reducing stomach acid. Now, if you’re eating this good grass-fed steak, you’re not really getting as much nutrition from that and so these nutrient deficiencies compound over time because if you don’t have the amino acids being cleaved off the meats to produce muscle mass that also creates a big problem so nutrient deficiency and we could go any direction you want with this even vegetarian vegans, we could talked about the deficiencies there and how they’re gonna have trouvle with muscle mass.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. So, of course, if we have vegan vegetarian, we’re not gonna get enough carbohydrate, we’re not gonna get enough protein, typically or if we get enough protein, right, let’s look at the combination of rice and bean which is a pretty common one. Well, you end up getting 70 grams of protein to 15 grams or so of carbohydrates so you get a lot of carbohydrates. Now, if you’re not that active or you’re more insulin resistant, you know some, most people are gonna need probably a minimum of half their body weight and in ounces of protein so if you’re like 200 pounds that’s 100 grams of protein. Well, do the math if you’re getting 15 to 20 grams of protein per 70, 75 grams of carbs that’s you know, 75 times five, you’re looking at like 340 to 400 grams of carbohydrates. Obviously, you can fix some of that by doing, like, a protein shake, like protein or hemp protein, you know, you can fix some of that. But again, you’re still relying on artificial sources, not whole food sources. Now, the benefit of the animal product is you’re gonna get all the protein, none of the carbs and you’re typically, if they’re grass-fed and pasture-fed, you’re gonna be getting excellent good fatty acids along with it and you won’t be getting a lot of the excess omega-6 fatty acids like you’re not gonna get on the vegetarian vegan side. So, you have this nutritional density that you get on the animal side which is wonderful and as long as we’re choosing you know, avoiding the factory farm, you know, we’re doing grass-fed pasture-fed, you’re gonna be in great shape and the next thing after vegan vegetarian is low stomach acid so if we have achlorhydria, low stomach acid, and that typically connects with low enzymes too, we may have a hard time breaking down a lot of that proteins. So, I know when you had some of your gut infections years ago, I think you had what Cryptosporidium, Gardia, H. pylori, that’s it Three Amigos, right? And so, when you had this gut infection, you also had lower stomach acid, lower enzyme levels. So, supplementing the enzyme and the acid so we can break down those amino acids and then also adding in or cutting out the bugs is helpful and then sometimes adding in some amino acids in a free form can be helpful because 40% of the Energy that you get from the protein actually goes into digesting the protein. It’s like having a credit card with a 40% transaction fee, right? Very expensive. So, there is some benefit by doing amino acids, if it’s already broken down but we still wanna make sure the whole food is dialed in and that we’re getting enough, uh, we’re getting access to the whole food nutrients via hydrochloric acid and enzymes too.
Evan Brand: All right. Moving on to another cause here, and this is inspired by a comment here from Teresa, she said that she has muscle wasting from my colitis. So, we could just say, any gut issues and that one include autoimmune gut issues, right? So, colitis or what’s called pancolitis would be the whole colon, even celiac, Crohn’s, I mean, any of these autoimmune gut issues oftentimes that’s gonna create a lot of muscle wasting that ties directly into what we just said though which is nutrient deficiencies and infections. A lot of these people with major gut issues, like this, there’s usually a trigger. Now, in the case of like, celiac, obviously, that may or may not have a parasite infection involved but this is still part of the equation and we can use gut healing nutrients to work on this, you can put some of this stuff into remission but you know what, I don’t want people to do, you know, what I don’t want people to do is like eat clean all week and then they go eat garbage on the weekend.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. 100%. And so, of course, if you have colitis, right? Whether it’s microscopic or ulcerative colitis, you know, it’s an extreme irritable bowel disease, you gotta look at the foods and then sometimes the foods could even be in vegetables it could be in the oxalates, the phenols, the salicylates, the FODMAP, so sometimes even healthy foods on paper could be problematic and then of course, you know, the grains and the dairy and he refined carbohydrate and the omega-6 fats of course those right. So, getting the inflammation via food is super important, we talked about dysbiosis, we talked about SIBO, H. pylori, of course is super common because H. pylori is notorious for lowering stomach acid and so of course, if we’re just taking stomach acid and enzymes and we’re not fixing the H. pylori, you know, that may not get to the root cause. So, if we’re taking supplements like hydrochloric acid or enzymes or bile support, we also got to make sure we’re getting to the root cause of any additional bugs that could be present and if we’re chronically stressed like the adrenals if we’re in sympathetic fight or flight the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system tends to be more catabolic than anabolic. So, anabolic is building back up, healing, recovering, getting stronger. Catabolic is breaking down. So, from this fight-or-flight state, our bodies always tend to be it. You know, running versus, building and growing and so if you’re catabolic from the adrenals being over active with cortisol, that’s gonna make it hard to build muscle, you’re gonna be breaking down the muscle instead, making glucose out of it and it’s also gonna be harder to digest because your body’s hard wired to take blood and bring it to the extremity so you can fight, flight or kind of run versus to the organs so you absorb and break down. So, that fight or flight is really important in fir digestion, for where the blood goes and also and how it allocates nutrients. It’s more likely to break down muscle than build muscle back when that fight or flight is really active.
Evan Brand: That’s a good call. That’s exactly where I was gonna go next is hormones, I was gonna talk about maybe low testosterone. We’re seeing that in men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, I mean just low hormone levels and women need some level of testosterone too. So, if you do hormone issues whether that is adrenal related cortisol, thyroid hormone, maybe you can riff on that for a minute because I think people are focusing on gut gut gut, which is great but there’s also this other connection of the hormone piece and I will tell you my cortisol was completely depleted when I did a salivary panel years ago. My cortisol was flat all day and it was really tough no matter how much I tried in the gym, I was weak. Like, just my God, I could not make progress, fortunately better now, but man I’ve been through it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Some people, they may be high with their cortisol and we have to use adaptogens to calm it down of course, like good diet and lifestyle things, some may be low and typically you don’t just go low all of a sudden. You ten to be on the higher over stimulated side for a while and then you ten to crash and that’s where that low cortisol kind of comes together and with that chronic cortisol, a lot of times we see low DHEA, and DHEA is important because that’s gonna be a precursor to a lot of men and women’s sex hormones and so women will go more down the estrogen side. Men, it will trickle more down testosterone. These are both anabolic hormones and so if we have lower DHEA, that tells us the adrenal issues that are going on are more chronic and DHEA will go downstream to more of these anabolic building up type of hormones so very important to take a look at your DHEA because that could tell you if you’re more catabolic inflamed place. And also too, if you do exercise, I get it if it’s like your first couple of movements, It’s like a new exercise kind of thing, you may be a little bit torqued. It’s new but you shouldn’t be overly sore after your workouts. If it’s a new thing, fine, or it was really you know, an acute hard workout but in general you shouldn’t be overly sore, you know, more than two days or so later. You really shouldn’t, you should still be able to function like maybe you feel it like it feels like you did something but it’s not overly sore if you are um and it was a reasonable amount of exercise, it wasn’t like you did too much you’re probably in a more catabolic state, and it’s also you could be over exercising too. So, you gotta make sure you’re not over exercising.
Evan Brand: Yeah or I’m thinking like what about lactic acid build-up too due to gut bacteria or a mitochondrial issue due to some sort of toxin where they’re just depleted, they’re not recovering well, they’re not performing well. So, maybe not directly related to muscle mass but I think mitochondrial issues could be something to look into. You and I measure this and look at this on an organic acid test and we often find a lot of issues, I mean we’re in a toxic world with a lot of chemicals, metals, pesticides and so these things damage the mitochondria which to me would directly impair your ability to perform. Is it directly reducing muscle mass? If your mitochondria are damaged, I’m not sure on that. I’m sure we could look into it but it makes sense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Absolutely. So, a couple different types of um ways you can build muscle, right, we talked about resistance training is obviously gonna be my favorite, right? So, we can do resistance training that kind of acts like cardio so if we do let’s say three or four movements back-to-back to back-to-back that kind of acts like cardio like or instance if I do like bicep curls, right, this is resistance training, you’re probably not gonna see a big bump in your heart rate which is bicep curls, right? So, there’s resistance training where you’re not getting a cardio effect and it’s resistant training where you’re actually getting a cardio effect. So, just like, people think cardio, like, oh, I’m gonna try them all that’s cardio. It’s well no, you can do exercise that’s resistance and still have a cardio effect. So, if I just did like bicep curls or tried extensions probably not a big cardio effect. Now, if I did like bicep curls and then I paired that with the next exercise, let’s say kettlebell swings, right and then the next exercise being some type of full body row or a lunge, you can see how you start getting more muscle groups involved. Your heart rate starts to go up significantly. So, that’s nice because there’s some benefit if you look at some of the zone two exercise theories that are out. With zone two exercises, essentially, when you’re working at about 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate so if you’re at typically like you know, typically around if you’re like max heart rate for most people in their 40s or so will be like maybe around usually, it’s 225 minus your age and so if you’re like 40 that’s like what 225 minus 40 would be like what 185 and so you do 185 times 60 or so that should give you then you’re around like typically around 120 or so for your heart rate so they want you to stay around 120 for about 30 minutes. Now, you may find that you kind of have that zone 2 type of benefit while you’re actually doing lifting, if you kind of do it in a circuit fashion, then you choose movements that are more compound, you may find your heart rate stays that high. Now, the benefit of zone two is you get this really nice drop in your resting heart rate. There’s a lot of people that are reporting a lot of their data from like their fitbits or their or rings where they just have a significant drop in the resting heart rate that they wouldn’t necessarily see for like interval training or I’m sorry like a type of a tabata training where you’re like high intensity low, right? So, this kind of steady state thing for 30 minutes, you know, could have some cardiovascular muscle benefits and you may also be able to get some of that like if you do circuit movement so you can, you know, get one of these fitbits and measure your heart rate while you’re doing it and see if you can stay around 120 for that 30 minute phase that kind of put you in that zone two category around 120 or so.
Evan Brand: Very cool. There was a comment in here from Selena, what about muscle wasting with chronic Lyme? Yeah. 100%. Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with Lyme with co-infections from many tick bites over the years and that’s a big big factor because Lyme loves collagen. It really likes to eat up your collagen reserves and then the inflammation it creates, that invites other things like the Bartonella to move in and create more inflammation in your joints. I’m sure that is a big big factor for you. I think you can get better from it. I’ve certainly gained muscle mass even with the infections, I would still throw it in the infection category though. I think the gut infections are a big one too so don’t go all in online and forget the gut bugs because if you’ve got H. pylori, I think that’s a bigger smoking gun for your digestion. Lyme could still wreck you and cause you to lose muscle, I know one of the girls that I used to work with, I saw her recently at a park and she was so skinny, skeleton skinny and she’s had Lyme for like a decade so I know it really affected her in that way but I do think some of that is reversible if you work on the bugs and get your gut better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, people that have Lyme, it’s very rarely it’s just Lyme. It’s like Lyme but then they have, like a ton of dysbiosis, really poor digestion, so it’s usually people are already in this kind of not so great state and then Lyme comes in there and it’s the straw that breaks camel’s back and because it was the thing. They pushed them over the finish line. They just look at Lyme as being the culprit for all of it and therefore, I think it’s all then all they do is focus on that one thing because they think, oh well this is the root cause because this is what happened when everything went sideways and they get myopically focused on just that and then they’re on these crazy herbal antibiotic protocols for years and they don’t fix the other thing so still get back to the basics with your digestion with your, you know addressing the guts, um, really addressing all the stressors, the adrenals, make sure all of that’s kind of dialed in. Also, how did you do with collagen, I mean I found collagen it’s just great for building up that connective tissue because even like in today’s day and age, we’re getting a lot of muscle meat from our protein source, we’re very, we’re not getting enough of our connective tissue or skin or hide or those type of things like the soups and bone broths probably our ancestors used to do. We’re not getting a lot of those amino acids which are really important for connective tissue.
Evan Brand: I do good with it. I do it every day. I do collagen protein every day so it helps man. I don’t have any elbow problems anymore, my knees are better so like my joints are like so much better, my skin is probably better, hopefully that’s helping with the muscle too. She commented that she did have Bartonella and Babesia. So, yeah, that’s a triple whammy, I mean, you gotta keep working on it, I’m not a fan of the antibiotics, this is a topic for another podcast but you had mentioned that you were doing antibiotics and you know that typically causes the Lyme to go into like a cyst form where it hides from the immune system and a lot of people rebound and relapse on that so I prefer herbs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, if you go look at all the antibiotic side effects, they all match Lyme as well and so it’s like joint pain, fever, malaise, and so there’s like you see a lot of these conventional or should I say more natural minded medical doctors like oh that’s just
Herxheimer, that’s like but it’s like you literally are giving something that has the same side effects of the disease you’re trying to treat and so that’s why we tend to like herbal treatments that are more gentle and we’re trying not to hurt and we’re trying to kind of choose a low dose of herbs that are gonna allow us to support the immune system, still have an antimicrobial benefit, we’re still providing a lot of antioxidants and nutrients in the herbs which is the benefit of the herbs and they don’t cause as much mitochondrial damage while we work on everything else. So, we’re still not gonna ignore everything else and we’re gonna find a treatment that makes sense and doesn’t make you feel sicker and have this self-fulfilling prophecy that the side effects actually match the disease that you’re taking.
Evan Brand: No joke. I mean, we do a whole podcast. Let’s do one sometime on this but she said that she was tired of antibiotics, it’s been three years. Yeah. I mean, that’s affecting your gut which is affecting digestion. We know antibiotics damage the mitochondria so if someone had muscle mass and they had done antibiotics, obviously, you got to look at the gut so I would recommend that you do a stool panel. Do organic acids, try to uncover it, somebody said I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with the beard, I hope that’s a compliment. Thank you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. There you go. I like it. Very good. So, I hope this helps everyone out of the gate here. I mean, just kind of like start from the basics like all right, so to keep your muscles strong you have to have one not be stressed, right? So, do not put yourself in a catabolic state. Think of like, your adrenals being an overdrive, think of like good sleep, good hydration, good food, allowing yourself to be in a parasympathetic nervous system state. Deep nasal breathing, right, appreciation, gratitude, right, make sure we have good digestive support enzymes, HCl, we’re eating a really healthy anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low-toxin template, again, I have some patients that have autoimmune conditions where they have to be even more carnivore because they’re really sensitive to the plant nutrients then after that, looking at all the bottlenecks that could be absorbing things or causing absorption problems in the gut, right, like Evan mentioned, Evan had three Amigos, right, Giardia, Crypto, and H. pylori. And then looking at any of the other bugs there and then of course what types of movements are you gonna do, right? You can start out with just walking if that’s kind of a foundational level then you could start off with some type of a you know circuit training, picking three or four movements and going back-to-back-to-back. You could do some kind of a zone two cardio thing where you do about 30 minutes or so at 120 beats per minute and you can do something non-impact. I like rowing because rowing devices you’re using upper and lower body and you’re putting your body into extension or most of the times on like cardio, you’re kind of like hunched over and like doing your elliptical or you’re running like this or you’re kind of in this flexion state where a rower you’re kind of opening up so that’s kind of cool so those are a couple of tools you know to stimulate the muscles and to um make your heart work as well as make your muscles work.
Evan Brand: I love the rower. Hiking too. I mean, hiking is so easy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Hiking is great.
Evan Brand: I really love it because there’s a lot more variability in your movement as compared to walking on a flat surface so I’m having to like bring my leg up more to go over that rock to go over that tree root like it’s a lot of more leg involved than a flat surface so I love it as long as I’m not getting a tick bite, I’m happy in the woods.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And my favorite functional movements would be like a one-legged squat, uh, it’s excellent and you could just have a chair underneath you where you sit, touch and come back up and you could put up like a phone book on it or something so you don’t have to go all the way down to parallel, uh, a single leg deadlift is excellent and step up. I know, right. I know you can just grab whatever book right. I’m thinking up like the thickest book I could think of right. You know something like that. And then, you could do that and then you could do a step up which is great like on a plyo box and step up. That’s what this is.
Evan Brand: How about, I mean the jumps? Obviously, that’s more intense but man those jump boxes, my God, that’ll, you talk about workout, that’s intense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I mean those plyo boxes are wonderful, I mean, I like is that
Evan Brand: What it’s called the plyo like p yeah how you spell that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Like P-L-Y-O like a plyometric box
Evan Brand: That’s where you’re jumping up and down up and down?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I actually like going on top of those and then just jumping off and then get into a squat because then you’re teaching your body like I’m generating all this force and I’m trying to absorb it so you’re teaching your body to be a shock absorber like just soak up energy which is great.
Evan Brand: To think about that, that hurts my knee. Thinking about jumping off, I used to, I screwed up my knee years ago though you know, I was jumping off loading docks like behind warehouses when I was a kid with a skateboard and when you bail off the skateboard I would land flat on the concrete, my God. That hurt. That was done.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Totally. But yeah, if you’re putting your joints in that kind of intensity, make sure your form is good. Some people say don’t go knees over toes, there’s a whole knees over toe guy on I think Instagram that talks about knees over toes but if you do that just make sure your form is good and you’re not causing any inflammation. Make sure you have enough protein and collagen, amino acids on board as well so you’re dialed in.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And if you need help please reach out, we work with these issues all the time. We’ll help you investigate what’s going on. You may have this root cause, you may have that root cause, you may have multiple root causes but we’re happy to help find the puzzle pieces because you can’t fix what you can’t find so that’s where we come in, we’re happy to help you with this issue. If you want to reach out clinically, we work around the world with people we’d love to help. You can reach out to Dr. J directly at justinhealth.com and there’s consults available everywhere, lab testing, we can get it to your door. It’s no problem. If you’d like to work out with me, not physically but work out with the labs, let’s do it at evanbrand.com. So, justinhealth.com, evanbrand.com, we’re happy to help.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help and we’ll put some of the products that we talked about like collagen and some of the nutrient support, we’ll put them in the description below so if you wanna access some of the things that we recommend for our family and patients and take ourselves, feel free and access that. All right guys, hope you have a phenomenal day. Take care of you all. Peace.
Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.
Why You Can’t Put On Muscle – Functional Medicine Solutions to Avoid Being Flabby | Podcast #357
For most people, Dr. J and Evan state that most of the end goal is to build muscle and tone up. While you may have done your research and watched plenty of workout videos online, many still make a variety of common mistakes that can lead to hampering gains and slowing down their progress.
It would help if you also had protein which contains amino acids, the compounds that help build and repair muscle tissue. While cardio is essential, too much of it can also harm you and possible lack of sleep. Moreover, Dr. J and Evan emphasize that monitoring your diet or food template is vital in the entire process.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
1:53 – The role of protein and diet in building muscles
5:31 – Helpful exercises to stimulate muscle building
12:12 – The gut connection of a flabby body
18:04 – The effect of too much sugar and carbohydrates in muscle growth
30:56 – Helpful strategies and lifestyle modifications to boost muscle growth
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Today, we’re gonna be talking about putting on muscle mass, how to avoid being flabby. We’re gonna be talk about digestion, exercise, being able to absorb and break down protein, also you can work on helping to be, you know, strong, functionally strong, lean, etc. we’re really excited to dive into today’s topic here. Evan, how you doing man?
Evan Brand: Yeah, doing really well and you guys asked for this. We didn’t just come up with this how not to be flabby topic. You guys said this during many so much consultation that Dr. J and I had done personally with people that’s what women say. So, were gonna address that. They say, “I’m flabby and I don’t want to be and what do I do about it?” And if you were to ask like a conventional weight trainer, bodybuilder type person, they’re gonna tell you to probably eat more calories and just work out more harder. And most of the people that have come to us, they’ve already been down that rabbit hole and they’re far more symptomatic and sicker than at the level of where they can just try to hit the gym harder and that’s really to me not the answer because I’m lean. I stay lean. Now, granted I’m not a 50- to 60-year-old woman that has this particular issue, but I don’t have any sort of issue to where I feel like I need to eat less. I don’t count. I don’t measure. I don’t think any of the women and men even listening or watching this, I don’t think you need to count, or measure or weigh. I mean this food obsession. Our ancestors didn’t do this. They’re not out in the past year in, you know, native American times looking at the bison and saying, “oh no, that’s my two ounces of beef, I gotta stop” or “my bison, I can’t go beyond that four-ounce portion that’s too much”. There’s deeper root causes like estrogenic compounds in the environment and mycotoxins that effect your leptin receptors and create this fat storage mode so there is some more modern toxin issues that hopefully we can dive into today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So, first thing out of the gates, we need to make sure we’re consuming enough protein. That’s really important. So, protein is essentially the building blocks to help out put on muscle and to keep our body strong and so what’s kind of the general sliding scale. Again, it depends upon how much you’re wanting to exercise, what your goals are right. So, as a female, you’re not gonna just be able to hit some lifting and then get overly bulky, it’s just not gonna happen. But, kind of general scale is about half a gram to one gram per pound of body weight is a pretty good rule of thumb so if you’re a guy like I’m six to 215 pounds, I would probably if I wanna really get bigger, I need to be doing at least 200, 230, you know, grams of protein per day, right? Typically, I’m at about .6 to like three quarters a gram per pound of body weight, so like maybe around 150 grams. I’m usually about 5 – 6 ounces of proteins per meal and so that’s kind of where I need to beat at one protein is very satiating, I’m making sure, I’m consuming fat with it, so, then it’s stabilizing blood sugar. It’s providing a lot of amino acids which are, you know, important for brain chemistry, blood sugar stability, mood. Also, adding fat with it which one fat tends to have good high-quality cholesterol from animal products, so, that provide building blocks for hormones, fat soluble vitamins, really good nutrients. And from there, your carbs are going to be dialed in based on your activity levels, that’s where more starch, if you’re more active, if you are pretty lean, you could probably handle more starch. If you’re carrying extra weight, you want to mitigate the starch, go lower on the starch and focus more on non-starchy vegetables, maybe a little bit of low sugar fruit and kind of time that up. The next thing is stimulus. You’re gonna need to more your muscles ideally and it’s not have to be a crazy amount. It depends on your goals are. If you’re just a woman then you wanna have your muscles just feel solid, that could be something like Pelatis, where you’re doing body weight or cable movements, you know, typically finding a movement where you could do about 12 to 15, as a female, reps, um, with maybe 1 – 2 reps the tank. And I like, 1 – 2 reps in the tank, just because it makes it so you’re probably gonna hurt yourself. The more skilled you are, the more you can go right to failure, that’s better. The less skilled you are with the movement, if you don’t have a good trainer watching you, you know, probably leaving one to two reps in the tank will help prevent you getting injured. But, just recommend starting with push-ups with good full-range push-ups. I like having a borrowed push-up because I can go deeper which is great, my face won’t hit the ground, right, so I can go deeper, go all the way down and then go all the way up, so full range. Here, you can get a TRX which is a suspension trainer, put it in the door jam, I have one over here in my gym and you can do a full range pull so you’re working in the push, pull, and of course you can also do, uh, Lat pulldowns like this, or hands facing to you, so pull up, chin ups in the face, do more of the Lats, yeah, chin ups, more Lats, pull up is gonna be more biceps. So, you’re working, trying to work every single range that comes at you and ideally with the pull up you could get some elastic bands that hook around your bar and that go around your knee that gives you that little extra push. So, the key is just to find simple movements that you can do to failure plus or minus 1 or 2 reps in the tank. That’s a really good stimulus out of the gates and the next thing is really dialing in the protein, so we talked about amounts there and then we can go other things like digestion and other gut issues that could be impairing that protein absorption later on.
Evan Brand: So, I can hear a woman saying, “you’re nuts, I’m not gonna do a pull-up, there’s no way I can do a push up, I’m not anywhere close to that fitness level”. And I would say, if you’re not, if you do have access to a gym, if you’re into a gym, I’m not anymore, I used to have a gym membership, I don’t need it anymore, I’ve got a good setup at home, so I feel like I’m great without it. But if you were to have access to a gym even for 10 bucks a month. There’s a lot of good ones like planet fitness that are out there now to where you can do some of these assisted like, uh, type exercises where they have assisted pull-ups or they have like assisted, uh, dips where you have weight that literally pushes you. It like, if you weigh 200 you add 50 pounds that it’ll make you feel like you weigh 150 and you can start there. So, you’re really starting with like a negative weight of your true weight. So those machines are available if you could feel like you’re just so out of shape, you can’t even do one push-up or one pull. And you can just go on your knees too, I mean you could start out push-ups on your knees as needed. You gotta find people, where they’re at. So, if you’re like, ‘man I’m too discouraged, I can’t do a freaking pull-up, I give up, I’m not doing anything’, you don’t have that attitude about it and if you could have one piece of equipment, I mean, I gotta say I love the row machine, I’m glad you got one too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The roller is lovely machine.
Evan Brand: It works your legs, it works your arms, it works your backs, works your arms, your traps. I mean if I could take one thing to an island, some are gonna argue with kettlebell, which probably is more functional, but in terms of enjoyment, I gotta say, I really enjoy and love the rower and I still think, there’s a place for kettlebells and dumbbells, I mean those are awesome, universal things. But for women, that and, and I just know this based on personal experience. Maybe younger females are not gonna be turned away. But I can tell you, if I try to take a kettlebell to a 70-year-old woman, she’s not gonna be interested in swinging that thing around. She’s gonna be worried about hurting her back or swinging the wrong way and it’s a lot more intimidating than sitting down and just simply rowing. So, this is hard to give one universal prescription because there’s different people listening, but I would say rower is very easy, low impact on your joints and not intimidating at all.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and then what’s the name of the rower that we have?
Evan Brand: It’s called a concept 2.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Concept 2. Yeah. I think I have the D. You have the D as well?
Evan Brand: Yeah. I think, yeah. I think the D is, there’s a little different but yeah concept 2-D, it’s a rower. It’s vey very sturdy. You get what you paid for. So, it’s around a thousand bucks but it’s worth it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s worth it, you could stand it up, so it saves a lot of space too. Yeah, I like that more for my interval stuff, so I’ll do a 30 sec on, 20 sec off, I’ll do eight sets of that. That’s gonna be more of like high intensity, just really good cardio interval stuff. I like that, just for keeping metabolism up, keeping the body a little bit leaner and more functional. I like the fact that you’re doing something that’s on the cardio side that’s putting you more into extension like this and you’re using your hamstrings to pull yourself as you slide right back and forward, you’re using a lot of your hamstrings and then a lot of the back where a lot of cardio stuff like, you know, whether it’s a bike or you’re on Peloton or you’re on elliptical, you kind of hunched over in this flexion position. I love the fact that you’re opening things up and extension. So, I like that. That’s good. That’s definitely on the cardio side. Now, like Evan talked about earlier like, easiest thing out of the gates a TRX suspension trainer is great because you can just change the angle in which you’re at so like, if here’s the suspension trainer hanging, and if I’m like at this position, this is going to be, meaning I’m flat with the ground, I’m like a 90 degrees angle from that suspension trainer, that’s gonna be the hardest. So, you can always just change it so you’re at 45 degrees or less. It’s like the equivalent of like kneeling or doing a wall push up, right, the angle is less, um, less perpendicular, therefore you’re gonna have less force, so you can always just do a TRX trainer and just change the angle so that push up or pull up is gonna be less and then in between you can also even do cables, whether you have cables at a gym or you can get some flexible bands that either wrap around like, um, like let’s say, I have a big, um, squat bar, so I’d wrap it around that and so it would be behind me like this and I would do pushes like this where I could do pulls like that, that’s great. Just, if you’re wearing, if you’re doing cables, if it’s not fully secure, I do recommend wearing safety class. People have gotten those things that have snapped and hit you in the eye, you can get some safety ones that like have like a little protective, I wanna say, like a wrapper around the cable. So, if it does break, the wrapper prevents it from whacking you in the eye. Does that make sense? So protective band or really kind of a safety-based cable that’s not gonna break, um, if it does it won’t whack you. So those are good options for you out of the gates for stimulus, because you need to have the stimulus, right? Push, pull, right, pull in the vertical motion, you can even do a row in that motion, uh, you can do hip extension movement which is the easiest thing there is gonna be like a kettlebell swing, that’s gonna be easy or some type of a deadlift, right, it’s gonna be really an easy one there out of the gates. Anything else you wanna say about just the lifting? I recommend just, kind of, keep it simple. Do primal movements that are just gonna one put resistance in that plane of motion and just work within that, plus or minus, you know, 1 – 2 reps of failure. So, you’re not gonna hurt yourself but you also feel a little bit fatigued the next day.
Evan Brand: Well, just simply moving throughout the day, I mean a lot of people are listening right now, they’re sitting at an office chair, they’re sitting in their car, you and I are both standing up, right now and we both do stand and sit. Sometimes, I’ll put my desk on the very lowest setting to where I’ll just literally be on one knee, like proposing and I will work on one knee for a little while. So, you and I are doing something very unnatural and many people are listening, we’re looking at screens and we’re, um, in a box working on a computer and so that’s very unnatural. So, I try to counteract that as best as I can by trying to either do the row machine on my lunch break and go from sitting to standing to kneeling and just try to do these positions. So, people listening, I’m not saying you gotta stand all day, I did that for a while, they hurt my back, so I think too much of one thing is not good either and if you’re a woman you’re in an office and you’ve got high heels shoes on, you’re trying to do it, obviously take your shoes off, try to go barefoot, you can get a really good like silicone, like rubber mat that they use for like washing dishes at the same time. Yeah, like an anti-fatigue mat, I mean, I would do something like that. These are the simple strategies. Now, would it be more optimal to be out in the sunshine all day, mostly skin exposed grounded, walking the beach 2miles a day and eating grass-fed meat all day and you know having, you know, handsome men, like wave banana leaves and keep you cool. That’d be awesome but people still have to work so I think you’ve got to work in some of these functional strategies with your normal real life. And then let’s go into the more, I guess you would call it nuance but really more of the deeper root causes because I’ve had people lose 50 to 75 pounds by changing nothing in regards to diet and nothing in regards to fitness. These were people that were relatively active. These were people that already had their diet dialed in, they were mostly animal based good quality meats, doing fine on the protein and the fats but they had these other root cause issues and I’d say that the first place would be to go is the gut and you and I have talked about this in other aspects but in other podcasts too but the gut can really be a big place where you gonna become flabby and this is really due to the recirculation of toxins, when you have bacterial growth in your gut, which is an extremely common thing, this is not rare. When you have a bacterial overgrowth, in general, that can create an elevation of what’s called Beta-glucuronidase, which is an enzyme that’s gonna cause you to recirculate hormones and so, you have this personal trainer beating you up and you’re not making progress. If you don’t look at this marker and you don’t fix the gut, you’re likely not gonna have many results and the personal trainer is gonna take it personal. They’re gonna try to hit you harder, they’re gonna try to kill you and I’ve heard this before when women are literally dropping out of fitness classes because the instructor’s just beating, beating, beating and it’s like that’s the definition of insanity. So, you got to get this root causes. If you’ve got this recirculation of these hormones and or toxins like mycotoxins, I don’t care how hard you hit the CrossFit, you’re not gonna get the results that you want.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And also, just if the fats over that muscle, you’re gonna feel a little bit flabby even though the muscle underneath is getting a little bit stronger. So, you know, I always recommend getting your micronutrients dialed in, getting your carbohydrates in check so you’re not overdoing it, uh, because the more carbohydrates you make, the more insulin, the more you’re gonna be storing your fuel as fat. And again, the more your metabolism is higher, you’re more ectomorphic, you’re leaner naturally, you can handle more carbohydrates, right? The goal is that we individualize things for each person because, you know, we talk about low carb or keto, some people don’t need to do that and some people can be keto and much higher levels of carbohydrates. Some people can be ketogenic at 100 grams, for 200 grams of carbohydrates a day based on their activity and their metabolism. Some needs to be like minus 20 or 30 net. So, everyone’s a little bit different, I think that’s the important. There’s some individuality there. I would say the next thing is we, um, if you’re a female, it’s really important, menopause can really throw women’s metabolism off. If there’s low thyroid or Hashimoto’s that can really throw metabolism off. So, if you’re struggling, you’re having a hard time, we have to look at your thyroid function, look at your T3, your thyroid levels, look at antibodies, make sure that’s under control. If progesterone and estrogen is very low especially estriol and progesterone that can affect muscle building. Progesterone is really important for collagen and elasticity formation. It’s part of the reason why women get a lot of varicose veins is low progesterone, which has a major effect on the elasticity of the veins. So very important there. And then I would also say, um, toxin exposure, right? If you have lots of estrogen, if your estrogen dominant from birth control pills or estrogen from meats or milks or soy, that can put you in more of a fat storing mode because these hormones produce more fat and then guess what your fat also has an exocrine function in regards to producing estrogen. The fatter you get then the more fat you get and the more estrogen your fat cells produce. It’s just like downward spiral that just kind of, is a positive feedback loops that gets worse and worse as you go along. So, you really have to look at toxins in meat, pesticides which are all hormone-based, drugs that are gonna have estrogens in it, birth control pills, etc., milks, plastics, eating your foods out of plastic especially plastics that you’re warming things up on or you’re letting UV light hit, definitely not a good thing out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said on the thyroid too and your personal trainer is likely not testing your thyroid, so obviously, that’s were gonna be doing. And then also you know, we have a lot of experience with fitness. So, we try to educate people and give fitness plans and advice where we can there. And, I think the big people are skipping the foundational pieces. I mean, it’s fine if you just want to sign up for a class and try to get active but really, I would say, get some of these labs run first. Get your gut looked at so we can see what type of bacterial overgrowth you have, as I mentioned this is an epidemic problem. This is not a rare situation and the gut can be one of the big wrenches in your gears. That’s not allowing you to lose the weight properly and like I said, have people literally lose 75 pounds, just by fixing some of these strategies like fixing digestion. Now, for some people it could go to the other way. Some of these issues with females, it’ll cause weight loss and they’re having issues with getting muscle back, you know, building it back. And so, it depends on where you’re at. Some, they lose muscle and they still have body fat but they’re thin they’re like a skinny fat, they call it, you know, you could have a woman who’s five foot two and she’s 140lbs. And then all of a sudden, she gets sick, loses weight, now she’s 120 but she still looks flabby. That could just be because she lost that muscle due to malabsorption due to these infections like H. pylori. You and I’ve talked about the story of me where I lost 25 pounds without trying, I didn’t really have much weight to lose, but I got super skinny due to my gut infections and so it took me literally several years to build the muscle back but the first step to building back was to get rid of the gut infections and then still working on detox. I had a ton of mold toxin issues and that really screwed up my metabolism to where I was very hungry like 2 – 3 hours, I’d have to eat and no matter if it was a grass-fed steak or what. And now, I could literally go from 7am to 1pm without food and I feel like perfectly fine. I feel satiated, my brain works better, I have more mental clarity, so a lot of it’s the as you mentioned. It’s the blood sugar involvement too so you have to fix that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% So like the big checklist out of the gates is don’t do too much carbohydrates. Too much carbohydrate, too much sugar will make you a little bit flabby whether it’s through cortisol, whether it’s through inflammation, oxidative stress. Of course, if you’re eating a lot more carbs, right, you’re not really getting enough protein typically, right? Unless, you are someone who’s higher metabolism and really making sure proteins and carbs are dialed in and you’re doing a lot of activity. Most people, they do too much carbs too much sugar, they tend to not be getting enough protein. So, half of your body weight in grams is usually pretty decent out of the gates and then you can go up to one gram per pound of body weight depending on how active you are. So, some are gonna be good, most women are gonna be good, somewhere between a half to maybe two-thirds to three-quarters. And a lot of male people that wanna get really big, they may want to be one gram per pound of body weight. That’s kind of a good sliding scale.
Evan Brand: Now, in the beginning, I was saying I don’t think people need to count, measure, weigh and then now you’re giving numbers so I just want to clarify kind of where I am with it. I think you can and should, to get a ballpark of where you’re at based on your meals but you should not be obsessing about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I keep it really simple, right? And so, what is, um, what is about four ounces of protein is gonna be about 25 – 30 grams of protein, right? And so, for most women, that’s gonna be about a palm to a fist size. And so, when you looking at, picking up, you know, you’re serving yourself a meal, it’s very simple, you know, there’s no weighing or measuring, you’re just kind of like what is about a palm to a fist size in regards to my hand, in regards to that serving of protein on the plate and you just scoop yourself up that amount anyway and that’s your amount. So, there’s no real crazy amount of weighing or measuring, it’s just kind of eyeballing kind of your own anatomy comparatively to what’s on the plate, and that’s usually a pretty good rule of thumb. And you know you did pretty, pretty good it’s because you’re gonna feel satiated after that meal, you’re going to eat about 10 minutes after you finished eating. The goal is we want to feel satiated enough where we can go 4 – 5 hours to the next meal. So, that’s kind of give you enough. We’re not pulling on a scale. We’re not having to measure but you got to know that like in the end, if you’re eating enough, well, what does that really mean? You ate some size amount. What is that size? It’s probably gonna be between 3 and 5 ounces of protein on average and then you can just use your hand as a good frame of reference when you’re serving yourself up. Keep it simple.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Thanks for clarifying that because I said a lot of people, they’re just so brainwashed from conventional dieting and stuff and they get freaked out about food. They have like a PTSD of food portioning and all that and they think they have to do that. And you don’t and once you get clued in with your satiety signals. It’s so easy, you don’t need to think about it and.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a good frame of reference, right? Because in the end, you’ve gotta serve yourself up something. How do you know to serve yourself up this much versus this much, right? You know, usually, you know, 3 – 6 ounces, 3 – 5 ounces would be pretty good. So, like for a guy, right, I’m 6 – 10-ish, right? I have bigger hands to like I may serve protein amounts the size of my hound. So, go between a palm to a palm, to a fist to a full hand is usually that frame of reference. The more active you are, the more stressed you are, the more act, you know, the more you’re doing exercise, move to a protein amount the size of your full hand. The less active you are, you can go to that palm size. And if you just starting out like you’re coming on board like being like a vegan vegetarian where there’s not a lot of protein. Start with a quarter palm then kind of work your way up. And again, if you have problems with your protein, it typically means you have low hydrochloric acid, low enzymes and you have to really work with a good functional medicine person to get your HCl and enzymes up and you may have H. pylori and SIBO and other bacterial imbalances that are impending your digestion so you have to look deeper if those symptoms come up. It’s not the protein, it’s the fact that your digestive system is weaker and cannot tolerate the protein.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. A lot of people blame the meat, ‘oh, I feel bad when I eat meat, so I’m not gonna eat meat’. It’s like, no. That’s, you’re supposed to be doing that. Like, I have a client the other day that was in South Dakota, super strict vegan. And I’m like, ‘okey how dedicated are you to being vegan?’. Like, well, they’re totally like, ‘I’m total dedicated’. Like, okay, so if let’s just role play, I was like, ‘okay, if there were no planes, no trains, no buses, no semi-tracks and it’s the middle of February and there’s a foot of snow on the ground in South Dakota, are you gonna be able to stick to your diet?’ The answer is ‘no way’. I’m like, ‘what would you be eating that’s in the landscape?’ Animals. So, we don’t have to turn into that podcast but I just want people to know, how important these things are. They really do help stabilize blood sugar. Could you make vegetarian vegan diets work? Maybe, if you try really, really hard. But that’s a whole other podcast. Let’s go back to the mycotoxin piece for a minute because something we’re seeing is something called Zearalenone, which is highly, highly estrogenic mycotoxin and it comes from a mold Fusarium which grows in water damaged buildings. Now, you will get exposed to some of this from moldy contaminated grains but I would say that vast majority, 90% of it, I would estimate is probably from buildings meaning whether your mother had mold and passed it in utero and if you are breastfed, if you went to moldy daycare as a kid, moldy elementary, middle, high school, moldy homeschool, moldy college, moldy dorm, moldy office building. I mean this is an epidemic problem. I see it literally every single day, all day and Zearalenone really screws up your estrogen, actually far more than soy. It’s way more estrogenic than soy. So, we do talk about, you know, the pitfalls of doing like soy protein and that kind of thing. But man, Zearalenone will screw you up way more than soy protein. And this is something you have to use binders to pull it out of the system. So, if you’re struggling with weight loss, you are having these estrogen dominant symptoms. Maybe, you’ve worked on the hormone piece, but you’re still struggling. Maybe you’ve implemented something like calcium D-Glucarate to work on that glucuronidation pathway but you’re still suffering, you may need to look into this and we measure this via urine. So, this is where, like you mentioned, a good work-up comes in handy. We’re gonna do urine, we’re gonna do stool as needed. We can look into these different body systems and find the dysfunction but this is the real root cause, functional medicine strategy to have lean muscle mass and lose body fat. And unfortunately, this is a very, very not talked about discussion. You and I talked before we hit record, there’s a lot of talking heads on the internet. People that will say this study says that and this study says that but none of them are actually doing the clinical work and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if we didn’t get results. And we get results because we’re running the right labs, we’re doing the right root cause strategy which is getting these toxins out of the system. And I’ve seen it in children as young as five, I’ve seen it in two, three, four-year-old. I’ve seen it in my own kids, we tested their urine and see mycotoxins. So, this is a problem that it does affect kids. Now, you know, obesity in children usually there is diet issues but I have seen in some cases, I have a lady in New York, her 8-year-old was basically eating paleo but she was obese and she had extremely high levels of Zearalenone. Luckily for this little girl, we were able to do binders, she was able to swallow pills which was great because it made it easier and boom this kid lost weight, she didn’t change anything with diet. She just detoxed. So, honestly with so much toxins that we’re up against, I would say detox support for life is really how I approach the conversational people.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, if you’re in a moldy home, you know definitely get your home tested. If you have a lot of mold toxins out of the gate, you know, it depends on kind of where you’re at. If there’s an active mold stress in the environment, I typically recommend work on getting your digestion, your diet, your inflammation dialed in. If there’s no active mold in your environment and then work on dealing with mold detoxification once you have more stability with all your other organ systems and immune function. So, it just depends upon where you’re coming from. If you have like active mold in your environment, that’s the easiest way to detoxify out of the gates is to get the environment kind of more dialed in and we have a podcast on that topic that we can put in the links down below. Evan, anything else you want to highlight for the listeners? So, I mean digestion is really important, HCl, enzymes, bacterial overgrowth, poor digestion, we talked about getting enough protein and again we thought you kind of talked about measuring not measuring but just kind of using your own anatomy as frame of reference because you have to serve yourself anyway in regards to what you’re eating. So, it just gives you a good frame of reference that you know how much to give and then ideally enough so you feel full and that you’ll last about 4 to 5 hours. Now, if you’re working with trainers out of the gates, do enough where you feel sore not overly sore, the next day or two make sure you walk out of the gym feeling more energized than when you started. Make sure you can emotionally repeat what you are doing, you’re not emotionally exasperated and then also that next day or that later on that day. If it’s a morning workout, make sure you don’t feel run over by a bus, make sure you’re doing just enough where your body can adapt to. It’s all about adaptation, can you adapt to it, from it, can you feel better then afterwards. And again, if you’re doing a brand-new movement, you may feel a little bit sore and it’s a new movement so just, you know, try to keep that in the back of your head too.
Evan Brand: And, if you can’t recover then there’s probably some level of mitochondrial dysfunction. We’re also gonna look at that, if we look at chemical profile testing, there’s a marker there. If we look at organic acids, we can look at mitochondria there. So, for me, after I got exposed to mold, I would tell you, my performance and my recovery was terrible. I mean, I used to recover in like a day or two. It was like 3 days, I was still sore, I was like, man, this is not right. Once I got the mitochondria working better, retested, look at it, I confirmed, hey, that was directly correlated. And we’ve talked about this I think briefly before but the issue of bacterial overgrowth and that producing high levels of lactic acid so you could have a high baseline level of lactic acid which creates this soreness even just from the overgrowth in your gut. So, we’ll have a woman that’ll say, ‘oh my God. I’m sore and I haven’t done anything, all I done was go in the garden, why am I so damn sore’. Their bucket was already so full due to the gut infection. So, fix that, test it, and fix it. The last thing I was gonna say was on the environment, which is that you can’t get well in a sick environment. So, whether that’s bad lighting, LED lighting, try to use incandescent bulbs, like half natural lights, like I’m surrounded by a bunch of windows. Getting that bright light exposure to help regulate your cortisol rhythm, making sure you’re using twilight or some other app at night on your phone, if you’re doing blue light at night, because we know that blue light can make you fat through various mechanisms affecting glucose and cortisol making sure your detoxing making sure you’re not wearing synthetic fragrance, I mean there’s so many people we asked this on the intake form. Do you use scented products? I will tell you, I’m very surprised how many people are seeking out natural functional medicine and they still use scented laundry detergent, dryer sheets. All these synthetic fragrances, they can affect your hormones and they’re not good. They are bad toxins. They’re endocrine disruptors. So, go free and clear. It’s not expensive, every mainstream brand has a free and clear unscented version. So, implement that easily. You don’t want to be wearing endocrine disruptors on your clothes all day, you’re already exposed to those. If you go out, even to Chipotle, which I think is one of the best places you could go if you have to eat out. Even their bowls have those non-stick chemicals in there. So, you’re getting exposed to toxins even if you’re not trying, the last thing you want to do is wear those and put your husband or your kids in those clothes. So, go fragrance free please.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And also, by the way, you know, if you show up to the store like my wife got Thai the other day. I went and picked it up for and they like scooped it and put it in like, like this hot coconut, you know, curry in a plastic container. So, I recommend, if you can, you know, keep a Pyrex container in your car, so if you go out to these places, literally bring your own glass Pyrex. Hey, can you please put it in this.
Evan Brand: They might. They might comply. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve done it before. I’ve done it with Thai a lot of times because it’s so hot so I’ll just bring it but like hey can you please have the cook put it in this place.
Evan Brand: That’s awesome. I travel with my own. We travel with our own, you know water bottles, we’ll bring our own stainless-steel cups everywhere we go. So, we’re not drinking water that’s gonna be contaminated with small amounts of pesticide and herbicide and pharmaceutical drugs. You can look up the environmental working group. For people listening, type in, EWG water report. You can put in your zip code. Here in Kentucky, where I am, we have certain chemicals in the water hundreds of times higher than the safe levels that are all highly carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors. So, this is not just, we’re being picky, no, the water in tap water is toxic. So, you need to travel with filtered water and you’re saving your gut. We know that parts per billion of glyphosate damages good bacteria which creates bacterial overgrowth. So, unfortunately it has become more complicated to become healthy. Have you seen those memes, I’m sure you have of like a bunch of skinny people at the beach in the 1960s and all the obese people in the 2020s at the beach and it’s like ‘what happened? ‘. And there was a lot less of that toxic exposure back then than now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was also carbohydrates too, I mean there was no trans fat back then. If you look at carbohydrates, if you look at, like, the macronutrients per decade, proteins relatively flat, you’ll see fat drop and you’ll see carb increase. So really, it’s a lot more carbs, a lot less good fat. So, of course, good healthy saturated fats, I mean up until 1988, McDonalds have beef tallow, up until the uh, I think it’s the CSPA whatever one of these vegan groups came in and wanted soybean oil which just disastrous, I mean if you had reasonably non-GMO free, um, potatoes in some beef tallow that’s amazing, that’s actually not even that bad. Um, but they changed it to soy in ’88 so you have a lot more processed vegetable oils, omega-6 that just really damaged, uh, that gets into your cell membrane and really toxifies your cell membrane, and it takes years to come out. So, make sure, you’re consuming really good high quality animal saturated fats and if you’re doing, you know, monounsaturated to keep it like avocado, keep it to high quality cold pressed olive oil and try to get at least half of your fats from high quality saturated fats. That’s important.
Evan Brand: Yeah. The oils are, men, we can do, let’s do a whole like oil special but in general the seed oils and all that are no good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you guys enjoyed today’s podcast, let us know. Put it in the notes. Put it in the description, please give us a share with your friends or family, also give us a like and a thumbs up that helps the search algorithm. And if you wanna reach out to Evan, head over to evanbrand.com. There’ll be a link where you can click and work with Evan. Head over to my site, justinhealth.com. I’m Dr. J, we’ll put links down below. If you’re gonna work with us, we are available worldwide. We work with a wide variety of patients from the young, from the old, females, men, etc. A lot of hormone issues, a lot of gut issues, a lot of toxicity issues that’s our specialty. We’re here to help you out and if you want to support us, we’ll put down the links below to different products that we recommend in regards to today’s podcast. Evan, anything else?
Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing I would say, so many people have already tried everything and been to everybody and seen many, many people before they come to us, so I’m not bragging about that but it just happens to be that you and I are the people who are working with people generally somewhere close to the end of their rope and that puts a lot of pressure on us clinically to make sure that we get good results and we come through with that and you can read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 5 star of our clinic reviews, not just the podcast reviews but the clinic reviews too. So, I encourage people that if you’re like, ‘oh God could these guys really help, I don’t know I’ve already seen this person and that person. I’ve seen a lot of people do what was called functional and was not functional like, ‘oh I went to this integrative doctor’ and she ran one blood test for the hormones and that was it, like that’s not a functional protocol. I’m sorry. You didn’t get anywhere close to the functional workup that they’re claiming. So, functional is becoming this marketing term but there’s so many people that are not truly doing that. And I want to just encourage you and give you inspiration that we’re doing the real deal here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Really appreciate it. All right guys, if you enjoy it, thumbs up comments below. We’re here to help. Have a good one you all. We will be back again. Take care.
Evan Brand: See you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye-bye
Evan Brand: Bye.