Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Jul

Dear Mark: Too Much Coconut Milk, Donating Blood, De Novo Lipogenesis, and Distilled Water

The milk of the coconut enjoys an exalted position among in our community. We prize its ketone-generating prowess. We marvel at how it laughs off bile salts with nary a care and goes straight to digestion. Its tendency to shoulder aside longer-chain fats in the acetyl-CoA line doesn’t even come off as a jerk move. And when we find ourselves at southeast Asian eateries, coconut milk-based dishes are always a dependable option. It forms the basis of smoothies, curries, and refreshing summer drinks. Yet one question remains: does such a thing as too much coconut milk exist?

Find out the answer to that question, plus several more, in this week’s edition of Dear Mark. Let’s get to it:

How much is too much coconut milk? I’m addicted to the stuff.


When you find yourself skulking around town, glancing furtively up at passers-by as you sip out of a can of coconut milk wrapped in a paper bag, you’ve had too much. If you find yourself holed up in a dingy Albuquerque motel room littered with empty tetra-paks of Aroy-D, you’ve got a problem. Other than that, as long as you’re not gaining unwanted body fat, or drinking so much that it displaces other, more nutrient-dense foods in your diet, you’re probably fine.

If you’re curious what I think is the upper limit of sane consumption for other foods like bacon, butter, chocolate, coffee, eggs, nuts and many others, check out How Much is Too Much? and How Much is Too Much? – Round 2.

Dear Mark,

I donate blood regularly and, as you may be aware, post-donation, one is expected to consume sugar in it’s purest form. They provide cookies and fruit juices and all sorts of things which I normally avoid since having gone Primal. So my question is: is there a better, more Primal method, for dealing with suddenly losing a pint of blood, or should I continue eating the sugar?



From what I understand, the juice is there primarily to get your blood volume back up after a draining, and the snacks are there to get you to sit down, relax, and take a load off for fifteen minutes to recuperate before rushing off and getting into trouble in your potentially-lightheaded state. Since you only have about a teaspoon of sugar in your blood at any one time, a piece of fruit (or even the juice) is plenty to replace anything that you’re missing. As for the fluids, regular water is fine. Coconut water is another good option.

You should probably drink some water beforehand, too, to prepare for the upcoming draining.

Ultimately, there’s nothing magic about the cookies and OJ.

Hi Mark – Great site and book.

I have long been puzzled by the following question: Can excess high blood glucose become fat even if you have glycogen stores available?

Let’s say I have enough muscle to hold 500g of glucose as glycogen and right now only 100g is full. General opinion seems to say whatever excess glucose I take in beyond immediate needs will automatically convert to muscle glycogen until the 500g is full.

However, experience tells me that if you have very high blood glucose some it can be converted to fat *even* if some of it also converts to muscle glycogen, so that eating carbs is not just a simple accounting problem.

Does this seem right to you?



Studies are fairly consistent that de novo lipogenesis (or conversion into fat) only occurs when glycogen stores are topped off. That is, so long as you’ve got spaces open in your muscles for glucose to be stored as glycogen, postprandial de novo lipogenesis will rarely – if ever – occur to any significant degree. Putting glucose in muscle is one of insulin’s favorite activities; it’s easier to do that than convert it into fat. So, all done, right? That wraps up that?

Ha, if only it were that easy. If only modern humans existed in a state of depleted and then repleted glycogen. If only we weren’t a society of carb-eating, couch-sitting apes with perpetually topped-off glycogen stores. Then, maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about dietary carbs causing so many problems.

We’re not, though. Our sedentary muscles are, by and large, topped off with glycogen around the clock. Oh, sure, we might get so dependent on sugar for energy that walking to our car, clicking the remote control, and reaching for another sip of whatever we’re drinking uses up some muscle glycogen (instead of fat), but most of us are not the insulin-sensitive “healthy young men” with 11-14% body fat, “one of whom is a competitive swimmer” featured in that de novo lipogenesis study (PDF). Most of us can’t handle 500 grams of carbohydrates and many of us are insulin-resistant. And although there are no real studies examining the prevalence of de novo lipogenesis in the insulin-resistant and glycogen-replete, there are hints.

Take this 2011 study, which found that depleting glycogen stores with exercise reduced postprandial de novo lipogenesis in subjects fed a carb-rich meal. Compared to the non-exercising control group, the exercisers experienced three-fold higher postprandial muscle glycogen synthesis (more dietary glucose became muscle glycogen) and a 40% reduction in hepatic triglyceride synthesis (less liver fat produced). It’s clear, then, that studies performed using lean, healthy, and/or glycogen-depleted subjects don’t tell the entire story for everyone else.

As to your situation, you probably don’t have a team of researchers examining the glycogen content of your muscles before and after a meal. You’re just kinda eyeballing things, using the mirror and your subective impression of how things are going or not going – like all of us. So I don’t have a hard answer for you, unfortunately. I don’t know exactly what your capacity for de novo lipogenesis looks like, because that depends on the degree of glycogen depletion, the carb load, your insulin sensitivity, and plenty of other variables. What I can tell you is that any available space in your muscles for glycogen will be filled by incoming dietary carbohydrate before de novo lipogenesis occurs.

The question becomes: are you truly glycogen depleted? Most people aren’t.


I read your blog alot and hand out in the forums occasionally. A topic that has come up for me lately is whether distilled water is good for you to drink. My father in law (chiropractor) swears by it, but a guy I know at work (biology Major) is adamantly against it.

Do you have any thoughts on it or any legitimate articles you could point me to that are not supported by distillers or bottled water companies.

Cheers. Thanks.


I don’t really have a dog in this fight, and I’m unaware of any studies dealing directly with the safety or danger of drinking distilled water, but there is evidence that drinking mineral water (whether it’s high mineral tap water, well water, or bottled mineral water) confers significant health benefits. Let’s take a look at some evidence of minerals in drinking water affecting health, shall we?

Of course, most of these studies are epidemiological, and thus inconclusive, but they point to a possible effect. My thinking? It’s not that distilled water is bad for you. It’s that minerals are good for you, and drinking water was a common, ancestral source of minerals for most of human history. Much like the modern obsession with sterility (hand sanitizers on keychains, etc.) has robbed us of important exposure to dirt and microbes, perhaps our obsession with “purified” water has robbed us of vital minerals.

I still drink tap water, but I also keep a bottle of trace mineral drops on hand. A couple drops in a glass of water, a half teaspoon in a jug, and you’ve effectively remineralized your water (and anything you use that water to cook). For example, if you’re going to be cooking up some white rice (for whatever reason), a teaspoon of minerals in the cooking water will make the nutrient-poor grain nominally more nutrient-dense.

That’s it for today. Questions, comments, concerns? Leave them in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Really appreciate these every week, especially the coconut one. However, who ever said Albuquerque motels were dingy?

    ElizaGrok wrote on July 16th, 2012
  2. Hey now…not all hotel rooms in Albuquerque are dingy. 😉 And FYI, it’s spelled Albuquerque. As always, good info here. Thanks.

    RobinNM wrote on July 16th, 2012
  3. There are all sorts of reported dangers to fluoride in the water – I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does more harm than good.

    Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Here is a great link (with video) on the dangers of fluoride in water. Considering we can’t live without it, I would say its a pretty important thing to look into.

      Max Ungar wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • Time to channel Murray Rothbard on Flouride:

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Murray (still) kicks ass.

          Trav wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Rothbard is the Mack.

          Jim wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • While the subject is open-ish, anyone have a root canal’d tooth? There’s a dental subject worth further investigation. Had mine out, back pain vanished in the waiting room while the gauze pressed on my gums.
          Dental. Fluoride.
          WHAT A SCAM.

          Ma Flintstone wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Who knew Ron Burgundy was both Paleo and a Libertarian?

          Graham wrote on July 17th, 2012
  4. Follow up question for Mark or others -let’s say that muscle and liver glycogen levels are at some “depleted” level (50% or less). In this case is it possible/normal for stored fat to be converted back into glucose and used to top of the muscle and liver glycogen levels?


    Tim Huntley wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I would also like to know this.

      Primal Toad wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • From what I can remember from my research fat cannot be converted into glucose (or back into glucose). Only protein can be converted to glucose. But if I am wrong on this someone please correct me!!

      Heather wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • only protein can be converted to glucose. fat can not.

      einstein wrote on July 16th, 2012
  5. Thanks for the “how much is too much” links. Although I enjoy coconut milk in moderation I am a wee bit addicted to coffee. Mostly for the taste and comfort of a warm cuppa in the morning than the caffeine, but the caffeine is definitely a perk I am not going to argue about.

    Emily wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Ah, coffee. I love the stuff. Black. Yet I avoid it as it covers up my lack of sleep and rest I’d. I drink it for say 3 straight days.

      Yesterday my sister was telling me how she could not even walk because she was so unbelievably tired. She is a regular coffee drinker but did not have any yesterday morning.

      I refuse to get into this habit. Coffee smoothies are amazing and just a quarter cup goes a long ways.

      Primal Toad wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • Yesterday I went to a church and asked for some coffee. They refilled my cup a few times and then made me a whole pot. It was a great start to the day.
        Later on I got a liter bottle of red wine on sale and ended up mixing some about 1:1 with the left over coffee. It was exquisite.

        Animanarchy wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • I forgot to mention the semisweet chocolate that went into the mix.

          Animanarchy wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Oh hold UP now. You mixed cheap wine, old cold coffee and chocolate (like cocoa powder?) together and it was GOOD??

          You’re either a troll or a genius. I kind of need to try that now, even though the thought repulses me.

          Nelly wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • I LOVE coffe! Especially the first one of the day. However, I never have more than three a day and about once a month I quit cold turkey for a week or so just to retain some control over my habit!

        Kitty wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • I’m a smart troll[aukin]
          I ate the chocolate seperate, for breakfast. It was Bakers (how appropriate) semi-sweet. I would have gone for dark but my favourite store to get discounts from only carries semi-sweet.

          Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
      • I had my first primal sleep through the night experience last night!! Kind of random, but I have NO IDEA when that happened last – 8 solid hours, BAM!

        Helen wrote on July 18th, 2012
    • Coffee first thing in the morning is a hard habit to break, only broken occasionally by being late for work 😉

      Richard wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • I’ve become very conditioned to coffee. But I don’t get my first sip until more than an hour after I wake up. AM grogginess for me ended when I went Primal. And if I miss my AM coffee for some reason I don’t even get withdrawls or headaches. I can drink a few cups and lay down a take a nap (deep, too!). I’ve tested evening coffee with my BodyMediaFit Armband. It tracks sleep efficiency. It doesn’t even affect my sleep (my sleep improved when I went Primal).

        Heather wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • i’ve been a raging coffee addict for the last 20 years. when I went primal, sugar in my coffee was one thing i kept around from the old days for quite some time. but it, too, had to go, so i began making my coffee as a half mug of coffee topped up with coconut milk. it only took me a day or three to get over missing the sugar and the cravings and headaches from not having my coffee went away. i’ve begun to feel like the sugar needs to at least share the blame with caffeine for some of the symptoms i’d always attributed to “the coffee”. so now i may be addicted to coconut milk; glad to see i’m in the clear!

          jensen wrote on July 16th, 2012
  6. To Susie, who asked about blood donations: I can speak from a lot of experience, as I have hemochromatosis and have to get phlebotomies (bloodletting / giving half a litre of blood every few weeks) regularly. Mark’s advice about hydrating yourself before donation is spot-on. The blood will flow better. And you don’t need any snacks, let alone sugar, after donating. My golden rule is to drink at least the same amount of water as the amount of blood they took and just sit quietly for some minutes. My doctor also says that’s all I need.
    I think those snacks are just a tradition to “reward” blood donors for their trouble. My father was a blood donor all his life, and he used to remember fondly how decades ago (here im Germany at least) you got served a whole, hearty breakfast and a glass of brandy after donation.

    Bess58 wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I wish they’d give me a glass of brandy for donating :(

      Federkeil wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Here, here. I used to work at a plasmapheresis clinic as a phlebotomist (and donor), and we constantly counseled our donors to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Granted, we were taking up to a liter of plasma at one sitting, but you could tell before they’d completed the first cycle who was ‘juicy’ or ‘dry’. Plasma takes on color similar to urine, depending on levels of water/lipid/medications in the blood, so if the plasma came out looking dark like apple juice (or something worse!), we knew that poor guy would be sitting there for a while. And while we didn’t give out treats, we did IV a pint of room-temp (COLD!) saline directly into them before they left. That was amazing, feeling your core temp decrease in mere minutes – just the thing for those hot & humid summer days!

      Erok wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I never take the sweet snacks or crackers, never feel light-headed or weak, and usually feel a slight burst of energy for a day or so. The phlebotomists usually advise against heavy exertion for a day, and I wonder why that is? I did go for a jog the afternoon following a morning blood donation and was a but low-energy, but nothing terrible.

      Finnegans Wake wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Back in the 80s the choice of rehydration liquids was soft drink or stout (Marlborough District Hospital, NZ) … I never had the nerve to pick the stout as I had to go back to work.

      Sharyn wrote on July 16th, 2012
  7. Follow up question: How do I know when I am truly glycogen depleted

    zack wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • When you put down that big drumstick and walk for an hour :-)
      love the profile pic

      Tom B-D wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • It’s a turkey leg and thank you

        zack wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Be had one turkey leg in my life and it was at Harry potter world. They are huuuuuuuuuge but amazing!

          Primal Toad wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Yum!

          Kitty wrote on July 17th, 2012
        • Primal Toad: it might have been emu. In case you are disappointed in the size of the turkeys you find while hunting….look for a bigger bird :)

          Lorena wrote on July 18th, 2012
      • Oh it would take a lot more than an hour of walking. I know you’re being facetious there but let’s break that down a bit so nobody gets confused or fools themselves into thinking it only takes is an hour of walking to use up your glycogen stores.

        Assuming 500 grams of stored glucose capacity, multiplied by 4 cals per gram equals 2000 calories.

        From the article, calories burned per hour by activities:

        “According to the American Heart Association, a 100-pound individual who runs at 5.5 miles per hour, the equivalent of roughly an 11 minute per mile pace, will burn 440 calories in an hour, a 150-pound individual will burn 660 calories at that pace, and a 200-pound individual will burn 962 calories.

        The same individuals WALKING at 3 miles per hour, the equivalent of a 20 minute per mile pace, will burn 210, 320 and 416 calories per hour, respectively.”

        So without analyzing & factoring in metabolic rates, to burn that 2000 calories of glucose would take 9.5!!! hours of walking for the 100 pound person, 6.25 hours for the 150 pound person, and 2 hours for the 200 pound person.

        Several things become readily apparent:
        1. This is why exercise for weight loss ends up being an exercise in futility and a general FAIL, on a high carb diet it’s possible to consume WAY more calories in just 1 super sized meal than you can burn off by exercising the rest of the entire day,

        2. This is why obese people have such huge & dramatic fat and weight losses, the heavier you are the more work your body is doing, the lighter you are the LESS work your body has to do to get & keep your total mass moving.

        3. This is why it’s harder for small and fit women and men to lose that last 5 or 10 pounds than it is for an obese person to lose the first 100 pounds.

        To answer to Zack’s question: It takes around 2 hours of pretty hard exercise at heart rates above about 80% of maximum for a fit and trained person to deplete their glycogen stores, for an untrained and unfit person it would take more. See the Wikipedia articles ‘Hitting The Wall’, ‘Glycogen’ subheading Glycogen Depletion and Endurance Exercise, or just google ‘Glycogen depletion’.

        cancerclasses wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Also, if you’re fat-adapted, just walking might not use any of that glycogen at all, as you could easily sustain that power* output on energy from fats.
          *in physics, power is rate of energy use, in the same way that velocity is rate of change in position.

          Bill C wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • what if my daily carb intake is 50 grams, where does that sugar go preferentially? to my brain or to my depleted glycogen stores? is the carb used first for current energy needs and only if it is in excess of that the remainder is stored as muscle glycogen? or is it the other way round? this intrigues me.

          einstein wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • So, the reason a heavier person burns more energy on the same walk than a lighter person is due to the additional mechanical energy they expend simply because they weigh more? If that is true, there is no reason a 150lb walker couldn’t load up a backpack with 50 more lbs and benefit from a walk as much as a 200lb walker, is that correct?

          Vikki wrote on July 17th, 2012
        • Thank you for that answer! It’s very helpful and will be informing my exercising here on out.

          zack wrote on July 17th, 2012
        • Somehow I find it completely unfair that little people have to work harder to burn the same amount of calories as big people. I understand why this is, but it sucks all the same.

          Sarah wrote on July 18th, 2012
    • When you’ve finished a CrossFit workout.

      Graham wrote on July 17th, 2012
    • Being fat-adapted, knowing you’ve been taking good care of your health, and experiencing intense carb cravings .. is my hypothesis.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
  8. I thought the coconut milk answer was hilarious. That aside, how would one know they were glycogen depleted? How can you determine how much glycogen you’ve burned through?

    Alexander wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • There’s a good chart of calories of energy expenditure by various types of activities on Mayo Clinic’s web page, go here:

      There are also calorie and energy consumption rate calculators all over the web, just google search ‘glycogen depletion’.

      cancerclasses wrote on July 16th, 2012
  9. I second that first question. I can’t get enough coconut milk, tastes like heaven!

    Burn wrote on July 16th, 2012
  10. In my case coconut milk is the devil due to fructose malabsorbtion. I started incorporating coconut products into my diet and experienced a flare-up in IBS symptoms. I came across this article by Chris Kresser and it all made sense:
    Needless to say I no longer eat/drink coconut, I feel great for doing it, but I do miss my coconut treats! :(

    Tania wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Hi Tania,

      I’ve experienced the same with coconut milk/cream, until I managed to find some that was just coconut milk/cream and water and no thickeners, etc.

      It seems to be the guar gum that causes me trouble.

      Misabi wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • Trader Joe’s has a great, “minimalist” coconut milk.

        Graham wrote on July 17th, 2012
      • Same here, all those “inert” thickeners make me feel like I think I’d feel if I’ve just eaten Playdo, and as far as I’m aware that crap does not belong in the world of ideas.

        Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
  11. The reason the biology major is against distilled water stems from the death that occurred due to a student consuming too much of the ultra pure deionized water. Because of this event, every lab warns students not to drink the purified water. What actually occurred was the student drinking large amounts of purified deionized water, which leached (through osmosis) minerals and salts from inside the cells out into the newly hydrated but lowered concentration of mineral and salts body. This shut down cellular respiration causing death. Distilled water generally is not that pure. Minerals have a nasty habit of traveling with gas phase water during the distillation process. So, drinking distilled store bought water will probably cause no more of a problem than drinking tap water.

    John wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Got a citation for that? Regardless of any theoretical dangers, it ceases being distilled water as soon as it hits your stomach acid (or even saliva). As far as I can tell this myth originated as backlash against the equally false claim that distilled water is better to drink than water with minerals.

      Pulsewidth wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • I don’t know why you would need a citation. Death due to too much water is a very known thing. Happens often enough that everyone should know by now that drinking too much water will kill you. While you are correct in stating that distilled water ceases being distilled once it hits your stomach, you miss the finer point on cellular functions working off concentrations. Actually, often these functions work off concentration gradients. Diluting things severely alters the concentration (by definition). When you drink large volumes of water your necessarily dilute yourself. I am referring to why ones work colleague (a biology major) would be speaking about not consuming purified water. In the 90’s, while I was in graduate school our millipore representative came and warned of drinking the milli-q water (this is ultra pure deionized water). This bore out due to a student at another Univ. drinking TOO MUCH milli-q water which caused an electrolyte imbalance and death. The same effect occurs from drinking to much tap water. The difference is it takes slightly less milli-q water. Please bare in mind, you have to drink a lot of the stuff. So, the reason this biology major is against drinking purified water is due to the warning always given to laboratory workers. Do not drink the lab purified water, most research labs have ultra pure milli-q water and this can cause an electrolyte imbalance and death when consumed in sufficient amounts. It’s a blanket warning in all labs with a water purification system (many come with warning signs). I personally drank milli-q water daily for over a 16 year career as a research scientist. I just did not drink gallons of the stuff daily. Maybe a liter, but that is hardly enough to cause water intoxication or death.
        Just so you know, this was not off a backlash against the claims of distilled water is better. We received calls and warning letters. Mostly corporate CYA because anyone who ingests too much water will die.
        Just so understand my original post. I was answering why the persons work friend (a biology major) was speaking against distilled water.

        John wrote on July 17th, 2012
        • Makes sense to me! I have well water. I’m assuming this is still fairly mineralized?

          Sarah wrote on July 18th, 2012
  12. I’ve tried to hop aboard the coconut bandwagon. Fact is, I don’t like coconut or anything coconut flavored. Never have. I tried putting a little Nutiva in my a.m. tea for a while since I don’t cook with it. I didn’t mind the taste so much but after a few days it started giving me diarrhea. Allergy, maybe?

    Upshot: I don’t do coconut in any form. Even though it’s supposed to be a nutritional powerhouse, it might not be the answer for everybody. You have to listen to your body instead of just buying into the hype.

    Shary wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • You might try some MCT oil instead – most of the goodness of coconut without the coconut flavor.

      Doug wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I know people with similar problems. Coconut is definitely an acquired taste. It is also a luxury to even have coconut. Fact is, its imported from the Philippines. If you can stomach it, its a great nutritional benefit. If you can’t, you can still be 100% primal and 100% healthy.

      Max Ungar wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Me too. More than 1/2 glass of coconut milk, or coconut based milk replacement, I get cramps followed by very watery diarrhoea.

      I’ve never suffered from digestive issues like this. (Except mild lactose intolerance since 40 – Very large portions of cream give me mild diarrhoea).

      alanuk wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • I prefer to do heavy squats and deadllifts prior to giving blood. When I donate blood, I also get a blood glucose and cholesterol check (via venipuncture) before the donation. After a good workout, my non-fasting blood glucose after squats has been as low as 65, but I feel fine.

        If I want to have something to eat afterwards, I bring my berries and heavy cream so that the folks at the donation site don’t se me leave without eating something.

        Ed Terry wrote on July 17th, 2012
  13. Giving blood is easy, you show up, sit down, give your pint, stand up and leave.

    Oh yeah, the next day go do heavy squats to recuperate.

    Federkeil wrote on July 16th, 2012
  14. Methinks Mark has been watching too many episodes of Breaking Bad. That show makes all of Albuquerque look dingy.

    Diana wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • and forgetting his spellchecker as well… 😉


      and BTW – the reason the coconut water containers were strewn around is that water in that part of the country is more expensive (not really kidding…)

      ravi wrote on July 16th, 2012
  15. Mark,

    Seems to me adding “trace mineral drops” to water is a little unnatural. What is in these mysterious bottles of trace mineral drops? How was it produced? I would love a little more info on the drops

    Max Ungar wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I tried some stuff called Cell Food in a tincture bottle. Found a bottle on the floor in a lockeroom that I used to get paid to clean along with some caffeine pills. Factories are like pharmacies.
      The bottle claimed that some drops of the liquid inside allows the body’s cells to take in more oxygen. I can’t remember the ingredients. I mixed it water regularly for a while and during that period I did some cardio and worked on my tipi (moving logs) and felt like I had enhanced performance due to increased endurance.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Too bad there isn’t some kind of machine that can give people the answers to all their questions, like asking it “What’s in “trace mineral drops” and having it automatically tell you everything.

      What a shame, we may never know.

      conrack wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I’m not Mark, Max, but I used some trace mineral drops for unnatural reverse osmosis water a few years back, before we got the auto-re-mineraliser attachment. It’s probably still pretty bad quality but I didn’t want fluoride.

      RO water (which is what will hit taps soon in Melbourne when the monstrous bas*ard of a desalination plant starts up in Dec.2012) is basically stripped of all life-giving properties.
      Introducing trace minerals make things a little less useless to the body; electrolytes for example.

      The bottled trace minerals I got were from a dead sea bed in distilled water from memory. I’m open to correction though.

      Ma Flintstone wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I have used ConcenTrace for years with my ZeroWater. It has excellent information about the quantity and type of trace minerals and an 8 oz bottle lasts for at least 2 years when used regularly. I see they have very good information about it at . The bottle I bought about 3 years ago has an expiration date of Nov 2014 so it has a long shelf life.

      Ed Stewart wrote on July 20th, 2012
  16. Great info regarding the mineral drops. I’m looking into those and I definitely trust your judgement on what brands you recommend and the fact that you take them…Most trace minerals in large doses are poison (like arsenic!!) I know you would never steer your followers wrong!!…I drink a can of full fat coconut milk 2-3x a week (also keep the light version on hand). I love the feeling I get afterward. I can almost “feel” the fat hit my brain and then it’s like instant clarity along with “I can’t sit still. I have to move!” And with a little bit of protein powder it’s very convenient when busy at work. I had gut issues at first but only because my gut was in pretty bad shape. It has actually helped my gut heal.

    Heather wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • also like flouride…

      Heather wrote on July 16th, 2012
  17. I donated blood twice but don’t expect to do so again. I suspect there might be some possible draw-backs to draining a bunch of blood from your body (as a friend exclaimed of blood: “It’s not good any other time I lose it!”. At the least when you’re low on blood you’ll have to make more, which is an obvious stressor if not a drastic one. Last time I donated blood I drank some of the juice, then hopped on my bike to head off for a chamomile tea, purchased Crank 2, had two small energy drinks and 40 robogels, and then I biked the 9km or so home to watch the movie. A nice night it was. I ended up feeling dizzy but that happened after greasing receptors.

    Animanarchy wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Are robogels primal? They have coconut oil in them!

      Animanarchy wrote on July 24th, 2012
  18. I personally love distilled water. After you drink it for a time, you can actually taste the chemicals in tap and bottled water. I wouldn’t trust the store bought stuff though. You can buy a stand alone water distiller for your house for a decent price.

    Dr. Mark wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I have a counter-top distiller. After making a batch of water, there is a layer of sludge left behind in the boiling chamber. Is it toxic? I don’t know. It depends on what is in it of course, but it has a strong chemical smell. I’m happier not to ingest it. Also I don’t want the fluoride, and you need distillation or reverse osmosis to get rid of that.

      Dangph wrote on July 16th, 2012
  19. my rusty science background would make me hesitant to consume too much distilled water as methinks it would tend to leach minerals/salt and other water soluables – since it has none dissolved in it going in, it would pull some into solution on it’s way out – just a thought…

    ravi wrote on July 16th, 2012
  20. Mark’s right about the cookies… there’s no real reason to eat cookies post donation, they’re there as a “reward” for people who can, uh, feel rewarded by crappy food…

    I have polycythemia so I have to donate blood every eight weeks. I do drink the juice, but I bring my own fruit and eat that instead of the cookies. Water would work fine, too. Their concern isn’t that you eat their cookies, but that you eat something that’ll keep you from passing out or something.

    Jackson wrote on July 16th, 2012
  21. Eat the damn cookies, it’s not like they are going to kill you.

    rob wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Poisoning yourself just before the edge of death won’t kill you either.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
  22. The place where I donate blood has tomato juice as an option–much more primal-friendly. I second the advice to drink plenty of water before donating. It can make the difference between an easy donation and a painful experience.

    Pamsc wrote on July 16th, 2012
  23. “There’s no such thing as too much bacon”.
    As an Australian eating juicy fatty Australian bacon I rejoiced. But then I went travelling and discovered American bacon – dry, tastless, shrivelled up cardboard – and I wondered.
    Does the ‘no limit’ rule apply to Australian bacon as well?

    Colin wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I was going to buy some cheap bacon recently.. the multitude of preservatives persuaded me to opt for a 200g heavier fresh pork roast instead, only one ingredient.. flesh.. real bacon! It costed more in dollars but less in lifetime and it left me sated and ravenous.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
  24. my husband can attest to such a thing as ‘too much’ coconut milk. he came back from a WOD and slammed an entire can thinking it would do him good for some reason. The contents went in one end and out the other almost immediately with severe cramping and stomach pain for a day!

    drea wrote on July 16th, 2012
  25. Some brands of coconut milk (i.e. Thai Kitchen) have guar gum, which can be a gut irritant and cause digestive issues for some. The previously mentioned Chris Kresser post explains why, and how to avoid it. Native Forest brand doesn’t have it, for example.

    Paula B wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I am a big fan of Native Forest’s coconut milk and go through at least a case a month of the stuff.

      Richard wrote on July 19th, 2012
  26. Forget distilled water. The best water is water that you gather yourself from a local spring. Anything less would be cheating yourself.

    Jim wrote on July 16th, 2012
  27. I’m feeling super awesome about starting my third month of paleo!! I ran a 10K yesterday without much training and finished in under an hour. I think I have my new lifestyle to thank. No thoughts of ever going back to grains or sugar and now my hubby is getting on board too. :)

    Meg wrote on July 16th, 2012
  28. On the water–we have a reverse osmosis filter and while it takes out all the bad stuff like flouride, it also strips the water of alkalinizing minerals and makes it very acidic. I haven’t tested distilled water, but I would imagine without the minerals that water would also be acidic. Bad for your teeth and a number of other things. I’ve been using Willards Water for years to alkalinize and remineralize our water. A diluted solution of it is fabulous sprayed on sunburns and wounds, too. It’s great stuff.

    Island Girl wrote on July 16th, 2012
  29. One shouldn’t drink demineralized water or distilled water in any appreciable quantity! My guess is it’s quite dangerous. Not only because it would deplete the minerals from the fluids in your body by simple mass balance, but especially because of the low osmotic pressure.

    Even at low concentrations of solute, osmotic pressures can be very high. As far as I can see, regarding one cell in your body, two things can happen to balance the pressure:
    1. If there is a low osmotic pressure outside your cells, automatically they will release ions (K+, Na2+, etc) to balance this pressure.
    2. They will absorb a lot of the low-salt water and swell up (thus keeping up a lot of water, don’t think that’s what you want).

    (Perhaps one of the reasons to add salt to boiling water, it would keep more nutrients inside the food (no, it doesn’t raise the boiling temperature beyond a few tenths of a degree)

    Lennard wrote on July 17th, 2012
  30. On donating blood–NO ONE should hesitate to donate. It’s one of the ‘good things’ we can do for others. My community blood bank has identified my blood as ‘pure’ enough for newborns, cancer patients, and others with compromised immune systems, so they call me regularly, and I donate as often as I can (I think it’s every 3 months).

    I NEVER eat the sugary stuff they offer. As someone mentioned, that’s to ‘reward’ donors. It’s also a way for them to get people to sit there and not leave immediately because some people get light-headed afterwards, and it’s not a good idea to be driving right away.
    Hydration is what’s important, and my donor center also has bottled water and coffee and tea on offer. So there’s no reason to drink the fruit juices either. They emphasize hydrating well the rest of the day.

    Also, anyone who exercises or works out afterwards is just foolish, so if you incur ‘dizziness,’ you’ve just brought it on yourself. I’ve always been advised to ‘take it easy’ the rest of the day and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours.

    I’ve never suffered any ill effects from blood donation, and I’ve been donating regularly for years.

    Anita Gandolfo wrote on July 17th, 2012
    • They call you if your blood is pure enough for donations? Holy fawk! They’ve called me a few times.. I kind of think my blood is an intoxicant by now even if I were to go sober for the rest of my life.
      Right now my liver is giving my kidneys props.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 17th, 2012
    • Let me guess… O-?

      Jackson wrote on July 17th, 2012
      • Sorry for not replying a lot sooner. It wasn’t until last night trying to sleep I remembered your question.
        A- .. they say that’s the rarest blood type in Canada, where I live.

        Animanarchy wrote on August 25th, 2012
    • I truly believe everyone should donate blood. Unfortunately, I apparently have a lifetime ban due to living in Great Britain in the ’80s.

      TruckerLady wrote on July 17th, 2012
  31. Our body cannot absorb minerals through minerilized water. It is absorbed only through foods. Distilled water is the most pure form of water and the only real disadvantage is getting used to the taste (it is tasteless). Our tap water contains way too much chlorine and fluorine. Distilling it is the safest and best way to get pure water.

    Srinivas Kari wrote on July 17th, 2012
  32. If I can run back by morning coffee for just a sec… Anecdote: when I had abdominal surgery back in 1995, I told the doc beforehand that unless he had a really strong reason why I should not, I was going to have my best friend bring me my morning coffee the morning after surgery. I pointed out that, although it’s always been described as the “post-anesthesia headache” — when it was actually tested, it turned out that the only patients who got the “post-anesthesia headache” were, in fact, the coffee “addicts” — who were having a coffee-withdrawal headache, NOT one related to anesthesia. He looked quit bemused, okayed it, and I had no post surgery headache!

    Elenor wrote on July 17th, 2012
  33. Does coconut juice have the same effects as coconut milk? I’m not too addicted to those stuff. But I find them really refreshing and cleansing. So when fresh coconut juice is available, I always take a glass or two.

    Dental Management Consultant wrote on July 19th, 2012

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!