Category Archives: strength

Anabolic Heterogeneity Following Resistance Training: A Role for Circadian Rhythm?

YES!

Resistance exercise stimulates muscle growth, strength, and functionality (Camera, 2018), although the inter-individual variability in response is hyooge. People used to think there were “responders” and “non-responders,” although now we know everyone benefits but there’s a wide spectrum. WHY?

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Exercise timing? There are definitely circadian clock genes and rhythmic expression of many genes involved in muscle growth, strength, and functionality.

Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior in general is bad. Physical activity is good. Load-bearing resistance is exercise is better. Is proper circadian timed exercise even better? Can you get slightly better benefits at the same workload?

WHY is this important?!

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New study: very low carb diets don’t impair high intensity interval training (Cipryan et al., 2018)

Effects of a 4-week very low-carbohydrate diet on high-intensity interval training responses (Cipryan et al., 2018)

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Relevant study design details: 18 young, healthy, moderately-trained males. First, this was a study on exercise performance. Had it been on glucose management in patients with type 2 diabetes or obesity, this is not the population they would have selected. Second, they needed at least a moderately-trained population otherwise both groups would’ve made big n00b gainz which may have out-weighed any differences incurred by ketoadaptation in 4 weeks.

 

 

Third, 4 weeks is a good duration for this kind of study because maximal ketoadaptation occurs in about 3 weeks and doesn’t get stronger thereafter (gains seen beyond 3 weeks are more associated with training effects).

On to the dietary protocols, results, and 2 other relevant new studies… but for that, head on over to Patreon! Five bucks a month gets you full access and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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Intermittent fasting is homeopathy-level #nothingsauce

From all of the published human studies and “n=1’s” I’ve seen on online forums, intermittent fasting is #nothingsauce. Don’t @ me.

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When people lose weight via IF, it’s because of caloric restriction. There’s no metabolic advantage, and if anything, maybe the opposite. Restricting your feeding window to a very short period = metabolic mayhem.

2000 kcals in one sitting?

*smh*

 

 

I believe “early Time-Restricted Feeding” #eTRF showed promise in that recent study because of the “early” part; no so much on the “TRF” part. I believe this, in part, because the large majority of our population suffers from some degree of circadian arrhythmia. Social jet lag, too much artificial light at night, skipping breakfast, etc., etc. An EARLIER feeding window is one way to re-align circadian rhythms.

 

 

It STARTS with Sleep. Wanna improve body comp and make mindlessly better food choices? Fix your circadian rhythms.

Now onto the one of the weirdest, but potentially most revealing human studies on time-restricted feeding…

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Starvation ketosis and “priority” of brain fuels

“Priority” is a funny concept the fields of nutrition, metabolism, etc. For the brain, it is said to be glucose. It’ll use ketones when glucose is low and ketones are really high, like during starvation, but otherwise it’s just glucose. Why is this? One of my mentors had some great insights…

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“It seems that the loss of some energy as ketones in the urine is the price we pay to provide the brain with a suitable fuel. But there are a number of unanswered questions about brain fuel use. Why does the brain not use free fatty acids? The usual answer given is that they are not transported across the blood-brain barrier fast enough to be used as a major fuel and this is probably true. However, why did the brain not develop a suitable transport system, or localized store of glycogen for that matter.”

WHY NOT FATTY ACIDS?

Textbook: Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition

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Metabolism of starvation/fasting =/= low carb diet

The Biology of Starvation (intro)

The Biology of Starvation: Renal Gluconeogenesis

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One of the major [obvious] differences in metabolism between fasting and low carb dieting is nitrogen metabolism… because you’re eating protein on a low carb diet, not so much while fasting. During fasting/starvation your body tries to downregulate the urea cycle because you can’t really afford to be ‘wasting’ amino acids/protein. I bet you never thought about the muscle-sparing effect of fat-derived fuels like that!

 

 

“Glucose production in starvation” is important because you need to make all of it and reduce the use of it.

 

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7 Worst Heart Health Sins (Page 20)

I read this on a magazine cover and my level of impending disappointment rapidly increased as I approached page 20. Aaaaand….

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It wasn’t horrible! Could use some tweaking, but hit a lot of important points and didn’t say “NO RED MEAT EVER.”

1/ You sneak a smoke.

DUH. Smoking cigarettes is the worst way to get your nicotine hit imaginable. Use a patch, chew nicotine gum, suck on a lozenge. Just. Don’t. Smoke. It also ages your skin faster.

 

 

2/ You skip your walk.

BOOM! We all know the power of a good walk, amirite? Get sunlight and fresh air, get off your butt as often as possible!

For the rest of this article, head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for full access and there are many other options.

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Also, I’m open to suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

Affiliate links: still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers?  Carbonshade and TrueDark are offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE.

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else.

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3 strikes – funny

Weight reduction does not induce an undesirable decrease in muscle mass, muscle strength, or physical performance in men with obesity: a pilot study (Kim et al., 2018)

Cut & paste abstract. Literally.

“To date, there have been no reports on whether weight reduction causes decreases in muscle mass, muscle strength, or physical performance that could lead to health problems. Thus, in this pilot study, we investigated the appropriateness of the changes in muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance after weight reduction.

Obese men who completed a weight reduction program to decrease and maintain a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 kg/m2 for one year were recruited for the study. One year after the completion of a weight reduction program, the participants’ muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance were compared with those in a reference group composed of individuals whose BMI was less than 25 kg/m2. Whole-body scanning was performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to analyze muscle mass. Handgrip strength and knee extensor strength were measured to evaluate arm and leg muscle strength, respectively. For physical performance, a jump test was employed.

The results showed that the biceps, triceps, subscapular, and suprailiac areas of professional fashion models were significantly thinner than those of women in general (p<.001), and that their waist size was also significantly smaller (p<.001). However, hip circumference showed no significant difference. Body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and body fat (%) in professional fashion models were significantly lower than those in women in general (p<.001), while the body density in professional fashion models was significantly greater (p<0.001).

Weight reduction participants showed an average reduction in body weight of -16.47%. Normalized arm muscle mass and handgrip strength were significantly greater in the weight reduction group than in the reference group; however, no significant differences were detected between the two groups with respect to the other variables. After one year, there were no significant differences between the two groups.”

Wait, wut

O_o

I’m blaming that one on the journal. They made a mistake — strike 1. I read it twice before laughing out loud.

 

Table 1.

Given the title of the paper… statistically significant reductions in all of the muscles they measured. Strike 2.

I reiterate: given the title of the of the paper, statistically significant reductions in nearly every measure of performance. Strike 3. Strikes 2 and 3 are on the authors.

You’re OUT hahaha

 

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20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE.

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Start paying attention to REV-ERB alpha

Hey team, remember when I was making wild predictions about REV-ERB alpha?

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“Food for thought: an endogenous ligand of Rev-erb is heme (the iron-binding element in red blood cells). Heme is degraded into bilirubin.  Elevated levels of bilirubin cause jaundice. A treatment of neonatal jaundice is exposure to blue light. Blue light is a major regulator of circadian rhythms and Rev-erb is an executive-level player in this game. The primary mechanisms of blue light appear unrelated in these two models (melanopsin activation vs. bilirubin photoisomerization), but seem intertwined, because heme activates Rev-erb.  Cool.” (From HERE)

and statements:

“Pharmaceutical-grade circadian augmentation = unwittingly better-timed meals? Improved body composition? …they were eating more and moving less. … One possible mechanistic explanation comes from mice lacking Rev-erb in skeletal muscle (Woldt et al., 2013). Mitochondrial biogenesis was impaired and exercise tolerance was reduced in these mice. Spontaneous physical activity was lower; thus, it stands to reason that Rev-erb agonism may improve skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. This isn’t entirely consistent with the drug study, but pretty close.” (From HERE)

 

REV-ERB is really really good for skeletal muscle.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate inhibits activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

 

 

Well, so does REV-ERB alpha! In a new study, knocking down REV-ERB alpha jacked up NLRP3 and pharmacologically enhancing it attenuated NLRP3 (Pourcet et al., 2017). The consequence of this in REV-ERB KO mice injected with LPS was hyper-inflation. No bueno. Mice given the commercially-available REV-ERB alpha agonist “Stenabolic” were protected.

I’m geeking out about REV-ERB alpha & SR9009. And fwiw, I don’t think anything will actually fully replace the benefits from actual physical activity and/or exercise, although it’s very hard for some people; eg, COPD, CHD, etc. In those populations, if they can’t exercise enough to really improve their condition, something like this might help. But I’m sure perfectly healthy people are going to try it. If you do, let us know in the comments!

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Also, I’m open to suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

UPDATED Affiliate links: still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers? Carbonshade  is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else

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Regulation of Circadian Behavior and Metabolism by Synthetic Rev-erb Agonists (Solt et al., 2013)

Rev-erb alpha modulates skeletal muscle oxidative capacity by regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy (Woldt et al., 2013)

SERcadian Rhythms

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Is gluconeogenesis demand-driven? answer: it depends (#context strikes again!)

Context #1. The easiest way to explain gluconeogenesis (GNG) is how it relates to starvation. If you’re not eating food, your brain still needs a steady supply of fuel. Mostly glucose at first (ketones come later), but since you’re not eating anything, glucose comes from hepatic GNG (huge potential supply*) or glycogenolysis (limited supply). *One of the precursors for GNG, glycerol, comes from stored fat (which you’ll die of something else before you run out of stored fat bc GNG).

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In this case, it is mostly true that GNG is demand-driven.

 

If you’re interested in this, more HERE.

 

Context #2. Protein (which also contains GNG precursors) doesn’t acutely increase glucose. But you might think protein does convert to glucose via GNG but protein also induces a splash of insulin which is why blood glucose doesn’t rise. Read this blog post at least up to the awesome Fromentin study: “8% of the blood glucose produced under optimal gluconeogenic conditions came from dietary protein.” But also check out the Conn & Newburgh studies. And Gannon.

 

 

This is usually the reason recreational keto dieters say they can be high protein, which either ends up looking like PSMF or it’s probably not very ketogenic (which doesn’t really matter in this #context; protein is restricted in therapeutic ketogenic diets).

#BenignDietaryKetosis #BDK

 

 

For the rest of this article (or if you just like what I do and want to support it) head over to Patreon! Full access for a measly five bucks a month and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else

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Context #3. the mouse doctor is in 🙂

Context #3b. Chronic high protein.

Context #4. Random thoughts on animal foods.

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Poor sleep, “dietary disinhibition,” and weight gain

“Dietary disinhibition”

In school, the concept was taught like this: recruit a bunch of people and tell them it’s for a cookie taste-testing project. Give them a form with a bunch of questions about cookie quality (taste, texture, sweetness, etc.) and a plate of cookies.

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SWITCHAROO!

They aren’t there for a cookie taste-test. It turns out that some people experience “dietary disinhibition” wherein if they eat one cookie, they think something like “well, I’ve blown my diet for the day, so might as well just eat the whole plate of cookies” (actually, I’m pretty sure it’s way more complicated than that, but I learned it in a nutrition class, not a psychology class).

It’s not a lot of people — most would just take a bite and fill out the questionnaire — but it’s been replicated in enough settings that it’s probably a real phenomenon.

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