Tag Archives: body composition

Yet another study showing low carb doesn’t impair performance +

and by some metrics, at least in this study, might even improve it.

Ketoadaptation enhances exercise performance and body composition responses to training in endurance athletes (McSwiney et al., 2017)

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Advantage of this study over previous ones: 12 weeks. I believe the choice to opt for self-selection over randomization was to improve adherence (which was pretty good for this 12 week-long study). Downside is, well, it’s not randomized. Crossover RCT is best but it’s always a trade-off: sample size, duration, tools, etc., everything has a price. Literally.

Tl;dr: Ketoadaptation doesn’t diminish performance at high intensity even after “draining the tank.”

The study: we aren’t told much about the diets, just high carb vs. ketogenic. And keto group was advised to drink broths for salts, mins, electrolytes, etc.* Speaking of which 🙂 Kettle & Fire is offering 20% off their delish broths/stock HERE.

*I don’t think this qualifies as cheating in this #context.

Before and after the 12-week dietary intervention, a battery of tests were performed: a six second all-out bicycle sprint (SS), immediately followed by a 100 km time trial (TT), immediately followed by a 3-minute sprint (CPT).

These were well-trained, healthy individuals who continued their training throughout the study. This & duration are two important nuances of this study (more on this below).

The biggest finding …*drumroll* … significantly greater fat loss in the keto group and this wasn’t even a weight loss study. They also jacked up protein intake so they didn’t lose muscle mass. Protein declined in the high carb group, but they were able to maintain muscle because carbs increased.

 

WHERE HAVE WE SEEN THIS BEFORE

HINT: HERE

 

 

Whether they knew it or not, this study was designed to test peak power output before (SS) and after (CPT) exhaustively draining the tank (TT). The theory is that ketoadaptation: 1) spares glycogen so there’s some juice left in the tank for the second peak power test, although racing 100 km is pretty tough so there couldn’t have been much juice left in either group; and 2) ketoadaptation relies more on fatty acids at every level of output, as evidenced by the RER figure (below). Fuel usage comes close at high levels of output (both groups rely more heavily on glucose), but ketoadapted is always a little lower (eg, see the right-most point in the figure below). And fat stores are basically limitless whereas glycogen is not. This may or may not have been a factor here.

 

PEAK PERFORMANCE

I don’t know why the authors reported peak power relative to body weight. I could understand lean mass, maybe, but keto lost a lot of weight via body fat. If peak power remained the same (as has previously been shown), it would [falsely] appear to increase in this study.

For a more nuanced interpretation of this study (which is good, I promise!), head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for full access and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

Also, I’m open to suggestions so feel free to leave a comment or email me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

Affiliate discounts: if you’re 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 HERETrueDark is running a pretty big sale HEREIf 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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Fixing your rhythms makes everything better. Here’s how.

Full article open to everyone over at Patreon! <- link

What’s more anti-cancer than ‘shrooms and isothiocyanates?

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Affiliate discounts: if you’re 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 the taste, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS.

Caffeine, large meals, and bright light in the evening induce circadian misalignment. That’s why these are better suited earlier in the day.

Caffeine reduces sleep pressure (which is supposed to start low in the morning and peak shortly after sunset) and delays melatonin onset (Burke et al., 2015). After dinner, make it a decaf or just pass.

 

Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist, and the accumulation of adenosine in the brain throughout the day is thought to be a chemical mediator of sleep pressure. Caffeine also delays and reduces melatonin, which increases your sleep needs, or at least time in bed/darkness.

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Circadian rhythms & the blues. AND THE GREENS

Open access for all at Patreon! <- linkage

Approximate wavelengths, in nanometers (nm):

680         red
595         amber
525        green
497         blue/green
470         blue

 

 

[Strongly] suggested pre-reading: Artificial light and circadian rhythms: blocking the blues and The Hot Blue-Blocker Experiment

Patrons can just click here

Study 1 tested the effects of different wavelengths of light exposure (compared to total darkness) from midnight til 2 AM on melatonin suppression on night 1 and melatonin onset on night 2 (Wright and Lack, 2001). Note: there was no light on night 2.

On night 1, they found that 470 (blue), 497 (blue/green), and even 525 (green) suppressed melatonin, ranging from 65 to 81%.

 

 

However, remarkably, on night 2 those same wavelengths had a carry-over effect, delaying melatonin onset by 27 to 36 minutes!

 

 

This is why lens color of your blue blockers matters. Orange lenses block blue, although blue/green and even green can still have a detrimental impact. Redder lenses more effectively block in the green range.

If you get up to pee or whatever in the middle of the night, it might be prudent to rock your blue-blockers and/or have a lamp with a red bulb.

The following graphs show you how much light is blocked by different lenses – remember, we want as little transmission up to around 525 nm (according to study 1 [above] and study 2 [below]).

However, for a quick and dirty test you can do at home, the people at Spectra479 put this together:

 

 

 

 

Carbonshade and Spectra479 are offering 15% off if you enter the coupon code LAGAKOS at checkout.

 

Normal gray-lensed Ray-Bans block about 85% of all light. Cool for blocking UV, but you’re still getting about ~15% of blue and green light. That’s too much.

 

 

 

 

 

Spectra479s block 99.8% of 450-510nm, which fully encompasses blue to blue-green.

 

 

 

 

 

Carbonshades block 99.8% of 400-570 nm, which fully encompasses blue to green, so the largest range of protection according to study 1 (above) and study 2 (below).

 

 

 

 

I haven’t seen the spectral transmission data on Carbonshades, although they performed the best on Spectra479’s at-home test.

 

The popular orange-lensed Skypers block 98% of blue light and probably not too much green (as per the transmission data below and Spectra479’s at-home test).

 

 

 

 

Affiliate discounts: if you’re 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.

For more steps on how to strengthen your circadian rhythms, the potential importance (and relevance) of blocking BLUE/GREEN, and a discussion of the science… head over to Patreon!

Also many more interesting tidbits and some advice, like who might need to upgrade their blue-blockers.

Three bucks a month for access to all articles and there are many other options. And it’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks. Don’t hesitate, there are only a limited number of positions remaining at the $3 level.

Lastly, I’m open to suggestions; please feel free leave a comment or email me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

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The importance of entraining skeletal muscle’s circadian clock (and how)

“Literally, every single model of skeletal muscle circadian arrhythmia mimics aging sedentary people who skip breakfast, stay up late, and get sick.”

But first, the human studies that confirm these newer findings aren’t restricted to preclinical models: 1) a randomized CROSSOVER study; two weeks of modest caloric restriction. Same diet; either 5.5 or 8.5 hours of sleep.

In other words, circadian rhythms broke or woke (Nedeltcheva et al., 2010):

 

 

Same diet & energy expenditure + circadian arrhythmia = lose less fat and more muscle. This is basically the opposite of optimal. Large error bars because it was a CROSSOVER study, although it still managed to reach statistical significance.

And this happened despite lower 24-hour insulin AUC (Nedeltcheva et al., 2012). GRAVITAS.

 

 

And in an ad lib setting, “Laboratory studies in healthy young volunteers have shown that experimental sleep restriction is associated with a dysregulation of the neuroendocrine control of appetite consistent with increased hunger and with alterations in parameters of glucose tolerance suggestive of an increased risk of diabetes” (Van Cauter et al., 2007).

 

 

Part 2. THE BETTER PART: The muscle clock, how it works, and how to fix it.

 

 

 

Similar to other peripheral circadian clocks (eg, liver, adipose, lung, etc.), the muscle clock is entrained by LIGHT via the central pacemaker located in the SCN and feeding (via an as of yet unclear mechanism), but also scheduled exercise.

Interestingly, mice who had been subjected to a 6-hour phase advance adapted faster if they exercised early in the active phase (would be morning for humans).

 

 

Much of these data are summarized in a review in Frontiers in Neuroscience (Aoyama and Shibata, 2017).

The muscle clock is entrained by timed exercise but also feeding. This was demonstrated by showing the circadian rhythms in a subset of muscle-specific genes in fed mice were absent in fasted mice.

It is thought that the muscle clock’s function is to prepare us for the transition from the resting/fasting phase (night) to the active/fed phase (day)… and although I like that phrasing, this seems somewhat subjective (and really hard  to test/prove even on a hypothetical level).

 

 

Part 3. The BEST part: impact of various muscle clock disruptions.

Hint: THEY’RE ALL BAD.

 

For the rest of this article (including my interpretation and advice), head over to Patreon!

Three bucks a month for access to all articles and there are many other options. And it’s ad-free.

If you’re on the fence considering it, try it out, you can cancel at any time! Also, there is a limited number of positions remaining at the $3 level.

Lastly, I’m open to suggestions; please feel free leave a comment or email me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

 

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The Struldbrugs of Luggnag

Intermittent fasting (in mice)

Every-other-day feeding extends lifespan but fails to delay many symptoms of aging in mice.

 

THIS IS BASICALLY THE WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME

 

The Struldbrugs of Luggnag

 

 

Tl;dr: they’re immortal, but just keep getting older and older and it sucks. It’s basically the exact opposite of what we want, which is something akin to eternal youth.

 

 

This paper was a Giant.

 

Brief background: they were testing a model of intermittent fasting known as EOD, or ad libitum access to food every other day. It’s hard to relate this directly to humans because one mouse day is probably about at least 5 human days… although similar to humans, when chow time comes around, we tend to eat a lot. REFEED MAYHEM.

[rant]
It’s like that dude who takes a pic of 3 big steaks and posts it online, saying “dinner is served, bro” …trying to make it seem like they eat that way normally, ~3x/d, when in reality they’ve been intentionally restricting food intake all day to create a big enough energy deficit to accommodate said steaks… #CICO

P.S. as far as circadian rhythms and dietary protein requirements are concerned, this way of eating isn’t doing you any favors…
[end rant]

 

For the rest of this article, all other articles and much more, head over to Patreon! Five bucks get you all access and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

UPDATED 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.

Join Earn.com with this link

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Sunlight, Meal Timing, and Circadian Rhythms

Hey fam, remember this? Sunlight and the circadian rhythms in your skin

Tl;dr: During the day, when potential DNA damage from UV light is higher than at night, the circadian rhythms in your skin upregulate expression of enzymes which protect & repair DNA. They also downregulate proliferation because the last thing you want is for a harmful DNA mutation to be rapidly spread. All of this thanks to a robust circadian rhythm.

 

NEW STUDY

 

Time-Restricted Feeding Shifts the Skin Circadian Clock and Alters UVB-Induced DNA Damage (Wang et al., 2017)

 

In general, LIGHT entrains the central circadian clock and FOOD entrains peripheral clocks. That’s why we try to get a big breakfast and go outdoors in the morning (or mimic this as closely as possible).

 

 

And from the aforementioned blog post, there is a bona fide circadian rhythm in skin, too. Well it appears this one, similar to other peripheral tissues, is regulated in part by FOOD but is also influenced by LIGHT.

 

 

Head over to Patreon, where for three bucks a month you get access to the rest of this article, all previous articles, and much more! Go soon because there’s only a limited number of spots at the $3 level. It’s ad-free and you can cancel at any time.

 

Part 2 is up now!

 

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On the impact of diet on circadian phase setting

We’ve seen that meal size and frequency can influence circadian rhythms, but here are some examples of how nutrients can, too.

Circadian phase advance: going to bed earlier, waking up earlier.  Blue blockers at sunset, bright light at sunrise.  Flying east.  Autumn.

Circadian phase delay: staying up late, sleeping in.  Flying west.  Spring.  Using smart phones, tablets, and iPads in bed at night.  Light pollution.

Relative to adolescents, infants and children are circadian phase advanced.  This is part of what is fueling the movement to delay high school start times.  Kids are mentally better prepared to work later in the day.  With early school start times, performance is down in the morning, but they kill it on video games after school.  Delaying start time by an hour won’t totally fix this, but could help.

 

 

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon!

 

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Low carb, low glycemic index, or something else entirely

Why Low Carb?

OmniCarb (Sacks et al., 2014)

Study design & results in a nutshell:

5 weeks, low(ish) vs. high carb (40 vs. 58%) with the calorie difference split between protein (23 vs. 16%) and fat (37 vs. 27%).  In other words, the low(ish) carb diet was higher in protein and fat.  And there was 2 versions of each diet —  a high and low glycemic index.  Lots of crossing over; all in all, weak intervention but decent study design & execution.

Aaaand nothingsauce nothingburger.  Goal was insulin sensitivity, not weight loss.

 

glucose and insulin

 

 

 

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Endurance Performance Doesn’t Decline on a Low Carb Diet

The new study by Zinn and colleagues doesn’t debunk ketoadaptation. And the authors agree!

In brief, it was 5 ~50-year old recreational endurance athletes. They’ve been training a lot for a very long time. In other words, one way to view this study is the opposite of n00b gainz. Experienced exercisers don’t typically make gains in 10 weeks without drastically changing their training program or increasing protein intake – neither of which occurred in this study.

 

 

For the rest of this article, and all past & future articles, head on over to Patreon! Five bucks a month gets you all access. 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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Long-term fat adaptation.

Ketoadaptation

More on physical performance and ketoadaptation

A timeline of ketoadaptation.

 

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FOOD PROFILE

Hey Fam, announcement: I’m moving to Patreon soon — will still post about 4-5 articles per month with at least 1 open to the public. The rest will be for Patrons. I’m still trying to figure it out and I’m open to suggestions!

 

I loved this – when describing the two study diets, which differed markedly in carb content (10% vs. 53%), the authors said they were similar in energy, protein, and “FOOD PROFILE,” meaning low-processed, lower-glycemic foods.

Non-industrial foods.

Hunger-free Diet(s).

BOOM!

Visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome after very high-fat and low-fat isocaloric diets: a randomized controlled trial (Veum et al., 2016)

 

What happens when you give up industrial foods and start following a Hunger-free Diet (regardless of carbz)?

 

 

EVERYBODY LOSES WEIGHT

 

 

And le saturated fat? Industrial foods are the problem, not saturated fat. One group went from 48 to 31 grams per day (LFHC), the other group went from 42 to 81 (VLCHF): all metabolic parameters improved in both groups.

 




 

Even their livers shrank:

 

 

My only qualm: everyone lost a bit of muscle. NOT SURPRISING when you cut calories & protein and don’t exercise. Protein dropped by about ~25 grams in both groups. When you cut calories, you need to up protein or start lifting heavy shit otherwise you’ll lose muscle. The ketonez won’t help.

 

 

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