B.rad podcast listener Q&A returns with a splash with some great topics to cover.
We start with a success story from longtime listener Jon tackling the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim crossing (46 miles, 11k climbing), emphasizing the importance of preparation and enjoying the journey, instead of focusing on the result and bagging bucket list social media photo opps (this can end poorly, like on Mt Everest or in Chinese ultramarathon events).
Next we talk about how naps affect circadian rhythm, and how to easily monitor your sleep health by tracking the simple concept of sleep debt (listen to my show with Jeff Kahn for details). Then I dive into a lengthy discussion about the tradeoff between peak athletic performance and longevity, teed up by a question about Robb Wolf’s comment: “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” It’s interesting to consider how things like low-carb/ketogenic eating, fasting, high intensity workouts, and being in the higher age groups are all stress factors that must be balanced carefully. Thanks for listening and keep the great questions coming!
Many people try amazing athletic feats but find they aren’t as prepared as they thought they were. Preparing is the secret. [01:10]
People go to the limit and some don’t survive. [10:45]
Between midnight and 3:00 AM the most restorative process takes place. [12:08]
How does taking a nap affect your circadian rhythm? [13:55]
Sleep debt accumulates over time and naps can help “pay off that debt.” [19:53]
Dan asks how does Robb Wolf’s statement about eating more protein jive with the book, Two Meals a Day? We cannot burn exercise calories to mitigate dietary transgressions. [23:54]
Our protein needs increase as we age because we are less efficient at synthesizing those amino acids. [30:56]
Could it be that we have an extremely personal distinction when we’re trying to strategize our caloric intake and our macro nutrient intake? [34:43]
- Brad Kearns’ YouTube
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Mount Everest Traffic Jam
- Cactus to Clouds Trail
- Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim
- Dr. Jack Kruse
- Take a Nap, Change your Life
- Jeff Kahn Podcast on sleep debt
- Two Meals a Day
- Herman Pontzer podcast
- The Keto Reset Diet
- Dr. Tommy Wood podcast
- Chinese Ultramarathon Deaths
- Everest Traffic Jam Deaths
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Brad (1m 10s): Hello, my friends it’s time at long last for some listener Q and A. Thank you so much for writing the wonderful emails and comments on YouTube videos. And we are going to hit it hard with lots of fun stuff. A wide range of topics. Yes, the great Usain bolt retired printer is now putting out music. He’s got a new compilation. So we’re going to start off with a little clockwork here. This is called stop it. Okay. Time to get into business. Brad (1m 50s): First, leading off with an incredible success story from longtime listener, Jon Stahley down at La Jolla. He has done some magnificent athletic feats on a regular basis. And 2021 was all about the rim to rim to rim epic hike in the Grand Canyon. That is starting in the South rim, going down to the bottom, crossing over the little bridge, hitting the North rim high five in the ranger at the ranger station, and then turning around and heading home in a single day. It’s 46 miles with 11,000 feet of vertical gain. He started at three in the morning went 16 hours and arrive safely back to the South rim just as the sleet and snow were appearing. Brad (2m 35s): And that’s going to be important a bit later in the story because he was telling me about the entire experience with a great message that says, what’s the secret it’s preparation followed by preparation followed by preparation. Yes, a little bit of grit and mental fortitude helps when you’re conquering these big challenges, but most people do not make the commitment to prepare for whatever the big challenging goal is that we’re talking about. And we see these mass participation events that are so popular, a marathon, ultra marathon, triathlon. And it seems to be that there’s a lot of suffering and struggling. Brad (3m 17s): That’s not really the intended. It’s not really intended by the presentation of the event. Of course, these events are tough and there’s something to endure and have a great sense of accomplishment when you finish. But I think what Jon and I were talking about is the tremendous lack of preparation by so many people that adds another degree of suffering. That’s really not supposed to be. So when we take on these big challenges, the ideal way is to absolutely enjoy and appreciate and respect the process of preparation, such that each preparation workout is super fun and valuable. And Hey, I know we’re preparing for a destination, but it’s not all about the big goal event. Brad (3m 59s): It’s all about going along the way and live in that healthy lifestyle with that goal in mind, which is so important. And that’s kind of the essence of my main message pursuing peak performance with passion throughout life. So always having something that gets you up gets you, focus gets you on edge, a little bit of nervous energy going on the big event day, but also making sure that you’re on the path you’re walking the right path as you prepare. So I like Jon’s quote and a little bit of grit and mental fortitude helps, but if that’s all you have in your backpack and you’re trying to cross through the Grand Canyon might not always end well. Jon and his group were amused when they were finishing near dark as sleet and snow were arriving. Brad (4m 44s): Remember the, the South rim’s up over 7,000 feet, the North rim’s up over 8,000 feet. So this is no funny business. We were amused to notice droves of headlamps far down in the Canyon, continuing their hike in the dark at freezing temperatures. So good onya, all those people that thought to bring a headlamp just in case they don’t finish by dark, but what the heck are you doing down there with your timing and your checkpoints such that you decided to get stuck in the Grand Canyon with the sleet and snow. And this has become an even more prominent issue to ponder for anyone interested in peak performance and these great challenges that occur because real crazy shit is going down. Brad (5m 29s): You might’ve heard about the tragic deaths that occurred on Mount Everest in 2019, where 10 people died due to this massive traffic jam near the summit when they had so many people trying for the summit on that nice a window of clear weather, right? So there’s various different expeditions ex exhibitions. There’s numerous different expeditions that are calculating and preparing and going up and down, stocking supplies. And then when the weather comes, it’s like, okay, group number 17 is going for it today as this group number 16, 15, 14, 13, and then the traffic jam occurs. If you Google images for a Mount Everest traffic jam, you will be absolutely stunned to see what’s going on up there on the top, on this day. Brad (6m 15s): And so what happens when you’re spending a lot of time in the quote unquote death zone, as the mountaineers call it, when you’re up above 20, 25,000 feet, you have a narrow window of time until the brain stops working well and starts hemorrhaging. And you got to get your butt down if you want to live. So back to Jon’s original comment about preparation. Always the goal should be with the, the Mount Everest is a great metaphor. And the goal is not to climb Mount Everest it’s to climate and get down safely. Oh yes, that’s right. The other part of the goal. Okay. So that was a bad deal. There’s also a recent news in spring 2021 about an ultra marathon race in China, where over 20 people died competing in the event. Brad (7m 1s): I don’t think anything near that has ever happened in organized ultra marathon running history. So this is absolutely tragic. And what happened was they headed out on narrow single track trails, very difficult to access by a four wheel drive rescue vehicle, or what have you. And they went to increasingly higher altitudes. And a lot of these people are starting the event wearing their shorts and their singlet and their little Fanny pack and have no conception of what might happen if the temperature were to drop from 50 degrees to 25, which is obviously very easy to happen when you’re out there venturing into the high country. Brad (7m 42s): So some people apparently fell off the narrow single track trail were unable to be rescued in due time and, you know, got hypothermic and didn’t make it. So yeah, if you’re out there pushing the limits and looking at target events, let’s focus on the preparation. Yeah. Yeah. So what did Jon Stahley do in preparation for this Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim? A marathon distance hike on 10 out of 12 weekends leading up to the trip to Arizona, he would do hilly loops in La Jolla going up to, what was it called? Mount Soledad. I think, you know, pretty good vertical climb and then back down and then back up. Brad (8m 24s): So making the best use of his own natural environment. He couldn’t go and train in the Grand Canyon every weekend, but he did his preparation work and was confident that he could go tackle it. I’m feeling confident about his abilities too. That’s why I’ve agreed to join him. And we’re going to try world famous cactus to clouds trail in Palm Springs, California. It’s rated as the single most difficult hike in the United States….maybe the world with an elevation gain of nearly 8,000 feet in the first eight miles. Have you ever been on a trail that ascends a thousand feet in a mile that is basically going straight up around the steepest switchbacks? You can ever imagine non-stop for eight miles. Brad (9m 7s): Look it up on the internet. It’s pretty fantastic. I don’t know if I can make it, but I’m going to do my best and be as prepared as possible and then ride the tram down after you’ve finished the, the whole thing of 14 miles going up to Mount San Jacinto and then back to the famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Here’s some more comments pushing the body through daunting athletic challenges is super cool and fantastic. It’s the essence of living a rich and meaningful life. But this idea has been distorted into pushing your sorry ass poorly prepared body to its limit. That’s not what it’s all about, people. Remember the great Roger Bannister, the first person to break four minutes in the mile. Brad (9m 50s): He wrote a great autobiography way back in the 1950s after he retired from running at the tender age of 24 to pursue a career in medicine and a whole bunch of wonderful quotes that I seem to remember and carry with me. One of them he said was struggle gives meaning and richness as to life. What he’s talking can about is the struggle to pursue the human limit. They believe that running a sub four minute mile was impossible for the human at that time. They, some of the medical experts of the day contended that the heart might explode if someone tried to. And that’s all fun stuff for Roger Bannister and his great achievement. But when you, when you struggle in an appropriate manner, Oh boy, that’s where all the magic happens, but let’s not confuse that to struggling with distracting emails and text messages while you’re trying to struggle through achieving something wonderful with your peak contribution and cognitive function. Brad (10m 46s): All right. So be prepared. And today, especially we have this social media phenomenon, this bucket list phenomenon where people are just going for the winning shot, right? They’re trying to get to the top, take a picture, holding the American, waving the American flag at the top of Mount Everest or whatever. All those people on the traffic jam had that pretty compelling goal of getting up there and largely to show everyone else back home when they come and do their slide show. The amazing thing that they did. But that was probably a bad idea. I don’t know. Maybe some people looked out of their tent that morning and said, gee, there’s a lot of people. I know the weather is great, but I don’t think I’m going to do it. Brad (11m 28s): Okay. Before we let go of this one, here’s some stats to ponder Grand Canyon National Park, right? 134 deaths in the last 10 years. Yosemite national park, 126 deaths in the last 10 years. My favorite Darwin award for the Yosemite one was a, someone who was hiking up the very well-traveled Yosemite Falls Trail that’s paved, right? So it’s real tourist. It’s nothing dangerous or, or daunting, but the mist of the falls was spraying and the person was wearing rubber flip-flops to hike the trail, slipped and fell and died. Brad (12m 9s): Okay. So on to the next one and yes, we’re getting nice comments on the YouTube video. So this is a good time to plug the B.rad, Brad Kearns YouTube channel. There’s a lot of great content there, including videos of the podcasts. So if you like to watch us a lot of it’s a zoom, right? With a remote because of COVID in-person podcasts coming back strong, I’m sure. In 2021 and beyond, I love to connect with the guests in person, but we’re doing the best we can. So you can see video versions of many of the podcasts. And there’s also, if you scroll down, there’s an, a nice link to a primal fitness playlist. Brad (12m 52s): And that’s where I have all these cool videos of drills and skills and micro workouts, and a nice short duration videos that can give you some actionable tips to put in some fun workouts and a drill mobility, flexibility stretches into daily life. So that’s the YouTube plug. And this person Naima wrote a question in on YouTube regarding the breather show, talking about their circadian rhythm and some of the insights from Dr. Jack Kruse who wrote a great article about the going through a 24 hour clock and talking about the various it’s hormonal and circadian process that are happening. Right. Remember that show go listen to it. Brad (13m 31s): 12 to 3:00 AM is the peak time for the restorative hormones like human growth hormone to come out, to play and work its wonders in the body. So we know people have assorted struggles and peculiarities with their sleep habits, but he contends that from midnight to three AM you absolutely positively want to be in the pitch, dark asleep and letting those hormones work their wonders. So Nema asks, how does taking a nap affect your circadian rhythm? Is it going to mess up my sleep later that night, as many people think. I referenced a great book from Dr. Sara, Mednick one of the leading sleep researchers out of UC Riverside. Brad (14m 14s): Her book is called Take a Nap, Change your Life. And she talks about how the afternoon nap is a wonderful practice. We have a natural dip in our circadian function anyway, in the afternoon. And even if you get down for a brief nap, you can refresh the sodium potassium pumps that fire the neurons in the brain in about 20 minutes. So we use that expression. I’m feeling fried right now. This is actually a literal the truth because when the sodium potassium pumps get depleted from heavy duty brain function and all the distractability and other challenges that we put on the brain that are a novel these days and possibly not very healthy versus focusing on one important task at a time and a more methodical and structured manner. Brad (14m 57s): But anyway, when you get fried one way or the other, the electrical circuitry that is firing those neurons, the called the sodium potassium pumps depleted. And so really the electrical circuitry is truly literally fried. So you have a fried brain, you lay down, you allow the restorative powers to come through. And yes, I hear from a lot of people that contend that they’re not good at napping. They can’t do it. They’ve tried. It doesn’t work. So it’s very unlikely seems to be a skill that you have to develop. And that would entail getting into an appropriate space, ideally in the dark, or at least with a mask, a blindfold on if you’re in your car, in the parking lot or on a quiet bench in the corner of the park. Brad (15m 41s): But if you can get to a dark area and a lot of people have more freedom and flexibility now, because more home-based working situations, which is great news for the nappers of the world. But when you need a nap, when you feel that loss of cognitive power, especially feeling more distracted and your willpower is being drained, you’re cooking over on YouTube instead of staying focused. That’s a very good indication that a nap would do you wonders and wake up feeling refreshed and energized. As you probably know, from listening to the show, I consider myself a world-class napper. I developed the ability way back in the day when I was training for triathlons full-time and racing on the circuit. Brad (16m 21s): And so everything was calibrated toward being completely rested and energized for the important workouts and recovering as fast as possible. So I had a really reliable two hour nap every afternoon, and that was on the heels of a 10 hour sleeping period every night. So I say that during that nine years of time, when I was racing on the circuit, okay. Asleep for half of it. Nuts! So when the next phase of life came in and raising children and having interrupted sleep of much less duration, but Hey, you do the best you can. And when you’re an athlete and you know, really pushing the limits and you’re going to need more sleep, I can totally relate. Even these days to increase need for sleep as training load increases. Brad (17m 5s): But the napping ability, it takes a little work and practice and devotion. But if you can use something like soothing sounds, I have a great app called Rainmaker pro for the iOS. Hopefully it’s available or something similar where you can play the raindrops. And I’m so used to the rain drops that when I push the button and play the rain drops, it really is a strong cue for my brain to go down and take a nap. So in most cases, when I’m napping, I actually do fall asleep. And it’s usually between 20 and 40 minutes. And I wake up feeling like it’s morning. It just feels fantastic. Now in Dr. Mednick’s book, she details that there’s different kinds of naps. Brad (17m 47s): You emphasize different waves, cycles of sleep, depending on your needs. Your body is really good at makeup, making up where your sleep deficiencies are. And you’ve listened to a couple of recent shows on that topic of sleep that will go into much more detail, but when you’re deficient on REM sleep or you’re deficient on deep sleep, your nap may emphasize one or the other, but let’s say you’re deficient on both. Then you might get a little bit of both or something. But I noticed sometimes I wake up from the afternoon nap. Usually my napping is in the same time block of let’s say two to 4:00 PM is when I might start a nap. Brad (18m 29s): And if I’m deficient on deep sleep, I will go right into deep sleep and wake up feeling groggy. And a lot of people think that sensation is unpleasant. It does take awhile to get going. You might be sitting in bed and grabbing your phone and doing text messages before you jump out of bed, refreshed and energized. And other times when I’m deficient on REM sleep, I will notice that the nap is more devoted to maybe some passing dreams or, you know, the rapid eye movement and the dreaming. It’s not a deep sleep. If someone came into the room and whispered, Hey, are you awake? I’d be like, yeah. Now I am. You know what I mean? So it’s different forms and your body does a great job going right into what you need. Brad (19m 11s): And Dr. Mednick makes a great point in the book that even for insomniacs, even for people that have difficulty falling asleep at night, and nap can be helpful. And certainly not detrimental, especially in, let’s take the example of the insomniac. If you, you know, avoid that nap and trying to hang in there. So that you’ll be super tired that night. Oftentimes you can turn into kind of zombie mode. I think all of us can relate when it comes to jet lag, where you’re really feeling out of sorts and your sleep cycles all off and you’re staggering around you don’t, you don’t feel great. And then you try to go to sleep and you still can’t even go to sleep. Even though you’re exhausted. That’s what we don’t want to get into is that completely fried mode. Brad (19m 53s): So if you take an appropriate nap in the afternoon, it may even help with your insomnia. Incredible. And then on the other end of the spectrum, eh, there’s no data that says napping will interfere with evening sleep, but you go into pop internet health content, and almost every article will mention something like that. And passing as if it’s a given, like watch out for napping too late in the afternoon, or you’ll mess up your evening sleep. Okay. Sometimes that is true because you have this thing called sleep debt that occurs, or it starts to accumulate just like regular debt with your credit card, right. Brad (20m 35s): It starts to accumulate the moment you wake up. So let’s say your sleep debt is at zero. When you wake up bright and shiny in the morning. And after a couple hours, there’s very little sleep debt, right? But it accumulates accumulates. And then in the evening time, ideally at the appropriate bedtime, your sleep debt’s going to be huge and you’re going to fall asleep and have a good night’s sleep. Now, if you haven’t had ideal sleep habits leading up to a certain day, let’s say it’s the, you know, Friday and the previous 10 days included travel. Included staying up late. And you’re kind of carrying forward a little bit of sleep debt. That’s where naps come in really nicely to knock out some of that sleep debt, you know, pay, pay the bank back to get back to that big goal of getting to even, and that’s what my guest Jeff Khan did a great job on our podcast, emphasizing and simplifying this whole concept about sleep and sleep tracking. Brad (21m 32s): It’s just all about managing minimizing your sleep debt. So if you need eight hours per night or whatever, like most people, and you can look at a scoreboard, a chart of the previous month or the previous week, and you only got set in this night and you only got six and a half that night, then you got eight. Then you got eight. Then you got seven. You’re accumulating a sleep debt of an hour here an hour there. And adding up to three hours that would have you. And when sleep debt gets out of hand, that’s when you’re going to be having a tremendous, phenomenal decline in cognitive and physical function and going to really be needing those naps. So if you let’s say missed out on a half an hour of ideal sleep the previous night, then you go drop into your nap in the afternoon and then your sleep debt is a zero and you feel fantastic. Brad (22m 18s): So I was going back to making that point of worrying about your nap, messing up your evening sleep. And the only time that might be relevant is if you go and slam out in a magnificent afternoon nap of an hour and a half, possibly due to jet lag or whatever reason, and then your sleep debt is at zero, and you might even have a little bit of trouble falling asleep that night. But I would certainly love to just focus on minimizing sleep debt. And if you do get a chance to, to crash out in the afternoon, take it and wake up. Naturally, my sister, Dr. Kate, who is a physician and oftentimes delivering babies in the middle of the night will accumulate sleep debt during a busy week at the hospital, and then perform epic weekend after naps have two or three hours. Brad (23m 7s): And yeah, whatever works. I mean, maybe it’s ideal to say that we go to bed at 10:00 PM every night and wake up at7:15 and then we’re perfect and everything’s perfect. But of course that doesn’t happen too many people in the modern world. So imagining this concept of managing your sleep debt, catching up when necessary with a nap, knowing that you’re going to refresh those sodium potassium pumps in as little as 20 minutes and have a fantastic, refreshing experience. That is super awesome. So try to develop that skill over time. If you’re a little frustrated at first where you’re lying there and you can’t fall asleep and you feel like all the things you need to do later the afternoon, you have to discipline your mind to turn things off, put that eye mask on, turn on some music and go to town with a rest period. Brad (23m 54s): And if you don’t fall asleep, that’s fine too. There’s a lot of research showing that you just lower the brain activity for 20 minutes and then step back into the gauntlet of whatever it is, your work situation, or picking up the kids at preschool and on we go, but at least you had that rest period. That was a big, long fat answer for one simple question. When Nima said does taking a nap affect your circadian rhythm? Here comes another really fantastic question that opens up a big giant can of worms that I actually have been thinking about a lot recently. And Dan says, how does Robb Wolf’s assessment that you mentioned on the podcast (and that was the epic one-liner when Robb Wolf said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.) How does Robb Wolf assessment there jive with what you’re saying in the fabulous new book released Two Meals a Day? Brad (24m 48s): So fortunately Mark’s Sisson and I are high-fiving because two meals a day fits in pretty well with some emerging research and nuances that are refining the template message of let’s say the ancestral health movement or the healthy living fitness eating movement. I’m especially referencing the work of Dr. Herman pontzer, my two time guest on the show author of the sensational new book called Burn and his life’s work has contention that we burn around the same number of calories every day, whether or not we exercise. Whew. Brad (25m 28s): So that is kind of slamming shattering the foundational premises of the fitness industry and the diet weight loss industry. And, you know, the, the, the commentary in Two Meals a Day is not opposed to that. We’re talking about the compensation theory and ways that your body kind of works hard behind the scenes to regulate caloric expenditure. If you happen to burn too much or do some extreme training patterns. And I think there’s an example of a familiar example, repeating in a few books where you imagine the go getter who gets up and gets their butt to the gym and onto the bicycle seat for the 6:00 AM, Spin class and pounds the pedals for 45 minutes, and then gets off that bike and maybe heads straight over to the opening of the smoothie bar in the morning to grab a nice sugary beverage on the heels of that difficult and challenging workout. Brad (26m 27s): And there’s the calorie for calorie. You just broke even there with the medium smoothie and breakfast scone at Jamba Juice versus a very intense 45 minute spin class. A way more detail that I went into on the two shows with Pontzer as well as the breather show summarizing those insights. But we have to get out of that mindset of thinking that we can burn exercise calories to mitigate dietary transgressions. Okay. So it’s pretty much all about making good choices with your meals. And that means: A choosing nutritious foods and eliminating the hyper palatable foods that you’re compelled to overeat and B not eating as frequently. Brad (27m 14s): Cause I don’t know about you. When I get myself into the food environment, I have a great ability to consume a lot of food. It’s just there. I’m going to have another bite. If something’s good or I’m going to finish my plate, right? We’ve been socialized to finish our plate instead of eat two thirds of it and say, yeah, I’m kind of full. I’m going to throw the rest in the garbage and that’s all fine and dandy. But when we’re surrounded by easy opportunities to consume food, unlike our hunter gatherer ancestors who had to work really hard and we’re completely appreciative of all that hard work, when they sit down to eat today, we can push a button, get Door Dash to come to the door. Brad (27m 55s): And so this constant accessibility to food now with quarantine, a lot of people have been complaining that they get added the COVID 20 pounds or what have you, because their environment and their circumstances change. But you know, we need to work hard to organize this. And the title of the book Two Meals a Day is a really good, simple suggestion to say, look, let’s rethink this cultural centerpiece of three meals a day, realizing that it has really no application to human health. And there’s no obligation to consume meals at regular checkpoints on the clock, except for when we are immersed into a lifestyle of carbohydrate dependency, which is the essence of the modern world, a grain-based high carbohydrate diet prompting, those glucose spikes and insulin crashes and prompting the appetite for more food because our primary source of calories is dietary carbohydrates rather than stored body fat. Brad (28m 53s): So we want to bring body fat back to center stage it’s called developing metabolic flexibility. The ability to burn a variety of fuel sources based on your needs at any particular time with the emphasis, the centerpiece on being a good fat burner. And then you can maintain stable mood, energy appetite, cognitive function all day long, whether or not you eat regular meals. So the big message in Two Meals a Day is choose the right foods so that you don’t have a tendency to overeat. And then secondly, eat meals mess free less frequently. Okay. Now Robb Wolf’s comment, Robb Wolf’s witty comment. Brad (29m 35s): If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. Where does that fit in? I’ve been thinking that about thinking about that a lot lately, because what he means is if we can maintain muscle mass, we’re going to have a huge leg up on our longevity prospects. And this is kind of the essence of aging these days is the loss of muscle mass, loss of balance, loss of organ function. We get older and we slow down. We’re not as strong. We’re not as peppy. There’s a lot of great research that shows that cognitive abilities go hand in hand with physical. So when we physically decline, it also contributes to cognitive decline. Brad (30m 16s): And so if we can have this goal of maintaining muscle mass throughout life, by putting our body under resistance, low, doing explosive exercise, regardless of how old we are, how much we prefer to just climb the Stair Master and go home and proclaim ourselves fit. That is a wonderful longevity goal and also a way to enjoy life better because you’re stronger, more resilient. You’re not going to break down and be exhausted when you do have a day of high activity. And when you are increasing your strength training, commitment, putting your body under resistance load and so forth, you’re going to need to consume more protein because protein is what helps build and maintain muscle mass. Brad (30m 56s): Interestingly, our protein needs increase as we age because we are less efficient, less skilled at synthesizing those amino acids that we consume in the steak and the eggs and the protein smoothie. We are less efficient at working with that and maintaining muscle mass. So the 23 year old collegiate athlete, who’s making these big protein smoothies all day long. I’m not going to name any names, my son. He does a very good job drinking that stuff down and maintaining a lot of muscle mass. And then the, the elderly who are consuming fewer calories in the diet, right? Brad (31m 37s): Cause they’re not as active and maybe they’re doing a good job watching their diet. They have an increased need for protein to make sure that they don’t deplete muscle mass. And so that’s the that’s the assignment is to go looking for more ways to consume protein. If you’re consumed about concerned about consuming extra calories, when you follow Robb Wolf’s edict here, this now here, this interesting Dr. Pontzer commented on this when I asked him about it, I believe in our second show. Protein has an amazing, they call it a thermic effect. That means that when you consume protein, a lot of the calories that you consume are devoted toward digesting the calories you get it. Brad (32m 20s): So if you consume, let’s say a hundred calories of protein up to 25% of those calories are allocated to digesting the food. So in other words, the, the calorie for calorie, this flawed mentality where we’re counting our calories every day and trying to stay under 2,500, cause that’s WW used to be called WeightWatchers. Now it’s called WW. Someone told us, or some personal trainer, some app said, this is your limit, and this is how you’re going to lose weight. That’s completely flawed. And it’s been blown out of the water with the great emerging research. So don’t worry about overdoing your protein consumption. There’s also a really nice change of prevailing thinking in the progressive health scene that the dangers of over-consuming protein have been overstated in recent years and your body does just fine. Brad (33m 13s): Even if you get more protein than you need on a routine basis. It’s probably not anything to worry about unless you’re in an extreme category, such as sitting on your ass all day and drinking protein smoothies, like the aforementioned athlete, then that’s not going to be a good thing. But we talk about stimulating these growth factors and the risk of overstimulating M tour or IGF one. And now those voices and those messages are really being toned down to the extent that Robb Wolf comes out with the one-liner that really hits home for all of us. So try to lift more weights, consume more protein, realize that that protein not only has that high thermic effect, where you’re going to have a very difficult time over consuming it and getting fat off too much protein, but also protein is highly satiating. Brad (33m 59s): I believe it’s rated as more satiating than fat. Fat is also highly satiating, not so for carbohydrates. So if you kind of focus on your protein needs as the starting point of your dietary strategy, and guess what we’ve been talking about this since day one, since The Primal Blueprint was a hot off the presses back in 2009 is to start with protein, start shaping your diet with protein, and then let the other stuff sprinkle in there. And if you are an adherent to a low carbohydrate eating pattern, cause you feel better cutting that stuff out, Hey, maybe you’re going to have a higher fat intake, lower carb, but you got to hit those protein levels and make sure that’s the top priority. Brad (34m 43s): What else on this topic that, because I told you, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Here’s another one. Could it be that we have an extremely personal distinction when we’re trying to strategize our caloric intake and our macro nutrient intake? If you have good body fat levels, you’re satisfied. You have good blood work from your blood testing. You don’t have disease risk factors, possibly there’s not as much benefit or calling to engage in aggressive fasting, aggressive carbohydrate restriction, aggressive ketogenic eating, which is, you know, the really low carb and even moderating the protein was the typical template message of keto. Brad (35m 30s): Maybe these things have vastly less benefit as they might to someone who has metabolic dysfunction. Who has excess body fat, who has disease risk factors like high triglycerides and need to take immediate corrective action on the diet, which would include keto, fasting, low carb, things like that. And so I’m thinking of myself personally, where if you, let’s say, take out a little pad of paper and talk about my stress factors. I like to do high intensity exercise. I like to be 56 years old, which is kind of old for doing crazy high intensity high jumping and sprinting workouts. So those are two stress factors right there. Then if you put into the mix that I’ve engaged in aggressive fasting over time and routinely fast for 16 hours, sometimes more, sometimes up to 24, but not so much in recent years, but have, you know, been been through that realm and played that game. Brad (36m 28s): I was deep into the ketogenic diet adherence for at least a year when we were working on the project. We published one of the first books to go deep into the ketogenic diet for a mass use. And that was called the, The Keto Reset diet. It’s still ranked as a bestseller on Amazon. And it really is a nice, comprehensive look at the ketogenic diet with the main takeaway being that keto is a tool that can have great health and metabolic and anti-inflammatory and immune benefits, especially if you’re suffering, but probably not necessary to adhere to strictly for the longterm and easy to possibly have it get out of hand and become yet another stress factor. So if you’re talking back to my own personal example of low carb, lot of fasting, a high intensity exercise and older age groups, that could be all in all too much. Brad (37m 18s): So now I am really appreciating Robb Wolf’s message to make a deliberate effort, to consume extra protein and possibly not worry about extra energy consumption when I’m looking at nutrient dense carbs. And especially when I’m looking at the natural nutritious fats. So for anyone, I don’t care who you are and don’t care if you’re an NBA player who is 6’6″ and weighs 182 with 5% body fat and is running up and down the court. There’s no call to consume nutrient deficient carbohydrates and talking about sugary drinks and sodas and Starbucks and hot fudge sundaes, right? Even an athlete who’s, you know, lean and mean and ripped and, and performing well. Brad (37m 58s): There’s an, an additional need or an increased need for nutrient dense foods to help with recovery and performance. So there’s no more hall passes. There’s no more cards to play to. You get to consume more junk food because you have a six pack. So we’ll put that to rest right now. And then for the rest of us. Oh my gosh, of course, we want to be very strict and eliminate those nutrient deficient carbohydrates that do nothing but a bad news in the body, but going and consuming all that you need and all that you desire of nutrient dense meals regardless of their macronutrient profile. That could be a good thing. Brad (38m 39s): So I’m especially been experimenting with consuming extra calories in and around my high intensity workouts with the stated goal of speeding my recovery and minimizing the stress impact. So we know that for example, fasting, sometimes people feel alert and energized even into extended fasting periods because the stress hormones are elevated and you’re removing energy from a storage in the body. So that’s a cool thing if you’re trying to drop excess body fat, but if you’re already elevating those same stress hormones, when you do the high intensity workouts and now you’re fasting until noon or one or two or three, and the previous day you did a sprint workout, boy, those can really cause a, a crash and burn in certain people. Brad (39m 27s): And I’m definitely raising my hand here because that was happening frequently. And I would, I would conclude that the story ends with, Hey, high intensity sprint workout, older age group, fasting, ketogenic meals equals too much stress, too much stress, hormone production. And it would be much better if I had rewind the clock and gone and downed a, a smoothie with a lot of calories, a lot of nutrition, even if there’s bananas and mangoes in there or whatever. Geez, people come on, do things right. And as Dr. Tommy Wood said, one of the great shows that I’ve had for the, the basic intro into healthy ancestral living. So go back and listen to some of those. Brad (40m 8s): He counsels his high performing clients, his exercising athletic clients to eat as much nutrient dense food as possible as, as they desire, right? I’m not talking about stuff in your face, it as much nutrient dense food as possible until you, let’s say, add a pound of body fat. And then if you add a pound of body fat that you didn’t want, then you turn the dial down a little, little bit. But he was making the quip that I repeat often, or he’s talking about reading a, a food diary from one of his clients, you know, an athletic person. And it says breakfast two eggs, half an avocado and so on a couple of slices of bacon. And he’s like, come on, man, eat a real breakfast, make it six eggs and a full avocado. Brad (40m 51s): If you’re an athlete. And that’s a really important point for those athletic people. But again, I started this little risk talking about the split in the road, the fork in the road, where you’re either a healthy metabolic function showing some signs of metabolic flexibility, or if you’re in trouble, if you got bad blood and you’ve got excess body fat, especially around the midsection of the body, we need to take corrective action. And that means we need to get you good at fasting, not eating so frequently and cutting out those offensive, modern foods of grains, sugars, and especially the refined industrial seed oils, which are now being talked about as the driving cause of insulin resistance, not so much, the carbohydrate equals excess carbs equals excess insulin equals diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, but more that these dysfunctional fat calories get integrated into your body and inhibit your ability to burn stored body fat. Brad (41m 50s): And that is the, the driving force in the metabolic disease patterns. Dr. Kate Shanahan, making a really compelling argument. Paul Saladino also jumped on the bandwagon and really trumping this as the main focal centerpiece of cleaning up your diet is getting total restriction, lifelong elimination of these refined industrial seed oils. So these are the bottled oils that are extracted from a with chemical processes and high temperatures and have a lot of oxidative damage sustained even before you heat them up and caused them to be more reactive free radicals. This would be canola corn, cotton seed, soybean, the stuff you see in a bottle and happened to see in all manner of frozen, packaged and processed foods, including Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, sorry, I just lost another sponsor. Brad (42m 38s): Just totally offensive to think of the marketing and the things that we’ve been deceived to integrate into, you know, the, the mainstream diet, these extremely popular consumer products, the various potato chips and familiar brands that still throw these industrial seed oils in there despite compelling evidence that they’re leading directly to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year around the world. Oh boy. So that’s my rant against industrial seed oils. A great way to close this show about Q and A and more to come. Cause plenty more questions about, thanks for listening to everybody.