Welcome to another Q&A show!
If you’ve ever wondered how much water is too much water, we’re talking about it in this show, along with a few other topics, like what I think about the Kataylst EMS suit and innovations in exercise, if eating more food can actually help you get leaner, and more!
Walking and running are two entirely forms of locomotion. [00:49]
You always want to keep a straight and elongated spine for all your activities. [03:01]
Mike Catlin talks about how listening to Mike Mutzel, he was able to change his point of view about fasting. What we need are more nutritious sources of energy, and more movement throughout the day. [06:42]
The rate of conversion of fat to energy is slower than the conversion of glucose to energy. [09:29]
Our paleo ancestors didn’t work out three to five days a week so they didn’t need to fuel up for frequent peak performances the way modern people do. [13:05]
When power lifting be careful to protect your spine. Know what you are doing. [16:30]
If you properly design a high-intensity workout, you’re not out there for too long draining your tank and getting exhausted and depleted, and suppressing your immune function and your stress hormone. [21:43]
Mike is asking about circadian rhythm. Of course, we need much more sleep, but it is said that between midnight and 3 AM are the most important times to be down in the dark getting your sleep. Anything that takes us out of that circadian rhythm has an adverse effect on us. [26:46]
You get your dopamine triggers from many aspects of your activity flooding the receptors in your brain. [28:53]
Eric Frohardt writes in about recent theories on the energy-balance concept talking about adding fruit to his carnivore diet. Autophagy is the natural internal cellular detoxification. [33:33]
The constrained model of energy expenditure contends that humans bump up against an upper limit a ceiling of our total daily energy expenditure essentially no matter what. [43:05]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- B.rad Whey Protein Isolate Superfuel
- Video High Jump Technique
- Video on Running Technique
- Podcast with Mike Mutzel
- Why I Don’t Fast Anymore and What I’m Doing instead.
- Shawn Baker Instagram
- Is Brad Natty or Not? part 1
- Is Brad Natty or Not? Part 2
- Podcasts with Dr. Jack Kruse, part 1
- Podcasts with Dr. Jack Kruse, part 2
- The Hacking of the American Mind
- Breather show on Lustig book
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We know that cortisol and testosterone antagonize each other. So if your training program is chronically stressful, you are going to tank your testosterone.
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey. Talk to laugh. Have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.
Hey, hey, it’s time for more q and a, starting with a couple of YouTube comments. One of ’em on my fabulous video High Jump Complete Technique Instruction is the title. And, oh, boy did I have fun with my amateur video editing skills, doing frame within a frame and doing slow motion and showing the great high jumpers of the world and all the technique attributes, and it’s getting some positive comment. So I love that. Uh, Lux Gordhan says, one of the best videos on HighJump I have seen. Congratulations. You’ve covered almost all the most important parts of HighJump in one video. Awesome. And then on the sprinting drills video, Peter says, uh, the best sprinting running tip I’ve heard. Thank you. And do you have any recommendations for more efficient walking? Interesting question because believe it or not, walking and running are two different forms of locomotion, and they have different technique attributes.
The most prominent one being when you are walking, we are designed for you to land on your heel. The very strong, durable round calcanias bone is meant to absorb the impact of your walking stride. And so we are designed to land on our heels and then roll across the placement of the foot on the ground and push off on the midfoot just like we do when we’re sprinting. But of course, sprinting entails a midfoot landing and then allowing the achilles tendon to coil and see the heel coming down to touch the ground or barely not touch the ground, but that is what provides the spring. And then you take off on your midfoot. So walking and running quite different. But of course, they have some, uh, numerous very common attributes. The main one being that you want a stable center of gravity and preserving a straight and elongated spine throughout the stride pattern.
The arms are used differently in walking when they’re hanging at your sides, rather than being bent and pumping and providing a counter force for the driving legs when you’re sprinting. But that posture checkpoint is my favorite one. We emphasize that quite a bit in the Primal Fitness Certification course. There’s a whole chapter on human posture and movement fundamentals. So an interesting attribute to keep in mind, no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re standing, sitting, lying down in bed, doing any form of workout, reaching, bending, extending, uh, playing basketball, swinging a golf club, playing baseball, you wanna preserve a straight and elongated spine at all times. That’s how the human is, uh, most safest and most functional and effective, uh, now, uh, accepting, uh, certain behaviors and even, uh, athletic moves where the spine is engaged in either flexion or extension, bending forward or bending backwards.
So a yoga pose, uh, like the Cobra, of course, you’re going to be engaging in a lot of, uh, a spinal flexion. And so, uh, that’s outside of that category. But for most general, everyday activities and especially for, uh, the safety and the, um, protection of the vertebrae, especially under load, you wanna preserve that straightening elongated spine. So when you’re in the gym, uh, lifting weights or pulling on the cables or, uh, completing a a a step class or a bar class or aerobics class straightening elongated spine is the way to go. And as I emphasize strongly on my YouTube video, Brad Kearn’s running technique instruction, preserving a straightening elongated spine while you absorbed impact, uh, when sprinting especially, or when running at any speed is essential to correct running form and to not wasting energy by allowing it to disperse into the ground.
You want to kind of absorb impact gracefully <laugh>, like when you see a deer running or a dog or a cheetah. And that’s where that, um, spinal integrity comes into play. Instead of like, uh, curving or allowing the spine to compress or bend, uh, under impact load from whatever it is, even if it’s a, uh, performing a, a curl, a bicep curl in the gym, you wanna preserve that straight and elongated spine at all times. And we do a crappy job of this in general, with modern human posture. Typical, especially the male has a tendency to hunch the shoulders forward, compress the cervical spine up there by the neck. So, the neck is the head’s kind of sticking out past the line of the shoulders and the spine. And then we also kind of hyperextend the back that’s oftentimes due to weak core musculature or lack of engagement of the core, even when we’re just standing or walking down the street.
Uh, and so it’s really important to, uh, keep that core engaged throughout all manner of human movement. And that would be sort of a very light engagement of the muscles, especially, at the lower part of the abdomen. And that’s gonna prevent you from that very common hyper-extended spine in the lumbar area, the bottom of the spine, uh, where your belly pops out and you’re in a very poor functional position that puts the spine, the vertebrae at risk, even when you’re doing routine everyday activities like reaching down to pick up something off the ground.
Okay, we go to Mike Catlin, prolific listener and commenter. I always love engaging with him and it’s great material for the show. And he points out how we’re we’re talking about the energy balance model and reflecting on some of the foundational principles of ancestral health, like the idea of restrictive dieting to prompt health benefits. He says, I like how Mike Mutzel was able to change his point of view as well, is referring to, um, specifically the video where, he titled it, Why I Don’t Fast Anymore and What I’m Doing instead. So he’s rethinking the centerpiece role of fasting in the diet, especially for a healthy, active person.
Well, people changing their point of view can create some confusion. I think it adds to credibility. I feel the same way when you and Mark Sisson in the second edition of the Primal Blueprint talked about some changed point of views based on new information on the particular subjects. So your points about fueling for peak athletic performance are well taken. People who are lean, active, or very active probably need more energy and sources of energy that can be metabolized quickly. They need that more so than the general population. The average general population, especially the tendency of the modern human to be inactive is not desperately needing more caloric energy every day. I think I would say, we desperately need more nutritious sources of energy. We need easier to digest sources of energy than the processed foods that are difficult to digest.
Cause that unwanted insulin spike and the release of endotoxin from the digestive tract, which interferes with your body’s ability to, uh, generate energy internally. So what happens is we start to become dependent upon processed foods for a quick energy hit, but at the expense of our long-term ability to process assorted forms of energy. Uh, speaking of needing more energy for healthy active folks, didn’t Marxist say once that being fat adapted, uh, you can perform just as well running on fat and ketones. And that’s a common notion when you do that hard work to become metabolically flexible and you can perform great athletic feats, prioritizing fat and minimizing carbohydrates. And I think the general consensus is that, uh, this is definitely the case for endurance performance. But when it comes to that super high powered, high explosive, high intensity work, the role of carbohydrates becomes ever more important because that’s the fuel that your muscles are using to perform high intensity, shorter duration work.
And speaking of that, Mike writes, I’ve also heard <laugh> that the rate of conversion to fat, uh, to energy is slower than the conversion of glucose to energy. That is absolutely correct. When you are converting fat to energy, it’s much slower, but you get much more energy out of the kreb cycle, the chemical reaction. So you’re gonna make around 30 ATP units through fat metabolism versus two ATP units when you are engaging in glucose or anaerobic metabolism. That’s the quick energy needs when you’re sprinting, uh, performing high intensity exercise. So the difference is that glucose is delivered rapid fire, really fast. In, in the case of creating phosphate, your energy source for the first seven seconds of maximum all out explosive performance, the energy is delivered immediately. It’s in the cell already. So when you do a sprint or any maximum effort lasting between zero and seven seconds, you are getting immediate ATP energy, and then you are starting to deplete that cell and you start to need to metabolize glucose, which also happens very quickly.
So you go through these different priorities of what type of fuel you’re using to fuel activity based on how long duration and how intense the activity is. So zero to seven seconds, you’re using pure creatine phosphate, uh, in the muscle cell. And then from around seven seconds to 30 seconds, you’re using what’s called ATP lactate pathway. So you’re actually using lactate as an energy source, uh, up to 30 seconds. And then if you try to go harder, if you try to go, uh, high intensity for longer than 30 seconds, that’s when you start to have to kick into glucose burning. And that’s gonna be the priority all the way up to around two minutes. And then you’re gonna start to burn a greater and greater percentage of fat to glucose the longer you go. So if you’re going for hours, you’re burning predominantly fat, and if you’re going for one minute, one and a half minutes, you’re burning predominantly glucose.
If you’re going for eight seconds, you’re burning creatine phosphate in the cell. And that’s interesting to know and learn about because it correlates with the intensity of your exercise and the type of workouts that you’re doing. So the, the simple takeaway is that fat metabolism provides much more energy, a much longer lasting source of energy accordingly, but it takes a while to generate the energy. So you can’t do it if you’re trying to sprint around the running track or on the bicycle for 30 seconds. You’re gonna be using energy sources that are more readily available. Let’s think of it as a campfire where the big logs are akin to burning fat. And the wadded up newspaper and the twigs are akin to burning these, uh, faster energy sources where you can get the flame going in a few seconds of throwing wadded up newspaper and twigs into the fire, versus having to stoke those big logs to start burning and helping them burn with twigs and wadded up newspaper until they finally catch fire, and then they burn for hours.
Okay. All right, and speaking of this, another quip from Mike. Our paleo ancestors didn’t work out three to five days a week the way many modern people do. So they don’t, they did not need to fuel up for frequent peak performances the way many modern people do. And that comment is on the reflection of whether it’s better to be fat adapted and, and keto versus eating sufficient amount of carbohydrate energy sources in particular, uh, for a healthy, active, modern person. And that’s pretty much the reflection that I’ve been talking about a lot for many months where, you know, this obsession with ancestral health can get us into a bind, especially if we think of it in black and white terms, where we wanna honor our ancestors no matter what, and do everything they did in modern life, but they weren’t working out three to five days a week needing to recover and putting in those, especially high intensity performances frequently that require or are oftentimes best served by consuming sufficient carbohydrates to restock muscle glycogen in the most efficient and simple way, so that we can come back the next day and feel strong.
I heard an interesting comment recently from leading ketogenic diet researcher, Dr. DomD’Agostino, I think it was on his debate with Jay Feldman on the Brian Gryn, Get Clean Eat Lean podcast, where he said if you go on a week long fast, it takes two weeks to recover from that Heads up Liver King who goes on a five day fast every quarter with his wife Barbara, preceded by what he calls a failed hunt workout, which is an extremely challenging glycogen depleting workout, and that kicks off his fast rather than kicking off the fast with a giant Thanksgiving feast, he’s kicking off the fast with a brutal workout, and he wants just to turbocharge the assumed autophagy benefits by depleting the muscle cells and then going into the fast. So that’s a really hardcore strategy, and it might be something to reflect upon.
Of course, some of our ancestors experienced this frequently, not willfully, but they had a lot of two-week fasts in the historical timeline of human evolution, and they were able to survive and even thrive. They were able to kick into ketone burning so they could feel their brain and continue to trek around and look for food during the long, dark, cold, harsh winter. But that doesn’t mean that we need to model that today. In fact, it could be, uh, too stressful. And that’s why I’m, tip to the liver king who trained so hard and combines that with five day fast every quarter, that is really stacking a lot of stressors in the name of becoming more resilient and more ancestral. And it’s certainly out of reach and thus irrelevant to most fitness enthusiasts. But it’s worth reflecting on of what’s possible versus what’s optimal for recovery and for even for long-term health.
Okay, so then Mike’s talking about people like Shawn Baker, who are indeed thriving with a very low carb or near zero carbohydrate diet. I’ve seen Baker do these crazy workouts. You can look at his YouTube and Instagram. One of them Mike mentions is doing 24 inch box jumps with a 60 pound kettlebell in each hand, wearing a 50 pound vest and weighing in at 254 pounds and fueling workouts like this on a diet of New York strips and eggs and more eggs. <laugh>. Don’t try this at home, especially jumping in the air while holding onto weight is a great way to traumatize the spine. I even tried explosive hexagonal deadlifts where I’m not even leaving the ground, but I’m launching up onto my toes with each rep of the hexagonal deadlift bar, and I’ve tweaked my cervical spine a couple times just from the strain of carrying the weight through that range of motion up onto my tippy toes.
So, going back, taking a few steps back and working on my technique with less weight, where I want those shoulders in that safe, retracted and pinched position throughout the range of motion. So concentrating really intently on being absolutely frozen up there in the upper body, rather than allowing, if you imagine like going up on my tippy toes and allowing my shoulders to drop in response because they’re holding onto a couple hundred pounds. So be very careful when you’re moving extra weight of any kind. It’s probably, for most of us, a good enough fitness stimulation to just jump up onto an elevated box with your own body weight. Forget about the weight vests or the kettle bells. Yeah. So what about Shawn Baker performing these fantastic athletics feats in the mid fifties category? Like myself? What a fricking stud. I’m so impressed. He’s very adamant that he’s a natural athlete as well.
He competes in the rowing competitions, the indoor rowing, and actually set a world record on the concept two ergometer. That’s the rowing machine that measures output. So anyone around the world working on the same equipment can see how quickly they can row, uh, 500 meters. And that’s where Shawn set his record. So he’s obviously thriving, he’s doing fantastically well as an athlete and has a health leader walking his talk and promoting that strict carnivore diet, especially when it comes to the healing possibilities of people who are suffering from nagging health conditions. And that’s what his operation, Revero, R E V E R O is all about. And I send people there frequently to look up the stories of the people who cured their condition of psoriasis or whatever it is. There’s so many conditions listed where they talk about the specific benefits of restricting plants and the natural toxins that are causing or strongly driving these nagging autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.
So if you’re listening and you’re suffering from anything that has not responded well to traditional treatment, a 30 day restriction experiment with your diet, where you go into an animal-based mode, that’s the easiest and most effective restrictive diet because it’s nutritious, it’s sustainable, it’s not like you’re suffering. It’s not like you’re starving but you’re just cutting out all plant foods or maybe almost all, allowing honey or fruit or the super easy to digest, uh, plants to remain in the picture there. But mainly cutting out those ones that are in the most offensive categories like grains and legumes, roots, seeds, stems, and leaves are the four official categories to watch for. So, you know, Baker’s doing a great job promoting this movement for those populations that are suffering, and then also for the athletic types that are, you know, looking for something that’s gonna work for them.
And obviously, he’s able to make whatever glucose he needs that he’s not getting in the diet to fuel his brain, to help his muscle glycogen. And that’s what the Faster study showed F A S T E R, that showed that people could efficiently restock glycogen overnight, even when restricting dietary carbohydrates. So it’s made through internal mechanisms, particularly through splitting off the glycerol molecule in fat metabolism. When dietary carbohydrate intake is low they can efficiently restock muscle glycogen. And that combined with burning a lot of ketones, if they’re that diligent at restricting their carbohydrates, you’re looking at, uh, lean, mean clean burning machines. I’ll also mention Luis Villasenor, the proprietor behind the Ketogains website, as well as the L M N T electrolytes, is doing a great work with the ketogenic community for many, many years. And he himself has been over 20 years now in strict dietary ketosis while performing at a high level as a bodybuilder and power lifter.
So how are they able to do this without getting drained and depleted and not getting their carbs? Well, probably workout design is one thing that’s, um, really successful and contributing to their thriving instead of breaking down, where if you properly design a high intensity workout, you’re not out there for too long draining your tank and getting exhausted and depleted and suppressing your immune function and your stress hormone. So if Shawn Baker’s showing you these workouts where he’s lifting a ton of weight or doing those crazy box jumps or rowing all out on a concept two ergometer for 500 meters, which only takes a few minutes, and the workout wraps up in, let’s say less than 30 minutes, or, or the hard stuff at least doesn’t take that long, that’s not gonna have this big traumatic effect on, uh, muscle glycogen depletion where he’s gonna be collapsed and not able to recover.
Same with Luis doing a body building session or a power lifting session where the brief explosive activity can be fueled by a stored glycogen and then, uh, gracefully recalibrated before the next workout. And it’s also likely that they’re not in an over-training pattern where the next day they’re going in and doing an extremely grueling, exhausting hour long CrossFit session. So an athlete who’s training appropriately, even in the explosive power type of activities does not have a tremendous ravenous need for dietary carbohydrate because perhaps they’re putting in appropriate recovery days. And again, the body can restock muscle glycogen through internal mechanisms that take a a little bit of time, let’s say. So if they’re only going hard every 48 hours, no problem there. That said, with these guys thriving and kicking ass, let’s again reflect on what’s possible versus what’s optimal.
And if Shawn break is breaking world records, I’d say he’s pretty freaking close to optimal. And if he went and threw in a bunch of sweet potatoes and a bunch of fruit into his diet, would it screw him up? No, I don’t think so. He’d probably still be breaking records, and maybe he’d have a 1% performance advantage or maybe a 1% performance regression because his digestive system doesn’t accept it too well. Uh, but, you know, is at the top of his game, so it’s worth listening to and reflecting upon, and then taking that information and going and seeing what works for you. And to Shawn’s credit, he’s in his fifties and he’s ev vowed as a natural athlete. And I think he’s done, uh, some revealing of his blood work to kind of validate that assertion. That’s really important to me because someone who is doped off their ass on whatever performance enhancing drugs, maybe they are operating on a different plane than you and I who are trying to do this in a natural manner, thereby they suffer less from the advert potential adverse effects of, let’s say, not sleeping enough, not consuming sufficient carbohydrates to recover and so forth, because their hormones are pegged and contrast.
When you overstress yourself with an overly stressful training program, uh, not enough, uh, recovery fuel, whatever it is, you’re going to get an immediate adverse or very quick adverse impact on your testosterone levels for one. We know that cortisol and testosterone antagonize each other. So if your training program is chronically stressful, your are going to tank your testosterone. And I talk about my blood values on my series of shows about that. I think it was the Brad Natty part one and part two where I, uh, recited my, uh, test results in recent years, and also compared those two back in my, supposedly hormonal prime of my twenties. My testosterone levels were quite suppressed. They were a fraction of what they are today because my training program was incredibly stressful, along with my travel schedule competing on the world triathlon circuit.
So therefore, I was a victim of my peak performance ambitions tanking my male hormones. Now imagine if, uh, those numbers were pegged at appropriate or optimal or beyond optimal levels, uh, I would’ve been superhuman and I would’ve been, uh, winning my races by several minutes and then taking a shower and coming back and congratulating second place. So there are a lot of health influencers out there who are perhaps abusing or just going for the extreme results with performance enhancing drugs, thereby, I think, discrediting some of their messages about what a diet supplements or <laugh> sleep practices they’re engaging in, including, uh, being a badass and saying, uh, wake up at four 30 every morning and then you’ll be more productive and more focused and more fit. I just don’t like it unless it’s legit and transparent all the way through.
Okay, still Mike CatlIn writing, but change is subject to circadian rhythm. The show you did about, uh, the work of Dr. Jack Kruse was very interesting. There are many points from the show that I keep in mind, and that was a show where I narrated, commented on his lengthy article on his website covering all the happenings in one’s circadian rhythm from a hormonal perspective. And so the best time to work out, the best time to have sex, the best time to eat, the best time to sleep. And, uh, my favorite part of the clock there was 12 midnight to 3:00 AM which he said was absolutely crucial to be in a completely dark room asleep to allow the wonderful most restorative hormonal processes to come out and play. And that would be that necessary spike in growth hormone and other adaptive hormones that requires that delicate circadian alignment where midnight and 3:00 AM are the most important times to be down in the dark, getting your sleep.
There was also coverage about the importance of exposure to natural light early in the day, near sunrise, the importance of not eating too late in the day, such as after dark, so as not to disrupt the delicate hormonal processes like dim light melatonin onset. And it was a great article, great show. So, uh, point you back to, to check out that and go around the clock and seeing what’s happening. Here’s Mike’s observation. We are organisms, and as such, we have our natural daily rhythm based on day and night in our environment. Anything that takes us out of that rhythm has an adverse effect on us. Although we’re basically organisms, we’re sentient and sapien organisms. And as such, we can manipulate our environment and force ourselves to live in ways that aren’t optimal, unlike our friends in the animal kingdom, right people. So we can force ourselves into things that aren’t optimal and are ultimately unhelpful.
To think that the original purpose of our eyes was to detect light and set our rhythms and hormones in action, according to a show by Dr. Andrew Huberman, and speaking of him, I noticed how you described dopamine as a hormone that drives us to complete something, to lean into an effort. And indeed, they misrepresent dopamine as the reward hormone, but really its primary role is in motivation and perseverance. So you release dopamine in pursuit of an exciting goal in such a way that it will get you to return to that challenge and go for it again and again to get more and more dopamine. And basically, what we’ve done in modern life is hijack this system whereby now we can get dopamine for free, for making absolutely no effort indulging in all the modern dopamine triggers that were detailed so nicely.
In Dr. Robert Lustig, the Hacking of the American Mind Book. I talked about that on a breather show dedicated to the insights in the book. I had Lustig on the show talking about a different book Metabolical, where he was talking more about his main area of expertise on the human diet. He’s one of the world’s leading anti-sugar crusaders. But this other book, the Hacking of the American Mind, I think he picked up where sugar left off and also pointed out where all these other dopamine triggers are, are flooding the receptors on our brain and making us basically addicted to instant gratification pleasures that don’t require a corresponding effort. And as you learned in my interview with Dr. Anna Lembke, author of Dopamine Nation, that’s where the problem lies. So when we get these dopamine births from, for example, practicing our favorite sport, hitting golf shots at the range, or shooting baskets, or working on a new painting or photography project, that keeps us coming back for more and more in a very positive manner that gives our life richness and meaning and long-term satisfaction.
So you get the dopamine to help you along the way with your motivation. And then, other neurotransmitters like serotonin and oxytocin contribute to your sense of fulfillment and living a rich and meaningful life. So it’s basically persevering through challenges, to experience the rewards not only in the process, but also a little bit on the outcome. And the opposite of that would be to hijack straight to the outcome and Lustig’s list of things like, uh, uh, sugar and other instant gratification, processed foods, mobile technology, scrolling through novel stimulation in your text messages or your social media feed, mentions, pornography mentions, video games, mentions street drugs, recreational drugs, as well as prescription drugs. All these things are hacking the dopamine receptors in our brains with an adverse negative consequence. Dr. Anna Lembke talks about it called the Opponent Process Reaction. So when we get a bunch of instant easy pleasures, our body responds by recalibrating with a lowering of our baseline level of happiness, satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment.
That’s the problem with addiction, right? That’s the essence or the definition of addiction, is that you go and you need to get more and more just to get to baseline, not necessarily to get high as much as just to kind of get through the day, I guess, when you get into extreme addiction. And so if you can kind of transition to doing things that require a lot of effort to get these reward chemicals, one great example is cold plunging, right? So you’re gonna have to persevere through your misgivings in your mind, right as you’re heading out the door on a cold winter morning looking at that plunge and lifting up the lid and getting in there thinking, what the heck am I doing? But in the process of putting your body through that temporary discomfort, you get that hormonal boost, and it’s a sustained release of dopamine norepinephrine, another mood elevating chemicals that last for hours afterward, thanks to your ability to persevere through that initial discomfort. So that’s the difference. Okay. Um, and then this was just finishing off, Mike Catlin’s message about circadian rhythm.
And then the next comes from Eric Frohardt, my former podcast guest, Navy Seal, public speaker, prominent health and fitness personality. I love this guy’s game who can forget his interview when he was talking about his initial decision to enlist in the military and become a Navy seal. And he just told himself he was gonna do it. He told his buddies in his college dorm room when he dropped out and said, I’m going over to, to go through training. I’m gonna become a Navy seal. And they all gave him the negative feedback and the naysayers, and he just said, I’m gonna prove those guys wrong. And he just made the decision that he was gonna make it through no matter what, and didn’t even give himself the option or even ponder the idea of failing or dropping out.
It was really well conveyed and the power of, you know, the mindset and the, the manifestation of the reality, like this is what he was gonna do. And he was certain he didn’t have any special, incredible skills. He called himself a mid-level football player who excelled in high school and then was playing, I think at the division two or division three level. Wasn’t, you know, wasn’t excelling, wasn’t headed to the NFL, but he just turned his sights on the extremely challenging goal of making it through SEAL training, I believe, uh, listening to Jocko Willick on a recent podcast, another former Navy Seal who’s risen to high profile and health and fitness peak performance motivational speaker. I think he said 80% dropout rate or something like that. Yeah. So anyway, Eric writes in, I’ve enjoyed your recent podcasts on the energy balance concept.
It direct me to listen to some additional podcasts. I also, reflecting on listening to Dr. Paul Saladino’s recent episode on ketosis, how it’s not the ideal or the optimal state, but it does have a place but interesting how he’s now eating a bunch of honey and a bunch of fruit every day. So that’s Paul’s famous transition from his initial, uh, strict carnivore diet promotion when he published The Carnivore Code. And now he’s a big enthusiast of adding sufficient amount of carbohydrates to fuel your activity and keep your hormones and your immune function and everything dialed in, all those dials up at high. So you can be a high functioning human rather than engaging in this greatly restrictive diet in the name of health that has potential adverse health consequences, especially when you’re active. Okay, back to Eric’s message.
Given the above, I’ve adjusted my diet to be more animal based, uh, with that energy balance kicking in too. Uh, so I’m prioritizing fruits, fresh fruits, certain veggies like squash, cucumber, and zucchini, which are technically fruit, uh, healthy fats, healthy dairy, and of course meat. He has some kidney concerns that he was mentioning, and so he’s trying to optimize his diet for his, uh, history of kidney problems. And then comes a question, what do you think I should do? I’m trying to find a doctor who’s particularly sensitive, uh, to watch out for my kidney concerns, but wants to embrace these progressive health practices, these, popular new diets that are outside of mainstream health. Um, so you know what, Eric, I would recommend going to Marek health.com/brad and look at this custom programming that they offer where they give you comprehensive blood testing, and then you sit down over Zoom with a, uh, patient care consultant that goes over your results in detail, and then you can transition to another consultation with either, a nurse practitioner or an MD to get prescription medication if necessary.
So they’re doing a great job dialing in one-on-one with their clients, and I’m extremely impressed and so happy to find this resource, cuz basically what I’ve been doing for many years is going out to the, uh, the pay for play blood labs where you can order a test online. I’ll get my numbers and then I’ll go consult with a number of experts that I happen to have a personal relationship with cuz I’m a deep into this business and have the privilege of engaging with these people that give me one-on-one observations. But now any and all can avail this wonderful process of advanced and breakthrough progressive modern health practices with operations like Marek Health, M A R E K health.com/brad. You can look at the custom protocol that I recommend that I was put through, and you get a great discount too. So that would be something an exact example of Eric’s concern where he’s got kidney issues, he’s part of the medical system, he’s gotta watch himself and honor what the what the physicians say, but he also wants to try different dietary practices and so forth.
Okay? Um, you know, it’s a constant process, says, Eric, you’ve done the work to get where you are now. Um, some of that work includes a phase of fat adaptation or testing out keto. I do enjoy my daily fasting still, but I’m mainly doing it. This is Eric talking. I’m mainly doing it for mental acuity and also assumed autophagy. So that was interesting how we put assumed. And you’ve heard this term, autophagy, bantered about frequently these days. That is defined as the natural internal cellular detoxification process. So when you are kicking in autophagy the autophagy process, you are cleaning up damaged cellular material throughout the body, thereby helping protect you against things like unwanted or unregulated cell division. That is the essence of cancer. So autophagy is cleaning up your damaged cells, maybe recycling, repairing them, or just excreting them, getting rid of especially, senescent cells, cells that aren’t working right anymore.
And it is believed that this process is turbocharged when you starve your cells of energy, thereby prompting them to become more efficient. And that’s one of the great benefits of fasting, is that the body becomes, operates more efficiently in many ways due to the restriction of energy. And that includes immune function, that includes anti-inflammatory processes kick in, and that includes this highly regarded process of autophagy. And you’ll also hear the term apoptosis, which is the programed death of senescent cells, pre-cancerous cells. And that is also upregulated when you starve the cells of energy or especially excess energy as is what’s happening with the modern diet. And I talked about on the last show, Dr. Layne Norton’s contention that most dietary problems, most metabolic health problems can be traced to energy, toxicity, eating too much fricking food no matter what kind it is, even if it’s healthy food, arguably, and not exercising, not moving enough and kind of overs, stuffing the body, causing chronically excessive insulin production and all kinds of other problems relating to just simply overdoing it and getting, uh, lazy, decadent, modern life.
Now. So the opposite would be, fine-tuning with practices like fasting, like ketogenic diet and high intensity, difficult challenging exercise. Even long duration endurance exercise can kickstart the beneficial cellular process of autophagy. But I think it’s really important what Mike Mutzel pointed out on his video, uh, why I’m not fasting anymore, why I stopped fasting, and what I’m doing instead, where he drew the comparison between, um, an intense workout, an hour long intense workout in the gym will kick you into autophagy at a level that is similar or perhaps better than a 48-hour fast. So fasting for two days gets you similar benefits to just busting butt in the gym for an hour, and then he offered his punchline, which one would you choose? And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go slam it in the gym or out there on the running track for a shortish intense workout versus struggling for two days to not consume any food.
I also like how Dr. Gabrielle Lyon pointed out that autophagy is always happening at some level. So it’s not some magical process where, I have to field future q and a from people saying, if I fast for 18 hours and eat for six, will that, uh, do enough autophagy or does it have to be 20 hours? Right? So it’s kind of this continuum where it’s not this magical zone, I guess you could say. The same with ketosis where we’re always making, perhaps trace amounts of ketones, I guess, unless right after we hit a 7-Eleven Slurpee. But like everybody wakes up and there’s a little bit of keto production going on due to the overnight period of fasting, and then we might shut it down when we go and eat a high carbohydrate breakfast. But the point is that these mechanisms are happening in a little bit here and there, which suggests that you don’t have to be obsessed with the clock and make it to a certain number of hours to join the Autophagy Club.
So back to Eric Frohardt’s message. There are days when I definitely notice I have much better training session if I put some fuel in the tank beforehand, especially when I’m doing Muay Thai. That’s kickboxing, that’s very anaerobic. I listen to your shows with Jay Feldman and some of your summaries on energy balance. I’m very intrigued. I want to dive deeper. I really liked your comment about how the constrained model of energy expenditure may actually apply more to those who aren’t sufficiently fueled. And that was a big insight that came out of recent research that was pointed out to me by former podcast guest Ryan Baxter. And this model of this constrained model of energy expenditure contends that humans bump up against an upper limit a ceiling of our total daily energy expenditure essentially no matter what. So if you wake up at 5:00 AM and bust out an awesome spinning class on the bike while everyone else is sleeping, and then you, uh, stick around in the gym for 20 more minutes and lift a few weights, and you burn all these calories first thing in the morning, what’s gonna happen is your body’s going to engage in assorted compensatory mechanisms for the rest of the day where your calorie burning is gonna be turned down to the extent that you kind of end with a net, you know, upper ceiling of x number of calories that you burn every single day.
And this was the research that was presented strongly by Dr. Herman Pontzer in his book Burn, where he studied the Hazda in Tanzania, as well as research on numerous, much more sedentary modern populations of humans. And it revealed that these super, super active Hadza where the males walk an average of seven miles a day and the females walk an average of three, and they do a lot of hunting and gathering. Uh, they do a lot of gathering the females with less walking, but very busy, very active all day long, but they don’t burn the significantly more calories than the average person who’s riding the subway and sitting in an office all day. Now, the, um, the new research, which Dr. Pontzer is an author on as well, revealed that this constrained model of energy expenditure might be mostly applicable to people who are hanging on by a thread and, you know, barely getting by.
And so they’re very, very conservative because they’re sort of in survival mode as you might identify a hunter-gatherer population. The Hadza are not overfeeding themselves, they’re just hoping that they’re gonna take down a baboon next week or find another beehive to live to see another day. And it is less relevant in the modern framework where we have an abundance of energy available and thereby potentially unlocking a higher ceiling to burn more calories and perhaps if desired, drop excess body fat through the addition additional activity. And when I was first presented with the idea of the energy balance or the constrained model of energy expenditure, and you can hear me in my questioning of Dr. Pontzer on our two shows, especially the second show where I tried to play devil’s advocate and challenge some of the assertions. And he had great answers and it was very, it’s a very nuanced topic, but I contend, for example, that if I eat more and become more active, I feel like that’s a path to improved body composition.
And I just shared on the last Q and A show how I finally gained a couple pounds of fat after my long eight month experiment of eating way more calories than I I usually had, and trading in fasting for a big morning dose of fruit and high protein smoothie. And I think it finally came about because I stopped sprinting that high impact sprinting, and that was the trigger as well as the continued, uh, consumption of additional calories. So if the constrained model of energy expenditure is not locked tight, that means we have some potential to improve our body composition through the combination of increased activity and increased consumption of nutritious foods to help perform that increased activity and recover from that increased activity. And my favorite example of this as detailed on my previous show with Ryan Baxter, where he went to the trouble to carefully quantify an experiment that lasted for a year where he consumed an additional 700 calories per day from his historical pattern that he also had quantified and measured.
So everything’s measured here. It’s not just an estimate like, like my story where I, I’m saying that I’m eating more food for the past eight months. I’m certain that I’m right, but I didn’t measure it exactly. But Ryan Baxter did. He ate 700 calories more per day for a year and a year later was as good or slightly better body composition. And the argument or the assumption here is that those extra calories that he consumed, of course nutritious calories, we’re not talking about throwing in a Slurpee on top of your daily diet. That’s a good way to <laugh> produce more endotoxin and get fat, but consuming nutritious calories and then going out there and being more active in a variety of ways, including doing better at your workouts and doing more workouts or going a little bit longer, a little bit faster, a little bit harder at your workouts, but also the body is really good at burning more energy in other ways such as greater cognitive activity or, uh, fidgeting and tapping your foot and being more peppy with your step as you go up the stairs or travel down the hall or jump up from the couch to go and get more salt for your popcorn in the evening or what have you.
So, you know, these people that are naturally more active and more energetic throughout the day, that’s maybe a genetic gift or for, certainly it’s a genetic gift, but also by being fully and optimally fueled with nutritious calories, you tend to lead a more active lifestyle, proven by Ryan Baxter and many other things. So I love this concept that you don’t have to sweat this flawed approach to calories in calories out, where the secret to getting trimmed down and finding your six pack is to both exercise more and eat less. It just doesn’t add up that way for the dynamic living breathing organism that is a human. I’m really gonna say it’s about cleaning up your diet, getting rid of the processed foods, and then being more active, but eating to satiety and certainly, not necessarily needing to engage in the restrictive diets that have become so popular as weight-loss tools.
It’s more about eat nutritious foods and get your butt moving and put your body under resistance load and, and go hard once in a while. Simple as that. A nice place to end, another lively session of back and forth and especially the, the prolific contributors. Thanks to them. I also like taking on quick questions so you can write any type of question you want and be part of the, part of the program with the recurring Q and A shows. Thank you so much for listening and sharing the show with someone you care about. Especially if a topic lights you up or you think of someone that might particularly benefit, I do that all the time. I push the button on my Overcast podcast app and you can actually record a clip right from the show of desired length that goes from 30 seconds up to I think a minute or a minute and a half maximum, and send a text message saying, listen to this guy <laugh>, listen to this guy yapping on the show.
What do you think? Is he full of crap? Is he spot on? But you can share that with a friend with a push of a couple buttons. It’s super fun and I do it all the time. They don’t have to be using the Overcast app, they can just listen to your clip and then go find the podcast episode on their favorite podcast player. Might be Apple Podcast. That seems to be the majority of people, uh, consuming their podcasts from there. But if you want to have some fun, I would take a look at this cool app called Overcast because it has a bunch of functionality as far as making play lists, choosing the exact playback speed that you want. So you can have 1.6, you can have 1.7, you can have 1.9, and you can have 2.2, whatever you want. So I’m having a lot of fun with that. But I especially like the feature where you can share the shows with your friends without troubling yourself too much. Just push the record and you’ll record the desired clip and then send it off. Thank you so much for listening. Talk to you soon.
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