Podcast #39 Addendum: High Fat Diets and Performance

High Fat Diet RatiosI've got to say, there are some really smart listeners out there.  Boy did you guys respond to my last podcast (Q&A number 2), especially regarding the last segment on fueling for a century.  Specifically, I referenced a study that found a 2% improvement in cycling performance/power output following glycogen depleted training.  A couple of you rightly questioned my analysis of that study.  Rather than write a lengthy post on the topic, I've decided to create an addendum podcast (originally designed to be the first segment of my next podcast, but after realizing the length, I decided to make it a stand along podcast) in order to address the issue.

Below I've included the study I reference in the podcast:

Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate restoration increases AMPK activity in skeletal muscle from trained humans

Our results demonstrate that AMPK-α1 and AMPK-α2 activity and fuel selection in skeletal muscle in response to exercise can be manipulated by diet and/or the interactive effects of diet and exercise training.

This essentially relates that we can sort of “eat ourself into fitness.”  Cool, huh?

SHORT-TERM (<1 WK) MANIPULATION of dietary macronutrient intake is associated with marked changes in skeletal muscle gene expression (1524), substrate stores (36), metabolic flux, and fuel oxidation (102223). Exercise training also results in striking modifications in muscle gene expression (14), energy reserves, and the relative contribution of fuels to the energetic demands of muscle (9). Accordingly, the extent to which acutely altering substrate availability might modify the training impulse has been a key research area among exercise physiologists and sport nutritionists for several decades (for review, see Ref. 19). Indeed, evidence is accumulating that nutrient manipulation can serve as a potent modulator of many of the acute responses to both endurance (15) and resistance exercise (711).

So basically, if you eat well and train intelligently, you can turn yourself into a monster.  However, it also shows that if you eat poorly (I.E. a carbohydrate laden diet that promotes free radical production and inflammation) you can probably do more to hinder your performance than help it.

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don't forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don't forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the summer here, it's time to get serious about your summer fitness!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don't forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week's podcast.

Biohacking: Summer Sun Protection

Cycling sunburn

It's synonymous with group rides, races, fondos, picnics, beers and burgers with your riding buddies and….sun.  Lots and lots of sun.

Of course, with sun comes the ever present worries of sunburn, skin damage, melanoma, and general misery that goes along with the “lobster burn.”  The typical course of action involves slathering yourself with a shot glass or more of sunscreen, wearing “sun sleeves” or finding some other way to keep those UV rays from touching your skin.

Sadly, we as human beings need some of those UV rays.  Truly, around three quarters of the US population is deficient in Vitamin D3, which can cause anything from increased risk of cancer to insufficient secretion of insulin in Type 2 diabetes. This can partially be blamed on the fact that we generally work inside, and that the UVB radiation we need to produce D3 naturally doesn't pass through glass.  We also don't get much exposure if we slather ourselves or our families with sunscreen all summer long, either.

So what can you do?  We don't want to be burned up, we don't want to peel, we don't want to get skin cancer.  Well, a couple of easy biohacks can reduce your risk of sunburn, skin cancer and reduce the use of those greasy sunscreens, while leaving you nicely golden brown after your ride.

Read on to find out this easy recipe after the jump:


Biohacking Your Energy Systems

Simplified metabolism

[dc]W[/dc]ho doesn't want to have more energy and perform better, whether it's in the office (via improved brain power and a clear mind) or out on the bike (by slaying daemons at the Tuesday Night Worlds.)  We can accomplish this with a little bit of simple biohacking.  Biohacking is a simple process of taking the “how does this make me feel” concept to the next level.  With some careful thought, we can make a biochemistry experiment out of our nutrition: instead of simply looking at some marketing copy and taking our chances with some powder or gel, we can do much better than a blind trial and error approach.

We simply think of this trial as a scientific experiment.  With a little knowledge about the biochemical pathways involved in producing energy in the cell, we can make good choices about our nutrition by looking at the compounds involved in energy production pathways in order to augment them through some creative supplementation.

That's how we “hack” the mitochondria, which is the cell's powerhouse, for improved performance.

I'll cover the basics of cellular energy after the jump (fair warning, this is a lot of science.  I'll try to make it as simple as possible.):