Sunday, August 19, 2012

Strategies for athletes following a Ray Peat inspired diet

Exercise can be very stressful and can often cause long term health complications.  Endurance exercise increases estrogen/free fatty acids and has been shown to have a negative impact on the heart.  The breathlessness associated with exercise causes a loss of co2 which increases lactate and leads to glucose being processed inefficiently. Athletes often have low pulses and sub optimal thyroid function.

This is all very troubling information if you are an avid athlete.  I personally train and surf 7 days a week so overcoming these negative effects of exercise in the context of a ray peat inspired diet has been a major goal for me.  The protocol I outline in this post personally works for my situation so mileage may vary but I assume these tips should help most athletes.  I've done lots of experimentation so I feel its pretty solid.  Summary is at the end for those who don't want to read the whole thing.

The number one thing I recommend first off is to log your food intake with to make sure you are getting enough calories and nutrition.  A good deal of my calories come from liquid sources so making sure I am getting an adequate amount of calories is important as it's very easy to under eat.  Some nutrients can come up short if your doing mainly OJ and milk the main one being manganese,  I usually do about 2 ounces of bakers chocolate to meet manganese reqs.  Once you get an idea of how much calories and nutrition are in the foods you eat you can play it by ear.

You might be tempted to get a good deal of your calories from pure sugar and a certain amount is ok assuming the rest of your diet is solid but you should always favor non-allergenic fruit over sugar.  I especially think this is important right before exercise, for awhile I had a tendency to just drink sugar coffee milk before surfing but I have been using OJ/milk and feel it's a much better combo.  The extra magnesium in the OJ helps with the stress that will be induced by exercise.

When you are exercising you want to take as many breaks as possible.  I'm lucky in the aspect that surfing forces you to take breaks due to the nature of the ocean.  When I skateboard I have to be aware of this as it's very easy to over exert myself before I even realize it.  If you are unable to breath comfortably through your nose and have to resort to mouth breathing you are most likely exercising too hard.  Having some OJ/milk with you to drink during the breaks is very beneficial as well, I have a tendency to not eat when I surf but I always feel and perform better when I do.

As soon as you are done exercising it is important to eat a meal of protein and sugar at about a 1:4 ratio as soon as possible.  Stress hormones will be very high after exercise so eating asap will help lower them.  It will also help with recovery and help blunt the fall in T3. 

I think most supplements should probably be avoided but I find niacianamide and b1 right before exercise and with my last meal is very beneficial.  I take about 50mg of niacianamide and 50mg of b1 each time.  I have also found pregnenolone to be helpful with the stress induced from exercise, I usually take about 50mg before/after exercise and with my last meal.  I also take about 1tb of baking soda before and after exercise.  Making sure to get pure supplements is very important, never take anything in pill form.  I get pure niacianamide from a cosmetic supply company and get the b1/pregnenolone from beyond a century.

You should get adequate rest after exercise to normalize hormones and facilitate recovery.  I find doing low intensity stretches and yoga type stuff during rest helps to recover faster and keep flexibility high.  Using a heat lamp and getting adequate sun during rest can be very beneficial in my experience.  I use a 250 watt heat lamp and try to get as much sun as possible. Being weary of sleeping surfaces and proper posture is important as well, sitting in a chair all day long without proper posture can be disastrous for your health.  I'm not very fond of too much cushioning or pillows when sleeping, I try to keep it as minimalistic as possible.  Bag breathing for a couple minutes can help increase Co2 and lower stress when resting.

For those who can't read the whole post-
-Log calories and nutrient intake with, this only needs to be done till you get a general idea of how much calories and nutrition are in the food you eat.
-Eat sugar/protein, preferably something high quality like milk and Oj, before, during and after exercise.
-Take a high quality B1, niacianamide and pregnenolone supplement before exercise and possibly after.  50mg of each is a good amount.
-Take 1tb of baking soda before and after exercise
-Rest as much as possible during exercise, if you are unable to breath comfortably through your nose you are over exerting yourself.
-Get good rest in your down time, be weary of posture when sitting and sleeping, focus on getting adequate sun/light(250 watt heat lamp) while resting. 
-Bag breath during rest down time, only needs to be done for a couple minutes.
-utilize low intensity stretches/yoga poses to help with recovery and flexibility.