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 www.cronometer.com 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 www.cronometer.com, 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.


51 comments:

  1. Well written, good info!

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  2. Excellent post

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  3. What's the purpose of the baking soda?

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    1. It raises co2 which opposes lactate and promotes oxidative metabolism.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8388767
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9296948
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514504

      Milk shaking is commonly used in horse racing and involves giving horses large doses of baking soda and sugar. http://community.tvg.com/t5/The-Grandstand/Milkshaking-101/td-p/895303

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  4. I like coconut water as a source of manganese. Cocoa powder is great also, but I enjoy good the taste of coconut water. 11oz of Vita Coco Pure Coconut water has 100% of manganese. I like soaking a few dates in a cup of coconut water and blend to a drink to take the gym.

    Wow, 2T of baking soda? I am seriously under consuming sodium. How many mg of sodium do you think you get a day?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Including the baking soda something like 10k MG

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  5. Cliff,

    What's the basis for the B1 and Niacinamide? Are there any scientific reasons or are you just going by how you feel?

    My stomach feels crap on baking soda, is it something you adjust to?

    Have you considered gelatine after you exercise? It should counteract some of the tryptophan that is released from muscle damage.

    Also, I've found eating bamboo shoots before you exercise is beneficial; it helps deal with the exercise induced endotoxin.

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    1. B1 is needed for oxidative metabolism of glucose and niacianmide prevents lipolysis which keeps free fatty acids low.

      I don't think bamboo shoots would be a good idea before exercise as they might inhibit the digestion of the sugar and protein foods you need to eat. Do you have any more info on exercise induced endotoxin?

      I usually do about 4tb of gelatin but rarely after exercise.

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  6. Hi Cliff,

    Sorry I mispoke; should have said exercise induced gut permeability.

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  7. Hey Cliff,
    Cool article. I consider dairy farming to be an athletic occupation so these tips could really be helpful. One question I have is how do you measure those small quantities of powdered supplements?
    Thanks

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    1. The pregenelone comes with a scoop which is about 40mg I use it for the other ones as well.

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  8. Cliff,

    how do you consume baking soda? Also, is there a brand of aspirin that you like?

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    1. mix it with water and drink it. I get aspirin with minimal excipients from the dollar store.

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  9. Cliff,

    what do you think of claims that theobromine from chocolate is a toxin?

    Also,

    do you ever drink coffee on an empty stomach? what is the latest time in the day that you will drink coffee?

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  10. The claims have no basis.

    I always drink coffee with milk and sugar. I've never had a problem consuming coffee very late.

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  11. Cliff,

    Have you ever heard of the amino acid Tyramine? Supposedly it is high in aged cheeses: "these foods contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired. Most types of cheese also contain tyramine, which is a breakdown product of the amino acid tyrosine. Any food that’s fermented or aged is likely to be high in tyramine."

    Also, how many calories do you typically consume each day? And do you think that in order to feel tired at night, one has to have consumed enough calories throughout the day/night?

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  12. I consume anywhere from 3500-5000 cals.

    Getting enough sugar/protein throughout the day is very important for sleep

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  13. Cliff,

    When you find the time, I would really like to see how you achieve consuming 3500-5000 calories a day. Maybe you can do a new post on it, or maybe you can just reply here. It would be great to see examples like, Orange juice 1000 calls, milk 1000 cals etc. I find it hard to consume a lot of calories and I want to find ways to consume more. Thanks.

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    1. On a typical day I'll have something like this,

      -8 cups OJ
      -16 cups milk
      -0.25 cup sugar
      -2tb cocoa powder or baking chocolate
      -2 potatoes
      -2 corn tortillas
      -2 oz cheese
      -1tb butter

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    2. Hi Cliff, I stumbled across your blog while researching Ray Peat and being confused about how to structure my meals in a peatarian diet. How do you split the food into multiple meals ? For example if you divide the above in 4 meals you must be having to drink a quart of milk in each sitting and that is a lot of milk for one meal ! Dont you get bloating or gas from this ? Also, no gelatin or meat ?

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    4. I eat like 6-8 times a day. I do gelatin sometimes.

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    5. Thanks Cliff. Hope to see some new posts from you as this is great info. Perhaps a post on what and when you eat would be an idea for your next post :)

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  14. Cliff,

    Do you always sleep with the heat lamp shining on you?

    It seems some people suggest that you should only shine the bright light on you right when you wake up for a few minutes. But it seems you are saying that using it anytime is good and it gives you vivid dreams.

    Are vivid dreams an indication that you are sleeping more deeply?

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    1. Yes I do, I shine it on my feet. I like it.

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  15. Greetings from Mexico everybody,,,

    about 2 months following Ray Peat suggs, nice blog Cliff, been following your posts from other forums also.

    I also do "starting strength" program, from one month ago with great results, about 6 kilos added from lean muscle (82kgs actually, 1.75cms, 40yo), Ray Peat suggestions looks like testosterone shots, milk with sugar and salt thermogenic !!! even though i am not tolerant to milk, my strategy is drink 125ml every hour, and i do not have any problem, more than that "Houston we have a problem here"

    i am amaze cliff how much baking soda you use.

    big hug!

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    1. Yea milk intolerance is basically a myth.

      "Research has shown that lactose maldigesters, including African-American maldigesters, can consume at least one cup (8 oz) of milk without experiencing symptoms, and that tolerance can be improved by consuming the milk with a meal, choosing yogurt or hard cheeses, or using products that aid in the digestion of lactose such as lactase supplements or lactose-reduced milks."
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373956

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  16. thanks Cliff, is your temperature and pulse high with just the food, i mean 85 bpm and 37 C ?? OR are you using cytomel ?
    if so, what dose per day ??
    thanks again !

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    1. My pulse has always been around 85 bpm, temps would kinda fluctuate depending on how much stress/exercise I've had. Never too low though. I've been experimenting with about 1/4 tablet of cynoplus once or twice a day for a couple weeks now and it has gotten my temps to 98F+ consistently.

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  18. Cliff,

    Could you please share the link to the company from which you buy your pure niacinimide power? Thanks.

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    1. I just ordered some from beyond a century

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  19. Hey Cliff. Thanks for your blog. I cant find a copy of GENERATIVE ENERGY: PROTECTING AND RESTORING THE WHOLENESS OF LIFE By Dr Peat. I emailed him about buying it as a pdf but he did not respond. Any ideas? I am mostly interested in the restoring hair color information. I am glad to see you are a surfer. I used to surf, mostly, at Huntington Beach in the 1970's before moving to Arizona. That's a looong walk down to the beach. There is "surfing" here at Big Surf Water Park. Thanks again.

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    1. Thanks for the response. I think his book is a compendium of articles. I will research. Do you do a blog on surfing? I have been catching up lately and am confused. Any recommended reading?

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    2. Recommended reading on surfing? No blog for surfing yet

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  20. Hi Cliff, I have a few questions for you:

    1) you say athletes have lower pulse rate, but isn't that due to the fact that their heart changed in size? I believe that joggers for example increase their heart size: isn't the new pulse rate equivalent to the old one just because of the heart size, not some non optimal thyroid function?

    2) You say (red) light is important while resting. Shouldn't it be limited in the evening, not to disrupt the circadian cycle? I know melatonin is stress related, but it seems like its natural cycle is necessary for good sleep. Exposing your eyes to bright light re-sets the cycle, which is why it is recommended to dim lights a few hours before bed.

    3) Due to my significant dairy consumption (Peat style), I end up ingesting quite a lot of unsaturated fat - maybe due to drinking whole milk. How do I know which amount, in grams, is excessive?

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    1. endurance athletes have an increased stroke volume but because of the lower pulse rate they still pump the equivalent of a sedentary person.

      red light probably shouldn't be used all night if your loaded up with pufa but it works for me.

      if your not gaining weight the amount of pufa in whole milk is fine

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  21. Hey Cliff, I see that your diet is largely fluids, do you add salt to the milk and orange juice or just have it as is?

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    1. I add salt to my milk when i drink chocolate milk. I put some baking soda in my OJ for some extra sodium too

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  22. What do you add to your chocolate milk. I have been experimenting with cacao again and I get terrible heartburn from it which no other food seems to give me.

    Do you drink 1% milk?

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    1. I make chocolate syrup and usually use that with some salt and instant coffee to make a chocolate milk drink. I drink whole milk creamtop as I react pretty badly to the added vitamins in lower fat milks.

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  23. Cliff,

    Have you ever tracked to see what % of macro-nutrients you are eating? If so, what are your levels of fat/protein/carbs?

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    1. usually around 55c/15p/30f

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    2. Do you bother trying to keep your PUFAs below 4 grams total.. Drinking whole milk and even just one egg a day with cheese put you above that. Is that not a concern for you?

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    3. Not really a concern for me to keep PUFA that low. If I had access to vitamin free low fat milk I would probably do more sugar and less fat but I don't think it's that big of a deal as I don't gain any fat from it so I'm not storing any of the PUFA.

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  24. What does that equate to in terms of total calories and grams of each as an average?

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    1. It's around 4500 cals, 175g protein, 650g carbs, 160g fat

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  25. Hi Cliff,

    Great info. I am trying to impliment it into my own exercise/eating regime. I just have one question that I can't quite get my head around.

    If I have 1 tbs Bicarb soda after I exercise (as well as the one before), I will have neutralised most of any stomach acid that is present (assuming that my body has enough energy to devote to stomach acid production when I am exercising). If I then eat a meal of protein : sugar (1:4) I am worried that I will not have the right level of stomach acid to help me break down my protein meal.

    Do I have this correct?

    The only idea that I have come up with is that the bicarb is absorbed very rapidly initially and the protein meal will then stimulate new stomach acid production. If this is the case, do you have any literature on the amount of time taken for bicarb soda to pass through / be digested in the stomach?

    Thanks heaps.

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    1. you'll be fine eating it before your meal, i've done it with my meals no problem

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