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Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration

Discussion in 'Biohacking 101' started by persistence, May 28, 2014.

  1. persistence

    persistence New Member

    Is there a decent two to three page reference that would give an overview of how the body transitions through different forms of energy use? I've read about anaerobic and aerobic respiration (glycolysis, krebs cycle, electron transport), but I have problems seeing the larger picture.

    Which of these are we using when at rest?

    Which of these are we using when we walk around?

    Which of these are we using during a brisk 30 minute walk?

    How does energy utilization change during a 30 minute jog?

    If you are doing some anerobic sprinting, how does that transition to aerobic?
  2. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    I don't have any reference at hand but if you do a search on the net focusing on endurance running you'll find a lot of good articles that, at least, cover the basics about all that questions regarding how the metabolism changes between fuels. It's something that is quite important in endurance sports so there's a ton of info regarding that subject. I've found this book that is not a quick reference but seems pretty detailed yet more or less easy to understand (at least has colours, with me that helps :D)

    http://books.google.es/books?id=RWP3JQfvHGEC&lpg=PA49&dq=endurance metabolism&hl=es&pg=PA39#v=onepage&q=endurance metabolism&f=false

    Basically, at rest you use fat and also when walking, considering that you walk slowly or at least not with much effort. As you start using more oxygen, feel the effort and your heart rate goes up you start using more glucose and less fat at the same time, the point where you use more glucose than fat, which is when you get to your aerobic threshold that, if I call remember correctly is when you're running at 70% Vo2Max or so that, for me, equals 160 heart rate or so. If you go even higher intensity then you end up using almost glucose and cannot satisfy the oxygen demand and then that's where you start building up lactate (which causes that burning feeling, well in fact is not lactate but their H+ ions). The threshold seems to be at the intensity where you could run up to 1h at that even effort level so to speak.


    When you do anaerobic sprinting... it depends, if it's less than 10s short then you basically use the creatine-phosphate ATP system which does not use any glucose just your already available short-term energy, but if it lasts a little bit more then you get again into the lactic glycolithic pathway, and you get aerobic once you ease until you can work again with more oxygen to use the beta-oxidation from fats.


    More or less that's it with a lot of oversimplification.
  3. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    I've just found this site that I remember consulting every now and then when I was more into endurance running, it's quite good source for info:
  4. persistence

    persistence New Member

    Good reference, but much more technical than I want to be for a high level of understanding....

    So how do the three stages of aerobic respiration map to this? Those are glycolysis, krebs cycle, and electron transport.

    Basically what your diagram calls "Glycogen-lactic acid system" is the glycolysis stage of aerobic respiration? And what you are labeling as "aerobic respiration" is where krebs cycle begins?

    Why I care about all of this: it turns out that I may have classic "chronic fatigue syndrome". The key characteristic of this disease is mitochondrial collapse in energy production after aerobic exercise. The exciting new development in diagnosing this disease is a *TWO* day VO2 max test. In people with this disease, on day two of the test their aerobic capacity during testing collapses by more than 10%. Google Workwell Foundation in Rincon California for details.

    It's very much a research question still why the mitochondria stop producing energy, and at what stage this happens. But I very much want to start understanding the cycle.

    Another exciting discovery from research is that people with CFS appear to be able to do anaerobic exercise without creating an energy collapse. So doing weight workouts with less than six reps per set makes sense. I'm going to try experimenting with sprint-swimming single laps followed by long rests to recovery.

    Definitely as soon as I transition to any kind of aerobic exercise, I get a deep muscular weakness (which is probably either carbonic acid / CO2 or H+ from conversion of lactic acid to lactate). I have discovered some ways to clear the lactic acid, but it doesn't treat the mitochondrial loss of energy production.
  5. persistence

    persistence New Member

  6. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    Uhmm... I'm not an expert so I'll give you my understanding and maybe Barry or anyone else can chime in to clarify. The krebs cycle is always working and producing ATP for you, for that, it uses AcetylCoA mainly as a substrate. You can get AcetylCoa both via the beta-oxidation from fats or the conversion of glucose to pyruvate or other steps like the gluconeogenesis if you get it from aminoacids (last resort), etc. When you are doing very low intensity activity you can get to oxidize fats via the beta-oxidation that your mitochondria use with oxygen to get the Acetyl-CoA that is a fuel that can enter the Krebs Cycle. Once it gets in, you get some ATP and enzimes to generate NADH and FADH2 from that via some steps that take place that then fuel the Electron Transport Chain to get even more ATP. I guess Jack would tell you that this is bullshit and what counts here is electron flow and not ATP to get the energy... but I'll let that for him!

    So, in this case that your mitochondria can use oxygen to fuel all your demands, we're using beta-oxidation, get AcetylCoa and fuel the Krebs Cycle that fuels the ECT and that allows you to get up to 146 or so ATP, which is quite much indeed. Not a problem with slow activity like working on the PC, walking or even running at very mild pace. That's what I understand as "aerobic respiration". But, there are too many steps on the cycle to get so much ATP by this way and this cannot always happen fast enough to burn the fat with respiration. That's when the glycogen-lactic thing gets in, the "anaerobic process".

    In this case you start to get AcetylCoA from pyruvate which comes from glycolysis mainly, breakdown of glycogen to glucose, as we said once you get the AcetylCoA via one route or another you can fuel the Krebs cycle and then the ECT. Both sustrates end powering the Krebd Cycle but in this case you don't use oxygen, is anaerobic and the process is quite faster than using fat, but you also get only 36 ATP or so, and lactate as a by-product, which is good because it can be reused to get even more ATP but if it builds up faster than you can recycle it via other mechanisms then your fatigue starts to show up via de H+ ions that acidify the muscles and then you have to ease down the pace.

    Not sure if it makes it any clear than before? :)

    BTW, I'm not an expert on that (although I've had some degree of fatigue myself in the past and looked at the subject, and in fact that's why I don't engage in endurance running anymore at least at this moment...) but I suspect that Jack would tell you that it's not a disease per se but a state where your HPA is off and probably your thyroid is suffering and this cannot get enough free t3 to power the mitochondria... but again, not sure... maybe he can chime in and clarify.

    Uhmm. for that weakness feeling... have you tested for RBC, iron, folate and Vit B12? any methylation issue? I also had a lot of weak leg feeling when I was training a lot, even on the rest days just by walking on the street, and turned out it correlated with a slightly low haematocrite and iron deficiency... solved it once I stopped it and gave myself some inner peace and verified these values where in range, but of course every case is different and similar issues may come from very different triggers...

    Well, hope something might help!!
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  7. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    The CFS and anaerobic exercise capability makes sense to me if you're doing short term high intensity efforts with ample recovery times as you mainly use the ATP-CP system (alactic) because it relies on your immediate pool which is filled with aminoacids from the diet and creatine phosphorilation, its ready to go at anytime as long as you only do short bursts, but once you have to get the 'burning furnaces' to get started is when the loss of efficiency might be noticeable the most, that's just my guess I might be missing something.

    In any case, the leptin reset protocol is pretty clear that until someone is not leptin sensitive (2011 vision of the mitochondrial efficiency perspective, now in 2014 seems to be an electron loss issue due to poor redox potential, but all gets down to the same principles) is better to focus on getting that first solvend and then restarting any time of exercise. I think only walking is advised as a form of exercise.
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  8. persistence

    persistence New Member

    My labs so far are good. There may be a methylation problem because my homocysteine is 14 and my other inflammatory markers are near zero. I will get genetic testing.

    The feeling here is not a weak leg feeling. It is a catastrophic collapse in energy. At its worst, I would go out for an hour of sprinting and then lay awake that night drinking 1/2 litre of water every hour, desperately dehydrated, breathing heavily and abnormally (compensatory respiratory alkalosis to metabolic acidosis), and then wake feeling like the muscle had no ability to generate any energy for even simple movement.

    I went from 14 hour workdays to three hour workdays, quickly. It's not a fine-tuning thing. It's massive and overwhelming.
  9. persistence

    persistence New Member

    I thought that the idea was to reverse leptin resistance? So you want to be more leptin sensitive, not less....

    What is the proof that I am leptin sensitive? I can get a fasting leptin test, but what would it really prove? Isn't some kind of time series required, and who would even administer that?

    So it's fine to say this in theory, but how to work with it in practice is not clear. I'm getting to bed early and getting decent sleep. That isn't fixing anything.
  10. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    Yep, reverse leptin resistance is the goal so you get leptin sensitive. Did I say anything wrong? I'm writing a little bit fast and my non-native english starts to show up hehe. Uhmm... I guess that Jack would say that if your mitochondria is off then you are leptin resistant to some degree... but not sure, there might be more deep, particular issues like Jeremy's blogpost where the root cause is more deep than just the hypothalamus not regulating the fuel for the ferrari as a result chain of stressful events... As you've guessed testing leptin is not easy because the receptor affinity seems to have the role here not just the leptin levels, similar to what happens with insulin and insulin resistance.

    In any case, it seems as if you have already out-ruled the most basic things concerning the labs and the typical steps to get to optimal, I bet you also had an ASI and hormone panel with results fine. I think the methylation gene test is a smart move although Jack has said many times that if the field is the correct one then that's not that a big issue... I suppose this is one of these cases that cannot be easily identified with just the typical rules of thumb laid in the blogposts at least for the layperson like me... let's see if Jack can chime in and shred some light :)
  11. persistence

    persistence New Member

    Speaking of this whole HPA issue and cortisol: is there anyone who can do a sleep study and monitor all of the HPA markers during some meaningful time series? I mean my endocrinologist did a single serum fasting reading on cortisol, and found it in range, and that was the end of that. :) My functional medicine doctor is going to have me spit four times in one day, and I'm kind of wondering is that going to really show anything meaningful either. It would be much more interesting if they were able to record every 15 to 30 minutes all of the relevant hormones and see if things are balancing correctly.

    So, again, this is one of those things that is easy to write about in blogs, and maybe difficult to put into the real world. You have to be able to test for it, and you have to be able to show after taking some corrective action that you fixed it.
  12. Albert83BCN

    Albert83BCN New Member

    Well, if the pattern of the 4 measures is the correct one and levels are within ranges at morning and night... probably won't tell you much. If it is not the case... then might be something to improve. Even if it was not to be the number 1 issue as what you describe seems a little bit appart from typical adrenal fatigue or CSF sympthoms, it will always help if is not optimal and can be ruled out.

    As for the sleep study, my dad has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP, I remember that some time ago he had to go to the hospital to sleep there so they could monitor him and decide if he'd need the thing. No idea what would they monitor in the first place appart from upper respiration... Don't know if it could be of any use here? o_O
  13. persistence

    persistence New Member

    There are lots of centers that do sleep studies. But those are monitoring sleep, not your biochemistry during sleep.
  14. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

  15. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Mayuri and Josh like this.

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