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Fasted State Training Adaptations

Discussion in 'Optimal Fitness' started by Barry, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Just maintenance of myelin? Any regrowth options?
  2. Barry

    Barry New Member

    On the flip side (there's always a flip side !) , remember this nugget:

    astrocytes act as support cells for neurons. They store glycogen and supply glucose to the brain cells. Frequent endurance exercise allows these astrocytes to supercompensate glycogen. This supercompensation occurs after exercise when fed carbs ! This increased fuel reserve in the cortex and hippocampus improves cognitive function.

    Tie this in with BDNF and brain mitochondrial biogensis (2 other adaptations caused by cardio exercise) and endurance exercise with some carbs eaten afterwards looks pretty good for the brain !
    BrainWhisperer likes this.
  3. Danco3636

    Danco3636 Silver

    Thanks Barry for your insight. Gives me lots to think about.

    Perhaps this is why a cyclical diet of lower carbs and fasting followed by carbs (via whole foods) around workouts or workout days work well for others. Follow that with some CT and following seasonal foods along with cycles may be optimal for fitness, athletics and health.

    I know I have followed Martins Lean Gains approach of cycling and daily fasting and have done well. I keep my carbs VLC on non strength days and add back in more carbs on strength days. I also do longer fasting on some days as well.

    I'm also now cycling it with foods in season along with CT.

    I once competed professionally and as an amature triathlete. Now 48 been woking out for strength, health and fitness. Some of this has inspired me. I am an experiment of one. :)

    Fun stuff and again good discussion.
  4. MightyAl

    MightyAl New Member

    I have been doing long runs for the past few weeks fasted with no problem. In fact I did most of the runs, ranging from 8-12 miles, with no other road work. I had no problems with energy or keeping up with the group.

    Everyone else would talk about what they ate before the run and how they fueled up and I told them I hadn't eaten anything since the night before. There was an audible gasp and a you shouldn't do that chorus. It is amazing what happens when you start thinking for yourself.

    Last year my performance was horrible and I just felt awful when trying to do the same thing. I never realized how long it would take to adapt. Now I am feeling tons better and CT has definitely made things easier. I can't wait to see where I am next year.
  5. jonnyh

    jonnyh New Member

    Barry;28354 wrote: The findings so far are flawed for 2 reasons:

    Reason 1: time. Adaptations take time. The studies to date have not lasted much more than 8-12 weeks. We need 24-36month studies to really see the changes.

    Reason 2a: Athletes are not fully Fasted State Adapted

    Reason 2b: Athletes are not Cold Adapted

    Okay, let me try to explain this.

    If you look at the affects of prolonged exercise and then marry this with depleted training you will see the following

    It stimulates AMPk

    - increases fat oxidation

    - increases mitochondrial biogensis

    It stimulates Sirt-1, PGC-1 and PPAR

    - increase fat oxidation

    It upregulates CPT-1, CAT-1, Citrate Synthase or other fat oxidative enzymes

    - increase fat oxidation

    It increases BAT formation and UCP-3

    - increase fat oxidation

    - increase REE

    It increases IL-6 with a postive feedback loop

    - more fat oxidation

    - reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines


    It upregulates protein synthesis

    - improved recovery and training adaptations


    Size and Use of IMTG improves

    - improves fuel efficiency and RER

    What all this does collectivity is improve practically every energy production pathway in the cell. Beta oxidation goes up, Ketosis upregulates, Cori-Cycle improves, Oxoacetate ramps up, Ketogenic Amino Acids get used more efficiently , Acetly-CoA Dehydrogenase is stimulated.

    Tie this in then with improved thyroid function, increased insulin sensitivity, natural calorie restriction, upregulation of endogenous antioxidants and the big one - Epigenetics... and what do you get ?? a lean mean fat burning machine !!

    And this all happens as a result of exercise, particularly prolonged endurance, just pubmed any of the above and you will see.

    What I;m doing is accelerating all that by the Fasted State Training I am doing. This hasn't been studied. They have studied people doing 30mins or 1 hour fasted. And they've done this over a few weeks, a couple of times. I'm doing 3hr runs completely fasted with nothing during and 5hr bike rides fasted with minimal intake during. I'm running ultramarathons fasted , 50/100mile events, 8-24hrs in duration, fasted (although I do consume fats/protein and carbs during these races). Still, I'm doing stuff that no one has studied yet. And I understand the science (most of it, not all !). And I'm living it and I know others like me.

    My sport is perfect for fat adaptation though. Its sub max. You cannot run that far at a high intensity. The big question is whether you can perform at max effort in a fully keto adapted state and compete at a world class/olympic level ? Thats where the grey area is for me at the moment. I think sprinters, middle distance runners, elite triathletes etc, where max efforts are required, would struggle with relying on ketones and fatty acids. Would Fasted State Training allow them to ?? I think so, I am close to it myself. Do we have any studies on this ? no. Like I said, no-one has looked at it yet. Due to the time required and the changes needed to the training regime of an elite athlete, we will never see a study like this done. I work with some world class athetes and I have been slowly implementing my strategies and they appear to be working. Thats all I can say for now.

    Finally, this brings us back to CT. If you read all of Jacks blogs (a tough task I know!!), you will see that practically every adaptation he talks about related to the cold occurs via fasted state endurance training.

    As the majority of these responses are linked to leptin, thats where I have an issue with it in terms of athletes. Most athletes have very low body fat levels. I've tested hundreds of them and rarely do they go above 10%. Leptin production simple does not happen (or at least it is extremely minimal) is when the individual has low body fat. So cold can't trigger leptin for athletes if they don't have any !! Okay, so cold helps GH and steriod receptors so thats where it might be beneficial. However, all of the other adaptations via leptin cannot happen.

    I've probably left out a lot more than I know but its hard to put everything I've looked at down here in a few words.

    Time is the key.

    Fasted State Training is the master upregulator of fat adaptation.

    Cold Therapy is like FST in terms of fat adaptation and has other benefits but potentially not for athletes.

    Grey area's are max effort ATP production via fat oxidation. Also, lack of insulin on a permanent basis is not good for athletes either. I won't go into it here but there are serious practicality issues if you are a full time athlete that wants to keto adapt.

    However, FST and CT still have to be optimised for athletic development. I don't have all the answers thats why I am sharing this info. Saying that it doesn't work when we are really only at the tip of the ice-berg is foolish.

    "Behind the walls of intelligence, life is defined" Nas

    Wow Barry, thanks for that excellent post, will take me a while to absorb all that and come back with a few questions!

    Good stuff!
  6. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    My instincts tell me you could go at it for a very long time on ketones and sharpen up like you can't imagine, high speed analytical computer sharpen. If you look at all of the things that cause neurogenesis, even sleeplessness can. Its actually a means of defeating the dehydrogenase. I think you guys just aren't fasting long enough. I think two years is an exaggeration also. Two weeks is the magic number for everything.

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/2 This is a ketogenic study. I'm not sure what the point of introducing carbs would be, because protein does the same thing, right?

  7. Barry

    Barry New Member

    You're welcome
  8. MightyAl

    MightyAl New Member

    I am trying to ferret out your meaning here. Is the length of the fast referring to the time between meals or how long you have been doing fasts?

    Also are you looking at how long it takes to become keto adapted by the 2 years statement?

    I know from personal experience of performance and the how I feel barometer that I just about threw in the towel after 1 year. Now it has been almost 2 that I have been fairly disciplined about fasting and diet and I am starting to not feel so drained after exercise. I don't know if part of being keto adapted is rewiring your brain and the feedback it is getting from your body.
  9. jonnyh

    jonnyh New Member

    Hi MightyAl, I too had to think about the above post, but from what I can decipher, I think Chocolate is saying:

    1, We should be fasting between meals for longer.

    2, 2 weeks is the time to keto adapt.

    I think point 2 is probably right, 2 weeks to adapt to a higher fat diet, whereas Barry and Jack are saying it takes 24-36 months to see performance gains from a keto diet, which maybe where there maybe some confusion.

    Be good to hear from Chocolate to clarify.
  10. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    Well you have to really get the burn going on the liver, the way I understand it. The blood glucose just tells the periphereal? story. Not the liver story. With second run on study the transitioning to conditioned athletes, the results seem to imply dabbling with carbs just mucks everything up and delays progress. I know that the butyric acid can be made from guts and gristle, so the carbs are throwing weird signals and aren't necessary. And then I think about the elevations causing the anorexia and transition to keto, regardless of carbs or fats....it just seems that is the way to go. Your primitive brain is taking over at that point. You dump sodium to thin your blood, etc. You still make fat when you eat carbs, but then burn it... the way I understand...I could be wrong. I guess what I'm getting at is that they are never intercepted for fuel directly and the duel fuel is not an instant transition. All things being equal, the liver equalizes after the littlest bit if you don't monkey with carbs. IIRC.
  11. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Chocolate ,

    Keto adaptation for performance is on a completely different scale compared the the non athlete. It is not simply a case of ketone production in the liver . It involves a whole host of physiological adaptations, see my original post (and i've actually missed some)

    The studies Phinney have done are not conclusive or in context . We need trained athletes , exercising at threshold and above, fully keto adapted through use of CT , and/or FST and time .

    Athletes have higher carb thresholds for Ketosis. Exercise blunts pancreatic release of insulin during. Athletes are in a constant state of intermittent Ketosis . There are lots of variables to consider and lots of unknowns .
  12. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    I guess that is my confusion... the intermittent ketosis. In the transition of anorexia at altitude, there is fasting. I just wonder if switches get flipped. It happens very quickly. The carbs threshold is not applicable, you burn fat period. I guess there are a bunch of highly evolved rodents hiking in the extreme elevations. I shouldn't align them with elite athletes. I would trust the nature of the beast: ketosis as it was meant to be. The period of anorexia, again, is the part that makes me question dabbling with carbs. I'll grant you there are unknowns. I hope I trip over some high elevation insulin stuff. I think that's where the answers are.
  13. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v236/n5342/abs/236119a0.html super old study

    Human Growth Hormone and Ketosis in Athletes and Non-athletes


    *University Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow SW1

    †University Department of Surgery, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow C4

    WHEN the blood levels of ketones and other metabolites were studied in athletes and non-athletes during and after running for 1.5 h, the subjects in athletic training showed hardly any post-exercise ketosis whereas the untrained group had a considerable rise of ketones after exercise, even though their level of activity was much less1. The difference may be related to the hormonal regulation of metabolism during exercise. Growth hormone secretion is known to occur during exercise2 and subjects in regular athletic training have a smaller rise compared with non-athletes3. We have investigated the relationship between ketosis and growth hormone secretion.



    I was just reading that growth hormone induces ketosis..... maybe that is what causes the period of anorexia. Well, now I don't know what to think, I'm finding mcfa's increase growth hormone.
  14. MJ*

    MJ* New Member

    Wow congratulations!
  15. MJ*

    MJ* New Member

    Interesting stuff Chocolate!
  16. AKMan

    AKMan New Member

    I have been dabbling with fasting the past few months. I have been intermittant fasting from 6pm - noon for about a year, and now throwing in a once-a-week 24 or 40 hour fast.

    My question, what is the best food to break a long fast with? I would think you'd want something extremely dense in nutrients, but easy on the stomach. There's nothing like a big, juicy, fatty steak on an empty stomach, but maybe a pound or two of steamed brocolli would be better.

  17. Barry

    Barry New Member


    You should have both or eat according to season/goals/health . There is never a "magic bullet " answer to any of these sort of questions .

    A good place to read up on IF is Martin Berkhams site www.leangains.com

    Also , Brad Pilon is good
  18. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    I agree with Barry here......that is the problem with most people who blog or have a site.......they want to make blanket statements......here on my blog the study of epigenetics shows that humans are N-1 creatures because epigenetics has huge effects on our biology......this is why population studies give marginal results but medicine and science keep using them. They have big benefits but they also carry significant risks that few of us talk about.......on the road to optimal I think you must be your own inner guru.
    BrainWhisperer likes this.
  19. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Couldn't agree more and I'm going to write a separate post on this as I've been getting a lot of questions

    Stay tuned... ;-)
  20. JC2K

    JC2K New Member

    I shudder in horror at the thought. Bleargh.

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