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Exercise

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

Posted by on 9:00 am Blood triglycerides, Body fat, Body mass index, Diet, Eating, Exercise, Fat, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Muscles, Sports performance, The Learn to Eat Plan, Weight loss | 0 comments

ketogenic diet

 

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

 

There is a lot of promotion and talk about the benefits of restricting carbohydrate intake and eating a high fat, ketogenic diet.

When you read things like that, always ask, where is the evidence? Is there any science supporting the claims?

There is agreement on that more lean muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage are beneficial. This is true for everybody, but especially athletes.

Before you go on a high-fat diet, you want to know how a regime like that will affect your lean muscle mass.

The following research included 42 healthy individuals that followed a ketogenic diet for 6 weeks consisting of the same calorie intake as their regular diet (Urbain P, et.al., 2017).

They were tested for several things at the start of the study and after 6 weeks.

 

 

VO2peak and peak power decreased after the ketogenic diet.

The participants lost equal amounts of fat and fat-free mass, which means they lost some muscle mass.

Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol increased significantly, LDL by 10.7% which is quite a lot, especially since LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Glucose, insulin, and IGF-1 (a growth factor) dropped significantly by 3.0, 22.2 and 20.2%.

Another non-significant change was also seen.

 

ketogenic diet 2

 

Similar results were found when seventeen overweight or obese men were admitted to metabolic wards where they consumed a high-carbohydrate baseline diet for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of a ketogenic diet (Hall KD, et.al., 2016).

 

Body fat loss slowed during the ketogenic diet and coincided with increased protein utilization and loss of fat-free mass. These participants also lost muscle mass, and this study was done under very strict control.

 

Apparently a high-fat diet is not producing the amazing results some would want you to believe.

 

References

 

Hall KD, Chen KY, Guo J, Lam YY, Leibel RL, Mayer LE, Reitman ML, Rosenbaum M, Smith SR, Walsh BT, Ravussin E. Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;104(2):324-33.

 

Urbain P, Strom L, Morawski L, Wehrle A, Deibert P, Bertz H.Impact of a 6-week non-energy-restricted ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and biochemical parameters in healthy adults.Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Feb 20;14:17

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Adding this to your exercise routine will help improve cognition.

Posted by on 2:37 pm Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape | 0 comments

 

We know that sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition and exercise can improve cognition.

This research is interesting because it added a component to the exercise (Wheeler MJ, et.al., 2019).

The participants were sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function. Cognitive testing were done and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed.

The study consisted of 3 different protocols which the participants completed with 6 days in between.

One time they were sitting uninterrupted for 8 hours which was the control condition. Another time they were sitting for 1 hour, then they did moderate-intensity walking for 30 minutes and uninterrupted sitting for 6.5 hours.  The third protocol were sitting for 1 hour, then moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking for 6.5 hours.

The results showed that moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking improved blood levels of BDNF and working memory or executive function.

This means that we need to be active throughout the day. Just set reminders to take short breaks and do an activity that increases your pulse rate. 

It does not mean that you have to get out and walk for 3 minutes. There are other things you can do for just a couple of minutes or less without going outside, so you have a very minimal interruption.

Reference

Wheeler MJ1,2, Green DJ3, Ellis KA4, Cerin E5,6, Heinonen I3,7, Naylor LH3, Larsen R2, Wennberg P8, Boraxbekk CJ9,10, Lewis J, Eikelis N2,11, Lautenschlager NT12, Kingwell BA13, Lambert G11, Owen N14,15, Dunstan DW, Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: a three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition.Br J Sports Med. 2019 Apr 29. pii: bjsports-2018-100168.

 

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

Improve cognition and physical performance at the same time

Posted by on 3:00 pm Cognition, Eating, Energy, Exercise | 0 comments

Adding one thing can sometimes give you more than one benefit.

This research was conducted to find out if dietary nitrate supplementation would improve exercise performance and cognitive function during a prolonged intermittent sprint test (Thompson C.,et.al., 2015).

16 male team-sport players received either 140 ml a day of beetroot juice high in nitrate or a placebo beetroot juice low in nitrate for 7 days.

Using a stationary bike they repeatedly performed several 6 seconds “all-out” sprints with 100 seconds active recovery and 20 seconds of rest, while simultaneously performing cognitive tasks. The test went on for two 40 minutes “halves” simulating team sports.

The beetroot juice high in nitrate improved sprint performance compared with the placebo juice and also improved reaction time of response to the cognitive tasks.

In another study when the participants exercised for 6 weeks and either drank beetroot juice or a placebo drink,  the exercise and beetroot group had brain networks that more closely resembled those of younger adults (Petrie M, et.al., 2017).

When 450 ml beetroot juice was compared with a placebo drink cognitive performance was improved on a subtraction task 90 minutes later (Wightman EL, et.al., 2015). These results show that single doses of dietary nitrate can modulate the prefrontal cortex cerebral blood-flow response to task performance and potentially improve cognitive performance.

References

Thompson C, Wylie LJ, Fulford J, Kelly J, Black MI, McDonagh ST, Jeukendrup AE, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM. Dietary nitrate improves sprint performance and cognitive function during prolonged intermittent exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Sep;115(9):1825-34.

Petrie M, Rejeski WJ, Basu S, Laurienti PJ, Marsh AP, Norris JL, Kim-Shapiro DB, Burdette JH. Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Sep 1;72(9):1284-1289.

Wightman EL, Haskell-Ramsay CF, Thompson KG, Blackwell JR, Winyard PG, Forster J, Jones AM, Kennedy DO. Dietary nitrate modulates cerebral blood flow parameters and cognitive performance in humans: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Physiol Behav. 2015 Oct 1;149:149-58.

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How much do you have to exercise to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness?

Posted by on 7:28 am Exercise, Health, Intensity Training, Research, Sports performance, Vigorous Activity, Weight loss, Wellness | 0 comments

 

A lot of people don’t exercise because they think they have to spend a lot of time doing it every week, and that does not appeal to them.  Let’s see what research has found.

Several years ago research was conducted on what was called high intensity short interval training. Since the start of that, a lot of research has been published on that topic, experimenting with different durations of exercise.

The original research started using a stationary bike doing 30 seconds intervals, peddling as hard as possible, then resting for up to 4 minutes. This was then repeated 4 to 6 times.

This regime was very effective documenting that just 2 minutes of actual exercise time produced the same results as an hour of regular intensity aerobic exercise.

So how little can you exercise and still improve your performance? Is 30 seconds interval as low as you can go?

The following research tested six sub elite triathletes comparing them with 6 endurance-trained sub elite athletes maintaining their normal training routine .(Jakeman J, et.al., 2012).

These athletes were already in good shape. It’s harder to improve the performance at that level, compared to starting with people out of shape.

6 of the participants did 10, 6 seconds sprints on a stationary bike with a resting period of 1 minute in between, 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The resistance on the bike was set to 7.5% of the body weight.

Two weeks of the high intensity short interval training resulted in a 10% decrease in a 10-km time trial.

The time taken to reach the onset of blood lactate accumulation, defined as the point where blood lactate reaches 4 mmol·L⁻¹) was significantly increased. This is another way of measuring improved aerobic fitness.

The actual exercise time was only 1 minute 3 times a week.

It is amazing, spending only 3 minutes a week for 2 weeks can improve aerobic performance.

If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, but want to spend as little time as possible exercising, this is the way to do it.

You need a stationary bike to implement this protocol, but if you have that at home, you don’t necessarily even have to do the 10 sprints at one time. You can split them up throughout the day depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Other studies has documented that it is more beneficial to be active several times a day compared to exercising longer only once a day.

Lack of time is no longer a valid reason not to exercise. Most people would most likely have 3 minutes a week to spend on exercise considering the benefits.

Reference

Jakeman J, Adamson S, Babraj J.Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):976-81.

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

Do you want a bigger brain and better memory?

Posted by on 7:33 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Exercise, General Health, Memory, Research, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Is it really possible to increase the size of the brain later in life?

Data from a randomized controlled study of 155 older women, who participated in 52 weeks of resistance training showed reduced cortical white matter atrophy on MRI scans when compared with the control  group (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

This means that they ended up with a bigger brain than they would have had if they had not done the resistance exercise.

Twice-weekly resistance training also promoted memory and increased peak muscle power when they were followed up after 2 years.

The control group did balance and toning.

If you instead prefer aerobic type of exercise, that may also improve your cognition.

Research showed that an individual’s cardio-respiratory fitness was a better predictor of cognitive gains than the exercise dose (Vidoni ED, et.al., 2015).

To improve cardio-respiratory function you can do regular aerobic exercise, or you can do high intensity short interval training which will save you time.

This study compared the effects of long slow distance training with high-intensity interval training in rowers (Ní Chéilleachair NJ, et.al., 2017).

High intensity short interval training was more effective than long and slow distance training in improving performance and aerobic characteristics.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T.Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM,Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialPLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647.

Ní Chéilleachair NJ1,2, Harrison AJ2, Warrington GD,HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers.J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1052-1058

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

What else can you do to improve your cognition other than pay attention to the food you eat?

Posted by on 10:31 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Health, Vigorous Activity, Wellness | 0 comments

 

You actually have quite a lot of control over how functional your brain is going to be.

Research has shown we can slow down memory loss and even improve our memory.

The food we eat is extremely important, but another tool we have is exercise.  Resistance exercise is especially effective.

The following study included 155 older women participating in resistance training 2 days a week for a year (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

They were compared with a group doing balance and toning twice a week and were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 1 year and after 2 years.

Resistance training improved executive function compared to balance and toning. It also improved memory, reduced cortical white matter.

Atrophy verified on MRI and increased peak muscle power at 2-year follow-up. The balance and toning exercises did not do that.

Men and women doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for 6 months significantly improved overall cognitive function, with maintenance of executive and overall benefits over 18 months (Fiatarone Singh MA, et.al., 2014).

They were compared with a group doing seated calisthenics which did not result in the same benefits.

Doing resistance exercise twice a week does not require a lot of time and can help to keep your brain healthier.

That’s time well spent.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Fiatarone Singh MA, Gates N, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Brodaty H, Wen W, Singh N, Baune BT, Suo C, Baker MK, Foroughi N, Wang Y, Sachdev PS, Valenzuela M. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80.

 

Research has now documented that sitting for a prolonged time can be dangerous, but by implementing a specific principle, you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more…