Supplements

My views on the Science of Supplementation

O.M.A.D… supplements & Optimised Intermittent Fasting

 Stardate: 13th November, 2019.

Hi.

So… Do you want to get really ripped? Do you want to improve your health, gut health, cognitive capacity, sleep quality, your glucose tolerance… and would you like those aches and pains that seem to increase from year to year, to decrease?

Naw… I’m not trying to sell you a miracle supplement. What I *would* like to introduce you to though, is optimised intermittent fasting.

As many of you would know:
I’ve spent the last decade playing with (and optimising) keto dieting and intermittent fasting. To be fair, there are a plethora of variants and ways to undertake either… and, plausibly, an equal number of ways of combining them both, for equally numerous purposes.

(And I know that this basically just sounds like blahblahblahdeblah

I-think-I-heard-you-say-Blah-Blah-Blah-Is-580x386

..lollll – but bear with me.

btw: if you’re not interested in studies etc., skip straight to the end lol. This is gonna be a long one.)

What is intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is actually a broadddd term which basically involves juxtaposing a non-eating (i.e. caloric/energy restriction) window with an eating window. That non-eating window can be 12 hours, 16 hours, 18 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, every other day, 1-2 days out of every weekend… Like, literally: SO many plausible variations exist. And, they’re each useful, for different reasons.

Likewise, some disciples like a 4 hour feeding/eating window; whereas some like 6, or 8 hours. Some prefer to fast one day and eat ‘normally’ on the following day. Again, there are so very many ways to approach the process. Each one works for a specific population. And, importantly: no way is more right than the other.

Fasting may accelerate fat loss (via improved insulin sensitivity and other factors), improve metabolic and cardiovascular health. It may also aide in resetting the immune system, and accelerating the healing of injuries.

For me, personally, I’ve used it for all of the above purposes… But, today, I’m going to going in to detail about the variant that’s yielded the greatest success for me… for health, pain and inflammation reduction, fat-loss. You name it.

That variation? A very small eating window: Abysmally small really – one meal per day.

This practice is commonly known as OMAD ( – which literally means ‘One Meal A Day’); and, to improve the efficacy, I usually stay in ketosis for 5-6 days per week.

Yea: Keto dieting is awesome. Intermittent fasting on its own is awesome too. The two combined?

Fat-loss overload!

I’ve digressed however:

What is OMAD? Why OMAD? HOW OMAD?!
OMAD is literally the practice of eating one meal per day. As a norm, I fast for 18-22 hours on a daily basis. During the fasted window, I do steady state cardio and maybe a resistance workout, to mobilise and burn fatty acids. The workouts are secondary though: an adjuvant to the main event – autophagy.

Autophagy is the body’s way of stripping and discarding damaged cells. This process signals growth and repair (-more accurately: autophagy is the breakdown of old tissue; meanwhile the fasted state signals the release of growth hormone, which catalyses the creation of new tissue). I’d started optimising my intermittent fasts for specifically this reason: so as to accelerate the healing of some niggling injuries. For this purpose, I take in quite a few supplements during the fasted window: to assist with autophagy, as well as to decrease systemic inflammation.

And… At the end of the window, I have a meal packed with protein, and a lot of vegetables. I allow some hours to pass prior to falling asleep, so as to facilitate digestion. And then repeat the process the next day.

Supplements? This has got to be some fancyyyy Shit!
Naw.
Basic AF. (lol)
For one, I use a lot of teas:

Cerasee: “aka cer-see bush”
Cerasee, aka ‘ser-see bush’ (or any other myriad of alternate spellings), has long held a revered place in Caribbean medicinal folklore. It’s been used for everything from detoxing to diabetes. Research has shown that it may be effective in improving glucose disposal, improving blood sugar control[1]… which makes it a serious aide in addressing the metabolic damage many of us have done via the overconsumption of carbohydrates and sugar.

Coffee/Tea:
The caffeine component of coffee and tea has been shown to increase autophagy in skeletal musculature.[2] Also, caffeine and the polyphenols found in either beverage, help increase fatty acid mobilisation/release/burning… so you can burn more fat. To capitalise on this, I have my clients take walks during the fasted window. It’s a win-win!

NB: I drink cocoa as well… but sparingly, as it’s not purely non-caloric. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols which may improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the brain. It’s also much lower in caffeine than coffee or tea, so its inclusion may be better for those who are caffeine-sensitive, or sensitive to stimulants in general.

Turmeric:
Turmeric contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin… which has been shown to be pretty effing effective, even when compared alongside pharmaceutical-grade non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.[3][4][5] Cheap. Available without prescription. Low in side effects. High in potential other effects (improved brain function, decreased heart disease risk. Why wouldn’t you want to use it?

I also use a bunch of enzymes and substrates:

Chromium Polynicotinate – Glucose sensitizing aide: Lowers blood sugar; Lowers blood lipids and cholesterol; may improve lean tissue accrual. [6] I’ve been using Chromium since my teenaged bodybuilding days. I honestly think I’ll use it for the rest of my life.

Resveratrol – This SUPER-compound has been shown to have a plethora of beneficial systemic effects.[7] [8] It’s cardio-protective (i.e. good for the heart), may have anti-cancer effects, and may aide in blood sugar control. The compound has also been shown effective against systemic inflammation. Hypothetical discussions have also been raised about it potential for increasing testosterone (or, rather, at decreasing the rate of estrogen to testosterone conversion, via the inhibition of the aromatase enzyme). Why does that matter?

Well: improved glucose tolerance + decreased systemic inflammation + increased testosterone + decreased estrogen may equat to significantly improved body composition.

Hypothetical discussions aside: Resveratrol is still SUPER-HOT. Trust me on this. 🙂

Systemic Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy:
Ok… If you’ve known/followed me for a while, you know that these enyzmes are the main supplements I use.

Bromelain, Nattokinase, Serrapeptase: These enzymes are called ‘Proteolytic’… which basically means ‘protein-digesting’. Why does this matter? Well, systemic proteolytic enzymes basically break down any rogue proteins in the body that don’t serve any purpose. We’re talking scar tissue, blockages, viral sheaths, inflammatory processes and the like. They basically strip it down… and this process greatly aides/biohacks the process of autophagy.

I won’t go any further on this topic, so as to not go too far off track. Here’s some reading material if you’re interested in learning more though. 😉

Honourable mention:
Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (aka TUDCA): – is a bile salt. Not exciting-sounding, I know. But, it can decrease intestinal inflammation *And* improve the absorption of fats… both of which are important factors in both keto-dieting, and intermittent fasting.

But what about  supplements that supposedly stop muscle loss etc?!
I’ll be honest… Most of it is a sham. Most of the marketing plays into our insecurities, over losing the muscle we’ve struggled so hard to get. Fasting done right, will not cause you to piss away your hard-earned, metabolism-controlling muscle.

Further… some of the muscle-retention supplements people try to add, will break and negate your attempts at fasting. Glutamine, for example… is glucogenic/Gluconeogic… which is science-y speak for ‘will convert to glucose…and thereby will spike blood sugar’… thus breaking your fast.

BCAAs, an athlete mainstay, include the amino acide Leucine… which is a super-potent insulin secretagogue. What does this mean? This means it’s capable of inducing the secretion of insulin in the absence of carbohydrates.  In a nutshell, it signals the release of ‘fed/feeding’ hormones, when you’re supposed to be in an unfed state…thus halting the benefits accrued from being unfed. Athletes should be cognizant of this, as many have been advised to supplement this supplement between meals to ‘keep the gains coming’… when the reality is, they’re really blunting their glucose response, and lowering subsequent insulin sensitivity. i.e. making themselves fatter, more broke, humans. [9] I’ve digressed however.

Let’s pull it all together – Here’s my typical OMAD Day:
(NB: I’m going to list some other stufff not listed in this article, for transparency)

Upon waking (4 a.m.): Water, Cerasee/Turmeric Tea, DHEA, Pregnenolone, Probiotics.

5 am.: Coffee, Aspirin, Bromelain, Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, Turmeric (or other naturaly anti-inflammatory)

7 a.m.: Water

9 a.m-12 p.m.: Water/Coffee intermittently. Sometimes I hit the gym around 10 a.m.

3 p.m. water

5 p.m. – water, tea/coffee… possibly a fat-burner (rarely)

6 p.m. – water. I may work out here, during the bootcamp class I teach thrice per week.

8 p.m. – I take in Protein (usually pork, lamb, or steak… rarely chicken or fish),  Supplemental or dietary fat, Vegetables, and all other supplements at this time.

Pre-bed: Melatonin (rarely)

…And that’s OMAD in a nutshell.

Tell your abs I said hello. 🙂
Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net/forum

p.s. It’s been an interesting year for fat-loss. I haven’t written much (outside of these super-random fat-loss brainfarts: Super Secret Fat-loss Jutsu | The 3 Keys to Fat-loss success | How I’m using my love language to lose weight ), I know! Do forgive my absence. 🙂 I’ve been refining and field-testing some stuff.

References:
1. Bailey CJ, Day C, Turner SL, Leatherdale BA. “Cerasee, a traditional treatment for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice.” Diabetes Res. 1985 Mar;2(2):81-4.

2. Matthew et. al. “Caffeine promotes autophagy in skeletal muscle cells by increasing the calcium-dependent activation of AMP-activated protein kinase.”  2014 Oct 24;453(3):411-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.09.094. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

3. Jurenka. “Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research.” Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53.

4. Lal et. al. “Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis.” Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):318-22.

5. Takada Y, Bhardwaj A, Potdar P, Aggarwal BB. “Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation.” Oncogene. 2004 Dec 9;23(57):9247-58.

6. Albarracin CA, Fuqua BC, Evans JL, Goldfine ID. “Chromium picolinate and biotin combination improves glucose metabolism in treated, uncontrolled overweight to obese patients with type 2 diabetes.” Alpha Therapy Center, 4626 Weber Road, Suite 100, Corpus Christi, TX 78411, USA.

7. Kuršvietienė et. al. “Multiplicity of effects and health benefits of resveratrol.” Medicina (Kaunas). 2016;52(3):148-55. doi: 10.1016/j.medici.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

8. Mostafa Rezaei-Tavirani. “Resveratrol: A miraculous natural compound for diseases treatment,” Food Science and Nutrition, 26 October 2018.

9. Yoon. “The Emerging Role of Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Insulin Resistance and Metabolism.” Nutrients. 2016 Jul 1;8(7). pii: E405. doi: 10.3390/nu8070405.

On the 12th Pound of Christmas… NSFW

Over the month of December, I gained 12 lbs of fat.

o-SANTA-FAT-570

Fat… Not bloat.

No… I’m not going to make excuses for it. No… I’m not going to blame hormones or the holidays, depression, or stress (- each of which contributed to it). No. I’m just going to talk about what I fucked up where I am… … and what happens next.

Stardate: 3rd January, 2018.

Where I am:

Hi.

I started 2018 in pain. Neck pain, which the chiropractor had rectified since October. Back pain. S.I. Joint pain. Hip/Groin pain (-which, I soon realised, emanated from the same general area as my arthritic hip.. which hadn’t given me any issue for at least one year). Forearm pain. Knee pain. Tricep/Lat-insertion pain. Pain. Period.

You name it, it hurt. All at once. Spontaneously. I couldn’t fathom why. I hadn’t done anything stupid for months. My training was pretty solid… not overkill. I was working less (- i thought). Though a chronic insomniac, my naturally subpar sleeping habits were no worse than usual.

Only one thing had changed in the recent past.

It was my diet.

I’d transcended from low-inflammatory keto-dieting… to full-on Christmas fuckery binge.

Fucking Sugar.

It’s not our friend.

But don’t take my word for it. Speak to my clients.

Half of them are in a similar place right now: The males with joint pain… and the females with unusually painful menses.

And the only commonality between them has been the Christmas binge!

And research supports the link between sugar, binge eating, stress and inflammation. [1][2][3][4]

Numerous studies point to the increase in inflammatory markers, and deleterious effects on health, gut health, and general well-being.

Yet somehow, we calmly overlook this.

Food is supposed to make you feel good after all.

Right?

 

So… what happens next?

I’m calling today my day 0.

I’m modifying my diet: transitioning through lower-carb, to low-carb, to ketosis over the coming weeks.

I’m also going to exercise less hard… which may seem counter-intuitive to many. But, let me explain.

Intense exercise is inflammatory.

Under normal, healthy circumstances, that’s not an issue.

However, under a state of systemic inflammation – adding to that inflammation doesn’t make sense. It can make each of the negative trickle-down effects of the existing inflammatory situation worse. The means sore skin, sore joints. You name it. NOT COOL.

So… yea… back to the game plan:

  1. Fix diet incrementally.
  2. Adjust exercise… limiting truly exhaustive work.
  3. Add natural anti-inflammatories (- bromelain, white willow bark, fish oil, et. al.)
  4. Increase fat intake (see: ‘fix diet’)
  5. Increase fibre intake (see: ‘fix diet’)
  6. Rest where possible.

I may throw in a couple fasts here and there… but not for ‘detoxing’ purposes (-as ‘detoxes’ are bullshit quackery not necessary – like really, stop wasting money on that shit. …rather, I like fasts for the increase in mental clarity, decreased cravings, improved glucose tolerance, and numerous other benefits.

So….

If YOU’ve noticed painful changes in your body after the holidays, maybe your issue is the same as mine.

And, here’s your homework:

  1. Google anti-inflammatory supplements.
  2. Read up on ketogenic dieting, fasting, and intermittent fasting.
  3. DON’T start the gym in January all-out like a crazy person. You can’t undo all the damage you did in a week. Ease into it.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net/forum

 

References:

  1. Gao, Y. et. al. “Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation”. Mol Metab. 2017 Aug; 6(8): 897–908.
  2. Giugliano D, Ceriello A, Esposito K. “The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome”. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Aug 15;48(4):677-85. Epub 2006 Jul 24.
  3. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. “Stress, Food, and Inflammation: Psychoneuroimmunology and Nutrition at the Cutting Edge”. Psychosom Med. 2010 May; 72(4): 365–369.
  4. Succurro E, Segura-Garcia C, et. al. “Obese Patients With a Binge Eating Disorder Have an Unfavorable Metabolic and Inflammatory Profile”. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Dec;94(52):e2098. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002098.

5 Supplements You SHOULD be using, that you’re probably not.

Stardate: 18th April, 2016

Greetings!!

supplements

As many of you would know, I’m not big on supplements. When asked “hey bro. Should I take [*inserts name of popular go-to fad*]”, my reply is always a blunt two-pronged one:

1: “I don’t take that stuff… I eat food. Lots of it.”
2: “Supplements… should supplement your diet. Novel idea. I know.”

The stuff I actually DO use isn’t fancy. It’s functional.

i.e. It’s the stuff nobody really cares about: the stuff that helps your gut et. al. work better. Why should YOU care about ’em though?

Simple: Gut health is everything. The gut impacts the immune system, the brain, our ability to gain muscle and mobilise fat stores, the quality of our sleep and skin. I mean, holy shit, why would you NOT be interested?

Let’s get down to it!

Here are my mainstays, and a couple notable mentions:

  1. ‘Colon Cleanse Powder’

…aka Psyllium Husk Powder. This product is usually sold as a laxative. But, that’s secondary. I don’t believe in the whole ‘colon cleansing’ notion… but I do recognise that most of the population suffers from a too-low fibre intake. Even dieters, who are eating loads of ‘bush’ (lol) often complain of constipation and the like. The average person, for one, severely underestimates the amount of fibre they eat and need… and it doesn’t help that shady companies represent the minuscule amounts of fibre in their products as something monumental. “Oh. Eat my cereal. It’s fiber enriched! 1 gram of fiber per serving (of 20 grams of sugar and other useless shit)!” What the fuck man?!

Guidelines indicate that we should be taking in 30 grams of fibre per day. i.e. 10-15 grams per 1000 calories. Most of us struggle to get in TEN grams per 2000-3000 calories. That’s crazy!

That. Is. Crazy.

Enter psyllium. One tablespoon gives you 5 grams of fibre. Personally, I blend 3 tablespoons in to my smoothie… and I’m currently up to 5 tablespoons per day.

Try 3 tablespoons per day, plus a couple servings of broccoli, kidney beans, and/or oatmeal spread over the day, and you’re set! 30 grams easy!

2. Probiotics

One of the things I’ve noticed about adulthood is the prevalence of digestive issues. And, it affects all of us… even the fitness personalities like myself. Stress is a major contributor. It absolutely wrecks the gut.  For one, it affects the balance of ‘good’ bacteria to ‘bad’. As this bacteria influences the immune system, we can generally say ‘Stress affects the immune system!’

If it were only stress though, this section of today’s article would be a lot shorter.

Unfortunately friends, our gut flora gets attacked from multiple other angles. Stress, the overconsumption of sugar and starch, wanton overprescription of antibiotics, the absence of prebiotics (i.e. fibre), Exercise (or its absence). Tonnes of stuff really.

A good probiotic is essential shit!

Pun.

3. Digestive enzymes (especially proteolytic ones like bromelain)

I’ve noticed, particularly in new clients, a lot of younger people are complaining about bloat, indigestion, gas… and generally feeling like their food just sits there. Some of them have that lower tummy pouch going on. But, upon pinching the skin there, one realises that it isn’t usually fat. It is legitimate bloat.

I mentioned the prevalence in younger people, because the above used to be an older person’s ailment: Usually an age-related decline in enzyme production, and quality (i.e. the elasticity of the actual enzyme’s protein – blah, blah, blah, science stuff). Nowadays, we’re living longer… but we seem to be aging faster. At least, our organs seem to be.

Fixing the diet, reducing stress, and adding digestive enzymes helps. Not just from the digesting of food standpoint (- which is pretty fucking major as a standalone). Naw… the addition of dietary enzymes can also reduce systemic inflammation. And, this means, enzymes can potential reduce our risk of diseases we shouldn’t even have been at risk for in the first place.

Anyhoo… That there is a rant for another time.

Back on topic: I like bromelain. I use a lot of it. I’ve used it to recover from injuries, swelling, soft tissue damage, and poor digestion.

If you try only one supplement. Try this.

And… while we’re on the topic of inflammation:

4. Quercetin

Quercetin, is basically a plant pigment…  a flavonoid, with SERIOUS antioxidative power, found in richly coloured fruits.

Being a great antioxidant aside, it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory (which means it can potentially help mitigate inflammation-based diseases such as insulin resistance, heart disease, arthritis etc.). It’s also proven to help with allergies, pain, and boost endurance.

Holy shit right?!

I use 1000mg per day. I don’t know if I’ll live longer. But I sure as hell plan on doing everything I can to improve my quality of life!

*pops another cap*

5. Chromium Polynicotinate.

I’ve written about chromium EXTENSIVELY in the past. For about 2 decades, it’s been a mainstay in my supplement regime. I can’t say enough about it’s benefits. But, I’ll rehash anyway:

It may aide in longevity.

It may improve insulin/carbohydrate sensitivity.

It may improve body composition.

It may [blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, super-cool stuff!]!

Bottom line? Chromium is an awesome addition… especially in a population, like ours, whose diets are so starch heavy! I mean, who DOESN’T want to be leaner, healthier, and better able to process carbohydrates? AND it’s cheap. Who doesn’t like not breaking the bank?!

*pauses for dramatic effect*

That’s it!

Hit the health store!

I’ll see you at bootcamp tomorrow!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Chromium Increases Insulin Internalization

Chromium Increases Insulin Internalization 

Evans GW Bowman TD

J Inorg Biochem (1992 Jun) 46(4):243-50

The effects of chromium chloride, chromium nicotinate, and chromium picolinate on insulin internalization in cultured rat skeletal muscle cells was examined. Insulin internalization was markedly increased in cells cultured in a medium that contained chromium picolinate and the increased internalization rate was accompanied by a marked increase in the uptake of both glucose and leucine. The effect was specific for chromium picolinate since neither zinc picolinate nor any of the other forms of chromium tested was effective. The increased insulin internalization rate may result from an increase in membrane fluidity since chromium picolinate and to a lesser extent, chromium nicotinate, increased the membrane fluidity of synthetic liposomal membranes.

And, in case this thread gets cluttered… here’s more reading material:


Narkissos’s follow-up commentary: