This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.
DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS
High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:
DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK
Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.
Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!
Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!
P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!
Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.
The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.
Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.
Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.
ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.
EAT THE RAINBOW
Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!
Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day. This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.
Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.
NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.
Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns), THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom, dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.
Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂 15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.
If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.
In good health,
FOOD for thought:
Branched-Chain Amino Acids only account for roughly 35% of the essential amino acids in our muscles. That leaves 65%…. BCAAs are out. Vegans trying to gain muscle or “vegan athletes” could consider supplementing LEUCINE specifically due to MANY vegans lacking proper leucine levels for muscle growth but we see no reason to load up on BCAAs without other essentials. BCAAs are cheaper than EAAs (duh). There is an abundance of marketing claims behind BCAAs (but they are so 2005). We recommend eating real food sources of protein and supplement with EAAs for specific application.
Specific applications may include:
Brain health (sleep, mood, anxiety)
Muscle Preservation (growth and maintenance)
Nursing (yes, that is correct…)
… and many others.
How we formulated KTX Nutrition’s Essential Amino product:
1.) There is a very specific ratio needed of essential amino acids to make protein. The balance study is done on nitrogen utilization.
2.) We removed L-histidine. Arguably an essential amino acid, L-histidine can be formed by the body with the proper ratios of the 8 essentials and has been proven to decrease the efficacy of the other EAAs from 99% to 94% when consumed in addition to Arginine. Every % counts.
3.) We use 100% L-Form aminos. Any aminos not “L-Form” are essentially useless and a waste of money. Many supplements will claim high numbers of amino acids but really they are just loaded with “fillers” like “r-form” or those no listing any “L-” before the amino type.
4.) Our aminos will not cause a blood glucose spike, insulin sensitivity, and are not “cheap quality” like BCAAs. The essentials contain branched chain aminos L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine however these BCAAs are not “superdosed” like many other products and they are in proper nutrition balance.
EAAs compared to FOOD:
Products like “whey protein” may only convert 15-20% of the protein by weight into useable Aminos. This means 100 grams of whey protein consumed would compare to taking 20 grams of essential amino acids, but will also likely add some undesirable gastric effects, unfavorable uric acid levels, as well as inflammatory issues at this amount.
Similar to Aminos in the form of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), up to 70% of a beef steak can be converted into carbohydrate once consumed. Over consumption of these proteins will spike blood glucose, create insulin sensitivity, and are not ideal protein forms. This is one of the main reasons many people who eat excess flesh meat protein without a balanced diet have metabolic health concerns.
Lastly, egg whites are still trending (we don’t know why). Approximately 16% of the protein consumed from egg whites is effectively utilized into body protein. This is a horrible conversation rate and the egg white lacks the nutrients and supportive aminos that come along with the yolk. This is mainly in part to the majority of the methionine existing in the yolk, which increases the efficacy of the protein retention from the WHOLE EGG. We encourage whole egg or no egg at all. (+ they should be free range eggs).
SO What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and serve as the catalyst for nearly every chemical process in the body. Most people associate amino acids purely with protein synthesis and muscle gain, but they’re also necessary for nearly every other physiological function, including enzyme production, hormone regulation, cognitive ability, neurotransmitter balance, and metabolism. There are 20 amino acids in total, and all of them are required to make these vital processes happen.
What Are the Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Of the 20 amino acids, nine are classified as essential. Essential amino acids are the ones that the body can’t produce itself; they must be acquired through diet, specifically from protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and eggs, and of course, amino acid supplements. EAAs support the body in several critical ways:
Lysine plays a role in growth hormone secretion, which supports muscle repair and recovery. It’s also a critical component of structural proteins like collagen and elastin, which are important for building strong connective tissue.
Methionine helps the body process and eliminate fat, promotes cardiovascular health, and supports liver function to help the body eliminate toxins.
Phenylalanine has a pain-killing and antidepressant effect and is necessary for the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine. It also stimulates the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are critical for nervous system function.
Threonine supports fat metabolism and immune function. Like lysine, it’s also a crucial component of structural proteins and connective tissue.
Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, which regulates sleep, appetite, and mood. It also has pain-suppressing qualities and can increase pain tolerance during hard workouts or competitions.
Leucine is critical for protein synthesis, blood sugar regulation, and growth hormone production.
Isoleucine helps prevent muscle from breaking down during exercise, which could lead to faster recovery. It’s also important for immune function, hemoglobin production, and energy regulation.
Valine helps stimulate muscle regeneration and is involved in energy production.
Histidine is a precursor to histamine. Histidine’s status as “essential” is debatable since it can be easily produced in the presence of the other essential amino acids. This is why histidine did not make the cut in our “essentials blend.”
What Are the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?
Three of the essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), named for their branched chemical structure.
The BCAAs are unique because they are metabolized in the muscle instead of the liver. This means that they’re available in the bloodstream soon after ingestion and can be used for quick energy during exercise. BCAA supplements are popular among athletes because they’ve been linked with increased muscle mass, decreased fatigue, and improved glycogen storage.
However, the supposed benefits of BCAAs are often embellished, misunderstood, and some even flat out wrong.
The Problem with BCAAs:
A recent meta-analysis of research conducted between 1985 and 2017 revealed zero human studies in which BCAAs alone were responsible for more efficient protein synthesis or improved athletic performance.
In fact, the meta-analysis detailed two studies which found that BCAAs decreased muscle protein synthesis and actually accelerated the catabolic rate of lean tissue. This means that muscle was being broken down faster than it could be repaired.
The catabolic state was so aggressive in the presence of BCAAs because the body was rapidly trying to derive the other essential amino acids to complete protein synthesis. Without a complete profile of essential amino acids, the body was left with no choice but to break down muscle to derive the six that were missing.
In other words, BCAAs do not work in isolation; all of the essential amino acids are required to complete protein synthesis.
The study concluded that the idea that BCAA supplements stimulate muscle growth or produce an anabolic response is entirely unwarranted. And that’s just the beginning. In addition to being ineffective for building muscle or faster recovery, BCAAs can also have deleterious effects on overall health:
High doses of BCAAs can deplete B vitamins. The utilization of BCAAs requires several B vitamin cofactors. This siphoning of B vitamins can disrupt the hundreds of other biological functions that require them including digestion, nervous system function, cognition, and hormone production.
An overabundance of BCAAs can hinder serotonin production. The BCAAs and tryptophan both use the same carrier system to get to the brain. This means an overabundance of BCAAs will disrupt the brain’s uptake of tryptophan and therefore create a shortage of serotonin. Low serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, sleep problems, carbohydrate cravings, attention disorders, and more.
BCAAs may cause insulin resistance and interfere with blood glucose regulation. Increased BCAA levels are associated with a high risk of metabolic disorder and insulin resistance, and may even predict the development of type 2 diabetes
Why EAAs Are Superior to BCAAs
Despite all of this, BCAAs are still essential for human health and actually serve as a good source of fuel for workouts.
They simply don’t build muscle in isolation.
You need adequate levels of all of the essential amino acids to optimize health and complete protein synthesis. Think of it this way: BCAAs begin the process of protein synthesis, and the other six EAAs complete the process.
This is why it’s best to choose supplements that contain all of the essential amino acids if you truly want to maximize performance, recovery, and well-being.
Health Benefits of Essential Amino Acids:
Muscle Maintenance: EAAs have significant muscle-preserving effects, especially when training in a fasted state. These include decreased indicators of muscle damage and the maintenance of a healthy inflammatory response.
Exercise Recovery: Supplementing with EAAs post-workout increases muscle protein synthesis and net muscle protein balance. This may stimulate faster recovery and reduce fatigue after training.
Appetite Regulation: Having a sufficient balance of amino acids may help normalize appetite because EAAs activate the brain cells that regulate hunger and satiety.
Cognitive Function: Appropriate levels of tryptophan are necessary to produce serotonin and optimize cognitive performance.
Improved Sleep: Amino acid supplementation has been shown to improve sleep and mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Metabolic Health: Proper ratios of amino acids could increase red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and serum albumin. They can also lower fasting blood glucose, support better red blood cell formation, and improve glycogen replenishment
Fasting and Ketosis: Ingestion of high amounts of leucine triggers an insulin spike, which may “break a fast” and interfere with ketosis. However, this only happens when leucine levels aren’t balanced by the other EAAs, which help buffer the glycemic response. The insignificant insulin response from a supplement with the proper ratios of EAAs won’t interfere with fasting or ketosis, and might even make them easier!*
*The one exception is fasting for autophagy or cellular healing. In this case we support water fasting with nutrient dense re-feeds, where EAAs can be used in conjunction with healing foods. For the proposes of insulin and performance goals EAAs may be used in a fasted state pre, intra, and post workout with great success.
EAAs crush BCAAs as the best amino acid supplement, and their benefits go far beyond building muscle. EAAs are a true nutritional powerhouse that can help you optimize your training, recovery, sleep, mood, and so much more.
If you would like to purchase the greatest aminos in the history of the world we won’t judge… just follow the link below.
Good mornin’ Friends,
What I’ve seen with males is a 30-45 day plateau on keto which can be GOOD because that means you most likely have adapted to higher fats assuming they are high quality. It can also be BAD because many people give up on their healthy lifestyle journey because the goal was all about weight loss.
LIFE IS a JOURNEY… DO NOT STOP GROWING.
An immediate recommendation would be to start time restricted eating if you haven’t already. That’s just start basic with choosing an 7-8 hour window to eat in every day and try to keep it consistent and the same every day for 8-12 weeks. In this time your hormones should balance out and that should increase testosterone. If you already do this then move on to the next recommendation.
If not, black coffee, unsweetened green tea, and water are allowed in the “fasted window.” I usually stick to noon-8 Window. I also use different varieties of salts and minerals while “fasting” with no noticeable effects of the fast or the results.
Usually the second step after the 30-45 day keto period would be to do a 14-21 period where you try to create more efficient bile production through the organs. I’ve found this is basically taking keto and enhancing it with non-human growth hormone.
I like taking GLA in the form of borage oil. Hemp oil is also great and is not THC or even CBD it’s just hemp seed oil. Both of these contain high amounts of GLA so you will take those for 14-21 days in addition to
3oz extra virgin olive oil (this goes well with keto)
4oz lemon or lime juice
Either 1/2 grapefruit to break fast with the oils and lemon/lime.
Bitter melon extract instead of the grapefruit.
I prefer grapefruit because it’s a real food not supplement AND they are local (and cheap) but some people can’t stand grapefruit so the bitter melon works.
I’ve found that doing this right after a keto cycle will yield amazing results.
I also find it easiest to pour the olive oil, citrus juice, and grapefruit on top of a leafy green salad with lots of Celtic Sea salt and of you need vinegar during the 14-21 days on the salad use 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. It’s still not perfect but it’s the best choice that I know of for now.
Throw whatever superfoods on top of the salad as you want as long as it has those ingredients.
If people try this protocol without doing keto or high fat low carb for awhile before hand they may get an “upset tummy” this is nothing to freak out about but you shouldn’t have these issues if you have done 30+ days of successful keto.
Easter is coming up so Monday is probably a great day to start this.
I do this the 21 days leading up to Thanksgiving it’s called our “pre Thanksgiving challenge.”
I never like to run out of things to try or add to ENHANCE my life. This is part of living and continually growing. After the 14-21 day period have a plan or idea to continue.
For 99% of the people out there (those not using keto to HEAL FROM DISEASE) I believe the next step will be to reintroduce carbohydrates in a fiber filled nurturing way (aka: fruits and more vegetables, nuts, and seeds) added to what was learned in the “keto cycle.” Then use keto as a way to “reset” every so often.
GET OUT THERE AND CRUSH LIFE. Do a grueling workout for Jesus this weekend. When you think you’re about to die just visualize being nailed to a cross, thirsty, and starving & remember how great life is.
KTX Tree Hugger man
This has been a hot topic especially as fasting rapidly grew in popularity. The funny things is that fasting IS NOT A FAD DIET. It’s a natural healing response our body “magically has.” It’s been around FOREVER. Forrrr evvv errrrrrr (Sandlot- if you haven’t seen it… then I’m confused).
MALES DONT QUIT READING RIGHT AFTER THE FIRST PARAGRAPH- the hormone response to females is just as great for males… balanced hormones & more natural testosterone = feeling better. Trust me. Or not. Whatever.
This is predominantly regarding some changes females may experience during initial phase of intermittent fasting. The topic has appeared over and over because WHEN YOUR BODY MAKES IMPROVEMENTS THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME “FEELINGS” or “side effects” people call them.
^^^These are not to be confused with the list of imaginary 375,365 side effects listed on every single pharmaceutical package and commercial. These are just signs from your body saying HEY, I LOVE YOU.
Make sure when your body tells you I love you that you respond back. Hey life partner, I love you too.
Okay jokes over… but here is the common issue with females and why some people get scared and STOP intermittent fasting -OR- THEIR PHYSICIAN DOES NOT WANT THEM TO GET OFF PREGNENOLONE, PROGESTERONE, DHEA, BIRTH CONTROL or ESTROGEN, TESTOSTERONE, or THYROID MEDICATION….
Why would they want to lose all those monthly sales when INTERMITTENT FASTING IS FREEEEEEE and it freakin works for 100% of the people I’ve seen do it.
Not 9 out of 10. Not 99.99%.
EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. Yeah, everyone is unique. So maybe it won’t work for you. Maybe you are the 1 in a trillion earthlings who will not benefit at all. Don’t try it.
Ok but for real the topic is….
Irregular timing and “heavier flow” than normal was the topic of discussion. Some females will experience earlier, or heavier, or extremely different menstrual cycles. Now, I’m not an OBG (Thank God), doctor, female, or expert but this has happened to significantly more than 1 female now (my wife was the first to experience these issues during intermittent fasting when I researched and told her I wouldn’t keep going – but then we were guided into her continuing and now she has a very regular cycle (28 days on the dot) with more balanced hormones (thank you Lord) which in turn helps her mentally and physically.
Thanks to Impact Health Labs for always being my goto source on cutting edge advice. Here is their response to my questions on the irregularities:
“Kyle, That is expected… because by making your body more efficient with increased metabolism, there bodies are getting elevated levels of hormones, thereby reversing the bodies age to something more like 5-20 yrs younger (when they were younger, they had heavier periods… generally speaking this is the case in most females). Estrogen Dominance is the biggest concern (by the time females hit 35 yrs of age, estrogen levels decrease by 35%, but progesterone decreases by 75% and progesterone is the anti cancer hormone that helps “flush” out excess amounts of estrogen out, preventing it from accumulating. The reality is that they should try to maintain high progesterone levels until post menopause to prevent cysts, fibrosis, endometriosis, psos, and cancers of breast and ovarian tissues… the fact the periods increased suggests they need to stick with it, and “normalize” with new hormone levels and not revert back to lower hormone levels…”
For more information visit:
Mayo Clinic or Cleveland clinic website
However they won’t discuss treatment. Regarding some changes females may experience during initial phase of intermittent fasting.
P.S. share with your MEN that balancing our progesterone and pregnenolone WILL make them feel better or I will give them their money back ;).