Exploring Metabolic Adaptation

The title of this blog post will have readers clamoring to get a spot in line to read it first, I know.

 And all though I tested this post first by getting insomniacs to fall asleep, it is really a key component to my assumptions about glycogen and increased energy and endurance.  How muscle growth and fat burning are a result of well executed nutrient delivery and timing.  So if you can’t sleep anyway, give it a read.  I will always be looking for ways to source more endurance and personal energy.

Great news our metabolism adapts to changing conditions, the bad news is it is typically working against us.  Weeeeeheeeeeee another hurdle to overcome in our quest for that six pack.

As we get closer to our leaner goals, our metabolism slows.  What’s interesting is most people have been led to believe the opposite is true.  Many people eat more as they become leaner because they believe their metabolism is up.  Not the case.   From a purely caloric perspective, the lower in body fat% you go, the more calories you must restrict and the harder you must exercise.

However there are ways to turn this adaptation into a benefit if we understand the delivery of fuel to the muscle cells and the delivery of Glycogen (a group of glucose ((sugar cells)) to the muscles.  And the fact our endurance can also adapt to changing conditions will enable us to achieve our goals when the chips are down, when we are in that overtime period of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Now for more of the technical physiology we defer Dr. Mike Davis of Oklahoma Sate University.

…samples taken immediately after they(iditirod dogs) finished racing and samples taken many hours afterwards. The muscle tissue was tested for muscle glycogen levels. The researchers found that during the first day of racing, the sled dogs used a significant portion of their stored glycogen. On the last day of racing, though, the sled dogs had used only a small portion of their stored glycogen, even though they had completed the same amount of exercise. Based on this experiment, Dr. Davis concluded that the sled dogs must adapt to such strenuous levels of exercise so that they no longer rely on their stored glycogen.

In a previous set of experiments, he and his team took blood samples of dogs before, during, and after racing five consecutive days. The blood samples were tested for many components, including two important markers of tissue damage: creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and cardiac troponin. When tissue cells die, their components are released into the blood stream, so high levels of these components indicate tissue damage. CPK is a marker for skeletal muscle cell damage and cardiac troponin indicates cardiac muscle cell damage. Dr. Davis found that CPK and cardiac troponin levels in the sled dogs were high after the first day of exercise, indicating significant tissue damage which would be expected from such strenuous exercise. After several days, though, these levels started to decrease as the dogs adapted to the high levels of exercise.
Fatigue, and Then No Fatigue
The experiments on muscle glycogen levels supported Dr. Davis’s previous findings on CPK and cardiac troponin. After the first day of exercise, the dogs exhibited all the symptoms of strenuous exercise: fatigue, decreased glycogen reserves, and increased tissue damage. By the last days of the race, though, these symptoms had dissipated and the dogs were not experiencing fatigue. In fact, their glycogen reserves had increased, and the CPK and cardiac troponin levels were lower. With these changes the sled dogs were the same metabolically on the last day of racing as the first, except for the fact that they were burning 8,000 calories per day. “The sled dogs’ ability to adapt is absolutely astonishing,” remarked Dr. Davis. “We now know what they’re doing. What we want to know is how.” 
My assumption is that the dogs are either being administered high levels of protein, high levels of fat and low levels of slow burning carbohydrates, they are being administered external source of glycogen, or both.  I think it is both.  Any mushers out thee that confirm my assumptions?

Bad news, if we train hard we our body will adapt, and then we will have to train harder to get leaner.

Good news, with are new found nutrient intake, we will have the energy!

If so this would be in line of what we are trying to achieve with Leanergetix.    Of course we can not administer external glycogen today but we can control what we eat and when.
So we will continue to eat a high Protein, med fat, and low slow carbohydrate diet as we continue to lean up.  Further, we will need endurance with the declining number of calories we will be ingesting as we get leaner so nutrient delivery and timing will become more paramount here.
Is my assumption ludicrous or could it make sense?

If this is interesting to you. 

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3 thoughts on “Exploring Metabolic Adaptation

  1. Thanks for breaking this down, I got interrested and read the article, which was way scientific in its approach. It does make sense and now I understand even better, why timing in exercise is as important as food. Rest in between and food in between exercise is ALL that matters in getting results. Somedays I just wish I had a bunch of buddies(sled dogs) to exercise with…

  2. Timing is everything you are right. Exercise, nutrient timing, recovery timing, and sleep timing. It all about choosing to live in harmony with your metabolism, or fight it. I am here to report, it will fight you!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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