Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.
Ketones, for those unfamiliar, are a fuel source of the body and brain, alternative to glucose. The brain is more efficient utilizing ketones compared to glucose and certain bodily functions are also better off when ketone bodies are used compared to glucose. Ketone bodies can be produced within the body (endogenous ketones), which I mention here. It is also possible to supplement with exogenous ketones, ketone bodies originating outside of the body.
There are 3 different ketone bodies:
- Acetoacetic Acid
- Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid (BHB) Technically, BHB is not a true ketone body, but it functions the same as acetone and acetoacetic acid.
Exogenous ketones come in two basic forms: ketone salts and ketone esters. Ketone esters are synthetically created chemicals that bind alcohol to ketone bodies. Until fairly recently, ketone esters were not available for purchase, as they were used for research purposes. There are now at least a few different products on the market. Very expensive, but available. Ketone salts are the more common form of exogenous ketone supplementation. Most exogenous ketone products are ketone salts and work by binding BHB to sodium, potassium, or calcium, or a combination of these.
Effects of Exogenous Ketones
There is a growing body of research regarding the efficacy of ketone supplementation in regards to all kinds of aspects. Some positive effects that have been observed are:
- Appetite Suppression: Levels of hormones associated with hunger (insulin, ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and peptide tyrosine tyrosine) are decreased
- Excess ketones (up to a certain point) are not stored as adipose tissue: Meaning little risk of gaining fat with ketone supplementation
- Gastrointestinally more gentle than MCT oil: In other words, less likelihood of disaster pants.
- Enhanced performance: The research here tends to go both directions, but for the most part stamina, oxygen requirements, and VO2 seem to be enhanced with exogenous ketones.
- Improved Cognition: The brain runs more efficiently on ketones, one observed benefit is enhanced myelination
- Many benefits of BHB: neuroprotective, anti aging, anti inflammatory/reduces and protects against oxidative damage, inhibits HDAC
Some negative effects that commonly occur are: bad breath caused by acetone breakdown and electrolyte imbalance induced by fluid loss.
To Ketone or Not to Ketone
There are many possible benefits of ketone supplementation and thus far it is seen to be safe and effective. The take away, though, is that supplementation is not necessary. It is possible to almost constantly have a supply of endogenous ketones fueling your body and brain. By implementing a ketogenic diet and/or intermittent fasting your body will naturally produce and use ketone bodies. Supplementing has its uses and advantages in certain situations, but the many amazing benefits of BHB and other ketone bodies are available to you, and for free.
Whether your goal is hypertrophy, strength, or achieving/maintaining fitness, your progress will slow down eventually. Or maybe you haven’t hit that plateau yet, but you have a muscle group that’s not responding to training as well as others. One solution for this is with 100 reps. Yes, 100 reps. There are a few ways to use this technique, but the goal in all of them is to complete 100 reps with as little rest as necessary. Sounds crazy, but it’s very do-able. Choose an exercise and use a weight that 15-20 reps would be challenging. Do 20 or so reps, almost to failure. Rest for 30-40 seconds, do more reps almost to failure. Repeat this until you get to 100 reps.
There are many benefits to the 100’s technique. You will increase your muscle and mental stamina. You will increase your rate of fat burning. And most importantly, you will get through your plateau/get the stubborn muscle group to grow. The effectiveness of 100’s is mostly in the way the muscle fibers are activated. At the relatively low weight you’ll be using your type I(slow twitch) fibers will be used. As you progress through the 100 reps those fibers will begin to fatigue and type II fibers will be activated.
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High intensity interval training is arguably the most effective form of cardio for burning fat and preserving muscle. Yes, H.I.I.T. does both. H.I.I.T. is typically defined as alternating periods of very high intensity exercise (sprinting, cycling, swimming, etc.) with periods of low intensity periods. Despite it being developed long ago by track coaches, it is very useful today. Let’s be honest, cardio can be pretty boring. H.I.I.T. allows people to get more out of cardio sessions and in less time. Not to mention that it can be done anywhere and with no equipment.
There are a constant stream of studies, but the gist is that H.I.I.T. is great for burning fat, especially compared to steady-state cardio. Depending on the research one can burn fat up to 6 times faster using H.I.I.T. and there are even cases of study participants decreasing body fat by 2% in only 2 months. H.I.I.T. burns more calories faster, and the metabolism is boosted for up to 24 hours following a session, for even more calorie burn. H.I.I.T. has also been shown to promote the utilization of fat for energy.
H.I.I.T. promotes muscle growth for the above reason, the body utilizing fat for fuel prevents if from breaking down muscle for fuel. One study found that during a 6-week H.I.I.T. program participants, supplementing with beta-alanine, gained an average of 2 lbs. Of muscle after only 3 weeks, WITH NO WEIGHT TRAINING. H.I.I.T. can increase testosterone production in men as well. Some studies have seen a 100% increase in testosterone levels.
- Boutcher, S. H. et al. The effect of high intensity intermittent exercise training on autonomic response of premenopausal women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(5 suppl):S165, 2007.
- Gorostiaga, E. M., et al. Uniqueness of interval and continuous training at the same maintained exercise intensity. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 63(2):101-107, 1991.
- King, J. W. A comparison of the effects of interval training vs. continuous training on weight loss and body composition in obese pre-menopausal women (thesis). East Tennessee State University, 2001.
- Meuret, J. R., et al. A comparison of the effects of continuous aerobic, intermittent aerobic, and resistance exercise on resting metabolic rate at 12 and 21 hours post-exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(5 suppl):S247, 2007.
- Paton, C. D., et al. Effects of low- vs. high-cadence interval training on cycling performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(6): 1758-1763, 2009.
- Smith, A. E., et al. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6:5, 2009.
- Talanian, J. L., et al. Exercise training increases sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fatty acid transport proteins in human skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab IN press, 2010.
- Talanian, J. L., et al. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102(4):1439-1447, 2007.
- Tjonna, A. E., et al. Superior cardiovascular effect of interval training versus moderate exercise in patients with metabolic syndrome. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(5 suppl):S112, 2007.
- Trapp, E. G. and Boutcher, S. Metabolic response of trained and untrained women during high-intensity intermittent cycle exercise. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Dec;293(6):R2370-5.
- Treuth, M. S., et al. Effects of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28(9):1138-1143, 1996.
On average, people eat about half of their daily calories through carbohydrates. There are a few problems with this. First of all, when carbs are digested they cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin. Having high levels of insulin over time leads to insulin resistance, which can cause weight gain, prevents satiety, and leads to multiple diseases.
A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is the ingestion of mostly fats, with a small to moderate amount of protein, and very little carbs. Usually a ketogenic diet will consist of about 5% of daily calories from carbs, 70-80% from fats, and 10-15% from protein.
Being in a state of ketosis, whether nutritional or fasting induced has a great number of very beneficial metabolic effects on the body. The ketogenic diet has been shown to help treat and/or prevent: cancer, diabetes (both types), insulin resistance, heart disease, neurological disorders (ALS, Parkinsons, MS, etc.), and acid reflux. Utilizing a ketogenic diet can also greatly affect weight loss and prevent aging on a cellular level.
In addition to the above health benefits, being in ketosis also helps with mental focus/clarity and increased energy.
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Up to 80% of Americans are magnesium(Mg) deficient. It’s not easy to get the recommended amount of Mg (about 400mg for men and 300mg for women) just from food, so supplementing Mg is vital. On to the benefits!
Magnesium (Mg) has been shown to improve memory and learning and the inverse has been observed. Emotional health is also impacted by Mg. Low levels of Mg have been associated with increased occurrence of externalising behaviors (depression, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) in adolescents. Again the opposite was also observed. Low levels of Mg are associated with higher occurrence of depression. AND proper levels of Mg have been shown to aid in stress management. Studies show that Mg can reduce the risk of heart disease (10%), stroke (12%), and type-2 diabetes (26%). Even 100mg more per day of Mg reduces the risk of stroke by and type-2 diabetes.
Gut health is improved, as Mg is essential to nutrient absorption. Mg reduces hunger cravings and helps to prevent constipation and colitis. Risk of colorectal cancer is lowered by about 13% for every 100mg of Mg. Detoxification is aided by Mg, and glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the body requires Mg. Aging is slowed by Mg, by reversing age-related changes in the brain. All cause mortality is lower for with higher levels of Mg.
Mg calms the nervous system, allowing better quality of sleep. Low levels of Mg have been associated with nervousness before bed and restless legs syndrome. Chronic fatigue is associated with low Mg, due to hundreds (about 350) of enzymatic functions being compromised. Fat loss is greatly aided by Mg as it improves insulin sensitivity, with the opposite being true. The production of ATP (energy) and anabolic hormones requires Mg. As well as IGF-1 (growth hormone), though to a lesser extent. Protein synthesis requires Mg to promote growth of lean muscle tissue. Mg also helps the body to reduce lactic acid buildup, reducing fatigue during workouts.
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