Monthly Archives: May 2014

Random musings…

Not every thought that bounces through my head deserves a full post… so here are 10 random thoughts about health and human performance.

1) Get your stress under control… its killing your will-power to make good nutritional decisions.  http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/how-stress-makes-you-crave-food-and-store-fat

2) Shitty bacon sources are shitty because of the health of the animals… not because of the nitrates/nitrites in them.  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

3) Don’t be an askhole…

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4) If you’re going to eat rice, then eat white rice.  No, I don’t care how much fiber is in your brown rice…

5) You’re probably not sleeping enough and not spending enough time in the sun.

6) This woman is really smart, you should watch her youtube videos…  https://www.facebook.com/foundmyfitness?ref=profile

7) While you have to be smart about it… sauna’s are an amazing tool to improve your health and performance.   http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/04/10/saunas-hyperthermic-conditioning-2/

8) Non-resistant starch seems to be helpful for people with screwed up guts but doesn’t seem to provide any added health benefit for people without GI issues.

9) There are 5 superfoods that I try to eat every day:  Animal protein, sweet potatoes, avocado, coconut and kale.

10) We spend way too much time staring at computer screens… and its going to be a huge problem.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850476

More proof that your gut controls everything.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, the bacteria in your gut controls everything…  

There was recently a paper published that caught my attention.  The title says it all, “Host Remodeling of the Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Changes During Pregnancy.

What the data shows is that, during pregnancy, there are changes to the mother’s gut-associated bacteria between the first and the third trimester.  The bacteria during the first trimester are fairly “normal” and contain a high diversity of bacterial species.  During the third trimester, several types of bacteria, notably the very inflammatory Proteobacteria become elevated.  Interestingly, there are a large number of studies which show that elevated Proteobacteria  levels are associated with screwed up metabolism of the host resulting in obesity, diabetes, etc most likely because of excessive inflammation.

Taken from the www.cell.com website
Taken from the www.cell.com website

What was REALLY cool  (at least to a nerd like me) is that when the scientists transferred the bacteria from a third-trimester mom into a germ-free mouse (Think of it as a mouse that lives in a sterile bubble), those animal became fatter and less sensitive to insulin signaling than mice given bacteria from a first-trimester mother.

What this means is that one of the main reason’s why pregnant women gain weight and adiposity during pregnancy is BECAUSE of changes to the bacteria that reside in their gut.  The study above went on to show that the bacteria that emerges during pregnancy is better able to extract energy from the diet and transfer that to the mother, and therefore the baby as well.  The downside of this is the extra-weight gain and potentially gestational diabetes as a result…

You have to ask yourself, why would you want this to happen during pregnancy?  You would think that you’d want Mom to be as healthy as possible and to not have a screwed up metabolism, never mind diabetes, right????    WRONG!

There is a strong hypothesis that during pregnancy, the mothers body is willing to sacrifice its own sensitivity to sugar/gluces so that energy is diverted to the developing baby.  Evolutionarily, it makes sense to put that cute little parasite (that you’ll eventually come to love) first.

Its amazing the balance that the host and microbiota have and how they can affect each other.  In this scenario basically what we have is the following:

1) Some unknown change in the mother that results in a slow alteration of the microbiota between the first and third trimester.

2) These altered microbiota produce more energy from the consumed food which can be transferred to the host.

3) The third trimester microbiota are also way more inflammatory…

4) The inflammation driven by the altered microbiota has been shown to play a CRITICAL roll in decreasing insulin sensitivity, which in this case is beneficial in diverting energy to the developing baby.

What an absolutely beautiful symbiotic set of events.

Blonyx HMB+Creatine review

A couple months back, I wrote a short post talking about HMB supplementation and the WIDE variety of responses you can find about the Leucine metabolite.  Since that time, I was introduced to Rowan, owner of Blonyx, who sells an HMB+creatine supplemental product.  He seemed like a great guy who believes fully in his product, and ultimately he agreed to send along some product for me to evaluate.

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Before I started, I did a bunch of research on the product.  Some people seem to have good responses while others really see no changes at all (good or bad).  One variable that actually had some research on it was a study showing that efficacy of HMB was dependent upon vitamin D levels being above 30 pg/ml.  My most recent tests didn’t show any issues but I took 1000 IU/day of D3 before getting started just to be sure to try and control for that factor..
My first impression is that Blonyx is a very high quality product:  I’ve only found two types of creatine based products that do not cause me to have minor bloating, the first is MRM creatine which I’ve been recommending for a while now.  The second one was Blonyx’s HMB+Creatine.  Very happy with that to say the least… its hard to find a high quality supplement line these days that doesn’t put some filler in their products so kudos to Blonyx on that front.
Athletic results:
During the time I was taking Blonyx, I was in a mass gain phase trying to go from about 181-184 to a solid 190 pounds.  I’m generally a very hard gainer but over the month with Blonyx, I hit 190 once and stayed consistently around 187-189.
As for the actual lifts, I have seen some nice PR’s during the month I was taking Blonyx.
1) Strict Press PR of 195 (15 lb PR)
2) Front squat PR of 305×5.
3) Muscle up PR of 14 and pull up PR of 62.
4) Tied a strict HSPU PR of 40 unbroken.
Now, based upon the mass gain, I would expect the strength numbers to have increased to some extent as a result of the extra mass, but a 15 lb press PR was completely unexpected.  Additionally, to add 7-8 pounds of mass while still improving on gymnastics movements was unexpected as well.
As far as feel, I didn’t notice any difference in energy during my sessions but overall I’m very happy with the results I had during the month on Blonyx.  Like I said before, it seems like people either LOVE products with HMB or have no response with it.  I still don’t really have a good understanding of why that is unfortunately.  That said, I think giving it a shot for 30 days is worth it if you’re looking to take your game to the next level.