Debbie Potts Coaching

Are you doing fasted or fed exercise?

What is your goal of the workout?

What is the intensity and duration of the workout?

When and what did you last eat?

Learn how to match your fueling and training as an aging high performing athlete with a coach!

WHEN TO EAT as per Dr. Stacy Sims for the Aging Female Athlete in Transition!

  • Consuming a combination of nutrient dense whole foods with a focus on protein and carbohydrate (what about the healthy fats?) in and around exercise 
  • Purpose is match your fueling with your training pre workout and post workout fueling to enhance your recovery 
  • Goal to maximize the body’s ability to respond to the exercise stress- adaptation to get stronger = maximize the muscular adaptations from the exercise and to facilitate repair of the muscle damage created from the exercise stress 
  • We need to fuel for our workouts and recovery processes -to send the signal that we are okay from the exercise STRESS and we have the resources coming to help recover from the stressor to adapt from that exercise stress (ACUTE stress = HORMETIC STRESSOR/hormesis)

Hormesis is a biological phenomenon in which exposure to a low or moderate level of stress or harmful agent can actually result in a positive response, leading to improved health, resilience, or performance. In other words, a small dose of stress or toxin that might be detrimental in higher amounts can trigger adaptive responses in the body that enhance its ability to cope with and resist more severe stressors.

This concept applies to various aspects of biology, including cellular processes, aging, and even human behavior.

Exercise is a classic example of a hormetic stressor.

When you engage in physical exercise, you’re subjecting your body to a form of stress that challenges its normal homeostasis. This stress leads to a variety of physiological and molecular responses that, over time, result in improved fitness and overall health.

Here’s how exercise fits into the concept of hormesis:

  • Stress and Adaptation: When you exercise, you’re putting stress on your muscles, cardiovascular system, and other bodily systems. This stress leads to small-scale damage and disruption at the cellular level.
  • Response and Adaptation: In response to this stress, your body activates various pathways and processes that help repair the damage and enhance its ability to handle similar stresses in the future. This includes processes like inflammation, increased oxygen utilization, and the release of growth factors.
  • Enhanced Resilience: With regular, controlled exposure to exercise-induced stress, your body becomes more efficient at repairing damage and adapting to the demands placed on it. This results in increased strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and other positive outcomes.
  • Health Benefits: Over time, the cumulative effects of these adaptive responses translate into improved overall health, reduced risk of chronic diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity), and better mental well-being.

It’s important to note that the concept of hormesis is dose-dependent. While a moderate amount of stress, like exercise, can lead to beneficial adaptations, excessive stress or exposure to toxins can have harmful effects. The key is finding the right balance between stress and recovery, allowing your body to adapt positively without being overwhelmed.

In summary, exercise is a prime example of how hormesis works in the body. By subjecting yourself to controlled and moderate stress through physical activity, you trigger adaptive responses that lead to improved fitness, health, and overall well-being.

Dr. Stacy Sims recommendations on fueling before and after exercise:

  • We get stronger from our exercise session in the recovery period – as with the saying “train hard, recover harder”!
  • What you eat, when you eat and I always as HOW you eat is essential to get the nutrients needed to achieve performance gains (from adapting from greater exercise stress)
  • If we don’t eat post exercise, we are staying in a depleted catabolic (break down) state = resulting in poor or lack of adaptation to that training exercise stress you just did in your workout!
  • When we don’t refuel post workout, we are telling our body (hypothalamus) that we are in a low energy state which over time (four days in a row!!) that you are in a catabolic break down state (chronic stress?) and down regulation of our thyroid function (LEA)
  • Dr. Stacy Sims suggests eating 100-150 calories pre-workout, (just a little bit of calories even in your coffee or tea so you don’t have a full belly) with 15g of protein and 30g of carbohydrate 
  • Post workout she recommends 30-40 grams of protein with a little bit of carbohydrate to decrease your body’s signals that you are in a catabolic/breakdown state and give the body the ingredients it needs to rebuild, recover and repair post workout damage.
  • Post workout nutrition will improve glucose control (Glut4)  post training so we are able to pull glucose into the muscle cell (during and post exercise window) – without asking help from insulin.
  • By prioritizing protein post training session provides your body with the essential amino acids it requires to promote muscle protein synthesis post resistance training (heavy weights), high intensity interval training or post long endurance training. 
  • By fueling up post exercise, we are also avoiding our risk for the ever so common LEA- Low Energy Availability and being in a low energy state
  • Fueling will help feed our microbiome and helping support our gut wall lining (mucosal lining 
  • Protein timing and distribution (listen to Dr. Lyon) for muscle protein synthesis is key – focusing on larger leucine intake with your essential amino acids around 2.7-3.5 grams of leucine post exercise to signal the muscle to induce muscle protein synthesis
  • Focus on getting your 30-40 grams of protein each meal spread out 3-4 hours but stop eating after dinner or last meal 3 hours before bedtime so you don’t negatively impact your sleep quality.
  • If you are a plant based athlete, you need a higher amount of plant based protein to hit the leucine amino acid threshold (apx. 3 grams) – 50g of rice/pea protein blend
  • Avoid processed and fortified foods …eat real food and use shakes or bars as a supplement then eat a real food meal
  • Focus on eating a diverse diet to improve the diversity of good bacteria in our microbiome 
  • Plan ahead to get the quality nutrient dense protein with some carbs post meal when harder, intense or longer training session to avoid stressing the body by staying in a catabolic state and thyroid (resting metabolism)
  • Calories in, calories out doesn’t work especially as we female athletes are in our transition years with hormones changing
  • Work with a coach to help match fueling and training that works best for your intensity, duration, schedule, and food choices.

Are you doing too much fasted morning exercise?

Fasted exercise, which refers to engaging in physical activity without consuming food beforehand, can have complex effects on various hormones and metabolic processes in the body, including kisspeptin and thyroid hormones.

However, it’s important to note that individual responses can vary based on factors like fitness level, diet, and overall health.

Let’s explore how fasted exercise might impact kisspeptin hormone and thyroid function:

  1. Kisspeptin Hormone: Kisspeptin is a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating the reproductive system by stimulating the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which in turn triggers the secretion of sex hormones like luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Kisspeptin is also involved in various other functions related to growth, development, and metabolism.There isn’t a direct and well-established link between fasted exercise and kisspeptin hormone levels. However, some research suggests that intermittent fasting or fasted states might impact hormonal regulation, potentially affecting kisspeptin secretion. Fasting can lead to changes in energy balance and metabolic signals, which could indirectly influence the release of kisspeptin. It’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between fasted exercise and kisspeptin hormone.
  2. Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland plays a critical role in regulating metabolism through the production of thyroid hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones influence various processes in the body, including energy expenditure, heat production, and overall metabolic rate.Fasted exercise might influence thyroid hormone levels due to the stress response associated with exercise and the absence of food intake. In some cases, fasted exercise could potentially lead to alterations in thyroid hormone production and conversion. However, these effects are likely to be transient and might not have a significant impact on thyroid function in the long term.It’s worth noting that individuals with existing thyroid issues (e.g., hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) might experience different responses to fasted exercise. People with thyroid disorders should consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to their exercise or fasting routines.

In conclusion, the relationship between fasted exercise, kisspeptin hormone, and thyroid function is not fully understood and can be influenced by various factors. While there might be some interactions between these factors, more research is needed to provide a comprehensive understanding of how fasted exercise affects hormonal regulation in the body. As always, individual responses can vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and consider consulting a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your exercise or fasting habits.

Kisspeptin is primarily known for its role in regulating the reproductive system by stimulating the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which in turn triggers the secretion of sex hormones like luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These sex hormones are essential for the proper functioning of the reproductive system, including the development of the ovaries and testes, as well as the menstrual and reproductive cycles.

While kisspeptin’s primary role is in reproductive function, there isn’t a well-established direct link between kisspeptin and the adrenal gland or thyroid function. The adrenal gland and thyroid are separate endocrine glands in the body with distinct functions, and they are not directly regulated by kisspeptin.

Here’s a brief overview of the roles of the adrenal gland and thyroid and how they are not directly related to kisspeptin:

  1. Adrenal Gland: The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney and are responsible for producing various hormones, including cortisol, adrenaline (epinephrine), and aldosterone. These hormones play critical roles in stress response, metabolism, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure regulation.The regulation of adrenal hormones is primarily controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which involves the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The release of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is regulated by the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary gland.
  2. Thyroid Gland: The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, produces thyroid hormones—primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are critical for regulating metabolism, energy production, and the proper functioning of various organs and tissues in the body.The thyroid gland’s activity is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH, in turn, stimulates the thyroid gland to produce and release T4 and T3.

In summary, kisspeptin hormone primarily influences the reproductive system by regulating the release of sex hormones through its interaction with GnRH. The adrenal gland and thyroid function, on the other hand, are regulated by different hormone pathways (HPA axis for the adrenal gland and HPT axis for the thyroid gland), and they are not directly influenced by kisspeptin. While there could be indirect interactions or effects between these systems, they are not considered to be part of the primary roles of kisspeptin in reproductive regulation.

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