Debbie Potts Coaching

Are you on a mission as myself to improve the aging process?

Let’s start now by improving our muscle health with the right type of nutrition, nutrient timing, exercise FIIT and supplementation along with of course THE WHOLESTIC METHOD lifestyle habits!

First what is METABOLIC Health?

Metabolic health refers to the overall health of your metabolism, which is the set of chemical processes that occur within living organisms to maintain life. A key aspect of metabolic health is the body’s ability to efficiently use and store energy from food.

When someone is metabolically healthy, their body can regulate blood sugar levels, manage insulin effectively, and maintain appropriate levels of other metabolic markers.

Several markers and measurements are used to assess metabolic health:

  1. Blood Sugar Levels (Glucose): Fasting blood glucose and postprandial (after meals) glucose levels are important indicators. High blood sugar levels can indicate insulin resistance and poor glucose metabolism.
  2. Insulin Sensitivity: This measures how effectively your body responds to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Insulin resistance, where cells don’t respond properly to insulin, is associated with metabolic issues.
  3. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): This blood test provides an average of your blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months, offering insights into long-term glucose control.
  4. Lipid Profile: This includes levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and various types of cholesterol (HDL and LDL). Abnormal lipid levels can be indicative of metabolic issues.
  5. Waist Circumference: Excess abdominal fat is linked to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. Waist circumference is a simple measure to assess abdominal obesity.
  6. Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can be a sign of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  7. Inflammatory Markers: Chronic inflammation is associated with metabolic disorders. C-reactive protein (CRP) and other inflammatory markers can be measured in blood tests.
  8. Liver Health: Tests such as liver enzymes (AST, ALT) can indicate liver health, as the liver plays a crucial role in metabolic processes.

Metabolic health is closely linked to aging and longevity. As people age, metabolic functions may decline, leading to an increased risk of metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Poor metabolic health is associated with various age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer.

Maintaining good metabolic health through a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and proper sleep, can positively impact aging and potentially contribute to a longer, healthier life. Conversely, poor metabolic health, often associated with obesity, sedentary behavior, and unhealthy diets, is a risk factor for premature aging and various age-related diseases. Therefore, adopting habits that promote metabolic health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and longevity.

What is Muscle Health?

Muscle health refers to the overall well-being and function of the muscles in the body. Muscles play a crucial role in supporting movement, maintaining posture, and regulating body temperature.

Muscle health is essential for various aspects of our daily lives, and it can significantly impact both longevity and quality of life for several reasons:

  1. Mobility and Functionality:
    • Independence: Strong and healthy muscles are vital for maintaining independence and performing daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries.
    • Joint Health: Muscles provide support to joints, and their strength helps prevent injuries and reduce the risk of conditions like arthritis.
  2. Metabolism and Weight Management:
    • Calorie Burning: Muscles are metabolically active tissues that burn calories even at rest. Maintaining muscle mass can contribute to a healthy metabolism and assist in weight management.
    • Insulin Sensitivity: Muscle health is linked to insulin sensitivity, and maintaining healthy muscles can help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes.
  3. Bone Health:
    • Support and Strength: Muscles provide support to bones, and resistance exercises, which strengthen muscles, can also promote bone density. This is crucial for preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
  4. Cardiovascular Health:
    • Blood Circulation: Regular physical activity, including muscle-strengthening exercises, contributes to improved cardiovascular health by enhancing blood circulation and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  5. Mental Health:
    • Mood Regulation: Exercise, including activities that promote muscle health, has been linked to the release of endorphins, which can positively affect mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  6. Longevity:
    • Reducing Chronic Diseases: Regular physical activity, including muscle-strengthening exercises, is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, contributing to overall longevity.
  7. Quality of Life:
    • Pain Management: Strong muscles can help support the spine and joints, reducing the likelihood of chronic pain conditions.
    • Energy Levels: Muscles play a role in energy production, and maintaining muscle health can contribute to sustained energy levels and improved vitality.

In summary, muscle health is a key component of overall well-being, impacting various aspects of physical and mental health. Regular exercise, including both aerobic and resistance training, is crucial for maintaining and improving muscle health, leading to a longer and higher quality of life.

Muscle health and protein synthesis play important roles in influencing insulin resistance, especially as individuals age.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.

Here’s how muscle health and protein synthesis impact insulin resistance:

  1. Muscle Mass and Insulin Sensitivity:
    • Role of Skeletal Muscle: Skeletal muscle is a major site for glucose disposal, meaning it plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. Healthy muscles are more insulin-sensitive, allowing them to effectively take up and utilize glucose.
    • Loss of Muscle Mass (Sarcopenia): As people age, there is a natural tendency to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. This loss of muscle mass is associated with a decline in insulin sensitivity, contributing to the development of insulin resistance.
  2. Protein Synthesis and Muscle Health:
    • Importance of Protein Synthesis: Protein synthesis is the process by which cells build proteins, and it is critical for maintaining and repairing muscle tissue.
    • Anabolic Resistance: With aging, there is a phenomenon called anabolic resistance, where older individuals may not synthesize proteins as efficiently in response to protein intake or resistance exercise. This can contribute to muscle loss and impair insulin sensitivity.
  3. Physical Activity and Insulin Sensitivity:
    • Exercise and Glucose Uptake: Regular physical activity, particularly resistance training, can stimulate muscle protein synthesis and enhance insulin sensitivity. Exercise helps the muscles take up glucose more effectively, reducing the risk of insulin resistance.
    • Mitochondrial Function: Exercise also influences mitochondrial function within muscle cells, which is important for glucose metabolism. Improved mitochondrial function can enhance insulin sensitivity.
  4. Inflammatory Factors:
    • Role of Inflammation: Chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with insulin resistance. Resistance exercise and overall muscle health can have anti-inflammatory effects, potentially mitigating insulin resistance by reducing inflammation.
  5. Nutrient Sensing and Insulin Signaling:
    • mTOR Pathway: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is involved in both muscle protein synthesis and insulin signaling. Proper nutrient sensing through this pathway is crucial for maintaining muscle health and insulin sensitivity.
    • Insulin Signaling Cascade: Anabolic processes stimulated by insulin, such as muscle protein synthesis, are important for maintaining muscle mass and, indirectly, insulin sensitivity.

In summary, maintaining muscle health and promoting muscle protein synthesis through regular physical activity, especially resistance training, can help combat age-related insulin resistance. Strategies that focus on preserving or increasing muscle mass, improving protein synthesis, and reducing inflammation may contribute to better insulin sensitivity, ultimately supporting overall metabolic health as individuals age.

As females age, particularly during menopause, there is a natural decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. This hormonal shift can have several implications for metabolic health, including an increased risk of insulin resistance.

Here’s how the decline in estrogen and progesterone may contribute to insulin resistance in women:

  1. Impact on Body Composition:
    • Distribution of Fat: Estrogen plays a role in regulating body fat distribution. With the decline in estrogen levels during menopause, there is a tendency for fat to be redistributed from subcutaneous (under the skin) to visceral (around internal organs) areas. Visceral fat is associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of metabolic disorders.
  2. Influence on Adipose Tissue:
    • Adipose Tissue Function: Estrogen has an impact on adipose tissue (body fat) function. Changes in estrogen levels can alter the release of adipokines, which are signaling molecules produced by fat cells. Dysregulation of adipokines may contribute to insulin resistance.
  3. Insulin Sensitivity and Hormonal Changes:
    • Estrogen’s Protective Effect: Estrogen has been shown to have insulin-sensitizing effects. It helps improve the body’s response to insulin, promoting glucose uptake by cells. With lower estrogen levels, this protective effect is diminished, potentially leading to insulin resistance.
  4. Inflammatory Response:
    • Estrogen’s Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties, and its decline is associated with an increase in inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to insulin resistance, as it interferes with normal insulin signaling.
  5. Muscle Health and Insulin Sensitivity:
    • Muscle Mass and Function: Estrogen plays a role in maintaining muscle mass and function. As women age and experience hormonal changes, there may be a decline in muscle mass, contributing to reduced glucose uptake by muscles and insulin resistance.
  6. Effects on Beta Cells:
    • Insulin Production: Estrogen appears to have a protective effect on pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for insulin production. The decline in estrogen levels may impact the function of these cells, leading to reduced insulin secretion and impaired glucose regulation.
  7. Progesterone’s Role:
    • Interaction with Estrogen: Progesterone, another female sex hormone, interacts with estrogen and may have independent effects on insulin sensitivity. However, research on progesterone’s specific role in insulin resistance is still evolving.
  8. Individual Variation:
    • Genetic and Lifestyle Factors: It’s important to note that individual responses to hormonal changes vary. Genetic factors, lifestyle choices (such as diet and physical activity), and overall health can influence how women experience hormonal transitions and their impact on insulin sensitivity.

While the decline in estrogen and progesterone during aging is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance, it’s crucial to recognize that multiple factors contribute to metabolic health. Lifestyle interventions, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, can play a significant role in mitigating the effects of hormonal changes and promoting insulin sensitivity in aging women. Additionally, consulting with healthcare professionals can help develop personalized strategies for managing metabolic health during and after menopause.

Get Strong

The GLUT4 transporter, or glucose transporter 4, is a protein that plays a crucial role in facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells, particularly muscle and adipose (fat) cells. Unlike other glucose transporters, GLUT4 is insulin-sensitive, meaning its activity is regulated by insulin. However, under certain conditions, such as during exercise, GLUT4 can facilitate glucose uptake into muscle cells independently of insulin, helping to provide energy for ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production.

Here’s how GLUT4 works and how it can operate independently of insulin in the context of insulin resistance:

1. Insulin-Sensitive GLUT4:

  • Normal Function: Under normal conditions, insulin promotes glucose uptake by binding to its receptors on the cell membrane. This binding activates signaling pathways that lead to the translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular storage vesicles to the cell membrane.
  • Increased Uptake: When GLUT4 is on the cell membrane, it allows the cell to take up glucose from the bloodstream, supporting energy production and storage.

2. GLUT4 in Muscle Cells:

  • Muscle Glucose Uptake: Muscle cells, especially during exercise, have a high demand for glucose as a fuel source to generate ATP for energy. GLUT4 is abundant in muscle tissue, and its activation is essential for efficient glucose uptake into these cells.

3. Insulin-Independent GLUT4 Activation:

  • Exercise Stimulus: During exercise, muscle contractions and other signals stimulate the activation of GLUT4 and its translocation to the cell membrane independently of insulin.
  • AMPK Activation: The enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is activated during exercise and is involved in signaling pathways that promote GLUT4 translocation, enhancing glucose uptake into muscle cells.

4. Insulin Resistance and GLUT4:

  • Impaired Insulin Signaling: In insulin resistance, cells become less responsive to insulin’s signals, and the normal insulin-mediated activation of GLUT4 may be impaired.
  • Compensatory Mechanisms: Despite insulin resistance, exercise-induced signals and other factors can still stimulate GLUT4 activation, allowing for glucose uptake into muscle cells.

5. Adaptive Responses:

  • Adaptation to Exercise: Regular exercise is known to induce adaptive responses in the muscle, enhancing its ability to take up glucose even in the presence of insulin resistance.
  • Increased GLUT4 Expression: Exercise can increase the expression of GLUT4 in muscle cells, providing more transporters for glucose uptake.

6. Energy Production:

  • ATP Generation: Once glucose is taken up by muscle cells, it undergoes glycolysis and enters the mitochondria, where it is further metabolized to produce ATP, the primary energy currency of cells.

7. Clinical Implications:

  • Exercise as Therapy: Exercise is often recommended as part of the management strategy for individuals with insulin resistance. The activation of GLUT4 in response to exercise helps improve glucose homeostasis and metabolic health.

In summary, GLUT4 plays a central role in facilitating glucose uptake into muscle cells, supporting energy production during both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant conditions. Exercise-induced signals and adaptations, including AMPK activation, can stimulate GLUT4 translocation to the cell membrane, promoting glucose uptake and ATP generation independently of insulin. This mechanism is particularly relevant in the context of insulin resistance, where exercise can be a valuable therapeutic approach to improve glucose metabolism and overall metabolic health.

Here is a list of animal protein sources with approximately 40-50g of protein and 2.5-3g of leucine per serving.

  1. Chicken Breast (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: 48g
    • Leucine: 3.1g
    • Calories: Approximately 366
  2. Turkey Breast (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: 48g
    • Leucine: 2.9g
    • Calories: Approximately 310
  3. Salmon (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: 46g
    • Leucine: 3.1g
    • Calories: Approximately 450
  4. Tuna (canned, in water, 8 oz):
    • Protein: 40g
    • Leucine: 2.6g
    • Calories: Approximately 350
  5. Beef (lean sirloin, 8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: 48g
    • Leucine: 2.7g
    • Calories: Approximately 460
  6. Pork Tenderloin (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: 48g
    • Leucine: 2.7g
    • Calories: Approximately 350
  7. Eggs (4 large eggs):
    • Protein: 32g
    • Leucine: 2.8g
    • Calories: Approximately 320
  8. Greek Yogurt (1 cup):
    • Protein: 20g
    • Leucine: 2.5g
    • Calories: Approximately 150

Do you just eat seafood and eggs?

Here’s a list of seafood options that provide approximately 50g of protein, along with their serving sizes, calories, and an approximation of leucine content:

  1. Salmon (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 480
  2. Tuna (canned, in water, 8 oz):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 330
  3. Shrimp (10 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 2.8g
    • Calories: Approximately 320
  4. Cod (10 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 2.6g
    • Calories: Approximately 400
  5. Sardines (canned in oil, 8 oz):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3.5g
    • Calories: Approximately 650
  6. Halibut (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 480
  7. Mackerel (8 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3.5g
    • Calories: Approximately 540
  8. Crab (10 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 300
  9. Lobster (10 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 400
  10. Scallops (10 oz, cooked):
    • Protein: Approximately 50g
    • Leucine: Approximately 3g
    • Calories: Approximately 350

Dr. Stacy Sims on Women are not Small Men.  

The Mindbodygreen podcast with Jason Wachob
1. Dr. Stacy Sims on PRE-MENOPAUSE
2.  Dr. Stacy Sims on PERI-MENOPAUSE:
  • Changes in ratio of Estrogen and Progesterone impacts all systems of the body
    • Microbiome changes
    • Recovery
    • Body Composition
    • Brain +Neurotransmitters
    • Sleep archtichture
  • Hormones changing – now I need to find an external stress that is going to cause an ADAPTATION the way the hormones used to support
  • Polarize high intensity training and heavy lifting
  • Dropping the volume and adequate recovery
  • Creating a stress to stimulate growth hormone
  • Epigenetic changes in muscle to help with blood glucose control and glucose homeostasis
  • Signal central nervous system to maintain power, speed and lean mass
3.  Dr. Stacy Sims on POST MENOPAUSE:
Early menopause – 5 to 6 years after the one day in time of MENOPAUSE
  • Lift heavy
  • Sprint interval training 2-3 x week
  • Limit or decrease lower intensity exercise with high volume (less is more)
Late menopause- 6 years after the one day in time MENOPAUSE
  • We don’t respond as well to the high intensity work
  • Solution – more regular doses of sprint intervals but not more volume- shorter doses
  • SIT 4 days of 15 minute intervals
  • We lost sensitivity to estrogen or progesterone without the receptors around
  • To keep lean mass, blood pressure in check, vascular, bone strength, cognition, and proprioception
  • More play early post menopause but later post menopause we need to do SIT daily but short dose.
  • More; regular, shorter doses of SPRINT interval training as we have lost sensitivity and loss of receptors
  • Example 4 x 20 second sprints instead of 10 … upper intensity focus Zone 5 and down Zone 1

Sprint Interval Training 

  • Central nervous system response – fast muscle contraction, neural pathways and avoid cognitive decline
  • Glycolytic fuel- ATP CP and carbohydrate use for fueling
  • More GLUT4 transporters- gate to allow glucose to come into cell without insulin = maintain glucose homeostasis as we are more insulin resistant as we age
  • Cross talk with exercines – deep abdominal fat and skeletal muscle via messengers – need carb in the muscle and not deep ab fat
  • Proprioception – fall risk decreases
  • Not the long slow distance endurance training
  • Push RPE 9/10 and no more than 30 seconds, recovery back to Zone 1
  • Fast Twitch muscle fibers

Zone Two for women?

  • Research is based on male studies
  • Women already have a larger amount of slow twitch fiber- oxidize fat better
  • Women have less fast twitch muscle fibers than men
  • Born XX – greater mitochondria density, mitochondrial respiration and greater sensitivity to metabolites that inhibits free fatty acids that come into muscles cell
  • Women are already very good at taking lactate, recycling it to use as fuel in aerobic metabolism
  • Benefits of ZONE TWO- mitochondria health, increasing oxidative capacity, increasing mitochondrial health, increasing the number of MCT1 Transport Proteins
  • MCT1 Transport proteins take lactate out of circulation then put them into mitochondria to be used as fuel
  • MEN do need to increase the MCT1 to increase mitochondria health, mitochondrial respiratory capacity and slow twitch muscle fiber
  • MCT1 – put lactate into circulation and out to use as fuel
  • Men don’t have the same response as women do = difference between the exercise intensity = women need to do more high intensity work as they have less glycolytic muscles = we need to stimulate lactate production and regulate the ability to produce it then clear it
  • If women don’t improve by doing sprint training -and spend too much time in Zone 2 ‘long slow distance’ – stuck being slow
  • Men need more Zone Two training than women
  • The exercise intensity – women need more HIIT as less glycolytic muscles or stuck in slow pace
  • Sprint work and HIIT in women vs. men = women upregulate more MCT1
  • The exercise intensities- women need more HIGH intensity to stimulate lactate, to produce it and clear it …less SLOW MO workouts than what men need
  • Women need to change how they fuel and train to get their desired improvements

WHY?  What is LACTATE?  What is MCT1?

Lactate is used as a fuel primarily during moderate to high-intensity exercise. The misconception that lactate causes muscle fatigue and soreness has been largely debunked. In reality, lactate is a valuable energy source that can be utilized by muscles, especially during periods of increased energy demand.

During low-intensity exercise, the body relies on aerobic metabolism, where oxygen is readily available to produce energy. As exercise intensity increases, there comes a point where the demand for energy surpasses the capacity of aerobic metabolism alone. This is when the body shifts to anaerobic metabolism, producing lactate as a byproduct.

Contrary to the belief that lactate is a waste product, it is actually used as a fuel by various tissues, particularly muscles, heart, and the brain, during and after exercise. The lactate shuttle hypothesis proposes that lactate produced in one cell or tissue can be transported to another cell or tissue to serve as a substrate for energy production.

The threshold at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood is often referred to as the lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold. Beyond this point, there is an increase in the production of lactate, and the body’s ability to clear it may become challenged. However, even before reaching the lactate threshold, lactate is being produced and used simultaneously.

The utilization of lactate as a fuel is not an all-or-nothing process. Even at lower exercise intensities, some lactate is being produced and utilized, but as the intensity increases, the reliance on lactate as a significant energy source becomes more pronounced.

In practical terms, training at different intensities, including both moderate and high-intensity exercise, can help enhance the body’s ability to utilize lactate as a fuel. This adaptability is often associated with improvements in endurance, as well as the efficiency of energy metabolism during various exercise intensities.

MCT1, or monocarboxylate transporter 1, is a protein involved in the transport of lactate, a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism, into and out of cells. Lactate is a key component in the regulation of energy metabolism, especially during high-intensity exercise.

The discussion of MCT1 transporters in men and women, as well as the benefits of Zone Two training, appears to be related to the optimization of mitochondrial health, oxidative capacity, and muscle fiber composition.

  1. MCT1 Transport Proteins and Gender Differences:
    • Women: The statement suggests that women may respond differently to exercise intensity compared to men, possibly due to differences in glycolytic muscles. Glycolytic muscles are involved in short bursts of high-intensity activities and produce lactate as a byproduct. Women are noted to have fewer glycolytic muscles, which may imply that they need more high-intensity work to stimulate lactate production and regulate its clearance. This is likely associated with the need for women to increase MCT1 expression to facilitate the transport of lactate for fuel utilization.
    • Men: On the other hand, men are mentioned to need to increase MCT1 expression to enhance mitochondrial health, respiratory capacity, and slow-twitch muscle fibers. Slow-twitch muscle fibers are more oxidative and rely on aerobic metabolism, making them crucial for endurance activities.
  2. Benefits of Zone Two Training:
    • Mitochondrial Health: Zone Two training is suggested to be beneficial for mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are the cellular organelles responsible for energy production, and maintaining their health is essential for overall cellular function.
    • Increasing Oxidative Capacity: The training may also be aimed at increasing oxidative capacity. Oxidative capacity refers to the ability of cells to use oxygen for energy production, which is particularly important for endurance activities.
    • Increasing MCT1 Expression: The focus on increasing the number of MCT1 transport proteins implies an interest in optimizing the transport of lactate into mitochondria for energy use. This aligns with the idea that lactate, when properly regulated, can serve as a valuable fuel source.
  3. Gender-Specific Responses:
    • The statement suggests that men and women may respond differently to exercise intensity due to variations in glycolytic muscle distribution. It emphasizes the need for women to engage in higher-intensity work to stimulate lactate production and improve its regulation.
  4. Lactate as Fuel:
    • MCT1 is mentioned as a transporter that puts lactate into mitochondria for use as fuel. This underlines the significance of lactate in energy metabolism and the potential benefits of optimizing its transport.

In summary, the discussion revolves around optimizing energy metabolism, mitochondrial health, and muscle fiber composition through the regulation of lactate transport via MCT1 proteins. The emphasis on gender-specific responses reflects the complexity of individualized training approaches based on physiological differences.

Learn more on Zone 2, Zone 5 and Protein for Longevity:

  4. Debbie Potts YouTube Channel on Testing your Zones


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