The Primal Way Digest – 31 July 2016
Welcome to the first edition of The Primal Way Digest! Where I provide the latest information that I’ve found relating to health, performance and wellness. This week we’ve got some interesting stuff from neuroscience, nutritional science, especially on post-workout nutrition and timing, a fantastic video form K-star (Kelly Starret of Mobility WOD) and Katy Bowman (author of Move Your DNA) and even a guide to everyone’s favorite drug – Caffeine!
Human Brain Mapped in Unprecedented Detail
A paper was just published in the prestigious journal Nature where researchers used a new technique to scan the brain in detail never before seen. They identified nearly 100 areas which had previous not been identified. Its amazing that even with the knowledge we’ve gained in neurology, there is still so much we don’t know about the workings of the brain.
How Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Us to Eat More
If you’ve been following me or follow health in general, you should by now know that sweeteners are just as bad, if not worse than, sugar. Some artificial compounds are now known carcinogens and others wreak havoc on the bodies hormones and digestive system. Now more research (on flies and mice for now) is showing that artificial sweeteners also work through a series of pathways to increase hunger, especially for sugar. Bottom line, skip the sweetener, skip the sugar, and if you NEED a sweetener, use something natural like raw honey or maple syrup.
Parkinson’s May Begin in Gut and Spread to the Brain Via the Vagus Nerve
Every day more and more research is supporting the importance of gut health and how the gut can actually affect our entire body, especially our brain! The gut has a direct connection to the brain via the vagus nerve and recent research is now suggesting that Parkinson’s Disease may actually start in the gastrointestinal tract. Hopefully with the growing research around gut health, we will be able to find ways to improve or prevent such degenerative diseases.
Total Darkness During the Night is a Key to Success of Breast Cancer Therapy
Another topic that I’ve been talking a lot about lately is the effect of blue light on the body. Blue light is given off by our electronics and artificial lights which stimulates the retina affecting our circadian rhythms and various hormonal patterns linked to it. The research is mounting and it very clear that exposure to such conditions at night is contributing to disease states – including cancer!
Have You Checked Your Heart Rate Variability Lately?
Heart rate variability is something that has been gaining popularity lately and seems for a good reason. All too often athletes and individuals end up in an over trained state because they didn’t listen to their body. Heart rate variability gives an easy indicator to follow in order know if your in a sympathetic (fight or flight) or parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. If we’re overtrained, the body will have a tendency to remain in a sympathetic state and will eventually lead to an overtrained status. Read more about it in the article below.
Does a Post-Workout ‘Anabolic Window of Opportunity’ Really Exist?
The topic of post workout nutrition and supplementation is always ridden with misinformation and bias from an industry that is now worth billions. If you ask most people, nutritionists and dieticians included, what should I consume post-workout, you invariably hear the standard carbohydrates and protein response. This is based on a belief that there is an “anabolic window” where the body is more responsive to these nutrients which will help prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle building. Unfortunately, its not that simple – in fact, much research shows that TOTAL protein intake throughout the day is much more important. However, the supplement industry needs you to buy their products and has spent a lot on marking to make you believe you need to down your protein shakes as if your muscle is going to melt away. Funnily enough, a recent study showed that eating fast food had the same glycemic/insulinogenic effect as taking supplements post-workout. Of course, I think supplements have a place for those who are training at a relatively high level, but for the average gym goer, stick to whole foods and you’ll be better off, physically and financially.
The Definitive Guide to Coffee
Coffee is good for you. Coffee is bad for you…. Which one is it?? There seems to be another article on coffee every single day. It’s a lot more complicated than it seems, and every person is different. However, for the most part, coffee on its own is quite healthy and is one of the best ergogenic aids for physical activity and cognitive enhancement.
Kelly Starret of mobility WOD with Katy Bowman author of Move Your DNA – an in depth discussion on what is natural for the body. This is a great video with 2 of the biggest people in the movement industry. If you’re suffering from chronic pains and injuries, this is a must watch
Revolution Health Radio with Dr. Bredesen of the Buck Institute on functional and evolutionary approaches to Alzeihmer’s
Paleo Solution with Dr. Akil Palanisamy author of The Paleovedic Diet
What I often hear is the hardest part when going primal/paleo, is trying to figure out what to have for breakfast. The folks at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition have put together a great list of 20 paleo friendly recipes for breakfast.
Another big part of being paleo is incorporating offal (organ meat) into the diet. Offal is some of the most nutrient dense foods we can eat, but they often have odd textures and are hard to work with. I recently tried this offal stew recipe from The Paleo Mom and it went down quite nicely (the liver was still a bit textury).
This section is for the nerds in the group who have access to journal articles and love to read the nitty gritty sciency details!
Here’s the full paper from the Scientific American article on Brain Mapping – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature18933.html
Paper on glycogen resynthesis with supplements vs fast food – http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/pubmed/?term=post+exercise+glycogen+recovery+2015+cramer
Paper on Parkinson’s Disease – http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/pubmed/?term=Vagotomy+and+subsequent+risk+of+Parkinson%27s+disease
What I’m Reading
Quote of the Day
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination”