January 9, 2019Found My Fitness – A Fasting Q&A with Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Mike Maser Key TakeawaysWith time-restricted eating, you’re taking advantage of the body’s natural circadian clock, and eating only when your metabolism is most optimal Prolonged fasts activate autophagy pathways and allows for the clearing away of damaged cellsStem cells are activated, which eventually grow to healthy/normal cells, which replace the damaged cells that were cleared away“There’s evidence in the scientific literature that if you consume black coffee within the fasting window, there’s still positive effects happeningBut the question remains – “If you were not to consume it, would you have a more robust effect? We don’t know.”When you fast, you deactivate growth pathways (like IGF-1, and mTOR) – both of which are activated by amino acids So you definitely want to avoid any amino acids while fasting Electrolyte supplements do not appear to disrupt the fasted stateTraining in the fasted state seems to be beneficial (unless you’re doing intense anaerobic exercise)If you don’t train in the fasted state….It’s a myth – you really don’t need to down a protein shake immediately after your workoutHOWEVER – if you’re training fasted, know that you aren’t storing protein, so you may want to consume protein within an hour after liftingExercise is KEY for making sure IGF-1 is going to the right placesThe best way to break a fast:Eat some protein to raise your IGF-1 levels, as well as some carbs (carbs allow for IGF-1 to be more bioavailable)IntroThis episode is a Q&A about fasting with Dr. Rhonda Patrick (@foundmyfitness), hosted by Mike Maser (@mmaser), the CEO of Zero, a fasting appZero was founded by Kevin Rose (@kevinrose)Check out some more fasting related Podcast Notes as well as the Found My Fitness Episode PageAre coffee and amino acid supplements okay to consume while fasting?Many people wonder if they’re allowed to have coffee, while following a time-restricted eating based dietPeople who time-restrict their eating, typically only eat within a 4-12 hour time window, depending on the personWhat’s the idea behind following this diet?Our body has a circadian rhythmIn the morning we produce a hormone called cortisol to wake us upAs the day goes on, our cortisol levels drop, and at night our melatonin levels rise (this makes us sleepy)Every cell in our body has a circadian rhythm, as well as various metabolic pathwaysIt’s important to make sure you’re consuming your food, when the metabolic pathways are most active So you shouldn’t really be eating outside the window of 6am-7pm ishEating outside this window, activates metabolic pathways when they’re really not supposed to be activatedOther tidbitsHumans are more insulin sensitive in the morning compared to the eveningFatty acid metabolism is less active in the eveningSo coffee….Coffee with cream is obviously considered food and will break the fastBut black coffee (or espresso)…Caffeine can shift the circadian clock – giving someone coffee later in the day will shift their circadian rhythm up by about 40 minutesCaffeine is metabolized by the gut and liver, and the question is – Does this activation, by caffeine of the metabolic pathways in the liver/gut “start the circadian clock” – we don’t knowThere are multiple studies which had people follow a time-restricted eating based diet, and allowed them to consume caffeine (black coffee or tea) during the fasting period – the benefits thought to result from fasting were still observed“So clearly there’s evidence in the scientific literature that if you consume black coffee within that fasting window, there’s still positive effects happening”But the question remains – “If you were not to consume it, would you have a more robust effect? We don’t know.”What about amino acids?When you fast, you deactivate growth pathways (like IGF-1, and mTOR) – both of which are activated by amino acidsThe deactivation of these pathways is important for things like autophagy to occurAutophagy is essentially this process by which the damaged components of cells are recycled for newer, healthier componentsFor example – damaged mitochondria can be cleared awayIt’s like spring cleaning for the bodySo you definitely want to avoid any amino acids while fasting What about electrolytes when fasting? As far as Rhonda knows, things like sodium, potassium, and magnesium are not disrupting the fasted stateSo something like salt, would be fineWhen doing a prolonged fast (3-10 days), things like sodium and potassium are depleted very quickly, and then the levels taper offSo it’d be good to take an electrolyte supplement during a prolonged fastHas there been any evidence to suggest one type of fasting is more beneficial than others?The different types of fasting:Intermittent fasting – fasting for up to 24 hoursProlonged fasting – when you start fasting for 2 days or longerTime-restricted eating – involves eating when your metabolism is optimal, and when you’re not eating, you’re fastingSo this might mean fasting for 16 hours, and eating all your food within an 8 hour window“You’re eating within your circadian biology, in terms of when your metabolism is most optimal”Your body’s metabolism isn’t that good at 8-9pm (and further on throughout the night)If you eat at 10pm –Your not going to be as insulin sensitive, so your blood glucose levels will be higherYour fasting blood glucose levels will be higherYour fatty acid metabolism isn’t as good (so you’re going to start to store fatty acids in adipose tissue rather than using them as energy – so you’ll gain more fat mass)Eating late into the night, might also somehow be resetting your body’s clockSo your body thinks it’s the start time of metabolism (aka the morning), so the whole time you’re sleeping, your metabolism is at it’s best, and when you wake up in the morning, everything is misaligned in terms of your metabolismWhat are the benefits of each?With both time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting:Some repair processes are activated (whether it’s to repair DNA or mitochondria)With intermittent fasting and prolonged fasts:Your body shifts from glucose/carbohydrate metabolism, to metabolizing fatty acids, and ketone bodies are producesKetone bodies have been shown to act as signaling molecules which activate genetic pathways which are known to delay age-related diseasesSo ketones = anti-agingKetones also reduce damage generated by mitochondria With time-restricted eating:You’re taking advantage of the body’s natural circadian clock, and eating only when your metabolism is most optimalThis improves your insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose levelsWith prolonged fasting:Prolonged fasts activate autophagy pathways and allows for the clearing away of damaged cellsStem cells are activated, which eventually grow to healthy/normal cells, which replace the damaged cells that were cleared awayOrgans actually shrink, and during the refeeding period, they regrow(This doesn’t all happen during shorter fasts, IGF-1 levels don’t drop low enough)What about the fasting mimicking diet (FMD)?This is a protocol developed by Dr. Valter LongoIt’s a 5 day regimen, eating very low calorie (between 700 and 1000) – this mimics some of the benefits achieved with long term fastsOrgans can shrink and regrow with new/healthy cellsInsulin sensitivity and glucose levels also seem improveFor more on a FMD, check out these Podcast NotesIt’s essentially much easier to “do” than a long term fastIn summary..Each type of fasting has it’s own benefitsIt’s probably wise to combine them and do them all periodically So time-restrict your eating, and do period long term fastsWill the consumption of exogenous ketones disrupt a fasting state?“Exogenous” just means it’s not produced in the body, it’s a supplementRhonda has tried this exogenous BHB ketone ester from HVMNKetone esters are very potent – they can raise your blood ketone levels significantly in a very short time spanBut the effect doesn’t last for all that long – the more active you are, the quicker you’ll use up the ketone bodiesRhonda recalls about 5 clinical studies which show that consuming exogenous BHB (BHB is just a type of ketone) esters, increases blood BHB levels (aka blood ketone levels), but it also decreases circulating free fatty acidsThis suggests that you’re not taking fatty acids from your fat cells, and using them to make your own BHB (or ketones)This means you’re not really getting the benefit of “fat loss”When your blood ketone levels get high enough, essentially your body says, “Oh, great, we won’t need to make any more ketones”So in short – think twice about consuming exogenous ketones on a fast, unless you’re an athlete who needs the extra fuelAre there any downsides to training in the fasted state?Firstly, are there any benefits to eating prior to training?Studies show that eating prior to exercise improves long duration aerobic exercise (aerobic = normal cardio, duration longer than 60 minutes – so it’d be great for long distance running) But eating prior to aerobic exercise less than 60 minutes in length, doesn’t seem to provide any benefitsEating prior to anaerobic exercise (like running as hard as you possibly can until exhaustion) has been shown to improve performance What about the benefits of training in a fasted state?Training in the fasted state allows for robust increases in glucose sensitivity, and enhancements in mitochondrial adaptations to using fatty acids (so your mitochondria become really primed for fatty acid use)There’s also an increase in activity in genes that regulate fatty acid metabolism When you feed before you train, those adaptations are bluntedIn summaryIf you’re just weight lifting with cardio – it’s probably beneficial to train fastedOn a related note…It’s commonly thought there’s a short anabolic window after your workout that you HAVE to consume amino acids and protein Studies seem to show that this time window is longer than we thought – protein intake even hours after a workout is beneficial So you don’t need a protein shake immediately after you liftHOWEVER – if you’re training fasted, know that you aren’t storing protein, so you may want to consume protein within an hour after liftingExploring the Growth Lonegevity Trade-OffWhat does this mean?By fasting, you down regulate multiple aging pathways – IGF-1 and mTORBut in order to build muscle through resistance training, you need to eat protein (which activates those same pathways)Can you get the best of both worlds? Is the trade-off overstated?The bad of IGF-1:Multiple aging studies show that higher IGF-1 levels, over time, lead to higher incidences of cancer (the opposite is also true – people who have gene mutations which allow for lower IGF-1 have lower incidences of cancer)People with gene mutations that raise their IGF-1 levels, have a great risk of developing cancerWhy? IGF-1 is a grow signalWhen you have accumulated damage in your cells, there are signaling pathways which are activated, which essentially say – “This cell is too damaged to repair, it needs to be killed off”The body kills the cell, through a process known as apoptosis (aka programmed cell death)IGF-1 expressed at a high level, sort of negates this apoptosis mechanism, and encourages damaged cells to growIGF-1 also deactivates an important longevity pathway – FOXOThis pathway regulates all sorts of genes involves in repair, stem cell production, and autophagyBUT – You actually need IGF-1 for some thingsIGF-1 is necessary for growing and repairing muscle, which is important itself for longevityMultiple studies have shown that muscle mass is really important for lowering all cause mortality, and preventing frailty IGF-1 also gets into the brain and serves as an important factor for growing new neurons, and helps prevent neurons from dyingExercise helps bring IGF-1 into the brain, as well as the muscle (as opposed to having it float around the blood stream where it can go to other tissues)So exercise is KEY for making sure IGF-1 is going to the right placesIGF-1 and FastingDuring prolonged fasts, IGF-1 drops significantly (resulting in autophagy, the activation of stem cells, and apoptosis)When you refeed – you want IGF-1 levels to riseThis allows the stem cells to grow, and replenish the cells which were cleared awayTo sum up…As long as you’re exercising, don’t worryWhat’s the ideal way to break a fast?Specifically after a prolonged fast:You want to reactivate IGF-1 What activates IGF-1 – amino acidsSo eat some proteinCarbohydrates regulate IGF-1 bioavailability (they allow IGF-1 to be more bioavailable)So include some carbs in your post fast mealBUT – be carefulYour gut is much more sensitive after not eating for several days – so eat a small mealMaybe eat some fruit, with some protein powerOne Point to Add From RhondaResearch shows that the polyphenols in coffee (even decaf coffee) activate autophagy Liked it? Take a second to support Podcast Notes on Patreon!Tags:exogenous ketones, fasting, intermittent fasting, ketones, Time Restricted Eating, time restricted feedingRelated Posts Wild Ideas Worth Living: Dr. Rhonda Patrick The Art of Manliness: Dr. Rhonda Patrick on How to Optimize Your Body With Micronutrients, Genetic Nutrition, and Intentional Stress Found My Fitness with Dr. Rhonda Patrick – Dr. Charles Raison on Depression, the Immune-Brain Interface & Whole-Body Hyperthermia About The Author MMillerOne Comment K. Ankit Great stuff. After reading this, and his few other notes on fasting, I had contacted Matt on twitter to design my FMD (I live in India and Prolon doesn’t ship there). He was generous with his time and helped me choose the food items to fulfil conditions of a Fasting Mimicking Diet. January 10, 2019 Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. 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