Mark's Daily Apple https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ Tue, 30 Nov -001 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 115533949 New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 202 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-202/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-202/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2022 20:55:34 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131256 Research of the Week

Iodine deficiency is still a big problem in the developing world. Hard to develop with inadequate iodine levels.

Long COVID-type symptoms more common among COVID-negative patients than COVID-positive patients.

Fasting might be a better alternative to chronic calorie restriction.

Blood donation improves skin aging.

NSAIDs may worsen arthritis over time.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: Health Coaching in a Medical Practice with Dr. Judith Boyce
Media, Schmedia
Elon Musk may start putting Neuralink in brains 6 months from now.

More olive oil, less death.
Interesting Blog Posts
Does nicotinamide riboside fuel cancer?
Social Notes
Never stop learning.

Fat bike fun.
Everything Else
The horse is coming back.

Some brains just age more slowly.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
It's not about carbs all the time: Time restricted eating sheds liver fat, regardless of baseline diet.

Interesting paper: The evolution of human skin color.

Powerful phrase: Exercise as "metabolic shield" against cancer.

Another interesting study: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy lengthens telomeres.

Amazing: Diagnosis made (correctly) by hallucination (or was it?).
Question I'm Asking
Will you install Neuralink?
Recipe Corner

Sheet pan chicken and sprouts.
Pan roasted chicken and vegetables with chicken dijon jus.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Nov 12 – Nov 18)

Is Honey a Safe(r) Sweetener?—Well, is it?
Mark's Big Ass Keto Salad—How to do salad right.

Comment of the Week
"You really should open a Mayo-clinic."

-I agree.

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Research of the Week

Iodine deficiency is still a big problem in the developing world. Hard to develop with inadequate iodine levels.

Long COVID-type symptoms more common among COVID-negative patients than COVID-positive patients.

Fasting might be a better alternative to chronic calorie restriction.

Blood donation improves skin aging.

NSAIDs may worsen arthritis over time.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: Health Coaching in a Medical Practice with Dr. Judith Boyce

Media, Schmedia

Elon Musk may start putting Neuralink in brains 6 months from now.

More olive oil, less death.

Interesting Blog Posts

Does nicotinamide riboside fuel cancer?

Social Notes

Never stop learning.

Fat bike fun.

Everything Else

The horse is coming back.

Some brains just age more slowly.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

It’s not about carbs all the time: Time restricted eating sheds liver fat, regardless of baseline diet.

Interesting paper: The evolution of human skin color.

Powerful phrase: Exercise as “metabolic shield” against cancer.

Another interesting study: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy lengthens telomeres.

Amazing: Diagnosis made (correctly) by hallucination (or was it?).

Question I’m Asking

Will you install Neuralink?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 12 – Nov 18)

Comment of the Week

“You really should open a Mayo-clinic.

I agree.

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11 Ways to Heal a Wound Fast https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-heal-wounds-fast/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-heal-wounds-fast/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2022 16:12:28 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131133 Wound healing is an impressive process when you stop to think about it. You're creating new tissue from scratch. You're laying down skin, repairing damaged blood vessels, recruiting dozens of immune system mediators to show up to the job site and remake the wounded area. And in most instances, you do a great job of it. The bleeding stops, the wound heals, no scar forms, and the damaged tissue looks and performs as good as new. Remarkable. But you don't have to leave it to chance. It turns out that there are many natural ways to heal a wound fast. Note: these are recommendations for minor wounds you can treat at home. If your wound exhibits any of the following characteristics, consider medical attention: Jagged or irregular cuts that may not heal without stitches Gaping openings that won't stop bleeding Extreme pain Foreign objects Signs of infection (foul odor, pain that doesn't let up, wounds that don't seem to be healing) Animal bites The good news is that most wounds aren't that serious and can be treated well at home. Here's what to do: 1. Do the basics The basics are basics for a reason: they work. Clean the wound, using irrigation (spraying it with water) and an antiseptic solution like iodine. Cover the wound with a clean bandage. Contrary to what many people believe, a wound shouldn't "dry out." That just makes it more painful and slows the healing process. A wound should be covered and kept moist. Change the bandage when you need to. Wait for it to heal. Those are the basics, but there's a lot more you can do to speed up the process. 2. Eat more protein How the body responds to a severe burn is an extreme display of how the body responds to wounds in general. It goes into metabolic overdrive, and one of the most important nutrients supporting the metabolic rate during wound or burn healing is protein. You can make or purchase magnesium chloride oil. To make it, buy magnesium chloride flakes, fill a spray bottle about 3/4 of the way with the flakes, and cover with warm distilled, spring, or reverse osmosis water. Shake to dissolve, then apply it to your skin. It may sting a bit, especially on the wound, but it should assist in healing. 5. Swim in the cold ocean Now, the warmer and more brackish the water, the more likely it is that flesh-degrading bacteria inhabit it. The bacteria in question, vibrio vulnificus, thrives in brackish (1-2% salinity) water warmer than 64°F. So use caution. Anything above 70 degree water I'd avoid with open wounds. But if your ocean is actually cold, like the Pacific on the California coast, and you're actually in sea water (3-5% salinity) rather than brackish (1-2%) water, you're probably safe and in my experience you'll speed up wound healing. I remember doing this as a kid in Maine—just washing my scrapes with cold ocean water. Some of it is probably the … Continue reading "11 Ways to Heal a Wound Fast"

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Wound healing is an impressive process when you stop to think about it. You’re creating new tissue from scratch. You’re laying down skin, repairing damaged blood vessels, recruiting dozens of immune system mediators to show up to the job site and remake the wounded area. And in most instances, you do a great job of it. The bleeding stops, the wound heals, no scar forms, and the damaged tissue looks and performs as good as new. Remarkable.

But you don’t have to leave it to chance. It turns out that there are many natural ways to heal a wound fast.

Note: these are recommendations for minor wounds you can treat at home. If your wound exhibits any of the following characteristics, consider medical attention:

  • Jagged or irregular cuts that may not heal without stitches
  • Gaping openings that won’t stop bleeding
  • Extreme pain
  • Foreign objects
  • Signs of infection (foul odor, pain that doesn’t let up, wounds that don’t seem to be healing)
  • Animal bites

The good news is that most wounds aren’t that serious and can be treated well at home. Here’s what to do:

1. Do the basics

The basics are basics for a reason: they work.

  1. Clean the wound, using irrigation (spraying it with water) and an antiseptic solution like iodine.
  2. Cover the wound with a clean bandage. Contrary to what many people believe, a wound shouldn’t “dry out.” That just makes it more painful and slows the healing process. A wound should be covered and kept moist.
  3. Change the bandage when you need to.
  4. Wait for it to heal.

Those are the basics, but there’s a lot more you can do to speed up the process.

2. Eat more protein

How the body responds to a severe burn is an extreme display of how the body responds to wounds in general. It goes into metabolic overdrive, and one of the most important nutrients supporting the metabolic rate during wound or burn healing is protein.1

You can make or purchase magnesium chloride oil. To make it, buy magnesium chloride flakes, fill a spray bottle about 3/4 of the way with the flakes, and cover with warm distilled, spring, or reverse osmosis water. Shake to dissolve, then apply it to your skin. It may sting a bit, especially on the wound, but it should assist in healing.

5. Swim in the cold ocean

Now, the warmer and more brackish the water, the more likely it is that flesh-degrading bacteria inhabit it. The bacteria in question, vibrio vulnificus, thrives in brackish (1-2% salinity) water warmer than 64°F. So use caution. Anything above 70 degree water I’d avoid with open wounds. But if your ocean is actually cold, like the Pacific on the California coast, and you’re actually in sea water (3-5% salinity) rather than brackish (1-2%) water, you’re probably safe and in my experience you’ll speed up wound healing. I remember doing this as a kid in Maine—just washing my scrapes with cold ocean water. Some of it is probably the magnesium content, as I described in the previous section. But a lot of it can’t be explained by magnesium. There’s something “else” about going into the ocean with scrapes.

As for the “sharks can smell blood from miles away” thing, that’s nothing to worry about. Sharks do have sensitive olfactory bulbs that can detect small concentrations of substances in the water, like blood. But they still obey the laws of physics. The diluted blood still needs to physically reach them, and they have to determine where it’s coming from and whether it’s worth the trouble.

6. Apply red and infrared light

Both infrared and red light (aka “low level laser therapy” or “phototherapy”) show promise in treating and accelerating the healing process for wounds by increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation, and improving collagen metabolism, but there isn’t any established clinical methodology for treating actual wounds with light devices.2 One thing you could try is getting both sunrise and sunset exposure because those are the times of the day most enriched with infrared and red light.

What I’ve done in the past with other types of injuries and general joint pain is use infrared saunas. I like this method a little better because rather than holding a concentrated infrared or red light device directly over the wound and trying to guess how long to apply it, you enjoy the sauna and let indirect rays do the work.

Red light/IR light devices are fairly safe things to try, but I don’t have any specific recommendations for their use for wounds. I am confident, however, that they will probably help. I have and like the Joovv.

7. Apply honey

Honey works well on wounds, acting as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent and as a general promoter of tissue healing thanks to its antioxidant compounds, acidity, natural hydrogen peroxide production, and osmotic effect. They haven’t figured out all the reasons why it works, but honey just seems to accelerate wound healing.

Manuka honey gets the lion’s share of the accolades for ist wound healing properties, but there’s pretty good evidence that there are even better honeys. Buckwheat honey, for example, was just identified in a recent study for having the highest levels of compounds with the most wound-healing potential.3

If you’re not sure whether your honey will help you heal, one thing I’ve noticed about honey is that the darker the honey, the better. The darker, the more active, and potentially the more effective at healing wounds. So whether it’s Manuka honey, buckwheat honey, or the dark wildflower honey from your local farmer, pretty much any honey will assist in wound healing. Heck, there’s even evidence that basic sugar, white table sugar can increase wound healing when applied topically. After irrigating and cleaning the wound, apply honey.

8. Apply black seed oil

I wrote about black seed oil awhile back for oral use as a supplementary food, but it turns out that topical black seed oil is also an effective wound healing accelerator—especially combined with honey.4

Apply a few drops to the wound or scrape. To blend with honey, mix the two together and then apply.

9. Try fasting (for chronic wounds)

To my knowledge, this specific intervention—fasting for chronic wound healing—hasn’t been tested. But Nrf2 is a pathway activated by fasting that has been shown to improve wound healing in diabetics suffering from long term chronic “slow to heal” wounds and ulcers.5 Start with a 24 hour fast and go from there.

10. Take vitamin C

As you may know, most mammals produce their own vitamin C. Humans are one of the few mammals who don’t and have to get it from the diet or via supplementation.

To look at the effect of removing vitamin C from the wound-healing process, scientists genetically altered a group of lab mice so that they no longer produced vitamin C. Whereas a normal mouse produces all the vitamin C it needs, these genetically altered mice did not. So they took the vitamin C-null mice and wounded them. One group of wounded mice got vitamin C in their diets. One group did not. The vitamin C-null mice who got vitamin C in their water healed just as well as the normal mice with vitamin C production intact. The vitamin C-null mice who got no added vitamin C had poor healing.6

These weren’t humans, but humans are very similar to the vitamin C-null mice. Since most animals produce extra vitamin C after being wounded, humans should also eat a little extra vitamin C when they’re recovering from a wound.

11. Get enough zinc

Zinc is another necessary co-factor in the wound healing process. A study found that diabetics with ulcers had faster healing and smaller wounds after taking 50 mg of zinc sulfate versus a placebo for 12 weeks.7 Now, diabetics tend to be deficient in zinc, so this may not apply to everyone with a scratch or scrape. Most people following a Primal eating plan get plenty of zinc through red meat and shellfish—but it’s a good idea to make sure you’re eating enough.

I wouldn’t bother with extra zinc if you just have a small scrape, but if it’s more serious, like a bad burn, then there’s no harm in taking some extra zinc.

You don’t have to try all of these together, but some of them work better in concert. I’d do magnesium oil right off the bat after cleaning and dressing it. Maybe rinse it off in the ocean if it was cold enough. I’d take vitamin C and zinc with meals. I’d take collagen before any red light/IR treatment. I’d add honey and black seed oil every time you change the dressing. If the wound was an old one, I’d fast for a day.

How do you heal a wound? What works for you?

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What is Chrononutrition? https://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-chrononutrition/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-chrononutrition/#respond Tue, 29 Nov 2022 18:30:53 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131136 Chrononutrition is a relatively new specialty in the fields of nutrition and biology that tries to understand how the timing of food ingestion affects health. The central idea here is that metabolic health, cardiovascular health, and body composition come down not just to what and how much we eat but also when we eat.  You are, of course, aware that our bodies operate on a roughly 24-hour rhythm governed by circadian clocks. The sleep-wake cycle is the most obvious example. Many other aspects of human biology are also governed by 24-hour clocks operating both in the central nervous system and the peripheral organs and tissues. Chrononutrition seeks to answer two broad and related questions: How do the body’s natural clocks affect food choices and metabolism? How does food timing affect circadian rhythmicity and, consequently, various health markers? The latter is particularly relevant to people who, probably like you, strive to make food, movement, and lifestyle decisions to maximize their health and longevity. Although the topic of chrononutrition has only gained traction within the past decade, evidence increasingly suggests that we may be able to manipulate food timing to improve well-being. Today, I’ll briefly review the underlying premise of chrononutrition and return to a question that has come up many times in our community: Should I be eating or skipping breakfast if my goal is optimal health now and for decades to come? Chrononutrition 101 Here’s what you need to know to understand chrononutrition: First, many biological functions are guided by central and peripheral clocks. I already mentioned sleep-wake. Body temperature is another example. Body temperature peaks in the afternoon and decreases overnight, hitting its nadir in the early morning hours. More to the point of this post, many aspects of metabolism also operate on a circadian rhythm. These include Saliva production Gastric emptying and gut motility (the movement of food through the digestive tract) The release of digestive enzymes  Nutrient absorption Beta cell function (insulin release from the pancreas) Glucose tolerance Hunger Second, that elusive and enigmatic target we call “health” depends on proper circadian rhythm alignment—everything happening when it should. Research shows, for example, that circadian misalignment, as happens with shift work and eating at the wrong times, leads to impaired immune function. Third, we stay “on time” thanks in part to behaviors that tell the body’s clocks what time it is. These behaviors, like sleeping at night and getting early morning sun exposure, are called zeitgebers. Eating at the proper times is another zeitgeber that keeps our circadian rhythms aligned, contributing to physiologic homeostasis. Conversely, eating (or sleeping or getting light exposure) at the wrong times causes misalignment and dysfunction.  The implication, then, is that we can use what we know about the body’s natural rhythms to figure out the best and worst times to eat, and the consequences of getting it wrong. That’s chrononutrition. So What ARE the Right and Wrong Times to Eat? There are few things that scientists agree on, but I bet you’d be … Continue reading "What is Chrononutrition?"

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Hands holding alarm clock with fork and knife.Chrononutrition is a relatively new specialty in the fields of nutrition and biology that tries to understand how the timing of food ingestion affects health. The central idea here is that metabolic health, cardiovascular health, and body composition come down not just to what and how much we eat but also when we eat. 

You are, of course, aware that our bodies operate on a roughly 24-hour rhythm governed by circadian clocks. The sleep-wake cycle is the most obvious example. Many other aspects of human biology are also governed by 24-hour clocks operating both in the central nervous system and the peripheral organs and tissues. Chrononutrition seeks to answer two broad and related questions:

  • How do the body’s natural clocks affect food choices and metabolism?
  • How does food timing affect circadian rhythmicity and, consequently, various health markers?

The latter is particularly relevant to people who, probably like you, strive to make food, movement, and lifestyle decisions to maximize their health and longevity. Although the topic of chrononutrition has only gained traction within the past decade, evidence increasingly suggests that we may be able to manipulate food timing to improve well-being.

Today, I’ll briefly review the underlying premise of chrononutrition and return to a question that has come up many times in our community: Should I be eating or skipping breakfast if my goal is optimal health now and for decades to come?

Chrononutrition 101

Here’s what you need to know to understand chrononutrition:

First, many biological functions are guided by central and peripheral clocks. I already mentioned sleep-wake. Body temperature is another example. Body temperature peaks in the afternoon and decreases overnight, hitting its nadir in the early morning hours. More to the point of this post, many aspects of metabolism also operate on a circadian rhythm. These include8

  • Saliva production
  • Gastric emptying and gut motility (the movement of food through the digestive tract)
  • The release of digestive enzymes 
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Beta cell function (insulin release from the pancreas)
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Hunger

Second, that elusive and enigmatic target we call “health” depends on proper circadian rhythm alignment—everything happening when it should. Research shows, for example, that circadian misalignment, as happens with shift work and eating at the wrong times, leads to impaired immune function.9

Third, we stay “on time” thanks in part to behaviors that tell the body’s clocks what time it is. These behaviors, like sleeping at night and getting early morning sun exposure, are called zeitgebers. Eating at the proper times is another zeitgeber that keeps our circadian rhythms aligned, contributing to physiologic homeostasis. Conversely, eating (or sleeping or getting light exposure) at the wrong times causes misalignment and dysfunction. 

The implication, then, is that we can use what we know about the body’s natural rhythms to figure out the best and worst times to eat, and the consequences of getting it wrong. That’s chrononutrition.

So What ARE the Right and Wrong Times to Eat?

There are few things that scientists agree on, but I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find a scientist who thinks that eating at night is healthy, or even health-neutral. All the evidence from shift workers, mice, and human research subjects says eat during the day, don’t eat at night (actually, the reverse for mice since they’re nocturnal, but the point still stands). 

That’s a pretty broad statement, though. We’d like to know more specifically, is it better to eat more of our calories in the morning, mid-day, or evening? Should we be loading carbs (or protein or fat) into our first meal of the day or closer to bedtime? These are exactly the types of questions chrononutrition researchers are investigating. 

Observational data from epidemiological and prospective studies suggest that eating earlier in the day (i.e., eating breakfast) is associated with better glycemic control and less type 2 diabetes,10 better cardiovascular health,11 and less adiposity (lower body fat).12 Now, I know a lot of you practice time-restricted eating and frequently skip breakfast. Before you get too concerned, let me qualify this statement with some big caveats. 

First, let’s remember that observational studies can’t establish causality. These findings tell us nothing about whether eating or skipping breakfast leads to better or worse health outcomes, just that they may be correlated. Only randomized controlled trials can point to causation, and that’s where these observations start to break down. RCTs looking at weight loss and cardiometabolic risk, for example, have yielded conflicting results. And two recent meta-analyses of RCTs found no consistent relationship between eating versus skipping breakfast and body composition.13 14

Also, the participants in these observational studies represent cross-sections of the population. By and large, they do not reflect the average health-conscious Primal individual who is fat-adapted and practicing intermittent fasting for the benefits. Quite the opposite. Take a new analysis of the large NHANES database that linked skipping breakfast with greater risk for cardiovascular disease-related mortality.15 In this sample, people who skipped meals were also more likely to smoke, drink excessively, have poorer diet quality overall, and face food insecurity—all of which are independently associated with cardiovascular disease. The authors even state that “skipping meals, in particular skipping breakfast, might also be a behavioral marker for unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits.” 

In other words, breakfast skippers—meaning people who simply don’t eat breakfast, not people who intentionally practice time-restricted eating—have more risk factors overall compared to their breakfast-eating counterparts. How much, then, can we say that skipping breakfast is to blame for their poor health outcomes? 

What Does This Mean for Skipping Breakfast?

Should you or shouldn’t you skip breakfast? At this point, it’s hard to say for sure. It’s still the early days of chrononutrition, much too soon to crown breakfast the most important meal of the day

That said, the evidence is already pretty solid that humans are more insulin sensitive in the morning. Folks with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes might therefore have an easier time controlling blood sugar if they load more of their carbs, and perhaps more of their total calories, earlier in the day. Alternatively, if you’re going to ingest more carbs in the afternoon, try to time them around exercise to take advantage of insulin-independent glucose uptake.  

For everyone else, I’d say continue to do what feels right to you, but be open to experimenting. It doesn’t hurt to try switching up your eating window if you’re currently skipping breakfast and still dealing with high fasting blood sugar, poor energy during the day, or other stubborn health issues. 

I’m open to the possibility that as more human studies roll in, we may find that there are some advantages to an earlier eating window for just about everyone. Or we may find that it doesn’t really matter whether you eat breakfast as long as you aren’t eating too late. If skipping breakfast means your eating window gets pushed back, so you’re eating large meals close to bedtime, that may be the bigger problem. 

Ultimately, the answer probably won’t be simple. The best and worst times for any given individual to eat are almost certainly a function of genetic predisposition, lifestyle factors (what is most feasible and least stressful), personal preference, and extant health. And, I expect, meal and macronutrient timing will always be farther down the list of things to worry about than what we eat and how much. 

Self-experimentation is Still the Best Answer

If the epidemiological data have you feeling a little unsure about your breakfast skipping ways, by all means, go ahead and see what happens if you start eating breakfast. Maybe you’ll notice a big difference. Or you won’t, and you can go back to skipping breakfast if you so desire. 

The one caveat here is that research also suggests that consistent meal times are important for circadian rhythm health. I wouldn’t recommend skipping breakfast one day, skipping dinner the next day, and then eating from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on day three. Pick a schedule and stick with it for, say, a month (a length of time I picked somewhat arbitrarily). Then try the other eating window for the same amount of time, and compare.

See if you notice any differences and how you feel, look, or perform in your workouts. Which one is easier for you given your work and family obligations? Importantly, is your sleep quality improved on one versus the other? Maybe you’ll even want to check blood markers and see how lipids or insulin (HbA1c) are affected. 

If you feel and perform best skipping or eat breakfast, that’s your answer.

What’s your n=1 data? Have any readers had good results from going back to eating breakfast after a period of skipping? How about the opposite? 

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What to Eat Before a Workout https://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-to-eat-before-a-workout/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-to-eat-before-a-workout/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2022 19:16:19 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131112 Pre-workout nutrition is one of those areas where people love to lose themselves in the minutiae. They obsess over what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat. Instead of just getting into the gym or out into the world and getting active and lifting something heavy, they read blogs and watch videos for weeks, searching for the one pre-workout meal to rule them all. They end up avoiding the gym altogether because they can't figure out the "perfect" pre-workout meal, or whether they should eat something at all. Even when you figure out what to eat before a workout, you can go too far. You know the type of guy. This is the guy who travels with a suitcase full of powders, pills, and packaged foods. He’s so wedded to the pre-workout ritual that he can’t skip a day—even on vacation. If he doesn’t get his 40.5 grams of waxy maize, 30.2 grams of whey isolate, and preworkout blend of superfoods he can’t operate in the gym. He crumbles without the perfect, most optimal pre-workout nutrition. Don't be like this. Let me tell you what to do so you can stop stressing about what to eat before a workout. Let's simplify things. General Rules for Pre Workout Meals What you eat will depend on what kind of workout you're doing, what your goals are, and what kind of diet you're already following, but there are general rules that apply to everyone. Keep things light. No heavy meals. If you eat too large a meal, you may have trouble digesting it, or some of the energy that'd otherwise go to your muscles will be diverted to your gut. Eat foods you know you can easily digest. No surprises. Salt your meals. Sodium is an enormous boon to exercise performance, particularly if you'r on the lower-carb side of things. Powders are fine. While whole foods are usually ideal, for quick pre-workout nutrition, protein and carbohydrate powders can be very helpful and beneficial. Include 15-20 g collagen and 50-100 mg vitamin C. This a great way to improve connective tissue health when taken pre-workout. Protein and carbs are more important, dietary fat less important pre-workout. If all goes well you'll be eating the fat on your body. Oh, and you don't have to eat anything. You can fast (it's what I typically do). It's just that this article is intended to help people who are interested in pre workout nutrition.. What to Eat Before High Intensity Interval Workouts Since running, cycling, and rowing sprints and intervals burn through a ton of glycogen, most conventional sources recommend ample carbohydrates before the workout—around 4 grams per kilo of bodyweight in the hours leading up to the session. These aren't "wrong." If you're a serious high intensity athlete training to compete or perform at very high levels, you should eat a good amount of carbs before your training sessions. That will maximize force output and optimize subsequent training adaptations. And besides, you're burning through your … Continue reading "What to Eat Before a Workout"

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Man and woman eating outside before working outPre-workout nutrition is one of those areas where people love to lose themselves in the minutiae. They obsess over what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat. Instead of just getting into the gym or out into the world and getting active and lifting something heavy, they read blogs and watch videos for weeks, searching for the one pre-workout meal to rule them all. They end up avoiding the gym altogether because they can’t figure out the “perfect” pre-workout meal, or whether they should eat something at all.

Even when you figure out what to eat before a workout, you can go too far. You know the type of guy. This is the guy who travels with a suitcase full of powders, pills, and packaged foods. He’s so wedded to the pre-workout ritual that he can’t skip a day—even on vacation. If he doesn’t get his 40.5 grams of waxy maize, 30.2 grams of whey isolate, and preworkout blend of superfoods he can’t operate in the gym. He crumbles without the perfect, most optimal pre-workout nutrition.

Don’t be like this. Let me tell you what to do so you can stop stressing about what to eat before a workout. Let’s simplify things.

General Rules for Pre Workout Meals

What you eat will depend on what kind of workout you’re doing, what your goals are, and what kind of diet you’re already following, but there are general rules that apply to everyone.

  • Keep things light. No heavy meals. If you eat too large a meal, you may have trouble digesting it, or some of the energy that’d otherwise go to your muscles will be diverted to your gut.
  • Eat foods you know you can easily digest. No surprises.
  • Salt your meals. Sodium is an enormous boon to exercise performance, particularly if you’r on the lower-carb side of things.
  • Powders are fine. While whole foods are usually ideal, for quick pre-workout nutrition, protein and carbohydrate powders can be very helpful and beneficial.
  • Include 15-20 g collagen and 50-100 mg vitamin C. This a great way to improve connective tissue health when taken pre-workout.
  • Protein and carbs are more important, dietary fat less important pre-workout. If all goes well you’ll be eating the fat on your body.
  • Oh, and you don’t have to eat anything. You can fast (it’s what I typically do). It’s just that this article is intended to help people who are interested in pre workout nutrition..

What to Eat Before High Intensity Interval Workouts

Since running, cycling, and rowing sprints and intervals burn through a ton of glycogen, most conventional sources recommend ample carbohydrates before the workout—around 4 grams per kilo of bodyweight in the hours leading up to the session. These aren’t “wrong.” If you’re a serious high intensity athlete training to compete or perform at very high levels, you should eat a good amount of carbs before your training sessions. That will maximize force output and optimize subsequent training adaptations. And besides, you’re burning through your muscle glycogen, boosting insulin sensitivity and opening up a ton of space for dietary carbohydrate to be partitioned.

If you train hard and intensely enough, you can even eat a big carb-rich pre workout meal and still reach ketosis after a session.

Unless you’re going for a specific goal and absolutely must avoid all carbohydrates, I’d recommend that everyone who wants to eat a meal before a HIIT session have 15-30 grams of fast-digesting carbs along with 30 grams of protein, half of which is collagen, 45 minutes before a workout. If you want to go a bit higher carb, get 40-60 grams two hours before in addition to the 15-30 45 minutes before.

Again: you don’t have to eat before sprints or HIIT. But if you do eat, this is what I recommend.

What to Eat Before Low Level Aerobic Workouts

The kind of low level aerobic training I recommend in Primal Endurance—where your heart rate never exceeds 180 minus your age, where you can breathe through your nose and hold an easy conversation, where it feels easy enough to maintain for well over an hour if you had to—doesn’t require much pre-workout nutrition.

If you’re metabolically-flexible or fat-adapted, I recommend fasting before these workouts to really boost fat burning and mitochondrial biogenesis. No need for food at all.

If you’re more carbohydrate-dependent, you can still probably get away with fasting, but you can also eat 15-20 grams of easily digested carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein. That could be a scoop of whey isolate protein powder, some collagen peptides, and a small potato or an apple. It could be a few eggs with a banana.

What to Eat Before Strength Training Workouts

As lifting can be a very glycogen-intensive activity, you can treat this similarly to HIIT or sprints only with a stronger focus on protein. If you’re going to eat before a lifting session, aim for 30-40 grams of protein (half from collagen), either from whey isolate or actual food plus collagen. Eat 15-30 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates, like bananas, rice, potatoes, dates, or other fruits. You could even sip on some coconut water.

Specific Foods That May Be Helpful Before a Workout

There are specific foods with uniquely ergogenic effects. that you should consider including in your pre-workout meals.

  • Beetroot: Improves endothelial function, increases the “pump,” boosts blood flow. Higher carb.
  • Pomegranates: A pomegranate extract has been shown to improve blood flow and increase blood vessel diameter when taken 30 minutes prior to a workout.16 Higher carb, particularly if you eat the seeds or sip on the juice.
  • Coffee: Provides caffeine, which has been shown to improve exercise performance. Zero calorie (unless you add milk and sugar).
  • Coconut water with extra salt and blackstrap molasses: This is my go-to “electrolyte energy drink,” providing potassium, carbohydrates, sodium, and magnesium. It’s a good way to add some digestible carbs to your pre workout meal along with excellent hydration.

What I Eat Before Workouts

I usually fast before workouts. It just works for me.

In fact, except for very rare occasions, either I go into the workout fasted or take 20 grams of collagen beforehand. Since collagen doesn’t directly contribute to muscle protein synthesis or affect mTOR or autophagy or fat-burning, I consider these to be fairly equivalent. The only thing that changes between fasted training and pre-training collagen is the collagen plus 50-100 mg vitamin C helps me fortify my connective tissue.

Anything resembling lower level “cardio,” like walking, hiking, standup paddling, and bike rides are all done totally fasted.

Before heavy lifting or sprints sessions, I’ll drink 20 grams of collagen peptides with some vitamin C. This isn’t to “fuel” me. The collagen provides the raw material my connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage) needs to adapt to the training stress and the vitamin C helps that collagen go where it’s supposed to—the connective tissue. This drink doesn’t contain many calories, nor does it provoke a huge insulin response that derails the fasting benefits. I’m technically breaking the fast because I’m consuming calories, but I’m retaining most of the benefits.

I favor collagen on heavier or more intense days because at my age, I’m most interested in maintaining the integrity of my joints. Having intact and durable ligaments, tendons, and cartilage is what allows me to play and stay active as I age. It’s not the big muscles, which are easy to maintain once you’ve got them. It’s the connective tissue.

If you’re trying to decide whether you should eat or not before a workout, I’ve explained the potential benefits of fasted workouts before. To summarize, fasted workouts can:

  • Enhance insulin sensitivity
  • Increase a biomarker known to correlate with muscle hypertrophy
  • Improve lean mass retention in endurance athletes
  • Improve capacity to perform without calories
  • Help you burn more fat and potentially lose more inches off your waist17

Keep in mind that fasted training isn’t optimal if your primary concern is gaining mass. It’s great for lean mass maintenance, fat burning, and even gaining strength and muscle provided you eat enough calories when you do eat, but for pure muscle hypertrophy and weight gain and absolute performance you’re better off eating.

It’s probably smart to try both pre-workout meals and pre-workout fasting to see what works best for you.

However there’s nothing wrong with eating actual meals or taking in protein/carb supplements before a workout, nor is there anything wrong with fasting. All that matters is what works for you—what helps you stay consistent with training, what gets you the best results, what makes training the most enjoyable.

Use this article as a guide, but don’t let it decide for you. What do you eat before your workouts?

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 201 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-201/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-201/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2022 18:13:34 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131052 Research of the Week

Time-restricted eating combined with low-carb dieting is more potent than either alone for reducing visceral fat and metabolic syndrome.

Creatine monohydrate is still the best form of creatine.

Worse air pollution, worse COVID.

How stress increases junk food consumption in the brain.

Athletes may sleep (and perform) better with nighttime protein and carbs.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: The Ever Evolving Coach with Bryce Henson
Media, Schmedia
30-year waitlist for Japanese Kobe beef croquettes.

Octopuses grow their brains in much the same way as vertebrates do.
Interesting Blog Posts
There is growing commercial demand for unvaccinated blood banks.
Social Notes
On protein poisoning.

Does this break my fast?
Everything Else
The link between murder rate and state history.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
Interesting concept: The "anti-Promethean backlash."

Interesting study: Muscle endurance training combined with walking appears to be the best training for older people looking to improve their sleep.

Important nuance: You can gain strength while dieting, but probably not lean mass.

Another interesting study: Listening speaks to our intuition while reading promotes analysis.

Relevant for trained lifters: To make more progress, you might want to lift to failure.
Question I'm Asking
How do you exert mastery over the physical world?
Recipe Corner

Roundup of paleo Thanksgiving recipes.
Gelatinous pumpkin pudding.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Nov 12 – Nov 18)

How to Tell Friends About the Primal Lifestyle—How to do it.
Maintaining Bone Density as You Age—It's not just about the muscles.

Comment of the Week
"The best training regimen is the one you will actually follow consistently.

A single, weekly game of beer-league hockey or ultimate frisbee or golf is nowhere near as effective as a Starting Strength NLP (or any other scientifically-grounded program) combined with a weekly game … but the perfect truly is the enemy of the good.

'Fun' is a great motivator, but it’s just a subset of 'passion.' Passions vary, but every successful exerciser has the passion to do whatever disparate training they choose with adequate depth and consistency."

-Absolutely.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 201 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Research of the Week

Time-restricted eating combined with low-carb dieting is more potent than either alone for reducing visceral fat and metabolic syndrome.

Creatine monohydrate is still the best form of creatine.

Worse air pollution, worse COVID.

How stress increases junk food consumption in the brain.

Athletes may sleep (and perform) better with nighttime protein and carbs.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: The Ever Evolving Coach with Bryce Henson

Media, Schmedia

30-year waitlist for Japanese Kobe beef croquettes.

Octopuses grow their brains in much the same way as vertebrates do.

Interesting Blog Posts

There is growing commercial demand for unvaccinated blood banks.

Social Notes

On protein poisoning.

Does this break my fast?

Everything Else

The link between murder rate and state history.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Interesting concept: The “anti-Promethean backlash.”

Interesting study: Muscle endurance training combined with walking appears to be the best training for older people looking to improve their sleep.

Important nuance: You can gain strength while dieting, but probably not lean mass.

Another interesting study: Listening speaks to our intuition while reading promotes analysis.

Relevant for trained lifters: To make more progress, you might want to lift to failure.

Question I’m Asking

How do you exert mastery over the physical world?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 12 – Nov 18)

Comment of the Week

“The best training regimen is the one you will actually follow consistently.

A single, weekly game of beer-league hockey or ultimate frisbee or golf is nowhere near as effective as a Starting Strength NLP (or any other scientifically-grounded program) combined with a weekly game … but the perfect truly is the enemy of the good.

‘Fun’ is a great motivator, but it’s just a subset of ‘passion.’ Passions vary, but every successful exerciser has the passion to do whatever disparate training they choose with adequate depth and consistency.”

Absolutely.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 201 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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My Early Morning Routine https://www.marksdailyapple.com/early-morning-routine/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/early-morning-routine/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=131022 Morning is a sacred time for me. When our kids were still living with us, morning was the only time I had totally to myself. It allowed me to get the day started on my terms, set the tempo for the rest of the day. The kids are out on their own now, it's just me and my wife, but the morning remains crucial to the rest of the day. Every morning is a blank slate. Every morning you get to start over, the promise and potential of the near future filled to bursting. And so my early morning routine is the foundation of my day. Without it, the day just doesn't "take." If you want to be "agile" and "intuitive" in your life, a morning routine helps. You need the foundation from which to leverage your talents and express your intuition and dynamic capacity. If your mornings are slapdash and all over the place, you'll have trouble venturing out into the world and conquering your goals. A child needs security to grow. You need a morning routine to excel. Here's my early morning routine. Go to bed between 10 and 11. A morning routine starts with your nighttime routine. As I've said many times before, getting to bed at a good time—around 10, but no later than 11—while maintaining proper sleep hygiene practices so that you get enough sleep and wake up with energy and vitality is essential for a good morning. So your morning routine begins the night before. You have to get a good night's sleep if your early morning routine is going to help you. Wake up at around 7. I wake up around the same time every day—mostly because I'm so religious about getting to bed at a good time. Seven o'clock is my typical wake up time. This allows me to get to bed between 10 and 11 and still get all the sleep I need. I'm in bed by 10, and usually earlier, but I'll read in bed. Sometimes I go out fast, other times I stay up and keep reading. A 7 AM wakeup gives me breathing room at night. Waking up at the same time every day is essential. For one, you don't need an alarm. You just wake up because your body knows, and it's much easier this way. Two, waking up is the start of your routine. Everything hinges on wakeup occurring at the same time. If you wake up at 5 one day and 8:30 another, it's difficult to plan any kind of consistent morning routine. Get sun in my eyes. Sun exposure early in the morning—sunrise, ideally—helps your circadian rhythm hew to the rhythm of the day. It "tells" your internal clocks that it's morning, that it's time to get moving, that it's time to build and go. I've always made it a point in my adult life to live in places that get ample sunlight year round. Earlier in my health journey, this wasn't a conscious decision. I … Continue reading "My Early Morning Routine"

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mug of coffee on table against the sunrise

Morning is a sacred time for me. When our kids were still living with us, morning was the only time I had totally to myself. It allowed me to get the day started on my terms, set the tempo for the rest of the day. The kids are out on their own now, it’s just me and my wife, but the morning remains crucial to the rest of the day. Every morning is a blank slate. Every morning you get to start over, the promise and potential of the near future filled to bursting.

And so my early morning routine is the foundation of my day. Without it, the day just doesn’t “take.”

If you want to be “agile” and “intuitive” in your life, a morning routine helps. You need the foundation from which to leverage your talents and express your intuition and dynamic capacity. If your mornings are slapdash and all over the place, you’ll have trouble venturing out into the world and conquering your goals. A child needs security to grow. You need a morning routine to excel.

Here’s my early morning routine.

Go to bed between 10 and 11.

A morning routine starts with your nighttime routine. As I’ve said many times before, getting to bed at a good time—around 10, but no later than 11—while maintaining proper sleep hygiene practices so that you get enough sleep and wake up with energy and vitality is essential for a good morning. So your morning routine begins the night before. You have to get a good night’s sleep if your early morning routine is going to help you.

Wake up at around 7.

I wake up around the same time every day—mostly because I’m so religious about getting to bed at a good time. Seven o’clock is my typical wake up time. This allows me to get to bed between 10 and 11 and still get all the sleep I need. I’m in bed by 10, and usually earlier, but I’ll read in bed. Sometimes I go out fast, other times I stay up and keep reading. A 7 AM wakeup gives me breathing room at night.

Waking up at the same time every day is essential. For one, you don’t need an alarm. You just wake up because your body knows, and it’s much easier this way. Two, waking up is the start of your routine. Everything hinges on wakeup occurring at the same time. If you wake up at 5 one day and 8:30 another, it’s difficult to plan any kind of consistent morning routine.

Get sun in my eyes.

Sun exposure early in the morning—sunrise, ideally—helps your circadian rhythm hew to the rhythm of the day. It “tells” your internal clocks that it’s morning, that it’s time to get moving, that it’s time to build and go.

I’ve always made it a point in my adult life to live in places that get ample sunlight year round. Earlier in my health journey, this wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t know about the intricacies of circadian rhythm and natural light exposure, but I knew I liked sunlight, liked being warm, and liked spending time outside. So before I even knew what it was doing for my health, I was getting sunlight every single morning.

This doesn’t mean stare into the sun. Don’t do that. It means be outside with your face directed toward the sun, indirect light piercing your eyes and acting as a circadian zeitgeber that sets your clock. Also, you don’t have to have visible sunlight. The clouds can be out. It can be raining or even snowing, and the sunlight will still get through to your circadian clock. The point is getting outside to get full natural light.

Have coffee, heavy cream, and a spoonful of sugar.

Then I brew my coffee. Always in a stainless steel French press using fresh ground beans, always with heavy cream and a spoonful of sugar. Yes, plain white sugar, to cut the bitterness. Often I’ll take my coffee outside in the sunlight.

Do Sudoku, the NY Times crossword, and read the paper.

Although the science on “training the brain” with crossword puzzles and math games like sudoku is inconclusive, I don’t care. I notice a big difference when I do the games and when I don’t. There’s something missing when I don’t do it. A fluidity, a sharpness of thought. My writing and creativity are all worse on days I don’t get to the puzzles.

I also read the paper. Yes, the physical newspaper made of paper. Everything about the newspaper experience—the crinkle, the way you have to *pop* it to straighten it out—is soothing and it’s still my favorite medium to read the news. “Don’t believe everything you read” goes without saying, of course. I consider this an essential part of my morning routine.

Engage in a little friendly competition.

The latest addition to my morning routine is a friend and I started a competition about six months ago. We do it every day. Every morning, we play the word games World, Quordle, and Sedecordle.

We do all three each day and score them to see who gets the lowest score. The base score is arrived at by adding up the numbers in Quordle. Then, you get to subtract or add points based on your scores in Sedecordle and Wordle. In Wordle, you subtract however many guesses you have left. So, one point for every guess remaining. With Sedecordle you get to subtract three points for every guess remaining, or you add one point back for every word left on the board. You have to understand the games, but it is pretty challenging.

At this point in my life, it is counterproductive to compete on a physical level with anything significant at stake. This is the new challenge. This is the new competition. It’s a great way to begin the day.

Eat breakfast, or not.

Most days, I fast til 1 PM (after my late morning workout). On days I don’t fast, I’ll have something light. Lately it’s been soft boiled eggs or scrambled eggs with kale in butter. I eat breakfast if I’m hungry and feel like eating, usually while doing the mental games. I fast if I’m going deep into work mode and really trying to hit flow state.

Get “easy” work wins.

I’ll do the nuts and bolts stuff for a half hour to an hour: answering emails, taking or making calls, checking social media to see if I need to respond to anything. These are things that don’t take much active brainpower. You simply have to “do them.”  I’ll often do a quick scan of Twitter or Instagram to get a “bird’s eye view” of what might be transpiring in the world, what people are worried about, what fitness or nutrition developments are coming to a head.

Getting these easy wins out of the way sets a good tone for the rest of the day.

Take a 15 minute movement break.

After emails and calls, I step outside for a quick movement break. This is to get the blood flowing to the brain, warm up my body, lubricate my joints, and prepare for the real work to come.

  • Sometimes it’s a quick jog down to the beach for a plunge and swim.
  • Sometimes it’s a quick jog down to the beach for a few short sprints.
  • Sometimes it’s 15 minutes on the slack line.
  • Sometimes it’s just a few sets of trap bar deadlifts, push-ups, and pull-ups.

The point is to get some light physical movement, preferably outside, before the real mental work commences.

Deep creative work.

When I write articles, I’ve already done the research the day before or days previous. I have a mental skeleton of the post erected in my mind, with tabs and links open to all the supporting evidence, so all I have to do is write. Flesh it out. Thus, it becomes an exercise in creativity that I can flow through, rather than having to stop every five minutes to check my work and read studies. Of course, if the situation calls for it I’ll stop and read research, but I do my best to avoid that so I can focus on the writing itself.

If I don’t have to write any finished pieces, I may go for a walk with my phone and bang out a rough draft using voice to text. Voice to text is invaluable for me—great way to jot down thoughts and ideas, which walking often stimulates. I’ve “written” entire posts and Sundays with Sisson newsletters on walks. I’ve come up with business ideas that turned into business realities. I keep working as long as it keeps flowing. It might be two hours. Might be one. Might be four. But it usually lasts at least two hours.

Movement, training, and play.

Usually I’ll go to the gym, both for training and socializing. Get a quick, hard, efficient 30-45 minute strength training session, hang out with the regulars, banter a bit, catch up. It’s a good atmosphere to push yourself while keeping things light and fun. I’m not doing any PRs (personal records) at this point. I’m just getting in to hit my muscles, strengthen my bones, and gird my connective tissue so I can keep playing and staying active doing the things I truly enjoy. Anti-aging.

The social aspect is just as important as the physical aspect. I spend so much time on devices that I need that face time (not FaceTime).

If I don’t go to the gym, I’ll go for a paddling session or hit the fat tire bike on the beach. I’ll often do this with my wife or a buddy, again getting that social time. Whatever I do, the block of time after my deep work time is for staying active—both physically and socially.

After that, I break the (usual) fast with lunch and get on with the rest of my day, which often looks very different day to day. But that AM morning routine leading up to lunch is non-negotiable and rarely changes.

What does your early morning routine look like?

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Peppermint Essential Oil: Uses and Benefits https://www.marksdailyapple.com/peppermint-essential-oil-uses-benefits/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/peppermint-essential-oil-uses-benefits/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2022 16:00:37 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=130998 Ah, peppermint. It’s a classic scent and flavor that just about everyone enjoys. What are your positive associations with peppermint? Candies snuck to you by your grandmother, minty fresh breath, peppermint hot chocolate or lattes on a cold winter morning? And it’s not just for culinary treats and oral care. Oil distilled from the peppermint plant—scientific name Mentha x piperita—is broadly useful for medicinal and aromatic purposes. Peppermint oil contains beneficial compounds, notably high levels of menthol, which give it antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. I’m not really an essential oils guy, but lavender oil and peppermint oil are two we usually have on hand because they are so multifunctional. Here are some research-backed benefits of peppermint.  6 Reasons to Use Peppermint Oil Peppermint Oil Helps with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) I know from personal experience how IBS symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and cramping affect day-to-day quality of life. For me, removing grains and adopting a Primal lifestyle have made all the difference, but if you’re still dealing with IBS symptoms, peppermint oil might help.  Two recent meta-analyses concluded that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are significantly better than placebo at relieving pain and global IBS symptoms. It’s also effective for kids. Possibly it works by decreasing muscle spasms, killing pathogens, relieving pain directly, and/or reducing inflammation. Peppermint Oil for Headaches This might be one of the oldest traditional uses for peppermint. Contemporary studies confirm that peppermint oil applied topically or intranasally can provide headache relief on par with traditional pain relievers or lidocaine.  Mix a drop or two of peppermint essential oil in a carrier oil like jojoba. Use your fingertips to massage the oil into your temples, being careful not to get too close to your eyes. (Trust me, peppermint plus eyeballs is not a good combo.) Or add 5 to 10 drops of peppermint oil to a diffuser and practice some resonance breathing. This is especially great if you have a tension headache.  Prevent Nausea and Vomiting A buddy of mine had surgery a while back. As part of the post-op care, the hospital offered him the option of aromatherapy—choosing between a few different scents, including peppermint, which he could sniff to control post-surgical nausea and vomiting. And it worked, which he thought was pretty cool. I've since heard of other hospitals starting to use this approach. In a couple studies I looked at, not only does peppermint oil mitigate nausea and vomiting, patients preferred it to antiemetic drugs. Peppermint oil aromatherapy has proven effective postoperatively, as my friend can attest, during pregnancy, and while undergoing chemotherapy. Products containing peppermint oil can also help with motion sickness. Possibly Relieve Itching Chronic itching, called pruritus, can drive you up a wall. Two small studies suggest peppermint oil might help. In one, participants applied either peppermint oil or petroleum jelly over areas of chronic itch twice daily for two weeks. In the other, pregnant women took either a placebo or peppermint oil diluted in sesame oil twice a day orally … Continue reading "Peppermint Essential Oil: Uses and Benefits"

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Small glass bottle on an old wooden background and fresh mint leaves. Ah, peppermint. It’s a classic scent and flavor that just about everyone enjoys. What are your positive associations with peppermint? Candies snuck to you by your grandmother, minty fresh breath, peppermint hot chocolate or lattes on a cold winter morning?

And it’s not just for culinary treats and oral care. Oil distilled from the peppermint plant—scientific name Mentha x piperita—is broadly useful for medicinal and aromatic purposes. Peppermint oil contains beneficial compounds, notably high levels of menthol, which give it antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

I’m not really an essential oils guy, but lavender oil and peppermint oil are two we usually have on hand because they are so multifunctional. Here are some research-backed benefits of peppermint. 

6 Reasons to Use Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil Helps with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

I know from personal experience how IBS symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and cramping affect day-to-day quality of life. For me, removing grains and adopting a Primal lifestyle have made all the difference, but if you’re still dealing with IBS symptoms, peppermint oil might help. 

Two recent meta-analyses concluded that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are significantly better than placebo at relieving pain and global IBS symptoms. 18 19 It’s also effective for kids.20 Possibly it works by decreasing muscle spasms, killing pathogens, relieving pain directly, and/or reducing inflammation.

Peppermint Oil for Headaches

This might be one of the oldest traditional uses for peppermint. Contemporary studies confirm that peppermint oil applied topically or intranasally can provide headache relief on par with traditional pain relievers21 or lidocaine.22 

Mix a drop or two of peppermint essential oil in a carrier oil like jojoba. Use your fingertips to massage the oil into your temples, being careful not to get too close to your eyes. (Trust me, peppermint plus eyeballs is not a good combo.) Or add 5 to 10 drops of peppermint oil to a diffuser and practice some resonance breathing. This is especially great if you have a tension headache. 

Prevent Nausea and Vomiting

A buddy of mine had surgery a while back. As part of the post-op care, the hospital offered him the option of aromatherapy—choosing between a few different scents, including peppermint, which he could sniff to control post-surgical nausea and vomiting. And it worked, which he thought was pretty cool. I’ve since heard of other hospitals starting to use this approach. In a couple studies I looked at, not only does peppermint oil mitigate nausea and vomiting, patients preferred it to antiemetic drugs.23

Peppermint oil aromatherapy has proven effective postoperatively,24 as my friend can attest, during pregnancy,25 and while undergoing chemotherapy.26 Products containing peppermint oil can also help with motion sickness.

Possibly Relieve Itching

Chronic itching, called pruritus, can drive you up a wall. Two small studies suggest peppermint oil might help. In one, participants applied either peppermint oil or petroleum jelly over areas of chronic itch twice daily for two weeks.27 In the other, pregnant women took either a placebo or peppermint oil diluted in sesame oil twice a day orally for two weeks.28 In both studies, peppermint oil provided better itch relief than the alternative. 

Some people also use peppermint oil topically to relieve symptoms of skin disorders like eczema. However, peppermint can be too harsh for some people’s sensitive skin, so approach with caution. Always mix it in a carrier oil, and before slathering it all over already inflamed skin, take the time to do a patch test. Apply a small amount of diluted peppermint oil on a patch of skin where you don’t have an eczema or psoriasis rash (the inside of your arm if possible). Dab on the oil mixture morning and night for a week. If everything seems good, apply a small amount to the affected area and see how it responds.

Peppermint Oil for Allergies?

I know a few people who swear by the “allergy trio” for seasonal allergies—peppermint, lavender, and lemon essential oils. I couldn’t find any actual research on its effectiveness, but it’s clear that many people believe it helps with their allergy symptoms. Placebo? Maybe, but if it works… Next time allergies strike, add a few drops of these oils to a diffuser and see if you notice any benefit.

Peppermint Oil for Bugs and Pests

Peppermint oil can be a safer alternative to chemical bug repellents in certain circumstances. It’s particularly effective for getting rid of aphids in your garden. Peppermint (and many other plants) produces a chemical called (E)-beta-Farnesene that acts as a chemical messenger between flora and fauna. (Technically (E)-beta-Farnesene is an olefin if you need a factoid for your next dinner party, and ants produce it to use as a trail pheromone to mark food routes for other ants.) 

I digress. You can make a DIY pest spray by filling a spray bottle with

  • 2 cups of water
  • 10 to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • A few drops of dish soap (optional)

Give it a shake. Before spraying it all over your plants, test it on a few leaves and wait a few days. Tomatoes and radishes, in particular, may not like peppermint oil being sprayed on them. 

You can also use this spray on countertops to discourage ants from marching into your kitchen. Or, put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton pad and place it where ants are entering your house. Anecdotally, some people have success getting rid of spiders and mice this way too. Don’t leave peppermint oil around if you have dogs or cats, though, as it can be toxic. 

Peppermint Oil Safety

Peppermint oil is generally regarded as safe for humans to use topically (when appropriately diluted), aromatically (diffused), or when taken as instructed in prepared enteric-coated capsules. Some people are more sensitive to it than others, though, so always test out your reaction. 

Peppermint oil can also interact with the drug Cyclosporine. Talk to your doctor before taking enteric-coated capsules if you have low stomach acid or take PPIs or H2 blockers.

And keep peppermint oil away from pets.

Diffusing is a great place to start. Try it next time you have a headache, allergies, or nausea, or you’re stressed or have to do focused work. Let me know if it helps.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 200 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-edition-200/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-edition-200/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2022 18:30:38 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=130983 Research of the Week

Non-nutritive components of ultra processed foods are likely causes of widespread gut issues.

Omega-6/Omega-3 balance of red blood cells improves atherogenic risk factors.

"Impairing" carbohydrate absorption extends lifespan in mice.

Carnitine intake protects brain development in preterm infants.

Machine learning tries to map individual amino acid intakes to health.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: Don't Let Your Branding Sabotage Your Coaching with Naomi Gee
Media, Schmedia
The oldest plant genome comes from an ancient watermelon.

"Debunk."
Interesting Blog Posts
Dr. Cate on what might really be in flavored sparkling water.

Blue blockers reviewed.
Social Notes
On energy levels.
Everything Else
Reminder that the modern Indian diet is full of terrible oils and that better alternatives exist.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
You hate to see it: Fake meat in free fall.

Interesting responses: What does the low-carb community agree with that the general public disagrees with?

There it is: "Our study found that cooking with lard/other animal fat oil is more beneficial to cardiovascular health in older Chinese. Dietary guidelines should seriously consider the health effects of substituting vegetable/gingili oil for lard/other animal fat oil for different populations."

Interesting study: Genetically modified soybeans with higher MUFA and omega-3 and less omega-6 have cardiovascular benefits.

What have I been saying?: Walking for creativity.
Question I'm Asking
How do you boost creativity?
Recipe Corner

Dairy-free flourless chocolate cake.
Time to start thinking about turkey recipes.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Nov 5 – Nov 11)

Is Saturated Fat Healthy?—Well?
Common Misconceptions About the Primal Blueprint—What do people get wrong?

Comment of the Week
"Pay attention.
Anything that brings your attention to the moment, is worth a moment of your attention."

-I like that, Dave.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 200 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Research of the Week

Non-nutritive components of ultra processed foods are likely causes of widespread gut issues.

Omega-6/Omega-3 balance of red blood cells improves atherogenic risk factors.

“Impairing” carbohydrate absorption extends lifespan in mice.

Carnitine intake protects brain development in preterm infants.

Machine learning tries to map individual amino acid intakes to health.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Primal Kitchen Podcast: The Link Between Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Genes with Alexandre Family Farm Founders Blake and Stephanie

Primal Health Coach Radio: Don’t Let Your Branding Sabotage Your Coaching with Naomi Gee

Media, Schmedia

The oldest plant genome comes from an ancient watermelon.

Debunk.”

Interesting Blog Posts

Dr. Cate on what might really be in flavored sparkling water.

Blue blockers reviewed.

Social Notes

On energy levels.

Everything Else

Reminder that the modern Indian diet is full of terrible oils and that better alternatives exist.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

You hate to see it: Fake meat in free fall.

Interesting responses: What does the low-carb community agree with that the general public disagrees with?

There it is: “Our study found that cooking with lard/other animal fat oil is more beneficial to cardiovascular health in older Chinese. Dietary guidelines should seriously consider the health effects of substituting vegetable/gingili oil for lard/other animal fat oil for different populations.”

Interesting study: Genetically modified soybeans with higher MUFA and omega-3 and less omega-6 have cardiovascular benefits.

What have I been saying?: Walking for creativity.

Question I’m Asking

How do you boost creativity?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 5 – Nov 11)

Comment of the Week

“Pay attention.
Anything that brings your attention to the moment, is worth a moment of your attention.”

-I like that, Dave.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 200 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Becoming Your Own Thyroid Advocate https://www.marksdailyapple.com/becoming-your-own-thyroid-advocate/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/becoming-your-own-thyroid-advocate/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2022 16:00:28 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=130848 Today I'm pleased to bring you a post from my longtime friend and Primal supporter Elle Russ. Elle has long worked to help people with thyroid conditions advocate for themselves and find their way back to better health. Now she has a new course that is sure to help many more. Check it out! Throughout my life I have come to realize that no one cares more about your health and wellbeing than you. This is why, in the event that you get diagnosed with a disease or health condition, it is critical to learn all that you can about the topic—because you might be able to help yourself by helping your doctor help you. It is called the “practice of medicine” for good reason… science and medicine evolve and change over time but unfortunately, uninformed doctors do not grow and change with it. When you dive deep into whatever is ailing you, often you can learn something that can help your doctor practice medicine with you and move beyond their shallow understanding of a medical topic. Such is the case with thyroid conditions. There are too many doctors practicing outdated conventional thyroid wisdom, and as a result, hypothyroid patients are still suffering. Some patients lament, “I have been struggling with thyroid issues for 15 years!” No one should ever struggle for years and years, because every single thyroid condition is fixable. EVERY SINGLE THYROID CONDITION IS FIXABLE. IF YOU HAVE NOT FIXED YOUR THYROID ISSUES YET - IT IS LIKELY DUE TO ONE (OR BOTH) OF THESE REASONS: You are dealing with an uninformed doctor, endocrinologist or practitioner who is clueless about how to solve it. YOU are uninformed about your disease and therefore cannot help yourself nor help your doctor practice medicine with you in order to fix it. Anyone struggling with thyroid issues for years is solely the result of being with a doctor who is uninformed about ordering the correct lab work, properly diagnosing and accurately assessing that lab work, and then treating the patient effectively and efficiently. You also need to be informed in order to solve hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, reverse T3 hypothyroidism, post radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), post thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland often due to thyroid cancer), and Graves disease (hyperthyroidism). Thyroid 101 The thyroid is the master gland of the human body. The thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body, from the production and regulation of sex hormones, adrenal hormones, body temperature, growth development, brain function, and heart rate to every other element that keeps your body functioning. Inadequate thyroid hormones in the human body will ultimately contribute to a miserable existence, likely rampant with diseases, health problems, and accelerated aging. Over 200 million people worldwide and over 25 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, yet 60% are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Undiagnosed or mistreated hypothyroidism can put people at risk for serious conditions, such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type … Continue reading "Becoming Your Own Thyroid Advocate"

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Today I’m pleased to bring you a post from my longtime friend and Primal supporter Elle Russ. Elle has long worked to help people with thyroid conditions advocate for themselves and find their way back to better health. Now she has a new course that is sure to help many more. Check it out!

Throughout my life I have come to realize that no one cares more about your health and wellbeing than you. This is why, in the event that you get diagnosed with a disease or health condition, it is critical to learn all that you can about the topic—because you might be able to help yourself by helping your doctor help you.

It is called the “practice of medicine” for good reason… science and medicine evolve and change over time but unfortunately, uninformed doctors do not grow and change with it. When you dive deep into whatever is ailing you, often you can learn something that can help your doctor practice medicine with you and move beyond their shallow understanding of a medical topic.

Such is the case with thyroid conditions. There are too many doctors practicing outdated conventional thyroid wisdom, and as a result, hypothyroid patients are still suffering. Some patients lament, “I have been struggling with thyroid issues for 15 years!” No one should ever struggle for years and years, because every single thyroid condition is fixable.

EVERY SINGLE THYROID CONDITION IS FIXABLE.

IF YOU HAVE NOT FIXED YOUR THYROID ISSUES YET – IT IS LIKELY DUE TO ONE (OR BOTH) OF THESE REASONS:

  • You are dealing with an uninformed doctor, endocrinologist or practitioner who is clueless about how to solve it.
  • YOU are uninformed about your disease and therefore cannot help yourself nor help your doctor practice medicine with you in order to fix it.

Anyone struggling with thyroid issues for years is solely the result of being with a doctor who is uninformed about ordering the correct lab work, properly diagnosing and accurately assessing that lab work, and then treating the patient effectively and efficiently. You also need to be informed in order to solve hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, reverse T3 hypothyroidism, post radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), post thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland often due to thyroid cancer), and Graves disease (hyperthyroidism).

Thyroid 101

The thyroid is the master gland of the human body. The thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body, from the production and regulation of sex hormones, adrenal hormones, body temperature, growth development, brain function, and heart rate to every other element that keeps your body functioning. Inadequate thyroid hormones in the human body will ultimately contribute to a miserable existence, likely rampant with diseases, health problems, and accelerated aging.

Over 200 million people worldwide and over 25 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, yet 60% are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Undiagnosed or mistreated hypothyroidism can put people at risk for serious conditions, such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, gynecological issues (infertility, miscarriages, fibroids, PCOS , etc.), hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, anemia, and other health conditions.

I suffered for about seven years of my life due to undiagnosed and mistreated hypothyroidism and reverse T3 hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, my story is not unique, because like millions of thyroid patients all over the world, I was unable to find a doctor or an endocrinologist who was informed enough to fix my hypothyroidism. After two miserable years of being misdiagnosed and undiagnosed, I finally took my health into my own hands and became my own thyroid advocate. It was a scary place to be, feeling neglected by the medical community and by more than fifty highly regarded physicians. If I had trouble finding a doctor to help me in a major international city like Los Angeles, California, I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to go through this ordeal in the smaller towns and cities throughout the United States and elsewhere in the world.

When I decided to reject the dead-end mainstream medical journey I was on, my body and health were deteriorating so rapidly that I spent every day in full-blown misery, riddled with more than thirty hypothyroid symptoms. Trying to start with a clean slate and be open to all possibilities, I ordered my own lab work and went about FIXING IT MYSELF.

And it worked! It worked phenomenally well. In 2016, Mark Sisson published The Paleo Thyroid Solution, my #1 bestselling book with the only lifestyle and weight loss plan specifically targeted for maximizing thyroid hormone metabolism in harmony with paleo/Primal/ancestral health principles.

In 2022, after a decade of coaching thyroid clients around the world, I created The Ultimate Thyroid Course—the most comprehensive thyroid course available with 17 modules and 29 hours of content. This course provides the in-depth guidance and tutorials necessary to solve thyroid issues, achieve vibrant health, and optimize thyroid fat-burning hormone metabolism. The course includes expert health tutorials from established integrative physician Gary E. Foresman, MD, along with a variety of thyroid hormone dosing protocols and detailed tutorials on how to evaluate thyroid lab work, detox, heal your gut, address and treat autoimmune thyroid disorders, and much more.

You are not unlucky if you still suffer with thyroid issues… you just haven’t figured it out yet!

Who is The Ultimate Thyroid Course for?

  • Any person suffering with thyroid issues (Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism, reverse T3 issues, RAI, thyroidectomy)
  • MDs and other medical health professionals and practitioners who struggle to effectively help hypothyroid clients and patients
  • Health coaches who desire in-depth knowledge on thyroid issues in order to guide their coaching clients

When you visit The Ultimate Thyroid Course website, you can listen to audio clips of experts along with audio testimonials and success stories on a variety of thyroid issues. Don’t spend another day suffering with thyroid problems when there are concrete solutions and answers. My expertise in this arena has already helped thousands of people around the globe stop feeling fat, foggy, and fatigued—and reclaim their health. You can do it too!

Use code MDA at checkout for 10% off The Ultimate Thyroid Course.

 

Elle Russ is a #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid expert, and thought leader on confidence and self-esteem. She is the author of Confident As Fu*k and The Paleo Thyroid Solution – a book which has helped thousands of people around the world reclaim their health.

Elle has been coaching people all over the world in a variety of areas for over a decade. She is also the host of The Elle Russ Show – a weekly show intended to inspire, motivate, and educate. Elle offers affordable online courses and free masterclasses. Visit ElleRuss.com to learn more.

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How to Get Over Jet Lag https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-get-over-jet-lag/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-get-over-jet-lag/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2022 17:52:01 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=130905 People often ask me about my “latest” jet lag protocol. Do I have any new tips, tricks, tools, supplements, or devices that I swear by to get over jet lag when flying? No, and here’s why: My basic jet lag protocol already works so well that there’s absolutely no reason to try including any newfangled hacks, tips, or pills. It’s based entirely on human circadian biology, which hasn’t changed for hundreds of thousands of years. I literally never get jet lag if I stick to my methods. And I put it to the test on a regular basis, traveling quite extensively on transcontinental flights. Jet lag is supposed to get worse with age, but it's only gotten easier and easier for me. The experts would have you believe that each hour of time zone change requires one full day to adjust. That was certainly true for me in my 20s when I went to Europe without knowing anything about circadian rhythms, but it doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to get jet lag. You shouldn't. And I'm going to tell you how to avoid it. Let’s get right into it. Preparing for Flying East vs. West To begin with, how you treat the flight is going to differ somewhat based on what direction you’re flying. Preparing for Flying East Break eastbound overnight flights into two short “days”. If you’re doing a big flight east, heading over the Atlantic or Pacific to new lands, it will generally be an overnighter. With that in mind, break your flight up into two short “days.” If the flight is eight hours, the first four hours are “night” and the last four are “day.” If it’s 16 hours, the first eight are nighttime and the last eight are day. Sleep at “night”. Sleep as much as you can, as early as you can, during the “nighttime” portion of the flight. This will help normalize your circadian biology and get your body into the “mindset” of day and night. Don't eat at "night." Stay awake during the “day”. Act just like you do in normal daytime. Read, work, catch up on emails, watch movies. Just stay awake. If it were acceptable to walk the aisles, I'd say walk the aisles. Get all your calories in during the “day”. You don’t have to eat, but if you’re going to eat, do so in the “daytime” portion of the flight. Preparing for Flying West For long flights west, a short nap in the middle is fine. Let your body decide to sleep or not. Just don't sleep so long that you end up having trouble sleeping at the new location when night comes. Eat, or not. But don't overdo it. Inflight Tips for Avoiding Jet Lap Consider fasting Fasting has been shown to help stave off jet lag, so fasting can actually help you adapt to the new time zone. Set your watch Setting your watch and clock to the new time zone before you actually get … Continue reading "How to Get Over Jet Lag"

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A female passenger sleeping on neck cushion in airplanePeople often ask me about my “latest” jet lag protocol. Do I have any new tips, tricks, tools, supplements, or devices that I swear by to get over jet lag when flying? No, and here’s why:

My basic jet lag protocol already works so well that there’s absolutely no reason to try including any newfangled hacks, tips, or pills. It’s based entirely on human circadian biology, which hasn’t changed for hundreds of thousands of years. I literally never get jet lag if I stick to my methods. And I put it to the test on a regular basis, traveling quite extensively on transcontinental flights. Jet lag is supposed to get worse with age, but it’s only gotten easier and easier for me.

The experts would have you believe that each hour of time zone change requires one full day to adjust. That was certainly true for me in my 20s when I went to Europe without knowing anything about circadian rhythms, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to get jet lag. You shouldn’t. And I’m going to tell you how to avoid it. Let’s get right into it.

Preparing for Flying East vs. West

To begin with, how you treat the flight is going to differ somewhat based on what direction you’re flying.

Preparing for Flying East

  • Break eastbound overnight flights into two short “days”. If you’re doing a big flight east, heading over the Atlantic or Pacific to new lands, it will generally be an overnighter. With that in mind, break your flight up into two short “days.” If the flight is eight hours, the first four hours are “night” and the last four are “day.” If it’s 16 hours, the first eight are nighttime and the last eight are day.
  • Sleep at “night”. Sleep as much as you can, as early as you can, during the “nighttime” portion of the flight. This will help normalize your circadian biology and get your body into the “mindset” of day and night. Don’t eat at “night.”
  • Stay awake during the “day”. Act just like you do in normal daytime. Read, work, catch up on emails, watch movies. Just stay awake. If it were acceptable to walk the aisles, I’d say walk the aisles.
  • Get all your calories in during the “day”. You don’t have to eat, but if you’re going to eat, do so in the “daytime” portion of the flight.

Preparing for Flying West

  • For long flights west, a short nap in the middle is fine. Let your body decide to sleep or not. Just don’t sleep so long that you end up having trouble sleeping at the new location when night comes.
  • Eat, or not. But don’t overdo it.

Inflight Tips for Avoiding Jet Lap

Consider fasting

Fasting has been shown to help stave off jet lag, so fasting can actually help you adapt to the new time zone.29

Set your watch

Setting your watch and clock to the new time zone before you actually get there helps you get in the “mood” or mindset of the new location. This can happen subconsciously, and I firmly believe your body will begin adjusting in subtle ways simply by setting the clock.

Don’t get to sleep using alcohol or sleeping pills

Sleep without pharmacological enhancement. It’s the worst thing to use to get to sleep. Your sleep will be disrupted, poorly constructed, and it won’t “take.” Your body won’t interpret it as real sleep, setting you back even further.

Consider the window seat

The con of the window seat is you have to climb over people to go to the bathroom. But if you’re trying to get some sleep on the flight, having the window to wedge up against is worth it. And you won’t have people climbing over you all during the flight to get to the bathroom. The pros outweigh the con for me.

Have a tomato juice

The salty potassium-rich tomato juice is incredibly helpful for keeping you hydrated and preventing the amount of urination you have to do. Something special about a can of tomato juice on a plane.

What to Do When You Land to Avoid Jet Lag

Adapt your mindset to the new location

It’s not a “new time zone.” It’s “your” time zone. You are here, living in this time zone. Treat it like a normal day. Set your watch, forget what happened the day before. This is your here, this is your now. Adapt.

Stay awake and active until bedtime in the new location

When you arrive, stay up and active until bedtime in the new location. No napping. Keep moving.

Be outside as much as possible

The natural light is your friend. It will help set your circadian rhythm and it’ll keep you awake.

Take a long walk

Walk as long as you can. It’ s great way to explore a new city, and it keeps you moving and keeps you from wanting to nap. It also exposes you to sunlight, which as I explained will improve your circadian realignment to the new location.

Eat a meal at the right times, but don’t go too heavy

Food is another circadian entrainer. Eat meals in accordance with the right meal times at the location.

Keep a bar of dark chocolate on you

If I land in the AM in the new location, I’ll make sure to eat half a bar of dark chocolate for breakfast along with some coffee. Dark chocolate has been shown to help stave off jet lag when eaten for breakfast (albeit in animals).30

Preparing for Bedtime in the New Location

Take 10 mg melatonin before bed

45 minutes before bedtime in the new location, take 10 mg of melatonin. This will help you get to sleep quicker, sure, but more importantly it will tell your circadian clock that it’s bedtime and get you adjusted to the new time zone.

Next night, take 5 mg. The next next night, take 2.5 mg. Then you’re done with melatonin.

Follow all the normal sleep hygiene rules

Reduce artificial light after dark, wear blue blocking goggles, perform the same bedtime routine you follow at home, read some fiction in bed. All the sleep hygiene rules still apply.

What to Do the Next Day

Train outside in the early morning sun

Go for a run, do some sprints, or get a workout in outside in the sun. If you can manage doing it as the sun rises, all the better. Intense physical activity coupled with AM sun helps establish and entrain your new circadian rhythm.

Maintain previous day strategies

Long walk, lots of light, stay active, no napping, regular meals. Keep it up to maintain the adaptation.

Common Mistakes People Make with Jet Lag

Taking a nap when they arrive. This is supposed to “take the edge off” things, but all it does is keep your circadian rhythm hewed to your home time zone and ruin your ability to adapt to the new one.

Avoiding melatonin. People think taking melatonin is “unnatural.” You know what’s unnatural? Flying halfway across the world and expecting your circadian rhythm to just adjust on its own. Melatonin is an incredibly useful tool for entraining a new rhythm. Everyone should use it.

Pigging out and binge drinking. You’re tired from the long flight. You’re irritable. You’re on edge. It might feel good to eat a giant meal of junk food and open a bottle of wine (or two), but don’t do it. You’re only setting yourself back.

Taking it easy. Taking it easy the first day feels like a good idea because you’re exhausted, but it’s the last thing you need. Instead of “taking it easy” in the hotel, drawing the shades, and watching weird foreign TV, you need to be out and about experiencing the new location and getting adapted.

And thus concludes my jet lag protocol. It’s easy and feels quite natural. After all that, life will feel normal and you can simply enjoy the trip!

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