Getting flexible nutritionally and physically

Posted in Active Bites |
Key Facts: 

We’ve established we want to be keto-adapted, but what’s the best way to achieve that?

  • Understanding our body’s three main energy systems is a key way to understanding how best to exercise
  • Improving our metabolic flexibility by timing our eating according to the Food4Health Plate guidelines, as well as the frequency and type of physical activity in which we engage
  • Setting up a food and a training diary on your Bite Monitor so you can manage your progress – and your health in ways, sadly, still alien to most doctors.

So, closely following our article The Live Longer Plan, which examined how the body uses different types of fuel to create energy and therefore the best way to fuel in order to become keto-adapted, we now look at the HUGE impact that physical activity/exercise has on how this happens. 

Three Ways to Go

The body is able to use one of three different energy systems during exercise.

If we exercise extremely vigorously for a few seconds, such as breaking into a sprint or if our fight or flight response is triggered, we don’t use ATP from cellular respiration.  Instead, we rely on producing ATP, the universal fuel, from creatine phosphate of which we have very limited reserves in our muscles.  This is called the phosphagen, creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine system. 

Its plusses are that it makes energy instantly.  Its downside is it doesn’t make very much.  That’s why nearly everyone can do three or four press-ups, but some struggle to do more.  So while it can be used very effectively to get Mark Cavendish across the finish line in first place in his sprint in a Tour de France leg, we originally developed the phosphagen system to protect us from sabre-toothed tigers.

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