Wednesday, 27 July 2011

PWO: Fruit or Vegetables with Your Protein?

Post workout eating ice cold watermelon tastes great when you're absolutely exhausted. In doing that am I just filling my liver with glycogen while my muscles cry out for replenishment? Is the protein that accompanies the watermelon banging on the door of the muscle because the insulin hasn't arrived yet?

I was under the impression that fruit only contains the sugar fructose. However fruits have fructose and glucose in different proportions:

These fruits provide higher fructose than glucose for sustained fuel
that won't block fat burning. Eat one or two servings.

Pear (1 medium) 16 11 5
Watermelon (1 wedge) 18 12 6
Apple (1 medium) 14 9 5
Cantaloupe (1/2 melon) 22 12 10
Grapes (1 cup) 24 13 11
Strawberries (2 cups) 14 8 6
Raspberries (2 cups) 10 6 4

These fruits provide equal or nearly equal fructose and glucose to
restock liver and muscle glycogen to help halt muscle breakdown. Eat two
or three servings.

Pineapple (1 cup diced) 13 7 6
Honeydew melon (1 wedge) 13 7 6
Orange (1 medium) 12 6 6
Banana (1 medium) 18 9 9
Blueberries (1 cup) 14 7 7
Nectarine (1 medium) 10 5 5
Kiwi fruit (2 medium) 12 6 6

These fruits provide more glucose than fructose for restocking muscle glycogen and enhancing muscle growth. (The last five fruits from the morning fruit category are also decent choices postworkout, for their ability to fill glycogen stores.) Eat one or two servings along with white bread, baked potatoes or a carb drink.


Cherries (1 cup) 14 6 8
Peach (1 medium) 8 3 5

* Quantities are in grams.

That's all very well and good, but post workout does a sweet potato beat them all?

The Pathway Of Fructose
When you consume fructose from the foods you eat, first it gets digested and then immediately gets directed to the liver where it is stored as liver glycogen. This is much different than when it goes into the muscle cells and gets stored as muscle glycogen because the body is not going to be using this liver glycogen for fuel – at least not the nearly the same degree as it does muscle glycogen.

So, by consuming large amounts of fructose in the diet you are actually shorting yourself on the energy-deriving potential from your diet, as well as decreasing the amount of fuel that the muscles have to build new tissue with and help you see a good weight gain.

Applying This To The Post-Workout Period In Bodybuilding
So, looking at this from a bodybuilding perspective, when consuming the post-workout meal, the main objective is to shuttle as many carbohydrates into the muscle cells as they can possibly handle so they can then use this energy to build new tissues and get BIGGER.

If some carbohydrates come from fructose, this is not going to happen. Some muscle glycogen re-synthesis will occur, but it won't be maximised.

So, time to re-think fruit as part of the post-workout meal. Definitely do not cut the fruit out – as it’s very healthy and should be eaten, but just move it to another part of the day instead. Use starchy carbs like sweet potatoes post workout, unless I want to go all psycho on this and start supplementing with Maltodextrin/Dextrose. Let's keep it paleo eh?

"Supplements composed of glucose or glucose polymers are the most effective for replenishment of muscle glycogen, whereas fructose is most beneficial for the replenishment of liver glycogen."

Int J Sports Med. 1998 Jun;19 Suppl 2:S142-5. Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. Ivy JL.

"glucose polymer drink after exhaustive exercise promoted a more rapid storage of carbohydrate during the first 2 h of recovery than did consumption of an isoenergetic sucrose drink, both in the whole body and in skeletal muscle."

L. Bowtell, K. Gelly, M. L. Jackman, A. Patel, M. Simeoni, and M. J. Rennie “Effect of different carbohydrate drinks on whole body carbohydrate storage after exhaustive exercise”. Appl Physiol 88: 1529-1536, 2000;

"Fructose and fructose-containing are not optimal for glycogen storage because they are less insulinogenic than glucose, and because fructose needs to first be transformed in the liver before it can be released into the circulation as glucose and taken up by the muscle."

Nutrition and recovery of muscle energy after exercise, Décombaz, Sportmedizin und Sporttraumatologie, 2003.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Home Made Gymnastics Rings

Last night I might home made gymnastics rings. So easy to make and they are really good. Bring on the muscle-up practice!

My oven is only 60cm diagonally across so I decided to go for some horse-shoe shapes on my first attempt at these PVC rings. I went to Nakano home centre and bought a 1m length of PVC, some sand, plastic funnel from tokyu hanz, I had some tape left from the parallettes, and I have loads of Costco aluminium foil.

1. Cut the PVC in half
2. Foil one end, tape it up tight
3. Use the funnel to fill with sand
4. Foil and tape the other end
5. Into the oven at 200C for 10 minutes.
6. Use oven gloves to wrap it round a cooking pot with a 60cm circumference.
7. Hold for 5 minutes
8. Run under cold water for 5 mintues.
9. Unwrap and empty out the sand
10. Apply "Pete Sampras" tennis racket tape.
11. Feed through cargo belt

12. Test

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Spaghetti Bolognaise - Paleo Style Part II

I'm not one for trying to imitate neolithic foods that I miss on the Paleo diet, I love the paleo diet for what it is; clean eating of meat and veggies. But after Gav started eating Paleo and asked me what he could eat instead of spaghetti I did a bit of research into alternatives. Then after realising they sell shirataki noodles in any shop in Japan I decided to give them a go and made some spag-bol paleo style. The shirataki was tasteless so I'll not be doing that again. Good to know though.

I was cycling back to the office at lunch time in the sweltering heat and noticed they had 金糸瓜 (kinshi uri) on display in the local fruit shop. I know the guy from when I kept buying his apples out when I was doing the 3 day apple detox. After a quick chat I found out that he'll have them in that shop up until the end of August. They're 380 yen a pop, and are about the size of a honeydew melon.

There are lots of ways to cook a spaghetti squash, most western websites recommend either pricking it with a skewer and cooking it for an hour in the oven, or cutting it in half and cooking it for 28-35 minutes in the oven. Japanese recipe websites recommend boiling it, and you can also quickly microwave it, or crock pot it for 10 hours. Spag-bol recipes on the net go for the oven option, so I decided to go for two halves on a baking tray.

I got the bugger home and went at it with a knife, SOLID AS A ROCK!  Vegetable knife was no good so I had to saw along the equator with a bread knife.

Finally got it cut into two halves and scooped out the seeds and crap. You can roast the seeds and eat them but I couldn't be bothered with that. It's summer and it's hot.

After scooping out I laid it out on the baking paper on an oven dish.

Checked up on it after 25 minutes and I could pull strands of spaghetti off the flesh so it didn't need the full 35 minutes recommended.

Let the two halves stand for a while.

Pulled out all the spaghetti from one of them, and served it on a plate with bolognaise.

The other one got bolognaise poured over the top of it.

The flavour is not very strong, but I like it. Fills you up, is a good vehicle for eating meat, contains folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It is low in calories, averaging 42 calories per 155 grams and it makes a great cold bento!

Folic acid is known to prevent anemia.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Yakult and Kimchi Experiment

After the discovery that the Ginseng shop is actually a kimchi emporium I decided to embark on an experiment. Drinking Yakult every morning and eating kimchi with every meal.

All of July 2011

Why Yakult every morning?
I've looked at and sampled all the other alternatives to get lactobaccilus into my body and yakult looks like the best.
Meiji LG21 comes in a delicious Aloe flavour but LG21 is for fighting stomach ulcers and gut cancer. I am looking to strengthen my gut and have no symptoms of ulcers or cancer. Don't think I need Lactobacillus Gasseri OLL 2716.

Bulgarian yoghurt and its double whammy of Lactobacillus Bulgari 2038 and Streptococcus
Thermophilus sounds like it fits the bill, but the way it is sold in sugary yoghurts or with a little packet of sweet-and-lo stuck to the top, it's sending out the wrong message and I don't trust it.

Caspian Sea Bacteria Yoghurt is the gloopy one, contains Streptococcus cremoris and Gluconobacter, but is it getting through my stomach acid to the gut?

Kagome "Rabure" no idea what's in this which is why it didn't make the cut.

Takahashi Dairy Keffir Yoghurt contains all sorts of stuff. When I found it I went out and knecked a 400g tub and straight away had to rush to the bog. Saving this one for another experiment involving a kefir starter kit.

Morinaga "Bihidasu" is too sweet. The recipe must be related to Activa and Danone. Although the blurb sounds good: "It helps in the production and absorption of B complex vitamins, blocks the growth of harmful bacteria by lowering pH in the intestine through production of acetic and lactic acids and boosts the immune system".
It also is from the Bifidobacterium family of gut bacteria and lives in the large intestine. A place where the Yakult and kimchi Lactobacillus strain does not live.
Acidophilus yogurt-R1 1073 contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus 1073R which is supposed to protect you from influenza. Well I haven't had a cold for 3 years so I'll pass on that.

Koiwa Farm "100% raw yoghurt" or "Jersey Yoghurt" is just yoghurt, come on, is that going to beat Yakult? A product specifically designed to beat stomach acid and get into the gut?

Contains less sugar than yoghurt.
Is the biggest selling probiotic drink in Japan and in the world
Has more bacteria in it:

"Probiotic products are required to contain at least 1 million beneficial bacteria per gram. Few yoghurts contain  this  much  bacteria  but  Yakult contains  100 times  more  than  the  minimum  amount.  That’s an impressive 6.5  billion, live  beneficial  bacteria in one tiny bottle" - still, it doesn't matter how many live bacteria are in the bottle if they all die in the gut right?
Contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota which is exclusive to yakult.
Survives through the stomach into the gut:

Here's more from the same yakult FAQ page.

So that's why Yakult is chosen to try first.

Why Kimchi with every meal?
Other probiotic foods that I can get my hands on either come in jars or are not Paleo.
Sauerkraut comes in jars, I tried making it myself and failed.
Natto is a legume, shame cos I love it.
Kefir is not in my possession right now, and the supermarket kefir infused yoghurt is not Paleo.
The ginseng man on my street sells over fermented kimchi, brimming with life, 100 times stronger than the supermarket.
Contains Lactobacillus kimchii which is good for you and that.
"Lactobacillus family exist happily in the small intestine, whilst some such as the Bifidobacterium family prefer the large intestine. Others can be found in the mouth and other areas."

How did it go?
Straight away I noticed more farts. A neolithic diet means lots of smelly farts. When I changed to a Paleo diet last year one of the first things I noticed was the farting had gone. No more "easing one out" at my desk and hoping it's an SBD that people will politely ignore. No more filling lifts with gas, gambling on nobody getting in and knowing for sure that I was the one who "cut the cheese". One of the godsends of the Paleo diet: no more farting. Leave ginseng man kimchi in the fridge in a tupperware box overnight, and in the morning the Lactobacillus kimchii has fermented more increasing the amount of gas in the container causing it to bulge. Same thing happens in my body. Kimchi for breakfast, lunch and dinner puts kimchi all through my intestines filling it with great Lactobacillus kimchii. This is alive and releases gases as part of it's lifecycle causing the need to "pump". It's not like a Neolithic pump though, oh no. For starters they are few and far between; a good string of pumps in the morning and you're mostly good for the rest of the day. And Lactobacillus kimchii is so clean and good they don't stink. The change from no pumps to some pumps is also good feedback, it let's me know that something is going on in there.

The odd spicy brown trout gets chucked downstream every now and again because kimchi is spicy.
I noticed that poo went up a grade. Poo is made up of bacteria, and when you have more in your system you can make up a better poo. Strict low fiber Paleo makes smaller dense ones at about type 1 or 2 on the bristol stool scale. This can lead a Paleo dieter to resort to more fiber intake and become an addict to fiber. One thing I have noticed from drinking yakult every morning and eating kimchi with meals is a transition towards the middle of the bristol stool scale without having to resort to the evil menace that is fiber.

Appreciation for a New Food Group
I was never bothered about these fermented foods before, and there are so many here in Japan. It's great to try different kimchi, kateki, and other fermented foods.

Conclusion after 10 days
Better poo.
Didn't really notice an increase in energy, or any other good effects. I was expecting a bit more to be honest, but I won't give up on probiotics! I have plenty more experiments lined up in this department.

Both Yakult and Kimchi contain a strain of Lactobacillus that only lives in the small instestine.
Some farting.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Training Plan II

Few changes from last time after research has led me to understand the importance of probiotics. Improved gut condition to help run the ship more efficiently and achieve my targets.
Overall Rules
Prerequisite of 1 month eating Paleo before start

2200 Calories a day maintenance
 = +20% 2640 on training days
 = -20% 1760 on rest days

Protein around 300-350 on all days.
Fat around 50 on lift days
Fat around 80 on rest days
Carbs around 300-350 on lift days
Carbs around 100-150 on rest days (target less carbs and more fat)

Workout 4 times a week (Mon Wed Fri Sat)
Drink 4 litres of water/green tea a day
Eat Paelo
Eat all calories
Don't try to pack food in, stop eating before feeling full.Probiotic with every meal (kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir)
Sleep 8 hours a night (will add 'in total darkness' when I get some better curtains)
Follow Esther Grokhale's 8 rules of posture

Crossfit Paleo Leangains Method 3
Intermittent Fasting only on rest days.
8 hour eating window 12PM to 8PM
No IF on lift days means nutrients can be ingested immediately after working out thereby taking advantage of the 45 minute window when most muscle synthesis takes place.
Gut is less stressed because the whole day is available to get calories in.
Lose the benefits of IF on training days.

Gyoza, whiskey, yakult, probiotic yoghurt, kefir, natto, Guinness, Bulgogi Bake from Costco

Possible exceptions, but not right now:
Casein, Purple Wraath, lager