I have a powerhouse session with Dr. Tommy Wood of Nourish, Balance, Thrive where a great many topics are covered that can transform your health.

This is the first of a two-part show, so fasten your seatbelts for a wild ride covering a wide range of health, fat burning, and longevity topics. Tommy is a medical doctor trained at Oxford and Cambridge, with a Ph.D. in neonatal brain research from the University of Oslo. Of British and Icelandic heritage, Tommy has landed in the Seattle area, where he and his wife both do professor-ish stuff at You Dub, or the University of Washington. He is the Chief Scientific Doctor for the comprehensive health and peak performance testing and consultation service called NourishBalanceThrive.com. This is the absolute cutting edge of progressive health for athletes and anyone wanting to achieve peak performance. The NBT program goes beyond traditional medicine to identify hormonal and nutritional deficiencies through extensive blood, urine, stool and saliva testing, expert consultations, and targeted supplementation. 

What’s most cool about Tommy is that he is as absolutely ankle-deep into the science of health, metabolism, and longevity as anyone on the planet, but he emphasizes the simple, practical healthy lifestyle practices above all. He did a whole show on the Nourish, Balance, Thrive podcast channel about how owning a dog can significantly boost your health (get outside frequently, engage in spontaneous play). Brucebowen, the regal white boxer seen in the show photo, has received the highest possible honor by the American Kennel Club of being banned from championship dog shows out of respect for fair competition for all lesser breeds.  

Tommy talks about how positive social interactions help us manage our level of systemic inflammation—a key predictor of disease and demise when it’s out of control. We then talk about the prominent fight or flight hormone, cortisol. Understanding how to manage the chronic stressors of daily life and optimize cortisol is the secret to recovering from training, staying healthy, and minimizing disease risk. Tommy encapsulates this important concept by explaining that cortisol spikes “liquidate your assets,” quoting from a book he recommends, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.” 

During my career as a professional triathlete, I was repeatedly fooled by the mechanisms of the fight or flite response that had me feeling great, albeit bathed in stress hormones on an artificial chemical high where I was liquidating my assets. A wallet filled with cash and credit card bills stacking up.  

Tommy explains how we respond to stress differently, and how can teach ourselves to better handle traffic jams, work stress, and even training sessions, so the stress impact is minimized. Listen to Joel Jamieson’s podcast about Rebound Training where you can do workouts that nurture the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.   

Tommy recaps his talk at Ancestral Health Symposium where he started with the compelling premise that today’s model of fitness and athletic training are wholly modern constructs that have little to do with our ancestral hunter-gatherer activity patterns. Studies from the modern day hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe in Africa show that they move around a lot but are never plunging into destructive chronic patterns like modern athletes. Tommy also talks about how gut dysfunction is very prevalent among hard training fitness enthusiasts, and how becoming fat adapted can help alleviate the stress on your digestive system caused by exercise.  

TIMESTAMPS: 

Brad introduces Dr. Wood and his interesting theories.  [00:02:24]  

If you are socially isolated, it has a distinct effect on your physiology. [00:06:31]  

We can only manage a certain number of social interactions. [00:13:47]  

Men who marry live longer, Not so for women!  [00:16:37]  

Chronic inflammation is the result of overstimulation of the fight or flight response. [00:17:15]  

Chronic exercise can cause inflammatory problems. [19:37] 

What is the optimal daily rhythm for cortisol? [22:54] 

What does cortisol do? [25:48] 

Why are some people more resilient? [27:21] 

It’s important to respect that intuitive component by listening to your body. [29:58] 

When you are in the fight or flight state, would you call that an inflammatory state? [35:46] 

They use the analogy of liquidating your assets when they are talking about the cortisol you produce. [36:53] 

Endorphins are pain-killers and so you get a short term sensation of energy after a run. [41:45] 

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did the bare minimum necessary to survive. [44:01] 

What kind of health issues are we talking about? Cardiovascular and gut health are big issues.  [48:50] 

What is the best nutrition during and after a workout or race? [54:17] 

LINKS: 

Nourish, Balance, Thrive 

Tommy’s blog about healthy paleo living

Robin Dunbar 

Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers 

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

 

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit, and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: Hi, Brad Kearns. Introducing my main man, one of my favorite health leaders, Dr Tommy would first time meeting in person, have engaged with him wonderfully for the past year with his nourish balance thrive program and his sidekick, Chris Kelly, and these guys are doing fabulous cutting edge work. Tommy’s a young, enthusiastic guy, but man, he has been in the mix and extremely well trained. He’s a qualified medical doctor, studied at Oxford and Cambridge. He got his PhD in neonatal brain research from the University of Oslo and then made his way over to the Seattle area. Both he and his wife Elizabeth do kind of professory stuff over at u dub that’s the University of Washington, if you’re not familiar with Seattle lingo a. So his role with nurse balance thrive is the chief scientific doctor and he engages with these like me, to evaluate a comprehensive battery of tests to look at all these functional issues in your blood, urine, saliva stool, and then give expert advice and commentary. And if you have listened to my primal endurance podcasts, you’ve heard me talk about him many, many times, including having a show or two with him and also Chris Kelly. Uh, but this guy really set me straight and onto an enlightened path with my Keto low carb primal journey when he made the observation.

Brad: This is back in September of 2017. So I’m a year into this kind of new experiment inspired by Tommy and Chris where he looked at my athletic goals, right? I’m an old guy trying to do magnificent athletic feats, still break world records. And so forth, uh, enjoying my Ketogenic experience and my ease at fasting for long periods of time, but he made the observation that, hey, if my ideal body fat is there, if I have good blood numbers, no risk factors for disease as is so common with carbohydrate dependency eating, that there might be another paradigm here to explore which would be to consume more nutritious food to fuel my performance and recovery. So we get into some of these concepts in the podcast about the varying approaches and the customization and the importance of self experimentation when you’re doing things like low carbohydrate eating or dietary transformation.

Brad: And there’s a lot of science dropping into a Tommy’s a commentary, but he always brings it back to simple actionable insights. And that’s what’s so cool. He talks about the importance of socializing and having positive social interactions, referencing a respected scientific research that this promotes longevity. Uh, the importance of owning a dog because the dog gets you outside, you’re motivated and obligated to get fresh air, open space and dogs know how to play all the time. And he’s describing how important it is and how he loves to play with his dogs. And Man, when I arrived at his house, I was greeted by one of the most magnificent animals on the planet and all white boxer, boxer being maybe my favorite breed. Uh, my nephew, Stanley Stanley, the boxer, I call him my nephew also is just the most fantastic. Doug. And these guys are hilarious.

Brad: They’re full of energy and then they go lie down and crash and be super mellow. But this white boxer, oh my gosh, what a vision. And Tom, he explained to me that the snobby stuck up a Akc, the American Kennel Corporation. The people that have verified dog breeds and hold those dog shows like the Westminster show. They don’t recognize the white boxer. Can you believe that? They don’t recognize they dish this beautiful animal. So forget those guys. This is the leading breed on the planet. And Man, this guy was capable of playing. His name’s Bruce Bowen, named after the Great San Antonio spur. And so that’s kind of fun we had on the conversation with Tommy. We got deep into it and then built up some momentum for a show number two, so let’s hear what Tommy has to say about all manner of living healthy, being sensible, taking those low hanging fruit, like improving your sleep habits, smiling more, socializing and getting out of that nitpicking and that controversy about whether this diet’s better than that one or the particulars of how many carbohydrate grams you’re eating in a day. Great stuff from show number one with Dr Tommy Wood

Brad: Dr Tommy Wood. I’m here in this beautiful Lynnwood, Washington. I knew I was getting close to your house when I saw the farm. Fresh duck and chicken duck. Chicken, goose, ostrich eggs. Fresh fruit like. All right. Healthy lands. We’ve landed here. Thanks for meeting with me. You just came in from Europe or something last night?

Tommy: Oh No, I was at the ancestral health symposium in Bozeman, Montana. Yeah. How’d that go out there? Oh, it was great. It was a was good conference. It was a smaller than the ahs has been in the past I think, but it was great to see some friends see some great talks. Um, and I spoke and it was, yeah, I think it was, it was really good. We had a whole crew from a thriver out there, so we all stayed in, in a big sort of ranch house together and hung out and recorded some podcasts and just generally geeked out about health. So yeah, it was a lot of fun. That’s special because you guys are all remote,, so that’s the best reason to go. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Brad: Okay. You told me on the other podcasts we go to these conferences, we say the same thing to the same people and I believe it does have that really important aspect of just building the community and the momentum. I went to Paleo effects for the first time after turning it down seven years in a row, you know, from when it was small too. Now it’s this crazy thing and I was so excited to be there and like, look at all these Paleo people. Everyone’s like, yeah, so that part’s good. But at the same time, what I like about you and Chris and that especially the podcast you’re doing and the message you get out is even though you’re the, the, the ultimate sciencey guy, and doing these postdoctoral studies in these intense medical and scientific realm, you’re always getting out that, uh, that inspiration to look into things like socializing more, resting, taking time away from screens and how that promotes longevity. So I thought we could talk about some of that fun stuff. Yeah. Great. Maybe we can take off your science hat a little bit, but I know it’s gonna it’s to drip in here and there because when we talk about socializing and then we talk about the effect on the, on the hormones and the, uh, the, you know, the actual health impact of doing these things that we kind of just talk about breezily.

Tommy: Yeah. So, I mean, you can, you can dive into, to any part of that, but I think one of the, one of the things you noticed that the more time you spend working with the optimizers, we might call them. So they’re the guys, you know, they might be in the biohacking realm or you know, they’ve definitely discovered Keto and low carb and all these other things and this is this point where you get hyperfocused on the details and you know, you’re thinking about supplements and you’re especially focused on diet and maybe you think about exercise too, but there’s this, all these other things that are probably more important. And we know, we joke about the fact that you see these guys on facebook and they’re awake at two in the morning discussing about like how much carnitine they need to improve their performance on Keto.

Tommy: And in reality, if they just went to bed at 9:00 PM then they probably wouldn’t need to be Keto. And they wouldn’t need to take carnitine in the first place. So there’s this whole kind of, you get hyperfocused on the details and then you forget that you’re a human being that you know, evolved in light and dark with a normal circadian rhythm and surrounded by all these people in real life rather than on facebook. And there’s some really interesting studies that show how if you’re socially isolated, it has very distinct effects on, on your physiology, and it makes a lot of sense. Again, from a study if we take the ancestral perspective, the evolutionary lens, and this is actually a story of my friend and colleague, Dr Bryan Walsh tells, and if you imagine that you’re in a group setting, maybe you’re a hunter gatherer tribe and you live in the forest or wherever that might be and when you’re surrounded by all these people, you’re at risk of certain diseases, communicable diseases, things you might get from, from other people in your environment.

Tommy: But equally, you know, deep down on some level that if you get sick, there are people to look after you. So actually your level of inflammation is overall much lower because you don’t need to look after yourself. If you get sick, somebody could look after you. Then if, and this is borne out, you know, in the research, you can measure these things in the blood, but sort of for argument’s sake, we’ll just go with the story. And then if you imagine that the tribe gets attacked and you’re alone in the forest, all of a sudden you have to take care of yourself and if you trip over something or cut your leg, you know, your immune system is gonna is gonna have to be hypervigilant to, you know, get on top of that, whatever it is that you might get exposed to. So then all these various factors get upregulated and various inflammatory factors get upregulated because you’re going to need that cuz who is gonna look after you now, so you just have to, you have to take care of yourself.

Tommy: And the immune system sort of takes that into account and that, you know, in the long term can have serious detrimental effects on your health, sort of upregulation of the immune system. So it’s an evolutionary adaptation when you’re socially isolated. But when you’re somebody who’s trying to live a long and healthy life, that is going to potentially be a oh, can potentially contribute to things like a disease, certain cancers just because like the effect of being socially isolated. So it’s, again, it’s an evolutionary adaptation, but then when you take, you know, we are, uh, we, we evolved in a certain way when we, as we evolved to be social beings and when we’re not surrounded by people who love and support us and we know, couldn’t care for us, um, then that has direct effects on our physiology.

Brad: So if I have a lot of facebook friends that, or my possibly socially isolated, if I’m, all I’m doing is engaging with people in a, in a digital realm.

Tommy: Yeah, that’s, that’s a really good question. And I think you could certainly get some benefits from facebook and you know, there’s, um, if you, if you think about, again, the sort of realms that we, um, the we inhabit. So a Paleo, ancestral health, low carb or Keto, you know, any of those things. When you, when you first find out about that and you want to try and incorporate it into your lifestyle, it’s very likely that the people around you aren’t going to do that. Right? So you know, or at least is going to be new to them and it’s going to be this thing that you’re doing on your own or you’re sort of like learning about it to begin with. And then an online community you can really help you with that so they can certainly give you support and there’s some great groups where people can do that however, you know, so there’s definitely benefit there but that, but that’s not the same as having loving, committed friendships, relationships, you know, somebody on facebook and give you great advice about what to do with your diet. Um, but you know, when something really bad happens or you get sick or you know, you go into debt or whatever, you know, all these kinds of things can happen to us. They’re not going to show up and help you out. Right. So it’s just a different kind of, so different kinds of interactions. So you can certainly be beneficial, but it’s definitely not a replacement for, you know, real life, real life interaction.

Brad: Yeah. We looked into that Dunbar’s number that the, uh, the scientists, Robin Dunbar and talking about social aspect. And he, he theorizes that we can only manage a maximum number of social relationships at 150 due to the size of our brain. And that happened to coincide with a hunter-gatherer band size and medieval farming village size was maxed out at 150. And so he’s making that argument today and we’re managing way more than that because of the digital technology. But he also talks about these things, the intimate circle and the social circle and the intimate circle is you’re really tight, small group, quite often family, not necessarily because you get to pick, but spending the majority of your social time nurturing that intimate circle and then a little bit more time with the larger social circle, which might be your golf buddies or your colleagues at work. Uh, and it, it, it was really interesting to think about because, you know, we have that opportunity to prioritize the relationships that we like the most and spend time with people waiting like the most. It doesn’t have to be family, doesn’t have to be work colleagues, you could punch out and say, see you guys later. Uh, I, I love working with you, but I want to spend all my time somewhere else, but I think we get drained of those opportunities because of the overwhelming amount of social media obligations that we have.

Tommy: Yeah. And secretly if you’re, if your business is largely online, which is definitely a very common nowadays, I certainly the certainly the fact for, for, you know, various things that you guys do have, you know, have an online component and online groups and things that have to be managed and looked after and people to talk to and emails to answer and those, uh, those pressures are always there. And I, you know, I can’t say I’m always great at balancing that. It’s, it’s something that you really have to work on. So finding ways to, um, to turn that off and make sure you focus on spending time with, be it your friends or your loved ones, the people you live with. Um, you know, that’s, that’s really important. And, and how, how you, how you do that is obviously very individual, but it’s very important to make sure that you carve out that time.

Brad: Right? So yes, you can still be an introvert that likes small group settings and have three or four close friends and your town, or you can be this person who’s joining the bowling league and the golf, uh, group, uh, the wine club and be running around like crazy, constantly engaging in social opportunities and just whatever feels right to you. So there’s no hard and fast rule there.

Tommy: No, I don’t think so. There’s certainly no, um, you know, if, if we try and see whether there’s something from, from the research or looking back through the evolutionary lens, I don’t, I don’t think we can definitely say that one particular pattern is going to be the thing that you have to do. There is some interesting research that suggests that if you’re a man, getting married, uh, is good for your health and longevity, but it doesn’t work for women. So women who get married don’t live longer, but men who get married, married, do. So that’s just, it’s just an interesting fact.

Brad: So too busy taking care of undeveloped man who has to be constantly guided through life, I guess.

Tommy: Yeah, exactly. Having, having, having the burden of have a guide to, you know, sort of dragged through life. Exactly. So, so, so, so we can benefit from that, but the ladies maybe not as just a, a, an interesting.

Brad: We’ll be trying to make up for it for the rest of our day. Don’t be a burden. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so you mentioned inflammation, and it seems so many of the conversations, it seems like all roads lead to inflammation and this chronic inflammation that we’re talking about. So in terms of the studies about socializing and how it affects the cortisol, is that prominent stress hormone. I’d like to talk about that too because that’s the thing that’s driving this chronic inflammation is the chronic overstimulation of the fight or flight response, which was designed to be brief and a maximum effort and then down to a recalibration of generally more mellow life and now we’ve abused the heck out of that. How is that playing out and affecting our health?

Tommy: Yeah. The important thing to point out is that inflammation is, isn’t a bad thing. Inflammation is the body healing itself. It’s the process of the immune system dealing with whatever it is that, you know, it is the issue, be it a true direct trauma or a bacterial or viral infection or whatever,

Brad: a muscle workout running in a sprint workout, whatever you’re calling upon inflammation.

Tommy: Yeah, absolutely. And one of the reasons why exercise is beneficial is because you get a short, a increase in inflammation, which then decreases inflammation over the long term. Um, so inflammation isn’t a bad thing. It’s part part of the healing process, but if you don’t get rid of whatever it is that, that’s causing that inflammation, the then, then it causes, causes issues. So, um, if you think about and cortisol too, again, cortisol itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you have high levels of cortisol for long periods of time, you, you can become resistant to that. It’s like any hormone, if you have high levels of insulin for long periods of time, you can develop insulin resistance and so you can, you can develop, develop glucocorticoid resistance. They called it or cortisol resistance. And that’s just, again, that process of being continuously exposed to it.

Tommy: So the receptors in the body just decided to listen less. They turned down the volume just because they’re constantly being exposed to it. And then, you know, cortisol itself is anti-inflammatory. We give a cortisone, you know, you have a cold sun cream if you have some kind of rash, we give it to people with autoimmune disease to try and dampen down inflammation. So cortisol itself is anti-inflammatory, better than. And again, being chronically exposed, you can then reduce the, uh, the benefit of that. So anything that, um, you can be exposed to. And again, it can be very individual things in the Diet. You know, we’ve talked about social isolation. A chronic exercise is something that we certainly see a lot of. And that was actually what I talked about or part of my talk, a little health symposium was about sort of excessive exercise and training for modern sports.

Tommy: And how that’s how that’s a modern construct that we’re actually asking things of our body that we will never really evolved to do in that certainly be inflammatory in a number of ways. So there’s a number of different things that we’re continuously exposed to. And again, in the, in a, in a brief, a brief exposure, it can be beneficial, you know, just like a bit of exercise is great for you, but too much of it you can have too much of a good thing. And that’s often when the problems start to develop,.

Brad: So you produce the cortisol in response to your turn to speak at the ancestral health symposium or, or time to go hit the intervals in the workout. The cortisol floods your bloodstream, the fight or flight response occurs. And so you’re getting initially an inflammatory response.

Tommy: So in, in the short term, you know, if everything’s working normally, then cortisol. It’s, I mean it’s part of a number of different processes. So it was partly there to help you liquidate your assets, you know, make sure that blood sugar stays up to allow you to perform whatever it is you’re trying to perform. It is stimulating. So people may know if you’ve ever taken exogenous cortisol, they’ve taken prednisone tablets for some kind of inflammatory process, auto immune disease, you can’t take it in the evening because actually makes you, it makes it sort of wakes you up. It’s very, um, it’s very stimulating. So it does all those things, again, as part of that fight or flight response. And uh, it’s also an acutely anti-inflammatory. It can dampen down too much of an inflammatory response. But that is that when it’s continuously happening and you’re not letting it come down and it should have a normal daily rhythm plus, you know, some small fluctuations if you need to activate the fight or flight response.

Tommy: But if your, uh, your circadian rhythm is messed up, you’re not letting that normal fluctuation or your continuously stressed. So maybe, uh, you wake up and you’re late for work and there’s traffic on your commute and then you hate your job. And then, um, then you go home and you’d like crush yourself on the bike because you’re training for an iron man and then you can never, you never truly switch off to go to, you know, to go to sleep properly and then you become sleep deprived and then, you know, that whole kind of cycle. It’s just continuously having the sort of the on switch and pushing the accelerator and never having a chance to turn it off. But, you know, I imagine there’s a lot of people were like, we’ll, we’ll identify with everything. I, you know, they’re probably doing all of those things or they’ll, they’ll realize they’re trying to do all of that stuff, you know, the job, there’s whatever issues getting to and from work and there’s whatever they’re training for us because they want to try and perform and then they, you know, cut the sleep short because they’ve got kids and dogs and whatever.

Tommy: And there’s just a lot of the time we’re just asking too much of ourselves.

Brad: So the, what’s the optimal daily rhythm for Cortisol?

Tommy: So it should, it should peak, um, sometime between four and 6:00 AM. So just before you wake up and then it essentially should just come down naturally over the day until you, until you go to sleep. And then it’ll peak again a peak again at night. So you see this nice kind of spike in early morning and then it will come down. Often people will, uh, you’ll, you’ll see that the slope of the curve is reduced slightly because maybe you have something like coffee which can affect the metabolism of cortisol. So again, for some, some people don’t make cause issues if they’re having lots of caffeine. Um, but that’s, that’s the normal, that’s the normal, a normal daily rhythm. It should be a spike in the morning and then come down over the day. And if you’re with all of those things, you know, continuously keeping it elevated, then you can. And it is part of, you know, we know everything in the body, almost everything in the body has this sort of daily cycle. And that’s one of the things that controls many other processes. So if you’re not letting it go up and down, then you know, there’s a lot of knock on effects.

Brad: So if you’re wondering what this, this hormone talk has to do with anything or that you’re not following the science of what I, what I discovered when I was an athlete was this was, this was everything. This was me figuring out the puzzle that was, you know, causing me to struggle and sufferi. I just could not understand why I could go, go, go and feel fantastic and do these great races and come home and feel fine the next day and get up and ride 73 miles and then come home and take a short nap and then go run. And it was because I was over producing the stress hormones, a overstimulating the fight or flight response. So in that short term, however long I lasted, I remember crashing and burning after six weeks of awesome racing or um, a year of going fantastic and traveling all over the world. And then the entire next year I’d wake up every morning and feel like crap. So I feel like this discussion is highly relevant to everyone out there who’s pushing things hard and trying to cover all these checkboxes in life, whether it’s the busy harried mom who’s trying to be, be all and end all for her kids or balancing career and parenting or doing your athletic endeavors at the end of your hard busy work day. So, um, if we could figure out this puzzle and how to kind of avoid that allure of constantly calling upon the fight or flight response, knowing that it works and we will feel a pumped up if we put on the, the loud music and our friends are there waiting, circling in the driveway waiting for us to get on the bike and go hit at heart. Even though you’re kind of feeling dry gas, you’re, you’re, I like that quote. You’re liquidating your assets.

Tommy: Yeah. Yeah. That’s um,

Brad: we can always liquidate our assets tomorrow and buy a new boat because I just saw these cool boats down at Lake Union, Lake Washington. Like wouldn’t it be fun to have a boat? Gee I guess I could buy a boat tomorrow if I tanked myself for the next, you know, screwed up my, my operation big time. You know what I mean? Yeah. Okay. So we’re liquidating our assets.

Tommy: Yeah, that’s exactly. That’s exactly it. I think is a Robert Sapolsky quote from Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers is one of his first books. He is a fabulous. I’m a neuroscientist based at Harvard and. But basically that’s, that’s what cortisol does, is it takes whatever it is that you have stored up and makes it available so that you can do whatever it is you asking your body to do right now. And when we activate those things, you’re right. We can overcome a huge amount and we can feel great even as things are starting to fall apart. And that’s just part of our resilience as a species is what allows us to thrive in, in hard times, which we’ve done many times in many different scenarios. But, you know, at some point you’re going to run out of those, of those assets to work with and then you know, that’s when you spend all this time having, having, having to back.

Tommy: So it’s much better to find balance before everything falls apart rather than have to sort of build the people back up and the building people back up is essentially what we have to do a lot of because there’s just been this societal drive where, you know, you work 80 hours a week and you run marathons and you have kids and you know, you buy all these things and you know, all this kind of stuff that, you know, if you’re a type A personality or somebody who’s driven the, these are the things you think you need to do in life. And eventually, you know, some people do find they’re gonna be wrong. But for most people that the wheels come off,

Brad: how did those people do fine? Are we just talking about genetic aptitude for a grander life than the next person? I’m questioning too. I know I’ve talked to you a lot of times like Tommy, what’s going on? Because I feel like I have these crash and burn patterns in my life despite careful attention to diet. I’m not overtraining or anywhere near those patterns that I used to be a, but you know, you can kind of get into a short term overdoing it in one way or another and then kind of feeling drag ass for a couple of few days and then identifying that I need a lot more sleep than the average. And I’d take a poll of all my friends and even if I find somebody that says, yeah, I need like nine hours, I’m like, really? Seriously. That’s awesome. Tell me more. But is that genetic variation or the.?

Tommy: I don’t know. It’s just, there’s always the outliers, a, the what? This is going to be a certainly a genetic aspect, but then there’s also a cognitive aspect. Some people are just resilient to, to, you know, a lot of psychological or social stressors. And the, I guess the, the, the reason that is, is because there’s no such thing as stress, right? It’s just our response to whatever it is that stressful. So I get it. So I used the example of, you know, hating your boss or the traffic on the way to work when you’re, when you’re, when you’re driving, like one person, there’ll be super stressed about that. Like even though the is the same traffic everyday, right? So it doesn’t change, but every morning it’s just super stressful to just sit there, you know, slowly crawling to work. Whereas the person in the next car it’s like, no big deal.

Tommy: I’ll sit here and listen to a podcast, you know, I know it’s going to be honest. This is not stressful at all. It’s just part of the process. So they’re just going to be people that are much more resilient to stuff like that. And we can make ourselves more resilient to that, you know, it’s just a, how do you respond to those things? What your, what’s your thought process? Are you able to just realize that it is just part of life and there’s no point in getting stressed about it. And I think that’s something that everybody can, can certainly work on. Um, but, but again, when you talk to the people who live the longest and healthiest lives, they certainly seem to be happy to often be quite slow about things, right? And that’s just about everything they do and they realize that there’s should be plenty of time and everything doesn’t need to be done today and if you can build in those periods of relaxation and spending time with family and, you know, slowing down to eat your food with other people and you know, realizing that you probably don’t need to race that Ironman, you know, next month, you know, all of that kind of stuff can, can come together, um, to, to then give you the long term benefit.

Brad: Yeah. I guess that goes, especially in the exercise realm, if you go and respect that intuitive component, which I’m always talking about what the athletes like, you know, if you don’t feel like doing your planned workout, I feel that’s a very profound sign that you should pay attention to instead of turning on the little switch saying you lazy ass. Of course you don’t feel like it. It’s raining out. But I remember, uh, you know, whether in any sort of hardship didn’t deter me one bit when I was motivated and excited to go train and I had these daunting competitive goals that consumed me and I had so much enthusiasm for those were all positives and then, you know, when I’m racing poorly overtrained, uh, getting into this, uh, you know, not getting over myself but getting too fixated on the business aspects of it. And was I getting enough pay from my sponsor? Nothing. Nothing motivated me to train because there was so much negativity involved and that the same, for example, for the workplace or whatever.

Tommy: Yeah. And that you bring up a great point which is so subjective feelings, subject of quality of life, uh, is actually one of the best things that you can track if you’re able to actually be, be mindful of that. And particularly if we’re talking about sports, One of the best ways to track the risk of overtraining or injury in athletes, you know, and better than, or at least as good as if not better than a looking at blood markers. Looking at HRV. If you just do a regular question asking athletes how they feel, how they sleep, there’s lots of as to include things like digestion, sexual function, mental health, all that kind of stuff that will tell you whether somebody is at risk of overtraining or injury just as well as all the fancy market. So if you can be mindful of those things. And then he was like, do you know what?

Tommy: I just don’t feel like it’s a day. And then, you know, give yourself a day off rather than gun. Push yourself really hard. But I don’t get me wrong. I’ve certainly felt on the same traps that you were talking about before. It was just like you just get in there and crush yourself and then you’ll feel great afterwards. But you know, you get to a point where you sort of. If you listen again, everybody says listen to your body. You kind of. once athletes get maybe into their late thirties or into kind of, you know, the master’s categories, you’ll always hear them say, you know, now I just sort of listened to my body and my training is much more intuitive. But I feel like most people seem to need like a decade or two decades of really, really suffering, suffering to, to in order to figure that out.

Brad: Well, I’m also going to say that listen to my body is not quite all the way there because when I was in these high overstress periods, bathed and stress hormones, because of repeated hard exercise, I listened to my body and my body said, let’s go again, man. Bring it on because I’m in that altered chemical, metabolic state. And so just to make sure everyone understands. So when you’re saying like you’re liquidating your assets, you’re all the sudden with the snap of a fingers such as when a gun comes to your head or when they call the racers to the starting line, you start to metabolize fatty acids really well. Bring the glucose, drip it into the bloodstream perfectly so that even if you’re just switching over from the athletic analogy to a. you’re in a crisis situation in the hospital and you’ve been there on watch for 13 straight hours and someone says do you want to go eat breakfast? And you say, no, I’m not hungry. That’s because you’re in this was high wired state.

Tommy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. That’s what it’s setting you up for. It’s providing all of those fuels so that you can and so that you can perform whatever it is you need to perform and you know, historically it might be, you know, run away or fight or hunts or something like that. And now it’s um, the do, do the job at work here, deadline, you know, do a workout and all of those, uh, the, the, the amount of, the amount of stress that we feel, the way we respond. It’s always relative. Right? So what’s, uh, there, there are many people in the world who were exposed to far more stressful things than we are a. however, like I said, it’s relative. So I will get just as stressed as they do buy something that’s just stressful relatively to me. So the body will always, you know, you always have those, have those exposures that will give you something

Brad: great. I mean, Tom Cruise is cracking jokes while he’s doing a mission, a climbing up the side of the burst and in a, in Dubai and he’s totally chill and all those great people we see in the top gun and maverick and goose are, are joking over the radio, but it in literal terms that’s really important to, to respect, same with the, uh, the workplace or even the person out there peddling their bike beyond the heart rate. Is the stress impact of the workout based on your, um, your psychological state of health, I suppose?

Tommy: Yeah. And, and whatever it is,

Brad: Get over yourself basically. Calm down, chill out, whatever you’re doing. You know, I always feel like, you know, people that they don’t call in sick to work. It always bugged me. It’s like, you know what? You’re going to get us sick. Go home. I guarantee you that the business will operate without you for one, two or three days. But that self importance in that stress of dragging a sick body into the workplace so that you don’t lose momentum is part of that. Part of that mentality is taking us, taking us into the, into the tank over and over.

Tommy: Yeah, but that’s kind of what, what we’re, what we think we need to be, um, what we, what we think we need to do again as well, what we think society requires of us. But with that, with that same example, you could probably think of the, all these other things that, that person is doing that are probably gonna increase the susceptibility to being sick and then just sort of like push through it, which may actually be even more detrimental and sort of compound things. But that’s just the way things are currently set up for most people.

Brad: So when you’re in this fight or flight hot wired state, that’s an inflammatory state, your, your elevated levels of systemic inflammation overall, you’ve got heart rate, respiration, fuel usage, a. would you call that an inflammatory state?

Tommy: I’m in the longterm. Yeah. So, so in the short term, potentially not. It depends on what, what else might be going on. So if you’re, if you’re doing exercise again, that you know, is, that is definitely inflammatory, but with a positive consequences such as remodeling of the muscle tissues ah reducing and reducing base levels of inflammation, a sort of resets the inflammatory processes or the immune system. So, so it kind of depends what else is going on. It’s when a, any, but then any stimulus like that can become a chronically inflammatory because of, um, you know, be it resistance to certain things or an increase in certain mediators over time. So again, it’s not the one thing is necessarily bad, it’s just that continuous exposure.

Brad: Okay. So I guess you could say when you’re, when you’re in that fight or flight, you are primed for peak performance, which is a thumbs up all the way around, whether it’s the speech, uh, and the workplace or the athletic event and then calling upon it too frequently. Then you, I mean, liquidating your assets is great when it’s time to buy the, the new boat, but then when you have to get your bills paid the following week, then you pay the price.

Tommy: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Brad: And I’m glad I went down to the harbor before the podcast to have this boat analogy because I’m looking at this boat going, man, that’s a nice boat.

Tommy: But so, so that’s exactly it. You know, we can liquidate some assets that allows us to perform well. However, you can’t keep going back to the, well eventually eventually you’re going to run out at some point. You need to start saving again so that you can pay for, you know, pay for the boat payments. Right. So that’s the, it’s a,

Brad: well, I paid cash for the boat. Okay, well I’ll tell you that now. What about my, my rent mortgage. Food? Yeah. Yeah. So, so the, um, the,

Tommy: I guess the point is that there will always be a time where you need to start building back up or paying, paying things off, right? And so you can accumulate huge amounts of credit card debt or you can sell very, you can sell everything you have so that you can buy the boat with cash, but then you, you may have had to sell stuff that you actually needed to use the next week. Um, so, you know, maybe you sold the car to buy the boat and then we can’t get to work.

Brad: Twenty years later your kid’s got no money for college.

Tommy: Yeah. So, so the, the analogy certainly make it certainly makes a lot of sense. You think about all the, it’s all about short term gain at the expense potentially of, of a longterm performance or longterm health. And I think, you know, particularly going back to the well repeatedly, um, in terms of sports performance or sports training, um, that’s the thing that the, this, the is the most tangible way to explain what we see in people in terms of their long term health issues and, and, but it doesn’t need to just be, it doesn’t need to just be exercise, it can be, um, it can be work stress, it can be financial stress, it can be social isolation, you know, all of those things compound one another. Um, and, and then, you know, again, you end up to a point where you can’t pay the bills.

Brad: Yeah. My podcast with Joel Jamison, your neighbor down the road, Kirkland, um, he was, you know, referencing that this stress at work, your studies, your relationship, your parenting roles, they all take energy, which means you have less energy to devote to training, but I think a lot a amateur enthusiasts have this notion that a, their exercise is a great stress release from the other forms of stress in their life and not realizing that they should all be on the same side of the scales of justice and, and however busy you are with kids soccer season, you literally have less energy to devote to training and therefore should prioritize recovery. But we don’t like to hear that stuff on a podcast or to our face. We just want to have it all in and think that, well, this is totally different than my, my job’s a desk job. So of course I can train for marathons. It’ll be this wonderfully balanced an operation where I’m living the dream and live in this balance, healthy fit life and also contributing well in the workplace. Yeah, I think that’s one of the. Then they end up at Nourish Balance Thrive.

Tommy: Then they end up yet, so keep doing it. Great, and then you can come and be vulnerable and be one of our clients. Well, we always love working. I mean the people we work with a fabulous. It’s always so much fun, but I think that’s one of the is one of the biggest misnomers that m and a big red flag usually for me when you sort of ask somebody, so what do you do for stress relief and they’ll I go running. I’m just not really sure. Yeah, I’m, that’s not. It’s not doing what you think is doing and yes, you can feel amazing after you go running and you’re going to get loads of endorphins released. You’re going to get a cortisol spike, which we should just going to make you feel great in the short term, but you’re absolutely right. It all comes from that, from that same, from that same bucket, it all comes from the same bank account. You can’t, you know, you’re still, you’re still using up the same resources as you were when you were getting stressed at work or getting stressed by, by family kids or whatever. So when, when you’re, when you’re using exercise therapeutically as stress relief, you know, in the longterm that that can really start to cause issues.

Brad: Yeah. Let’s understand this endorphin thing too because, uh, I feel like we’re in an age of, you know, we’re a bunch of druggies talking to each other about that great. A fantastic feeling you have after your crossfit workouts, spinning class run and you’re bathed in these chemicals that are there, their painkillers, like a, like an opioid. And so you get this short term sensation that, wow, what a great idea that I did get my butt up at 5:00 AM to do this workout because I feel buzz full of energy and enlightenment and positivity after the workout. But again, we’re kind of calling upon this short term chemical reaction that can have negative long-term repercussions.

Tommy: Yeah. And if you think about, uh, it’s the, it’s, it’s pro the processes are all very closely linked. So if you think about any time you’re asking your body to get excited and perform, you are, you know, this whole host of things come together to make you feel good, right? That’s the because, you know,  if you think about the fact that maybe you needed to, um, run away from a danger or maybe you needed to run towards your next meal because you haven’t eaten for however long. If, if you felt really crap and the energy with super low and he felt really unmotivated, then that stuff’s just not going to happen. You’re going to get caught by whatever is chasing you or you’re not going to catch whatever it is you’re trying to eat. And I mean you just, that that’s it. You as what sooner or later you’re going to die.

Tommy: So we are designed to feel good in that scenario where we really need to perform. However, uh, again, if, if, if you look, if you look back at a hunter gatherer populations and you look at their, their activity patterns, they don’t push their bodies for nearly as long or as hard as, as we do as athletes. Almost on a daily basis, um, and again, they have plenty of opportunities to, to relax and spend time in whatever social community, perform whatever ceremonies or you know, all those other things that are part of the group that the, that we often sacrifice in order to try and, uh, perform particularly at sport that. We’ll, you know, work isn’t it great example.

Brad: Yeah, I like that. I came across this notion researching the Primal Blueprint years ago and uh, it was like a revelation to me even though I shouldn’t have been, it was just getting into my thick head, but there’s something was written where it said, remember our hunter gatherer ancestors did the absolute bare minimum necessary to survive. And if they were trekking and migrating along the seashore, which is commonly the case, they had a shit ton of fish to eat. So they might’ve just sat around all day and played ancient chess and checkers because there was none. There was none of this nonsense that we’re doing now. So I guess this kind of transitions to what you talked about, ancestral health and I love that insight that you offered again was another epiphany like, oh yeah, because you were talking about dialing in carb intake for an athlete and your starting point was, hey, wait a second, you guys, you realize this is a totally modern construct, so why should we compare to our ancestors did very well in Keto and all this stuff. So you, what did you talk about? Or let’s, let’s get more into that.

Tommy: Yeah. So the, my talk was about um, the athletes it is called the Athletes’ Gut a potential pitfalls of fueling for modern sports and it kind of brought all of that stuff together and centered around the issues with gut health the athletes often have, but then also the issues that we have in terms of the amount of food that we’re having to process. If we’ve, if we’re you, a very high intensity athletes, um, and you know, the, the total number of calories they have to go through that. And then also the effects of the direct effects that exercise can intense exercise, can have on the gut, which is often a detrimental or negative. And so I started out by looking at, uh, some, some hunter gatherer movement patterns and the best research to probably that the Hadza people talk about those, you know, those guys a lot and they’ve, we’ve turned up and we’ve given them accelerometers and heart rate monitors and all that kind of stuff to sort of track their activity patterns.

Brad: I turned up and there’s those guys again, he gave him like a $300 accelerometer and a bunch of food or something that they really like. Yeah.

Tommy: Yeah. I, I don’t know obviously how those studies, you know, a sort of setup, but I imagine that it must be a very strange concept to the Hadza when Western researchers turn up with all their gadgets, then I’m like, can we just plug you into all this stuff? And then please just go about your normal day. It just, I mean, I mentioned those interactions have a very strange for, for both sides. So if you think about, again, the Hadza where we have a lot of data, they spend maybe two to three hours at a level of activity that’s like brisk walking, so lots of walking around, you know, but equally, you know, lots of periods not, not doing that much, but less than half an hour a day of really vigorous intensity exercise like what we would consider training or exercise, you know, going to the gym, getting on the treadmill, running as hard as we can for half an hour or lifting weights in the gym or anything like that.

Tommy: They’re doing less than half an hour a day of that. So once you’re an Ironman triathlete training two to three hours a day of vigorous intensity, you’re already doing like five, six times as much as we have ever done on a regular basis. As you know, as we evolved, you know, there’s, there’s no, I don’t think there’s any ancestral group that asked as much of their bodies on a regular basis as well as the modern athlete does. And so then when you’re trying to think about fueling that, um, it’s interesting that there seems to be an evolutionary conserved total energy expenditure and it’s about two to 3000 calories per day. Women on the lower end, a man on the higher end, but also as determined by fat free mass. So obviously, you know, there there’s some, some intermixing in the middle and when your on a modern athlete, particularly endurance athletes training multiple hours a day, you’re two to three times that.

Tommy: So you’re, you’re asking a lot more in terms of energy expenditure and you’re asking a lot more in terms of the amount of calories that your body has to process. So to, to think that this is some kind of a and says, you know, ancestrally relevant thing is just is just incorrect. You’re asking something that the body has never really been been designed to do it in the long term. And that’s probably why, you know, high level intensity or high volume athletes in the longterm often develop a lot of health issues. So that was, that was kind of what I was talking about is you have to start with the fact that modern sports and training on sports are a modern construct. So we’re, you know, we’re just not necessarily designed to do that.

Brad: What kind of health issues are we seeing? Oh, I know about the cardiovascular damage, especially in many of my old peers on the triathlon circuit and in the worlds of the elite cycling, high performing. Even the amateur cyclists that have been going for years and years of some of these articles are just a horrifying. The ones called One Foot in the Grave. One’s called Running on Empty. There’s another one with the cyclists and Leonard Zinn was the featured guide. There is a prominent guy in the cycling industry in a long time racer where their hearts just blow out because of repeated overuse for years and decades.

Tommy: Yeah. So, so cardiovascular is probably the main one and there’s definitely some contention on this. James O’keefe is obviously a cardiologist who’s published a lot on this with some, some other guys and that there’s definitely an increase in, in A fib risk in Joe’s athletes and there may also be an increased risk of a frank cardiovascular disease because just of the shoe, the huge volume of the inflammatory burden and the stress on the heart, you know, day in, day out for decades. So if you do this for a few years, you’re probably fine. But if you’re one of those guys who you’re a professional endurance athlete for decades and you’re training 20 hours a week for decades, which there certainly are people doing. Yeah. There were some people who are like, I just need to run 10 miles every day. And you know, on that, you know, in the end of the spectrum, there certainly seems to be the potential for an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tommy: And then the other thing that we see a lot of his, uh, his issues with with gut function and exercise, particularly that kind of exercise long periods around lactate threshold. You know, 70, 80 percent of VO2 Max for long periods of time, um, that seems to really detrimental on the gut you, particularly for runners. But if you, if you look at the, if you look at the literature in general, a competitive endurance athletes, at least 70 percent have some kind of gastrointestinal symptoms. Again, it’s worse, it’s worse in runners, but you know, everything from like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, gas or that kind of stuff. Almost every juror’s athlete I know has had that some point and it’s, it’s, uh, there’s a number of potential reasons. It could be a that you’re eating something that you, that you, that doesn’t agree with you, you know, often the things that we’re told to eat as endurance athletes in large volumes of processed carbohydrates can certainly cause issues with the gut.

Tommy: But then also you’re decreasing blood flow to the gut directly. You also increased gut permeability with long periods of intense exercise, especially if you know it’s. And it’s made worse if you’re dehydrated. So just like this constant stress on the gut everyday, particularly if you’re doing high volumes of, of high intensity exercise intensity, high intensity base, or like a relative scientific term. So anything that would be, you know, running or cycling or that kind of level of endurance training that, that intensity, there’s just, it’s really hard for the gut. And actually there, there are a number of people who think that, and it would certainly make sense that the stress you put it on the gut, the increase in gut permeability, the inflammation is then also tied into the issues with cardiovascular disease because you’re increasing systemic inflammation which can then directly affect the heart.

Tommy: So it certainly seems to be connected in one way or another. So it’s just that, that constant stress, which, you know, the heart, the gut have had never really been exposed to. And you know, we, we just have to accept that, you know, if you have to do it for short term performance for whatever reason, you know, if it, you kind of give people a pass if it’s their job and the triathlon pays the bills. Um, but it, it, it’s just something that we were not adapted to

Brad: Gee, sorry, I remember years ago, uh, on the, on the triathlon circuit and having this anecdotal insight that the digestive system was the first thing to go. It was the first thing to fall when you got into that overtraining pattern and that proved true for me over and over where you just have some irregularity, whether it was a name it and it starts to get bad and then everything else falls apart.

Brad: Like then your knee injury flares up again, but it was so sensitive because of all the calories going down. Yeah, that was the tough part. Yeah.

Tommy: So that brings up a really interesting point which is at the, if you again, will go back to subjective, you know, asking people about things. So including their digestion. It, the best evidence is actually an in female athletes, but there’s a questionnaire called the leaf Q, the low energy availability in females. A questionnaire was a leaf Q, a as a question. Yeah. And that they in the runup to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, they, uh, they did this question and I think it was mainly with Australian athletes and this was the best predictor of a, of injury at the Olympics was how you scored in this questionnaire. And there’s a whole section on gut symptoms, you know, all those kind of, you know, either around the cycle, outside of the outside of the menstrual cycle and in, um, in women who have, um, a bad gut symptoms, um, that predicts a injury risk. So it goes so, it, so it’s exactly what you just said, but, um, the, they’re incorporating this into, into questionnaires the highly validated and they’re actually seeing that in the research now

Brad: is running worse because of the impact trauma that the factor that makes it you, you mentioned running is worse.

Tommy: Yeah, I think so as there’s the, the uh, the gut is a lot more mobile when you’re running just because it’s moving up and down compared to us sitting down sport where it’s a lot more, um, you know, a gut is as staying in place at least a lot more than when you’re running. So that’s the theory. That’s part of the theory at least. Yeah.

Brad: So I guess becoming fat adapted would be a big help so you don’t require as many calories and uh, what else is a way to address this burgeoning topic of gut health for athletes?

Tommy: Yeah, it’s so that, that, that’s a great point and I definitely highlighted that in the talk is that if you can reduce your reliance on interrace nutrition, uh, and then also reduce your reliance on, um, you know, having to pound protein shakes or recovery shakes, all those things gels immediately afterwards as well when the gut still isn’t really primed to absorb stuff.

Brad: It’s not a no, because we are also told that the muscles are most receptive to reloading right away. And then this window of opportunity, I used to write about this and sell powder to athletes saying you got to go within 30 minutes of getting home and pound the smoothie. So I believe there’s scientific validation that your, your glycogen reloading can take place efficiently right after and then you sort of lose that receptivity.

Tommy: Yeah. So that, that’s true. The reloading glycogen stores sort of happens in two waves as the initial one immediately afterwards and then, you know, a slower, slower, sort of second wave after an hour or two. And so I think that only matters if you’re, um, so if you’re going to do a two a day and the second workout of the day performance is really important, like you needed to retrain with optimal glycogen stores, then I would, then I would worry about it. If you’re not going to train again to the next day, you will absolutely reload those glycogen stores by the next day. Even if you’re Keto, if you’re well Keto adapted next day, even if you don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates. So that. So I don’t think you need to worry about immediate glycogen replenishment if so, I guess one or the other.

Tommy: There are plenty of examples, but something like I’m a crossfit athlete where they’re going to have multiple events in a day and then you know, getting that stuff in quickly is super important. But there’s plenty of good data showing that immediately after intense exercise and during and after you lose the, you have a reduced ability to absorb this stuff. So if this stuff isn’t being absorbed properly, it’s hanging out in the gut. It’s either being fermented by the gut bacteria causing gas and bloating or it’s sitting there, it’s drawing in water and it has something called the osmotic effect. And then it causes diarrhea because there’s more water in the gut. So you. And this is the same with both carbohydrates and proteins. So if you think about guys have a really hard workout in the gym and the neck, a protein shake and then you have the protein farts for the rest of the afternoon because actually you put that stuff in when the.

Tommy: When the gut wasn’t quite ready to start digesting and absorbing it, so waiting at least half an hour to an hour I think is a really good idea. And, and again, if we think about both glycogen and then also protein. So after the talk, um, uh, someone in the audience came up and was like, you know, the guy my running shop is saying I have to have a protein shake immediately after my workout and you know, there’s plenty of evidence to show that at least for the vast majority of athletes where the timing of protein intake isn’t really gonna have a much, a much of an effect is much more to do with the amount of protein you eat in the 24 hours after, after your workout rather than what you eat in that first 30 minutes. So giving that gut a little bit of a break I’m at before you start refueling I think can be really beneficial.

Tommy: Um, so yeah, so being, being fat adapted. So periods of low carb cycling, low carb throughout your workout. So like sleeping low, you know, where you drained glycogen stores overnight, then maybe you do a fasted workout in the morning and then you refill with carbs after that. So you’ve had like this 24 hour period we were kind of low carb training and low in a low a glycogen depleted state that’s going to sort of activate those fat adaptation pathways. But then you don’t need to be glycogen depleted or low carb all the time. You can sort of cycle through it. Um, then also adapting, you’re adapting your training. So we use a lot of periodized, uh, or sorry, polarized training. So, uh, lots of, lots of time at like a really slow aerobic kind of MAF heart rate kind of style. And then some periods of very intense short birch, short burst short sprints.

Tommy: Um, and especially in the, in athletes with a long training history that works really well, you know, they’ve got that base, like they, their skills are really high, you know, that they, they know how to move and then they actually spend. You spend a lot less time around threshold, which really seems to be punishing yourself at that kind of, you know, a 20 minute repeats that lactate threshold is like the worst thing you can for your gut. So if you’re somebody who has like gut symptoms associated with that size, like skipping that bit and then doing some much shorter intervals and then so much longer aerobic work that, that can really be beneficial too. So you can restructure the diet, cycle the carbohydrates and then also restructuring the training and maybe reducing the training loads. You know, maybe you have a lot of volume in there that you don’t need and you can, you can start to figure out other things that you can do, um, or you know, increasing recovery and all of that can then be beneficial. Um, beyond that, sometimes we have to do some gut treatment protocols, test the gut, see if there’s something in there that we need to treat. Um, and, and, and, and we do that too, but often, you know, looking a, the training program and um, and the dietary approach, you know, that can be enough to.

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