Although these answers are seemingly complete, in most cases they are not and a deeper answer could be provided but are often jargon-heavy. These answers are to provide a glimpse of the way in which we develop metabolic understanding, how to test it, and how to best utilize this information once captured.
Your metabolism is the sum of all chemical reactions in your body. Both breakdown (catabolic) and build up (anabolic). This means it is measurable. That measurement is in calories = a calorie is measured by the amount of heat required to burn 1 calorie of water. I want to go deeper on this, ie. hormones, temperature regulation, etc.
Metabolism is measured by either Direct or indirect calorimetry. Direct calorimetry requires a calorimeter. A giant box that you exercise in that measures heat. Very expensive and impractical. Indirect calorimetry measures energy expenditure rather than heat expenditure. EE is calculated for the respiratory exchange of o2 and co2 using a gas analyzer. This is the measure we use.
There are 4 main ways that metabolism is tested; Dietary Tracking, Direct Calorimetry, Indirect Calorimetry, and physical activity tracking.
Low-Intensity exercise and teaching our body to use fat as its main source of fuel at rest. This is known as being “fat-adapted”. When fat is utilized as a fuel it is then exhaled. Counter to popular belief, we do not melt our fat away, we breathe it off. Maybe go deep?
Our body uses either fat or glucose (glucose because carbs would be an oversimplification) for energy. Our body breaks down chemical energy sources into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for use inside of the muscle. Externally we know them as food. Internally we know them as fat and/or muscle. Our body is able to use protein as a fuel source, but it is not ideal.
The capacity to match fuel oxidation to fuel availability. The inability to switch between fats and carbs appears to be an important feature of chronic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. It has an important role in the regulation of fuel homeostasis and metabolic health. If you are unable to utilize fat energy well, your body can use most of its glucose storage possibly leaving you “craving” to refill them. It could also mean you are breaking down muscles for needed energy.
Fitness being regular in your life, low-intensity cardiovascular effort ie. walking or simple bicycle rides, nutrient timings, not having sedentary behavior (N.E.A.T. or Non Exercise ???), Carbs surrounding efforts, lower quantities of carbs when digested and truer to form, fasting intermittently (daily, Weekly, or monthly like 24-hour water fasts) to name a few.
The short answer is no. We do not typically use protein as a fuel source at Breathe Performance. But the body can. Protein is just not an ideal source of fuel for the body as it requires many metabolic processes in order to use as energy. It also requires a lot of environmental factors to be on point as well (such as not having carbohydrates around as an option inside of the body). At the end of the day there are many factors and this goes beyond the scope of this question.
ATP is the muscles’ money or currency. Muscles require ATP to contract (even the Diaphragm). There are two ways to produce it; 1 - Oxygen = oxidative phosphorylation (Breathing) - Aerobic – Produces the most energy (costs 2 ATP and creates 32 ATP – Netting 30 ATP Via the Krebs Cycle); 2 - Substrate - level phosphorylation (Food, fat/glucose burn = Glucose metabolism in the mitochondria - Anaerobic- (2 ATP consumed to create 8 ATP)
Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell. They are organelles that act like a digestive system which takes in nutrients, breaks them down, and create energy rich molecules for the cell. The biochemical processes of the cell are known as cellular respiration. Many of the reactions involved in cellular respiration happen in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the organelles that keep the cell full of energy, they are small and float freely throughout the cell. Some cells have several thousand mitochondria while others have none. Muscle cells need a lot of energy so they have loads of mitochondria. If a cell feels it is not getting enough energy to survive, more mitochondria can be created.
Low intensity cardio increases mitochondrial density. Cold exposure has been proven to increase mitochondrial density. Deeper?
Through oxidative phosphorylation or breathing, see question #9. Maybe go deeper??
It can help us understand your current energy needs and why so that we can see what your lifestyle is doing to your energy.
Not necessarily. Through intentional fasting (many types) we can influence our fat burn. Not all people are good fat burners. Meaning that fasting may or may not use fat as its’ primary source of fuel. These things would be based upon your stress levels at that time, your perception of the difficulty of the task and many many other factors including temperature and amount of sleep, etc.
Teaching your body to burn fat is being called “becoming fat adapted”. It is the idea that your body can become better at using fat as a fuel source. This is one of the many reasons that we promote testing. Knowing where you are at on the fat/carb burn spectrum while at-rest is nearly invaluable. We can then program cardio and nutrition and/or stress/lifestyle interventions that will directly influence your ability to burn fat as a fuel source over carbohydrates. Some of these techniques will include a down-regulation of the nervous system like yoga or meditation or even some specific breathing exercises. Some will be time or timing sensitive. This idea is big and is essentially the premise of the company. This answer will be answered in a small amount all throughout our site as you navigate and search for more information. The top two ways to influence your fat-burning are to get more effective sleep (improve quality, quantity, or both) and to utilize low-intensity cardio a few times a week. This could look like a long, slow warm-up everyday I go to the gym or workout.
High-intensity Intensity interval training uses our muscles carbohydrate stores to drive high amounts of energy needed to perform the tasks. This helps regulate our blood sugar levels. It gives reference to the body in terms of what hard work looks and feels like. This enables a lower perceived effort on lower heart rate activity, increasing the likelihood of fat utilization.
If we are trying to balance hormones and reduce inflammation (this is a pathway to health) then need a majority of our work to come from a place of relative ease in the body. HIIT falls under the banner of high-intensity (as the name implies) and although it needs to be done. It also needs to be balanced with low-intensity work.
The calmer the nervous system is while we are working out, the more fat is chosen or can be chosen as a fuel source. This makes nasal breathing a powerful choice. Breathing through your nose stimulates the vagus nerve which has been shown to increase parasympathetic nervous system activity (the rest and digest parts)
More, faster. That is the short answer. The best way to think of nose vs mouth breathing is to think of the nose as the main tool as it is more efficient while thinking of the mouth as our ability to get more air in faster.
The nose has an entire sinus network behind it. whose purpose is many layers deep but includes; Nitric Oxide inside of the sinus’ is a powerful antimicrobial agent and vasodilator (vein enlarger), helping to purify the air while moistening and warming it. making the air more human-like.
EPOC Stands for Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. ReOxygenation happens after an exercise to balance out the oxygen debt.
Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is an internal perception of what you are doing. Combining that with understanding of normal human performance on the implement, gives us an idea of where you should be.
This is the point where your body can no longer utilize fat as a fuel source. It is the point in which you are working out when you start huffing and puffing trying to breathe and things are typically viewed as pretty hard. AT is not a set number. It is a HR range towards your peak HR, that can be higher or lower for any given workout. On the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale it is around 7/10.
Because warm-ups help burn more fat! Lower intensity workloads train the body to utilize fat more effectively. Lower heart rates (HR) are more effective at utilizing fat as a fuel source because oxygen is necessary for the breakdown of fat for energy. Once your body is past a certain the anaerobic threshold (AT), you are no longer capable of using fats for fuel. Carbohydrates only. For example, if you ramp up to your AT slowly, it will not be set until higher HRs. If you ramp too fast or not at all, your AT will be set for that workout much lower. Warm-ups allow you to perceive the work as easier than if your AT were set at a lower HR. If you allow a slow, gradual warmup over 8-10 minutes followed by a 5-7 minute rest, you will have increased VO2 and decreased VCO2 leading to a lower respiratory quotient (RQ - the number that represents fuel choice inside of the body) and lower perceived exertion for the ensuing workout. Meaning it will reduce how hard workouts feel at the same workloads!
Proper warm ups and cooldowns have an immense impact on your nervous system and therefore digestion. When you are in a fight or flight state your blood flow is at your extremities for that reason. When you are relaxed and breathing regularly, you are better able to allocate blood and energy to the process of digestion. So, if state (nervous system state) affects digestion, this means anything that affects my state also impacts the process of digestion. Therefore, nutrient timing and type matters immensely! Type especially matters as we know. Fats, carbs or proteins. The macronutrients. Fats generally have little to no impact on nervous system state. Proteins illicit parasympathetic activity and carbs a sympathetic response. We all know how we feel after a big steak compared to a fruit smoothie. To prove the digestion vs ingestion concept, I love the example of Mike (person A) and John (person B) both having 50g of protein after doing the same workout with similar results. Mike goes straight home with no cooldown and then cooks for the family. He eats with the stress of his two kids and wife scrambling about after soccer practices and getting homework done, etc. While John does cooldown and goes home to a calm house and eats a pre-prepared meal that was simple for him to manage. Is their digestion the same? No way! John will digest more of his meal. So we must consider our ingestion as much as we are considering our digestion.
There are many ways through fitness to improve digestion. Pilates and yoga are both known for using movements that promote organ movement and lymph activation. Yoga is also known for its breathing techniques that help promote movement in your core and organs. Walking promotes the twisting and “wringing out” of organs as well as promoting peristalsis (the moving along of feces through the intestinal tract). Ensuring that you are not using the handrails on treadmills etc. helping to eliminate a lack of motion through your core. Again. Warming up and cooling down to allow for nervous system down-regulation. Nutrient timing to ensure that your proteins are not putting you down while you’re trying to work hard. To ensure that you are not kept awake and alert by your overuse or ill-timed usage of carbohydrates. Adding fermented foods helps promote biodiversity in your gut biome.
We do not preach the dogma of diets or fads. We are the proprietors of change and look to elicit positive responses out of the body with minimal invasiveness and/or cost. Precision Nutrition to work on “change behavior” and current understanding of physiological responses to/from and surrounding food and nutrition. We also love the work being done over at the Price-Pottenger Foundation, building off of the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. In that vein of thought we also enjoy the way that Dr. Catherine Shanahan has married many of these topics all into one book called “Deep Nutrition”. But at the end of the day, we will not press any of those ideals upon you. We will work with you to find the best adjustments you are willing to make and make you the best version of yourself. Not what our opinion of your best self is. Only you know that. Let’s actualize that person.