Had a wonderful time with you all last friday as we took on Ven Top and gon in a LONG LONG solid Sweet spot Effort. You all were incredible and worked hard to keep that green and Yellow going on that graph!
Now I chatted about some great information so lets recap on what we learned...
Over time you might find some fatigue setting into the mind so there a few things we need to make sure of to best optimize our mental clarity.
1- make sure you have water and electrolytes so you can stay hydrated and also make sure your body is getting the right amount so your neurons can fire and muscle contractions and continue.
2- FOOD! yes in the form of carbs. our brain is a powerful machine and runs of lots of glycogen in the form of cars to stay clear and able to manage. Although it accounts for only 2% of your body weight, your brain consumes 20% of your daily energy In order to carry out its important functions, the brain requires a steady fuel supply. It’s estimated that when fueled by carbohydrates, the brain needs roughly 110-145 grams of glucose (from the breakdown of carbs you eat) per day in order to function optimally. Now when you are not working out hard, it might not need the glucose *carbs as much, but you know when you are becoming depleted when you start to get thoughts of "i am tired," "not sure if i can handle this." Or you begin to fade and find a brain fog. our brains usually bonk before we do and that why its crucial to make sure if you haven't had a meal before this to have something to bring along so you can feed the brain to stay alert and able to keep that attention for this longer hard efforts.
A few dates, gummies, a banana, a gel, other dried fruit can help prevent that.
3- as we seem to just train the body, we are also training the mind.. yes holding attention at a hard pace is difficult.. you can find your thoughts wondering and you could possibly drop out of that zone
We must learn to keep bringing back out attention and learn to Zone out within that Zone. The more you train your brain to be in that state of mind, the better you are able to handle holding hard power for longer. I always like to think that our thoughts are thought.. they are not actions
What you tell your body to do, your body will do.. thoughts are just there to either keep you going or can sometime be there to bug you or hold you back. so we must learn how to manage them for long hard efforts/ climbs
The primary source of energy in the brain is glucose as we know now...Rarely, in glucose depleted situations, like fasting etc. it can use ketones to some extent for a limited period.
Now What are Ketones?
Ketones are a type of chemical that your liver produces when it breaks down fats.
You produce them when you don't have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead.
But, the Brain has a very high rate of metabolism, using ~5.6 milligramme glucose per 100 gram of brain tissue per minute. Carbohydrates are the only nutrients which can match this rate of energy requirement. However, the brain prefers to get its carbohydrates from carbohydrate rich whole foods rather than simple sugars. The cognitive functions or the thinking capabilities of the brain deteriorate if the glucose levels fall in the brain.
Now on that subject of metabolism I want to dive into how our bodies create this energy and more into the WHY.
The more we understand the way our body works, the more better we can optimize for ourself and become metabolically fit and healthy. The question is...
Why are you always saying nutrition is important?
Let's talk about exactly how our bodies take food and process it? More like Turn it into the energy we need to keep this pace? stay healthy, and keep energy going out as well as recover.
How our bodies turn food into energy. All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food we eat. Our bodies digest the food we eat by mixing it with fluids (acids and enzymes) in the stomach. When the stomach digests food, the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) in the food breaks down into another type of sugar, called glucose.
The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored in our bodies, to be used later. However, our bodies need insulin in order to use or store glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels high.
How the body makes insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are very sensitive to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Normally beta cells check the blood's glucose level every few seconds and sense when they need to speed up or slow down the amount of insulin they're making and releasing. When someone eats something high in carbohydrates, like a piece of bread, the glucose level in the blood rises and the beta cells trigger the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream.
Insulin opens cell doors
When insulin is released from the pancreas, it travels through the bloodstream to the body's cells and tells the cell doors to open to let the glucose in Once inside, the cells convert glucose into energy to use right then or store it to use later. As glucose moves from the bloodstream into the cells, blood sugar levels start to drop. Physical activity and training can make this process happen even faster and even at a higher rate. The beta cells in the pancreas can tell this is happening, so they slow down the amount of insulin they're making. At the same time, the pancreas slows down the amount of insulin that it's releasing into the bloodstream. When this happens, the amount of glucose going into the cells also slows down.
Insulin plays a huge role in taking the food we eat and helping it be processed to energy.
The energy you need maintain focus here to stay at this pace
The clarity you need to sustain this pace and be in the cadence range
The energy you need for that post exercise recovery to be enabled so your body can build and get stronger.
Methods our bodies use to produce energy...
This is ATP!
Adenosine Triphosphate.. This is a unit of energy
Foods contain a lot of stored chemical energy; when you eat, your body breaks down these foods into smaller components and absorbs them to use as fuel. Energy comes from the three main nutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fats, with carbohydrates being the most important energy source. Your metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body’s cells that change this food into energy. Most of the energy the body needs is for being at rest, known as the Basal Metabolism.
Its actually not the physical activity all the time... though as you train more and get fitter, your basal metabolism will increase due to muscular growth and becoming fitter.
All foods give you energy and some foods in particular help increase your energy levels, such as...
Bananas (excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6
Fatty fish like salmon or tuna (good source of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins)
Brown rice (source of fibre, vitamins and minerals), and eggs (source of protein).
Foods are metabolised at a cellular level to make ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) by a process known as cellular respiration. It is this chemical ATP that the cell uses for energy for many cellular processes including muscle contraction and cell division. This process requires oxygen and is called aerobic respiration.
Glucose + Oxygen → Carbon dioxide + Water + Energy (as ATP)
The air we breathe out!
There are four stages of aerobic cellular respiration that occur to produce ATP (the energy cells need to do their work
Stage 1 Glycolysis (also known as the breakdown of glucose)
This occurs in the cytoplasm and involves a series of chain reactions known as glycolysis to convert each molecule of glucose (a six-carbon molecule) into two smaller units of pyruvate (a three-carbon molecule). During the formation of pyruvate, two types of activated carrier molecules (small diffusible molecules in cells that contain energy rich covalent bonds) are produced. This stage produces 4 molecules of ATP and 2 molecules of NADH from glucose but uses 2 molecules of ATP to get there,- so it actually results in 2 ATP + 2 NADH and pyruvate. The pyruvate then passes into the mitochondria. The mitochondria are known as the powerhouse cells.
Stage 2 The Link reaction
This links glycolysis with stage 3 the Citric acid/ Krebs cycle, At this point, one carbon dioxide molecule and one hydrogen molecule are removed from the pyruvate (called oxidative decarboxylation) to produce an acetyl group, which joins to an enzyme called CoA (Coenzyme A) to form acetyl-CoA, which is then ready to be used in the Citric acid/Krebs cycle. Acetyl-CoA is essential for the next stage.
Stage 3 The Citric Acid/Krebs Cycle
Taking place in the mitochondria, the acetyl-CoA (which is a two-carbon molecule) combines with oxaloacetate (a four-carbon molecule) to form citrate (a six-carbon molecule). The citrate molecule is then gradually oxidized, allowing the energy of this oxidation to be used to produce energy-rich activated carrier molecules. The chain of eight reactions forms a cycle because, at the end, the oxaloacetate is regenerated and can enter a new turn of the cycle. The cycle provides precursors including certain amino acids as well as the reducing agent NADH that are used in numerous biochemical reactions. Because two acetyl-CoA molecules are produced from each glucose molecule utilised, two cycles are required per glucose molecule.
Stage 4 Electron Transport Chain
In this final stage, the electron carriers NADH and FADH2, which gained electrons when they were oxidizing other molecules, transfer these electrons to the electron transport chain. This is found in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. This process requires oxygen and involves moving these electrons through a series of electron transporters that undergo redox reactions (reactions where both oxidation and reduction take place). This is why I always encourage you to BREATHE and focus on FULL DEEP breaths. This causes hydrogen ions to accumulate in the intermembrane space.
Now there are side effects of having low energy levels knowing that you are not getting in the right amount of energy. This can be a good indication on better optimizing your nutrition for you. Not properly managing your energy levels can result in both physical and cognitive functions being affected.
Physical signs can include: reduced stamina, reduced strength and less ability to recover from exercise.
Performance related effects can include: loss of focus, slow reaction times, low mood, poor working memory, poor decision making and decreased reaction times.
So with that great information to add to your Knowledge book, Lets go into this weeks AWESOME Friday Smash session. again two times (7am mdt and 8:45 am mdt).
We are taking on the Road to sky! Yes our Lovely Alp Du Zwift! This is by far my favorite climb here on Zwift! It has 21 switchbacks which is a great training and pacing tool. This week we are going to take it to the gym on the bike and do some over unders involving low cadence muscular push, followed by higher cadence flush. It's going to be an awesome time so make sure you are hydrated and have all the good nutrition to give your body the energy it need to build that muscle!
ITS STRENGTH TIME!
Make sure to sign up if you have not already and bring friend along as the more the better! see you there!