WHY PERFORMERS THINK THEY NEED CARBS:
The two fastest pathways in biology to replenish ATP are creatine phosphate (CP system) and the glycolytic pathway (Krebs cycle). Fast is OK when your chronically depleted, but it will never support optimal endurance because long term ATP recycling is not working. Neither one is great at making ATP for the long haul because they make few moles of ATP per unit volume of carbohydrate. This is because these systems rely on poor electron density of the substrates that run in these pathways. Beta oxidation on the other hand, is not a fast system to replenish ATP, but it is quite effective replenishing ATP long term because it makes 4 times more ATP per unit volume than the Krebs cycle does. So when you are electron depleted for any reason, your body does feel better when you quickly replace the ATP, but you can never reach maximal performance of the fat burning pathways which make 4 times the amount of ATP.
THE KETOGENIC ATHLETE ALERT: The reason fat burning takes 12-24 months to get maximum ATP production, is because the PPP uses D-ribose as its energy intermediate chemical to replenish the products of ATP hydrolysis. It seems performance athletes and their trainers missed this pathway in human biochemistry. It is the holy grail for fueling maximal athletic performance, and belies the power behind the Ancient Pathway. This is also helps us understand why a lion, who eats nothing but protein and fat needs 20 hours a day to sleep, but a gazelle, who is a herbavore only needs to sleep 6 hours a day. A gazelle eats a diet high in carbohydrates that replenish ATP quickly, therefore they would not require lots of sleep renewal to replenish their ATP fast. Longer term this leaves them energy poor, but they can refuel fast to get away from their lion. Compare that to a lion who eats a ketogenic diet that uses the D-Ribose to replenish the energy substrates from the fat burning pathways. Because they need more D-Ribose from the Pentose Phosphate Pathway (PPP), they require more sleep renewal to get ATP levels higher.
This is why paleo athletes think they “need carbs” to feel and perform better as well. When your clock is off, your perception is skewed to faster ATP replenishment than it is to longer term replacement for endurance performance in ketosis. I have several world class athletes on my forum who have used for over 4 years and I hope they chime in here. (Barry ALERT) This would also be reflected in their endurance capabilities, VO2max, longevity and telomere lengths. This also underscores why paleo performers can get by on less sleep than a real fat burner. However, it is also why the paleo performer is always tired and sleep deprived. The ultimate revenge for them will be in an altered ASI (adrenal stress index) and salivary melatonin and limited life span filled with diseases they think their diet makes them immune too.
The immediate “keto benefit” is they have more energy to fuel performance and endurance. They also should have better longevity, especially when they have amplified efficiency of mitochondria in their skeletal muscles. It appears sleep levels in animals maybe directly proportional to the way ATP stores are replenished in the animal.
Humans are designed to eat an electron dense diet because they have a shortened gut and expanded brain that steepens their energy needs and restricts their sleep needs to 7.5- 8.5 hours. This implies that humans must have evolved around a diet high in electron density from food and their environment. Humans who eat like Gazelle’s do, are now known as diabetics, people with fibromyalgia, and suffering from sleep apnea (shortened sleep) , which cuts their ability to sleep long because they have adjusted to regenerating their ATP from the fast acting CP and glycolytic pathways over the more fuel efficient fat burning pathways of beta oxidation.
THE PATHWAY PERFORMERS FORGOT:
The D-Ribose from the PPP, is alternative fuel pathway most of “paleo” does not believe exists to fuel performance. Ironically, few paleo’s would argue that predators, like lions, are non performance athletes. Fructose and glucose are not the only way to replenish liver glycogen for explosive exercise or performance. D-ribose restores glycogen levels in the liver of high performance animals who eat a fat laden ketogenic diet very quickly. The D-Ribose substrate is the jet fuel restoration intermediate, that many in the exercise physiology literature have missed in their performance template for diet and it is a vital component of the fat burning pathway in human mitochondria that has three major functions:
Three main functions of the Pentose Phosphate Shunt:
1) Supply’s the cell with NADPH in order to:
a) provide reducing power for biosynthetic reactions. (Remember we want to live in chemically reduced pathway of life from Brain gut series)
b) it serves as a biochemical reductant to maintain glutathione levels everywhere in the body.
c) be utilized by the cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenase system for detoxification pathways in the liver.
d) as the electron source for reduction of ribo- to deoxyribonucleotides for RNA/DNA synthesis.
2) Convert hexoses into pentoses (which are essential components of ATP, CoA, NADP+, FAD, RNA, and DNA).
3) Enable the complete oxidative degradation of pentoses by converting them into hexoses and trioses which can then enter the glycolytic pathway. (minor function in a fat burner)
NON GEEKS TRUTH BOMB: You might begin to see why so many performance athletes think carbohydrates are needed to get maximal performance when their circadian signaling is off now. It may explain now why a good looking body can be pushed directly into a poor ASI quickly, when the person eats like a chimp while exercising to excess? When your diet is electron poor, you exercise to excess, you’re disconnected from the Earth, you love using artificial light and technology, you have a definite lack of electrons in your mitochondria constantly. When you couple this all with a 30 year massive influx of EMF to block the ability to sense magnetism and therefore your cells lose track of biochemical timing all hell breaks loose. As a result, there is a resultant altered cortisol circadian cycle 100% of the time. This is why many paleo performers have long term fatigue issues, yet they look good in the mirror. (The paleo paradox)
The ATP-CP and glycolytic pathways are horribly inefficient at making large amounts of ATP to replenish energy stores. So when the exercise or diet continues the gradient of decline steepens quickly. This leaves “more space” in your electron chain, and further throws off the nanoscopic precision required to make ATP well. It means can not replace your ATP needs fast enough to offset the losses from your behaviors. Your brain makes decisions (low dopamine) to fuel with carbs because it has learned that ATP can be made fast this way, but your cells can’t fully re-energize this way because the fast fill system never fills the gas tank fully!!!! In fact, long chain fatty acids have huge energy potential for the host. One molecule of glucose has only six carbons. Glucose can make 28-30 ATP from it. One molecule of an 18 carbon stearic acid, a FFA, has three times as many carbons as glucose but makes five times the amount of ATP (147 ATP), while only having two times the caloric density of glucose. This shows you precisely why a calorie is not a calorie and why calories in and calories out makes little sense thermodynamically.
When you continue to exercise to excess with daily crossfit WOD’s, during this time it further robs your mitochondria of electrons, and the result is a poor sleep and fatigue. Your labs reveal a low cortisol to DHEA level and an altered melatonin level. Molecular timing being altered will give high performance athletes the false impression of what is best for their biology because of the limited fashion they are able to replenish ATP. This also explains why they crave carbs to replete ATP faster, but not via a more cost effective manner. Does this situation sound familiar to anyone?
Our molecular clocks respond to light, dark, and magnetic field. Anything that disrupts them alters your clock and you begin to perceive you need more carbs than you generally would need if you could tell time. Not telling time well, leads to cell swelling, becoming permeable to glucose in membranes and up-regulting the carb burning pathways to try to stay ahead.
JEFF ROTHCHILD BOMB: This also might help explain the fact that we humans can only store 2000 kcals of carbohydrate but 80,000 kcals of fat . Which do you think our body is designed to burn by evolution? When you know better you simply do better.
ATP is very efficiently made by beta oxidation during the period of autophagy during sleep in fat burning animals. Because this system relies on D-Ribose to restore ATP substrates like ADP, AMP, Inosine, and hypoxanthine. This is why ketogenic diets take much longer to see VO2 max expansion than the experts expect to see.
CROSS FIT TRUTH BOMB: There is one more big problem with recycling your ATP using the two faster systems for most of your life too. The usefulness of the ATP-PC system lies in the rapid availability of energy rather than quantity. This is extremely important with respect to the kinds of physical activities that we are capable of performing. Cross fitters live in this pathway constantly because of their WOD are done for time alone. The ATP-CP system has a special problem built in for fast ATP recyclers. The methylation of guanidinoacetate to form creatine consumes more methyl groups than all other methylation reactions combined in the human body. This implies the more you use the ATP-PC system the more likely you will become a major slow methylator whether you have the 677 or 1298 SNP. This is why vegans, performance and endurance athletes fall apart early, have horrible vitamin D levels, major dopamine/serotonin issue, trouble with their ammonia cycles, and have horrible endogenous glutathione recycling.
This by itself with time can lead to poor performance, early onset heart disease, atherosclerosis, and autoimmune issues. We call this person a “slow methylator”. Most people are not even aware they have this issue because they believe methylation defects are behind these issues. Not true. This is why so many paleo crossfitters slowly fall apart and sustain major muscle, tendon, and cartilage injuries as they progress. Take a look at these two links:
The rate limiting step for the brain and muscle is the integrity of the methylation system, and not creatine levels. This is where looking deeper matters more when your cells cant tell time. This is also why people who live in these fast ATP recycling pathways suffer tremendous ATP deficits when they stress their systems continuously. This fuels their perception for a deep carbohydrate need to recycle ATP fast. Ironically, when they do, they do feel better, but they are paying a biologic toll they never see or perceive.
The change to optimal fat burning can be shortened when you acclimate to making enough D-ribose from your PPP. The life giving force on the ocean floor was alkaline, made a lot of NADPH, and provided ample electrons to help RNA, DNA, and glutathione to support life at its genesis. I looked for a pathway in mammals that did the same “mechanistic biochemical actions” in modern mammals and I found it in the PPP. This is the pathway the Ancient Pathway relies upon for performance it provides. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and D-Ribose, Magnesium levels, Acetyl-L Carnitine, and CoEnq10 levels, (and some others) are those weak links in the inner mitochondrial membrane for fat burning. We also covered this in detail in the January 2013 webinar for those who want to learn a lot more about the details around the Mitochondrial Rx.