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Competitive athlete use CR?

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Guest Scott

Hi there,

 

I am very interested in the excellent nutritional value of this diet. However I compete in endurance events such as ironman and ultra marathons.

 

Is it possible to practise cr when training for such events also any people here who do compete? I.e top 20finishers?

 

This also brings me onto, would cr plus intense excersize be even more beneficial in terms of lower risk of health problems?

 

Thanks

 

Scott

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Hi Scott, This diet isn't really well suited to ironman or ultra marathons. Those events and the training simply cause one to expend large amounts of calories and thus you wind up eating lots to compensate. CR only happens when calories are cut regardless of exercise calories expended. If you have two groups of experimental animals, where one is cr and does minimal exercise, and the other group is CR and does regular strenuous exercise you find something surprising. Both groups live the same length of time. It's all about the calories. Some CR people do 1/2 marathons and even full marathons occasionally, but not often. We try to keep regular mileage down to around 20 km per week, but some do more. Unfortunately this is not compatible with training for ultra marathons.

 

Nothing says that you can't eat as healthy and balanced as a CR follower, but just not restrict calories. When you're ready to reduce competitions, or say if you're healing from an injury, then you could switch to the reduced calorie version.

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

Hi Scott, This diet isn't really well suited to ironman or ultra marathons. Those events and the training simply cause one to expend large amounts of calories and thus you wind up eating lots to compensate. CR only happens when calories are cut regardless of exercise calories expended. If you have two groups of experimental animals, where one is cr and does minimal exercise, and the other group is CR and does regular strenuous exercise you find something surprising. Both groups live the same length of time. It's all about the calories. Some CR people do 1/2 marathons and even full marathons occasionally, but not often. We try to keep regular mileage down to around 20 km per week, but some do more. Unfortunately this is not compatible with training for ultra marathons.

 

Nothing says that you can't eat as healthy and balanced as a CR follower, but just not restrict calories. When you're ready to reduce competitions, or say if you're healing from an injury, then you could switch to the reduced calorie version.

 

 

Actually, restricting while healing from anything is not recommended, is it? Healing requires a tremendous amount of energy, and that wouldn't be the time to restrict that energy. I still say CR should be practiced only by healthy, injury-free individuals. For example, broken bones take a *very* long time to regain their original hardness, and I'd think you would want to definitely avoid doing any restricting - at the very least during the initial phase of healing, but probably not even a good idea to go on CR even 6 months to a year after that because when you start restricting you will inevitably lose some mass. Broken bones take 3 to 5 years to be completely re-modeled, for example. I'm not taking any risks. (Healing from 3 major surgeries and plan to go on CR in two years, for now just cutting out junk food and doing as much exercise as possible)

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Actually, restricting while healing from anything is not recommended, is it? Healing requires a tremendous amount of energy, and that wouldn't be the time to restrict that energy. I still say CR should be practiced only by healthy, injury-free individuals. For example, broken bones take a *very* long time to regain their original hardness, and I'd think you would want to definitely avoid doing any restricting - at the very least during the initial phase of healing, but probably not even a good idea to go on CR even 6 months to a year after that because when you start restricting you will inevitably lose some mass. Broken bones take 3 to 5 years to be completely re-modeled, for example. I'm not taking any risks. (Healing from 3 major surgeries and plan to go on CR in two years, for now just cutting out junk food and doing as much exercise as possible)

 

Just a note about healing bone fractures: I've never had a fracture; but my ad-lib wife has had fractures. We both have osteopororsis, and take Forteo daily. Forteo not only induces bone growth,

but also speeds up fracture healing considerably. The once-daily, injectable drug is FDA approved for treating osteopororsis -- it is not yet FDA approved for fracture healing -- but your

doctor (orthopedist, endocrinologist or rheumatologist) can perscribe it for you. If you have broken bones, whether you're on CR or not, they're likely to be mostly healed in a few months.

 

:)

 

-- Saul

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

Just a note about healing bone fractures: I've never had a fracture; but my ad-lib wife has had fractures. We both have osteopororsis, and take Forteo daily. Forteo not only induces bone growth,

but also speeds up fracture healing considerably. The once-daily, injectable drug is FDA approved for treating osteopororsis -- it is not yet FDA approved for fracture healing -- but your

doctor (orthopedist, endocrinologist or rheumatologist) can perscribe it for you. If you have broken bones, whether you're on CR or not, they're likely to be mostly healed in a few months.

 

:)

 

-- Saul

 

The energy required for healing would still likely be above the level of a CR diet, and even if not, I don't think it's wise to gamble when it remains unproven whether or not a CR'd person is likely to completely heal from such major injuries. We tend to feel hungrier for a reason when our bodies are repairing themselves. There's also plenty of evidence that eating a generous (but not excessive) amount of healthful calories while healing causes no problems, and is even likely to be a helpful factor in healing completely and in a short period of time (not to mention most doctors' advice to a patient recovering from something major would be: THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DIET!).

I think it's unwise to "experiment" to this degree and play with healing. Sorry, but it's something I'd never do. I could always make up for it in the future by going back to CR, but the cost of not healing completely is WAY too great to just start rolling the dice on crap like this.

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Hi Bret!

 

You're wrong on a few points: Forteo is anabolic ONLY wrt to bone growth -- it DOES NOT consume significant calories -- MUCH LESS than any exercise practice.

The energy of healing is very little -- you WIL NOT heal overnight -- just faster (maybe 2 to 3 times as fast) -- as healing without Forteo. Also, the healed bone will

probably be stronger (pure seculation on my part -- no data to confirm :)

 

This sure worked for my wife when she had a fracture.

 

You're absolutely right in ignoring any doctor's advice that tells you to quit CR until you heal -- CR won't hurt healing very much -- especially if you take Forteo.

 

IMHO, your biggest problem will be getting and Endo or Orthopedist or Rheumatoligist to prescribe it! The drug is very expensive without insurance. It's POSSIBLE

your GP will prescribe it -- from from your description, it doesn't look like you have a CR-friendly GP. (That's often a big problem for many CRONnies).

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

Hi Bret!

 

You're wrong on a few points

 

Which "points?" I simply said that it's not the best idea to experiment when we don't have sufficient scientific evidence to recommend CR to those who are healing from major surgery/injuries. CR has to do with the idea that excessive calories are a huge factor in aging. It's been proven that biomarkers do improve in CR'd people. However, within a shorter period of time, I'm not one to throw the dice on physical recovery because there is insufficient research to make me comfortable with that. I don't want to lose muscle or bone mass while trying to heal, as that could lead to MORE pain and reduced ability to do certain everyday things that I need to do. Yes, I'm speaking from experience on this... I tried to keep my calorie count down while recovering, thinking it would be beneficial if anything, and I ended up feeling faint, weak, and almost passing out every time I tried to stand. Mind you, this wasn't even severe restriction. I think everyone's different, and I try to play it safe with things like this. I'd just been through major surgery and lots of healing was taking place in my bones and elsewhere. Now I'm simply having lingering soft tissue problems from a hand surgery...the pain just won't go away. Anyhow, I'm also not sure why you think I said the Forteo drug would use energy? That's not what I was implying, simply that I don't think starting CR at a time when you've just had a big injury or surgery is the *wisest* thing one could do. Of course, the importance of nutrition (and not just caloric energy) can't be overstressed, either.

 

Exercise consuming calories is a complete non-issue, as exercise itself speeds up healing. Although I wouldn't do it if anything was still inflamed. But if you're unable to exercise because you're injured, I think consuming a standard 2,000-2,5000 calorie diet and weeding out all the junk is the best bet. We just don't have enough evidence to support anything else.

 

 

 

 

This sure worked for my wife when she had a fracture.

 

You're absolutely right in ignoring any doctor's advice that tells you to quit CR until you heal -- CR won't hurt healing very much -- especially if you take Forteo.

 

IMHO, your biggest problem will be getting and Endo or Orthopedist or Rheumatoligist to prescribe it! The drug is very expensive without insurance. It's POSSIBLE

your GP will prescribe it -- from from your description, it doesn't look like you have a CR-friendly GP. (That's often a big problem for many CRONnies).

 

It's not that he's not CR-friendly for healthy people who no current problems. It's just that he doesn't recommend starting CR (as I wanted to right after surgery) until I've healed up and eaten healthier foods for a while before even thinking about restriction. Keep in mind that broken bones are only part of the healing process for me. I have much bigger soft tissue/tendon/nerve problems that are not resolving themselves after months. I don't think there's a drug out there that will help my soft tissue healing, and probably not something diet can help with either. It's a different kind of issue; occupational therapy is my next step...and hopefully it works.

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Hi again, Bret!

 

Considering the problems that you mentioned, I can see your point. I'd be sure to eat a healthy diet, getting all of your necessary daily nutrition from good foods -- preferably, mostly vegetables.

A very useful (and free) tool is cronometer.com; it helps you track both your calories and the nutritive value of what your eating -- as well as helping meet your daily nutritional needs.

 

Forteo would help only with fracture healing; it won't help with soft tissue.

 

When you're fully -- or at least mostly -- recovered, you might want to try starting CRON -- but go into it slowly; it's easy to go off the wagon if you try to do it too fast.

 

-- Saul

 

Which "points?" I simply said that it's not the best idea to experiment when we don't have sufficient scientific evidence to recommend CR to those who are healing from major surgery/injuries. CR has to do with the idea that excessive calories are a huge factor in aging. It's been proven that biomarkers do improve in CR'd people. However, within a shorter period of time, I'm not one to throw the dice on physical recovery because there is insufficient research to make me comfortable with that. I don't want to lose muscle or bone mass while trying to heal, as that could lead to MORE pain and reduced ability to do certain everyday things that I need to do. Yes, I'm speaking from experience on this... I tried to keep my calorie count down while recovering, thinking it would be beneficial if anything, and I ended up feeling faint, weak, and almost passing out every time I tried to stand. Mind you, this wasn't even severe restriction. I think everyone's different, and I try to play it safe with things like this. I'd just been through major surgery and lots of healing was taking place in my bones and elsewhere. Now I'm simply having lingering soft tissue problems from a hand surgery...the pain just won't go away. Anyhow, I'm also not sure why you think I said the Forteo drug would use energy? That's not what I was implying, simply that I don't think starting CR at a time when you've just had a big injury or surgery is the *wisest* thing one could do. Of course, the importance of nutrition (and not just caloric energy) can't be overstressed, either.

 

Exercise consuming calories is a complete non-issue, as exercise itself speeds up healing. Although I wouldn't do it if anything was still inflamed. But if you're unable to exercise because you're injured, I think consuming a standard 2,000-2,5000 calorie diet and weeding out all the junk is the best bet. We just don't have enough evidence to support anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's not that he's not CR-friendly for healthy people who no current problems. It's just that he doesn't recommend starting CR (as I wanted to right after surgery) until I've healed up and eaten healthier foods for a while before even thinking about restriction. Keep in mind that broken bones are only part of the healing process for me. I have much bigger soft tissue/tendon/nerve problems that are not resolving themselves after months. I don't think there's a drug out there that will help my soft tissue healing, and probably not something diet can help with either. It's a different kind of issue; occupational therapy is my next step...and hopefully it works.

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Guest Bret Jondaughter

Hi again, Bret!

 

Considering the problems that you mentioned, I can see your point. I'd be sure to eat a healthy diet, getting all of your necessary daily nutrition from good foods -- preferably, mostly vegetables.

A very useful (and free) tool is cronometer.com; it helps you track both your calories and the nutritive value of what your eating -- as well as helping meet your daily nutritional needs.

 

Forteo would help only with fracture healing; it won't help with soft tissue.

 

When you're fully -- or at least mostly -- recovered, you might want to try starting CRON -- but go into it slowly; it's easy to go off the wagon if you try to do it too fast.

 

-- Saul

 

 

Absolutely. I'll take that into consideration as well. I haven't tried the CRONometer, but meant to. I started out by counting the calories on the back labels of all my foods, and I was having trouble finding foods that would work for me, being that I wanted to try out a low-maintenance diet where I wasn't having to spend hours preparing meals. I just need to figure more of it out. I'm not crazy about sat. fat. I feel that it could be okay by itself (i.e. eating mostly meat, which introduces the problem of too much protein), but not in a diet that includes carbohydrates. I also want to keep my protein intake down once starting CR, but right now I'm trying to eat enough of it in order to assist with the repair of my injuries.

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Guest SM.us

Hi Scott, This diet isn't really well suited to ironman or ultra marathons. Those events and the training simply cause one to expend large amounts of calories and thus you wind up eating lots to compensate. CR only happens when calories are cut regardless of exercise calories expended. If you have two groups of experimental animals, where one is cr and does minimal exercise, and the other group is CR and does regular strenuous exercise you find something surprising. Both groups live the same length of time. It's all about the calories. Some CR people do 1/2 marathons and even full marathons occasionally, but not often. We try to keep regular mileage down to around 20 km per week, but some do more. Unfortunately this is not compatible with training for ultra marathons.

 

Nothing says that you can't eat as healthy and balanced as a CR follower, but just not restrict calories. When you're ready to reduce competitions, or say if you're healing from an injury, then you could switch to the reduced calorie version.

 

 

Hi, first time posting here and I'd like to sneak in a big thank you for the site and the forum first and foremost!

 

I have to say that I was overjoyed to see this question raised here. As someone who has been a competitive athlete in the past and may be at some point once again, it's an issue with personal significance but also obvious general importance to a great many people out there.

 

Keith, thanks very much for the info-

 

A natural follow up to this which is immediately coming to mind is the question of the time value of CR as it relates to the human animal. Would an individual choosing to begin "true" CR in their 40's for example, while remaining a competitive athlete (or simply leading an exceptionally active lifestyle) with a carefully monitored diet throughout their 20's and 30's be at what we might phrase as a significant disadvantage to an individual that had chosen to begin "true" CR in their 20's?

 

My first instinct is to think that this would likely be the case, based upon my admittedly poor knowledge of the current science associated with CR. That is leaving aside of course all of the other externalities/intangibles which we might associate with exercise, psychological well-being and so forth. The aim of my thoughts here is to get at the general biology of it, on an "all other things equal" basis in regards to the thousands of particulars we could associate to one person or another.

 

Maybe more to the point, would the biological act of "processing" the additional calories consumed for the purpose of intensive/prolonged exercise prevent the activation of genes or other bio mechanisms associated with the benefits of CR?

 

Anything further yourself or any other forum viewer would be able to offer on this topic would be hugely appreciated!

 

This is a discussion which I believe is worth keeping alive and I can't imagine a better place to have it. I'll say that I've done some digging in the past through available studies on exercise as it relates to aging, and found at that time most of the studies to be poorly or very selectively sampled or just oddly designed. Anything solid and without alternative agenda is absolutely golden.

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Hi, first time posting here and I'd like to sneak in a big thank you for the site and the forum first and foremost!

 

I have to say that I was overjoyed to see this question raised here. As someone who has been a competitive athlete in the past and may be at some point once again, it's an issue with personal significance but also obvious general importance to a great many people out there.

 

Keith, thanks very much for the info-

 

A natural follow up to this which is immediately coming to mind is the question of the time value of CR as it relates to the human animal. Would an individual choosing to begin "true" CR in their 40's for example, while remaining a competitive athlete (or simply leading an exceptionally active lifestyle) with a carefully monitored diet throughout their 20's and 30's be at what we might phrase as a significant disadvantage to an individual that had chosen to begin "true" CR in their 20's?

 

My first instinct is to think that this would likely be the case, based upon my admittedly poor knowledge of the current science associated with CR. That is leaving aside of course all of the other externalities/intangibles which we might associate with exercise, psychological well-being and so forth. The aim of my thoughts here is to get at the general biology of it, on an "all other things equal" basis in regards to the thousands of particulars we could associate to one person or another.

 

Maybe more to the point, would the biological act of "processing" the additional calories consumed for the purpose of intensive/prolonged exercise prevent the activation of genes or other bio mechanisms associated with the benefits of CR?

 

Anything further yourself or any other forum viewer would be able to offer on this topic would be hugely appreciated!

 

This is a discussion which I believe is worth keeping alive and I can't imagine a better place to have it. I'll say that I've done some digging in the past through available studies on exercise as it relates to aging, and found at that time most of the studies to be poorly or very selectively sampled or just oddly designed. Anything solid and without alternative agenda is absolutely golden.

Hi SM.us,

 

I've read much of the research and my interpretation is that if CRON lifespan extension works in humans as it does in most species of animal the you would give up potential lifespan gain proportionally to the number of extra calories you ingest. So for your example the 20's competitive athlete would be at a disadvantage to the 20's CR devotee (with a more moderate exercise regimen). At a 30% reduction of calories over 20 years one might hope for a 6 -7 year lifespan increase (though some estimate it at a much smaller amount). All of these numbers are speculative at best and really represent probabilities of mortality anyway. You could have the magic set of genes like Jean Calment, then your body will be doing all the right things even if you do many of the wrong ones and probably both the athlete and CR devotee might live extra long lives. Then there's the luck factor of not stepping in front of a bus.

 

Recent research by scientists on muscle repair in young-old surgically attached mice has indicated that the environment in which stem cells exist determines whether the stem cells differentiate and form nice new tissue (eg. young animals) or deformed scar tissue (eg. old animals). It's not a giant leap of logic to suggest that eating more calories leads to a more polluted niche for the stem cells which interferes with the stem cell signalling which causes differentiation. And of course the corollary that CR keeps the niche cleaner for a longer time and thus provides younger behavior in cell repair. This hasn't been definitively proved yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't pop up in the results of some ongoing research sometime. Here's a video of one of the researcher discussing the results:

 

There are likely tons of other effects with nutrient signalling pathways and epigenetic expression with CR. Some of these relationships are being teased out by current research but it's very complex.

 

Cheers.

Edited by keithsct

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Guest SM.us

Hi SM.us,

 

I've read much of the research and my interpretation is that if CRON lifespan extension works in humans as it does in most species of animal the you would give up potential lifespan gain proportionally to the number of extra calories you ingest. So for your example the 20's competitive athlete would be at a disadvantage to the 20's CR devotee (with a more moderate exercise regimen). At a 30% reduction of calories over 20 years one might hope for a 6 -7 year lifespan increase (though some estimate it at a much smaller amount). All of these numbers are speculative at best and really represent probabilities of mortality anyway. You could have the magic set of genes like Jean Calment, then your body will be doing all the right things even if you do many of the wrong ones and probably both the athlete and CR devotee might live extra long lives. Then there's the luck factor of not stepping in front of a bus.

 

Recent research by scientists on muscle repair in young-old surgically attached mice has indicated that the environment in which stem cells exist determines whether the stem cells differentiate and form nice new tissue (eg. young animals) or deformed scar tissue (eg. old animals). It's not a giant leap of logic to suggest that eating more calories leads to a more polluted niche for the stem cells which interferes with the stem cell signalling which causes differentiation. And of course the corollary that CR keeps the niche cleaner for a longer time and thus provides younger behavior in cell repair. This hasn't been definitively proved yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't pop up in the results of some ongoing research sometime. Here's a video of one of the researcher discussing the results:

 

There are likely tons of other effects with nutrient signalling pathways and epigenetic expression with CR. Some of these relationships are being teased out by current research but it's very complex.

 

Cheers.

 

Keith,

 

Thanks, your reply is exactly what I was looking to get at.

 

Again I'm speaking very broadly here without regard for the many reasons why individuals might find it to their benefit to pursue one form of an exercise or another--

 

However given the potential research outcomes touched upon in the video and by the current understanding then, on the whole, it would seem that a maintenance (moderate) exercise routine targeting general health and preserved body function rather than any kind of maximized performance measure is ideal (again by current understanding) for harmonizing CR with an individual's fitness routine. I think the distinction is important to make even on a semantic level, and isn't perhaps so intuitive to the average, modern human brain. Performance can sometimes seem "healthier" than moderation.

 

Very informative video, some profound possibilities. I thought the host's question during the Q+A about the systemic vs. intrinsic aging kind of neatly packaged up the discussion- It would seem that once it's possible to identify how and why loss of function happens on both of those levels, an improved understanding of aging is just a matter of filling in the (admittedly very complex) gaps. I found the bit a few minutes in referencing the CRSociety and "sharing the agony" rather funny as well.

 

If I come across anything relevant in the future I'll try to post it here. Thanks again!

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Guest HappyMe

Regarding calorie restriction while healing - from my own personal experience I have healed just fine (and I believe that I've healed better and faster) while following my paleoCRON diet. Perhaps there is a misconception about calorie restriction. It is is NOT nutrient deficient and provides all the calories necessary for a normal life, including healing; when done properly it is a complete balanced maintenance diet. What is eliminated in CRON diets is the nutrient-poor calories.

 

The success of the CRON diet, I think, is in the efficiency of it. The body gets exactly what it needs, no more; thus, healthy organs and effective metabolism.

 

I have tried to do both CRON and a standard moderate-calorie diet without eating lots of fat and meat and I have found that (for me) it can't be maintained. I became anemic, ill, lethargic and depressed, and began to look old, frankly. Quite the opposite result that one expects from a "healthy plant-based" diet, or the practice of CRON. (The huge fruit bar on the home page of this site always has me scratching my head. Why not a small plate of king salmon steak or fatty lamb?) I know that there is a huge commitment to plant foods in the majority of diets, but I've found that it is nutritionally inadequate and taxing to the body. I've eliminated most starches and sugars, and also fibrous and juicy foods in favor of animal fat and meat. (I have no problem with mono and saturated fat. I eat much less poly fat because that comes mostly from plants, but I do get some from nuts.)

 

I think that theoretically CRON principles can be used by athletes. What would seem like a large calorie allotment to the average person could be CRON to the athlete. There are many paleo athletes. The paleo diet (based on fat and meat) is somewhat CRON by nature.

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Guest Fellow Runner

I too would be interested in the question asked by the original poster. I also run, although not as competitively, but I regularly get to about 100 km per week, and take part in marathon and ultra marathon races about two or three times per year. I know approximately how much calories I am expending, and at the moment, I eat accordingly (i.e. about 100%), which is more than what a sedentary person of my age, weight etc. would eat. I could imagine restricting myself to e.g. 75% of my total calorie expenditure, but would I get the same benefits as someone who restricts his intake by the same percentage, but who does less exercise, and therefore consumes a lower amount of calories in total?

 

If the benefit of CR were primarily due to the fact that less free radicals are released during digestion, I would assume that eating more is always bad, regardless of calorie expenditure. If the benefits result from low body fat etc., I would assume that an athlete could still get the benefit of CR, even though he consumes more calories in absolute terms.

 

I guess when it comes to athletic performance, it's quite easy just to try it out yourself. But in terms of the long term health effects, I'd be glad if you could provide me with some answers, preferably with citations.

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I too would be interested in the question asked by the original poster. I also run, although not as competitively, but I regularly get to about 100 km per week, and take part in marathon and ultra marathon races about two or three times per year. I know approximately how much calories I am expending, and at the moment, I eat accordingly (i.e. about 100%), which is more than what a sedentary person of my age, weight etc. would eat. I could imagine restricting myself to e.g. 75% of my total calorie expenditure, but would I get the same benefits as someone who restricts his intake by the same percentage, but who does less exercise, and therefore consumes a lower amount of calories in total?

 

If the benefit of CR were primarily due to the fact that less free radicals are released during digestion, I would assume that eating more is always bad, regardless of calorie expenditure. If the benefits result from low body fat etc., I would assume that an athlete could still get the benefit of CR, even though he consumes more calories in absolute terms.

 

I guess when it comes to athletic performance, it's quite easy just to try it out yourself. But in terms of the long term health effects, I'd be glad if you could provide me with some answers, preferably with citations.

The answer is that eating more is always bad from a longevity point of view if you already have adequate nutrition and energy.

 

In this article by JOHN O. HOLLOSZY we have the answer for rats: http://jn.nutrition...._Suppl/774.long

 

The finding that the food-restricted runners that survived past~900 d showed as great an increase in maximal lifespan as the food-restricted sedentary rats shows that exercise does not counteract the extension of life span by food restriction. Exercise alone, without food restriction, causes a decreased availability of energy for cell proliferation and growth in male rats but does not increase maximal life span (8, 9). This finding provides evidence that decreased availability of energy for cell proliferation and growth does not increase maximal life span. Instead, it favors the interpretation that extension of life span by food restriction is mediated by decreased intake or metabolism of food per se (possibly by decreased formation of toxins and/or carcinogens,and/or decreased accumulation of waste products), not by decreased availability of energy for cell proliferation. Finally, it seems clear, although the mechanism is not known, that exercise has a deleterious effect on food-restricted rats.

Here are a few other tidbits I found about exercise and CR:

Exercise and CR work nicely together to preserve brain function:

 

Exercise training plus calorie restriction causes synergistic protection against cognitive decline via up-regulation of BDNF in hippocampus of stroke-prone hypertensive rats.

Kishi T, Sunagawa K.

Abstract

One of the important organ damage of hypertension is cognitive decline. Cognitive function is determined by the function of hippocampus, and previous studies have suggested that the decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus causes cognitive decline. Protection against cognitive decline is reported not only in pharmacological therapy but also in exercise training or calorie restriction. The aim of the present study was to determine whether exercise training plus calorie restriction cause synergistic protection against cognitive decline via BDNF in the hippocampus or not. Exercise training for 28 days improved cognitive decline determined by Morris water maze test via up-regulation of BDNF in the hippocampus of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats, whereas calorie restriction for 28 days did not. However, exercise training plus calorie restriction causes the protection against cognitive decline to a greater extent than exercise training alone. In conclusion, exercise training plus calorie restriction causes synergistic protection against cognitive decline via up-regulation of BDNF in the hippocampus of stroke-prone hypertensive rats.

 

PMID: 23367482 It might not be reduction of oxidative damage, but simply lower body temperature that contributes to longevity:

Long-term calorie restriction, but not endurance exercise, lowers core body temperature in humans.

Soare A, Cangemi R, Omodei D, Holloszy JO, Fontana L.

Source

Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences and Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

 

Abstract

Reduction of body temperature has been proposed to contribute to the increased lifespan in calorie restricted animals and mice overexpressing the uncoupling protein-2 in hypocretin neurons. However, nothing is known regarding the long-term effects of calorie restriction (CR) with adequate nutrition on body temperature in humans. In this study, 24-hour core body temperature was measured every minute by using ingested telemetric capsules in 24 men and women (mean age 53.7 ± 9.4 yrs) consuming a CR diet for an average of 6 years, 24 age- and sex-matched sedentary (WD) and 24 body fat-matched exercise-trained (EX) volunteers, who were eating Western diets. The CR and EX groups were significantly leaner than the WD group. Energy intake was lower in the CR group (1769 ± 348 kcal/d) than in the WD (2302 ± 668 kcal/d) and EX (2798 ± 760 kcal/d) groups (P < 0.0001). Mean 24-hour, day-time and night-time core body temperatures were all significantly lower in the CR group than in the WD and EX groups (P ≤ 0.01). Long-term CR with adequate nutrition in lean and weight-stable healthy humans is associated with a sustained reduction in core body temperature, similar to that found in CR rodents and monkeys. This adaptation is likely due to CR itself, rather than to leanness, and may be involved in slowing the rate of aging.

 

PMID: 21483032 Here is a good study that shows the difference between CR and exercise in several health metrics in humans:

Effects of long-term calorie restriction and endurance exercise on glucose tolerance, insulin action, and adipokine production.

Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy JO.

Source

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. lfontana@dom.wustl.edu

 

Abstract

Calorie restriction (CR) slows aging and is thought to improve insulin sensitivity in laboratory animals. In contrast, decreased insulin signaling and/or mild insulin resistance paradoxically extends maximal lifespan in various genetic animal models of longevity. Nothing is known regarding the long-term effects of CR on glucose tolerance and insulin action in lean healthy humans. In this study we evaluated body composition, glucose, and insulin responses to an oral glucose tolerance test and serum adipokines levels in 28 volunteers, who had been eating a CR diet for an average of 6.9 +/- 5.5 years, (mean age 53.0 +/- 11 years), in 28 age-, sex-, and body fat-matched endurance runners (EX), and 28 age- and sex-matched sedentary controls eating Western diets (WD). We found that the CR and EX volunteers were significantly leaner than the WD volunteers. Insulin sensitivity, determined according to the HOMA-IR and the Matsuda and DeFronzo insulin sensitivity indexes, was significantly higher in the CR and EX groups than in the WD group (P = 0.001). Nonetheless, despite high serum adiponectin and low inflammation, approximately 40% of CR individuals exhibited an exaggerated hyperglycemic response to a glucose load. This impaired glucose tolerance is associated with lower circulating levels of IGF-1, total testosterone, and triiodothyronine, which are typical adaptations to life-extending CR in rodents.

 

PMID: 19904628

Edited by keithsct

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Guest Fellow Runner

Keith,

 

Thank you very much for the detailed response! Basically, it seems that from those studies, athletes who eat 100% of their nutritional demand (say 2800 kcal) do not get a benefit relative to non-athletes who also eat 100% (say 2300 kcal), whereas non-athletes who restrict their intake (say, to 1800 kcal) get a benefit. It would be very interesting what happens to athletes who restrict their diet to 2300 kcal - the amount eaten by non-athletes who are not practicing calorie restriction. The rat study seems to suggest that this would be the case (i.e. both the exercise-restricted group and the sedentary-restricted group showed a similar increase in life expectancy, when being fed to 70% of total expenditure), but exercise had no additional benefit on life expectancy. Whether this also applies to humans remains to be seen, of course.

 

Whether or not calorie restriction and successful racing is possible is another question - most elite distance runners, with BMIs in the region of 18-19, probably practice calorie restriction of some sort.

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Keith,

 

Thank you very much for the detailed response! Basically, it seems that from those studies, athletes who eat 100% of their nutritional demand (say 2800 kcal) do not get a benefit relative to non-athletes who also eat 100% (say 2300 kcal), whereas non-athletes who restrict their intake (say, to 1800 kcal) get a benefit. It would be very interesting what happens to athletes who restrict their diet to 2300 kcal - the amount eaten by non-athletes who are not practicing calorie restriction. The rat study seems to suggest that this would be the case (i.e. both the exercise-restricted group and the sedentary-restricted group showed a similar increase in life expectancy, when being fed to 70% of total expenditure), but exercise had no additional benefit on life expectancy. Whether this also applies to humans remains to be seen, of course.

 

Whether or not calorie restriction and successful racing is possible is another question - most elite distance runners, with BMIs in the region of 18-19, probably practice calorie restriction of some sort.

Your last point is entirely untrue. Energy deficiency thru exercise is not the same as energy deficiency thru diet. Most elite distance runners practice the opposite of calorie restriction - conspicuous calorie consumption via lots of carbs. Running at a recreational level is supported by a CR lifestyle. I've met several CRonies and gone running with them. Running at the elite level would be highly unlikely to succeed with a CR lifestyle in my opinion. While there may be some visual similarities, extreme exercise and extreme diet are not the same thing.

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Guest Fellow Runner

Your last point is entirely untrue. Energy deficiency thru exercise is not the same as energy deficiency thru diet. Most elite distance runners practice the opposite of calorie restriction - conspicuous calorie consumption via lots of carbs. Running at a recreational level is supported by a CR lifestyle. I've met several CRonies and gone running with them. Running at the elite level would be highly unlikely to succeed with a CR lifestyle in my opinion. While there may be some visual similarities, extreme exercise and extreme diet are not the same thing.

 

Hi Keith,

 

Although I did not read all the papers, the one I paraphrased seemed to suggest that exercise and calorie restriction give the same benefits as calorie restriction without exercise, even though in the first case, the absolute amount of calories consumed is higher. If you think that I misunderstood this point, I'd be very grateful for an explanation.

 

I agree that elite sports of any kind is probably neither healthy nor comparable to what hobby runners are doing. In my opinion, to maintain a very low (often pathologically low, depending on definition) body fat percentage and "race weight", elite distance runners also practice what I would call calorie restriction (they often gain some weight during the off-season). In the context of calorie restriction for health benefits, this is probably not relevant.

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Guest Bret

Regarding calorie restriction while healing - from my own personal experience I have healed just fine (and I believe that I've healed better and faster) while following my paleoCRON diet. Perhaps there is a misconception about calorie restriction. It is is NOT nutrient deficient and provides all the calories necessary for a normal life, including healing; when done properly it is a complete balanced maintenance diet. What is eliminated in CRON diets is the nutrient-poor calories.

 

The success of the CRON diet, I think, is in the efficiency of it. The body gets exactly what it needs, no more; thus, healthy organs and effective metabolism.

 

I have tried to do both CRON and a standard moderate-calorie diet without eating lots of fat and meat and I have found that (for me) it can't be maintained. I became anemic, ill, lethargic and depressed, and began to look old, frankly. Quite the opposite result that one expects from a "healthy plant-based" diet, or the practice of CRON. (The huge fruit bar on the home page of this site always has me scratching my head. Why not a small plate of king salmon steak or fatty lamb?) I know that there is a huge commitment to plant foods in the majority of diets, but I've found that it is nutritionally inadequate and taxing to the body. I've eliminated most starches and sugars, and also fibrous and juicy foods in favor of animal fat and meat. (I have no problem with mono and saturated fat. I eat much less poly fat because that comes mostly from plants, but I do get some from nuts.)

 

I think that theoretically CRON principles can be used by athletes. What would seem like a large calorie allotment to the average person could be CRON to the athlete. There are many paleo athletes. The paleo diet (based on fat and meat) is somewhat CRON by nature.

 

 

Looking at this study, wouldn't one come to the conclusion that CR is not a good idea before or during healing periods? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22037865

 

Healing must also come from energy to some extent. But we don't have to be talking about several hundred excess calories, compared to what one would normally eat. Each injury could require a different amount. MY point is, during such a period of healing, I'm going to avoid restricting my personal energy intake based on what science tells us.

 

Your anecdotal claim, as far as I know, is unsupported by the current scientific research. I never said that eating a lot of calories would help with healing, especially if we're talking about junk foods - sugars, flours and so on.

However, the Paleo Diet also has its own problems, one of them being what I just mentioned. Science hasn't proven enough for us to believe that such a potentially high-protein diet would allow CR to work in full force. Cutting entire food groups isn't necessary to me. For instance, I haven't cut grains from my diet completely, but I have certainly limited their consumption. With CR, we're trying to find a diet that we'll be sticking to for a lifetime, and the benefits of said diet should (ideally) last a lifetime also. Eating a peanut butter sandwich on sprouted bread is not my idea of a death sentence. However, on top of eating that peanut butter sandwich, I will most certainly not be drinking a coke and crunching on a big bag of potato chips. I'll be following it (two hours later) with my second serving of vegetables, a salad, and a small serving of chicken. I think if I can use the available science to find a group of foods that works for me, I am very happy. I've also never experienced any ill effects from eating a moderate amount of grains; they've never made me tired or sluggish or anything, but I know some people don't claim to do well on them.

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Thanks for that post, Al. Last autumn I fell off of a ladder while insulating my house and broke 2 ribs. I broke my CR habits immediately and moderately increased my protein intake (usually 55 g per day increased to about 90 g per day) and had good healing results. My reasoning was that temporarily increasing IGF-1 levels would promote faster healing. It took my around 2 months to fully heal. It was painful, but it's good to see that I chose wisely according to your post.

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