Taking Adaptogens During Fasting – Is it Cheating or Good for You?
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adaptogens kind of sounds like i should be cruising around in like a volkswagen bus with long hair talking about adaptogens like that's kind of like feels like right it's an adaptogen well in reality adaptogens are more than just some hippy dippy weird stuff like they're actually .
Heavily researched they're pretty cool and they're starting to be a little bit more cutting edge in the way of like performance research like we're seeing that applied but i thought if adaptogens help you adapt to a stressor like exercise then how do they affect you when you adapt to a stressor such as fasting let's dive in .
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Guys so an adaptogen is a compound that allows you to sort of re-establish heterostasis or homeostasis so you're like kind of finding a new homeostasis and having this fluctuation in your baseline now what i mean by that is when we have a stress response there is something called the general adaptation system which was coined back .
In like the 1950s the general adaptation system is where we have a stressor and we have the first phase of response which is like the stress response where we have adrenaline norepinephrine cortisol all these things like up regulate really quick as a response to stress then we have what's called the resistance phase the .
Resistance phase is where we sort of uh come down from that stress response a little bit and we find a new balance and potentially a new baseline and homeostasis we resolve the problem really or at least we adapt to the stressor we right if we had like some crazy chronic stressor coming at us .
Eventually we're going to kind of adapt to it we're not just going to remain in crazy fight or flight forever then we have phase three which is really what we don't want to end up in that's the exhaustion phase that's if we get so stressed out for something that we can't even adapt and we can't even modulate and meet that resistance phase and we .
Become so stressed out that causes a problem well fasting is a stressor and we are typically sitting in that acute kind of phase one stressor during a fast and then after we eat we have some phase of phase two that comes in like a little bit of the resistance where we actually meet that and we adapt that's why we can .
Adjust to the stress response of fasting over time we start with a 16 hour fast we get good at that we adjust to an 18 hour fast 20 hour fast and then sometimes we build all the way up to really long five seven day fast if you want to point is is you're developing the ability to tolerate that stressor well when you look at the data with .
Adaptogens nothing is looking at it with fasting but it's paralleling a lot of that same kind of thing the idea of an adaptogen is to help assist you in meeting that resistance a little bit faster meeting that phase two and not getting to exhaustion for example let me show you a figure on the screen right now and i've showed this in other videos .
Before like this blue line that is on the screen indicates where you are when you are like just normally responding to a stressor so you see kind of the acute response and then you kind of get the attenuation of it and then it kind of you know you find your go back to baseline well the purple line indicates what it's like with adaptogens right so .
Adaptogens are going to sort of you're still having that acute response but then the attenuation is a little bit better you respond to that stressor better and you end up kind of balancing and ending up at a lower level of stress and then what's really interesting is at the end of like if you look at the far right of the graph you'll actually see .
That the purple line ends up at a higher baseline than the blue line after the stressor meaning the purple line is actually adjusting to the stress the adaptogens are allowing the baseline to increase so that your threshold for stress in the beginning is better so you have you basically need more stimulus to get stressed i mean i don't know about .
You but that sounds really awesome to me okay then we have to look at a really interesting study this is one study out of like lots that really clearly shows like how adaptogens work and it's a my study but it still paints the picture so this study was published in the journal phytomedicine and it looked at a combination of three .
Different adaptogens you've probably heard of before okay uh eulerococcus rhodiola rosea and something called schizandra okay so in this case they gave these to mice okay and they had them do forced swimming which i think i've talked about in a video it sounds kind of messed up basically they force them to swim and the control setting the .
Control mice that didn't have any of the adaptogens in place at all they swam for three minutes before they were exhausted couldn't swim anymore get this the mice that had the adaptogens swam for 22 freaking minutes that is insane that sounds like the most elaborate performance enhancer i could ever imagine right .
The thing is is that it is allowing them to modulate and adapt to a stressor they also found that chaperoning had increased so chaperone proteins like heat shock proteins hsp170s which have to do with exposure to high heat so when we exercise we have these chaperone proteins that protect ourselves from breaking down in a weird fashion in like .
A decrepit way also when we sit in a sauna at a very high temperature we have an elevation of well what do you know heat shock proteins that protect our cells from that heat and allow us to have an adaptation that's why i recommend sitting at a sauna at a high temperature that hsp activation is tremendous so okay wow that makes sense .
Why it's improving exercise because it's elevating heat shock proteins and changing that out that adaptation so what can that do for fasting because when we are fasting we are elevating our cortisol and we are decreasing our uh heart rate variability we're decreasing our hrv meaning that we are in much more of a sympathetic nervous system .
Activation so you start to start thinking at this you look at like the whole hypothetical scenario if we are ultra stressed out when we are fasting in the same way that we are ultra stressed out when we are exercising the same kind of things that would lower our heart rate variability well then could adapt the gins help now .
Inadvertently i've been using adaptogens when i fast for probably two or three years i vary between high doses of lion's mane i mess around with high doses of rhodiola and this is me personally i am big on mega dosing things because i like to feel the effect if i'm going to mess around with it and i absolutely notice that i'm able to .
Sort of attenuate my perceived like stress response when i use things like chaga or when i use things like cordyceps during a fast lion's mane gets me more of like a mental uh i feel fired up mentally so i'll take you know four or five grams of lion's mane and i feel like i definitely am getting sort of the neuroplasticity .
Effects and bdnf but that's less of an adaptation whereas with like rhodiola i feel like i i'm calmer during my fast now that being said you don't want to rely on this right because we want fasting to be a stressor so if we start using adaptogens while we are fasting it's allowing us to adapt to a longer fast but does that .
Make the argument that maybe we are diminishing the benefit because a lot of the fat loss benefit from fasting is coming from the hormone sensitive lipase activation which runs through beta adrenergic 3 or beta 3 adrenergic receptor that has to do with cortisol has to do with adrenaline noradrenaline all these catecholamines .
That are activated and if your stress response baseline is higher then that means you're going to just make it so you have to do longer fast to get that effect so adaptogens will come into play in very specific circumstances remember there are two things that are happening there's sort of the positive additive effect of fasting and what i mean by .
That is the additive effect of catecholamines being released like adrenaline and norepinephrine and all that stuff that additive effect is fat loss stimulating but the subtract effect the effect that you get from removing food is much more the telomere regenerating telomerase activity ampk activation autophagy just deprivation of .
Food right that's a whole different world so if you're after fasting for like longevity purposes and things like that you could make the argument that adaptogens allow you to go longer without food without chronically high levels of cortisol and potential like visceral fat you know building and everything like .
Has to do with high levels of cortisol because we have high levels of glucocorticoids within our visceral fat if we're stressed out chronically even during a fast we could make the argument that you are losing some of the abdomen fat loss effects like you're losing some of that central adiposity burning effect so i think if you're just going for .
Longevity then adding adaptogens into the mix are a great idea or if you're just looking to experiment and kind of test things out because i think at the end of the day being able to add things into a fast to get different effects are hugely beneficial so i encourage you to look at some more of the data surrounding .
Adaptogens look at things like urococcus look like rhodiola rosea look at things like again lion's mane chaga any of these adaptogenic kind of mushroom blends that are out there pretty interesting and again i don't want to tell you exactly how much it takes you just need to .
Experiment with yourself and figure out what works for you so as always keep it locked here on my channel and i'll see you tomorrow
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0:00 – Intro
0:37 – 40% off your first order AND a FREE gift from Thrive Market
1:25 – What Do Adaptogens Do?
3:24 – Adaptogens & Stress
7:12 – Could Adaptogens Negate the Benefits of Fasting?