HOW to choose supplements! (NO AD!)

No this is not an ad for anything, this is just me telling you what to think about when choosing supplements!!

As soon as I post a picture on instagram where I look resonably fit, the questions keep pouring in: “what supplements do you take?” “what BCAA should I pick?” “what brands do you use?”

Number one: brands doesn’t matter!

No, brands are mainly marketing and doesn’t say much about the product. Some brands have a good reputation, some are very famous, but are they really better? Sometimes famous brands can be awfully bad because they already have their place on the market and can focus on optimizing profit by… yes? Changing the content to something cheaper because they don’t need to earn your trust as smaller brands need to do!

1. How to know which supplements to buy?

Look at the packaging, read the labels, what does it say? If we take BCAA for example, because I get asked a lot about BCAA on the keto diet (yes, you can sip your aminos with confidence on the keto diet!)

So what does the label say? L-leucine, L-lysine and L-valine yes? If there’s more ingredients than that it’s not BCAA! Best ratio is 8-1-1 and ratio is always stated on the packaging. Don’t by 2-1-1.

2. What’s a clean supplement? 

As stated above – it’s when it doesn’t contain anything else. You don’t want 10 extra ingredients that you know nothing about! If you want magnesium DO NOT buy a mixture of 3 different magnesiums, it doesn’t get any better. In fact, the opposite is true! If you want potassium, buy potassium powder. I always pick POWDER over capsules!

3. Sweeteners or not? 

I use sweeteners but I always avoid aspartame and acesulfame-K! There’s plenty of natural sweet tasting substances so you really don’t have to chose the worst ones. Why not pick something with stevia? Or berry extract? Plenty of options. The reason I chose sweetened over non-sweetened is because I use BCAA to increase my liquid intake. My goal is a gallon a day (of water preferably), but I’m at half a gallon now or something.

4. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

“Is this and that a good supplement?” I can’t answer that because I don’t know YOUR purpose behind you taking it. Don’t take a supplement “just because” you need to have some intention behind it. Read reviews, read forums, what does others say?

Remember – always always always read your labels!

 

New collab with Athletic Greens!

This post is a collaboration with Athletic Greens!
WH3
WH11I got super excited when Athletic Greens wanted to collaborate with me and let me test and review their superfood cocktail! I love green drinks and drink it every morning instead of coffee. Since (my guru) Tim Ferriss is an affiliate to Athletic Greens, I thought it must be pretty good! Usually I make my own smoothies from avocado, spinach, spirulina, chlorella and tumeric but I use ready mixtures from time to time as well. I do it because it tastes better, and to save time. My blender is also extremely noisy so I hate to wake people up at 5 am just to make a smoothie!

So I have tried a couple of green drinks and mixtures from other online stores, and unfortunately they are not very tasty. They generally taste and smell like grass, and I am aware that it’s really hard to make them taste good. Spirulina is pretty awful to say the least!However, Athletic Greens are actually pretty good. Not like a chocolate milkshake haha, but like… a pretty palatable green drink. It has a little bite to it, and it’s not disgusting. Pretty good grade huh!? Taste wise I will give it 3 out of 5 stars, but ingredients wise I will give it 5 out of 5 and that’s their strength!

The ingredients

ingredientsNo synthetic chemical, colors or flavors, no preservatives, sweeteners, GMO’s, herbicides, pesticides, wheat, dairy, gluten, corn, lactose, sucrose, dextrose, no eggs, yeast, peanuts and no animal products!

If you want to read more about it – CLICK HERE!

All product ads and collaborations with companies will be marked like this. Yellow blog posts are ads, and white blog posts are just my personal thoughts and opinions. I don’t have much collaborations right now, but when I do they will look like this!

The China Study – Should we all be vegetarians?

aww-shit-i-ate-me-desk-againI was asked to comment on the Vegan Bible (The China Study) and I would love to do that! Have you heard about it? It’s one of the most popular books about health and nutrition ever written, and it’s been sold in over 1 million copies!

The title of the book is the title of the largest nutrition study ever made, performed by professor Colin Campbell at Cornell University. The study compares different diets and their correlation to diseases on the Chinese countryside. In the beginning, Cornell was a convinced carnivore, but as the study progressed he started to question the health effects of eating meat. The book includes the results from Campbells own 50 year long science career, showing the detrimental effects of the standard western diet with a lot of meat and processed foods. The claim of the book is that this diet is the main cause of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic illnesses. The book therefor suggests a vegan or vegetarian diet.

My comments

I agree that processed and unnatural foods are unhealthy, and that a lot of people eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) would be far well off if they switched their SAD to a sustained vegetarian diet. A lot of veggies and few or no processed items are a good idea, but… Buuuuuut the thing is that Colin Campbell is not quite honest in his book! He made the same trick Ancel Keys did in his “Seven Country Study”. Cherry picking results that fit a certain hypothesis, instead of looking at all the results with an open mind.

The book is not based on causation, but on selective observational data!

For example; the book claims that the correlation between coronary heart disease and meat protein is +1, and for fish protein it’s -11. But he doesn’t mention the correlation between heart disease and wheat that is +67!the-china-study

Wheat is also correlating to cervix cancer with +54, hypertension with +47, stroke with +41 etc. This is not mentioned in the book, at all. 

If you think about it… the human body consists of animal protein, animal saturated fats (60%) and monounsaturated fats (40%) so it would make sense to eat stuff similar to this. What we put in our mouth is converted into building blocks in the body. We don’t have any trans fats in the body naturally, and we don’t have grains and cereals, and not much sugar. We have about 500g sugar (1.1lbs)

I don’t think there’s any problem at all eating meat, fish, eggs and poultry, but why overdo it? You don’t have to binge salami, cheese, bacon and processed ham! A lot of veggies and green stuff can easily be included in a keto diet, and I do prefer fish and seafood over meat (not that it matters)

We have different metabolism and different preferences for food, so I do believe some people truly benefit from a vegetarian diet if it’s well thought out. Natural foods are the best despite any specific diet 🙂

Have you read The China Study? 

Read more… 

Carbnites, re-feeds & going in and out of ketosis

carbnitesTime to discuss re-feeds, carbnites and going in and out of ketosis!

First I just want to say that when I started eating keto almost 7 years ago, no one was talking about re-feeds. No one knew what it was, but it doesn’t mean we never ate carbs. Of course we did (and do!)

It’s not every week or even every month, but when I feel like it. I had cake at my birthday party in December (regular one, not sugar free) and I had a Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory when i visited US last September. No big deal. No re-feed.

Between these two events I haven’t had any carbs, and between now and December (6+ month) I’ve had a couple of kidney beans and a sugarfree (LCHF) cake.

 

Re-feeds/carbnites is not a trend. It’s several decades old and it’s called cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD for short). It was very popular among bodybuilders during the 60’s and 70’s, and I talk a lot about it in my latest book (sorry it’s in Swedish, English version isn’t available until next year!) Bodybuilders used CKD because it enabled them to lose fat during the weekdays and gain mass during the weekends. Even to this day a lot of big guys (Mr Olympia big) are still doing versions of the keto diet from time to time, because it’s so effective!

I’ve tried “carbnites”

I  experimented with carbnites or carb backloading or whatever you want to call it. I was keto during the week and carbed up every Saturday. It didn’t work that well for me, but it is better than TKD in my opinion. TKD = targeted ketogenic diet, and means that you are keto (or fasting) during the day and have strategic carbs around your training session. The reason for me not liking “carbnites” is that I don’t like going in and out of ketosis like that. My body likes being ketogenic, and if I break my ketosis with a lot of carbs I get heart palpitations, start sweating like crazy and go completely loco! It’s not comfortable and I don’t gain anything from it either.

But how does it work – can we just go in and out of ketosis when we feel like it? 

YES OF COURSE! THAT’S WHAT WE’RE MADE FOR! Our bodies are designed to be mostly in ketosis, and to be able to handle long periods without food. If we eat carbs, the body is equipped with both insulin and glycogen storage. Tada! We can switch between these two systems, and it’s not a problem.

What do you prefer? 

CKD and TKD doesn’t work for me but I have friends that love it and gain great results from it. I do think it’s inappropriate to do carbnites or re-feeds if you are having an eating disorder (love binging), if you are a sugar- or food addict or if you are severely overweight. Then the biochemical benefits of a re-feed won’t work. If you’re curious about re-feeds and want to give it a try, I would recommend (good) carbs like white rice, sweet potatos, pumpkin, nutbutter (cashew, almond) etc instead of McD, Dunkin Donuts and Ben & Jerry’s 😉

This is my opinions about re-feeds, but what do you think!?

Unexpected benefits of quitting caffeine

Quitting coffee has been a natural step for me on my journey towards optimal health. I’ve been following the keto diet/LCHF since 2010 and try to make small improvements along the way. Drinking coffee/caffeinated beverages was my last ‘bad habit’ and also the most stubborn. I started my caffeine addiction as a 4 year old, so I’ve been on this drug quite a while!

This post is dedicated to the unexpected benefits of quitting caffeine, that I experience every time I go off it. I’ve been on and off for a year now, longest time off was around 6 months but this time I hope to stay off for good!

1. Increased motivation

Caffeine is a mild dopamine stimulating drug, it’s a common feature among stimulants. When you eliminate caffeine the first reaction will be less motivation because the brain is used to the dopamine boost. When the receptors are restored, your motivation will come from the activity you are performing and not the caffeine. It will be more real and endure for longer periods of time.

2. No energy dips
When I’m on caffeine, I’m a zombie before I have had at least one cup of coffee. I’m not doing any work until I’ve had this first cup. Without coffee there’s no before/after periods, nothing to obstruct my work flow or creativity. No burning need for something before I can get going. Energy is more constant and doesn’t need any boost during the day.

3. Better sleep!
Both in terms of deep sleep and REM-sleep. Some people claim they never dream, that’s not natural. We ‘should’ remember at least 3 separate dream cycles when we wake up, that indicates a healthy brain and endocrine system. I had a very high caffeine tolerance (> 1g/day) and I could have a cup of coffee and then fall asleep. That’s why I thought caffeine didn’t affect my sleep, but it did and it affect yours too!

4. Less stress
NO doctor ever ask a stressed/anxious patient about his or her caffeine habits, isn’t that weird? Caffeine will increase the stress in your life and your brain will tell you that it’s because this and that external factor. It’s not, it’s the caffeine.

5. Less hunger
Caffeine inhibits hunger and cravings WHILE you are ingesting it, but not afterwards. That leads to higher caloric intake in total, at least for me. I eat significantly less when I’m off caffeine, and my energy intake is more evenly distributed throughout the day. If I’m cutting (aka losing fat) it’s so much harder with coffee, strangely enough.

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Photo from last year when I got my hands on a “Venti Brewed” (700 mg caffeine!) 

Well this is my experience, I guess we’re all different and some people can enjoy a cup here and there. I can’t. If I have one cup, I want 10 more cups + some more stimulants, it exhaust my adrenals and is simply put; unhealthy. I know bulletproof coffee is very popular in the low carb community, it tastes good and it generates a more even flow of energy but it affect the adrenals and have negative impact on the blood sugar. If you really want to keto adapt, you will need to quit bulletproof coffee as well.

Decaf is NOT popular in Sweden. I’ve tried it and it’s awful, maybe Americans have better decaf coffee? In my opinion drinking decaf is like drinking beer and wine with no alcohol, pretty pointless and watery. Besides, decaf still contains up to 15 mg caffeine per cup, which would be enough to stimulate the craving for more stimulants. A worthy replacement if any is yerba matté (while you are tapering down. It contains a little caffeine, it has a strong taste but has no resemblance with coffee!)

Please share your experience on quitting caffeine, I truly want to know! ?

Vlog: My biohack devices

Time: ca 9 min

Content: I show you my biohack devices, some are old and some are new. If you like the video please give it a thumbs up, comment or subscribe. I would love to know your thoughts!

N=3 experiment – fructose and blood sugar

Fructose is converted to glycerol phosphate more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates. Glycerolphosphate → triglycerides (via the liver) → fat storage. And I thought it was one of the worst types of sugar to raise your blood sugar as well, as it turns out it was not. I wanted to peak my blood sugar because what happens then? Insulin is being released and the blood sugar is absorbed by glucose receptors on tissue cells, causing a drop in blood sugar.

This phenomenon made me interested in using fructose to lower my blood sugar. During my quest for perfect keto adaptation I’ve come to realize that my blood sugar is a bit to high (hovering around 5.5mmol/l (100mg/dl)). I also thought about the possibility of getting away with more carbs (cheat days) if it’s possible to manipulate the blood sugar first.

It’s grapefruit season were I live so I used fresh grapefruit as a source of fructose and started my measurements. The thing is that my blood sugar acted a bit differently than expected…

BS2_eng
My blood sugar didn’t increase as much as I thought it would, and went downwards pretty quickly!

It was time for an experiment! As we’re 3 people in my household I took the chance to do an N=3 experiment to see if the results were consistent, and not just due to an individual sensitivity to grapefruit. I was out of Freestyle Precision test strips and used my Chinese blood sugar device Sannuo instead. It shows higher values in genereal, but at least it’s consistent.

Results:

  • Martina: 5.6 mmol/L – 6.2 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 5.0 mmol/L (after 1h)
  • Mattias: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.9 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 4.9 mmol/L (after 1h)
  • John: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.5 mmol/L (Grape fruit) 4.7 mmol/L (after 1h)

I found it really interesting so I wanted to repeat the experiment with carbs! I ate purple potato and some chocolate and Mattias and John ate soft ice cream…

BS3_eng

Hah! My hand drawing is not exact… What I try to illustrate is that the blood sugar didn’t reach its original level after grapefruit + carbs, but stayed pretty low:

  • Martina 5.4 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.6 mmol/l
  • Mattias 5.5 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.0 mmol/l
  • John 5.2 mmol/l- Grape fruit – carbs – 4.6 mmol/l

Purple potato slow things down, and that’s why I didn’t get the same result. Mattias and John ate ice cream which metabolizes a lot quicker.

But what’s happening here?

Is it the fructose?

No it’s not the fructose but the small molecule naringenin, responsible for the bitter taste in grape fruit and other citrus fruits. I discovered this by accident since it happened to be grape fruit season in China right now.

After some research I found that naringenin is actually as powerful as oral anti-diabetic medication;

Naringenin (100 µM) stimulated 163 % glucose uptake in rat adipocytes (compared to untreated cells) and this was significantly higher than the insulin mediated glucose uptake at similar concentration. Thus, naringenin may play an important role as an adjuvant and/or alternative to insulin therapy for the management of diabetes mellitus.

I guess it means that it’s possible to lower ones blood sugar by drinking home made grape fruit juice, even though I’m not too thrilled about fructose in general. Either way, it’s a cool finding! ? Other natural stuff that lowers blood sugar effectively is R-ALA, ALA and Gymnena Sylvestre that can be found in the health food stores and online.

Notes: I choose fruit because I wanted to ingest simple carbs, no protein and no fat, I know that fruit also contains sucrose and that Ascorbic acid can affect blood sugar readings. I won’t repeat this experiment because it was just for fun and it was pretty cool to find out about naringenin ?

Article quote from: Lim, S. L., K. P. Soh, and U. R. Kuppusamy. “Effects of naringenin on lipogenesis, lipolysis and glucose uptake in rat adipocyte primary culture: a natural antidiabetic agent.” Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 5.2 (2008): 11-11.