Dr. Phil Maffetone: ‘Other’ Reasons You’re Not Seeing Progress, Yay or Nay to Antioxidants, and Food Philosophies

June 27, 2016
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We’re back for another edition with Dr. Phil Maffetone.

On this show we dive deeper into potential issues holding you back from making progress. So, if you’re not seeing results with MAF and/or fat-burning, yet on paper you are doing everything “right” with training, diet, and lifestyle, then take a listen because it could actually be something else. Even if you’ve had progress the topics covered today could get you too the next level. Of course, the theme of nutrition and what we eat is integral for this episode including a great discussion at the end of the show.

Be sure to read Phil’s new published article titled Athletes: Fit But Unhealthy, and also check this article on Phil’s website profiling our very own Tawnee Prazak on her journey in sport and health.

On this show:

  • Creating mighty mitochondria! Without good mitochondria could we be slightly suffering? 
  • Mitochondria are our powerhouse for energy, efficiency and health. They extract energy from nutrients to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which our body uses to create energy for a countless cellular processes. They are also integral in the metabolism of lipids/fatty acids (aka your fat-burning)
  • Help with steroid hormone production (testosterone, estradiol), insulin/glucose regulation, and cellular calcium homeostasis
  • When mito are burdened they produce more free radical damage. Increasing mitchondria takes the demand off mitochondria and disperses the workload. This is when they make fat into ATP and produce less free radical damage
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction is a real thing and serious, and it’s at the root cause of many genetic disorders, chronic diseases, etc.
  • But for athletes it may just be poor-functioning mitochondria holding you back from making progress
  • When not functioning well we aren’t as good with blood sugar regulation and fat burning during exercise
  • Most common problem in hurting your mitochondria is the use of statins–depletes CoQ10–as wel as most prescription drugs too (consult with your doctor)
  • How to boost mitochondria?
  • Endurance training helps boost mitochondria, but in this case that might not be enough for the population we’re addressing.
  • The right diet/nutrition is key for creating highly effective mitochondria! High fat diets, low in refined carbs, sugar and junk, with macro’s adjusted to your needs and health.
  • Healthy mitochondria depend on a diet that stabilizes blood sugar levels, normalizes fatty acid ratios, and provides mega-doses of trace minerals and phytonutrient anti-oxidants. This diet consists of fresh vegetables and healthy fat sources.
  • Supplements for better mitochondria?
  • Supplement if deficient, and don’t supplement with the false idea that more is better. In some cases certain supplements in abundance are not good for us and have a potential toxic or harmful effect.
  • If you have any deficiencies you’re going to affect hundreds if not thousands of functions in the body
  • Supplements discussed that aid in healthy mitochondria: CoQ10, B2 (riboflavin), ALA, Mg, Zinc, iron, PQQ, carnitine
  • Carnitine deficiency in particular: carnitine is required to oxidize fat in the mitochondria. With age, carnitine levels decline. Carnitine supplementation has proven effective in reducing fatigue, enhancing cardiovascular function, improving body composition, lowering blood sugar, and more.
  • Treating people is easy, it’s the assessment process that is so hard!
  • We must read and analyze the signs or symptoms and consider the biochemical pathways in what’s presenting
  • Can we overdo it on antioxidants and/or recovery protocols and blunt the training response/adaptations?
  • There is evidence that some recovery aids such as ice, anti-inflammatory nutrition and antioxidant supplements blunt the adaption to training. So how do you maximize recovery without erasing the workout and making the training ineffective?
  • Research indicates that antioxidants can impair metabolic processes–dose matters, as well as type (synthetics  especially Vitamins C, E)
  • But we need them to offset free radicals! and boost mitochondria!
  • Are we actually doing more harm than good without antioxidants? Where can we find a happy medium?
  • ROS reactive oxygen species covered in Phil’s paper Athletes: Fit But Unhealthy
  • Bottom line:
  • Can too much focus on recovery techniques hold back your fitness?
  • Or, can too little focus on recovery, even with MAF, inhibit adaptations (i.e. fatigue, poor health, etc)?
  • Give the body what it needs
  • Tie back to Phil’s mention of spacing his speedwork apart by 4 days.
  • Could it be body composition? Specifically: too low body fat, are there risks?
  • We often discuss risks and harms over being overfat but what about the opposite?
  • Can we have such low body fat as an endurance athlete–male or female–that it hurts our fitness and health? Obviously the answer is yes for women who are more sensitive to low body fat, but what about men?
  • For men is there risk in closing in on 3% body fat or less? Is it playing with fire?
  • There is a range of healthy body fat, but the range is hard to determine
  • If someone’s healthy and doing well but has low body fat assess the symptoms. If this person is truly ok it is not a concern
  • Body fat measuring and its accuracy
  • And more….
  • Hormonal imbalances associated with having poor fat-burning ability
  • Find your ideal carb intake
  • Bob Newhart’s “Stop It” mentioned by Phil
  • More on diet and getting real on what we’re really eating
  • Inaccurate diet reporting
  • Phil and Tawnee share their difference POV’s on “food flexibility”
  • Phil lays out some real risks with even slightly too much intermittent fasting–could be more of a stress on the body and in reality you need to eat more. The only IF you need may be that gap between dinner and breakfast the next dya.
  • Shoutout and giving love to Primal Products: Mayo, Dark Chocolate Almond Bars, Dressings and more

One Comment

  • ranganr says:

    A good information regarding mitochondria, its role and health related issues. Now a days there is lot of talk going on about mitochondria, their origin diseases and treatment options. Your advice about the requirement of right nutrition besides the exercise is the thing every one who is health conscious should consider.


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