Optimize carb timing, sleep, and fasting with Kris Gethin.
Hi guys. In today’s episode I speak with fitness expert Kris Gethin. He provided a few great tips on:
- How to dial in your molecular hydrogen dose pre-workout. If you haven’t used molecular hydrogen, we’ll talk a little bit about what that is.
- How to use carbohydrates pre and post workout. Both for better performance but also for better post exercise growth hormone potentiation.
- How to make sure you’re not over-training.
These tips are applicable to anyone who’s exercising and/or trying to stay fit, which hopefully is everyone listening to this. For everyone who is trying to be healthy, you should be making exercise and fitness one of the multi-fold aspects of that plan.
That is the short synopsis of my podcast with Kris. He also mentioned how massively impactful improving his gut health was for him, especially having less muscle and joint aches and pains. That is definitely something I hope will continue to permeate further out into the internet. If you’re having chronic muscle pain and muscle aches, oftentimes it’s not because of an imbalance or over-training, although it certainly could be. You’d be shocked how often the problem is actually a GI issue causing inflammation in joints and/or muscles.
If you’re looking for a way to rectify your gut health to diminish that type of symptom, definitely check out Healthy Gut, Healthy You where I lay out a protocol to improve your gut health in a stepwise fashion. With that, we will now go to the podcast with Kris Gethin. I think you guys will really enjoy this one.
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In This Episode
Episode Intro … 00:00:40
Kris Gethin’s Background … 00:03:33
Relationship Between Fasting & Sleep Quality … 00:05:15
Carbs, Insulin, Body Composition, & Performance … 00:10:50
Timing of Carbs for Performance … 00:17:24
Antioxidants & Hydrogen-Rich Water … 00:24:33
Peptides … 00:28:10
Running Efficiency, Nasal Breathing & Other Tips … 00:32:39
Appropriate Workouts & Overtraining … 00:40:05
Biohacking Your Environment … 00:43:23
Episode Wrap Up … 00:46:35
I recently spoke with fitness expert Kris Gethin, co-founder of Kris Gethin Gyms, about optimizing your workout performance, body composition, and maximizing the anti-aging effects of your health practices. Gethin is an author, educator, biohacker, and hybrid athlete, who considers himself a physique transformation specialist. His most important recommendation is to adapt your approach to how your body responds.
Intermittent Fasting and Sleep Quality
Can your intermittent fasting schedule affect your sleep and workout performance? Some performance experts recommend eating right before bed or even eating during the night. Gethin suggests starting your fast at least two hours before bedtime for the best sleep. He said, “It does seem to me that with fasting—like many other things—more doesn’t equal better. About three years ago, I started controlled intermittent fasting. I’ll do the typical 16:8 fast—though sometimes on non-training days, it would be a little bit longer. What I found was that starting the fast about two hours before bedtime really did impact the deep sleep and REM quality of my resting time. That’s what I found with myself, and in observational studies with my clients as well.”
He added, “But it depends on the size of that person, or if they are female or male will affect how long I would have that person fast. It’ll be anywhere between 16 to 18 hours for men, or usually around the 12 to 14 hour mark for women.”
Carbs, Insulin, Body Composition, & Performance
For a while, there seems to have been an oscillation back and forth in the Paleo and performance communities between “carbs are bad,” “carbs are good.” I asked Gethin how he is thinking about carbs, insulin, and their relationship to body composition and performance. He said, “I look at everything with a kind of cyclical or hormetic response. There has to be some sort of balance to it. I would never go overboard with the carbs, but I’m not afraid of them either.”
Gethin has noticed that people tolerate different types of carbs. He said, “…It comes down to what type of carbohydrates they are using and what works for them. Everybody has a different response.”
Gethin says he will never provide an athlete with a huge amount of carbs because that could lead to the possibility of insulin resistance if they’re eating them long term. Instead, he recommends modified fasting to adapt carb consumption to your needs. He clarified, “Maybe they’re not fasting all the time, but twice a week, on their non-training days they are fasting, so they can overcompensate with more carbohydrates on the days that they’re working out.”
Hi, everyone. Let’s talk about probiotics, which helped to make this podcast possible. Functional Medicine Formulations contains a line of probiotics that I personally developed, and I’m super excited to be able to offer you the same probiotics that I’ve been using in the clinic for years and are a byproduct of an extensive review of the literature plus my own clinical experience.
In this line, you will find my favorite three probiotics in all three of the main categories that work synergistically to help you fight dysbiosis, like SIBO, candida yeast, and H. pylori, help to eradicate parasites, help to reduce leaky gut and repair the gut barrier, and can improve gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and may even improve mood, skin, sleep, and thyroid function because of the far-reaching impact of the gut. You can learn more about these at drruscio.com/probiotics.
Carb Timing for Performance
I asked Gethin his thoughts about carbs before workouts and carbs after workouts. Gethin discussed how he uses carbs and protein: “As a rule of thumb, I’d say about two-and-a-half hours, maybe three hours [before the workout], if they’re taking pre-workout supplements, such as citrulline, beta-alanine, or creatinine. I don’t generally have my clients take carbs unless they’re doing extended workouts. What I’ll do is have them take post-workout protein, and then about an hour to an hour-and-a-half after that is when they will take that solid form of carbs. I wait a good 90 minutes after the workout because you don’t have to deal with the blunting of the growth hormone levels. But if it’s an intense two-hour workout, with maybe a lot of volume and high-intensity, then that would justify carbs.”
Antioxidants, Hydrogen-Rich Water, & Peptides
Gethin shared his thoughts on antioxidants: “I like to take a lot of antioxidant supplements, but if you take too many, especially around your workouts, it can blunt the hormetic response. So I don’t generally have too much around the workouts. But on the whole, I’m a huge proponent of taking a blend of antioxidants. I’ll have them in the form of hydrogen-rich water as well.”
Hydrogen-rich water is made by dissolving tablets in water. Gethin observed, “I feel better [from hydrogen-rich water], specifically at times when I’m low on energy, maybe I’ve been traveling, I’m a little bit exhausted. And I just find that I do perform better.”
Certain peptides, which are protein fragments, can have anti-aging effects, can help with wound healing and tissue repair, and support muscle growth. I asked what experience Gethin had with peptides. He said, “It all depends on that person. I’d say that the ones that I have experienced myself is a epitalon, for longevity, and preventing the shortening of the telomeres, and BPC-157. I’ve had success with BPC-157 because I’ve succumbed to some injuries over the years.”
I asked Gethin what could increase running efficiency and times. He shared the relationship between sleep and exercise. He noted, “Better sleep improves Heart Rate Variability, which increases your performance. One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of athletes is that their Heart Rate Variability tanks because they generally don’t take days off.” He recommended practicing nasal breathing rather than using a running mask.
He also discussed running form and ways to overcome quadriceps dominance while running: “When we sit down as much as we do in traffic, at home, and the office, or in front of the TV, we switch off our glutes, and we find it hard for us to switch them back on when we start running. One thing that I found that really helped was by a book called The Heart of Running, by Kevin Everett. [He asks] you to imagine a sphere inside your stomach. If you lean forward, if you lean to the side, this sphere will fall out. So you need to keep your posture aligned.
If you’re going to lean forward, you lean forward at the hips and it’s amazing what adjusting your running gait can do, just by stretching and flexing your glutes. You can really extend each stride by about half-an-inch to an inch, which is huge for your times per minute.”
“Maybe also working on a foam roller on a daily basis as opposed to just powering your way through the run…But the other thing that I’ve always focused on is trying to keep [your eyeline] as smooth as humanly possible [while running], which will then subconsciously allow you to pull that much more in a smooth plane of motion.”
Appropriate Workouts & Overtraining
How much time off should you be taking from your workouts? Gethin commented, “Well, it all depends how much volume you’re doing on those training days. I’ve got to make sure that I’m in a good mental place as well. If not, I’m taking that day off. So that’s where wearables, whether you’re using a Bio Strap, a Whoop strap, an Oura Ring, or something like that can really, really help.”
Biohacking Your Environment
Gethin said a lot of people get focused on biohacking their personal health, but overlook biohacking their environment. He said, “I just had a call with somebody earlier asking me about what biohacks they can do. However they don’t focus on what you do, like the gut health, mental health, making sure that they’re getting sunlight every day, that they’re grounding, doing whatever they can to scramble EMF, and block out artificial lights that we deal with today.”
“And that’s what I try to really implement with a lot of the people…Then there are infrared lamps that you can utilize. You have grounding mats and things like this. So those are nothing hugely exciting, but are the things that I’m implementing more so in my world where people are just interested in wanting results.”
The Bottom Line
Improve your health performance and body composition with targeted but customized approaches. Start your fast 2 hours before bedtime, practice appropriate carb timing, include hydrogen-rich water as an antioxidant, use nasal breathing while running, and focus on biohacking your environment to support your fitness goals. But perhaps most importantly, if you don’t notice these practices improve things for you, don’t keep forcing yourself to use a specific diet or a certain supplement because you’ve heard how good it is. Kris Gethin reminds us to do what works for our bodies.
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