Over the past few weeks I’ve been listening to a steady stream of some of John Kiefer’s podcasts, some of which are from his own site, Body.io and some from when he appears as a guest on other folks’ podcasts. For those that don’t know, Kiefer is the author of both The Carb Nite Solution and Carb Back-Loading, both ways of eating that I’ve been playing around with recently.
Each time interview or discussion I listen to I end up coming away with another tidbit of information that he reveals that wasn’t quite written in either of his books, so I wanted to aggregate some of these nuggets here. I did a similar thing a few posts back covering a couple other podcasts he appeared in. If you want to see all the other podcasts in which Kiefer has guest appeared, check them out here.
From the Promoting Real Women Radio: MMA Moms podcast:
- On Carb Nite, protein intake should be 30% of total calories.
- A protein intake 50% or greater will make it difficult to become ketotic.
- Athletes however can tolerate and may require a protein intake greater than 50%, of course depending on the individual and their training regimen.
From the Garage Warrior podcast:
- Protein should be eaten later in the day
- Diet should be mainly fat, and most fat should be eaten earlier in the day.
- As ketoadaptation takes place, the muscle usage of ketones goes down due to down regulation of 3 beta hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase activity, preserving ketones to be used by other organs
- Heart muscle use of ketones goes up
- This is why ketosis is great for endurance athletes, but terrible for power athletes.
- MMA fighters are considered power athletes.
- Low insulin levels are more important for fat loss than ketogenesis.
From the Propane Fitness podcast:
- The body appearing ‘full’ and amount of ‘water retention’ in the body can be used as a guide for increasing or decreasing carb intake
From the Lift Run Bang podcast:
- First off I just have to say that this was a pretty hilarious podcast and I actually laughed out loud multiple times. Things get quite a bit raunchy, and the damn podcast is 2 hours long! But it was 2 hours of pure gold! Also it’s probably the only podcast in which you hear Kiefer actually cut loose and really get comfortable, since he usually speaks with more decorum…. and it’s refreshing!
- Recommends Carlson’s Fish Oil 15 gm per day.
- Interesting discussion of a study in which they examined the different hormonal responses between a fast food burger vs a grass fed burger with same macronutrient content.
- They also discuss which super hero or villainess they would each choose to bang
- And of course they address the age old dilemma of who they would rather have with them on a desert island… a mermaid in which the upper half is human and bottom half a fish or one that is upper half fish and bottom half human…
From the Ben Coombs Show podcast:
- Galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides, which are both prebiotics, can increase ketone levels.
- Kiefer prefers those to potato starch when discussing resistant starch and the gut biome.
- Kiefer has backed off on his support of caffeine. In the Carb Back-Loading shakes he recommends up to 200 mg in both the pre and post workout shakes (since I didn’t want to screw up my sleep too much, I decided not to use any caffeine when using shakes).
- He says he only uses caffeine with super high intense athletes… which is definitely not me.
- Noticed that performance and fat loss improved with removal of evening caffeine.
From Kiefer’s own Body IO FM podcast interview with Ben Greenfield:
- Ben Greenfield discussed his recent participation in Jeff Volek’s lab examining the differences between high carb and low carb endurance athletes (people in documented ketosis)
- They ran at 65% VO2 Max for 3 hrs.
- Muscle and fat biopsies were performed throughout the day, before the run, after the run, immediately after a post workout meal, and then a few hours after the post workout meal, to analyze changes in glycogen and other enzymes and what-nots (biopsies are no joke! this a serious study!).
- Dexa scans were also done.
- They also collected urine samples to look at nitrogen utilization
- Stool samples were studied to look at microbiome and other gut stuff.
- They also measured RMR before, during 60 minutes after, and 120 minutes after workout.
- Of course they did blood draws to look at various blood markers.
- Cheek swabs were collected to look at membrane fatty acids and free radicals.
- One of the preliminary results for Ben Greenfield was that he was able to oxidize fat at 1.4 – 1.5 gm per minute (he was in ketosis for this experiment). Previously the maximal theoretical rate of fat oxidation was though to be 1.1 gm per minute, and it turns out the Ben Greenfield was only in the middle of the range for this study. This will literally change the paradigm for endurance athletes.
- Ben’s inflammation levels were low throughout the experiment.
- At least the preliminarily, the results show that ketosis is great for endurance athletes…
- and that we can oxidize way more fat than the current research states if we become fat adapted.
- They also go into the changes of Ben’s thyroid and how he addressed it with thyroid extract and organ meats.
From the Body IO FM podcast research review:
- They’ve noticed in a subset of people doing Carb Nite that it can be difficult to raise ketone levels above the 1 mmol/L, let alone the ideal 3 – 5 mmol/L range.
- Kiefer found a paper showing that ketogenic diets shut down the MTOR pathway, which is an important path for growing new tissue, especially muscle mass.
- MTOR is upregulated by resistance training, insulin, leucine, and nictoine.
- Aging suppresses MTOR.
- Intermittent fasting beyond 12 hrs also suppresses MTOR, which is why Kiefer recommends against fasts lasting longer than 12 hrs.
- He posits that this may be why it is difficult for people to become ripped and muscular when following a strict ketogenic diet.
- There also appears to be a feedback mechanism in which MTOR is needed by the liver to produce ketones, but once you are in ketosis for a long time, there is a down regulation of MTOR in the liver, which decreases the production if ketones.
- This can explain why it’s so hard for people to get their ketones up.
- Another highlight is their discussion on the Bulletproof butter in coffee thing.
- They first bring up the idea that casein can neutralize the catechins in coffee. Casein is a protein found in milk, cream, and butter. Catechins are antioxidants (the importance of these catechins are still up for debate).
- Kiefer thinks heavy whipping cream is the best thing to add to coffee for a few reasons, one being that cream mixes better with coffee.
- Cream mixes better because the proteins in the cream form a bilayered membrane called a milk fat globule membrane (one of the main components is phosphatidyl choline which is a precursor to acetylcholine).
- These membranes have casein bound to them tightly so when digested, the casein is released very slowy where as with butter, the casein is free floating and is released immediately.
- It’s the milk fat globule membrane that has been shown to be beneficial for digestion, brain function, and other stuff.
- When butter is formed, the churning process destroys the milk fat globule membranes, so of all things to add to coffee, butter should be at the bottom of the list.
- The homogenization process of cream will also increase casein content, so its best to use raw, unhomogenized cream (which has lowest casein content).
- MCT oil and coconut oil are also better options as opposed to butter.
- Another one of the purported benefits of butter is the ‘butyric acid’ which is a short chain fatty acid.
- The main issue with this is that all the benefits of butyric acid occur when it is produced by gut flora… not when it is taken directly as in the form of butter (gut bacteria digest fiber and resistant starches into butyric acid which feed other good gut bacteria).
- Ketogenic diets can inhibit MTOR and may be a reason why it can be hard to gain muscle mass while in ketosis.
- Low carb diets suppress insulin secretion and it is the eventual depletion of hepatic glycogen that triggers ketogenesis.
- Muscles become more sensitive to resistance training while in ketosis.
- Muscles have been shown to recover faster between workouts while in ketosis with documented improvements in inflammation markers.
- D’Agostino has preliminary data showing that it is in fact possible to gain muscle and lose fat on a ketogenic diet.
- In the absence of carbs, muscles are more sensitive to adrenaline, enabling people to get stronger with Carb Back-Loading.
- Carb Back-Loading is also good for MMA.
- Ketones cause vasodilation in skin wound studies as well as in the brain increasing blood flow and oxygenation. This induced vasodilation may be the biggest benefit of ketones.
- Kiefer wonders if increased blood flow to fat cells when ketotic can actually help to burn more fat.
- To fund a study examining a specific question they would like to answer would cost upwards of $4 million!
And in the latest Body IO FM podcast summarizing their Paleo FX experience:
- They noticed a lot of paleo convenience foods and pre-packaged bars which Kiefer thinks signals the end of the paleo movement.
- He noticed this same pattern with the Zone Diet, Southbeach Diet, and Atkins Diet, when various pre-packaged bars and shakes were marketed to squeeze even more money out of the population and people became disenchanted.
- Andrea Jengle discusses a story where her avoidance of gluten caused her to become extremely sensitive to gluten… so much so that just cutting bread elicited a reaction!
- Kiefer believes you need some exposure to gluten to keep your body resilient rather than complete avoidance.
- They all think that there is now too much pre-occupation with measuring ketones, whether via urine dip sticks, blood ketones, or breath ketones.
- Instead the focus should just be in controlling insulin. They all agreed that having lower insulin is more important than having higher ketones.