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  • Potential adrenal issues?

    Hello everyone - I'd appreciate input if you can bear with this post.

    After the holidays, I decided to implement a leangains/carb-backloading protocol paleo-style mostly. Basically I do the 16/8 IF/feeding window deal. On rest days I keep carbs below 30g and calories around 1800-2000. (I'm a 5'10 155 lb male). On training days I eat close to 3000 with about 300g of carbs. Protein is kept high especially on training days. I'm doing a Starting Strength-ish lifting program 3x a week. Also on training days, I sometimes cut the fast short, otherwise I find it too difficult to get in all my calories. Finally, I usually drink coffee in the morning (relatively strong, french pressed coffee).

    I have had previous experience with ketosis and IF, which I'll explain in a minute. But this time around, I did about a week of under 30g carbs/day intake. I felt pretty good and quite alert. Sort of buzzed feeling. Wanted to be busy, etc. This is pretty normal as I understand it. Then I added in the lifting and carb/calorie cycling. The first week of lifting went pretty well. The second week I was a pretty tired (stressed from some personal life stuff). I feel I am mostly recovered from that bad week. However, I feel a little less energetic, certainly compared to before. My sleep is not that sound. I wake up a couple of times through the night, tend to wake up for good with less than the desired sleep (around 7 hours instead of 8), and when I do wake up, my heart is pounding. This last symptom is the most alarming to me. In general, my heart beat seems to be beating faster/harder.

    Some brief history by the way. I have had heart palpitations at points in my life. I was checked out and given a clean bill of health though. My mom has a minor heart condition (mitrovalve prolapse). Anyway. When I first did low carb, I did it for a long time. Initially with great success. Then I think I went too low carb for too long in addition to some IF experimenting and pushing myself too hard with exercise. I was definitely in a fog, and stubbornly didn't realize it, very fatigued, and was colder than usual. All the while, failing to lose weight, despite not eating much at all. These are classic thyroid/adrenal dysregulation symptoms as I understand it. I started doing carb refeeds on the weekend and felt a LOT better, and began to lose weight again.

    So I've only been doing the current protocol for about 3 weeks, and not had issues as bad as last time I did something similar, but am definitely nervous about the same thing happening. On the plus side this time, I'm eating a lot more on workout days than I used to with a lot more carbs. Still the very low carb day and IF-ing may be straining my adrenals I suspect.

    What do you all think??

    Before I change the protocol, I'm thinking of trying the following things in order:
    1. Increase salt intake
    2. Cutting caffeine intake
    3. Increasing carbs even more on workout days
    4. Reducing fasting window
    5. Increasing carbs on rest days

    Thanks for any input.

  • #2
    Hello SJW2,

    Those could be signs of a number of things like you said. If you are doing a starting strength type program then you are doing a lot of squatting and pressing which can be difficult to recover from, especially with cyclic low carb/IF. In my opinion you may not be eating enough on your rest days. With your height/weight and the fact that you are a male that also works out a few times a week I would say you should be more around 2400 calories a day on rest days. A few extra carbs on those rest days as well if you are doing heavy lifts.

    Some things that would help:
    1)not only increase salt, but also increase potassium, calcium, and magnesium. (avacados are great, bananas, yogurt, kefir...)
    -and with that, time your sodium increases, right away in the morning would be the best time to increase sodium in order to
    help out you adrenals.
    2)Increase carbs/calories on rest days, you may gain a pound or two of water weight but don't worry about it at all

    3)Play around with fasting so that the majority of your fasting is when you are sleeping. But if you are looking to help your thyroid and adrenals then you would want to get rid of the IF for now.

    4) make sure to get enough saturated fat and cholesterol, it is extremely important for proper hormone production

    When doing this, you may feel like you are retaining water in the beginning because of the electrolyte and carb increase, but this is ok, it is important that your body gets the nutrients it needs to recover, and the water retention will go away.

    Hope that helps, Best of Luck!
    http://nickburgraff.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nburgraff View Post
      Hello SJW2,

      Those could be signs of a number of things like you said. If you are doing a starting strength type program then you are doing a lot of squatting and pressing which can be difficult to recover from, especially with cyclic low carb/IF. In my opinion you may not be eating enough on your rest days. With your height/weight and the fact that you are a male that also works out a few times a week I would say you should be more around 2400 calories a day on rest days. A few extra carbs on those rest days as well if you are doing heavy lifts.

      Some things that would help:
      1)not only increase salt, but also increase potassium, calcium, and magnesium. (avacados are great, bananas, yogurt, kefir...)
      -and with that, time your sodium increases, right away in the morning would be the best time to increase sodium in order to
      help out you adrenals.
      2)Increase carbs/calories on rest days, you may gain a pound or two of water weight but don't worry about it at all

      3)Play around with fasting so that the majority of your fasting is when you are sleeping. But if you are looking to help your thyroid and adrenals then you would want to get rid of the IF for now.

      4) make sure to get enough saturated fat and cholesterol, it is extremely important for proper hormone production

      When doing this, you may feel like you are retaining water in the beginning because of the electrolyte and carb increase, but this is ok, it is important that your body gets the nutrients it needs to recover, and the water retention will go away.

      Hope that helps, Best of Luck!
      Thanks for the input. Most calorie calculators say for moderate exercise my maintenance calories are 2500. Since I'm doing a body recomp program, I'm shooting for 2000 and 3000 respectively on rest and training days. I was actually thinking of lowering it since I haven't really lost fat.

      1. I'll take that in to consideration. I eat two bananas usually on workout days. But as I said, I definitely want to load up more on sodium.
      2. That is a possibility, though one I was hoping to avoid. Will do if I have to though.
      3. Most of my fasting is when sleeping. Usually four hours before sleep and fours after.
      4. I eat plenty of eggs and meat. So I think I should be good there.

      Thanks again.

      Comment

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