Posts Tagged ‘chris kressor’

Stress and Blood Sugar

I wrote about testing blood sugar levels as a way of gauging how your body deals with carbohydrate (CHO) a few weeks ago and I plan on posting a complete breakdown of my results soon. But I have to come to a realization that warrants a preemptive post, “Bread and Butter” calls might be jacking your blood sugar…

We all have heard of and or experienced the “fight or flight” response that dumps hormones and revs up our adrenal glands when we are hit with an acute stressor. This is the response that enables us to jump out of bed at 0400 and perform mental and physical gymnastics on demand. We rely pretty heavily on this ancient mechanism of survival in our day to day lives at the fire house with only a nagging recognition of the dangers. I probably pay more attention to this stuff than the average person and the initial results of my n=1 experiment with blood sugar really opened my eyes.

It all started off pretty normal, I got my glucometer and started logging my glucose levels as recommended with no real deviation from normal. I had a fasting blood glucose (FBG) of around 85 and my pre-meal number was around 60-70 which is pretty common in the low carb paleo crowd. A standard meal of 6 eggs, 1 cup of Brussels sprouts, .5 sweet potato (1tbs butter). 1 plantain (fried in coconut oil) would get me around 105mg/dl at 1 hour and back down in the 90s at 2 hours, an indication that I am pretty insulin sensitive and everything seems to be in order. One morning toward the end of my experiment, after 4 calls between midnight and 0500, my FBG was 100mg/dl… Whoops! Turns out the sleep depravation threw me off a little so I kept it super low carb < 50grams all day and did an abbreviated strength session to help get my insulin sensitivity back. By dinner my post meal glucose numbers were only slightly above MY normal and I was looking forward to a good nights sleep and a new day. The sleep I got which was awesome but my FBG was still a little elevated at 97mg/dl… I decided to train fasted that morning so I had some coffee and started to get my PT on but was interrupted by a vegetation fire on the other side of the battalion. That early in morning I wasn’t really too worried about the fire and took my time getting changed and hitting the road, about the same speed you would if it was a ringer at your local Kmart. I got about 10 minutes down the road and was cancelled by units at scene so I returned to my workout. I realized though that I had a unique opportunity to get some data on how my body reacts to stress so I took another reading as soon as I got in quarters and, to my dismay, it 123mg/dl… 15-20mg higher than I had been able to get post meal… On a “nothing”, no stress call for which I was already awake… The other thing that I noticed is that my blood sugar stayed elevated much longer in the post stress testing than it did post meal. So even though I have a healthy glucose metabolism it is still thrown way off track by this job; which is a bummer because no matter how clean I eat or fine tuned my strength and conditioning program is I still spend a ton of time with elevated blood sugar (>110) which is a huge risk factor for heart disease.

I would have expected a result like this from a significant call, something out of the ordinary, or if I had even felt stressed during the response. But it wasn’t, and I didn’t, and yet the result was a cascade of chemical reactions lining up fuel for the eminent battle which never occurred. When I think about it I realize that there are many things in my life, at work and home, that are more stressful than that call was. If my body is reacting similarly to each of these stressors then I think its time for me to put some serious effort into reducing my stress response in general. After-all, it would appear that the person who lives their lives with the lowest average blood sugar/insulin wins.

Salt Part V

Healthy Salt Recommendations

How much, and what kind of salt to include in the diet

According to research, there exists a range of sodium intake that likely confers the best health outcomes for most people. As I explained in part 3, findings from a 2011 study demonstrate the lowest risk of death for sodium excretion between 4000 and 5990 milligrams per day. (1) Sodium excretion greater than 7000 milligrams or less than 3000 milligrams per day was associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and death. This lowest risk range equates to approximately two to three teaspoons of salt per day.

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