Dear Mark: CBD Edition

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ll be answering your CBD questions from the past few weeks. CBD, or cannabidiol, is exploding in popularity, but there are many unknowns. People have a lot of questions and there aren’t many definitive or comprehensive guides, so today I’ll do my best to make sense of it. We’re all piecing things together based on limited data—which, I suppose, is the fundamental human experience.

Let’s go:

What’s the difference between hemp and CBD?

Hemp is a (recently legalized) industrial form of cannabis used in the production of paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, and overpriced Bob Marley shirts sold along Venice Beach. Hemp seed can be eaten (and is a fantastic source of magnesium, one of the best). Hemp is the plant.

CBD is cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in both hemp and cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high.

Due to legal issues, most big name online retailers won’t allow sellers to list “CBD oil” or “CBD” products, let alone CBD content. Descriptions like “full spectrum hemp extract” often mean CBD is present in the hemp oil, but it’s tough to know exactly how much. I recommend investigating the product, searching for the company that makes it, and seeing if they give more explicit details on their website. Even then, make sure the company is the actual seller on Amazon or else you may end up with a counterfeit product sold by wholesalers.

The best bet is to buy directly from the product website.

Is there oil for diabetics??

Although there aren’t any human trials that give CBD to diabetics to see what happens, there are some reasons to think it could be helpful:

Lowering stress. As stated in previous posts, CBD is an effective anti-stress agent. Stress is awful for anyone with diabetes. It increases blood sugar levels. It induces insulin resistance. And if you’re a stress eater, it can increase cravings for high-carb junk food that you really shouldn’t be eating in the first place. In other words, stress exacerbates all the physiological conditions a diabetic is already experiencing.

Improving sleep. Perhaps the most popular use of CBD is to improve poor sleep. Just about the best way to induce some serious glucose intolerance is to get a bad night’s sleep. A diabetic already has poor glucose tolerance; it’s pretty much the defining characteristic of diabetes. What’s worse, a bad night’s sleep has been shown to make a person more susceptible to the allure of junk food.

Inadequate sleep is a strong and independent predictor of type 2 diabetes risk. The less sleep you get, the higher your chance of developing diabetes.

Anything that reduces stress and improves sleep will improve a diabetic’s health. If CBD does that for you, it’ll probably help someone with diabetes. So in a roundabout, not direct way, CBD oil has the potential to help reduce the risk of diabetes and improve the symptoms.

Good MDA folks … does anyone have any experience using CBD oil in lieu of an SSRI to help with anxiety and panic? I’m using CBT techniques to deal with anxiety and panic episodes, and cutting back on my dosage of my SSRI with the intent to eliminate over the next couple of months. I was considering giving CBT oil a try (organic, full spectrum), starting out with just a drop or two and building up to a therapeutic dosage. Also, does CBT oil cause fatigue for anyone? It’s the last thing I want to happen as it’s a big reason I want to eliminate taking the SSRI?

Give it a try, making sure you keep your doctor in the loop.

There are several parallels between anti-depressants and CBD. Both antidepressants and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid receptor systems in the brain. Both antidepressants and CBD can stimulate neurogenesis and counter the depression-related reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Any compound that’s used for sleep has the potential to increase fatigue. Sleep is fatigue at the right time. Fatigue is sleep at the wrong time. In an Israeli study of 74 pediatric epilepsy patients using CBD to quell their seizures, 22% reported unwanted levels of fatigue, so it’s a common complaint. Just consider that these were kids taking fairly high dose CBD to quell seizure activity, and that you may not have the same issue taking lower doses at a higher body weight.

Does CBD oil break my fast?

The dosages involved in most CBD oils include at most 1/8 teaspoon of carrier oils, so that’s not enough calories to impact your fast in any meaningful sense.

I haven’t seen any evidence that CBD itself inhibits or impedes ketosis, autophagy, or fat-burning. So, no, there is no indication that CBD oil breaks your fast.

How do I figure out how much cbd is in hemp oil?

As I indicated earlier, it’s impossible to know unless you buy a hemp oil that explicitly states the CBD content.

CBD oil is so expensive. Are there any other options for getting CBD?

You could make your own. It’s actually legal to buy “CBD flower,” which basically looks exactly like the cannabis or weed you’d buy on the street or at a legal dispensary, only it contains little to no THC and tons of CBD. One recipe I saw involved slow-cooking an ounce of the CBD flower in a cup of coconut oil for 8 hours, then straining out the solids. Whatever method you use to cook it, it requires fat, as cannabinoids are fat-soluble.

Here’s a place you can buy CBD flower online. (Note: I don’t have any experience with that company or any other that markets CBD flower or CBD products, so buyer beware.) There are many such places. Just search for them.

CBD is everywhere these days. Should I definitely use it?

Not necessarily. Like anything, it has its uses, there’s great potential, and as new research comes out I foresee the discovery of new modes of action and new applications. However, in all fairness, it’s being overhyped when promoted as a cure-all or panacea.

For what it’s worth, I’m not using it myself. I don’t feel the need, haven’t felt a “CBD deficit.” Don’t assume it’s yet another essential supplement that you simply must have. The basics are the important things—sleep, food, exercise, community, love, micronutrients.

CBD is best used for people who have an established need for it. Chronic pain patient who wants to stop using so many opioids? Great candidate. Kid with epilepsy for whom keto and meds aren’t working? Give it a try. Anxiety and insomnia? Better than just going with narcotics right off the bat. (But as always, work with a physician for any medical issue.)

That’s it for today, folks. If you have any more CBD questions, write them down below and I’ll be sure to answer them!

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References:

Rudnicka AR, Nightingale CM, Donin AS, et al. Sleep Duration and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Pediatrics. 2017;140(3)

Mcneil J, Forest G, Hintze LJ, et al. The effects of partial sleep restriction and altered sleep timing on appetite and food reward. Appetite. 2017;109:48-56.

Fogaça MV, Galve-roperh I, Guimarães FS, Campos AC. Cannabinoids, Neurogenesis and Antidepressant Drugs: Is there a Link?. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2013;11(3):263-75.

Tzadok M, Uliel-siboni S, Linder I, et al. CBD-enriched medical cannabis for intractable pediatric epilepsy: The current Israeli experience. Seizure. 2016;35:41-4.

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Introducing the Primal Cooking Series!

As I mentioned in last week’s Success Story post, I’m unveiling something new today—a new cooking series I call “Primal + Keto Cooking Made Easy.” My co-author for the Keto Reset cookbooks and leader of the Keto Reset Facebook group, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and I are in the kitchen preparing a great set of Primal and keto recipes you can easily make for your own enjoyment. We’ve got everything from snacks to dinners on the docket, so join us each Monday morning.

(And for your success story fans out there, we’ll be back with more this July. In the meantime, check out our archives—and submit your own story for Mark’s Daily Apple here.)

Without further ado, let’s get right to it. Check out this introduction Lindsay and I put together for the cooking series, and keep reading to see our first Primal+keto snack video below. I’m excited to share this project today.

Today Lindsay and I are kicking things off in the series with one of *my* favorite Primal snacks (which also happens to be totally keto-friendly): deviled eggs.

Here’s an expert tip: make more than you think you’ll need. These tend to disappear—even if you’re the only Primal type in the house. And, yes, it doesn’t get much simpler than this crowd-pleasing classic, but it just goes to show how easy great keto eating can be. Enjoy, everybody!

Deviled Egg Recipe

Ingredients:

 


Instructions:

Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

Drain, cool in ice water and peel.

Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk to a small bowl with a spoon and place the egg whites on a plate.

Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir everything together.

Use a spoon to add a portion of the deviled egg mixture back into the hole of each egg white. Sprinkle on paprika for garnish.

Thanks for stopping in, everybody. Be sure to join us next Monday for more Primal +Keto Cooking Made Easy. Have an awesome week!

The post Introducing the Primal Cooking Series! appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Primal Pecan Sandies

A batch of cookies, no matter what the flavor, is always a recipe for nostalgia. But there’s a special something about Pecan Sandies…. Richly nutty, slightly sweet and (true to their name) characteristically granular, these cookies can feel like a biscuit hybrid. Perfect with afternoon coffee (or black tea), pecan sandies are a treat that feels as old-fashioned as Grandma’s kitchen. This recipe preserves all the classic flavor but cuts the unnecessary carbs.

Servings: 8 Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus 30 minutes chill time)

Bake Time: 15-19 minutes

Ingredients:

Optional, for Dusting:

Instructions:

Cut the cold butter into small chunks. Place the butter in a bowl and add in the Swerve and almond flour. Use a dough cutter or the back of a fork so the butter is incorporated throughout the sweetener. Add in the coconut milk, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt and continue to mix using the dough cutter or fork.

Add in the Primal Fuel Whey Protein Powder and Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel and mix with your hands until everything is combined. The cookie dough will look crumbly when first mixed together but will come together after it chills. If the cookies are too crumbly and dry, add in an additional teaspoon of coconut milk.

Cover the bowl and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Chop the pecans and and mix them into the dough with your hands. While the dough will be crumbly at first, you should see it come together nicely when you knead it together.

Form 8 balls from the dough and flatten each of them slightly until they are about 1/2” thick. If they are cracking on the edges, gently shape them.

Lay them on a baking sheet 1-2 inches apart and bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Increase the oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 3-5 minutes. The tops of the cookies should be slightly browned and the undersides should be golden. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to fully cool before removing from the pan.

For a fun twist, combine the Swerve Confectioners sweetener with the tablespoon of Primal Fuel Whey Protein Powder and dust the cookies with them.

Nutritional Information (per cookie): 

  • Calories: 271?
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams?
  • Fat: 25 grams?
  • Protein: 8 grams

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 28

Research of the Week

You’re absorbing sunscreen into your blood.

Whole, fresh fruit probably does not contribute to obesity and may have a place in the prevention and management of excess adiposity.”

Before they had fire, early hominids may have cooked using hydrothermal vents.

Low-carb enteral feeding works.

Among indigenous Americans, living in Alaska produced genetic adaptations to high altitude and cold weather, while living in the Southwest produced adaptations to infectious disease.

Broccoli sprouts balance the brain in schizophrenia.

Cannabis with balanced THC/CBD and cannabis with primarily THC have very different effects on brain connectivity.

Holistic planned grazing beats continuous grazing.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 336: Ben Pakulski: Host Elle Russ chats with Ben Pakulski, former Mr. Canada and founder of Muscle Intelligence.

Episode 337: Keto: William Shewfelt: Host Brad Kearns chats with carnivore shredding expert William Shewfelt.

Health Coach Radio Episode 10: Rachel Barber: How mindfulness expert Rachel Barber used technology, scaling, social media, and self-investment to build her coaching business.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

The benefits of meat-eating are anything but “surprising.”

What a great health minister.

Interesting Blog Posts

The utter failure of the “depression gene.”

In return for funding scientific research, Coca-Cola retains the right to quash any results they don’t like.

Social Notes

I had a great time on the Disruption Zone Podcast discussing how you can (and why you should) disrupt your health.

Why I run on sand.

Everything Else

Wait—should I not be eating my rodent kidneys raw?

Mapping Doggerland, the formerly-inhabited area between northern Europe and Britain lost to rising seas.

A GMO virus saves a patient from an antibiotic-resistant infection.

Making wine healthier.

Listen to your brain on silence.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I’d be all over this if I were you: Paleo Magazine’s first Paleo retreat in the Azores, Portugal. Looks beautiful. Go get you a tribe! Use promo code PM350 and get $350 off if you book by 5/15/19.

I wonder how this will go: Denver decriminalizes magic mushrooms.

I’m waiting for the omelets: Scientists reconstruct an entire moa genome.

I’ve noticed something similar with my arthritis: Low-carb diets are a better option for patients with knee osteoarthritis than low-fat diets (or opioids).

I can’t help but admire the entrepreneurial spirit, I just hope it doesn’t become standard: Air quality is so bad that San Francisco Uber drivers are selling masks to customers.

Interesting article: How Madonna is handling motherhood and aging.

Question I’m Asking

What’s your relationship to fruit? Are you able to eat it and still lose weight or keep the weight off?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 5 – May 11)

Comment of the Week

“I am a remote island conservationist : ) It’s a good life. As Paul Chek says, we don’t have a government, we have a corporate headquarters.”

– That’s a good line, Natalie.

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The “Big Meat” Burger (and a Giveaway)

We’re calling this bad boy the “Big Meat” Burger not just because it’s a half pound of thick, juicy beef (although that’s plenty of reason). With two beef patties, two cheese slices, pickles, shredded lettuce and our own “special sauce”—a.k.a. Primal Kitchen® Thousand Island Dressing, you might just be thinking of another “Big M–” burger now. (Wink.)

While we might be channeling some Big Memories here, fast food’s got nothing on this Primal Giant. With omega-3 rich grass-fed beef, aged cheddar, healthy monounsaturated fat based Primal Kitchen dressing, and a low-carb, grain-free Unbun, you’ll enjoy all the savory goodness you remember…with none of the guilt. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway (details below) for an amazing package of Primal Kitchen and Unbun goodies.

Servings: 2

Time In the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Mix ground beef with salt and black pepper. Divide beef into four parts, and shape into patties. (Make the patties on the thinner side, since they’ll “shrink” while cooking.)

Grill or broil for approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on preference and thickness of patties.

Place cooked patties on plate, and top each with cheese slices. Put a drop of water on each cheese slice and cover the plate with a large pot lid (the water then creates steam to help melt the cheese).

For buns, spread the cut side of each with ghee or butter and griddle until toasted.

To add sesame seeds to buns, brush buns with egg white and sprinkle on seeds. Bake for 2 minutes at 275 ºF/135 ºC until egg white is cooked.

Place one cheese covered patty on bottom bun. Add shredded lettuce, pickle slices and one tablespoon Primal Kitchen Thousand Island Dressing. Stack the second patty and top with lettuce, dressing and pickles. Then add the top bun. Do the same for the second burger. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (per burger):

  • Calories: 750 
  • Carbs: 21.8 grams
  • Fat: 61.2 grams
  • Protein: 27.2 grams

Now For the Giveaway…

We’re offering (1) lucky winner the chance to win an epic gift pack with (1) pack of each of the Unbun products + $50 of Primal Kitchen products, including the NEW Thousand Island Dressing.

To enter:

1) follow @marksdailyapple + @ketobuns
2) tell us your favorite burger topping
3) winner will be selected Thursday, May 16th

Thanks for stopping by, everybody! Have a recipe you’d like to see us create, let us know down below.

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Is Keto Cheating Unhealthy?

A couple months ago, a study came out that seemed to show that cheating on your keto diet with a high-carb meal opened you up to severe blood vessel damage. Nine healthy, normal weight adults followed a keto diet (70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs). Then they ate a high-carb “cheat meal,” measured their blood sugar, and measured their endothelial microparticles—a marker of damage to the endothelial lining and potential harbinger of impaired vascular function. Their blood sugar went way up, and so did their endothelial microparticle count, leading researchers to conclude that keto dieting makes people more susceptible to hyperglycemia-induced endothelial damage.

So, is keto cheating unhealthy? Let’s take a closer look….

My Analysis Of the Study:

Here’s why I don’t think this study applies to most of you:

These people were on keto diets, but they weren’t keto-adapted (let alone fat-adapted). They’d only been doing the diet for a week. Bare minimum, it takes three weeks to a month for full keto-adaptation to occur—and often longer. We’d have to see what happens to endothelial microparticle count when someone who is fully keto-adapted is exposed to higher carb intakes.

The “cheat meal” was 75 grams of pure glucose. This is the oral glucose tolerance test—the disgusting, cloyingly sweet drink they give people to test for diabetes. It measures your ability to handle pure glucose. It’s not a meal. It’s not actually food even. There are no mitigating micronutrients. There are no other macronutrients included. It’s just a shot of pure sugar, down the hatch. I don’t know about you, but that’s not my preferred method of a high-carb cheat meal.

However, it does illustrate the importance of sticking with the diet—any diet—for way longer than a week before assessing the effects or stepping out to indulge.

Look at the big picture. Acute perturbations to endothelial homeostasis can look bad in the short term and good over time. Hell, when you ask overweight women to engage in a single bout of high intensity exercise, their endothelial microparticle count goes up just like it went up for the guys in this study who drank the glucose water. They “damage” their vascular function. But if they keep training regularly, their endothelial microparticle count goes down. Acute stressors can look bad when applied once and awesome when applied consistently. That’s not to say that drinking 75 grams of glucose consistently will suddenly become healthy. I’m just showing how looking at a single short term reaction doesn’t give the entire story, or even accurately portray the effects of the same stimulus applied consistently over the long term.

A Better Perspective On Cheat Meals

Cheat meals can actually help you lose more weight. In one study, women were placed on a cyclic diet consisting of three phases. For each phase, they reduced calories for 11 days followed by 3 days of ad libitum (i.e. at one’s pleasure) eating. After the three phases, they’d lost an average of 8 kg (about 17 lbs) of pure body fat. This surpassed the amount predicted by calories in, calories out. This study didn’t employ all-out cheat days, or call them cheat days, but the concept of “ad libitum” is pretty similar.

If you cycle in high carb days or high carb meals into your keto diet, and you end up getting leaner and performing better in the gym because of it, are you really hurting yourself? Are you really setting your vascular system up for impending doom? I doubt it. One of the best ways to improve endothelial function is to lose excess body fat. Whatever helps you get to that goal should also improve vascular function.

If You’re Going To Cheat On Keto:

Get fully adapted.

The people in this study were not keto-adapted. They’d only been eating the diet for a week before taking the test. Stay with the diet for two months—strictly—before venturing out with cheat days.

Don’t cheat with an oral glucose tolerance test.

While some folks undoubtedly get off on drinking 75 grams of pure glucose, there are better ways to cheat. Like with food. Also, food tends to include mitigating factors—phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins, minerals—that improve the metabolic response to the macronutrients contained therein. For instance, including some natural cocoa in the cheat meal can drop your endothelial microparticles by 60% alone.

Be relatively lean and experienced.

Cheat days are more effective for fairly lean-ish people to kickstart the loss of those last few pounds. They’re designed for long-time keto eaters to replenish glycogen stores and improve training. They’re designed for people who have been strict for long enough that they just need a break. They just aren’t going to work the same for obese people who’ve been keto for a little while who still have a lot of easy weight to lose on strict keto.

Cheat after a big workout.

Exercising increases insulin sensitivity. And if you lift heavy things, you increase something called non-insulin dependent glucose uptake in the muscles. That means your muscles can actually refill their glycogen content without using insulin to do it. If you’re keto and want to incorporate high carb meals/days or cheat meals, legitimate training is pretty much required. After all, why do you need the carbs if you’re not training?

Cheat if you need it.

If things are stalling, and you’ve tried being even stricter to no avail, perhaps momentarily loosening up with a cheat meal is exactly what you need. Read this post to get the lowdown on why carb refeeds can help break weight loss stalls and how to do them.

This study shouldn’t be ignored. Big boluses of sugar are never a good idea, especially when you’ve only been eating low-carb or keto for a week and have yet to adapt. I find it plausible that such excursions can induce acute damage to the vascular system in anyone with impaired glucose tolerance—even if that glucose intolerance is transient, as it is in short term keto dieters—but I don’t think it means much for people with good heads on their shoulders who do keto the right way.

What do you think, folks? Do you cheat on your diet, whether you’re keto or just Primal? What steps do you take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your dietary excursions?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

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References:

Durrer C, Robinson E, Wan Z, et al. Differential impact of acute high-intensity exercise on circulating endothelial microparticles and insulin resistance between overweight/obese males and females. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(2):e0115860.

Mcfarlin BK, Venable AS, Henning AL, et al. Natural cocoa consumption: Potential to reduce atherogenic factors?. J Nutr Biochem. 2015;26(6):626-32.

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CBD For Performance: What We Know So Far

I left the pro athlete world a long time ago. I no longer compete. I don’t train with the intensity and volume it’d take to win races. But I do pay attention to what’s going on in that world, and I still have a lot of friends who never left it. Developments there often foreshadow developments in the rest of the health world. And after things like keto, MCT oil/ketones, and collagen, the performance hack that’s blowing up among elite athletes is CBD oil. Almost everyone I talk to who puts in serious training and competing time (in a variety of sports and pursuits) is dabbling with CBD.

What are they using it for?

There are two main claims when it comes to CBD and fitness.

  • That it improves sleep.
  • That it reduces pain, improves workout recovery, and helps you get back to training and competition.

Do their claims have any scientific support?

CBD and Sleep

A big review of CBD and sleep found that CBD increased sleep time and reduced the number of times people woke up during the night, improved sleep quality, reduced REM-related behavioral disorder (where you act out your dreams in your sleep), and improved sleep in anxiety patients.

Sleep is one of the biggest weak spots for many athletes. They sacrifice sleep for gym time. They train late at night under bright lights and come home energized and unable to get to bed. They focus on the workouts rather than the recovery. But here’s the thing: the more you train, the more sleep you need. The more performance you need to wring out of your body, the higher your sleep requirements are going to stack. There’s no getting around it. Sleep is one of the most important things to get right if you want to improve performance and make your hard work count for something.

But let’s get more granular. You want details?

Sleep deprivation ruins your posture and makes you more liable to make technique mistakes, get injured, and compromise movement quality and power. If you can’t coordinate your limbs, you won’t succeed in the gym or on the field (and you’ll probably make a critical mistake that gets you hurt).

Sleep deprivation kills your judgment. If you’re not thinking clearly, you’ll make silly mistakes and dangerous choices. Go for the last rep on the deadlift when your back’s about to give out, that sort of thing.

Sleep deprivation squanders your adaptation to training. Enjoy the insulin sensitivity and improved energy utilization training provides? Sleep loss blunts both. Like gaining muscle in response to lifting heavy things? Sleep loss inhibits muscle protein synthesis.

Sleep deprivation makes eating well harder. If you’re training for fat loss and body composition, you know that eating is well over half the battle. A single night of bad sleep makes you more vulnerable to the rewarding effects of junk food. It becomes harder to resist and more addictive.

Sleep deprivation causes muscle loss. A lack of sleep increases urinary nitrogen, a sign that the body is breaking down lean muscle mass.

So, is there a connection between sleep, CBD, and performance?

That hasn’t been directly tested. We know two things:

  1. CBD can help people who are having trouble sleeping get more sleep.
  2. Sleep is ergogenic. If you aren’t sleeping, you aren’t maximizing your performance in the gym and adaptation to your training.

That’s not to say you can’t get good sleep without CBD. It’s not a requirement for good sleep. But if CBD is helping athletes get better sleep than they would otherwise, it’s also giving them a performance and training boost.

CBD and Pain, Adaptation, and Recovery

One of the biggest quandaries an athlete faces is how to balance pain management, training adaptation, and workout recovery.

You can use ice baths to get back in the game quicker, but you might reduce training adaptations.

You can take two days off after a really tough workout and maximize the training effect, but you won’t be able to compete in the interim.

You can pound NSAIDs to reduce pain, but it might slow down your recovery and impair your adaptation to the exercise.

Everything has a tradeoff. And if you lean too far in one direction, you’ll pay the price. Back when I was competing, I leaned hard toward “getting back out there.” I ate ice cream and grains by the gallon to replenish the energy I expended, popped Tylenol like candy to dull the pain long enough to let me get through the next workout. It all worked out in the end (I wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t messed up so badly), but boy if I didn’t cut it close.

Where Does CBD Fit In?

CBD is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It can block neurotoxicity from oxidative stress. It lowers inflammatory cytokines and raises anti-inflammatory cytokines. It may reduce a person’s reliance on opioids for pain control. It can even synergize with NSAIDs, reducing the amount you need to get the same effect. And it can do all this without causing liver damage. Sounds uniformly beneficial, right?

Be careful. Anti-inflammation can be a double-edged sword. After all, inflammation isn’t wholly pathogenic:

The inflammatory response is the healing response.

Training adaptations occur in response to the inflammatory effect of exercise.

The inflammatory reactive oxygen species that we’re all so worried about also serve as cellular messengers that provoke the creation of new mitochondria and the production of endogenous antioxidants like glutathione.

This is hormesis—the application of good stressors to make us healthier, stronger, and more resilient.

NSAIDs have many of the same effects, like blocking inflammatory cytokines, and have been used by athletes for decades to reduce pain, improve acute performance, and hasten the return to competition. They’ve also been shown to reduce muscle adaptations to resistance training and impair healing even as they reduce pain.

One of CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects is to blunt the release of interleukin 6 (IL-6), an inflammatory cytokine. This isn’t always helpful, as studies show. A hard training session spikes IL-6, and, at least in animal studies using IL-6 knockouts (mice who produce no IL-6 at all), lack of an IL-6 response tends to reduce muscle and adipose tissue adaptations to exercise. NSAIDs are another anti-inflammatory drug that block IL-6 and have been shown to impair muscle adaptations to resistance training in the young and improve them in the elderly. In other words, NSAIDs impair the hormetic stress effect of exercise in the young (who tend to have a lower stress burden and higher stress resilience) and enable it in the elderly (who tend to have lower stress resilience).

What Does This Mean For You?

Well, it depends on who you are and your situation.

High stress lifestyle? CBD can probably help you blunt some of your underlying stress to give the training a bigger effect. Low stress lifestyle? CBD might blunt it too much and render your training less adaptive.

As for CBD’s effect on pain means, there are a lot of unanswered questions that I trust will be answered in due time.

CBD may help mask the pain from injuries by exerting anti-inflammatory effects while slowing down healing. However, if your baseline inflammatory status is high, reducing inflammation may be just what you need to improve healing.

CBD may help reduce pain by speeding up the healing process. There’s even some evidence in rodents that CBD can speed up the healing process of a fractured bone. Does that happen in humans? Does that happen in other types of injuries? Maybe.

That said, if taking CBD before a workout is the only thing that lets you actually get through the workout without pain, it’s going to be better than not taking it. I know of a few people who swear by CBD for joint relief; they couldn’t do what they love without it.

We have a lot more to learn about CBD and training. The benefits for athletes who need help with sleep are clear and well-established. The benefits for athletes who need help with pain and recovery are murkier—we simply don’t know the details yet. It’s likely that CBD will help athletes recover in some situations and not in others. But for the most part, it’s relatively low-risk. Give it a shot and see what you notice. The beauty of it all is that even if CBD impairs your training adaptation, it’s not set in stone. The safety profile is good. The research is only growing. You can always drop it and keep training and regain your gains.

That’s it for today, folks. Have you used CBD to enhance your training? Did it work? Did it hurt? Tell us all about it down below!

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References:

Kozela E, Juknat A, Kaushansky N, Rimmerman N, Ben-nun A, Vogel Z. Cannabinoids decrease the th17 inflammatory autoimmune phenotype. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013;8(5):1265-76.

Lundberg TR, Howatson G. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs in sports: Implications for exercise performance and training adaptations. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018;28(11):2252-2262.

Kogan NM, Melamed E, Wasserman E, et al. Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts. J Bone Miner Res. 2015;30(10):1905-13.

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To Say We Both Felt Better Is an Understatement

ANNOUNCEMENT: Beginning next week we’ll be taking a short break from Success Stories to make room for another popular reader request: a video cooking series. Yup, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and I will meet you in the kitchen each Monday morning through June to cook up some Primal and Primal-keto favorites (all part of a bigger announcement I’ll be making this week). In the meantime, you can check out the amazing archive of Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories from Mark’s Daily Apple readers. And if you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community, please contact me here. I’d love to hear from you. And now for today’s inspirational story…. Enjoy, everyone, and thanks for reading.

My story goes back to being a Jazz Piano Studies major in college. I was getting ready to graduate, and was planning a wedding with my high school sweetheart. At the start of my last semester in college my now wife was hit with a life changing diagnosis: non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This was at the age of 22. Our life was put on hold as we entered the strange world of cancer treatment. As the chemotherapy started, we would ask questions like “should we be eating a certain way?” Often we were laughed at by doctors and my wife was told to simply eat.

The food in the hospital was mostly processed carbohydrate and dessert based. Knowing what we know now about cancer being a mostly metabolic disease, it is horrifying that cancer patients are basically fed pure sugar. We did the best we could with healthy eating as we saw it. Mostly organic processed food and whole grains. Luckily my wife was strong enough to receive some of the toughest chemotherapy regimens in modern medicine and make it out the other end. After 6 months of treatment we were given the ok to go back to our normal lives. The question remained, “how did this happen and what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

In my research I stumbled across Mark’s Daily Apple, and fell into the rabbit hole that is ancestral living. We immediately started to get sugars and processed foods out of our diet. Before this I had tried to be a vegetarian off and on for a couple years, with my wife struggling as well. I had chronic digestive issues, joint pain, and low energy and assumed that was just my baseline. We started to simply eat more meat and vegetables in place of the grain heavy diet we were on. We worked on mindfulness strategies to reduce our stress, and functional training to strengthen our bodies. To say we both felt better would be an understatement.

After 3 years of dialing everything in, my wife and I follow a mostly ketogenic diet with periodic primal carbohydrates thrown in. She is in the best health of her life, even compared to before the chemo. I was so blown away by both of our transformations that I entered the Primal Health Coach Institute and got my certificate a year ago. Since then I have been passionately spreading the word and educating people about how to maintain effortless health, before a crisis happens.

I have been able to gain muscle and not have digestive, dental, and emotional issues for the first time in my life at 25. My wife has had similar benefits. We are now the owners of Steele Back Your Health, a coaching business based in the Cascade Mountains in Chelan, WA. I educate the importance of stress reduction, ancestral nutrition, and sustainable movement to maintain health long term effortlessly. Everyone should know that the human body is capable of supporting you long term, given the simple inputs it has evolved to need over our evolution.

Thanks for everything Mark. Live Awesome!

-Elliot Steele

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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The post To Say We Both Felt Better Is an Understatement appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs

Hearty breakfasts don’t have to be heavy carb fests, and this recipe proves it. Eggs and bacon meet the veggie powerhouses of sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in this dish. It’s a hash that’s so much more than the traditional white potato mush many of us grew up with.

Bright, flavorful, and rich, this recipe brings it all to the table and makes a great brunch (or dinner) any day of the week. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Tips:

Cast iron is a great way to prepare the sweet potatoes in this dish, but if you don’t have a cast iron pan, toss the sweet potato cubes in the bacon fat and avocado oil mixture and roast them on a sheet pan like the Brussels sprouts are.

To get perfect sunny-side up eggs, watch the edges of the egg whites as they are cooking in the pan. The egg whites should start bubbling very gently as they turn from clear to white. Once the egg whites are nearly opaque, cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat. Continue cooking until the egg yolk reaches your desired consistency. If you like your egg yolks very runny, you may not even need to cover the pan at all.

If you don’t have a lid that will fit over your cast iron pan, use the underside of a sheet pan.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices thick Applewood bacon
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts (about 3.5 chopped cups)
  • 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes, ¾”-1” in size
  • 2.5 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 1 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 ºFahrenheit. Lay the bacon slices out on a parchment-covered sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until they’re golden. Set aside the slices and pour the reserved bacon fat into a small cup or jar.

Slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and toss them in one tablespoon of bacon fat until all sides of the vegetables are coated. Lay the Brussels sprouts cut side down on a sheet pan (use the same sheet pan you baked the bacon on if you’d like). Roast the Brussels sprouts for 25-30 minutes. The undersides of the vegetables should be golden brown.

While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, add 1 tablespoon of Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil to a seasoned cast iron pan and place it in the oven to heat for about 15 minutes. Cut off the ends of the sweet potatoes and peel them. Slice the sweet potatoes into ¾”-1” rounds or slices and make cubes out of them. Toss the cubes with a tablespoon of bacon fat and a pinch of salt and pepper. Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven and pour the sweet potatoes into the pan. Arrange the cubes so they are in a single layer and not overlapping. Place the pan back into the oven for 25 minutes, then remove the pan and flip the sweet potatoes over. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are soft and begin to brown. Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the pan and set them aside.

Place the cast iron pan on the stovetop and add an additional ½ tablespoon of bacon fat. Heat the pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan one at a time so they have their own space in the pan and are not touching one another. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook 2 eggs at a time. Allow them to cook and bubble for 30-45 seconds or until the outer parts of the egg whites start to set (this time will depend on how hot your pan is). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for an additional minute or so, or until the egg white is fully set and the yolk is cooked to your liking. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the eggs to cool for a few minutes before using a spatula to remove the eggs. If you prepared 2 eggs the first time around, repeat these steps with the second batch of eggs.

Chop the bacon slices and gently combine the pieces with the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Arrange some baby arugula in a serving dish or the cast iron pan, and spoon the vegetable mixture on top. Carefully lay the eggs on top of the vegetables. Remove some leaves from a sprig of thyme and garnish the dish with the thyme and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 373
  • Net Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fat: 22 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams

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The post Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Weekly Link Love — Edition 27

Research of the Week

Third party research confirms that a pasture-based cattle operation in Georgia is securing more carbon in the soil than it releases.

The influence personality has on longevity might be modulated by its influence on sleep habits.

Higher inflammation, more impulsivity.

Exercise improves sperm quality, and this quality is transferred to offspring who are lucky enough to be conceived with said “exercise sperm.”

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 333: Arielle Ford: Host Elle Russ chats with Arielle Ford about the law of attraction mindset for love and life.

Episode 334: Keto: Introduction to Keto and How to Do It Right: Host Brad Kearns starts from the beginning.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

What happened at uBiome?

Zuckerberg builds his wife a special glowing sleep box for easier, gentler wake-ups.

Interesting Blog Posts

Are mountain climbers selfish?

Everyone sings.

Social Notes

If you’ve had success with the Primal Blueprint, Keto Reset, or any of the advice offered on this site, send in your success story. All submissions will receive a discount code for use on Primal Blueprint or Primal Kitchen.

Everything Else

You’ve gotta fight… for your right… to LIIIIIIIIIGHT.

How the Thai government invented pad Thai.

Visualization of wolf pack territoriality.

Denisovan jawbone discovered high up in the plateaus of Tibet.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Video I enjoyed: Dave Feldman’s “A Deep Dive into Cholesterol and Risk.”

Article I found interesting: “Busting the myth that depression doesn’t affect people in poor countries.”

Good move: College student leaves university to become a deer huntress on a remote Scottish island.

Post I enjoyed: The Carnivore Diet for Mental Health?

I’ve heard this before: Skipping breakfast could help you lose weight.

Question I’m Asking

What would you choose—politics major in college or remote island conservationist culling deer?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Apr 28– May 4)

Comment of the Week

“‘When we sleep, our brain distinguishes between important and unimportant sounds.’

They needed a study to figure that out? Ask any parent. Mom can sleep through the show on TV, or the noise of big trucks passing in the street. But just let Baby whimper, or the teenager try to sneak in late, and Mom’s wide awake. Dad, OTOH, will totally sleep through a baby’s earsplitting wails, but wake up if someone tries to change the TV channel he’s “watching” with his eyes closed and mouth open.”

– Pretty funny, Bet Rob.

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The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 27 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.