The Science of Ketones, Lactic Acid, and More w/ Dr. Eddie Jo — 306

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Dr. Eddie Jo, PhD, CSCS*D, CISSN is Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology Director of the Human Performance Research Lab at Cal Poly Pomona University in Southern California. With an advanced expertise in neuromuscular physiology, energy metabolism, and endocrinology, Dr. Jo has dedicated much of his research to innovating the science and application of training methodologies, nutritional programming, and dietary supplementation to achieve optimal health and performance.

Dr. Jo has become “instafamous” with the help of our friend, Dr. Andy Galpin, who shared Dr. Jo’s unique, easy-to-read, scientific infographics.

Dr. Jo is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Nutritionist and together with his extensive scientific background, he has helped many elite athletes achieve optimum performance by applying evidence-based training and nutrition programs as well as state-of-the-art physiological and performance testing.

In this episode, we look into why lactate is actually good for you, how pain is protecting you, the role of endogenous ketones, performance possibilities of exogenous ketones, and much more. Enjoy!

Lactate is actually good for you

There is a common belief in the health and fitness industry that lactate is bad for us. Dr. Eddie Jo points out the confusion between correlation and causation, asserting muscle fatigue isn’t caused by lactate accumulation. Lactate doesn’t stay in our bodies, else gets emitted. It doesn’t cause us to fatigue or get that burning sensation.

Lactate is actually good for you, it’s a fuel source for ATP production, which fuel muscles and other tissues. It’s something we naturally produce especially during high muscle exercises, which gets recycled to form more glucose in the liver. Also, lactate and lactic acid are not one and the same.

Key Takeaways

  • An Acidic environment is stressful to cells — During high muscle activity, such as, sprinting, crossfit, or HIIT, we break ATP really fast, which creates too many protons in our bodies. When we go hard physically, we create a metabolically stressful environment, which lowers our PH levels and creates an acidic environment ,which is stressful to cells.
  • Pain and fatigue are the body’s protective mechanisms — When you feel fatigued or have that burning sensation from pain, it’s your body signaling you to slow, so you don’t create too much acidity in your body.
  • Endogenous ketones role — There are no natural ways to get exogenous ketones through regular food, it’s mostly produced endogenously, especially in the liver. Your body naturally produces ketones when you are carb depleted. It needs to maintain certain glucose levels, so when you don’t have enough, it oxidizes fat, which produced ketones as our brains can’t process fats, else only utilize glucose or ketones.
  • The ketogenic diet was created because ketones are better for the brain than glucose — Exogenous ketones, like all other supplements, are about providing more support for ATP production. Even though some of the ketogenic diet has been misapplied and misunderstood, it really makes a difference for the brain, and is specifically beneficial for people with seizures.
  • If you are carb main diet and take exogenous ketones, it may increase your performance —While there’s not a lot of research on it, there is enough comprehensive research to get people thinking about the potential benefits of adding ketones to a balanced, high carb diet. When we introduce an alternative fuel source to the body, it can help preserve muscle glycogen, which could translate into raw increase in capacity. Exogenous ketones could positively affect muscle physiology, muscle bioenergetics, and both physical and cognitive performance.
  • Meta Analysis — Is a good way to see what the research says, as it’s a secondary analysis on data that has already been published.
  • Research is not everything, it’s about how you feel — Dr. Jo asserts that as consumers we have to be open minded. Research is very helpful in figuring out how we should treat ourselves, but it’s not everything. It’s 2018, which means we still don’t have much research on a lot of things. If you experiment with a supplement or routine that makes you feel good, is not harmful, but doesn’t have much research on it, go for it!

“Placebo effects are a real thing… As long is it feels good and it’s not harmful, go for it. Spend your money.” — Dr. Eddie Jo

Connect with Dr. Eddie Jo

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Resources: Dr. Eddie Jo, Human Performance Lab Cal Poly Pomona

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