Sunday, 3 April 2016

April 2016 update: The blog is not dead, I’ve just been very busy!

In today's blog, this and more: 

Moving countries (from Australia to Norway),
Low CHO, High-Fat diets, 
Recent Scientific publication update, 
Future posts: Weight loss for cyclists & prolonged cycling metabolism

It’s been about a year since my last blog-post and so there is a long overdue update for the audience of the blog. 

This post will be dived into the following sections, jump to whichever one you find relevant/interesting:

1)  What happened in 2015? why such big gap between posts? à Moving countries 
2)   Low Carbohydrate, High Fat (LCHF) diets post in Cycling-tips in 2015.
3)   Carbohydrate dependence during prolonged time-trial scientific publication.
4)   Prospective posts for 2016à Weight loss for cyclists and metabolism during very prolonged (>12 h) cycling.

1) What happened in 2015? why such big gap between posts? à Moving countries 

I was appointed post-doctoral research fellow at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and we moved with Kat here to Oslo from Melbourne in June 2015, and it's been very hard to keep up with the blog.

This position is a fantastic opportunity to develop in my academic career and we are very excited of starting this new chapter in our life. As with all major changes in one’s life, it is full of challenges, but I see it as opportunities for growth.

As you can imagine (or maybe you can’t) changing countries and starting a new research position can be quite demanding as there are many new things to adjust to. Additionally, and as part of the venture, I’ve been working on several research projects in parallel, which depleted my ‘functional reserve’ (i.e. that extra energy needed to write a blog). These projects incorporated, among other things, travelling to the August Krogh institute in Denmark to analyse human muscle samples for a study on post-exercise protein intake for recovery after cycling, plan and set-up experimental studies and work on a meta-analysis and many other things.

Also throw on top of that coaching athletes and training when I’m not working at the school, and even some attempt at learning some Norwegian (I’m still very bad at it!).

Currently, despite I’m far from being ‘not busy’ things are slightly more settled and I expect I will be able to write more often.

Figure 1, A, B and C. Aerial photo of the Norwegian School of Sport Science and surrounding areas: beautiful, isn’t it? Photo credits:

2) Low Carbohydrate, High Fat (LCHF) diets post in Cycling-tips in 2015.

The last post on this blog was in March 8th 2015, but I did write one –quite long- post for Cycling tips on LCHF diets and cycling which got published in early June 2015.

I should give credit where it is due and thank Ken (now in HPTek) in Melbourne, for suggesting me to write the article and for putting me in touch with Matt de Neef (one of the editor of cycling tips), who embraced my criticism to a former article on their page (if you're reading this, thank you guys!).

The article is about a year old, but you might still find it interesting. If you like the topic I would recommend you read the review on this topic published by Louise Burke that came out in November 2015. The review article is excellent, it adds more depth to what I described in that blog article written earlier that same year. Here is a link to Louise's article, which is free.

3) Carbohydrate dependence during laboratory-based time-trials scientific publication.

In early 2016 our publication titled “Carbohydrate dependence during prolonged simulated cycling time trials” was published on European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Here is a link where you can find the article.

I hope it is understandable to the general audience (sadly most likely not considering all the scientific formatting and jargon within), but it is still part of my plans to explain it in more lay terms in this same blog.

4) Prospective posts for 2016. A) Weights loss for cyclists and B) Power-output and metabolism of very prolonged exercise.

They say one picture is worth a thousand words. So I’ll let this figure do the job:

Figure 2 – Weekly average body mass vs weekly net calorie balance over the course of 3 months.

This is a sneak-peek of what the post will be about, which is basically about weight loss for cyclists. Provided there is not a LOT of information on the scientific literature about this, let alone with tight exercise and diet control/record, and I can't run a full-blown scientific study on this at the minute I decided to run an experiment using my experimental subject by default (myself). It aims at showing the power exercise nutrition and to document changes in body mass and power-output (absolute and W/kg) over the course of a preparatory phase of training when coupled with an planned and optimised nutritional intervention (and it is also a great excuse to get in shape for the races coming up!).

The experiment (or I should call it intervention) is happening as I write this (body mass is currently down to ~75.5 kg), and I’ve just killed a full bowl of banana split with vanilla ice-cream  and Nutella:

Figure 3 – My Sunday dessert during weight loss: It’s not about starving. It’s not about low carbs either.

As it is happening while I write, it is going to take me another while until it is finished and I can publish it here. Additionally there is going to be a LOT of data and numbers that will need to be crunched (today is 90 days of uninterrupted daily food and exercise data logging), so it is likely going to be published as a series of posts rather in a one long post.

I’m aiming at shedding some light on this topic by including unpublished data on very prolonged exercise in the lab together with other insights on the topic. This will be happening most likely after the post on weight loss.

That is all for today, stay tuned for the blog-posts coming up!

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