Listener Q&A: Preparation For Peak Performance, Tracking Sleep Debt, and Balancing Peak Performance With Longevity (Breather Episode with Brad)


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B.rad podcast listener Q&A returns with a splash with some great topics to cover.

We start with a success story from longtime listener Jon tackling the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim crossing (46 miles, 11k climbing), emphasizing the importance of preparation and enjoying the journey, instead of focusing on the result and bagging bucket list social media photo opps (this can end poorly, like on Mt Everest or in Chinese ultramarathon events).

Next we talk about how naps affect circadian rhythm, and how to easily monitor your sleep health by tracking the simple concept of sleep debt (listen to my show with Jeff Kahn for details). Then I dive into a lengthy discussion about the tradeoff between peak athletic performance and longevity, teed up by a question about Robb Wolf’s comment: “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” It’s interesting to consider how things like low-carb/ketogenic eating, fasting, high intensity workouts, and being in the higher age groups are all stress factors that must be balanced carefully. Thanks for listening and keep the great questions coming!


Many people try amazing athletic feats but find they aren’t as prepared as they thought they were. Preparing is the secret. [01:10]

People go to the limit and some don’t survive. [10:45]

Between midnight and 3:00 AM the most restorative process takes place. [12:08]

How does taking a nap affect your circadian rhythm? [13:55]

Sleep debt accumulates over time and naps can help “pay off that debt.” [19:53]

Dan asks how does Robb Wolf’s statement about eating more protein jive with the book, Two Meals a Day? We cannot burn exercise calories to mitigate dietary transgressions. [23:54]

Our protein needs increase as we age because we are less efficient at synthesizing those amino acids. [30:56]

Could it be that we have an extremely personal distinction when we're trying to strategize our caloric intake and our macro nutrient intake? [34:43]


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