It’s been over a year since words have appeared on this blog.
To put it simply, I am stubborn.
I have been poked and prodded to write by friends, colleagues, and my wife.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not because she or everyone enjoys my writing. In fact my wife when finishing the edits just sits there in silence.
“So how was it?”
“Reads like a textbook.”
No wonder I don’t write.
I am writing all of this down because I am done. Done being obsessed about energetics. It has taken up too much time, sleep, and quite frankly has affected my health.
You may think I am crazy. How can one be obsessed about something so remedial? It’s in every exercise physiology book!
There lies the problem. I opened myself up to the idea that those words were wrong – and ever since that moment I haven’t been in the driver’s seat – I have just been along for the ride while my passions have taken the wheel.
As of now I operate in a weird space sandwiched between influences from Ben House (Health) and my passion for sports performance.
Those who read this who work solely in one area or the other would no doubt frown upon what I do on a daily basis.
I get it – I understand, and have made peace with it.
“If one is to really understand nature, the traditional boundaries between scientific disciplines can no longer be upheld.”
– Mae-Wan Ho
Over the last year and a half I have been trying to make sense of the data I have been collecting utilizing sports tech like Omegawave and Moxy. Not only in how it correlates to performance but also to health.
Quite frankly, you don’t need much convincing that our classical ideas about bioenergetics may be wrong when you strap on a Moxy monitor.
All you need is 30 seconds. Get on an airdyne and haul ass.
What do you see?
O2 immediately depletes. Not only that, but once it depletes performance stalls out.
“Only when O2 is present can performance increase, when O2 is depleted the best you can do is hold on.”
Now for a period of time I thought O2 was King.
I was sort of wrong.
What I didn’t realize is that O2 and the phosphocreatine (PCr) systems are entangled with one another. They fly together – with exceptions during max strength type activities when they may uncouple and have different recovery times.
I can now use Moxy to get a proxy on PCr (read the “Glycogen Shunt Model” by Shulman and Rothman as well as “Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Capacity by Ryan, Southern, Reynolds, and Mcully). This model also confirms George Brooks’s work concerning lactate.
So if the oxidative and glycolytic systems all work immediately (2 orders of magnitude faster than we perceive time, 0-100 milli-sec) to replenish PCr – what makes PCr so special? Is Steven Plisk correct when he quoted…
“We are fundamentally non-oxidative organisms, with an oxidative pathway that originally evolved as an O2 detoxification mechanism.”
He may be, but we may need to dig deeper.
I believe we are fundamentally
Thus, health and performance follow the trinity of life: biophotonic, bioelectric, biochemistry.
“We are still on the threshold of fully understanding the complex relationship between light and life, but we can now say emphatically, that the function of our entire
metabolism is dependent on light.”
– Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp
If you think I am bat shit crazy about all of this it would be wise of me to note that during certain processes of cloning, the embryo is given a mild electric shock to begin multiplying – this is just one example of the Trinity. If that still doesn’t do it for you read Michael Levin’s work on molecular bioelectricity.
“Living things must be able to take advantage of the laws of physics not just chemistry.”
– Michael Levin
In Levin’s “Molecular Bioelectricity” paper he cites specific membrane potentials (Ming Yang and William J. Brackenbury ”Membrane Potential and Cancer Progression”) for both healthy and non-healthy cells.
Depolarization is generally a bad thing – initiating Mitosis, where Hyperpolarization precedes mitosis arrest, which in the form of cancer progression is good – stopping proliferation. (REMEMBER THIS)
This sounds really familiar to Dr. Robert Becher’s and Dr. Harrold Burr’s work in L-Fields and DC Potential. Hyperpolarization precedes regeneration.
So what does membrane potential have to do with sports performance?
In comes a paper “Performance in Sport” by Jens Bangsbo stating:
“In addition K+ and Na+ is accumulating outside and within, respectively, the muscle cells causing changes in the membrane potential and perhaps sarcolemma inexcitablity. Therefore, the Na+,K+ Pump may play a crucial role in preserving membrane excitability and ensuring skeletal muscle function i.e. delaying the time of fatigue during exercise…”
Now before I get into the performance stuff I feel I should state that I am not 100% in on this whole Na+, K+ Pump stuff. Meaning I don’t believe they work in the way we have studied them in physiology.
Let’s review cell dynamics:
1 NA+, K+ Pump will use 8,000 molecules of ATP/min. There are 50+ channels, gates, pumps along this “non permeable” membrane and they are all assigned certain amounts of ATP to function. That is just one cell in one minute. Take that by multiple mins, hours, and the ~70 Trillion cells in the human body, life is expensive! Granted not all pumps, channels, or gates are running full throttle all the time – but it makes you question how ATP is used, the mechanics of the pumps, and just how porous the cell really is.
Dr. Gilbert Ling argued this way back in 1976 and again in 1997. Dr. Gerald Pollack has now taken up the fight in present day. They believe it starts with the cells environment: water. Fundamentally this make sense. If one was to study a lion – his environment in which he lives would be of high importance – wouldn’t you agree?
Even in our own domain of strength and conditioning we know nothing about how water interacts with muscle proteins. Have you read anything in an exercise physiology book regarding water other than hydration?
I recommend everyone start with Pollack’s book “The 4th Phase of Water”. From there follow the work of the late Emilio De Guidice “Coherent Domains”, Mae-Wan – Ho “Life is Water Electric”, and the work of Fritz Albert Popp.
In 2008 Philippa Wiggins published “Life is Two Kinds of Water” which explains how polymorphic water (or what has been commonly called now “Structured Water”) may in itself be the mechanism that keeps certain gradients present in the cell (K+ in and Na+ out). Below is an example of structure water next to a positive surface protein – remember the reverse would happen if the surface charge was negative. This structured water also creates a water battery demonstrated by Pollack’s lab.
In essence, EZ (Exclusion Zone) or structured water is a huge redox pile full of electrons and light energizes water. It’s this structured water that powers many reactions we see in biochemistry.
So to tie this back into sports performance and bioenergetics we first need to understand the role of ATP and why cells go to great lengths to maintain ATP concentrations (hint: cell potential).
According to Ling’s A.I. Hypothesis and Dr. Martin Chaplin it all comes down to ATP’s relationship with proteins (both in muscle and in the cell’s cytoskeleton) and the specific surface area of Na+ and K+ and their interaction within structured water (Na+ has a greater net charge on its surface than K+, and forms hydrogen bonds with water molecules, resulting in a larger hydration shell then K+).
Simply put, ATP unfolds proteins allowing water to structure and K+ to bind – resulting in the Ion gradient, ordering of water, and the negative cell potential. This also correlates with the dense protein packing within the A-band and the high concentration of K+.
This is the mechanism behind the accumulation of K+ and Na+ inside and out of the muscle cell during fatigue that Bangsbo has stated – cell potential slightly depolarizes. It also explains the weird occurrence of O2 not being utilized by an athlete when structural damage to the cell (or cytoskeleton proteins) may be present when monitoring them with Moxy – even though biomarkers are normal. The brain may sense this then subrecruit other muscles to do the job – obviously sacrificing coordination and performance.
When we understand the dynamics of water it opens up pathways to understand disease, performance, tissue trauma/recovery, and how important mitochondria function is along with their DNA.
It has now lead me down the path to understand nutrition, supplementation, and fascia from a biophysical perspective in effort to enhance electron flow and communication (Proticity – Jump conductions of Protons). Pair this with the three functions of PCr (Greenhaff et. al 2001), PCr relationship with O2, add in the Spirotiger with the understanding that oxygen is the terminal acceptor for our respiratory chains within the mitochondria – now we may have a unique paradigm within training and health.