Ray Peat, PhD: Quotes Relating to Exercise

Also see:
Exercise Induced Stress
Exercise and Endotoxemia
Exercise and Effect on Thyroid Hormone
Exercise Induced Menstrual Disorders
Potential Adverse Cardiovascular Effects from Excessive Endurance Exercise
Ray Peat, PhD and Concentric Exercise
Endotoxin: Poisoning from the Inside Out
Protection from Endotoxin
Bowel Toxins Accelerate Aging
Protective Cascara Sagrada and Emodin
The effect of raw carrot on serum lipids and colon function
Protective Bamboo Shoots
Lactate Paradox: High Altitude and Exercise
Can Endurance Sports Really Cause Harm? The Lipopolysaccharides of Endotoxemia and Their Effect on the Heart

Change your perspective on exercise with this informative compilation of quotes from the writings of Ray Peat, PhD. This page is updated often.


‎”Incidental stresses, such as strenuous exercise combined with fasting (e.g., running or working before eating breakfast) not only directly trigger the production of lactate and ammonia, they also are likely to increase the absorption of bacterial endotoxin from the intestine. Endotoxin is a ubiquitous and chronic stressor. It increases lactate and nitric oxide, poisoning mitochondrial respiration, precipitating the secretion of the adaptive stress hormones, which don’t always fully repair the cellular damage.”

“From the 19th century until the second quarter of the 20th century, cancer was investigated mainly as a metabolic problem. This work, understanding the basic chemistry of metabolism, was culminating in the 1920s in the work of Otto Warburg and Albert Szent-Gyorgyi on respiration. Warburg demonstrated as early as 1920 that a respiratory defect, causing aerobic glycolysis, i.e., the production of lactic acid even in the presence of oxygen, was an essential feature of cancer. (The formation of lactic acid is normal and adaptive when the supply of oxygen isn’t adequate to meet energy demands, for example when running.)”

“Endotoxin (like intense physical activity) causes the estrogen concentration of the blood to rise.”

“Cytochrome oxidase in the brain can also be increased by mental stimulation, learning, and moderate exercise, but excessive exercise or the wrong kind of exercise (“eccentric”) can lower it (Aguiar, et al., 2007, 2008), probably by increasing the stress hormones and free fatty acids. Sedentary living a high altitude has beneficial effects on mitochondria similar to moderate exercise at sea level (He, at al., 2012.”

“My first suggestion for someone with PMS is to avoid thyroid suppression (darkness and endurance exercise should be avoided), and to use my carrot salad recipe: Grated carrots, vinegar, coconut oil and salt are the essentials, garlic and olive oil are optional. Acetic acid and fatty acids released from the coconut oil act at different levels, and the carrot fiber is a timed-release system which also binds toxins and stimulates the bowel; the salt spares magnesium and tends to inhibit excessive prolactin release.”

“Estrogen increases most of the mediators of inflammatiop, which are generally inhibited by
progesterone. Estrogen also shifts many processes toward excitation, and it’s often hard to distinguish the mediators of inflammation from the mediators of excitation. Free polyunsaturated fatty acids, for example, which are increased under the influence of estrogen (or exercise, diabetes, nighttime, aging, histamine, parasympathetic dominance, etc.), produce both inflammation and excitation. Associated with the processes of inflammation and excitation is the tendency of estrogen and other inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide and serotonin, to impair mitochondrial respiration. This effect on the cells’ energy production is probably responsible for many of the things that occur in asthma, such as edema and smooth muscle contraction. Acute or chronic interference with mitochondrial respiration can produce a tremendous variety of symptoms, depending on the location, and the degree of the energy deprivation. Exercise, probably acting through some of the same mediators, also impairs
mitochondrial respiration.”

“Since fat has a very low rate of metabolism, people who lose muscle by fasting are going to have increasing difficulty in losing weight, since they will have less active tissue to consume fat. Building up muscle and lymph tissue for optimal health – even if it initially causes a slight weight gain – will make reducing easier by increasing mass of metabolically active tissue.”

“Exertion and stress have in common the need for more fuel.”

“Many factors, including poor nutrition, climate, emotional or physical stress (even excessive running) and toxins, can cause a progesterone deficiency.”

“While jogging became popular for preventing heart disease, we were frequently told by experts how many miles a person has to run to burn off a pound of fat. However, in Russia, physiologists always remember to include the brain in their calculations, and it turns out that a walk through interesting and pleasant surroundings consumes more energy than does harder but more boring exercise. An active brain consumes a tremendous amount of fuel.”

“Histamine mimics estrogen’s effects on the uterus, and antihistamines block estrogen’s effects (Szego, 1965, Szego and Davis, 1967). Estrogen mimics the shock reaction. Stress, exercise, and toxins cause a rapid increase in estrogen. Males often have as much estrogen as females, especially when they are tired or sick. Estrogen increases the brain’s susceptibility to epileptic seizures, and recent research shows that it (and cortisol) promote the effects of the “excitotoxins,” which are increasingly implicated in degenerative brain diseases.”

“Besides causing stress, estrogen levels are increased by stress. For example, a male runner’s estrogen is often doubled after a race. Men and women who are hospitalized for serious sickness typically have greatly increased estrogen levels. Estrogen’s role in terminal illness, a vicious circle in which stress decreases the person’s ability to tolerate stress, is seldom appreciated.”

“Even in rich cultures, protein deficiency, inappropriate exercise, and emotional tension will contribute to premature aging of the individual, and damage to the offspring.”

“Stress uses progesterone and can cause menstrual periods to stop. Girls who begin regular exercise (such as dancing) before puberty have later sexual development.”

“Lactic acid and carbon dioxide have opposing effects. Intense exercise damages cells in ways that cumulatively impair metabolism. There is clear evidence that glycolysis, producing lactic acid from glucose, has toxic effects, suppressing respiration and killing cells. Within five minutes, exercise lowers the activity of enzymes that oxidize glucose. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and general aging involve increased lactic acid production and accumulated metabolic (mitochondrial) damage.”

“Since lactic acid is produced by the breakdown of glucose, a high level of lactate in the blood means that a large amount of sugar is being consumed; in response, the body mobilizes free fatty acids as an additional source of energy. An increase of free fatty acids suppresses the oxidation of glucose. (This is called the Randle effect, glucose-fatty acid cycle, substrate-competition cycle, etc.) Women, with higher estrogen and growth hormone, usually have more free fatty acids than men, and during exercise oxidize a higher proportion of fatty acids than men do. This fatty acid exposure “decreases glucose tolerance,” and undoubtedly explains women’s higher incidence of diabetes. While most fatty acids inhibit the oxidation of glucose without immediately inhibiting glycolysis, palmitic acid is unusual, in its inhibition of glycolysis and lactate production without inhibitng oxidation. I assume that this largely has to do with its important function in cardiolipin and cytochrome oxidase.”

“In the last century, Sechenov found that exercising one hand strengthens not only that hand, but also the other. Brain activity stimulates growth and alteration of tissues, such as muscles.”

“One of the major “acute phase proteins,” C-reactive protein, is defensive against bacteria and parasites, but it is suspected to contribute to tissue degeneration. When its presence is the result of exercise, estrogen, or malnutrition, then its association with asthma is likely to be casual, rather than coincidental.”

“The stressful conditions that physiologically harm mitochondria are now being seen as the probable cause for the mitochondrial genetic defects that accumulate with aging. Stressful exercise, which has been known to cause breakage of the nuclear chromosomes, is now seen to damage mitochondrial genes, too. Providing energy, while reducing stress, seems to be all it takes to reverse the accumulated mitochondrial genetic damage. Fewer mitochondrial problems will be considered to be inherited, as we develop an integral view of the ways in which mitochondrial physiology is disrupted. Palmitic acid, which is a major component of the cardiolipin which regulates the main respiratory enzyme, becomes displaced by polyunsaturated fats as aging progresses. Copper tends to be lost from this same enzyme system, and the state of the water is altered as the energetic processes change.”

“Besides fasting, or chronic protein deficiency, the common causes of hypothyroidism are excessive stress or “aerobic” (i.e. anaerobic) exercise, and diets containing beans, lentils, nuts, unsaturated fats (including carotene), and undercooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and mustard greens. Many health conscious people become hypothyroid with a synergistic program of undercooked vegetables, legumes instead of animal proteins, oils instead of butter, carotene instead of vitamin A, and breathless exercise instead of stimulating life.”

“Exercise, like aging, obesity, and diabetes, increases the levels of circulating free fatty acids and lactate. But ordinary activity of an integral sort, activates the systems in an organized way, increasing carbon dioxide and circulation and efficiency. Different types of exercise have been identified as destructive or reparative to the mitochondria; “concentric” muscular work is said to be restorative to the mitochondria. As I understand it, this means contraction with a load, and relaxation without a load. The heart’s contraction follows this principle, and this could explain the observation that heart mitochondria don’t change in the course of ordinary aging.”

“The idea of the “oxygen debt” produced by exercise or stress as being equivalent to the accumulation of lactic acid is far from accurate, but it’s true that activity increases the need for oxygen, and also increases the tendency to accumulate lactic acid, which can then be disposed of over an extended time, with the consumption of oxygen. This relationship between work and lactic acidemia and oxygen deficit led to the term “lactate paradox” to describe the lower production of lactic acid during maximal work at high altitude when people are adapted to the altitude. Carbon dioxide, retained through the Haldane effect, accounts for the lactate paradox, by inhibiting cellular excitation and sustaining oxidative metabolism to consume lactate efficiently.”

“Elite athletes are generally considered to have “good genes,” and exercise is commonly said to promote good health, so a new orientation is needed to accommodate the fact that “elite” athletes, winter or summer athletes, including participants in the Olympics, have a high incidence of asthma — roughly three times higher than the general population.

It turns out that exercise induces the signs and symptoms of asthma, not only in “asthmatics,” but in normal people too.

Anaerobic exercise (getting out of breath) increases the release of, or activity of, a large variety of inflammatory mediators, beginning with lactic acid and interleukin-6 releases from the exercised muscle itself, and including factors released from various cells in the blood, and hormones including estrogen, prolactin, and sometimes TSH.”

“Exercise increases the incidence of asthma.”

“The polyunsaturated oils interact closely with serotonin and tryptophan, and the short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have antihistamine and antiserotonin actions. Serotonin liberates free fatty acids from the tissues, especially the polyunsaturated fats, and these in turn liberate serotonin from cells such as the platelets, and liberate tryptophan from serum albumin, increasing its uptake and the formation of serotonin in the brain. Saturated fats don’t liberate serotonin, and some of them, such as capric acid found in coconut oil, relax blood vessels, while linoleic acid constricts blood vessels and promotes hypertension. Stress, exercise, and darkness, increase the release of free fatty acids, and so promote the liberation of tryptophan and formation of serotonin. Increased serum linoleic acid is specifically associated with serotonin-dependent disorders such as migraine.”

“Mental stress, exercise, estrogen, and serotonin activate both the formation and dissolution of clots.”

“Many dietitians claim that exercise doesn’t increase the need for protein, but the Russians have found that a combination of exercise and increased protein intake can increase the muscle mass. In a woman, this process can not only improve grace and body proportions, but it also increases the body’s ability to burn up fat. Other nutrients are needed for using protein properly, and for maintaining optimum nerve functioning. However, if the exercise produces too much stress and not enough muscle action, muscle will atrophy as a result of cortisone’s shifting amino acid metabolism into glucose production. Lactic acid production (getting out of breath) is the main signal of the need to produce new glucose. Therefore, “aerobic” exercise is the most stressful. Cortisone not only causes atrophy of the skin, muscles, and immune system, but it even has been found the accelerate aging changes in the brain.”

“Estrogen promotes vascular permeability by a variety of mechanisms. Serotonin, histamine, lactic acid, and various cytokines and prostaglandins contribute to the leakage stimulated by estrogen, trauma, irradiation, poisoning, oxygen deprivation, and other factors that can induce shock. Even exercise, mental stress, and aging can increase the tendency of capillaries to leak.”

“Leakage of fluid out of the blood is one of the main features of shock, and at first it is mainly the loss of water and volume that creates a problem, by reducing the oxygenation of tissue and increasing the viscosity of the remaining blood. Blood becomes more concentrated during strenuous exercise, during the night, and in the winter, increasing the viscosity, and increasing the risk of strokes and other thrombotic problems. The absence of light causes the metabolic and hormonal changes typical of stress.”

“In the resting state, muscles consume mainly fats, so maintaining relatively large muscles is important for preventing the accumulation of fats.”

“Even on the mornings that you don’t drop dead, there is reduced adaptive capacity and functional impairment before eating breakfast. For example, men who went for a run before breakfast were found to have broken chromosomes in their blood cells, but if they ate breakfast before running, their chromosomes weren’t damaged.”

“Exercise physiologists, without mentioning functional systems, have recently discovered some principles that extend the discoveries of Meerson and Anokhin. They found that “concentric” contraction, that is, causing the muscle to contract against resistance, improves the muscle’s function, without injuring it. (Walking up a mountain causes concentric contractions to dominate in the leg muscles. Walking down the mountain injures the muscles, by stretching them, forcing them to elongate while bearing a load; they call that eccentric contraction.) Old people, who had extensively damaged mitochondrial DNA, were given a program of concentric exercise, and as their muscles adapted to the new activity, their mitochondrial DNA was found to have become normal.”

“I’m not sure who introduced the term “aerobic” to describe the state of anaerobic metabolism that develops during stressful exercise, but it has had many harmful repercussions. In experiments, T3 production is stopped very quickly by even “sub-aerobic” exercise, probably because of the combination of a decrease of blood glucose and an increase in free fatty acids. In a healthy person, rest will tend to restore the normal level of T3, but there is evidence that even very good athletes remain in a hypothyroid state even at rest. A chronic increase of lactic acid and cortisol indicates that something is wrong. The “slender muscles” of endurance runners are signs of a catabolic state, that has been demonstrated even in the heart muscle. A slow heart beat very strongly suggests hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid people, who are likely to produce lactic acid even at rest, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of “aerobic” exercise. The good effect some people feel from exercise is probably the result of raising the body temperature; a warm bath will do the same for people with low body temperature.”

“This is where the issue of cell water comes in. Carbon dioxide, produced by oxidative cell metabolism, is associated with the high energy state of the cell. When something interferes with oxidative metabolism, lactic acid is produced instead of carbon dioxide. If the cell stays very long in this low oxygen state, it swells, taking up water. (The fatigued muscle, for example, can take up so much water in a short time that it weighs 20% more than before it began working so intensely that its energy needs far exceeded the availability of oxygen. This swelling is what causes the soreness and tightness of intense exercise. The swelling persists long after the liver has cleared the lactic acid from the blood.) This swelling from taking up water is involved in one type of “edema,” and in inflammation, or activation of the cells by hormones, as well as by simple oxygen deprivation. When the eyes have been closed for several hours, the cornea swells, because it depends on direct contact with the air for its oxygen, and the eyelid, whose circulation provides oxygen for its own cells, doesn’t provide enough for the cornea.”

“Sometimes progesterone seems to be chronically deficienct (leading to slight-though possibly prolonged-menstruation, or amenorrhea), in women who exercise hard. Since progesterone can be converted into cortisone to handle stress, this would explain why well trained athletes (who need lots of cortisone) so often miss periods. It seems to be a simple over-consumption of progesterone, which is probably a reasonable biological adaptation, preventing pregnancy during times of stress.”

“Athletic training is known to slow the pulse. Cortisone, produced by stress, inhibits the thyroid gland. (When the thyroid is low, less oxygen is needed, so this is a useful adaptation for increasing endurance.) These hormonal changes are now known to produce sterility in both men and women”

“Stress and starvation lead to a relative reliance on the fats stored in the tissues, and the mobilization of these as circulating free fatty acids contributes to a slowing of metabolism and a shift away from the use of glucose for energy. This is adaptive in the short term, since relatively little glucose is stored in the tissues (as glycogen), and the proteins making up the body would be rapidly consumed for energy, if it were not for the reduced energy demands resulting from the effects of the free fatty acids.”

“Exercise increases blood clotting, and so can increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Some doctors have been reporting increase incidence of flat feet, varicose veins, and prolapsed uterus among runners. Walking is a better form of exercise.”

“The brain’s role in protecting against injury by stress, when it sees a course of action, has a parallel in the differences between concentric (positive, muscle shortening) and eccentric (negative, lengthening under tension) exercise, and also with the differences between innervated and denervated muscles. In eccentric exercise and denervation, less oxygen is used and less carbon dioxide is produced, while lactic acid increases, displacing carbon dioxide, and more fat is oxidized. Prolonged stress similarly decreases carbon dioxide and increases lactate, while increasing the use of fat.”

“A few fetish ideas dominate physiology, just as the gene and virus fetishes have governed cancer research. For more than a century, most physiologists have “explained” muscle soreness as being “caused by lactic acid,” while generally ignoring the great swelling of muscles that results from intense exercise. When cells don’t have enough energy — whether from inadequate fuel, overwork, lack of oxygen, or poisoning — they take up water. Too much water tends to excite the cells, and can even stimulate cell division. The hyperactive state of a muscle cell, cramping, causes energy to be spent. What is too often overlooked is that the cell needs more energy to get back into its resting state, and that an abundance of glucose or other fuel, oxygen, and thyroid are needed for the cell to produce enough energy to be quietly relaxed.”

“The reluctance to see something as simple as the swelling of a muscle when its energy is depleted, has led into other unnecessary confusions. For example, the water that the muscle takes up comes from the blood. The blood gets thicker, and is harder to pump. The loss of water from the blood makes it seem that hormones have increased, when actually they have decreased. If the tissues could be re-energized, they would release some of their water back to the blood.”

“Exercise lowers the level of thyroid hormones, partly by accelerating their breakdown. The stress of winter appears to do the same thing, and most people (and animals) need much more thyroid in the winter than they do in the summer. Exercise lowers human (and some animals’) fertility, and winter lowers animals’ fertility. I think human fertility, as indicated by sperm count, for example, is likely to be lower in winter.”

“During stress, the heart and other working organs became resistant to the glucocorticoid hormones. When a person is given radioactive testosterone, it can be seen to reach the highest concentration in the heart. It is testosterone’s antiglucocorticoid effect which causes it to enlarge skeletal muscles, when exercise is moderate. Its parallel effects on skeletal muscle and heart muscle can be seen in highly adapted (stressed) long-distance runners, since the walls of their hearts become thinner as their skeletal muscle become slimmer.”

“During moderate exercise, adrenalin causes increased blood flow to both the heart and the skeletal muscles, while decreasing the flow of blood to other organs. The increased circulation carries extra oxygen and nutrients to the working organs, while the deprivation of oxygen and glucose pushes the other organs to a catabolic balance. This simple circulatory pattern achieves to some extent the same kind of redistribution of resources, acutely, that is achieved in more prolonged stress by the actions of the glucocorticoids and their antagonists.”

“Nerves and muscle cells should be considered together, because they respond to many things in similar ways. The membrane people don’t like to think that nerves have an contractile properties, but in fact they do twitch slightly when stimulated, showing that in the entire cytoplasm that responds to information, not the hypothetical plasma membrane. When they are overstimulated, they swell, as muscles do when they are fatigued. When a muscle is stretched while it’s trying to contract (as in running downhill; this is called “eccentric contraction”) it becomes inflamed, and the structural damage is cumulative. By exercising muscle with “concentric contractions,” allowing them to shorten against resistance, the cellular damage can be repaired.”

“Lactic acid produced by intense exercise causes calcium loss from bone (Ashizawa, et al., 1997), and sodium bicarbonate increases calcium retention by bone.”

“If a tissue is stimulated to metabolize at a high rate, especially without an adequate supply of glucose, it will consume protein as fuel, with the production of ammonia…Any exaggerated stimulation, stress, or energy deficit tends to increase the level of ammonia in tissue…The use of amino acids for fuel, which happens during stress, release ammonia. Eating isolated amino acids, exercising intensely, or have an excess of cortisol, causes tissue proteins to be broken down, with the release of ammonia.”

“There are now many people who argues that a low metabolism rate, a low body temperature and slow heart beat indicate that you live a long time: “your heart can only beat so many times.” Most of these people also advocate “conditioning exercise,” and they point out that trained runners tend to have a slow heart rate. (Incidentally, running elevates adrenaline which caused increased clumping of platelets and accelerated blood clotting. Hypothyroidism–whether preexisting or induced by running–slows the heart rate, raises the production of adrenalin, and is strongly associated with heart disease, as well as with high cholesterol.”

“Free polyunsaturated fatty acids, for examples, which are increased under the influence of estrogen (or exercise, diabetes, night time, aging, histamine, parasympathetic dominance, etc.) produce both inflammation and excitation. Associated with the process of inflammation and excitation is the tendency of estrogen and other inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide and serotonin to impair mitochondrial respiration.”


“The overlapping effects of estrogen, polyunsaturated fats, exercise, serotonin, histamine, lactic acid, nighttime, and hyperventilation, tend to be cumulative and self-stimulating. Degenerative changes in tissues are accelerated by all of these stress mediators.”

“Many studies have found that sucrose is less fattening than starch or glucose, that is, that more calories can be consumed without gaining weight. During exercise, the addition of fructose to glucose increases the oxidation of carbohydrate by about 50% (Jentjens and Jeukendrup, 2005).”

“Failure to renew cells and tissues leads to loss of function and substance. Bones and muscles get weaker and smaller with aging. Diminished bone substance, osteopenia, is paralleled, at roughly the same rate, by the progressive loss of muscle mass, sarcopenia (or myopenia). The structure of aging tissue changes, with collagen tending to fill the spaces left by the disappearing cells. It’s also common for fat cells to increase, as muscle cells disappear.”

“Exercise physiologists, knowing that lactic acid is produced during exercise, and cancer biologists (especially since Warburg’s work showing that all cancers have a respiratory defect) who know that cancer tends to produce lactic acid, almost always talk about the “acidity” of the fatigued muscle or cancer cell.

While it is true that the entry of lactic acid into the blood tends to produce metabolic acidosis, the cell which is producing the lactic acid is actually more alkaline than normal cells. The simplest way to think of it is that the “acid leaving the cell makes it less acidic.””

“Fatigued cells take up water, and become heavier. They also become more permeable, and leak. When more oxygen is made available, they are less resistant to fatigue, and when the organism is made slightly hypoxic, as at high altitude, muscles have more endurance, and are stronger, and nerves conduct more quickly.”

“When a muscle cell is stimulated enough to cause a contraction, the interruption of its resting phase causes a shift in the charge concentration on the proteins, potassium ions are exchanged for sodium ions, calcium ions enter, and phosphate ions separate from ATP, and are replaced by the transfer of phosphate to ADP from creatine phosphate.”

“Looking at fatigability, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction in a variety of situations, we can test some of the traditional explanations, and see how well the newer “bioelectric” explanation fits the facts. Osmotic pressure, hydrostatic pressure, atmospheric pressure, and the degree of metabolic stimulation by thyroid hormone affect fatigue in ways that aren’t consistent with the membrane-electrical doctrine.

The production of lactic acid during lactic acid during intense muscle activity led some people to suggest that fatigue occurred when the muscle wasn’t getting enough oxygen, but experiments show that fatigue sets in while adequate oxygen is being delivered to the muscle. Underwater divers sometimes get an excess of oxygen, and that often causes muscle fatigue and soreness. At high altitudes, where there is relatively little oxygen, strength and endurance can increase.

An excess of oxygen can slow nerve conduction, while hypoxia can accelerate it. (Increasing the delivery of oxygen at higher pressure doesn’t increase the cellular use of oxygen or decrease lactic acid production in the exercising muscle [Kohzuki, et al., 2000], but it will increase lipid peroxidation.)

High hydrostatic pressure causes muscles to contract, though for many years the membrane-doctrinaires couldn’t accept that. Underwater divers experience brain excitation under very high pressure. Since vicinal water has a larger volume than ordinary water (analogous to the expansion when ice is formed, though the volume increase in cell water is slightly less, about 4%, than in ice, which is 11% more voluminous than liquid water), compression under high pressure converts vicinal cell water to the state that occurs in the excited cell, the way ice melts under pressure. The excited state exists as long as water remains in that state.”

“One of the early demonstrations that cell water undergoes a phase change during muscle contraction involved simply measuring the volume of an isolated muscle. With stimulation and contraction, the volume of the muscle decreases slightly. (The muscle was immersed in water in a sealed chamber, and the volume decrease in the whole chamber was measured.) This corresponds to the conversion of vicinal water to bulk-like (dielectric) water. (The threatening implications of those experiments with spontaneous volume change were very annoying to many biologists of my professors’ generation.)

In the stimulated state, the cell’s uptake of water from its environment coincides closely with its electrical and thermal activity, and it explusion of water coincides with its recovery. In a small nerve fiber, or near the surface of a larger fiber, these changers are very fast, and in a large muscle the uptake of water is faster than the flow of water from capillaries can match, but it will become massive if stimulation is continued for several minutes. For example, two minutes of stimulation stimulation can cause a muscle’s overall weight to increase by 6%, but its extracellular compartment loses 4%, so the muscle cells gain much more than 6% of their weight in that short time (Ward, et al., 1996). The water that is taken up by cells is taken from the blood, which becomes relatively dehydrated and thicker in the process.”

“With aging, hypothyroidism, stress, and fatigue, the amount of estrogen in the body typically rises. Estrogen is catabolic for muscle, and causes systemic edema, and nerve excitation.”

“A dangerously high level of ammonia in the blood (hyerammonemia) can be produced by exhaustive exercise, but also by hyperbaric oxygen (or a high concentration of oxygen), by high estrogen, and by hypothyroidism.”

“Szent-Gyorgyi observed that, although ATP was involved in the contractions of muscles, its post-mortem disappearance caused the contraction and hardening of muscle known as rigor mortis. When he put hardened dead muscles into a solution of ATP, they relaxed and softened. The relaxed state is a state with adequate energy reserves.”

“But when tissues contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fats, every episode of fatigue and prolonged excitation leaves a residue of oxidative damage, and the adaptive mechanisms become progressively less effective.”

“Stress increases metabolic rate in a destructive, age accelerating way, with increased inflammation, and decreased resting oxidative metabolic rate. It’s the basic metabolic rate, with fast nerve conduction, quick cellular adaptation, etc., that’s biologically valuable.”

“Excess estrogen, intense exercise, starvation, anything that increases lipid peroxidation and free radical production, such as drinking alcohol when the tissues contain polyunsaturated fats, can cause organs such as heart and liver to leak their components.”

“The amount of injury needed to increase the endotoxin in the blood can be fairly minor. Two thirds of people having a colonoscopy had a significant increase in endotoxin in their blood, and intense exercise or anxiety will increase it. Endotoxin activates the enzyme that synthesizes estrogen while it decreases the formation of androgen (Christeff, et aI., 1992), and this undoubtedly is partly responsible for the large increases in estrogen in both men and women caused by trauma, sickness or excessive fatigue.”

“Chronic constipation, and anxiety which decreases blood circulation in the intestine, can increase the liver’s exposure to endotoxin. Endotoxin (like intense physical activity) causes the estrogen concentration of the blood to rise.”

“Animals that lack the unsaturated fatty acids have a higher metabolic rate and ability to use glucose, converting it to CO2 more readily, have a greater resistance to toxins (Harris, et al., 1990; even cobra venom: Morganroth, et al., 1989), including endotoxin (Li, et al., 1990)– preventing excessive vascular leakage–and to immunological damage (Takahashi, et al., 1992), and to trauma, and their neuromuscular response is accelerated while fast twitch muscles are less easily fatigued (Ayre and Hulber, 1996).”

“There are different kinds of weight gain. When a person’s metabolic rate increases, and stress hormones decrease, for example when adding two quarts of milk to the daily diet, their muscle mass is likely to increase, even while their fat is decreasing. Since muscle burns fat faster than fat does, caloric requirements will gradually increase.”

“Some muscle-building resistance exercise might help to increase the anabolic ratio, reducing the belly fat.”

“Prolonged endurance exercise will usually slow the pulse because of adaptive inhibition of the thyroid. I have seen some people with the dark circles, fatigue, and other symptoms that stopped as soon as they stopped their daily running.”

“(Protein) For intense exercise, it’s about a gram per pound of body weight.”

“Concentric resistance training has an anabolic effect on the whole body. Sprinting is probably o.k. Endurance exercise is the worst. I don’t think martial arts are necessarily too stressful.”

“When a muscle or nerve is fatigued, it swells, retaining water. When the swelling is extreme, its ability to contract is limited. Excess water content resembles a partly excited state, in which increase amounts of sodium and calcium are free in the cytoplasm. Energy is needed to eliminate the sodium and calcium, or to bind calcium allowing the cell to extrude excess water and return to the resting state. Thyroid hormone allows cells’ mitochondria to efficiently produce energy, and it also regulates the synthesis of proteins (phospholamban and calcisequestrin) that control the binding of calcium. When the cell is energized, by the mitochondria working with thyroid, oxygen, and sugar, these proteins change their form, binding calcium and removing it from the contractile system, allowing the cell to relax, to be fully prepared for the next contraction. If the calcium isn’t fully and quickly bound, the cell retains extra water and sodium, and isn’t able to fully relax.”

“I hadn’t heard that idea about aspirin and muscle, but I don’t know of enough evidence in that direction to make me think that it’s anything but a sort of marketing slogan for someone’s product (Tylenol’s campaign against aspirin created many theories of why aspirin should be avoided). Since the inflammatory processes (including platelet activation) inhibited by aspirin are generally catabolic, and since aspirin supports insulin action and energy production, I think aspirin in most situations is likely to be anti-catabolic.”

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4 Responses

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  1. Gregory Taper says

    This is a classic, thanks for taking the time to put this and all the other ones like this, together.

  2. Gile says

    If this is true; how should one train as teens and adults? And should girls train different from boys?

  3. Team FPS says

    Training is goal and person dependent. I recently did an interview with Vision and Acceptance and offered some thoughts on the topic.

    “Interview with Rob Turner on Exercise and Health”

    A lack of body fat and stress can cause menstrual disorders or stop ovulation in women as the thyroid is suppressed and progesterone production decreases. This coincides with a rise in antifertility hormones. A lack of body fat may be a positive adaptation from a performance standpoint in women, but getting to that stage involves stress which should be considered when assessing the overall health of female athletes. As I mention in the interview, health and high performance often have an inverse relationship. In young children, the stress of training tends to delay sexual development.

    Exercise Induced Menstrual Disorders

    Childhood conditions influence adult progesterone levels

    Exercise Induced Stress

Continuing the Discussion

  1. H is for Health & Safety – ichooseicecream linked to this post on October 7, 2016

    […] ”Incidental stresses, such as strenuous exercise combined with fasting (e.g., running or working before eating breakfast) not only directly trigger the production of lactate and ammonia, they also are likely to increase the absorption of bacterial endotoxin from the intestine. Endotoxin is a ubiquitous and chronic stressor. It increases lactate and nitric oxide, poisoning mitochondrial respiration, precipitating the secretion of the adaptive stress hormones, which don’t always fully repair the cellular damage.” – Ray Peat PhD  (More quotes on exercise here […]