ATC 319: Practical Ways To Recover Better (Especially For Masters Athletes), How To Know How Fat Adapted You Are, and More!

September 25, 2020


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This episode is brought to you by UCAN Superstarch, the fat-burning fuel of choice for endurance athletes and health enthusiasts. UCAN now has two new flavors of energy bars for you to try—salted peanut butter and chocolate almond butter—and new energy powders enhanced with your choice of plant-based pea protein or whey protein, each option packing 20g protein per serving! EP fans get 15% off UCAN, click to activate your discount and shop now. You can also use the code ENDURANCEPLANET if you’re shopping at for that same 15% discount.

Tawnee’s UCAN Porridge recipe


  • 1 serving/pack UCAN Tropical Orange
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder* (e.g. Tawnee likes Mt. Capra’s Deep 30 Strawberry Splash** for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup(ish) shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup(ish) non-dairy milk
  • Liberal shake of Ceylon cinnamon***
  • Dash of Himalayan salt (to taste)


  • In a regular-size cereal/soup bowl, mix the dry ingredients first breaking up any clumps from the powders. Add non-dairy milk, mix well, and let chia seeds absorb (at least 5 minutes). Add more milk if the porridge is still too dry or clumpy and/or if you prefer a more “soupy” bowl. Garnish with any fruit, nuts or seeds. No extra sweetener is needed unless desired.
  • *A vanilla flavored protein powder goes great with the tropical orange UCAN powder.
  • **Mt. Capra offers goat milk whey protein for those who may be sensitive to cow’s milk dairy.
  • ***Ceylon cinnamon, specifically, is shown in research to help lower and regulate blood sugar.

On this episode:

Anonymous asks:

Are you fat-adapted?

I’m a new listener. How does someone know if they are fat-adapted? I’m in my mid-40s and started running two years ago. I’ve done a few half marathons and have maintained a good base by running 20-25 miles a week. Long runs are around 10 miles. I’ve noticed a few improvements like being able to run faster in Zone 2, but I’m not sure if I’m fat adapted. If so, does that mean I need more healthy fats in my diet? Thank you. Keep up the great work, and keeping everyone motivated during this time.

What the coaches say:

    1. Overall diet and the quality and quantity.
    2. Metabolic lab testing.
    3. MAF pace improvements and HR control.
    4. Blood glucose monitoring. Generally avoiding big spikes or prolonged elevated blood glucose post-meal, and big crashes or hypoglycemia.
    5. Field “Bonk Test.”Build up to a 2hr aerobic run, or 2-3hr aerobic bike done in a fasted or semi-fasted (fat as fuel) state with no bonk and no post-workout “hangry” effect. (Tawnee is hesitant to tell athletes to go out and do this test.)
    6. Steady energy and how you feel when you wake up in the AM after an overnight fast.
  • A balanced diet of protein, fat, and <200 grams of carbohydrates (as long as overall calories are adequate!)
    • Don’t look at just the numbers! The coaches are not fans of constant monitoring of food or diet logging
    • Heavily relative to what type of training you’re doing
    • Tawnee can make the case for a female athlete who needs more like 300-400g carbohydrates a day depending on what type of training she is doing
    • Lucho uses the example of an athlete being fat-adapted if they do a 5-hour bike ride, and consume 20-30g of carbohydrate an hour
  • Eat to train, don’t train to eat!
  • You will get better the more you improve your aerobic fitness, economy, and daily diet.
  • The coaches don’t think you need to be striving for this state of ultimate fat adaptation. Balance is key.
  • If you’re working on MAF and not seeing any improvements, that may be a sign that your diet needs some adjustments.
  • Dr. Phil Maffetone’s books (if you’re interested in supporting the podcast check out these links below):

Multiple people ask:

On recovery

What can athletes do to mitigate soreness after resistance training?

What the coaches say:

  • Don’t think that soreness is necessarily wrong!
  • DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) is a product of effort, load, and range of motion.
  • There are a lot of different kinds of strength training (i.e., injury prevention and muscle mass maintenance versus powerlifting).
  • If you’re struggling with DOMS you don’t need to touch weights.
  • Functional movement needs to be addressed before adding weighted exercises.
    • Fantastic bodyweight exercises: pullups, pushups, burpees, hill intervals, step-ups, Bulgarian split squats, and RDLs.
  • Study: Acute Effects of Static Stretching on Muscle Strength and Power
    • “The rolling prescription should involve 1–3 sets of 2–4-second repetition duration (time for a single roll in one direction over the length of a body part) with a total rolling duration of 30–120-second per set.”
      • This prescription should be beneficial in achieving an increased range of motion.
  • Preventative steps one could take to mitigate DOMS:
    • Amino acids- Perfect Amino, or your amino of choice, best taken PRE exercise (carb optional). Studies show that “Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise.” Taken with carbs like UCAN may even be a more powerful remedy to feel invincible.
    • Post-workout protein rich in leucine – 0.4-0.6 g/kg immediately post-workout
      • Study: “The high protein intake (HPI) did not significantly improve recovery compared with MPI (p > .05). However, comparison of within-treatment change shows 1) the HPI provided a moderate beneficial effect (d = 0.66), attenuating the loss of afternoon knee extensor peak isometric torque (PIT) (-3.6%, d = 0.09) compared with the moderate protein intake (MPI) (-8.6%, d = 0.24). And 2) the HPI provided a large beneficial effect (d = 0.83), reducing perceived fatigue over the eight-hour recovery.”
    • Allow enough sleep! Sleep helps with growth hormone release which is essential to recovery.
      • Have this drink first thing in the morning! Tawnee’s drink includes 30 oz of RO (reverse osmosis) water, drops of Trace Minerals, Himalayan salt, and a couple of slices of lemon.
    • Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil put on after a hard workout or if you feel a niggle coming on.
    • Compression gear – plenty of research to show how it can aid in recovery (maybe not as much in performance though).
    • Tart Cherry Juice. Listen to a previous episode with Dr. Tommy Wood explaining the benefits.
      • Potential benefits of tart cherry: help muscle soreness and DOMS
      • Can help with sleep and aids in insomnia relief
      • A powerful antioxidant
      • Naturally occurring melatonin
    • Contrast water therapy – a combination of cold and hot, end on cold. Icing may be waste of time while ice baths may feel good for recovery, but could inhibit gains and muscle growth/adaptation.
    • Avoid excessive booze of 3+ drinks (but 1-2 likely fine)
      • Study: “A low dose of alcohol does not impact skeletal muscle performance after exercise-induced muscle damage”
    • Avoid NSAIDs for pain relief due to stress on kidneys and liver, as well as GI issues with prolonged use (i.e., could be doing more harm than good!). And may even hinder adaptation and growth! Try curcumin instead, check out Thrive Meriva on Fullscript. At least 200mg of curcumin may help with soreness, and in this case, might be best to take it after exercise.

Fullscript, an online dispensary with professional, high-quality supplements from a verified distributor, including Thorne products like Meriva. 

One Comment

  • Paul says:

    If people are genuinely overtaken by DOMs there are methods within in Yoga and recently EFT “tapping” that can lower the perception of discomfort. Also, some injuries can be dealt with due to our nervous system hyper focusing on a particular body part (basically thinking about it too much) while perhaps the DOC is saying your x ray is just fine… Thanks for the stretching study and good to see the science come nearly full circle as I wouldn’t have made significant MAF gains without using stretching and ROM exercises. In the study I never managed to find the protocol of wait time between stretching and exercise? Also, I use it as a strategy to deal with muscle imbalance. Because it can reduce muscle contraction force why not use it on the over active muscles and less on the muscles needing more recruiting. Works for me!

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