Fitbit's 150 Billion Hours Of Heart Data Reveal Secrets About Health

yerrag

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Combination of adaptations: increased heart volume and decreased basic metabolic rate?

So, more efficient heart from increased heart volume (good) and decreased basal metabolic rate due to what factors? Increased lactic acid in body from anaerobic respiration during marathons, leading to high blood acidity, to lower CO2 content in blood, leading to lower tissue oxygenation? Or increased keto acid in body from fatty acid oxidation during marathons, leading to high blood acidity, to lower CO2 content in blood, to lower as well tissue oxygenation? I would think it's the latter, since lactic acid buildup would lead to fatigue and not being able to finish the marathon.
 

tara

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So, more efficient heart from increased heart volume (good) and decreased basal metabolic rate due to what factors?
I don't remember/know all the mechanisms. Chronic cardio, conserve fuel, lower temps. I think there may be some threads that discuss different effects of long cardio versus short high-intensity work.
Possibly sometimes some damage to the heart, in more extreme cases. But not sure if that's the running itself, or in combination with other issues, like energy deficit.
 

Glassy

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Interesting trends on the graphs. Makes you wonder about the type of person wearing them in the various ages brackets. I had one and it was interesting to see my sleep patterns. I’m sure there’s plenty of correlations that can be drawn from them but so many confounding factors even if the sample size is huge.
 

nerfherder

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It was fun reading these comments. I'm going to add my two cents because maybe my non-RPF training can add something.

I look at the RHR curve for men and I see two processes. First an increase in average RHR as people in general become less fit and the heart less flexible and stroke volume less. Then a second process related to aging that seems to kick in on average in your 40s and RHR drops. Combining the two would not be good - low swept volume plus low pulse would be insufficient blood flow for good energy production and you would be fatigued chronically.

Some of us run/cycle at lower heart rates (e.g. I limit mine to 124 bpm) in order to increase heart efficiency (i.e. swept volume). This training does lower your RHR by counteracting the effects of the first, fitness-related process. Then the RPF focuses on using diet to improve metabolism and counteract the effects of the second, aging-related process.

The heart issues from running marathons are from people running at high heart rates for extended times. At high bpm you are using revs to deliver more blood but at an inefficient way that increases heart wall thickness, which is not a good thing. A marathon is a worst case scenario: you are racing as fast as you can maintain (with a high heart rate) and also doing it for 3 or 4 hours! You've also likely been training like that for months beforehand. It kills people. Running at lower bpm is about increasing heart flexibility and volume of blood per beat without getting the increased heart wall thickness.

When you first run at, say, 124bpm you have to walk up hills because anything more and you break your limit. You slow jog the flats and walk up the hills. Over time you can run up hills at the same 124bpm which is kinda fun when it first happens. As your heart gets more efficient at pumping blood at a given rate your RHR drops. You do not get a big heart. You do not train in the lactic zone either.

I like my slow training. I also like my Peaty eating. They seem to be working well together for me at the moment. ymmv.
 

Mito

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It was fun reading these comments. I'm going to add my two cents because maybe my non-RPF training can add something.

I look at the RHR curve for men and I see two processes. First an increase in average RHR as people in general become less fit and the heart less flexible and stroke volume less. Then a second process related to aging that seems to kick in on average in your 40s and RHR drops. Combining the two would not be good - low swept volume plus low pulse would be insufficient blood flow for good energy production and you would be fatigued chronically.

Some of us run/cycle at lower heart rates (e.g. I limit mine to 124 bpm) in order to increase heart efficiency (i.e. swept volume). This training does lower your RHR by counteracting the effects of the first, fitness-related process. Then the RPF focuses on using diet to improve metabolism and counteract the effects of the second, aging-related process.

The heart issues from running marathons are from people running at high heart rates for extended times. At high bpm you are using revs to deliver more blood but at an inefficient way that increases heart wall thickness, which is not a good thing. A marathon is a worst case scenario: you are racing as fast as you can maintain (with a high heart rate) and also doing it for 3 or 4 hours! You've also likely been training like that for months beforehand. It kills people. Running at lower bpm is about increasing heart flexibility and volume of blood per beat without getting the increased heart wall thickness.

When you first run at, say, 124bpm you have to walk up hills because anything more and you break your limit. You slow jog the flats and walk up the hills. Over time you can run up hills at the same 124bpm which is kinda fun when it first happens. As your heart gets more efficient at pumping blood at a given rate your RHR drops. You do not get a big heart. You do not train in the lactic zone either.

I like my slow training. I also like my Peaty eating. They seem to be working well together for me at the moment. ymmv.
What is your RHR and is it calculated by a Fitbit or something similar?
 

managing

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My kids bought me a Fitbit (charge2 model) two years ago and it sat on the shelf for the first year. I began using it last year and have discovered it to be an outstanding biofeedback tool. Walking is a Peat-blessed exercise and it is fun to know how many steps you "walked" in a day. I no longer do high intensity cardio because of Ray's writings about stress hormones. I used intermittent fasting and cardio and had impressive weight loss results this past year but my metabolic rate just kept going lower and lower. Frequent headaches, moodiness, low resting heart rate (usually in the 50's), and low body temperatures (97 or below most of the day) were my companions this past year but the scale results were impressive. Finding Ray Peat has been a Godsend for me. Basically, by using orange juice, milk and milk products, and some salt and sugar, I've been able to get my resting heart rate (as reported by Fitbit) consistently above 80 and often at 85. My waking body temperature is now near 98 and I can easily get that up to normal with two cups of 50/50 (coffee/1% milk) combo in the morning. I've found a glass of orange juice followed by a glass of milk and a little salt is like charging a battery. I can go for hours at peak energy and without feelings of hunger. I've been drinking about 1/2 gallon of milk a day with about 1 quart of OJ per day. I am starting to believe this whole concept we call life is about energy and as Ray describes. Increase energy and everything starts to work properly. Thyroid and energy are synonymous in my opinion.

Now to the really cool stuff about Fitbit - sleep monitoring! I found that a Coke before bed really helps me sleep and is excellent for nighttime hormonal output. I used to drink US Coke with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) before bed and noticed that although I felt good the next day, my sleep pattern was rather discontinuous. After switching to Mexican Coke, my sleep pattern smoothed out (less awake time during sleep). I interpreted that result as HFCS must be some type of excitotoxin and/or neurotoxin. (Full disclosure - others have tried my Coke before bed suggestion and have had trouble sleeping).

What I am suggesting here is for people to use devices like Fitbit as a trouble shooting device. You can observe what you had to eat the previous day (and especially before bed) and equate that to your quality of sleep. Imho, that is when many beneficial/healing hormones are released in the body - especially during REM and deep sleep. Ray talk's about salt intake aiding sleep and I believe he is right about that based on biofeedback I've gotten from Fitbit. Fitbit and a thermometer can be used to troubleshoot your thyroid. There is no doubt in my mind Ray has already figured this equation out. Orange juice, milk, some salt and the judicious use of sugar charges the battery (e.g., energizes every cell in the body and facilitates life).
This is very interesting. I've found that the better my metabolism and energy get, the more likely caffeine is to make me sleepy. Why is that? Not the first cup in the morning, which is always an eye opener, but in the afternoon. If I have it with lunch, its relaxing but not sedating. If I have it 2+ hours after eating (even with sugar) it is mildly to strongly sedating. Sometimes anyway. Other times not. I've not noticed tea having that effect, but I probably only drink tea once/week or so. Yesterday had a US (HFCS) coke which is rare (Mex Coke 2-3/week). And it knocked me out like a punch. Only 30 minutes or so, but waking back up and getting coherent was a struggle.

BTW, its not high blood glucose knocking me out. I checked and it was 117 when I got drowsy and 111 when I woke up. I dranke the coke slowly anyway, which I always do. About 12 ounces, maybe a little less. So, what, 50 grams of sugar (officially) over an hour or so?
 
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managing

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It was fun reading these comments. I'm going to add my two cents because maybe my non-RPF training can add something.

I look at the RHR curve for men and I see two processes. First an increase in average RHR as people in general become less fit and the heart less flexible and stroke volume less. Then a second process related to aging that seems to kick in on average in your 40s and RHR drops. Combining the two would not be good - low swept volume plus low pulse would be insufficient blood flow for good energy production and you would be fatigued chronically.

Some of us run/cycle at lower heart rates (e.g. I limit mine to 124 bpm) in order to increase heart efficiency (i.e. swept volume). This training does lower your RHR by counteracting the effects of the first, fitness-related process. Then the RPF focuses on using diet to improve metabolism and counteract the effects of the second, aging-related process.

The heart issues from running marathons are from people running at high heart rates for extended times. At high bpm you are using revs to deliver more blood but at an inefficient way that increases heart wall thickness, which is not a good thing. A marathon is a worst case scenario: you are racing as fast as you can maintain (with a high heart rate) and also doing it for 3 or 4 hours! You've also likely been training like that for months beforehand. It kills people. Running at lower bpm is about increasing heart flexibility and volume of blood per beat without getting the increased heart wall thickness.

When you first run at, say, 124bpm you have to walk up hills because anything more and you break your limit. You slow jog the flats and walk up the hills. Over time you can run up hills at the same 124bpm which is kinda fun when it first happens. As your heart gets more efficient at pumping blood at a given rate your RHR drops. You do not get a big heart. You do not train in the lactic zone either.

I like my slow training. I also like my Peaty eating. They seem to be working well together for me at the moment. ymmv.
I have not had nearly as elaborate a strategy as you. But I achieve similar with long bike rides w/o significant altitude changes. I have a 27 mile loop that has about 500 feet total climb. And the climbing is mostly spread out in small increments. I don't wear a fitbit, but any time I 've checked I am under 130 bpm. My RHR is around 80.

Curious why you chose 124bpm and how old you are? I am 49.
 

danielbb

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This is very interesting. I've found that the better my metabolism and energy get, the more likely caffeine is to make me sleepy. Why is that? Not the first cup in the morning, which is always an eye opener, but in the afternoon. If I have it with lunch, its relaxing but not sedating. If I have it 2+ hours after eating (even with sugar) it is mildly to strongly sedating. Sometimes anyway. Other times not. I've not noticed tea having that effect, but I probably only drink tea once/week or so. Yesterday had a US (HFCS) coke which is rare (Mex Coke 2-3/week). And it knocked me out like a punch. Only 30 minutes or so, but waking back up and getting coherent was a struggle.

BTW, its not high blood glucose knocking me out. I checked and it was 117 when I got drowsy and 111 when I woke up. I dranke the coke slowly anyway, which I always do. About 12 ounces, maybe a little less. So, what, 50 grams of sugar (officially) over an hour or so?
There was another recent thread here regarding how often people use caffeine and some people reported that caffeine actually make them drowsy which I found fascinating. The Coke before bed thing works like a knockout drug for me but I assumed it was the sugar. Now I wonder if caffeine also has an effect on at least my ability to sleep. Like I mentioned, some I've made the Coke recommendation to had serious problems falling asleep. Would love to know why caffeine may cause drowsiness in some people.
 

ken

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Yeah, my later afternoon double 16oz latte with lots of sugar means nap time. I imagined it to be my happy, relaxed cells, deciding in mass to chill out.
 

danielbb

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Maybe, the drowsiness and sleep issue is tied to insulin. I assumed with Coke, you get an insulin spike, and after it comes back down, it causes drowsiness on the downside.

I am not advocating Dr. Atkins approach to dieting but I recall him saying to avoid coffee when on the induction phase of his diet as it could cause insulin spikes. That never made much sense to me but could some of these drowsiness effects we are talking about be related to insulin?
 

nerfherder

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I have not had nearly as elaborate a strategy as you. But I achieve similar with long bike rides w/o significant altitude changes. I have a 27 mile loop that has about 500 feet total climb. And the climbing is mostly spread out in small increments. I don't wear a fitbit, but any time I 've checked I am under 130 bpm. My RHR is around 80.

Curious why you chose 124bpm and how old you are? I am 49.

Cycling doesn't raise HR nearly as much, I always figured it was because I was sitting on my ass. :):
The only time I hit limit would be at the top of a climb I've powered up. I live in a hilly country area and there are lots of smallish climbs.

124 is simply the number from Maffetone's system for a 51yo. I could do 129 but running/riding has been on and off too much so I take off the extra 5bpm to be safe. I'm not training for anything, mostly just keeping my kids company and making sure they don't overdo it. Last thing I want is a teenage cross country runner doing distance at 190bpm.
 

sugarbabe

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This is very interesting. I've found that the better my metabolism and energy get, the more likely caffeine is to make me sleepy. Why is that? Not the first cup in the morning, which is always an eye opener, but in the afternoon. If I have it with lunch, its relaxing but not sedating. If I have it 2+ hours after eating (even with sugar) it is mildly to strongly sedating. Sometimes anyway. Other times not. I've not noticed tea having that effect, but I probably only drink tea once/week or so. Yesterday had a US (HFCS) coke which is rare (Mex Coke 2-3/week). And it knocked me out like a punch. Only 30 minutes or so, but waking back up and getting coherent was a struggle.

BTW, its not high blood glucose knocking me out. I checked and it was 117 when I got drowsy and 111 when I woke up. I dranke the coke slowly anyway, which I always do. About 12 ounces, maybe a little less. So, what, 50 grams of sugar (officially) over an hour or so?
If your fasting glucose is 111 I would check for high cortisol. Could be why you then get sleepy later on in the day. Feeling sleepy after meals can be a path to diabetes.
 
L

lollipop

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If your fasting glucose is 111 I would check for high cortisol. Could be why you then get sleepy later on in the day. Feeling sleepy after meals can be a path to diabetes.
@Janelle525 interesting. Could you elaborate at bit further? What about little children that eat and than want to nap?
 

managing

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If your fasting glucose is 111 I would check for high cortisol. Could be why you then get sleepy later on in the day. Feeling sleepy after meals can be a path to diabetes.
Fasting glucose is usually in the 80s. THis was middle of the afternoon with some caloric intake. I never get sleepy in the afternoon. Except sometimes with caffeine intake.
 

sugarbabe

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@Janelle525 interesting. Could you elaborate at bit further? What about little children that eat and than want to nap?
It all depends on the context, for someone who gets enough sleep at night and is not going through high stress feeling sleepy after meals is a sign of diabetes. For someone with high blood sugar they go into a sort of food coma. Sometimes this sleepy effect is a good thing because you need to destress and relax. But if that was the fasting glucose then that would explain feeling sleepy after meals as stress would be very high.
 

sugarbabe

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Fasting glucose is usually in the 80s. THis was middle of the afternoon with some caloric intake. I never get sleepy in the afternoon. Except sometimes with caffeine intake.
Good. I thought you said fasting was 111. You meant before the meal?
 
L

lollipop

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It all depends on the context, for someone who gets enough sleep at night and is not going through high stress feeling sleepy after meals is a sign of diabetes. For someone with high blood sugar they go into a sort of food coma. Sometimes this sleepy effect is a good thing because you need to destress and relax. But if that was the fasting glucose then that would explain feeling sleepy after meals as stress would be very high.
Makes sense - thank you for elaborating.
 

nwo2012

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Sleepiness after meals can also be a sign of hypothyroidism, as sugar will lower adrenaline.
Also caffeine and sleepiness, all stimulants can make hypothyroid people sleepy. This is why amphetamine derivatives are used in autism ADHD etc. Relaxing the tendons causes sleepiness. RP has written about this.
I think a deficiency of co2 is also involved, so the sudden increase will relax the blood vessels and bring a feeling of calmness/sedation.
 

yerrag

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When you first run at, say, 124bpm you have to walk up hills because anything more and you break your limit. You slow jog the flats and walk up the hills. Over time you can run up hills at the same 124bpm which is kinda fun when it first happens. As your heart gets more efficient at pumping blood at a given rate your RHR drops. You do not get a big heart. You do not train in the lactic zone either.
I remember when I used to run and I used the Polar HR monitor and it instructed me to run at a low heart rate to be in the 'zone.' I followed that and I had to run even slower than I was jogging, almost like I was doing slow slow mo running. I thought it was absurd. I kept on like this until one day I read a book written by a New York Times columnist, Gina Kolata, and she reported that the basis for the heart rate for running, which was already taken as gospel, was wrong, as the study that came from was used wrongly, or twisted out of context. I forgot the name of the book but checking on Google, it could be Ultimate Fitness. Anyway, after reading that, I began to run differently. I don't have the details anymore as it's a long time already, and I don't run anymore.

What you're saying about the thick heart muscle may still be true though. I suppose when you're running competitively in a marathon, it would still be hard to run without getting into the lactic zone. Yet there are some long distance runners that don't get into the lactic zone such as Dean Karnazes. I wonder what's up with that? Do you think he's running on fatty acids? Or is his oxygen delivery and tissue oxygenation and metabolism is so honed that he can keep running without an oxygen deficit that he isn't producting much lactic acid? I guess we would know by checking on his heart rate, wouldn't we?
 
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nerfherder

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What you're saying about the thick heart muscle may still be true though. I suppose when you're running competitively in a marathon, it would still be hard to run without getting into the lactic zone. Yet there are some long distance runners that don't get into the lactic zone such as Dean Karnazes. I wonder what's up with that? Do you think he's running on fatty acids? Or is his oxygen delivery and tissue oxygenation and metabolism is so honed that he can keep running without an oxygen deficit that he isn't producting much lactic acid? I guess we would know by checking on his heart rate, wouldn't we?

I ignore the zones in HR monitors.

There aren't hard boundaries. At lower heart rates you burn mostly fat. At higher ones mostly sugar. There's a transition. They measure a crossover point where it is 50:50. Another thread here pointed to an article where some hiker measured changes in his ratios from hiking for a month. You can see the changes and ratios at the link. His crossover point went from 153 to 168. Even at 110bpm he went from 34% carbohydrate burning to 9%. The dude is obviously well trained at the start but he still gets significant changes based on his hiking.

If you are an endurance athlete of the Karnazes ultramarathon variety I imagine you train to burn as much fat as you can since your hourly carb intake is limited and you don't want to crash. I do wonder how someone who eats a lot of carbohydrates and little fat performs on these tests. I'd guess their carb % is higher at lower heart rates than for the average.

And before anyone gets the wrong end of the stick I do not run/cycle like this to burn fat, I run/cycle like this because I like running and cycling with my kids in our beautiful part of the world I don't want my kids (or me) running at 190bmp for an hour several times a week.

What you're saying about the thick heart muscle may still be true though.

lol you implying the rest is false?
 
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