How To Have Focus And Energy After A Day Of Physical Labor

bluefish

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I am step by step, it appears, to be improving my life,,, so Im beginning to be able to pose these questions and challenges to myself, and find ways and support problem solve and improve. Its rarely linear... and often not exactly clear how or why things improve, but focusing on a specific issue and challenging it, shinning light on it seems to help move it along.

So here is the long standing issue:

I have for as long as I can remember, worked during the day, and then after that, been too tired to be able to focus and work on whatever else it might be that I want / need to get done.

I am hoping I will be able to get home from a day of, usually some type of physical labor (my current work is physical in nature, I'm hoping to change that soon)... and then study and work on developing my plans for my future better life.

As far back as I can remember, I get home, am too tired, and just zone out. Ive been getting much better, say 50% better I think. But I'd love to get to a point that I can get home, and be focused and ready for the next half of day.

whatever it takes: a specific diet, supplements, sleep style, exercise type,... some type of routine, etc. Any suggestions, tips, books, etc would be awesome.

This is the first thread Ive started so curious how this goes...
(I guess I could also make this less subjective and think of a way to monitor my improvements... usually once something is monitored it can help add pressure for it to improve ... or at least you know whats working or not.)
 

Cirion

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For everyone carbs are very important, for lots of physical labor, doubly even more important. In periods of intense activity it is nearly exclusively carbs that are burned. It's not unreasonable at all to expect someone could be in the 4 digits for carbohydrates if labor is intensive. Of course, the supportive nutrients (B vitamins etc) will also need to be high as well. Calories in general need to be high, it is quite possible to get into a caloric deficit without meaning to with a lot of activity.

(I eat almost 4 digits carbs every day and I'm mostly sedentary, but that's a story for another day lol)

For tracking, waking body temps and pulses are a great way. Of course, sleep is also doubly important and with lots of activity more than 8 hr of sleep is probably not unreasonable. Many athletes need 12 hr sleep a night. Basically, with lots of activity, it must be balanced by rest/nutrients/de-stressing activities to keep energy up.

I know this isn't the answer you wanna hear, but I don't think it is possible to have a long hard day at work (8 hrs) and still have energy for more than low-energy tasks for the rest of the day. The body can only do so much without tanking androgens and raising stress hormones. Then again, I'm used to having low energy, so anyone can chime in and correct me if I'm wrong here.
 

LuMonty

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What's your calorie intake and what kind of work? The only times that I could do much after a shift of physical work was when I was eating at least 5000 if not 6000. Without enough food, nothing else works, including sleep. This snowballs, so it's very important to get enough to eat.
 

bluefish

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this is a good start... I have been increasing carbs, protein, etc food-wise, but probably could improve on that still, thats probably why Ive noticed Some improvement in the last year.... my diet has gotten a lot better.
I could improve on each one of the things you mentioned actually...
 

Cirion

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I thought I recall some guy posting here awhile back working some labor intensive oil rig job needing to eat 7000-9000 calories a day. Certain jobs can really wear you down without lots and lots of food. He was saying he felt weak eating "only" 5000-6000 a day.
 

bluefish

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What's your calorie intake and what kind of work? The only times that I could do much after a shift of physical work was when I was eating at least 5000 if not 6000. Without enough food, nothing else works, including sleep. This snowballs, so it's very important to get enough to eat.

Im usually doing some type of carpentry work... so, its lifting stuff, moving around, pushing things, getting on my hands and knees... etc etc...

Im not sure my calorie intake.. I was tracking for a short time... but I can begin to track again... I know in general Im not good at getting enough calories. ... I'm doing 2 protein smoothies a day now (protein powder, raw egg, hemp seeds, half an avocado, olive oil, cocoa, maca)... which is kinda my hack to up my calories...
 

LuMonty

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Im usually doing some type of carpentry work... so, its lifting stuff, moving around, pushing things, getting on my hands and knees... etc etc...

Im not sure my calorie intake.. I was tracking for a short time... but I can begin to track again... I know in general Im not good at getting enough calories. ... I'm doing 2 protein smoothies a day now (protein powder, raw egg, hemp seeds, half an avocado, olive oil, cocoa, maca)... which is kinda my hack to up my calories...
I was a bit younger when I was a carpenter, so my caloric needs were higher, but I do remember being extremely hungry until I got home to dinner. Protein shakes can be good, but their weakness is they're still basically liquid. The avocado should help, but I'd still be concerned with getting more solid food. I haven't done physical work in about a year, but I still have issues if I don't get enough solid food. I hate tracking calories, but I know if I don't, I'll get to doing other stuff and then be too hungry.
 

Hugh Johnson

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Im usually doing some type of carpentry work... so, its lifting stuff, moving around, pushing things, getting on my hands and knees... etc etc...

Im not sure my calorie intake.. I was tracking for a short time... but I can begin to track again... I know in general Im not good at getting enough calories. ... I'm doing 2 protein smoothies a day now (protein powder, raw egg, hemp seeds, half an avocado, olive oil, cocoa, maca)... which is kinda my hack to up my calories...
That is quite a lot of PUFA, perhaps it's not optimal. If you have a freezer, perhaps a pint of ice cream could be a better choice. You can even make it yourself to save money.

haidut discussed fatigue here:


Sodium bicarbonate might help. Other than that, perhaps commit to going to yoga after work. Or some other low intensity activity that can restore you.
 

bluefish

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That is quite a lot of PUFA, perhaps it's not optimal. If you have a freezer, perhaps a pint of ice cream could be a better choice. You can even make it yourself to save money.

haidut discussed fatigue here:


Sodium bicarbonate might help. Other than that, perhaps commit to going to yoga after work. Or some other low intensity activity that can restore you.

Can you please tell me whats high pufa about the shake? I thought it was pretty good... its the raw egg or olive oil? or?
Thanks for the links... I will check them out.

This is awesome feedback so far. I really want to break this barrier and be able to keep solid focus... and basically become more happy, and successful... is the goal.
 

bluefish

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I was a bit younger when I was a carpenter, so my caloric needs were higher, but I do remember being extremely hungry until I got home to dinner. Protein shakes can be good, but their weakness is they're still basically liquid. The avocado should help, but I'd still be concerned with getting more solid food. I haven't done physical work in about a year, but I still have issues if I don't get enough solid food. I hate tracking calories, but I know if I don't, I'll get to doing other stuff and then be too hungry.

yes, I hate counting calories also... basically I try to get a gauge for what equals a certain amount of calories and then just repeat that... so I guess Ill start over again and figure out what equal about 4000 calories and go with that for a while. The thing is,,, I dont want to get fat. adding a bunch of calories... wont that make you fat?
 

LuMonty

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yes, I hate counting calories also... basically I try to get a gauge for what equals a certain amount of calories and then just repeat that... so I guess Ill start over again and figure out what equal about 4000 calories and go with that for a while. The thing is,,, I dont want to get fat. adding a bunch of calories... wont that make you fat?
I can say from personal experience that a lack of calories will jack up stress hormones, which means retaining water and accumulating fat.
 

Hugh Johnson

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Can you please tell me whats high pufa about the shake? I thought it was pretty good... its the raw egg or olive oil? or?
Thanks for the links... I will check them out.

This is awesome feedback so far. I really want to break this barrier and be able to keep solid focus... and basically become more happy, and successful... is the goal.
Raw egg has some PUFA, but it also has some issues about riboflavin, I think. Eggs should be cooked. Olive oil and avocado are an issue. Really, I would consider an omelet, sandwhich or rice and chicked or any regular meal for protein, and then add something like ice cream for easy, tasty calories. It's also more fun than shake IMHO.
 

Jib

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Pickle juice. I don't know what it is. Perhaps the vinegar plays a role, perhaps the high sodium content. I think it's both.

Vinegar for Long Life - NaturoDoc

I remember reading that many years ago. Only recently have I been having pickle juice, just on a whim. It's been working very well along with a high calorie Peat-style diet. For me, most of my calories come from whole fruit, fruit juice, and meat. I do make protein shakes regularly where I use a blend of pea/rice protein and collagen, orange juice, and bananas. Cocoa powder many times too. Sometimes peanut powder because I like the flavor. The peanut powder I get is defatted and has almost zero PUFA. I don't use that much. But it's nice with chocolate powder once in a while.

Calories are very important, but many times I've found that cold/hands and feet will almost immediately warm up upon drinking some pickle juice. I used to do miso broth, thinking it was only salt that helped. But something about the pickle juice seems especially restorative.

I'm experimenting with a simple substitute: 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 or 1.5 cups of water, with a 1/4 teaspoon of rock salt. It tastes like pickle juice without the pickle. The vinegar seems especially restorative. Perhaps what that guy was writing about in that article is true.

Pickle juice has gotten me through a lot of intense workouts. I'm about to start one soon, and I can already feel my energy picking up from the pickle juice/vinegar and salt tonic.

Calories are very important, but you can eat a ton of bananas and drink a ton of OJ and feel like dog s**t. Sodium is extremely important. The context of the calories is important. Potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium are needed in such large amounts that careful attention should be paid to their consumption. Particularly potassium and sodium.

Try some pickle juice sometime and see how you feel. Personally I prefer it to the vinegar tonic I just made, but hey. Whatever works. Very interesting stuff about the Krebs cycle in that article.
 

Cirion

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I can say from personal experience that a lack of calories will jack up stress hormones, which means retaining water and accumulating fat.

+1

People around these forums still seem obsessed that restricting calories will make you lose weight.

I can also say for me now that if I restrict calories, I actually gain, not lose, weight. Obviously if I restricted harshly, I'd probably lose, but I'm referring to (mild/moderate) caloric deficits.

Of course there is obviously a sweet spot where too much will also make you gain weight.

But it also depends on the type of foods. For example - tryptophan and pufa are two of the easiest ways to fatten yourself up (I can't handle more than like half a gram of tryptophan a day).
 

bluefish

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+1

People around these forums still seem obsessed that restricting calories will make you lose weight.

I can also say for me now that if I restrict calories, I actually gain, not lose, weight. Obviously if I restricted harshly, I'd probably lose, but I'm referring to (mild/moderate) caloric deficits.

Of course there is obviously a sweet spot where too much will also make you gain weight.

But it also depends on the type of foods. For example - tryptophan and pufa are two of the easiest ways to fatten yourself up (I can't handle more than like half a gram of tryptophan a day).
Cool, yeah I’m not especially worried about getting fat just a ‘in the moment’ thought... it makes sense, doubling your calories... :) maybe add some weight.
 

Cirion

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Cool, yeah I’m not especially worried about getting fat just a ‘in the moment’ thought... it makes sense, doubling your calories... :) maybe add some weight.

tracking pulse and temps is really helpful besides just weight to get it right. You'll pretty much know you went too overboard on calories if not only your weight went up but your pulse and temps go down. It sounds counter intuitive at first, but excessive calories actually do lower your (waking) temps and pulses.
 

LuMonty

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+1

People around these forums still seem obsessed that restricting calories will make you lose weight.

I can also say for me now that if I restrict calories, I actually gain, not lose, weight. Obviously if I restricted harshly, I'd probably lose, but I'm referring to (mild/moderate) caloric deficits.

Of course there is obviously a sweet spot where too much will also make you gain weight.

But it also depends on the type of foods. For example - tryptophan and pufa are two of the easiest ways to fatten yourself up (I can't handle more than like half a gram of tryptophan a day).
Good follow-up! For foods like eggs that have large upsides, having some saturated fat (I use a bit of butter) helps mitigate the damage. I'm doing higher fat than you are, so it's more important to use the saturated fat than try to completely avoid PUFA. I've been wondering if the tryptophan is the reason for my on/off relationship with red meat. If I have more than a couple of ounces, like a normal patty, I typically have to take a day or a few off from having any.
 

bluefish

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I think I ate about 3000 for a few days... I DID feel better I think, but too short of a test period to know for sure... but I think my stomach is expanding slightly already... from the ice cream etc. I am not thin but zero stomach .... after trying to hit around 3000 for a few days... its a slight bit out.


anyways... how do I learn about the temp and calories etc. Thats super interesting. that would be helpful.

Today is a good example right now. I woke up earlier then usual (5am which is a lot earlier)... I worked on installing some things, lugged my tools around on the subway (I live in NYC), etc etc, finally got home, took a nap, woke up... and now... is that time. I could either sit down for a few hours and do some things that I feel would be super important to get and keep the ball rolling w some goals of mine, or, more than usual, I'm tired, drained: mentally tired, and physically sore etc... it would be very easy for me to rest in bed, listen to some podcasts, and then at midnight 1-2am, turn the lights out and go to sleep.

do any of you have experience w disrupting this cycle? I honestly put in a solid day... thats not in question, but I feel I do need to get that extra part in there, so I can move forward in my life...

thanks :)
 

Cirion

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Good follow-up! For foods like eggs that have large upsides, having some saturated fat (I use a bit of butter) helps mitigate the damage. I'm doing higher fat than you are, so it's more important to use the saturated fat than try to completely avoid PUFA. I've been wondering if the tryptophan is the reason for my on/off relationship with red meat. If I have more than a couple of ounces, like a normal patty, I typically have to take a day or a few off from having any.

Red meat is pretty low tryptophan. It's possible to keep a fairly low budget of tryptophan and include at least some red meat. For this reason I recently experimented with red meat again, only to find it failed me even in a low tryptophan budget. It turns out, at least I'm hyper sensitive to cystine as well, which red meat is also rich in. I had obssessed so much over tryptophan I forgot about cystine. I happened to plot up my cystine intake as a function of temperature and body weight... and wouldn't you frikkin know it... Cystine is just as evil as tryptophan, so now I know what happened.

I have already known I get better results with veganism. But, veganism results in protein deficiency. It turns out, Hypothyroidism, according to the man himself (Ray), causes excessive catabolism of muscle tissue, which releases... wait for it.... cystine and tryptophan from your bodily protein stores, according to him (and verified by me) are potent anti-thyroid substances. Unfortunately, eating cystine and tryptophan is both necessary and what you need to not be doing. Because hypothyroid results in protein deficiency AND protein toxicity... AT THE SAME TIME... FML. When I learned this, I just wanted to shoot myself LOL. But, my experiences showed me that the effects of protein t oxicity are worse than the effects of protein deficiency -- at least in the short term -- hence my benefits from veganism. However, now I'm trying to figure out how to fix the protein deficiency AND the toxicity at the same time.

My next experiment is adding bone broth protein powder, and possibly whey and / or casein powder. When I was healthy I remembered I digested whey protein powder very well. I think powders are easier to digest, and just might be the solution, we shall see, this shall be my next experiment... Bone broth protein and gelatin are either zero or very low in both tryptophan and cystine, but I am not sure you can use them exclusively but ray does say gelatin can form a large portion of the protein foods. I do know Nathan Hatch used a lot of casein protein powder in his recovery. And like I say, I used a lot of whey back in my days I was actually healthy. BTW even when I was healthy I had negative responses to meat. So, all those bodybuilders might have been right all along to tote the benefits of whey and other powders...

Anyway, the reason why in hypo the body catabolizes protein at an extreme rate, is because the body tears through glucose at an accelerated rate also and if no glucose is available, protein is used and converted via gluconeogenesis into glucose... but this process leaves behind cystine and tryptophan (as mentioned earlier). Thus the other part of the solution is to eat ample carbohydrates to keep the catabolism of protein at bay.
 
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LuMonty

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@Cirion Getting enough protein of the right kind is certainly difficult when hypothyroid. I react pretty well to t3/t4, but IIRC you haven't had any luck with thyroid in general. Personally, I'd go with casein powder. If using a powder with high arginine, I found that I needed 2:1 or even 3:1 for lysine:arginine or I'd break out badly. Had to order something for the herpes. I can only speak from personal experience though, and I have a large section of skin that's basically burned so I can't say if you'd need that much lysine. Any "supplemental" form of arginine causes a strong reaction for me, while "unprocessed" arginine in food doesn't. I never really found any studies to compare to my experience.

I was doing my best when not on thyroid when I was having at least 5 servings of meat (despite a large amount of pork, PUFA), and 7-10g of pure salt. The cost of meat prevented me from continuing that experiment.
 
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