I stopped eating meat. I bought a tub of protein powder, and then another. I found myself wandering up and down that aisle at the grocery store, you know the one, and wondering if I needed more of the stuff in the bottles on the shelves. I did not expect this.
I have not spent a lot of time working on optimizing myself. I don’t take vitamins. I don’t take fish oil. I only recently learned that there are Omega-6 fats. I don’t know what they do, but I admit, I’m curious.
As a person past his putative prime, I have only recently come around to the idea of trying to remain healthy and spry, rather than actually just being healthy and spry. There is the idea of lifespan, i.e. how long you live, but also the idea of healthspan, i.e. how close you are to optimal health during your lifespan, as articulated by Dr. Peter Attia, who might be too earnest for me, but still says a lot of things that make sense.
Some of my curiosities were also fed by this version of the Outside Podcast.
Athletes (charitably) my age should, evidently, be consuming more protein than younger folks, but also, possibly, incorporating some sort of collagen into their diets to promote cartilage repair. I can confirm that I do have a lot of cartilage that needs repairing, thanks to roughly 40 years of regular soccer.
And then the fad of the moment seems to be to fast, and that can take on all sorts of guises, pro-longed, intermittent, micro, partial, etc. I have not undertaken a fast myself, but I do understand that it has some influence on how the body partitions fuel (i.e. chooses to burn glycogen or fat). Many of the keto-inclined diets also seek to effect fuel partitioning.
I will say loudly and insistently right here, right now, that I am not a scientist, I am not advocating for any of these solutions, and my general attitude is probably like yours, in that I think if I eat reasonably and move a lot, I’ll be ok. But. I’m more curious now than I’ve ever been before, and that’s driven mainly by feeling slower overall than I ever have before, despite a strong and consistent exercise ethic.
This week’s Group Ride asks if you’ve tried any of these ideas. Are you even curious about this stuff? I mentioned at the outset that I stopped eating meat, which I did mainly as a gesture of sacrifice (rather than a real, actual sacrifice) in the cause of combating global warming. My take away from 4-5 months without meat is that I feel better, with more energy generally and fewer mood swings. Your results, as they say, may vary.