February 8, 2024

 Eat Early To Avoid Early Stroke And Heart Disease

Studies on meal timing or “periodized nutrition” have produced varied results on a variety of important body metrics like glucose, insulin, and even endurance performance. Sometimes it’s instructive to look beyond these to hard-stop events like strokes and heart attacks.

That’s what Dr. Gabe Mirkin does here, summarizing several large, impressive studies that, in sum, seem to conclude: Eat breakfast fairly early in the day, and definitely eat dinner early in the evening--well before bedtime. 

One big review (with free full text)  recently followed 103,000 subjects for more than 7 years. “The researchers found that each hour of delaying dinner after 5 PM was associated with a 7 percent increased risk for a stroke, and that eating dinner after 9 PM was associated with a 28 percent increased risk for a heart attack, compared to eating before 8 PM.” They also found that eating breakfast after 8 am “was associated with increased risk for both heart attacks and strokes.” 

Mirkin cites other papers that have reached similar conclusions, and explains why late dinners can be harmful to your health. To put it simply: You need to move after you eat, and you probably aren’t moving much after a 9 pm dinner.

Based on these papers, the following seems a good approach: Eat dinner early, then take a 12 hour break until you break your fast relatively early the next morning. More at DrMirkin.com.

7 Ways To Run More And Better In 2024

Some things are complicated, some aren’t. Brain surgery belongs in the first category. Running falls into the second. This is a 10 second “read” from a running physiotherapist. It might be slight, but it carries a big potential impact.

You can’t do any better than Scott Carlin’s first piece of advice: “Start with identity. You’re a runner.” This means: Even if you just run 8 miles a week, you take your running seriously, along with all the other health-fitness habits that you know should be part of your overall lifestyle ( good nutrition, occasional strength training, etc).

I also found another of his tips quite powerful: “Sign up for a race.” This underlines the fact that you’re a serious runner, and, as Jeff Galloway has often noted, it will “scare” you a bit. It will scare you in a good way, putting more motivation in your training program as you see that race date edge closer on your calendar. Since motivation is job one, races help you get the job done. More at X/ScottCarlin.

Yoga Breathing Boosts Running Efficiency

Yoga is a popular alternative activity among runners, particularly females. Many find that it helps reduce stress, and may also build strength and flexibility. 

A new study asked a different question about yoga for runners: Can “yoga breathing techniques” improve running efficiency?

Experienced runners (both male and female) of “various fitness” were assigned to 3 weeks of instruction in 3 types of yoga breathing technique: “Dirgha (breath awareness)), Kapalbhati, and Bhastrika (high frequency yoga breathing).” A control group received no instruction of any kind.

Before and after the instruction period, both groups ran on a laboratory treadmill at a “prescribed relative perceived exertion (RPE).” Okay, this is not exactly the most vigorous test of running economy I’ve ever seen. It’s not the way serious running physiologists go about it.

Nonetheless, after the yoga breathing instruction, those runners ran at a significantly faster pace while maintaining the prior RPE. The control group did not change pace.

Conclusion: “Yogic breathing technique positively influences running velocity regulation during self-selected running.” More at International J of Exercise Science with free full text.

SHORT STUFF You Don’t Want To Miss

>>> Find the right shoe: Researchers at MIT have developed a model that “predicts” which shoe will be fastest on your feet

GREAT QUOTES Make Great Training Partners

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”


HERE’S WHAT ELSE YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED this week if you were a subscriber to the complete, full-text edition of “Run Long, Run Healthy.”

# Here’s what evolution can teach us about distance running

# Secrets of the “Super Masters” runners

# Progress at last on prevention of running injuries

# Yes, you can “spot reduce” belly fat

# Should you be following the Paleo Diet?

# Flossing not required: Moderate exercise produces “superior” gum health

# Gut-check time: How to tell if you’re drinking too much water

# What Confucius can teach us about success in running

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That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. See you again next week. Amby