Two of the largest factors that affect how I feel and preform is my nutrition and sleep. I’ve found that quality sleep is highly underrated by most Peak Condition athletes. Most people know that food is important, whether or not their nutrition reflects that is anther story. However many don’t appropriate or understand the roll sleep can play. Theoretically I could live longer without food than sleep. Which reminds me of my first and only attempt to fast.
A couple of years ago after watching the movie 127 hours. I wanted to see what it would feel like to fast. Keep in mind that I am very accustom to eating every 3-4 hours and during this time I was training for an Ironman (looking back this wasn’t the best time to attempt a fast). The day started normal with a 4 am wakeup (which was WAY too early considering I didn’t have to cook breakfast or pack food for the day), road my bike to Strada then started training clients from 5:30 – 11:30am. Now by this time I was fantasizing about food and had a huge case of hangry (hungry and angry). Next I went through a 60 min strength training routine that was pathetic and not just because I was weak from too much cardio but my energy level from a lack of food was brutal. 15 minutes after my workout (12:45) my fast came to a delicious end with a plate of Lebanese food that had never tasted better. It was an epic failure comparable to the Twilight saga.
Despite a negative experience with fasting many people use it effectively for weight loss and every day eating habits. Sleep is another story. I haven’t heard a single athlete come into the facility and say “I feel amazing after only getting a 4 hours of sleep.” Sleep deprivation has a host of correlated effects; increased bodyfat percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, impaired cognitive function, and even a disproportionate decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit.
Knowing the potential negative are important but I prefer to focus on the positives. Here are a few things which make sleep awesome.
– Improves your memory performance and creative problem solving skills.
– Increase athletic performance.
– Triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a huge role in muscle and cellular regeneration.
– Sleep cuts your risk for the common cold and other basic illnesses.
– Sleep makes you more resilient to daily stress.
When new athletes come into Peak Condition sleep and nutrition are always talked about. If you want to improve all aspects of your health and fitness both are highly recommended. In fact the results will be comparable to transformers + dinobots….