Good morning! Grab some coffee, because it’s time for The Morning Dose.
Today we’re answering your peptide questions, troubleshooting stubborn weight loss, looking at fascinating new medical breakthroughs, and explaining the problems with low energy availability.
As always, if you’ve got any questions you’d like us to answer, hit reply and let us know–your question may be answered in an upcoming edition of The Morning Dose.
Now, let’s get ready to dive in, help some readers, and learn what’s happening in the field of medical research.
In this week’s edition of The Morning Dose:
🙋♂️ Ask A Coach: Weekly Q&A
📋 Reader’s Corner: My Weight Loss Is Stuck – Help!
🧬 Research Corner: Two New Medical Breakthroughs
⚠️ Warning: Avoid Low Energy Availability
Let’s inject this.
☕️ First time reading? I’m Matt, and this is The Morning Dose. Every week, our team scours 100s of sources to bring you need-to-know news and insights you won’t find elsewhere. All in 5 minutes. Did someone forward you this email? Sign up here.
🙋♂️ Ask A Coach: Weekly Q&A with Coach Daniel Louwrens
Want us to answer your questions? Hit reply, ask us your training, nutrition, or peptide questions, and we’ll choose one to answer in each edition of The Morning Dose.
We can’t guarantee an answer, but we’ll pick an interesting question each week to share. If you want to speak with us directly about your burning questions, our coaching team is available for consultations.
Here are this week’s questions, along with Daniel’s answers.
“I’m considering beginning a short HCG cycle to kick start and increase my natural testosterone production. I’m concerned with the reported side effects of an increase in estrogen levels. Would taking a SERM while on the HCG be wise?”
Before I consider taking anything with something else, I need to find out how that something else reacts in the first place. Before using drug upon drug in an attempt to be proactive, I would ensure I need it first. I used to bombard my estrogen with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) until one day I ran out and couldn’t get any for three months…I was perfectly fine. In fact, I was better off.
If you take a SERM or AI before you need it and your estrogen levels get too low, you can end up with low libido, decreased bone density, and an increased risk of heart disease. Don’t mess with your estrogen until you have to.
“I’m a 62-year-old woman dealing with age. Of course, since menopause, I’ve lost all my muscle.
Not having muscle causes injuries and really wears on my joints. Should I consider a hormone-type peptide, or go with one that’s anti-inflammatory?
I’m active in the horse world, so I’m moving around every day, but I move slower and have lots of aches and pain.”
I would consider using both for the short term, but only use the muscle-building peptides in the long term, seeing as solving your inflammation issues is not something you do with peptides.
Along with resistance training and proper nutrition, the muscle-building peptides may help you regain muscle, which sounds like the root of the problem. Inflammation may be the problem, but you need to address the root of the problem for long-term relief.
“Research peptides run on average >98% pure, with some being 99.8% pure according to some peptide companies COAs. What does the remaining .4% to 2% consist of?
Also, are medical or pharmaceutical grade peptides that you can obtain from a physician 100% pure?”
It’s hard to say exactly what those impurities are since production methods differ so wildly from one company to the next. That said, it typically has to do with the solvents used.
It’s unlikely to find a peptide with 100% purity. Compounding pharmacies have higher standards of operation, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee 100% purity.
✋If you want us to answer your questions, hit reply and ask away!
📖 Reader’s Corner: My Weight Loss is Stuck – Help!
In each edition of The Morning Dose, we’ll be sharing reader stories, protocols, and experiences, and adding our thoughts and feedback.
This week, we’re troubleshooting some stubborn fat loss, a problem anyone who’s tried to lose weight has likely faced.
“I started exercising earlier this year and cleaned up my diet, and I’ve lost around 10 pounds in the last few months.
However, my weight loss has stalled for about a month. I’m working out more than I was, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”
Congratulations on the weight loss so far! You’ve made some fantastic changes and are already seeing results.
Now, getting “stuck” while trying to lose weight is very common when dieting–let’s do some troubleshooting.
And remember, your diet impacts fat loss or gain more than your workouts. As the saying goes, it’s nearly impossible to out-train a poor diet.
Here are the steps I suggest taking when weight loss stalls. Start with number one, and move down the list in order to figure out what you need to continue losing weight.
Track your food intake diligently for 2+ weeks.
Weight loss requires being in a calorie deficit, which means eating fewer calories than you burn each day. If you’re not tracking your food intake, you’re just guessing, and have no way of knowing how many calories you’re truly taking in.
Track everything you eat for a couple of weeks to figure out your average daily intake. If you’re already doing this, move on to step two.
Make sure you’re not accidentally underreporting calories
If you’re tracking your food intake, great! Now make sure it’s accurate.
All kinds of things can sneak in – condiments, coffee creamer, “eyeballing” portion sizes, forgetting to log the junk food you’re pretending you didn’t eat… be honest.
Don’t eat out more than once per week
Building off our last point, be sure you’re limiting how often you dine out. Eating out is always a guess, as you have no idea what you’re actually getting, how the food was cooked, and how much oil was used.
Try to limit your restaurant meals to once per week for a while, and avoid fatty meals like burgers, pizza, or wings, which are nearly impossible to accurately track, and may be shockingly high in calories.
Create a larger calorie deficit
If you’ve made it this far, you’re accurately tracking your food, you know how many calories you’re consuming, and you know you’re not losing weight.
This means you simply need to create a larger calorie deficit. You can reduce your food intake by 300-500 calories, or add a few weekly cardio sessions. Make the change, give it a week or two, and you should see further progress.
Last Week’s Results
Last week we asked: do you think the explosion in peptide use is good or bad for the general population?
Here are the results:
Good – 75%
Bad – 5%
I’m Not Sure – 20%
Here are some of the interesting comments we received:
“Most people do not know which peptide is for what, and use it wrongly. There are no really reliable sources of knowledge and quality products with detailed user information.”
“I thought it was good, but after reading columns and blogs about it seems no one is sure if it’s good or bad ”
“I am 53, and going through menopause. Diet and exercise do not work no matter how much effort during this time. It wreaks havoc on your body and weight.
Since using Tirzepatide 10 mg for the past 3 months, I have lost 25 lbs and my joints are no longer sore. I didn’t even know it would help with the inflammation! I do have some nausea from time to time, but I can work through that for great results like these!”
🧬 Research Corner: Two New Medical Breakthroughs
One of the most devastating problems facing older adults is the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite their best efforts, researchers have yet to find a cure–though we now know that early detection can go a long way, and an early diagnosis can help people maintain their independence and mental functioning longer.
A research team from The University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center recently found that measuring specific brainwave patterns during deep sleep could help detect Alzheimer’s before symptoms were present, an incredible development.
These brainwaves were measured by a simple wearable headband developed by the research team. If made widely available, this could be a convenient, non-invasive way for aging adults to keep an eye on what’s going on inside their brains.
Photo courtesy of The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Another problem facing adults of all ages is “genetic bad cholesterol,” or lipoprotein(a) – Lp(a) for short.
Having high levels of bad cholesterol can cause all sorts of cardiovascular problems, which is why many people change their diet, add exercise, or use medications to treat high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, the Lp(a) cholesterol is entirely genetic, meaning there’s nothing we can do to reduce this particular type of bad cholesterol… until now.
A team of researchers from Monash University in Australia found a new experimental drug called muvalaplin that reduced Lp(a) levels by up to 65% in early human trials.
Unfortunately, we may need to wait another 3-5 years before doctors can prescribe this treatment, but it’s great to see that we may have finally found a way to reduce levels of this dangerous, genetic cholesterol.
⚠️ Warning: Avoid Low Energy Availability
If you’re frustrated with your weight, you probably want a way to lose weight as quickly as possible–but just because you saw someone on The Biggest Loser lose 50 pounds in two months, does NOT mean it’s healthy or sustainable.
The science is clear–if you’re losing weight too quickly, you may do more harm than good.
A recently published randomized controlled trial looked at the effects of low energy availability in women.
Low energy availability refers to a state in which your body doesn’t have enough energy to support all of the physiological functions needed for optimal health.
Yes, you need to reduce your food intake to lose weight, but not too much, or else essential systems in your body can’t do their job.
In the study, women consumed 25 calories per kg of lean body mass. This means a 150-pound woman with 110 pounds of lean body mass would consume 1,250 calories per day.
The results? Decreased protein synthesis which resulted in muscle loss, with no additional fat loss benefits.
Not only did dieting too hard backfire and cause health problems, but it didn’t increase fat loss at all.
Low energy availability is part of what’s called the “female athlete triad,” often seen in women who have high activity levels and low food intake. The female athlete triad consists of low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and a loss of bone mineral density.
Men have the same problems, as aggressive dieting often causes loss of libido, low testosterone, and muscle loss.
Not to mention, from a practical perspective, dieting too hard will cause intense hunger, cravings, and low energy. That’s not going to be sustainable for very long.
If you’re going to lose weight, do so safely–limit your rate of weight loss to no more than 1% of your total body weight per week.
-The Morning Dose
PS – Have questions or suggestions? Hit reply and let us know what you think.
Disclaimer: This content is NOT medical advice. The information included in these emails is intended for entertainment and informational purposes onl