Biking on Protein only any ideas?

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Before any lectures first I have severe carb intolerances. I think I was born with it and it has gotten worse with age. In my 20's it caused upper respiratory infections over and over. Along with the Helicobacter pylori that I needed treated twice the antibiotics ended up toasting my gut bacteria. This after years caused a bunch of food intolerances.
Long story short I can't eat any carbs or at least maybe less then 6 grams at any given time at most a couple times a day. Carbs have caused my life long heartburn and a lot of medical problems. They started making me a bit loopy or less aware causing several scooter and a couple like crashes.
So the thing is my body reacts to all foods but meat and eggs and cheese and unsweetened almond milk and sunflower seeds. So on a daily basis thats my staple. Everything else has to be either eaten a few times a week or only once a week to never again. I can handle multivitamins and fiber pills, caffeine, Benadryl, and a few pain meds (cant take them now they hurt my esophagus too much) the lifelong heartburn toasted my esophagus and It got horrible with my once a week carbs and anti-inflammatory and Tylenol when I tore my rotator cuff. So besides the food problems my esophagus hurts with just about anything with much flavor and pretty much all meds I have tried in the last three years.
So I have not been able to take anything to help it or for anything else so far.
My body has not used carbs for fuel in a long time or at least not much fuel. But what I finally have discovered is my body does not burn fat for fuel either. I went full no carb for a year and never went into ketosis. But Now I have found if I eat say a pound of pork belly cooked crisp is about 700 calories about 30 grams of protein. If I eat several ounces of cheese with it its around 1000 calories for dinner. But if I eat 3/4 pound of lean pork and that same amount of cheese its a little more then 1/2 the calories but it will fill me up longer over night and I will have more energy. I had suspected fat was not doing anything for me but I have found if I eat nuts or fatty foods for my snacks I get hungry far sooner and may run out of energy faster.
I monitor my rides pretty well. On my e bike and e tandem both have a watts meter and I record my HR every ride. I commute 8.5 miles each way on my commute and we ride the tandem 10 to 50 miles every day pretty much. According to my gamin and my bike computer I burn around 225 to 250 calories on each commute ride and the tandem ride around 200 to 1500 depending on the distance. When I first started riding in 2019 I would have been lucky to put out 90 watts and not get my heart rate above 90bpm. I just had enough energy to get my work done and that was it. I slowly was able to put more effort into riding where I peaked out at about 206 watts average on a 10 to 20 mile ride. But that has been slowly creeping down since January or so. Now a decent day is 160 watt average and a tired day 125 watts.
I don't know if I have been getting sicker or if it is because I was counting my calories including fat and I was running out of fuel before I started riding I was eating about 2500 calories and I maintained my weight. According to my computers I usually burn around 500 to 700 or so calories on weekdays and weekends could be more upto the 1500 on a 4 hour ride. I had increased my food intake like more cheese and fats but Now I see that was doing nothing. I needed more protein.
I don't know exactly how many calories I am eating maybe around 3500. Cheese helps but I think it is starting to hurt my esophagus if I eat it several times a day as its acidic. Eating enough meat is getting hard. I am so limited on what I can eat and now not counting fat in my calories I am running out of steam. I can manage veggies three times a week but when I eat Chinese (meat and veggies) I am full for hours and then I cant eat enough to make it through the night. Now my energy levels are up and down every day is different. I am wondering if I use egg protein powder may be an issue. I know the fake sweetener hurts my esophagus I don't know if it actually helps my nutrition level. It wont keep me full very long. I find if I get hungry early into the ride I have trouble catching up. I need to start eating more on my longer rides but thats hard as all I can eat is like string cheese or a pepperoni stick or two.
I went through gut doctors that never listened and when I could not take the usual heartburn meds they pretty much gave up. I do have a great GP who keeps check on my heath. But finding the fat thing and how much I have to eat is new and I will be talking to her soon. I trained myself 20 years ago to go to bed without a full stomach because it would backup on on me (found out it was carbs again) now I have to go to bed really full to make it through the night. I am finding it hard to eat enough food. I am often hungry so I am burning through the protein.
I guess I should ride less but its all I got to keep me healthy riding and strictly controlling what I eat. Plus when I am riding I don't thin Cabot what I cant eat sitting around makes that worse. My heartburn is mostly under control for the first time in my life. My energy is higher then it was before riding but it has never been normal levels. I still run out of steam if I walk really fast or hike, my arms feel tired if I do anything repetitive with them. Thats been the case for many years. When I used to get so weak from eating something I thought I was ok with I would get so weak I could not squeeze a woodworking clamp and I was worn out every day and trying to carry a light load would make my arms hurt. I have never been back down to that level as I don't eat anything that bothers me on a regular basis now.
Sorry for the long winded post. This has been going on for about 25 years now. In some ways its gotten better my food reactions don't cause my lungs to lock up and cause all kinds of problems. Now they are far less debilitating but they are also more sensitive. I used to be able to eat veggies every day Now nope I could eat most nuts all the time now nope. Overall I am healthier but I am sure not healthy.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Are you certain it's energy rather than electrolytes you are exhausting? Eg have you checked blood glucose levels during a low, or even had a blood test checking renal function - electrolytes during one of the depleted episodes? ( my bet is your K levels are dropping)

If it's definitely energy , what differences have you noted with varying gi options? Eg can you work around the lethargy with grazing on eg high gi protein sources ?
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
ie if you are K depleted from gut loss / malabsorption, you can't adapt to a metabolic acidosis by shifting k in / out of cells , and in particular if you have ketosis you end up relatively k depleted ( your gp will need to go back to basic physiology to interpret the k levels in relation to the ph - perhaps something they may need to run by an exercise physician or a renal physician )

From up to date -( your gp might be able to log on and access the expanded discussion with you - subscription required )

Metabolic acidosis — In metabolic acidosis, more than one-half of the excess hydrogen ions are buffered in the cells. In this setting, electroneutrality is maintained in part by the movement of intracellular potassium into the extracellular fluid (figure 1). Thus, metabolic acidosis results in a plasma potassium concentration that is elevated in relation to total body stores. The net effect in some cases is overt hyperkalemia; in other patients who are potassium depleted due to urinary or gastrointestinal losses, the plasma potassium concentration is normal or even reduced [5,6]. There is still a relative increase in the plasma potassium concentration, however, as evidenced by a further fall in the plasma potassium concentration if the acidemia is corrected.

A fall in pH is much less likely to raise the plasma potassium concentration in patients with lactic acidosis or ketoacidosis [7,8]. The hyperkalemia that is commonly seen in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), for example, is more closely related to the insulin deficiency and hyperosmolality than to the degree of acidemia. (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis".)
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Are you certain it's energy rather than electrolytes you are exhausting? Eg have you checked blood glucose levels during a low, or even had a blood test checking renal function - electrolytes during one of the depleted episodes? ( my bet is your K levels are dropping)

If it's definitely energy , what differences have you noted with varying gi options? Eg can you work around the lethargy with grazing on eg high gi protein sources ?
I don't get tired like that anymore I never feel peppy though either. so far all my bloodwork has been normal but I usually get it in the morning after breakfast. when I was eating too many carbs once a week I was pre diabetic. Now thats not a problem. I have had all my vitamin levels checked but they are normal. I had type two kidney disease I bet for years but I only had medical insurance for 4 so It was not tested. that finally made it back into the normal range. well right at the edge of normal. if I don't control what I eat I get sick and it just keeps going downhill until I get control of it again. I never get sick like I used too where I needed prednisone to get my lungs in check. so your saying maybe I should have them checked when I feel like I am running low?
when my esophagus went nuclear I went on protein only because it hurt so much to eat anything else. that finally got my gut material working on a no carb diet and Now I digest my food better. its to perfect and it seems my bacteria is easily messed up but its better then it has been since the antibiotics.
I knew carbs were going to have to be eliminated my body has been reacting more and more to them and ow they are pretty much history. I don't bumble around and run into stuff like I have for years and don't have any brain fog now either. I had to have antibiotics for the first time in 30 years for my damaged finger and I think that caused some issues that I am still feeling. fat does not seem to do anything for me. I had a couple of weeks were I used nuts instead of jerky for my afternoon snack more calories actually and my rides got worse. seems since the antibiotics I and dumpling the last of the carbs I have to eat a lot more. but maybe I was just not noticing that I was not eating enough?
my esophagus is a real issue too so many things mades it hurt. any Lind of liquid fat will do it. even if I take fish oil pills a tablespoon or so it will hurt my esophagus after several days. not eating enough to make it ache anything sour or sweet makes it ache.
I run out of energy fast if I am late eating too. I had to give up on the idea of a colonoscopy because there is no way I can go 24 hours without eating. I would be so dead in energy and my esophagus would be screaming so I could not sleep or rest.
 
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kmccune

Well-Known Member
Try some pork skins with a salsa dip( made with salsa and sour cream) hopefully, you find something finally with the right ph or balance to be comfortably assimilated,I get bad reflux or heartburn if I drink too much water( rice makes me choke sometimes if I eat too much or too fast)
Only you know your cycles and makeup, if you could ever get your gut bacteria right I do believe that would help you and I assume you have been tested for all the various diseases and parasites? I am no MD. on the other hand when I 'go to the dogs" I get proactive, I hope the best for you.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I can handle veggies like three times a week. no baby veggies or acidic ones. green beans and zucchini and carrots and mushrooms and such. whatever made me feel like crap and have to eat like a horse as ]eased up and I am back to my ore normal self if I could ever be normal. my doctor had my take my fiber as powder and not capsules and that helps too.
Yep been tested for about everything.
I ==in a Facebook food intolerance group I found a woman with almost exactly the same problems. genetic carb intolerance that runs on the female side of her family mine on the male. same died pretty much too.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
it is what it is how can you fight genetics? my brother I think has the same issue he has had heartburn his whole life but he just uses protons and keeps having to up the dose. he has several health issues because he does not control what he eats. I am not great but I can work and ride like crazy. but I am glad we only hand a girl and our daughter only had a girl. no way to know for sure what this could cause but my grandpa died of stomach cancer and I bet carbs destroyed his guts my brother had kidney cancer but was treated. I know until I controlled what I ate I had stage two kidney disease.