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  1. #21
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    I like Richard's post above. Some nice links. I like the emphasis on basics ("Don't worry about timing nutrients or anything like that, you're not Michael Phelps"). I've noticed a lot of the comments/research on nutrition are geared toward performance athletes trying to run faster/lift more weight, etc... Data on how to cut your 100 m sprint or marathon times by 1% may be important to someone trying to win a race, but I don't think they are especially relevant to someone out for a hike (albeit a very long one). Also comments like " For you section hikers, overall diet throughout normal living is more important than dialing macronutrients in for the trail. Optimizing ones diet on the trail is a waste of time, if the bigger picture sucks." are well received. A focus on long-term health rather than athletic performance is a better investment of my energy.

    However, I would caution that too much attention paid to protein can lead people down the wrong path. Richard points out that you can make your own carbs (gluconeogenesis). Yes, but you can only do this from protein (not fat), and this is a very inefficient process. This is what we are trying to avoid. One of the cited articles makes reference to people who, when trying to meet a perceived high need for protein, cut out most everything else from the diet. This creates a huge calorie deficit. In fact, you can't survive on only protein.

    I like Richards opening overview:

    "First and foremost, calorie total is important. The higher it is, the more likely a hiker will be to achieve nitrogen balance. It's near impossible to not get enough protein on a 3,000+ calorie diet."

    This is consistent with my opinion that you need to worry more about calories than protein. I do not worry about getting just the right balance of carbs, fats, and protein. For me that is emotional baggage I don't want to carry (my pack is heavy enough, thank you). Eat a balanced diet and be happy.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I like Richard's post above. Some nice links. I like the emphasis on basics ("Don't worry about timing nutrients or anything like that, you're not Michael Phelps"). I've noticed a lot of the comments/research on nutrition are geared toward performance athletes trying to run faster/lift more weight, etc... Data on how to cut your 100 m sprint or marathon times by 1% may be important to someone trying to win a race, but I don't think they are especially relevant to someone out for a hike (albeit a very long one).
    Very well said, I wish more people understood that such minutiae is reserved for the most elite of athletes. Joe Schmoe gym goers who waste incredible amounts of money on useless supplements, end up learning this the hard way. Granted, there are a few good supplements to have, but some people tend to make them the entirety of their diet. They are then, no longer "supplements".

    Also comments like " For you section hikers, overall diet throughout normal living is more important than dialing macronutrients in for the trail. Optimizing ones diet on the trail is a waste of time, if the bigger picture sucks." are well received. A focus on long-term health rather than athletic performance is a better investment of my energy.
    While I COMPLETELY agree with your sentiment, I don't want to confuse my intended point ... which has nothing to do with overall health. I am specifically talking about muscle mass, and how to maintain it. There are ways to adhere to these mentioned parameters, in a very unhealthy way, vice versa. Unfortunately, health is not my specialty .. sports nutrition is!

    However, I would caution that too much attention paid to protein can lead people down the wrong path. Richard points out that you can make your own carbs (gluconeogenesis). Yes, but you can only do this from protein (not fat), and this is a very inefficient process. This is what we are trying to avoid. One of the cited articles makes reference to people who, when trying to meet a perceived high need for protein, cut out most everything else from the diet. This creates a huge calorie deficit. In fact, you can't survive on only protein.
    I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Gluconeogenesis is one of many processes the body will utilize for fuel when carbs are non-existent in the diet. The brain can run on 75% of its required energy via ketones(created from free fatty acids, not protein) from ketosis. So, the gluconeogenesis part of it really only needs to provide that essential 25% of glucose that the brain needs. As far as it being inefficient, it is at first .. but once full adaptation has taken place it is more than enough to support light to moderate intensity activities like hiking(about 3-4 weeks to adapt fully). Trail running, however ... probably not. This is the reasoning behind cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets, to avoid the inevitable crash that high intensity activities will bring on low carbohydrate intake.

    The context within the cited article you mention is not applicable here. Those people who cut everything else out except protein are actually TRYING to create as large deficit as possible. It's not a side effect, but a goal. That's a whole different ballgame, and its focus is fat loss. That strategy should never apply to a hiker, it's simply stupid. What they are doing is called PSMF(Protein Sparing Modified Fast). Which would be silly to do on a hike. It could be mimicked, but the calorie total would have to be bumped up drastically for it to be feasible. I don't know why anybody would ever want to do that to themselves, but it could work just fine in a survival situation where it might be forced.

    Also, one can survive on protein alone .. this is proven science and there is no refuting it. Heck, even morbidly obese individuals have been fasted for up to a year successfully. All that is needed is mineral/vitamin supplementation to ward off scurvy, etc ..

    If that is what you meant, then I suppose we are both correct. What I was referring to initially was specifically about the single essential macronutrient and nothing else, which only include dietary fat/carbohydrate/protein. Vitamins are a whole other conversation that really has no place here, in my opinion.


    I like Richards opening overview:

    "First and foremost, calorie total is important. The higher it is, the more likely a hiker will be to achieve nitrogen balance. It's near impossible to not get enough protein on a 3,000+ calorie diet."

    This is consistent with my opinion that you need to worry more about calories than protein. I do not worry about getting just the right balance of carbs, fats, and protein. For me that is emotional baggage I don't want to carry (my pack is heavy enough, thank you). Eat a balanced diet and be happy.
    Protein is important for those who wish to maintain optimal muscle mass while doing this highly catabolic activity, but I do agree that most should quit with the pedantry. Eat a boat load, balance the diet, be happy and hike(as you said)! Greatness ensues ...

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    With regard to gluconeogenesis being inefficient, I mean that the net energy produced by converting amino acids into sugars and then catabolizing the sugars is less than if you just catabolized sugars and/or amino acids directly.

    As for starving on protein only, I got that from what is called rabbit starvation, referring to malnourished hunter/trappers who ate only rabbit. The meat was so lean, they were relying on protein for nearly all their macronutrients. Metabolism of that much protein produces more nitrogen waste than your body can handle, giving a metabolism that is not sustainable. Here is the Wikipedia page. I had a scholarly journal about it from a couple of years ago, but can't find it now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    With regard to gluconeogenesis being inefficient, I mean that the net energy produced by converting amino acids into sugars and then catabolizing the sugars is less than if you just catabolized sugars and/or amino acids directly.

    As for starving on protein only, I got that from what is called rabbit starvation, referring to malnourished hunter/trappers who ate only rabbit. The meat was so lean, they were relying on protein for nearly all their macronutrients. Metabolism of that much protein produces more nitrogen waste than your body can handle, giving a metabolism that is not sustainable. Here is the Wikipedia page. I had a scholarly journal about it from a couple of years ago, but can't find it now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation
    Was it the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition?
    Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets
    http://www.ajcn.org/content/71/3/682.full

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    With regard to gluconeogenesis being inefficient, I mean that the net energy produced by converting amino acids into sugars and then catabolizing the sugars is less than if you just catabolized sugars and/or amino acids directly.
    Right, but it's efficient enough for survival on the trail. Meaning, when balanced nutrition is not available.

    As for starving on protein only, I got that from what is called rabbit starvation, referring to malnourished hunter/trappers who ate only rabbit. The meat was so lean, they were relying on protein for nearly all their macronutrients. Metabolism of that much protein produces more nitrogen waste than your body can handle, giving a metabolism that is not sustainable. Here is the Wikipedia page. I had a scholarly journal about it from a couple of years ago, but can't find it now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation
    This further proves my earlier point about vitamins/minerals being required to support protein as single energy source(which has been done in a lab successfully). This has nothing to do with the information I am providing here. If these hunters had a multi-vitamin, some vitamin c and a warm bed; the outcome would have been much different. So, "starvation" is a bit of a misnomer in this case.

    As for "too much protein produces more nitrogen waste than your body can handle", well ... drinking too much water can also kill you.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...ee-wii-lawsuit


    This goes for just about anything. Only difference being is that water is much easier to consume. So, unless an individual was abusing protein shakes, it would be near impossible to ingest a lethal amount of whole foods. Nevermind the gag reflex. Cumulative effects of high protein are safe, but suspect of higher risk of certain LONG TERM negative health effects. My argument has always been survival, when all other options have been exhausted .. which still holds water. Health and survival are not the same thing.

    Protein foods are very satiating, most would not be physically able to eat more than 400g per day ... which is much less than half of the relative amount that has been shown to produce minor negative health effects. The study I am thinking of was done on rats anyway, for what it's worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet Gooch View Post
    Was it the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition?
    Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets
    http://www.ajcn.org/content/71/3/682.full

    Probably not, this is aimed at the "paleo" culture that has been growing over the past 5 years or so. There is a ridiculous amount of zealotry within, and this article(which I love) makes the point that one can only guess what paleolithic man was eating in his day. Their zealotry is based on pure conjecture, yet they claim it's far superior to the modern western diet. These people are typically found in CrossFit gyms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickard View Post
    Probably not, this is aimed at the "paleo" culture that has been growing over the past 5 years or so. There is a ridiculous amount of zealotry within, and this article(which I love) makes the point that one can only guess what paleolithic man was eating in his day. Their zealotry is based on pure conjecture, yet they claim it's far superior to the modern western diet. These people are typically found in CrossFit gyms.
    I was referring to OMO's mention of "rabbit starvation." The article cites hard numbers associated with the syndrome under "Major findings."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet Gooch View Post
    I was referring to OMO's mention of "rabbit starvation." The article cites hard numbers associated with the syndrome under "Major findings."
    Gotcha, I glanced over that part of the article.

    This is a case in where we are both right. Protein only diets can be sustainable, but activity levels have to be adjusted to compensate if there is any permanence to it. Does anybody here live on the trail? I would think not. I kind of touched on the processes, but didn't elaborate. The physiology behind it, is that roughly more like 400g that is the maximum the body can metabolize to glucose in a day. The rest of the intake is lost through the urine, leaving only 1600 calories of usable proteins in a day for glucose. Combine this with FFA/ketones via triglyceride/body fat, it's enough for the average person to live on within the context of extended hiking(read: NOT permanent like possible subjects of rabbit starvation). If 20 mile days were the norm, that would obviously have to be adjusted radically for this to work out.

    It's really about context, but nobody is wrong. This is a superfluous discussion really and way off track of where the discussion began, but at least we are exploring the most radical scenario of human physiology!

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    There is also the hormonal factor to consider. The hypothalamus will lower Basal Metabolic Rate up to 30%(-ish, highest recorded) to run more efficiently when food is scarce. We have quite an advanced survival vessel, and it's quite good even if one doesn't know how to use it optimally. I think there's enough information in this thread, for anyone to calculate a plan for survival in the worst of conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickard View Post
    It's really about context, but nobody is wrong. This is a superfluous discussion really and way off track of where the discussion began, but at least we are exploring the most radical scenario of human physiology!
    Yes, even though it isn't very Whiteblaze of us, we can all agree that we are all correct and go over to other treads and argue about carrying guns and cheese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saimyoji View Post
    Good question.

    Long Term Issues

    Muscle soreness is caused by lactic acid build-up. .......
    Actually research indicates that statement is a myth:

    Read all about lactic acid myths here:

    http://running.competitor.com/2010/0...cid-myths_7938

    Lactic acid isn't foe but fuel:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/he...ion/16run.html

    10 Stubborn Myths that Won't Die:

    http://lifehacker.com/5895140/10-stu...ked-by-science

    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS):

    http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/1346.html

    Quote Originally Posted by lostinfflood View Post
    Muscle soreness is NOT caused by lactate accumulation. That is the old belief. ......
    Agreed.
    Last edited by Spokes; 05-24-2012 at 15:50.

  12. #32

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    I can remeber huffin and puffin,and someone would ask,"you ok",I would always reply "Yep,I'm just into my sugar"so reading all this has been fastenating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Actually research indicates that statement is a myth:

    Read all about lactic acid myths here:

    http://running.competitor.com/2010/0...cid-myths_7938

    Lactic acid isn't foe but fuel:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/he...ion/16run.html

    10 Stubborn Myths that Won't Die:

    http://lifehacker.com/5895140/10-stu...ked-by-science

    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS):

    http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/1346.html



    Agreed.
    I take issue with this section in the DOMS article. DOMS is actually caused by micro-tears of the muscle fibers during the eccentric portion of the repetition, if anybody cares.

    Next-day muscle soreness should be used as a guide to training, whatever your sport. On one day, go out and exercise right up to the burn, back off when your muscles really start to burn, then pick up the pace again and exercise to the burn. Do this exercise-to-the-burn and recover until your muscles start to feel stiff, and then stop the workout. Depending on how sore your muscles feel, take the next day off or go at a very slow pace. Do not attempt to train for muscle burning again until the soreness has gone away completely. Most athletes take a very hard workout on one day, go easy for one to seven days afterward, and then take a hard workout again. World-class marathon runners run very fast only twice a week. The best weightlifters lift very heavy only once every two weeks. High jumpers jump for height only once a week. Shot putters throw for distance only once a week. Exercise training is done by stressing and recovering.
    "The Best weightlifters"? Why use elite athletes in an article that mostly average folk will read? Beginner weightlifters typically lift "heavy" three times a week. Intermediate lifters typically, twice per week, and yes .. advanced trainees once per week unless they are doing a peaking cycle for competition. At that point, they could be lifting heavy 5-6 times per week over a period of a month(block periodization). Fatigue is accumulated here, but this is a goal for optimal performance in competition. This is then followed by a large layoff to recover from the abuse. It all has to do with capacity to recover from the stimulus, just as the article states. It's just way more involved than that, but not necessarily complicated.

    In strength training beginners recover quickest, believe it or not .. so they can push each workout and make progress very quickly(linear periodization from workout to workout). Intermediates need some sort of weekly periodization, whether it be high volume one day, recovery on day 2, and high intensity/low volume for the third day. On say a Mon/Wed/Fri training week as an example for beginner/intermediate.

    Context matters so, so much here .. and these blanket statements just make me want to kick something. Muscle burning during exercise is a symptom of glycogen depletion within a muscle, which is generally achieved through high repetition/short rest interval type training. Hiking can be just that, although the range of motion is mostly limited.

    DOMS is generally going to occur when the body is adapting to muscle/soft tissue stress(ligaments, etc ..). Beginners get the worst of it, because they are untrained. Over a few weeks of repeated activity/intensity it will go away mostly if not completely, even if there is some sort of linear progression with volume or load. The body adapts. Throw something new into the mix, and you may go through it again on a lesser scale.

    As for "working out for the burn", correlation does not imply causation here. Training in general can cause DOMS, and burninating yourself is only one way to achieve it. If you adapt to it, the DOMS stops. If glycogen depletion is your goal, knock yourself out .. you actually need to train for burn for multiple days in a week. Are you a bodybuilder who is targeting a range to achieve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy? You will probably get some burn, and it doesn't have to be limited as strictly as the article implies. Like everything else, context matters. Depletion trainers tend go for burn on two consecutive nauseating workouts over two days(Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0 is an example). Then there's a third day of moderate depletion two days later. Bodybuilders hit each muscle group twice per week, say 96 hours apart on a typical upper/lower split.

    Strength trainers typically work within the 3-5 rep range, which isn't enough to burn glycogen or produce a burn .. nor would they receive any benefit from doing so(unless they are doing Borge Fagerli's myo-reps or something, an exception to the rule). I could really get into this, but I'd rather people just PM me with specifics if they are interested.

    For hiking, it's easy .. if you're sore before a hike, do some proper goblet squats to get the blood flowing. Trust me, you will feel much better. Just ease into it, it won't be pretty when you start. It'll go away over a few weeks of repeated activity, but if it really really hurts definitely stop what you are doing. If you cannot, deal with it best as possible until it passes. Zero days/weeks .. whatever!

  14. #34

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    I find all this very interesting, but at the same time kind of useless info. Sore muscles are the least of my worries, in my experience muscles are tough and easily repairable, at least in my experience. It's the joints and connective tissues that I worry about. Muscle soreness comes and goes, no problems, but if you're not careful joints and connective tissue comes and stays for long periods and if you're not careful you can incur permanent damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I find all this very interesting, but at the same time kind of useless info. Sore muscles are the least of my worries, in my experience muscles are tough and easily repairable, at least in my experience. It's the joints and connective tissues that I worry about. Muscle soreness comes and goes, no problems, but if you're not careful joints and connective tissue comes and stays for long periods and if you're not careful you can incur permanent damage.
    I agree. Problem is, that many "knee problems" are misdiagnosed by general practitioners or at the very minimum thought to be joint related by Googlie Howser M.D's out there. When usually issues are mostly due to connective tissue tightness, underlying fascia inflammation, or muscle imbalance(usually VMO related). Illiotibial Band Syndrome, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome are the two most common .. and like you say can lead to permanent damage if the underlying mobility issues aren't addressed.

    I see so many people give up on activities that they love, due to "bad knees" .. when really they only need maybe 2 weeks of terminal knee extension therapy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickard View Post
    I agree. Problem is, that many "knee problems" are misdiagnosed by general practitioners or at the very minimum thought to be joint related by Googlie Howser M.D's out there. When usually issues are mostly due to connective tissue tightness, underlying fascia inflammation, or muscle imbalance(usually VMO related). Illiotibial Band Syndrome, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome are the two most common .. and like you say can lead to permanent damage if the underlying mobility issues aren't addressed.

    I see so many people give up on activities that they love, due to "bad knees" .. when really they only need maybe 2 weeks of terminal knee extension therapy.
    Yes, and a great deal of this applies to me. What exactly, I'm not sure as of yet.

    BUT, I don't want knee problems, and will want a much better understanding how to train for my thru and what physical shape I'm in prior to start.

    I may be unique here in that I am NOT a marathon athlete in any regard. I do weight train 6 days a week, and cardio / condition train 5 days a week. All my training is now above the 90% level daily. Being that I am in my mid-40's I have a great many concerns I need to understand. I'm 6' 240 now, with a targeted fighting weight of 210.

    My 'Google Howser M.D.' abilities is raising more questions than it's answering. Maybe Rickard, Google will prove useful in finding your home address, phone number, work hours, lawn mowing schedule, etc.
    Last edited by Winds; 05-25-2012 at 14:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    Yes, and a great deal of this applies to me. What exactly, I'm not sure as of yet.

    BUT, I don't want knee problems, and will want a much better understanding how to train for my thru and what physical shape I'm in prior to start.

    I may be unique here in that I am NOT a marathon athlete in any regard. I do weight train 6 days a week, and cardio / condition train 5 days a week. All my training is now above the 90% level daily. Being that I am in my mid-40's I have a great many concerns I need to understand. I'm 6' 240 now, with a targeted fighting weight of 210.

    My 'Google Howser M.D.' abilities is raising more questions than it's answering. Maybe Rickard, Google will prove useful in finding your home address, phone number, work hours, lawn mowing schedule, etc.

    You could probably see my lawn from space right now, haha. Your training plan seems a bit excessive(unsustainable) to me at a glance, but I don't mind going in depth once I get back. I may not have enough power to address this on the trail.

    I promise to not be wordy, all of this is actually quite simple when some concrete goals are set.

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    Wait, who said you could go anywhere? Ah, you are soon to become unavailable on the trail eh?

    Yes, I'm being told I am over-training but only by those my age or older who don't have a concept of what I'm doing in the first place.

    Other than attempting to eat right, my only supplement up until Tuesday this week was a consistently inconsistent multi-vitamin. Tuesday I added creatine to understand the affects on my training. I am not loading, and my daily intake will be approximately 10 grams.

    But yeah, I'm having difficulties only in the last 20 days or so with recovery. I cycle my routines very specifically to get the best advantage day-by-day for optimal efforts. The training run I'm currently on - today is day 108.

    I was planning on adding an off-day shortly, but this week I added an outdoor step routine which I'll want to do 4 times weekly.

    Keep in mind though that I am 30 lbs overweight. It's not overly apparent due to my muscle mass, but it's weight that must come off. I've read your input here and might appreciate your thoughts down the road.

    However, your selfishness regarding your own endeavors should be up for discussion AND a vote here!
    Bwaha.
    Last edited by Winds; 05-25-2012 at 15:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    Wait, who said you could go anywhere? Ah, you are soon to become unavailable on the trail eh?

    Yes, I'm being told I am over-training but only by those my age or older who don't have a concept of what I'm doing in the first place.

    Other than attempting to eat right, my only supplement up until Tuesday this week was a consistently inconsistent multi-vitamin. Tuesday I added creatine to understand the affects on my training. I am not loading, and my daily intake will be approximately 10 grams.

    But yeah, I'm having difficulties only in the last 20 days or so with recovery. I cycle my routines very specifically to get the best advantage day-by-day for optimal efforts. The training run I'm currently on - today is day 108.

    I was planning on adding an off-day shortly, but this week I added an outdoor step routine which I'll want to do 4 times weekly.

    Keep in mind though that I am 30 lbs overweight. It's not overly apparent due to my muscle mass, but it's weight that must come off. I've read your input here and might appreciate your thoughts down the road.

    However, your selfishness regarding your own endeavors should be up for discussion AND a vote here!
    Bwaha.
    Yep, I'm on the trail. I'm in the hostel at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the internet access is nice.

    10g per day is a form of loading, just on the conservative side. Once you are fully saturated, you will only require 2-3g per day to maintain. An example of aggressive loading is 5g four times per day, over 5-6 days. So it should take you about 2 weeks to reach full saturation on your 10g per day, then you can drop down to the 2-3g to maintain. Or, do as I do and take 5g per day to make up for the days you will undoubtedly miss.

    If you already knew that, disregard!

    There is a lot of information out there, so I'll help you cut through the bs. You can't go wrong reading these articles. Lyle is an arrogant bastard, but he knows his stuff. Chip away at his articles that interest you, and you'll learn a ton.

    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickard View Post
    Yep, I'm on the trail. I'm in the hostel at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the internet access is nice.

    10g per day is a form of loading, just on the conservative side. Once you are fully saturated, you will only require 2-3g per day to maintain. An example of aggressive loading is 5g four times per day, over 5-6 days. So it should take you about 2 weeks to reach full saturation on your 10g per day, then you can drop down to the 2-3g to maintain. Or, do as I do and take 5g per day to make up for the days you will undoubtedly miss.

    If you already knew that, disregard!

    There is a lot of information out there, so I'll help you cut through the bs. You can't go wrong reading these articles. Lyle is an arrogant bastard, but he knows his stuff. Chip away at his articles that interest you, and you'll learn a ton.

    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15
    Wow ,that sure is some reading there.thanks.

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