Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dear Mark: Exercise-Induced Asthma, CBD for Diabetes, Warm-ups In the Morning

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, what’s the deal with exercise-induced asthma? Is there anything we can do to lessen its impact and incidence? Second, is CBD oil helpful for diabetics? And finally, do bodyweight exercises always require warm-ups? What about workouts in general—do you need to warm-up before every single session?

Let’s find out:

The first question comes from Caue Cavallaro:

since you are the go-to person when it’s about health, for me, do you have any material related to exercise induced asthma? I had it every now and then but since I started training for triathlon it’s happening more often. Thank you!

This is a classic response. When I was doing triathlon (and training others in the sport), exercise-induced asthma was incredibly common. These were some of the fittest people on the planet, and yet they were wheezing and coughing like they were completely out of shape.

The common denominator was inflammation and oxidative stress. Back then, most of us didn’t know anything about either—and we were loading our bodies with tons of both. Anything you can do to reduce excess inflammation and oxidative stress in a healthy, sustainable manner will help.

First and foremost, how are you training? I’d really consider getting your hands on Primal Endurance or reading this post. The quick and dirty version is that to train the aerobic pathway, you have to go easier and slower than you think. Take 180 and subtract your age. That’s your target heart rate. Stay under it to remain aerobic. You’ll go so slow and so easy that it won’t even feel like you’re training. This will increase how fast you can go while remaining in the aerobic fat-burning zone, and it will limit your tendency to overtrain. Overtraining is the primary reason for exercise-induced asthma because when you overtrain, you’re heaping excessive inflammation and oxidative stress on your system. And you’re doing it every single time you train.

This “easier” style of endurance training is totally applicable to triathlon. Spend a good month or so (longer for most, but you’re probably reasonably fit and ahead of the game) focusing on that for the bulk of your training, building that aerobic base. Pepper in some more intense stuff, some “race pace” running/swimming/biking, some strength training and sprints.

How are you eating? Too many seed oils high in omega-6 fats and too many refined carbohydrates (to support the overtraining, of course) will tilt the balance toward inflammation and oxidative stress. Switch over to more saturated and monounsaturated fat sources, like butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Be sure to eat fatty fish or take fish oil to balance out your omega-3:omega-6 ratio. Eat fewer carbs, and even consider going keto to enhance your fat-adaptation. The low carb approach goes hand in hand with training easier in the aerobic zone, as it demands less carbohydrate.

You’ll want to support your glutathione production with whey protein, raw dairy, and NAC supplements. Glutathione is the body’s premier in-house antioxidant. We most famously use it to detoxify harmful substances like alcohol and reduce oxidative stress, but glutathione also combines with nitric oxide to become a potent bronchodilator called nitrosoglutathione. Bronchodilators open up the airways and facilitate air flow. Having inadequate glutathione can impair your production of nitrosoglutathione and make your asthma worse—or trigger it.

Choline can help. Studies have shown that getting some extra choline reduces the airway inflammation and oxidative stress in people with asthma. You can take a choline supplement or eat a few egg yolks each day.

Good luck!

Regarding CBD/hemp oil, Carmen asked:

Is there oil for diabetics??

They’ve actually looked at CBD for diabetics. In animal studies, it reduces the incidence of diabetes and shows promise against diabetic complications like high glucose-induced endothelial dysfunction.

But the only human study was a bit of a dud. It compared CBD alone, CBD with THC, and THC alone in people with type 2 diabetes. Only the THC alone improved blood sugar, pancreatic beta cell function, and lipid numbers. CBD was ineffective, if harmless.

When you say, as soon as you wake up, do a quick superset of pushups – doesn’t it require a warm-up session beforehand? Can you really do them right away, as soon as you get out of bed? Is a warm-up not always essential?

I mean, you don’t have to do them right away. I can definitely see an argument for brushing the teeth and having some coffee first. For waking up a bit to get the most out of your workout. But if you work out on a regular basis and have a good base level of strength—which our commenter seems to have—you should be able to do basic bodyweight exercises without much of a warm-up.

If pushups are a major effort for a particular person, then a warm-up is a good idea.

As for the essentiality of warm-ups in general? Warm-ups become necessary when we stop moving for most of the day and do a big workout a few times a week. Warm-ups are necessary when we sit for 10 hours a day, using terrible posture the entire time. Warm-ups are important if you’re going really hard, really intense, and really heavy (think a big CrossFit WOD, a set of heavy deadlifts, or something similar). Warm-ups aren’t as essential if you make your entire lifestyle a movement session.

Thanks for reading, everyone. If you have any comments, input, or questions, leave it down below!

Take care.


Mehta AK, Singh BP, Arora N, Gaur SN. Choline attenuates immune inflammation and suppresses oxidative stress in patients with asthma. Immunobiology. 2010;215(7):527-34.

Weiss L, Zeira M, Reich S, et al. Cannabidiol arrests onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. Neuropharmacology. 2008;54(1):244-9.

Rajesh M, Mukhopadhyay P, Bátkai S, et al. Cannabidiol attenuates high glucose-induced endothelial cell inflammatory response and barrier disruption. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007;293(1):H610-9.

Jadoon KA, Ratcliffe SH, Barrett DA, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(10):1777-86.

The post Dear Mark: Exercise-Induced Asthma, CBD for Diabetes, Warm-ups In the Morning appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Life Advice from a Pug

This post is sponsored by Freshpet, and its content is provided by Murphy P. Haupert. (His middle name is Piranha.) As always, thank you for supporting this blog! 

Back in 2011, Murphy offered some life advice to CNC readers. He didn’t speak of pug training or pug temperament. Instead he spoke from the heart and offered his best words of wisdom. At the time, he was just 3 years old, but Murphy knew a thing or two about being happy and living well. I guess he just wanted to get some life advice from a pug out into the world.

Fast-forward eight years, our much more senior pug is at it again. He’s experienced a number of hardships over the years, including the loss of his right ear (there’s no ear canal; just an ear flap), chronic vestibular disease, countless eye ulcers, and more. Obviously, these ailments have made him more adorable and appreciate life so much more. So, once again, here is Murphy offering his best pug advice to help you live a full and happy life!

Never say no to an adventure.

Smile like you mean it.

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.”

Eat good food.

As a pug, Murphy appreciates good food, especially when it’s made from fresh, whole ingredients. Even his flat nose can smell the difference!

We recently had the opportunity to partner again with Freshpet, a brand that is committed to providing the highest standard of healthy, natural pet food for your dog or cat.

Freshpet’s food is super fresh and comes straight from the fridge – there’s even pieces of whole foods like carrots and peas mixed in. It’s fresh, flavorful, and guaranteed to keep your pet happy and healthy from breakfast to dinner! Check out Freshpet’s store locator to see if it’s sold near you!

When in doubt, hug it out.

The little things are the big things.

Do what you love.


And without regrets.

Question of the Day

What life advice would your dog give to you?

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Fridge Friendly Kale Salad

I’ve been pre-mixing salads, usually out of kale, that I can very quickly plate and dress during the week for lunch or a dinner side. I got in the habit of buying a Roots bowl and eating it twice for lunch, but time and budget don’t always allow that. So I made a copycat version of their famous El Jefe bowl to enjoy for lunches and dinner sides.

This hearty kale salad can stand up to your fridge. Unlike delicate lettuces, kale will not wilt next to a cucumber or bean (and if it does, it’s just all-the-more tender). The original El Jefe has brown rice and chicken on top. I swapped in cooked farro for rice (because it’s my jam!) and added whatever protein I had on hand at the time – a little salmon leftover from dinner or a fried egg.

Add your avocado, optional extra protein, and dressing at the last minute. Do you know one of my favorite dressing short cuts? Ask for extra sauces to bring home whenever you do go out! Or use your favorite bottled brand or make a batch of my favorite homemade dressings.

Fridge Friendly Kale Salad

This copycat El Jefe bowl will last in your fridge for a few days. Add avocado and dressing and you have a hearty, tasty lunch ready to rock in minutes.

In Advance

  • 3 cups of kale, torn into bite-size pieces (pre-washed will save you time!)
  • 1 cucumber (chopped)
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • ½ cup frozen corn (cooked and drained)
  • 1 cup of cooked farro or any whole grain like brown rice (wheat berries or bulgur)
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Salt and pepper

At serving

  • Salad dressing of your choice
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  1. Mix everything except avocado and dressing in a large tupperware and shake to combine.
  2. When you’re ready to serve, add avocado and dressing.

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Mushroom Barley Soup

This mushroom barley soup is total comfort food!

As I write this, we are just a few days into spring. The sun is out but the air still has just the slightest bit of chill to it. It’s our one week of… Read more →

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