Sunday, March 22, 2009

Metabolic Flexibility Research and an Average Day

I recently had a question about what I doing for my research and what a typical day is like for me, so I thought I would republish here for all of you.

What are my research projects like/what are my teaching responsibilities?

I am investigating the concept of Metabolic Flexibility. For a full literature review, see the link below

Metabolic Inflexibility Literature Review

We know that as people get closer to say a diabetic condition, their body has a harder time processing carbohydrates. The opposite of this should also be true, as they are closer to a "healthy" state, they should be able to efficiently use carbohydrates, fats and perhaps protein.

In my study I am looking at the effects of a commercially available Energy Drink to alter Heart Rate Variability (measure of heart health), Flow Mediated Dilation (measure of vessel health), changes in Respiratory Exchange Ratio (amount of carbs and fat burned during exercise) and is it an ergogenic (does it enhance exercise performance). I am also working on two other papers related to Metabolic Flexibility and Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

I am a Teaching Assistant (TA) for KIN 3385 Human Physiology and KIN 4385 Exercise Physiology labs. I also do a lecture on occasion for both.

What is a typical day like?
Day to Day varies quite a bit. Here is a recent Tuesday

5:40am--get up, head to the lab
Too early to think, so I make sure to set everything out the night before.

6:30am prep and then subject testing. Have a bowl of oatmeal and protein shake with Biotest super food (fruit/veggie supplement). Normally at home I have eggs and spinach.

9:00am finished subject testing

9:10-11:10am Human Physiology labs (TA)

11:10-12:30 email, review study for meeting
Grilled chicken breast with veggies and olive oil.

12:30-1:30pm, U of MN staff meeting

1:30-2pm change clothes, drive to work

2-5pm work in Technical Services at Boston Scientific
I've been working there for 9 years now and I started after I spent 7.5 years in college on the "first go round". I was able to drop to 24 hours a week 2 years ago in order to finish my PhD.

A snack made with organic whole plain yogurt, protein powder and a bit of sugar free pudding mix, with berries.

5:45pm get home, unpack, change and get ready for client
Chicken breast with veggies and olive oil

7-9pm training a client in my garage gym
I also train at this time. This time we were working on some bench, rows using gymnastic rings attached to the power rack and KB snatches. Warm up is Z Health Neuro Warm Up and any other special Z Health drills to get his movement up to par before we lift.

Here is a video on how to do a neutral bench press shot in my garage gym.

9pm prep food for the next day, shower, etc
Post training meal of grilled salmon, broccoli and sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. Tasty!

10pm off to bed, rinse and repeat

Tuesdays tend to be a busier day, but most days are pretty packed lately although what I am working on tends to vary.

The key is to plan ahead. I like to do all my food prep on Sunday (or lately it has been Wed evenings) so that I am good to go before the weeks starts.

What tips do you have to get through your busy weeks? Post them in the comments section.

Here is another tip for you--a video on how to cook salmon in just minutes!

Rock on
Mike T Nelson