On episode 517 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Thomas DeLauer and I discuss how to know when you have a mineral deficiency and what you can do about it.
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Let's Say Hello
[00:04:08.440] – Allan
Hello, Ras. How are things?
[00:04:10.480] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:04:12.450] – Allan
I'm doing all right. I've been kind of busy with the challenge. We're doing the Crush the Holidays challenge. That's been a ton of fun. I kind of push myself outside my comfort zone, doing daily videos. I've never done that before. I've done daily audios, and I'm very comfortable behind the microphone, recording and doing my thing. But then when I have to think about how does the lamp behind me look? Because one of you is OCD and had to bring up, like, fix the lamp for the love of God.
[00:04:44.830] – Rachel
[00:04:47.470] – Allan
But it's been good. It's been a good opportunity for me to push myself a little bit outside the comfort zone that I had, and it's pushing the others. It's one of the things as we get into the holidays, it's just really easy to just say, okay, I'm on the coast for this last six weeks of the year, and then January, I'm going to hit it. But you just lost six weeks to do something different. And so they're doing things different. They're really thinking through the mindset parts of fitness and health, and they're setting plans.
[00:05:20.530] – Allan
They're setting structure. They're building habits now that will serve them tenfold next year. So I'm really excited about the people that are going through the challenge. And then, yeah, what I'm going to do is in January, I'm going to launch a new program because I had a twelve week program and it was a really good program. Don't get me wrong. I love it. But what I found was that that's a long time to be coaching someone on mindset. And so I'm working to compress that into a six week program.
[00:05:50.310] – Allan
I'm going to call Win at Weight Loss and launch that in January. So if you're interested in learning about my weight loss program, it's guarantee. It's money back guarantee. We're going to talk about mindset a lot. There'll be some standard workouts and things like that that you can do depending on what your fitness goals are. We're going to really dive in deep to what makes us overeat what makes us bend, what makes us go off plan. And what are all those saboteur things that we do and other people do that keep us from losing the weight that we deserve to lose.
[00:06:22.690] – Allan
So if you're interested in that, go to 40Plusfitness.com/win. Again, that's not 40PlusFitnesspodcast. It's 40plusfitness.com/win. W-I-N and you'll see a little form there you can fill out to get on the waiting list, and then we can have a conversation and see if this program is right for you.
[00:06:42.970] – Rachel
That sounds awesome. Sounds like a fun program.
[00:06:45.570] – Allan
Yeah. And I'm so excited with the Facebook group. It's going to the challenges, the weekly challenges and the different things that we're doing in there. I'm going to be posting more excerpts, clips, video clips. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be recording an interview with, say, Tony Horton or all these other guys like, we're going to talk about Thomas DeLauer today, you'll be able to see clips of them on the doing parts of the interview. That kind of what I call the highlights. I'm going to be posting those clips in the Facebook group.
[00:07:18.090] – Allan
So if you're interested in seeing those clips and kind of connecting more with what we're doing here on the podcast, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. And that'll take you to our Facebook group and request entry. As long as you're cool, you can be a member.
[00:07:34.810] – Rachel
[00:07:36.430] – Allan
Well, there's some people who decide to not be cool and they decide they want to sell you their services or they want to show you some things that aren't really in our realm, and it's fine. There are groups for that. There's people that are interested in that. But that's not what we do. What we do is encourage you. We give you guidance and help you. And it's a very supportive, active community for individuals that are looking to lose weight, get fit. And knowing that being over 40, we got to do it a little bit differently than we did when we were kids.
[00:08:12.330] – Rachel
Yeah, it's a great group, that's for sure.
[00:08:14.950] – Allan
So what about you? What have you been up to?
[00:08:17.650] – Rachel
Trying to get my head screwed on tight as we close out this year? I can't believe the year is just about over.
[00:08:25.330] – Allan
Yeah, it's going quick. And that's what I'm saying for a lot of people to take six weeks off and they just look at it and say, it's Thanksgiving and then it's Christmas, and then it's New Year, and it happens like that. So this is not taking some time right now to get into your head and have the right conversations about mindset, things that have held you back in the past and how you're going to do things differently and starting now doing those things differently rather than waiting until January 1st.
[00:08:58.450] – Allan
If you're going to join a gym, you think you're going to join gym. I know that's not for everybody, but do it now. Don't wait till January 1st when the gyms are just packed with people and you're just a number coming through the Turnstall. Go in there. Now, get familiar, get with the trainer, learn how the equipment works and then do your thing. But don't wait because you're losing an opportunity, losing days, and it just drives me crazy.
[00:09:24.120] – Rachel
Yeah, exactly. I'm already planning out my next year. I've got a couple of races on the calendar, so just doing my homework right now so that I can start the year off with a bang.
[00:09:35.960] – Allan
[00:09:36.950] – Rachel
[00:09:38.110] – Allan
All right. Well, you're ready to have this conversation with Thomas on Mineral Deficiencies?
[00:09:43.040] – Rachel
[00:10:06.850] – Allan
Thomas, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:10:09.910] – Thomas
Thanks for having me, Allan.
[00:10:11.210] – Allan
Now, I've actually been following you for a number of years, watching some of your stuff at this point on YouTube, you have nearly 2.9 million subscribers, which is over half the size of the country I live in and nearly 1800 hundred videos. So I think if someone sat down and sat down and tried to watch your whole library, it would probably take them about a year to do it, assuming they slept 8 hours a night. So it's a lot of stuff a lot.
[00:10:41.450] – Thomas
And I usually tell people if they're first coming to my channel and saying, like, hey, just go easy. Don't binge a bunch of videos because it's just going to you're going to lose your mind. This is way too much and definitely start small.
[00:10:55.170] – Allan
But no. But the point is you have a library now. And so someone has a question around keto, around minerals, around a lot of different things. You're worth going and checking out because you're probably going to have a video on it and it's going to be very informative and it's quick. It's not a 30 minutes or an hour long video. It's 9-10 minutes, eight minutes, whatever minutes it needs to be, and you just boil it down and it's very well done. And the information is there. The research is there.
[00:11:27.240] – Allan
So again, really good stuff. I appreciate the opportunity to have you here.
[00:11:31.750] – Thomas
Thank you. And it's awesome to just be able to have a good conversation rather than just talking to a camera.
[00:11:37.060] – Allan
Yeah, I get it. We talk about minerals, and I think everybody generally knows minerals are a micronutrient of food that we get from various things we eat, and if we don't get enough of them, sometimes our body lets us know. Sometimes it doesn't, but we don't perform well. We don't feel well, if we're not nourished, and part of nourishment is making sure that we have adequate minerals. What got you so interested in mineral deficiencies?
[00:12:11.410] – Thomas
The first thing that got me really into it was magnesium just flat out. I just started reading a lot of the research on magnesium, how I stumbled across that. I don't even remember how I stumbled across so much the initial research there. But that's what fascinated me. And with magnesium, which I know we'll get into some more depth, but it opened up so many different cans of worms because I found that, wow one mineral deficiency leads to another one chelates, another, too much of this one leads to not enough of this one or too much to this one.
[00:12:42.930] – Thomas
And it was like, this never ending thing. It was just like, oh, my gosh. Mineral balance is so important. So I kind of became a little bit obsessed. If you want to call that, I ended up on the clinical advisory board for some magnesium groups. And there's some studies, Scottsdale magnesium study. And then from there, it was like, okay, I'm sitting in this magnesium world. Maybe this is a little bit biased for me to only be focusing so much on magnesium. So then from there, that kind of branched into.
[00:13:10.420] – Thomas
Okay, well, what about sort of the ugly duckling of the bunch? Let's talk about zinc and potassium. I just realized that as far as low hanging fruit, for what people can do for quicker optimization, better ultimate brain performance, minerals really are that they are a low hanging fruit that you can feel almost immediately with micronutrients such as vitamins, those kinds of micronutrients, you might feel a deficiency, but it's going to take a little while to fix it. You're not going to go and think, okay. I must hypothetically say, deficient in vitamin C, load up on vitamin C.
[00:13:45.360] – Thomas
It's going to take days for you to kind of recoup that minerals. It's one of those things where if you're deficient and you're having an issue within seconds of taking that mineral in, the issue, I don't want to say is resolved, but it's on its way to becoming resolved. And I just love that for someone who has a short attention span like myself.
[00:14:00.800] – Thomas
It was like, this is cool.
[00:14:03.790] – Allan
Yeah. And I think magnesium, as important as it is, is actually a mineral we don't talk about a lot. We talk about sodium getting too much, getting too little. Someone starts to get a little bit of a cramp as they're running and media is like, eat avocados, eat some bananas, get your potassium up. But magnesium actually plays maybe one of the biggest roles in our body's function, including cramps. Why is it so important?
[00:14:34.270] – Thomas
First of all, we used to say it's involved in, quote, over 350 different enzymatic functions within the body. Well, now that's looking to be more like 650 to 700, and it's probably growing. Like magnesium is, it is what's called a cofactor. So it is either directly involved or indirectly involved in different enzymatic reactions, which just means all kinds of different cellular processes within the body, also involved in different gene expression, meaning allowing us to literally live up to our genetic potential. Also find that it's one of the minerals that we are most efficient in as a human population, not just in any one region of the world, but in general.
[00:15:11.560] – Thomas
So that really just illuminates the issues that we face with it. And so being that it's a mineral that we are generally pretty deficient in, there's a lot of research surrounding it. So is it the most important? Maybe, maybe not. But when you look at the data because it is the most abundant in terms of that data, it certainly looks like it is.
[00:15:34.810] – Allan
So how would I know that I was deficient in magnesium?
[00:15:38.950] – Thomas
The way that I usually describe it is the first one is kind of vague. Okay, lower energy. Magnesium is absolutely critical for the formation of what is called ATP, which I know you talk about on your show a lot. But ATP adenosine triphosphate, what ultimately is the energy currency within our body without ATP cannot function. It is required for the formation of ATP. So without magnesium, we slow down the production of ATP. One of the first things you feel, which, again, is vague, is fatigue, general fatigue.
[00:16:12.290] – Thomas
And you find that. Okay, my brain just isn't firing the way that it should be. I feel like my muscles aren't contracting the way they should be. I just feel generally sluggish, although, again, that's such a vague one it's hard to really describe. So one of the other ones I talk about is if you feel like you're more reactive and almost more stressed than you ordinarily would be, that can sometimes be an acute sort of symptom of deficiency in magnesium. Or it can even be a more chronic, longer term thing.
[00:16:40.580] – Thomas
I like to recognize it as more of an acute thing, because if it's happening out of the norm, it's one of the first things that you can recognize. Personally, I'll give kind of my own anecdotal thing. I'm already a fairly high strung guy. It's just how I'm pretty wired. But if I notice that I'm over the top anxious or over the top stressed, and I like to use the example of, like, when you're driving down the freeway and you're going a little bit too fast and you catch a cop out of the corner of your eye and you get that quick surge of what feels like almost six stomach acid going into your stomach and you're like, oh, no, wasn't going too fast.
[00:17:15.910] – Thomas
If you find yourself having those kind of instances multiple times per day, that's very strong indicator that magnesium should be playing a factor there, because it's such an important role with NMDA receptors. And kind of what allows a stress response to actually hit a muscle and more than just the muscle, but the rest of our body, too. So that's a big one. And then aside with that goes right in line with sleep. Having trouble sleeping, again, magnesium is critical for what's called GABA gamma aminobutyric acid, which is like the cycle of the brain that we need to be more relaxed, to be able to sleep and to be able to get that restorative sleep that we need.
[00:17:55.070] – Thomas
So if you find really those well, the one other one we can add in there is muscle cramping, but that's going to be one that again, as we discuss a little bit more, I think we'll see come up a couple of times, so it's hard to pinpoint. But what I will say is if you're cramping in the middle of the night, not during a workout or not during an activity that's usually more indicative of a magnesium cramp versus a potassium cramp, which we'll talk a little bit more about.
[00:18:22.260] – Allan
Yes. And one of the other symptoms I see with a lot of my clients when we start talking about their magnesium intake is when they have difficulty going to the bathroom. So if you find yourself a little constipated, actually, Magnesia the medicine that you would get over the counter to clear that up. It's magnesium. Pretty good dose of it.
[00:18:42.370] – Thomas
Yeah, without a doubt.
[00:18:43.910] – Allan
So beyond what are the ways? Because if we're not getting it from the food we typically eat, is this something we need to supplement with when we notice these things? Or other different foods, we could be choosing to get a better mix of magnesium in our diet?
[00:18:59.300] – Thomas
Yeah. So magnesium is one of these, it's quite difficult to get a copious amount of it from food. I shouldn't say that you can get it from food, but what ends up happening is for people, we'll post little infographics on Instagram top magnesium rich foods. 1oz of almonds has X number of milligrams of magnesium. How many almonds you would have to eat to actually get an adequate amount would put you at eating three 4000 calories of almonds. So you have to kind of weigh these things out.
[00:19:33.390] – Thomas
I would say by far the best food source of magnesium is going to be like dark leafy Greens, Collard Greens, bok choy is really the deep leafy Greens. So the more dark green that you can get, the better. However, it is one of those supplements that I feel like because our soil is so just deprived of minerals now, like our soil is just not nearly as rich in minerals as it used to be even 50 years ago. I don't like recommending supplements. I mean, I will preface that like it's not who I am.
[00:20:03.230] – Thomas
I don't like to say, hey, just go take a pill. But magnesium is one of those that makes my list of always in my backpack, always going with me. And remember that the more muscle you have the more magnesium you oxidize because it's heavily churning in the muscle tissue, and I'm a relatively heavily muscle guys. So I know that how much magnesium I need is different from what my wife might need or different from what a sedentary individual might need. So you kind of have to find your tolerable upper intake and got some ways to kind of determine that.
[00:20:36.360] – Thomas
We can talk about it if you want, but generally, yes, I would recommend supplementing it.
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[00:22:24.870] – Allan
Zinc is another one that is, I'm not going to say under discussed, but it's just something that we again when you get into talking about minerals because there's so many of them, it's one of those that I think is actually underrated. It's much more important than we give it credit for. And if you're not eating certain foods, you probably aren't getting enough.
[00:22:48.130] – Allan
Why is zinc so important?
[00:22:50.550] – Thomas
Zinc is yeah, I will agree with you that it's very underrated. Zinc is, wow. We're seeing that it's imperative for testosterone function in men and also how it can have testosterone be received by a receptor, which I'll explain in a second. Very important for the immune system. Very important when it comes down to reactive oxygen species kind of regulation. So antioxidant kind of regulation within the body. It's sort of this mystery mineral, right. We're slowly discovering more and more ways that it is applicable to daily life.
[00:23:23.970] – Thomas
The amount of zinc that we store in the cerebral cortex portion of our brain is pretty phenomenal. Normally, you see minerals kind of spread throughout different regions of the brain, not evenly, but just fairly dispersed with zinc is for the most part almost all in the cerebral cortex, which is our area of higher thinking, like the hippocampus. That's very indicative of. Okay, clearly, we're seeing zinc is involved in some levels of higher cognitive thought, right? Just higher, just levels of thinking, spatial working memory, everything like that.
[00:23:58.190] – Thomas
So just starting to scratch the surface. One of the things that I think is the most fascinating about zinc. And unfortunately, you have to kind of tread lightly with how you talk about this, but it's relationship with the immune system. There are these things called the granulocytes. And these are types of immune cells that when you first have a pathogenic, bacteria or anything, a pathogen of some kind entering in your body, these types of immune cells immediately go and they sort of engulf it. They engulf the pathogen.
[00:24:24.540] – Thomas
Well, then, the next step, what people don't always understand is that the next step involves reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, which normally we think of as a bad thing. But when we're sick or we're dealing with something, we need a certain degree of that to come in and actually fight the infection. So essentially, zinc is playing a huge role in regulating the reactive oxygen species from coming in and attacking the pathogenic bacteria. When I say regulating it actually puts a ceiling on how much reactive oxygen species we actually sort of create.
[00:25:00.930] – Thomas
So, for example, let's say I had an infection of some kind. Okay, that infection comes in. These immune cells go and they attack it. Then the secondary response is okay, we'll trigger some forms of reactive oxygen species to go attack it. Well, without zinc, the body might just create a bunch of reactive oxygen species to just attack it. It's like putting a nuclear bomb on something that you might have just needed a. 22 caliber rifle for. So then you're getting this huge inflammatory response, huge attack on the body that you didn't need.
[00:25:31.450] – Thomas
So zinc puts that ceiling. So it helps corral the immune system, because what people don't often realize is the symptoms you feel when you get sick. That is your immune system doing the job. And the more symptoms that you have a lot of times, it's an over activity of the immune system. That's just my favorite characteristic of zinc, because people don't think about it like that. They don't think about the fact that this reactive oxygen species is normally touted as a terrible thing. Actually, when controlled is a very good thing.
[00:26:01.290] – Allan
Yeah. Just for the record, typically, when I'm in the United States, I will take zinc from the perspective of eating a lot of oysters. I love raw oysters, and I eat oysters practically every day when I can get them in the United States. But I'm not in the United States right now. So my regular regiment is to take a ZMA, which is zinc magnesium each night before I go to bed. Helps me sleep, keeps me regular. And then the zinc, just really like you said, kind of makes me wake up just feeling just a little bit more aware, not going to say it's like the adaptogens and some of the other things that you can take.
[00:26:40.440] – Allan
But I feel a lot better when I'm on a ZMA regiment.
[00:26:45.370] – Thomas
Yeah, without a doubt, it's definitely noticeable. And when you're looking at people that are over the edge of 40, especially, there are two angles in which zinc is super fascinating. For one, there was a study just specifically looking at serum testosterone levels. So they found that, okay, if you took older individuals that were deficient or sorry, not deficient, but they were lower levels of testosterone and were deficient in zinc when they gave them zinc, then their testosterone levels went up tremendously. I think it was it went from 8.3 nm per deciliter up to 16.
[00:27:21.370] – Thomas
So we're looking at almost double in a zinc deficient group. Okay. That's not saying that someone that has adequate levels of zinc can go and take zinc and explore their testosterone levels. But saying that someone that is older that is suffering from possible low T that is deficient in zinc. If they supplement with zinc, they can see a pretty tremendous increase in their testosterone levels, which is so important as we get over the age of 40 for multiple reasons, mainly just retaining muscle mass and preventing sarcopenia and the muscle wasting that just naturally starts to happen after, like, age 35.
[00:27:51.900] – Thomas
The other piece is it works in tandem with helping or calledergic receptors, which can accept the testosterone. So it's increasing the affinity of the receptor for the testosterone. I always say, what good are a bunch of cars and trucks driving on the freeway if there's no exits, right. Like if there's no exits and they're just constantly circulating, they're never able to get anywhere. They're just circulating testosterone is that way too, right. What good is a high level of testosterone if there's no exit, if there's no ability for it to leave and actually bind to a receptor.
[00:28:25.130] – Thomas
So increasing the affinity of a receptor, which zinc has the ability to do that is, in my opinion, arguably more powerful than increasing your testosterone levels. I'd rather have some moderately low testosterone, but a high affinity than high testosterone with a low affinity.
[00:28:41.880] – Allan
Yeah. And then there's a reason why they call oysters the Viagra of the sea. It actually happens. Yes. It's a real thing.
[00:28:53.250] – Allan
Another mineral that I think is really important. And, of course, it's a personal story, but it's potassium. I was training really hard, and I said, okay, I'm going to really get clean with my diet, really get clean with everything. And so I was drinking a lot of water, and I was in a very humid area, very warm. And so I was sweating a lot.
[00:29:17.920] – Allan
I was working out a lot. I was drinking a lot of water, got on an airplane for 26 hours, so very dry environment got home, didn't feel so good. The second day, I'm in the hospital and I go into the hospital and the doctor is like, well, you're dehydrated and you have low potassium and low sodium. In fact, your potassium is so low that you're really close to going into a coma. If we hadn't put you on this IV, salient IV, we could have lost you.
[00:29:50.050] – Allan
And I walked into the hospital, and this could have happened. Why is it so important for us to keep our potassium at some level, our sodium balanced and where it needs to be? I tend to run low. So every time I go in to get a blood test, I do check this and pay very particular attention to it. But I have to be very cognizant of how I feel. And if I start feeling a little woozy, I'm immediately hitting some salt and some no salt to kind of make sure I get these minerals.
[00:30:19.090] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about why these are so important?
[00:30:21.490] – Thomas
Yeah, well, you just nailed it right there. It's the first indicator. We got to think about our brains for a minute. We think about our nervous system. And a lot of times people think, okay, my spinal cord and my nerves to my extremities. Okay, cool. The largest network of nerves neurons is in your brain. Right. So you're going to feel nervous system affects in your brain more than anything. And I always like to kind of lead off with that, because a lot of times people are feeling cognitively just down and just really run down.
[00:30:50.780] – Thomas
They got perfect sleep. Everything's in line. Why am I feeling like this? Why am I feeling foggy? The first thing I say is increased sodium and potassium, because what's happening is you have this sodium potassium pumps that are explained like a slingshot. This is a podcast, so usually I can have cool little images that pop up on my videos. But think of it like a slingshot. When you are sending what's called an action potential, the potential to create energy or create a movement. Let's say, like the literal thought of me to thinking, I want to lift this rock up.
[00:31:23.510] – Thomas
Okay, well, that whole concept starts in the brain obviously starts with the signal to eventually move my hand to pick up the rock. Well, that's a series of what are called action potentials. Just like the name implies, the potential to make an action. Well, this travels down the nerve. It eventually goes to calcium channels and all this to ultimately move a muscle. But the simplicity of it is this, you have sodium that enters a cell and that sodium enters a cell and then potassium. That gate closes and then a different gate opens and potassium rushes out of a cell.
[00:31:53.640] – Thomas
And you have this constant changing of a sodium potassium gradient. And it is that constant changing of sodium entering into a cell and potassium releasing it. Sodium entering into a cell and potassium releasing it into an Axon that is ultimately sending that signal. Think of potassium like a slingshot. The sodium going into the cell is what is actually sending the signal. It's conducting the electricity. The sodium is like the electricity that sodium enters into a cell. But without potassium, you don't have a slingshot to pull the sodium back and kind of release it into the next cell.
[00:32:30.220] – Thomas
Okay. So that sodium and potassium relationship is so unbelievably important. And if you're deficient in potassium, what happens when you're just bombarding the cell with a bunch of sodium conducting a bunch of electricity? First of all, you're going to cramp because you don't have the release from the potassium, pulling the sodium or allowing the sodium to leave again and allowing it to go into the next phase. But you're also just left with this basically electrically charged situation. That's a huge problem. And that happens against peripherally like, our muscles and everything like that.
[00:33:05.260] – Thomas
But it's happening in our brain, too. But our brain doesn't cramp. Not literally. But what will happen in our brain is we'll just end up with this disrupted signal from that sodium potassium pump, and that's just disengaging the whole circuit from working. So all of a sudden your brain just fogs up and you feel really just weak and kind of lame, like you just don't feel like you can really have good thought. You can't articulate very well. And some of those things we're taking in some potassium or a little bit of salt with some potassium right then and there can almost instantaneously make you feel better.
[00:33:39.030] – Thomas
Salt is so important along with potassium, because they counterbalance each other. Right. So one of the symptoms of having low potassium is sensitivity to salt, because potassium is regulating that fluid balance inside and outside of the cell. If you're deficient in potassium and you're overrun with sodium, then what's happening is you don't have that balance. So when you do have more sodium, it's affecting the potassium to sodium ratio. You're only going to really develop fluid retention issues and the bloating and the facial bloating and stuff that occurs with sodium.
[00:34:13.620] – Thomas
If you are also deficient in potassium, people get afraid of sodium because I don't want to be puffy. I don't want to retain water this and that I'm worried about becoming hypertensive and full disclaimer, if you are actually hypertensive, then yes, sodium does play a role in that.
[00:34:30.300] – Thomas
Okay. But if you're a normal, healthy individual, it does not. So that's the big disclaimer there. If you are hypertensive, then yes, you do need to monitor sodium. But in a normal, healthy individual, large majority of the population, you could usually add some sodium and not have a bunch of water retention as long as potassium levels are adequate. So you'll notice if they have a bunch of salt and you're sensitive to that salt that's usually an indicator that your sodium potassium ratio is a little bit off. To go on,
[00:34:58.940] – Thomas
I mean, basically, if you're cramping during an activity, it's almost invariably a potassium issue, not a magnesium issue. So that cramp will tell you right then and there you need potassium more than anything.
[00:35:09.550] – Allan
Yeah. And if you just throw water at it, that's going to wash out some of the potassium you have existing and a lot of the sodium, and you're going to potentially put yourself in a bad fix. So don't just drink water thinking you're fixing a cramp problem. Yes, you may be dehydrated, but you need those minerals as well.
[00:35:28.200] – Thomas
Definitely. And remember that the more sodium that you have in your body as well, the more that you're going to retain these other important minerals, because sodium is the one that's really the determining factor of how much we urinate and how much we keep and how much we lose. So if you're deprived of sodium, then you're going to lose other minerals, too, because you're going to be urinating more because there's less to hold on to. It's less awesome. So things are just flowing through you. And with that urine stream, you're not just losing sodium. You're losing everything else, too.
[00:36:00.450] – Allan
Why is chromium so important?
[00:36:02.730] – Thomas
Chromium is important in a lot of different pathways, but the one that is most relevant probably to many people, as far as the metabolism is concerned, is simply for what's called GLUT4 translocation, for allowing glucose to get into a cell better. So it's chromium. There are multiple studies that demonstrate that in an insulindependent fashion, it allows glucose that is in the bloodstream to get into a cell better, because chromium allows that GLUT4 to go from the nucleus of the cell out to the outer membrane of a cell.
[00:36:37.660] – Thomas
So what that means is this thing called GLUT4 that lives inside of our cells is kind of like a big net. And normally that GLUT4 is living inside of a cell. But when it sees glucose in the bloodstream or insulin, it magically goes to the outside of a cell, and it catches the glucose in the bloodstream like a big net. Well, in most people these days, especially people over the age of 40, with mitochondrial dysfunction and levels of insulin resistance, that doesn't happen quite as much.
[00:37:04.370] – Thomas
That sleepy GLUT4 just kind of hangs out in the cell and doesn't translocate to the membrane. Well, that's a problem, because that means you're going to have high circulating blood glucose. You're also not getting energy into the cell. So the cells sort of deprived and the cells kind of running into an issue. Chromium increases that transportation. So it helps that GLUT4 get to the outside of a cell membrane quite easier. So then you can absorb that glucose better. There's also a bunch of just interesting data when it comes down to there's a study that's published in the Journal of nutritional neuroscience that found that same kind of thing in the brain like it helps the brain against what's called brain insulin resistance.
[00:37:42.960] – Thomas
That same thing where we have high levels of glucose that are circulating through the brain that aren't getting taken up by the cells. So then you're left with a highly oxidative situation in the brain where if you start getting granular with it, I mean, it could be an indicator of all kinds of different cognitive impairment that happens as we get older, not to mention mitochondrial dysfunction, like the cells within the brain are not able to utilize the fuel as efficiently. And when the cells don't utilize fuel efficiently, you're creating a lot of let's just simply call it waste, right?
[00:38:16.570] – Thomas
It's like if you have a very efficient vehicle that is driving down the highway using all of its fuel with very little waste, you have efficiency. Quite the opposite in a vehicle that has fouled out plugs and just isn't working right, then you're having a lot of waste. Well, the more brain waste we have, so to speak, the more oxidative damage we have in the brain, which can definitely lead to some cognitive decline. So most of my interest with chromium comes from the carbohydrate metabolism piece.
[00:38:43.350] – Thomas
My own opinion is that much of the metabolic decline we see after the age of 40 in all kinds of different situations is a result of just that of that mitochondrial dysfunction where mitochondria has a hard time getting energy in insulin resistance, literal deformations and mutations in the mitochondria that are just inhibiting it from actually doing something normally. It's like an entire thing. I do generally recommend people that are over the age of even any age, really. But over the age of 30, I'm a huge fan of taking NMN as well, which we can kind of have a Sidebar conversation on, but just in terms of mitochondrial support, energy metabolism and just kind of maintaining that integrity so to speak, of the mitochondria.
[00:39:32.040] – Allan
The way I like to think about it, because the mitochondria are the engines of each cell. It's like putting sugar in the gas tank. It's just not going to work well, it's not going to go well. And we're doing that every day. If we're not managing our blood sugar, managing our insulin sensitivity. And these minerals obviously play a part in that. So it's very important to make sure you're in a good mineral balance. Now, there's one mineral that a lot of people over the age of 40 start to really care about because they get osteoporosis or osteopenia.
[00:40:02.030] – Allan
And the doctors like you're losing bone density. And a lot of people say, okay, well, I need to start taking calcium, but you mentioned in one of your videos, why that might not be a good strategy as far as supplementation to supplement with calcium. Can you talk about that? And what are the things that we should be considering with regards to bone health.
[00:40:22.240] – Thomas
Yeah. I will say first and foremost, the American Heart Association had published a study that took a look at over 5000 people in this particular case, and they found that generally supplementing with calcium was not necessarily beneficial. In fact, it was actually detrimental, especially when you look at coronary artery and calcium scores and things like that. So when you're looking at overall heart health, circulatory health, things like that, I caution you tremendously with taking a calcium supplement, we do not generally find ourselves deficient in calcium. That is not a common problem.
[00:40:55.140] – Thomas
The osteoporosis piece is absolutely a real deal, but that's more about calcium getting into the right place, right? That's more about shuttling calcium into the bone, which is more of a vitamin D3 K2 issue more than anything. So if you're concerned with that, I would highly suggest vitamin D three or getting out in some sun and supplementing some vitamin K2. So it's going through the proper pathways of storing in the bone, because what happens when you take a calcium supplement is it's not like it's just magically going into the bone, it's circulating and calcium and magnesium actually oppose each other.
[00:41:27.720] – Thomas
So you're in a kind of a constant balance between magnesium and calcium. And if you have too much calcium, you're counteracting magnesium and you find yourself in this excitatory state where your muscles are contracted and where you're having much more excitability in the neurons. And you really want to keep that at bay. That's not a good thing. It's not a good thing for the heart. It's not a good thing for the muscles, not necessarily a good thing for the nervous system. So magnesium is much more important in that game than calcium.
[00:41:55.720] – Thomas
And again, with our diet, you really do seldom come across diets that are really deficient in calcium these days. We usually do get enough in, so it's not like you find out. Okay, I've got a certain degree of osteoporosis, and I'm going to go and start drinking a bunch of milk or start taking a calcium supplement. That's probably not going to help you out too much there. I just caution people with that. It's much more important to patients in the vitamin D, much more important to pay attention to the magnesium and just get good amounts of calcium from the diet rather than an exorbitant amount from a supplement.
[00:42:29.280] – Allan
Yes. And the thing I would add is if you really want your body to know what you need it to do, exercise. Do resistance training. Resistance training is going to turn on the building of bone in your body. It's going to build bone density as you get stronger as you increase the weight and the resistance. And so if your doctor tells you you have a problem, osteopenia, resistance training and a proper healthy diet are going to be your best bets.
[00:42:59.070] – Thomas
Absolutely. And it's also going to highlight deficiencies a lot faster too. So in terms of being able to showcase OK, well, maybe I'm deficient in potassium. Maybe I'm deficient in magnesium. When you start kind of up regulating the oxidation of these minerals, then you can really. They rear their ugly heads a lot more. Like you mentioned, you run low on potassium. I'm the same way. I don't know if I would know that if I wasn't working out regularly because it highlights it. I know I'm a big cramper. It's a big problem for me.
[00:43:29.100] – Allan
It highlights it. Absolutely does.
[00:43:34.290] – Allan
Thomas, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:43:42.420] – Thomas
Well, so I'll give you a couple that are like pragmatic and then I'll give you one that's a little bit more cheesy, which doctor. First one is stop eating after 06:37 p.m. One of the simplest things advice is that I can give people. Not only is it going to probably reduce your caloric intake because you'd be surprised at how much you eat just after dinner or even just. But as far as sleep is concerned, since having two small kids, I have really learned proper sleep hygiene is one of the most important things and the biggest lever that you can pull with sleep hygiene and ultimately body composition and mental health is really not eating a couple of hours before you go to bed.
[00:44:25.810] – Thomas
That is just such a big thing and kind of to double up on that. What I usually recommend is breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, dinner like a Popper where you're slowly decreasing the amount of food you're eating as the day goes on. Bigger breakfast, moderate side lunch, relatively small dinner. Then stop cold Turkey 06:37 p.m. You will find your sleep on set is much better. The next one is one that not everyone has access to, but it's something that if you can't use a sauna, you can take a very hot bath and get a similar effect.
[00:44:58.770] – Thomas
I found that especially on days I can't really get a good workout in or I feel maybe stiff sore, I'm just achieve and a good workout isn't going to play in, utilizing a sauna as what's called a hormetic stressor has been the most life changing thing for me. It really has. Someone that's battled with sleep issues, someone that's battled with stress, anxiety, depression. It's such a huge thing for me. There's multiple studies, obviously the finished studies. There's tons of them. It's huge in Finland. I could quote a bunch of different research, but try some heat therapy.
[00:45:31.140] – Thomas
Try it. Try using your sauna at the gym. I will tell you it's the best $3,500 investment you can ever make is getting a sauna and just having one. But it's not always practical. I know it's a lot of money, but I would quicker get rid of my car than my sauna. Let's put it that way. It helps with all kinds of different things in terms of just getting the heart rate up, circulatory system, all kinds of stuff like that. The third one is and it does kind of loop around with everything too, is don't be afraid to prioritize mental health above all else.
[00:46:05.590] – Thomas
As I've gotten older, I really realized that when it comes down to lifestyle, when it comes down to wellness, it's only as good as your brain. It used to be days when I would not want to skip a workout ever, because I needed to stick with what I would consider artificial programming when in reality now, it's not that I'm caving to the type fact that I'm fatigued it's more so, okay, well, some days it needs to be more of a mental workout. It needs to be something meditation, some kind of mindfulness practice things like that.
[00:46:34.830] – Thomas
Yes, sure. You may not burn 300 calories that you thought you were going to burn. You can still get activity in other ways, but prioritizing, not just adding in, but prioritizing your mental health above all else. I promise you, if you prioritize it, everything else will fall in line. Because if your head's not in the game right, trust me, you're not going to be getting the right workouts and you're not going to be making the right food choices. The biggest absolute lever you can pull is your mindfulness.
[00:47:00.010] – Allan
Well, Thomas, if someone wanted to learn more about you, the wonderful things you're doing with the YouTube channel or anything else, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:47:09.450] – Thomas
You can just send them to YouTube. I think that's the best place for them to really get a lot of knowledge. That's just simple. You can just go to YouTube and type in Thomas DeLauer and you'll be covered up with content. Also, my Instagram just Thomas DeLauer. I have cut down shorter versions of my videos there, so in three to four minute chunks, but full disclaimer and you don't get the full effect. It's just there for quick tidbits. So definitely those two places.
[00:47:35.180] – Thomas
Thomasdelauer.com. If anyone needs to actually get in touch with me literally and contact form there. But I think the videos and Instagram are probably the best.
And I wanted to also just kind of as a courtesy to people that are watching this or excuse me listening. I'm just saying that listening to a podcast listen to this podcast. If you go to Verso. There's a company called Verso. I mentioned NMN. I just highly recommend. There's a 20% off discount just because in honor of this podcast. So Verso is an NMN, which is very powerful as you get older in terms of what's called NAD, they have a lot of good information on their site. So if you just use the code Thomas20 at Verso's website, which is literally V-E-R.So just kind of a big thank you to Allan and a big thank you for everyone that's listening.
[00:48:26.490] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/517. And I'll be sure to have the link there.
[00:48:32.710] – Allan
Thomas, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:48:35.950] – Thomas
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
[00:48:41.770] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:48:43.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, give me just a second. A fan girl right now. Mike and I have been big fans of Thomas and Mike more so than me, but we've watched a lot of his videos, so it was really neat to have you listen to your conversation with him. And it was also very interesting, too.
[00:48:58.850] – Allan
Yeah. Thomas spent some money getting as big as he got. I used to see his ads on Facebook all the time, and so that's how I knew who he was. But it was his agent that reached out and said, hey, we'd like to get Thomas on the show. He's got a book coming out in March, so I'm hopeful I can get him back on the show soon to talk about his new book. But yeah, he dives deep into these topics. Keto, fasting and then, of course, anyone who's gone through Keto knows you have to take a look at your minerals and make sure that you're getting your electrolytes, getting your minerals and getting the nutrition.
[00:49:35.390] – Allan
Because these diets keto, carnivore, vegan. They're restricting food groups. And any diet that restricts food groups is something you have to pay attention to the nutritional aspects of the food that you're eating. You cannot just eat leafy Greens, carrots and potatoes and be okay. You're going to have to make sure you're getting the nutrients that your body needs. And that means a variety of foods within the realm of what you can eat. And then if you can't get what you need from the foods that you're eating, then you've got to find that alternative.
[00:50:10.520] – Allan
And sometimes that is supplements.
[00:50:13.030] – Rachel
Yeah. I appreciate how he mentioned that he prefers not to supplement unless it's absolutely necessary. And you're right, we can get all these nutrients and foods. But like I was mentioning to you, I struggle with getting enough iron in my diet. Now I'm kind of wondering how much magnesium I'm getting. I'm going to have to take a closer look at that. But when my tastes change in the summer, I can eat salads all day long, but in the winter, the last thing I want to do is have leafy Greens and so my iron will plummet and Lord knows what else.
[00:50:45.400] – Rachel
But if you can't get what you need to get in your food, then a supplement might be handy.
[00:50:52.700] – Allan
Yeah, and I wanted to have a conversation with them, but I kind of just came to the conclusion that I already knew the answer, which is probably not the right way to approach podcast. I already know the answer, so I'm not even going to ask this question. I probably should have. But a lot of people ask because you can do blood tests for this stuff. The answer is absolutely yes. When I go in for my blood test, I make sure potassium and sodium are on my blood test.
[00:51:17.570] – Allan
Because if you hear the story, I basically went into seizures and was within inches of going into a coma. I mean, quite literally, right there the numbers I had. He said, You're lucky you are not right now in a coma. You caught it just in time. You got to the emergency room just in time. And I only went to the emergency room because when I threw up, when I had the seizure, it hurt my chest. So that night I was laying there still not feeling right.
[00:51:50.340] – Allan
And my chest started hurting. And I'm like, okay, I got to go to the hospital. This might be something else. They popped the nitroglycerin in me straight away, walked me in the back, started putting me, put me on an IV, and then started taking blood and put me on EKG and did all that stuff before they came back around and said, oh, you're dehydrated and you're depleted of sodium and potassium. So it's this horrible, horrible thing because you need water. But if we put water in, it's going to wash more of the sodium and potassium out.
[00:52:22.000] – Allan
So it's like, right now you're on a saline drip. And he said that's right now all we can really do. And so I finished that saline drip. And he said, going tomorrow, get another blood test to figure out where you're studying. And it was still low. So he said, Come back to the emergency room, get another saline. So I was back in the hospital the next day getting another saline and then finally was like, okay, I'm here. They told me get some Gatorade, but I'm like, okay, now I'm not going to, Jesus Christ. What I did,
[00:52:52.520] – Allan
I actually went down the aisle and I ended up with a big bottle of spicy v8. So I'm like, okay, I'll do this because at least it feels better. They got fruit on the label and vegetables on the label.
[00:53:08.810] – Rachel
Yeah, I can see that.
[00:53:11.180] – Allan
It wasn't just glorified sugar water. But all that said is, you can measure the blood on this. But you're changing all the time. And so depending on what you ate last night, depending on how much water you drank, depending on everything else, you may be deficient tonight, even though you were fine this morning.
[00:53:30.450] – Allan
The same with iron. If you had a good meal, you could wake up in the morning, check your iron, and you're just fine. And then you come back 4 hours later. And now you're anemic again. That's just one of those things that, yes, you can test it. And maybe if you think you have a problem, go ahead and get it tested. If you're cramping, if you're fatigued, we gave you some of the minerals, the magnesium, the sodium, potassium that's around the cramping area. If you're feeling just the general fatigue.
[00:54:01.150] – Allan
You can look at chromium. You can look at some of the others, but a good, well balanced diet that is sourced from good places. So the stuff you're buying just in the general part of your grocery store is probably coming from an over farmed farm, and they put just enough of whatever it needs, nitrogen and this other stuff in the ground to grow it. When they talk about hydroponics, they're not typically putting minerals in there. They're just putting what it needs for the plant to grow and produce.
[00:54:36.410] – Allan
Okay. And so you're not necessarily getting the minerals that you need, even though you'd say, okay, what should I eat for like you said, iron? And you said spinach and kale and all those dark green leafy vegetables and red meat. But then you may not be getting much iron from them, because if there was an iron in the soil, it's depleted. Then it's leafy green, but it's not giving you exactly what you need. So supplementation might just be a solution for a lot of us. And it's unfortunate, but sourcing your food well, and then taking some precautions probably makes sense.
[00:55:14.970] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I agree with you. The quality of the food and where it comes from could make a big difference. And the quantity of minerals that the item contains an Apple grown here in Michigan and California versus Florida. I mean, you got three different areas, three different soil classifications. It could vary greatly. It's going back to your previous podcast about calories. It's the same thing. It's kind of a loose estimation as to how much minerals are in that particular piece of food. But you do both of you brought up a good point about exactly understanding how you're feeling and paying closer attention to your body and what signals it's giving off and then responding accordingly with a different food item that might help.
[00:56:03.470] – Allan
Yeah. There are going to be some telltale signs. Thomas, gave you quite a few of those. So if you feel fatigued, that's not normal, there's something missing, and you can look into that. If you're feeling cramps regularly in bed or just like you're out, then you might have a problem, and then you want to look at circumstances. So you're up in Michigan, where it's really right now, probably cool, cold and dry. The cold pulls all the moisture out of the air. As a result, you become a little less hydrated, and that can cause some problems.
[00:56:44.760] – Allan
I'm down in this really nice, hot, humid location, but as a result, I sweat a lot more year round. I don't have a non sweating season. I really do have to pay attention to my electrolytes because I know I have this tendency. So again, just paying attention, not being afraid of things and just saying I'm going to try it because minerals, as a general rule, if you're buying them as a supplement, are not that expensive. This is not like you've got to go out and spend $70 for a month supply of minerals.
[00:57:22.570] – Allan
You quite literally can get them for pennies a pill, and they give you a lot of what you need, and you take it for a little while and you see how you feel. Now, if the cramps go away, if you're feeling better, particularly with cramps and electrolytes, you should feel better within 30 minutes. Some of these others, you might have to take it like iron. You may have to take that for a little while to kind of get that build up, but it's just a function of saying, okay, I'm going to start taking this supplement.
[00:57:51.980] – Allan
I'm going to pay attention. And as an experiment, so I'm only going to change this one thing. I'm going to start taking this supplement. I'm not going to change my programming. I'm not going to change my food. I'm not going to change my sleep. I'm not going to change how much water I'm drinking. I'll try to just change this one thing, and then you see how it changes you, how you feel. If it doesn't change anything for you, then maybe that's not what you need it anyway.
[00:58:15.850] – Allan
So stop. And then if you feel fine after you stop, then good. You don't have to pay that Penny a pill. Just realize that your health and fitness is unique to you. We're all going to be going through this. The nutrition you have access to the nutrition that you're eating based on the variety of things that you eat, things that you like to eat, and you don't eat, particularly if you're doing something that's more of a restrictive diet of, like kicking entire food groups out, then it's just something for you to think about.
[00:58:43.920] – Allan
If I'm not eating that, how am I getting this.
[00:58:48.000] – Rachel
Right. Absolutely. And magnesium is important. More so than I thought.
[00:58:54.400] – Allan
Well, it's kind of one of those quiet little things that we never talk about, but it's involved in so much of the processes within the body. And you kind of like you build it. Another one that's really important is phosphorus. And you don't even think about that. Where am I getting my phosphorus from? Well, you can get it from cruciferous vegetables. So if you're not eating asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower, you might not be getting enough phosphorus. And as a result, your energy levels might be lower. And so there's so many things out there that can affect how your body produces energy, the B vitamins, the minerals, all those things.
[00:59:35.010] – Allan
And so just making sure that you're getting a good variety of foods and you're still not feeling it. Give a supplement a try and see if that makes you feel better. And if it does, then maybe you've solved some problems and you're not going to have to go to the doctor and said, don't understand why I'm in fatigue. It's like, well, fatigue is a symptom of just about every disease we ever talk about with our clients. So it could be any really, you could have dengue fever.
[01:00:03.140] – Allan
You could have COVID. You could have a common cold. You could have anemia. You could have a magnesium deficiency. There's so many different things that could be causing that. So making sure you're getting good food supplementing if you feel like it's necessary and then just paying attention because your body gives you this feedback loop. That's really cool.
[01:00:25.290] – Rachel
Yeah, that absolutely sounds like sound advice, Allan, great interview.
[01:00:29.570] – Allan
Thank you. And like I said, I'm going to try to get him back on. He has a book coming out in March, so I'm hopeful that we'll be able to connect, and he's a busy guy, but I'm hopeful we can connect and get him back on the show soon. Now, before we sign off, I did want to remind you if you're looking to lose weight in the new year, so we get into January, and you want to lose some weight, and you want to have a little bit of help doing that.
[01:00:53.200] – Allan
I want you to check out my win at weight loss program. It's a six week program. I can't take a ton of people because I'm not like a lot of trainers out there that say, oh, I'm a big name. So I'm going to offload you to my junior trainers. I don't do that. It's just me. So there are limited number of slots I'm going to be able to have. So go ahead and get on the waiting list. If you're interested, go to 40plusfitness.com/win.
[01:01:17.550] – Allan
[01:01:21.080] – Rachel
Perfect. That sounds great, Allan.
[01:01:22.810] – Allan
All right. We'll talk to you next week, then.
[01:01:24.660] – Rachel
[01:01:25.520] – Allan
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