It’s typical for athletic performance to decline with age. (And, athletes may experience signs of accelerated aging caused by intense training.) If you’re worried about your declining performance, start looking at how you train and what you eat. We may not be able to reverse our chronological age, but we can guide our bodies through the ageing process.
Did you know that there are longevity strategies specifically for athletes? These strategies consider long-term performance, health, and muscle growth!
In this episode, Dr. Elena Seranova joins us to discuss how ageing can affect our bodies and our athletic performance. She shares her strategies, from supplements to lifestyle changes, that can help athletes combat the effects of ageing. If you’re overwhelmed by all of the information out there, remember: you need to build a good foundation first. Start with eating right and sleeping well; from there, you can eventually incorporate Dr. Elena’s other recommendations.
If you want to learn longevity strategies for athletes and how to improve athletic performance, then this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Discover how ageing affects athletic performance and why athletes may experience signs of accelerated ageing.
- Learn longevity strategies that will support athletic performance and your general health, like how to activate your autophagy pathways.
- Understand that longevity is a process of building good habits; you can start out by focusing on the basics, like diet and sleep.
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[02:32] Why Athletic Performance Drops as We Age
- The main cause of athletic performance decline is mitochondrial decline. Mitochondrial decline is linked to senescence cells.
- Senescence cells stop dividing and do nothing. As we age, we may have 5-20% senescence cells in different tissues.
- This causes inflammation and causes the mitochondria to function improperly, thus increasing reactive oxygen species within cells.
- Nuclear DNA is usually packed in histones, which preserve genetic material. However, mitochondrial DNAs lack histones, making it prone to oxidative stress and mutations.
- As we age, our epigenetic processes become less efficient; it becomes a vicious cycle with more reactive oxygen species and less capacity to deal with them.
[08:23] How Else Do Our Bodies Respond to Ageing
- Ageing declines autophagy, which recycles cellular organelles.
- When there’s nothing to clean up dysfunctional mitochondria, problems with energy generation arise.
- Athletes who have exercised intensely their whole life will have worn-off tissues and lactic acid buildup.
- Remember, exercise is good, since we want some level of oxidative stress; however, we don’t want more oxidative stress than what our body can cope with.
- Lisa shares how running ultramarathons accelerated her ageing process, wear and tear, and inflammation.
[12:29] How to Support Autophagy and Athletic Performance?
- Intermittent fasting is when people have a certain feeding window a day. After eating, mTOR switches off and AMPK is activated which allows for autophagy.
- If you want to build muscle, Dr. Elena recommends eating after exercising so you can activate mTOR which helps with muscle growth.
- You need to create a cycle going of mTOR and AMPK since autophagy recycles cells back into amino acids, which can help cells build new proteins.
- Don’t create a feeding window that’s too narrow; you need to have enough fuel for your body. Eat chicken, meat, and foods rich in amino acids.
- Make sure you're sleeping properly, as this can affect your muscle growth.
[18:30] Supplements to Support Autophagy and Longevity
- You can also support autophagy through supplements like berberine.
- Dr. Elena recommends adding supplements to specifically target senescence cells. Senolytics help kill senescence cells while senomorphics modify the senescence cells.
- Quercetin added with Vitamin C can help kill senescence cells. By itself, quercetin can produce toxic metabolites, so it needs Vitamin C to serve as an antioxidant.
- She also recommends taking their quercetin product with NAC and acetylcysteine to boost glutathione, a potent antioxidant.
- Quercetin has many benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used to combat cardiovascular disease, fight seasonal allergies, and can fight cancer.
[26:51] How to Take Quercetin
- Quercetin can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables like strawberries and onions.
- If you’ve never taken compounds for their senescent action before, start by taking quercetin at 500 mg every day. After a month of taking it, check in on how you feel.
- You can also implement detox protocols with a higher dosage of quercetin(around 2 - 2 ½ grams). If you want to implement this protocol, start with 5 days first.
- Quercetin can be combined with 500mg of chlorella to boost the detoxifying reaction.
- People with kidney diseases should consult with a doctor before taking quercetin.
[32:43] How NMN Can Help Athletes
- In addition to mitochondrial decline, athletes can experience loss of endurance and muscle loss as they age.
- Dr. Elena recommends increasing your fasting window depending on your goals.
- You want more oxygenation in your tissues to preserve endurance and muscle.
- Dr. Elena offers an NMN product that can increase both endurance and prevent age-related muscle loss.
- This can help increase insulin sensitivity, activating longevity genes and DNA repair.
[36:37] How to Optimise NMN
- NMN functions optimally when it’s attached to a methyl group. Unfortunately, our body’s methylation process also declines with age.
- NMN should be paired with TMG, as it is a rich methyl donor.
- When you combine NMN, TMG, and quercetin, you’ll optimise your performance and endurance.
[39:11] Longevity is Your Biological Age, Not Your Chronological Age
- Many people over 40 are insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a gateway to biological decline.
- You can check your insulin resistance by checking your waist to hip ratio.
- After the age of 40, it’s much easier to experience hormonal dysfunction.
- We need to make a conscious effort to improve our health. Ageing can cause issues to spiral if left uncontrolled.
[42:50] Be Careful With Your Food
- 80% of adults in the west are insulin resistant.
- The food industry worsens the condition by offering so many processed carbohydrates.
- Many people have false ideas about what a healthy diet is. You can’t have too many carbohydrates and sugar, even if they’re coming from fruits.
- Cut down on carbohydrates, avoid processed foods, and take good oils.
[45:21] Start with the Basics
- Start with the basics. You don’t need to add supplements immediately.
- Just eat clean and good food. There’s no such thing as a universal diet.
- Taking cold showers in the morning can improve hormonal balance. You can start with just 10 seconds of cold exposure.
- Manage your stress levels and make sure you move regularly.
- You don’t need to be perfect.
[50:47] How Some People Live to 100
- There were two hypotheses surrounding centenarians: good habits and the absence of high-risk genes. However, some centenarians were found to have bad habits and mutations for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Centenarians have genes that mitigate risks from bad mutations. They also have low IGF 1 levels.
- When people are young, IGF 1 can improve muscle and tissue growth, but it can be harmful when people grow older.
- Centenarians’ genetic combination allowed for IGF to decrease as they grow older. Listen to the episode to learn more about how centenarians’ hormonal processes are being regulated.
- Commit to regularly regulating and balancing your hormones. This process starts with clean food, caloric restriction, and exercise.
About Dr. Elena
Dr. Elena Seranova is a scientist, serial entrepreneur, and business mentor. She has now founded multiple innovative biotechnological businesses. She first studied at the University of Ioannina with a major in Psychology. Dr. Elena then started a private practice before developing an interest in neuroscience.
Dr. Elena continued her studies and earned her Master’s Degree in Translational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield. She now also holds a Doctorate Degree in Stem Cell Biology and Autophagy from the University of Birmingham.
Dr. Elena’s expertise in these fields led her to co-found the biotech start-up SkyLab Bio. She has written several peer-reviewed articles on autophagy.
Her latest business is NMN Bio. Her own experiences with supplements have inspired her to expand the market to include cutting-edge anti-ageing supplements. NMN Bio reaches New Zealand, the UK, and Europe.
Dr. Elena found her passion for drug discovery and autophagy. She has endeavoured to share this with the public through her research and work as an entrepreneur.
To learn more about Dr. Elena and her work, visit NMN Bio.