Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vespa: power from the good fat

I cannot resist talking about the benefits of Vespa Power again, after seeing this article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.
Here is how to read the chart: the author looked at the energetic power of various sources, using the volume of the Apple iPhone 6S battery as a reference. And, guess what, body fat comes in second position, close behind diesel fuel! But, with body fat, you don't even have to stop by the pump...! ;-)

Many of you have heard me talk about how Vespa has changed my (ultra racing) life these past 4 3 years. How does that Japanese magic potion work? It accelerates the metabolism to burn fat and use body fat as a source of energy during a prolonged effort, instead of carbohydrates. I'm not a specialist of the field but here are some basic nutrition maths which are part of the theory: while our muscles can store between 2,000 and 2,500 calories (or rather kcal), during a marathon we burn about 100-120 calories per mile. With that, you run out of fuel around 20 miles, which corresponds to the famous, or infamous, wall. To avoid hitting the wall, and if you want to only run on carbs, you then need to ingest and process 600 or more calories to stay afloat, 6 GU gels for instance.
Meanwhile, a pound of body fat corresponds to roughly 3,500 calories. Even at a 10% body fat ratio which is already low even for athletes (lower than 6% is considered as unhealthy), that's 15 pounds for a weight of 150 pounds, and 52,500 calories which could sustain more than 500 miles theoretically, quite some distance! Of course you don't want, can cannot fortunately, process all your body fat at once, but the point is that you can run 50 or 100 miles without much else.

While Vespa triggers this body fat burning, you can also teach your body to naturally use body fat as the main source of energy by cutting on your consumption of carb. That's what Peter Defty labels as 'Fat-adapted metabolic state' in the Optimized Fat Metabolism (OFM) program.

And, yes, this works as you can see through the transformation and performances of not only elite athletes, but regular ones as well, and not only for running, but other endurance sports as well such as cycling, swimming, skating, triathlon. At the 50-mile road Nationals last week for instance, the top 2 males, Zach Bitter and Anthony Kunkel, are avid adepts of OFM and Vespa.
Now, I must admit that, although the Vespa maths make a lot of sense, you have to believe in this approach: it's not going to work if you just drink one pouch of Vespa randomly during a race when you are bonking. The way I'm using Vespa in races is one pouch 45 minutes before the start, one at the start, no calorie intake for 90 minutes, one pouch every 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the pace and intensity of the race (e.g. 3-hour intervals for 8-10 min/mile pace 100K+ races, or 2.5 hours for 6-8 min/mile pace 50-mile and under races).

Ironically, I'm writing this post on the day of Halloween when the whole country is going to go high on sugary treats! Oh, well, not everybody is interested in endurance sports... But, for those of you who are, then enjoy some fat and, since you are carrying it anyway, learn how to use it as a super powerful and natural fuel! You'll be amazed at your now power! ;-)


Peter said...

Thanks a TON! Jean for I am going to push it out there ...

Jaimee Maree said...

Super interesting to read. Been meaning to try Vespa for a while so will definitely check it out. Thanks for the info!!

Stephen said...

I just came across your blog today, and following on from a conversation i had with Peter Defty today as well, I bought a couple dozen packs.