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Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility

ByCrossFit September 8, 2022
Found in:220909,Health

Kristi Storoschuk, a Ph.D. student at Queen’s University, and Mike Giardina sit down at the 2022 CrossFit Games to discuss metabolic flexibility. Metabolic flexibility is the body’s ability to alter fuel sources based on metabolic demands. Storoschuk explains how exercise can be a stimulus to improve metabolic flexibility as well as a way to determine one’s metabolic flexibility. Those who are metabolically flexible will be able to perform a higher workload while still utilizing fat as the main fuel source, and they will be able to use glucose effectively when the workload surpasses fat oxidation capacity. Contrary to that, those who are not metabolically flexible will be in a high state of glycolysis early in exercise or even during times of rest.

Storoschuk also explains how her Ph.D. experience has brought her to the conclusion that exercise is the only stimulus to truly improve metabolic flexibility in human muscle. Exercise provides the metabolic stress necessary to improve mitochondrial density. Storoschuk provides some insight into which types of exercise to prioritize to improve metabolic flexibility. Both zone 2 cardio and high-intensity training have been shown to improve mitochondrial function and density, though high-intensity exercise might be able to get similar results in less time.

Storoschuk finishes with a brief explanation on how exercise can help regulate metabolism when coming off a prolonged fast or even after a night of insufficient sleep. Both scenarios can cause an acute state of metabolic inflexibility, which can be overcome by a single bout of exercise.

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Ricardo Laranjo
September 12th, 2022 at 2:03 am
Commented on: Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility

Lot’s of Studies mentioned by Kristi regarding the issues of the interview.

Is there any possibility that we have access to those studies and be able to read them?

Great content, thank you

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Thibaut Revenaz
October 5th, 2022 at 8:38 pm

That would be great!

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Elizabeth Casey
September 11th, 2022 at 1:23 pm
Commented on: Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility

Love this video very informative I always thought fasting and keto was the only way but this findings are very interesting. I can see it from real life examples at my box people that don’t push hard don’t seem to improve like the athletes that really push hard. That’s The difference between improving or just staying at the same place.

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Katina Thornton
September 10th, 2022 at 3:35 pm
Commented on: Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility


Stimuli lead to adaptation. The same stimuli will not cause increased adaptation. The body is clever and will find the most efficient way to address it. That is why it must be constantly varied, but not random. I witnessed this at The Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. The same people faithfully came for years on end and did the same weekly regimine. They reaped minimal benefit beyond the initial adaptation. Was it better than doing nothing? Absolutely. Could it have been even better? Yes, and with less of their time expenditure.

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David Generoso
September 9th, 2022 at 7:10 pm
Commented on: Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility

I love heartfelt honesty

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Carla Vice
September 9th, 2022 at 1:28 pm
Commented on: Exercise and Metabolic Flexibility


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