Simple one really. I recently had to work all night before a big meeting to prepare things. Ok I didn't have to, it wasn't my responsibility, but I didn't want our company to suffer for other people's mistakes. Anyway, I was well aware afterwards that what I needed was sleep not food, and I've no problem with that as the ideal response to some unexpected hormonal imbalance. However, while sleep may be the most important thing, it's not always practical for many people to sleep whenever and wherever they choose.
So my question is this. Is there an argument for shifting to carbs to maintain brain function in this 'critical' situation, which is what my body seems to suggest is necessary if I'm not allowing it to sleep? I had steak in the fridge but while I wanted to eat it, I felt like it would be too much hard work. Would I be better off fasting to conserve energy and maximise output - if you can't think of anything good to eat, don't eat anything at all? What do people find works best when the 'natural' (ie. sleep) solution isn't immediately available?
MCT oil anyone? If your a low carber... coconut or MCT oil is your friend for a brain boost. And of course, there is always caffiene.
As I said to Dr. Kruse above... when your young and ambitious you really have to put your health on the back seat occassionally. And I mean like one or two nights every other month or so. Sometimes a full week! The world is competitive and, depending upon your industry, in order to get ahead and succeed you really have to sacrifice yourself at times.
But, you can always come prepared. MCT Oil, Coconut Oil and Caffiene for the low carbers and tubers, fruits, etc for the high carbers. Over all, keeping blood sugar steady will provide you with a boost as will keeping active. Stand up, jump around, keep the blood flowing!
And most of all, make sure you recovery is good. If you have a crazy week where you have to stay up late nights and sacrifice your sleep, then quit the working out and stick to walks/jogs/quick bodyweight stuff. Do not overwork your body anymore than you already are!
For me, I use carbs to my advantage as a fuel for when I need energy. Just make sure that they're good carbs.
I'm an actor, and if I have a performance after a long day and need some energy, rather than chugging a sugar-free RedBull, I will eat me some delicious carbs!
Remember, 80/20. Just stick strict Paleo for the rest of the week.
what kind of carbs? sticky buns? you'll feel worse. if it is emotional eating, you'll feel worse, and your brain may not be more efficient. I sneak a small dunkin donuts hot chocolate, but always find it never tastes as good as i remember. try yogurt and hard cheese.
"Is there an argument for shifting to carbs to maintain brain function in this 'critical' situation, which is what my body seems to suggest is necessary if I'm not allowing it to sleep? I had steak in the fridge but while I wanted to eat it, I felt like it would be too much hard work."
I'm not anti-carbs at all; I'm one of those who eat moderate carbs every day. BUT, you are talking about extreme circumstances. What you really need is whatever will give you the most energy and help you stay alert, etc.
It might be black coffee if it won't give you the shakes. If fixing a steak is too much, what carb can you prepare more easily? Me, I'd fix the steak or eat it out of the fridge cold if it's a leftover. The only no-work carb I can think of is full-fat yogurt or a piece of fruit.
So what did you do, and how did it work? That's the real question.
Sounds like either an excuse to simulate finding that elusive bee hive and simulate being chased by bees all night :) (but is it paleo if you don't get stung?). Either that or accept an impromptu intermittent fast period.
Long as it's the "good" kind of carbs, it doesn't matter, and one day of lost sleep isn't going to kill you, it'll just feel like it.
If you feel that carbs are going to work for you in this moment, then go for it and go for good carbs. Humans can do well on carbs only, though of course we all know that isn't optimal. I'll bet prehistoric homo sapiens had to pull an all-night session now and then, say if under threat or on the move to flee a disaster. Go with your gut instinct when you're that tired and sleep is not an option yet. Life will interfere with your dietary plans, just roll with it and get back on the wagon tomorrow.
My recommendation is to test these things out on yourself when a lot ISN'T on the line.
As a matter of fact, I recommend everyone try and stay awake at least a couple days solid at least once, just to see how it affects you/feels. Many probably already have (MD's seem to have the sleep deprivation thing down).
What you'll probably find is that the carbs work great for a few hours, then you crash hard and have to feed again. So, fine for a short time (if you know how long it'll be), not so smart for longer or unknown times.
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