Autophagy the secret to Recovery

recovery training

Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. So the literal meaning of autophagy is “self-eating.”

The removal or recycling of damaged cell (Senescence Cells) constituents is also vital for the maintenance of skeletal muscle homeostasis during exercise. This process is called Autophagy, Yoshinori Ohsumi, w Molecular biologist  won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the field of autophagy: the processes by which the cell digests and recycles its own components.

Why is it important to cyclists?

Autophagy cleans out all cells which are not in 100% healthy state. There are a number of physiological mechanisms involved. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, leads to increased numbers and quality of mitochondria, and increases autophagy, the cellular self-cleansing process

What causes Autophagy?

Exercise and intermittent fasting activate Autophagy.

A recent Newcastle University study found that this ability is due to small adaptations in a protein known as p62 that induces autophagy. By sensing the metabolic by products that cause cell damage (called reactive oxygen species ROS), protein p62 activates to induce autophagy, or start cleaning.

How to use Autophagy in your training program

The stress of exercise and training will induce autophagy, introducing time restricted eating into the recovery week of a training program could enhance the autophagy signal adding to repair and regeneration of cells.

What type of time restricted eating?

Time-restricted eating (6hr window) lowered mean blood glucose levels, increased ketones, lowered evening cortisol, elevated evening BDNF, and increased the levels of an autophagy gene by 22% compared to eating same calories within a 12hr window (humans).


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