T Nation

Slow brain on T-dawg

There still is no “Official” support group for T-dawg, so I decided to open a new discussion:

How soon and for how long do you experience that "fuzziness" of low carb diet? I'm in the middle of week 2, and it seems that the same numb feeling I had last week is here again, three days after Saturdays (partially controlled) cheat festival. Carbs are strictly around 70/100 mark, probably even lower.

Now, I know that this is not intended to be a full keto diet, but does it mean that I hover in this "almost-keto" fuzz for the whole duration of the diet, minus carb-ups? This is making it harder to concentrate at work. Coffee does not help that much (only makes me feel both fuzzy, and wired), and ECA is something I don't want to experiment with. Some of you have advocated megadoses of DHA/EPA to combat this. Any other suggestions?

The strange thing is that I usually have those keto-signs already by Tuesday morning: bad breath...errr...stinky piss (sorry), lowered need for sleep and strong food cravings on the previous night which are gone by the next morning. (This is strange because I am a novice low-carber, and that should make it really hard to fall into ketosis in the beginning. On the other hand, I did keep my carbs under 200 grams/day for several months before this so perhaps I was already in ketosis part of the time anyway.)

But the mental clarity that several people mention with ketosis is just not there... Are these signs of real ketosis, or signs of hovering in/out of it? Should this get better as time goes by, or do the carbs that we are allowed make it impossible to really adapt to ketosis?

I'm not especially aiming at ketosis, but if it makes my brain work better in the long run, perhaps I should? Any experiences, fellow T-dawgers?

Wait, you said, “Carbs are strictly around 70/100 mark, probably even lower.” How is it strict if you don’t know the exact number? Are you keeping a food log? Are you using Surge like the article says? And what do you mean “the mental clarity of ketosis”. It’s usually the exact opposite. Keto feels like shit!

Anyway, most low carb experts say the fuzziness lasts about two weeks of you experience it at all. Some do, some don’t. And remember, The T-Dawg 2.0 is not a keto diet.

This is the reason, I use a more stict keto diet instead of t-dawg. I keep my carbs to under 30g/dy in the form of leafy green veggies. I find I have much better mental clarity, more energy and feel better in general. Even consuming extra carbs after a workout leaves me feeling mentally fuzzy and physically weak. I can also consume more total calories in a day on a strict keto diet than I can with the t-dawg diet. I’ve been on a ckd for 8 months straight now and have adapted really well to it. Not only have I improved strength gains, but I grapple 3x/wk and play hockey a couple of times a week as well. I carb up every Sun. from noon til bed just so I can eat the foods I miss like pizza and ice cream.

Paul, I meant that some days carbs are near the maximum, some days (like today) even so low as 20 grams a day. Depends a lot on what I have for dinner - steak & salad is minimal carbs, while beans in chili I made yesterday combined with PW shake carbs bumped the total to 90 grams. Naturally, I’m keeping a food log. “Probably lower” just means that I’m rounding carby food weights up so as not to go overboard with them.

I'm drinking my whey+maltodextrin shake as suggested, half during WO, half after. This seems to give nice energy, but only for the workout. Haven't seen Surge in shops here, so have to improvise (would certainly give it a shot if it just was available). Other supplementation is only creatine plus additional B-vitamin pill.

I read some lowcarber BB's and they seemed to say that when in ketosis, brain fog shoud disappear. It should only be bad before brain has made the transition to using ketones. Now, to be frank, it is not as bad as it was during the first week. But still, a couple of weeks like this and they start checking if I'm still awake at the office :)

JF, if you’re open to experimenting, I’ll recommend a couple of things for you.

First, phosphatidyl serine (PS). Not only does it help with mental energy, alertness, cognitive ability, it’s supposed to suppress cortisol. Try taking it twice a day; once upon waking and once before you work out.

Second, and trust me on this, MSM, which is a highly bioavailable/assimilable type of sulfur. It’s normally bundled with glucosamine chondroitin – and it is useful for healing, inflammation and pain reduction – but at about 5g x 2 (in the morning and before working out) you’ll definitely get a bit of a lift.

Additionally, consider using PowerDrive before your workouts. And finally, start taking that high-dose fish oil (6-10g) you keep hearing about. You’ll swear there’s a stimulant in it!

Terry, once again thanks for reply. First of all - PS? Where do you get it, is it expensive, and what are the brands? What it is originally used for? Never heard…

MSM - actually I'm contemplating getting some chondroitine/glucosamine/MSM combo for my knees, so that would be two flies with one strike. However, the MSM content in the combo is rather low, 500 mg per pill. MSM is kinda pricey, though - 200 grams is around 35 euros, or 35$. But let's see, if the duh! feeling is still there next week, some drastic measures are needed :)

Power Drive I would love to try, but unfortunately Biotest is not widely available here in Europe.

Fish oil - ok, this is easier. How quickly should I feel the effects? I mean, I already supplement daily with 2x0.5 gram tabs, so it is just a matter of popping a few more, but should the effect be readily felt within hours? Or do you need to take that 6-10 grams for several days?

Otherwise, T-dawg is working great, and would love to stick with it for a few weeks more.

JF, I don’t know where in Europe you are, but if at all possible, do a search on the Internet for your supplements. A number of the companies I deal with will ship internationally.

MSM is actually not that expensive. The cheapest you’ll get it is if you buy it in powder form. To get the stimulatory affect and the maximum anti-arthritis pain relief, you’re going to have to supplement at higher dosages. And it’s not until you get to 4 or 5 grams that you see any stimulatory effects. If it’s cheaper, get straight glucosamine chondroitin without MSM and supplement the MSM separately. 500mg is not enough to help you out that much.

PS is more expensive, but it’s worth always having a bottle around and using it for those times you just need to be sharp. A lot of the kids use it the night before exams. It helps them pull all nighters without the jitters.

High dose fish oil should have an immediate effect, like within an hour. There are a whole range of health benefits to high-dose fish oil. Barry Sears of the “Omega Zone” and John Berardi of T-Mag fame have both written about it. If you’re looking for something that’s more cost effective, consider liquid fish oil, Health from the Sun. I get mine from iHerb.com at about $6 or $6.50 a bottle. And yeah, for people who can’t stand the liquid version they’re popping a LOT of pills, 18-20 a day. And that’s 6-10g of EPA/DHA. I’m actually taking in about 22g total, of which 6g is the EPA/DHA fraction.

No matter what you choose to do, it sounds like you’re awfully close to making the metaboic shift. Things will get easier.

Good luck to you!!!