2

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Special considerations for Hard Labour?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I work full-time doing concrete finishing. A typical day will include a good hour or two of moving wheel-barrels full of concrete followed by three or four 1-2 hour stretches of bent-over trawling, with various other physical tasks in-between. Often I will spend entire days shoveling and raking gravel or dirt.

I've recently added sweet potatoes and have had a little more energy, but I was wondering if there is anything else I should be doing and just how many carbs I need.

I am lean and fairly muscular already. My focus is alleviating major depression and a bunch of other non-specific symptoms, not leaning out. I know that too much exercise is bad, but I don't seem to have much of a choice right now and am just looking for some damage control at this point.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:00 AM

Excellent response- I train horses and sometimes get to the point where I feel "rundown and generally miserable and mad as hell at damn near everything." I will take your advice to eat more liver and eggs, and to really ramp up the heavy duty nutrition. And I'll try for more sleep. Thanks.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Might be worth editing your post to include what a few days of food looks like for you. It will help with people giving you suggestions on where you might find improvement.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 19, 2011
at 11:52 PM

I was never again on the receiving end of the concrete.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 19, 2011
at 11:49 PM

When I was pouring and finishing concrete as a young man, I realized after one summer, that the guy driving the concrete truck was doing a whole lot less work than I was. All he had to do was back the truck up to the job and reverse the barrel with the pull of a lever or he had to back up to a mud pumper and dump the whole load in minutes, pull away and clean the chute and then drive off back to the batch plant. Think about that and then see http://paleohacks.com/questions/39245/the-neuroscience-of-the-gut-the-brain-is-shaped-by-bacteria-in-the-digestive-tra#axzz1MqFagQsc Think which you want

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6 Answers

2
61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

on May 20, 2011
at 03:02 AM

I hear you I am a union carpenter (8 years) and started out in concrete. I know what it's like to spend 60+ hours a week on a hot slab busting your ass. I wasn't totally paleo when I was doing concrete(now I do finish and cabinets and only part of the year) but I was pretty strict Weston A. Price without much grains. What I do now is eat like crazy. Lots of carbs (in the form of starch) more then most paleos. Like with every meal and including snacks like homemade plantain, yucca chips. I also eat lots of fat like butter, cream, homemade kefir with extra cream added. When I am working I try to keep a little fat on me like you I am already lean and muscular. I Know if I want I can loose the fat so I don't worry about it.

If you don't know about it yet check out the mobility WOD it really helps with aches and pains from being bent over all day etc. Why are you a finisher? do you want to do this long term? I would suggest you try not to. Even if it just means moving to a less taxing trade like being an electrician. Construction is rough on your body no matter what. It's really unnatural too work that hard that often and paleo man defiantly didn't. So I think you kinda have to adapt your diet. Also you are constantly around toxic shit, dust, idiots, and danger and those things don't mix well sometimes.

As far as depression I am not much of a help. But I would say find what makes you happy and fight for it like it's your last year alive. F*k money F*k things F**k the diet. Look at what makes you happy health, community, nature, food, freedom that's what works for me. The security of a job and money can be taken away at anytime don't let them rule your life.

Edit:I thought of something else avoid the drama. Construction sites can have a lot of drama I call it macho drama. Residential isn't as bad but if you are on big commercial jobs it can get kinda serious between trades and races. Construction tends to attract some pretty strong personalities and aggression is kinda encouraged especially with higher ups. Also macho competition is always present. As someone that had a pretty violent adolescence all that stuff can make me feel like violence is right around the corner and really get under my skin. Sometimes it is I was working with my forman once and he was having a problem with the operator of a boom crane. So he showed the operator that he was carrying. So the operator showed him that he was too. So I would say be careful too not fall into that BS if it's too heavy ask for help if it's dangerous don't do it. If someone wants to be better or tougher then you let them. This isn't to say let people walk all over you. just be careful not to take it all to seriously or take sides. The stress can be really tiring in its self.

1
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on January 03, 2012
at 08:44 AM

Well to get a little cliche on you; you need to listen to your body. I've done the arduous work thing before and in spite of being nearly twice the size of my coworkers, I realized I require relatively few calories to maintain and even less to lose the few extra pounds I've got. We're not all the same, studies (and this) show that obese-prone individuals (the dreaded thrifty gene) require less calories to maintain the same weight as a person who was never overweight and they burn fewer calories performing the same work as others who were never overweight.

If your not concerned with losing weight, then eat as much as you need to feel energized throughout the day. If you know there are foods that help with your depression or other symptoms, then keep eating them. This includes sweet potatoes and other relatively safe starches, possibly including rice if you tolerate it well. Nobody can really give you a specific number of grams or ratio of macronutrients for your body to function optimally because we don't know the specifics of your genome or situation.

As far as the higher amount of work required, i.e.-"too much exercise," that may likely vary by idividual as well. But you can be sure that if it is not in excess of >75% of maximum heart rate than it is not likely to fall into the chronic cardio range. If it does then you may need to figure out a way to increase your strength in those movements so that it does not require that level of exertion or find a more efficient method of movement so that you do not find yourself in that range. Below the chronic cardio level, you should in theory be able to rely on the burning of fat stores or dietary fat for energy. If that is not the case, adjust accordingly.

1
20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on November 08, 2011
at 04:51 AM

Sleep more and eat more. I was in the same boat for a while pulling 18+ hour days as an iron worker, rundown and generally miserable and mad as hell at damn near everything. Food is the easy part, just eat alot more of whatever you already eat, assuming its mostly good stuff. Alot more, no half steps, if you work like a beast you must eat like one. Try throwing half a dozen eggs ontop of your normal breakfast, and cook'em in a nice thick slab of butter. Do the same for dinner, then go to sleep. Eat big chunks of liver too, every other day for a while, then maybe cut back to twice a week. A few weeks of that should put you back in fightin shape, I know the sleep part is tricky, but thats the only time your body will heal and recover. Dont be a tough guy, take a nap.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:00 AM

Excellent response- I train horses and sometimes get to the point where I feel "rundown and generally miserable and mad as hell at damn near everything." I will take your advice to eat more liver and eggs, and to really ramp up the heavy duty nutrition. And I'll try for more sleep. Thanks.

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on January 03, 2012
at 07:40 PM

246mL. Exactly. Don't dare try 250 or you'll balloon up instantly.

Just kidding. You know this question is utterly impossible to answer, right? Even if we go with a strict calories in/calories out theory of weight loss, the answer is going to depend on what else you're eating, your activity level, your fat:muscle ratio, the number of calories per serving (which we can't tell from a list of ingredients), and so forth. And most of us here believe that there's more to weight gain/loss than calories in/calories out.

The real answer is, as others have said, that this is not a product that will optimally support health and weight loss. It looks high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Can you drink some and maintain weight loss? Probably. But we can't tell you exactly how much, and you'll almost certainly do better with a less processed alternative.

0
F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on May 20, 2011
at 02:31 AM

I run into similar issues with hard labor. I do 10+ hrs a day, and have some trouble with having enough energy. I often wonder about the limits to how much energy you're body can produce via lipolysis. I haven't really tried increasing carbs too much (at about 150-200gr a day and consume 4000+ calories a day), but don't know what other options we have once we reach the limits of what fat burning can provide.

As far as depression goes, hop on over to Evolutionary Pyschiatry http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/ for some great, if science-heavy, reading.

0
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on May 19, 2011
at 10:58 PM

Tough to say without knowing what the rest of your diet looks like, but I would make sure you are getting enough good fats. With as much as you are active, I think the sweet potatoes are a good idea, but fats should still be your main source of fuel. Not to mention fats should help with the depression aspect. As far as 'damage control' is concerned, how are you on nutrients as a whole? Mulivitamin? Supplements?

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