1

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Have people experienced a reduction in their pulse?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 18, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Since I went paleo, my pulse rate has decreased, and is now around 50 to 52, which seems low. A few other people I know who are at least partially paleo seem to have lowered their pulse rate too.

Has anyone else experienced a similar reduction? Do people think this is a result of weight loss, or something else? Is this a marker that anyone uses for their health analysis?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:26 AM

your comment of "I think athletes tend to have lowers pulses because they are more susceptible to thyroid issues" may also have some validity as well. tho, i have not looked for any studies on this.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:21 AM

athletes also tend to have lower resting pulses because they have bigger hearts which pump a greater volume of blood per stroke (stroke volume) . the heart will generally get bigger (& stronger) with exercise. this change will reverse on returning to a more sedentary lifestyle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_heart_syndrome.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 01, 2011
at 05:38 PM

ray peat........

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:24 PM

This is cool info!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Funny. I was going to answer this and then I noticed that I already had... I've noticed that my resting heart rate lowered by a few points and has stayed around 50-55.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:16 PM

where are you getting the 80 bpm number?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:08 PM

Usually when I check my pulse it's 54-56. I just checked it and it's 49! I am currently fasting so this may indeed have something to do with it.

2d372dd8feff8c88d788095011eebbfa

(293)

on June 18, 2010
at 02:47 PM

That rules out the metabolic reaction to a sudden diet change...

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on June 18, 2010
at 12:04 PM

About two years, with a gap of about six months in the middle.

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14 Answers

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6
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 18, 2010
at 09:04 PM

I think this is a result of a body that is more fit.

According to NEMA, most "normal" people's pulse rates fall within 60 and 90. But remember that they are testing the general population (having eaten a modern neolithic diet for a century) and those numbers are going to represent what's normal for a modern neolithic society. This website also states that athletes tend to have lower ranges, between 40 to 60.

So if you're otherwise fit, still experiencing good energy levels and mental clarity, you're probably fine. However, if you're experiencing other symptoms, such as low energy or dizziness, it might not be the paleo diet. It might be something else and you should see a doctor.

Just my thoughts...

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Funny. I was going to answer this and then I noticed that I already had... I've noticed that my resting heart rate lowered by a few points and has stayed around 50-55.

1
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:16 PM

I practice IF and usually when I check my pulse I do it at night during the feeding window. I don't recall checking my pulse in the fasted window so I tried this just now. My pulse range is usually 54-56 but my current pulse is 49!

I found a study done on rats to determine the affects of Dietary Restriction and IF on many factors, including heart rate. The study showed that DR and IF produce a lower heart rate compared to eating Ad libitum. http://www.fasebj.org/content/20/6/631.full

Heart rate and blood pressure HR in both groups decreased gradually in response to the initiation of both DR regimens, and although the trend was similar in both periods, the effect appeared more significant during the dark period than in the light period (Fig. 2 A). From DR wk 2???8, HR was reduced significantly compared with pre-DR measures in the same rats (P<0.05). In addition, HR during DR wk 3???8 was significantly decreased compared with that in wk 1 (P<0.05). These results indicate that the IF- and CR-induced reductions in HR reach a maximal effect at 3???4 wk after the diets were initiated in both groups. However, DR-induced reductions in HR were rapidly reversed after food was made available AL. Although HR during wk 1???3 after AL diet resumption was lower than pre-DR in the same group (P<0.05), this difference was not significant 4 wk after the AL regimen was resumed. The magnitude of the effects on HR produced by either IF or CR were similar.

If you IF this may be causing the decreased HR. Interesting!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:24 PM

This is cool info!

1
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on June 23, 2010
at 02:39 AM

My pulse went down relatively quickly after beginning to eat very low carb. I think it's because I became calmer. It's about 60-65 now. I do no exercise other than walking.

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on June 18, 2010
at 11:32 AM

My resting HR is way down nut I'm not sure if it's because of diet or because I exercise alot more HIIT now...and a ton of weightloss = reduced strain on my systems

I'd like to say both, but no control group ;)

1
2d372dd8feff8c88d788095011eebbfa

on June 18, 2010
at 09:46 AM

Before going paleo/primal my heart rate (in rest, measured after woken up) was most of the time just below 40 BPM.

Since switching to a paleo/primal (with a little dairy) I did not see much change.

Maybe you are extremely low in carbs, or just not eating enough fat. That can possibly result in a lower HR.

How long are you on a paleo diet now?

2d372dd8feff8c88d788095011eebbfa

(293)

on June 18, 2010
at 02:47 PM

That rules out the metabolic reaction to a sudden diet change...

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on June 18, 2010
at 12:04 PM

About two years, with a gap of about six months in the middle.

0
C490d8e53b974ca1a33b02ec3ff95c87

on September 27, 2013
at 03:42 PM

I've been on a kind of paleo for about three weeks now (actually, Specific Carbohydrate Diet). I cut out all grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, and added in a ton of cabbages, radishes, squash, kale, broccoli, bone broth, peas, etc. This morning I just happened to check my pulse when I woke up. It's now 50, down from 60 just a month ago. I'm not doing any cardio, not much exercise at all, so this was a big surprise.

As @gilliebean pointed out, as long as your blood pressure is in a good range and you don't feel weak or dizzy, you are fine!. In fact a lower heart rate is definitely healthier. Heart rate predicts mortality: the lower the heart rate, the longer you will live, on average.

I really wonder what is underlying this change. There are two factors to consider: removing grains, and adding in the vegetables. Are there any doctors or researchers out there who could venture a hypothesis on the mechanism for heart-rate reduction from going paleo?

0
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:20 PM

Robb Wolf talked about this on a recent podcast. My takeaway was that unless you're insanely high or insanely low, it's basically meaningless.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 17, 2012
at 12:20 PM

Yes, pulse and blood pressure went down for me on a non-SAD diet. From the upper 90's to the 60-70 range.

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 17, 2012
at 02:43 AM

After a few years paleo, all of that saturated fats starts clogging the arteries. As a result the heart will stop for several days at a time... I'm posting this with a stopped heart, its just resting you know.

0
6fb020e238def8a711c69dd0a7a2c7ed

on February 17, 2012
at 02:34 AM

Before I started the paleo diet a year ago, my pulse was 75-80. After a couple of months on the diet and a little bit of exercise, I got it down to 53 on average. It even went down to 48 a couple of times. I later stopped exercising and it went up to 60. About two weeks ago, I started exercising again and it's about 53. ( Just a couple of minutes ago, I checked it a few times in a row and I was at 49). Feel great. Lots of energy. Definitely the way we were meant to eat. Been on it for a little over a year and no longer crave grains, sugar or dairy.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Low pulse rate could indicate hypothyroid status. I personally think you want it to be around 80 bpms. I think athletes tend to have lowers pulses because they are more susceptible to thyroid issues.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:16 PM

where are you getting the 80 bpm number?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 01, 2011
at 05:38 PM

ray peat........

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:21 AM

athletes also tend to have lower resting pulses because they have bigger hearts which pump a greater volume of blood per stroke (stroke volume) . the heart will generally get bigger (& stronger) with exercise. this change will reverse on returning to a more sedentary lifestyle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_heart_syndrome.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:26 AM

your comment of "I think athletes tend to have lowers pulses because they are more susceptible to thyroid issues" may also have some validity as well. tho, i have not looked for any studies on this.

0
71e078b9000a360364fd039bae64dabf

on December 01, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I was going to ask a similar question to this but i thought i'd bump this old thread instead. I've just taken my resting pulse rate (sat at desk, middle of the afternoon) and it's 35/36! Last time i remember checking it was in the mid 40s. I think it must be a combination of low carb and intermittent fasting - i haven't eaten since yesterday evening.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 01, 2011
at 03:08 PM

Usually when I check my pulse it's 54-56. I just checked it and it's 49! I am currently fasting so this may indeed have something to do with it.

0
8603cae947a9b803f704301e477102bd

on June 19, 2010
at 04:26 PM

My pulse has reduced. Before I started eating paleo my pulse was in the high 90s. Currently it's 62. The most interesting detail is the change can be attributed to diet rather than exercise. This since I haven't exercised much since changing my diet. I haven't lost an exorbitant amount of weight either. Since going completely diet-paleo in February I've only lost ~22 lbs. That's approximately 35 lbs away from my ideal weight. I'm only now feeling healthy enough to start exercising. Due to a bad toe joint, walking isn't in the cards. But I intend to start doing yoga and maybe riding a Trikke once in a while.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 18, 2010
at 08:20 PM

Mine started to drop even before I started eating totally paleo. I started out trying the Shangri-La Diet, got some pretty good appetite suppression, and started restricting the calories to around 1500. My pulse dropped; in fact, one day I had them test me in the office because I felt funny- blood pressure was low as well.

I think it's a sign of better health.

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