Measuring heart rate variability


Ok. Firstly as a non Facebook user I’d like to say a huge thank you for making this forum/It’s about bloody time!

I’ve been an avid listener since last March and have oscillated a little with my keto adherence. During 2015 I lost >35kgs (from 105 to 68) following keto, and I’ve had small periods on and off the diet for most of 2016. I’m starting again today and I’m trying to capture the changes in my heart rate variability due to the diet.

I work for a company that manufactures and designs equipment for scientific studies and thus, I have access to a really nifty portable ecg device that I’ve been wearing. I’ve gathered some baseline data from the last week whilst I’m still in a bit of a carb binge phase and I’m curious as to what will happen as I attempt to transition back into keto.

If this is a topic that anyone finds interesting and if anyone knows about heart rate variability and how to interpret the data I’ll post the reports. I’m hoping that it can be another health variable that is improved by keto, and that I can see measurable results. So wish me luck and good data as I embrace the keto flu!

Keep calm, and. …


I measure HRV with a Polar H7 and the Elite HRV iOS app, but I find that activity/exercise and rest/recovery have far more influence on HRV than any variations in keto.

Since I only started monitoring HRV after I was keto-adapted, I can’t say if my recovery time is any better or worse, but I do feel like I have more energy and recover faster since being keto-adapted.

I’ll be interested to see how you respond.


It’s more the baseline HRV that I’m interested in. The healthier you get, the higher it is. So I’m curious if my baseline will improve over time with keto.

(Tom Seest) #4

I plan on trying Elite HRV.


@tdseest - in order for me to get my Polar H7 working with Elite HRV, I had to install and connect it to the free app from Polar itself.

(Richard Morris) #6

I’m interested in a better HRM. I have an old polar chest strap, but I prefer write based activity trackers (Samsung and Microsoft bands). However it seems that none are yet able to measure HRV.


@richard - I doubt you’ll ever find a wrist band that measures Heart Rate Variability (HRV) because it is measured as the interval between the electrical spikes of the “R” waves in the heart and wrist-based HRM only monitors the pulse and flow of blood through the arteries.

(No I'm not mad - that's just my face) #8

I think it’s great HRV is finally being recognized as a valuable tool to measure cardiac health. As a 20+ year Paramedic we always taught students that sinus arrythmia (basically a normal ecg with no findings other than minor R-R variability,
typically varying with inspiratory phase) - is a normal finding in young patients. What no one ever asked is WHY is it more prevalent in young hearts. Maybe because younger hearts were typically healthier. Happy to be able to quickly assess that at 40-mumble-mumble I can easily assess noting the variability in heart rate checking a peripheral pulse during several normal respirations.


How is heart rate variability measured in 2020?

And what are the details of why it is important?

The context that I have heard it in is in health stalls, particularly weight loss stalls where sympathtic nervous system drive (a stress state) is keeping heart rate high even at rest.

Are there any reports or articles that give a baseline of information about heart rate variability and its uses in n=1 biohacking?

(Bunny) #10

Chris has some good ideas:

How to use an Oura ring to monitor HRV and optimize recovery and performance.

Published on Jan 3, 2020

Question: What are your thoughts on monitoring HRV for optimizing performance?

Measure your HRV every night and you stop exercising entirely to get a baseline.

You completely stop working out, you don’t go “oh no I’m going to lose my muscle mass,” nothing’s going to happen for a week or two. And this is the whole foundation of you having good data.

This baseline ensures that you have good starting data that isn’t influenced by anything.

Now you start working out. You do one workout that’s typical, you keep taking your HRV, you may see your HRV plummet. Then you say, how long does it take me to recover on my current diet and lifestyle?

You repeat that, like you don’t work out again until it’s back up to the plateau level. Then you work out again and you see if you have a repeatable response where there’s a certain amount of time on average that’s fairly replicable that it takes you to recover your peak HRV after your typical workout. Then when you have that you get on that frequency.

You can then start playing around with factors — like does it matter what type of workout I do? Is my recovery level consistently different when I lift weights at 5 reps per set versus 15 reps per set. Is my recovery time consistently different when I do cardio, or when I do cardio and weights on the same day, or when I play soccer. Then you can start to tailor your recovery time around the specific workouts.

Maybe it takes you two days to recover from one workout and four days recovering from another. Lower body, upper body, if you have a lower body upper body split, does it take me five days to recover the lower body and does it take me three days to recover from upper body?

At that point you can start tweaking diet and lifestyle. Do I recover faster if I eat more carbs? Do I recover faster if I eat food X? Do it recover faster if I take supplement X? Always testing one thing at a time and making sure it’s replicable before you form a conclusion before you do the next test. …” …More

(Sama Hoole) #11

I use an oura ring for this, pretty handy. There’s no general number to be aiming for, it’s just based on the individual as far as I know. I have seen my HRV go up with a carnivore diet, along with resting heart rate going down.

That’s pretty good going as far as I’m concerned.