6 Supplements That Are Worth The Money

supplements-that-are-worth-the-money

Which Supplements Are Actually Worth Buying?

Ideally, we should be able to obtain all our vital nutrients from food. However, real life makes this challenging. If you’re a nutritionist, you have in-depth knowledge of the body’s needs and how to meet them. However, most of us don’t have this advantage

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledges that supplements are useful in filling nutritional gaps. [1] Still, you don’t want to overload your body or your budget with unnecessary nutrients. Which supplements offer the greatest benefit? Which ones are worth your money? There are three:

  • Multivitamins
  • Whey protein
  • Creatine

Read on for why these supplements merit a spot on your shopping list.

1. MULTIVITAMINS

The NIH recommends discussing supplements with your doctor first, so your health care is managed professionally. Your physician can also test for certain nutrients to see how much supplementation is needed. This is helpful for evaluating blood levels of calcium and Vitamin D

The NIH also suggests choosing a multivitamin tailored to your age, gender, and any special condition, such as pregnancy. [2] Following that guideline, here are the nutrients that should be present in supplements for women and men.

WOMAN’S MULTIVITAMINS

Childbearing Age to Age 50

According to Prevention magazine, a woman’s multivitamin should contain 100% of the following daily values:

  • Vitamin B6 – 2 mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 2.4 mcg
  • Vitamin D – 600 IU
  • Vitamin K – 90 mcg
  • Folic Acid – 400 mcg
  • Calcium – 1,000 mg
  • Iron – 18 mg
  • Magnesium – 400 mg
  • Selenium – 55 mcg
  • Zinc – 8 mg
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids – 2 gm [3]

Women’s Multivitamin Superheroes

The Livestrong Foundation gives high marks to the following women’s multivitamins:

  • Centrum Ultra Women’s
  • Nature Made Multi For Her
  • One-A-Day Women’s
  • Puritan’s Pride Woman’s One Daily
  • Rainbow Light Just Once Natural Women’s One [4]

PREGNANCY VITAMINS

Research shows that prenatal vitamins reduce the risk of pre-term birth, low birth weight, and birth defects.

According to WebMD, a woman’s prenatal multivitamin should contain:

  • Folic Acid – to prevent neural defects
  • Iron – to avoid anemia
  • Calcium – for proper bone development
  • Vitamin D – to assimilate calcium
  • DHA – an omega-3 fatty acid needed for the brain, eyes, and nervous system. Studies also suggest it promotes normal gestation length and supports a mother’s mental health. [5]

Promising Prenatal Multivitamins

  • Below are highly-rated organic prenatal supplements that are a great value:
  • Country Life Maxi Prenatal Multivitamins – good for sensitive mommy stomachs
  • New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin – Kosher, easily swallowed and digested
  • New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal – with 17 omega fatty acids, including DHA
  • Twinlab Prenatal Care Multivitamins – energizing, ideal levels of calcium and magnesium

Helpful Resource: Top 10 Multivitamins for Women

MEN’S MULTIVITAMINS

The Institute of Medicine reports that men and women have the same basic needs for Vitamins B12, D, and E. Men require the same amount of iron as postmenopausal women, 8 mg. [6] They don’t need as much calcium. The Harvard Medical School reports that high consumption of calcium can contribute to prostate cancer. It recommends 800 mg of calcium per day for men. [7]

A multivitamin targeted to men may have lycopene. This is the red pigment found in tomatoes. It works as an antioxidant, protecting against cellular damage. Lycopene has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer. A men’s multivitamin may also have higher selenium than a woman’s formula. This trace mineral is also associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Men’s Multivitamin All-Stars

Men’s Health magazine highly rates the supplements below for men. Their findings are based on recommendations by two renowned dieticians, Dawn Blatner, dietary consultant for the Chicago Cubs, and Dave Grotto, nutrition author. [8]

  • Rainbow Light Men’s One
  • Nature Made Multi for Him
  • One A Day Men’s Health Formula

Helpful Resource: Top 10 Multivitamins for Men

2. WHEY PROTEIN

What is Whey?

Whey protein is the watery component of milk that separates when cheese is made. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It has the dietary advantage of being low in lactose, a milk sugar. It is also readily assimilated by the body.

Why Buy Whey?

Men’s Fitness cites six reasons:

  1. Increased muscle strength
  2. Hunger control
  3. Weight loss
  4. Improved immunity
  5. Cancer protection
  6. Reduced stress [9]

Types of Whey Protein

There are three types of whey – concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. They differ in the way they’re processed.

Concentrate – contains some lactose and fat. It is about 70-80% protein and has the best taste. It tends to be the least expensive.

Isolate – has less lactose and fat. It is approximately 90% protein. It lacks many of the beneficial nutrients present in whey protein concentrate.

Hydrolysate – also called hydrolyzed whey, it is pre-digested for faster absorption. It causes a greater surge of insulin than isolate. It is the most expensive form of whey and less tasty than the other two.

Fitness experts vary regarding the best type of whey.

According to Authority Nutrition, whey protein concentrate is the best option. [10] It is the least expensive form of whey and retains most of the nutrients present in whey. Additionally, many people prefer the taste of whey concentrate. If you try concentrate and have difficulty digesting it, you may fare better with isolate or hydrolysate.

Muscle and Fitness suggests that isolate or hydrolysate are the preferred forms. [11] Isolate is the purest form of whey, with the highest protein percentage. Hydrolysate is the most easily digested.

Keeping both viewpoints in mind, digestibility is a prime consideration. Go with what goes down easiest. If you’re a lady you’ll find this list of woman’s protein powders very useful.

Whey Dosage

A general recommended dosage is 1-2 scoops, about 25-50 grams of protein per day from protein powder.

Whey Protein Champions

Men’s Health salutes the following brand of whey protein powder:

  • Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate – low in carbohydrates, lactose-free, no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. [12]

Bodybuilding.com cites the following as a wow-worthy whey product:

  • Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate – all natural, smooth flavor. [13]
  • BuiltLean.com gives three cheers for the following:
  • Blue Bonnet 100% Whey Protein Isolate – short ingredient list, great flavor.
  • Enhanced Life Extension Whey Protein – very low calorie, yummy.
  • Tera’s Whey Organic – high-quality concentrate, excellent taste, easily digested. [14]

Helpful Resource: Complete Protein Powder Buying Guide

3. CREATINE

Creatine is a nitrogen compound made by the liver. It fuels cells with energy. Muscle cells are especially fond of creatine.

The International Olympic Committee permits the usage of creatine. [15]

Why Take Creatine?

Here’s the upshot on the benefits of creatine. As documented by bodybuilding.com, research shows.

  1. Creatine builds muscle.
  2. It enables high-intensity strength training.
  3. It enhances recovery.
  4. Creatine makes you a smart cookie. It enhances brain function and protects against nerve degeneration. Australian researchers report that creatine increases intelligence and improves memory.
  5. It facilitates bone healing.
  6. It improves glucose tolerance, of particular benefit to those with diabetes.

Note – Consult with your doctor before starting creatine. It must be used with caution with certain medical conditions. Also take care to not exceed the recommended dosage, which can result in side effects.

Creatine Dosage

The optimal dose of creatine depends on body weight and exercise intensity. For details on dosing, including ideal timing, go to: http://www.nutritionexpress.com/showarticle.aspx?articleid=61, or click here:

Creatine Celebrities

Bodybuilding.com gives high scores to the following creatine products. Kudos apply to the unflavored versions of each.

  1. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
  2. CreAde by RSP Nutrition
  3. Platinum 100% Creatine by Muscle Tech

4. OMEGA-3 FISH OIL

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is extracted from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. It contains beneficial fatty acids, most notably, EPA and DHA, which are necessary for cardiovascular health and inflammation reduction. Oil can come in either liquid or capsule form and may contain other beneficial oils such as flax, and safflower. Since most Americans do not consume nearly enough Omega – 3 fats via the foods they eat, it is recommended to supplement with a concentrated source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Why Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

  • Reduced chance of heart attack and stroke
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Decreased joint pain
  • Lessened risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Omega-3 fatty acids have a host of benefits, especially for those with high blood pressure or triglycerides. EPA and DHA, the two primary fats found in fish oil, are touted as some of the most important dietary fats humans can consume. Research has shown that the benefits of Omega-3s are numerous and may include:

This list is not exhaustive, and both the medical community and anecdotal accounts speak to several other benefits of fish oil supplementation. Because it has gained such notoriety in recent years, there are endless options available to the consumer. Always make sure to research any fish oil supplement extensively before purchasing as some manufacturers do not include adequate levels of EPA and DHA.

Omega-3 Dosage

In order to supplement safely with omega-3 fats, keep in mind that maintaining an appropriate ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is crucial. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many common food items and comprise a majority of our daily intake. To maintain this ratio, experts recommend that healthy individuals consume 500 milligrams per day, composed of both EPA and DHA. Below are some high-quality fish oil supplements to consider.

Omega-3 Fish Oil Standouts:

  • WHC UnoCardio 1000 + Vitamin D 1000
  • OmegaVia Fish Oil
  • The Vitamin Shoppe Omega-3 Fish Oil
  • Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3

5. MAGNESIUM

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a water-soluble mineral, responsible for assisting in over 300 different reactions inside the human body. It is needed by the body in much larger amounts than several other minerals, and since it is water-soluble, it is routinely eliminated, making supplementation almost necessary. Magnesium is available in several forms, but the most popular are magnesium citrate, chelate, oxide, and glycinate. A topical form of the mineral is also available.

Why Supplement with Magnesium?

Most people are deficient in this crucial nutrient, as most food sources do not provide the recommended daily allowance. Magnesium plays a role in several important bodily processes including DNA creation, enzyme production, and fat breakdown, among others. It has been shown to have a myriad of benefits including the following:

  • Insomnia relief
  • Constipation relief
  • Relief from muscle aches and spasms
  • Increased heart health
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Bone health
  • Increased energy

Because it is involved in over 300 reactions in the body, there are endless reasons to make sure to include this supplement in your list.

Magnesium Dosage

  • Infants: 30 mg
  • 7-12 months: 75 mg
  • 1-3 years: 80 milligrams
  • 4-8 years: 130 mg
  • 9-13 years: 240 mg
  • 14-18 years: 410 mg for men and 360 mg for women
  • 19-30 years: 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women
  • 31 and older: 40 mg for men and 320 mg for women

The amount of magnesium required depends on age. Reviewers recommend the following promising magnesium supplements:

  • Pure Encapsulations Magnesium
  • Metagenics Mag Glycinate
  • Bluebonnet Chelated Magnesium
  • Solaray Magnesium Glycinate

6. PROBIOTICS

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that are similar to the ones found in human intestinal tracts. They consist of several strains of beneficial bacteria to help balance the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Probiotics can contain many strains of bacteria including Bifidobacterium strains, Streptococcus and Lactobacillus strains, among others.

Why Take Probiotics?

Due to the standard diet of the majority of the population, the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria in the digestive tract is very unequal. An unhealthy diet can wreak havoc on the digestive system, and probiotics can help re-establish an appropriate balance. The benefits of supplementing with probiotics are numerous and may include the following:

  • Improved digestion
  • Improved immune system
  • Stronger teeth
  • Weight loss
  • Balanced acid levels
  • Improved colon health
  • Repopulate gut bacteria following antibiotics

Probiotic Dosage

How much good bacteria is necessary to keep the bad bacteria at bay? There really is no upper limit to the number of probiotics necessary, and because supplements vary so widely, there really is no set dosage. Most experts and studies have found that supplementing with higher concentrations of probiotics yields better results.

Below are some potent probiotic options:

  • Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic
  • Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic
  • Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula
  • Trunature Digestive Probiotics

Helpful Resource: Top 10 Creatine Supplements

THE BIG LEAGUES

Enter the big leagues of life with the three powerhouses – multivitamins, whey, and creatine. They’re worth your hard-earned money. Be at the top of your game emotionally, mentally, and physically.

To help decide on which supplements to buy in each category, check out this rankings website for some good info.

Here’s to your health!

References:

[1] http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/aug2013/feature1
[2] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-HealthProfessional/#h6
[3] http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/vitamins-women-best-multivitamins
[4] http://www.livestrong.com/article/122578-top-ten-multivitamins-women/
[5] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/prenatal-vitamins
[6] http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/06/health/he-skeptic6
[7] http://www.health.harvard.edu/family_health_guide/good-nutrition-should-guidelines-differ-for-men-and-women
[8] http://www.menshealth.com/health/best-multivitamins-men
[9] http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/6-reasons-you-should-be-using-whey-protein?page=2
[10] http://authoritynutrition.com/whey-protein-101/
[11] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/supplements/build-muscle/best-and-worst-whey-protein-powders
[12] http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/best-whey-powder
[13] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/tietge9.htm
[14] http://www.builtlean.com/2012/03/16/whey-protein/
[15] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263269.php
[16] http://top10supplements.com

Benefits of Green Smoothies and How to Make Them

Benefits of Green Smoothies and How to Make Them

A Heavenly, Healthy Drink

Smoothies are a beloved drink of many people. Due to their vivid colors and superb sweetness, smoothies are often thought of as a drink designated to quench a person’s desire for a treat, as opposed to a drink designated to benefit a person’s health and wellness.

When people think of the smoothie colors orange, yellow, pink, and purple, they start to salivate at the thought of the sweetness of the fruit flavors of mango, pineapple, strawberry, and wild berry. As for the color green, people have the propensity to think of dull-tasting broccoli, spinach, and kale; therefore, they do not even want to associate the undesirable color of green with their delicious smoothies. However, most people are not privy to the fact that green smoothies are both a heavenly and a healthy drink.

The benefits of a green smoothie include, but are not limited to:

Weight Loss

Almost everyone who includes green smoothies in their diet reports weight loss. Green smoothies promote weight loss in three ways: lowering a person’s daily calorie intake by replacing a meal, increasing a person’s consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber; and changing a person’s cravings from unhealthy foods to healthy foods.

Weight Loss

Boosted Energy

A glass of a green smoothie in the morning is a superior boost of energy than a cup of coffee because it is all-natural. People who have started their day with a green smoothie have reported significant boosts of energy. A sufferer from chronic fatigue syndrome even reported being healed by a green smoothie diet.

Nutrition Supplement

Green smoothies are an excellent source of vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene), B (all except B12), C, K, E, and folate. Some recipes can provide as much as one-hundred percept of a person’s daily vitamin intake.

Green smoothies are also an excellent source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and copper. There is no need for a person to spend money on multiple different vitamins and minerals at the health food store or fervently read each nutrition label of every food he/she intake. Green smoothies provide all of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Stronger Immunity

Green smoothies render a meal of fruits and vegetables in one intake. They also render a large dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With these nutritional benefits, green smoothies arm a person’s body to fight against diseases and infections. The best immune-boosters to include in a green smoothie is citrus fruits, cranberries, and ginger.

Mental Clarity

Consumption of healthier food naturally increases a person’s mental acuity. On the contrary, unhealthy foods tend make a person feel like he/she is in a mental fog. Green smoothies’ delivery of fruits, vegetables, and nutrients definitely contribute to a person being able to think clearly and focus better. Green smoothies also possess an anti-inflammatory property, so it reduces inflammation in the brain and body, making a person more productive.

A Beauty Benefit

A Beauty Benefit

A plant-based diet, which is provided by green smoothies, lowers high cholesterol. A person, who was diagnosed with high cholesterol at twenty-three years old, dropped his/her cholesterol by forty-five points by the time he/she was thirty years-old. His/her LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, fell within the normal range.

Fruits and vegetables, which are provided by green smoothies, have been show to naturally lower high blood pressure. In general, green smoothies have been shown to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Helps Reduce High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure

Juicing or drinking fruit juice does not render all of the digestive benefits of a green smoothie. The reason behind that fact is green smoothies provide fiber and nutrition, which is only provided by consuming the entire fruit and vegetable. Juicing or drinking fruit juice does not render the entire fruit and vegetable; therefore, they do not provide fiber and nutrition, which are essential for colon health, superior digestion, and strong immunity.

Improves Digestive Health

Juicing or drinking fruit juice does not render all of the digestive benefits of a green smoothie. The reason behind that fact is green smoothies provide fiber and nutrition, which is only provided by consuming the entire fruit and vegetable. Juicing or drinking fruit juice does not render the entire fruit and vegetable; therefore, they do not provide fiber and nutrition, which are essential for colon health, superior digestion, and strong immunity.

Helps with Seasonal Allergies

Many people favor the seasons fall and spring because of the mild weather. However, many people also dread them because their seasonal allergies leave them feeling sick, with no cure to turn to. Many people reported their seasonal allergies lessening in severity after including green smoothies in their diet.

Green smoothies have desirable benefits for everyone. However, in order to reap these benefits, a person must know how to make a green smoothie. Green smoothie recipes are not one-size- fits-all. There are a plethora of delightful green smoothie recipes to satisfy a variety of different taste buds.

Helps with Seasonal Allergies

Here is one recipe that makes the epitome of all green smoothies from 100daysofrealfood.com:

You will need:

  • Spinach ( Two Cups)
  • Water ( Two Cups)
  • Mango (Quantity: One)
  • Pineapple (Quantity: One)
  • Bananas (Quantity: Two, at least one frozen)

Steps:

1. Measure two cups of spinach into a dry measuring cup. Throw into the blender when measured.
2. Pour two cups of water into the blender. Start blending. Blend until all of the spinach chunks no longer exist.
3. Throw one mango, one pineapple, and two bananas (at least one frozen) into the blender. Blend the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
4. Pour into a cup, mug, or mason jar of your desire.
5. Sip that heavenly, healthy green smoothie, reaping all of the benefits of a green smoothie.

All frozen fruit can be used, if the person desires to add chill to the smoothie. If the person attempting this recipe is allergic to any of the fruits that are used, he/she is free to substitute any of the fruits with another fruit. He/she should still keep the one-to- one ratio in mind. Again, a person can feel free to take liberty and tweak this recipe because green smoothies are not one- size-fits- all.

Conclusion

Green smoothies’ benefits go beyond the nutritional. The prime is example of this is it eliminates a common battle between parents and children. Parents always tell their children to eat their greens; however, with the modern innovation of the blender, parents can now tell their children to drink their greens in the form of a sweet, delightful smoothie. This will be a battle parents and children no longer have to fight.

Green smoothies are also convenient for people who are always on-the- go in today’s busy society. All a person has to do is blend it, pour it in a cup with a lid on it, and head out to work or his/her agenda for the day. Years ago, no one would have predicted that a beverage would be a symbol of human progress.

A common misconception regarding food is that healthy foods cannot taste heavenly. While this may have been true before the invention of the blender and may still be true in some circumstances, it is definitely a misconception when it comes to green smoothies. Green smoothies are sweet and savory way for a person to receive all of their nutrition in one dose. The color green in the food world should no longer be associated with dull-tasting broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.; it should be associated with the heavenly green smoothie.

Complete Beginners Guide to Taking Testosterone Boosters

Complete Guide to Taking Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone is responsible for almost all masculine characteristics. Men have significantly higher levels of testosterone than women. Scientists have been carrying out thorough research on the hormone and people can now access testosterone supplements to boost the natural levels present. But, who exactly should take the supplements? What are the best testosterone booster ingredients on the market? How should you take the pills?

Who needs Testosterone Boosters?

Normally, people with low testosterone levels require a boost. After the age of 30, the testosterone levels in most men start to get depleted at a slow rate and many people opt for boosters as they grow older.

However, bodybuilders have a greater need for testosterone. Most cannot pack enough muscle with the natural testosterone produced by their bodies. Of course, avoiding stress, eating a proper diet and getting enough sleep help to naturally prevent depletion of testosterone levels. The problem here is that bodybuilders need to work harder and, therefore, get stressed. Eventually, this increases cortisol levels and consequently, testosterone levels go down.

Testosterone boosters are developed to inhibit the production of cortisol, and this helps to maintain the hormone at an ideal level.

The boosters are also manufactured with estrogen inhibitors. This is because testosterone is naturally converted to estrogen, meaning they all increase in direct proportion. Because of estrogen inhibitors, the overall amount of estrogen in your system will go down. This will prevent the development of undesirable features such as man boobs.

Some indicators of low testosterone levels include:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Increased body fat
  • Tender/swollen breasts
  • Lower sex drive

What Testosterone Booster Ingredients Should You Look Out For?

What Testosterone Booster Ingredients Should You Look Out For?

There are lots of ingredients that are used in the manufacture of these supplements. Some have not been proven to work, while others have sufficient scientific backing. Here are the best and most reliable ingredients for testosterone boosters:

D-Aspartic Acid

  • D-Aspartic Acid

DAA is produced naturally in the body, albeit in low amounts. The amino acid is responsible for production and regulation of hormones. DAA testosterone supplements work by maximizing the production of luteinizing and gonadotrophin hormones. This results in higher testosterone levels in the body.

Side effects of DAA include increased hair growth, heightened aggression, acne, and intensified appetite levels. Also, you can expect to experience enhanced libido. These side effects occur in a small percentage of users and are not really serious. That said, it is important to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Tribulus Terrestris

  • Tribulus Terrestris

This is another common ingredient in testosterone boosters. The ingredient is extracted from a plant known as the puncture vine and has been used in many cultures to treat a variety of medical conditions. Historically, the plant has been proven to boost testosterone levels. Also, scientists have carried out research on mice, and the results have shown that the extract boosts libido. The ingredient can also help women manage their menopause symptoms. Generally, it can help people balance their hormones.

The plant has also been identified as an energy booster, and this will help you sustain the strenuous workouts in the gym. Another advantage of this plant is that it improves the circulation of blood around the body. Blood vessels will also expand as the blood flows through them.

You should never take more of this plant than is recommended. Also, make sure you take breaks from the supplement. Otherwise, you may experience some side effects. For example, you might feel warmer than usual. Because the supplement increases energy levels, you may also get restless and even fail to sleep at night. Some users also report an increased heart rate. If you experience any of these side effects, you should reduce your dosage.

  • Fenugreek

Fenugreek has also been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It has been used to treat stomach problems and improve digestion. Traditional societies also used the plant to treat erectile dysfunction.

In tests, subjects who took the plant have shown an increase in muscle strength and libido. The plant contains chemicals that help to prevent the breakdown of testosterone in the body, and this helps to maintain high levels of the hormone. Reductase and aromatase are the two enzymes responsible for the breakdown of testosterone, and the plant helps to inhibit them. Subjects in tests have also shown an increase in body strength and lean muscle mass. They also experienced a decrease in body weight.

Fenugreek is more effective when taken with other supplements such as magnesium.

How Should You Take Testosterone Boosters?

The supplements are taken differently. Most, however, are meant to be taken in the morning and at night before going to bed. In some cases, you will have to take the supplements a few minutes before your workout. All manufacturers of testosterone supplements include details on how their products should be taken, and this should be followed to the letter. Otherwise, you may experience side effects.

It is also important to take breaks in between cycles. Also, you need to make sure you are exercising enough and taking a proper diet. Testosterone will not naturally enlarge your muscles if you don’t supply your system with enough protein and amino acids.

Are Testosterone Boosters Dangerous?

Testosterone boosters work differently to deliver similar results. That means you cannot get a single list of the side effects of all testosterone boosters. It is worth mentioning that natural supplements are generally safe, especially for men over the age of 40. If you stick to the recommended dosage, there is also no reason why you should experience side effects. Also, you should not use the supplements excessively. Use them in cycles and you will experience the benefits without risking your health.

The ingredients used to boost testosterone do not all work well together. Some do not even interact well with other common ingredients. It is prudent to do research on the different ingredients in a supplement before you start taking it.

The short term side effects associated with testosterone boosters are not major. If you experience any medical conditions because of using the supplements, you should quit using it. Many manufacturers offer money-back guarantees on unopened bottles and you can take advantage of such offers in case the products cause unwanted side effects.

The research on long-term side effects of testosterone boosters has not been conclusive. Regardless, there is no reason to believe that the supplements will have negative effects in the long-term.

Conclusion

Bodybuilders need testosterone to maximize their potential. Natural levels of the hormone are not sufficient for people who want to build muscle and cut fat. Fortunately, testosterone boosters are available to supplement the natural levels of the hormone. There are many different types of boosters on the market, and they are made using a wide variety of ingredients.

Tips on How to Meal Prep & Save Money Doing It

Tips on How to Meal Prep

Cooking your own meals is one of the best ways to eat healthier, and you’ll save yourself money in the process. The problem for the typical person trying to adopt healthier eating habits is finding the time to cook those meals. After a long day at work, it’s tempting to grab fast food or something premade from the store instead of getting a healthy dinner ready.

The secret to eating healthy for every meal is meal prep. The concept behind meal prepping is simple enough – instead of making your meals on the spot right before you eat them, you make a large batch of meals so that you’re set for the work week or at least a couple days.

Despite the simplicity of meal prepping, it still takes some time to learn how to get the most out of it. Here are key tips that will immediately make you a better meal prepper.

1. Get the Right Supplies

Some supplies are essential for meal prepping. Others will make it easier, but aren’t necessarily deal breakers if you don’t have them.

The most important items you need are enough containers to hold all your meals. Plastic containers are a durable option that are easy to carry around, but you can’t microwave them.

Pyrex containers are microwave-safe, but they’re a bit heavier and could break if you drop them, although they tend to be resistant to cracking.

If you’re going to be taking several meals with you per day, you may want to get a bag designed to hold all of them. There are also insulated bags that you can use if you need to keep foods cold.

Of course, you’ll need the right items in your kitchen to prep your meals. A cutting board and a sharp set of knives are a must for cutting up meats and vegetables. Measuring cups help you get your recipes right and control your portion sizes.

Make a Grocery List

2. Make a Grocery List

Writing a grocery list may seem tedious, but you don’t want to get home and realize you forgot a key ingredient. The best way to write your list is by figuring out every meal you plan to eat and write down all the ingredients that you’ll need.

You can divide your grocery list into food categories to make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients. For example, you could have sections for meats, fruits, vegetables, seasonings and anything else you can think of.

Your grocery list can also help you avoid purchasing any junk food or other unhealthy items, provided you stick to the list and avoid impulse purchases. Remember that it’s much easier to eat right when you keep poor food choices out of your home entirely.

3. Cook as Much as You Can at the Same Time

Let’s say that your meal plan calls for skinless chicken breasts, potatoes and vegetables. You could cook all those items separately, but it’s much easier to give them each their own rack on the oven and cook them together. You’ll cut down on how long you’re in the kitchen and you’ll be using less electricity or gas in the process.

4. Ensure That Your Diet Has Some Variety

As long as you’re getting all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs, you could eat the same meals every day. But most people would find this boring, and when you’re bored with what you eat, you’re more likely to cheat on your diet. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to have two different lunches and dinners you prepare, that way you can alternate them each day.

You can also make batches of ingredients, and then mix and match them to create your meals. For example, you could have containers with strips of cut-up chicken breast, strips of steak, brown rice, white rice, and assorted vegetables. For each meal, you could grab one of the meats as the protein source and mix it with the rice and vegetables you want.

Try Slow Cooking

5. Try Slow Cooking

A handy tool for saving time on your meal prep and still getting the best flavors out of your ingredients is a slow cooker. There are all kinds of great slow cooker recipes, and all you need to do is put in the ingredients and set the time that you want. The slow cooker will do the rest, and because it’s cooking the food over a period of hours, it brings out the flavors.

If you get a large-enough slow cooker, you can have a batch of meals that will last you for an entire week or longer. Put the ones you plan to eat in the next few days in the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer.

Don’t Forget the Snacks

6. Don’t Forget the Snacks

Having snacks on hand can keep your appetite in check between meals. If you want to keep it simple, a piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana or an orange, will work fine as a snack. If you want to have something a bit more exciting, you can make your own fruit cups with berries and sliced pieces of fruit.

Vegetables are also great as a snack because their high fiber content makes you feel full. If you don’t like eating vegetables raw, you can try a topping, such as hummus. For some quick extra protein, hard-boiled eggs work well and the prep is as easy as it gets.

7. Develop an Organizational System

When you’re prepping meals days ahead of time and freezing some items, it’s easy to lose track of things or forget to eat a meal before it goes bad. That’s why the more meals you make in advance, the better your organization needs to be.

The easiest way to keep track of your meals is to put labels on everything, whether it’s going in the fridge or the freezer. You should include the day you made the meal and an approximate expiration date, although expiration is less of an issue for meals that you freeze. You could also choose different color container and color coordinate based on the day of the week that you’ll eat the meal, or put the meals you plan to eat sooner closer to the front of the fridge.

Conclusion

Meal prepping is one of those tasks that takes some time to get used to. When you first start, you may be at the store a bit longer getting the right groceries and in the kitchen awhile to figure out how to cook everything in the most efficient way possible.

The good news is that meal prepping gets easier the more that you do it. After a couple weeks, you’ll be grabbing everything you need from the grocery store with barely any need to reference your list, and making meals will be a breeze.

The Dangers of Diet Soda – What You Need to Know

The Dangers of Diet Soda - What You Need to Know

The world is in the midst of a huge obesity epidemic. Although there are many contributing factors to this huge increase in obesity being seen across the globe—specifically poor diet and lack of exercise caused by our modern, fast-paced lifestyles—many people also connect their weight problems directly to their sugar intake.

As a result, many overweight and obese people turn to diet soda in an effort to decrease their sugar consumption and hopefully allow them to start shedding pounds. The problem is that there is a ton of evidence out there that suggests that drinking diet soda could actually be further harming your health instead of allowing you to get in better shape.

Numerous scientific studies have shown direct links between diet soda and an increased risk of developing a wide range of different health problems. Almost all evidence available points to the fact that drinking diet soda is bad for your health, but despite the overwhelming nature of this evidence, many people continue to reach for the Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi with the misguided notion that this is better for them that drinking regular soda.

Unfortunately, that diet soda could potentially be harming your health and putting you at an increased risk for a variety of serious health issues, which is why it’s essential that everyone understands the risks and dangers of diet soda.

The Link Between Diet Soda and Metabolic Syndrome

The Link Between Diet Soda and Metabolic Syndrome

One of the biggest myths about diet soda is that it is somehow healthier than regular soda. The  fact that diet soda is either low in calories or completely calorie-free convinces many people that  it’s the better choice when looking to lose weight. In many ways, this belief makes total sense, as  one of the biggest factors in losing weight is cutting back on your total calorie intake.

Unfortunately, studies have repeatedly shown that drinking diet soda doesn’t make you more likely  to lose weight, and the truth is that weight loss involves a lot more than just counting calories.

The problem is that drinking diet soda has actually been shown to potentially make it even harder  for people to lose weight by increasing their risk for developing metabolic syndrome. One  particularly enlightening study from 2009 showed that drinking just one diet soda a day increased  the risk of metabolic syndrome by 36%. Even worse, the study showed that people who drink diet  soda have a 67% higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes.

People with metabolic syndrome already have a much greater risk of developing diabetes, and the  condition also raises the risk of stroke and heart disease. Furthermore, persons suffering from  metabolic syndrome also tend to have much more belly fat and higher levels of cholesterol. Based  on this evidence, it seems likely that drinking diet soda could potentially make it even harder for  you to lose weight instead of helping you to meet your weight-loss goals as you’d hoped.

Additional Health Problems Linked to Diet Soda Consumption

The problems with diet soda aren’t only related to weight loss. In fact, numerous studies have  shown links between diet soda and all of the following health problems.

Higher Risk of Dementia and Stroke. A study published in early 2017, which looked at the link  between diet soda consumption and the brain, concluded that people who drank one diet soda a  day were three times as likely to have a stroke or develop dementia as those who avoided diet  sodas altogether. Based on this evidence, the researchers concluded that artificially sweetened  beverages like diet soda are directly associated with a higher risk of certain brain disorders.

Increases Risk of Heart Problems. A Swedish study published in 2015 examined the links between  sweetened beverages and heart disease, and this study concluded that drinking two sodas a day  puts a person at a higher risk of heart failure and heart disease. Although this study did not make  a distinction between artificially sweetened drinks like diet soda and naturally sweetened drinks,  the fact remains that soda and other sweet drinks makes it more likely that a person will suffer  from heart problems.

Can Harm Normal Kidney Function

Can Harm Normal Kidney Function

A 2009 study attempted to draw a link between drinking  artificially sweetened beverages and a decrease in kidney function, and again, the results weren’t  very positive for diet soda drinkers. In this study, researchers showed that drinking two diet sodas  a day was linked with a 30% decrease in normal kidney function.

Greater Risk of Depression. Although most people consider artificially sweetened drinks like diet  soda to be safe, the truth is that the artificial sweetener aspartame ranks incredibly high on the  EPA’s list of chemicals that directly contribute to neurotoxicity. In fact, aspartame only ranks  behind arsenic on the list.

With this in mind, the American Academy of Neurology examined the link between artificial  sweeteners and certain brain disorders and concluded that drinking diet soda increases a person’s  risk of depression by approximately 30%.

Expanding Waistline. Although many people drink diet soda to lose weight, studies have shown that  it may actually have the opposite effect and could potentially increase your waistline by three  inches or more. People who occasionally drink diet soda tend to have a 70% increase in the  circumference of their waistline compared to those who never drink diet soda, while those who  consume more than two diet sodas a day have a 500% increase in waistline circumference.

Conclusion

Based on the evidence, it would seem that drinking diet soda has the potential to negatively harm  your health in a number of different ways. Even if some these risks are the same for diet sodas as  they are for regular soda, the fact remains that drinking too many sweetened beverages is never  good for your health. That being said, the risks still seem to be higher for diet soda than for normal  soda, which means you should definitely think twice about reaching for that can of Diet Coke or  Diet Pepsi.

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Many people who are serious about fitness take both pre- and post-workout supplements. Pre- workout supplements are especially necessary, as they nourish your body when you need it the most and help you to get in a harder and more energetic workout.

What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are nutritional supplements that serious performers drink before an intense workout in order to power their muscles, increase their energy, make the most of their gains, and speed their recovery.

Many pre-workout supplements have their own proprietary blends, but almost all pre-workout supplements feature a few key ingredients.

Pre-workout supplements usually contain some kind of carbohydrate for giving you energy to last throughout your workout and caffeine or natural energy boosters for that helpful “jump start” to motivate and power you up.

To help build your form, pre-workout supplements also frequently include amino acids, protein, or vitamin compounds that your body can use to stimulate muscle growth and speed healing to get you back in the gym and feeling great.

As someone who pushes themselves, you’ll have to decide which blend is right for your goals. Do you want muscular growth or endurance? Do you need a turbocharged boost or a slow supply of energy? Reading up on pre-workout supplements can let you know what to look for on a label — and in the gym.

Here are some important ways a pre-workout supplement will help you.

Increased Energy

Increased Energy

Most of us are fitting in a workout between work and other obligations. Despite your busy life, it is important to give your workout your max effort.

Pre workout supplements have compounds that increase your energy, which can be guarana, green tea, or even good old-fashioned caffeine.

Energy-boosting supplements get a bad rap because we use them too often and in the right situation; however, pre workout is one of the times when they can do a lot of good by increasing your energy and endurance.

Increased Metabolism

The energy-boosting compounds in a pre workout supplement will naturally boost your metabolism as well. This means more fat loss per pound lifted or calorie sweated off. However, many pre-workout supplements also include special compounds to increase metabolism. This may be just the jump start you need to see greater rewards and stay motivated.

Increased Blood Flow

Increased Blood Flow

Increased blood flow means increased oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which always improves your workout. Many pre workout supplements are filled with amino acids, B vitamins, and other compounds that increase the production of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide improves your cardiovascular function. In addition, it dilates blood vessels slightly to allow better blood flow to muscles and extremities. You may even notice that your muscles are more veiny after taking this supplement, which can make you feel like an Iron Man in the gym.

Feed Your Muscles

The amino acids and B vitamins that are essential to nitric oxide production also are important building blocks of muscle.

You cannot build muscle unless you have an excess of these important nutrients in your body. What better time to have some extra aminos and vitamins flowing through your veins than when you are in a workout?

Recovery

Leg day is always going to hurt, but maybe not as much if you take a pre workout supplement. Studies have shown that taking proteins or amino acids pre workout will decrease the amount of muscle breakdown and wear-and- tear.

Those torn up muscles are responsible for a lot of the soreness and pain we associate with a painful workout recovery.

Taking a pre workout supplement will allow you to get back in the gym as quickly as possible and see faster results.

Improve Your Confidence

Improve Your Confidence

We’re sometimes so busy improving our bodies that we forget the most important partner in our workout: our minds. If you’ve ever said, “Wow, I don’t think I can do this,” you understand negative self-talk can get in the way of your dreams. It’s an old saying that our heads quit before our bodies do.

A pre-workout supplement can help with your confidence by providing you with a natural chemical attitude adjustment. By giving you energy and helping your body heal faster, a pre-workout supplement can help push yourself and feel as if you still have gas in the tank.

That increased energy will help you have a more successful workout, and from there, it gets easier to believe in your ability to work up to your maximum effort and see yourself achieve.

Boost Your Endurance

If you’re going for a hard workout, you need to go the distance, not hit a wall halfway through. Pre-workout supplements containing natural energy boosters like caffeine can help supply your body with the quick energy it needs right away, but you’ll need more.

Pre-workout supplements can also supply your body with the long-term energy it’ll need over a marathon training session, a SISU or Tough Mudder endurance preparation, or any other endeavor where endurance counts.

Many pre-workout supplements come with protein, a vital boost for muscle endurance. Protein keeps the body from essentially cannibalizing its own protein stores (that is, your hard-earned muscle). You worked too hard for those muscles to lose them, right?

Pre-workout supplements that focus on endurance often contain an amino acid called creatine in addition to protein. Creatine helps with cell inflammation and damage, helping the body use oxygen more efficiently, like getting a whole new carb for your body’s engine.

Don’t hit the wall at mile 20; a pre-workout supplement can help you finish strong.

What we think are the best pre workout supplements

We think these 3 supplements below are some of the best pre-workout products to take a look at. They’re not very expensive and from our experience get the job done.

  • Pro Supps Mr. Hyde
  • Cellucor C4
  • Betancourt Bullnox Androrush

Final thoughts

Many pre-workout supplements make outlandish claims. However, most actually do offer real benefits. Adding pre and post workout supplementation can make a huge difference in both your outcome and the time it takes to achieve it. Better and faster gains will keep you motivated to continue your fitness journey.

What Yoga Gear Do You Need

yoga-gear-for-beginners

Yoga Gear for Beginners to Get You Started

I know, I know, I’m a yoga junkie.

Yoga offers more than increased flexibility and muscle strength. Practitioners quickly discover that it clears the mind, strengthens the lungs, improves posture and promotes deeper calm and an inner sense of centeredness.

When you choose to begin practicing yoga, finding the right gear will help you commit to this healthy lifestyle for the long haul.

But let me make it clear. You do not need ANYTHING to participate in yoga. The most important thing you need is commitment. Anyone can do yoga, from rich to poor. You absolutely do not need to buy any special gear or anything like that. You can do it outside or inside. That being said, having some gear is a good way to make the experience a lot more fun and fulfilling. Luxuries are always nice, there’s no need to deny ourselves if we have the means to purchase them.

So lets take a look at some of the essential yoga gear that a beginner might want to get

Yoga Mat

The yoga mat provides some cushioning from hard yoga studio floors and gives you some traction during poses so you can more easily avoid embarrassing falls.

Everyone slips or fumbles at first whether they have a great mat or not, so if you do fall, understand it is normal. It is easy to watch advanced practitioners go into the poses gracefully, and assume you can do the same on your very first try.

If you end up feeling like an ox among gazelles, take heart. With practice, you will achieve the grace shown by your instructor, but in the meantime, a good yoga mat will help cushion your ego. Mats come in many colors and different degrees of thickness.

Standard yoga mats are designed more for traction in mind than for cushioning, so in the beginning you may wish to choose a thicker mat. However, you should also note that eventually you should graduate down to the standard 1/8 inch thick mat to help you more firmly feel the floor beneath your feet. This will help you feel more rooted.

Speaking of traction and falling, for even more grip you might consider getting a pair of yoga no-slip, toeless socks.

Browse Yoga Mats on Amazon.com

Yoga Clothing

Unless you are practicing yoga naked – which is a thing – then you will need to buy some clothing to wear during yoga. Many people choose clothing marketed as yoga clothing, but you do not have to confine yourself to that if you do not feel comfortable with it.

The most important aspects to consider when buying yoga clothing include breathability, modesty and comfort.

When practicing yoga, you will work up a sweat, and the fabrics you choose should be moisture wicking to allow fast evaporation. Because you will be twisting your body in many positions, you need clothing that moves with you and does not expose parts you do not want exposed.

This is why most yoga clothing is form fitting. If standard tight yoga pants aren’t your thing, you can find pants that are form fitting around the hips but looser around the legs.

Don’t forget to invest in some headbands to keep the sweat out of your eyes. A small yoga towel made of soft microfiber is also a good idea, especially if you are doing hot yoga.

Browse Yoga Clothing on Amazon.com

Yoga Blocks and Straps

Yoga blocks and straps are important accessories used by both beginners and pros to aid stability and alignment. If you are attending classes at a yoga studio, this yoga gear should be available for you to use there, but if you plan to practice yoga at home, it is a good idea to purchase both blocks and straps for home use.

They allow you to more easily, and correctly, hold some yoga poses with less strain. As with many fitness forms, it is always best to take things as slowly as you need to so your body learns the correct alignment, rather than rush through poses.

Browse Yoga Blocks and Straps on Amazon.com

Final Thoughts

After you get your gear, you will be ready to hit the yoga mat and be on the road to deeper peace and much better health. Don’t forget to keep the mat clean with yoga mat cleaner specified by the manufacturer. It is formulated to clean without damaging the special materials.

sources

Blocks and Straps: Not Just for Beginners http://www.wsj.com/articles/blocks-and-straps-not-just-for-yoga-beginners-1415642392

From the Ground Up http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/from-the-ground-up/

Anyone Can Do Yoga: Don’t Limit Yourself

yoga-is-for-everyone-and-anyone

Yoga: Don’t Cheat Yourself

Regular yoga practice has amazing heath and mental benefits. Yoga can be done by anyone of any age level or health level.

One of the philosophies of yoga practice is to be kind to yourself, and to do your personal best. There is no competition in yoga, so you do what feels good without overdoing and hurting yourself. It is a program that increases your flexibility as well as building your stamina.

Besides physical benefits, yoga practice also has some great mental benefits, too. Some types of yoga are about building strength, while others are more about relaxation. So if you want an individualized workout that is good for your mind and body, choose yoga for an excellent all-body work out.

Yoga isn’t just for Women and Hippies

I hear this ludicrous stereotype ALL the time when yoga is brought up. Some people, especially manly men, are stuck on this idea that yoga is done by bored housewives and jobless hippies. Beside the fact that it’s completely untrue, it also makes no sense. It’s like saying that cardio is only done by skinny and fit people.

Yoga is not only beneficial for ANYONE and EVERYONE, it is also used by a diverse variety of people. From average men to professional athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, you name it.

I just wish this silly stigma would go away and more people would stop denying themselves the vast benefits of this amazing activity based on something so trivial as a crude stereotype.

Building Strength: Muscles Used in Yoga

If you need to build upper body strength but don’t want to lift weights, yoga is the choice for you. Many of the poses use the arms and upper body routinely to create the pose. Downward dog, plank, cobra and upward dog poses give your upper body a good workout and add smooth muscles to your arms.

Most of the poses used in yoga develop the body’s core, which is an area that nearly everyone needs to develop. Having a strong core prevents lower back pain and encourages good posture. If you want a workout to make you strong and make you sweat, there’s a yoga style for that, too.

Building Flexibility Through Yoga

Yoga is most known for stretching muscles and creating an increase in flexibility. Yoga poses are designed to cause your muscles to stretch, which also strengthens the muscles. One of the best aspects of yoga is that you notice the flexibility benefits of yoga very quickly after starting a practice routine.

If you do a complete yoga routine regularly you will notice your entire body becoming more flexible.

Pain Relief Through Yoga

If you suffer from any form of arthritis, the flexibility you gain by your yoga practice will keep your pain levels down and keep you moving without the high impact moves of some other exercise programs that cause you pain instead of relieving your pain.

Your flexibility can improve up to 35 percent after a few weeks of yoga practice. Your increased flexibility will keep you moving and reduce your pain levels. Plus, most yoga poses can be tailored especially to benefit people with joint problems.

Breathing for Strength and Relaxation

Yoga emphasizes paying attention to breathing while you practice poses. Many styles of yoga emphasize breathing that is connected to the movement performed during a yoga pose. The breath helps you make the move with ease, and also improves your concentration.

Meditation concepts are also frequently taught during yoga classes that will bring your heart rate down, lower your blood pressure, and give you a feeling of calm in today’s stressful world. These meditative techniques can be used throughout your day to keep you calm and relaxed in times of stress, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

Pose for Your Heart’s Sake

You can use yoga to lower your blood pressure and to reduce your heart rate. Low blood pressure and a lower heart rate prevent or help you heal from:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • Immune system problems

As you can see, practicing yoga can improve your body’s performance. It can also improve the way you look and feel by making your whole body healthier. Choose a yoga style that suits you, your lifestyle and the needs of your body and start today.

Benefits of Joining a Gym

benefits-of-joining-a-gym

Why You Should Think About Joining a Gym

You have too many pans in the fire and you are always on the go. You’re juggling family, a career, and a household. Like so many others, you’ve put yourself at the bottom of the list and now you’re paying for it.

You’re tired, out of shape, and you’ve gained weight. You don’t like what you see in the mirror and don’t feel good in your own skin. It’s time to make a change. Joining a gym could be the solution that you need.

Many people are intimidated by the thought of joining a gym. Will I be judged? Where do I begin? What are all these strange machines? Can I afford it?

These are a few of the questions that people tend to ask themselves when they’re on the fence about joining a fitness club. The reality is, joining a gym is 100% worth it and all of those questions are borderline redundant in the long run.

Of course you’re not going to be an expert at first. Of course some people might judge you, but if you think you aren’t judged outside of the gym already, then you’re fooling yourself. Of course the machines seem strange at first, everything new does. And can you really put a price point on your health?

There are tons of benefits to getting off your couch and signing up at the local gym. Lets take a look at a few.

Take Time Out for Yourself with No Distractions

Try and squeeze in a fitness regimen at home and you’re bound to set yourself up for failure. There’s simply too much going on and too many people that are vying for your attention. Sign up for a gym membership, set a time that you can workout every day, and stick with it.

Make an appointment with yourself to make your well-being a priority. You’ll be able to go to a place that will put distance between you and your hectic lifestyle. For 45 minutes a day to an hour or more, you are going to give yourself the gift of time. Use it wisely in the gym to take care of yourself.

Find a Support System

Join a gym and you’ll have an instant support network. From gym staff to trainers and other members, you are joining a group of people with similar goals. Everyone at the gym is trying to improve their health in some way or another.

You’ll find that it’s easier to stay motivated when you surround yourself with positive influences. Hook up with a workout partner and you can keep each other going on a daily basis. When you have someone else who is counting on you to be there, that will give you an added incentive to show up.

Enjoy Variety

When you workout on your own at home, it’s easy to get into a slump. It can feel like nothing ever changes and it’s a chore. As soon as you lose your motivation, you are headed for failure. When you get involved in a fitness program in a gym, you can really spice things up.

There are plenty of options, from a pool to a host of equipment and classes. Keep trying new things to stay the course. All of it is better than sitting at home playing angry birds on your tablet.

You Will Reap the Benefits in Countless Ways

Not that it isn’t obvious, but it’s has been proven that physical activity can improve your health. You don’t have to knock yourself out and your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be intense. It all depends on your personal preferences and physical condition.

Put in at least thirty minutes a day of some type of exercise at the gym and you can stave off serious problems down the line.

Reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Make it easier to fight the battle of the bulge and maintain a healthy weight. Eliminate stress in your life and have a more positive outlook. When you head to the gym, you are taking a step toward a brighter future.

You are making a promise to yourself to take care of your body. It’s your temple and you want it to be in good shape for years to come.

Activate a gym membership, stick with a program, and you will be stronger and more flexible. Equip yourself to take on life’s challenges and age gracefully by starting now. There’s no time like the present when you are ready to begin a partnership with fitness. It begins in your local gym.

sources

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/12/25/reasons-gym-membership/
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/physical_activity_its_important?open

Importance of Running Shoes for Cardio Addicts

good-running-shoes-for-Cardio

Why Cardio Addicts Need a Good Pair of Running Shoes

Cardio addicts and other fitness enthusiasts know that running is one of the greatest aerobic exercises available. While a few hardy souls have ventured into barefoot running, most runners know that the key to performance, comfort and long-distance endurance is a good pair of running shoes.

Lets be real, you wouldn’t drive your car around on subpar tires, would you? So why treat something that is exponentially more important than a car, (your feet and body) poorly by wearing subpar shoes?

Our feet take a daily beating. We don’t really think about it, but they do. So treating them properly and giving them the best equipment to deal with the world is crucial to keeping up their health. Not only is having healthy feet going to make you more comfortable, it’s also going to make your entire body more healthy overall.

Below are four essential factors to consider when choosing a good pair of running shoes:

Avoid the Three B’s, Sock Up Wisely

Runners know that some of their worst nightmares includes ill-fitting shoes that cause Bruises, Blisters or Bleeding. Unfortunately, some runners fail to understand the importance of choosing the right sock to go along with their running shoes.

Cotton socks are generally considered to be inadequate for running because over time they will rub against the skin of your feet. Many prospective runners discover to their dismay that wearing inappropriate shoes like basketball models and thick cotton socks will lead to foot pain and cramping.

To avoid the three B’s it is absolutely essential to invest in, not only, a top-quality pair of running shoes, but also high quality socks.

The Importance of a Good Fit

Runners will feel the benefit of a running shoe that fits well almost instantaneously. When the shoe is snug and neatly tailored to the contour of your foot, comfort is maximized.

A properly-sized pair of running shoes will induce the sensation that your feet are might lighter, with many runners experiencing a floating or levitating feeling when wearing proper footwear.

Many of today’s merchants offer cutting-edge testing services, allowing clients to use in-store machines to match the characteristics of each individual foot to the right pair of running shoe.

Fresh Shoes for Foot Health

Medical researchers and experts in the field have determined that runners who fail to regularly rotate their running shoes have an elevated risk of sustaining an injury or blister. Most running experts advise runners to keep a minimum of two pairs of top-quality running shoes and rotate between them in between running sessions and workouts.

Not only is rotating running shoes important for foot health, it also improves the life of the shoes. Two or more pairs of shoes distribute daily use during workout sessions or runs and allow runners to get longer use out of their shoes.

Furthermore, running specialists know that the sport is hard on the foam and cushioning in the sole of today’s advanced running shoes. By rotating between pairs, the foam and cushioning in the shoes is given time to decompress and return to its original state.

Depending on the model of running shoe, it can take between 1-2 days for some running shoes to fully decompress. Not only do runners risk injury if they choose to use running shoes with compressed cushioning, but the cushioning or foam will wear out much faster if not allowed sufficient rest periods in between use.

Buy More, Save More

Savvy runners, and shoppers in general, know that the price of a good quality pair of running shoes is the same whether buying one pair or 10, and therefore buy several pairs. Over time, as the shoes last longer and new models arrive in stores with higher prices, runners can save a lot of money. The only downside is the larger initial upfront investment.

Experienced runners know that many running stores hold periodic or seasonal sales with drastically reduced prices on top-quality shoes. Savvy buyers can snap up several pairs of good running shoes for one low price, and thus have a fresh variety of shoes to choose from over the following year.

Carefully husbanded, a long-distance runner can easily get two full seasons out of two-three pairs of good shoes if they are properly rotated.

What are the best running shoes ?

I did some digging and researching online and have found the best running shoe for this year. I even picked up the pair for myself and so far I’m loving them!

These are the ones I purchased and have been using for about a month. So far I love them! They are a bit on the pricey side, but like I said above, you pay for quality and I never hesitate to spend money that is going to promote better health.

Nike LunarGlide 6

nike-lunarglide-6-volt-black-pure-platinum-01-570x400

I was able to snag mine for $70 on amazon.com when they were on sale. You can check out the purchase page if you’re interested: Nike LunarGlide 6

sources
https://runneracademy.com/rotate-different-running-shoes/
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/equipment/why-its-important-to-invest-in-good-running-shoes.html

What’s So Bad About Processed Food?

why-is-processed-food-bad

A Quick Look Into Processed Foods

While many people instinctively know that there is something unwholesome about processed foods, few people have the entire story as to why they aren’t the most healthy way to nourish your body. In this day and age, people looking for a healthier life are increasingly acknowledging the terrible truths about the processed foods that they’ve been eating for years.

Obviously we live in an era of abundance, especially in the western world. We have more food than ever, more people than ever, more resources than ever, just about more everything than ever before.

But at what cost? How do we account for all this abundance? Where does it come from. Mainly our food. We don’t really think about how are grocery stores just seem to be packed at all times with all of our favorite foods and goodies. Most of us either don’t know or don’t care that the majority of the food we eat is actually processed in a factory. Convenience comes at a price, at with food that price tends to be in the form of poor nutrition.

Addiction to Processed Foods

While cucumbers are delicious, no one has ever become addicted to them. That’s because whole foods in their natural state are correctly balanced for human nutrition. Processing foods strips away essential components of whole foods, such as fiber, and this changes the way the body digests and uses the foods.

Whole foods in their natural state contain carbohydrates. But they also come with a healthy balance of fiber, water, proteins and fats to provide perfect human nutrition. Processed foods are engineered to trigger a dopamine release, a “feel good” chemical in the brain that tricks your body into thinking it is satisfied even though the “food” is missing essential nutrients and/or fiber.

People can become addicted to this dopamine release, which in turn leads to overeating and uncontrollable food addiction.

Obesity Issues

You ever wonder why fat burners are so popular and all over the internet? Why there’s so many top fat burners lists on the internet? Processed foods add another whammy against human health by including a whole raft of additives that have been shown to promote obesity. The so-called “foods” available in most supermarkets today are heavily laced with cheap fillers and preservatives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup.

Heavily processed grains that are designed to quickly convert to sugar are used to make breakfast cereals, pretzels, waffels, bagels and muffins.

Dosing the body with high levels of carbohydrates dramatically increases the body’s insulin levels. Over time, this leads to insulin resistance, which has been strongly connected to a whole host of illnesses and maladies, including significant weight gain.

Unnatural Combinations

Nutritionists and health experts agree that natural foods are designed to be eaten in certain combinations in order to work more efficiently with the human body’s digestive system.

Processed foods regularly combine starchy ingredients with proteins, which can work to block the digestive tract, raise blood acid levels, and provide a vector for pathogens to enter the intestinal tract.

Rocking the Inner Ecosystem Boat

Human beings have evolved an advanced relationship with microorganisms that live in the digestive system. Processed foods upset that balance, suppressing and killing off many helpful microorganisms, causing people to suffer from chronic digestive illnesses and unnatural cravings.

Whole, unprocessed foods, on the other hand, strongly support the natural beneficial microorganisms that live in the digestive tract.

Mood Killer

Many people have noted that eating a lot of heavily processed foods leads to memory problems, mood swings, and even clinical depression. Few people realize that serotonin, a natural body chemical that helps control mood and depression, is most abundant in the intestinal tract. Thus, the digestive system and brain work together, each reciprocating the other in stabilizing mood and emotional health.

Most health experts understand that diet has a major impact on mental health, and that eating a lot of processed foods can disturb the digestive system, thus leading to a greater risk of bad moods and depression.

Rushing Through Life at the Expense of Your Health

Processed foods come attractively-packaged, ready to be eaten “on the go”. Many people have come to depend on the convenience of processed foods to multi-task at work, commute or run errands in the car, or to consume quick meals while performing other things. Always eating in a rush disturbs the body’s natural rhythms, making it difficult for people to know when they’ve already eaten enough.

sources

http://www.cbn.com/tv/2533330727001

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry