Ergogenic Aids- Performance Enhancing Supplements

Beetroot Juice: This is a source of dietary nitrate. It occurs naturally in vegetables. The high nitrate content of vegetables recommended in the DASH diet may be responsible for the diet’s ability to lower blood pressure. Nitrate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of exercise resulting in greater oxygen delivery to work muscles which increases the capacity for high-intensity exercise. The only noted negative side effect is red-hued urine– and researchers do not know yet if high intake of nitrates over a long period of time will have negative health consequences.

Beta-Alanine: Has the potential to increase carnosine which reduces acidosis. When you take doses ranging from 3 grams-6.5 grams per day for 2-12 days, beta-alanine has been shown to increase the buffering capacity of lactic acid. Some studies have shown improvement in sprint performance while others demonstrate no benefit. More research is needed to determine precise performance benefits in athletes.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine): These are used by endurance athletes as an energy source late in exercise when muscle carbohydrate stores are low. Research suggests that BCAA also may delay mental fatigue by altering brain neurotransmitters that contribute to fatigue. Leucine is identified as an anabolic trigger to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It is a key amino acid in whey (a protein in milk). Whey is a “fast” protein rapidly digested and absorbed which leads to a rapid rise in amino acids in the blood while casein is a “slow” protein which results in a slow release of amino acids. This combination of fast and slow release of amino acids leads to a more sustained availability of amino acids to muscles.

Creatine: Found in meat and fish– a typical meat eater ingests about 1 gram of creatine daily. In muscle, creatine combines with phosphate to create a high-energy compound that resynthesizes ATP to perform muscular work which increases muscle mass. According to a recent study published in 2012 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, supplementing with 20-25 grams of creatine monohydrate for 5-7 days followed by 5-10 grams daily for up to 2 months increases muscle creatine content by about 20%. This can increase an athlete’s ability to train, leading to improvements in strength and power. Creatine is safe when used in the recommended doses.

For more information: Food & Nutrition. The Sports Issue. May/June 2014. Volume 3, Issue 3. Christine Rosenbloom.

#1 Increased Cancer Risk..Obesity

The number one increased risk for cancer is obesity.. yes you heard that right!

Having lean muscle and less fat tissue is the goal to decreasing your risk for cancer. Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat and make most of your meals revolve around vegetables! When it comes to exercising, make sure you regularly work out– at least 3 times a week to reduce your risk.

Obesity is associated with increased risks of esophagus, pancreas, colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, thyroid, gallbladder, as well as other cancers. Obese people most likely have increased levels of insulin in their blood which may promote tumor growth. Fat tissue also produces excess amounts of estrogen. One study estimated that if current trends continue, obesity will lead to approximately 500,000 additional cases of cancer by 2030.

What does this mean to you and your family? What kind messages can dietitians, nutritionists, and those in the health industry do to prevent this?

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Photo credit: janderson99.hubpages.com

Small Steps Is All It Takes!

We all want fast results to keep us motivated on the right path. But guess what?! The smaller the steps we take, the more likely we are to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Make a small goal each week to keep you motivated!

1. Increase your exercise a little each day. If you’re completely sedentary, start making small changes such as taking the dog for a 20 minute walk, or walking up and down the stairs for 15 minutes!

2. Start smiling more. Be happy with yourself going toward a new healthy lifestyle and all the small accomplishes you make each week! Your positive energy will make others around you happy as well!

3. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Each added daily portion of these fiber rich foods lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Start small and you will feel the difference!

4. Cut back on salty foods. A lot of us don’t realize how much salt processed foods contain. Slowly cut back on processed foods and switch over to FRESH foods to lower your blood pressure and have more energy!

5. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Replace saturated fats like butter with corn, sunflower, or safflower oil. But remember to watch your portion sizes because 2 tablespoons will be just fine! Healthy fats will lower your LDL cholesterol and chances of heart disease.

6. Say no to soda and other sugary beverages. If you drink one less soda a day, you will be saving 240 calories and this will help you lose weight! Save your calories for nutrient-dense foods and make soda a TREAT in moderation. Remember water is the only beverage our bodies need to survive. Even if you think this is an impossible task, believe in yourself– you can get there!!

7. Put down your phone, computer, and turn off that T.V. at night! Respect your body and give it the rest it needs to keep you well rested for tomorrow! Each night, go to sleep a few minutes earlier until you’re at your target sleeping pattern!

8. Watch your portion sizes. Instead of going for a super-size, go for a super food! Eat less with nutritious foods rather than  eating more with junk food.

9. Cut back on sugar, eat more natural foods. The more natural you eat, the less sugar you will consume. Take small steps to cutting back on one sugary snack each day. It will be hard at first, but you can do it if you keep your mind to it!
small changesPhoto credit: www.quoteswave.com

For more information: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/15-ways-to-eat-healthy/?page=7

Keep Your Metabolism Going!

Looking for ways to control your metabolism? Here are some simple tips to keep your metabolism going!

  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink green tea
  • Make your workout intensity higher
  • Eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!
  • Lift weights
  • Drink more water!
  • Add some spice to your foods– a dash here and there can help boost your metabolism
  • Make sure you squeeze in some cardio during the day
  • Eat clean, eat wisely
  • Grab a cup of coffee or tea in the morning– just watch the amount of sugar and milk you put in your cup!
  • SMILE and LAUGH often

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For more information: http://greatist.com/health/11-scientifically-proven-ways-boost-metabolism

 

After Exercise

After you exercise, you continue to burn more calories than if you haven’t exercised at all. The body has to return to its normal temperature, heart rate, breathing, and hormone levels. The types of food that you eat and when you eat them could maximize your after burn benefit from exercising. Here are some tips:

  • Eat breakfast, including a source of whole-grain, complex carbohydrate and lean protein. This might be a whole wheat English muffin with egg whites and a slice of low fat cheese.
  • Have a mid morning snack such as a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.
  • Eat lunch from home, again, including carbohydrates and protein.
  • Have a mid-afternoon snack with carbohydrates and protein. This might be a Greek yogurt with roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • After a workout, have a granola bar or drink 8-12 oz low-fat chocolate milk as soon as you walk in the door.
  • Fix a healthy dinner with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and one source of complex carbohydrate.

Remember to include strength training, as this encourages the use of fat as energy, increases lean tissue, and discourages the breakdown of muscle, as long as you are eating after exercise.

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By: Jill Koegel
LIVEWELLNEBRASKA BLOGGER

Healthy Living While on Vacation

Happy Friday everyone! Since summer is almost here, I feel it’s appropriate to share ideas on how we can keep a healthy lifestyle while on vacation and when we are traveling! Let’s face it, when we are away from our normal routine, most of us tend to step away from our healthy, active lifestyles. 

I am excited to share an article written by Cole Millen. His article shares wonderful tips on how to stay on track while traveling. He points out important key tips on ways to say no to tempting foods you may be offered, why it’s important to stay hydrated, doing your research before leaving for a trip, exercising while you are away, and plenty more! These are all awesome ways to keep your body on track to living a healthy lifestyle. 

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Going on vacation is a fantastic endeavor that can create memories that last a lifetime. However, it can be quite easy to not eat healthy and gain weight when visiting a different city, state or climate. Here are some tips for staying healthy, eating nutritious foods and in keeping the pounds off when going on vacation.

When it is time to go on the vacation, be sure to eat an excellent meal before getting on a plane or riding in a vehicle. When a traveler is full, they are able to make great decisions when offered expensive food on a plane or when visiting a gas station that offers sweet temptations in the form of candy bars or sugary sodas. It can help to bring healthy snacks such as low-fat trail mix or dried fruit for a long trip. In addition to this, be sure to drink plenty of healthy liquids such as water. Water can help reduce the pangs of hunger as well as keep the body hydrated during the trip.

Before going on the trip, do research in the area that will be visited during the vacation and carefully consider the food and dishes that will be consumed. Some areas are known for healthy foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Other locations are known for having deep fried foods. Consider the restaurants that are in the community. Some restaurants are known for healthy dishes. In fact, a number of them post their menus online, with the result that individuals can know exactly what they will be having. When looking at food served at potential hotels, go online or give each one a call and ask specific questions about dining options.

Often times determining which hotels and restaurants offer healthy options can be difficult. I have found that a little research goes a long way in this regard. On a recent trip out west, I found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only their amenities and offerings, but also the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to determine with choices had the best alternatives for my healthy lifestyle. Some hotels offer healthy choices for breakfast such as breakfast cereals and well as fresh fruit while others feature donuts and other sugary pastries. A fantastic breakfast or dinner can be a huge difference maker when on vacation. It is important to get the necessary energy to have a great day. The reality is that knowledge of the local diet will help individuals and families prepare for the road ahead.

When you are looking for a restaurant to eat at, take time to determine the type of food that is prepared and the way it is prepared.  It is best to stick with healthy option foods that are baked, boiled, broiled, fat free, fresh, light, and whole grain.  Some things you want to stay away from are basted, battered, breaded, buttered, country style, creamy, fried, and smothered.  Try to add vegetables as your side as often as possible. The key to being at a restaurant is to eat in moderation. Don’t just clean your plate because it is in front of you. Acknowledge that your body is telling you that you are full and ask for a box.

Be sure to do some walking in the vacation area to keep the heart rate up as well as keeping the metabolism in check. Furthermore, walking can keep the body and mind strong and vibrant while experiencing new things and as one is relaxing. In addition to this, be sure to keep a water bottle handy at all times. Sometimes walking and visiting sites can make one weary and it certainly helps to have a water bottle available. Many hotels have complimentary refrigerators and ice machines, which can keep water cool in the daytime.

Staying healthy while on a vacation does not have to be difficult. While it does take time to do effective research and to be intentional about what to eat, it is worth it. The body feels great while on vacation and is relaxed when it is time to go home.

Written by: Cole Millen

Everyone be sure to check out Cole’s amazing blog for unique thoughts and perspectives about health and travel: http://colemill.blogspot.com/ and if you want to get in contact with him for questions or comments feel free to email him at colemillen@gmail.com

If anyone has healthy topics they would like to hear more about on my blog feel free to email me at colombo.danielle@hotmail.com — don’t be shy 🙂

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