Benefits of Water

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Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to fitness and athletic performance. It can even help you lose weight. Not staying hydrated, on the other hand, can hinder your performance and negatively impact your health.
How Much Water?

Drinking a gallon of water a day can increase your effectiveness in performance situations, whether at work, in the gym, or on the field.

People tend to think that it’s impossible to drink a gallon of water a day. These often are the same people who have three cups of coffee in the morning, a couple of diet soft drinks with lunch, and alcoholic beverages during and after dinner. They all provide hydration, but are not nearly as healthy as water.

If you substitute water, you’ll have no problem drinking a gallon a day. Drink two glasses when you wake up, two glasses with every meal, and plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Take a water bottle to work and drink all day. Keep a bottle in the car. If you’re training hard, especially in warmer climates, you may find you actually exceed a gallon a day.

You probably won’t miss the caffeine. If the rest of your nutrition plan is solid, it should help you regulate your blood sugar level, so you won’t feel the need to use caffeine as an artificial energy source.
Hydration and Weight Loss

Proper hydration regulates appetite. A lot of times people think they’re hungry when they’re really just thirsty. If you’re trying to lose weight, have a glass of water before eating, and you’ll have that satiety that keeps you from overeating.
Are You Dehydrated?

How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? Take a look at your urine. Generally speaking, the clearer the urine, the better hydrated you are. If it is a clear-pale lemonade color, you are hydrated. If it is a darker lemonade to apple juice color, you are dehydrated. And if it is dark and cloudy, you are severely dehydrated and should notify medical staff immediately.

Benefits
Look Younger

Water has a direct impact on the aging process. Because of the dehydration, inactivity, and trauma from daily life, the connective tissues around our muscles and joints dry up over time, sort of like those chew toys for dogs that start out soft and pliable and end up stiff and brittle. Just drinking sufficient water goes a long way toward preventing this process while improving your muscle tissue and flexibility. Recent research suggests that any beverage, even one with caffeine, promotes hydration, but there’s still nothing better than water.
A Healthier Smile

Why drink caffeinated beverages when there’s a perfect, healthier, alternative available? Some people rationalize drinking diet soft drinks because the beverages have no calories. That’s true but they still can damage your teeth and offer no nutritional value. We’d never put the automotive equivalent of diet soft drinks in our cars, but we do it to our bodies all the time.

As far as artificial sweeteners in soft drinks and other beverages go, recent research suggests that modest consumption of artificial sweeteners is a better alternative to high fructose corn syrup and other sugars. Although, we are not fans of diet soft drinks—it is better to drink water—we would rather see you drink a diet than a regular soft drink that’s loaded with sugar (a typical can has about 150 calories, all from sugar).

If you drink coffee, don’t overdo the cream and sugar. Again, goes back to making healthier choices. Consider a healthier alternative such a green or black teas, which have antioxidant properties.

Sports Drinks

Look for carbs and electrolytes in your sports drink. Drinking 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour (16 to 32 ounces) will provide you with the fuel you need to keep your workout going strong, and 110 to 200 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounces of sports drink will enhance the absorption of the fluid and keep your muscles from cramping.

But don’t assume that sports drinks are an equal substitute for water, especially for people in everyday life. In fact, most are loaded with a ton of high glycemic carbohydrates that elevate blood sugar and ultimately contribute to body fat. Sports drinks are most valuable for endurance athletes competing in prolonged, intense activity. These athletes need to replace sugars immediately. But most of us never reach that level of exertion. A lower-calorie sports drink like a G2 is a good choice for anyone.

Water Intoxication

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of proper hydration for enhancing performance and health. A lack of water is dangerous. In extreme instances, athletes have suffered heat stroke and even died from dehydration.

But it’s also possible to go overboard with hydration. Hyponatremia, also known as “water intoxication,” is a potentially fatal condition experienced by endurance athletes who over-hydrate with water.

This condition is brought on by extremely low blood sodium levels and triggers symptoms from nausea and muscle cramps to coma and even death. A runner died from the condition following the 2002 Boston Marathon, and another spent four days in a coma following a marathon in Jamaica.

The problem happens when there’s too much water and not enough electrolytes (potassium, sodium, and chloride) flowing through the body. Water keeps coming in, but because of a lack of electrolytes, the blood sodium level is low, which throws off your heartbeat and response systems.

People tend to think that water is a better choice than sports drinks, since it has no calories. This is certainly true in everyday life. But when competing in an event or a training session of extreme exertion, it’s important to hydrate with products that can replenish electrolytes. Good choices include Gatorade and Amino Vital Endurance Formula, or you can take products such as Gatorlytes, Gu, or Hammer Gel with water.

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Amazing Benefits of Oatmeal

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You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anyone knows that.”  –Kay Thompson

Have it for its taste and nutrition and many other benefits. They are good for you, particularly if you make your own.

Reasons Why you should Love Oatmeal

1. Low calorie food; stops cravings.

A cup is only 130 calories!  It also stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full longer.  You will have less hunger and cravings.

2. Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.

It’s on the short list for the highest protein levels of any grain.

3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes

The high fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.

4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).

Many studies have shown that the unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-glucan, has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels

5. Gluten-free safe.

Are you gluten sensitive and have no problem with oatmeal?  If you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease there is some cause for concern. Oats lack many of the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten) but oats do contain avenin.  Avenin is a prolamine that is considered toxic to the intestinal mucosa of avenin-sensitive individuals.  Oats can also contain gluten from nearby wheat field contamination and processing facilities.  Many studies have shown that many celiacs can consume wheat free oats with no problems. Still we suggest your doctors opinion.

6. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.

Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans.  One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.

 

Oatmeal With Fresh Berries

Ingredients

    Oatmeal 200 g     Milk 600 ml     Sugar 45 – 60 ml     Fresh Berries 200 g, fresh (halved strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)     Info box

    Preparation time – 10 m     Cooking time -20 m     Recipe category – Breakfast     Recipe yield – 4    

Preparation

Place the oatmeal in a pot with the milk and the sugar.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes until a thick porridge is created.

If necessary a little more milk.

Pour into bowls and serve garnished with the fruit.

So keep this in your list as a Powerfoods that you eat regularly..

 

10 Things Everybody Should Know About Migraines and a Natural Remedy

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Not only is migraine more than “just a headache,” but the condition is also more than just the attacks. Consequently, migraine therapy must be more than just drugs for attack symptoms and living in fear of “triggers.” I’d like to encourage migraineurs to abandon their designated role as victims of a growing industry. Topple the terrible tyrant and terminate the terror!
For those who aren’t familiar with migraines and the devastating effects they can have on a sufferer’s life, below are the 10 most important facts to know about this debilitating condition.

1. Two out of five women and one out of five men will experience migraine in their lifetime. Between 18 and 44 years of age, a quarter of all women are affected by migraine.

2. Migraine is a developmental brain disorder leading to recurring episodes of instability (“attacks”). During attacks, migraineurs can have a puzzling collection of neurological symptoms including partial paralysis or blindness. Here are a selection of symptoms during migraine attacks:

  •     mild to very severe head pain
  •     dizziness, vertigo
  •     mental confusion, impaired speech
  •     neck and back pain
  •     nausea, vomiting
  •     emotional turmoil, feeling very ill
  •     heightened pain sensitivity
  •     digestive problems, peeing a lot
  •     poor motor coordination

3. Between attacks, migraine symptoms can be absent or mild or pronounced enough to lead to an additional diagnostic label. A selection of problems frequently encountered in migraineurs include:

  •     Depression
  •     Chronic Back Pain
  •     Cognitive impairments
  •     Anxiety
  •     Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  •     Hostility
  •     Bipolar Disorder
  •     Stroke
  •     Suicide

4. Migraine patients are commonly instructed to identify and to avoid their so-called “trigger” factors.Some experts advise against avoidance behaviors, since they tend to make things worse rather than better. Avoidance attitudes are associated with pain chronification. This advice is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

5. Also, scientific evidence suggests that episodic migraine attacks are not usually “triggered.” Instead, they were found to mainly occur at a certain rate as the result of a gradual buildup. Changes in electrical brain activity can be detected several days in advance.

6. In 8% of cases, the episodic migraine transforms into chronic migraine, with headaches on more days than not. In chronic migraine, the brain tends to over-interpret normal stimuli as aversive and hurtful and to respond with the generation of headaches. The main risk factor for the progression to chronic migraine is the frequent use of migraine medication. Patients with limited mental flexibility and poor comprehension are at a particularly high risk.

7. Despite frequent repetition, Migraine is not a genetically predetermined condition.  Although migraine tends to run in families, the genetic heritability of migraine is actually much lower than that of obesity. While roughly half the population have inherited the genetic talent for migraine, the majority of them do not ever develop migraine in their lives.

8. The abundant media coverage of “Botox for migraines” distorts the scientific evidence for its low efficacy. For episodic migraine, Botox was found to be so ineffective that it isn’t even registered. After a series of failed attempts, a custom-designed drug trial finally managed to present Botox as marginally better than salt water for chronic migraine. That — and a $600 million payment by the manufacturer — sparked an approval by the FDA. A later review confirmed only “small to modest benefits” for chronic migraineurs.

9. Many patients are unaware of the influence that the pharmaceutical industry has on medical education, research, organizations, treatment guidelines and doctors, as well as on public and social media. Drug companies invest many billions of dollars on overt and covert sales-promotional activities. Their obligation is to look after the interests of their shareholders by increasing drug sales, and they’re known to use every trick in the book. By 2014, the global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to reach $1.1 trillion. Patients with migraine episodes who don’t watch out for themselves can easily end up paying a very high price: a life ruined by chronic migraine.
10. Patients with episodic migraine are advised to look after themselves and not to rely on drugs only. A healthy lifestyle with regular aerobic workouts, relaxation exercises, breathing-retraining and individualized herbs and nutraceuticals can go a long way. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, biofeedback-based training and other behavioral therapies can help to cope with life in general and to bring the attack rate down. The strongest migraine therapies are neurofeedback-based methods, which can renormalize deviant brain activity with unmatched success rates. In cases of frequent or severe attacks, as well as for chronic migraine, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is advisable

Natural Remedy for Migraine

If you’re prone to headaches, try a sweet-smelling solution. Peppermint essential oil is a remedy that’s easy, affordable and natural.

Rub a few dabs into your temples and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes. Peppermint’s anti-inflammatory properties will soothe your nerves.

6 Healing Spices That Should Be In Every Kitchen

Rosemary

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A fragrant herb with woody, evergreen like needles is just what the holistic nutritionist ordered! Rosemary is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-allergenic, and can help fight foodborne illness
 
To make things even better, rosemary was even prescribed by Hippocrates (yes, THE Father of Medicine) to cleanse the liver.

Nutmeg

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Nutmeg is common spice derived from the fruit of the nutmeg tree (an evergreen); commonly thought of as a holiday spice for its starring role in the creation of eggnog, nutmeg is best used fresh, as it loses its flavor quickly once grated.

Nutmeg can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and it increases circulation. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, is rich in B vitamins, regulates digestion and enhances sleep.

Cloves

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Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree, and are widely used in Ayurveda.

Clove oil can provide toothache relief, and other general pain relief. Cloves also stimulate warmth in the body and increase hydrochloric acid production, which is needed for digestion.

Thyme

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This aromatic, Mediterranean herb of the mint family has been used since ancient times and is available in more than 60 varieties, each nutrient dense and loaded with benefits.

Thyme is antiseptic and antibacterial, and is an excellent source of iron, manganese and calcium. It’s also a great respiratory enhancer as it can relieve chest and respiratory problems. As a bonus interesting fact the thymol used in Listerine is one of the active constituents in thyme!

Sage

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An evergreen, perennial shrub common to the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe, sage has been one of the most popular herbs since ancient times.

This very powerful antioxidant also enhances brain function and improves memory. Sage aids digestion of oily and fatty foods, and calms upset stomachs. As a vitamin boost, sage contains vitamins A, B, C and several necessary minerals, such as potassium, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Black peppercorn

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One of the most popular spices is actually a dried fruit of a flowering vine and is the world’s most traded spice! Pepper has been used historically as both a spice and medicine, and is valued for its health benefits.

Black pepper can aid weight loss by stimulating the breakdown of fats and increasing metabolism, but it can also stimulate appetite. It may also help stop bleeding of minor cuts while disinfecting the area.