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Blog posts tagged with 'healthier lifestyle'

Combat Oxidative Stress With Antioxidants

We hear that antioxidants are good for us, but the reasons why are not always clear. Free radicals and oxidative stress are some of the most important terms to learn when it comes to antioxidants. For your nutrition, these little fighters can make or break the balance that is your health. But how do they work, and where can you get your antioxidants in the first place?

Getting the Details on Oxidative Stress

The body constantly goes through a process called oxidation. It metabolizes the oxygen that we breathe in, which helps the cells produce energy. However, along with energy, free-radicals are also created. As they make contact with the molecules within the cells, it can result in damage to the mitochondria, our DNA, and other cells nearby.

Free radicals, however, can be useful to the body. Though they may cause damage, they also stimulate repair in the cells, vital for keeping your health in good balance. It’s when free radicals are produced too quickly that it can become a hazard to the body, resulting in more damaged cells than healthy, repaired ones. This is called oxidative stress, when oxidation is far outweighing the balance of your health.

Oxidation itself can occur for several reasons: When your cells use glucose for energy, when your immune system fights off bacteria, and when the body detoxifies pollutants. Yet, when your body is stressed, physically or emotionally, this can increase oxidation. This can be caused by outside pollution, cigarette smoking, alcoholic consumption, and infection. Once the amount of free radicals produced outnumber the antioxidants in your body, it becomes oxidative stress.

Do You Have Oxidative Stress?

The signs of oxidative stress can vary, but some of the most common include:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle or joint discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Wrinkles and grey hair
  • Worsening eye sight

To avoid oxidative stress, you need to avoid unnecessary oxidation. Stress can increase the frequency of the oxidation process, along with sugary and processed foods, as the cells produce energy with the help of sugar/glucose. It is also important to increase your consumption of antioxidants, which help block oxidation. While antioxidants are naturally present in your body, you can get them from outside sources to help regain the balance.

The Power of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the molecules in your body that fight back against free radicals, neutralizing the damage they cause. They do so by giving electrons to the free radicals, which prevents them from causing any more harm. When there’s not enough antioxidants, free radicals can run rampant, causing constant damage to the cells.

Combat Oxidantive Stress With AntioxidantsWhile the human body generates antioxidants, like glutathione, you can get your fill from foods and supplements. Some famous antioxidants are Vitamin C and E, which you can find most in plant-based food, usually of the berry variety.

Some antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Dark chocolate

Certain meat products and fish also have antioxidants in them, though smaller than what is usually found in fruits and vegetables. They are also present in beverages such as tea, and even coffee.

OxyPlus, an Antioxidant-Rich Supplement

A balance of antioxidants is what your body needs to stay healthy and functioning. OxyPlus provides that with its unique blend of ingredients, such as the familiar Vitamin C and Vitamin E, along with the unique Oxyplex blend. Extracts from red wine, green tea and grape seed help make up the blend, creating a fortified supplement that delivers the necessary antioxidants to your body. To beat the oxidative stress, antioxidants are the key to de-stressing, giving your cells the protection it needs.

Click here to Try OxyPlus today!

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What Is in That Energy Drink and Is It Worth the Trade-Off?

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What Is in That Energy Drink and Is It Worth the Trade-Off?Despite national health movements encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles, consumption of energy drinks continues to rise. According to data compiled by Bloomberg last year, energy drink sales increased nearly 7%, reaching $9.2 billion by the end of 2013. From office workers to athletes, people are consuming energy beverages for a variety of reasons. But are they really that helpful?

Measuring Effective Performance

A recent study on energy drinks carried out by experts from Camilo José Cela University (UCJC) sought to analyze the positive and negative effects they may have on athletes. In the study, top athletes who participated in various sports including soccer, climbing, swimming, basketball, rugby, tennis, and hockey were given the equivalent of three cans of energy drink or a placebo energy drink before their competitions. Their performance was then measured with GPS devices which tracked their average speed and distance covered. Other devices were used to track muscle usage in certain sports. Results of the study showed a minimal 3%-7% percent increase in total performance for those who had taken the energy drinks. However the results were not all positive.

An Unhealthy Trade-Off

While an increase in performance was noted, it was not without a cost. Athletes that took the energy drinks before their competitions also experienced an increased frequency of insomnia, along with nervousness and an inability to calm down after their activities. The placebo group did not show the same signs or frequency of any negative side-effects such as nervousness, anxiety, or insomnia as those who were given the energy drinks.

Other studies done on the short-term physical effects of energy drink consumption showed alterations in short-term heart function. Researchers took cardiac MRIs of 15 healthy men and three healthy women with an average age of 27.5 years before and one hour after they consumed an energy drink containing 400 mg/100 ml taurine and 32mg/100 ml caffeine. Comparing MRI images, researchers discovered that there was increased strain on the left ventricle in the "after" images.

While more research about the long-term effects of energy drinks on the heart and body in general is needed, study author Dr. Jonas Dörner from the University of Bonn, Germany, commented that it was clear that energy drinks can affect short-term heart function.

Choosing a Path to Healthy Energy

While public scrutiny often falls on the soft drink beverage industry, the ingredients in energy drinks do not vastly differ. Some energy drinks contain up to three times the amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee. As recently as 2013, a group of 18 doctors jointly urged the FDA to restrict the amount of caffeine companies were allowed to put into energy drinks as reported in the NY Times.

When looking for a healthy source of energy—whether it's for exercise or help you endure the work day—it's important to be aware of how these sources can affect your body. Instead of constantly turning to caffeine or sugar-filled foods or beverages, choose foods high in fiber or proteins such as eggs, nuts (including trail mix), and whole-grain cereal for longer, more sustained energy. When it comes to beverages stay hydrated with plain old H2O. Water helps transport nutrients through the blood and can support the efficient removal of waste that can build up and lead to fatigue during exercise.

For the healthy, long-lasting energy your body needs, be sure to choose the right fuel. Proper nutrition and hydration can provide the right daily balance to help keep your energy levels where you need them all day long.

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