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Blog posts tagged with 'hydration'

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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Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper Nutrition

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Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper NutritionMany people can recite the names of the most popular vitamins and prominent minerals such as vitamin A, D, calcium, and potassium. But are you getting enough each day? Many people are, in fact, missing some of the main nutrients needed to sustain healthy living—especially older adults. As diets change, the number of calories older adults absorb can drop. This can lead to a deficiency in some of the more vital nutrients that are needed for good health and increased longevity. To help you sustain ongoing health, here are some of the top nutrients you should look out for to help ensure that you’re getting the proper amounts.

Bones, Cells and Heart Health

Calcium is essential to supporting healthy bones and teeth. Bone development continues throughout adulthood, which is why your body needs a steady supply of calcium. Not getting enough calcium can lessen your bone density over time, leaving them brittle and making you more susceptible to falling and incurring injuries. Besides dairy products, broccoli and kale are also rich sources of calcium. You can also turn calcium supplementing into a treat by making a smoothie out of yogurt, fruit, and vegetables.

Along with helping maintain healthy nerve function, vitamin B12 helps in the formation of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. B12 is especially important for older adults because they can’t absorb it as easily as younger people can. To get enough B12, eat plenty of fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and milk.

Folate, or folic acid, is another B vitamin (vitamin B9). Folic acid supplementation is recommended in pregnant women because adequate folate levels during pregnancy may help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. It has also been connected to protecting heart health and reducing risks of heart concerns later on in life. As one of the eight B-complex vitamins, folic acid helps convert the body’s food into fuel and is a crucial part of overall wellness.

Essential Nutrients for Internal Conditioning

Much has been written and debated about vitamin D. At its core it helps the body absorb calcium and is important to bone density, skin health, immune function, and many other processes in the body. While your skin is capable of producing some vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun, many people do not spend enough time outdoors to satisfy the recommended daily value. Vitamin D amounts can vary by gender and age, but adults ages 19–70 should get, on average, at least 600 IU each day by remembering to step out in the sun or eating cereals, milk, and juices fortified with vitamin D.

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps your cells, tissues, and organs function properly. It is also connected to the electrical activity of the heart, and aids healthy blood pressure and kidney function. The daily requirement for potassium is 4,700 mg, which can be obtained from bananas, prunes, potatoes, dairy products, soy, and some fish.

While the body doesn’t need much magnesium, it still plays a crucial role in some 300 different processes in your body. Often associated with heart health, magnesium is also pertinent to a high-functioning immune system and bone health as 66% of the magnesium your body needs is stored in the bones. Although magnesium is found in many common foods such as grains and nuts, it is still estimated that people only get 66% of the necessary daily value. You can help make up for this deficit by eating more unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds.

Keeping Well Fed and Watered

Your digestive tract has a lot of responsibilities that include nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and immune health. Fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body, aids the digestive system. It is also known for supporting heart health. The national recommendation for fiber is 30–38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women ages 18–50.

The last area of nutrition that is often overlooked is hydration. Fluids are an important part of your diet; water being the most crucial. As you get older your sense of thirst can decline, but no matter what age you are, hydration is important for every process mentioned in the above paragraphs. It is often said that if food is your body’s fuel, then fluid is the coolant. Nutritionists recommend drinking 3–5 large glasses of water each day, or 8 glasses if you’re physically active.

Covering Your Bases of Nutrients

Sometimes keeping track of what your body needs can seem overwhelming. However, if you’ve already made the decision to eat healthier by managing your food groups and portions, you can easily figure out what vitamins and minerals you are getting enough of, and what areas you may need to focus on. Supplementation for many vitamins and minerals is always a viable option due to the various nature of different diets. Getting a wide variety of what you need, at each point in the aging process, however, is crucial to continued healthy living, and it starts with what you know.

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Stay Up on Skin Health This Summer with These Super Foods

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Stay Up on Skin Health This Summer with These Super FoodsThe start of summer is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy trips to the beach, picnics, hikes, and other fun outdoor activities. If you plan on soaking in the sun and getting that tanned look or if you're outside for any other reason, remember to pay attention to skin health. Protection against UV rays is important and you should carry sunscreen with you at all times to avoid serious burns. There are, however, some super foods that can also help protect and support the health of your skin from the inside.

Add Some Antioxidants to the Mix

Fruits and summertime go together like wine and cheese. Besides being great for hydration, fruits can provide other nutrients that are beneficial to skin health. Watermelon, for instance, is made up of 90% water and great for those hot afternoons in the sun. But it also contains vitamin C, which is crucial for your body's continuous production of collagen—the main building block of skin cells. Vitamin C's antioxidant and immune support properties make it the perfect weapon against free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to skin and other organs. Berries can be another go-to source for preventing oxidative damage to your skin. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries…take your juicy pick. These antioxidant-rich summer soldiers can provide your body—and especially your skin—protection against free radicals. If citrus fruits are more along your line of taste, you can also get your fill of vitamin C from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Squeeze the latter two into your water to not only enjoy a refreshing drink, but an extra splash of vitamin C and its collagen-building benefits. Some of these citrus fruits also have other collagen-producing ingredients such as the amino acids proline and lysine that can promote firmer and more supple-looking skin. Not to be outdone, pineapples contain a compound called bromelain. Studies have found that bromelain helps ease inflammation, which may come in handy if you are experiencing any discomfort from sunburn.

Are They Fruits or Vegetables?

While there may be some debate whether tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits or vegetables (technically, they are fruits because they bear seeds) there is no debate about their health benefits, especially for your skin. Tomatoes contain lycopene which has been shown to help stave off unwanted lines and wrinkles. It, too, is another helper in the collagen-production area. The use of cucumber in facial treatments is no fluke either. Made vastly of water, cucumbers can hydrate and replenish skin, and reduce puffiness and inflammation, especially around the eyes. Cucumbers are another powerful ally in the fight against free radicals, which can bring on unwanted blemishes and other age-related skin damage.

Vegetables, Omegas, and the Power of the Coconut

Fruits aren't the only foods that can give you super skin. Vegetables such as dandelion greens contain a healthy amount of vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant agent in the free-radical battle that can help you avoid unwanted skin damage caused by oxidative stress. Spinach and oily fish such as salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which regulate your skin's oil production, giving it that natural, healthy-looking glow. Want to create a super skin-supporting meal? Whip up a salad of dandelion greens, berries, and cucumbers. For protein, add salmon. And don't forget to wash it down with coconut water, an amazing, hydrating drink containing powerful electrolytes and potassium which can help deliver more nutrients to your skin by supporting circulation. If you're going to be outdoors this summer, make sure you give your skin the proper support. With these super foods you can not only get the nutrients your body craves daily, but the valuable skin protection needed to keep your skin look healthy and youthful. Enjoy the summer season the right way today!

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A Healthy Smile May Reveal More About Your Health Than You Realize

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A Healthy Smile May Reveal More About Your Health Than You RealizeWhen it comes to oral health and hygiene, there’s a universal understanding that it’s important to brush and floss twice daily to protect against cavities. But did you know that research has suggested that your oral health mirrors the health of your whole body? The mouth-body relationship can influence your heart and digestion, as well as your immune system, so the condition of your teeth could indicate the state of your overall health.

Oral Care Beyond the Brush

Proper care for your teeth and gums doesn’t just come from brushing and flossing twice a day; there are many essential vitamins and minerals that can help you keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones you can supplement into your daily nutrition.

Calcium

Universally known as vital to forming and maintaining healthy bones, calcium can also help strengthen your teeth and your jaw bone where your teeth are set. It is vital for people no matter what their age or gender to get the recommended daily amount of calcium to continue maintaining healthy bone density. Milk is the most well-known source of calcium, but collard greens, tofu, and supplements are also good non-dairy sources of calcium.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is just important as calcium for strong bones and teeth because it helps your body absorb calcium. Your body produces vitamin D when your skin cells are exposed to sunlight, but if you spend a lot of time indoors you may need to supplement additional vitamin D into your diet, both for you oral and overall health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help reduce inflammation and protect your teeth and gums. It is also crucial to supporting a healthy immune system and helps to form strong connective tissue as well as teeth and gum tissue. Vitamin C is also water soluble, so any excess gets flushed out of your body. It is recommended that people take vitamin C every day, but if you’re getting your vitamin C from fruit juices, limit yourself to 1 glass of juice per day because citric acid in fruit juices can actually wear down tooth enamel.

Water

Water might be the most underrated liquid on the planet. This building block of life, however, also provides oral health benefits. Water helps keep the mouth hydrated by stimulating saliva flow, which cleans your mouth by neutralizing bacteria. It’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water a day.

A Few Minutes a Day

Oral hygiene is a lifelong task. But it is one of the easiest tasks you can do to support your well-being. Proper brushing and daily flossing, as well as regular dental checkups can ensure that you will enjoy a healthy smile throughout your life. But there are also foods you can eat between brushing to give your oral health the extra boost needed for a bright and healthier smile.


GH3 Advanced

 

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What Facial Feature is Often Forgotten in Winter Protection?

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What Facial Feature is Often Forgotten in Winter Protection?When frosty, winter weather strikes, many of us prepare for the cold by adding extra layers of clothing to stay protected and comfortable. Our heads, however, usually get nothing more than a hat for protection, leaving our faces—especially our lips—exposed and at the mercy of the elements. Chapped lips and dry skin are nothing new to those who have experienced that cracked, raw feeling from the effects of cold and blustery weather. But while the skin over the rest of your body has many layers to help seal in moisture, your lips only have a thin layer of skin. This makes them prone to losing up to 10 times more moisture than any other part of your face or body.

You'll Only Make It Worse!

Many of us have the immediate instinct to lick our lips when they get dry. However, this only exacerbates the situation. When saliva evaporates it can leave the lips more dehydrated. Saliva is also more than just water; it contains digestive acids that help dissolve food, which can further hinder the health and healing ability of your lips. You may also have the tendency to bite or chew chapped pieces of skin on your lips. This can also slow the healing process, leaving exposed areas of your lips that can lead to possible infections or cold sores.

Vital Protection Tips for Lips

The key to preventing dry heat or cold winds from chapping, cracking, and drying out your lips is to seal in moisture. Use a lip balm to keep your lips hydrated and protected. Good ingredients to look for in lip balms that help seal and hydrate are petrolatum, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil. It's also important to look for products that have SPF protection to help minimize sun damage that can also dry out lips. While you may not have the ability to control the weather, you do possess the ability to protect your lips and skin from the effects of less-than-ideal weather conditions. If you're going outside, carry your lip balm with you; most lip balm tubes fit easily into any pocket. Drink plenty of fluids to help your skin stay hydrated because skin heals better when it has moisture, and breathe through your nose because breathing through your mouth can also cause lips to dry out. Dry lips don't need to be something you have to endure all winter long as long as you're aware that even the smallest parts of your body need winter protection too. So get out that lip balm and pucker up.


Sinetic
 

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