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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Types of Muscle Fibers

Type I fibers (sometimes called slow-twitch or slow-oxidative fibers) are better designed for prolonged exercise performed at a lower intensity. In comparison to Type II fibers, Type I fibers will have more mitochondria and rely more heavily on the aerobic generation of ATP. The primary energy molecules used to generate ATP in these muscle cells will be fatty acids and glucose. Since ATP production in mitochondria requires oxygen, proper function of these muscle fibers is very dependent upon oxygen supply via the blood. Luckily, Type I muscle cells always seem to have many capillaries around them to deliver oxygen-endowed blood. In addition, Type I fibers contain a substance called myoglobin which is an iron-containing protein that binds oxygen and serves as an oxygen reserve for these cells during exercise.

Type II muscle fibers (sometimes called fast-twitch or fast-glycolytic fibers) can execute a much faster speed of contraction than Type I muscle fibers. This is to say that Type II muscle fibers are designed to generate force more rapidly, thereby allowing them to be more powerful. This will allow a job to be performed in a shorter amount of time. Meanwhile, Type II muscle fibers are relatively limited in their ability to generate ATP by aerobic means. So, when these cells break down glucose to pyruvate andgenerate a couple ATP in the process, much of the pyruvate that is formed will then be converted to lactic acid (lactate). This is because these muscle cells have less mitochondria and receive less oxygen as they are served by fewer blood vessels.
Muscle Structure

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Take Your Oatmeal Breakfast


Oatmeal is an inexpensive and delicious way to get more fiber into your diet. One reason oats are such a good choice is that only the inedible outer hull of the oats is removed in processing. The oat bran stays on the kernel, so you always get some bran whenever you eat oat foods. The oatmeal shelf at the supermarket can be a little confusing. Here's a rundown:

Steel-cut oats. The most expensive kind, these are oat grains that have been cut very roughly. They take a long time to cook (20 to 30 minutes—plus you have to stir them a lot), but the extra-chewy, nutty flavor is worth it. Tip: Save some money by buying your steel-cut oats in bulk at your health food store.

Rolled oats. Also called “old-fashioned” oats, these are the oats that come in the familiar round carton. You can also buy “table-cut” oats in bulk at health food stores. To make these oats, raw oats are steamed, rolled into flakes, and dried. Rolled oats cook in just five minutes; table-cut oats take a few minutes longer.

Quick oats. Basically the same as old-fashioned oats, but the flakes are rolled thinner so the oats cook faster. They have slightly less fiber, but take only three minutes to cook.

Instant oats. These oats are flaked into such tiny pieces that all you have to do is add boiling water and stir. The processing reduces the fiber content a little, but the real problem is that these products almost always have added sugar and artificial flavorings.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods (such as raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans) and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.

In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.

B12 Vitamin

Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.

The risk to these groups alone is reason enough to call on all vegans to give a consistent message as to the importance of B12 and to set a positive example. Every case of B12 deficiency in a vegan infant or an ill informed adult is a tragedy and brings veganism into disrepute.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What is Exercise Intensity?

Exercise intensity refers to the level of exertion. For instance, lifting a weight that results in muscular fatigue after just a few repetitions or “reps” of an exercise is pretty high with respect to intensity. So too would be an all-out running or cycling sprint where fatigue occurs in a minute or so. Basically, the higher the intensity, the shorter the possible duration of the exercise. To reach such a high level of intensity, exercise often includes resistance against an otherwise simple movement of a muscle group or related groups. Examples of resistance training include weight training or running on an incline (for example, running on hills or a graded treadmill) or cycling (for example, cycling uphill or an exercisebike with variable resistance). It is the level of the resistance that dictates the level of intensity. Higher intensity and muscular fatigue will be associated with muscle adaptations that will allow for greater strength and power. In this case, muscles can enlarge or “hypertrophy.”


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Muscle Minerals

Did you know that a deficiency of certain minerals can derail your workouts by limiting muscular contractile abilities? Here are the ones you should be concerned with:

Calcium. You need it for muscle contraction—including your heart-pumping ability—as well as bone formation and strength and blood clotting. Aim for about 1,200 milligrams a day.

Potassium. It helps strengthen nerve impulses throughout the body—including the muscle—and controls blood pressure. Try to get about 4,500 milligrams a day (most Americans get only about half that).

Magnesium. It also helps muscle and nerve function and is considered an energy and immune system booster. Plus it helps improve calcium absorption and regulate blood sugar levels (to fight against diabetes). Shoot for about 400 milligrams a day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dangers Of High Protein Diets

Protein Diet

At one time there was a belief that higher intakes of protein can be problematic to health. Today we know that for most people this isn’t the case. In fact, diets with a higher level of protein then the RDA are encouraged for athletes as well as people during weight loss. Two areas of health have been the target for concern regarding higher protein intakes.

The first is kidney health. It was long believed that since higher intakes of protein leads to the formation of more nitrogen-based compounds such as urea, this work become detrimental to the kidneys. However we now know that this isn’t the case unless a person has a special situation related to the kidneys and receiving guidance from his or her physician.

The second area is in relation to bone. Some research efforts have determined that when diet protein levels increase, so too does the level of calcium in the urine. This lead to the conclusion that high-protein diets cause a loss of calcium from bones, rendering a person more prone to osteoporosis. However, follow up research has shown that the higher protein intake also increases calcium absorption, thus leading to a corresponding increase in calcium in the urine.

So, like kidney dysfunction, the notion that a high protein intake, such as 25 percent of calories for weight loss or maintenance, leads to osteoporosis has not been shown to be true.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Hormone of Darkness

Healthy Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone made by your pineal gland (a small gland inside your brain). Your pineal gland controls your sleep/wake cycle and your body's internal clock—what scientists call your circadian rhythm. Melatonin's main function is to help you fall asleep, but today all sorts of other claims are made for it. Can melatonin cure insomnia, prevent jet lag, block cancer, restore immune function, improve your sex life, and even retard aging? Let's look more closely at what melatonin can really do.

Melatonin does help you sleep. When your eyes notice it's getting dark, that information gets sent to your pineal gland, which then starts to make melatonin, which makes you drowsy. That's why melatonin is sometimes called “the hormone of darkness.” Most people begin making melatonin at sunset, reach a peak at around two in the morning, and then gradually taper off toward sunrise. Until you're about 40, you make plenty of melatonin. After that, you make less and less as you get older, which may be one reason many elderly people don't sleep well.

Taking melatonin supplements on a regular basis a few hours before bedtime does help many people with frequent sleep problems get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you only have occasional nights where you just can't seem to get to sleep, melatonin probably won't do much for you, especially if you're under age 40. On the other hand, because it's not addictive and has no side or morning- after effects (unlike most over-the-counter sleep medicines), it's worth a try. The dosage for getting to sleep varies hugely from person to person. Some people need just 100 mcg, while others take several milligrams. For most people, 100 to 400 mcg taken two to four hours before bedtime works very well.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Incremental Workouts

Sprinting should be performed incrementally. The increment is a time of rest between sprints equal to or greater than the time spent sprinting. A good rule of thumb is to take twice as long for the rest period as the sprint time. For instance, if your sprint took 10 seconds, you would rest for 20 seconds before you perform the next sprint. Active rest is best, like walking back to the original starting line before the next sprint is performed. The intensity of the sprints is also increased incrementally as your body becomes accustomed to the workout.

Incremental exercises

During a training session, no sprinter or middle-distance runners in their right mind would ever dream of running every repetition of a distance at their absolute maximum. They decide on a set pace, a set number of work intervals, a set recovery time (or rest interval), and they aim to complete all the work, but only just!—or perhaps to burn out only on the very last one. By definition, this means that the first few work intervals will feel relatively easy; but as the session progresses, you will start to feel under increasing pressure by the stopwatch, until, at the end, it will be all you can do to squeeze out that final interval. Hence there is progression within the session, which ultimately reaches an intensity climax.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is Arginine?

ArginineArginine has always been a popular nutrient among bodybuilders. Along with its metabolite ornithine, it’s long been touted as stimulating growth hormone. More recently, various supplements that feature forms of arginine have been promoted as nitric oxide precursors. Nitric Oxide performs numerous vital functions in the human body. It dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure while increasing blood flow, and the increased blood flow is thought to increase the flow of nutrients and oxygen into muscle.

Besides being the direct precursor of Nitric Oxide synthesis, arginine acts as a substrate for the synthesis of proline, the major amino acid found in collagen, which is the primary protein of connective tissue. Arginine is also a primary precursor of creatine.

Some studies show that arginine may encourage fat and glucose oxidation because of its link to Nitric Oxide, which in turn, increases the signaling effects of a nucleotide called GMP, which is directly involved in fat burning and penile erection (drugs such as Viagra also work by raising cyclic GMP).

While arginine offers heady health benefits, there are problems with supplementing it. In solution it’s strongly alkaline, and it has to be compounded with hydrochloric acid to create a supplemental form. Supposedly that prevents acid-base problems when you take a concentrated dose, but taking more than nine grams a day often leads to nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. The side effects may be due to the rapid conversion of arginine to Nitric Oxide in the gut coupled with  impaired intestinal absorption of other amino acids, such as lysine and histidine.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What is Obesity?

Simply stated, obesity is a state of excessive body fat. Based on research using Body Mass Index almost one-third of American adults are obese. However, one potential downfall to using BMI as a measure for obesity is that BMI is not sensitive to body composition. Remember, obesity refers to excessive contribution of fat to an individual’s body weight, not necessarily total body weight. However, more times than not, the two go hand in hand.


One exception is in the case of heavier yet more muscular people. These people would include bodybuilders and other strength athletes who train with weights. The training leads to the development of greater than typical amounts of muscle tissue. Thus, if we merely use body weight to determine the BMI of a 5-feet 10-inch 220-pound man with 12 percent body fat, he would have a BMI over 30 and would be considered obese.

Consequently, to accurately identify obesity, we must measure body fatness, not just body weight. A body fat percentage greater than 25 percent for men and 30 percent for women is generally considered obese.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Milk and Mucus Production

Although many consider it disgusting, mucus does impart some beneficial effects in the body. Mucus forms a thin film that covers the surface of the mucous membrane, which lines the digestive and breathing tracts, protecting against a number of mechanical, temperature-related and chemical irritations. Mucus itself consists of various proteins, sugars, salts and immune factors, as well as enzymes. Since those with respiratory ailments, such as colds and asthma, tend to produce excess mucus, the substance is more associated with being a liability than a protector.

While a number of foods have been linked to “excessive” mucus production, milk has gotten an especially bad rap. The belief that milk increases mucus production dates back to the 12th century. But like many other food myths, this long-held belief isn’t true.

As an asthmatic, I’ve been advised by doctors that I should steadfastly avoid drinking milk because it would increase mucus production, thus obstructing my bronchial tubes. Despite this advice, I’ve never noticed any particular increase in asthma symptoms after eating or drinking any type of dairy food. Research examining the connection has found no actual relationship.
In one study, a group of people who believed that drinking milk increased mucus flow were given milk and a beverage that had the same consistency as milk but contained no actual milk. The subjects reported that both beverages equally increased mucus release. The study authors concluded that those who think that drinking milk increases mucus production often find that it does.

Milk does not increase mucus production, though anything that irritates the breathing tract does. Milk is not in that category. Nor are any other dairy foods. Milk also does not increase or bring on asthma symptoms, which are more often related to exposure to allergens than to drinking milk.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Is Vanadium?

Vanadium is present in trace concentrations in most organs and tissues throughout the body and has long been questioned in regard to essentiality.

However, it is important to realize that the presence of a substance in the body does not necessarily indicate essentiality. Nevertheless, researchers have discerned that the absence of vanadium from animal diets reduces their growth rate, infancy survival, and levels of hematocrit, despite the inability of researchers to identify specific functions for vanadium.
Foods Sources of Vanadium:
Although still only containing nanograms to micrograms of vanadium, breakfast cereals, canned fruit juices, fish sticks, shellfish, vegetables (especially mushrooms, parsley, and spinach), sweets, wine, and beer are good sources. A dietary requirement for vanadium has yet to be established, but 10 to 25 micrograms of vanadium per day may be appropriate.
Vanadium Foods

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Role of Conjugated Linoleic Acid


Conjugated linoleic acid is a controversial food element. It’s been touted as helping build muscle while promoting fat loss. Structurally, it’s an 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid isomer derived from the essential fatty acid linoleic acid. While there are 28 identified isomers, or similar compounds of CLA, the two most active versions are cis-9, trans-11; and trans-10, cis-12. Most commercial CLA supplements are composed of a mixture of those two isomers. CLA is found naturally in beef, lamb and dairy foods. CLA may help reduce bodyfat by:

  • Increasing resting energy expenditure by stimulating the activity of thermogenic proteins known as uncoupling proteins.
  • Interfering with the activity of the fat-cell enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which blunts the amount of fat that can be storedin fat cells.
  • Increasing the activity of the enzyme that works with L-carnitine in shuttling fat into the mitochondria, where fat is burned.
  • Preventing new fat cells from forming by inhibiting the actions of fat-promoting genes.
  • Lowering levels of leptin, a protein produced in fat cells that helps to regulate food intake and energy usage.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Importance of Btreathing During Your Workouts


You know how important it is to breathe correctly during your weight-training workouts—inhale on the negative stroke, exhale on the positive. But how you breathe during cardio is also important—and a sign of what fuel you’re using. If you can carry on a conversation during cardio, you’re more apt to be tapping into bodyfat for fuel. If you’re breathing hard—sucking air—and your pulse rate is very high, you’re past the lactate threshold and tapping into muscle glycogen. Interval cardio, such as sprinting the straightaways and walking the curves on a track, burns both fat and glycogen, with even more fat used postworkout during muscle repair, but it’s very similar to a weight workout for your legs. If you use interval cardio sessions, be sure to cut back on your lower-body resistance workouts.

Anaerobic Energy Metabolism

Energy pathways in our cells occur in either the mitochondria or the intracellular fluid (cytoplasm). In the latter, monosaccharides such as glucose become engaged in an energy pathway called glycolysis. All cells can use glucose for energy; meanwhile fructose and galactose are used by the liver mainly. Glycolysis converts glucose to two molecules of pyruvate. In this process, two ATP molecules and heat energy will be generated. Since these ATP will be generated without the need for oxygen, glycolysis is often referred to as anaerobic energy metabolism.


Pyruvate has several options, depending on the type of cell and what is going on inside of that cell. If the cell lacks mitochondria, such as in RBCs, pyruvate is converted to lactic acid (lactate). This lactate enters the blood and can serve as fuel for certain other organs such as the kidneys. Meanwhile, astrocytes that create the blood-brain barrier produce lactate which neurons in our brain can use. The blood-brain barrier is a special molecular fence that separates the cerebral spinal fluid, which nourishes the brain and spine, from the general circulation. Perhaps the most famous source of lactic acid is muscle during intense exercise such as weight lifting or sprinting.

Monday, March 25, 2013

8 Rules To Prevent Stubborn Fat

Stubborn Fat

1) Stay away from crash diets. You lose fat and gain it again. Second-generation fat is more stubborn than the first. The more your weight fluctuates, the more stubborn fat you may gain.

2) Avoid foods that you may be sensitive or allergic to. Some people react to certain foods, such as wheat, dairy or soy. If you suspect that may be the case, get yourself checked for food sensitivities.
3) Eat as much organic food as possible, thereby avoiding many estrogenic substances that are in our food supply, such as petroleum- and chemically based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and hormones, which are found in nonorganic meats, poultry, dairy and eggs.
4) Drink pure, filtered water. Don’t drink or cook with unfiltered tap water.
5) If food or liquid smells like plastic, stay away from it.
6) Minimize your alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol may compromise your liver’s ability to break down and detoxify estrogenic derivatives, toxins that penetrate the blood and cause unpleasant symptoms like bloating, water retention and stubborn- fat gain. If those toxins remain unchecked, they may cause chronic diseases and even cancer.
7) Control your insulin. Naturally minimize the amount of carbohydrates you eat by having carbs as the last component of your meal. If needed, use supplements that contain all the essential nutrients necessary for stabilizing your insulin, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
8) Follow a regular exercise routine. Having a comprehensive diet and exercise routine is the first defense against stubborn fat.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Folic Acid Benefits

You may not realize it, but your body is constantly making new cells to replace old ones that wear out. Your red blood cells are a good example—every day, you make millions of new ones to replace old ones that are too beat up to work well anymore. All those new cells are why you need a good supply of folic acid. Without it, you can't make enough new cells fast enough or well enough.

And folic acid is especially important for cells that wear out and divide rapidly, such as red blood cells, skin cells, and the cells that line your small intestine. What it all comes down to is that you need folic acid for the normal growth and maintenance of every cell in your body.

Folic acid does some other amazing things for your health. In the past few years we've learned that folic acid prevents birth defects, helps prevent heart disease, and may even help prevent cancer. The evidence is so convincing that starting in 1998 many common foods, including bread, breakfast cereal, pasta, and rice, will have extra folic acid, by order of the FDA.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Magic Garlic

Garlic is a member of the extended onion family, but it stands out from all the others because of one phytochemical: allicin. This sulfur-containing compound is what gives garlic its pungent smell and taste. In folk medicine, garlic is used for everything from athlete's foot to influenza. There's some truth to garlic's antibiotic activity, but recent research has concentrated on garlic as an antioxidant, a way to lower cholesterol, and a way to prevent cancer.

Garlic is one of the most potent antioxidant foods around—it's especially good for capturing peroxyl free radicals. The antioxidant effect of garlic could be why people who eat a lot of it tend to be healthier in general. Until very recently, researchers believed garlic really did help cholesterol.


Several solid studies backed them up. Garlic supporters argue that the patients in the study just weren't taking enough. Whether or not that's the case, a study in 1997 in Israel gave new support to garlic as a weapon against high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. For now, all we can say is that garlic may be helpful and probably won't hurt.

A sulfur compound found in aged garlic has been shown to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells—but so far, only in the test tube. Garlic shows great promise as a preventive measure and as a treatment for prostate cancer, but so far we don't know enough to recommend an amount to take. What about garlic for heart problems? A chemical in garlic called ajoene (ajo is Spanish for garlic) seems to thin your blood and prevent your platelets from forming clots that can lead to a heart attack. Ajoene (methyl allyl trisulfide) may also help dissolve clots once they form. Other garlic compounds may help your heart by lowering your blood pressure.

The benefits of garlic come from eating one to three fresh cloves every day. Not too many people like to eat that much garlic, though—and not too many people like to be around people who do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Know Your Anatomy: Types of Muscles

There are three unique kinds of muscle in any mammal's body:

MusculatureSkeletal muscle is the type of muscle that we can see and feel. When a body builder works out to increase muscle mass, skeletal muscle is what is being exercised. Skeletal muscles attach to the skeleton and come in pairs -- one muscle to move the bone in one direction and another to move it back the other way. These muscles usually contract voluntarily, meaning that you think about contracting them and your nervous system tells them to do so. They can do a short, single contraction (twitch) or a long, sustained contraction (tetanus).

Smooth muscle is found in your digestive system, blood vessels, bladder, airways and, in a female, the uterus. Smooth muscle has the ability to stretch and maintain tension for long periods of time. It contracts involuntary, meaning that you do not have to think about contracting them because your nervous system controls them automatically. For example, your stomach and intestines do their muscular thing all day long, and, for the most part, you never know what's going on in there.

Cardiac muscle is found only in your heart, and its big features are endurance and consistency. It can stretch in a limited way, like smooth muscle, and contract with the force of a skeletal muscle. It is a twitch muscle only and contracts involuntarily.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vitamin E and Health Disorders

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be helpful for a lot of health problems, although it's not a cure for any of them. Here's a rundown of some current medical thinking:

Male infertility. Some men are infertile because of free radicals. Why? You probably haven'tever given this much thought, but the cell membranes of sperm are very fatty, so they're especially vulnerable to attack by free radicals. Taking Vitamin E supplements can help mop up enough free radicals to prevent the damage. In one study, five out of 15 infertile men becamefathers after just one month of 200 IU a day.

Vitamin EBenign breast disease. If you want to make your doctor squirm, ask him or her why this perfectly natural condition is called a disease. Benign breast disease makes your breasts feel “lumpy.” They might also swell and become tender when you're getting your period. It's uncomfortable and annoying, but usually benign breast disease isn't dangerous or a sign of breast cancer. We don't know exactly why this works, but taking anywhere from 200 to 600 IU of Vitamin E a day seems to relieve the symptoms for a lot of women.

Diabetes. Vitamin E supplements can help diabetics better control their blood sugar. The doses needed are generally on the high side—well over 400 IU—but the benefits are often worthwhile. If you have diabetes and want to try Vitamin E supplements, talk to your doctor first.

Eye health. The delicate blood vessels in your eyes are easily damaged by free radicals. A good supply of Vitamin E helps prevent the damage by sopping up the free radicals before they can do any harm. Likewise, Vitamin E helps protect the lens of your eye from free radical damage. People with low levels of Vitamin E are more likely to develop cataracts (clouding of the lens) as they get older. Studies show that people who take in 400 IU of Vitamin E a day could cut their cataract risk in half.

Intermittent claudication and leg cramps. Intermittent what? This is an annoying circulation problem that's caused by hardening of arteries in the legs. It makes your calf muscles ache and cramp up when you walk even a short distance. Vitamin E seems to help some people. If you want to try it, start with 200 IU daily for a week. If that doesn't help, try slowly increasing the dose, but don't go over 600 IU. Vitamin E also helps another annoying problem, nighttime leg cramps. Small doses of just 200 IU often do the trick. Take it with your evening meal.

Parkinson's disease. A long-term study is looking at whether Vitamin E, along with the drug selegiline (Deprenyl®), slows down the progression of this devastating brain disease. The evidence isn't in yet—if you have Parkinson's, talk to your doctor about Vitamin E and other supplements before you try them.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What is Carbo Loading?

Some athletes preparing for a big event will attempt to carbohydrate load or carbo load. These events include marathons, triathlons, bicycle centuries or longer, and long-distance swimming. The desired outcome is achieving the highest possible level of muscle glycogen just prior to the onset of the competition by coordinating a high carbohydrate intake (over 60 percent) for at least a week prior to competition while at the same time tapering both the intensity and duration of training sessions. Theoretically, if you start out with more glycogen you should be able to perform longer.

Carbo Loading

A more common method of carbo-loading  would be most beneficial when an event is to last more than an hour. Carbo-loading would not be beneficial for shorter endurance efforts or sports involving only brief efforts (for example, power lifting, velodrome cycling, or most track and field events). However, intermittent sport athletes such as soccer, football, and field and ice hockey playersmight benefit; however, the practice and game schedule would make carbo-loading unrealistic in some cases.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fiber Fights Cancer

Colon cancer is one of the three leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States—some 50,000 people die from it each year. You can sharply cut your odds of getting colon cancer by eating more fiber. That's because fiber increases the bulk of your stool and makes it pass through your colon more quickly. All sorts of toxic stuff passes through your colon: your own wastes, bile acids, pesticides, food additives and preservatives, heavy metals, and chemical pollutants of all sorts. One of the jobs of your stool is to move this stuff through and out of you quickly. That way, anything that might cause cancer spends as little time as possible in contact with your colon. Because a high-fiber diet speeds the transit time for your food, it cuts the amount of time dangerous substances spend in your body, which cuts your risk of colon cancer.

Although many studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber diet have a lower rate of colon cancer, we still don't know for sure that the fiber alone helps prevents the cancer. People who eat more fiber also tend to eat less fat, drink less alcohol, and smoke less, so the fiber connection isn't as clear-cut as you might think. Even so, the National Cancer Institute recommends a high-fiber, low-fat diet to help prevent colon cancer. Fiber in the diet may also play a role in preventing breast, cervical, and lung cancer, but here too we can't say for sure that it's the fiber alone that does the trick.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Crucial Role of Glutathione


Every second of every day, your body makes damaging free radicals. And every second your body makes a powerful substance called glutathione (abbreviated GSH) that grabs hold of those free radicals and smothers them. high-fiber diet also picks up any toxic substances (from air pollution, say) that have found their way into your body and escorts them out.

Glutathione is a tripeptide—a small protein made from just three amino acids. Molecules of cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid combine in your cells to make glutathione.

Of the three aminos needed to make glutathione, cysteine is the most important, because cysteine contains sulfur, which is also needed to make glutathione. You also need the trace mineral selenium to make glutathione. Your body generally has plenty of glycine and glutamic acid (or its close cousin glutamine), but sometimes the cysteine and selenium are in short supply. When that happens, you could end up without enough glutathione to defend your body.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blair's Protein and Lactose

The one carbohydrate which is essential to muscular growth is called lactose.
For example a supplement called Blair's protein contained 7 grams of carbohydrate per 1/4 cup serving — and that carb was lactose, or natural milk sugar. While Blair generally frowned on carbohydrates, only rarely eating fruits or vegetables, he believed lactose was essential to muscular growth. As an animal carbohydrate, lactose is chemically different from other carbohydrates. It digests much more slowly than carbs from fruit, grains, vegetable and other plant sources.

Protein SupplementBlair believed milk sugar was vital as it allowed the body to produce a host of B-Vitamins in the lower digestive tract and helped favorable intestinal bacteria to flourish. He also believed calcium was best absorbed in the presence of lactose. But lactose's most important role, according to Blair, was as a protein sparer. In the absence of plant-source carbs, the body converts protein into carbohydrate to meet energy needs. Blair believed lactose met many of those energy needs and helped to keep the body from converting protein into carbohydrate, thereby allowing protein to do what it was meant to do — build lean muscle tissue.

The lactose content made Blair's Protein hard to digest. Blair's students took special digestive capsules of hydrochloric acid and peptain (five or six capsules with each meal) to aid in digestion. The digestibility factor is why virtually all protein powders available today have almost no lactose. Lactose may be one of the most important ingredients that made Blair's program so successful.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Learn To Maintain Your Weight

Healthy Athlete

Keep your average calorie intake equal to your average calorie expenditure (take in as many as you burn). To find out how many calories you need, click here. To find out how many calories are in your favorite foods, click here. Enjoy a variety of healthy foods, exercise regularly, and you will maintain your present weight. Drink plenty of water (8-10 glasses a day is the standard amount). If you are fairly active, a good formula is to multiply your weight in pounds by 16. This number is the number of calories you need each day. If you find you are slowly gaining fat, either add a little more cardio or subtract a few more calories. If you start to loose weight, bump up your calorie intake slightly.

Keep your fat intake below 30%, minimize junk food especially anything containing saturated fat and simple sugars, which are more readily stored on your body as fat. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, with less in the evening when you are less active. Try to balance your diet with 60-65% carbohydrate, 15-20% protein, and no less than 20% fat. Thats basically it for maintence.  Those who don't need to adjust their weight are usually the ones who know all this stuff anyway.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fish Oil and Fat Levels

Fish Oil

Taking fish oil supplements can lower your triglyceride level if it's too high. One drawback is that fish oil supplements might lower your overall triglycerides but raise your LDL or bad cholesterol.

There's a way around this problem. Combining fish oil with garlic supplements seems to lower your triglycerides and lower your LDL cholesterol. You need a lot of both for the treatment to work: about 5 to 15 grams of fish oil and 1 gram of garlic.

Large amounts of fish oil (over 5 grams a day) can cause your blood to become dangerously “thin” and make you bleed too easily. If you want to take big doses of fish oil, talk to your doctor first and get your blood checked often. A lot of studies show that fish oil lowers your cholesterol level. It does, but only if you also lower the amount of saturated fat you eat. If you take fish oil capsules but continue with a high fat diet, your cholesterol won't go down. In fact, it might even raise your LDL level which you definitely don't want.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Perfect Combination To Kill Stubborn Fat


Citrus bioflavonoids contain natural properties that may block estrogen. They are abundant in the white, spongy layer of the peel.

Soy IsoflavonesSoy flavones have mild estrogenic properties. They bind to estrogen receptors in the tissues and block them from estrodiol, the most potent estrogen hormone. Estrodiol is called the bad estrogen because of its occasionally powerful effects on the body, such as bloating, water retention, fat gain, feminization of men (such as “bitch tits”), fat under the skin and stubborn fat gain around the chest and the belly.

Experiments in Italy have shown that combining citrus bioflavonoids with soy flavones resulted in a powerful, natural way to block the estrogenic effect onthe body. Adding citrus bioflavonoids to soy flavones created a more powerful defense against estrogen than taking soy flavones alone.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How Different Tissues Contribute to Our Weight?

While it is interesting to know how much water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, and minerals are found in the body, it is often more helpful to take it up a level and look at the contributing tissue. In fact, the contribution of various tissues explains the relative contributions made by the different molecules and minerals.

Muscle and fat (adipose tissue) are typically the greatest contributors to body weight. For instance, a generally lean man will be about 40 to 45 percent muscle and 14 to 18 percent body fat. That means that muscle and fat make up half to about two-thirds of his body mass. For this man, bone might contribute about 8 percent and the skin 2 percent. The rest of body weight is composed of organs and tissue such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, pancreas, brain, spinal cord, and our circulations (blood, lymphatic).


Friday, February 22, 2013

Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

We've known for a long time that colon cancer and breast cancer are more common among people in northern climates—places where it's too cold for part of the year to get much sun. Is there a Vitamin D connection?

Yes, when it comes to colon cancer—and maybe also breast and prostate cancer. According to recent studies, people who get a lot of Vitamin D from their food and supplements are much less likely to get colon cancer. To get the protection, you only need to get 200 IU from your diet—the amount in just two cups of milk. Do you get the same protection if you just stay outside in the sun longer? Probably, but it's really hard to say exactly how much Vitamin D you make from sunshine.

To be sure you're getting enough, take supplements. Vitamin D not only helps prevent cancer, it can help treat it. The powerful anticancer drug tamoxifen, which is widely used to treat cancer of the ovaries, uterus, and breast, seems to work even better when it's combined with small doses of Vitamin D. It's also possible that Vitamin D can help treat leukemia and lymphoma, but there's not enough research yet to be sure.

Healthy Vitamin D

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oatmeal for Your Heart


In 1997, the FDA decided that oatmeal makers could make this health claim on their packages: “May reduce the risk of heart disease." That's because eating oatmeal, oat bran, or foods that are high in oats helps lower your cholesterol. Most important, it lowers your LDL cholesterol without also lowering your HDL cholesterol. How do oats accomplish this miracle?

Through their unique soluble fiber. Here's why. Your liver uses cholesterol to make digestive juices called bile acids. The bile is squirted out from your gall bladder into your small intestine to help you digest your foods, especially fats. If you eat a low-fiber diet, a lot of the bile acid gets reabsorbed into your blood through your intestinal wall. Because bile acids have a lot of cholesterol in them, that can raise your blood cholesterol level. If you could keep the bile acids from being reabsorbed, your cholesterol would go down. That's exactly what oats do. Oats are full of a soluble fiber called beta glucan. When you eat oat bran, oatmeal, or oat flour, the soluble fiber forms a gel that traps the bile acids and carries them out of your body. Your liver reacts to all this by making more bile acids. To do that, it pulls cholesterol out of your blood. Because you're not reabsorbing the cholesterol from your bile acids, and because you're also using up blood cholesterol to make more of them, your cholesterol level drops.

If your cholesterol is on the high side, try having any sort of oat cereal for breakfast (see the chart for the fiber in some popular choices). After a few months of devoted oatmeal-eating, you could see a real drop in your cholesterol level. If you also eat a lot of beans, it could drop even further. And if your cholesterol is only borderline high (200 to 240 mg/Dl), lowering it by just 10 percent could cut your risk of a heart attack by 50 percent.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stay Healthy: Substitute Your Food (Part 3)

Substitute: Deep fried corn chips and potato chips with: Baked corn chips and potato chips

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Pizza made with wheat crust with: Pizza made with rice flour crust and nondairy cheese

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Chocolate, cocoa with: Carob chips, bars, and powder

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Coffee with: Grain-based coffee substitutes, such as Pero, Postum, and Caffix, or ginger tea

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Soft drinks and fruit juices with: Mineral water

Healthy Substitutions


Friday, February 15, 2013

Tea: The Holy Grail of Health

When you brew yourself a nice cup of tea, you're actually brewing a potent antioxidant mix. Tea has two substances in the catechin family—epigallocatechin gallate and epicatechin gallate—that are the most potent antioxidants of all the flavonoids. That makes tea into more than just a relaxing hot drink—it protects against heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Catechins help make your platelets, the tiny cells in your blood that make it clot, less “sticky.” When your platelets are less sticky, they're less likely to clot, which means you're less likely to have a heart attack or stroke from a clot in an artery. In one recent study, Dutch men who drank four cups of tea a day had a much lower risk of stroke than those who didn't—whether or not they also took vitamins. The catechins in tea also act as powerful antioxidants that can keep cancer from getting started.

Tea Health

Tea also has antibacterial action. It kills the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Japanese men who drink a lot of green tea (nine or more cups a day) have lower cholesterol levels. The benefits of tea are found mostly in green tea, the kind used in China and Japan, because green tea has the most catechins. Green tea is made by steaming and then drying the fresh tea leaves. The steaming removes an enzyme that oxidizes the catechins and makes them less potent. Oolong tea (the kind served in Chinese restaurants) and black tea (the kind used in typical tea bags) aren't steamed. Instead, they're exposed to the air for a few hours and then allowed to ferment. The process oxidizes the catechins and makes them less potent. Even so, these teas are nearly as potent as green tea. One cup of green tea has about 375 mg of catechins; a cup of black tea has 210 mg.

You need to drink at least five cups of mild-tasting green tea a day to get any real benefit. If you don't want to drink that much, try supplements containing green tea extract. One capsule is roughly the same as five cups of tea.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Squats Facts


Squats are by far the most productive exercise for the lower body. Because of the muscle mass involved, they also provide great overall stimulation. But they’re not without their problems, and one relates to depth.

“The danger in a full squat, a low squat is not a result of the position of your legs in relation to your torso. The danger is a result of the direction from which the force is imposed. The force is trying to bend the bones of your lower leg and pull your knee apart—the same as a leg extension. Although the direction of force is worse in a leg extension, the amount of force is greater in a squat. Results are about the same.

There are bodybuilders perform squats to a level where their thighs were below parallel to the floor. According to the opinion of several sports trainers, squats should be carried to a point where the thighs first start to contact the backs of the calves. At that point the squat should be stopped by muscular action instead of by bouncing the thighs off the calves. Performed in the correct manner, there is no danger to the knees. On the contrary, squats can do more to prevent knee injuries than any other barbell exercise.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Basic Calcium Supplements

Calcium carbonate. The cheapest supplement, calcium carbonate is also the highest in elemental calcium: 40 percent. This is the form of calcium found in Tums and many generic versions. It has one big drawback: It dissolves slowly in your stomach, so you may not get the full benefit of all the calcium.

Calcium phosphate (also called tribasic calcium phosphate). This form is 39 percent elemental calcium. You don't need the extra phosphorus that comes with these tablets—skip them.

Calcium citrate. This is the form many doctors and nutritionists recommend. Calcium citrate is only 21 percent elemental calcium, and it's relatively expensive. On the big plus side, it dissolves easily even if you don't have much stomach acid, so you're more likely to absorb all the calcium before the pill passes out of your stomach. Many people naturally produce less acid as they age, so calcium citrate is a good choice for older adults. It's also good for people taking acid-blocking drugs such as ranitidine.
Healthy minerals

Calcium lactate. This form is found in many generic calcium supplements. It has only 13 percent elemental calcium and is relatively expensive. On the other hand, it dissolves easily even if you're low on stomach acid, so, like calcium citrate, it's a good choice for older adults and people who take acid-blocking drugs. Calcium gluconate. This form is also found in many generics, but it has only 9 percent elemental calcium. It's not a very good choice.

Calcium glubionate. This is a concentrated syrup form that contains 6.5 percent elemental calcium. You'd need to take 12 teaspoons a day to get 1,000 mg of calcium. Calcium glubionate is on the expensive side. Take it only if your doctor suggests it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Amazing Health Benefits of Vitamin A

The anti-infective powers of Vitamin A have been known ever since the vitamin was discovered.

Today Vitamin A is being used to help boost immunity in some cases—and some very exciting research suggests more uses in the future. Here's the current rundown:

Treating measles and respiratory infections. Extra Vitamin A has been shown to help children get over the measles faster and with fewer complications. It also seems to help babies with respiratory infections. Talk to your doctor before you give Vitamin A supplements to babies or children.

Treating viral infections. If you're low on Vitamin A you're more susceptible to illness, especially viral infections. If you're sick with a virus, extra Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene could help you fight it off.

Preventing complications from cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy really lower your immunity. Very large doses of Vitamin A can help raise it again, but the amounts needed are too toxic to be used for long. In animal tests, large doses of beta carotene boost the immune system without the toxic danger. It's still too soon to tell if this will work in humans.

Boosting immune cells. Large doses of beta carotene may help increase the number of infection-fighting cells in your immune system. This could be very beneficial for AIDS patients and anyone whose immune system is depressed. Research continues on the benefits of Vitamin A and beta carotene for your immune system. We believe that the future will bring solid evidence that these nutrients can help not only immunity but many other health problems as well.

Vitamin A

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is the most abundant single amino acid in the blood and in the intracellular free amino acid pool (most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue). It comprises 61% of the amino acid pool in skeletal muscle. Glutamine’s unique structure, containing two nitrogen side chains, consists of 19% nitrogen - making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into the muscle cell. In fact, glutamine alone is responsible for 35% of the nitrogen that gets into the muscle cell. Glutamine literally drives muscle building nitrogen into the muscle cell where it is synthesized for growth.

GlutamineEnough can't be said about the importance of glutamine and muscle metabolism. Research is showing an important link between stress and your body's need for glutamine. The greater the stress (weight training) the more your body needs glutamine. If you don't receive enough glutamine from your diet your body will steal it from the largest glutamine reservoir in your body - skeletal muscle tissue.

So if you don't satisfy your body's glutamine demand either through the food you eat or from supplementation, it will ravage it from muscle tissue causing a loss of lean muscle mass. One other unique quality glutamine exerts is its ability to dramatically increase circulating growth hormone levels.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chitosan and Fat Absorbtion Studies

Chitosan is promoted as a fat "trapper," or blocker. It's a derivative of chitin, a fibrous substance that forms the cornerstone of shellfish exoskeletons. The initial claims for chitosan came from studies that showed it effectively mopped up fatlike industrial-waste products by forming an insoluble bond with them. That was followed by in vitro, or test-tube, studies, in which chitosan was placed in a beaker with a buffer and fat. The liquid was then stirred, and the resultant fat clumping was measured. Under those conditions, chitosan seemed to work.

ChitosanBut as with many other substances, what works outside the body isn't necessarily duplicated inside. Various studies that have tested the effects of chitosan on fat absorption and on weight loss in human subjects show that it has negligible effects. The latest research examining the fat-blocking characteristics of chitosan featured both male and female human subjects.  12 men and 12 women were told to follow specific diet plans that averaged five meals a day for 12 days. Participants took two capsules of a commercial chitosan supplement before each meal. The total daily doses averaged 2.5 grams. The extent of fat malabsorption induced by chitosan was measured by examining the subjects' fecal output.

The fat intake per dose of chitosan averaged 10 to 76 grams in the male subjects and 10 to 60 grams in the women. The 2.5 grams of chitosan per day increased the fecal excretion of fat by 1.8 grams a day in men and zero in women. Why the female subjects didn't get the effect wasn't clear, but the amount of fat excreted by the men was inconsequential. It would take more than seven months for them to lose one pound of fat due to chitosan.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Important Minerals: Selenium and Zinc

Selenium has gained attention for its association with vitamin E in combating the damages of oxidation. It can stand in for vitamin E in some of its antioxidant activities, thereby sparing vitamin E. It is a factor in the regulation of metabolic rate and is needed for proper immune response. Its relationship to vitamin E as an antioxidant has made it the subject of study in terms of offering protection against cancer. Deficiencies are rare as long as our farming soil contains enough selenium.

Food Sources of Selenium are: Brazil nuts, garlic, grains, and vegetables; amount depends on soil conditions.

Healthy Minerals

Zinc works with proteins in every organ as a helper for more than one hundred enzymes. It participates with these enzymes to perform the following functions:
  • Makes parts of cells’ genetic material
  • Makes heme in hemoglobin
  • Helps the pancreas with its digestive functions
  • Helps metabolize carbohydrate, protein, and fat
  • Liberates vitamin A from storage in the liver
  • Disposes of damaging free radicals
  • Zinc also affects behavior and learning.
  • It assists in immune functions, is essential to wound healing, sperm production, fetal development, and growth in children. It contributes to taste and vision. 
Food Sources of Zinc are: Variety is important. Grains (especially breads made with yeast), brewer’s yeast, and wheat germ. Legumes, nuts, tofu, peas, yogurt, green leafy and other vegetables.
Healthy Minerals

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vitamin B12 and Folate

These two B vitamins are partners m many body processes. They both work to make red blood cells. Vitamin B12 helps maintain the sheath that protects nerve fibers. Folate is thought to protect the genetic material of cells and is required to make new cells. It is especially vital during pregnancy when cell multiplication is very rapid. It plays an important role in the prevention of certain birth defects, such as anencephaly and neural tube defects. There is evidence that woman chronically deficient in folate have a significantly higher risk of developing cervical cancer.

Folate comes from the word foliage; thus, as is the case with most vitamins, green leafy vegetables are an excellent source. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best sources since folate is easily destroyed by cooking. Legumes and seeds are also good sources.
Healthy Vitamins

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood PressureEvery time your heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute when you're resting), it pumps blood out through large blood vessels called arteries. Blood pressure is the force of that blood as it pushes against the walls of the arteries. Your blood pressure is at its highest when your heart beats and pushes the blood out—doctors call this the systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is always given as two numbers: first the systolic and then the diastolic pressure.

Normal blood pressure ranges from below 130 to 140 systolic and below 85 to 90 diastolic. If your blood pressure is less than 140/90, then, it's normal. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is anything above 140/90. High blood pressure gets more serious as the numbers get higher. Your risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease go up along with your blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is high, there are many lifestyle steps you can take to lower it, like losing weight, getting more exercise, avoiding salt, giving up cigarettes, and drinking less alcohol. If that doesn't help, or if your blood pressure stays high, your doctor may prescribe drugs to bring it down. Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, along with diet and lifestyle can help you overcome high blood pressure problems.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Are Multi-Vitamins and Multi-Minerals?

Every athlete needs a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement. This ensures you a complete spectrum of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to carry out the millions of intricate functions your body goes through every second of the day.

Most athletes are so busy looking for that magic supplement that they tend to forget the basic needs of the human body for every single function it goes through. You need a continual supply of vitamins and minerals to assist all the activities that govern every growth process in the human body.

The importance of vitamins and minerals in the life of an athlete can't be overstated. Every function in the body is directly or indirectly controlled and assisted by the essential vitamins and minerals. This is a primary reason why each serving of a good MRP contains 100% of all essential vitamins and minerals.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stay Healthy: Substitute Your Food (Part 2)

Substitute: Cheese with: Soy, rice and almond cheeses (Look for casein-free products.)

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Ice cream with: Frozen desserts made with rice or soy milk.

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Beef, veal, lamb, and pork with: Fish, shellfish, and range-fed poultry, soy-based chicken substitutes, and occasional range-fed red meat.

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Hot dogs, breakfast sausages with: Tofu, soy hot dogs and sausages

Healthy Substitutions

Substitute: Meat loaf with: Multigrain and legume loaves

Healthy Substitutions


Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.