Caffeine – sometimes known as “The World’s Most Popular Drug”
Caffeine is very popular with athletes to help them train, and keep their brain sharp. It is commonly found naturally and stimulates you ingested in foods and drinks.
Is it safe? —- hmmmm – to a certain extent. Here is some information on the details and benefits of caffeine and working out. Also we will include caffeine supplements, energy drinks, Tea, Coffee, as well as ephedrine.
What’s the number one reason you go for Caffeine? Probably – Alertness, Energy!! (Of course to reduce fatigue – the slumps….)
Coffee, Energy Drinks and Tea are in the top 10 drinks in the world.
Caffeine is so widely used the studies say that 80% of the world drinks a caffeinated beverage daily – mostly tea or coffee. These drinks have been consumed for thousands of years.
Caffeine also helps improve physical endurance – that’s why so many athletes love coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and supplements with caffeine.
In Canada they have supplements that are approved to:
Promote wakefulness and alertness
Relieve feelings of fatigue
Enhances motor performance
And — a mild diuretic.
The benefits have been shown to improve sports training taking 100-200 mg 2-4 hours as needed.
The benefits of caffeine –
Increases metabolic rate
Lowers risk of Diabetes
Lowers risk of Cardiovascular disease
As stated above increases mind fullness and alertness.
Negative Effects of Caffeine
Can cause anxiety
Reduces fine motor control movements
May increase blood pressure.
SPORTS TRAINING AND CAFFEINE
Caffeine used in sports training and working out has been known to increase training volume (overall work performed) and been shown to decrease fatigue and increase a more powerful output. Yeah!
A study was done with a double-blind controlled study — effects of caffeine on Endurance, Graded, and short-term. The results showed that having caffeine increased exercise the most. Exhaustion was delayed.
The testing was done on Running, Cycling, and Cross-country skiing.
Overall the average improvement was 3.2% to 4.9%.
High Sustained – high intensity exercises such as running, rowing, cycling, and swimming — caffeine helped improve with all of them.
Hydration was a key factor, too. Study shows that ergogenic (enhancing physical performance) doses of caffeine did not dehydrate. The rate of change in sweat rates with urination, or other losses didn’t change. Meaning you do not need to keep drinking fluids with caffeine.
Best to drink 1 hour before you are ready to work out. Also effective during exercise or just when finishing up to control fatigue.
To high of doses of caffeine may cause jitters + Heart rate goes up.
CAFFEINE VS COFFEE/ENERGY DRINKS
Coffee has about 2% caffeine and other compounds. On cup of coffee will have 40 – 180 mg of caffeine while the same amount of tea – et’s say 150 mL 24 – 50 mg. If you still drink soda – a whole other topic – this even has less and cocoa products have less than fruit. Sweet potatoes even have caffeine.
So the studies come in mixed regarding sports performance and caffeine. There was a study published in 2013 that shows a cup of coffee had the same effect on cyclists as a coffee supplement. Both of these sources worked better than decaf coffee and or a placebo.
Energy Drinks? Have you read the ingredients? Well, they say that energy drinks have vitamins, minerals and carbs + taurine is added. Taurine is a (Protein) amino acid that our body makes naturally. By adding this the energy drink producers say it helps with inflammation and antioxidant properties – also suppose to improve cognitive and physical performance – but little research on this stuff.
In February 2017 there was a review of 34 studies looking at energy drinks on performance in sports. The study showed improvement in muscle strength, jumping, endurance, and certain sports improved. Conclusion was the benefits of taurine in the sports drinks and not the caffeine. The study was ONLY done on young athletes – not a overall study.
CAFFEINE AND EPHEDRINE
Ephedrine is an active component of an herb – ‘ephedra’ which is suppose to be an appetite suppressant and fat burning. When caffeine and ephedrine are taken together they are suppose to be have more fat burning than without.
Ephedrine is used in Canada for a nasal decongestant —- and comes with a whole host of warnings, caution, and contradictions.
Probably best to stay away.
Caffeine is not recommended fr sleep. (Dah!)
Make cause your bladder overreact.
May increase blood pressure.
May cause anxiety, rapid heart rate, insomnia, restlessness, tremors, nervousness and headache.
Caffeine helps with your mind and can increase memory.
Caffeine keeps you alert – especially in times when you really need to be alert.
Caffeine can stimulate hair growth.
Caffeine may help with Parkinson’s Disease.
Caffeine may help ward off Alzeimer’s.
Caffeine drinker have a lower risk of suicide.
Caffeine may reduce risk of skin cancer.
Caffeine can help with asthma – just stay away from dairy.
Please reply with some of your favorite caffeine drinks. My favorite is Fortune Delight especially with some Electro Sport and Evergreen.
Keeping up your health and eating healthy is not easy after a certain age. Eating the right way does not mean you always have to have boring food- yuck! Plant based foods are so unique and delicious to incorporate into your routine to make meals healthful. When you have either farm fresh veggies or organic from the store they are so tasty compared to the meats, poultry, and salt filled stuff (food).
The Book “How Not To Die” written by the great Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. and “How Not to Diet” start a great challenge which allows you to incorporate the most nutritious possible ingredients to your meal plan and a routine to make you feel active and lively in no time. Check out his app the 12 Things to eat and do daily.
Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Radish, Turnips, which are low-calorie, and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber. Cruciferous Vegetables are will help lower inflammation and could possibly reduce the risk of developing cancer. Be sure to eat at least a half a cup a day. By the way – Brussels Sprouts cut up 14 minutes before cooking bring out more of the essence of the veggie.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a great antioxidant, good source of protein, reduce cholesterol, decrease blood sugars levels and increase healthy gut bacteria. Some of the top beans are : Garbanzo Beans (delicious as hummus), Lentils, Peas, Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Soybeans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Peanuts (yes peanuts are a legume). A favorite is garbanzo beans with vegannaise, avocado as a tuna replacement.
Eat at least on serving a day of berries – blackberries are the most nutritious. Berries are high in fiber, can help lower cholesterol levels, and keep you skin looking beautiful. Goji berries are a great snack to carry around with you because they are dried.
Eat at lease 2 more cups a day of fresh fruit or 1/2 Cup of dried fruit. There is something to say ‘An apple a Day keeps the Doctor Away’. Fruit is rich in nutrients such as potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C. Plus they are naturally sweet!
Greens and other Vegetables
Have at least 2 more vegetables per day on top of the Cruciferous Vegetables – these are so fantastic for your health. Best to have – according to Dr. Gregor – 2 cups raw, and or 1 cup cooked vegetables per day. Onions, Bell Peppers, Carrots, will add color and extra taste to your meals.
Three servings a day of 1/2 Cup f whole grains is basically what you should have without gaining weight. Whole grains have fiber, Vitamin B, minerals, iron and magnesium.
Have at least 1 Tablespoon ground daily. This is full of fiber, protein and omega-3. Flaxseed keeps you regular – ha ha.
Vitamin D and Vitamin B12
Vitamin D and B12 are essential and if you get a a healthy Vitamin Supplement you would not take them for granted.
Beverages and Water
Five servings a day of water, tea, coffee, etc. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated. Also drink Green tea, and stay away from sugary drinks.
Try adding a minimum 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric a day.
Keep yourself active during the day. If you sit a lot during the day make sure you stand up at least every hour. Moving around 90 minutes a day should be enough to keep you energized.
Best to have varied foods, nutrient dense, minimally processed foods to meet your daily needs.
Need ideas for Plant Based Foods – Pinterest has tons!
Women that followed these tips had average of 35 years more of life disease free compared to those with diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. Men lived five years long. These studies were done by The Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.
Make walking a daily habit – especially if you have a dog.
Walking, exercise – anything but sitting on the couch for hours watching Netflix, AmazonPrime, HBO, HULU, Video Games – ( then picking on unhealthy foods).
Besides not having to hunt and gather food – just ordering it online or walking around the grocery store – we usually sit — a lot. This is not good and will cause health problems if done daily. Make a goal to walk daily – starting with 10 minutes at a time – or around the block (or dining table).
We need to get in the habit of walking daily. Just as you brush your teeth religiously – walk daily. Once you get started you will be sad on the days you miss.
Figure out a nice route before you start. Maybe some place with a beautiful vista or ocean view. By my house we have several trails to choose from long and short with very beautiful views.
Try to find a place to walk that is convenient – so you don’t have to drive there and/or make excuses. Leave from your door, lace up you shoes and go from there.
The more you walk the stronger you will become. Get some 1 pound hand weights https://amzn.to/35VrT2s – I use these everyday. You can swing arm circles while walking to really increase your heart rate.
Listen to podcasts, learn a new language, get caught up on a book or news. If you use your favorite listening device maybe this will motivate you to walking and exercise. Even days when you are not feeling it – maybe a great item to listen to will be an idea.
Buy a new pair of walking shoes, a new walking or exercise outfit, a drinking bottle.
Find a walking group with others. When you have someone to account to – maybe you will not miss those days.
Do you have any tips you would like to include?
Disclosure – we make some pennies on items we recommend and they are still the same price if you buy them on your own.
Vitamins, minerals, probiotics, essential fats – so many nutrients needed for your overall health.
Do you know the most important nutrients for your brain?
There are certain nutrients that improve and reduce the risk of dementia, development with a growing infant, mood improvement, and reduce risk of memory loss.
We will discuss the brain boosting benefits of probiotics, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin D, and Omega-3s.
Arguably Omega – 3s is the most important nutrient for a healthy brain. Omega-3s is a essential fat.
Your brain is basically 60% fat if you take away the water weight. 25% of the fat is Omega-3s; particularly the omega-3 called “DHA” (docosahexaenoic acid).
Omega-3s have many different functions in the brain – such as — they help nerve cells insulate their electrical signals, stabilize membranes, and reduce inflammation.
When you are pregnant it is essential to get enough Omega-3s to help with the baby’s intelligence and reduce the risk of behavioural problems. This obviously is critical for baby’s brain development!
Having higher blood levels of Omega-3s people tend to be depressed. Several studies have shown that people with mood swings, anxiety and depression start taking Omega-3 supplements and some of their symptons improve.
Studies have shown – in terms of age-related decline that people with higher Omega-3 intakes have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
So – We get it – they are great for the Brain – how do I get enough omega-3s?
You can get enough of the recommended amount of omega-3s including DHA, by eating two servings of fatty fish each week.
SO that’s simple – eat a wild salmon one time and wild shrimp the next. Scallop tacos and possibly a Cod Salad another two servings for the week.
I know they now have Vegan (Non-Fish) oil supplements, too.
Fish oil supplements recommend 500 – 1000 mg per day – this should be good on a daily basis.
Another Vitally important brain nutrient is Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is both a neurotrophic (helps nerve cells grow) and neuroprotective (protects nerve cells). There are Vitamin D receptors in areas of the brain involved with depression.
Prenatal vitamin D is suppose to have an important role in brain development, psychological function, cognitive function (ability to think). Children born of mothers who have low blood levels of vitamin D – studies have shown they have a higher level of schizophrenia later in life. This needs to be shared!
Low levels of Vitamin D in adults have been linked with multiple sclerosis, cognitive impairment, depression and Parkinson’s Disease.
So, how can you get enough vitamin D?
Obviously we all know that you can get sun exposure and have your skin make vitamin D. Then you need to be careful of not getting too much sun, type of clothes you have on, clouds, etc. Next is concern for skin cancer.
Supplementing your vitamin D might be the way to go.
You can get Vitamin D in a few foods such as liver, eggs, fatty fish. Being a Vegan – best source is mushrooms and/or a supplement.
It would be a good idea to include Vitamin D in your blood tests.
A safe recommendation taking a vitamin D supplement would be to read the label. Never take more than 10,000IU/day. If your Doctor tells you to take a different amount – always follow them.
B Vitamins are important for brain health and there are several essential Vitamin B’s – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12. It is a fact that Vitamin B deficiency is a leading cause of neurological impairment and disability throughout the world!
B Vitamins are important for your brain health because each one is actively transported across the blood brain-barrier. Your body has to spend energy to pull B Vitamins into the brain. Many of these vitamins are found in much higher concentrations than in the blood.
B Vitamins work together and with enzymes. These means they have roles in your brain health. Included in these are antioxidants, helping the nerve cells, maintain their structure and function, help the brain produce energy (your brain needs lots of energy). B vitamins are also necessary for production of essential neurochemicals as well.
Having chronic low levels of vitamin B is associated with depression, ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis), some psychiatric conditions, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Low levels of B12 in particular are associated with symptons of mental disorders, smaller brain size, and poor memory.
Some of the benefits of vitamin B on brain health seem to work with Omega-3s – so make sure you get enough of both.
We can get Vitamin B from plants, except for vitamin B12. Vegetables, fruits, leafy greens are great sources of Vitamin B. By eating animal products – those that ate plants – you will be getting some B vitamins. SOme foods even have Vitamin B added to them – see the labels.
Basically Vitamin B12 is found in algae, meat, fish and eggs.
You can purchase vitamin B supplements as individual or as a B complex. Some of the B complex may not contain Vitamin B12 – so read your labels. If you avoid animal products you may need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement.
What do we need magnesium for? This essential mineral is used by our bodies for over 600 functions. Energy production, nerve function and blood presssure are some of these important functions.
When you body has a magnesium deficiency there have been associations with stroke, Alzheimer’s, depression, headaches, migraines and brain diseases.
Magnesium helps neurons control the flow of calcium into and out of the cells. If there is not enough magnesium – can cause nerve cell damage.
Having an efficient amount of magnesium has been shown to improve moods, can help with migraines and reduce other symptons.
Foods highest in magnesium are potatoes, legumes, nuts and spinach.
Magnesium supplements are available in many formats – best to take the ones without oxide because they are easily absorbed and cause less digestive disturbances. Magnesium comes as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate.
There has been new research about gut-brain connection, and this has great potential to help us all use food and supplements for optimal brain health. You do eat your cruciferous vegetable everyday?
There are friendly health-promoting microbes living in your gut. On the other hand, probiotics are similar microbes that you can eat and supplement with. These are what turn milk into yogurt, and cabbage into sauerkraut. They are great for your brain and gut as well.
Studies have shown that after a couple of weeks of feeding your body probiotic foods or supplements, healthy people’s sad moods reduce and negative thoughts disappear. More studies have shown that depression, stress, anxiety were improved after consuming probiotics. A recent study also showed that people diagnosed with depression took probiotic supplements and their symptoms improved as well.
Some studies have shown a reduction symptons of multiple sclerosis has been helped with probiotics.
In summary overall there are several key nutrients for having optimal brain health. They are Omega-3s, vitamin D, B-vitamins, magnesium, and probiotics.
There are wide ranch brain benefits – such as helping a developing baby’s brain, improving moods, symptons of depression, MS, to reducing dimentia like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Much of these work together – important to keep a daily consistent balance.
Best to get a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally-processed foods to meet your daily needs and sometimes supplements will help.
How hard is it to take on the Whole Foodie way of eating? You eat plants and less other stuff – no other stuff, haha. Do you have a pet – say a Dog… and still eat meat? SAD – what’s that? —- Standard American Diet.
Food – Almost synonymous with LIFE! When we eat – it is almost our greatest joy in life – and something we do almost as much as sleeping and breathing. Yet, people go and mess it up by over eating, causing stress thathttp://www.nfva.org/ diseases, etc. In the US – 69% of adults are overweight and approximately 36% are obese.http://www.nfva.org/national_action_plan.html
Heart Disease ~Number 1 killer (By the way – rumor has it Number 2 killer : Doctor’s mistakes and or hospital staff mistakes). Primarily diseases come on by the way we eat – Over 115 Million American are diabetic or prediabetic.http://www.cdc.gov America is almost at the bottom of the list compared to 33 other countries when it came to health factors and life expectancy and these countries are rushing to eat like the Americans.
If you want to live a long life, you have to become a skillful eater. When I was taking Dr. Campbell’s course they showed videos asking people if they eat healthy and where they came up with their ideas of eating healthy. Their answers were all over the place. One thing I know for sure – if it’s advertised on TV it probably is not too healthy. When was the last time you saw Apples advertised on TV or a Lemmon? Hey, eat more Berries!!
Skillful eating is when you research the most nutritious foods and what they do to our bodies. Diet fads, Media Ads, all create confusion. One day this is good for you – the next day it is not. Books such as THE BLUE ZONE, THE CHINA STUDY, THE WHOLE FOODS DIET, HOW NOT TO DIE, have great information. Watch Dr. Greger on Twitter with short 2 minute videos, even get his APP.http://nutritionfacts.org
What have all the researchers found out?
“A whole food, mostly plant-based diet is the optimum diet for health, vitality, and longevity.”
By eating 90% a plant-based diet you will nourish your body, and enhance your senses.
What is Whole Food and Processed Food?
This is list Broad, just a few simple rules to follow when choosing foods.
They are close to the original state.
Something you Grandparents would say is food.
Do not usually have an ingredient list.
Sold without packaging.
Usually found in perimeter of market.
HIGHLY PROCESSED FOODS
Little resemblance to their original origin.
Stay on shelf for a long time.
Food your Grandparents would never eat.
Have long ingredient list.
Usually in a package or box.
Find mostly in center of market.
ACTION STEPS TO TAKE NOW!
Become a Skillful eater. Spend some time learning about what you put in your body – you have to live in it!
Eat real foods. As Dr. Greger says – this means, ” nothing bad added, nothing good taken away.”
Eat more plants. There have been tons of studies that eating plants, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, will bring longevity. Aim to get 90% or more of your calories from plants.
Nutrition and Lifestyle factors can improve your Health. If you are over 50 and have been to the Doctor recently with a diagnosis of Heart Disease, Diabetes, Over weight (Excess BodyFat), or if you have sleeping problems switching to a plant based Diet would greatly benefit you and eliminate your Inflammation.
Heart Disease is a major Cause of Death in USA, Canada, Australia, and European Union. 2006 was when researchers discovered Inflammation and Heart Disease were linked. Beginning with “atherosclerosis” oh boy! – first stage of Heart Disease.
Inflammation is VERY Hard on your body! Atherosclerosis starts to happen when there are too many “free radicals” floating around inside your blood vessels. Some of the causes are: high blood sugar, high levels of oxidized fats in the blood, (from too many free radicals), low levels of homocysteine (Anti-inflammatory molecule), etc. All lead to damaging inside the inside surfaces of the blood vessels allowing a buildup of plaque (Including immune system cells) which will increase chronic inflammation. Then the plaque narrows the inside of the vessels which leads to complications – obviously like hear attacks. After a heart attack – inflammation increases to even higher levels.
INFLAMMATION – EXCESS BODY FAT
When you have too much fat that your body has to carry around this is linked with both diabetes and heart disease. In 2003, scientists also found Body Fat linked with Inflammation. Immune cells are activated with high body fat. The fat tissues will produce their own inflammatory markers. This usually happens with fat around the belly, liver, and heart. When your body has excess fat – will have an increased need for insulin, and negatively affects insulin-producing cells. Losing excess body fat will reduce many chronic diseases.
NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE
There are many studies that improved nutrition and lifestyle will help with many chronic diseases and reduce inflammation. FACT: According to National Institute of Health https://www.nih.gov/ “People with insulin resistance and prediabetes can decrease their risk for diabetes by eating a healthy diet and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, not smoking, and taking medication.” “The main treatment for atherosclerosis is lifestyle changes.” Inflammation is the immune system’s response which also involves arteries, veins, and all other molecules. One of these is called “free radicals”. The molecules are highly reactive with oxidants to fight off infectious cells. But, if these cells are in overdrive they may not counteract with many antioxidants resulting in damage to healthy cells. High levels in your blood will show increase in markers like CRP and are associated with heart disease and diabetes. These markers in the blood can predict when and if you will eventually develop these diseases. Inflammation is a natural process that are bodies use to protect against infections, irritants, and damage. Inflammation helps fight the infection. The body eliminates damaged cells and tissues and helps them repair. Inflammation comes from the Latin word – “inflammo,” meaning “I set alight, I ignite.” Inflammation sometimes can help the body – but if it sticks around too long causes chronic – long sustaining conditions – helping the body for injuries and healing. But, Chronic can damage the body if it stays around a long time. Chronic creeps up slowly and even can have mental health concerns.
ACUTE VS CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
Acute is when inflammation lasts for a short time – such as redness, pain, swelling, loss of function. DIABETES AND INFLAMMATION Diabetes is a very complex condition when you body does not manage blood sugar properly. As you know your blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day. Your levels will go up after you eat and down when you are hungry. When someone has a system with good blood sugar control — when when blood sugar gets high, then insulin will be released. This will tell our cells to absorb sugar out of blood levels and level out to a healthy amount. This system of controlling your blood is a tightly controlled system. When your sugar levels are not good – stay too high for longer than normal – this can lead to diabetes. Being diabetic will have long-term serious health issues – blindness, amputation and kidney disease. Most Diabetes is Adult onset – 95% – Type 2 used to be know as Adult Onset Diabetes. Usually sets off when an adult due to the fact your body has had years of abuse not eating proper nutrition. These lazy habits of not controlling your nutrition will lead to excess body fat and inflammation – leading your body to being out of balance – causing an imbalance between insulin and insulin production. Inflammation is one of the causes of insulin resistance + a key factor when it comes to diabetes. Research has shown that inflammation and diabetes are linked.
Upgrade your knowledge of Proper Nutrition – eat a Diet Low Inflammation foods. This will reduce Chronic diseases. Eating lots of Fruits, Vegetables, legumes, grains, beans, seeds, berries, cocoa, red wine, and herbs and spices.
What food have you found that are super healthy that you can incorporate into your eating for a long life?
Blackberries are one of the healthiest fruits! A slice of Red Pepper is super healthy! Sesame Seeds help with Arthritis. Keep reading on here and I will share more tips for over fifty!
Almost ready to graduate with my Holistic Nutrition Certification.
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