Fitness facilities are no longer just for pumping iron. The word fitness has a whole lot of other connotations relating to overall health and wellness.
And no matter how many squats you do, how many miles you ride on the stationary bike or laps you swim in the pool, you’ll never be truly fit if you don’t get proper nutrition.
Many people who come to your facility are hoping to lose weight, and a good nutrition program will help them achieve their goals more quickly, resulting in better member satisfaction with your facility.
A nutrition program can also add another revenue stream to your business.
Start by assessing your membership.
Would they be interested in a nutritional program?
Invite your members to comment on the idea, on your Facebook page, on comment cards at your front desk, wherever you can reach them.
Be sure to have them check a box as to what type of program they would be interested in.
Types of Nutrition Programs
Nutrition programs vary from simple printed educational material to actual weigh-ins and consultations with nutritionists, or even regular classes and seminars on nutrition.
Before you run out and hire a full time nutritionist, you need to find to how many of your members would be interested in such a program.
Starting with the educational material and an occasional seminar might be the best way to test the waters.
A number of companies offer “out of the box” customizable nutrition guides, brochures and informational materials that can be branded for your particular facility.
These will give you an easy way to set up a nutrition program without a whole lot of effort and expense.
Promote Your Program
Be sure to promote your nutrition program, and especially your seminars, through posters, flyers, and your Website and Facebook page.
If your gym does not have a monthly newsletter, now would be a good time to start one, and include nutritional advice and healthy recipes.
Invite your members to submit their own tips and healthy recipes, and consider offering some sort of rewards for the best ones.
Start slowly, plant the seeds, and give your nutrition program plenty of time and encouragement to grow, and it could well blossom into a large, important, revenue producing segment of your business.
And before long, your health club or fitness center may actually be a center for true health and fitness.
Organic juicing is a great way to consume vegetables and fruits that are needed to improve fitness levels. Generally, an individual must consume about five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Considering that your clients exercise on a regular basis, you can recommend them even more number of servings as their nutritional requirements would be greater. Replenishing the minerals and vitamins regularly after exercise is vital for fitness performance, recovery, and overall health.
Organic juices are the ultimate fast food
Organic juices have virtually zero fat and a lot of nutrients, which means the digestive system does not take long to absorb all the goodness of juices making them a natural “fast food.” Organic juices can also serve as great pre workout meals. The fact that they do not stay in the stomach for very long, means that your clients do not arrive at the gym with a heavy stomach or starved. The nutrients in the juice also allow them to perform better.
Organic juices ensure adequate blood supply for workout
Most of your clients would be unaware that normal foods take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours to fully digest. The digestive process demands a lot of blood flow towards it during this time, which means the availability of blood to the working muscles and lungs is reduced. So, to avoid sluggish performance and promote effective workouts, you must suggest a pre-workout meal plan for your clients, which consists of organic juices.
Most of your clients would visit the gym not just to keep fit but also to lose weight. One of the biggest obstacles to weight loss is the presence of toxins in the body. Organic juices are free of pesticides and chemicals, and only contain the goodness of nature like antioxidants that help eliminate the toxins enabling quick weight loss.
Slows aging and skin revitalization
One of the main reasons people join fitness programs is to look and feel young. When people combine organic juices and fitness programs, they get enough antioxidants that keep the skin glowing and fight the signs of aging.
Deciding on the right mix
An organic juice consisting of green vegetables would be rich in potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, and magnesium. It would also be low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat. However, people often prefer drinks that are tasty along with being nutritional and this is the reason, a couple of fruits should be added to the juice.
Having a fruit-only juice is not a great idea as it contains increased amount of sugars but they do add vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin B and phosphorus. So, mix of more vegetables and less fruits would be ideal. You can also suggest adding low-fat yogurt to increase the protein content and enhance taste.
Fresh verses packed
The main thing to note is that, in most cases, not more than 10% of packed juice is actual fruit or vegetable, which you would realize on reading the label. The remaining contents are preservatives, sugar, and artificial flavors and colors. The packed juices which claim they contain 100% actual vegetables and fruits also fall short in comparison to freshly prepared juice. This is because most juices are pasteurized to kill the bacteria in the juice that can multiply and spoil it. Unfortunately, during the process, even the minerals and enzymes are destroyed.
It is said that about 75% of vitamin C in the juice is lost when it stored for about 3 weeks. So, by the time packed organic juice is consumed, it would have lost most of its nutrients and your clients would be left with just flavored water and sugar calories. To get the best out of organic juices, always suggest your clients to go for freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables.
It is vital to have some food and fluid before exercising but it needs to be planned carefully. If the consumption is too much, it can lead to cramps and nausea. Also, the feeling of a full stomach during exercise can be quite distracting. So, it is necessary that a bit of time is given to digest the food.
An ideal pre-exercise diet plan starts about 2 hours prior to the workout. A light meal that consists of baked potato/cottage cheese, bagel, peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal could be a good idea. These foods are high in complex carbohydrates and protein, which are good for workouts. For people who cannot handle dip in blood glucose during workouts, a last-minute simple sugar food is recommended, a fruit juice is ideal.
Early morning pre-workout diet
Most people prefer exercising in the morning before they get ready for work. Such people must eat something to avoid feeling dizzy and drained out during workouts. If you have to rush to your office early, wake up an hour before your scheduled exercise and eat around 200 to 300 calories. Make sure that you do not include foods with too much proteins or fat as these are hard to digest.
Bananas, sports drinks, raisins, whole grain bagels are good. You could even eat a granola bar with a bit of peanut butter about 30 minutes before you start exercising. You might be wrongly thinking that peanut butter is fattening but mono-saturated fats are good for you. They give you a sensation of being full and help in weight loss.
Lunchtime pre-workout diet
You may be a person who routinely has to attend to work early in the morning, which leaves you no time for workout. If afternoon is your ideal time, you would still need to eat something before exercising. This is mainly because by this time, the breakfast you had in the morning would have been completely digested leaving you hungry again. The best foods would be meal replacement bars or shakes, fresh or dried fruits, yogurt, or a bowl of oatmeal.
Pre-workout diet after work
People are usually hungry after the day’s work in the evening. If you are driving towards the gym and invariably stopping at Burger King every time postponing your workout, you are not alone. Plan your diet carefully if you are working out in the evening. About two to three hours prior to leaving work, eat a balanced meal. You could eat a fruit, whole grain muffin, cheese and crackers, or cottage cheese with vegetables. You will see that you will feel energetic and not hungry with these foods and surely go straight to the gym without any deviations.
Food requirements for workout
The food requirements vary depending on the intensity of workout you involve in. Below is the general nutritional need of your body.
Calories: If you want to maintain your weight, consume 17 to 20 calories per pound (of your body weight). If you want to lose weight, consume 16 to 17 calories per pound.
Protein, carbohydrates and fat: You can consume between 0.5 to 0.6 grams of proteins per pound. You would need 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates per pound for normal workouts and even more for high-intensity exercises. About 0.5 grams of fat per pound is ideal.
Caffeine, electrolytes, and fluids: It is a myth that caffeine is good before exercising. It is a diuretic that actually dehydrates you, which can cause headaches, tremors and nausea. Electrolytes mainly contain potassium and sodium, which are salts that carry an electrical charge. Your cells rely on these charges to carry impulses to nerves and muscles.
The food that you consume contains enough electrolytes that you need. But, if you plan on intense exercise over an extended time, you can use electrolyte replacement, especially if you are planning long-distance running. In general, you would need about 32 ounces of fluid for every 1000 calories you consume and another 60 to 150 ounces depending on the intensity of your workout.
What is your food/fluid combo that fuels you to get through your workout?
For best results and recovery, you need to be mindful of what you eat and drink after exercise. A good diet post exercise speeds up your recovery and enables you to train consistently without feeling tired the next day. When you take in the right food, your muscle and tissue repair process is boosted as you replenish the lost glucose stores and re-hydrate yourself.
Hydration post exercise
Your first priority after exercising should be replenishing the lost fluids. To determine how much fluid is lost, weigh yourself before and after exercise. For every pound that you lose, you must drink 20 to 24 ounces (3 cups) of water or sports drink. If you have forgotten to weigh yourself, you can check the color of your urine. It needs to be clear in color. If it is concentrated or dark in color, it is a sign that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
If you want your post exercise drink to be more than just water or a sports drink, you can opt for chocolate milk. This drink has the right combination of proteins and carbohydrates, which is essential for recovery. In fact, studies have shown that there is no difference between the recovery resulting from drinking chocolate milk and sports drinks. Chocolate milk is known to decrease the level of creatine kinase more than sports drinks, which is an advantage. Creatine kinase is an indicator of muscle damage.
Carbohydrate needs after exercise
The most vital thing is consuming carbohydrates after exercise within about 15 minutes so that you can restore the glycogen in your body. Glycogen is the main source of energy that is utilized during exercise. Further, you need to consume about 0.3 to 0.6 grams of carbohydrates for each pound of body weight post exercise and you need to do it within 2 hours. If you wait for a longer period, you risk storing just about 50% of the glycogens in your muscles.
Protein requirements post exercise
Proteins give you amino acids that are necessary to rebuild the muscle tissues that invariably get damaged as you do intense exercises for prolonged periods of time. Proteins also increase water absorption from the intestines and keep the muscles hydrated. Another important benefit of amino acids that you receive through proteins is strengthening of immune system where you develop stronger resistance to infections such as cold.
Maintain the best protein to carbohydrate ratio
It is believed that consuming carbohydrates and proteins at a 4:1 ratio is most ideal as it results in higher glucose stores in muscles than carbohydrates alone. But you need to be careful as to the amount of proteins that you consume, as more protein can inhibit rehydration and replenishment of glycogen. Most sports recovery drinks conform to this ratio but if you find them too expensive to consume daily, you have other options.
Recovery food that you can prepare at home
You can eat one medium-size banana with a glass of milk but make sure that the milk is low fat. A bowl of granola with a one cup of low-fat milk also serves the purpose. If you like yogurt, you can mix it to half a cup of fresh berries. If you want something that is a little more substantial, try almond butter smeared on whole wheat toasts. You can also consume your regular bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk.
You can also prepare a recovery smoothie yourself. Just add a banana, a cup of strawberries, 3 egg yolks, a cup of rolled oats, quarter cup of wheat germ, 2 cups of milk (fat-free), and a quarter cup of plain, nonfat yogurt. Put these in a blender to puree until smooth, add ice, and puree again. If you do not have enough time for this, just consume raw eggs along with a scoop of protein powder. But choose whey protein (as it is easily digestible) instead of soy protein.*
A healthy diet comprising or organic foods can go a long way in ensuring your good health. But the truth is that, most of us might not like to eat vegetables in their raw form. Also, making them can be tedious, and something that we cannot spare time on, in the busy lives that most modern day professionals have. A good option to consider would be Organic juices. You can blend a variety of vegetables and fruits to make your juice look and taste delicious, and above all, healthy. Here are a few recipes that can come in handy, and also a few tips on how you can create your own recipes.
A Few Tips
Try as much as possible to find organic fruits and vegetables. They might be available at specialist stores or may be in a different section in the supermarket. Also, organic vegetables are a little more expensive, but they are worth every cent. Do not add any artificial flavoring agents to the juice. It is imperative that you keep the juice as organic as possible.
Simple Organic Juice Recipes
Apple, Carrot, Beet, and Ginger Juice
Ingredients: Two small, or one large beet, cut into halves or fourths, 5 to 6 carrots, 1 large or 2 small organic apples, small piece of fresh ginger, and half a lemon (optional).
Preparation method: This is a very easy to prepare organic juice. Put all the ingredients into a juicer, one at a time, and blend until all the ingredients are incorporated nicely. You can add lemon while juicing or after pouring the juice into a glass, to deepen the flavor according to your preference.
You can drink this juice every day before going to bed. It helps in cleansing the system.
Ingredients: 2 small or 1 large Granny Smith apples, 2 celery stalks, 1 bunch spinach, half lemon, 1 cucumber, one fourth of a pineapple, and small piece of ginger.
Preparation method: Add the larger and chunkier ingredients into the juicer one by one. Then add the ginger. Then squeeze the juice of the half lemon, and add it while the juicer is running. Your green goodness is ready to be enjoyed.
NOTE: You can also add a small piece of onion, or a couple of stalks of spring onion to this juice. Some people might not like this taste. So, add this depending on your preference and taste.
The Weight Loss Portion
Ingredients: Cabbage, cucumber, and carrots, the quantities are dependent on the number of glasses of juice you want.
Preparation method: Cut the vegetables into medium sized portions that can fit into your juicer. You can add a little bit of olive oil to emulsify the juice, and season it with salt and pepper according to your taste.
Drink this juice every morning, on an empty stomach for it to be most effective.
Make your Own Recipes
The benefit of organic juices is that you do not have to stick to the set recipes. If you like a certain vegetable, you can combine it with a few other vegetables and fruits, based on the flavor you want your juice to acquire. After a couple of trials, you will get an idea of what the flavor the juice will take, based on the vegetables you add.
Don’t Give Up
Organic juices will not have the taste of your smoothies with artificial flavoring and sugar. But they are healthy and you will acquire a taste for them over a period of time. So, make sure that you do not give up, and try it for a significant duration of time, and then make a judgment on whether it is worth the effort.
Millions of people around the world take protein powders, vitamins and supplements to slow down aging, maintain good heath and build muscles. As a result of the current agricultural practices, the soil has lost some of its fertility. This has negatively affected the quality of food grown in such soils. Food processing, preserving and cooking also destroy vital nutrients.
The body has a constant need for nutrients, which has to be replenished. One of the best ways to do so is to take supplements. If you are a gym owner, stocking nutritional products at the counter can give you an additional source of revenue and fulfill a more holistic need for your members. The three popular types of nutritional products to consider having at your gym are protein powders, vitamins and supplements. Here is some brief information on each of them.
Protein powders aid in muscle growth, increase your metabolism causing weight loss, help you reach optimum physical performance, fight aging and boost energy. If your diet is not meeting your protein requirements, you will benefit from taking protein powders. Protein is very crucial for good health and plays a very important role in building and maintaining body tissues. Protein can be derived from animal sources and vegetable sources. Whey is animal protein, while soy is a vegetable protein.
Whey protein is extracted from milk. The protein in milk is made up of 20% whey protein and 80% casein. Whey is the most popular kind of protein powder. It has a good taste, has high quality, and is economically priced. Whey protein is also good for the immune system. It is available in two types- whey concentrate and whey isolate. Whey isolate is nearly fat free and has an even lower level of lactose than whey concentrate. Whey protein powders may contain whey concentrate, whey isolate or a blend of both.
Of the vegetable proteins, soy is the most popular kind. Soy is a very good vegetable protein nutritionally, because it contains all essential amino acids. Soy protein also has some other benefits. It has antioxidant properties and is also good for the heart.
Vitamins are vital to good health. Human beings need thirteen kinds of vitamins to remain healthy- Vitamin A, C, D, E, K and the eight kinds of Vitamin B. Each of them has specific function and a deficiency will cause illness. Vitamin C maintains immunity and keeps the cells healthy; Vitamin A maintains eyesight; Vitamin D regulates calcium and maintains teeth and bones; Vitamin E maintains cell structure.
These vitamins are also available in a pill form. If your diet is lacking in these essential vitamins, it is a good idea to take supplements. Vitamins are also antioxidants. They can destroy free radicals and prevent oxidative damage, to some extent. Note that eating too many vitamins is not good for the health either and it is best to take them on the advice of a registered medical practitioner.
There are several kinds of supplements like herbal supplements, elemental supplements like calcium, iron, boron, zinc, selenium and others like Coenzyme Q10, folate and more. Herbal supplements, also called botanicals are not new. Herbal supplements have been around for thousands of years.
The following are examples of popular supplements. Echinacea can help you strengthen the immune system. Ginkgo biloba can improve circulation in the body. It can also improve memory, slow down aging, improve sexual performance and lessen the incidence of eye disorders. Ginseng is used for stress relief and to improve vitality. Calcium is important for strong bones, muscle contraction, healthy teeth and more. Iron helps the blood cells transport oxygen. Boron improves testosterone levels and maintains cognitive function. Zinc strengthens the immune system. Selenium reduces susceptibility to cancer.
Many gyms also stock creatine supplements. It is a nitrogenous compound and is used to boost power and strength.
If you are a gym operator, what are the most popular products at your nutritional counter?
If you are a member at a gym and had a wish list, what products would be important to you to have access too?read more
If your career is in fitness, you know that continuing education is a never-ending process. Promoting dietary habits and nutrition that improve health and deliver higher performance levels has to be one of the most important things you can offer your clients.
If you don’t have it already, getting certified in sports nutrition is an add-on skill that will make the most difference in the performance and lives of your membership.
There’s not much that a little creative ingenuity can’t overcome. The fitness industry is one where you can get a start with or without vast sums of capital to invest. While it might seem easier to do with truckloads of financial backing, there are plenty of things you can do to get started or at least boost your business to the next level.
1. Be The Expert
Focus on what you do best. That thing that you’re most confident about and for which you have the most experience, this is what management gurus call your core competence. The knowledge that you can share which has the most value will draw in customers, and they’ll help grow your business for you.
Ensure that your team members are sharp. Train your team for success in sales and actively participate in their career development. Most of all, you should be confident that you are expert in your opinions and advice, and that nothing will come back and haunt you.
2. YouTube Your Information and Tips
Make videos about using your gym, but also leverage your expertise and explain popular exercises point-by-point, diet, and nutrition tips, or get the natural hams on your team to make every day a reality TV show that features your gym. These days, you can do it with a smartphone and a video editing application on your notebook computer.
In the end, your goal is always to bring prospects back to your sales funnel and close them on memberships. You probably already have a list of things to work through with new members. One of those might be a familiarization tour of your facility, why not put it in a video?
3. Get Social with Instagram
These days, it seems like the one way to reach the broadest range of people is Instagram. If you don’t yet have a presence on this platform, it might be time to jump in.
Coordinate with your trainers and employees to cross-post and get the conversation going online. The objective is again to generate content that gets people interested in what you do. Let your passion shine through, and you will connect with people who share your enthusiasm.
4. Use Email To Communicate Your Message
You don’t have to wait for prospects to sign up to get them on a mailing list. In fact, it might be an easier sell to get them on the list and then use extra incentives to entice them to become full members.
5. Automate Your Systems
It’s never been easier to customize sequences of actions across online platforms. All you have to do is get people to take the first step. Many of the applications have integrations that transfer information from one app to another.
Services like Zapier.com or IFTTT.com extend these software capabilities even further. You can do things like add new gym signups to a spreadsheet list and trigger actions like adding the member or prospect as an email contact.
6. Host A Competition Or Event
If someone wants to use your studio or open floor space for a get-together or group activity, turn it to your advantage. It doesn’t even matter if they pay rent for the time. If you have people in your fitness center having fun and curious about what happens in the fitness space the rest of the time you can sell them something. You can gently prompt these inquisitive visitors to think about trying a membership. Of course, if you get a share of the fees, that’s a good thing too.
7. Close Like You Sell Puppies for A Living
If you give prospects something, they love they won’t want to give it back. That way they want to pay to stick around once they’re hooked. It’s the old “Puppy Dog Close,” and it works as well as it ever did.
If you give someone a puppy and tell them, “Keep it for two weeks. If at the end of that time you don’t love it and want it as part of your life, give it back. No questions asked. Otherwise, pay me at that time.”
Who doesn’t bond with a puppy in two weeks? Likewise, if your gym business model is something people love, they’ll want to pay the membership at the end of the trial period.
Use Gym Insight Dedicated Gym Management Software Tools
The whole point of hacking the fitness business is to bootstrap your way from startup to thriving gym business. However, even if you operate a well-funded and successful business, it never hurts to know where the shortcuts might be hiding. One hack that is crucial to success for any aspiring gym business is the right software suite to organize the information foundation of your gym.
Gym Insight is proven gym management software that makes it easy for you to manage your membership, payments, and business operations. Check out what we offer and think about how it can assist in your efforts to bootstrap your way to the next level of gym business success.
•ORGANIC: ⠀ Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides. It’s one of the most heavily sprayed crops. Any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee. If you use a “drip” coffee maker, use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, & some of this chlorine
Who else wants to lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days, without putting yourself through grueling torture and punishment of running and sweating on a treadmill, and without giving up what you love to eat or having to dramatically change your diet?
In recent generations, lard has seemed to completely disappear from home kitchens. Until the early 1900’s, lard was a staple cooking fat across the globe. It was the secret to perfectly flaky pie pastry, crispy fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and luscious gravy.
Now, when people hear the term lard, they immediately conjure up a vision of clogged arteries. It’s time to set the record straight – lard is a healthy cooking fat and deserves to make a comeback in kitchens everywhere.
Lard is heat stable
When it comes to determining the stability of a fat, it’s all about chemistry. Saturated fats have single bonds between all the carbon molecules of the fatty acid chain and are therefore the most heat-stable. That’s because single bonds, when it comes to the fatty acid carbon chain, are relatively difficult to break. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond replacing a single bond in the carbon chain. Double bonds in fatty acids are unstable and can break with heat. Polyunsaturated fats are the most unstable, because they have numerous double bonds in the carbon chain. When the double bonds in mono- or polyunsaturated fats break, the fatty acid undergoes a process calledoxidation.
Why are oxidized fats bad? In a nutshell, oxidized fats = free radicals. Free radicals = cell damage. While we inevitably have some free radicals in our body, we should minimize these damaging molecules as much as possible to protect health and reduce inflammation. That means
According to Mary Enig, author of Know Your Fats, lard is typically 40% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat and 10% polyunsaturated fat. (Pastured hogs consuming a diet supplemented with grain or coconut will have a lower percentage of polyunsaturated fat – a good thing!). The percentage of saturated fat in lard protects the more vulnerable mono/polyunsaturated fats from oxidizing with heat, making lard an excellent choice for cooking and baking. Cooking oils such as olive, sunflower, grapeseed, etc do NOT offer protection from oxidation.
Lard is heart-healthy
“Lard is an animal fat, and it is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Doesn’t that mean it raises my risk for heart disease?” The pervasive myth that animal fats increase the risk of heart disease is just that – a myth. Our great-great-grandparents consumed lard and butter and experienced extremely low rates of heart disease. Lard is part of a healthy diet and will not give you heart attack:
For adults, I strongly recommend getting a complete biometric screening at least twice a year. Military personnel and athletes should receive 4 to 6 screenings a year. Two really important biomarkers to check are serum ferritin (which measures stored iron) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase or sometimes called gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT; a liver enzyme correlated with iron toxicity, liver damage, disease risk, and mortality). When it comes to iron overload and deficiency, I believe it can be every bit as dangerous to your health as vitamin D deficiency. By monitoring iron and GGT levels you can discover whether or not you are hitting the iron too hard or not hard enough while avoiding serious health problems.
Optimizing & Monitoring Iron and GGT Levels
Iron is one of the most common nutritional supplements. Not only can you get it as an isolated supplement, but it’s also added to most multivitamins. Many processed foods are also fortified with iron. While iron is necessary for biological function, when you get too much, it can do tremendous harm. Unfortunately, the first thing people think about when they hear “iron” is anemia, or iron deficiency, not realizing that iron overload is actually a more common problem, and far more dangerous. Many doctors don’t understand or appreciate the importance of checking for iron overload.
Iron Deficiency, Coronary Heart Disease & Sources of Iron
With that said a study by researchers from Imperial College London, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology1 has found that low iron levels also increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease (a type of heart disease.) A word of warning though: An earlier study by researchers at Indiana University, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that high levels of heme iron, which is only found in meat, can actually cause coronary heart disease (CHD), increasing risk by as much as 57%. The study found that the body is better able to absorb non-heme iron, which is iron from vegetable sources, and even iron supplements, than from meat sources. Heme iron is absorbed at a much greater rate in comparison to non-heme iron (37 percent vs. 5 percent). Once absorbed, it can act as a catalyst in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, causing tissue-damaging inflammation, which is a potential risk factor for CHD. To regulate your consumption and absorption of heme iron do not consume more than 25 grams of protein per meal.
Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency to be aware of are tiredness, shortness of breath, decreased endurance, dizziness, headaches, cold hands and feet, chest pain, physical weakness and pale skin. Other possible problems include brittle nails, cracks on the sides of the mouth, frequent infections, restless leg syndrome and difficulty sleeping. The only way to determine if you have iron overload is by monitoring iron and GGT levels.
Virtually all adult men and postmenopausal women are at risk for iron overload due to inefficient iron excretion, since they do not lose blood on a regular basis. Blood loss is the primary way to lower excess iron, as the body has no active excretion mechanisms. Another common cause of excess iron is the regular consumption of alcohol, which will increase the absorption of any iron in your diet. For instance, if you drink wine with your steak, you will likely absorb more iron than you need. There’s also an inherited disease, hemochromatosis, which causes your body to accumulate excessive and dangerously damaging levels of iron.
Effects of Iron Overload
If left untreated, high iron can contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, joint pain and many other health problems, including gouty arthritis. In one small study,2 100% of the patients achieved a significant reduction in gouty attacks or complete remission after phlebotomy was used to remove iron and maintain an iron level at a near-iron deficiency, the lowest body iron store compatible with the normal production of red blood cells and absence of anemia. Iron causes all this harm by stimulating a reaction within the inner mitochondrial membrane. When iron reacts with hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl free radicals are formed. These are some of the most damaging free radicals known, causing severe mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn is at the heart of most chronic degenerative diseases. Enhance your health by monitoring iron and GGT levels.
Energy and Free Radicals Relationship with Iron
Your body creates energy by passing the electrons from carbs and fats you eat as fuel to oxygen through the electron transport chain in your mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 95% of the time, the oxygen is converted to water. But 0.5 to 5 % of the time, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are created. ROS are not all bad, but excessive ROS leads to mitochondrial damage and dysfunction. Iron can react with hydrogen peroxide in the inner mitochondrial membrane. This is a normal part of cellular aerobic respiration. But when you have excessive iron, it initiates the formation of excessive hydroxyl free radicals from the peroxide, which decimates your mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial electron transport proteins, and cellular membranes. This is how iron overload accelerates chronic disease.
If you eat excessive net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) the situation is further exacerbated, as burning carbs as your primary fuel can add another 30 to 40 % more ROS on top of the hydroxyl free radicals generated by the presence of high iron. Unfortunately, most people reading this are burning carbs as their primary fuel. If you struggle with any kind of chronic health problem and have high iron and eat a standard American diet that is high in net carbs, normalizing your iron level (explained below) and implementing a ketogenic diet can go a long way toward improving your health. The key to comfortably transitioning into nutritional ketosis is to gradually reduce your carb intake, but not over a set period of time. When your macronutrient ratios and ketone bodies reflect
The key to comfortably transitioning into nutritional ketosis is to gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake, but not over a set period of time. You should reduce your carb consumption until your macronutrient ratios and ketone bodies reflect that your body is burning fat for fuel, you have addressed any cravings and you have maintained your energy levels. (Hint: have high-fat snacks on hand so you remain satiated and keep cravings at bay). You can refer to the lists of SAMPLE KETO MEALS and KETO FOODS for dietary suggestions.
Taking extra antioxidants to suppress ROS generated by high iron alone or in combination with a high-sugar diet is inadvisable, as ROS also act as important signaling molecules. They’re not all bad. They cause harm only when produced in excess. Your best bet is to lower the production of ROS. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to eat a diet high in healthy fats, adequate in protein and low in net carbs. Eating healthy fats can make a bigger difference than you might think, especially if you have high iron. Monitoring iron and GGT levels will provide you the ability to be proactive in maintaining your health.
What is GGT?
GGT is a liver enzyme involved in glutathione metabolism and the transport of amino acids and peptides. Not only will the GGT test tell you if you have liver damage, it can also be used as a screening marker for excess free iron and is a great indicator of your sudden cardiac death risk. Recently, GGT was proven by the life insurance industry as the single measure that is most predictive of early mortality.3,4 In other studies, it’s linked to pretty much every cause of death,5 because it produces free radicals and hydroxyl radicals. Essentially, a reduction in glutathione levels, your body’s most important antioxidant, is indicated by an increase in GGT levels.
Glyphosate, excess iron and other substances in the environment, whether you take it in as food or it’s in the air, that utilize your body’s toxic waste disposal system will reduce your body’s level of antioxidants. A reduction in antioxidants makes you more vulnerable to chronic health problems, particularly chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases.
The Interaction of Iron and GGT
GGT is highly interactive with iron, and when both your serum ferritin and GGT are high, you have a significantly increased risk of chronic health problems. Elevated serum ferritin and GGT creates a combination of free iron, which is highly toxic, and iron storage to keep that toxicity going.6
Low levels of GGT are protective against higher ferritin levels. So, if your GGT is low, you’re largely protected even if your ferritin is a bit higher than normal. Even with that said I suggest that you lower your ferritin to an optimal level. On the other hand, even if your ferritin is low, having elevated GGT levels is cause for concern, and needs to be addressed. An integral part of optimizing your health is monitoring iron and GGT levels.
Lowering Your GGT Level
GGT is inversely related to glutathione, your body’s most important antioxidant. As your GGT level rises, your glutathione level goes down. This is one way how elevated GGT harms your health. By elevating your glutathione level, you coincidently lower your GGT level. The amino acid cysteine, found in whey protein, poultry, and eggs, plays an important role in your body’s production of glutathione. Red meat, which does not contain cysteine, has the ability to raise your GGT level. Alcohol will also.7 Research also suggests that eating at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per week rich in vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene, anthocyanins, and folate can help reduce GGT.8,9 Examples include carrots, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots, and tomatoes.
Also, be aware that certain medications can raise your GGT level. If you are currently taking medication(s) please speak with your doctor to determine whether you can stop taking the medication or switch to something else. Do your best to avoid over-the-counter medicines, including ibuprofen and aspirin, both of which can damage your liver if taken on a recurring basis. General detoxification is another important component if your GGT is high, as your liver’s job is to remove toxins from your body. Milk Thistle and Livatrex are all-natural high-quality supplements that assist in effective liver detoxification. The fact that your GGT is elevated means your liver is under stress.
Lowering Your Serum Ferritin Level
The good news is that it’s easy to lower your iron level if it’s too high or increase your iron level if it’s too low. While health professionals are often quick to advise consuming a supplement, it is always better to find natural, easily absorbed sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron. Excellent sources of iron include green peas, parsley, fortified bread, beans, nuts and green leafy vegetables, particularly spinach.
Keep in mind that trying to control high iron through your diet alone can be risky, as you will also forgo many valuable nutrients. That said, to avoid maximizing iron absorption, avoid eating iron-rich foods in combination with vitamin C-rich foods or beverages, as the vitamin C will increase iron absorption.
One of the easiest ways to lower your iron level is simply donating blood two to four times a year or consistently implementing therapeutic phlebotomy. If you are not comfortable with needles and/or donating blood. I recommend a balanced comprehensive strategy that takes into account detoxification, near and far infrared sauna and reducing dietary iron (especially heme iron found in meat). This is the best way to go about lowering as well monitoring iron and GGT levels.
Monitoring Iron and GGT Levels
Unfortunately, many doctors are still unaware of the importance of checking for iron overload and many doctors may overlook the GGT test as well. One of the reasons it’s difficult to get doctors to order GGT tests is they’re discouraged because they know some prescription drugs increase GGT levels. It’s not a desireable situation for a doctor to see a measure of disease increase by prescribing a pharmaceutical drug. This creates procedural resistance for doctors to order these tests. But all in all, it’s a pretty simple test to perform and is recommended.
Getting a Biometric Screening
In summary, if you’re concerned about maintaining your health and preventing chronic disease, I strongly encourage you to regularly get a complete biometric screening that includes the
9 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Unwanted Weight During the Holidays
1. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
Eat the best-for-you offerings first. For example, hot soup as a first course―especially when it’s broth-based, not cream-based―can help you avoid eating too much during the main course. Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you’re not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds. Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multitasking (whether at home or at a party) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth. Of course, dinner-party conversation is only natural, but try to set your food down until you’re finished chatting so you are more aware of what you’re taking in.
2. DON’T GO HUNGRY TO THE MALL
Plan your shopping route so you don’t pass the Cinnabon stand a dozen times. The obvious reason? Both sights and smells can coax you to eat, and with some vendors purposefully wafting their aromas your way, saying no can feel impossible. Choose a proper restaurant over the grab-and-go food court whenever you can. And request a table away from loud sounds and distractions, which can cause you to eat more. The bright lights and noisy hard surfaces can speed up the rate at which you eat and lead to overeating. Avoid fast-food places that emphasize red in their color schemes. Red has been shown to stimulate the appetite more than many other colors, and many restaurants add it to their decor, in everything from the flowers on the table to the squiggles on the plates.
3. KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT
Weigh yourself daily and use that number to guide your actions. (Food diaries are helpful, but only if you’re totally honest and diligent about recording every morsel you eat.) Research has shown that women who step on the scale every day and then act accordingly, either increasing their exercise or being stricter about their eating, are 82 percent less likely to regain lost weight than those who don’t weigh in as often. Zip yourself into your favorite pair of slim-fitting pants once a week and note how they fit. Too tight? Adjust your eating and exercise habits. Just right? Keep up the good work.
4. EAT BEFORE GOING TO A PARTY
Eat breakfast. This has been shown to prevent overeating later in the day. Limit the number of high-calorie foods on your party plate. Research has shown that when faced with a variety of foods with different tastes, textures, smells, shapes, and colors, people eat more―regardless of their true hunger level. Cutting down on your personal smorgasbord can decrease what you end up eating by 20 to 40 percent.
Choose foods wisely, filling your plate with low-calorie items, such as leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, and taking smaller portions of the richer ones. That way, you can eat a larger amount of food for fewer calories and not feel deprived. Pop a sugar-free mint in your mouth. When you’ve had enough (and don’t want to eat more), the feeling of a fresh palate can curb additional noshing.
5. KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS AT WORK
Try to keep communal office goodies out of view, either in an area that isn’t as highly trafficked as the kitchen or the break room, or in dark containers or covered dishes. In one study, people ate 26 percent more Hershey’s Kisses when the candies were in clear dishes versus white ones. And when the chocolates were placed six feet away, the average person ate only four a day, as opposed to nine a day when they were within arm’s reach.
Before you allow yourself a splurge, do something healthy, like eating a piece of fruit, walking around the office for five minutes, or climbing a few flights of stairs.
Plan on taking whatever tempts you home, and delay the daily indulgence until just before bedtime. At that point, you’re less likely to crave another treat immediately than you would during your afternoon coffee break, especially if the whole box is no longer around.
6. MANAGE PORTION SIZE
Use smaller plates and serving utensils. Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself. What looks like a normal portion on a 12-inch plate or a troughlike bowl can, in fact, be sinfully huge. In one study conducted at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, even nutrition experts served themselves 31 percent more ice cream when using oversize bowls compared with smaller bowls. The size of the serving utensil mattered, too: Subjects served themselves 57 percent more when they used a three-ounce scoop versus a smaller scoop. Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses, not the fat, wide kind. Other studies at Cornell have shown that people are more likely to pour 30 percent more liquid into squatter vessels.
7. CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Eat with a small group when you can. One study found that dining with six or more people can cause you to eat 76 percent more, most likely because the meal can last so long. (After an hour of staring at the stuffing, you’re more likely to have seconds.) At a big sit-down supper, be the last one to start and the second one to stop eating. Sit next to a fellow healthy eater (there’s strength in numbers). Or sidle up to that uncle who eats slowly, so his pace can slow yours. Wait for all the food to be on the table before making your selections. People who make their choices all at once eat about 14 percent less than do those who keep refilling when each plate is passed. Keep visual evidence around of what you’ve consumed so you don’t forget. Leave an empty bottle of wine or beer in view and you’ll be less tempted to drink more.
I’ve often wondered about the history and origins of Santa since I was a kid. Since then I’ve done more than wonder and actually researched how Santa came to prominence in the United States. Basically, Coca-Cola invented the Santa that you, your family, your kids and I know today. No joke. Fat, jolly Santa — the guy with the red suit and cap, the thick black belt and sooty boots, the rosy cheeks, the luminous eyes, the brighter-than-white teeth — is the product of an advertising campaign by Coca-Cola back in the 1930s. Keep reading to get the whole story on Santa Claus and full details on a growing nutritional health movement that’s Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods Alongside Sustainable Santa®.
Here is an article published in The Boston Phoenix a few years back and it’s too good not to share. The author explains how fat, jolly, red-suited Santa is actually the invented lead character in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign.
Sustainable Santa® in the Community
When Santa and his helpers aren’t busy at the North Pole or delivering presents Christmas night you can find the jolly guys like Dr. Richard Eckfield also known as Sustainable Santa® at San Diego County’s Farmers Markets collaborating with farmers to encourage healthy eating. With support from the Real Santas United to End Childhood Obesity Sustainable Santa® hands kids carrots and Santa’s Food Rules cards promoting healthy eating instead of candy canes. His mission is to change the 21st Century image and message of Santa to one who promotes healthy eating and living a sustainable lifestyle.
Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods Alongside Sustainable Santa®
“We want to help make kids healthy, happy and fit for life. Our goals are to inspire a cultural change that encourages kids to eat real food, to help parents understand what is healthy and to address the diet-driven health problems our kids face. We show kids how to “eat the rainbow” and give them seed packets so they can plant a garden with a rainbow of colored vegetables.”
The Impact of Nutrition on the American Healthcare System
Of the $3.4 Trillion the U.S. spent on healthcare in 2016, 75% went to treating preventable and diet-related diseases. These chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease and hypertension, have all been linked to added sugars and processed foods.
Real Food vs. Processed Food
Our bodies were designed to eat real food, not processed food. When you eat a diet that’s been stripped of micronutrients and fiber and flooded with additives like sugar, eventually your metabolic system can’t cope. Chronic conditions are the marker of an impaired metabolic system. The metabolic system is made up of several organs, hormones, and enzymes. These work together as a “cellular engine” that digests, absorbs, transports, processes and excretes the nutrients that are essential to life. When this system breaks down, your health suffers.
Take the First Step
The good news is that as more people realize that these food-related diseases are preventable, the more people are hungry for change.Doctors can try to cure diet-driven illnesses but they can’t prevent them. But you and I can by optimizing our nutrition and getting kids eating healthy real foods alongside Sustainable Santa®.
Improve your health with a Rainbow of Vegetables. Get your kids involved in selecting and cooking the colors you get at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store.
The fact is that each color of a vegetablecan provide a high level of different vitamins and minerals. Eating a combination of them can optimize your health.
You can also use colors to enhance the fun of selecting fresh veggies with your children at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store.
They’ll love the bright colors and you can create a game at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store where you try to collect and eat as many red things one day – orange things the next and so on. Or you could grow or shop for your child’s favorite color veggies, making gardening, going to Farmer’s Markets and eating healthy more fun for them and you.
HEALTH in the RAINBOW – Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods alongside Sustainable Santa®
RED In fruits and vegetables, red is usually a sign of lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant that research suggests has cancer fighting properties and Vitamin C. Typically, red products are also high in manganese and fiber. Choose Red Bell Peppers for vitamin C. Did you know on average one cup of red bell pepper has more vitamin C than a medium sized orange?
ORANGE and YELLOW Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables signify a similar vitamin and mineral profile to red, often containing Vitamin C and fiber. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables often also carry higher levels of Vitamin A (the eyesight vitamin), B6, potassium, and lysine which is an essential amino acid for building proteins. Try a Caro Rich Tomato for an orange tomato that has 10x the amount of beta-carotene as the average red tomato.
GREEN Green vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin K, essential for blood clot development, folic acid which supports cell reproduction, potassium which aids in balancing cholesterol, as well as lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid which is an antioxidant. Lutein also aids in eyesight and delivers needed omega-3 fatty acids. Greens also often contain isothiocyanates which induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds.
BLUE and PURPLE When most people think of blue fruits and vegetables they think of blueberries which are loaded with antioxidants, namely flavonoids and anthocyanins which protects blood vessels and skin. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables also contain high levels of Vitamin A.
WHITE While white may not exactly be a color, white fruits and vegetables can still pack a high punch of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and fiber. While vegetable such as onions and garlic also contain allicin, an amino acid which is an antibacterial substance that protects the heart and blood vessels.
THE WHOLE RAINBOW Some plants like Rainbow Chard are not only a healthy eating option but they add an extra pop of beauty to your garden. Most of the fruit and vegetable varieties are available in season at your local Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store. You can also order the seeds for your home garden.
PARENTS: Have your child help you COOK at least one healthy meal each week using the colored veggies they help you pick out at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store. This will give you both not only the opportunity explore the cornucopia of healthy nutritious real foods available to you, but it will also give you the opportunity to explore DIFFERENT COOKING TECHNIQUES which preserve both the taste and the nutrient values in your meals.
With practice, this can grow into researching recipes and preparing and eating a lifetime of nutritious meals – providing good health and significantly reduced medical bills which the fast food and processed food options create. If you don’t do it for yourself do it for your kids, family or loved ones. Getting kids eating healthy real foods alongside Sustainable Santa® is the easiest way to create a healthy family atmosphere.
10 Key Points from the Simple Guide For the Timing of Nutritional Supplements
DAYTIME consists of the time you first wake up in the morning up until you start to eat your last meal of the evening.
NIGHTTIME consists of the time from your start your last meal of the evening until you go to sleep at the end of the night.
1. B vitamins and inferior brands of vitamin C may cause an upset stomach and nausea when taken on an empty stomach. And fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, K) won’t be effective unless you take them with a small amount of fat, such as an egg, a handful of nuts or half an avocado.
2. It’s best to take Vitamin K2 with your evening meal, along with any vitamin D and/or Calcium and Magnesium. All superior forms of vitamin D have K2 in MK-7 form in it to activate your body’s K2-dependent proteins to shuttle Calcium to the proper areas. Research suggests 200-280 micrograms of vitamin K2 per day will meet the needs of most people, but if you’re taking extremely high-doses of vitamin D, you’ll need more.(1)
3. Zinc should NOT be taken with a Calcium and/or an Iron supplement to ensure maximum absorption of Zinc.
4. Avoid taking Calcium or vitamin E with Iron. These nutrients interfere with Iron absorption. Iron is also best taken on an empty stomach, either in the midmorning or midafternoon.
5. Magnesium, which most people are deficient in and helps the body relax, is one of the most important minerals. Magnesium Threonate is the best form and should be taken in the evening without food. If you’re also taking Calcium, take them together. (If you exercise regularly, consider consuming in a ratio of 1:2 Calcium to Magnesium with your pre-workout meal if it does not affect your performance. During exercise, energy is produced by the conversion of fatty acids and amino acids with calcium-dependent enzymes). While the ideal ratio of Magnesium to Calcium is 1:1, most people get far more Calcium than Magnesium from their diet so your need for Magnesium may be 2-3x greater than Calcium.
6. Oral B12, which is typically always poorly absorbed, is best taken on an empty stomach to optimize absorption. Consuming B12 sublingually does not present these same issues. Be advised that B12 may negatively interact with a number of medications. (2)
7. Fiber may potentially interfere with your body’s absorption of fat. Fiber supplements, including “green” supplements like powdered spirulina, chlorella and kelp are best consumed separately from any Krill or Fish oil you may be taking. Omega-3 supplements like Fish or Krill Oil can possibly cause indigestion if consumed before working out. It’s best to take them with food. (If you’re working out, remember that fiber supplements will slow the movement of food through your stomach and intestines. It’s best taken at least 3-4 hours before exercise or competition). Consequently, it should be consumed toward the end of the day. Whole husk psyllium, an excellent fiber supplement, is ideally taken 2 hours after a meal with a full glass of water.
8. Enzymes like Bromelain, Papain, Trypsin and Chymotrypsin are found in many recovery capsules and pills. Depending on your goals, you’ll need to specify the timing. When taken with a meal, they will improve your digestion. For muscle enhancement and/or anti-inflammatory effects, you’ll want to take them on an empty stomach post-workout, either in the morning or afternoon.
9. Probiotics help improve your gut health by supplying good bacteria. They’re best taken on an empty stomach 2-3 hours after your final meal of the day. Keep in mind that to get the benefits from probiotics you need to reduce your consumption of processed foods and sugar or you’re just wasting your money.
10. As a general rule of thumb, antioxidant supplements such as Resveratrol, Astaxanthin, vitamin E and Ubiquinol (the reduced version of Coenzyme Q10) are fat soluble and best consumed with a fatty meal. Ubiquinol is best taken in divided doses with a fatty meal while, vitamin E and Astaxanthin can be taken 1x a day with a fatty meal to increase absorption. Resveratrol-containing supplements can be taken on an empty stomach. If you’re an athlete or work out regularly, several studies have shown that taking antioxidant supplements prior to exercise has the ability to decrease insulin sensitivity and reduce your body’s ability to defend against oxidative damage aka free radicals.
DO YOU REALLY NEED ALL THE SUPPLEMENTS YOU’RE TAKING?
The better and more wholesome your diet, the fewer supplements you will need. Dietary supplements are beneficial if you have a specific deficiency or health problem. Just keep in mind that the more supplements you take, the more complicated it gets. Are you taking each one at the most appropriate time and in the correct combination — and in the proper ratio — with other nutrients? Are they organic, non-GMO, all-natural, have fillers or preservatives?
If you’re taking handfuls of supplements but still eat mostly processed foods, make this the year you start making changes. Let us find the right all-natural nutrition plan for you and guide you through it step-by-step. There is something for everybody.
Please note this is not intended to discuss all of the research around ketosis, as science has proven its therapeutic benefit for the treatment of chronic conditions including Epilepsy, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. Instead, this article is intended to serve as an overview of the key points, benefits and areas of considerations for those with metabolic and/or performance goals.
WHAT IS KETOSIS?
Essentially, ketosis is a metabolic state in which you’re predominantly burning stored fat for fuel and converting fat into ketones to be used by the cells. The ketone bodies, acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB), are usually formed either when liver glycogen is low, or via metabolism of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Ketone levels are regulated largely by the hormones insulin and glucagon. The exact definition of ketosis refers to blood concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mmol/L, however 1.5 – 3.6 mmol/L is considered optimal nutritional ketosis and is recommended for maximum metabolic and performance benefits.
Please note: these levels do not apply if you are using ketosis for the therapeutic benefits mentioned above.
We know that 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories and 1 gram of fat yields 9 calories. From that, we can derive that fat is more calorically dense than carbohydrates. One thing that people do not realize is how much ATP each yields. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is what our cells use for energy and is the driving force responsible for all cellular function including mitochondrial health. Without ATP our body would not be able to function! For every molecule of glucose, which comes from carbohydrates, our bodies can produce 36 – 38 units of ATP through glycolysis. Depending on the amount of carbon in each fatty acid tail, one triglyceride (fat molecule) can yield up to 496 ATP!⠀
OPTIMAL HEALTH & NUTRITION
For optimal nutritional health, we recommend eating a diet high in healthy fats with moderate protein and low net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber). This type of diet may be particularly beneficial for endurance athletes. Contrary to conventional sports nutrition advice, research has shown that a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb ketogenic diet may provide superior benefits. We all have to eat; we need fuel and other nutrients to live. The question is how to get what we need without generating excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage your health by attacking cell membranes, proteins, DNA and even your mitochondria — all of which can contribute to disease.
Optimal nutritional health is all about keeping your mitochondria healthy, and low-carb, moderate protein, high healthy-fat diets tend to do that far more effectively than high-carb, protein-rich, low-fat diets. The sad fact is that most people eat foods that drive their metabolism in the wrong direction — away from nutritional health. The typical American diet constantly steers you towards using high net carbs for fuel in the form of glucose. But when you’re burning glucose as your primary fuel, you actually inhibit your body’s ability to access and burn body fat for energy.
NUTRITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Day-to-day you will experience:
Improved blood sugar control and satiety
Appetite control and a more efficient metabolism – you no longer need to snack every two hours
Increased mental clarity
Avoidance of 3.30-itis
Management of chronic disease
In training, competitions and races this will provide:
Stable energy levels
Decreased reliance on sports nutrition products
Logistical ease on competition, sporting and race days
Avoidance of gastro-intestinal (GI) distress
No more “hitting the wall”
Your athletic longevity
There is a potential that long-term elevation of ketones may inhibit glycolysis (the breakdown of glucose by enzymes which releases energy). If you constantly have 4 – 5 mmol/L ketones, your body no longer needs to be good at oxidizing glucose. The end result? You lose your top end (i.e. you get slow) and athletic performance drops off as a result. To prevent this we suggest transitioning off of ketone supplements for a pre-determined period of time every 14 days.
ADDED BENEFITS: BRAIN HEALTH AND MORE
A ketogenic diet has also been shown to provide sharper focus, greater fat loss, better sleep, stabilization of blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory effects, faster recovery, a reduction in the generation of excessive ROS as well as significantly lower the possibility of developing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinsons when additional healthy lifestyle components are included like exercise and moderate alcohol consumption.
It’s clear that a ketogenic diet approach provides significantly more energy, utilizing fewer carbs. The presence of ketone bodies has demonstrated an increase in performance in long-duration endurance athletes even when co-ingested with carbohydrates in non-keto adapted athletes. Using ketones to fuel aerobic activity results in the preservation of muscle glycogen. Ketones improve performance in activities that last 20 minutes or more, meaning their positive impact is very duration specific. This is beneficial for athletes such as Boxers, Wrestlers, Soccer players, Basketball players, Tennis players, LaCrosse players, Cyclists, CrossFitters, triathletes and ultramarathoners. The ability to efficiently use multiple fuel sources (i.e. metabolic flexibility) means you will never run out of fuel. You essentially avoid “hitting the wall” and become bonk-proof.
Well trained athletes can carb load and have up to 2,000 calories of muscle glycogen available for use. But for extended training, competitions and races where these stores are depleted, an athlete can become catabolic in the absence of external fuel. Burning ketones (and therefore sparing muscle) is extremely important and an essential part of exercise recovery.
“Usually, energy for muscle cells comes from carbohydrates or fat, but when those fuels aren’t available and the body is in ‘starvation mode’ the liver will break down fat stores into ketones to use as fuel …
In the new study, researchers found that when ketones are provided in a drink, the body will use them for muscle fuel. Ketone-powered workouts resulted in less lactate, a byproduct of breaking down sugar that causes muscle cramps and soreness.
When given the ketones, the competitive cyclists were able to cycle an average of 411 meters (m) further during the 30-minute workout trial, compared to when they were given a drink high in carbohydrates or fat. This amounts to a 2% increase in speed. While that may not sound like much, it can make a big difference where just fractions of a second often separate winners from the rest of the pack.
According to the authors, by supplying your body with ketones, you can give your metabolism a temporary — and totally legal — boost. As reported in Science Daily, the ketone drink “works by temporarily switching the primary source of cellular energy from glucose or fat to ketones — molecules derived from fat that are known to be elevated in people consuming a low-carb … diet.” Commenting on the findings, Timothy Noakes, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science and sports medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a long-time low-carb advocate told Reuters:
“Hopefully this finding will help many athletes realize that optimum fueling for sport is not simply to ingest as much carbohydrate as possible — before, during and after exercise. Most athletes will perform better by simply training more and eating fewer carbohydrates.”
PERFORMANCE IN NON-ENDURANCE ATHLETES
Burning fat is a more effective long-term fuel but is more complex to process and isn’t as readily accessible for quick bursts of muscle activity as is a fuel like glucose. Elevated blood ketones seem to
Find out what kinds of food people should be eating for optimal health as well as what we do to get people living a better, more healthy lifestyle in this wide ranging and insightful interview with Transitions From War.
15% OFF for ALL Armed Services Members with PROMO Code ” USA18″
Mike started the Transitions from War blog to talk about his struggles getting home, PTSD, and addiction and then finding endurance sports to really begin feeling whole again.
Breaking the stereotype of illiterate Marines, Mike and Rich met up in college at UC Berkeley. A few years after graduation they teamed up again, this time to discuss and promote a topic blatantly absent from their college days: healthy lifestyle and fitness.
Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and
It’s that time of year where pumpkin-flavored food and beverages are popping up everywhere. In 2015 American’s spent $500 million on pumpkin-flavored products, so I think it’s safe to say that pumpkin truly is the ingredient and flavor of the season. Pumpkin spice is likely the most common type of pumpkin flavoring you will see. Although pumpkin spice lattes and baked goods may be tasty, be aware that just because pumpkin is in the name, it doesn’t mean that it has the same health benefits as pumpkin. In fact, most pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks don’t even contain real pumpkin. Instead, the pumpkin spice flavor often comes from flavor compounds that mimic the taste of pumpkin and spices.
Pumpkins can be used for more than just jack-o’-lanterns, they are incredibly versatile and are a great ingredient. Whether it be the pumpkin ‘flesh’ (what you would use to make puree), or the pumpkin seeds, pumpkins are overall an incredibly nutrient-dense food that is an excellent source of fiber and micronutrients.
What is the nutritional content of pumpkin and what are the health benefits of consuming it?
Average American’s don’t consume enough fiber, with many only consuming 15 grams daily instead of the recommended 25-35 grams. Fiber is an essential part of your diet and is necessary to maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels. If you’re not sure what your blood sugar level or cholesterol is, consider using the biometric analysis service we provide. Further information on this analysis can be found later in the article. Pumpkins provide both insoluble and soluble fiber, with pumpkin flesh providing mainly soluble fiber and pumpkin seeds providing mostly insoluble fiber. A cup of pureed pumpkin provides around 7g of fiber, whereas a cup of boiled unseasoned pumpkin provides about 2g of fiber. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of fiber, with ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost 2g.
Eye health and the immune system both require Vitamin A. Pumpkins, like many other fruits and vegetables, contain the antioxidant beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A when ingested. Some scientific studies have shown that a healthy level of beta-carotene consumption may slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. When it comes to maintaining eye health and preventing eye problems including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, Vitamin A plays a significant role. Vitamin A also helps with preventing dry eye and is useful in helping with night vision and light sensitivity. Additionally, Vitamin A supports your immune system by assisting mucous membranes, such as in your nose, repel harmful viruses and bacteria. A cup of boiled pumpkin provided more than 200% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A!
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, protein, and are perfect for snacking. Half a cup of pumpkin seeds has around 20% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium and 6g of protein. Magnesium is required for numerous bodily functions including metabolism and muscle movement. Due to their magnesium content, consuming pumpkin seeds may also lower your blood pressure and help you get a good night’s sleep. Most adults don’t consume the daily recommended amount of magnesium. Over time this can lead to problems such as the weakening of bones and muscles, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Blood tests are commonly used to test magnesium levels, and many adults are unaware that they have low magnesium levels. To find out if you have low magnesium levels and should be ingesting more magnesium, consider using Analytics.
Potassium is crucial for the body to function properly, particularly for athletes. Consuming pumpkin after a long workout can replenish the potassium lost and restore the balance of fluid and electrolytes in the body. One cup of boiled pumpkin has 142mg more potassium than a banana!
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps prevent damage to your cells and has the potential to lower your risk for cancer and heart disease; it is also essential for proper immune function. Some scientific studies have shown that Vitamin E may improve stamina and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seeds are a good source of Vitamin E. 1 cup of boiled pumpkin and ¼ a cup of pumpkin seeds both containing 10% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin E.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, has a vital role in metabolism since it assists in the conversion of carbohydrates into the body’s energy supply. Similarly to Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 is essential for maintaining eye health and mucous membranes, particularly in the gut. Vitamin B2 can also act as a powerful antioxidant and slow down the process of aging. There is 11% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin B2 in 1 cup of boiled pumpkin, and 5% of your daily recommended amount in ¼ a cup of pumpkin seeds.
3natural Bionutrition is fully committed to providing its members with nothing but 100% ALL-NATURAL organic herbal supplements to help you reach your health and fitness goals. We only promote products that are in line with our all-natural methodology. This