Saturday, August 31, 2013

Coconut oil halts tooth decay by attacking the bacteria that cause it

(NaturalNews) If health authorities are going to remain insistent upon lacing the water supply with additives to thwart tooth decay, then they really should be using all-natural coconut oil rather than fluoride chemicals, based on the findings of a new study. Researchers from the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in Ireland have found that coconut oil effectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and mouth infections, without causing any harmful side-effects.

For their study, a team of researchers from the school added enzymes to coconut and several other oils to mimic how these oils would normally be processed during digestion. The team then applied the digested form of each of the oils to several strains of bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, a common acid-producing bacteria often found inside the mouth, and Candida albicans, a highly problematic yeast strain that can cause oral thrush infection.

What they discovered was that only the coconut oil exhibited clear antibacterial and yeast-fighting properties when exposed to the different bacterial strains. In fact, enzyme-modified coconut oil was found to fight all sorts of bacterial strains without triggering any negative side-effects, or promoting the development of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" like antibiotic drugs do.

"Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives (like fluoride), particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations," said Dr. Damien Brady, lead researcher from AIT, about coconut oil's amazing antibacterial power. "Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection."

Adding to this sentiment, Dr. Brady also noted that the human digestive system naturally exhibits antimicrobial activity, at least when it is given the proper foods and nutrients. Consuming more coconut oil, in this case, can effectively boost immunity and thwart the onset of harmful, disease-causing pathogens in the mouth and elsewhere throughout the body.

Coconut oil is far more effective at fighting, preventing tooth decay than toxic fluoride

What is particularly interesting about these dramatic findings is that coconut oil was demonstrably shown in a credible study to fight harmful bacteria and prevent tooth decay. Fluoride, on the other hand, which is pumped into water supplies nationwide that hydrate millions of people, has never been legitimately shown to fight or prevent tooth decay when ingested.

What this new study on coconut oil actually helps unearth is the fact that water fluoridation is a complete scientific fraud. Not only has fluoride never been proven to prevent tooth decay when ingested, but recent studies have actually shown that fluoride harms teeth. Ingesting fluoride, it turns out, can cause dental fluorosis, as well as some other very serious health problems in the long term.

"Once ingested, fluoride compounds attack the structural integrity of our insides," says Shane Ellison, author, chemist, and founder of "Collagen, a web-like network connecting our skeletal system to muscles, is torn apart by fluoride. We feel it as joint stiffness, ligament damage, and aching bones. This same mechanism leads to browning of teeth, an outcome known as fluorosis." (

Coconut oil, on the other hand, will not only help protect your teeth against bacterial rot, but it will also help improve digestion and metabolism, promote heart health, boost energy levels, and strengthen immunity ( Since ingesting coconut oil converts it into a powerful bacteria-fighter, as illustrated by the study, "swishing" coconut oil can also promote improved oral health via the enzymatic activity of its mixing with saliva.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Make a Homemade Gel Pack with Dish Soap and a Plastic Bag

Aerobic and Anaerobic Energy Costs of Strength Training


Single Set of Squats More Demanding than Bench Press, Triceps Extensions and Lat Pull Down Together!

 As a diligent student of the SuppVersity you will obviously remember yesterday's news on the potentially detrimental chronic increases in cortisol, Kirschbaum et al. (Kirschbaum. 2011) have observed in a group of 304 amateur endurance athletes. This raises the question, whether or not your 3-4 strength training sessions per week would not suffice as "aerobic exercise" - after all, most people are huffing and puffing much more after one sets of squats than after 45 min. on a recumbent bike. And even if you were not interested in increasing your aerobic performance, I assume it would be nice to know if squats really are so energetically intense as they feel, or, in other words, how much more energy you are expending doing squats vs. let's say triceps extension ;-)

And more generally, i.e. in view of the aerobic effect and energy expenditure in the course of a complete strength training session, it would be interesting to know, ...

  1. how much total energy you were expending while benching, squatting, rowing and co., and
  2. what the relation of aerobic to anaerobic energy expenditure was like during heavy resistance training.
Both questions have been a subject of scientific debates for quite some time. The measurement of blood lactate levels, as well as other methods to access total energy expenditure, the ratio of aerobic to anaerobic metabolism and the highly controversial contribution of increased energy expenditure after resistance training (EPOC) have been questioned lately (Robergs. 2007). Reason enough for Jefferson M. Vianna and his colleagues from Brazil and Portugal to take another, closer look at the total and relative energy costs of resistance training (Vianna. 2011), in order veri-/falsify previous empirical data.

As their measuring tool of choice, the scientists selected the oxygen deficit method (AOD), where the anaerobic contribution to the overall energy expenditure is estimated by linear extrapolation of the VO2 at supra-maximal intensities and the AOD is then calculated by subtracting the cumulative oxygen uptake (VO2Ac) from the estimated energy demand. As the scientists point out, thus...
[...] the VO2Ac represents the portion of energy obtained by aerobic processes and the AOD represents the portion of energy obtained by anaerobic processes [so that] their sum equals the total VO2 during exercise.
The subjects in the Vianna study were 14 male resistance trainees (26.6 ± 5.4 years, 1.77 ± 0.07 m height, 80.1 ± 11.4 kg body mass and 11.2 ± 4.6 % body fat) with at least one year of training experience on a protocol with three or more training sessions per week. After height, weight and several skin fold measures (chest, mid-axillary, tricipital, sub scapular, abdominal, supra iliac, and thigh) had been taken, the individual 1RM max for bench press, half squat, lat pull down and triceps extension were assessed. Afterwards, the scientists measured the VO2 for each of the four exercises at 12% and 20% of the previously established 1RMmax. The same procedure was repeated 48+h later at 16% and 21% of the individual 1RM max. Eventually (again 48+h rest), the subjects had to perform their bench presses, half-squats, lat pull downs and triceps extension at 80% of their 1RM. The gas the subjects expired during those sessions was collected and recorded by an open air circuit analyzer - you can see part of the results plotted in figure 1.
If you recall what the scientists said about the interpretation of VO2Ac and the accumulated oxgyen deficit (AOD), it is pretty evident that there is a reason, why many trainees fear the the squat. After all, the "king of all exercises", as it is commonly referred to, has by far the highest total (cf. figure 1), as well as relative (cf. figure 2) anaerobic component of all four tested exercises.
Despite inter-individual variations this supremacy of the squat is statistically significant (p<0 .05="" an="" are="" br="" chances="" incidental="" indicating="" observation="" that="" this="" was="">
Figure 3: Total energy demand (ml/kg) of bench press, half squat, triceps extension and lat pull down at 80% of the individual 1RM (data adopted from Vianna. 2011).
If we finally take a look at the total energy demands, the underlying reason for your panting becomes even more evident: Squatting is 3.3x more energetically demanding than bench pressing or doing triceps extensions or lat pulldowns.

The "king of all exercises" is in fact so energetically demanding that one set of squats at 80% of your 1RM max will still expend ~9% more energy than a workout consisting of bench presses, triceps extensions and lat pull downs! Nevertheless, while it cannot be excluded that squatting will indirectly improve your aerobic exercise performance, as well, in and out of itself, none of the tested exercises is suitable to replace what is commonly understood to be "aerobic" or "cardio training" - but hey, in view of what I have posted about the effects of HIIT training, lately, doing (regular) "cardio" training may be obsolete, anyways ;-)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How the right strength training can bring big rewards to runners

The traditional approach to strength training for endurance athletes has been to focus on a high number of repetitions with relatively light weights – three sets of 10 to 15 reps for each exercise, for example. The idea is to build strength without packing on too much muscle, a “problem” that is purely hypothetical for the vast majority of people.

Instead, it turns out that the exact opposite approach may produce better results. Training with heavy weights or explosive motions, such as leaping, seems to have less in common with the demands of running, but these techniques are extremely effective at improving the communication between your brain and your muscles.
Such “neuromuscular” adaptations allow you to recruit more muscle fibres with each contraction, and ultimately translate into more efficient running.

Researchers at the University of Rome tested this idea in a study published in this month’s issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. They recruited 16 runners, with an average age of 44 who were preparing for a marathon, and divided them into three groups. In addition to their regular running, one group added a six-week, twice-weekly traditional strength-training program consisting of three sets of 10 reps of a variety of upper- and lower-body exercises, using a weight equal to about 70 per cent of their one-rep max. The second group did a heavy-weight protocol, doing four sets of three to four reps with 85 to 90 per cent of one-rep max. The third group did no weights.

After six weeks, only the heavy-weights group had made any improvements: 16 per cent in their one-rep max on the leg-press machine and 6 per cent in running economy. Interestingly, these gains came without any significant increase in muscle mass, supporting the hypothesis that the primary benefits were neuromuscular.

Another study, due to be published later this year in the same journal, found that runners can also benefit from “plyometric” training, which uses explosive leaps and jumps to stimulate neuromuscular pathways. Researchers in Chile and Spain assigned 36 runners to either a six-week plyometric training program (60 drop jumps twice a week) or a control group; by the end of the study, the plyometric group had improved their time in a 2.4-kilometre run by 3.9 per cent, while also improving sprint and jump performance.
While plyometrics are usually considered an advanced form of training, there’s no reason that recreational runners can’t use them too, as long as they build up gradually, says Dr. Mikel Izquierdo of the Public University of Navarra in Spain, the lead author of the study.

In fact, recreational runners may have even more to gain since they’re likely weaker to start, he says.
There’s still no getting away from the fact that the best way to get better at running is to run more. But these results suggest that even a short, six-week bout of strength training, inserted a few times a year leading up to a goal race, can give your running a significant jolt. It’s also a great way to build resistance to injuries and fight off the muscle loss associated with aging – and it’s a lot easier than running 300 kilometres a week.

A six-week strength-training routine
Dr. Maria Francesca Piacentini and her colleagues at the University of Rome used the following strength-training routine to boost running economy among master marathon runners: Lift twice-weekly for six weeks. Do four sets of three to four reps of each exercise: half-squat with arm weights, leg press, lunges with arm weights, bench press, lat pulldown (lift 85 to 90 per cent of your estimated one-rep max). Rest three to four minutes between reps.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Sleep Deprivation Fries Your Hormones, Your Immune System, and Your Brain

I can sleep when I’m dead!” “The early bird gets the worm.” Ever said either of those things to yourself? Or do you no longer have to say these things to yourself because you run on four to five hours of sleep pretty much every night? You’re used to it. You don’t need sleep, right? That’s for lazy, unmotivated people who don’t have things to do. You’re way more productive than the average bear.

That’s what I used to tell myself, too. In my early and mid-twenties I would wake up extra early to get my workouts in, train a client at the gym at 5:00 or 6:00am, then go to class or work for the rest of the day, catch my second workout in the afternoon, maybe teach a fitness class as well, then go home and stay up until 11:00pm or midnight working on school. It didn’t get any better once I graduated and started working shifts at the hospital. I spent a good decade of my life getting an average of about four to six hours of sleep per night and wondering why I always felt like crap, why I couldn’t lose weight, and why I always felt like on the verge of a nervous breakdown on top of numerous other health problems.

Read More

Monday, August 26, 2013

How To Make Your Own Mason Jar Herb Garden

What you will need:
  • 6 mason jars (I used 3 quart sized and 3 pint sized, just for fun)
  • enough potting soil to fill all your jars
  • various herb seeds (choose your favorites!
  • 
  • window sill herb garden

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five Do-It-Yourself Remedies For Plantar Fasciitis

  By Sabrina Grotewold

Experiencing persistent pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel or foot? The cause of this either sharp or dull discomfort could be plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the thick tissue, or fascia, that runs along the bottom of the foot. Common among distance runners with chronically tight hamstrings, back, calves and Achilles tendons, or those who run in shoes without proper arch support, the condition may also be caused by a muscular imbalance in the hips or pelvis. This imbalance can cause slight compensations in the stride that place more stress on one leg than the other, according to San Diego-based running coach Jon Clemens, who has a master’s degree in exercise physiology. While correcting the imbalance permanently requires a strength program that focuses on balance, calf- and pelvis-strengthening drills, said Clemens, treatment to temporarily relieve the inflammation can be performed easily at home.

1. Stretch the fascia. Prop your toes up against a wall, keeping your arch and heel flat so the toes stretch. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times three or four times per day.
2. Roll a frozen water bottle under the arch. “Stretch first then roll out the arch for 10 minutes; you don’t want to stretch the tendon when it’s ice cold,” Clemens said.
3. Freeze a golf ball and massage the fascia. Roll the frozen golf ball under the foot, starting from the front and working your way back. Put good pressure on each spot—the medial, center and lateral positions—for 15 seconds before moving to the next area. Then, roll the ball back and forth over the entire foot.
4. Foam roll all muscles on the body above the plantar. “Even tight shoulders can cause the condition, as your arm swing can throw off proper hip alignment and footstrike,” Clemens said.
5. Bump your arch. “Get a commercial insole with an arch bump to push on the plantar and keep it from flexing—it doesn’t matter if you’re an under or overpronator; the plantar needs to be supported and strengthened,” Clemens advised. “Wear the support in all shoes, if possible.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blood Red Oranges


Lately, I’ve received a few questions asking about the differences between conventional oranges and blood or red oranges. One of the inquiries came on the heels a recent news items proclaiming that orange juice is even worse than soda, in terms of promoting weight gain, on a calorie for calorie basis. Could it be that red orange juice is a better option? Another reader was curious after noticing a red orange extract in a product intended to protect against sun related skin damage. And, as it turns out, there’s also been an upswing in current scientific research involving this vibrantly colored fruit that’s native to California, Sicily and Spain.

Citrus sinenses (L.) Osbeck or blood oranges contain an array of antioxidant pigments that set them apart from “blond” oranges. Specifically, constituents including anthocyanins, carotenoids and flavonoids are responsible for the fruit’s dramatic, crimson flesh. What’s more, according to a just published review in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Immunity, these very same substances also impart anticancer, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protection.
In 2012, findings from a study conducted in mice reported that anthocyanin-rich orange juice prevents fatty liver caused by an unhealthy diet. In July of 2013, a human trial evaluated the relative effects of daily “blond” vs. red orange juice on specific circulatory factors and determined that they were comparable in terms of decreasing procoagulant activity. Other research reveals that 500 ml/day of red orange juice improves endothelial function, another measure of circulatory health, while reducing systemic inflammation in overweight men and women. Evidence of increased antioxidant protection has also been noted in several publications. In addition, a few studies have reported that low-dose, sugar-free extracts of red orange are capable of protecting human subjects from the damage caused by air pollution and type 2 diabetes.

Selecting the best red orange juice or supplement may require more information than is typically available at your local health food store or market. For instance, fresh and/or organic red orange juice is documented as containing significantly higher levels of health promoting phytochemicals and Vitamin C. However, finding fresh, organic red oranges can prove challenging. Similarly, red orange extracts aren’t yet widely available, though they can be found online. Beyond that, the real question is whether or not it’s worth the effort to seek out this still uncommon juice and supplement. From my vantage point, while the growing body of research is promising, so too is the more abundant data on easier to attain sources of similar antioxidants including blueberries, 100% cranberry and grape juice. Another option for those trying to avoid or limit sugar is unsweetened hibiscus tea. Note the deep reddish color in whole hibiscus flowers and the resulting brew. Even better would be to include a broad assortment of anthocyanin-rich fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. A list of such fruits and vegetables can be found here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

2 Causes of Hip Pain and How to Treat Them: Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome


 The hip is a major contributor to all core work. In fact, when we first learn to sit up as babies, we rely on our hip muscles rather than the muscles of our trunk to do this. Repetitive motion like cycling, running and squatting can irritate the muscles in and around the pelvis, leading to chronic pain or limitation. Sciatica and piriformis syndrome are two conditions often presenting with similar symptoms. Here is a guide to the difference between the two as well as treatment for each.


Description: Often, when a person complains of hip and back pain, the go-to diagnosis is sciatica. Sciatica is actually a very specific source of pain. The sciatic nerve's origin point is just at the top of the gluteal muscle in the L4 and L5 vertebrae. When inflammation occurs in this area, it can compress the sciatic nerve and send a radiating pain down the back of the leg, typically ending at the knee but potentially carrying all the way to the calf.

Piriformis Syndrome

Description: The piriformis is a deep stabilizer muscle within the iliac (pelvic) crest. (Bright red in the image to the right.) It originates at the very base of the spine and inserts at the top of the femur bone. It is often confused with the psoas, but the piriformis is smaller, deeper, and more specialized. When you feel the muscle at the front of your hip, you are likely touching the psoas as the piriformis is more on the posterior portion of the hip. Piriformis syndrome is the result of an inflammation in this muscle that presses on the sciatic nerve. The pain is often more localized in the hip and buttock where general sciatic pain tends to radiate more down the leg.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Is it Game Over for Coke and Pepsi?


Recent earning reports from soft drink manufacturers are highlighting what seems to be an irreversible trend – soft drink consumption in the US is falling. In 2010 – we drank 0.5% less than the year before. In 2011, the drop was 1%. Last year we drank 1.2% less fizzy sugar water. In fact, 2012 was the year with lowest soda consumption since 1987.
This is great news for public health, because despite what the beverage industry will tell you, sugar water is the top calorie contributor in the American Diet. So, should investors be selling off their Coca Cola shares?

Not so fast. Industry captains have been anticipating this change for the last 20 years and as a result have divested and expanded their portfolio of products and brands. While the diet drinks are not picking up all the loss from full calorie drinks, there is the growing category of sports drinks (Gatorade is owned by PepsiCo, and Powerade by Coca Cola). These drinks are nutritionally comparable to cola, but enjoy a health halo powered by endorsements from some of the world’s top athletes.
The beverage Goliaths also own stables of fruit drinks, iced teas, bottled water, and more. PepsiCo went even further and owns snack food brands such as Doritos, Lays, and others.

But the ace all these companies have is the Third World. Expanding economies are thirsty for a taste of America, and nothing symbolizes the US more than our iconic fast food and beverage brands. So while cola sales are dropping here, in India Coke is growing at 20% year over year. Incidentally, India is also the country with the largest number of people with diabetes in the world (45 million!).
The big picture is that humanity is continuing to consume unnecessary calories from companies whose need to grow profits comes at a hefty price – our health. Governments around the world are powerless to stop the economic growth that comes along with these industries. As a result, little time bombs are ticking in billions of people’s bodies.

At one point in the future, the price of our excess consumption will be so high that junk food and beverage companies will see a global decline. They will either adapt or disappear. But for now, it’s still game on.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Importance of Pace in Running


As a runner and a coach I’ve found there are a few key components that are crucial to being a successful runner. Running is very simple, is as natural as breathing, and everyone is capable of doing it. But when you look at running from a competitive aspect or in terms of optimal performance the first thing we must address is pace. The longer you intend to go the more important it is to know your pace. Running the correct pace can be the difference between running a personal record or falling short of your goal every time.

Often I speak to athletes about their races and their goal times they wished to achieve, but when I ask them about their pace strategy they have none. Having a time goal with no pacing strategy will almost always set you up for failure. That’s not to say that with no pace plan you won’t get lucky; even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. But why take the risk of putting in all that effort training and then on race day go out and wing it? Think about this, almost all distance national and world records are set by athletes running even pace or negative split (running faster at the end then in the beginning) pace for their race.

Let’s take the 5K distance, for example. If your goal is to break 19:00 for the first time, what should your pace be? To run 18:59 you would need to average 6:07 per mile. Unfortunately in a race setting most inexperienced runners will let the race dictate their pace and inevitably run their opening mile substantially faster then their desired goal pace. By allowing the race to dictate your pace you will run at a much faster pace. Our competitiveness gets the best of us and we run at a pace that exceeds what we are capable of sustaining. Although we can sustain that fast early pace for a short time, the effort quickly becomes a grueling death march and by the time we get to the finish line our pace has slowed far beyond that of our goal time.

Once you have set your time goal, figure out the average pace per mile needed to reach your goal. If your goal pace is to average 6:07 miles for 5km, there is no need to run your first mile in 5:52. Fifteen seconds when you’re fresh might not seem like much, but it can have a huge detrimental impact on your race. It would be more beneficial to run a 6:15 opening mile and close at 5:52, rather then vice versa. Even though running 5:52, 6:07, and 6:22 will generate the same time as 6:22, 6:07, and 5:52, the negative split athlete will have a much more positive experience and will have a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from the performance.

In order to achieve success as a runner and reach your full potential we must pay close to our pace goals and have a plan on how you are going to reach your goals long before you toe the starting line. Pacing is something that can and should be practiced in training. Every interval session and tempo run should have a specific pacing plan for you to stick to.

I recently worked with an athlete who had a goal of breaking three hours in the marathon. He had previously tried to do this seven times, only to come up short in each attempt. When I examined his training logs it was evident that he wasn’t paying attention to his pace when he trained or raced. He was obviously fit enough, but he always started out much faster than needed. Each interval in training and every mile racing would be slower then the previous. After seeing this I told him he would have no trouble breaking three hours. From that point, every training session I programmed for him I gave him specific time goals to hit for each interval. I had him focus on running negative splits when he did his interval training and tempo runs finishing much faster than the pace he started at.

During his build-up in the months leading up to his marathon he raced a 5K, 10K, and a half-marathon. For each race I gave him specific times to run for each mile. Before his 5K he doubted the strategy because the early split times were slower than what he was used to running in previous races. I convinced him to trust the plan and to give it a try, and sure enough he ran his fastest 5K ever. By controlling his pace early on he was able to finish faster and ended up with a one minute PR.

When it came time to race the 10K and the half-marathon, I gave him similar strategies with similar results. Over the 10km distance he set a new personal record by two minutes and in the half-marathon he bested his previous PR by six minutes. By the time the full marathon rolled around he had practiced proper pacing and was ready to roll. When he bested his personal record by eight minutes and broke three hours it was no surprise at all. 

Over the years I have found that the track is the best place to practice pacing. It’s on the track where you can pace your splits every 100 meters and every 400 meters. As you get better at pacing on the track you can begin to extend the length of your intervals and even venture away from the track.

Proper pacing takes practice. It requires patience and self-control, especially in race settings. It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement and let the race dictate your pace. Know your pace heading into the race and stick to it, regardless of how fast the race leaders take out the pace. Remember there’s no prize for who gets to the first mile in the lead, just the finish line.

Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Ways to Build Explosive Power Without Olympic Lifting and Plyo Boxes

1. The Broad Jump

2. The Squat Jump

3.The Slam 

4. The Kettlebell Quick Step

5. The Bulgarian Jump Squat
Read More

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver


An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the Duke University School of Medicine suggest that increased caffeine intake may reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Worldwide, 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, the major cause of fatty liver not due to excessive alcohol consumption. It is estimated that 30 percent of adults in the United States have this condition, and its prevalence is rising in Singapore. There are no effective treatments for NAFLD except diet and exercise.

Using cell culture and mouse models, the study authors -- led by Paul Yen, M.D., associate professor and research fellow, and Rohit Sinha, Ph.D of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program in Singapore -- observed that caffeine stimulates the metabolization of lipids stored in liver cells and decreased the fatty liver of mice that were fed a high-fat diet. These findings suggest that consuming the equivalent caffeine intake of four cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing and protecting against the progression of NAFLD in humans.
The findings will be published in the September issue of the journal Hepatology.

"This is the first detailed study of the mechanism for caffeine action on lipids in liver and the results are very interesting," Yen said. "Coffee and tea are so commonly consumed and the notion that they may be therapeutic, especially since they have a reputation for being "bad" for health, is especially enlightening."
The team said this research could lead to the development of caffeine-like drugs that do not have the usual side effects related to caffeine, but retain its therapeutic effects on the liver. It could serve as a starting point for studies on the full benefits of caffeine and related therapeutics in humans.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kitchen Aids


I use organic raw honey for most benefits, like this one.
What to use it for?
  • Acne- Apply a small amount to skin for 15 to 30 minutes, then wash off.
  • Shampoo- Make a honey shampoo. Read More
  • Moisturizer- Apply to skin daily for 15 minutes to reduce dryness.
  • Wash Face- Use a small amount of honey to wash face. Read More
  • Cuts or Burns- Apply topically to reduce irritation and promote healing.
  • Face Mask- Mix with yogurt to make a acne-fighting face mask. Read More

Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Things You May Be Doing That Impair Workout Recovery

Read more:


More Workouts

Excessive Calorie Restriction

Inadequate Protein

Lack of Sleep


Nutrient Deficiencies

Infrequent Workouts


Thursday, August 15, 2013

White Sugar vs. Broccoli

A Calorie is Not a Calorie: How Carbs Trigger Overeating


“Calories in and calories out – that’s all that matters to lose weight.”
You have surely heard this before and likely followed it religiously. It sounds so simple, so elegant … but it is so wrong. It is increasingly clear that “a calorie is a calorie” is misleading — the evidence points primarily to the carbohydrate content of dietary intake rather than total caloric intake as the primary factor in body mass changes. Art De Vany covers this in-depth in his book The New Evolution Diet as well as in a series of posts on the topic summed up in his conclusion:
“Calories measure heat, metabolism produces heat and biomolecules. The human biome contains hundreds of thousands of biomolecules, perhaps more. It is just now being mapped thoroughly. Energy in and out balance only measures the heat, leaving the biomolecules out of the picture. The biomolecules compose the millions of signalling molecules, such as insulin and glucagon, gene effectors, DNA, mitochondria, and all the trillions of cells that a human is made of. ATP is part of the electron flux, which is the most fundamental aspect of physiology. It is how our bodies use electrons that runs the show. … [T]here are many forms of carbohydrates and not all of them are the same even if they have the same energy content. It is the energy AND the biomolecules produced that play out in the complex landscape of human metabolism.”
Turning to carbohydrates, a more helpful message than “eat less,” may be “eat less refined carbohydrates and more whole foods,” according to a recent article in the New York Times blog that synthesizes the latest research on the topic. Processed, refined carbs affect the brain in ways that other foods do not, even if their calorie count is the same:
“Sugary foods and drinks, white bread and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar appear to stimulate parts of the brain involved in hunger, craving and reward, the new research shows. The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that these so-called high-glycemic foods influence the brain in a way that might drive some people to overeat.”
The difficult aspect when it comes to making recommendations (or refuting the argument you have no doubt heard from a friend about their uncle who ate bagels and pasta all his life and never gained a pound …)? Not everybody who eats processed carbohydrates develops uncontrollable food cravings. But for the person who has been struggling with weight in our modern food environment and unable to control their cravings, limiting refined carbohydrate may be a logical first step.

The latest study tested subjects with high-glycemic shakes vs. a control group. What they found was that four hours after drinking the high-glycemic shake, blood sugar levels had plummeted into the hypoglycemic range; the subjects reported more hunger; and brain scans showed greater activation in parts of the brain that regulate cravings, reward and addictive behaviors. Although the subject pool was small, every subject showed the same response, and the differences in blood flow to these regions of the brain between the two conditions “was quite substantial,” according to the study’s directors.
Check out the rest of the article here:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The 20 Health Benefits of REAL BUTTER:


1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral Selenium.
8. Saturated fats in butter have strong Anti-Tumor and Anti-Cancer properties.
9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
11. Protects against tooth decay.
12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
16. May promote fertility in women.
17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kiwi – Eat More! Here are 10 Convincing Reasons


Reason # 1: Vitamin C
One serving of kiwifruit has 240% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C! This flu-fighter also wards off the effects of aging and stress, and powers up the immune system.
Reason # 2: Fiber
2 kiwifruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal. Fiber promotes a healthy heart, regular digestion, and helps lower cholesterol levels
Reason # 3: Potassium
A serving of kiwifruit has more potassium than a banana. A great fit for active lifestyles, potassium maintains fluid and electrolyte balance and releases energy during exercise
Reason # 4: Vitamin E
Kiwifruit is one of the few low-fat sources of this potent cleanser and antioxidant. It also helps to lower cholesterol and boost the immune system.
Reason #5: Antioxidants
Kiwifruit is antioxidant all-star! Antioxidants attack free radicals and harmful by-products in your body, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke

Reason # 6: Folate
Kiwifruit contains close to 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, vital for the health of mother and child during pregnancy, and for the prevention of birth defects
Reason # 7: Magnesium
A healthy 30 mg of magnesium, which powers up energy levels and improves nerve and muscle function
Reason # 8: Lutein
This phytochemical found in kiwifruit helps to prevent age-related blindness and protect eyes against environmental stress and high-energy light
Reason # 9: Zinc
Important for guys: it helps produce testosterone. Everyone else needs the zinc in kiwifruit for healthy hair, skin, teeth and nails
Reason # 10: IT TASTES GREAT!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Five Best Food and Nutrition Tracking Tools

Keeping track of what you eat helps you eat right and make healthier food decisions, that much is given. However, when you make the commitment to tracking your diet, you need a tool that will help you, not get in the way. The best tools make it easy to add what you eat, can fill in the blanks with calorie and nutrition info, and can even help you work towards your goals. This week we're going to look at five of the best food and nutrition trackers, based on your nominations.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Caffine in Coffee

After investigating the constitution of the nation's most-consumed coffees, we found this truth to be self-evident: all cups of Joe are not created equal.
According to our super-scientific source, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (supplemented by stats from the much-less-official-sounding, the milligrams of caffeine per ounce vary from chain to chain as wildly as the mood of someone hopped up on six cups from Mickey D's.
Which happens to be the equivalent of just one cup from our champion, the Death Wish Coffee Company -- a roaster who might not give a damn about life or liberty but surely holds fast to the inalienable right to the pursuit of caffeination................More at

Ice Bath Update

In pharmaceutical research, one of the big problems is that negative studies sometimes don't get published. This may be partly to due nefarious conspiracies, but it's also a simple function of human nature: "We failed to find any effects" just isn't that interesting in most cases. As a result, when you aggregate the results of different studies, you get a falsely rosy picture of the effects, since only positive studies have been published.

Of course, the same problems apply in just about any field of science, and in science journalism too. It's more interesting to write about an exciting new breakthrough than about a study that found nothing, especially since it's very difficult to distinguish between a study that found nothing because there was nothing to find, and a study that found nothing because it didn't have enough subjects or was looking at the wrong outcome variable or was otherwise poorly designed.

All of which is by way of introduction to a study just published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, from researchers at the University of New Hampshire. They tested ice baths on a group of 20 recreationally active males (half got ice baths, half got nothing) after a 40-minute downhill treadmill run on a 10% grade to induce muscle damage. They measured a bunch of parameters, including perceived soreness, muscle torque, swelling, and something called plasma chemokine ligand 2, a marker of inflammation that circulates in the blood. And, in short, they found no differences between the groups.
So what do we do with this information? As I've written before, there are tons of ice baths studies out there with endlessly conflicting results. My overall feeling, based on the biggest meta-analysis and the reports of athletes, is that there probably is some effect. But it's very hard to nail down this effect. One possibility here is that the damage and recovery protocols don't have good "ecological validity" -- that running downhill on a treadmill doesn't produce the same damage/fatigue characteristics that a real-world hard workout does, and that seeing how well your peak isometric torque recovers isn't the same as seeing how well you perform in a race or game or workout the next day.

Another possibility is the ice bath protocol wasn't optimal. A common criticism of some previous negative studies is that they weren't cold and/or long enough to produce enough tissue cooling (e.g. studies with 3 x 1:00 in the ice bath). That's not a problem here: they used 20 minutes (that's looong!) at 5 C (that's coooold!). In fact, it's tempting to wonder whether that's actually too long and too cold -- the practical recommendations I've heard from, for example, recovery specialists at the Australian Institute of Sport, is 10 minutes at 15 C, which is a big difference.

And the final possibility, of course, is that there really is no effect. The truth is, we simply don't know for sure at this point. There's enough positive evidence to justify using ice baths if you like them and find they help; and there's enough negative evidence to justify a decision not to use them if you're not that into them. The one thing I think we can say for sure is that -- like many of the "supplementary" things we debate on this blog -- any effect they have is relatively small, otherwise the studies wouldn't be so ambiguous. Ice baths may help, but they're meaningless if you're not also getting the big things right: training hard, resting hard, sleeping and eating well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mo v. Bolt:

by Alex Hutchinson

  I don't really have any definitive physiology to determine the exact distance at which Mo Farah and Usain Bolt would be evenly matched. As Ross Tucker explains over at the Science of Sport blog, Bolt and Farah represent two extremes of physiology with very different characteristics, and it's very difficult to know exactly where the crossover would occur. That said, I think this graph is interesting to consider:

What it shows is the relative contribution of aerobic versus anaerobic energy at various distances, based on calculations by Rob Duffield and his colleagues in Australia in these three papers. So, for example, a typical male 100-meter runner gets about 21 percent of the energy he needs from processes that require oxygen, whereas a 3000-meter runner gets 86 percent of his energy aerobically.
A couple of other things to note:

- The curve is a bit sigmoid: flat at the sides and steep in the middle. That tells us that there's not much difference between 100 and 200 runners, and not much difference between 1500 and 3000 runners (and there'd be even less difference between 5000 and 10,000 runners if we extended the graph out that far). In the middle, though, there's much bigger differences between, say, 400 and 800 runners. That means the range of distances where Bolt and Farah would be evenly matched is relatively narrow: if you choose a distance that's just slightly off, you may end up with one guy totally dominating the other.
- 600 does indeed look to be very close the middle. The 50-50 aerobic-anaerobic point looks to be a little shorter than 600. (It used to be that the mile was considered to be the 50-50 point for aerobic energy -- which, as a miler, I liked! -- but more recent calculations have revised upward the amount of aerobic energy used at all distances.) On the other hand, Mo's best distances are much closer to 100% aerobic than Bolt's are to 0%, so 50-50 isn't necessarily the right breakpoint anyway. And of course, energy systems aren't the only factor that will come into play to determine the outcome.

So my predictions? First of all, I don't think the race will happen. Much as I believe they both mean well, they both have unbelievable demands on their schedules, and I just don't see it working out. If the race is at 600, I believe Bolt has the tools to win. He's not a typical 100-200 guy, having shown the ability to run world-class 400s without specific preparation. However, I think maintaining the longer distance would be much more unfamiliar to Bolt than dipping down to a shorter distance would be for Mo, who after all does exactly that over and over and over in training. So assuming neither of them plan their season around such a race, I pick Mo over 600. If I was organizing the race and aiming for a 50-50 outcome, I'd pick somewhere between 550 and 580. Call it 565 -- and somebody call Mo and Bolt's agent to let him know that I've got it all figured out!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Training Simplification


Training plans and exercise selection are sometimes "monkey see monkey do" and other times extremely different for no other reason than for the sake of being different. "Monkey see monkey do", in my opinion, isn't totally wrong, since many great coaches pass down training theory and philosophies, I just feel you should know the "why" behind it before you implement it. There is really no need to do either of these things as long as you have confidence in your ability to develop a sound training program.

Here are a couple of things that should hold true when designing a training program and individual sessions.

Exercise Order:

Exercise order DOES MATTER. You can decide to omit any of these four things during a session, but it is ill-advised to attempt to change the order.
  • Technique
  • Speed/Power
  • Strength
  • Endurance
Simply put, each component compliments the next in line and offers proper transitions from an energy system demand perspective. Think if you performed a metabolic conditioning circuit prior to your sprint training... Well, when it came time to do your sprints, they wouldn't look too much like sprints anymore would they? More importantly, the CNS stimulus needed to make any change in your ability to sprint faster would be severely lacking. The same can be said for switching the order of any of the others. While there may be a handful of scenarios when you could pull off changing the order (an Olympic Weightlifter squatting before the Snatch and Clean & Jerk), most of the time you run a big risk of reducing the effectiveness of the subsequent activity.

Exercise Selection:

A common theme in the weight room is the more exercises you do in the allotted time, the more effective the workout. That has the potential to be true, but rarely is. In the weight room, priority should be given to the multi-joint, compound movements like Olympic lifts, squats and squat derivatives, presses, pulls, etc. Determine what type of training response you are trying to elicit and then select the appropriate exercises. Depending where you are in the season and what type of athletes you are working with, it may look slightly different, but this is how simple a weight room session has the potential to look.

1. Olympic Lift/Plyometric/Weighted Jump

2a. Squat/Squat derivative
2b. Upper Body Push or Pull

3. Abdominal/Assistance Lift

As you can see, this is nothing fancy. Using the correct volumes and intensities will get the job done. And done well.

Don't over-complicate things. Especially when you're dealing with athletes that don't have enough experience to benefit from a detailed training plan.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What’s the Healthiest Fish to Eat?


Why it’s Good to Eat Fish

Fish is a healthy choice, yet many avoid this excellent source of nutrition due to concerns of mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants.
For this reason, I also avoided fish for a while. Whenever I walked into the food store and went to the fish counter, I often forgot which fish was safest.
Even though some types of fish should be avoided due to the mercury and level of toxins (heavy metals, industrial waste products etc.), there still is a good variety of fish that are not only safe to eat, but have great health benefits unlike any other food.
Fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and also supplies vitamins and minerals. Those with diets consisting of fish at least twice a week have been shown to benefit  from improved immune system function, improved vision, decreased risk of heart disease, and improved brain development in infants. One study found those that consumed fish had a 36% reduced risk of death from coronary heart disease.

Important to Select the Right Kind of Fish

When it comes to eating fish, the most important part is selecting the right type of fish. All fish contain some amounts of mercury, chemicals, dioxins, PCB’s and other contaminants, but it’s most important to avoid those with the highest amounts.
Having good gut flora (beneficial bacteria) also helps reduce the negative effects of mercury because they bind with the mercury and prevent absorption.
There are quite a few varieties that contain the least amount of chemicals and mercury and are safe to eat in moderation; thus, the benefits outweigh the risks. Those listed below as “fish to avoid” should be completely avoided due to the high number of toxins.

Healthiest Fish to Eat:

 healthiest fish to eat

Don’t Buy Farmed Seafood!

Following the chart above is an easy way to select the healthiest fish to eat, but you also have to check where the fish comes from!
The majority of fish, over 80% comes from developing countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, where regulations are not as strict. In these countries the fish may be raised in unsafe conditions such as waste. Pesticides, banned chemicals, and heavy metals are also even more of a concern for fish not raised in the USA. When the fish is raised in unsanitary conditions, they add even more pesticides and antibiotics.
When it comes to selecting fish, do NOT buy any FARMED fish! This is a great concern especially when selecting which type of salmon to get. You want to get wild caught salmon that is labeled as Alaskan salmon. If it is not labeled as Alaskan salmon, this means it is farmed or Atlantic salmon, neither of which you want because it is the most harmful to health!
*Safe-Alaskan –also labeled as: King Chinook Salmon, Silver Coho Salmon, Red Sockeye Salmon
*Not safe- farmed/Atlantic
If you have trouble finding the Alaskan salmon fresh, you can also buy it frozen. I usually get mine frozen because my local health food store rarely has any fresh available.

How Often Should You Eat Fish?

Most recommend consuming fish in moderation, about 1 to 2 times per week. This reduces your exposure to the chemicals and mercury in fish.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are We Killing Our Sports Gene?

Are we losing a generation of athletes by overprescribing ADHD drugs? In an excerpt from his new book The Sports Gene, David Epstein writes on new studies about the genes that make us move—and their evolutionary purpose. 


Even now, at fifty-one, Herschel Walker is one of the most impressive athletes in the world. It’s been three decades since he won the Heisman Trophy as a running back at Georgia, and 15 years since he retired from the NFL. He has trained in ballet, taekwondo (he’s a fifth-degree black belt), and, in 1992, was an Olympic bobsled pusher. Never one to rest on his muscled laurels, Walker is currently 2-0 as a professional mixed martial artist.


Monday, August 5, 2013

25 mind-blowing food prep techniques to save you time & frustration

Never again will you have to tediously peel off every layer of each tiny pearl onion, or spend half of your prep time peeling hard-boiled eggs or removing corn husks, or panic that you won’t finish prepping before your produce browns. These simple, brilliant tips save you the trouble — without any fancy gadgets.  Read More at

Sunday, August 4, 2013

CJ Cummings

13 year old CJ , body weight of 136, Clean and Jerks 277

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Can the Treadmill Ruin Your Running Form?

by Doug Dupont  

a rainy day (or up here in the north, a snowy or icy day), many athletes and coaches have wondered if treadmill running is a good replacement for road or trail work. For people with general fitness goals, anything that gets your heart rate up is almost certainly going to be effective. But treadmill running is different from ground running - different enough that it deserves a look, especially for those who are competitive runners or who wish to compete.

A treadmill has no twists, turns, or hills unless you adjust the incline, but let’s face it - the hills on a treadmill don’t feel the same as they do outside. That means the nature of the exercise is different from road or trail running. The surface and constant pace also make for potential alterations to running form. Because of these differences, we might wonder if the treadmill is actually an effective training tool for competitive runners. A study this month in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning addresses that question.

It was a simple study. The researchers analyzed the gaits of runners on a treadmill with a constant pace over time to see if there were any changes as the runners ran. They found the gait of the runners was consistent with outdoor running except for one variable: stride length. Over time in a given session of exercise, the stride length of the runners actually increased on the treadmill.

For form work, the change over time in stride length might make some important differences. Longer strides at a given speed could move some of the effort toward the back of your legs. It also tends to shift foot strike toward the heel. On a treadmill, this might actually reserve energy because the treadmill continues to pass under you as you spend time in the air. The greater vertical distance would be advantageous on a treadmill, but detrimental when running on the ground.

The researchers determined that the treadmill was acceptable for technique development, as long as the trainers or athletes were aware of the longer stride and corrected for it when running outdoors. I think the shift in emphasis, especially in foot strike, might make a significant difference in injury profile, and could affect form on ground work. Countering this effect should be simple enough. As long as you are still working form on the road or trail primarily, your technique shouldn’t suffer, making the treadmill an effective substitute for road work.

On those rainy days or weeks that some of us have been having this summer, fear not! Treadmill running is a good substitute on those days when it is impossible to get outside. Just be certain to keep your outdoor running form sharp the rest of the time to prevent injuries and improve performance where it counts, and use the treadmill as a supplement.