Health & Fitness

Water: The Most Overlooked Supplement

October 16, 2016

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If you have any interest in your health whatsoever, chances are you have been told time and time again how important hydration is. Perhaps you take heed of this advice to an extent, but chances are you don’t hydrate adequately and are unaware of just how powerful the impact of water consumption is to the human body. There are endless benefits to drinking a sufficient amount of H20, and if you are a fitness enthusiast or an athlete, you can’t expect to get the most out of your body without it. Your muscles are thirsty, and so is your brain.

You may take a daily multivitamin, joint support, or fish oils, but nothing plays a larger role in maintaining a healthy body than drinking an ample amount of water. Experts recommend drinking eight to ten glasses a day, but this isn’t a prescription that applies to all people. Depending on how active you are and how much sweat you’re producing, you may need to drink even more. Just about every cell in the human body depends upon water for proper function. Some of the most popular and well-known benefits of absorbing an exceptional amount of water include an improved mood, lessened fatigue and headaches, along with the fact that it improves bodily functions such as digestion, the regulation of body temperature, and the flushing of toxins. Water also replenishes skin tissues, which in turn moisturizes the skin and allows for a clearer, softer, and glowing surface.

In the case of a person who works out, whether it be quite regularly or not so much, hydration plays an enormous role in muscle growth, strengthening, and recovery. In a living, active human body, skeletal muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water. Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen, the building blocks of muscle tissue. By consuming more H20, proteins and other key nutrients are transported throughout the body much quicker, which in turn heals the body quicker. Without getting enough liquids, you can’t possibly hope to have an intense workout in which you will perform to the best that your body has to offer. Water also provides lubrication and cushioning within the joints, and can help to avoid pain and injuries in the knees and elbows. It can also determine the manner in which your hormones function, to an extent at least. When you become dehydrated, especially for an extended period of time, the stress hormone cortisol is increased, which in turn lowers testosterone levels, a key factor in both muscle growth as well as one’s behavior and sex drive. Growth hormone is also decreased within the body when one becomes dehydrated, another influence in anabolic muscle growth.

Ultimately, by not hydrating properly, every aspect of the human body’s physiology is impaired slightly, if not significantly in some ways. If you do not consume enough water, excess body fat can incur, muscle size and tone is lessened, the function of organs and digestion is decreased, toxicity in the body is increased, as well as added joint and muscle soreness and enhanced water retention. So, the next time you’re stressing over making sure you’re indulging in the correct amount of vitamins, proteins, creatine, etc., be sure you’re getting a sufficient amount of H2O in your system first and foremost!

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Fattening Foods as Addictive as Cocaine and Heroin?

October 13, 2016

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You may have heard this said before and dismissed it as a mere myth, but recent studies by hundreds of scientists have concluded that some fattening foods are indeed as addictive as hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Addiction with very fattening foods and drugs are extremely similar, due to the fact that the high-calorie and high-fat meals and snacks overload the pleasure centers of the brain by flooding it with dopamine. By eating these fattening foods frequently, one will begin to crave them more often in order to provide the brain with that same dopamine reception, much like a drug addict.

Once a person begins to repeatedly eat these kinds of foods and their cravings dramatically increase, so too does their tolerance. Crazy, right? Not exactly. To be sure you’ve noticed that overweight people tend to have the ability to consume more food than most folks. This is because their tolerance for these certain foods have increased to a point that they are no longer satisfied with the amount that they would normally eat, causing them to over-indulge although they may be quite full. These people may have trouble with weight loss even if they exercise regularly, because of the fact that overeating alters the manner in which one’s brain functions.

However, people who are overweight or have so-called self-diagnosed weight issues aren’t the only ones at risk. People who maintain a healthy weight, and even those who are underweight, are also quite susceptible to losing control of their eating habits. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a food addiction, ask yourself these questions: Do you have intense cravings, eat when you’re full, or find yourself going out of your way to acquire certain foods that aren’t in your home although your pantry is full? If yes, you may require a change in your diet as well as a professional evaluation as to your behaviors regarding eating.

Sure, it’s great to eat pizza, ice cream, cheeseburgers, chips, or cookies every so often, but these are the kinds of foods that you should be a bit skeptical about overindulging with. If you want a simple and effective way to combat this issue, drink more water. Water has been found to reduce cravings for foods of this fattening nature, along with an endless amount of other benefits, including improving brain function, which is where this overeating syndrome silently develops.