During endurance training and competition what are the top challenges that athletes face ?
1. Not Enough Liquids
While there is some concern about overhydrating and hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels) that have received attention from the media for events such as Ironman triathlon or ultra distance running events, failing to take in enough fluid is a much more common and widespread problem.
It is common for many athletes to not drink enough as exercise dulls the thirst mechanism.
One of the top reasons for poor performance is dehydration, since it not only increases your heart rate, it can make exercise seem harder (what sport scientists call an increase in perceived exertion).
It can lead to stomach upset and contribute to heat stroke since the body struggles to cool off effectively. Dehydration also reduces mental functioning, hence making you more prone to accidents.
To make sure that you are properly hydrated, begin exercise well hydrated and practice a good hydration plan to match sweat losses. Liquid needs vary based on a number of factors such as environmental conditions, clothing, intensity and individual sweat rates.
Drink at regular intervals before, during training and racing rather than all at once.
Common general guidelines suggests that approximately 400-800ml per hour of exercise or approximately one half cup to one cup of fluid every 15-20minutes would be a good place to start.
It is important to include some sodium rich foods, electrolyte supplements and drinks in your diet especially for events over two and a half hours, although they may also provide some benefit for shorter events as well.
2. Not Enough Carbs
Carbohydrates (carbs) are arguably the most misunderstood nutrient for athletes. Consuming the right type of carbs at the right time … they can become your secret weapon !
Carbs are stored in the body as glycogen which is the energy fuel for your muscles. Failing to take in enough carbs overall in your training diet along with improper carb supplementation during endurance exercise leads to varied symptoms such as fatigue, heavy weak muscles, increased perceived exertion and nausea.
After one and a half hours to two hours of continuous activity at a moderate intensity without carbohydrates, physical and mental performance will decline as a result of glycogen depletion which is commonly known as bonking or hitting the wall.
Start carb intake repletion early during endurance exercise. Since it takes time for the carbohydrate to be digested and enter the bloodstream, begin supplementing within the first hour and stick to a timed schedule throughout your workout so you don’t fall short.
Current carbohydrate guidelines suggest the following during exercise:
Brief exercise <45 minutes: not required
Sustained high-intensity exercise 45-75 minutes: small amounts of carbohydrate including a mouth rinse of a carbohydrate containing sport drink (even if not swallowed) has shown to be performance enhancing.
Endurance exercise 1-2.5 hours: 30-60 grams per hour .
Ultra-endurance exercise >2.5-3 hours: up to 90 grams per hour .
3. Not enough Variety
Combining the correct type of carbohydrate found in foods and beverages during endurance sport has also proven to be important. Sports nutrition research shows that products providing multiple transportable carbohydrates (glucose-fructose mixtures) will achieve higher rates of carbohydrate absorption and breakdown during exercise.
It is important for events which last longer than 2.5 hours, to use different types of carbohydrates rather than the same carbohydrates. This can help to improve endurance performance. Learning to mix up your choices may also be better tolerated in the gut and lead to less digestion issues for endurance athletes.
Practically speaking if you only train and compete with one or two food or drink choices instead of a range you may also experience taste fatigue. It can be detriment to performance if you have only ever used one type of sport drink or bar and suddenly find yourself unable to choke down a particular food or beverage flavour.
Carb Fueling During Endurance Sport
Everyone has different taste preferences and sport specific portability needs. Be sure to test out your individual tolerance during training and don’t try anything new when competing.
Here are some options:
Dried fruit (such as apricots, dates, raisins)
Homemade energy bar
High-carb sport bar
Pretzels or crackers or Graham Wafers or Fig Biscuits or Oat cakes / Oat biscuits
Bread/wrap with honey or jam
Fruit smoothie - I love making my own fruit smoothie with spirulina powder before a competition.
Cut up pieces of bagels or English muffins
Fresh fruit - preferably bananas
Sweet potato or white potato
Cypriot athletes - a piece of Soutzoukos is perfect !
Eating when we are not hungry is bad for our health
A new research done by the Cornell Food & Brand Lab has shown that eating when we are not hungry is ultimately bad for our health.
Today’s consumers tend to eat when they are not hungry. This is mostly due to the wide availability of convenient fast foods engineered for maximum tastiness-- such as potato chips, chocolates, and bacon double cheeseburgers. In today’s world the modern consumer is constantly bombarded with the temptation to eat. Contemporary societies often eat not because of hunger but because tasty food is available and beckoning at all hours of the day.
The study discovered that individuals who were moderately hungry before a meal tended to have lower blood glucose levels after consuming the meal than individuals who were not particularly hungry consuming the meal. These findings suggest that it might be healthier for individuals to eat when they are moderately hungry than when they are not hungry.
In addition it is important to have stable blood glucose levels by also eating complex carbohydrates as when they are not stable by eating too many simple carbs and sugars then you may go into a vicious cycle of cravings, exhaustion and putting on weight as excess glucose is stored as fat if it is not burnt through exercise.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Let hunger be your guide: Eating when we are not hungry is bad for our health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151230043603.htm>.
An electrolyte is any substance that contains free ions that behaves as an electrically conductive medium (conducts electricity). Humans cannot live without electrolytes.
In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), bicarbonate (HCO3-, magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (C1-), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42-), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-).
They are important for electrical signaling—and of course your brain, heart, muscles, and nervous system are all bioelectrical systems. Your cells use electrolytes to maintain voltage across their membranes and carry electrical impulses to other cells.
Things like water balance and blood pH depend on your body's proper electrolyte balance, and you can suffer severe medical problems if your electrolytes fall out of balance.
Fresh coconut water is one of the richest natural sources of electrolytes and can be used to prevent dehydration from strenuous exercise, vomiting, or diarrhea. You lose electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) when you sweat, which must be replenished with food and water intake. Because coconut water naturally contains so many electrolytes, it's been called "Nature's Gatorade."
Coconut water has five electrolytes your body needs:
Most Sports Drinks are a Waste of Money
For most athletes and people with active lifestyles, sports drinks are a waste of money and in addition to that they actually worsen the health of those that use them.
Less than one percent of the people that use sports drinks actually benefit from them.
Most sports drinks are full of unhealthy ingredients like refined sugars, artificial colors, and chemicals, none of which are found in natural coconut water.
If you exercise for 30 minutes a day at a moderate to high intensity, fresh, mineral water is the best thing to help you stay hydrated. When you exercise for more than 60 minutes or in the heat, or at extreme intensity levels, where you are sweating profusely, then that is when you need something more than water to replenish your body.
Apart from drinking water, coconut water is one of the best and safest options to re-hydrate yourself after a strenuous workout. If you need the electrolytes, it will provide them. If you don't need them, then it certainly won't hurt you.
Coconut water has a mountain of other health benefits in addition to re-hydration, which no commercial sports drink in the world can provide.
Depending on how much salt you've lost through sweating, you might even add a tiny pinch of pink Himalayan salt to your glass of coconut water.
One study in 20074 found sodium-enriched coconut water to be as effective as commercial sports drinks for whole body re-hydration after exercise, with less stomach upset.
Coconut water is sterile when it comes out of the coconut, and extremely similar in composition to human blood plasma.
These unique properties make it so completely compatible with the human body that it can be infused intravenously into your bloodstream.
For more than 60 years doctors in remote regions of the world where medical supplies are limited, have saved many lives using coconut water as an IV fluid.
Keeping this in mind you can appreciate how safe and beneficial this natural beverage is, if it can be used intravenously!
Although sugar addiction is quite common, sugar withdrawal is usually physically mild, with occasional strong cravings.
People who are sensitive to refined sugar or sweeteners, or who consume them in large amounts, genuine symptoms include fatigue, anxiety and irritability, depression and detachment, rapid heart rate and palpitations and poor sleep. Most symptoms if they do occur last only a few days.
We can decide to cut down on or eliminate sugar quite easily by simply avoiding many of the sweet foods.
Sugar is found in almost all processed foods like soft drinks, fruit drinks, frozen dinners, breads, cereals, canned foods, sauces like ketchup, HP and mayonnaise. High fructose corn sweetener is the most popular with food processors because it is inexpensive. Learn to read labels and be familiar with the different names for sugar to know how much you are really consuming.
To diminish cravings for sugar, consume more whole grains, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and frozen bananas. Make desserts sweetened with barley malt or rice syrup or powdered barley concentrate.
Dried fruit, apricots, dates, figs, and raisins make good sweeteners for whole grain cereals.
Also good foods to replace sugar treats are:
Dried, sugar free mango,
Mixed raw nuts
Muesli/Granola sugar free
Plain goat’s / sheep’s yoghurt
Note: Plain yoghurt without sweeteners is a healthy snack. Fresh fruit can be added along with sprinkles such as sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts, cinnamon, mixed spices, ground cloves and a drizzle of raw unprocessed honey !
By Dr hc Harald Gaier ND DO DHomM DBotM and Robert Verkerk PhD
A recently published study from Tufts University in the US has found that sugary beverages have been estimated to kill around 200,000 people every year. That’s the equivalent of over 330 Jumbo jets going down annually, courtesy of ‘soda pops’. The authors found that 72% of these deaths were attributable to type 2 diabetes, 24% from heart disease and the remaining 4% from cancer.
Coca-Cola, the originator of the ‘soda pop’ has, it seems, been doing all it can to refuse any responsibility….echoing Big Tobacco’s thirty year cover-up. But in the wake of the scandal over VW’s emission-cheating chip, Coca-Cola finds itself under the spotlight following a detailed investigation by The Times newspaper of London. Courtesy of Alexi Mostrous’s journalism, murky dealings of how the company has tried to manipulate both research findings and public opinion were littered across the UK’s number one broadsheet newspaper.
The birth of the ‘soda pop’In 1886, twenty-0ne years after the American Civil War, the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, USA was by founded by Confederate Colonel John Pemberton, a pharmacist who suffered injuries in the war that led him to become a morphine addict.
As the name suggests, for the first 17 years, the leaves of the Coca plant (Erythroxylum coca) were used in the preparation of Coca-Cola. The naturally-occurring cocaine in the beverage gave the drinker an addictive “buzz”. The company claimed a wide range of medicinal properties and health benefits for their drink, including treatment of impotence, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headaches, nausea, and morphine addiction, as well as being a general stimulant and health booster. It proved especially popular among war veterans dealing with their morphine addiction.
Today, despite the ensuing formulation changes, people still use flat Coca-Cola as a hangover cure (there are of course many foods and nutrients that can do a much better a job at supporting detoxification from excessive alcohol exposure). Unsurprisingly, consumption as well as sales during the early period increased exponentially. According to Coca-Cola’s own published records, the company removed cocaine from the drink’s formula in 1903, substituting caffeine as the stimulating ingredient, but that was done without much fanfare. That was its first chameleon-like change. The so-called ‘hobble skirt’ bottle of Coca-Cola, over the years, also underwent some minor changes, but it still retains its original iconic, unmistakable design of the cacao pod and not the fictional ‘hobble skirt’ with which myth the company likes to hoodwink the public. That was perhaps the first sign of Coca-Cola’s impious, chameleon-like behaviour.
Busted! By the Times of LondonLast Friday and Saturday, on the 9th & 10th October 2015 respectively, The Times published two consecutive, highly revealing articles by its special correspondent, Alexi Mostrous. In the Saturday piece, Alexi Mostrous exposed Sense About Science’s association with Coca-Cola. Sense About Science is the charity with which anti-alternative medicine skeptics like Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre are associated, that claims to be independent yet often acts as a voice for Big Food, Pharma and Biotech.
Simon Singh faces his comeuppance (courtesy What Doctors Don’t Tell You, www.wddty.com)Below, I’ve attempted to capture some of the salient findings of the Mr Mostrous’ investigative reports. These are linked specifically to the UK, so one has to consider just how far the company’s tentacles stretch globally.
Recently Coca-Cola has poured millions of pounds into British scientific research and healthy-eating initiatives to counter claims that their sugary drink does, indeed, help to cause obesity. Coca-Cola has financial links to more than a dozen high profile, influential British scientists and government advisors. It would seem the main game plan has been to ensure they cast doubt on the commonly-accepted link, one supported by none other than the Harvard School of Public Health, between sugary drinks and the growing obesity crisis.
It is common knowledge that many scientists blame increased sugar consumption for Britain’s obesity epidemic, which kills up to 53,000 people a year and costs the NHS £5.1 billion annually. A report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine argued that poor diet was the cause of more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.
The British Government rejected recent calls for a sugar tax on consumers despite support from the UK’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE FRS (born 1949), the British Medical Association and some celebrities such as Chef James Trevor Oliver (born 1975). Coca-Cola spent millions of pounds setting up the European Hydration Institute (EHI) — an apparently independent research foundation to promote hydration, which has recommended that people consume sports and soft drinks of the sort the Company sells, which far from slaking any thirst may often arouse one. The chairman of the body’s scientific advisory board is a respected professor whose university received nearly £1 million from Coca-Cola during the period he provided nutritional advice to leading sports bodies. Coca-Cola have provided financial support, sponsorship or research funding to British organisations including UKActive, the British Nutrition Foundation, the University of Hull, Homerton University Hospital, the National Obesity Forum, the British Dietetic Association, Obesity Week 2013 and the UK Association for the Study of Obesity. Coca-Cola spent €6.6 million (£4.86 million) setting up the European Institute between 2010 and 2015. Guidance and studies it funded often recommend that the public, including children, consume sports and soft drinks of the sort sold by Coca-Cola. Two of the company’s most senior scientists are vice-chairwomen of the EHI, whose public pages on social networks make no mention of Coca-Cola, although its website reveals on a back-page that the company is a founding partner. Ron Maughan, chairman of the EHI’s scientific advisory board, is an emeritus professor of sport science at Loughborough University, which has received £817,292 from Coca-Cola in research funding since 2007. Professor Maughan, who has advised UK Athletics and the Football Association, has acted as a consultant for Coca-Cola and other drinks companies since the Nineties.
Through its trade organisations, Coca-Cola representatives have met government officials and ministers more than 100 times over a period of 36 months between 2011 and 2014, that is nearly three times each month. Coca-Cola hosts an annual parliamentary dinner. Organisations it funds often promote a message that physical activity is more important to public health than an “obsession” with obesity. In 2013, Fred Turok, chairman of UKActive, an organisation set up to promote physical activity that lists Coca-Cola as a sponsor, criticised Britain for being “fixated” by obesity at a Coca-Cola-organised event. Mr Turok quoted Steven Blair, a US academic whose university has received more than $3 million from Coca-Cola, by telling delegates: “You can be fat and fit.”
UKActive’s board includes Baroness Grey-Thompson, the Paralympian, Dame Carol Black, the Prime Minister David Cameron’s health adviser, and Liz Lowe, Coca-Cola GB’s director of corporate responsibility. Coca-Cola Company has also given money to government advisers including Dr Carrie Ruxton, a board member of Food Standards Scotland. In 2010 she co-wrote a study sponsored by the UK Sugar Bureau, the lobbying group for sugar manufacturers that found no proven association between sugar intake and obesity. On her website she states separately: “When I correlated sugar consumption with obesity levels, there didn’t appear to be any relationship.” Dr Ruxton said that the UK Sugar Bureau had no control over her study and that she highlighted a “potential concern” over sugary drinks and obesity in the report. She said that her later comments were consistent with a recent government report and that she had not undertaken work for Coca-Cola since joining Food Standards Scotland. She denies writing favourable reports for Coca-Cola.
Other government advisers who have received funding from Coca-Cola include Ian MacDonald, chairman of the state-funded scientific advisory committee on carbohydrates, who stepped down from the Coca-Cola advisory board last year. His university has since received a payment from EHI after he gave a talk at a hydration “workshop”. “I do not regard links with both industry and the government as being in conflict,” he said. “Both the public and industry are entitled to access the best advice available.”
The Coca-Cola Company is also ceaselessly advertising. It seems that the art world is a favourite backdrop. For example, at the third, bigger-than-ever contemporary African art fair (over 150 artists are exhibiting) in Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, the prominent back-drop is a very large (±3×5 metre) red Coca-Cola placard [depicted: TimeOut London, No.2350, 13-19 October 2015, column 3 on p 103].
On 31 December 2013, Spanish researchers found that scientific papers on sugary drinks that were sponsored by or had potential conflicts of interest with the food and drink industry, including Coca-Cola, were five times more likely to find no link with obesity than similar papers that were independently funded. They recommended “special efforts to preclude funding by parties with vested interests at all levels”.
Killer coke for anyone trying to lose weight, drinking soft drinks may be one of the worst things you can do – and that includes “diet’ or low calorie versions. The high sugar versions are by no means the only offenders. Nature magazine published research findings that show that artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame and saccharin cause changes in the beneficial bacteria that live in the human gut and contribute in regulating our metabolism. These artificial sweeteners also reduce our body’s ability to process glucose. The side-effects conspire to play a significant role in raising the overall risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For those feeling they’d rather go back to real sugar, think again: a Harvard study suggests one can expect a 26% elevated risk of type 2 diabetes from just consuming between 1 to 2 drinks a day. If diabetes doesn’t get you, a heart attack might. A further study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks.
The fight-backCoca-Cola, in its characteristic chameleon-like manner, has been busy adapting itself to the variety of different consumers out there, from the ones who want the full sugar, original offering, to the groups who still feel that calorie reduction is key but will do it at the cost of synthetic sweeteners (and addiction), while the latest offering caters for those who like it ‘natural’.
To get to this place, Coca-Cola has ‘chameleonised’ its famous drink by making four versions of it available, with colour-coded labels, leaving the choice of whether or not to consume sugar, or artificial sweeteners, or a natural non-sugar sweetener with some sugar to the individual consumer.
Here are the choices:
Helping to burst the sugary bubblesThe fact that consumption of sugary drinks is on the decline is testament to the fact that public awareness of the risks associated with sugary drinks is on the increase, despite the efforts of Coca-Cola and others. Sales of the low calorie versions are also on the decline.
The bottom line is we all need to adapt to lower levels of sweetness intensity in beverages, whether this sweetness comes from sugar or sugar replacements, natural or otherwise. This is because the non-nutritive sugar replacements appear to trip the same opioid receptors in the brain as sugars, causing both addiction and an insulin response as the body is ‘tricked’ into thinking it’s been exposed to sugar.
Yes, we could do with more research, but it needs to be honest, solidly founded and truly independent. And that’s easier said than done in a world — as Alexi Mostrous points out— in which the corporations exert so much control over research institutions, especially as they relate to the food industry.
The big move has to be one in which we — the grassroots — say no to an ever greater degree to highly sweetened foods and beverages, whether this sweetness comes from sugar or a non-nutritive sweetener. Adjusting the palate of children is right up there as a paramount concern. That typically means trying to help kids to abstain from eating regularly highly sweetened foods.
The trend has already begun, with soft drinks now hitting their 10th year in decline. Two facets of public education will continue to drive the trend. One relates to the damage the products do to teeth, guts and brains, leading to premature disease and death. The other relates to the distorted science and twisted corporate ethos that now means it is no longer plausible for any health authority to claim that ‘soda pops’ might be an acceptable component of any healthy diet and lifestyle. This notion, one to which Coca-Cola continues to try to cling to, is rotten to its core.
Please play your part in educating those around you, especially if they are ‘soda pop’ or fizzy drink addicts.
Metabolic rate is the rate at which the body burns up calories. A body that consumes 3,000 calories a day and burns 3,000 calories a day will stay at the same weight. A body consuming 3,000 calories daily but burning only 2,500 will gain weight at the rate of about one pound a week. You burn calories to provide energy for three main functions:
Basil Metabolic Rate: This is the amount of calories you burn just by being alive, even when you’re doing nothing. It accounts for approximately 60 percent of calories you burn.
Burning Calories For Activity: This is the energy used during movement- from lifting your arm to button your shirt to cleaning house. This accounts for approximately 30 percent of the calories you burn.
Dietary Thermogenesis: The calories burned in the process of eating, digesting, absorbing and using food. You can influence all these factors, and speed up your rate of burning calories, using the following tactics:
• Build muscle: increase the amount of muscle in your body. For every extra pound of muscle you put on, your body uses around 50 extra calories a day.
• Be active: the average person burns about 30 percent of calories through daily activity; sedentary people only use about 15 percent. Taking every opportunity to move can make quite a difference to the amount of calories you burn.
• Eat spicy foods: spices, especially chili, can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50 percent for up to 3 hours after you’ve eaten a spicy meal.
• Aerobic exercise: high-intensity exercise makes you burn more calories during exercise and for several hours afterwards.
• Eat little often: eating healthy small regular meals will keep your metabolism going faster than larger, less frequent meals and often helps control hunger, making you less likely to binge.
Quick Tips: Doing just 10 minutes a week of jumping drills Plyometrics (jumping drills) can make a difference in your fitness by making you faster and more agile.
Mention avocado and the first thing that comes to mind is guacamole ! However, avocados are more than just guacamole…
Athletes pay close attention – this rich green fruit can help enhance your athletic performance.
Avocados are a healthy source of mono-unsaturated fat, which is known as the heart healthy fat.
These fats help absorb vitamins from foods including vitamins A, D, E, and K which enables the body to utilize them.
Avocado’s Benefits for Athletes:
Athletes, the take home message is clear: avocados are an all-purpose fruit.
Toss some slices onto your salad, smoothie to get the most vitamins and minerals or add a few slices to your sandwich to give it an extra boost of nutrition. Next time avocados are in season, enjoy them for their taste and their health benefits: nutrient absorption, electrolyte balance and post-workout recovery !!
Tip # 1:
Don't Starve yourself ! Plenty of diets allow you to eat all you want. There is no need to go hungry. If you like to eat, find a plan that lets you do it with plenty of fruits and vegetables !
Tip # 2:
Drink Water. It fills you up, flushes toxins from your body, and decreases appetite. Drink at least 6 glasses every day. Even a better option drink lemon water as it helps you lose weight.
Drink Sage Tea: Sage tea may help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol. When I need to kickstart my weight loss and get rid of an extra kilo or two this is what I drink and it works very well for me !
Tip # 4:
Exercise: Exercise burns calories, suppresses appetite, raises your metabolism, firms and tones your body. And it is difficult to eat while doing sit-ups ! J
Tip # 5:
Think Green ! You would have to eat 3.5kg of mixed leafy greens (lettuce, raw spinach, sprouts, endive, lambs lettuce, corriander) to consume the equivalent in calories of a large order of French Fries (500 calories). If you like salad dressing, put it on the edge of your plate and dip the prongs of the fork into it, rather than smothering the whole salad.
Tip # 6:
Mindful Eating …. And enjoy Your Food ! Eat slowly and pay attention to eating. Never eat while reading, watching television, on the telephone, or engaged in an activity - you won't notice you are eating, and you won't feel full.
Tip # 7:
Fool Your Stomach: with a before-meal snack. It takes twenty minutes for your body to realise it is being fed, and respond by feeling full. A couple of celery sticks, a carrot or a cup of broth before a meal should do the trick.
Tip # 8:
Plan Ahead, Be Prepared: Keep a variety of foods that fit your diet plan to hand, and healthy, low-calorie snack food available for sudden moments of hunger. Throw an apple or two in the car. Keep a small Tupperware of almonds in your bag for nibbly moments.
Tip # 9:
Alcohol: is the downfall of many dieters - empty calories that go straight into the system as sugar. Alcohol also suppresses the body's ability to burn fat. If you must have a drink, opt for a glass of dry wine diluted with some sparkling water and sip it slowly. An occasional Gin and Tonic is also a great low calorie option.
Tip # 10:
Read Labels: Know the glucose, fat, protein and carbohydrate count per packet (not just per serving) of the food you are buying. Don't be fooled by 'serving' sizes - some 'servings' are impossibly small. (How many of us eat only three crisps out of a packet !?)
Tip # 11:
Eat a small snack before grocery shopping: (a piece of fruit, vegetable crudites e.g. celery and carrot sticks, wholemeal crackers with a tablespoon of humus or guacamole, goat's / sheep's yoghurt or a handful of nuts and seeds) before you go shopping for food. You will be surprised how sensibly you shop as a result.
Carob Powder: When you feel like a sweet pick me up beverage in the afternoon. Instead of a reaching out for a sugary chocolate make yourself a cuppa of carob drink either hot or cold. Add a tsp to hot water then let cool or put in the fridge for a cool summer version. Carob also has excellent nutritional value. It contains magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, barium, copper, nickel and the vitamins A, B, B2, B3, and D.
In a recent study evidence shows that highly-caffeinated, often sugar-laden energy drinks can harm children and adolescents. Their consumption by youths under 18 can be harmful and may lead to negative health, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.
"Energy drink consumption has increased rapidly over the past five years, despite increasing evidence of negative immediate and long-term health effects, especially when consumed by youth under 18," says Jennifer Harris, a study author, associate professor-in-residence at UConn, and director of marketing initiatives for the Rudd Center. "Companies say these products are safe to market and sell to children as young as 12, but the evidence says otherwise."
According to the study, there is considerable evidence that energy drinks present a public health threat:
The rapid rise in popularity of energy drinks (EDs), particularly, among adolescents (aged 10 - 19 years) and young adults, has serious implications for heart health.
In an article published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, researchers focus on the pharmacology of EDs, adverse reactions to them, and how the marketing of these drinks as a means to relieve fatigue and improve physical and cognitive performance may be ignoring real dangers.
An international research team noted that EDs can trigger sudden cardiac deaths in young, apparently healthy individuals. For persons with underlying heart diseases, the risk of triggering sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) or other arrhythmias can be significant. Even atrial fibrillation (AF), normally uncommon in children without structural heart disease, has been observed in a 13-year-old adolescent boy during a soccer training session after ingesting EDs.
It is estimated that 31% of 12- to 19-year old adolescents regularly consume EDs. These beverages often contain high amounts of labeled caffeine. However, they can contain "masked" caffeine, in the form of guarana, for example, which comes from a Brazilian plant and is identical to caffeine found in coffee beans, but at twice the concentration. The addition of guarana and other substances such as ginseng and taurine in variable quantities may generate uncertain interactions.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !