The Health Benefits of Watermelon
Most people already know that watermelons are a nutritious fruit. Watermelons are a great source of low glycemic carbs, zero fat, zero sodium, zero cholesterol, packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, and of course a good source of water! But did you know that watermelon seeds also have a high nutrient value? It's true! One ounce of watermelon seeds has 13g of good fat and 8 grams of muscle building protein! Plus, watermelon seeds are also a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
So what's the best way to eat watermelon and/or their seeds? Well, most people roast watermelon seeds similar to roasting pumpkin seeds. But if you don't have time for that, just throw the watermelon chunks into a blender, seeds and all, with your favorite protein powder for a pre- or post-workout snack. You won't even know you're drinking the seeds when they are chopped into tiny pieces by your blender. Remember, Knowledge is Power! Happy Health!
Water and Sports Performance
It's easy to get dehydrated in the Texas heat if you exercise outdoors especially when the temperature rises to 100 degrees and above. Drinking plenty of water is essential to staying hydrated. Water is the most abundant and most important nutrient in our bodies. Also, muscle weight is nearly 75% water so it's imperative we drink plenty of water. We receive most of our water from drinking liquids but we do get some from food. On the other hand, we lose a lot of water through sweating which happens naturally when our body tries to stay cool. Moreover, we wake up most mornings feeling dehydrated; therefore, it is very important to start each day with at least one full glass of water.
In addition, dehydration starts at 1% body weight loss during activity. At that level, studies have shown sports performance begins to drop and an athlete begins to slow down. A person working out can lose as much as 3 liters of water per hour during a very strenuous workout. Most experts suggest that a sedentary person should drink at least 2.5 liters of water per day. Therefore an active person, should drink 5 to 10 liters per day just to stay properly hydrated and keep up their athletic performance! In conclusion, stay cool, drink plenty of water, and keep moving!! Remember, Knowledge is Power! Happy Health!!
Caffeine and Exercise
Caffeine has been used in sports for many, many years. There have been many studies conducted aiming to prove or disprove the efficacy of caffeine in sports. Most studies have been done on endurance events with 200 to 400mg of caffeine. Ivy et al (1979) concluded that caffeine definitely increased lipid metabolism AND work production in 9 trained cyclists over a 2 hour exercise session. More recently, the research has been focused on combining carbohydrates with caffeine during sports performance. Ivy et al (2009) did a study on cycling performance after drinking Red Bull. The results once again showed improved performance with no increase in RPE (rate of perceived exertion).
Furthermore, another study by Gant et al (2010) showed that soccer players improved sprint performance and countermovement jumping after consuming a carbohydrate/caffeine sports drink. Even more interesting was a study conducted by Stevenson et al (2009) on golf performance. During a simulated round of golf, even skill movements like putting improved with the ingestion of carbohydrates and caffeine throughout the 4 hour period. It was concluded that the carb/caffeine mix must also improve focus. Thus far, little research has been done on caffeine and weight lifting but experts believe it must have a positive effect on weight training as well. At the very least, you'll be alert and focused when you are working out on a bit of caffeine. As always, be safe when it comes to consuming supplements including large quantities of caffeine. Remember, Knowledge is Power! Happy Health!
Black Tea, Green Tea, and Lemons
Are you drinking black tea or green tea? Great news if you are! Both are very beneficial to your body. According to research, green and black teas have as much or more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxify them. In some studies, it was been shown that rats that were given tea developed less cancer than the control rats. Although the antioxidant levels are nearly equal in both black tea and green tea, the amount of caffeine in black tea is usually more than that of green tea: about 70mg to 40mg of caffeine so choose your tea wisely.
Furthermore, adding lemon to your tea also has many health benefits. Lemons are high in vitamin C and flavonoids which help fight infections like the flu and the common cold. Although lemons are acidic to the taste, they are alkaline forming which help balance the pH in your body. Lemons also helps detoxify the liver which aids the liver with most other cleansing functions. Lemons also prevents scurvy, clean your bowels, dissolve kidney stones, and many other functions. Thus, an energy drink may seem to give you instant energy and gratification; but, reaching for a glass of lemon tea will have more benefits in the long run. Happy Health!
Health Benefits of Chocolate and Wine
Happy Valentines' Day! Believe it or not, there are health benefits to having a little chocolate and drinking a little wine on Valentine's Day! First of all, chocolate tastes great! Your mood will definitely improve after just one bite. It also has been proven to lower bad cholesterol if eaten in moderation. Chocolate also improves memory in older adults by increasing blood flow in the brain. Moreover, chocolate has been shown to reduce the chances of heart disease and stroke. It also contains the very important minerals potassium, zinc, and selenium.
In addition, many experts have lauded the health benefits of wine for many years. Like chocolate, moderate wine drinking has been proven to lower the rate of heart disease and stroke in many studies; also, proved to slow brain decline. Drinking wine in moderation can lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, in a study conducted in Iceland, drinking wine lowered the risk of developing cataracts. In a study for colon cancer, moderate wine drinkers reduced their chances of developing colon cancer by 45%! One thing is for sure, eating chocolate and drinking wine can be beneficial if consumed in moderation! So enjoy a bite of chocolate and raise a glass to your health!