Nutrition: Two simple steps to improve your fitness program.

If you visit here often, then you should know how I feel about the importance of strength training. However, if you want to lose fat, nutrition is certainly something in addition to strength training to work on.

I’ve got personal experience in this area. Along with my multiple Strength and Conditioning certifications, I am also a certified sports nutritionist. Over the years I’ve designed, implemented and updated hundreds of fully customized eating programs for a broad array of fitness participants from elite athletes to average Joe’s. It’s beyond the scope of this article to get too in depth into the specific details of creating custom Personal Eating Plans, but I do want to mention a couple of very useful principles for nutrition if someone wants to get leaner and lose fat.

1. Cut out the sugar: Limiting simple carbs is the best place to start for almost everyone when creating a new Personal Eating Plan (P.E.P.). For many, just getting rid of all the sources of simple and or processed carbs in their P.E.P. will quickly see them dropping unwanted pounds.

2. Total calories do matter: Despite what many “Clean eating” diet guides recommend or suggest, total calories do matter. It is absolutely possible to over-eat on healthy food choices. If after eliminating the sugar from your P.E.P. you are still not losing body fat, (or not losing as much as you would like) then it’s time to actually pay attention to the total calories you are consuming. Keep in mind that as we age, total caloric needs often decline.

Where should you start? In my experience I’ve found that for those requiring reduced calorie intake the following guidelines were extremely helpful:

Nutrition Guidelines*

Moderate Calorie: 1500-1800 men; 1200-1500 women

High Protein: 1.5 grams protein x 50% ideal body weight

High Water: 1 oz. x 50% ideal body weight

High Vegetables: unlimited servings (within daily calorie guidelines)

Moderate Fruit: Limited servings (within daily calorie guidelines)

Example based on the above guidelines:

Female with ideal target weight of 130 pounds.

Protein = 100 grams minimum daily (1.5 grams x 65*)

Water = 65 oz. minimum daily (1 oz. x 65)

Begin with meeting protein intake requirements. Then add Fruit & Vegetable and friendly fat while remaining within daily calorie guidelines.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

For those interested in fully customized Personal Eating Plans contact TAKU at: strengthonline@yahoo.com Put NUTRITION in the subject line.

*rounded up for convenience.

Low Carb Dieting (the truth): Part 2

The body derives it’s energy from four key fuels:

1) glucose

2) proteins

3) free fatty acids

4) ketones

The primary determinant of the fuel utilized is the availability of carbohydrate.The body has three storage units that can be utilized during times of calorie deprivation:

1) Carbohydrate, which is stored in liver and the muscles

2) Protein, which can be converted to glucose in the liver

3) Fat, which is stored primarily in adipose tissue.

Under specific conditions a fourth fuel comes into play -ketones which are derived from the incomplete breakdown of free fatty acids. Under normal dietary conditions ketones play a minimal role in energy prodcition. During times of Low carb dieting or starvation diets ketones impact energy production significantly.

When looking at storage of bodily fuels triglyceride is the most abundant. Carrbohydrate stiores are minimal compared to protein and fat. Although stored protein could possibly fuel the body longer than stored carbohydrates too much reliance and protein for energy could result in death. The average person has enough body fat to live for months without food. There are numerous documented cases where morbidly obese patients were fasted for up to one year.

In gereral the body utilizes the fuel that is most abundant in the bloodstream. As an example when glucose elevates in the bloodstream the body will utilize mostly glucose. When glucose levels begin to lower the body uses less glucose. When decreasing carbohydrate availability the body begins a metabolic shift resulting in a higher dpendence on fat for energy.

Many trainees like to point to the fact that a high carb diet is protein sparing. Keep in mind while a high carb diet is protein sparing it is also fat sparing. High levels of carbohydrates decrease the use of fat for fuel.

In the initial days of fasting prtein is converted to glucose. This is where some people formed the idea that low carb diets were muscle wasting. With an adequate amount of protein intake these muscle wasting effects can be minimized in the early stages of the diet. As the body becomes ketogenic protein is spared.

Most tissues of the body can use FFA for fuel. Although, there are tissues that cannot utilize FFA for fuel including brain, red blood cells, renal medulla, bone marrow and type 2 muscle fibers. One of the biggest mis-conceptions about human physiology is the belief that the brain can only run on glucose. Under normal dietary conditions the brain primarily functions by using glucose, but under conditions of ketosis the brain can run efficiently by using ketone bodies. Arguably the most important tissue in terms of ketone body usage is the brain which can derive up to 75% of it’s energy requirements from ketone bodies once adaptation occurs. Other research indicates that ketone bodies are the preferred fuel of many tissues. One exception is the liver which does not use ketones for fuel, but relies on FFA.

There are several factors which influence the fuel used by the body.

Factors influence fuel utilization

1. Amount of each nutrient being consumed

2. Level of hormones such as insulin and glucagon

3. Bodily stores of each nutrient

4. Levels of regulatory enzymes for glucose and fat breakdown

Amount of nutrient being consumed

There are four substances that we dervie calories from. These include:

1) carbohydrate

2) protein

3) fats

4) alcohol

Generally speaking, the body utilizes glucose in direct proportion to the amount of carbohydrate being consumed. If carb intake increases the bodies utilization increases and vice-versa.

When protein intake increases protein oxidation will also increase to a degree. If protein intake drops the body will use less protein for fuel. The body attempts to maintain body protein at constant levels.

The amount of dietary fat being consumed does not significantly increase the amount of fat used for fuel by the body. Fat burning is determined indirectly by alcohol and carbohydrate consumption. The consumption of alcohol will almost completely inhibit the bodies ability to burn fat for fuel. The greatest rates of fat oxidation will occur when carbohydrates and alcohol are limited. Levels of muscle glycogen also regulate how much fat is used by the muscle.

HORMONES

Insulin’s primary role is to keep blood glucose in a range of 80-120 mg/dl. When blood glucose raises above 120 the pancreas releases insulin to lower blood glucose. The greatest increase of blood glucose come after the consumption of carbohydrate (different types have differing effects). Protein causes a smaller increase in insulin output because some individual amino acids can be converted to glucose. FFAs and ketones can also stimulate an insulin response, but the response is a great deal less than that which comes from the consumption of protein or carbs.

As blood glucose drops insulin levels decrease as well. With the decrease in insulin the body begins to break down stored fuels. Fat cells are broken down into glycerol and FFAs and released into the bloodstream. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids and glycogen stored in the liver is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream.

Glucagon is a hormone released from the pancreas that acts to control blood glucose as well. Glucagon acts to raise blood glucose when it drops below normal. Glucagon’s main action is in the liver as it breaks down liver glycogen and releases it into the blood stream. Glucagon also plays an important role in ketone body formation in the liver. Glucagon released is stimulated by exercise, decreasing blood glucose and insulin and protein consumption. Elevated levels of insulin inhibut the pancreas from releasing glucagon

From the information provided above it is apparent that insulin and glucagon play antagonist roles to one another. Insulin is primarly a storage hormone: while glucagons’s primary role is to moblilze fuel stores for use by the body.

Growth hormone is another hormone which has numerous effects on the body. GH is released in response to exercise, a decrease in blood glucose, and carb restriction or fasting. GH is a growth promoting hormone increasing protein synthesis in the muscle and liver. GH also acts as a FFA mobilizer.

Most of the anabolic effects of GH are mediated through a class of hormones called insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). IGF-1 is the key contributor to anabolic growth in most of the bodies tissues. GH stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1 but only in the presence of insulin. High GH levels in combination with high insulin levels (protein carb meal) will raise IGF-1 levels increasing anabolic reactions in the body. On the other end high GH levels with low insulin levels will not cause and increase in IGF-1 levels.

The thyroid gland produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4), and triidothyronine (T3). In the human body T4 is primarily a storage form of T3 and plays few physiological roles itself. Thyroid hormones can have an effect on all tissues of the body. Chronically low carb intake can significantly lower thyroid hormone.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone released by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is involved in gluconeogenesis as well as fat breakdown. Cortisol is required for life but excessive amounts can be detrimental to health causing protein breakdown, bone tissue degradation, immune system impairment, connective tissue and skin weakening.

Adrenaline and noradrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine) are released from the adrenal glands and are frequently referred to as fight or flight hormones. These hormones are generally released in response to cold, exercise, or fasting. Epinephrine is released from the adrenal medulla, while nor epinephrine is released primarily from the nerve terminals. The primary role the adrenal hormones adrenaline and nor – adrenaline play in the ketogenic diet is to stimulate free fatty acid release from fat cells.

In humans, insulin and adrenaline and nor-adrenaline have the most profound effect on fat mobilization. In general, insulin acts as storage hormone while adrenaline and nor-adrenaline stimulate fat breakdown.

LIVER GLYCOGEN

All foods coming through the digestive tract are processed initially in the liver. In general, liver glycogen is the key determinant of the body’s tendency to store or breakdown nutrients. There is a direct correlation between liver glycogen levels and bodyfat levels. High levels of liver glycogen are usually related to higher bodyfat levels.

The liver serves as a storehouse for glycogen. Liver glycogen is broken down in response to glucagon and released into the bloodstream. When liver glycogen is full the body is generally in an anabolic state. Incoming nutrients are stored as glycogen, proteins, and triglycerides. This is sometimes called the fed state.

When liver glycogne is depleted the liver shifts roles and becomes catabolic. Glycogen is broken down into glucose, protein is broken down into amino acids, and triglycerides are broken down into FFA’s. This is often referred to as the fasted state.

Ketogenesis will occur when liver glycogen is depleted, blood glucose drops, and the insulin/glucagon ratio shifts.

ENZYME LEVELS

Enzyme levels are primarily determined by the nutrients being ingested in the diet and the hormonal levels that result from the ingestion. When carb intake is high and glucose and glycogen storage is stimulated the enzymes involved in fat breakdown are inhibited. On the other hand when insulin drops the enzymes involved with glucose use are inhibited and the enzymes involved in fat breakdown will increase.

Relevant research in regards to ketogenic dieting

A comparative study of two diets in the treatment of primary exogenous obesity in children

Pena L, Pena M, Gonzalez J, Claro A,

One hundred and four children, ages six to fourteen with exogenous obesity were subjected to two different diets, Ketogenic (low carb) and hypocaloric, for eight weeks.Body weight, serum triglycereides, cholesterol, glucose tolerance test, blood glucose, and plasma insulin determination were measured before and after diets. The results revealed significant differences in bodywt, and triglyceride concentration, with both diets. There were significant differences in the fasting insulin levels, insulinogenic index, and insulin concentration after a glucose tolerance test in the patients treated with a KD diet.

LOW CARB DIETING (THE TRUTH)

SEMINAR BY JAMIE HALE

AUG 20TH FITNESS ZONE LEXINGTON KY

© 2006-2009 HybridFitness.tv. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.

Low Carb Dieting (the truth): Part 1

Almost everyone knows someone who has used a low carb diet. They have used it themselves had a friend use it or are getting ready to use it . Are these diets magic? Are they safe? Can I really eat all of the cheese and meat I want ? Will I die if I go into ketosis?

These are just a few common questions I hear in regards to questions that concern low carb diets. In this series of articles I will present readers with scientific facts and my practical observations for implications concerning low carb diets. Some low carb supporters will not like what I will have to say. Some low carb haters will not like what I have to say. The objective of these articles are to educate readers on the practical implications of low carb dieting. Some will be offended and some will say how can that be. Either way sit back and enjoy as I attempt to shed light on the highly talked about topic – low carb diets (ketogenic diets)

I have provided a brief overview of some the topics that will be discussed in this series of articles.

1. What type of changes occur while using low carb diets

2. Do low carb diets make me mean

3. Do low carb diets spare muscle

4. Can I gain weight on a low carb diet

5. How much weight can I expect to lose

6. Can this diet help my medical condition

7. Different types of low carb diets

8. Why you need to cycle higher days of carbs

9. Who needs low carb diets

10. Are they safe for children

11. Are they beneficial for athletes

The topics mentioned above are just a few that will be addressed in Low Carb Dieting.

Before we move any further let me introduce the word ketogenic. Must of you reading this article are probably familiar with the world as it implies low carb or restriction of carb intake. Simply put for our purposes the words ketogenic and low carb are synonymous. A couple of other comments I would like to make before we move on. This comment is for Low Carb supporters that swear of all vegetables and fruits. Get on medline.com and do some research. Go to the library and look through some journals. A complete diet for long term use needs to incorporate greens and some fruits to be healthy. A short term diet devoid of fruits and vegetables might not be that bad, but rejecting greens and any fruits for life is a bad idea.

This comment is for the low carb haters. One of the number one reasons most of America is fat is because of chronically high insulin levels. Which is primarily contributed to excessive carb intake. Don’t get me wrong I am not blaming high carbohydrate intake on all of our obesity problems. I should probably say excessive and the wrong types of carbohydrate at the wrong times are the problem. At the same time the answer is not to eat all of the saturated fat we can find : which can contribute to insulin insensitivity, elevated TG’s, increased lipogenesis and digestive problems.

What is a ketogenic diet? A diet that causes ketone bodies to be produced by the liver, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from glucose in favor of fat burning. A ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates below a certain level (generally 100 per day). The ultimate determinant of whether a diet is ketogenic or not is the presence or absence of carbohydrate. Protein and fat intake vary. Contrary to poplar belief eating fat is not what causes ketosis. In the past starvation diets were used often to induce ketosis. I will repeat myself again and say lack of carbohydrate or presence of ultimately determines if the diet is ketogenic.

In most eating plans the body runs on a mixture of protein, fats and carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are severely restricted and glycogen storage (glucose in muscle and liver) is depleted the body begins to utilize other means to provide energy. FFA (free fatty acids) can be used to provide energy, but the brain and nervous system are unable to use FFA’s. Although the brain can use ketone bodies for energy.

Ketone bodies are by products of incomplete FFA breakdown in the liver. Once they begin to accumulate fast and reach a certain level they are released , accumulated in the bloodstream and cause a state called ketosis. As this occurs there is a decrease in glucose production and utilization. There is also less reliance on protein to meet energy requirements by the body. Ketogenic diets are often referred to as protein sparing as they help to spare LBM whiled dropping body fat.

In regards to ketogenic diets there are two primary hormones- insulin, glucagon that need to be considered. Insulin can be described as a storage hormone as it’s job is to take nutrients out of the bloodstream and carry them to target tissues. Insulin carries glucose from the blood to the liver and muscles, and it carries FFA from the blood into adipose tissue (stored fat triglyceride). On the other hand glucagon breaks down glycogen stores (especially in the liver) and releases them into the blood.

When carbs are restricted or removed insulin levels drop while glucagon levels rise. This causes enhanced FFA release from fat cells, and increased FFA burning in the liver. This accelerated burning of FFA in the liver is what leads to ketosis. There are a number of other hormones involved with this process as well.

In general we refer to three different types of ketogenic diets.

1. STANDARD KETOGENIC DIET- A diet containing l00 or less grams of carbohydrates is referred to as STANDARD KETOGENIC DIET

2. TARGETED KETOGENIC DIET- consuming carbohydrates around exercise, to sustain performance without affecting ketosis.

3. CYCLICAL KETOGENIC DIET- alternates periods of ketogenic dieting with periods of high carbohydrate intake

The Beginning of Ketogenic diets

Originally ketogenic diets were used to treat obesity and epilepsy. In general ketogenic diets are similar to starvation diets in the responses that occur in the body. More specifically these two states can be referred to as starvation ketosis and dietary ketosis. These similarities have led to the development of modern day ketogenic diets.

Ketogenic dieting has been used for years in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. In the early 1900’s times of total fasting was used to treat seizures. This caused numerous health problems and could not be sustained indefinitely.

Due to the impracticalities and health problems occurring with starvation ketogenic diets researchers began to look for a way to mimic starvation ketosis while consuming food. They determined that a diet consisting of high fat, low carb and minimal protein could sustain growth and maintain ketosis for a long period of time. This led to the birth of the original ketogenic diet in 1921 by Dr. Wilder. Dr Wilder’s diet controlled pediatric epilepsy in many cases where drugs and other treatments failed.

New epilepsy drugs were invented during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and ketogenic diets fell to the wayside. These new drugs lead to almost disappearance of ketogenic diets during this time. A few modified ketogenic diets were tried during this time such as the MCT (medium chain triglycerides) diets, but they were not welly accepted.

In 1994 the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy was re-discovered. This came about in the story of Charlie a 2yr old with seizures that could not be controlled with medications or other treatment including brain surgery. Charlie’s father had found reference to the diet through his research and ended up at Johns Hopkins medical center.

Charlie’s seizures were completely controlled as long as he was on the diet. The huge success of the diet prompted Charlie’s father to start the Charlie foundation. The foundation has produced several videos, and published the book The Epilepsy Diet Treatment: An Introduction to the Ketogenic diet. The foundation has sponsored conferences to train physicians and dietitians to implement the diet. The exact mechanisms of how the ketogenic diet works to control epilepsy are still unknown, the diet continues to gain acceptance as an alternative to drug therapy.

Obesity

Ketogenic diets have been used for at least a century for weight loss. Complete starvation was studied often including the research of Hill, who fasted a subject for 60 days to examine the effects. The effects of starvation were very successful in regards to treatment of the morbidly obese as rapid weight loss occurred. Other characteristics attributed to ketosis, such as appetite suppression and sense of well being, made fasting even more attractive for weight loss. Extremely obese patients have been fasted for up to one year and given nothing but vitamins and minerals. The major problem with complete starvation diets is the loss of body protein, primarily from muscle tissue. Protein losses decrease as starvation continues, but up to one half of the total weight loss can be contributed to muscle and water loss. In the early 1970’s Protein Sparing Modified Fasts were introduced. These diets allowed the benefits of ketosis to continue while preventing losses of bodily proteins. They are still used today under medical supervision In the early 70’s Dr. Atkins introduced Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution With millions of copies Sold the diet generated a great deal of interest. Dr. Atkins suggested a diet limited in carbohydrate but unlimited in protein and fat. He promoted the diet as it would allow rapid weight loss, no hunger and unlimited amounts of protein and fat. He offered just enough research to allow the diet recognition. Although most of the evidence supporting the diet was questionable. During the 1980’s Michael Zumpano and Dan Duchaine introduced two of the earliest CKD’s THE REBOUND DIET for muscle gain and then the modified version called THE ULTIMATE DIET for fat loss. Neither diet became very popular. This was likely due to the difficulty of the diet and the taboo of eating high fat. In the early 90’s Dr. Dipasquale introduced the ANABOLIC DIET . This diet promoted 5 days of high- fat-high protein-low carb consumption while eating high carbs and virtually anything you wanted for two days. The diet was proposed to induce a metabolic shift within the five days of eating low carbs (30 or less). The metabolic shift occurred as your body switched from being a sugar burning machine to a fat-burning machine. A few years later Dan Duchaine released the book UNDERGROUND BODYOPUS: MILITIANT WEIGHT LOSS AND RECOMPOSITION . The book included his CKD diet which he called BODY OPUS. The diet was more specified than the Anabolic Diet and gave exercise recommendations as well as the basics concerning exercise physiology. Most bodybuilders found the diet very hard to follow. The carb load phase required eating every 2 hrs and certain foods were prescribed. I personally loved the book, but felt the difficulty of the diet made it less popular. In this author’s opinion Ducahine’s book is a must read for anyone interested in Nutrition. Ketogenic Diets have been used for years to treat specific conditions such as obesity and childhood epilepsy. The effects of these diets have proven beneficial in a number of these well documented cases, but for some reason when we mention any type of low carb diet (ketogenic diet) people begin to tell us about how their doctor or friend told them it would kill them or how that diet was shown to damage the liver or kidneys. Keep in mind epileptic children have been in ketosis for up to three years and shown no negative effects; quiet the opposite. The weight loss in morbidly obese patients has been tremendous and the health benefits numerous. Maybe before coming to the conclusion that all types of ketogenic diets are bad other factors need to be considered such as activity levels, type of ketogenic diet, length of ketogenic diet, past eating experience, purpose of ketogeninc diet, individual body type and response to various eating plans, current physical condition, and quality of food while following ketogenic diet. As you can see there are numerous factors that come into play when saying a diet is good or bad. I think people should take the time look at the research and speak with various authorities in regards to low carb diets before drawing conclusions from the they says.

Relevant research in regards to ketogenic dieting

Efficacy and safety of the ketogenic diet for intractable childhood epilepsy: Korea multi-centric experience

Chul Kang H, Joo Kim Y, Wook Kim D, Dong Kim H,

Dept of pediatrics, Epilepsy center, Inje Univ Coll of Med, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul Korea

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the safety of the ketogenic diet, and to evaluate the prognosis of the patients after successful discontinuation of the diet in infants, children and adolescents with refractory epilepsy. The study looked at patients who had been treated with KD during 1995 through 2003 at Korean multicenters. The outcomes of the 199 patients enrolled in the study at 6 and 12 months were as follows: 68% and 46% of patients remained on the diet, 58% and 41% showed a reduction in seizures, including 33% and 25% who became seizure free. The complications were mild during the study, but 5 patients died during the KD. No significant variables were related to the efficacy, but those with symptomatic and partial epilepsies showed more frequent relapse after completion of the diet. The researchers concluded the KD is a safe and effective alternative therapy for intractable epilepsy in Korea, although the customary diet contains substantially less fat than traditional Western diets, but life-threatening complications should be monitored closely during follow up.

Reference

McDonald, L (1998) The Ketogenic Diet. Lyle McDonald.

Copyright 2005 Jamie Hale

LOW CARB DIETING (THE TRUTH)

SEMINAR conducted by Jamie Hale

Date- Aug 20th Location-Fitness Zone Lexington Ky

© 2006-2009 HybridFitness.tv. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.

This Summer, Stay Wet on the Inside

The human body consists largely of water —  muscle tissue, for example, is a surprising 75%. In the course of a normal day, we lose some of this water, and, like a car with a leaky radiator, if we don’t constantly replace what we lose, we can go from well-oiled machine to wheezing wreck. Everyone has seen television footage of marathon runners stumbling towards the finish line, their disorientation and spastic-like movements clearly indicating an extreme state of dehydration. These graphic images highlight the crucial role that water plays in virtually every bodily process, and the problems that can occur when it is deficient.

But it’s not only masochistic athletes who fall prey to dehydration. It’s very easy, especially in summer, to spend too long playing or working in the sun and forget to replace the moisture lost through even relatively mild exertions. That throbbing headache is the body’s friendly reminder to, “Drink more water next time, dummy!”

Many health practitioners believe that a large proportion of the North American population suffers chronically from mild dehydration. This condition is blamed for symptoms such as fatigue and poor metabolism and it may also contribute to the development of other illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and many of the diseases associated with aging.

How could such an abnormal situation come about? A poor diet, deficient in moisture-rich fruit and vegetables, is no doubt partly responsible.

Another food-related cause is that people don’t seem to realize they are thirsty anymore: Apparently, 37% of the population mistakes  thirst for hunger. This causes them to compound their health problems by overeating. For these people, a simple glass of water may be the best diet they ever tried.

What You Need to Know About Hydration

People are often surprised to learn that they can lose 2.5 liters of water per day despite minimal activity. Even while sitting on the couch watching television, water is lost with every breath. Obviously, the higher temperatures and increased physical activity of summertime will markedly increase the amount of water that most of us will lose each day.

How much water do we need to drink to be fully hydrated? As a starting point, The Institute of Medicine advises men to drink 3.0 liters (13 cups) per day and women 2.2 liters (9 cups). You should then estimate whether your bodyweight and level of activity warrants more or less than the average person and set that as your daily goal.

What is the best source for our daily water quota? Health authorities advise us to minimize alcoholic, caffeinated, and sugar-rich beverages because of their poor hydrating qualities. Fruit juice is expensive and sometimes sugar-laden. The simplest solution –ordinary tap water –is highly variable: It is often so over-processed that it tastes “dead” and is devoid of any useful nutrients. Conversely, it can be a foul-tasting chemical cocktail. Many turn to bottled water as an alternative, but this is expensive, inconvenient, and a lottery in regard to composition.

So, is there another option available that can provide good-tasting, effectively hydrating water at an affordable price? Yes there is: ­home ionized water.

The Magic of Ionized Water

Those who have sipped from a clear mountain stream have experienced the sort of water that our bodies have been designed by nature to respond to.

The main reason for the refreshing taste of wild, flowing water is that it becomes ionized as it crashes through the countryside, picking up naturally occurring alkaline electrolytes along the way.

But it”s much more than just a nice tasting drop that encourages us to fully hydrate. The alkaline nature of this water enables it to act like an expensive sports drink, neutralizing the acids that build up in our bodies due to normal metabolic processes and exercise. The electrolytes also act as antioxidants, scavenging for free radicals that, if left unchecked, progressively degenerate our body tissues.

A Mountain Stream in Your Home

Fortunately, we don’t have to head into the wilderness every time we want to benefit from nature’s perfect hydrating fluid. A water ionizer is a device that turns ordinary tap water into clean alkaline ionized water –every time the tap is turned on. It purifies and enhances domestic water in a two-step process. First, harmful contaminants are filtered out, and then electrolysis is used to split the flow into two separate streams: ionized alkaline water for drinking and cooking; and ionized acid water for other household uses.

Users of water ionizers often describe the taste as “smooth and silky”.

And it’s not only the taste that entices people to willingly consume their full daily ration; many find that their long-lost innate thirst returns after making the switch. This is surely a clue that ionized water is a product that we should be consuming.

Other users, especially athletes, enthuse about improvements in their performance and general wellbeing since making ionized water their beverage of choice. They believe that the product’s high oxygen-carrying capacity coupled with its ability to rapidly hydrate and treat lactic acid buildup have contributed to their progress.

Modern consumers have become justifiably wary of the hype and unsubstantiated claims that surround many “breakthrough”health products.

The benefits and cost-effectiveness of water ionization, however, can be verified by independent laboratory results and comparative tables.

TAKU’s NOTE: Stan Howard is a researcher with Best Water. Get your free Comparison Report, comparing all types of water purifiers. Get hydrated this summer! http://www.waterionizer.org

Secrets to Performance Enhancement (Part Two)

In our first installment we talked about the importance of rest and recovery and how just getting a little more sleep can go a long way to improving our success in achieving both our athletic and aesthetic goals. This month we continue our series and bring to you information on one of natures key nutrients, WATER.

For athletes and regular exercisers maintaining a constant state of hydration is essential to performance as dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Being dehydrated by as little as 2% can cause endurance to drop by up to 7% and can decrease power output as well as cognitive ability. According to a recent study dehydrated exercisers worked out almost 25% less than those who drank water before and during workouts.

Health care professionals such as Nancy Clark, MS, RD recommend that physically active people should drink more than the standard eight glasses per day. Water is the most important nutrient in the body and makes up 70 percent of muscles and 75 percent of the brain. Oxygen is the only thing the body craves more than water.

Water plays an essential role in eliminating toxins and waste products, regulates body temperature, and helps to maintain proper muscle tone–all extremely important functions to Athletes / fitness enthusiasts. For proper hydration, Clark suggests about 3-4 quarts of water per day, which will assist you in reaching your Athletic / fitness goals.

HOW MUCH WATER IS REQUIRED:

There isn’t a “recommended daily allowance (RDA)” for daily water intake. Part of the reason is the difference in physical activity, age, present physical condition, living in a hot or dry climate, and diuretic medications all contribute to fluid loss and a greater need for water. In addition, a diet rich in fiber, high in protein, or taking a supplement such as creatine** requires an increase in water consumption. It’s estimated that healthy adults require at least eight to ten cups of water each day. The following formula will provide you with a more precise amount of water necessary for your daily needs.

The formula is .5 times your weight in pounds to get the number of ounces divided by 8 to get the number of glasses. Example: 115 lbs x .5 = 57.5 ounces. 57.5 divided by 8 equals 7.2 glasses. Often, we replace fluids by consuming beverages such as milk, fruit juices, coffee, tea, and sodas. Our bodies will extract the water from these sources through digestion and metabolism.

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration can be defined as the loss of water and essential body salts (electrolytes) that are needed for normal body functioning. Water makes up about 60 percent of a man’s weight and 50 percent of a woman’s weight. This proportion has to be kept within a narrow limit to attain a proper balance in the cells and body tissue. In a dehydrated state the body is unable to cool itself, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke. Without an adequate supply of water the body will lack energy and muscles may develop cramps.

Usually, by the time action is taken, dehydration has already set in and damage may have occurred. Physical signs can range from fatigue, loss of appetite, heat intolerance, and low quantities of dark yellow urine. Severe dehydration can cause muscle spasms, high body-core temperatures, and complete exhaustion. According to Dr. James A. Peterson the easiest way to determine if you are hydrated is to check the color and quantity of your urine. “If your urine is very dark in color and limited in quantity, you need to consume more fluids.” The best way to counter the possibility for dehydration is to frequently drink plenty of water. It is also of great importance to make sure that you drink the highest quality of water available to you.

For healthy people under normal circumstances, thirst is a reliable mechanism to indicate the body’s need for more fluid. “However, your thirst doesn’t tell you exactly what to drink. It just tells you that you’re thirsty,” says Kenneth G. Berge, M.D., associate medical editor of Mayo Health Oasis. “Of course, billions of dollars are made by persuading you to reach for a soft drink or something like that, when really the best choice usually is water.”

You may have heard that you need at least eight glasses of water per day. This quantity won’t hurt a healthy adult. But Dr. Berge says such one-size-fits-all answer fails to tell the whole story about the body’s necessary balance of fluid intake and loss. Humans normally lose about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluid a day in sweat, urine, exhaled air and bowel movements. What is lost must be replaced to maintain a fluid balance. Dehydration poses a particular health risk for the very young and the very old.

Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are actually dehydrating because they increase urine output, so don’t count these as fluid replacements.

 

 

Ten Tips for Proper Hydration


  • Drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce servings of water each day. The more active you are, the more water you need to replenish lost fluids.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you have probably already lost two or more cups of your total body water composition.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Convenience is a must, so carry a bottle of water with you as you commute to work, run errands or enjoy a day at the beach. While at work, keep a bottle of water on your desk, or visit the office water cooler and take a water break rather than a coffee break.
  • Don’t substitute beverages with alcohol or caffeine for water. Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretic beverages and can cause you to lose water through increased urination.
  • Once you start exercising, drink water throughout your workout. Keep a bottle of water with you and take frequent water breaks.
  • Don’t underestimate the amount of fluids lost from perspiration. Following a workout, you need to drink two cups of water for each pound lost.
  • Start and end your day with water. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up.
  • Common colds and the flu frequently lead to dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water next to your bed so you can sip it throughout the day without having to get up.
  • Cool water – not carbonated beverages or sports drinks – is the best fluid for keeping hydrated when it’s warm outside. Cool water is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may help to cool off your overheated body. If you’re going to be away from home or outdoors, make sure you keep a bottle of water close by.
  • Make sure your children drink enough water. Children need water to balance their intake of other beverages – especially during activities. Packing bottled water in a child’s lunch instead of juice or regular soda can also help prevent childhood obesity.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

The above information was compiled from the following sources:

Proper Hydration: The Key Ingredient To Your Athletic Success
By Rob Wilkins

* International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters distributed in the United States.

Product Spotlight

No More Moldy Water Bottles!!

Hey everyone. IHRSA 2011 has come and gone and as usual, Hybrid Fitness was there to cover the event. We got to catch up with some old friends, make some new ones, and of course see what was hot (an not so hot) in the fitness world these days. I wish I could tell you that we discovered tons of amazing new products at the show, but alas it was not to be. I’ll talk more about that in the not too distant future.

Today I want to highlight one cool product I did notice while crusing the floor at the IHRSA show this year. It is called the Clean Bottle

The Clean Bottle is modular, with a patent-pending, leak-proof , screw-off bottom. Gone are the days of trying in vain to wash out that funk at the bottom of your bottles. With Clean Bottle, cleaning and drying are easy.

Clean Bottle is made with 100% non-toxic, BPA-free plastics, making it safe to use over and over. Clean Bottle is also top-rack dishwasher safe, so you can run it in the dishwasher without fear of it breaking down.

And 10% of all Clean Bottle profits are donated to eco and cycling friendly charities that you vote for.

When you have moment, visit their web-site and if and when your order one, be sure and tell them TAKU sent you.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

 

Better Organization = Better Results

When it comes to fitness and tracking your progress, it always helps to be organized.   If you take care to chart your progress and keep track of your results, you’ll likely see better long-term results.

Hybrid Fitness has been posting updates or “tweets”, as they’re called, on the social networking site Twitter for a while now.  It’s always interesting to see who you meet, what you learn and, perhaps most importantly, who wants to follow you.  One of the connections we made on Twitter is with a company called LobotoME, LLC.  Their website is www.lobotome.com.  They offer a bunch of great organizational tools, one of which is a simple, effective fitness tracking form they call “Fit ME”.  What I like about the FitMe is that they don’t overthink it.  Instead of putting in a bunch of columns, rows and categories for things you may or may not need, they keep it very basic and give you just what you need to keep yourself honest and stay on track with your diet and exercise.

Do yourself a favor and check them out.  They’ve got a bunch of other organizational tools you might find useful as well.  Things for home, office, travel, etc.

If any of our readers have a Twitter account, please feel free to follow our posts here.

Keep training hard.
Jason
www.hybridfitness.tv