Thursday, March 29, 2007

Caffeine...Exposed! Soda Labels Show the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

"So, you should ask yourself: When you are tired and reaching for your caffeine fix, are you giving yourself energy, or are you managing the withdrawal effect?" [link]

"A high intake of caffeine is 500 mg daily. A medium intake is between 250 and 500 mg and a low intake is below 250 mg. The following list of beverages and foods, along with the amount of caffeine in each serving, will help you determine the category you fall into:

Coca Cola Classic — 34.5mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Pepsi — 36mg (12-ounce can)
Pepsi — 37.5mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Coke — 46.5mg (12-ounce can)
Mountain Dew — 54mg (12-ounce can)
Diet Pepsi Max — 69mg (12-ounce can)
Instant Coffee — 40-105mg (150ml cup)
Filtered Coffee — 110-150mg (150ml cup)
Tea — 20-100mg (150ml cup)
Starbucks Coffee, Grande — 500mg (16-ounce cup)
Chocolate Cake — 20-30mg (one slice)
Caffeine Pill — 50-200mg (read label to determine exact dose)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too shy to strip in front of a man

A third of women think they are too fat ever to appear naked in front of their partners, according to a survey.

Images of stick-thin models and digitally-slimmed celebrities are convincing a whole generation to keep their clothes on at all times.

Experts believe the compulsion to cover up is putting a serious strain on domestic relationships, with one woman in ten having to turn out the light before she can undress in front of her partner.

Some of the most awkward encounters happen in the bathroom - with nearly a quarter of females never entering with their other half.


"This shows how seriously people think about their body image - yet being bare-skinned is such a natural thing." link

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Diets an unhealthy fix for teen weight concerns

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Teens who go on diets to drop some pounds are more likely to skip breakfast and binge eat -- which may at least partly explain why they put on more weight over time than their peers who don't diet, a new study shows.

...Nevertheless, the findings show that dieting is a short-term fix that teens choose instead of longer-term, healthier -- and more effective -- strategies such as eating more fruits and vegetables and getting more exercise, Neumark-Sztainer said.

...The findings suggest, Neumark-Sztainer and her colleagues conclude, that kids who diet are in danger of developing unhealthy physical activity and eating behaviors.

..."My advice to parents is to redirect their children's efforts away from dieting toward the adoption of eating and physical activity behaviors that they can engage in over the long term," she told Reuters Health.

Dieting is a short-term fix that tends to backfire. Diets in general don't work and are commercial enterprises to sell the appeal of that mythical creature, "weight-loss without exercise."

Skipping meals doesn't lead to weight loss. It seems like the common-sense thing to do, but it doesn't work. Instead, it leads the body to think, "No food. Famine coming. Hard times coming. Time to store as much fat as possible to survive hardship." The metabolism slows down, and the body stores fat more efficiently.

Humans are natural grazers. Before we had agriculture and stored food, humans ate all day long. The idea of three-meals-a-day is a social convention, we made it up. Grazing, or eating throughout the day, will actually change your metabolism. In a sense, it's the opposite of what starving does to the metabolism. Since real grazing is not feasible for most people,"the trick is to break up the nutrition you need in a day to have as snacks in between meals." That creates 5 meals instead of only 3. Grazing and weight loss

When you hit the gym can impact your results

Early birds get cardio boost; afternoon exercisers can cut down on stretches

... Personal trainers and experts on exercise say the effectiveness of your gym time depends partly on your body rhythms as well as what exactly you're trying to get out of it — whether it's losing inches around your waist or putting inches on your biceps.

...clients who want to build muscle mass to hit the weights in the afternoon. In the morning there isn't enough glycogen in our muscles, or stored fuel, to support an effective workout.

...There are, of course, pluses to working out in the morning too. May recommends it for people whose main priority is losing weight.

say you're probably better off spreading it out in frequent intervals throughout the week, rather than saving it all up for one hellish day or the weekend.
Some say that it's best to do weight training early in the morning, based on testosterone. More testosterone is available around the time a male wakes up, which is the physiological reason why men get morning erections or "morning wood." Because of this, some think pumping iron in the morning is taking advantage of the situation.

But the testosterone is there in the morning for other purposes besides lifting weights. Cortisol is higher in the morning too and this supposedly makes it a less optimal time to train with weights. And there's less glycogen and less flexibility in the morning as well.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice -- and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise.

They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise.


"Our next step is to identify the exercise regimen that is most beneficial to improve cognition and reduce normal memory loss, so that physicians may be able to prescribe specific types of exercise to improve memory," Small said.

Just one more good reason :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wash those Bananas (and other lessons in cleaning produce)

"Probably 100 people handled that banana before you did," says Ann Zander, a food safety expert with the Colorado State University Extension in Longmont, Colo. "If you have somebody who hasn't washed his hands after the bathroom or has the flu, that's all over it." link

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Machine May Help Shed Pounds Without Sweating"

Sweating off the pounds might be a thing of the past with a new machine that promises to shed pounds simply by standing on it."You can stand on this machine for 10 minutes and it's equal to 45 minutes to 60 minutes of typical exercise," said DeepTone instructor Jennifer Ament.

Ament said TurboSonic uses sound waves that produce frequencies to stimulate your cells. She said a person can burn up to 300 calories in 10 minutes, and that's why people shouldn't be on it for more than that.
"It's equal to 60 minutes of exercise so you'd be just overdoing it," said Ament.

"I lost 9 pounds, a pants size, which is very exciting and I noticed my face tightening," said Kelly Walton.
"Most of the research that looked at whole body vibration said that they were at best mild cardiovascular effects, which means you're burning some calories just standing there but not the same thing as jogging around the block," said Wolkodoff.

DeepTone in Denver is offering the use of TurboSonic to its clients for a fee.
You can buy one here for yourself, it's only $13,000. Soloflex sells a non-powered platform for $500

Professor Alan Hedge of Cornell University writes, "Whole body vibration [at the frequencies detailed] may create chronic stresses and sometimes even permanent damage to the affected organs or body parts."
"Suspected health effects of whole body vibration include:
– Blurred vision
– Decrease in manual coordination
– Drowsiness (even with proper rest)
– Low back pain/injury
– Insomnia
– Headaches or upset stomach" link