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For most of our lives we are led to believe that consuming dairy, particularly in the form of drinking milk, is is a good way to take in calcium and protein. How else will we grow big and strong? Yet our culture in the US has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis despite also having one of the highest rates of milk consumption. It is evident that calcium is not all it takes to build strong bones. So what’s the deal with dairy in our diet? Do we really need it? Here’s what research shows.

Lactose Intolerance

 

An astonishing number of people around the world are lactose intolerant. Worldwide, an estimated 75% of people are intolerant to lactose, a “milk sugar” that is made up of glucose and galactose. As infants, our bodies are able to break lactose down with an enzyme called “lactase,” but most of us grow out of this in adulthood. It is clear that if we truly needed dairy in our diet, our stomachs would be more welcoming to its main carbohydrate.

Continue reading Is Dairy Bad for You?

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When done properly, working out can lead to many health benefits. Studies have shown that working out reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces stress, lowers the odds of developing depression, and more. However, even the simplest of exercises have the potential to be dangerous if done improperly.

Warm Up & Cool Down

Most experts recommend a ten minute warm up period before exercising and a ten minute cool down period after exercising. Warming up gradually gets your cardiovascular system going and helps to increase blood flow to your body’s muscles. We recommend that your warm up focuses on the muscles you plan to work out. For example, if you plan on going for a run, your warm up should focus on moving your legs. A warm up should be intense enough to cause slight sweating but it should not be so intense as to leave you feeling fatigued. Continue reading 3 Safety Tips for Working Out

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For the most part, if you are a conscious eater you know that there are different kinds of fat in the foods we eat. Some are healthy fats and some…not so much. In the simplest terms, fats are nutrients that provide energy and they help to absorb different vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Here’s a brief overview of the different types of dietary fats you come across and how they affect your diet and overall health.

 

Unhealthy fats

 

In general, the foods you eat typically have various types of fat in them. What you need to look out for are foods that have too high of a content of saturated and trans fats. These are the two main types of fats that are detrimental to your health. Continue reading Types of Fat You Should Know About

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Congratulations, you found a workout routine that you’re excited about and it’s working for you! Before you get too pumped, however, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the concept of overtraining and how to avoid it as you work to improve your fitness.

Overtraining syndrome is simply what happens when you train too hard for too long. Ideally, you should be spending 45 minutes to an hour per workout several times per week. If you find yourself practically living at the gym, or becoming addicted to working out, you may be on track to overtraining. This syndrome is present when you perform more training than your body can recover from to the point where your overall performance declines.

5 Signs of Overtraining

Continue reading What is Overtraining Syndrome?

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It takes effort to take time out of your schedule to go work out even though deep down we all know that our health is our top priority. So to get to the gym, work out, and not have an effective workout is more than just a setback, it’s a waste of time. If you are looking to improve your fitness, here are some red flags to watch out for during your next gym session.

 

Low Heart Rate

There are dozens of physical activities you can perform to get your blood pumping, whether through aerobic or anaerobic exercises, but in order for them to be effective your heart rate must reach a certain point. Your maximum heart rate can be determined roughly by subtracting your age from 220. During the start of your workout it should reach about 75% of that rate and as you continue through your workout it should eventually reach 100%. If you aren’t measuring your heart rate you cannot gauge whether or not the workout is doing your heart any good. Simply sweating a lot is not a good indicator of how hard you are working. Invest in a good heart rate monitor and see for yourself just how good your workout routine really is. Continue reading 5 Signs Your Workout Isn’t Working

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Drinking alcohol carries many health risks but how does it affect the process of building muscle specifically? It turns out, alcohol can really get in the way of building muscle. The more you drink, the more it holds you back from reaching your fitness goals. There are several reasons why alcohol has this effect. Some of these reasons include inhibited protein synthesis, lower growth hormone and testosterone levels, dehydration, and preventing you from working out to your full potential due to the effects of a hangover.

Inhibited Protein Synthesis in Your Muscles

Protein synthesis is essential to muscle growth. Protein synthesis is the process through which your body takes protein from the food you eat and uses it to create muscle. When muscles experience small tears (usually due to working out) the process of protein synthesis begins in order to fix the muscle and build stronger muscle fibers. This is essentially how working out leads to building muscle. Continue reading How Does Alcohol Affect How You Build Muscle?