Exercise isn’t always pretty. While it can make you look and feel like a million bucks, healthy eating and intense exercise can bring about side effects that are less than comfortable and less than glamorous. If you are an avid runner, you may be familiar with digestional cramping brought on by exercise. Gas, bloating and cramping can be made worse by what you eat before you set out for your workout. What you eat can also effect your energy, the effectiveness of your workout and the, ahem, air quality for fellow gym go-ers.
Here are 6 foods that, while mostly healthy, should not be eaten before exercise for a more comfortable workout.
Hummus– Beans and bean based foods like hummus can create a lot of gas and bloating in your system. While beans, beans, they’re good for the heart, avoid clearing out the cardio room 10 minutes into your treadmill session by saving them for later.
Green bananas and raw veggies– As long as you are ditching the healthy hummus dip, avoid the raw veggies you eat with it as the 1-2 gas punch to your gut will leave you doubled over in pain. Raw veggies and under ripe fruit, like green bananas, up the gas factor in your stomach. While cooked veggies can still make you a little gassy and should be saved for after exercise, ripe bananas make a great pre-workout snack. Green bananas are tough to digest, but ripe, soft bananas are perfect.
Maybe it was the recession or maybe the public started listening to the health professionals’ pleas, but either way, added sugar consumption has actually decreased in the United States.
Research has been continually held to track the added sugar consumption in this country. These stats refer to extra sugar used to sweeten foods, not naturally occurring sugars like fructose in fruit. One of the biggest culprits of added sugar consumption is found in soda. The quarter drop in sugar consumption was due majorly to the decrease in soda consumption.
The experts believe that the initiatives to remove sodas and sweetened drinks from schools had a large effect on the numbers. Also, the multiple campaigns to make consumers aware of the extreme amounts of sugar in small amounts of soda are believed to have been effective.
The study also leads the experts to believe that people were simply not able to afford as many calories as they were in previous years due to the economy. Hopefully, as the recession ends, this will be one number that will stay low and not increase.
There’s potentially good news in regards to teens and their soda consumption. In 2010, 24 percent of teens in the U.S. drank at least one soda on a daily basis, which was down from 29 percent the previous year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collected data on 11,429 high school students from across the country. Each of them filled out a questionnaire.
When other sweetened drinks were considered, the teens who drank at least one of those drinks each day was raised to more than 60 percent. However, even with that sharp rise when considering all sweetened drinks, the number is down from 1999, when it was more than 75 percent.
Now for the potentially bad news…
Since awareness of the health dangers of sweetened drinks has risen over the years, some experts are concerned that teens’ knowledge may have skewed the results, since they could have been deceptive in their answers. Or I say, maybe the movement of removing soda from schools is working. (more…)
Confession: I am a coffee drinker. I can manage a french press myself. I drink it black. Despite a Starbucks in my family tree, I don’t find the coffee sold at that chain store up to my standards. I was skeptical about trying CLICK Espresso Protein Drink.
According to press releases, “CLICK is the brainchild of Greg and Beth Smith, a Fresno, California couple who owned a small chain of women’s fitness centers. The Smiths were seeking a delicious, healthy beverage for their members in response to the growing wall of sugar based energy and espresso drinks on the market.” The 15 grams of protein per serving is designed to provide sustained energy, in addition to the “two shots of espresso” or 100-150mg of caffeine per serving.
Listerine Strips have been around for a long time: those minty paper-like strips that you place on your tongue when you just don’t have time to use mouthwash. Now the same sort of packaging is being used for an energy boosting product.
Sheets is a brand of energy strips that are individually packaged and dissolve quickly after you place them on your tongue. At this point, there are just two flavors to choose from: Cinnamon Rush and Berry Blast. Makers promise more flavors in the future.
So what is it in Sheets that gives its users a boost of energy? There’s as much caffeine as what is in the average cup of coffee. It’s also loaded with vitamin E, B5, B6, and B12. But let’s make no bones about it, it’s the caffeine that gets you going. (more…)
Walk by any group of teens hanging out together and you may very well see a wide assortment of energy beverages being consumed. It’s not unexpected, since more than half of all teens have reported using these stimulants. The next time you take your child to the doctor, be prepared to discuss these beverages, thanks to a new research study released online today in the Journal Pediatrics. The study, conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine, shows how very harmful these drinks may be to this age bracket.
The study was conducted by running targeted searches of Google and the medical database PubMed. The research team pulled a total of 121 references to energy drinks, including RockStar, Monster, or Red Bull. Two-thirds of the references were discovered to be in scientific articles. Among the findings:
Energy drinks have long been a source of controversy, but lately they have come under fire, particularly an alcoholic brand Four Loko, following reports of hospitalizations and even deaths tied to the pick-me-up drinks.
Now there’s a study that links regular energy drink use to alcohol abuse. The study found that college students who consume energy drinks at least once a week are more than twice as likely as their peers to show signs of alcohol dependence. This can include symptoms of withdrawal and the inability to cut back on drinking.
The most interesting, and maybe controversial, part of the study is that the drinks don’t have to be mixed with alcohol to lead to alcoholism. (more…)
Energy drinks have long been popular with people needing a mid-day pick-me-up. And while Red Bull and Rockstar may not be knocked off the top of the heap, there’s a possible new trend arising that takes consumers in the opposite mental direction.
People can now “chill out” to relaxation shots. Some of the products hitting the market include such catchy names as Snoozeberry and iChill. But there are 350 total relaxation drinks on the market, according to Agata Kaczanowska, an analyst with the research company IBISWorld. While I guess I’m not really looking for them, I’m surprised that I am unaware of this stuff, when there are so many on the shelves already.
The closest I ever got to the Olympics was the USOC training center in Colorado Springs where I received sports nutrition training. As I write this, The USOC dietitians are in Vancouver with Team USA making sure they are well hydrated and fueled while they go for gold.
But what exactly do Olympic athletes need to eat? You probably heard the stories of Michael Phelps chowing down on 10-15,000 calories a day! It sounds like a dream come true. Believe it or not, many of the winter sports require smaller body sizes to excel. It’s no wonder there is concern for eating disorders to develop among athletes.
For example, the ski jumper must be tall and thin so their goal is to have a low BMI – 5′ 11″ and 140 pound male (model thin). Suzie Parker Simmons, a sports dietitian at USOC, says that ski jumping is problematic because the sport requires strength, power and low weight. “Because it’s a power sport, endless hours of fat-burning running [to reduce weight] is counterproductive athletically—explosive power for ski jump demands fast-twitch muscle fibers, not the slow-twitch fibers developed by endurance sports. That means caloric restriction, not extra exercise, is the primary means of keeping body weight low.” (more…)
Energy drinks are just about as popular as sports drinks and vitamin-enhanced waters. In fact, you can’t walk into a convenience store or gas station without rubbing elbows with energy-boosting pills and potions as you pay for your newspaper, soda or slushie.
DietsInReview.com compared two of the best-selling energy drinks on the market: FRS and 5-Hour Energy drink.
Here is a look at how each of them stacks up.
Claims: Strongly promoted and supported by Lance Armstrong, FRS Healthy Energy, which stands for “free radical scavenger,” contains antioxidants rather than sugar and caffeine to give you a surge in energy. Most notably is its addition of the antioxidant quercetin, which is found in the skins of apples, berries and grapes. According to FRS, quercetin works by naturally triggering the body’s ability to produce more real energy. FRS also contains green tea and vitamins C and E. The product claims to help enhance physical performance, aid in muscle recovery and provide sustained energy and concentration.