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Energy Drinks…Good or Bad?

Lately energy drinks have been popping up everywhere. Different flavors, different sizes, ones claiming to be healthy and natural, others claiming to give you 8 hours of energy without a crash. With every new drink comes a new health concern. Many are speculating  that energy drinks have caused fatalities among youths. You always have to be careful drinking energy drinks and always know what ingredients they contain, and don’t forget all the other alternatives for energy besides caffeine loaded drinks.

Everyone knows that feeling when you hit a wall but still have so much to accomplish in the day, whether that be your afternoon workout, or a big project at the office, you need a quick pick me up to stay energized and alert. Many of us are guilty of going straight to the vending machine for a monster, red bull, or maybe you’ve stashed some 5 hour energy’s in your drawer. But the question is, are they really that bad for you?

The Bad

Energy drinks generally have high levels of caffeine and taurine, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods like meat and fish that can affect heart function and blood pressure. High amounts are never good if you suffer from any heart issues or have high blood pressure. Energy drinks can also increase dehydration. During exercise the last thing you want is to be dehydrated. These drinks are also considered dietary supplements which means the FDA does not approve or review the products before they are sold and are not required to list all ingredients. Another reason you should not drink energy drinks in excess is because most contain a large amount of sugar which is never good for you.

The Good

Although you should never depend on energy drinks, they do provide caffeine that does act as a pick me up when your late afternoon workout starts to become a distant thought. But it is always important to drink these in moderation and pay attention to the serving sizes of each.

If you are always in need of some extra energy before your workouts, try choosing alternative energy sources other than energy drinks, like, coffee or a piece of whole grain toast with some almond butter.

 

Nutrition | Diet | Health

Why You Should Be Strength Training

Too many people put strength training by the way side and don’t realize how important and beneficial it can be. Ladies especially turn a blind eye because of the fear of gaining too much muscle. Truth is, women have anywhere from 15-20 times less testosterone than men. Testosterone is the hormone that builds muscle so its relative scarcity in women makes building muscles like men almost impossible. Grab your free weights and start pumping that iron ladies and gents!

Build Muscle

Building muscle is important and helps to make your body look more toned. Strength training doesn’t mean you’ll develop body builder muscles. During resistance training, muscles generate more force than they do during endurance exercises. During a strength workout, the heart’s muscle tissue contracts forcefully to push the blood out. Like all muscles, stress causes small tears in the muscle fibers. When the body repairs those tears, muscles grow.

You’ll Burn More Calories

Doing fast paced strength training is a great way to burn a ton of calories. Another benefit of this is that you’ll continue burning calories long after you’ve left the gym. Adding more muscle will increase your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest and during workouts.

Strength Train to up Your Cardio Game

You’ll be a more efficient runner with regular strength training workouts. A lot of avid runners forgo strength training, focusing too much on their runs. If you’ve ever had a long run or race when your form fell apart as you get fatigued towards the end, you’ll definitely benefit from strength-training. Strengthening your core can help improve and maintain your running form, which translates into greater running efficiency. Replace two runs a week with strength training and you’ll start to see a difference.

Always make sure to pair strength training and cardio along with a healthy diet for optimal results. Don’t give up! This month’s efforts are next month’s body!

 

La Jolla’s #1 Personal Fitness Trainer