Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Sunday Link Love

Hey Friends, Happy Sunday!

I felt like chatting with you this morning (started this morning, ended at night as usual) as I slowly pack up my summer life to head back home¬†to work my summer job. This job is not really what I wanted, as it in no way helps me work towards my career goals, but I’m trying to stay positive about it. It’s money I suppose and money that I desperately need.

In other news..

I moved out of my old apartment and into my new one for the fall, which I have to pay for all summer despite not living there…ugh stupid renting.

With that, I had to say my goodbyes to Rita and Emily (my housemates) which was sad ūüė¶ Mama is going to miss them and they better keep me in the loop on the daily!¬†

…But My new housemates are great. It will be a good year I know it!

I graduated my undergrad (2nd one) with an 86 GPA…please see me and give me all the scholarship monnies…please. I know it’s not 90’s but something!

I hit my squat PR and then raised it by 5lbs, meaning that I lifted 1.85x my body weight. I have never one-rep maxed before at anything and the feeling is so strange and exciting at the same time. I was practically not feeling I could of properly yesterday due to how sore I was but all worth it friends

And yeah, so that is the gist of my life this week, so onto my post today. I decided to do a “Link Love” post to share some interesting articles/podcasts I have come across in the past two weeks or so. I hope you find some of them as interesting as I did.

Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs (Layman 2009)

This talks about the new findings for protein and why the intake recommendations for adults are, well, wrong on many levels. Here’s the synopsis:

~Protein should not be % of calories, it should be off body weight. If you are of a given height but are loosing weight (ie. dropping calories) your protein shouldn’t drop just because your calories are.

~Protein is VITAL for your life. You know your body is made of protein yes?

~Most adults benefit from an intake greater than the recommended one (0.8g/kg/day)

It also talks about protein distribution and how we tend to eat more protein in our meals as the day goes on. This suggests that we eat very little at breakfast, which is not optimal as we have been fasting overnight, and that we eat large amounts at dinner.

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The blue highlighted portion is showing maximum muscle¬†protein synthesis. We need at least 15g of protein to stimulate protein synthesis and take a peak at a typical breakfast…

Although they stated that this uneven distribution has not really been shown to negatively affect growth of children or adults, it may have large impacts on older adults. Here, protein intake is critical as they tend to be in a negative nitrogen balance (or state of protein breakdown) and need more than a typical adult to maintain neutral or positive balance.

Finally, take note that protein is more satiating. So when¬†a meal is proportionally more balanced with protein (rather than mostly carbohydrates..like the typical American breakfast) you will be fuller longer. Alternatively, carbohydrate rich meals tend to not keep you as full longer. This doesn’t mean that carbs are bad, it simply runs the risk of individuals over eating their needs because they find themselves hungry more often.

So could protein be an aid in better weight management? 

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IceCream4PRs Podcast #30 – Gender Differences in Training feat. Menno HenselmansJeff Nippard

Really cool podcast diving into the differences between men and women for training and nutrition in addition to the genetic potential that women have for muscle development specifically.

Relative to their starting point (which is often different), females have been shown to have the same relative muscle growth and protein synthesis potential as men! So if you take a man and woman¬†who weigh the same, you can find that they can grow the same proportion of muscle. Differences in fatty acid composition in the body was then stated as a potential reason as to why we don’t see very muscular women in addition to inefficient or non-optimal training for their body physiology and birth control. This is controversial however, but these are some of the recent findings.

This is not to create fears in women that they will ‘blow up’ like a man when they touch a weight, because as you can see from a subjective perspective, the number of women walking around with the same level of muscularity as a male is quite small. It was the thought¬†that this was potentially more socio-cultural in the sense that many women don’t train¬†to the same degree as males and/or if they do train, they don’t optimize their growth due to personal preferences or lack of knowledge. There is also some whispers that oral¬†contraceptives¬†decrease the rate of muscle growth.¬†

Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed?– Chris Kresser

This is an interesting take on heart disease and challenges the notion that heart disease is due to the clogging of our arteries, specifically from saturated fats. What is interesting is that many just follow along with the idea that arteries get clogged and that this is the main driving factor of heart disease when thats not actually the full story. Yes, ‘clogging’ does happen, per say, but that is only after the walls of the vessels are narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This build-up is an inflammatory response¬†that, which he stated, is most often the result of metabolic syndrome and/or insulin resistance.

Its funny, but those syndromes are often helped with higher fat and lower carb dietary interventions…

Higher fats you say to help heart disease…Hmmm…

Anxiety: Are Nutritional Deficiencies A Common Cause – Mark Sisson

An interesting article as it brings up a topic that is close to my own heart, anxiety. Although I would have to do my own research (as I feel sometimes that Mark may be a bit bias sometimes) and I just like to back up my words with my own readings, the idea of incorporating foods that perhaps have anxiety reducing effect is something I think many people could benefit from..

if, of course, they actually do something…

Gut Bacteria Tell The Brain What Animals Should Eat

This article was based off of a brand spankin new journal article by Leitao- Goncalves et al (April 2017) that looked at the common fruit fly and how there appeared to be an association between their gut flora and eating the right foods to provide them with all of their essential amino acids. Although there are a few flaws with this study that limit it’s generalizability to humans (hello we aren’t flies, and we have more bacteria in our guts then them), it sparks an interesting idea to look into. Can your gut bacteria trigger cravings for certain foods that optimize your health?¬†

I feel that this is entirely possible because we have found that those who are obese tend to have different gut bacteria communities than those who are leaner and that those specific communities lend themselves to negative health outcomes.

Stay Single Until You Meet A Guy Like This…

Corny? Maybe. But it pulled at my romantic heart strings a bit. Best line? 

Stay single until you meet the guy who never stops trying to keep you…Because he knows getting you wasn‚Äôt the hard part but constantly giving you a reason to stay is what you deserve.

Oh and of course a solid finisher…

The one who changes the standard you once had and suddenly no one can compare.

#Mush.

And finally to end off this post..

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This is a tweet from Sohee Lee’s Twitter (you should check her out, she works alongside Layne Norton and Brett Contreras and is a lady of science!).

Its a good solid reminder because I think everyone knows this to be true but always believe they have found an exception somehow.

Hope you had a fabulous Sunday Friends

-Chelsea

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Carb Blocker Rantage…Fitness Friday 40

Let me just¬†start¬†with a video¬†Layne Norton¬†posted…

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Link

First of all, LOL

Secondly, our topic at hand can be found at roughly 1:38.

So what are we talking about here?

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Carb blockers.

People¬†take them to basically “undo’¬†eating¬†carbs…

Lets chat about why these are complete and utter BS!

#SaveYoMoney

We will¬†lead¬†our discussion with some¬†points¬†from¬†Layne’s¬†ranting.

If something is essentially¬†blocked¬†in your body, this means not digested and if you¬†flushed it¬†that would mean¬†diarrhea…

When someone takes these, do you see them runny rapidly to the bathroom after their meal?

No.

“Thank goodness because that would be uncomfortable and, quite frankly, embarrassing.” ¬† -Layne

Why would you have diarrhea?

Diarrhea¬†occurs when the body pulls¬†water¬†into the gut and that¬†causes¬†a ‘dumping’ or flushing of some of the¬†intestinal¬†contents as overly liquid stools. For¬†example,¬†if your body is trying to get rid of¬†something¬†it doesn’t want (perhaps a bacterial infection) or is trying to rebalance a¬†major¬†shift (you eat something with a really high osmolality), water will¬†come¬†in and that will evacuate it in a more¬†quick¬†manner.

And you run to the bathroom.

So no diarrhea is seen from popping these pills before you eat the entire bread basket, so what happens?

Well if those¬†carbs¬†are not digested in the¬†intestines,¬†they make their way UNdigested to the¬†colon.¬†Due to the colon not having¬†enzymes¬†to break down food, your¬†bacteria¬†goes to town on this undigested¬†starch¬†and ferments it. This produces a lot of¬†byproducts¬†(gases, acids) including¬†short chain fatty acids, which can be¬†used¬†as a source of energy by the¬†bacteria.¬†Thing to note is that you¬†essentially¬†still took in all of the¬†calories…

So, fact number one, carb blockers =/= calories being ejected out of the body.

“There can be a “virtual blocker” per say if you block one of the main carbohydrate enzymes..”

So if it¬†doesn’t¬†“flush it out,’ what other way¬†could¬†these things work? Inhibition of the¬†carbohydrate¬†enzymes!

Yes, if you¬†loose/inhibit¬†enzymes to digest starch, than¬†yes¬†some or maybe even¬†quite¬†a bit of it may go¬†undigested.¬†As he explained, you really cannot cause¬†100%¬†enzyme inhibition…

Either¬†way, you end up with the same¬†undigested¬†starch making it’s way to the¬†fermentation¬†factory that is your colon and get the¬†exact¬†same outcome as¬†before..

Fermentation byproducts (SCFA) –> energy to large intestine –> you still take in the calories.

So again, not what you wanted.

He mentioned, which should be noted, is that this lack of digestion may in fact blunt some of the glucose response, which could be helpful for those with poor insulin control. But we are talking the normal population in this case. 

Everyone, once again, pills are not magic. They cannot make you flush away calories in the food you are eating. They cannot make them go away.

If we¬†didn’t¬†have such an extreme way of¬†doing¬†things (i.e. restrict all carbs then eat the whole kitchen worth of carbs)¬†maybe¬†we wouldn’t have even a¬†thought¬†to come up with some¬†crap¬†like this.

This all¬†leads¬†back to a common¬†theme¬†from me…

Restriction leads to nothing good

Pills lead to nothing good.

I’m talking weight loss pills here..

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Avoid¬†both (oh and Dr. Oz…) and perhaps you¬†will¬†be a lot happier and¬†healthier.

So,¬†although¬†I could just end off with¬†that¬†and say you should trust the¬†words¬†of¬†Dr. Norton¬†(which you should really take him seriously, he knows what he’s talking about), here are¬†some¬†articles for your science-nerds to¬†read¬†up on if you want

Huntington and Shewmake (2010) No clear evidence of benefits AND OR safety hazards of many weight loss aids such as carb/nutrient blockers

Preuss (2007)¬†this was a rat study but I used it to point out a something. So it showed that the carb blocker (CB) they used reduced the insulin response after carbohydrate intake BUT notice there was not weight change in the controls vs. the CB. The thing that Layne discussed is that although the response to the carb intake may be blunted, the absorbtion of the calories won’t really change and this can be seen with the lack of weight loss occurring in the rats.

Keep in mind, animals are not humans…

Other studies like this one suggest that once again, these carb enzyme blockers/inhibitors may act to slow the absorption down (i.e. blunt the glycemic response as stated already) like a fiber would naturally. Again, slowing down absorption DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF CALORIE ABSORPTION

So I will leave you with that.

Leave the carb blockers on the shelf.

Eat some fiber.

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Fiber can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates leading to longer satiety and perhaps control feeding. 

-Chelsea


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Don’t Flatten Yourself Out…Fitness Friday 37

My friends, today…actually, scratch that,¬†this entire week has been exhausting. So much for Reading Week eh?

So what was I doing running all over the place? Graduate school interviews…thats what I was doing.¬†I had the MAN program (combined master/internship) at Guelph U on Wednesday, phone interview with London Health Sciences Internship yesterday and trekking it all the way to London for my interview with Brescia’s department for their combined program today.

I’m exhausted. The face-to-face ones were intense, but the Brescia one was a bit more casual and relaxed due to the group setting rather than one-on-one, which I had the pleasure of doing for the MAN program.

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Overall, its 2-2.5 hours of them probing your head with scenarios in timed stations. One after the other after the other and that is all on top of the fact that you are super nervous because these will dictate the future of your fall semester. Catastrophizing much?

Ugh.

I did it though. I didn’t die and I feel overall they went well. Now to try to relax for this weekend to let my stomach come back to normal (hello camel belly¬†thanks to cortisol overload…)

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Anyways, I wasn’t planning on doing this today because, I’m sorry, I’m tired, but I was listening to a Youtube collab between Steve Cook and Layne Norton on contest prep myths that I just had to share.

It’s not only because right now is cutting season for the spring and summer shows, but also because so many people still fail to turn to science and simply follow some of the engrained procedures (dogmas) of the final stages of prep that really have no evidence to support their benefits.

So, for your education and¬†entertainment, check out the video link below for the full discussion and head to my lil summary below so that you too can work at bringing your best ‘package’ to the stage¬†if thats in the future for you.

They also discussed flexible dieting on prep, but I was more interested in the sodium/water cuts.

Cutting sodium is a no no.

Cutting water works against you.

Overall, these two things alone will leave you looking flat on your day to shine. Meanwhile, the next day you look the best you have ever looked because, well, you ate some salt and drank some water.

Why?

Quoting Dr. Norton, lets see his explanations on why these things really work against you, despite the fact they are seen as ‘common practices’ for the competitors.

So, as we all know, our body likes ‘sameness’ and it works hard to keep the body in a state of homeostasis. So, if you start to try to take things away, it has ways to bring you back to normal. Although this ability is great for situations where you are not in control and needing to ‘survive,’ these compensatory¬†mechanisms are often NOT what you want when you are trying to look your best…aka shredded.

So one, you cut your water. When you cut water, the water is often intially lost from the extracellular space (i.e. outside the tissue/cell/muscle), not the intracellular space. That being said, when you loose that extracellular water, your body needs to re-balance that because volume is important to keep the same. So, to do this, you will end up loosing water from the intracellular space and adding water outside the cell. So a deflated muscle cell is what you end up with.

You than add to this problem by also cutting sodium because, once again, the body needs certain amount to maintain functionality. So what does it do? Your blood levels have been shown to stay the same and it’s mostly due to a few more compensatory mechanisms. Overall, if you’re not getting any sodium your body gunna loose any either, meaning you are not¬†going to excrete ANY sodium. This is because another hormone (ADH) starts getting upregulated due to water volume changes and that causes you to reabsorb sodium and also hold water (because you cannot reabsorb sodium without water).

So these two combined simply lead to flat muscles and a watery appearance as all that water goes right to the extracellular space, which is where you want the least amount of water. Great for stage eh?

“If your muscle is not pressing against the skin, you will appear watery and not as tight as you want… Muscle tissue without water is spongy, shrivelled and just doesn’t look good”

Other issues that come along with your body being stressed…

~Bloating and general gastric upset that can lead to you not being as tight and shredded. This may be partially due to the fact that the transporters of carbohydrates in the gut are dependant on sodium. With these not working as efficiently, malabsorption of some carbohydrates can occur. Unfortunately for you, in many cases, those are than fermented which causes gastric issues. This also means that you are going to be absorbing as many of those carbs are you are eating.

~Low sodium often makes it really hard to get a pump or any vascularity going

Other interesting things he said…

~You should add carbs SLOWLY. The traditional notion is that you carb up with a huge amount in 1-2 days pre-show is not smart. It takes a bit for those carbohydrates to be digested and absorbed, so it therefore also takes time for your body to refill those glycogen stores and for you to see if you need more. You want to be in the ‘add more’ category, not the ’emergency repair mode from spill over’ category… yes?

~During peak week, there really isn’t anything special to do.¬†You are essentially just trying not to screw up what you have worked for. DONT GO MESSING WITH MULTIPLE VARIABLES! If you’re not shredded at this point, you’re just not shredded enough. Tweaking a bunch of things during that tiny time period can either not do nothing for you or it can make you look worse simply because your body is stressed out.¬†

~Peak week should be about rest and loosing external stress. Yes it’s selfish, but your appearance is also the result of your emotional and psychological state. To a much more minor degree as the rest of prep, but it does count.¬†

Overall, these things make perfect, rational sense when you think about them and about how the body works to survive,¬†but most don’t challenge the old and traditional ways.

Learn to go to the literature and do your own research. When you get up on stage and look better either the week before or day after, its time to get off the ‘bro-train’ and actually suffer less to look your best.

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Hope you enjoyed this lil video post. Happy Friday friends.

-Chelsea


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Betaine For Gains? Fitness Friday 36

Everyone is always looking for some kind of pill to improve their exercise performance or get bigger. This is why articles like this one

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…Get all the youngin’s running out the door to buy all of the supplements listed because 1. they apparently make you huge and 2. Brian DeCosta is a god sent and who wouldn’t want to look like him. ūüėČ

Sorry you had to be a part of this post¬†Brian, but I just had to chat more on this article and, well, you aren’t too bad to look at for the cover shot.

So what was one supplement on their list that is supposed to make you jacked faster?

Betaine

betaine

So what is it?

It is a derivative of glycine (an amino acid) and due to having 3 methyl groups, it acts as a donor of a methyl group in a reaction that ends up producing creatine in the skeletal muscle. It also has been suggested to have cardiovascular protectant factors due to reducing plasma levels of homocysteine (which is a risk factor for CVD) and inflammation. Due to its role in increasing creatine, it was hypothesized that supplementing with it can have growth enhancing effects and increasing power and strength performance.

Due to these suggestions, this began finding its way into pre-workouts and even as a stand alone addition to any bodybuilders stack.

…the thing is though….

Does it actually make you grow?

Lets start with what the article stated:

Betaine seems to work by increasing the release of growth hormone and IGF-1 while blunting the exercise-induced release of catabolic hormones like cortisol. The overall effect is to increase muscle growth and decrease muscle breakdown following exercise.[2] Since betaine works much like creatine monohydrate, researchers suspect that it, too, might stimulate muscle growth over the long term.

Hmmm interesting. Well cortisol definitely has some support backed behind it…

So now, what does the research actually say?

Well, its all over the place. There doesn’t appear to be concrete conclusions about it.

Hoffman et al (2009) –> 15 days supplementation in active college males to test muscle strength, power and endurance across 3 time points. Study found no significant differences in number of reps to exhaustion (endurance) or on number of reps at 90% power OR power assessments. They did find that squat reps at 90% power increased significantly in the BET group at time 2.

Apicella et al (2012). This was once of the studies cited in the article and it did in fact show significantly lower cortisol levels post training in the BET while also showing significantly higher growth hormone.

Pryer et al (2012). BET supplementation in bike sprinters found a significant increase in sprinting power. The supplementation was only for a week however.

Hoffman et al (2011)–> 15 day supplementation with Betaine, once again, in active males (within subject study, so they each ran through a BET and non-BET treatment period==> better design) found no increase in peak concentric or eccentric force OR overall fatigue. They did, however, find a significant reduction in fatigue when compared workout 5 and 1 (was that a training adaption effect?)

So some studies say YAY and some studies say NAY so its safe to say that there is not a concrete answer on this product. If it does truly work like creatine (which has mass amounts of supporting research) than perhaps there is some merit to this guy. As of right now though, I wouldn’t be running to pick up a bottle of the stuff unless I’m not concerned about the money and I’m looking to do my own trial.

Happy Fitness Friday friends. 

PS it apparently has some gut health benefits too…hmm may need to¬†research those for meeeseelf.¬†betaine

-Chelsea


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Zzzzzz….Fitness Friday 25

My friends, today, well actually not just today but for holiday’s sake, we need to stop and take the time to appreciate the fact that we are here and living the lives we do because of the contributions of many men and women years ago.

#TheyLostTheirLivesSoYouCouldLiveYours

Always remember. Always appreciate. Never take for granted how you live and the rights you have. Things could have been very different.poppy

Keeping that in mind, with the news of the election in the States, I have gone through¬†many phases if I’m being honest. At first I joked and laughed at the fact that a business tycoon¬†with the famous comb over was able to make his way to the top and actually become the leader of the most powerful country in the world. I have since swayed to being annoyed with it all. The results are in, voting is a public thing, the people spoke. As much as everyone can complain about it, the people spoke to have him there.

That is all. It is done. He is on his thrown and I suppose we will have to see what life has to bring us in the near future.

Moving on to a less snooze worthy topic…or are we..?

Lets move onto Fitness Friday

Something that I haven’t touched on yet but is pretty much just as critical as food and exercise is….

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The Slumbers. The zzzzzzzsss. Snoozies.

Sleep my friends, sleep. 

I had a guest lecture yesterday in my Exercise, Metabolism and Nutrition class that I wanted to share the highlight reel with you all.

So lets start with the basics, than I will share a few fun tidbits/studies.

Sleep in a nutshell…

~Sleep goes in 90 minute cycles. You move through stages that include REM and non REM sleep. REM is where most of your dreams happen and your brain is fairly active (almost as active as when you are awake), while the deeper stages (non REM, stages 3-4) is where your brain activity is quite low.

~Your sleeping patterns are highly influenced by your hormones and their response to light and dark. Light hits your eyes and than the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your brain. That than inhibits the pineal gland’s release of melatonin (signals your ‘nighttime’), which keeps the body awake. The absence of light allows for melatonin to be released and so your body believes it’s night time and prepares for sleep.

~There are many theories on why we sleep, but we are still unsure. Is it to repair? Is it to save energy? Is it to enhance memory and learning?

So there are the bare bone basics. Now that we know those, lets move onto some fun stuff.

How much zzzz do you need?

Depends on age and also on the person. One study that was presented to us was one by the National Sleep Foundation.

sleep-requirements

For young adults, it was stated that most need 7-9 hours. They than added the may be appropriate ranges (the turquoise boxes) to account for inter-individual differences. So the recommendation for us is around 7-9 BUT some people say they can function perfectly fine on 6, while some others say they need 10-11 in order to adult.

Now lets dive into some relationships shall we…

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…this one seems to peak the interest of most, for good reason I suppose, is:

Does lack of sleep lead to greater risk of obesity?

…Well this is kind of like the whole chicken and the egg thing.

On the one hand, obese individuals see greater incidents of sleep apnea, which than leads to poorer quality sleep. Obesity also sees many cases of depression, which also tends to lead to poor sleeping habits.

On the other side of the spectrum you have all of the correlational data showing positive correlations between reduced sleep and:

~Wanting higher calorie foods

~Greater appetite and differences in appetite related hormones. Specifically leptin (satiety factor) appears to be reduced and ghrelin (appetite stimulant) appears to be heightened.

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~Significantly higher incidents of insomnia in obese when compared to normal and even overweight individuals. So the trend appears to show that the higher the BMI, the more potential for poor sleeping.

And one really interesting finding was a study done on sleep deprived individuals that found that after 4 nights of less than stellar sleeping (i.e. allowed to sleep for 4.5 hours for all days), subjects were found to have their insulin receptors on their adipose tissues being 30% LESS sensitive. Fun fact was that this was in healthy and LEAN individuals. What would the results shown if this was done in obese subjects where they already have some degree of insulin resistance?

PLEASE NOTE insulin is not the only player obesity. Insulin is not a bad hormone, its actions are just unable to respond in normal and healthy ways in those with insulin resistance

So overall, we are not sure 100% which way this relationship goes but there is quite the large amount of evidence showing that lack of sleep may contribute to weight gain from a multitude of different pathways.

Other random tidbits I enjoyed:

1. The idea of social jet lag.

Most of us young peoples like tend to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, similar to an owl per say. Society on the other hand pushes us to be early birds with the way everything from work to life works. What does this end up causing? We are exhausted all week, then sleep in on the weekends and get back to feeling good just to start all over again come Monday. So basically we are creating our own form of jet lag

2. Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NSRED). 

Yes this is actually a thing. A diagnosable disorder. Some people sleep eat without any way of controlling¬†it or preventing it from happening. Now this may seem funny to some but it actually appears to be very dangerous as many of these things ‘chosen’ to consume are actually inedible. Think paint, cigarettes, etc.

Yeah, not so funny when you could potentially poison yourself while you’re asleep! Not to mention cutting yourself while ‘preparing’ your meal, falling down stairs, etc.

I was wondering if perhaps there’s a deficiency of some kind present here for the body to be drawn to¬†inedible. Similar to conditions like pica, where they eat things like chalk or flour, maybe they are deficient in some mineral.¬†

Finally, I will end off on something near and dear to my heart..

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3. Naps

Yes, I take a nap for 20 minutes every day before dinner and will continue to do so until I need to grow up and adult during those 20 minutes. ūüėČ

Now there is a science to taking naps. I’m sure you have all heard that if you go past 20 minutes you are screwing yourself, but most people refuse to only go for 20 because they want MOOOOORRREE.

Well unfortunately the rumours are true and if you go past roughly 20 minutes, you are than entering later sleep stages and will end up waking up groggy. Instead, sticking to 20 minutes, you will wake up feeling ready to go because you only made it into REM sleep where the brain is still mostly active. The only way around this is perhaps to go the full sleep cycle which is 90 minutes, but lets be real friends, we don’t have time to nap for 1.5 hours.

Stick to the long sleeps during the night and the power/cat naps during the day.

Its this…

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vs. this..

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On that note, it’s almost time for my slumber soon since I’m¬†actually¬†one of the weirdos who functions as an early bird. I hope you enjoyed the info and have a good sleep. ūüėÄ

Information from this post was taken from a lecture presented by Dr. Justine Tishnisky on November 10, 2016 at the University of Guelph. 

-Chelsea


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Shots, Shots, Shots…Fitness Friday 23

But not of alcohol…

We touched that last week

This type of shot is great for your body but may burn a bit going down if you’re not like me and actually can stand drinking this stuff straight.

So what am I recommending you take shots of you ask?

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Before you turn your noses up at the thought of taking a shot of straight acid vinegar, hear me out. Take a look at all the great benefits:

amazing-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar

While we are at it, here’s some studies to check out to back up some of these claims:

Weight loss. Take this one with caution, it is inconclusive as of yet. There is suggestion that it delays gastric emptying, which than may play a contributing role to eating less because of increased duration of satiety.

Blood lipids and Cholesterol. This study found that after 8 weeks of taking ACV, there were significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Furthermore, there was a trend towards increased levels of HDL

Glycemic Control. Some studies have found antiglycemic responses (controlling glucose levels in the blood) when taking even small doses of ACV with a meal.

This review also provides insight into studies looking into cancer, cholesterol, inflammation and antioxidant effects.

Ones that I can personally attest to..

Allergies and Sinuses. I told my Mom to start taking it in the morning and it immediately cleared her sinuses. This has helped to a degree for her migraines, which can be triggered by the pressure associated with mucus build up in the sinuses.

Digestion. My coach has me taking a shot of this before all my main meals (that or lemon juice) and boy does it help! You body uses hydrochloric acid to break down food that you ingest, so by incorporating other natural acids along with meal, you can help aid in digestion. This has really helped me with digestion of higher fats as they are more difficult for the body to break down and used to upset my stomach a lot more. Bloating and heartburn be gone!

Less Yeast. Sorry, TMI for some, but us females tend to be prone to yeast and potential candida infections, so by taking ACV or other natural acids, you can help your body rid itself of these lil nasties. This is because ACV acts as a prebiotic which then leads to growth of healthy flora in the gut to combat invaders. Also, as shown in this study, ACV also acts as an anti fungal. 

So I know the last question you will have is how the hell do you get that stuff down?

Well, if you’re like me, you can just shoot it back straight. If not, you can dilute it with a bit of water OR add a bit of honey if that helps.

It’s only a few tsp¬†(don’t go nuts mmmkay?) so plug your nose and just get’er back, I mean why not? Do it for 2 weeks and see what you notice.

Oh and one final note

You need to buy the raw, unpasteurized one WITH THE MOTHER…

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The mother is where all the good stuff is! It contains¬†the¬†living enzymes and nutrients! Cheaper, processed ones are stripped of this vital part so you have to fork out a bit more for these benefits.¬†Heres a lil something quoted¬†from the Bragg’s webpage:

The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain due to overprocessing, filtration and overheating. [Source]

So if anyone is brave enough to try it out for all these benefits, comment back to me and tell me what you thought or your experiences!

Happy Friday! 

-Chelsea


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Boozing My Gains Away…? Fitness Friday 22

Does alcohol really make you fat?

This video inspired this post, yes another one from Jeff Nippard because I’m obsessed with all his research focused training and nutrition talks.

Jeff does a great job of summing up to the answer to the above question so I didn’t really need to add much. I recommend you watch the clip but if you really don’t want to, heres the highlights:

~Physically, the alcohol itself doesn’t not lead to weight gain. Just like other macronutrients (which, no, alcohol is not a nutrient), alcohol does contain calories that need to be accounted for. It has ~7kcal to be exact. So, if we are talking calories, if you take in enough alcohol on top of your food intake to go over your nutrient needs, then yes you can gain weight. But it’s not specifically the alcohol itself, its the fact that you went over your intake.

Remember how much additional calories come from the drink mixes themselves!

~If fat loss is your goal and you want to learn how to ‘factor in’ alcohol to not go over your caloric needs, then Jeff states that it is best to reduce your fat intake (rather than carbs, which some do) to compensate for the alcohol. This swap is easier if your are tracking, as you can simply swap the calories, but if you are like most who don’t track, than just keep in mind to eat a lil bit less fat throughout the day.¬†This doesn’t mean starve yourself! Just go for more filling and voluminous foods¬†that are lower calorie.

~Why fats rather than carbs? Jeff said this nicely, but basically alcohol is treated in the body like a poison and, because of that, it is given top priority¬†for metabolic processing. With that being said, lipid (or fat) oxidation than decreases substantially while the liver is busy with the alcohol, which than makes the fat that you consume more likely to be stored. NOTE it’s the calories from fat being stored, not the calories from alcohol. Carbohydrates are not as easily stored as fat (more so used when they are consumed, unless is excess), and therefore it’s best to focus on fat for caloric compensation.

This is of course not necessarily a big issue if you are in a deficit as then storage is not an issue. 

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~While alcohol doesn’t seem to affect testosterone significantly, it does in fact negatively affect protein synthesis. If you are considering recovery from training, Jeff gave a percentage of about 37% from a study looking at the effect of alcohol on post training muscle protein synthesis. That same study did find that if you supplemented with protein shortly after training that this effect is somewhat stunted (down to 24%), but it is something to keep in mind for effective recovery.

Disclaimer: Jeff provided all of the studies in his video for the things and papers he discussed, so if you want references, see his video

So what does all this say?

Alcohol doesn’t technically make you gain weight any easier than another macronutrient, provided you don’t go into a caloric surplus due to your consumption. It can affect your recovery the next day if you were to train via affecting muscle protein synthesis to a degree. He also commented on the other factors of recovery that may be negatively affected such as cognitive function which would impact your performance.

What I take from that is the fact that you will probably go into your workout and have a crappy lift because you lack concentration, are probably dehydrated and most definitely just aren’t feeling on par.¬†If¬†you cannot push as hard or reach the same intensity, your overall session will not be optimal. That’s just the way it is.

That being said, once and a while you really don’t have to worry. It’s not going to affect you in the long run. However, you may want to think about it more if you happen to go drinking all weekend long starting Thursday night and are wanting to ‘make gains.’

Another paper to take a peek at is this one by Suter and Tremblay (2005) as they discussed the associations between the degree of consumption and weight gain. They talked about the alcohol vs. alcohol calories point in addition to the fact that it appears that alcohol creates a potential for positive fat gain due to reduced fat oxidation and thus causing excess fat calories to than be more likely to be stored. This stored was also notably more in the abdominal area.

Hope you enjoyed this post and I have a very happy Friday friends!

-Chelsea