I’ve made my stance on bottled water quite clear before, but I’ll go ahead and reiterate: bottled water is a joke. It’s completely unnecessary, unless you’re in a nation with unsafe water quality, and the plastic bottles make for excellent landfill fodder. You could reuse the bottles, but then you’ve gotta worry about the plastic leaching into your water, especially the more you refill and reuse them (and don’t ever stick ‘em in the dishwasher). Poor taste is one thing – I can’t expect a person to happily drink tap water that tastes terrible – but tap is perfectly safe to drink, especially if used with a simple filter. And if it weren’t, most bottled water wouldn’t be any better, since it’s often just repackaged tap (check the label or cap – if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” or anything along similar lines, it’s tap water). Sparkling water in glass bottles is justifiable (tap isn’t bubbly, after all, although you could make it so at home, and the glass bottles are definitely reusable (I like filling them with homemade salad dressings).
But if you’re just after fresh drinking water, the tap will be fine. You can buy a filter if you like – I do, myself – or you could locate a nearby freshwater spring, if tap isn’t cutting it. The best water I’ve ever tasted came from a campsite faucet in Lake Tahoe. You could taste the minerals; it was like drinking from a fresh water stream before it got dangerous. I swear, if it didn’t mean a eight-hour drive each way, I’d get all my water from that tap. Oh well. I’m getting off topic. Just don’t buy crate after crate of water in plastic bottles is the essential gist of my spiel.
Still, bottled water is undeniably convenient, which is why it’s probably so popular (along with unfounded fears regarding tap water safety). I can’t ignore the convenience factor. I like it myself. Most people just reuse their old plastic bottles, those simple, unassuming polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. It’s an environmentally friendly gesture, but it’s one that may promote health issues, including the leaching of DEHP – a potent carcinogen – with repeated use. And, of course, there’s always our old friend, Bisphenol A, to contend with when plastics are involved. He turns up in the darndest of places, but that doesn’t mean you should simply throw in the towel. Avoid those old plastic bottles. Then there are the glass bottles. Safe? Yeah, but they’re also heavy and fragile – not the ideal water vessel for active individuals like our readers.
A better option is to go with a permanent water bottle expressly designed for the purpose. There are dozens on the market, but it usually comes down to a standoff between bottles made of polycarbonate plastics, aluminum, and stainless steel. Let’s see if we can find a clear winner. Read More…http://www.marksdailyapple.com/safe-water-bottle/#axzz48qZM1kpd
Ever wonder why so many athletes are hooked on their Voodoo floss? Are you trying to decide if you should get some? Not sure how to use yours? Hopefully you already know all of the wonderful uses for Voodoo floss and it’s amazing benefits for your mobility and recovery but just in case you do not, here’s a summary of why this tool is so magical along with some examples and ideas for making the most of your floss.
Voodoo Floss helps break up intramuscular junk to allow for greater mobility and blood supply to an area. By squeezing the muscle in a tight wrap, then forcing it through a full range of motion (ROM), friction between muscle fibers helps break up fuzz, scar tissue, lactic acid and other junk in those tiny places that foam rolling and lacrosse ball techniques can’t address. You will only leave the Voodoo floss on for about two minutes.
Example: TIGHTLY wrap the calf and do calf-focused self-myofascial release (SMR), stretching, squats, lunges, etc.
When you release the band, a rush of blood washes through the muscle; this not only brings nutrients for growth and healing but also clearing out all that junk you just broke up. This is also true for injury recovery and can be used to aid the healing of strained tissue. For swollen areas, you want to promote lymphatic drainage. To do this, wrap the band about half as tight as you do when you’re trying to mobilize the area. It’s good to put the area through gentle ROM if you can; shoot for more of a compression massage where you are physically maneuvering the area versus bashing it to death. Read More…
There’s a war raging over your beef, and you may not even know it! In spite of research spanning over 30 years, the battle between grass- and grain-fed has left many people scratching their heads as to whether or not the higher price per pound of grass-fed is worth their purchase.1
A longer time to harvest, the more ethical treatment of the animals, and less total end-product are a few of the many reasons that grass-fed beef costs more than its grain-raised counterpart. For example, a farmer raising and selling grain-fed cattle can break even by selling beef at $1.18 per pound, but the same farmer raising grass-fed beef needs to sell at $2.22 per pound. 2
Despite the added cost, the main argument for grass-fed beef rests on the fact that the feed provided to cattle has a profound impact on the nutrients within the meat that we end up eating.3 Grass-fed animals are leaner and provide a beneficial fat profile.
Check out this quick overview to help you decide if grass-fed beef is worth your hard-earned green!
It was once believed that saturated-fat intake was directly linked to an increased risk of heart disease. However, recent research has squashed this statement and placed the focus more specifically on the type of saturated fat consumed.4,5
There are multiple variations of saturated fat, but what’s important to know is that some are associated with a higher risk of disease than others. Grass-fed beef has been shown to be much higher in a “neutral” saturated fat, one that does not have an impact on cardiovascular-disease risk.6 This fatty acid, also known as stearic acid, is significantly elevated in grass-fed beef.7
Grain-fed beef, on the other hand, displays a nutrient makeup higher in the saturated-fat variants specifically linked to an increased risk for heart disease. This risk is related to the negative impact saturated fat has on total cholesterol levels. So, should you look for a second job so that you can afford this grass-fed goodness? Not so fast.
Consuming grain-fed beef 1-2 times per week probably won’t have major negative implications to your health—especially if you eat well and exercise regularly—but if you’re able to work in the occasional grass-fed option, you’ll be doing your body and taste buds a major favor!
GRAIN-FED BEEF DISPLAYS A NUTRIENT MAKEUP HIGHER IN THE SATURATED-FAT VARIANTS SPECIFICALLY LINKED TO AN INCREASED RISK FOR HEART DISEASE THAN GRASS-FED BEEF. Read More…
If you want to add more energy to your exercise routine, what you need is plyometric training. Plyometrics are also called plyos, and they consist of powerful and fast movements. These exercises improve the working of your nervous system and thus improve your overall performance in sporting events.
They involve relaxing and contracting muscles in fast sequences, making use of elasticity, innervations, and strength of tissues and muscles that are involved in running faster, jumping higher, and throwing farther. Thus plyometrics are especially useful for track and field athletes. Plyos raise the force and speed of your muscle contractions, leading to higher explosive power that is needed in sports activities.
Track and field events aren’t the only sports that need plyos. Soccer, rugby, racket sports, martial arts, and basketball also make use of plyometrics, in fact every sport can benefit to some extent from plyometric training.
There are many benefits of plyometrics, like:
Since plyometrics can boost your running speed, your performance can improve a lot. Even if you are involved in an activity that does not involve running, plyos can still help you, because you can be better at throwing farther or punching harder. Plyometric training can help you achieve almost all athletic goals.
With plyos, the strength of your arm and leg muscles would be enhanced by a higher rate of force development, thereby guaranteeing a rise in muscular power and force. Read More…
For something so simple (even babies do it), sleep isn’t such an easy thing. Both too little and too much time dozing has been linked to a host of health problems, from obesity and heart disease to dementia and diabetes. And sleep position can play a role in snoring, heartburn, and even wrinkles! Read on to see if you should switch it up in bed (remember, we’re talking sleep here).
The Best (and Worst) Positions for Sleeping: Back Sleepers
Pros: Snoozing in savasana pose is a boon for spine and neck health, because the back is straight and not forced into any contortions. Plus back sleeping helps the mattress do its job of supporting the spine. In a perfect (and kind of uncomfy) world, everyone would sleep on their backs without a pillow, as this position leaves the neck in a neutral position. Using too many pillows, however, can make breathing more difficult. Back sleeping is also a winner for the more cosmetically inclined. Spending all night with the face out in the air—and not smooshed up against a pillow—leads to fewer facial wrinkles ((The influence of the sleeping on the formation of facial wrinkles.
Cons: Instances of snoring and sleep apnea are much more frequent when a person is sleeping in the supine position. In fact, back sleeping is so closely linked to sleep apnea that doctors prescribe side sleeping as a treatment for the condition. When we sleep on our backs, gravity forces the base of the tongue to collapse into the airway, which obstructs breathing and creates oh-so-pleasant snoring noises that keeps the neighbors up at night.
It’s also worth noting that a supported spine doesn’t always necessarily mean a good night’s sleep. A study comparing the sleep habits of good sleepers and poor sleepers noted the people with worse-quality sleep spent more time on their backs than the good sleepers (Sleep positions in the young adult and their relationship with the subjective quality of sleep.
The Best (and Worst) Positions for Sleeping: Side Sleepers
Pros: Side sleepers, unite! Whether they’re curling up in the cozy fetal position or lying straight on one side, the vast majority of people report sleeping on their sides (although since everyone is unconscious during sleep, this information can never be entirely accurate).
Doctors encourage sleeping on the left side during pregnancy because it improves circulation to the heart, which benefits both mom and baby. Side sleeping is also a pregnancy winner because sleeping on the back puts pressure on the lower back (which can lead to fainting) and stomach-sleeping is impossible for obvious reasons ((When it comes to pregnant women sleeping, is left right?. For those not expecting, sleeping on the left side can also ease heartburn and acid reflux, making it easier for people with these conditions to doze off.
Cons: At the same time, sleeping on the left side can put pressure on the stomach and lungs (alternating sides often can help prevent organ strain). And as almost all side-sleepers know well, this position can result in the dreaded squished-arm-numbness. Snuggling into bed with the arm behind the head is a common sleep position, but it may adversely affect muscles and nerves. Resting the head (or the whole body) on a single arm can restrict blood flow and press down on the nerves, which results in “rubber arm” or painful pins and needles. In this position, the shoulder supports a lot of the body’s weight, which can constrict the neck and shoulder muscles ((Sleep position and shoulder pain. Read More…