10 Nutrition Tips for July

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A must-have nutrition/supplement resource, benefits of cold showers, upgrading smoothies, carb cycling, and much more in this month’s 10 Nutrition Tips.

1. Examine.com has quickly established itself as the go-to resource on the internet for bias-free supplement and nutritional content. 

The website is, in a word, phenomenal.

There is so much BS and misinformation floating around the internet nowadays pertaining to supplements, quick fixes, and nutritional short cuts – it is great to have a website that relies on good old fashioned hard work and science to provide proper information.

And they have just released a comprehensive reference guide, which you can pick up (for a cost) here. The material contained in here would generally cost hundreds of dollars to obtain from a nutritionist (or hundreds of hours of personal research). A comparable product put out from Natural Standard costs $300 or $400 per year.

You can sort your search by the supplement name, of course, but what is really great is that you can sort the comprehensive list/research by your health goal. Want to burn fat? Find out the best ways to get there. Want to gain muscle? Improve your sleep? Blood pressure?

The information in here may seem excessive for the average person (you don’t need to know the ins and outs of hundreds of supplements and health foods), but for anyone who wants to take their health into their own hands (or someone who provides nutritional/fitness advice to others), this is an essential document.

You can cure so many illnesses with proper supplementation and nutrition, and chances are you can improve your life quite a bit by figuring out what to put in it (and conversely, what to not put in it).

I don’t push products unless I 100% believe in them. And this is one of said products. And here are some testimonials from some of the most respected people in the health industry.

2. Eight nutrition myths… debunked.

Eating protein is (not) bad for you:

Bottom Line: Eating a high protein diet may be protective against bone fractures and reduce the two most important risk factors for kidney failure.

3. Next time you take a shower… try turning the temperature all the way down. 

One of many advantages to a cold shower:

Metabolic advantages – from a body composition perspective, cold showers are also incredibly useful. The cold water induces an increased metabolic rate. The cold temperatures force your body to re-regulate the body temperature continually, which utilizes many calories. Mark mentions that an evolutionarily retained adaptation to cold water exposure is a layer of protective fat. Therefore, get your cold shower short and sweet and then get out. Longer exposure to cold therapy is not necessarily better.

4. A great read on “how” to choose supplements.

Know what “proprietary blends” are, and know how each supplement measures dosage. These are both vital pieces of information to absorb and understand.

Companies will often use proprietary blends to mask ineffective mixes or make you think you are getting more than you are really paying for. They undercut on the more expensive ingredients and pump up the mix with less expensive ingredients.

Companies will use proprietary blends as a marketing tactic itself – giving them fancy names and state that the blend is backed by research while never actually providing supporting research or anything substantial to back their claim.

There is no accountability to the scientific studies or clinical trials that established the effective dose of the ingredient.

5. Some easy ways to “upgrade” your smoothies. 

Ground flax, or whole chia or Salba seed: for added fiber, minerals, protein, vitamin E and essential healthy fats.
Rolled oats: for fiber, phyto-nutrients, and slowly-released carbohydrate
Protein powder: lots of choices such as whey, fermented soy, hemp, pea, or brown rice
Nut butters (almond, peanut etc): for vitamin E, monounsaturated fats for long-lasting energy and protein.
Berries: for antioxidants and phyto-nutrients

6. Here’s a look at how Tour de France riders eat (spoiler alert: a lot of food).

So each day the likes of Thor Hushovd and David Zabriskie consume 5,000 to 6,000 calories. That’s the equivalent of six pounds of steak or, in Garmin’s case, two boxes of Chocolate-Chip Clif Bars and a half-dozen gels.

To give his riders something more appealing that a stack of sirloins or a bag of bars, Ketchell maps out the day’s calories from the time his riders wake until it’s lights out. A typical day starts with breakfast three to fours hours before the start. Morning mainstays include cereal and oatmeal along with rice or pasta. If a rider’s in the mood for noodles at 8 a.m., there’s plenty of that too.

7. Here’s a detailed look at carb cycling – one of the most effective ways to build muscle and burn fat while maintaining sanity on a healthy and balanced diet.

A quick example:

Carb cycling is based on having three different carbohydrate intake levels during the week: high(er) carbs, moderate carbs, and low(er) carbs. Ideally these days are split according to your training schedule.

If you train 4 times per week:

• Select your two “priority workouts.” These are the workouts where you’re training the muscle groups you need to improve the most. On these days, you have a high(er) carbohydrate day.

• On the two other workout days, you consume a moderate amount of carbs.

• On the three “off days” you have a low(er) carb intake.

8. Flax seeds are really healthy, and here are five ways to make sure you are maximizing their health benefits. 

Flax seeds remain one of my favourite super foods. They are full of heart healthy soluble fibre, anti-inflammatory omega 3′s and less expensive than its more glamourous cousins hemp and chia.
Our body can’t access the soluble fibre and omega 3′s of flax when the sturdy outer hull is intact so use ground flax seeds or flax oil to get the most bang for your buck. The whole seed is a great way to get some extra insoluble fibre- the roughage that keeps your digestive system clean and moving.

9. Made these frozen coconut macadamia nut bars… and they are delicious. 

10. For my final point this month, a friendly reminder: drink more water. Whatever you are doing at this very moment in time, stop it and go grab a tall glass of water and drink it. The health benefits of proper water intake are countless, just as the complications that can arise from a lack of water are. Drink up!

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