Caffeine is known to increase performance when taken before endurance activities, but more than 80% of studies have focused on men. A recent randomized, double-blind, crossover study out of Queensland, Australia, aimed to determine whether or not gender affects ergogenic responses to caffeine.
There’s another reason to make sure you’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin: High levels of vitamin D in the blood are now linked with better fitness, according to research from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.
There’s another reason to make sure you’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin: High levels of vitamin D in the blood are now linked with better fitness, according to research from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. In the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 20- to 49-year-olds with better vitamin D status also tended to have greater cardiorespiratory fitness, a measure of aerobic fitness often determined by measuring maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) during exertion.
Don’t like fish? Well, you might not be able to turn to the supplement aisle to get the same benefits for your heart. A Cochrane report exploring 79 randomized trials of more than 112,000 adults (both with and without heart disease) showed that increasing omega-3 intake, mainly from fish oil pills taken for at least 1 year, did not significantly prevent heart attacks, strokes or deaths in general.
Count this as more proof that we shouldn’t rely on pills and powders to make up for dietary shortfalls.
Here’s another good reason for people to reduce their Buddha-bellies: improving their vitamin D status. According to data presented at the 2018 European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain, researchers from the Netherlands found that more body fat around adults’ waistline is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Beyond raising the risk of weak bones, poor vitamin D status could set the stage for other health issues, including heart disease and compromised immunity.
The growing popularity of soy products in U.S. and European diets has raised considerable controversy. While the soy-rich diets of Asia generate documented health benefits, questions persist about the safety of soy in some products, especially infant formula.
To make sense of this debate, it helps to understand the nature of dietary compounds called phytoestrogens—plant-based compounds whose chemical structure resembles estrogens, the female sex hormones of mammals. Also called isoflavones, phytoestrogens are most prevalent in soybeans and red clover.
For years, we’ve heard that eating more dietary fiber delivers a range of health
benefits, from greater weight loss to better blood sugar control to lower cholesterol
levels. Now, scientists increasingly suggest that much of the power of fiber
is due to its impact on the human microbiome—our internal colonies of bacteria.
Eating a wide range of high-fiber foods appears to nourish the microbiome
in our digestive tracts.
The Nutrition Facts panel displayed on all packaged food can relay critical nutrition information like calorie, sugar and fiber content—but only to those who read the label.
An investigation by the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and Medical School found that a mere one-third of adults aged 25–36 report frequent use of the Nutrition Facts label. Women, people with more education and income, those who cook more of their own food, and people who exercise regularly were more likely to examine their food purchases carefully.
Do you or your clients drink energy beverages to get a lift? Do you think government agencies should better regulate these drinks? What do you consider the major health concerns of heavy consumption? Or do you believe the reported dangers are overblown? Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected]
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