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    Fitness

    Taurine

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    It’s all too easy to grab an energy drink on the go to give you a little pick-me-up. Now days everyone crosses that path where they are over-pressured, under-rested, and still need to keep on going. The answer to this dilemma has become a no brainer thanks to ample advertisement and the abundance of brand after brand claiming to be the cure-all for your midday grogginess. Take the average college student, for example, who is piled with more homework hours than there are in a day. Ask him what he had for dinner and you will likely get an answer involving some type of amped up name like Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar…the list goes on. Though there are warnings attached to these energy drinks to limit 2-3 per day, there isn’t an explanation attached to such a label as to why. There is, however, much controversy as to whether the ingredient packed drinks are bad for you. More acutely the question resounds around which, if any, of such ingredients might be. One of the common ingredients in nearly all energy drinks, alongside caffeine, is Taurine.   Taurine is an amino acid-like compound that has actually been deemed essential to our bodies. It is essentially an organic acid and is also a major constituent of bile, which can be found in the lower intestine. This component is not actually a part of the human body’s structural proteins; it is rather one of the most abundant free floating amino acids amidst the bloodstream and tissues. It is most predominant in the heart, skeletal muscles, and nervous system. Often times when one performs strenuous physical activity, his body stops producing the compound which can result in a deficiency that is linked to illness and ailments. Some studies have recommended daily supplemental doses of taurine to aid in brain functions as well as to help the heart. Other studies acknowledge that taurine acts as an antioxidant by combating the destructive effects of oxygen free radicals, that it can be detoxifying, as well it is essential in proper growth and development.   Although caffeine and taurine as a pair have been claimed to enhance athletic and mental performance, the statement remains controversial. Unlike caffeine which is a stimulant, taurine is not. Caffeine is a diuretic, while taurine has not been found to cause the same effect. Not enough studies have been executed in order to fully examine and provide an in depth exploration as to the long term effects of taurine, the coupling effects of taurine and caffeine in energy drinks together, or any toxicity related to an overabundance of the ingredient. Separate studies on just taurine, however, have proven the component to be safe in even relatively high doses, though little is known regarding any long term effects. Results have shown positive response that taurine seems to be linked with mood enhancement, more optimum motor response, focus and alertness, and an overall greater mental performance. Taurine is also used in Japan to treat ischemic heart disease as well as certain heart arrhythmias.     There are many claims exalting the positive effects of taurine which then support the suggestion to ingest daily supplemental doses of the compound. The aspects of probable health benefits are encouraging. Still, everything in moderation is the key. Consider when consuming products such as energy drinks, you are combining ingredients that may completely alter the effects of each other. Until further studies are able to present a clearer picture, it is safe to assume that there may always be a risk. Contrary to the supplemental version of taurine that apparently provides mental clarity, plus many other physiological benefits, too many energy drinks may cause an adverse effect. Until otherwise proven; do yourself a favor and drink responsibly.   ...

    When to Eat Fruits

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    We all know the daily recommendations of healthy consumption. They include getting as many servings of fruits and vegetables as possible. Sometimes by trying to adhere to this healthy lifestyle, we actually unknowingly hinder ourselves. Reaching those 9 servings of raw foods can seem a bit tricky, and we often simply throw a few fruits into our lunch or dinner in order to reach our daily goals. Unfortunately, though, mixing fruits with other type of foods can produce unwanted adverse effects.   There are many digestible myths floating around out there pertaining to when to eat fruits, when not to eat them, and with what-if anything-to eat them. Though many of these little rules can be beneficial, there are only a couple of them that create a large impact if they are not adhered to. The most important rule of thumb when consuming fruit is to avoid eating fruit with meals or directly after. Unfortunately, this definitely puts a damper on the delicious fruit riddled desserts so colorfully offered after a large dinner by most restaurants. But there is a rhyme to the reason, and the fruity dessert may have to either wait until later, be swapped out for chocolate cake (what a bummer), or hey-why not eaten first? Digestively speaking, fruit will wreak havoc on your insides because the enzymes of the fruit break down in the intestine and much quicker than most other foods. If the fruit is eaten after dinner for example, it will have digested much faster than the rest of the food sitting in the stomach, but it will not be able to pass through so the fruit will begin essentially rotting. This creates bloatedness from gas, discomfort, and an otherwise unbalanced digestion. Typically most fruits (aside from bananas which take about 45 minutes) contain simple sugars and so fully digest within a half an hour or even less. Other foods that contain starch, proteins, fats, etc. take much longer and sit in the stomach for long periods of time. Eating fruit during or after meals will cause the foods to mix, ultimately leaving the fruit to ferment and even rot as it waits to be digested together with the other foods. In a situation like this all the nutrients will have been a waste, which completely diminishes the purpose of consuming the fruit to begin with.   The remedy to this is simple. Just don’t eat fruit during or after meals. Ideally, fruit should be consumed on an empty stomach. Not only will this balance the body’s natural blood sugar levels, it will ensure optimum ease of digestion, and the greatest reception of the fruit’s nutrients. It is also suggested to eat fruit throughout the morning to stabilize the body’s natural energy and balance out the state of hunger while initiating the digestive system for the rest of the day. Allow at least half an hour before meals if you intend on consuming a naturally sweet snack prior to. This way, the fruit will have passed through the digestive system before it mixes with the other foods. It has also been suggested that mixing berries with dairy reduces the nutritional intake by up to 70%. This should maintain a rule of thumb for all fruits.     It is evident that fruit can be more beneficial, just like vitamins, depending on how you consume it. Though it is often advised to eat it in abundance during the first half of your day, it is great to enjoy it at any given time. The most important advise to follow is to refrain from throwing it into the mix of a regular meal, or shortly thereafter. If you can relate sweet fruit filled desserts with putrid, rotting fermentation stuck in the gut, you will most likely hold onto this suggestion just as easily as you do to the pertinence of your daily dietary servings. It seems to put things in a totally different perspective.   ...