Run for Time Not Distance If You’re Training Indoors This Winter

It was 12 below zero this morning when I got up to run. Obviously, hitting the ice-covered streets and sidewalks isn’t an option. So I got bundled up and headed to the Y where I found plenty of empty treadmills.

treadmills

It’s only 12 below. Where is everybody?

I can get motivated to do some rather serious training runs in the spring when I have events coming up that I want to be semi-competitive at. At this time of year I’m on a maintenance running program. The goal is to not lose everything that I’ve gained over the last year.

Should You Run for Time or Distance?

The time vs. miles debate is one you should research and consider if you’re doing treadmill running. If you’ve been running outside for the past seven or eight months, getting on the treadmill and setting the same mileage-to-time goal that you were doing outside is not only impossible, it’s de-motivating!

Experts will tell you to set a time goal and not worry about the miles. At least for now.

That’s what I did today and the outcome was better than it would have been if I would have been working on a distance goal.

Time Flies

Once you get warmed up and into the workout the time will start to go faster. Remember, the second half of the run always feel better than the first half does.

Jason Karp, Ph.D. says that time is more important than miles, especially if you’re training for longer runs. You will begin to see progress in both your distance and the time it takes you to cover it when you learn to stress your body for a certain length of time. If you’re training for a run that you think will take you an hour and a half to complete, run for an hour and a half. When the day of the event comes your body will be prepared for that duration.

Time vs distance

Plus, if your goal is to successfully run for one hour, regardless of the miles covered, when your watch says you’ve been running for 60 minutes you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment.

If you set a goal to run six miles in one hour and it takes you an hour and four minutes, you’ll focus on the failure of not meeting the miles-to-time goal. Chances are you will have trouble motivating yourself to try again.

Time Vs. Distance

I believe that establishing time rather than distance goals is the secret to success for indoor winter training.

When you move back outside in the spring you can begin to incorporate realistic miles-to-time goals and add tempo runs and speed drills so you’ll be fully ready to kick butt at any event you sign up for.

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Just getting started on your running journey? We all started in the same place. Here’s my story as I went from running a 5K to a half marathon. My Running Success Story.

 

Resolve to Be Kinder in 2018

Kindness Never Goes Out of Style

We live in a super-sized, fast-paced world where it is sometimes hard to find the good in ourselves and in others.

With changes and improvements in technology moving at a break-neck pace things that were once cutting edge (dial-up modems, flip phones, pocket cameras) quickly become obsolete.

Remember the now obsolete VCR?

VCR

Out of style.

Thank goodness kindness never goes out of style. Kindness is something that is desperately needed all day in every corner of the world. At times it seems as if it has gone out of style, so it’s up to us to make sure we keep it relevant and trendy.

Kindness

Always in style.

 

Below is a slideshow I created for an opening to a wellness event that I offered to employees this fall. The topic was the healthy side effects of kindness. I hope you will enjoy, live it and share it!

Healthy Side Effects of Kindness

Research shows that kindness has a significant impact on your health in a positive way.

Random Acts of Kindness.org says that:

  • In 2010 the Harvard Business School surveyed people in 136 countries and found that those who are generous with charitable donations are the happiest overall.
  • People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains.
  • People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more.
  • According to research from Emory University, being kind to others triggers your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
  • Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin – the feel-good chemical in your brain – that heals wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!

Engaging in acts of kindness has also been shown to reduce pain, stress, anxiety and depression, and blood pressure!

Resolve to Spread Kindness in 2018

Make a resolution to spread kindness in 2018. It never goes out of style!

(This video uses royalty free pictures from Pixabay.com and royalty free music from Bensound.com)

Happy New Year!

Cheers!

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss, LIIT (not HIIT) and a Crazy Short Circuit. It’s Friday I’m in Link Love

 

It’s Friday! My favorite day of the week and the day I love to share links to health and fitness information that you can use. This Friday we’ll talk about apple cider vinegar for weight loss, how your DNA can help you lose weight, a crazy,hard short circuit and a funny New Year’s meme.

It’s Friday, I’m In Link Love!

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Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss: Truth or Myth?

What is the truth about apple cider vinegar and its effects on metabolism and weight loss? According to Dr. Mercola and other health experts, apple cider vinegar is a thermogenic substance that plays a key role in having a healthy metabolism. While it might not be a magic bullet for weight loss, studies do show that consuming apple cider vinegar improves cognitive function, promotes athletic recovery, supports gut health, and helps you sustain a healthy, normal metabolism.

Apple cider vinegar

Fermented apples may just be the secret sauce to weight loss.

If you want to give a daily dose of apple cider vinegar a try, figuring out a palatable way to consume it might be your biggest challenge. At Natural Living Ideas you can find Five Tasty Ways to Get Your Daily Dose of Apple Cider Vinegar. Dr. Mercola has an apple cider vinegar supplement for sale at his web site that might be even more appealing to you.  Check out all of the reasons you should be consuming apple cider vinegar every day and purchase the supplement here: Help Unlock Your Body’s Metabolism With Apple Cider Vinegar

Forget HIIT and Embrace LIIT (?) in 2018

Burpees, box jumps, and wind sprints are ingredients of a 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. HIIT has been a mainstay for workout junkies for a few years now and the results of high intensity workouts are undeniable. But not everyone wants to do, or is able to do, a HIIT workout several times a week. In 2018 HIIT may take a back seat to the latest fitness trend called Low Intensity Interval Training, or, as you guessed, it LIIT!

The good news is that a LIIT workout can burn the same number of calories as a HIIT workout does without the impact and stress to the joints. But, you’ll have to spend more time working out. A typical HIIT workout lasts about 20 minutes. If you do LIIT you’ll need to workout for at least 45 minutes to achieve the same calorie burn.

LIIT is trending in 2018 and Joey Atlas has dedicated an entire web site to the benefits of LIIT. To learn more about the ‘jaw-dropping results’ of LIIT check out Low-Intensity Interval Training Delivers Jaw-Dropping Results.

Use Your DNA To Lose Weight

A new weight loss app called EmbodyDNA by Lose It! uses your DNA which you provide via a saliva sample to deliver personalized weight loss recommendations to you. The goal of the app is to determine how well your body handles the food you’re eating and help you gain insight to which foods and drinks can help keep you on track. You can learn more and purchase the app for $49.99 here: EmbodyDNA Lose it!

EmbodyDNA-screen-shots-1

Short Circuits With Marsha

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Marsha Hughes bring you free, high-quality short workout circuits that are designed to burn fat and encourage weight loss. Marsha typically posts one or two new workouts a week. I’ve don’t most – not all – of the short circuits. My favorite is the 12 Minute Dumbbell Ladder Strength Circuit featured below. This circuit is crazy hard. Your legs will be crying when you get done with this workout.

Check out all of Marsha’s short circuits here: Short Circuits With Marsha

Happy New Year to Everyone.

I hope you make SMART, realistic, doable resolutions this year. Possibly something like this?

 

Resolutions

Stay safe out there!

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5 Healthy Ways to Embrace Fall

The air is cooler. And dryer. The grass doesn’t need to be cut twice a week, and there is pumpkin spice something or other everywhere.

I think that every season brings forth a sense of renewal. At each season’s change we are motivated to wipe the slate clean, forget the mistakes of the past and move forward to reach our goals.

Fall leaves

Fall is no different. In some ways fall is the absolute best time to reset those healthy goals. The weather is cooler, most of us get a little more sleep (it’s dark by 7 p.m.), and there’s a sense that our time has value.

In Illinois the only option is to embrace fall. Let’s do it in the healthiest way possible. Try some – or all – of these healthy fall ideas.

Turn in Early. Sleep is important to our health. A number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are linked to sleep deprivation. Current research even suggests that people that toss and turn at night are at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s later in life.If you are sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night you may need to improve your sleep hygiene. You can find sleep hygiene tips here.

If you wake up throughout the night and feel short or breath and/or anxious you may have sleep apnea, a condition that is detrimental to your overall health. Talk to you physician about the symptoms and health risks related to sleep apnea. You doctor can provide a diagnosis and guidance to help treat this serious health condition.

Start Moving More – It is no longer 90 degrees outside. The heat are humidity are not an excuse to stay inside in the AC on your lunch hour or in the evenings after dinner. Take advantage of the cooler weather and make more time for physical activity. Find time each day to take a 10 to 15 minute walk before or after work, or on a break or lunch hour. Remember, you don’t have to spend an hour in the gym to feel and look better. Short bursts of exercise contribute to your overall health and can help you avoid putting on unwanted pounds this fall and winter.

Make Pumpkin Healthy Again – Between Starbucks and the donut shops, pumpkin has gotten a bad rap. Today’s pumpkin products are loaded with fat and sugar and should be avoided. Did you know that a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks can have more than 400 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar!

 

pumpkins-457716__340
Pumpkin, without the cream, sugar, and crust is a healthy food and is loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C but, for some reason we’ve turned pumpkin into a once a year calorie-laden treat.This fall you can experience the awesomeness of pumpkin without the calories. Check out the 19 Health Pumpkin Recipes from Allrecipes.com here.

Cook Most (if not all) of Your Meals at Home – Cooking meals at home is the best thing you can do for your waistline and your health. People that eat out several times a week consume 150 more calories a day than people that cook and eat meals they make in their own kitchen. Those calories can add up to a weight gain of several pounds a year. You do not have to be a gourmet cook to take pleasure in making meals at home.With a little organization that includes a shopping list and a commitment to spend a few minutes each day in the kitchen, you can make healthy, lower calorie meals that you and your family will enjoy.

(Cooking is a great way to teach children about the benefits of eating a healthy diet. Let them participate in the meal planning and preparation. Even children as young as 5 years of age can help prep a meal or mix up a fresh garden salad.)

Casserole

Stay Hydrated – Since it is cooler outside you may not realize that you’re thirsty and that your body still needs to be fully hydrated to function at 100% capacity. If you’re bored with plain water you can make your own smart water by adding fruit, vegetables and herbs. My daughter – who knows me all too well – gave me a water bottle with an infuser for my birthday. The water of the day is cucumber-lime. I re-fill the bottle throughout the day and let the cucumbers and lime slices seep into the mix. It’s a great way to hydrate with flavor but without added sugar or other additives.

Infused water
The end of summer is upon us and it is a time for rejuvenation. I wish you all a healthy, happy fall.

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View Wisely: The Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday

Please friends, do not risk your eye sight for a glimpse of the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21.

On this day it is predicted that millions of people will gaze at the sun to view the eclipse. Some may risk their eye sight to do so. Even during a solar eclipse the sun’s rays are so bright that they can burn your eyeballs. It may looks dark outside – certainly darker than it does on a typical day – but the damage that comes from looking directly at the sun is still there.

Eclipse

How To View the Eclipse Without the Risk

There is an excellent article at Space.com that discusses the risks of viewing the solar eclipse and also provides ideas for ways to participate safely.

The graphic below is from the Space.com article. It shows how you can make a pinhole projector if you don’t have reliable solar eclipse glasses. I remember making this projector as a child and it worked quite well.

Pinhole Projector

I ordered glasses from Amazon.com but am now hearing that many of the glasses are being recalled because they do not provide sufficient protection. Some retailers argue that their glasses are being recalled unfairly and that the recall will make everyone question the quality of the glasses they’ve purchased.

Optometrists believe the safest way to view the eclipse is on T.V. Below is a letter from an optometrists that has been shared a number of times on Facebook. I think it’s worth sharing here:

As an Optometrist , I want to express concern that I have about the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug 21. There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even with the use of solar filter glasses. Everyone should keep in mind if they or their children are considering this.

We have to keep in mind that some people will encounter the inability to control every aspect of this exercise. For instance, true solar eclipse glasses are made for adults, do not fit children well and should not be used without direct parental supervision. If the solar glasses do not filter out 100% of the harmful UV rays, if they are not used absolutely perfectly, or should there be a manufacturing defect in any of them, this will result in permanent and irreversible vision loss for any eye exposed.

Just like sunburn to the skin, the effects are not felt or noticed immediately. I have a great fear that I will have patients in my office on Tuesday, Aug 22 who woke up with hazy, blurry vision that I cannot fix. It is a huge risk to watch the eclipse even with the use of solar glasses. There is no absolutely safe way to do so other than on TV.

The biggest danger with children is ensuring proper use without direct parental supervision. As the eclipse passes over many places, including Columbus, the moon will not block 100% of the sun. Because so much of its light is blocked by the moon, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun does on a regular day. Normally if you try to look at the sun, it physically hurts and you can’t see anything.

During an eclipse, however, it is easier to stare for a bit….and even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right to your most precious central vision. With solar glasses you can’t see ANYTHING except the crescent of light of the sun. Kids could have a tendency to want to peak around the filter to see what is actually going on up there. One failure, just one, where education and supervision fail, will have such a devastating consequence.

Please, please be safe. Watch it on television.

PS Feel free to share this post.

Michael Schecter

Have a healthy day.

Thanks for sharing!

Motivation from Mel Robbins, More Good Coffee News, the 8 Hour Diet: It’s Friday. I’m in Link Love

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Ah . . . . Friday. Here you are once again. The funny thing about Friday is the love/hate relationship that I have with it. Of course I’m looking forward to the weekend. But, the end of another work weeks means that five more days of my life have slipped away. Have I made the best of them?

Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no.

One way to bring meaning to a week that has been less than overwhelmingly interesting in any way is to share tips via links about health and wellness news that I’ve found to be fascinating this week. I hope you enjoy and will share.

 – Not can you, but do you have the will to [change]?
–  The 8 Hour Diet is still a thing
–  Burn20 will inspire you to move more, and . . . .
–  There is now proof (almost) that coffee and a nap are the perfect combo.

It’s Friday. I’m in [Link] Love!

Mel Robbins on Why Motivation is Garbage –Mel Robbins, creator of the 5 Second Rule,  is a motivational speaker with one of the of the top 20 Tedx talks in the world. In this interview with Tom Bilyeu, she talks about how she changed her life with one simple strategy that came to her during a low point.  In this compelling interview she talks about how the habit of hesitation sabotages our success and what to do about it. The interview is worth a watch and just may motivate you to make some changes in your life. For an additional motivational burst, check out her short inspirational video This is Where Your Dreams Live below.

 

 

The Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting – For several years I have practiced the 8 Hour Diet, intermittently at least, and can confirm that it has significant benefits. The 8 Hour Diet is believed to help you lose weight (without counting calories or starving yourself) and reduce the risk of chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease.  The diet works because for 16 hours a day you are not consuming any calories. During this 16-hour period, the body is able to rest, repair and burn calories.

The book, The 8 Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore was a New York Times bestseller and brought the concept of intermittent fasting mainstream. For the most in depth look at the diet, the book can be purchased at Amazon.com. To learn more before buying the book, check out Stylecraze’s The 8 Hour Diet – Complete Guide.

 

Clock 2

 

Burn20 – Ingrid Macher’s Facebook page Burn 20 features short workout  videos – usually three exercises in each one – almost daily. Having these in your Facebook newsfeed is motivating and provides some great ideas for exercises that target a variety of muscle groups that can be done in a short amount of time.  Ingrid also has a free 5-day meal plan that you can download.  You can access the videos here – Burn 20 Videos, and the entire Facebook site here, Burn 20. Give her a ‘like’ on FB and start getting the videos today!

Burn 20

 

Coffee + Nap = Perfect Combination – I read some time ago that drinking a cup of coffee before taking a short nap would help you wake up more recharged than either option on its own. Researchers continue to study the benefits of the “coffee nap” and deem it to be the perfect combo. Why does it work you ask? “Both sleeping and caffeine block the brain’s receptors of adenosine, which is the chemical that causes drowsiness. While a nap on its own can leave a person feeling refreshed, the introduction of coffee beforehand can make for an even more effective energy boost.” Click here to learn more.

Cup of Coffee

I’ll have more next Friday.

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Beat the Heat With the Ultimate Electrolyte Replacement

It’s only June and already there is a record heat wave gripping the southwest states. Usually the intense heat doesn’t start until July but it’s getting an early start this year and not just in the south. It has been hot here in Illinois this year too with heat indexes up in the 100’s.

If you are working outdoors in the heat whether it be biking, running or gardening, you need to quench your thirst with something other than water.

Water

You Need More Than Water

Water is a great hydrator. It’s almost always available, has zero calories, and flushes toxins out of your body. There are many more reasons why it’s good to drink plenty of water every day and you need even more when it’s hot.

But, if you’re only drinking water, you are losing precious nutrients through fluid loss from sweating in the heat.  The major electrolytes found in the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. When these minerals become too low you may notice unpleasant – and sometimes dangerous – symptoms. Muscle weakness, an irregular heartbeat, a change in blood pressure, confusion, numbness and even seizures can occur when you have an electrolyte deficiency.

Sport Drinks Aren’t The Best Solution

Popular sports drinks advertise that they offer electrolyte replacement and provide potassium and sodium but they come with some other not-so-helpful ingredients like sugar or artificial sweeteners. A serving of Gatorade Cool Blue Thirst Quencher has 150 calories, 250 mg of sodium, 65 mg of potassium, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 35 grams (8.75 teaspoons) of sugar. Other flavors and brands have similar ingredient labels.

Gatorade Blue

A better option for electrolyte loss is the Nunn Active tablets that provide more total replacement. Nunn tablets come in a variety of flavors, have only 4 grams of sugar and contain 38 mg of magnesium, 25 mg of sodium, 360 mg of potassium. Replacing magnesium is key to reducing muscle cramps and twitches, weakness, irritability and even vomiting and diarrhea. Plus magnesium moves the other electrolytes into and out of the cells so it’s a must have in any electrolyte replacement.

The Nunn tablets only have 10 calories per tablet.

Nunn Tablets

 

Nutritional information per tablet is below:

Nunn

You can purchase Nunn Active from Amazon or any sports store. They cost about $6 per tube of 10 tabs which comes out to less than 10 bottles of most of the popular sports drinks.

I began using the Nunn Active tablets when I began spring training for a half marathon. The temperature was above average and on the long runs I sweat so much I could wring my clothes when I was done. Water wasn’t taking care of my thirst or fatigue. The Nunn tablets made a big difference in my ability to fully recover quicker. I notice a marked difference in the way I felt after using the tablets.

The tablets dissolve in water and are slightly fizzy. I’ve read some reviews where people have said they think they are too fizzy but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The taste is not overbearing either.

If you want to stay physically active in the summer heat and be able to stay on top of your game, an electrolyte replacement link Nunn Active will help.

Have you tried the tablets? If so, share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Wisdom, Why HIIT Works and Weight Loss: It’s Friday. I’m in [Link] Love

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I ran across a few health and fitness links this week that I couldn’t resist sharing. Winter can be a tough time of year to stay on top of of your fitness goals, but the links below will help.

Happy Friday to everyone! It’s Friday and I’m in [link] love!

Positivity is Powerful

Even if you strive to maintain a positive outlook, some days it can be harder than others. The Power of Positivity web site and Facebook page provides daily positive affirmations that can help you on days when the struggle is real.  Below is an inspirational video created by the Power of Positivity that has been circulating social media sites.  Check out their site here:  The Power of Positivity.

HIIT Is Here to Stay

Every year the American College of Sports Medicine compiles a list of the trends they predict will become or remain popular in the upcoming year. This year, wearable tech, body weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) top the list.  HIIT workouts are popular because they can be done anywhere at any time and, in most cases, don’t require any equipment.

If you’d like to add some HIIT to your life, here’s a link to a 20 minute workout that you can do at home or on the road. Try this Calorie-Torching HIIT Workout from the Fhitting Room.

HIIT

Nail Your Resolution By Doing This

We’re half way through January. Are you nailing your goals so far?  This article has some great advice from the Triathlete and reaffirms what we talk about here at PTCDN.  Set practical goals.  Instead of saying you’ll never eat dessert again, resolve to have dessert in moderation.  For some advice that works,  click here:  Nail Your 2017 Nutrition Goals from the Triathlete.

Too Good To Be True?

Maybe not. Japanese scientists have concluded a double-blind trail on obese adults to determine what, if any, apple cider vinegar has on blood sugar and body fat.  The results were surprising and indicate drinking apple cider vinegar could be a viable tool to aid in weight loss.  Read about the study and results here: Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Blood Sugar, Body Fat, Studies Say.

There’s Strength in Numbers

Reaching fitness goals are not only easier, they’re more fun, with friends. Stride Kick lets you join – and even create – fitness challenges that you can invite your friends, family and co-workers to do with you.

Stride Kick

Challenge yourself by creating a fun fitness challenge with your own goal or invite friends and coworkers to join and motivate you. Don’t want to create your own challenge? Become a part of the Stridekick community and join a community challenge to earn badges for achieving your goals: Moving with Stridekick’s Fitness Tracker Challenge.

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Improve Your Health With Lemon Water

It doesn’t get easier than this.

Squeezing a half of a lemon into a glass of water first thing in the morning is a good way to hydrate your system, cleanse the liver, and get a supply of vitamins and anti-oxidants that can give your immune system a boost.

The best reason to add fresh lemon juice to your diet several times a week is because they are super-charged with Vitamin C which is one of the most important antioxidants in nature. Anti-oxidants can protect healthy cells from free-radicals that can damage cell membranes, which ultimately leads to inflammation, pain and chronic disease.

Lemons and water

All Natural Lemon Juice Cleanse

Lemon water is an inexpensive, easy-to-make no-sugar thirst quencher that is more effective than commercial cleanses. The Vitamin C in lemons help the liver produce a compound called glutathione, which cleanses the liver and helps it regenerate. The minerals and vitamins in lemons help to flush unwanted toxins from the digestive tract, also aiding in liver detoxification

Increased Energy

Lemon squeezed in water provides more energy for the body than plain water. Water with lemon is a good pre-workout hydration drink. After a workout, lemon water will replace lost fluids and electrolytes and can improve post-workout recovery.

Weight Loss

There have been plenty of articles written about how lemon water can ‘melt fat’ and help people lose weight. Lemon water is not a magic potion that will cause you to drop pounds quickly unless you’re engaged in some of the other necessary behaviors – like reducing calories, and increasing your physical activity – that promote weight loss.

Lemon water will help you feel fuller and more satisfied than plain water which can cut cravings and reduce the chances that you’ll reach for a sugary soda or sports drink.

Glass of Lemon Water

How Much Do You Need?

People that weigh less than 150 pounds can squeeze a half of a fresh lemon into 8 to 12 ounce glass of water. People over 150 pounds can use the juice of one whole lemon or drink two glasses with a half a lemon each, twice a day.

The one downside to drinking lemon water is that it can be hard on tooth enamel. After drinking your daily glass, rinse the mouth with regular water and spit it out. This will protect the teeth from the acids in the lemon juice.

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Improve Your Health: Drink Green Tea

Coffee gets credit for being a beverage loaded with anti-oxidants that can help prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, fatty liver disease and even some cancers.

Green tea, also considered one of the world’s healthiest drinks, tends to take a back seat to coffee when it comes to media attention, and that’s probably not fair.

Flickr photo by Leon Brocard

Health Benefits of Green Tea

There are many known health benefits of green tea and most of them are tied to the fact that it is loaded with epigallocatechin-3 gallates (EGCG) and bioactive polyphenol that have been shown to be the most effective compounds in eliminating free radicals.

An article in Medical News Today says that green tea is approximately 20% to 45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60% to 80% are catechins such as EGCG. What that means for you, is that when you consume green tea an army is released into your system that will destroy those pesky free radicals that cause cell damage, oxidative stress and eventually chronic disease.

Free radicals are generated from a variety of sources found in our daily lives including injury, cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants, radiation, certain drugs, pesticides, industrial solvents, and the ozone. Totally avoiding them is impossible so consuming green tea is one way to combat the damage they can do to cells.

Not only is green tea full of strong antioxidants, it is also believed to be effective in increasing metabolism and helps the body burn fat. Green tea also acts as a natural diuretic that removes excess fluid from the body and, a study done in at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine shows that people who drink green tea age better than those who don’t.

Not All Teas Are Equal

Since there are so many options available when you go to buy green tea it’s important to pick one that gives you the highest levels of EGCG. For starters, bottled teas don’t measure up to brewed teas. Not only do they contain fewer antioxidants, many bottled teas have as much added sugar as soda.

Even bagged teas have different amounts of the healthy properties that can make some better than others. For bulk tea, Teavanak at 85 mg. has the most EGCG per teaspoon. If bagged tea is your choice, Lipton Green Tea bags, which contain about 71mg EGCG per serving, provides the most EGCG at the lowest cost (27 cents to obtain 200mg.

Flickr photo by Chris Costas

Green Tea Supplements Are Another Option

If you’re really serious about amping up your consumption of EGCG, green tea capsules might be the way to go. Through a study done at UCLA, researchers determined that green tea supplements produced the highest levels of antioxidants in the blood compared with liquid black or green tea.

If you do choose the supplement over the beverage, be careful not to get too much of a good thing. The average person should not consume more than 4.54 mg per pound of body weight. For all body weights, it is recommended to have no more than 750 mg in one day.

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