Nutrition

Top 5 Methods to Eliminate Pesky Cravings

Young man is hungryMaybe they strike when you’re watching television, completely relaxed and unassuming. Others strike at difficult times just when you’re about to lie down for sleep, or stuck in traffic on a hot day. What are these dreaded episodes?

 

 

We’re not talking about legitimate hunger after training or getting your daily meals, we’re talking about those urges that threaten to derail your balanced diet by convincing you to eat a bowl of chips late at night or down that chocolate bar in between meals.

 

Cravings are a fact of life and most people experience them at some point in the day if not at least several times a week. Here’s a few simple ways to minimize your cravings and their impact without drastically changing your diet. Remember that your diet is responsible for at least 50% of your results, you’ll want to arm yourself with these tips.

 

 

1) Snack

 

Snacking allows you bridge those hours between full meals to prevent distractions or hunger from slowing you down.

 

Snacking IS DIFFERENT than giving into a simple craving because you’re planning ahead and eating something beneficial such as fruit, nuts, half a sandwich, as opposed to scrambling for something loaded with calories and additives when the mood strikes you.

 

We’ve looked at simple but effective snacking strategies here, and also suggest you read our primer on snacking late at night so you can balance your urges and sleep well without hunger interrupting your dreams.

 

 

2) Limit Artificial Sweeteners

 

Artificial sweeteners are added to food to reduce the total number of calories while maintain the same flavor. While that may work for the taste side of the equation, once digested into your system artificial sweeteners still cause spikes in your blood and confuse your body because it believes you’re digesting calories when you aren’t. This causes people to overeat, because they think sugar-free means calorie-free.

 

Of course, we’re not suggesting you focus on sugar-heavy, calorie rich foods. We’re suggesting you limit the amount of junk food you eat PERIOD, so don’t let artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose fool you into thinking you’ve avoided the issue. Chances are the calories you skip by using artificial sweeteners will be made up in your total calorie intake. Consider this question as a good example:

 

Do you ever order a diet burger and diet fries with you diet soda?

 

Right? Stop kidding yourself and avoid artificial sweeteners.

 

 

3) Water

 

Water can help blunt cravings or even legitimate hunger pangs when used properly, and not simply because it fills up the space in your stomach for a brief time.

 

Thirst is regulated by the same part of your brain (the hypothalamus) as hunger, so what you may think is a spot of hunger could actually be thirst. On the other hand, a glass of water will signal back the brain that you ingested something and at least delay the craving by another 15 minutes or so.

 

 

4) Balance Your Routine

 

Some people find they tend to get cravings after large meals and wonder why. The easy answer is that large meals cause large spikes in blood sugar, and once those spikes are gone lethargy sets in and your system frets for more food to metabolize.

 

A simple yet very effective way to reduce the constant spike/crash cycle and reduce food cravings in between meals is to eat smaller meals more often. We’ve discussed the many benefits of eating 6 small meals a day opposed to 3 large meals here, but that’s just one example.

 

You may not have the time to eat 6 meals a day, but 4 meals spread out are probably still better than 6, especially if you add power snacks to help you transition from your old routine to one that works better for your training needs.

 

 

5) Reduce Stress

 

Yes, emotional eating is a real thing and cravings can directly result from stress. When you are stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol, which normally regulates metabolism, immune function, and insulin levels, but at higher-than-regular levels increases blood pressure, weakens your immune system, and increases storage of abdominal fat.

 

So where do cravings come into the equation?

 

Frustratingly enough, fat and sugar inhibit some of the functions of cortisol, helping to minimize its effect at elevated levels.

 

A healthier long-term approach would be to reduce your stress levels so you don’t punish your body with foods that sabotage your training efforts.

 

Great methods to dealing with stress are a basic warm up and long, slow stretch, a yoga class, or even a simple walk outside to clear your mind. Do yourself a favor now and keep them off to begin with, then thank us later and let us know how you’re redefining your intensity!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

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Warning Signs of Extreme Dehydration

IMG_8571Dehydration is one of the most common and most discussed topics in performance training and elite conditioning like the GSP Rushfit 8 Week program. Everyone knows you just have to gulp some water a bunch of times a day whenever you feel thirsty and all will be fine, right?

Noooooooope! By the time you start feeling thirsty, you’re already experiencing minor dehydration. Keep in mind that during high intensity interval training (HIIT), your body cannot absorb fluids as quickly as they are lost.

What about that friend who comes along for a run and starts exhibiting advanced symptoms, would you know what to do if you recognized someone else exhibiting symptoms of advanced dehydration?

We’re not talking about mild cramps and a trip to the water fountain. The extreme temperatures of summer combined with intense workouts compound to create the perfect conditions for rapid fluid loss. Let’s have a look at basic guidelines what to do if you experience more than your workout bargained for in the heat of summer.

 

HIGH RISK

 

The highest at-risk groups for dehydration are seniors, children and anybody with an underlying condition such as diabetes or high blood pressures. If your body is already stressed due to a long-term (diabetes, etc) condition or short-term illness (flu, cold), the added demands of a workout will overload one’s entire metabolic system much faster than the average person.

 

When you consider the elevated demands of HIIT and high temperatures, athletes are also very likely to experience dehydration if no attention is paid.

 

In summary, these groups are:

  • Seniors

 

  • Children and infants

 

  • Anyone with a medical condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, flu, cold, pneumonia)

 

  • Athletes

 

EARLY SIGNS

 

Early signs of dehydration are no reason to panic, but they are a reason to pay attention. These are easily addressed by merely taking the appropriate fluids as allowing two or three hours to pass. That said, if you’re experiencing any of these issues during the day leading up to a workout, you may want replenish your fluid levels first and try the next day.

 

  • Dry, sticky mouth

 

  • Thirst

 

  • Decreased urine excretion, dark in color

 

  • Constipation

 

  • Headache

 

  • Mild dizziness

 

 

ADVANCED SIGNS REQUIRING MEDICAL ATTENTION

 

We always encourage people to set personal bests, redefine their intensity and attack their workouts with total fervor.

 

Ignoring the early signs of dehydration however is not a matter of toughness but risking serious injury. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or a workout partner during or after workout, stop and follow up with a doctor.

 

  • Extreme thirst

 

  • Dry, sunken skin

 

  • Constant vomiting for more than an hour

 

  • Elevated temperature over 101°F/38°C

 

  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing

 

  • Low blood pressure

 

  • Disorientation, confusion

 

  • Significant weakness

 

 

EMERGENCY SIGNS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE ACTION

 

Depending on the weather, location and your baseline health, advanced symptoms can progress to dangerous conditions quickly if ignored and activity has continued.

 

If you ever feel or witness the following in yourself or a workout partner, stop whatever you are doing and seek emergency assistance.

 

  • Temperatures higher than 103°F/39°C

 

  • Confusion

 

  • Sluggishness (lethargy)

 

  • Headache

 

  • Seizures

 

  • Difficulty breathing

 

  • Chest or abdominal pains

 

  • Fainting

 

  • No urine in the last 12 hours

 

 

Tips to Prevent & Treat Dehydration

 

There are several ways to prevent/address mild dehydration at home before you exercise and when you spot the symptoms. Keep in mind this is for mild dehydration only. For anyone showing signs of advanced dehydration, we recommend seeing a doctor, and for anyone with emergency dehydration symptoms please seek immediate medical attention.

 

  • Increase your fluid levels approximately an hour before exercising so your body has time to absorb the fluids, and maintain a small but steady intake throughout the day.

 

If you’re not sure how much fluid to hydrate with, check our post HERE for simple steps. For a suggestion of fluids, we recommend any of water, coconut water or sports drinks with electrolytes. Remember, ANY of these is a better option than NOTHING.

 

  • When exercising, take water during breaks between rounds. This won’t help you immediately but rather prevent dramatic fluid loss and allow your body to recover faster once the training session is over.

 

For moderate dehydration, a basic approach can work effectively. Some people will feel better within a few hours, but that only means you are feeling better, not good enough to return to action. Some people can take up to 24-36 hours before fluid levels are balanced, so rushing back to activity is strongly discouraged.

 

  • Stop exercising

 

  • Get out of direct sunlight and LIE DOWN in the shade or an air-conditioned area
  • Take off any excess clothes and elevate your feet

 

  • Continue to drink fluids gradually over the next 24 hours

 

  • Wait 24-36 hours before resuming training

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

As you can clearly see, advanced and extreme dehydration are much more serious problems than cramping or thirst. Immediate health issues arise quickly in hot weather, and it can be hard to notice the warning signs when you’re focused on an intense workout in the summer heat.

 

Save yourself and your performance by prioritizing overall health when in doubt. Your progress and results will be that much better for it, not to mention your general well-being!

 

-TEAM Rushfit

 

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Breakfast Shortcuts That Actually Work!

SMOOTHIEYou wake up, silence the alarm and go about your routine in the morning of getting dressed, preparing some breakfast, then leave for work in a rush without bothering to eat.

 

Maybe you don’t even think about breakfast until your stomach growls two or three hours after your day has become, meaning in some cases you won’t eat until lunch. Other people find they simply have no appetite in the morning until their metabolism awakes from night and revs up meet daily demands.

 

Yes, you will survive the day by skipping a meal in the morning, but you’re really not doing your body or mind any favors by missing breakfast on a regular basis. Even though we all know the benefits of breakfast by now, eating it on a daily basis is still a challenge for many people.

 

Today we look at several examples of a quick, simple breakfast for those of you who are too busy to eat or have no appetite first thing in the morning.

 

Smoothies and Shakes

 

Pick three fruits, throw them in a blender. Add your choice of yogurt, milk/almond milk or cottage cheese, and blend. You could throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder if you want.

 

This combination of carbohydrates and protein will provide enough boost to get you up and running for a few (and we do mean few) hours. It’s perfect as breakfast or a midday snack, and won’t make you feel sluggish early in the morning.  You could also toss a handful of blueberries into a cup of yogurt for an shorter version of this breakfast shortcut.

 

Mixed Bag

 

Those little snack bags of dried fruit and nuts you pack for your kids to eat at recess- Guess what? You’re a big kid now, so make a bag for yourself and eat it for breakfast.

 

Fiber-rich nuts like walnuts or almonds add a nice crunch and are a rich source of nutrients like calcium, magnesium and iron. Again, you don’t have to eat an entire bowl, but at least a handful (if not two) to give your body and mind that essential morning boost.

 

Instant Cereal

Instant cereals, whether cold cereal or hot items like oatmeal, porridge or the like, can contribute many great nutrients to a complete balanced breakfast. That can also make a great shortcut breakfast in a cup as opposed to a large bowl. Add hot water    (or cold milk) as you wish.

 

Much like some of our other breakfast shortcuts the fiber-rich content and carbohydrate content is perfect in the morning, and some milk or dairy substitute (like almond milk) rounds out your need with a bit of protein and fat.

 

If you’re in a rush, or just want to avoid a spill, you can also use cereal as a base for snack mix like we did with dried fruits and nuts.

 

 

Breakfast, though a necessity, often becomes a matter of convenience even though you should never have to leverage your health against your time. If you’re fueling erratically, you’ll perform even worse, so make sure you have a solid foundation of nutrition to take advantage of all your hard work, regardless the time of day.

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

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Chia Seeds: A Tiny Nutritional Giant

SONY DSCIt wasn’t that many years ago when Chia seeds were better known as the source of small potted animal plants that sprouted hair for you to trim into fashionable styles.

 

After some time that cute fad died out, and someone was keen enough to do a study on other possible uses of chia seeds only to discover they are a packed with benefits for the regular person, and even more so for the training diet.  Yes, those very same chia seeds.

 

Today we look at the nutritional value of chia seeds and why you should consider adding this small put powerhouse nutritional source to your weekly routine.

 

WHAT?

Chia seeds come in a variety of colors from white to dark brown and black. They come from the same family of flowering plants as mint, though they are used largely in seed form.

 

WHY?

When it comes to nutritional value, chia seeds are often compared to flax and quinoa. Here’s how they stack up to each other in the main caloric categories:

 

FLAXSEED      CHIASEED      QUINOA

 

CALORIES

(per ounce/28g)          150                  137              103

 

CARBS                        8g                    12g              18g

 

FAT                             12g                     9g                 2g

 

PROTEIN                      5g                       4g                4g

 

FIBRE                            8g                   11g                2g

 

 

 

Just like flaxseeds, chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and come with a complimentary amount of dietary fiber. Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be eaten in their raw form, whereas flax has to be ground to make all the benefits available through digestion. Though not as rich in energy as quinoa, chia seeds are also a great source of calcium, phosphorous and manganese while scoring very low in sodium and cholesterol.

 

The combined benefits of chia seeds lead to aiding and slowing down the digestive process, aiding in bone and dental maintenance, lowering cholesterol, and of course, lowering the risk of heart disease.

 
HOW?

Described as having a very mild, nutty flavor to being almost flavorless, chia seeds are easily mixed into a variety of dishes, though it is possible to eat them on their own as well.

 

An easy serving suggestion would be to sprinkle chia seeds into your favorite bowl of granola or cereal. The flavor profile matches well with other grains, and for the same reason chia seeds can be mixed into many baking recipes without noticeably altering the final product.

 

For a fortified boost of nutrition, try adding chia seeds to your favorite salad or condiment, work them into an omelet, pancakes, or give your low fat yogurt some texture with a healthy dose of fat from a small scoop of chia seeds.

 

As with most healthy foods, the internet is a valuable resource for recipes and serving suggestions. The easiest thing about consuming chia seeds is through they are possible to eat on their own when combined with water to form a gel-like cake, they are even easier to add to main recipes and complete dishes.

 

CONCLUSION

Much like other power foods, chia seeds are stocked with many benefits and can add a great balance to your diet. Just remember they are only a food; if you’re not going to put in the time and do the hard work, don’t expect your diet to bring about a chiseled new body.  Benefits like the ones found in chia seeds are much greater when you have an active lifestyle, and the combination of a healthy diet with a high intensity structured workout program can only lead to incredible results.

 

Try them out and let us know what you think, we’re here for your success and always interested in how you’re doing!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

www.gsprushfit.com

 

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Maple Water: The Latest Super-Drink

A few leaves on the waterWe’ve talked about the havoc dehydration wreaks on your performance daily and in the long-run, and to that end we’ve discovered that Coconut water is nature’s answer to restoring electrolytes and minerals with a splash of carbs to keep you hydrated and functioning at optimal levels. It performs the same as many manufactured sports drinks but with less artificial sugar. In fact, it’s all natural.

 

Now prepare yourself for the next contestant for nature’s-best-hydrating-beverage, Maple water.

 

WHAT?

 

Maple water, not to be confused with it’s sweet, sticky older sister maple syrup, is exactly what is sounds like. Pure maple sap is naturally filtered and infused with minerals and nutrients. The sap contains between 95 to 98 per cent water, and is pasteurized for consumption.

 

Most maple water production is done in the same areas as most of the maple syrup production, that being the eastern United States (New York, Vermont)and South Eastern Canada (Quebec! The home province of GSP!).

 

The major difference in processing is that maple sap must be boiled and reduced to create the final maple syrup you pour onto your pancakes.

 

One aspect that many people are waking up to in North America is that maple water extraction does not require the destruction of trees or associated environments while also providing a more localized/domestically sourced beverage, while most (if not all) coconut water is imported from outside North America.

 

WHY?

 

Several reasons have led to maple water being considered as a healthy, natural beverage.

 

One is that it is supposedly high in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. At this time there haven’t been many (if any) independent research studies on the benefits of maple water for your basic daily health or performance needs.

 

Taking a look at nutritional facts from the website of major manufacturers such as Kiki Maple Sweet Water, one serving (300ml/10 fl oz), contains just 60 calories from 15 grams of carbs, with a reported 94 mg of potassium.  It contains trace amounts of minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

 

Compare this with coconut water, which has 60 calories in a 12 fl oz serving. It is also high in essentials minerals like potassium calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and the B-Vitamin complex (that’s riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and folates). Much like maple water, coconut water comes from an all-natural source with minimal-to-none environmental impact.

 

According to some articles, maple water is also more hydrating than coconut water, though coconut water has more nutrients.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Maple water appears to have several beneficial properties shared with coconut water that can hydrate your body and provide beneficial properties without the drawback of loading artificial sugars into you.  It comes from a natural source and is merely another, less-processed form of maple syrup, so it’s safe to consume, especially if it’s pasteurized before it hits the market to ensure a reasonable shelf life.

 

That said, just like many newly discovered “super-foods”, maple water hasn’t been on the market long enough to undergo much scrutiny or testing. It’s safe to consume, but we cannot vouch for its benefits as we ourselves at Team Rushfit have not found it in our local grocery store after looking for the past two weeks.

 

If you’re lucky enough to find it in your area, try it out and let us know what you think. How’s it taste? Notice any difference? Compared to coconut water?  We’ll keep an eye-out for this new health beverage and complete a follow-up post soon, in the meantime keep us in the loop and let us know what you think!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

www.gsprushfit.com

 

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Healthy Pizza

PizzaQuite often people are forced to choose between what they want to eat and what they need to eat. This can be especially true of someone completing a HIIT course as GSP RUSHFIT or for anyone maintaining a balanced, health conscious lifestyle.

 

But wait.

 

Pizza, a long-time favorite of kids, sports fans, weekend warriors, Italian food lovers, all food lovers, and anyone who looking for a quick, hot bite. Generally it’s also considered a caloric nightmare; the dough made from refined white flour, the toppings full of processed meats high in fat, not to mention the levels of sodium are off the pie. Don’t kid yourself, the vegetables you may throw on top pretty much count for nothing.

 

So how does one live a balanced life without giving up one of the most popular dishes in America?

 

It’s simple. Look at the basic ingredients, customize them to suit your concerns or needs. Thanks to the growing awareness of nutrition and fast-emerging food trends, most chain pizza places have adapted their menus to offer several choices in each category of crust and toppings.

 

It’s also very simple to make these at home. Don’t be afraid to experiment in your own kitchen.

 

  • For crust, consider gluten-free and multigrain crusts made from unbleached flour. They will lower the glycemic impact of the carbs, as well as providing more fiber rather than empty calories.

 

  • Free-range and antibiotic-free meats are also a good idea.

 

  • For cheese look for low-fat mozzarella (or any low-fat cheese), and consider Daiya, a non-dairy cheese alternative.

 

  • Vegetable options are almost unlimited, covering the classics like peppers and onions but many places also offer other items such as red cabbage, grilled artichokes, spinach and arugula. Are we still talking about pizza here?!

 

Yes we are.

 

Here’s why all this is very good news. Even just the simple alternatives we’ve pointed out, you can significantly reduce the caloric load and fat consumption associated with pizza. Other adjustments allow you to meet dietary requirements standard pizza cannot.

 

  • Vegetarian? Check.

 

  • Low-carb? Check.

 

  • Paleo? Check.

 

  • Low-fat, low-sodium, high-protein fuel after a workout? Check, check, and check, mate.

 

While it’s true that eating a healthy pizza once won’t melt all the fat off your body, making informed choices on regular basis does add up. For example, if you were to eat pizza once a week, and managed to clip 500 calories off that pie, you’d take a big step in the right direction. If you made the switch permanent, in 7 weeks time you’d have saved 3500 extra (mostly empty) calories from being absorbed. 3500 calories are equal to 1 pound of body fat!

 

That’s the difference between staying in shape, and falling out of shape. It’s not what you do once that determines your success, it’s what you do habitually. The choices we’ve highlighted above are simple enough that you can recreate them on your own, or look for them at your own local pizzeria.

 

Make the right choice and STILL enjoy your pizza. Better yet,  make the pizza at home, piled up with all your favorite toppings that won’t undermine your workout.

 

Imagine that… Athletes eating real food made with smart choices so they can enjoy their favorite dish and still support their performance and training habits. We like to call that the best of both worlds. Next time you are tempted for pizza, know there are better options available that let you have your pie and elite performance too. After all, you work hard enough in the gym, you should eat your heart out afterwards without worrying about it!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

www.gsprushfit.com

 

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Obesity: 3 Myths Busted

A pair of female legs standing on a bathroom scale with anEvery body is different from the bodies around it and every body comes in a shape entirely unique to itself. That said, each body has its own healthy range of weight and height (size) that is healthy. When an individual exceeds (or falls under) that range, health conditions such as obesity complicate regular daily functions not to mention the efforts of physical activity aimed at reducing weight.

Today we’ll break down some myths around obesity and examine how, if left unchecked, it may contribute to a host of medical conditions.

1) No Symptoms No Problems

Like many conditions, obesity affects people on a metabolic level who might otherwise not recognize external symptoms. Even without high blood pressure, diabetes or other related conditions, overweight and obese people have higher rates of death, heart attack and stroke after 10 years compared to the general population.

2) The BMI Says I’m Fine

The Body Mass Index index is a very rudimentary guide commonly used to this day by too many people who don’t understand it is a very poor measurement of health.

By taking your age, height and weight the BMI will diagnose your health. Regardless of your body type, muscle mass, health history, current conditions, or even a photo.

Would you be able to diagnose someone’s health based on their shoe size and length of pants? Didn’t think so. Neither can the BMI, so do yourself a favor and don’t use it.

If you’re still curious we’ve written about the fallacy of the BMI here.

3) It’s Just Extra Body Fat

Though you may not notice, your vital organs may be under significant stress due to an unhealthy load.

For example, your digestive system is very sensitive to fat and sugar. Elevated levels of fat and sugar in your bloodstream for long periods of time can create insulin imbalances in your system that increase the chances of diabetes, raise blood pressure and impair proper cholesterol levels. Paired with a sedentary lifestyle this could be a health risk waiting to strike.

The excess fat and sugar in an unbalanced diet don’t just cause more body fat storage, they contribute to larger chain of events that continually place extra stress on your body. It’s not about how much you eat in one night, it’s how much you eat night after night after night.

Finding Balance vs Losing Weight

“Crash diets” aren’t called “good ideas” for a reason; they rarely work and often cause more harm than good. The point of avoiding obesity isn’t so everyone will lose as much weight as they can to win a contest or to make someone else happy. The point is finding the right lifestyle (balance of activity and nutrition) to sustain a healthy body composition that is realistic, functional and long-term. One based on the foods you actually eat, the exercise level you actually maintain, and a diet that is contributes to your well-being, not one that threatens your health.

If you wish to discuss an overall health plan or address obesity-related concerns see your doctor as he or she will know the first steps appropriate for you to take. Much like obesity takes time to develop, it may take significant time to address issues such as exercise and nutrition before you reach a balance that works. With the right mind set and a proper guide to follow anything is possible with GSP Rushfit.

-Team RUSHFIT

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5 Most Common Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies

Girl with VitaminDespite paying attention to your diet and eating a variety of food geared toward maximum performance, it’s still common for many people to have a mild vitamin or mineral deficiency. While most case aren’t serious, symptoms can still cause discomfort and require attention. Today we look at the 5 most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies and how to identify them. Check the list, then check yourself!

Symptoms

Vitamin B12 – symptoms include cracked or bleeding skin and gums, diarrhea or constipation, pale skin, and easy bruising.

Vitamin C – symptoms include a weak immune system (frequently sick), deterioration of teeth and gums, chronic joint pain, dry skin, and constant fatigue.

Iron- also known as anemia, iron deficiency symptoms include constant fatigue, loss of muscle mass, brittle nails, head aches, weakness, and dizziness.

Calcium – symptoms include cramps, insomnia, soft teeth and bones, constant joint pain, and an irregular heartbeat. 

Vitamin D - the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiencies tend to be more subtle but include pain in the bones, general weakness, and severe asthma.

Balanced Diet?

The simplest way to combat and prevent vitamin deficiencies is to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in unprocessed foods. Make sure you check the GSP Rushfit Nutrition Guide for easy-to-follow lists of foods, though you won’t be surprised to find the classic super foods- brightly colored fruits, dark leafy greens- and dairy products make up the core sources of vitamins on the list. Vitamin D is also absorbed through the skin from one of the greatest sources in the world- the sun!

Supplements?

Multivitamin supplements can help round out your nutritional intake and bring your body up to speed, but long term use should rely on them only as supplements; best when used in conjunction with sound nutritional principles.

Chances are if you’ve noticed a few of the symptoms you may have a few others you haven’t noticed. This blog is only a guide to dealing with mild deficiencies, so if you are worried about symptoms or a condition be sure to visit a doctor and ask for a blood test to determine the level of vitamins and minerals in your blood. Otherwise, eat well, train hard, and live well. Sweaty when you are!

-Team RUSHFIT

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How To Recover After a Hangover

Oh, my headWe’ve all been there. You train hard all week, juggle work and a busy schedule, only to let loose after “a few” drinks only to wake up the next morning feeling like there is an axe lodged in in your forehead. HELP!

Today we look at the top  areas to focus on and heal your body while you deal with a hangover.

Hydration:

If you’ve consumed any alcohol (never mind an unusually festive amount), there’s a very good chance that you’re dehydrated. Even if you haven’t, one of the first things to do any morning is drink a glass of water to balance your body’s demands after a long night of sleep. Then drink a couple more because you’re going to need them.

 

Electrolytes:

These ions and minerals that facilitate a lot of body functions (such as all muscle contraction) are flushed from the body via sweat or the urinary tract. Any time you are low on body fluids, there is a good chance you are low on electrolytes as well.

Since you can’t absorb them as quickly as you use them during exercise, make sure to consume your electrolytes as soon as you wake up, or even better, before you go to bed at night. Looking for a great natural source of electrolytes and carbs? Try coconut water. Eggs, bananas, and fruit juice are also great sources.

 

Food:

Many people swear that a breakfast of greasy food helps dampen the damage caused by hangovers. While there is no scientific conclusion, it’s possible the comforting feeling can help. What we can absolutely conclude is that a balanced meal before a drinking binge will slow down the metabolism and absorption of alcohol into your body.

Sure, the damage will still be done, but it will be slower and spread out. That said, if you drink far too much anyway, all that food could end up reappearing on your shirt, shoes, friend, car… You get the point. Don’t forget you’re most likely feeling hunger, so an empty stomach isn’t going to do you any favors when you’re already cranky.

 

Sleep:

Alcohol effects sleep in two different and opposite directions. While it will cause you to fall asleep faster, your body will suffer significantly reduced REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage in which most dreams occur and during which memories are likely stored and learning occurs. You’re also more likely to wake up several times at night, and probably face a higher risk of oversleeping your alarm.

 

Hangovers are generally a combination of several unfriendly factors; dehydration, low blood sugar, lack of sleep, and of course… Too much alcohol. Light to moderate consumption is always best and combined with simple attention to your basic needs of water, electrolytes, and food (calories), you can seriously prevent a hangover, or at least take the edge off when you wake up with one. Then get over it and pound out your next round of GSP RUSHFIT!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

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Empty Calories & How to Avoid Them

 

Image Source: qualitystockphotos.com

Image Source: qualitystockphotos.com

You’ve probably heard the term “empty calories” more recently as people (especially athletes and the health-conscious crowd) become more selective about what they put into their bodies, both for general health and elite physical performance. At this point the main questions that arise would be; What are they? Are they as bad as advertised? And how can I avoid them?

What Are Empty Calories?

Empty calories are those that come from solid fats and refined sugars. They are considered empty because other than providing heavy calories to your body they contain very little to no nutrients.

By loading up on energy-dense food, you might get the calories required for workouts and recovery but none of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly on many, many levels.

That means you’d need a heavy supplement schedule to make up the difference, or eat second plate at every meal so you get the nutrients you’re missing. Does either sound appealing to you? At best you’ll get moderate weight gain in the long term, more likely you’ll face considerable weight-gain and nutrient deficiencies.

How Can I Avoid Them?

Avoiding empty calories is usually fairly simple as most sources of them have a better alternative.

  • natural fruit juice or even plain water over sugared soda or sports drinks
  • lean or trimmed meats to avoid excessive fat
  • plain cereals over sugared varieties
  • plain or lightly salted popcorn over a heavy butter and salt
  • grilled chicken instead of deep fried
  • skim or fat-free dairy compared to whole milk

You get the picture.

In other words, avoid junk food as much as possible. Empty calories aren’t a new discovery, just a simpler way of understanding how the bad foods you consume deny your body the basics it needs to perform at it’s highest levels. Which only requires you to pay more attention and eat stricter when the time comes to fix your diet and boost your output. Work smarter, not harder, and reap the benefits of a good diet over and over and over.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

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