One of the most common questions when it comes to health and wellness is “Should I try this diet?”. We have all heard of Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Vegetarian, Vegan, and so forth. We choose diets to follow for many reasons. Some of us eat a certain way for religious purposes, others for ethical purposes, weight loss, performance, etc. Whatever we choose to eat is considered our “diet” and to take it one step further to the origin of the greek word “diata” means, “way of living”. Our diet represents the way we live, and how we nourish our bodies, so let’s breakdown diet dogma and learn more about what is really the best diet for us.
When we look into how indigenous cultures ate, there were a wide variety of diets based on availability of food sources. There were no supermarkets importing goods from across the country and world, local and seasonal was the only option. Of these populations, almost all proved to be quite healthy despite having wildly different ways of eating. Fast forward to this day and age, we can choose to eat however we want without much hassle. Want to try Keto? We have all of the accessibility to do everything from reading clinical research studies to ordering prepared meals that fit the exact criteria of the diet.
The problem arises when we choose a diet that doesn’t jive with our bodies. For instance, the ketogenic diet can be extremely healing and effective for people who do endurance style training. This is because it puts the body into ketosis where it is primarily burning fat for fuel. As we have learned, fat is a slow burning source of fuel and can sustain us at a low to moderate activity level for quite some time. Conversely, if we are extremely active and participate in a lot of high intensity interval training, this particular diet can leave us feeling fatigued and cause more stress to our bodies, however this is bio-individual and there are outliers on both sides of the coin.
So how do we find the correct diet, or way of living, for ourselves? A great way to start is through trial and error. Participating in group challenges that emphasize a particular diet is a phenomenal way to test the water while having some accountability to stay on track. Picking a time frame of no less than 4 weeks to devote to a certain style of eating will give us quantitative data as to how our bodies respond. Another option would be to work with a nutritionist to develop a baseline style of eating that compliments our lifestyle and moves us in the direction of our goals. Keeping one key point in mind, that we must commit to sticking to a certain way of eating for a set period of time in order to see the true results. Results can’t be determined in a test period of 3 days. Let’s commit this upcoming year to creating the diet that compliments our lifestyle and allows us to live fully, feel great and accomplish our goals!
Whether it is going away for work or vacation, there are a variety of ways to stay fit while traveling.
Between dropping in at local gyms, utilizing a hotel gym, or doing travel workouts, there are many opportunities to workout while away.
Take a look at some tips below!
Drop-In at a Local Gym
There are thousands of CrossFit gyms all over the world! Most gyms will allow athletes from remote gyms to drop-in on their classes. Contact the gym ahead of time and get familiar with their schedule and drop-in policies. Most gyms will have a small fee for dropping into a class. Looking for a gym near your next travel destination? Check out the CrossFit affiliate map here: https://map.crossfit.com.
Don’t want to drop-in at a CrossFit gym? Search fitness complexes in your area and drop-in. Take a class, do your own workout, or use their machines!
Modifying TILT’s Workout of the Day
Head down to your hotel gym and see what they have for equipment. If there a variety of weights and equipment, consider modifying TILT’s workout of the day. If there are minimal weights, a travel workout might be your go-to. Or, consider modifying TILT’s workout of the day and substituting any weighted movements with bodyweight movements. Check out some examples below:
No Gym, No Weights, No Problem!
If dropping into a local gym sounds like too much of a hassle and you have minimal equipment..have no fear – bodyweight movements will do the trick!
It doesn’t take much to get in a good workout. There are so many workouts that require little to no equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. Think about the variety of movements that can be done with just your bodyweight..squats, push-ups, sit-ups, running, burpees, lunges, and so much more! Take advantage of your hotel room, hotel fitness center, or any space that is available. A list of travel workouts can be found below. Need other ideas? Email a coach for help!
50 or 100 Burpees For Time
3 Rounds For Time: Run 800 meters, 20 Squats, 20 Push ups, 20 Squats
4 Rounds For Time: Run 400 meters, 50 air squats
7 Rounds For Time: 10 Pushups 20 Sit ups 30 Squats
5 Rounds For Time: Run 200 meters, 10 Burpees
3 Rounds For Time: Run 400 meters, 30 Pushups
AMRAP 12: 10 Burpees, 15 Sit ups
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of burpees and a 100 meter sprint between each set
21-15-9 for time of: Burpees, Air Squats and Pushups
For Time: Run 1, 2 or 3 miles for time
3 rounds of 200, 400, 600m run – rest equal running time
In 10 minutes complete 1 mile run and as many burpees as possible
5x400m Run, 1 minute rest
10x100m sprints, Every minute on the minute.
24-21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of push ups and Jumping Lunges
Tabata Squats, Push ups, Burpees and/or Sit ups
3 Rounds: 50 Situps, 400 Meter Run
10 Rounds For Time: 10 Walking Lunges 10 Pushups
4 Rounds For Time: Run 400m 50 Air Squats
10 Rounds For Time: 10 Push-ups 10 Squats
Tabata Squats: 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds (or, pick any other movement!)
For Time: Run 800m 100 Air Squats Run 800m
:20 on/:10 off
Hollow hold or sit-ups
Russian Twists (2 count)
:20 Hollow hold into..
:20 Flutter kicks then..
:10 rest (5-8 minutes)
100 Sit-ups for Time
How Should I Warm-Up?
Always do a light warm-up before your workout. The goal of the warmup is to get moving, get sweaty, and prime your body for the workout ahead.
Here is a basic bodyweight warmup that can be done anywhere:
:30 Jumping Jacks
:30 Quad Stretches
:30 Knuckle Draggers
:30 Sampson Stretch
:30 Walkout to Plank
15 Air Squats
Within 7 minutes you should be warmed up and ready to go!
As you can see, there are many ways to stay active while traveling. Don’t let a week away from TILT ruin your progress.
No matter where you are in the world, there is always an opportunity to sweat and move!
by Coach Kathleen
Whether we are inactive or extremely active, chances are we all have used some form of deodorant or antiperspirant. Body odor occurs when bacteria on our skin mixes with sweat. There are various kinds of odor-causing bacteria that result in different odors based on the reason we are sweating. Sweat caused from stress or hormones will cause a different odor than sweat caused simply from expelling water and electrolytes from physical activity.
A simple and effective way to remove body odor is to shower with anti-bacterial agents. Many essential oils like tea tree, lavender and lemongrass have strong antibacterial properties and are safe to use as natural fragrances. Natural deodorants can also do the trick if we choose the correct brands. Deodorant should still allow for perspiration, our bodies natural form of detoxification. It should also contain ingredients that we recognize which could include coconut oil, baking soda, beeswax and essential oils. Additionally, we can limit foods that cause an increase in body odor like processed foods, refined sugar and dairy, and fried foods. Antiperspirants are another product that can lessen body odor but before we grab one from the shelf, we should make sure to understand the potential risks first.
Antiperspirants aim to do exactly what the name applies: stop us from perspiring. While some people genetically tend to sweat more than others, let’s recall that our skin is a detoxification organ. If we inhibit our body from expelling toxins out of our skin, we are trapping them inside and allowing them to continue causing damage. Our skin also absorbs everything we put on it, and as with deodorant, reading the ingredient label is imperative. Antiperspirants often contain toxins and metals like aluminum which can lead to DNA damage, abnormal cell function and changes in gene expression. Concentrating these toxins and metals in places like our underarms can lead to a higher risk of lymphatic and breast cancer in women.
In order to keep ourselves smelling fresh but also working towards optimal health, it’s best to do our homework when it comes to deodorant and antiperspirants. If we are simply sweating from physical activity, we generally will not produce an odor from expelling just electrolytes and water. Managing stress and eating healthy will also greatly lessen the need for any additional products. When necessary, spending the extra few dollars on a brand without chemical additives that has natural bacterial fighting agents will accomplish the goal and keep us warding off the nursing home for years to come.
- Levy, Jillian. “5 Natural Deodorant Remedies, Plus How to Make Your Own!” Dr. Axe, 15 Feb. 2018, https://draxe.com/health/natural-deodorant/.
- Integrative Nutrition. “A Guide to Natural Deodorants.” Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Integrative Nutrition, 17 Jan. 2018, https://www.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2018/01/a-guide-to-natural-deodorants.
By Coach Kathleen
For thousands of years we have been comforted with “chicken soup” when we are feeling under the weather. It turns out there is more behind chicken soup than simply warming our souls. Traditionally made chicken, beef, lamb, fish, or vegetable broth (to name a few) is made from boiling bones, tendons, ligaments and other parts of the animal that we wouldn’t eat. The finished product, now referred to as “bone broth” is packed with essential nutrients that can greatly impact our health in a positive way.
The method of boiling down bones and other animal parts extracts nutrients into the water. Bone broths are rich in collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies. They also contain gut-healing amino acids like glutamine which can repair intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut”. Proline, glycine and arginine are other amino acids found in high concentration in bone broth. They help boost our immune system, prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, stimulate the production and release of growth hormone, and can help regenerate and repair cartilage and heal joints. Bone broth also contains glucosamine, another powerful joint supporting nutrients, as well as abundant amounts of minerals and electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Bone broth is extremely easy to make, the hardest part in our culture is finding a place that carries bones and other parts of pastured animals. Finding these parts usually requires asking the butcher what he has hiding in the back room, as they are less readily found in the front shelves or freezer. Once our bones are sourced, there are a variety of ways to make a tasty, versatile broth. The base of most broths consists of bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water. Apple cider vinegar is also added to help extract more nutrients from the bones. Bones with meat should be cooked, while other bones and ingredients can be added raw. Add all ingredients to a large crockpot, cover with water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 4-6 hours. Then proceed to cook on low heat for 24-48 hours total. As the broth cooks longer it will become more concentrated and gelatinous. Strain the broth through cheesecloth to remove herbs, bones, vegetables and other particles and let the broth come to room temperature before covering and storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Fat from the broth with separate and solidify on top. This fat can be kept in the broth or removed and used for cooking.
Homemade broth is best consumed within 3-5 days or can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. There are also some high quality brands that can be found premade. When choosing a store bought broth, keep in mind the quality of the product and be sure each ingredient can be identified. Bone broth can be used to sip on, as a nutrient-dense caffeine free alternative in the morning or evening. It can also be used in recipes and as a base for homemade soup or stew. Due to its powerful nutrient profile, bone broth is considered a “superfood”. If we want to keep our immune system strong, preserve muscle mass, boost our digestion and metabolism, and ward off the doctor’s office this fall and winter, let’s try out some hearty bone broth to keep our bodies primed for whatever life throws our way.
- Axe, Josh. “#BoneBroth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis, and Cellulite.” Dr. Axe, 23 Jan. 2019, https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/.
- “Bone Broth Benefits: Everything You Need to Know.” Chris Kresser, 27 Aug. 2019, https://chriskresser.com/the-bountiful-benefits-of-bone-broth-a-comprehensive-guide/.
“Cold & Flu Prevention”
By Coach Kathleen
As the seasons begin to change, cold and flu symptoms will slowly but surely emerge in the general population. While we can certainly catch a cold any time of the year, certain viruses flourish at different temperatures and the fall and winter are ideal for common cold viruses. Some of us may be more prone to catching colds while others can skate through an entire year with barely a sniffle. What causes some of us to get sick more often than others?
Our bodies “catch” a cold when we are unable to effectively fight off a virus. Not being able to ward off harmful intruders can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or a depressed immune system. Other causes include lack of sleep, mold exposure, an impaired digestive tract, increased stress and traveling. In all of these cases, the immune system is compromised. So, how do we ensure our immune system is strong enough to keep the common cold and dreaded flu away?
Supporting our bodies with potent immune boosting foods is a great place to start. Bone broth is an ancient remedy that has regained popularity over the last decade, for good reason. It’s amino acid and mineral rich composition make it great for boosting the immune system and repairing the gut, which is located within our immune system. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and can break down mucus along with another cold-preventing beverage: hot water! Water alone will help the body move nutrients in and toxins out, as well as breakdown congestion. When we add in antiviral components like honey, ginger and lemon, we have an immune boosting, and cold-fighting super drink! Last but certainly not least, garlic is an incredible addition as it is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Garlic is great for both prevention and treatment as it will boost and aid the immune system in fighting off any infection or virus present. Wondering why orange juice wasn’t on this list? It turns out that “OJ” may actually do more harm than good when it comes to fighting off the common cold and flu.
Orange juice along with other concentrated fruit juices are not all they’re cracked up to be when it comes to nutrient density. They also come laced with more sugar which can inhibit our white blood cells from fighting off infections. When going for vitamin C, choosing a whole orange that also contains water, fiber, and ample amounts of vitamin C, is best. Refined grains can compromise our immune system by harming our digestive tract, causing inflammation, and causing vital nutrients to be lost (leaky gut). Finally, conventional dairy can actually thicken phlegm in the throat, making congestion worse.
Considering the steps above may not make us invincible to airborne illnesses, but it can certainly give us the fighting edge. The common cold last for about 7 days, and if we empower our bodies with nutrients that will help us fight it off, we can incur the least amount of “sick days”. So let’s whip up an immune boosting concoction this fall and cheers to being able to spend more time around our friends, family, and in the gym this “cold and flu season”, instead of quarantined in our bedrooms!
- Myers, Amy. “10 Tips for Preventing the Cold & Flu Naturally.” Amy Myers MD, 13 Aug. 2019, https://www.amymyersmd.com/2018/10/prevent-cold-flu-naturally/.
- Price, Annie. “Common Cold Remedies for Fast Relief and Prevention.” Dr. Axe, 7 Nov. 2018, https://draxe.com/health/cold-and-flu/natural-cold-remedies/.
By Coach Kathleen
Branched-chain amino acids are a commonly used supplement in the athletic world. They include three amino acids that have a chain branched to one side: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are also essential, meaning the body cannot produce them and we must get them from a food source. There are also 6 other essential amino acids and 20 total amino acids that our bodies need to grow and develop. As all amino acids are imperative for our health, why are these three highlighted and recommended as an additional supplement?
BCAA’s are used to enhance muscle growth and aid in faster recovery time. They work to prevent muscle loss by reducing the amount of muscle atrophy when taken around exercise. More muscle mass means we burn more calories at rest, resulting in a better body composition with less body fat. Since BCAA’s are converted in the muscle instead of the liver, they can also support liver health by lessening its daily strain. If we would like to build and maintain lean body mass, and recover fast enough to get back into the gym daily, BCAA’s are necessary to get us there. We can find BCAA’s in supplement form, and also in animal proteins and legumes.
If we are eating a diet with a variety of high quality animal proteins, we may not need additional supplementation! Chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, tilapia and turkey contain about 6,000mg or more BCAA’s per serving compared to the average BCAA supplement which contains around 5,000mg. Multiply that by the 3 or so meals we consume daily, and we are certainly getting in those essential amino acids! BCAA’s can effectively be used to replenish our bodies in the absence of animal protein, especially right after a hard workout.
When looking for a BCAA supplement, beware of brands containing high amounts of sugars, fillers and dyes. These seem to run rampant in BCAA supplements, making them less effective by exposing our bodies to harmful chemical agents that contradict the powerful benefits of branched-chain amino acids. A good rule of thumb is avoiding products that have ingredients listed that we can’t easily identify. To keep our muscles fueled and recovering efficiently, let’s make sure to get high quality animal sources in most of our meals, and when necessary, utilize a clean BCAA supplement to keep us feeling our best, inside and outside of the gym.
Holeček, Milan. “Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Health and Disease: Metabolism, Alterations in Blood Plasma, and as Supplements.” Nutrition & Metabolism, BioMed Central, 3 May 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934885/.
Link, Rachael. “The Essential Amino Acids That Enhance Muscles & Athletic Performance.” Dr. Axe, 6 June 2019, https://draxe.com/nutrition/supplements/bcaa/.
by Coach Kathleen
Activated charcoal is another historically used substance that has been making its way back into the spotlight. We may have seen it being used in the form of toothpaste, skin care masks, and of course as an emergency detoxification method for those who have consumed too much alcohol. Activated charcoal is not to be confused with the charcoal we use for grilling! It is formed through controlled decomposition of carbon based compounds like coconut shells and peat that are “activated” through the exposure to high temperature gases. The final product is a porous, negatively charged substance that is able to bind positively charged toxins and gases. Once bound, activated charcoal requires adequate amounts of water to flush through our system and out of our bodies.
Ingesting activated charcoal isn’t only for cases of alcohol poisoning, it can greatly benefit our bodies in other ways as well. It can be used to soothe an upset stomach, binding the gases produced by negative food reactions. It can help lessen our “toxin load” when it comes to environmental toxins like pesticides, chemicals, metals and molds. By removing toxins, activated charcoal use can improve the function of major organs like our liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. As our overall health is a reflection of the internal function of our body systems, it would seem that using activated charcoal is a no-brainer!
While there are plenty of benefits of using activated charcoal, there are also some potential side effects we should also consider. As charcoal is a porous substance, it can bind to substances like vitamins, minerals and medications, therefore interfering with their absorption. If we are going to try out this substance, it’s best to take 90-120 minutes before consuming a meal, supplement or medication. Activated charcoal may also cause constipation if too much is consumed, and should be avoided by people with chronic dehydration or severe intestinal damage. In cases of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose, activated charcoal has been effective in doses of 50-100 grams. For reducing and preventing digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, charcoal may be used in doses of 500-1,000 milligrams per day. Finally, 4-32 grams daily has been used to lower cholesterol levels.
If we choose to utilize activated charcoal, making sure we are using it properly is key. It can be a great supplement to help us detoxify from over consumption of alcohol, or from the toxins acquired throughout the day. Making sure to stay hydrated while taking charcoal will ensure we are moving the toxin-containing charcoal through our bodies efficiently. It’s best to keep activated charcoal use short term due to its ability to affect nutrient absorption. Therefore, activated charcoal can be a great addition to a weekly self-care routine in the form of a face mask or digestive toxin cleanse!
Axe, Josh. “Activated Charcoal Removes Toxins, Whitens Teeth and More!” Dr. Axe, 5 July 2019, draxe.com/nutrition/supplements/activated-charcoal-uses/.
Derlet, R W, and T E Albertson. “Activated Charcoal–Past, Present and Future.” The Western Journal of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1986, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1306980/.
“Milk: To Drink or Not To Drink?”
By Coach Kathleen
Many of us recall the prevalence of milk in our diets as children. Perhaps we still consume milk regularly, or have switched to a dairy-free alternative. There are many factors that go into deciding if milk is right for us, so let’s start by discussing the basics.
As infants, consuming milk from our mother is how we got our first boost of nutrients that support vitality and growth. We attain a number of nutrients, growth hormones and beneficial bacterial from this raw, undenatured milk. As we wean off of human milk, it’s generally recommended to incorporate cows milk. Signs of cow’s milk reactions date back about 2,000 years ago, around the same time that pasteurization of cow’s milk began. While both raw and pasteurized milk contain milk proteins like lactose and casein that many people react to, raw milk may support the body helping build a tolerance to cow’s milk.
Pasteurization is a process using heat to kill off potentially harmful bacteria. It was developed as a way to protect us from foodborne illnesses derived from strains like salmonella, E. Coli and mycobacterium tuberculosis. The downfall of pasteurization is that it also kills off beneficial bacteria and reduces the nutrient content of milk. The nutrients in raw milk like probiotics, immunoglobulins, and vitamin D naturally boost the immune system, therefore reducing our risk of allergies. The harmful bacteria are certainly nothing to take lightly, however the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that of the 48 million foodborne illnesses each year, only about 42 cases (0.0005%) come from unpasteurized milk.
Along with the pasteurization process, conventional milk is also homogenized. This is an additional steam treatment process where the fat in milk is broken down, becoming oxidized and often rancid. Lower fat milk also contains thickening agents, “fortified” or “enriched” vitamins, meaning synthetic vitamins that the body has a hard time recognizing, as well as added sugars and artificial flavors. These processed and artificial components are another large reason why many people react to conventional milk products.
In learning more about the milk we are used to seeing on the shelves and the prevalence of milk sensitivities, it’s more clear to see how conventional milk has become another processed food. While raw milk may be a better option in terms of nutrient availability and also helping us build a tolerance to milk proteins, it’s certainly not easy to get a hold of. Due to it’s time and heat sensitive nature, it’s best consumed straight off the farm. Choosing a dairy source that maintains a high quality lifestyle for their producers is also important. Farms who keep their cattle on open pasture, treated humanely, inhibit the use of hormones and have sanitary measures for milk extraction will be the safest to consume raw milk from.
When deciding if milk is right for us, we should also understand that true allergies (IgE antibodies) tend to be ours for life. Sensitivities (IgG antibodies) can come and go as we work to improve our immune health and repair our gut lining. Removing things that we react to and then adding them back in after a period of reprieve and repair generally results in better tolerance. If we are looking to regain a tolerance to cow’s milk, adding raw milk may aid in the process. Milk is a great source of healthy protein, fat and carbohydrates in its undenatured form, it can be a nutrient dense addition to our diets or we can choose to lead a healthy life with the plethora of dairy-free alternatives. If our goal is to be fit and healthy for life, it’s best to listen to our bodies and avoid foods that cause internal stress. The true answer to drinking milk or not is – it depends.
Edwards, Rebekah. “Do You Drink Pasteurized Milk?” Dr. Axe, 22 Aug. 2018, draxe.com/nutrition/article/9-myths-of-pasteurization-or-homogenization-better-options/
Axe, Josh. “The Truth about Raw Milk.” Dr. Axe, 13 Mar. 2014, draxe.com/nutrition/article/raw-milk-benefits/.
Thorning, Tanja Kongerslev, et al. “Milk and Dairy Products: Good or Bad for Human Health? An Assessment of the Totality of Scientific Evidence.” Food & Nutrition Research, Co-Action Publishing, 22 Nov. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122229/.
“What is Collagen?”
by Coach Kathleen
Collagen is another buzz word that’s been circulating into the spotlight lately. Before we dive into the benefits of collagen and when to use it, let’s clarify what it is! Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Woah, that sounds important! There are several different kinds of collagen but the most supplements contain a mixture of Type I-III. Type I is the most abundant and it’s found in skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, teeth and between organs. Type II is found mostly in cartilage and our eyes. Type III is found in skin, muscles and blood vessels. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less collagen, so if we want to keep that youthful glow, making sure we have enough collagen is a good place to start!
Collagen also provides several other health benefits ranging from joint health to digestive repair and boosting our metabolism. It has a gel-like structure and can ease stiff, swollen joints by “greasing” them up and reducing swelling. When it comes to our digestion, having sufficient collagen in our digestive tract soothes the intestinal lining, covering up holes that may have otherwise allowed vital nutrients to seep out. Being a source of amino acids (aka: protein), collagen can boost our metabolism by increasing our lean body mass. Glycine converts glucose into energy to feed our muscles, arginine helps repair muscle tissue and glutamine helps maintain our energy levels by fueling our cells.
We can get ample amounts of collagen by eating a diet rich in animal sources. As with all foods, higher quality sources will typically offer more nutrients, so choosing a pastured animal source is ideal. As collagen is rich in bones, boiling animal bones to make a bone broth and consuming it as a warming beverage or in homemade soups and sauces is another great way to get more collagen. Finally, collagen can be found in supplemental form, as hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate and collagen peptides. These powdered forms contain the same amino acid profile but are broken down into smaller chains. The shortened chains make collagen even more digestible and easy to absorb. Supplemental collagen dissolves easily in liquids and makes a great addition to our morning coffee, smoothies or even mixed into oatmeal.
While collagen is certainly a necessary and beneficial source of protein, there is one element we should keep into consideration when consuming it often. Collagen is an incomplete source of protein, which means it does not contain all 9 essential amino acids. In fact, it contains 8 of the 9. Combining collagen with complete sources of protein like pastured meat and wild-caught seafood will ensure we get all the amino acids our body needs to function optimally. Due to its prevalence in our bodies and knowing we obtain collagen in animal proteins as well, we can think of hydrolyzed collagen as a beneficial, but optional, supplement. Utilizing collagen to reach our protein needs and support our bodies will keep us looking young, maintaining muscle and absorbing essential nutrients to keep us on the path to being fit for life.
Link, Rachael. “What Is Collagen?” Dr. Axe, 5 Feb. 2019, draxe.com/nutrition/supplements/what-is-collagen/.
Song, Hongdong, et al. “Effect of Orally Administered Collagen Peptides from Bovine Bone on Skin Aging in Chronologically Aged Mice.” Nutrients, MDPI, 3 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707681/.
Free Radicals & Antioxidents
By Coach Kathleen
Antioxidants and free radicals are common buzz words in the health and wellness world. We can guess by the term “free radical” that this isn’t something we want rampaging around our bodies. And we have likely heard of antioxidants being present in fruits and vegetables, but what makes these so beneficial, and how do the two relate? Let’s dive deeper into what they are, exactly, and how they can help or harm our bodies!
Free radicals are reactive and unstable molecules that can build up, causing accelerated aging through oxidative damage. They lack an electron, which like to be in pairs. Much like a person trying to sleep through a party with a single earplug, free radicals will tear through the whole house until they find another earplug (ie. electron) to put an end to the noise. They can either steal an electron from a healthy atom or accept one from an antioxidant. Free radicals are not abnormal, as they are produced as byproducts of vital functions in our body. They also come from inflammation, exercise, environmental toxins, radiation, drugs and pesticides, emotional stress and a poor diet, to name a few.
Antioxidants are very stable and contain additional electrons that can be donated to other molecules. Antioxidants seek out free radicals to donate electrons to, neutralizing them and protecting healthy cells from incurring oxidative damage. Antioxidants can be found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, like carrots and peppers, that are high in beta-carotene. Green and white tea, herbs, spices and cocoa also contain high amounts of other antioxidants like vitamin C, E, selenium, polyphenols and other carotenoids. Having a variety of antioxidant rich foods will help reduce the negative impact of enduring a stressful day of work, a drink we had over the weekend, and that donut that was too irresistible to pass up.
When we neglect to eat antioxidant rich foods on a regular basis, we risk facing some major health consequences. If there are not enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, cell damage accumulates, translating to accelerated aging, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In order to keep the oxidative damage fire at bay, we should regularly consume a very mixed diet of antioxidant rich foods. Let’s focus on supplying our bodies with these powerful plants that will support all of the hard work we do inside and outside of the gym and keep us warding off the nursing home!
Lobo, V, et al. “Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health.” Pharmacognosy Reviews, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, July 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/.
Levy, Jillian. “Top 8 Foods & Oils to Fight Free Radical Damage.” Dr. Axe, 12 Dec. 2017, draxe.com/health/cancer/fighting-free-radical-damage/.
Axe, Josh. “These Foods, Herb, Spices & Oils Are Absolutely Bursting with Antioxidants.” Dr. Axe, 7 May 2018, draxe.com/nutrition/article/top-10-high-antioxidant-foods/.