Hello again everyone. Coach Jimmy back with another edition of the best health and fitness articles from last week. In case this is your first time, I grab the five best articles that pass through my inbox to help you keep up with the latest health & fitness info so you can focus on meeting your weight loss goals.
This week we’re going to cover the top reason to quit drinking soda, ingredients you need in your pre-workout drink, what this Kefir thing is, how to get better at doing pullups, and a tip to help you with your morning meal prep.
Best Articles From Last Week
Top 10 Reasons to Give up Soda
If you’re looking for a scapegoat in the obesity epidemic, look no further than soda. It’s the single greatest caloric source in the world, accounting for somewhere between 11 and 19 percent of all the calories consumed worldwide.
Soda is just plain bad for you even if you’re not on a diet or looking to lose weight. There really isn’t a good reason to drink it…ever. Those of us in the fitness industry have known about this for some time (which is why we hit on this time and time again) and America is finally getting the picture. People who drink multiple sodas each day are at a higher risk for cancer, gaining weight, diabetes, slower metabolisms, and having a shorter life span due to the damage to your white blood cells.
Even with all that going for it, there isn’t anything in soda that the human body needs or found naturally in nature, except caffeine. Soda is basically water full of artificial flavors, artificial coloring, high fructose corn syrup, and phosphoric acid. “But Jimmy, there’s water in it!” Yes, but it’s injected with carbon dioxide and mixed with a bunch of chemicals, sugars, acids, and caffeine. The only thing it gives your body outside of a mile sugar high is a shorter lifespan. Stop drinking it.
Three Ingredients to Look for in a Pre-Workout Drink
There are a million excuses not to exercise, but nothing beats the old chestnut, “I just don’t feel like it.”
Sometimes it’s tough to find the motivation to squeeze in your workout, but drinking a pre-workout shake 30 minutes before exercising can give you that boost of energy you need to get off your butt and to the gym. However, not all pre-workout drinks are created equal. No matter what drink you go with, be sure that your has these three ingredients to help maximize your performance.
Caffeine in low doses, and NOT from sodas, sharpens your focus and mental acuity and has been shown to improve performance without any of the negative effects normally found from large doses (jitters, increased heart rate, and gastrointestinal distress). Beta alanine creates carnosine, when it combines with another amino acid, which helps buffer acid levels in your muscles during your workout so you’re able to push harder for longer before fatigue sets in. Quercetin is a phytonutrient that reduces exercise induced inflammation and the amount of oxygen consumed during workouts.
What the Heck is Kefir?
What is kefir? Is it yogurt? What’s all this nonsense about billions of bacteria per serving? Aren’t bacteria bad?
So, I’m not a doctor and I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ll try and give the best Reader’s Digest version of this I can. In a nutshell, Kefir is kind of like yogurt, in that they’re both fermented milk, but they’re more of cousins than brothers. The main difference between the two is the type of bacteria that’s used during fermentation, and just because there’s bacteria in Kefir / yogurt doesn’t mean that they’re bad for you.
Both yogurt and kefir boost your immune system since the good bacteria occupies the space that bad bacteria would take up in your digestive tract, they pre-digest food for you which helps your digestion be more efficient, and they can actually create vitamins while the pre-digest food in your digestive tract. They basically do the same thing, but the difference isn’t in what they do, but how long they do it for. Yogurts tend to speed right through your digestive tract in a day or two, but Kefir sticks around by repopulating and continuing to work for us.
4 Exercises to Help You Get Better At Pull-Ups
While most of us tend to focus on legs and abs, we forget about our beautiful backs.
Guy or girl, getting started doing pullups sucks. It’s a tough exercise that can kill your motivation because of how hard it is in the beginning, but don’t give up. There are very few exercises that can define your shoulders and backs like pullups. Stow that “I can’t” nonsense and replace it with “I CAN!” by making your life in pullup-landia easier with four exercises.
Assisted pullups offset your body weight which reduces the amount of weight you have to physically lift when doing a pullup. You can rest your feet on a chair or other object to achieve this. Lat Pull-Downs strengthen your shoulders, lats, and back at a much lower weight to give you a solid foundation to build up from. When doing these, be sure to pull the bar to your chest and not your back as the latter can lead to neck and shoulder problems. Negative pullups cut out the lifting motion and leave only the lowering to get that foundation built. Be sure to hit a 5 count while lowering your body weight. Bent over rows on a bench with a dumbbell lets you really zero in on your shoulders and back at a lower weight.
Try This Tip For Faster Morning Meal Prep
If you’ve been around the fitness industry for a bit, you’ve undoubtedly heard of morning meal prep and how fitness experts like me preach it from the mountaintops. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s one of the single greatest tools in your arsenal to stay on the straight and narrow. By spending a few hours on the weekend getting all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the rest of the week, you remove any possible temptation to hit up a fast food joint or duck into your favorite greasy spoon.
A quick and easy way to crank of the healthy meter on your meal prep (especially your shakes) is to add fruit and veggies. It takes virtually no time at all and you dial up the vitamins and nutrients to a whole other level.