Category: Energy

The Deal with Sugar: Why It Isn’t as Scary as You Think

various types of sugar

If you look around the web these days, you’ll often see a lot of forums devoted to being anti-sugar. If you’re in a bookstore and browse the health section books, you’ll likely see several books devoted to revamping your diet to be void of all sugar. But why? What is society’s beef with sugar, anyway? The truth is, that there are some sugars that are good for you. In fact, there are some sugars that you need in order to properly recover while training with hard workouts.

What are the different kinds of sugar?

Let’s start with the basics. Not all sugar is created equal and so we want to review with you what each kind of sugar is and where it comes from.

Fructose: This is the natural sugar that is found in fruits. Each time you eat an apple or sprinkle some berries on top of yogurt, you’re treating yourself to a lovely dose of fructose.

Lactose: This is the kind of sugar that comes from milk products. Whether you’re drinking milk or eating cheese or yogurt, the sugar occurring in these items comes from lactose.

Sucrose: This is your general white table sugar. Raw sugar isn’t white like this is. The reason this sugar is white is because it’s been processed. This is the type of sugar that is considered bad because it spikes your insulin levels. When people talk about sugar being a leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes, this is the kind they’re referencing.

Each of these sugars is considered simple sugars or simple carbohydrates. Fructose is a monosaccharide, meaning it contains one molecule of sugar. Lactose and sucrose however, are disaccharides, meaning they contain two molecules.

So, are they bad to consume?

The short answer to this is no, but like everything, it’s best to be conscious and consume sugars in moderation. We advise people to stay away from processed sugar, like sucrose. However, natural simple sugars that come from fruit or milk products, fructose, and lactose, are perfectly safe to consume, and you need them.

Wait, I need sugar?

Yes, I know. It’s hard to believe. But, your body needs sugar, especially if you’re training and weight lifting. We’ve talked before about pre and post-workout nutrition and how protein and carbohydrates are important. Most people think of carbohydrates and sugar as two different things but really they are one in the same. Remember, simple carbohydrates are simple sugars.

When you work out, you’re using up your body’s glycogen, or stored energy, that your body has worked to keep aside for when it’s needed. The way that you obtain that energy is to eat simple sugars.

Because we want to make sure we’ve always got some energy in storage, it’s smart to eat something with sugar (or carbs) before your workout to prepare your body. But after your workout, you’ve used up a lot of that energy. After a workout do you ever notice that you feel a bit light-headed? This is because your body’s glycemic index is low. Everyone’s body reacts differently to amounts of sugar, but that’s why it’s a good idea to include some sugar with your post-workout snack or meal with your protein—so you control your insulin levels.

Head to the Farmer’s Market

Because summertime has arrived, it’s a great time to take advantage of natural sugars and incorporate more fruits into our diets and pre and post-workout regimented snacks. Here’s a list of what’s in season. Of course you can’t always get fresh fruit to fit sugar into your diet post-workout and if that’s the case, try taking a Promax bar with you on the go. If you can take advantage of fresh fruits though, we encourage you to try mixing up your routine by adding some new things you haven’t tried before.

Count Them: 6 Facts About Sleep That Make You Stronger

SleepFacts

There isn’t an athlete alive that hasn’t felt tired from time to time. Even if you aren’t overtraining, you likely experience occasional fatigue not only from your exercise routine, but also from the demands of your busy life.
There has never been a more important time to prioritize the healthy habit of sleep.
Every bit as important as diet and exercise, a regular seven or more hours of deep sleep is critical to long-term health. Doctors, psychologists, sports trainers, and coaches are jumping on the sleep bandwagon, prescribing sleep for optimal achievement. Not convinced?
Here are just six critical functions of your nightly rest.

Sleep Benefits You Need to Achieve

1. Deep sleep repairs heart and blood vessels. While you rest, your body protects you against the long-term damage of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This important repair work to your heart and blood vessels can only occur during sleep. Those who get less than six hours a night have a much higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

2. Deep sleep regulates appetite and metabolism. Each night, your body takes advantage of your sleeping hours to re-regulate your hormones, including those that control hunger. As a result, you will experience less hunger and feel satisfied sooner. Also, sleep restores a healthy metabolism, so you will more efficiently use the calories you do consume and put on less weight overall.

3. Deep sleep manages growth hormone. Not just for children and teens, growth hormone is key to adult long-term health. Your body uses this hormone to rebuild muscle tissue and bone, helping you heal faster, exercise safer, and live longer. You need this to repair damage done daily during workout and regular wear-and-tear.

4. Deep sleep minimizes inflammatory proteins. Guard against the aches and pains of arthritis with restorative sleep. Those who sleep longer are at less risk of osteoarthritis, and even chronic inflammatory arthritis sufferers experience a decrease in symptoms with more sleep.

5. Deep sleep maximizes the immune system. During sleep, your immune system is strengthened and restored, helping you fight off common illnesses and protecting you against disease. Conversely, those who sleep less than seven hours each night experience fewer sick days and are more prone to serious disease and disability.

6. Deep sleep improves brain function. One of the most critical of all sleep benefits is the tremendous renewal of mental ability. During sleep, your brain builds new pathways to work more efficiently, while memories are organized effectively for better recall later. This results in faster reaction time, better decision-making skills, less stress, and heightened sense of confidence during the day. This may be why athletes who sleep close to ten hours on a regular basis overcome obstacles and achieve their goals faster.

These are just a few of the powerful benefits of regular restorative sleep. Be sure to schedule seven to ten hours each night to ensure you are maximizing your health and making the most of every waking hour.

The Wrong and Right Ways to Use a Workout Bar

Promax bar

When you reach for a yummy workout bar, you probably don’t give much thought to whether you are using the bar in the right manner. After all, you are eating it in place of a sugary, fatty snack, so you must be on the right track, right? Well, the answer is “probably not.” If you are not eating these bars at the right times, and for the right reasons, you won’t get any benefits from eating them. Let’s take a closer look at the wrong and right ways to use these bars.

The Wrong Way

The wrong way to use these bars is easy—don’t use them as a total meal replacement all of the time. Instead, add them into your daily diet in appropriate places, which we will discuss in the next section of this article. Another wrong way to use these bars is to eat them for all of your daily snacks. These bars are packed full of different proteins, carbs, and nutrients. However, they are not made to be munched on twelve times a day. Finally, another wrong way to use these bars is to depend on them to lose weight. These are not weight-loss bars. They are not going to melt away the pounds. They need to be a part of a well-rounded diet and exercise plan.

The Right Way

Now, on to the right ways to use these bars. As mentioned, these bars need to be a part of a well-rounded diet and exercise plan. So, don’t depend solely on the bars to help you lose weight. Also, don’t depend on the bars as a meal replacement every day of the week. Instead, add the bars where they will be must useful during the day—before and after a workout. They are, after all, workout bars, so they need to be utilized as such. These bars are not “snack” bars. They are meant to fuel your body with necessary nutrients. When is the best time for fueling? Before and after a workout!

Using these bars before a workout will give your body everything it needs to get through the workout, no matter how grueling it may be. Then, after the workout, you can gnaw on another bar or the other half of your bar. This will help replenish everything your body lost during the workout. It will also keep that metabolism working properly, so when you do sit down for a meal, your body handles the  calories the right way.

So, there you have it—the wrong and right ways to use these kinds of bars. It is rather simple—t use them before and after workouts. Now, if you do need a quick pick-me-up every once in a while during the day, you can eat a bar. Just try not to make it a habit. There is no magic bar that is going to get your body fit and trim. Instead, pay attention to your diet and exercise plan, and you will soon see results.

To learn more about nutrition and exercise, contact us today at Promax Nutrition.

Benefits of Nutrition Bars

Promax nutrition bar

As you make various lifestyle changes on your journey to fitness, one of the most essential areas for change is that of your eating habits. Without proper and healthy nutrition, it will be a losing battle to try and get fit. You have to start eating to fuel your body and nurture it, rather than eating simply because something tastes good or because you are having a bad day. Nutrition bars can become a good friend to your body as you start to get into shape—and they can help you stay in shape. Here are some key benefits of these bars that you may not know:

Convenient for fueling your body both before and after a workout. You can quickly get the fuel your body needs to endure a long workout or recover from a strenuous run with one of our bars. You don’t have to worry about making a messy shake or trying to squeeze in time for a full meal — you have the convenience of everything your body needs in one, small package.

Ideal for a quick boost of energy and endurance. Let’s say you have an extra-long meeting at work. You know there won’t be any breaks for snacks. You can munch on one of these bars, and you will have the energy you need to get through the meeting without suffering from terrible hungerpangs.

Great for occasional meal replacement. While you don’t want to replace all of your meals with these bars, they are perfect for when you simply don’t have time to sit down for a meal, and are —much better than hitting a fast-food restaurant. These barsare nutritionally balanced, giving your body everything it needs to carry on throughout the day.

Easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. These bars are simple to add into your weekly diet. You can choose to eat them before and after a workout; and you can even make a quick breakfast out of a bar instead of a bowl of sweet cereal. The bars require no cooking or baking—just open the package, and you have a protein-packed alternative complete with  vitamins and minerals, right there in the palm of your hand.

There are many health experts that might tell you to say no to these handy bars. However, there is nothing wrong with incorporating the bars into your overall healthy diet and exercise plan. These are not miracle bars that will suddenly turn your body into a fitness dream. Rather, they are designed to enhance your current workout plan, providing your body with much-needed fuel, and they are ideal for occasional meal-replacement.

When you partake of the bars in a smart manner, using your common sense and continuing your current healthy eating plan, you will soon begin to notice the benefits of the bars—and the results of your hard work.

For more information about nutrition, and to learn more about our selection of tasty, protein bars, contact us today at Promax Nutrition.