Category: Water

Surprising Ways Alcohol Affects Your Workout

Alcohol

We all like to cut loose and have a few drinks now and then, and maybe you even use alcohol as a little reward for a hard workout. After all, you put in the miles during the day, why not unwind with a few drinks in the evening? Depending on your definition of “a few,” however, your imbibing could be a little dent – or a major blow – to your fitness routine. Let’s take a look at what alcohol does to your fitness, and when you may want to lay off the sauce.

  • Alcohol And Sleep

When people drink too much they tend to get sleepy. So alcohol must be good for sleep, right? Well, not so much. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a few too many drinks, you probably didn’t wake up in the morning feeling too well rested. Alcohol can actually prevent REM sleep, which is the kind of sleep your body needs to feel rested. And that lack of sleep will end up costing you in the gym, impairing your ability to build muscle and recover.

  • Nutrition

Alcohol is empty calories. You really aren’t getting any nutritional value when you throw back a few drinks after dinner. And that means you’re putting a ton of extra calories into your body without any kind of benefit for your workout. Many of your favorite drinks are packed with sugar to make them taste better, and just a couple could put you way over your limit for the day. Plus there’s the issue of those late-night pizzas or burritos. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and makes it a whole lot easier to give into your cravings after you leave the bar.

  • Dehydration

Drinking after a workout is a bad idea, simply because alcohol doesn’t contain anything you need to recover, but also because alcohol acts as a diuretic, forcing you to pee more often and dehydrating your body. You probably already need to rehydrate after a workout, so grabbing a couple beers to celebrate your new mile time is a bad idea.

Also, drinking the night before working out isn’t a great idea either, for pretty much the same reason. You’re going to wake up dehydrated and possibly with a hangover. Your performance is definitely going to be affected, and you just won’t get the most out of your workout routine.

  • Moderation Is Key

We know this all sounds pretty rough, but you actually can still drink alcohol and maintain a fitness regimen. It’s all about moderation. Drinking in moderation will lessen all of the effects listed above, and it can also raise good cholesterol and lower stress.

If you’re like most of us, you don’t want to give up your beer or wine completely, but you still want to see results at the gym. The easiest way to do this is by drinking in moderation and getting the proper nutrition for recovery. Check out our protein bars for a good way to get your body what it needs after a tough workout!

30 Day Water Challenge: Is It Worth It?

Water pouring in glass

It seems like every month there is a new health craze – from the obsession with kale to using chia seeds every day, we are constantly seeing new trends pop up. One trend that has been escalating in exposure lately, and the resource is free, is drinking a gallon of water a day. There are posts online of women drinking a gallon of water per day for 30 days saying their skin radically transformed during those 30 days. But is drinking this much water recommended and safe?

The Proper Amount

Most doctors and dieticians recommend the usual eight 8 oz. glasses per day to stay properly hydrated, and from there, if you exercise or sweat, they recommend drinking the right amount to replace the water that is lost from sweating, plus from urination. So when looking at a gallon of water, this amount is actually twice the recommended amount.

“30 Day Water Challenge”

People have been trying this recent fad because – why not? Water is free from your tap (unless you have to buy filtered water) and you can easily fill up a gallon each day and mark the sides of the gallon for each hour or every two hours to monitor your intake. Some celebrities swear by drinking a gallon per day, saying that it helps their skin look flawless. Others swear that increasing your intake to a gallon per day will reduce the amount of headaches you have and boost your energy.

But is this all true?

Those who have documented their 30 day challenge noted feeling a little nauseous if they drank too much at once, and that their skin within the first few days began to break out due to the water pushing toxins out of their body. By the second week they began to feel more energy and less bloated from drinking the water. The third week resulted in a craving for water, so consuming a gallon didn’t seem like a challenge at all. The major takeaways from this challenge, by many, was that by the end their skin had improved, they had more energy, and slept better at night. Some also experienced less headaches and weight loss due to filling up with water every day.

Water Intoxication

While the challenge seems to bring with it many benefits, it’s important to know how much water you should be consuming personally. One person may actually require a gallon per day depending on what their daily activities consist of, whereas your own intake could be a lot more or a lot less. Plus athletes generally drink more water because water helps to build and repair muscles.

When water is consumed rapidly, the body’s electrolyte balance can be thrown off and water can enter into brain cells, causing what is known as water intoxication. From taking in more water than needed, the sodium levels in the body dramatically decrease, leading to coma and death in some cases. Confusion occurs as a symptom when sodium levels drop to 120 mmol/liter, then drowsiness once it drops to 110 mmol/liter, and coma and/or other severe symptoms will occur if levels drop to 90-105 mmol/liter. The faster the intake of water, the faster the drop in sodium, and the more rapidly these symptoms will occur.

The main symptoms of water intoxication are confusion, drowsiness, and coma, but other symptoms also include inappropriate behavior, delusions, and hallucinations, all of which are symptoms of psychosis; since the symptoms are very similar, many mistake water intoxication for psychosis.

The Verdict?

Drinking a gallon of water per day does have its benefits, but monitor your activity to determine how much you should be drinking seeing as some don’t actually need all that extra water. But when all’s said and done, a properly hydrated body is a happy body.

Have you tried this 30 Day Water Challenge? If you have, tell us your journey during the challenge in the comments below! Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page or get in touch with us directly.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770067/

http://texas.spoonuniversity.com/live/drinking-gallon-water-day-really-looks-like/

http://livewell.jillianmichaels.com/can-lose-weight-drinking-gallon-water-day-5607.html

http://www.military.com/military-fitness/health/drinking-too-much-water

 

CrossFit Injury Prevention

Crossfit Injury Prevention

CrossFit offers a variety of ways to tone up just about every muscle group, yet people are getting injured in high numbers while doing it. Since these sessions have trainers, why is it that so many people are getting injured? Like anything else, the issue most likely isn’t with the trainer, but with a lack of preparation. Even the best protein bar combined with determination and proper adherence to the CrossFit guidelines isn’t going to be enough if you don’t take the proper steps to prepare for a session.

Keep Hydrated

One of the fastest ways to get injured when doing any kind of exercise program is to skip out on hydration. If you want to cut down calorie consumption, simply avoid drinks with refined sugar in them. Consider relying on natural juices and water, but avoid caffeine and refined sugar. You’re going to lose electrolytes and liquids when you start sweating during CrossFit training, and that can be dangerous. Keep something to drink on hand so that you can refuel as needed.

Use a Nutrition Plan

Skip the fad diets and use a nutrition plan that works for you. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight and want to reduce your calorie intake. That’s fine, as long as you are still getting your nutritional needs met. For example, instead of having a sandwich for a snack, enjoy one of our tasty low carb bars.

It’s a good idea to speak with a health professional who knows your unique circumstances so you can develop an appropriate diet plan. Otherwise, you could do more damage to yourself than good when you engage in CrossFit training. It’s even important to think about when you eat as much as you think about what you eat. For example, diabetics are encouraged to eat multiple small meals throughout the day in order to keep their blood sugar from spiking at any given time.

Stretch in Advance

Before you engage in any kind of training program, make sure you take the time to stretch your muscles. This helps loosen them up and prevents a lot of the pain that you may experience if you don’t stretch. On top of that, stretching helps you develop smooth, toned muscles instead of random bulky areas.

Rely on Professionals

When it comes to specific programs like the CrossFit program, make sure the trainers are certified to teach you and aren’t just someone who happened to use the program once and then decided to start training others. Relying on someone who isn’t properly trained is an almost guaranteed direct route to a future injury. It’s also important that you speak with your trainer to discuss your current abilities and limitations. In some cases, you may need to start out with a less strenuous program in order to help your body get used to exercising on a regular basis before starting the CrossFit program.

CrossFit is an excellent way to get into shape fast, but you need to take the right steps to get there. Don’t assume you can safely go from the couch to hand-stand push-ups without expecting some kind of injury to follow. Be sure to check back here regularly for more tips on how to bring your A-Game in a way that’s both smart and safe.

5 Reasons Why We Support Evening Workouts

Evening Workout

As athletes, we know that sleep and rest is necessary to our training. Without good rest in between our training, our muscles don’t have the time they need to recover from our workouts and grow. We also know that without sleep, it makes it harder to make good nutritional choices since hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin affect our appetite. But what we hear a lot about regarding sleep is the timing of it—not just how much we are supposed to get a night but in particular for athletes, we hear that we shouldn’t be training so closely to our bedtimes if we don’t want them to be negatively affected. Promax is here to set the record straight. Here are 5 reasons that it’s a perfectly good idea to fit in an evening workout.

You Won’t Miss Out on Sleep

The thing about morning workouts, is that even if you get your workout out of the way before the stress of your day sets in, you often end up losing out on sleep. If you ask many athletes if they hit the snooze button or force themselves to wake up an hour or more early to fit in their workout, many may admit that they sacrifice sleep for a workout. But that’s not a good thing, because we need sleep just as much as we need exercising. Fitting in a workout in the afternoon or evening however, helps avoid missing out on sleep. You’re already up and going on about your day, so why not throw on your spandex and fit in a workout before turning in for the night?

Your Body is Already Warmed Up

In the morning your body is hopefully well rested from the busy day before and so warming up your muscles and getting motivated takes some effort. But in the afternoon and evening, you are already accustomed to being awake and moving around. A study from Northeastern University even found that a body’s temperature is higher between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm and thus it’s easier to push your body to its limits when your muscles are warmer. Who knows, this could begin a new habit of hitting the gym for happy hour, instead of the bar.

You’ll Have a Buddy

It’s not easy to find a friend who has the same fitness goals and motivations as you and even when you do, it’s certainly difficult to find one who is open to getting up at the break of dawn to work out. If you choose to work out in the late afternoon or evening however, it’s must more likely that you’ll find a workout buddy who has a similar work schedule to you so you can find a convenient time that works for each of you.

You’ll Avoid Too Much Sun

The great thing about this time of year is that the sun rises early and sets late. That said, it’s hard to find the motivation to work out when the sun is too high in the sky. More important than motivation, is that it can be difficult to remain hydrated when it’s so hot out. If you make the decision to exercise in the evening, then you can take advantage of the cool summer evenings and be refreshed by your workout rather than overheated.

You Will Sleep Better

Exercise gets a hormone pumping in our body called epinephrine, similar to adrenaline, meaning that we do get a little lift from it. But that said, it’s not a HUGE lift with a big enough effect to keep us up at night. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that unless exercising at a very high intensity, your workout is not very likely to negatively affect your sleep. Other studies go so far as to show that those who exercise, no matter what time of day, sleep better than those who don’t.

What’s Your Evening Routine?

Do you workout in the evening? If so, how do you schedule your workout and post meal nutrition with your sleep? We’d love to hear about your routine. Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page or get in touch directly!

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/22/health/upwave-night-exercise/
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/exercise-and-sleep
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/exercise-affects-sleep_n_3437881.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20058462
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673290
http://www.fitbie.com/get-fit/tips/6-misconceptions-about-sleep-and-exercise
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/exercise-at-night

Sports Injuries, Prevention, and Recovery: What to Keep in Mind

Runner’s Knee Hurt

If you walk into a gym you’re more than like to see different athletes pull out things from their gym bags that make it look more like a first aid kit—gauze, compression bands, medical tape, ice packs and more. And while you may be surrounded by weights and machines and not surgical equipment, it’s important to keep in mind that along with training comes the risk of injury.

What’s the most common cause of injury?

The most common cause of a sports injury is from training too much. Sounds too simple, right? It’s not. Overtraining can put unnecessary pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain and delaying or even derailing your training.

What are the most common sports injuries?

 -Swollen muscles

-Fractures

-Knee injuries

-Achilles tendon injuries

-Sprains and strains

-Dislocations

-Rotator cuff injuries

If I get injured what can I do?

When you get injured one of the first things you can do is stop and assess the injury. If you feel pain—not discomfort, but pain, stop and assess. Many athletes follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If doing these things doesn’t do anything to alleviate your pain then it is a good idea to go to a doctor or physical therapist to seek further instruction on what you can do to allow your body to heal. Remember that if you continue training while injured, you can make the injury even worse, so get the problem checked out as soon as you can.

There’s more you can do!

Besides taking care of yourself physically and making sure that you care appropriately for the injured area of your body, you can also take notice of what is going into your body. Proper nutrition is an important component of training that not only helps to prevent injury but also helps in recovering from injuries as well.

What should I focus on?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: protein and carbohydrates are essential to your training. Thus, they are also crucial to pay attention to when you have an injury.

When it comes to protein, you can eat either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whey protein powder is from animal protein, but you can also take the time to cook up chicken or fish. The most accessible vegetable-based protein to consume is soy protein, but you can also get a small amount of protein from rice and beans (though not as much as soy, as they don’t have as many amino acids). The amino acids in proteins will help to your muscles begin to repair themselves. Eating carbohydrates will help to replace the glycogen that we used during our workout, which will help get our energy back up.

Carbohydrates are more important for the prevention of injuries, as they help give you the energy you need to train as hard as you do, while protein is most important when it comes to recovery and healing. We know that it can be hard to feel like you have time to fit in the proper nutrition, especially if you need to add physical therapy and icing to your routine. Take the time to plan out your nutrition if you can and if you don’t have time, grab a protein shake or a well-engineered protein bar to keep you fueled.

Don’t Forget the H20

Often when we’re training, we get so involved into our routines and nutrition intake, that we forget about one of the most important things we need: water. Hydration is an extremely important piece of the workout puzzle. Water helps our kidneys to function well and to filter the waste out of system. It also contributes to the wellness of other systems in our bodies, like our digestive system. When we lack water, our bodies let us know. Drink the recommended amount each day and to protect yourself against injury and recover further, drink even more than that.

Take care of yourself

We’ve laid out the injury basics for you, but before we go, we wanted to remind you: listen to your body. We’re all for training hard, but listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure you get the proper nutrition along the way to both prevent injury and help with recovery. If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition, feel free to take a look at our blog or reach out to us directly here at PROMAX.

Sources:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/protein-rebuild-muscle-tears-6731.html
http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/nutritional-support-for-sport-injuries-eating-your-way-to-recovery/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/412947-the-best-diet-for-recovering-from-a-sports-injury/
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportsnutrition/a/Protein.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sportsinjuries.html
http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/sports-nutrition.aspx
http://www.promaxnutrition.com/the-importance-of-hydration

4 Ways to Get in a Water Workout

girl runs into water on beach

Getting in our proper nutrition and protein needs during the summertime can be difficult, especially when we’re always on the run. A lot of people take advantage of the water during the summer, either going to a swimming pool, a lake, or to the ocean. Just because you go to the pool or beach, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your workout (or your nutrition). Just like you can bring a protein bar with your or a cooler to make sure that you keep your food fresh, you can easily bring a workout with you too. Here are some ways you can workout in the water:

Tread to Shred

If you’re looking for a way to tone your entire lower body, treading water does quite a lot for your core, butt, hamstrings, and quad muscles. You’ll have to be in water that is over your head so you can extend your legs. Point your feet and pull back water while alternating your legs. All the while make sure to keep your core engaged!

Jog Through It!

Many athletes aren’t afraid to admit that running isn’t their favorite activity. It’s hard on the joints and if you weight lift while training, then your joints may have enough stress already. That’s what is great about a water workout—there’s way less stress of the joints! Jogging in the water is a great way to get your heart rate up. You can choose to jog in place and focus on tightening your core, or pick a point (like the other side of the pool) to run to and from. If you’re running in the ocean, a good way to challenge yourself it to run from the beach into waist high water and back. That’ll get your heart pumping!

Make Waves with Kicks

A great way to strengthen your lower core and quad muscles is with kicking. You can hold on to the edge of the pool and kick up your feet. If you want to move a litter more, you can kick around with a kickboard (in the pool or the ocean). To get your heart rate up, it’s a good idea to time yourself and practice doing sprints, alternating the sprint sessions with slower kicks.

Pull Yourself Out!

This exercise works best if you’re in a pool but can be done alongside a dock in a lake or ocean as well. To target your back and shoulders, you can use the edge of the pool to do a pull up. For some, the first time they do this it is quite difficult, and so you may have to work up to a point when you are at many reps. Place your hands on the pool’s edge, elbows pointed out, and push down on the pool edge’s surface so as to pull yourself out. Once your chest is level with the pool edge, lower yourself down to the pool and try again!

Water Water All Around but Not a Drop to Drink

Sometimes we forget that while we’re in the water, it’s still important to drink water ourselves and stay hydrated. While you’re at the pool, lake, or beach, be sure to take water breaks at regular intervals, just as you would if you were working out on land in the gym. Do you have other ways you like to work your body in the water? We’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or get in touch with us here at Promax directly!

Sources:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/total-body/pool-workout/
http://www.lifescript.com/diet-fitness/articles/m/make_a_splash_8_pool_exercises_to_burn_fat_fast.aspx
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=74
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/maia3.htm