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Want to Start Eating Healthy? Then You Might Want To Watch What You Drink First

Is your beverage intake ruining your diet?

Healthy Drinks
Credit: Unsplash

We all know that exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand, which is why people will often make some dietary changes as they're starting their fitness journey. Our previous post on the Best Fruit and Vegetables to Mix with Protein Powder highlights that the right food can give you the nutrients you need to stay in fighting form.

However, the problem is that it's usually just food that people think of when it comes to nutritional changes. Watching what you drink is just as important if you really want to have a healthy lifestyle. Some would argue that monitoring your drink intake is even more important since most people don't take stock of what they drink in a day.

To help solve that, below is an overview of the three main culprits that people should watch out for in their drink intake: sugar, coffee, and alcohol.

Sugar

It's not just soft drinks that you have to watch out for. Eat This Not That cites Naked Juice as one of the worst offenders when it comes to sugary drinks — their Mighty Mango drink has over 57 grams of sugar, which is more than a Hershey's bar! Although these juices don't have any sugar added, the problem is that manufacturers have to include lots of fruit to fill up one bottle while blending it together robs fruit of its natural fiber content.

This finding is extremely worrying, as lots of people tend to go for these bottled juices thinking they're healthier alternatives to things like powdered drinks and bottled ice teas. If you're opting for bottled drinks, do yourself a favor and check for the sugar content in them first.

Coffee

Coffee doesn’t necessarily have a lot of calories in it (unless you’re going for sugary lattes and the like), but calories aren’t the only thing that you should watch out for. The FDA estimates the half-life of caffeine to be about five or six hours, which is why a cup of coffee can seriously harm your sleep cycle even long after you’ve taken it.

These side-effects are worth considering since sleep is an important part of any exercise regimen. That said, there’s no denying that caffeine can be a great source of energy with Pretty Me’s lifestyle team recommending Lean n Green as a healthier alternative. Green coffee has less caffeine than your regular bean while also being loaded with antioxidants, which is a definite win-win!

Alcohol

The media likes to send mixed messages about alcohol and fitness. From wine yoga classes to beer companies sponsoring marathons, there seems to be an idea that drinking alcohol isn't detrimental to your fitness goals (in fact, people even talk about sweating out their hangover the next day).

That said, associate professor of muscle physiology Daniel Moore notes that the dangers of dehydration are huge. He points out your liver metabolizes 90 to 98 percent of the alcohol you consume, so sweating it out isn't actually doing much. It also goes without saying that alcohol is calorie dense, which can be a huge deciding factor for those who are counting their macros.

It's unreasonable to stay away from sugar, coffee, and alcohol entirely, and you should be able to treat yourself once in a while. The phrase "everything in moderation, including moderation" comes to mind when watching for what you drink.

By Gail Marcuzzi

What is Electronic Muscle Stimulation (Stim) and should I be using it?!

What is Electronic Muscle Stimulation (Stim) and should I be using it?!

The good ol' Stim & Ice

If you are an athlete and have had some kind of muscle stain or pull then you have probably used stim & ice.  I was first introduce to stim & ice when I was playing college football.  I showed up on campus after having this nagging injury in High School that wouldn't go away.   The trainers put me on the table, slapped on some of these pads (like the ones in the picture below), connected the cords to this big machine and turned it on.

My muscles started to fire in a rhythmic pattern without my control and I wasn't exactly sure if this was going to help or not.  To my surprise this nagging injury, that bothered me my entire senior year of high school, was gone after a week of stim & ice.  

SLAP Tear Surgery and Recovery: E-Stim...The Pleasure At The End ...

As my career went on, this became standard practice for any muscle strains, tears or pulls.  But when my career was over, and I strained a muscle while working out or shooting some hoops, I didn't have the ability to get stim & ice anymore. 

So what exactly is Electronic Muscle Stimulation? 

EMS uses electrical impulses to cause the contraction of targeted muscle groups. The impulses are generated by a device and are delivered through electrodes on the skin near to the muscles being stimulated. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin. The impulses mimic the action potential  that comes from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract.  

My Solution: PowerDot

Powerdot

I was recently introduced to PowerDot, which is what I would consider an all-in-one muscle stimulation solution, with over 15 programs plus what they call Smart Recommendations. PowerDot takes data from apps like Strava and provides therapy recommendations to help you recover faster from workouts and be ready to perform better.

The mobile app is what sets PowerDot apart. That’s right, it is designed around a mobile app that acts as a controller for your device. This allows the programs, design, and features to be updated over time based on customer feedback. It’s like getting a new product every couple months, all at no additional cost. This design also makes PowerDot extremely portable and convenient. The actual pod that you place on your skin, which is extremely powerful, is only about 60mm and weighs in at under 25g (extremely small and light compared to the machines I used to get hooked up to back in my college days!)

The other thing I really love is the amount of education you get right within the app. You are able to select the body part you want to focus on, the program that best suits your needs, and you are then prompted with pad placement guides as well as additional tips on use. No need for user manuals, or searching the internet to figure out how to use it.

To no surprise, PowerDot is being used by professional athletes around the globe. NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, athletes as well as Tour de France cyclists and CrossFit athletes are all using this technology.

Are you a Cyclist?!  Then check out the PowerDot Grand Tour

Participants who complete at least 100 miles in the month will be entered into a random drawing for a product package from PowerDot, Whoop, AMP Human, KYOKU, and Stay Classy Meats. Athletes willing to push themselves over 750 miles in July will qualify for a Grand Prize drawing of $6,000 plus the product package. Two runners up will also receive $2,000 each plus the product package. These huge prizes make this one of the largest and most unique Strava challenges ever, and is sure to bring in a large number of cyclists from around the world.  Learn more Here.

Does Your Apparel Make a Difference?

Does Your Apparel Make a Difference?

Performance apparel, also called "Sportswear" or "Activewear" has gained enormous popularity in the last decade.  So why has the category which traditionally has been reserved for competitive athletes become so popular by mainstream consumers? Not surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with the increased awareness of the benefits of physical activity and trends within the fitness industry.  Sports and activities like StadiumBlitz, Yoga and cycling(think SoulCycle, Spin Class, etc.) have helped the "average" person crossover into a more competitive realm of activity.  Health, well being and mindfulness have become serious areas of interest for the masses around the world.  The performance apparel industry has recognized this and has done a phenomenal job of not only pioneering new technologies that help increase performance but have also turned their apparel into fashion trends.

"If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good."

-Deion Sanders

Having said that, there are literally THOUSANDS of options to choose from when looking to purchase Sportswear.  So, what differentiates one performance tee from another?  There is a wide range of prices from very low cost "economy" options to high end "luxury" apparel.  Much of the differentiation stems from brand prestige(think name brand), style(colors, cuts,etc.), and material.  In this article, we are going to focus primarily on the materials used and how they can help(or hinder) athletic performance.

Our top fabrics and why we chose them:

Bamboo Fiber- Yes, you read that correctly...Bamboo fiber has recently taken off as a top contender in performance fabric.  Bamboo is lightweight and breathable, allowing more airflow to keep you cool and dry during a tough workout.  Additionally, Bamboo fabric is excellent at wicking moisture away from the body to keep you dry.  One of the main reasons why we like it so much is, Bamboo fabric is naturally anti-bacterial and will reduce odors like many other fabrics cannot.  And finally, Bamboo fabric is a top choice for outdoor workouts as it offers UV protection up to 50 UPF!

HYLETE-Icon II Quad Blend Crew Tee

31% Bamboo Rayon/ 32% Rayon/ 31% Cotton/ 6% Spandex

Use code: ICESHAKER20 for 20% off HERE.

Lyocell- This fabric is a form of the more well known Rayon. It is made from wood pulp thus, it is often marketed as environmentally friendly.  It has the feel of silk which many would agree feels pretty good on the body.  It has excellent moisture wicking properties because moisture is drawn away from the body by the filaments that make up the fabric.

Moisture Wicking Cotton- It is important to note that we are talking about a particular type of cotton that has been made to wick away moisture from the body. Standard cotton does not do this-we'll get into this later.  Moisture wicking cotton is not our favorite choice but there is something to be said about the comfort and familiarity of cotton garments.  Using workout apparel in this fabric will give you the best of both world. Plus, a moisture wicking cotton tee can double as an everyday shirt and workout shirt-which can be nice.

Nylon- Nylon is not usually the first fabric to come to mind when discussing performance apparel...But, it certainly should be near the top of your list.  Nylon possesses some of the most sought after qualities for hard sweat sessions.  It is flexible, breathable, quick drying and is great at wicking away moisture from the body.  In addition to all of the above, it is also extremely durable so you can bet it will last for MANY workouts to come.

HYLETE-Aeras Racerback Tank

91% Nylon/ 9% Spandex

Use Code: ICESHAKER20 for 20% off HERE

Spandex- We couldn't leave this one off the list as it has been tried and true for decades!  It has almost unmatched flexibility, is incredibly durable and is great at wicking moisture from the body keeping you cool and dry throughout your workout.  Considering how long it's been around, it says something that is is still widely used in performance apparel garments to this day.

HYLETE-Iris Short w Liner

Body: 46% Nylon/ 40% Polyester/ 14% Spandex

Mesh Liner: 84% Nylon/ 16% Spandex

Use code: ICESHAKER20 for 20% off HERE.

 

Not your best options:

100% Cotton- Cotton is great for regular day to day wear. It's breathable and most people like the comfort that it provides...when dry.  Unfortunately for 100% cotton lovers, it absorbs moisture and does a less than ideal job at wicking sweat away from the body.  100% cotton garments become heavy and make you feel like you're wearing a wet sack. You have probably also noticed that they're not the best at fighting bacteria.

Standard Polyester- We don't want to lump all polyester into this category because in fact, some polyesters are excellent for exercise. Those that have moisture wicking technology or blended with other fabrics can be safe but, standard polyester should be a no-go if you plan on getting your sweat on.  Standard polyester is actually a more hospitable environment for bacteria from sweat to grow...even more so than 100% cotton.  If it is not immediately washed after use, t could even develop a permanent odor that will be brought on as soon as sweat hits it again.

So, there you have it! Hopefully this gives you some direction when deciding on your next sportswear outfit.  No matter which fabrics you choose, you are already winning just by being active and working up a sweat!  Oh, and if you want to make the process really easy on yourself, just head over to HYLETE.com. You can be sure that each of their garments is constructed using the highest quality of the best materials.  Plus, their style is second to none!

Use code: ICESHAKER20 to get 20% off of your first purchase at HYLETE.

 

*Coupon code valid only for first order. Not valid with any other coupons. May not be used towards purchase of E-gift cards. NO EXPIRATION date.

 

 

 

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