Your Daily Water Requirement. How Much Water Should You Drink.
Besides oxygen, water is the most vital substance to maintain life. The human body consists to about 50-70% of water. Without drinking water, we could hardly survive 3-4 days. Most of our metabolic processes, especially the synthesis of nutrients for building muscles and burning fat, are based on an optimum water supply.
Jul 23rd, 2010 - written by Stephan in Nutrition
Functions of Water in Your Body
- Nutrient Supply. Water keeps the blood fluid and dissolves and transports essential vitamins.
- Catalysis. Water is an important catalyst in many enzymatic reactions.
- Digestion. Breaking down carbohydrates to glycogen and protein to amino acids requires water.
- Cleansing. Water cleans the system and transports waste materials and toxins from the body.
- Temperature Regulation. Water is required to regulate the body temperature, especially during physical activity.
Why You Should Drink a LotA regular and adequate water supply is beneficial for your health.
- Optimum Water Budget. Even at rest the body is loosing about 1,5 liters of water per day through respiration and skin. Physical activity leads to an even higher withdrawal of water through increased sweat production and respiration. Therefore especially athletes have much higher demand for water.
- Rapid Recovery. Muscular nutrient supply and regeneration require water. A deficient water supply will decrease your performance.
- Muscle Building. Muscles themselves consist mostly of water. Therefore muscle growth happens only when the body is adequately supplied with water.
- Fat Loss. The protein and fat metabolism is controlled by the liver. Water deficiency can slow down or even disrupt these processes.
- Satiety. Water fills the stomach, which is why the feeling of hunger can be reduced by a regular water supply.
- Improved Skin Image. A rapidly visible effect caused by an improved detoxification is a better appearance of the skin, because the body has less to do detoxifying through it.
Strategies For a Regular Water SupplyMany people find it hard to drink the recommended amount of water. You either have no feeling of thirst or simply forget to drink in the stress of daily life. Here's how to make it work anyway:
- Start Early. Drinking your first liter of water in the morning makes it easier to reach the recommended daily amount.
- Have Water Available. Place a water bottle within your reach, at home as well as at work or on the way. Drink from it regularly in small sips. Once it is empty, it should be refilled.
- Take in Additional Water Through Your Food. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. It does not only improve your vitamin, but also your water supply, because fruits and vegetables consist of up 98% of clean water.
- Water With Each Meal. Make it a habit drink a large glass of water with each meal. Either before, to create an early sense of satiety, but in any event afterwards.
- Water During Training. Make a large bottle of water your favorite training partner and drink about 1 liter of water per hour of training. That should be done immediately. If not, the fluid loss must be compensated afterwards.
Symptoms of Water DeficiencyA lack of water in the body causes the following symptoms:
- Color and Smell of Urine. A quick and reliable indicator is your urine. It should always be colorless and odorless, everything else is a sign of a lack of fluid.
- Concentration Loss and Memory Disorders. Water deficiency causes the blood to thicken, which can lead to an under-supply of the brain.
- Other symptoms may be: restlessness, fatigue, nervousness, dry mouth.
The Recommended Daily Amount of WaterIn principle, the daily amount of water demand is related to the very individual metabolic rate.
Which in turn depends on parameters such as body weight and level of physical activity. There's a simple rule of thumb:
- 1 liter of water per day for every 45 pounds of body weight. Therefore a person weighting 160 pounds should drink about 3,5 liters of water per day.
tags: water | nutrition | muscle building | fat loss |
Strength Training as at High Temperatures
For many athletes hot weather is a good reason to reduce the training volume or to completely refrain from intense workouts during this time. Even a regular strength training can suffer from heat, so here are a few tips and hints on how the training can be carried on continuously in spite of sultry and warm temperatures.
Jul 12th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
Drink a Lot... an obviousness that is often neglected or simply underestimated. Even at normal temperatures you should drink one liter of water for each hour of training, which is is roughly the amount that is leaving the body through sweating an breathing.
In the summertime the gym interior can easily heat up to about 28-30 °C, which increases the sweating and therefore the fluid requirements can easily rise up to twice the amount.
Drink about approximately 1.5-2 liters of water per hour of intense weight training and increase the daily intake of water to about 4-5 liters, to prevent your body from dehydration and to stay powerful even in the heat.
Training Level and Training BreaksThe cyclic shift of training and rest in strength training has a certain advantage over the long-lasting, continuous loads such as in endurance training.
If necessary have longer rests between the sets to let the body cool down and thus prevent the cardiac system from overloading or your body from having a heat shock.
The training intensity itself can usually be maintained despite the heat, since, for the duration of one set, the body should be capable of performing on usual levels. External may even have a positive influence on the training level, since the muscles are more supple from the beginning on, while sweating my provide a certain amount of extra motivation.
Training TimesAdapt your training times. if possible, take advantage of the cool morning hours or go training in the evening train.
Endurance training under the direct exposure of the sun sun should generally be avoided in the hours around noontime. But even apart from the midday sun you should wear a hat that provides some shade to avoid a sunstroke, which manifests itself mostly by dizziness, nausea, or tinnitus.
Training DurationTrain just as short as necessary. This general recommendation (which applies also also on climate safe days) requires you to do only a small number of complex exercises. A training session on a hot day shouldn't take longer than 30-45 minutes.
Proper Clothing and AccessoriesSpecial clothing directs the sweat quickly and effectively away from the skin and allows it to evaporate. Normal shirts and pants are less effective, but they also take on the sweat and keep most of it away from the training equipment and the people around you. Tight clothing, which reveals much skin, doesn't provide this kind of comfort.
A reasonably large towel to remove sweat should be part of your accessories as well as the mandatory water bottle.
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tags: strength training | endurance training | heat | high temperatures |
Book Recommendation: "Gesund durch Stress" (German only)
What a book!
Jun 3rd, 2010 - written by Stephan in Media
One of the best health guidebooks I have read lately completely abandons the same old stories of the health industry and provides new ideas and suggestions for an active life full of "key stimuli".
The book itself appears to be published in German only under the titile: Gesund durch Stress! Wer reizvoll lebt, bleibt länger jung!: Schlüsselreize für das Wohlbefinden. The authors, both of them physicians, provide a completely different view of the incorrectly negatively marked term and condition of "stress" and expose a stress-free life and the often prescribed physical rest as the source of a variety of diseases. Convenience vs. Effort: here is made understandable, that only regular and appropriate high efforts of body and mind keep us healthy and vital. Stress as a fountain of youth.
A truly enjoyable read for active people as well as for couch potatoes.
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Pull-up & Chin-up Guide | How to do Pull-ups & Chin-ups
Without doubt, pull-ups and chin-ups are one of the most effective basic exercises to develop a muscular upper body. They work a large number of muscles simultaneously and, through different grip setups and techniques, offer many different training variations.
Apr 21st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Strength Training
|Strength||Pull-ups are a great exercise to strengthen almost all upper body and arm muscles, including the hand's gripping strength.|
|Muscles||Doing Pull-ups on a regular basis can develop an impressive upper body.|
|Balance||Pull-ups help maintaining the upper body's muscular balance by compensating the popular pressing exercise for chest and front shoulders.|
|Simplicity||Pull-ups require nothing but a fixed horizontal bar or something similar to grasp. Once you're able to perform a few pull-ups, you can train virtually anywhere.|
|Versatility||A variety of grip setups and many training techniques make pull-ups a versatile and interesting exercise.|
Basic Pull-up Instructions
- Stand below pull-up bar and grasp it with wide overhand grip. Hang on bar.
- Bend your knees and cross your lower legs.
- Pull your body up until your upper chest reaches the bar. Look up and keep chest up, leading toward the bar.
- Return with same speed. Keep the arms very slightly bent at the bottom of the motion to maintain the muscular activity. Simultaneously let your your shoulders be pulled up by the bodyweight.
The Difference Between Pull-ups and Chin-upsWhile the basic pulling movement is the same, pull-ups and chin-ups differ in the hand's grip setup.
|Palms facing away from you involves less arm flexor muscles and more back. It is harder.||Palms facing you involves less back muscles and more arm flexors. It is easier.|
Pull-up TechniquesEspecially for beginners pull-ups a are a major challenge. Not only do they require a good relation of strength and bodyweight, but also a very specific muscular coordination that can only be improved by doing it.
Don't stick to Lat Pull-downs for too long. Even if you're strong enough to sit and pull down about your bodyweight, it doesn't mean you're able to do a single correct pull-up, because you're not accustomed to the specific technique. Any great performance on the pull-up bar comes from hard and consistent training.
|Assisted Pull-ups, Machine|
|Assisted Pull-ups, Elastic Band|
|Assisted Pull-ups, Training Partner|
|Wide Overhand Grip|
|Close Overhand Grip|
|Close Neutral Grip|
|Wide Reverse Grip|
|One Arm Reverse Grip|
- Straight Arms. Extending the arms completely disables all major muscular activity for a moment, which may result in overstressed passive structures, such as tendons and ligaments.
- Swinging. Try to keep hips and legs as stable as possible. Don't kick legs and don't swing back and forth.
Exercise Guide Links to Pull-ups & Chin-upsPull-up
Pull-up, Behind Neck
Pull-up, Close Grip
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Italian Group Fitness
We all know that to get in shape, there´s nothing more effective than lifting weights.
Mar 31st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Media
However, obviously group fitness appears to be second best choice. Watch THIS!
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10 Ways To Increase Your Metabolism
Mar 31st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
The MetabolismAs mentioned before, our metabolic performance has great influence on our life, and vice versa. Of course, the metabolic rate itself is as individual as every person, but there are several internal and external factors that determine how well it is doing.
Surprisingly, genetic conditions, with just 5% share, have only minor influence on the metabolic rate. Therefore "bad" genetics don´t deliver a plausible explanation for a low metabolic rate
It is rather age, sex and lifestyle that influence the metabolism. The first two factors we have to accept as they are. From the age of 25 on the bodies energy requirement underlies an annual decrease of 1%, which means that during an adults lifespan the metabolism decreases by up to 40%.
Fortunately, this process can be delayed and even turned around by the third factor: living an active lifestyle has a positive effect of the body´s entire energy demand, even in the state of rest.
The following chart shows the most substantial metabolic rate influences.
Simplified the total energy consumption is calculated as follows:
Complete Energy Turnover = Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) + Energy used by Activities
The Basal Metabolic Rate is the body´s energy demand in absolute rest, which makes up about 60% of our complete energy turnover. Physical activity itself demands about 30% and temperature regulation about 10%.
Concluding, a long-term and successful metabolic rate increase is mainly based on an improved BMR. There are many other possibilities, besides physical activity, to affect the the BMR in a positive way.
1. Regular Strength TrainingMuscles are active body mass. They burn energy even at rest, during physical activity the become fat burning furnaces that burn plenty of energy.
Excess body fat can only be burnt inside the muscles, no place else. The more muscles you have, the higher the chance of having an optimum body fat percentage.
After lifting weights the BMR remains on a high level for the next 48 hours. Therefore working out 2-3 times per week causes a permanently increasing energy demand, day and night.
2. Cardiovascular TrainingCardiovascular Training has a far less influence on the BMR..
Aerobic exercise with a heart rate of about 65% of your MHR (maximum heart rate) burns about 300-400 kcal per hour. It would take almost three hours of low intensity cardiovascular training per week to balance one larger meal.
Also, after cardio training the BMR remains on a high level for only about 1-2 hours, which is much less in comparison to strength training.
However, endurance is also an important part of the battle. It can be done on a regular basis without a great deal. Especially short, but intense training sessions or interval trainings of aerobic and an-aerobic exercise burn plenty of energy.
3. Daily ActivityAbandon many of your everyday comforts to increase your energy demand.
- Instead of using the car go by bike or walk short distances.
- Recognize even the smallest stairs as a short training session. Avoid elevators and escalators whenever possible.
- When sitting, get up at least once per hour and move. Maybe carry out tasks that require you to visit other floors or different departments.
- Be active whenever possible, even home works burns a lot of calories.
- Pick sporting hobbies, e.g. in team and ball sports.
4. Mental ActivityThe brain makes up about 3% of our body weight, but burns 25% of our resting energy. In contrast to muscles, the brain can only burn carbohydrates (glucose).
Since the brain can´t store energy, it has to take carbohydrates from the body´s storages.
Demanding mental processes do consume much of the daily fed carbohydrates. Since the body wants to compensate this by an increased carbohydrate intake, mental activity is one major cause of cravings for sweets.
It is not possible to achieve a long-term increase in energy demand, but since mental performance is similar trainable as physical, they are good way to burn a little more energy each day.
5. Eating and DrinkingTo maintain a high level of physical energy, you need to eat on a regular basis.
Have a small or medium meal every 3-4 hours. Doing this indicates a good supply situation and encourages the body to burn its energy storages (excess body fat).
However, what counts for training also counts for nutrition: Keep boredom at bay!
Ultimately you only may want to watch only your weekly energy balance. A long-term energy surplus leads to gaining weight, a long-term energy deficiency causes weight loss. Seek for an energy balance to maintain your bodyweight. The daily calorie intake should be subject of specific variations to not get your metabolism used to a certain energy level. Keep it interesting
Because almost all metabolic functions require water, drink a sufficient amount of fluid each day. 2-3 liters are a good estimation.
6. HeatFor most people an ambient temperature of 68-73°F is most convenient. Try to escape this area as often as possible, because then the body will have to use energy to balance its temperature.
Going to the sauna or taking hot baths are great examples for sources of external heat.
You can also put heat inside your body by drinking hot drinks or by eating hot meals, but beware to not burn your mouth.
7. ColdnessWhat is true for heat is even more true for coldness.
Have cold showers in the morning or have cold baths to push your metabolism. It will wake you up and costs lots of energy.
Don´t dress with too warm clothes. Rather leave it to the body to control its temperature.
Keep the room temperature below 70°F, which encourages your body to move and to maintain a certain level of physical activity to produce warmth.
Have cold food and, even better, cold drinks. Especially ice water, sipped over a longer period of time, is an ideal metabolism booster.
8. Spicy FoodSpicy food can also increase the metabolism.
You can recognize it when people begin to sweat while having a spicy meal. It is helpful, although it is not the perfect option.
9. SleepSleeping too little may cause your BMR to slow down, because the body is likely to suffer from poor recovery.
Sleep for 6-8 hours every day and try to get up in time without an alarm clock, which may require you to go to bed earlier.
Basically, start the day very early in the morning. Sleeping for too long , way longer than 8 hours, is also counterproductive and makes it hard for your metabolism to rise over the day.
10. Other ExtremesIn general, all time your spend outside the everyday comfort zones are stimulating the metabolism.
As already mentioned things like heat and cold an important role, but also hormone-releasing states such as pleasure, fun, fear, or (positive :-) excitement. Add several of these ingredients into your daily routine and your metabolism has every reason to remain at a high level.
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tags: metabolism | activity | muscle building | fat loss |
Chocolate Can Cut Blood Pressure and Help Heart
Mar 30th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Nutrition
Image credit by mwboeckmann
According to BBC News consuming chocolate in moderate amounts can help lowering your blood pressure.
They say that people who eat half a bar of chocolate per week had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Eating much more chocolate on the other hand is bad for your health because of the high caloric density and the saturated fats that come with it.
In order to remain healthy, chocolate must not increase your overall calorie intake.
Unfortunately they left the most important question unanswered:
- Who´s eating just half a bar of chocolate? per week?
Some time ago I´ve learned that once per week you can eat whatever you like to in random amounts, because the stomach has limited capabilities of digesting plenty of food at once. Therefore I´m quite sure it is okay to even eat the whole bar, isn´t it?
Click here to read the full article.
Source: BBC News UK
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tags: chocolate | blood pressure | nutrition |
10 Simple Strategie For Gaining Muscle Mass
Mar 18th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Strength Training
1. Increased Muscular Tension
The conscious flexion of the working muscles over the entire range of motion causes an increased muscular stimulation. This technique particularly suits isolation exercises.
Thus, for example when doing Arm Curls, an extra tightening of the arm flexing muscles at the end of the concentric phase will increase the stimulus to the biceps.
In general, the eccentric part of a movement should be done slowly and deliberately under high muscular tension, which in turn leads to a higher training level, a more intense workout and an improved development of strength and muscle mass.
2. Final ContractionsFinal contractions can lead to up to 30% increased muscular stimulation. Simply do 3-5 partial repetitions with almost extended joint positions after finishing a set.
For example, after the last repetition of the lat pull-down exercise, before dropping the weight, do a few repetitions in the upper part of the movement. You can apply this technique to almost any strength exercise.
3. Train ComplexA high and complex effort, and thus progressively higher workload is critical to muscular development.
You can move the highest weights during basic compound exercises that stimulate many muscles simultaneously and that involve functional movements.
|Complex Exercises For The Upper Body||Complex Exercises For The Lower Body|
4. Train StandingTry to do as many exercises as possible in standing position, because it requires and triggers the development of a larger number of stabilizing muscles, especially core muscles.
It is important to keep up a correct training technique and to avoid any swinging. This is particularly suitable for the training of the shoulders and arms, for example, Shoulder Presses with Barbell or Dumbbells, Lateral Raises, Arm Curls and Triceps Extension.
3. Variation: Heavy - Light - HeavyTo build muscles, it is important to use heavy weights and to train a the range of 5-8 repetitions.
However, muscles need some training variety to constantly develop and to grow.
Switch between heavy load training on the one hand and training with lighter weights on the other. Performing many repetitions with relatively light weights leads to better blood circulation within the affected muscles, resulting in an improved oxygen and results nutrient supply and thus promotes muscle growth.
A very simple and effective method is a permanent heavy weight training in combination with a once per weekly high-rep workout for all major muscle groups.
5. Effective RestingIn order to complete the necessary training volume in minimum time you may want to take advantage of the breaks between sets.
Here you either train the corresponding antagonist or any weaknesses, such as Calves or Abdominal Muscles.
Short and intense workouts cause a higher production of hormones that are involved in muscle building.
6. Eat MoreTo gain weight, you need to take in more energy than you consume. Therefore you need to eat more and you need to eat the right food.
To maximize the calorie intake eat mainly foods with a high energy density. Foremost amongst these are healthy fats such as olive oil, canola oil, nuts and peanut butter.
In addition, a sufficient supply of proteins is important. If you cannot meet the daily requirements through diet, it makes sense to resort to supplements, such as protein shakes.
If you are not able to take in large enough amounts of calories through solid food, you need to drink more energy-dense fluids. Drink plenty of milk, preferably whole milk, since the combination of protein and a little more fat leads to a longer digestion time in the stomach, and thus provides more energy of a longer time. Otherwise, high-calorie juices and self-made smoothies, such as milk with oatmeal and fruits, prepared in mixer, are an excellent source of energy.
7. Drink MoreMuscles consist to 65% of water. Your muscles won´t grow without a sufficient water supply.
The complete protein and fat metabolism is based on an adequate fluid intake. To effectively build muscle mass, you need to dink 1 liter of water per day per 20 kg of body weight.
8. Rest MoreReduce the calorie consumption besides the strength training to a minimum. Avoid long cardio units.
Train hard and be lazy for the rest of the day. To ensure a good recovery and muscle growth you need to sleep about 8 hours per night.
9. Eat Directly After TrainingAfter each intense workout, the muscles are hungry for glycogen and amino acids. Fulfill these needs promptly.
To make the most of the time window of about 15 minutes, you should either have a full meal, or alternatively drink a whey protein shake together with with rapidly digestible carbohydrates.
10. Think BIGUltimately, it is important to be convinced of your own performance and muscle growth.
Imagine to already own the desired muscles. Visualize it every day. The right mental cinema provides the necessary motivation.
Set the right priorities in terms of muscle building and developing a certain unwillingness to compromise, that is do everything necessary to reach your goal and to avoid any actions that prevent you from growing muscles.
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tags: muscles | advice | strength training |
Drinking Wine Helps Women Keeping Their Bodyweight
A recently published 13 year study of more than 19.000 woman revealed that drinking alcohol regularly in moderate amounts can prevent women from becoming obese.
Mar 9th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Nutrition
Wine tasting. Image credit by _olasso / Redwine. Image credit by Habub3
This perception stands in contrast to deep-rooted dietary advices claiming that alcohol consumption leads to gain weight.
According to researches the body uses calories from alcohol in a different way, which positively affects the fat metabolism. Alcohol broken down by the liver is creating heat instead of body fat.
During the study 19.220 woman were questioned about their drinking habits. About 38 per cent did not drink alcohol at all. However, this group gained the most weight. The more alcohol women consumed, the less weight they gained.
Especially woman who drank red wine gained the least weight, while drinking beer and spirits lead to higher weight gains. The study report claimed that there was no significant connection between alcohol consumption and weight gain.
"Of course if women were drinking more than two units a day they would put on weight. What this survey shows is that moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle. People who drink wine may be more likely to snack on sugary and more calorific treats."
Ultimately it is a question of the right doses. Drinking red wine in moderate amounts has already been declared as beneficial for health years ago. All I would like to know is, whether the positive effects on bodyweight also apply for men.
Sources: Archives of Internal Medicine / www.telegraph.co.uk
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The Best Six-Pack Ab Exercises
At first glance, the best and most effective six-pack ab exercise won´t be recognized as abdominal-specific, because it isn´t the classic and very popular exercise like crunches, leg raises or sit-ups that I´m talking about. Obviously, even crunches don´t offer a really functional core training, hence there are much smarter ways to train and shape the center of your body.
Mar 2nd, 2010 - written by Stephan in Strength Training
Six-pack Abs RequirementsTo get six-pack abs, you have to meet two essential requirements:
|Muscles||Strong core muscles are the basis, not just for good-looking abs, that is nothing more than a pleasant side-effect, but for a pain-free back, a good posture and an outstanding training performance, which requires the core muscles to be as strong as possible.|
|Body Fat||Men need to have a body fat percentage of 10% or lower to show a six-pack ab. Otherwise they remain hidden below a layer of body fat. That, however, means no functional disadvantages at all, you simply don´t have visible abs.|
Complex Training vs. Isolation TrainingCurrently, the most popular ab exercises are isolation exercise that involve certain rolling-in movements of the upper body, which is no functional way to train your abs. The main purpose of all core muscles is to stabilize the trunk against external forces. Beside stabilization, the obliques serve as torso rotator. Let me summarize:
Isolated core training through upper body roll-ins or side-bends is a meaningful act, but does not provide a functional and natural way of core strengthening.
Also the percentage of body fat, as the second important pillar for a six-pack abs, can be influenced more effectively by doing functional and complex exercises, since you activate a large number of muscles simultaneously. This leads to an increased hormone secretion and increased fat burning. A reduction in body fat requires a certain amount of active muscle and an adequate diet, which leads to insight number two:
The more muscles you activate simultaneously during an exercise and the more muscle mass you own, the higher your potential for burning body fat. Therefore you have to do complex exercises, requiring a signficant and functional participation of your core muscles.
The List: The Best Six-pack Ab ExercisesI will divide this list into two categories:
- Ab Exercises whose target muscles are mainly abs.
- Non-Ab Exercises that activate a large number of muscles and put high demand on your core muscles.
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tags: six pack | exercises | advice | strength training |