Having The Proper Amount of Protein Daily Is Key

Of all the diet plans out there, from the Atkins diet to fat reducing diets, none recommend that you reduce the consumption of protein, which highlights the critical role that it plays in your body and its development. Understanding the role that protein plays in the body can increase your attention to consuming it and in making sure that your body has sufficient protein to meet your life goals.

Fuel for the Body and Muscles
Protein is one of the most critical needs for your body and has many uses that can help your body’s functions. Protein is used to build and repair muscle and is therefore a critical component to prevent and recover from injury, as well as to develop the strength needed for the various jobs that you need accomplish. Since your body doesn’t store protein the way it does carbohydrates and fat, you need constant supplies of protein to be healthy.

Certain parts of your body are comprised almost solely of protein such as your nails and hair, though all of your cells have some protein included in them. Protein is also used to make the hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that your body needs to in order to operate. Protein is one of the major building blocks of your bones, muscles, cartilage, and even your blood. Protein therefore plays a critical role in your endocrine system to keep your body functioning effectively.

Protein has other health benefits as well including weight loss. Eating protein reduces your appetite and fills you up, helping to contribute to a tighter waist. If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, eating protein will help to prevent your body from using the muscle mass that you have as part of a catabolic process. Adding muscle mass and strength is important for weight loss as your muscles burn more calories than fat does, thereby leading to a healthier or slender you. Since muscle mass and strength is built with protein this is important for your body’s development

Side Effects of Insufficient Protein Consumption
One of the best ways to understand the role that protein plays in the body is by understanding what will happen to your body and what risks insufficient protein consumption plays. Without sufficient prote consumption your muscles will wither and additional stress will be placed on your bones and joints. Ou will experience a reduction of strength, energy, and stamina with insufficient protein consumption.

Recommended Levels of Protein Consumption
The amount of protein your body needs will fluctuate widely based on your age, size, and lifestyle. Men and women also need different levels of protein consumption. Individuals who are looking to add muscle to their frame will need more protein than those who have a less active lifestyle. As such, understanding the amount of protein that you need is challenging and is best done with a nutritionist or other medical professional. The United States Government recommends that the average adult consume .36 grams of protein per day per pound of weight..

Sources for Protein Consumption
Your body generally prefers to get their nutrients from food rather than from supplements as they are easier to process. Foods like lean meats and fish, eggs, tree nuts, legumes (chickpeas, peanuts beans, and peas), and tofu are all great sources of lean protein. Of course, other meats like beef and pork also contain lots of protein, but are saddled with fat and other side effects.

Individuals who find it challenging to meet their protein needs via their diet, without loading on additional calories and fat, are often best served adding protein supplements or shakes to their diet. These products can quickly add protein to your body quickly and timely, often to support the repair and development of muscles after a workout. Protein supplements are typically designed to inject protein into your body without the sugar and additives that may have other side effects on your body. Quality protein supplements are also helpful for individuals who simply are not consuming sufficient levels of protein in their diet due to other health problems, vegetarianism, or even financial limitations. Consider the need to add protein supplements into your diet and consult with a doctor or nutritionist if needed.

Protein therefore plays a critical role in your body and individuals are best served by monitoring the quantity of protein that they consume. Understand the needs of your body, the sources of protein that you commonly get, and consider ways to supplement your consumption of protein with protein shakes or supplements if needed. Sufficient protein can help our body to develop a maintain its strength appropriately and provide health benefits throughout your life

Choosing the Right Nutrition Bar – A Few Simple Tips

Nutrition bars have become a “go to” snack for many health conscious individuals. They are convenient, require no preparation, and are easy to store in a desk or take along in a purse or backpack. They require no refrigeration and come in a wide variety of flavors to suit every taste and palate.

Depending on the bar, they can function as a snack or as a meal replacement. There are literally hundreds of brands, recipes and flavors on the market which makes it hard to choose the best one for you. They vary wildly in terms of caloric content, ingredients, and Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat ratios. And, some of them are not much more than expensive junk food bars. All of this leaves you wondering, just how healthy are these bars?

If you want to choose a healthy bar, and one that works for your particular needs, you have to understand that it is all about the ingredients. And, you have to learn to read labels. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack, a protein boost, a carbohydrate fix or a meal replacement, you need to understand what is in the bar if you want to get the benefits you desire.

A good place to start is with the ingredient list and the nutritional facts label. Every bar has one, and just reading these two labels will tell you everything you need to know.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a nutrition bar that is high protein, high carbohydrate or a combination, there are certain ingredients that are simply not healthy for you.

For a nutrition bar to be healthy, it should not contain a significant amount of added sugar. Dried fruit such as dates, cranberries, apple etc should provide enough sweetness. If however there is added sugar, it should not be among the first 3 or 4 ingredients and it should not contain corn syrup of any sort. Nor should it contain any “sugar” with a chemical sounding name. Natural sugars such as honey, agave or brown rice syrup are healthier as long as they are used in small amounts.

While you do not want a nutrition bar to contain a lot of fats, there are good fats and bad fats. The body needs fat to function properly. Nuts and seeds are high in fat but these are good fats. They are good for your body and regulating metabolism. Bad fats include any product that contains hydrogenated fats. These should be avoided.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide detailed nutritional counseling, certain basics apply. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and give a quick burst of energy. Protein takes longer to digest and thus helps one feel fuller longer. Fats slow down the digestive process of carbohydrates and help with metabolic and brain function. Fiber helps move waste and toxins through the body ad any calories not used are stored as fat.

Based on their specific needs, you should look at the amount of fiber, calories, protein and carbohydrates in a whichever nutrition bar you plan to choose. Each of these items serves a particular purpose. So the individual needs of each consumer come into play here.

Perfect for runners, bicyclists and other athletes, anyone needing a burst of energy should opt for a high carbohydrate nutrition bar.

Many people are following a high protein or zone diet should pay attention to the Carbohydrate to Protein ratio. If the goal is to use the bar as a meal replacement it should contain about 1/3 each of carbs, protein and fats.

Nutrition bars can be a great addition to a healthy eating program. They can curb cravings, help level out blood sugar, give you a quick burst of energy or, in a pinch, act as a meal replacement. Choosing wisely can help achieve weight loss and good health. However, if you don’t pay attention, you may be buying very expensive candy bars.

4 Key Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Supplements

There are so many choices when it comes to health supplements, therefore, it can be difficult to decide which one will benefit you the most. This is where fish oil comes into play. Fish oil has numerous benefits that will not only help you from within, but also on the outside as well. Firstly, fish oil has been touted to be a great supplement to take if your interested in improving your cardiovascular health. Secondly, it helps to reduce inflammation on the outside and within the body. Thirdly, you’ll reap the skin benefits. And finally, it can also be used as food for your brain and help to combat a variety of mental health issues.

Cardiovascular Health
The first benefit that fish oil has is that it is beneficial for cardiovascular health. If you have high blood pressure, fish oil supplements may help to reduce your high blood pressure. According to CNN.com, the omega-3 found in fish oil has been shown to reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure and reduce heart rhythm abnormalities. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also prevent the blood from clotting fairly easily. Therefore, fish oil may be helpful for treating a variety of heart conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also help to lower the level of bad cholesterol while increasing the levels of good cholesterol. So it can also be beneficial for cholesterol.

Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation occurs within your body when it senses infection. And if you have arthritis, osteoarthritis or any types of severe skin inflammation, such as eczema, fish oil can help reduce the side effects of these disorders. When you take fish oil supplements, they help to calm these nerves by balancing levels of omega-6 and omega-3 within your body. In accordance to the Linus Pauling Foundation, fish oil supplements have even been shown to benefit patients so much that some patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to be less dependent on these drugs.

Skin Benefits
In regards to skin health, fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, help the skin in a variety of different ways. First, they improve the health of skin cells and their functioning. So, the healthier skin cells are, the better your skin will look. Omega-3 fatty acids also help give skin a smooth appearance and resilient texture. Research has also shown that they even help to prevent wrinkles and slow down the aging process. There’s even research that demonstrates how fish oil can also help prevent sun damage to the skin. So, not only will your skin look good, but you’ll age gracefully as well.

Brain Food
Fish oil is known as a brain food mainly because a lot of people eat fish to help cope with a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, stress disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. According to researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, in their research publication titled “Fish Oils and Bipolar Disorder: A Promising but Untested Treatment”, they state that fish oil be helpful in stabilizing the mood and help with the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Now that you are aware of the 4 benefits of fish oil supplements, now you can decide whether or not they are right for you. We’ve discussed that they provide the user with cardiovascular health benefits and help the heart in many different ways. We’ve also discussed how fish oil supplements help to reduce inflammation within the body. There was also a section on skin benefits. And lastly, fish oil helps provide the brain with food and this food helps to combat a variety of mental health problems

Shoulder Rehab for the Weight Lifter & Bodybuilder

Shoulder Rehab for Weight Lifter & Bodybuilder

Shoulder problems?

Here’s the quick fix..

A lot of “weight lifters” or “bodybuilders” tend to experience shoulder pain. Are you one of them? If so here’s the quick fix for someone experiencing shoulder problems usually in the rotator cuffs or front delts.

Time to lay off the push motion exercises.

Absolutely no bench press, dumbbell press, shoulder press, or light machine presses.

Focus on all fly motions and side and front raises. I’ve experienced some shoulder throughout my years of working out and it’s usually caused by pushing too my weight with bad form. Here’s what I’ve been doing to relieve the pain and get back into even better conditioning.

I stay away from all push motions and only focus on fly and raise motions for about two weeks.

I keep my chest days extremely light and focus heavily on form. Same with my shoulder days.

Chest day rehab:

Machine cable flys 

– 5 sets of 20 reps

Light dumbbell flys

– 4 sets 25 reps

Upward/Mid/Downward cable flys

– 4 sets each 15 reps

Dumbbell pull overs

4 sets 15 – 20 reps

Shoulder day rehab:

Side lateral dumbbell raises

*super set*

Rear delt flys

– 4 sets 15 reps each

Front dumbbell raises

*super set*

Seated side lateral raises

– 4 sets 15 reps each

Cable front raises

*super set*

One arm side lateral cable raises

– 4 sets 20 reps each

Machine assisted side lateral raises

– 4 sets 20 reps

– Rear delt cable flys

– 4 sets 20 reps

Cable cross rear delt flys

– 4 sets 20 reps

Be sure to keep everything LIGHT as possible. Leave your ego at the door when performing rehab work and as always, for severe issues consult with a professional physician before performing any activities. If you would like to try and self-rehab, check out some joint supporting* products.

– Sam Hall
Bodybuilder, Writer, Sponsored Athlete
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The “Yoga-High”

Everyone has the time for what he or she wants to make time for. Going to a Yoga studio is not the only way to be a Yogi. When it comes to time, it is very precious to me because I have so many jobs. However, I still do the things I enjoy because I make the time for them.  There are many free yoga classes online that can be done almost anywhere, and you can decide how long you want the class to be. YouTube and doyouyoga.com are two sites that I enjoy to continue my practice. If you are looking for teacher-student interaction and corrections, most Yoga studios have a free class each week.

Also, practicing Yoga does not always involve standing on your head and flowing through poses. Yoga is about turning inward and centering the mind to the present moment. Finding your internal light and happiness and projecting it outward into the world through different types of meditations or just becoming aware of your thoughts. Being the “multi-tasker” that I am, I find it very hard to sit still for 15 minutes, turn my phone off, and meditate. However, I have found a way to incorporate meditation into my life. I use the 21 Day Meditation Experience app on my phone, and I have Oprah & Deepak CDs in my car for on the way to work. I just make sure I don’t shut my eyes while I drive. Meditations are great in the morning because they set your intention for the day and help prepare for any negativity that may come your way. If your mornings are too crazy and loud for meditations, they have the same benefit no matter what time of the day it is.

Meditating will bring more peace and patience into your life, and you may even experience a “Yoga-high.” The body becomes so tranquil you feel like everything moves slowly and gracefully. This is unlike modern lives today of running here, picking up groceries there, and moving as quickly as possible to complete all of the daily tasks. When you experience a “Yoga-high,” all of the mountains that come up during the day become puddles that you can easily hop over. Any negativity that comes, goes into the mind to process, and slowly makes its way out. I first experienced this high meditating in the car. When there is heavy traffic, I tend to get anxiety because I’m afraid someone will hit me.  Two weeks ago I ran into some traffic and felt completely relaxed and calm. That was the moment I knew I was high on Yoga. You become more confident in yourself, and ready to take on new challenges or opportunities. Better yet, being relaxed lowers your cortisol levels.

Cortisol is the main culprit for storing fat. When we are stressed, this hormone is released into the body. Then, the body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode because it thinks we are starving or in trouble. Therefore, our body tries to act like a hero and stores any fat it can to save us from this so-called starvation. In turn, digestion slows down, and if we are continuously stressed, the body starts to malfunction. Our immune system begins a downward spiral when all of this occurs, and we can easily become sick. If you know someone who gets sick all the time and seems to be frequently tense, stress could potentially be the cause of their constant illness. Yoga is so important to everyone because lowered cortisol levels can help to burn fat, as opposed to storing it. We all have the opportunity to practice Yoga, we just have to carve out some time or build it into our daily routine. Happiness and creating peace come from within, and we need to learn to release all of the positive vibes that live and grow inside us.


– Rachel Calhoun
#fitrecipe #teamSC #fitfood