Protein: Of First Importance

Protein: Of First Importance

All parts of the body depend in some way on protein for survival. In fact, the word protein was coined by a Dutch chemist in 1839 and means “of first importance“. Here’s an example of its importance in our bodies:

  • It is ninety eight percent of our hair and skin.

    Protein Food Group
    Protein Food Group
  • Heart, kidneys and eyes are composed of protein.
  • Enzymes are made up of protein.
  • Hormones and genes are protein.
  • Antibodies, which are the protection against diseases and infections, are proteins.

Major Functions:

  • Builds muscle tissues.
  • Maintains fluid balance.
  • Functions as an energy nutrient.
  • Provides amino acids needed for body’s growth and maintenance.

Deficiency Can Cause:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Lack of resistance to infection.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Nerve instability.
  • Weakness.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Poor circulation.
  • Weak vision.

You need a daily supply maintain your level of efficiency. Protein can not be stored in your body for a long time. When the supply is depleted, the body is then forced to feed upon itself, which cause tissue and muscle to breakdown.

You don’t want to go overboard, either. The kidneys are responsible for clearing the body of waste products produced by protein metabolism. Eating large amounts places a strain on the kidneys, which may lead to long-term consequences.

Food Sources

Name Amount Grams
Halibut 3 ounces 22.7
Salmon 3 ounces 21.6
Shrimp 3 ounces 17.3
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup 20
American or Swiss Cheese 2 slices 10-12
Yogurt, lowfat 1 cup 11.9
Tofu 1/2 cup 11
Milk, any 1 cup 8
Egg 1 medium 6

Clark, Linda A. Know Your Nutrition. Connecticut: Keats Publishing, Inc.
Editors of Prevention Magazine. The Complete Book of Vitamins and Minerals. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press
The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York: HarperPerennial

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Pick a Fitness Routine You Stick With

Part of a Fitness Routine
Part of a Fitness Routine

Pick a Fitness Routine You Stick With

If you want to lose weight, try body building, get in shape or just maintain your health and fitness, you have to have a fitness routine. For many people, though, exercising is difficult, boring, or just plain not fun. They come up with excuses why they can’t work out: they don’t have time, it’s raining, they aren’t seeing results. (See: Analyze Your Excuse for Lack of Physical Activity.)

Working out doesn’t have to mean spending hours on the treadmill or doing extreme workouts that make you miserable. When you choose the right fitness routine for you and your fitness level, it can actually be fun! You’ll reap the benefits of regular exercises. But how do you choose the right fitness routine?

Try Different Things

For some people, the ideal workout is a long run. For others, it’s a group exercise class. When you’re looking for the right fitness routine for you, don’t just hop on the treadmill and walk for an hour each day. That’s just a recipe for boredom. Pick up a class schedule at the gym or local Y and try a few. You might think that you will hate spinning but surprise yourself by enjoying it when actually doing it.

And don’t think you have to do the same class every time. Mix it up – take a kickboxing class on Monday, swim on Tuesday and so on. Keeping your workouts fresh prevents boredom and has the added bonus of working your muscles differently. This forces them to move in different ways and burn more calories and fat.

Get a Trainer

Have you been hitting the gym somewhat regularly, but not seeing the results you want? Or are you new to the gym and intimidated by all of the machines beyond the treadmill or elliptical? You could be working out incorrectly, or just not challenging yourself enough. Schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer to power up your workout. A trainer can show you new moves to try and develop a fitness routine that works for you and your goals.

If time is a concern for you, keep in mind that you can burn just as many calories in a 30-minute workout as a 60-minute workout. The key is the push yourself harder in those 30 minutes and a trainer can show you how to do that. Work with a professional to build a fitness routine that works for you and the time you have, and working out won’t be chore.

Make a Date

When you make a vague plan to work out “at some point” during the day, it’s easy to let other obligations get in the way. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you might tell yourself.

Instead, make a date to work out, and put it on your calendar. When you treat working out like you would any other appointment, you’re more likely to get it done. Try scheduling your workout first thing in the morning. Get up 30 minutes earlier and go for a walk, or hit the gym before going to the office – not only will you get an energy boost to carry through your day, you won’t have all day to come up with excuses for skipping your workout.

Think Outside the Gym

Some experts suggest setting a goal other than losing wait to encourage working out. Sign up to run in a 5K race, for example. Gear your workouts toward the goal of running the whole thing.

Or: try something completely unusual. One recent study suggests that exercisers are more successful when they base their fitness routine on their blood type. Yes, blood type. Researchers recommend that those with Type O blood are best suited for vigorous workouts first thing in the morning, while Type A blood types should avoid strenuous aerobics and stick to calming, controlled exercises, like yoga and Pilates. Blood Type B exercisers are a combination of both – a mixture of aerobic and stretching workouts, and AB exercisers tend to do best breaking up their workouts over the day, with short bursts in the morning and afternoon.

Whether you want to work out based on your blood type or weight loss goals, or just to maintain your current shape, you have to work out. Don’t be afraid to try new things like legal alternatives to steroids or ask for help. Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever resisted making exercise part of your day.

This post was written and contributed by Jackson Morrows. Jackson has been bodybuilding naturally for over ten years. As an all-natural athlete Jackson carefully looks for the most natural supplements to assist in shaping up.

Carbohydrates and Caffeine Refuel Muscles

Carbohydrates and Caffeine Refuel Muscles

Australian researchers found that athletes who consumed both carbohydrates and caffeine following a tough workout had 66 percent higher levels of glycogen that those who had only carbs. Glycogen is the muscle’s primary fuel source during exercise. The caffeine may help move glucose into the muscles, where it’s stored as glycogen until your next workout.  Together, carbohydrates and caffeine can refuel your muscles.


Carbohydrates are part of a healthful diet. The AMDR for carbohydrates is 45 to 65 percent of total calories.

Sugars and starches (the carbohydrates) supply energy to the body in the form of glucose, which is the only energy source for red blood cells and is the preferred energy source for the brain, central nervous system, placenta, and fetus.

Choose carbohydrates wisely. Foods in the basic food groups that provide carbohydrates — fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk — are important sources of many nutrients.

Complex Carbs


Carbohydrates and caffeine refuel muscles
Carbohydrates and caffeine refuel muscles

Complex carbohydrates are also known as polysaccharides. Complex carbohydrates are formed when thousands of sugar molecules link together in long chains. These chains take longer to break down and digest than simple carbohydrates. There are two types of complex carbohydrates: Starchy and fibrous. Read more: Clearing Up Carbohydrate Confusion


Red Cup of Coffee
In 1958, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified caffeine as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). In 1987, the FDA reaffirmed its position that moderate caffeine intake produced no increased risk to health. In addition, both the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have statements confirming the safety of moderate caffeine consumption. Although caffeine is sometimes characterized as “addictive,” moderate caffeine consumption is safe. Think of all the things that are so tasty with coffee – most are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates and caffeine make a great pair.


Glycogen comes from carbohydrates. Natural sugars (fruit, vegetables, milk) and complex carbohydrates (grains, cereal, pasta) are the best choices.

Glycogen is an important fuel reserve for several reasons. The controlled breakdown of glycogen and release of glucose increase the amount of glucose that is available between meals. Hence, glycogen serves as a buffer to maintain blood-glucose levels.

Glucose is virtually the only fuel used by the brain. The glucose from glycogen is a good source of energy for sudden, strenuous activity. Released glucose can provide energy in the absence of oxygen and can thus supply energy for anaerobic activity.

Just keep in mind that this type of post-workout diet is best following an intense training session; scarfing down all those calories after a leisurely stroll won’t help you control your weight.

In Summary

Carbohydrates and caffeine make energetic muscles! But don’t go overboard. Moderation is always they key to something like this working effectively.

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Water for Fitness and Fat Burning

Water for Fitness and Fat Burning

Did you know that in water, that simple substance called H2O, you have a powerful tool that can increase your muscle contractile strength by 10 to 15 percent? And it can increase your capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by 20 to 30 percent? It’s true. What’s more, in water we have a substance that is totally legal and has absolutely no side effects.

Water for fitness can also help you burn fat more efficiently and increase muscular development. If you are even slightly dehydrated and you have an average 8 ounce glass of water, your results and performance will improve instantly. Did you know? Most people are walking around in a constant state of semi-dehydration!


Drinking water for fitness
Drinking water for fitness


The 8 to 10 Advice of Water for Fitness

Most everyone has heard the advice at some point that we should all drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily – but do we? No, most of us do not. Inefficient water intake can have subtle but very negative effects on fat burning efforts. Have you ever awoken in the morning, after what was a fairly good night’s sleep, yet still felt groggy? You could be dehydrated. In fact, hangovers are partially caused by dehydration, a result of the diuretic effects of alcohol.

Mid-day fatigue can also be caused by mild dehydration.

The effects of dehydration are very subtle – they sneak up on you. By the time you do notice them, you are already dehydrated. Usually we don’t even associate these effects with a lack of water. Instead, we just think perhaps we didn’t get enough sleep or are over-worked. As you can see, dehydration is an aspect of nutrition that is easily overlooked. Without adequate water for fitness, nothing in your body could function properly. Water is the most abundant nutrient in your body.

  • Approximately 60-70 percent of your body is comprised of water.
  • Your blood is made up of about 90 percent water.
  • Your muscles are about 70 percent water.
  • Your bones are 20 percent water.

Water is necessary to regulate your body’s temperature, to transport nutrients, and to build tissues. Water is required for joint lubrication, digestion, circulation, respiration, absorption, and excretion. Without water, you would die in a matter of days.

Water for Fitness and Fat Loss

You need water to lose fat. Why? Because one of the important functions of the kidneys is to eliminate toxic waste products from you body through your urine. When you are dehydrated, your body has an instinctive reaction to hold onto whatever water it does contain. Obviously, if you are retaining the water in your body and that water contains toxins, you are also retaining the toxic substances. So now your liver is going to attempt to help with the overload – but! When your liver helps with fluid retention, it cannot do it’s main job properly, which is to burn body fat efficiently.

The Old Wives Tale

Contrary to a common belief that drinking water makes you retain water, the more water you drink the more your kidneys will flush the water out of your system. This actually results in less water retention.

Since dehydration effects are not felt until you are actually dehydrated, it’s a good practice to sip on water all day long. Feelings of thirst are not a good indicator of your level of hydration. For intense workouts, make it a habit to drink heavily before, during and after.

Beyond the Tap

Water need not just come from a tap or bottle; you can get water from food sources, as well. For example, fruits and vegetables are as much as 75 to 90 percent water. Even meat is at least 50 percent water. Beverages such as fruit juice and sports drinks are mostly water. Nutritionists do not agree on whether or not these water sources can be included in recommended daily water intake amounts, so it is still a good idea to get as much as you can from pure, liquid water, but these are good additions for water and nutrient sources.