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Water Consumption For a Dry, Shredded Look


I should keep water consumption low to maintain a dry, shredded look. True or false?

False. Aside from perhaps the day of a contest, there is no benefit of being dehydrated. It impairs growth, recovery and ability to train. In fact the best way to avoid looking bloated is to drink plenty of water, limit carbohydrates and consumption and ensure your electrolytes are balanced. Aim to drink about 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day, limit carbs to fewer than 50 grams and supplement with electrolytes while training.


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Coconut Water And Its Benefits


Coconut water
Coconuts are one of the richest sources of electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium with some amount of sugar, sodium and protein. Coconut water has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration. The potassium content benefits blood pressure and heart function. Coconut water is also found to have dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin C. Some research has shown coconuts to have cytokinins which have significant anti aging, anti carcinogenic and anti thrombotic effects.

The water of fresh green coconuts is actually fat free and has zero cholesterol and some studies even go as far as to say that it increases the HDL levels in the body. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in bananas. Drinking coconut water helps a person to lose weight as it is low in fat and it keeps a person feeling full and reduces food cravings. It is a storehouse of important nutrients, B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, and folates. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. These help when a person has flu or herpes, both of which are due to viral infections.

Many athletes may want to consider adding coconut water to their post-workout nutrition regime. On a macronutrient level 1 cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, 2 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat, but the micronutrients give this beverage its health power. It also boasts 252 milligrams of sodium, 600 milligrams of potassium, 60 milligrams of magnesium and 58 milligrams of calcium. Sodium and potassium are critical electrolytes that must be replaced after workouts. Coconut water appears to be more of an effective post-workout recovery drink than Gatorade and other sports drinks.

Coconut water
A study published in the Journal of Physiology Anthropology and Applied Human Science reported subjects consumed coconut water after working out in a heated room and achieving a state of dehydration. The coconut water rehydrated them just as well as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage, but was easier to drink and caused no stomach upset. Because it contains fewer calories than sports beverages, try mixing your post-workout protein(s) with coconut water to improve recovery.

Coconut water is generally recommended during pregnancy as it helps in constipation, heart burn and slow digestion. The lauric acid present in coconut water has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which boost the body’s immune system.

Tender coconut water is very beneficial to a person with kidney stones due to its minerals, potassium and magnesium content. This water also acts as a diuretic as it increases the flow and production of urine. Most urologists recommend coconut water every alternate day as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.

Also coconut water is wonderful for the skin. When coconut water is applied to affected skin areas with acne, spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite and eczema and left overnight for two to three weeks, it clears up the skin and gives you a youthful-looking smooth skin. It can be applied to hands and nails for its smoothening and repairing properties.


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Cocoa: An Inexpensive And Simple Way To Reduce Muscle Soreness


Many athletes load up their post-work out drinks with various supplements, such as Vitargo and branched amino acids, powder, creatine, and other ingredients to enhance muscle recuperation. I will recommend you a simple and affordable ingredient that may work just as well.

Post-exercise soreness is caused by muscle damage, and several studies have shown that antioxidant dietary supplementation can protect again muscle damage. Many bodybuilders take their fish oils religiously to reduce inflammation and capitalise on the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, there are countless scientific studies that suggest that there is one ingredient which is constantly reported to prevent free radical damage, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is also a potent vasodilator, and now it can reduce muscle soreness.

What is it about cocoa that it is good for our hearts? Cocoa contains more antioxidants than just about any other food you can find. Antioxidants are necessary because they reduce a harmful process called free radical production. Free radicals cause damage to cells, and the antioxidants are like the bodyguards of the cell, and prevent damage. Cocoa contains a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which are also found in teas and red wine. In fact, cocoa contains more antioxidants and flavonoids than all teas and red wines. Flavonoids may not only have a direct antioxidant effect, but they also have a sparing effect on other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.

It should be no surprise that cocoa has been used since ancient times as a medicinal remedy for preventing chronic diseases. Cocoa does have some pharmacological properties, such as the ability to increase a substance in the blood called nitric oxide, and it also makes blood less sticky. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to expand and allows for more oxygen-rich blood to flow through our veins, while chocolate increases nitric oxide synthesis, which is good for the heart and blood vessels. Having sticky blood cells makes them more likely to adhere to the lining of your arteries, which is implicated in the in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Cocoa has ‘aspirin-like’ qualities in that it makes you blood less sticky and allows it to flow easily through the arteries.

Interestingly, a previous study reported that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid after exercise. The study found similar increases in time to exhaustion and total work for individuals who consumed chocolate milk, compared to a traditional electrolyte-replenishing drink, subsequent to exhaustive exercise. Other reported benefits of cocoa are decreases in oxidative stress markers, and muscle soreness increases in performance output.

In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, cocoa or a placebo was added to athletes’ protein/carbohydrate sports drink. The researchers used pure cocoa powder and found that subjects consuming the cocoa powder had a decrease in post-exercise soreness, compared to the placebo group. The researchers thought the antioxidants in cocoa reduced free radical damage and enhanced muscle recuperation. Adding pure cocoa is a great way to boost antioxidants, as well as reduce cardiovascular diseases. So be sure to use pure cocoa powder without the extra sugar and crap that is in most cocoa powders.