Tag Archives: Advice

Crappy Tummy Tamer

• According to the September ’13 Reader’s Digest, sewage may soothe. Say what? “With a procedure informally known as a poop transplant, researchers found that transferring stool from a healthy person into the gut of someone infected with C.difficile, a deadly bacteria, cured 15 out of 16 persistent cases.” Not making this up—it’s from a 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Sh#@ happens—and apparently can do good things for, and in, others.

• Guys are always looking for ways to raise their gal’s sex drive. Here’s one from the June ’12 Health: “Bananas and avocados are believed to increase testosterone—and libido—in women.” Of course, watching her eat a banana will definitely increase yours.

• Ever wonder what the heck causes a brain freeze when you’re eating something cold? Too bad; I’m going to tell you anyway. The August ’13 Bottom Line Health says it’s really just a headache that starts and ends quickly. “When you eat ice cream or drink something cold too quickly, it rapidly chills the arteries at the back of the throat that feed blood to the brain. The sudden cold constricts those arteries, which reduces blood flow affecting nerves that cause the brief, intense sensation of pain known as a brain freeze.” The scientific name for it is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Remeber that the next time you’re eating ice and it feel like someone shot a nail gun into your temple.

—Steve Holman


A Brew or Two Postworkout?

Q: Is it okay to have a beer or two after training to relax?

A: Drinking alcohol after training is a horrible idea because alcohol will erase all possible performance gains and delay recovery. And that’s not just my opinion.

A recent study suggests that men who drank alcohol after intense training—squatting six sets of 80 percent of their one-rep max—experienced decreased uptake of testosterone to the muscle. That compromises muscle and strength development in the long run and also blunts any bodyfat loss.

The study was interesting because at first glance it showed that free testosterone was actually elevated in response to the combination of intense training and alcohol. Now, however, researchers think the elevation in bioavailable testosterone is not anabolic and that things aren’t working quite right in the body due to the presence of alcohol. They haven’t figured out what exactly is going on yet, but in light of other data we have on alcohol and athletic performance, you can see that it’s better to avoid drinking after training.

Q: I’ve heard that green coffee is good for fat loss. Any truth to that?

A: The antioxidants in green coffee aid in weight loss by inhibiting sugar absorption in the gut; also, there is evidence that green coffee enhances fat metabolism in the liver and retards the absorption of dietary fat. That means your body is absorbing fewer calories. Green coffee also increases the levels of a brain “factor” called BDNF that enhances energy and fat metabolism. BDNF is directly involved in optimal brain function, learning and memory.

—Charles Poliquin


Derailing Migraines

A killer headache can ruin a good workout. If you get them frequently and if they are intense enough to be labeled migraines, you may be able to “head” them off at the pass with a few select supplements.

According to the December ’12 Prevention, a recent study showed that subjects who took 400 milligrams of vitamin B2, a.k.a. riboflavin, daily had significantly fewer migraines after three months. CoQ10 has also been shown to be effective at preventing migraines.

—Becky Holman


Side-Stitch Hitch

7210-mind2You’ve probably experienced a pain in your side during aerobic-type exercise and thought, “What the heck is that?”

It’s believed to be due to diaphragm spasms caused by rapid breathing and usually occurs only in novice exercisers, according to the July ’13 Reader’s Digest. How do you prevent it? Get in better shape.

—Steve Holman


The Solution to Boredom

7210-mind3When you’re bored or forced to do “mindless” activities, you often look for more interesting stuff to do, but maybe you should just go with it.

According to the July/August ’13 Health, a recent study from the United Kingdom found that “people assigned to dull activity showed the strongest innovative thinking later.”

In other words, doing something mindless can relax the brain, freeing the subconscious and triggering creative solutions.

—Becky Holman


Cavities Are Contagious

7210-mind5• According to the May ’13 Bottom Line Health, “Bacteria in the mouth can cause cavities, [so] cavities and gum disease are contagious.” That means kissing or even drinking from the same glass as someone can increase your risk of “catching” a cavity. Apparently, there’s a lot of kissing going on in England.

• According to the June ’13 Health, “Cocktails containing diet soda could make you 18 percent more drunk than ones with regular soda.” Why? No calories, so the stomach has nothing to digest. The alcohol is “mainlined” into the blood stream. No doubt diet soda sales will spike on college campuses across the country when this gets out.

• Vitamins for better hair? Could be—as in vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin has been found to help hair follicles thrive and may be important for kick-starting new growth. Get at least 600 units per day or get out in the sun for 15 minutes a day—bald-spot burning not necessary.

• According to the February ’12 Better Nutrition, Pycnogenol can help remedy erectile dysfunction when combined with L-arginine. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant derived from pine bark—so the term “getting wood” is on the money.

—Steve Holman


Squeeze to Please

7208-mind4Could the key to a monogamous relationship for men be arms? No, not building them, hugging with them.

According to the March ’13 Health, a warm embrace or two causes output of oxytocin, a bonding hormone. In one study men given oxytocin “were more likely to avoid standing close to a beautiful woman they’d just met compared with men who weren’t given oxytocin.”

There was no indication if the size of a man’s bank account had anything to do with keeping women monogamous.

—Steve Holman


Sleep It Off

According to the April ’13 Prevention, a study at the New York Obesity Research Center found that sleep-restricted people may eat as much as 300 calories more the next day.

Another study found that those who slept fewer than five hours a night gained more visceral fat over five years than those who slept more than seven hours.

—Becky Holman


Look Away

When the pain is too much, divert your eyes or even close them. So says a report in the September ’12 Health:

“New research shows that if you look away from the source of your pain, it actually hurts less. Thinking something will hurt less also may make it not as painful.”

Of course, if you’re doing lunges, looking away or closing your eyes may have you running over a bench presser. Be selective with this tactic.

—Steve Holman


Memory, Coregasms and Happiness

7208-mind3• According to the September ’12 Health, walking outside can improve your memory and attention span by 20 percent. That’s from the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, which probably doesn’t have a roof on the building.

In that same issue of Health the word of the month is coregasm. It’s defined as “an exercise-induced orgasm that happens when you’re doing crunches or other moves that engage the ab muscles.” Apparently a study published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy found that 51 percent of women surveyed have experienced it. If men did, the entire gym would be full of ab equipment.

• According to the May ’13 Prevention, savoring something equals happiness. Researchers at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington had more than 100 men and women keep diaries, recording “pleasant events” and how much they savored or “squelched” them. Results: “Savorers got more pleasure by stopping to focus on a good thing, telling someone else about it or even screaming in delight.” Exactly why I scream during squats—I am savoring the pleasant experience (yeah, right).

—Steve Holman