Why Vitamins May Be Bad for Your Workout

Many people take vitamins as part of their daily fitness regimens, having heard that antioxidants aid physical recovery and amplify the impact of workouts. But in another example of science undercutting deeply held assumptions, several new experiments find that antioxidant supplements may actually reduce the benefits of training.

Source: Why Vitamins May Be Bad for Your Workout

TLDR: avoid high dosages of antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E) while training.

Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Scientists have always struggled to understand exactly how short, few minutes, intense interval exercises can produce similar effects to much more time consuming endurance trainings.

High intensity interval training, also known by its acronym HIIT, has become very popular in recent years with beginners, professional athletes and patients with reduced muscle functions as it has clear health benefits. Now, researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet discovered cellular mechanisms behind the positive benefits of HIIT and why endurance training is undermined by antioxidants.

Source: Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Here’s what they’re doing 3 times a week:

  • You need a heart rate monitor (HRM) for…
  • 5-10 minute warm up
  • 4 minutes of exercise at a heart rate of suggested BPM (220-age)
  • 3 minutes of easy work, attempting to get the heart rate down to ~135 BPM
  • Repeat 3 times

Disclaimer: If you are at high risk for a cardiac event it might be best to see a physician before participating in vigorous exercise like HIIT. But for the majority, there should be no reason to avoid this type of exercise.  I’ve covered why raising your heart rate is good for you in the past.

The idea of max heart rate is debated (see this article), and can be very personal.  I’m told that if you can talk while maintaining a high heart rate, it’s OK for you.

Sorry, but These Popular Cold and Flu Remedies Don’t Actually Work

There’s something about “natural” medicine that makes us want to believe it works, even if there’s very little evidence to support it. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of trying every single one of the natural remedies in this gallery. And, with cold and flu season around the corner, I’ll likely give each of these a try again. Sometimes science is wrong, right?

Click through the gallery above to see if your natural cold and flu fighter actually works – or if it’s all in your head.

Source: Sorry, but these popular cold and flu remedies don’t actually work

I’ve covered vitamin C and the common cold in the past.

One approach I’ve used when faced with severe nasal congestion is spicy food.  Maybe not the best idea if you’re running a fever already, but can provide the ability to breathe through your nose (if not briefly).

You Can and Should Be Eating Banana Peels

That’s right, you can eat banana peels. And not only are they edible — they’re also good for you.

Source: People around the world are eating banana peels because they know something that Westerners do not

I think the question of what’s on those skins ought to addressed before we start munching down.  Wash them before you eat, like a lot of things.

Why Horse Meat Once Had A Reputation For Curing Scurvy

Horse meat, while never widely popular, has from time to time been a trendy food. It’s trendiness is not unconnected to its nutritional value. These days, people value it for its iron. Once upon a time, people valued it as a cure for scurvy.

Source: Why Horse Meat Once Had A Reputation For Curing Scurvy

It used to be, if you had old horses, or ones that you just couldn’t keep, you sent them to slaughter. But then, about 10-15 years ago, the US Government, in its infinite wisdom shut down all horse slaughter. This killed the horse market. People were giving horses away that were worth many hundreds of dollars. They would just drive off and leave them at the sale barn if they didn’t sell. Even taking them to National Forests and releasing them. All this in the name of animal cruelty. Because, you know. It is more cruel to truck a horse in a loaded stock truck, than it is to let him starve.

BBQ Sauce: How Much Vitamin K?

Unlike ketchup, BBQ sauce could really be anywhere on the map.  Lots I know who do BBQ tend to make their own BBQ sauce.  So – take the following with a grain of salt? 😉

BBQ sauce supposedly contains the following amount of vitamin K:

  • 1 cup/240 mg: 4.5 mcg, or 6% Daily Value (DV)
  • 100 grams: 1.8 mcg, 2% DV
  • 2 tablespoons/35 grams: 0.6 mcg, 1% DV

Like ketchup, you can see that the dose can ramp up quickly if you aren’t careful about the volume you eat.  Be aware that BBQ sauce does have vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, riboflavin, naicin, folate…  However it is high in sodium and sugar.

…but it takes so good.

Juicing Unlocks More Vitamins, But Also Calories and Sugar

We all could probably eat more fruits and vegetables. But if forced to choose between whole fruit or a glass of juice, which one seems more healthful?

The general advice is to opt for the fruit, since juices are stripped of the fiber – which most us don’t get enough of — in whole fruit. And let’s face it: Most juice contains a lot of sugar, which most of us consume too much of.

So our interest was piqued when we spotted a study suggesting that, when it comes to oranges, juice might actually unlock more carotenoids and flavonoids – both beneficial phytonutrients — than an equivalent amount of fruit.

Source: What’s More Nutritious, Orange Juice Or An Orange? It’s Complicated

Fruit juice has also been criticized as a sugary, fiberless drink no better for you than cola. The study shows that orange juice does make certain nutrients more accessible to your body, but not enough to recommend juice over whole fruit.  Keep in mind that a home juicer is not going to pasteurize your OJ. It is well known (or not) that pasteurizing sweetens juices quite dramatically. And since this was done is a test tube (in vitro), actual blood sugar spikes to a cohort population was not even tested.

So is orange juice healthy? That depends on whether it helps you meet your goals. If you’re trying to reduce the sugar in your diet (as many of us should), the sugar concerns may outweigh the benefits you get from the extra micronutrients.  For those who must maintain a very low fiber (low residue) diet, juicing is a great alternative to otherwise problematic fruits and veggies.

What about blending the whole fruit into smoothies instead of just juicing?  In the study, the puree’s nutrients were less bioavailable than the juice.

The Myth of Vitamin C and the Common Cold

You’ve probably heard it a zillion times: take some vitamin C if you feel a cold coming on, and chase away illness with a gallon of orange juice. Even though we know there’s no cure for the common cold, many of us still believe in the sweet, orange elixir and don’t even question what the makers of the stuff guarantee: an 8 oz. glass delivers “100% of the vitamin C” needed to “maintain a healthy immune system.”

Science-ish looked at high-quality studies on the subject of vitamin C and sickness, starting with this recent Cochrane systematic review (the highest form of evidence) on the supplement for prevention and treatment of the common cold. The lead author, Dr. Harri Hemilä, of the department of public health at the University of Helsinki, told Science-ish he has spent much of his career exploring this very question—with some interesting results.

…there is good evidence it has benefits for one specific group of people: those who undertake really intense physical activity such as marathon runners. For them, vitamin C supplementation decreases the incidence of colds by half. These findings, though, do not hold up for ordinary people, Dr. Hemilä emphasized.

Source: The myth of Vitamin C and the common cold

All is not lost – vitamin C is good for:

  • free radical protection
  • collagen production
  • brain health

…and there are better sources than oranges.

What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

Wandering into any conversation about vitamins and other health supplements is wandering into a thicket of hyperbole and half-truths. We’re here to cut through some of the bullshit in the $28 billion supplements industry.

The biggest fallacy we need to let go of is that all vitamins are good, and more vitamins is always better. Vitamins are potent chemicals packed in potent pills.

…It’s also worth noting, the quality of supplement products varies greatly from brand to brand. Not only can the amount of active ingredient differ from the label, but adulterants can also be sneaked in. If you’re wondering if your (expensive) brand is up to snuff, Consumer Labs regularly publishes tests comparing the quality of different brands. Pro tip: More expensive is not always better.

Source: What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

The article doesn’t mention potassium or magnesium.  I prefer to source such things from plants/etc, rather than pills personally.

Persimmon: How to Eat

There are several types of persimmons, and the key is to know which kinds are astringent and which are sweet. The astringent persimmons are still a wonderful food when they’re ripe. If you’ve ever had an unripe persimmon, the experience is memorable. Often described as “furry,” for me the experience was akin to trying to eat a sweet yet dense cotton ball. It doesn’t taste like a good idea, and eating a lot of unripe persimmon can cause digestive problems.

Source: How to eat a persimmon like a pro

According to this link, persimmons have 2.6 µg of vitamin K per 100 grams/3.5 oz.  That’s a low dose, which can become a large one if you eat larger quantities.