Saturday, June 30, 2007
St. Cloud State University researchers found that men who consumed a sports drink containing both carbohydrates and protein were able to rehydrate 40 percent faster after a hard workout than when they drank water, and 15 percent faster compared with drinking a carbohydrate-only solution. Why? “The protein acts like a magnet that pulls water in,” says lead investigator John Seifert, Ph.D. In the study, the scientists experimented with Accelerade, one of the few sports drinks infused with protein.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Like the convenience of buying precut fruit? There may be a trade-off you’re not aware of: Within just 3 days of being sliced, pineapples lose 25 percent of their carotenoids—healthy compounds that fight both cancer and heart disease. That’s what University of California at Davis scientists discovered when they compared whole and cut versions of the fruit stored under the same conditions. Interestingly, there was essentially no difference in the color or firmness of the pineapple pieces up to 9 days after they were cut. If cutting the fruit yourself is too much of a hassle, there’s an easy solution: Eat 25 percent more. Chances are, you don’t consume enough produce to compensate for the dip in carotenoids.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Red or white? Just say yes, according to a University of Connecticut study. Though previous research only touted the cardiovas cular benefits of drinking red varietals, sci en - tists discovered that white wine may protect your heart just as well as cabernet. To make the white variety, winemakers remove the grapes’ skins—which give red wine its color—before fermentation. The skin is the part of the grape that contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that improves bloodflow, so it was assumed that red was far healthier. Not so, says study author Dipak K. Das, Ph.D., whose lab determined that an uniden tified antioxidant in white wine offers similar heart protection. “Consump tion of one or two glasses of either red or white wine daily should be equally beneficial,” says Das.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Go for the mixed vegetables: Colorado State University researchers report that when it comes to produce, variety may trump quantity. The scientists discovered that, despite eating one less serving daily, people who consumed a wider array of fruits and vegetables experienced more health benefits than those who chose from a smaller assortment. The protective mojo of plant foods comes from phytochemicals, compounds that guard cells against damaging oxidation—like Rust-Oleum for your DNA. However, phyto chemicals vary from one botanical family to another. “We saw more benefit from smaller amounts of many different phytochemicals than from larger amounts of a few,” says lead study author Henry Thompson, Ph.D. To see a list of the 18 botanical families you should be choosing from regularly— and the common fruits and vegetables in each.
Monday, June 25, 2007
If you’re feeling drowsy at work, don’t reach for a soda. British researchers discovered that people who downed a sugary drink containing 42 milligrams (mg) of sugar and 30 mg caffeine—the amount in a 12-ounce cola—exhibited slower reaction times and a greater number of lapses in attention for the next 70 minutes compared with those who sipped a sugarfree beverage. Although a sugar rush has been shown to boost cognitive performance, the effect is short-lived, lasting just 10 to 15 minutes. Your best option for a brain boost: a sugarfree drink that delivers at least 80 mg caffeine, says lead investigator Clare Anderson, Ph.D. A classic example: 8 ounces of black, unsweetened coffee.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
When you hit the workout wall, will you have what you need to push through? A new supplement—betaalanine— may make it easier to conquer the most challenging parts of your routine. The amino acid helps maintain strength during your workout 70 percent better than creatine does, report researchers at Florida Atlantic University. “By delaying fatigue, beta-alanine allows you to train harder,” says Jeff Stout, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., the study’s lead author. This means your strength levels will last long enough to finish all your sets and repetitions. Our pick: timedrelease betaalanine supplement.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
For too many men, hamstrings are hell. Badly tuned ones can lead to back pain, leg strains, and worse. So our thanks go out to the British researchers who discovered that men who add the glute-ham raise to their workouts suffer fewer hamstring strains than men who don’t perform the move. Here’s how to join the protected: Kneel on a stack of exercise mats and have a training partner press down on your lower legs. Lower your torso as far as you can, resisting gravity with your glutes and hamstrings. Catch yourself with your hands, then muscle back up to the starting position. (Push off with your hands if you need to.) Adding two or three sets of 10 repetitions to your workouts could stave off a world of trouble.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Auburn University researchers have found that you can blow off boring wrist curls and extensions and still build your Popeye muscles. Simply holding barbells or dumbbells strengthens your wrists and forearms by as much as 25 percent and 16 percent, respectively, in 12 weeks, says lead study author David Szymanski, Ph.D., C.S.C.S. So stick to moves for larger muscle groups, and your arms will develop just fine. For another fast way to grow and show, Szymanski suggests using “fat bars”—the larger diameter places greater emphasis on your forearms. Can’t find fat bars at your gym? Roll a towel around the bar to make it thicker.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Make sure you get the most out of your morning run. British scientists recently found that people who down a carbohydrate-rich, highfiber breakfast before working out burn twice as much fat while running as they do after a similar meal without the roughage. Why? Eating low-fiber, refined carbohydrates significantly raises the amount of insulin in your body, which limits your ability to use fat for fuel, says study author Emma Stevenson, Ph.D. Specifically, the study participants burned the most fat when they’d eaten about half a cup of muesli cereal with 1½ cups of milk and ½ cup of plain low-fat yogurt; they burned the least when they’d had cornflakes with milk and white toast with jam.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Eating fire could help you torch your gut. Australian scientists recently determined that overweight people are more likely to burn blubber after consuming a meal that contains chili peppers than after one that isn’t packing heat. That’s because study participants’ levels of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat—were 32 percent lower following the spicy meal. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, may improve the liver’s ability to clear insulin from the bloodstream after a meal, says study author Madeleine J. Ball, M.D. Although the researchers used high amounts of capsaicin in the study, you can get some of the benefit simply by dousing your dinner with as much Tabasco sauce as you can handle.