Tag Archives: energy

Weighing the Conflicting Reports on Coffees Health Benefits or Negatives

We live in a society where people are driven to succeed and to do so they must constantly be moving and working hard. Rushing around all day takes a great deal of energy and depending on your diet and how healthy it is, you may not have a whole lot of that energy to go around. Unfortunately the fact that we have a hard time finding time to stop and take care of ourselves means we are not getting the natural energy we would from a balanced diet. We eat a great deal of fast food as a nation and foods that work for us because of convenience and not because they do our bodies any good. Because of this fact, we as a society look for supplemental energy and get our fuel through highly caffeinated beverages.

Coffee - Is it really that bad for you?

Coffee - Is it really that bad for you?

Now, there are some that actually drink coffee for the taste, and not because they are dependent upon it, but for the most part, people drink coffee to get through their days and most are addicted to it. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug because of the changes it makes to the brain of the user and the effects it has on their behavior. When you consider the fact that it alters your state, granted, in different ways than alcohol or other drugs, you must also consider the adverse effects it has on other aspects of your health as well. Once you have all the facts, you can make the educated decision as to whether or not it is worth it to you to continue to include it in your daily regime.

The decision of whether or not to continue with your daily brew will not be an easy one, because at the same time that researchers are discovering adverse effects, they are discovering health benefits to its use as well. Weight the risks with the benefits and make the decision you are comfortable with for you after you have gathered all the information.

Adverse Effects

Insomnia and disruptions to your natural sleep patterns are a nasty side effect of ingesting too much caffeine because they can leave the user feeling like they need another dose to get a quick pick-me-up. This is a nasty and unhealthy cycle that can cause many other health problems as lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain among other health problems.

There also have been significant studies that attribute elevated fatty acid, cholesterol and blood pressure levels to drinking too much caffeine. All of these heightened levels put the user at a higher risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

Consumption of caffeine has also contributed to irregular heartbeats and palpitations in its users as well as feelings off jitteriness and shakiness, and overall feelings of unease. There is a direct connection to hyperactive behavior in people and the caffeine that they consume directly beforehand.

Those who consume caffeine regularly have a greater risk for anemia because the caffeine reduces the body’s ability to absorb the iron in their food.

Drinking coffee has also been attributed negative effects on the performance of the user’s short term memory.

One thing to consider greatly is the effect that consuming caffeine has on children, being consumed either in coffee or soda. One can of soda multiplies the effects greatly in someone the size of a child and has results equaling that of four cups of coffee for an adult. Needless to say, that if it is risky for a grown-up it is extremely unhealthy for a child.

Benefits

In research, caffeine has been seen to increase immediate focus on tasks requiring higher levels of concentration. That explains the bright eyed clear headed feeling you get from drinking a cup, and is the reason that most people drink it. Beware, this clear focus is often followed by a feeling of depression, or a come down of sorts.

Drinking caffeine has been attributed to, in some studies, to preventing the on-set of type 2 diabetes. This particular benefit may be worth the side effects, when considering overall health risks and whether or not it is worth it to have your cup of Joe a day.

Drinking coffee has been linked to the prevention of gall bladder disease in men and women; and studies have shown that coffee has some anti-cancer or cancer reducing qualities. The antioxidants in coffee prove to be great cancer fighting agents.

Those who drink two cups of coffee a day are at a lesser risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s. The more you drink, the less your chances are of developing these.

Coffee is a great diuretic, helping to push toxins and waste right on through your digestive system. Drinking a cup or two a day will help you to stay “regular.”

When considering the positives and negatives to drinking your few cups of coffee a day, I suppose it could be a difficult decision to make based on health alone, as there are arguments to sway you either way. I suppose the best advice that I can give, and one that applies to most things, is EVERYTHING in moderation.

 

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This guest post has been provided by Janet Lynch – a health and fitness expert. She works with ChefsDiet, a leading health food company that is innovating the possibilities for busy people to stay healthy on the run.

Tips to get a good nights sleep!

We may all be familiar with the standard eight hours required in order to get a good nights sleep, but if you struggle to even achieve this perhaps some of the following tips can help. Sleep is essential to our well being, with many of us struggling to get a decent nights sleep because of stress from the day, “not being tired” or noisy partners sleeping next to you! Whilst some factors are out of your control, a few of the following alterations during your daily routine could help you drift off at night.

Get a goods nights sleep!

Get a goods nights sleep!

Take a look at the Healthy Hideout’s top tips for getting a good nights sleep!

  • Temperature – It may seem like one of the most obvious factors, but lowering the temperatures in your bedroom (or where you sleep) before you go to bed will send signals to the brain that it’s time for bed. When our bodies are cold, we’re more than likely tired. A cooler bedroom will make the duvet a whole lot more appealing.
  • Work – The saying goes that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your work done, but taking work home almost guarantees your mind will stay awake longer than you need it to. Separate your working life from your normal life, by staying at the office longer if you really need to.
  • Exercise – A powerful and effective way to make you feel tired, as physical exercise will tire your muscles and body encouraging your body to naturally nod off. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to run a marathon everyday, but you’ll be guaranteed a comfortable nights sleep if you complete any gentle exercise beforehand.
  • Caffeine – The morning “pick-me-up” cup of coffee is all well and good, but drinking caffeine later in the day can seriously affect your sleeping patterns in the evening.  Instead of coffee, why not try a warming cup of lemon & ginger with a teaspoon of honey for sweetness. If you absolutely need coffee or tea, go for the decaf!

Key tips to keep energy levels up!

As we’re based in the UK, The Healthy Hideout is now deep into the winter with Spring not too far away. However, some of us may find that the cold is still having a negative effect on energy levels. Although curling up in front of the fire with a nice warm drink may seem more tempting than a 2 hour session at the gym, the body still requires activity in order to stay alert. Here are the Healthy Hideout’s key tips on keeping your energy levels high, leaving you feeling more awake, ready for each winter day!

  • Exercise – It may seem obvious, and the winter breeze does make it more difficult to gather up enough motivation, but exercise is the bodies natural way of keeping energy levels high. Regular exercise gives the body a natural endorphin high, releasing such chemicals including adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. Even a few minutes of exercise a day can have a drastic effect on how you feel, whilst regular exercise throughout the week will produce optimum results.
  • Diet – Be careful not to rely on high sugar foods and processed goods to give you a quick energy boost during the day. Quick fixes such as this can result in having drastic energy drops, causing you to search for that next fix – not a healthy process. Try to keep your diet filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, and try to incorporate complex carbohydrates such as brown rice or peanut butter on corn cakes. Keep protein intake high to banish after work “glumness”.
  • Water – We’ve mentioned this in many previous articles on the Healthy Hideout, but do not forget the importance of keeping hydrated even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Taking on board plenty of water helps the body get rid of toxins, whilst helping to battle tiredness. Try incorporating herbal teas to give your body an extra kick!
  • Sleep – The later you fall asleep, the more out of sync you’ll become and the more tired you’ll feel throughout the day. This is because sleeping is linked to light, and our bodies natural response to the dark is to sleep. An earlier night’s sleep will almost guarantee a spring in your step the next day.

You can’t put a price on your bodies health and wellbeing! Try implementing some of the above before this winter is over, so that you may be better prepared for the next.

Energy Drinks: Need an energy boost?

New research carried out by the Mayo Clinic Proceeding has shown the dangers of consuming too many energy drinks. Some of us utilise energy drinks when exercising in order to push ourselves that extra mile, or to help us recover from an illness and get back into the swing of the things. This new research has demonstrated just how much of the “bad stuff” there really is in each serving – quite the eye opener.

Need an alternative to these energy drinks? Read on!

Need an alternative to these energy drinks? Read on!

First of all, the research demonstrated how the average energy drink contained more than 225 grams (1 cup) of sugar per serving alongside packing more caffeine than a strong cup of filter coffee. They found that caffeine levels range between 70 – 200mg in a 16oz serving. Perhaps the boost you need, but simply not good for the body long term.

The study, led by John Higgins of the University of Texas Houston, took energy drink information from 1976 to 2010 for the study. Higgins warned about the impact of combining these high levels of caffeine with other non labelled ingredients including guarana, taurine and other herbs and vitamins. He claimed the intake of these combinations in large doses could have negative effects on heart rates, blood pressure and mental condition. Excessive consumption could also lead to dehydration.

Research that took place in Norway, France and Denmark demonstrated that taurine found in the popular energy drink, Red Bull, caused bizarre behaviour. This later caused the drink to be banned across all three currencies. In the UK, one individual was arrested for driving dangerously after excessive consumption of Red Bull – more information here.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to these shop bought energy drinks to help bring you through that last stretch of your workout, why not try some of the Healthy Hideout’s energy boosting alternatives:

  • Almonds – A single serving (around 20 pieces) contains a great alternative source of “quick boost energy” – Convenient too!
  • Bran – Full of complex carbohydrates, bran is a fantastic source of magnesium, a mineral burned by our bodies to change complex carbs to energy.
  • Peanut butter – Packed with protein and magnesium, a teaspoon of peanut butter can give you that much needed energy boost. Don’t take in too much though, as the fat content is pretty high.
  • Trail Mix – Filled to the brim with iron, complex carbohydrates, protein and natural glucose sugars, the combination of dried fruits and nuts make this one a powerful energy provider.
  • Orange Juice – Studies have shown that people who drank at least 400mg of vitamin C felt less fatigue long term. That speaks for itself!

The above pointers are just a few ideas for natural energy boosting – Do you recommend any ideas? The Healthy Hideout has been encouraged by this article to do a write up on energy foods. Watch this space!