Sunday, August 26, 2012

Coffee and Exercise

 How Does Coffee Affect Your workout?

 At the end of a long work day, it's understandable that you may need a pick-me-up prior to heading to the gym or hitting the pavement for a jog.
  You may feel inclined to grab a quick cup of coffee or down an energy drink before you leave the office in order to give yourself the kick you need to make it through your workout.

The Upsides to Caffeine

 A recent article published by the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism provides interesting insight.
  The article concludes that caffeine can benefit a "range of sports, including endurance events, stop-and-go events, and sports involving sustained high-intensity activity lasting from 1-60 minutes."

 But the advantages of a pre-workout pick-me-up doesn't end there.
  A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and published in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that ingesting caffeine before exercise can reduce pain and fatigue during a workout.

The Downsides to Caffeine

  With every yin, there's a yang, and so it is for the effects caffeine can have on exercise.

 Because caffeine is a mild diuretic, there is the risk of becoming dehydrated.
 What's more, caffeine can cause the large intestine to contract resulting in cramps or even diarrhea. Both side effects can cripple a workout.


Using Caffeine Effectively

In order to utilize the supplement in a way that will benefit you the most, be sure to:
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to negate any dehydrating effects.
  • Limit your caffeine consumption throughout the day to make your body more sensitive to the supplement's effects.
  • Ingest caffeine a few hours prior to working out.
  • Be sure to hydrate during and after exercise.

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*props to  Seth Czarnecki  for his research

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mexicanese Lunch Recipe

Bachelor Cooking 101:

Pop's Mexicanese lunch recipe

 Browsing the cupboards for a lunch idea yesterday, I hit on a combo that worked out very well.
 Ramen noodles are everyone's favorite combination of essentials (cheap & easy); Nutritious, fat-free, and simple (quick).

 The problem with Ramen noodles is the small packet of spices they include to make it a sucks. Not sure I can make it any clearer.

 Using a bit less water than recommended, I soften the noodles by boiling on medium for 2 minutes, then drain 90% of the water out before dumping in a bowl.

 Walmart sells a freshly made concoction of vegetables called Pico De Gallo, found in the vegetables-salad area among the "Marketside" mixes.
  Mostly fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, and enough flavor to make it an exciting taste.
It's easier to think of it as the best parts of a good salsa, without the mess.
      Here's what to look for:

 Mixing a generous scoop of Pico De Gallo into the hot noodles amounts to a tasty, healthy, and natural lunch with loads of flavor...and it takes about 5 minutes!
 (You thought healthy had to be boring, didn't you?)

 The final lunch:
 Now to be fair, I like a bit more flavor and a bit of sauce to bind the whole thing together, so I also toss in a couple of tablespoons of a good chunky salsa.
 You can see the slight difference, but the taste change is awesome...

 No doubt this recipe will become a regular Saturday addition to my diet.   Healthier and more filling than most easy foods (I use 2 packs of noodles), and totaling about 75¢ makes this combo hard to beat.
 Besides: How many chances do you get to tell people that you're having Mexicanese?


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