To most people, the mere word “muscles” brings to mind huge muscular bodybuilders. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and power for physical performance in exercise and sports is obvious. However, muscles aren’t just for show. Here I will explain why….
In Part I of Bomb Proof Coffee, I cover what’s in it and why, as well as how to make it, doses, sources, etc in video form HERE. If you’re new to Bomb Proof Coffee you’ll want to watch those videos for all the info you need to get started. This article will add some of the supporting science on the ingredients in Bomb Proof Coffee.
The obvious first ingredient to cover is the coffee. Coffee just continues to show itself to a have a wide variety of health benefits for both the brain and body. Not surprisingly, not all coffee is created and the levels of beneficial compounds depends on the type of processing and other factors. As the coffee itself is not the main focus of Bomb Proof Coffee per se, the Life Extension has a good article HERE covering the topic and offers a coffee with especially high levels of beneficial compounds found in coffee that might make a good choice for the coffee used in Bomb Proof Coffee.
Cocoa (the main ingredients in chocolate), is rich in various polyphenols (including flavonoids/flavanols) and other bio active compounds such as amines, alkaloids, tyramine, magnesium, procyanidins, phenylethylamine, and N-acylethanolamines. Cocoa has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and improved endothelial function. A meta analysis found that the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease, and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest level of intake, an that’s despite the sugar and fat content of chocolate; reduced insulin resistance and reduced serum insulin levels were associated with the chocolate consumption. There are various studies that also suggest direct cognitive benefit of cocoa ingestion as well as neruo protection. The flavanol epicatechin is believed to be the main source of benefit, but there’s a wide range of compounds in cocoa and it’s highly likely there’s synergism between epicatechin and other flavanols as well as other compounds found in cocoa, many of which are still being elucidated. As mentioned via the vids on Bomb Proof Coffee, not all cocoa is created equal and the highest levels of beneficial compounds is found in cocoa that has not been “Dutch Processed” which is exposed to alkalization. The vast majority of cocoa sold commercially has been Dutch Processed/exposed to alkalization. The exact dose for optimal effects is unclear at this time and research is ongoing, but the dose recommended in Bomb Proof Coffee – if you’re using high quality cocoa that has not been exposed to alkalization – should have you covered well. See videos for more information on that. Cocoa, similar to coffee, is a highly complex ingredient, which may have synergism when ingested together.
Got Back Pain?
Chronic back pain is at epidemic proportions that costs $100 billion annually in the US alone. That’s billion with a capital B folks! One of my favorite general public articles on the topic was in News Week and was titled “The Great Back Debate.”
In many respects, it was a most ground breaking article. Why? Because it was major “mainstream” publication that attempted to examine truly non-traditional causes of back pain. It made a serous attempt to look at non-physical causes of back pain and non-invasive treatments. Causes that would have been relegated to “non-scientific” status just a few years before that, were being taken seriously by a normally conservative publication. I consider it a must read article for anyone with chronic back pain.
In particular, the article explored the psychological basis for back pain, and did so commendably. Since that article, several reviews on the topic have come out, and continued to support the general conclusions from the News Week article. Some key comments in the article for example:
“The answer, Carragee and others believe, has as much to do with the mind as it does with the body. In the HIZ study, the best predictor of pain was not how bad the defect looked but the patient’s psychological distress. Depression and anxiety have long been linked to pain; a recent Canadian study found that people who suffer from severe depression are four times more likely to develop intense or disabling neck or low-back pain. At the Integrative Care Center of New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, physiatrist Gregory Lutz says he routinely sees men who have two things in common: rip-roaring sciatica and an upcoming wedding date. The problem in their back, possibly a degenerated or herniated disc, probably already existed, says Lutz, but was intensified by the ole premarriage jitters.”
Why Women Need Resistance Training!
Here we are, the year 2014, and it’s stunning to me that myths surrounding weight training and women still exist, and worse yet, it’s the same myths I was hearing a few decades ago! It seems I can dispel these myths ’til I’m blue in the face, and yet, they persist! In addition to the myths, it seems many women are simply unaware of the many benefits weight training – also called resistance training or strength training – can impart. Some of those benefits are sex specific in fact, that is, they are specific to women.
Alleged concerns regarding risk of cardiovascular disease with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) have been promulgated recently. However, a large and growing number of intervention studies show to the contrary that TRT reduces cardiovascular risk factors and confers multiple beneficial health effects. Thus, fears promoted by some recent flawed studies need to be critically re-evaluated.
This article gives an overview of studies that have investigated health effects and safety of TRT. As outlined here, the position that testosterone deficiency (TD) should be regarded as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease is supported by a rapidly expanding body of evidence.[2-4]
Can women suffer for “Low T” as men do? This vid covers the issue all women need to know about this “male” hormone! For additional details, see Monica’s article on the importance of testosterone in women HERE.
Study mentioned in this vid:
IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) is a peptide hormone, produced predominantly by the liver in response to pituitary GH (growth hormone). IGF-1 is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes. In adults, IGF-1 has metabolic and anabolic effects, and it mediates many of the effects of GH.[2-4]
GH and IGF-1 levels are reduced with normal aging, a phenomenon called somatopause.[5-7] It has been suggested that somatopause is an age-related GH deficiency state. Somatopause has been considered to contribute to physiological deterioration seen with aging, like reduced muscle mass, reduced exercise tolerance, decreased strength, osteoporosis, increased fat mass, elevated cardiovascular risk, impaired quality of life, cognitive/memory decline and reduced immunity.[7-12] These changes are similar to those seen in classic (non-aging related) GH deficiency (GHD).[13, 14]
Yes, literally, and could save other children from a lifetime of ill health easily avoided. Genetic disorders effect millions of children, and there’s 29 currently screened for by simple blood test, but not the one this baby and others suffer from. Some children have been mistakenly diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (and likely other disorders) when in fact it was an easily treatable disorder known as GAMT deficiency or simply “creatine deficiency disorder.” GAMT deficiency, which can be tested for easily, has some researchers pushing for newborn screening that would use the same blood test that screens for 29 recommended disorders. Without early intervention, brain damage can be permanent, so it must be caught early.
This recent story really brings home how this inexpensive non-toxic nutritional supplement could be a life saver for children with this easily testable genetic disorder:
Don’t get him confused with Al, another client with Parkinson’s who I train in the post here. Guess you could say I’m one lucky girl, blessed with honor of working with two very hard-working men who both happen to have Parkinson’s. And although two is hardly a large sample size, the progress in both Al and Bob that I’ve seen over the course of over a year now has been nothing short of impressive and inspirational.
Whether you’re over 70 or new to training, I hope his story encourages you to take that first step to overcome whatever challenge is holding you back from stepping into the gym.
A common Q I get is “Should I get my T levels checked Will?” When should you get your level checked? When you’re feeling tired, or lack libido or extra sore from workouts? After age 40? My answer may surprise you….