Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouse of the cell’ that convert the foods we eat to usable energy our body uses to fuel life sustaining reactions within cells, our daily activities and athletic performance 1-4. While energy production capability and muscle performance might seem to be more relevant to sports, it also equally important for achievement and maintenance of health throughout the life span. In this article I will describe how chronological aging affects our mitochondria, its implications and the ins-and-outs of a new type of supplements marketed at “exercise mimetics”.
First things first: This is not actually a book about Yoga per se but a book about life and how to develop a “personal ethos” that will serve readers well in all aspects of their lives. That’s what Mark Divine – with Catherine Divine – sets out to do in his latest book Kokoro Yoga. People often stumble through life without a personal ethos they can depend on to keep them on track on their journey, especially during these often confusing and trying times.
What Mark has done in this book is no less than give readers a way to develop – or strengthen – their own personal ethos through the use of mental and physical approaches, that yes, includes yoga! This not your sisters hippie dippie yoga book…
Unlike so many who attempt to offer such grand advice – who frankly have no business doing so other than their own delusions of grandeur – Mark is what’s referred to in the military as a been-there-done-that guy. To my mind, that makes it far easier to take his excellent advice as found in Kokoro Yoga. Mark spent years as a Navy SEAL, decades learning various martial arts, and yet more years in the study of various forms of yoga honing his views and approach. Contrary to what many westerners may understand, yoga, like martial arts, takes on many different forms and focus often quite different from each other.
Mark tells the story of his first time flying into a combat zone, and doing a full yoga session, wearing combat kit and all, on the deck of a C-130 military transport plane coming into Iraq. Quite possibly the first yoga session ever done on a military transport plane! That early experience demonstrated to him just how much yoga could assist in settling and focusing his mind in the most potentially stressful situations for a green (to combat zones) officer, and it stuck with him as a way to keep his mind and body settled and focused on the dangerous missions he’d experience.
After many years of diligently working in various systems of martial arts, yoga, physical training, and the special operations community, he developed his own approach to physical and mental well-being called Kokoro Yoga.
As a rule, one will find those “systems” that endure, be they martial arts, yoga, business, or battle, find the developer of the approach usually has a wide ranging and extensive background, which Mark has in spades. In my view, that gives him the “creds” to offer such advice, and this book is full of damn good advice too.
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.
Here’s a web cast I just did on The Real Truth Men’s Health Webcast with Nelson Vergel and Jay Campbell. We cover a wide range of topics, from T Booster supplements to creatine to Bomb Proof Coffee and more! One correction I need to make is, Jay refers to me as a Harvard researcher in his opening. I have an undergrad degree from Harvard and have been involved in research, but I am not a Harvard affiliated researcher.
The acid/alkaline issue has been a popular one, and has lead to much confusion. Here’s my latest vid on the topic of claimed acidic blood that’s lead to the whole acid/alkaline debates and resulting products and diets claiming people have “acidic blood.” Now you know the facts on the issue:
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….
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]