High versus Low Caffeine Workouts

1620655A fast paced action packed workout or a long and steady low intensity cruise. Even though both workouts are beneficial to health and wellbeing compared to eating fast food takeout and sitting on your laurels all day. It all comes down to energy spent versus consumed. Long periods of low intensity exercise may improve insulin, lipid levels a lot more then intense short workouts and bursts of extreme activity.

Effects of caffeine on the body

Simple exercises such as standing and walking for two hours or more spend equal amounts of energy than an intense one hour workout. These findings published in a journal called Plos One by Hans Savelbuerg along with colleagues from Maastricht University, Netherlands. The study finds were conducted on 18 participants of normal weight between the ages of 19 to 24, who were asked to follow three strict regimens.

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In the first, participants were instructed to sit for 14 hours each day and not indulge in any form of exercise, the second regimen required the participants to sit for 13 hours each day and exercise vigorously for one hour and the third participants substituted six hours of sitting with four hours of walking and two hours of standing. After each regimen, the researchers tracked each participant’s insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels, both of which can help identify metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity.

The authors found cholesterol and lipid levels improved slightly when participants exercised vigorously for one hour each day, but improved significantly when participants were active for longer periods at low intensity. Researchers also found that by being active simply by standing or walking for long periods of time significantly improved insulin levels compared to the strictly sedentary lifestyle, or the one hour of vigorous exercise a day.

In this study, longer durations of low intensity exercise may offer more benefits than shorter periods of intense activity. However, even an hour of exercise is better than no exercise at all. So for the ladies that like a vigorous man the chances are that a more vigorous quickie at him provides less satisfaction than a slower and lengthy rendezvous. Bottom line is that a variety of both situations can benefit you in the long run. Sure beats watching TV and falling asleep on the couch after a hearty meal.

Once we realize the best course of action to take, should we be enhanced by an energy drink or a sports drink and what’s the difference? Many people take energy drinks to give them that extra added edge however a safe level of energy drinks to be consumed has yet to be established. We know that sports drinks provide fluids along with substances called electrolytes usually derived from sodium, potassium and magnesium all which are lost with sweat. They also provide carbohydrates in an amount and form that can help our bodies have the stamina during short bursts of intense exercise. Sports drinks contain about two thirds of calories when compared to soft drinks.

Energy drinks on the other hand are completely different. Most are a source of caffeine combined with other stimulants and sugar. In my research of energy drinks I found most of them to contain anywhere from 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine which is equal to 1 to 2 cups of regular coffee. These energy drinks do increase alertness and energy. Many 16 ounce cans of energy drinks provide caffeine in this range, however recently I’ve seen more of the large portion sizes with added stimulant ingredients and those can bring the caffeine levels as high as 500 milligrams per can, and as I was standing next to the cooler, many of these drink users consume more than just one can.

Relatively small amounts of caffeine taken shortly before any type of workout can enhance and prolong the ability to exercise, using caffeine however to raise energy can end up worsening energy problems in the long run. When people consume more than 250 milligrams of caffeine per day, may cause headaches, sleep difficulties and increased anxiety. Measures beyond 1000 milligrams can begin to cause heart palpitations and even death from seizures or cardiac arrest.

Caffeine stays around longer than people realize, impairing nighttime sleep that leads to daytime sleepiness and low energy levels and sub consciously triggering the need for more. In reality it takes three to ten hours to clear even a half of a caffeine load on a body, and 15 to 35 hours to eliminate virtually all of it. So when consuming caffeine for any reason, it would be wise to know exactly how much your consuming using another form of measure than how you feel. Long after the effects, you actually feel have been gone, caffeine still remains part of your system and these amounts should be taken into consideration before giving your body another dose.

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Have you been wondering “what’s all the fuss about green tea?” Now you can stop wondering and start drinking…green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don’t fret, you don’t have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits. Here are 9 reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you’re already hooked.

1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

3. It keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

One of the most common questions I get is how to lose belly fat. Belly fat is actually the most dangerous type of fat – besides aesthetics, large waist lines are indicators of –disease-disease-disease.

It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!

1. Sleep

If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.

2. Short bursts of exercises

1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.

3. Sugar is your Enemy

Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

4. Vitamin C

When you’re under extreme stress, you secret more cortisol hormone. Vitamin C helps balance the cortisol spikes that happen to you under this stress. Besides being a good way to counteract a cold, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, making this vitamin your fat burning friend.

If you’re going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it’ll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than the famous Orange!

5. Eat Fat

Yup, you heard me! It takes fat to burn fat. Like I said above, it’s sugar that gets you fat, not fat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep you satiated throughout the day.

6. Slowing down your breath

This is a very simple method that you can use even when you’re in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you’re feeling tense and uptight check and see how you’re breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down the breathing. This works best if you focus on slowing down the exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself “slow down”. That is all there is to it- Simple but surprisingly effective!!!

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