Author Archives: Carlos Kuhn

Adaptogens that Help with Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and secrete the body’s four major stress hormones, including a steroid hormone called cortisol (cortisol is a steroid that is completely different to anabolic steroids). These substances speed up metabolism and help the body cope with danger. Under circumstances of extreme or chronic stress, large amounts of cortisol lead to health problems. With serious cases of adrenal fatigue it is not uncommon for males to have lower production of an anabolic steroid called Testosterone, according to this steroid and bodybuilding blog, “Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroidal hormone produced in the testes of males and in the ovaries of females. Testosterone plays a vital role in both males and females, both these sexes need testosterone for a healthy functioning body.”

Siberian Ginseng Aids Body Defenses

According to reports published by the World Health Organization, Radix eleutherococci, or Siberian ginseng, has complex benefits: “The mechanism of the antistress or adaptogenic activities of Radix Eleutherococci appears to be threefold. Extracts of the roots have an adaptogenic effect that produces a nonspecific increase in the body’s defence against exogenous stress factors and noxious chemicals. The roots also stimulate the immune system, and promote an overall improvement in physical and mental performance.”

The active part of the plant is the root. It can be found in many forms: whole root, root pieces, powdered or liquid extract or concentrate, and as granules for instant tea. Tablets, capsules, tinctures and oil-based forms are also available. Look for pure ginseng on the label as there are many diluted and ineffective preparations marketed. Take ginseng daily for two to three weeks followed by a 14-day rest period.

The plant should not be used during pregnancy or by those with high blood pressure or hypoglycemia. Diabetics should monitor blood sugar closely when using Siberian ginseng as the plant may temporarily lower serum glucose.

Holy Basil Improves Energy and Stamina

Also known by its Indian name, tulsi, or holy basil, is prized for its ability to improve stamina and help the body adapt to stress. In a 1997 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, mice subjected to noise and exhaustion had more energy and shortened recovery times when given holy basil. The herb is rich in antioxidants and has antiviral and antibacterial properties which support immune function. Tulsi is a source of vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron and chlorophyll.

To prepare tulsi in its popular herb tea form, add one teaspoon dried herb to one cup of boiling water and steep at least five minutes. Drink one cup per day. There are three main types of tulsi, rama tulsi being the one most commonly grown locally, with two others available by import from India. All three are potent adaptogens.

Ashwagandha Improves Memory and Fights Depression

The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha work to normalize the endocrine system, including the thyroid, the pituitary and the adrenal glands. Because of its affect on acetycholine receptors in the brain, ashwagandha improves memory in elderly persons. A study published in the December 2000 issue of Phytomedicine confirmed the antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects of this medicinal plant, also known as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng and wild cherry. Ashwagandha has been used by Native Americans and Africans to treat inflammation and fevers. It also has anticancer properties.

Ashwagandha is available in capsules filled with powdered extract, typically a 500mg strength. Initially, one 500mg dose near bedtime is advised as the herb causes drowsiness in some people and may cause gastric upset in larger doses. Work up to a dose of three grams a day (six capsules) for six weeks. The herb can be taken indefinitely in six week cycles, but allow for a one week rest period.

Continuous and prolonged stress can be detrimental to the adrenal glands. Work-related pressure, marriage problems, loneliness, illness and grief can cause immune deficiency and “adrenal burnout” or adrenal fatigue. Improved health could depend on taking adaptogenic herbs such as Siberian ginseng, tulsi, and ashwagandha.

Exploring The Real Truth About Matcha Green Tea

If you are a tea aficionado or you have just started drinking tea, there is a good chance that you have come across a lot of information about matcha green tea. Many dealers claim that this powerful green tea contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular tea. Matcha has been around for centuries and the preparation and serving of the tea is what really makes it stand out amongst the competition.

Created In A Unique Way

Did you know that matcha literally means “powdered tea”? When you make an order at a restaurant of traditional green tea, the components of these leaves are actually infused with hot water and later discarded. This is not the case when it comes to homemade matcha. When you consume real matcha tea, you are actually drinking the leaves, which contain most of the beneficial properties. Any good dedicated matcha drinker will know that the leaves need to be ground into a fine powder that is later made into a solution by mixing heated water with matcha powder until it froths.

More Caffeine Means More Energy

Most individuals consume coffee or tea for its powerful caffeine content. Whether you are looking for the energy to get out of bed or the energy to hit the gym, tea is without a doubt one of your best options. You might be surprised to learn that one espresso only contains a mere 64 milligrams of caffeine, while one teaspoon of matcha contains 70 milligrams of caffeine. That pretty much means that one-teaspoon of matcha tea could provide you with a much greater energy boost than your average cup of Joe. This could be the very thing that you need to make it through an extremely difficult day at work or in the gym.

Other Benefits

The benefits of Matcha tea continue on and on. This type of teach can strengthen the immune system, detoxify the body and help you burn more calories that ever before. It’ll also promote your mood and calm your nerves. With this tea, you can also improve your memory, focus and concentration. Suffice to say, there are tons of good reasons to drink matcha.

Tips For Buying Matcha Tea

When attempting to invest in Matcha green tea, you’ll need to put in extra effort to ensure that your money has been spent wisely. First and foremost, you should always try to obtain rich, green tea leaves. This ensures that the leaves are vibrant and have a high antioxidant level. It is also a good idea to choose an organic matcha. While it may be possible to buy matcha powder from many different countries, it is best to stick with a Japanese source. Stay away from Chinese sources whenever possible. It is also vital for the matcha to be stored in the appropriate manner.

It should have been stored in a cool, dry and dark space. This will ensure that the tea will deliver the best consistency and flavor. Do your research and choose your vendor carefully. If you do not, you may not be able to obtain the results that you’re truly after.

Climbing Lock-Off Exercises for Stronger Triceps: Why Triceps Exercises Belong in Every Rock Climbing Training Program

While most rock climbers realize that pulling is an essential component of rock climbing, many don’t realize the value of climbing-specific exercises to develop stronger triceps, or pushing muscles. Learn why stronger triceps can improve climbing lock-off power. Then, learn specific triceps exercises to include in a rock climbing training program. Enjoy the benefits of stronger triceps for improved rock climbing performance.

Why Pull-Up Training for Lock-Offs Isn’t Enough

Training pull power is an essential part of every rock climbing training program, but it’s not enough. To become an expert at climbing lock offs, once a climber has pulled a climbing hold down as far as possible, he or she must be able to transition from pulling down to pushing down on that hold. This enables the climber to reach farther. Building stronger triceps helps the climber to develop this crucial climbing lock-off power.

Stronger Triceps Start with Basic Triceps Exercises

Climbers can begin building stronger triceps by using some simple triceps strengthening exercises that everyone knows. These include pushups (or even modified pushups) and dips (or modified dips, see photo A). Effort should be made to move through the full range of motion for each exercise to gain maximal benefits. To start with, aim for one to three sets of 10-12 repetitions, two to three days a week, as a part of a climbing workout.

Climbing-Specific Triceps Exercises Using Exercise Bands

Along with the triceps exercises above, exercise bands allow for more climbing-specific triceps exercises. Again, effort should be made to slowly move through the full range of motion for each exercise to gain maximal benefits from these triceps exercises. Start with the exercise band with the resistance level to allow for one to three sets of 10-12 repetitions. Adjust sets and reps according to personal goals—strength, power, and/or endurance. These include the following exercises:

  • Warm up triceps by performing one to three sets of 10-12 arm extensions. Sit on the exercise band, holding handles in hands behind the head. Then, lift the band to full extension above the head, and lower back down.
  • Affix the exercise band securely overhead. Use the included door attachment that comes with the exercise band, or another safe and secure attachment point. Stand with feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Back up to create the proper resistance to be able to pull the band from shoulder height with arms straight, straight down to the waist and then back up.
  • From the same starting position as above, pull the exercise band straight back to the armpit, as if locking off on a climbing hold. Now, push straight down from this position to the waist. Return the hand back to the armpit, and then back to the starting position.

Every Climbing Training Program Should Include Triceps Exercises

The optimal climbing workout program will include climbing-specific triceps exercises along with other essential rock climbing training elements, such as climbing technique and pull power training. Both basic triceps exercises and climbing-specific triceps exercises using exercise bands can help a climber develop stronger triceps to improve at climbing lock offs. Improved climbing lock-off ability can lead to better rock climbing performance.

Exercise Is Helpful for Anxiety and Depression

Systematic reviews of available literature demonstrate that regular exercise confers significant reductions in the symptoms that are associated with both depression and anxiety. These beneficial effects have been reported more commonly in adults than in adolescents, but extensive, high-quality studies have not yet been conducted in groups of young people.

As is the case with other medical conditions that improve with exercise, depression seems to respond better to higher-intensity levels of activity than it does to low-energy exercise. A weekly expenditure of at least 17.5 kcal per kilogram of body weight (about 8 kcal per pound) is required for significant improvement in depressive symptoms. However, in contrast to cardiovascular disease or hypertension – both of which respond best to aerobic conditioning – either aerobic exercise or resistance training seems to offer benefits for persons suffering from depression.

Exercise and Yoga Offer Hope for Depressed Patients

Scientists have discovered that the positive effects of exercise are the same whether depressed individuals participate in supervised group activities or unsupervised exercise in the home or gym. Thus, many forms of activity would appear to be candidates for alleviating depression – particularly those that expend a sufficiently high amount of energy.

Unfortunately, one of the primary symptoms shared by depressed persons is a lack of motivation; for such individuals, less vigorous activities that still conferred benefit would be ideal. Alas, clinical trials that have evaluated the antidepressant effects of low-intensity exercise demonstrate no significant improvement in symptoms among study subjects. For example, meditation, tai chi, and qigong – all more restful, “mind-based” forms of recreation that certainly confer their own benefits – do not appear to ameliorate the troubling symptoms that are typically reported by depressed persons (3).

Yoga and high-intensity exercise, on the other hand, have repeatedly demonstrated their depression-fighting effects in multiple studies. For both anxiety and depression – conditions that share many of the same symptoms and which are often treated with similar medications – exercise and yoga compare favorably with conventional treatments, and both are viable alternatives to standard pharmaceutical and psychotherapeutic modalities.

Top 9 The Secret Fat Burner Success Stories

The Secret Fat Burner has made headlines across South Africa for being the most successful fat burner on the market today. On average, a customer that has taken this “miracle pill” has lost around 3kgs in a single week! Yes you heard me right.

The Secret Fat burner owes its success to Yohimbine, an highly effective appetite suppressant that will make you not want to eat at all.

When hearing about a products success I like to dig deep for success stories, this way I can verify if the claims are true or not.

There we have it. The general consensus seems to tell us that the product does definitely work. The thing that struck me the most is that I could not find any negative reviews on the product apart from people who complained about service issues. Thinking of trying The Secret Fat Burner? Give it a shot and let me know below how it worked for you.

Maximize Your Diet with Superfoods: What Makes a Superfood Super?

Before you run into the boredom of a diet rut, take a look at some new foods or revisit some of old favorites. The truth behind these foods may startle you.

Quinoa

Originating in the Andes of South America, quinoa offers a protein punch for a calorie bargain. While quinoa is generally employed as a grain, it is actually a “pseudocereal” packed with protein. In 100 grams (uncooked), this superfood contains 370 calories, 14 grams of protein, 7 grams of dietary fiber, and more than half of the daily dietary requirements of Potassium and Magnesium.

A great option for gluten-free cooking and for protein deficits in a vegetarian diet, quinoa makes a great compliment to a meal as a rice-substitute.

Lentils

Rich in dietary fiber and protein, lentils are a staple in any nutrient-rich diet. Available in a variety of colors, including yellow, green, brown and black, lentils, per 100 grams, uncooked, provide an incredible 31 grams of dietary fiber and 26 grams of protein for only 1 gram of fat and 350 calories. This super-legume also provides more than 60% of the daily nutritional requirement of Thiamine and Iron.

Try this superfood with a slow-cooker recipe or as a substitute for meat for a hearty and nutritionally charged meal.

Broccoli

A common vegetable on American dinner tables, broccoli is argued by many to be a “negative-calorie food” offering a great source of Vitamins C, K, and A. Per 100 grams, broccoli provides 2.6 grams of dietary fiber and 2.8 grams of protein for only 30 calories and 0.3 grams of fat!

In order to preserve its nutritional punch, try broccoli raw by adding it to a salad or an accompaniment to the main dish.

Spinach

While this superfood does have some negative press with respect to its link to kidney stones, spinach is another nutritious food reported to be a “negative-calorie food” and employed as a source of iron for those suffering with iron-deficiency. Spinach also provides an excellent source of protein and iron. For 100 grams of raw spinach, benefit from 2.2 grams of dietary fiber, 2.2 grams of protein, 460% of the daily nutritional requirement of Vitamin K, and 22% of the daily nutritional requirement of Iron for just 20 calories and 0.4 grams of fat.

Add some spinach to your dinner by employing it as a great addition to a basic salad or to cooked quinoa.

Acai

This berry, harvested in the Brazilian Rainforest, is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber per 3.5 ounce serving. Acai is also loaded with anthocyanins postulated to aid in fighting aging, high cholesterol, heart disease, strokes and colon cancer. The acai berry’s cost in calories? Only 154 calories per 3.5 ounce serving!

Commonly consumed as a juice or a smoothie, try this amazing berry blended with a banana and a splash of orange juice for a tasty and healthy breakfast.

Frozen Shoulder – Passive Exercises to Restore Movement

Medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a painful and disabling condition affecting the shoulder joint. Pain is constant and becomes worse in cold weather and at night restricting movement and positions which in turn greatly interfere with sleep.

Frozen shoulder leads to severely restricted movements making even simple tasks such as cleaning teeth, dressing or brushing hair excruciatingly painful.

The condition mostly affects people over 40, can last months, sometimes years and is thought in most cases to be triggered by injury or trauma to the shoulder.

Treatments for Frozen Shoulder

After diagnosis from your family doctor the condition may be treated with medication, physiotherapy, massage therapy or surgery. Over time, most people will regain about 90% of shoulder movement.

Once all measures have been taken to reduce pain and inflammation and your family doctor or physical therapist think you are ready, it is important to work on restoring movement to the shoulder. One way you can help yourself is to learn about passive exercise.

Passive Exercises for Frozen Shoulder

Due to pain and restricted movement it is very difficult to exercise the affected arm and shoulder. However, there are exercises you can do using ‘props’ to start moving without pain. This is known as passive exercise. These exercises move and stretch the shoulder joint to the point of pain only. You are in control and will know when this point is reached.

Before starting these passive exercises, make sure you are in a warm environment and wearing loose clothing that will not hinder or restrict movement.

Shelf Stretch

Lift the affected arm with your good arm and place on a shelf, mantel piece or something just below shoulder height. Take 3 deep breaths, relax affected shoulder and bend at the knees slowly opening up the arm pit. Stretch to the point of pain then slowly stand up straight again, breathing evenly as you go (don’t tense up and hold breath). Repeat several times pushing the stretch a little further each time, but only to the point of pain. At first you may think very little has been achieved, but practiced at least 3 times daily with 15 to 30 stretches at each session soon produces results.

Scarf Stretch

Tie the end of a long scarf securely around the wrist of the affected arm. Thread the other end over a secure bar or fitting above head height. A strong curtain pole works well. Grasp the end of the scarf with the good hand and gently pull to raise the affected arm to the point of pain. Stay relaxed, breathing evenly and let the arm back down again. The good arm is used to raise and lower the affected arm at a pace and to a point that suits. As with the shelf exercise, repeat 15 to 30 times at least 3 times daily.

It is important to ensure all props used are very secure as any instability could lead to sudden movements and further pain or trauma to the affected joint. Ask a friend or family member to try out your chosen props first for safety and security. Only then will you be able to fully relax which is essential for passive exercise to be effective.