Category Archives: Fitness

Nutrition and Sleep

Nutrition and sleep quality are two things that are often not linked together in common thought, but they have a stronger correlation that one might think. Ever feel that drowsy feeling after a large meal, or wired laying in bed kicking yourself for that post-dinner coffee? What we eat before bedtime can play an important part in how well you rest each night. Dietitians have long relied on the age old creed of “Do not eat after 9pm”. It is actually more of an impact when you are comparing when you are eating and when you are going to sleep, the proximity and content matters to your body.Unknown

As far as timing and size of a meal, eat less if you are going to sleep directly after dinner. Food is energy, and if you are not going to be using that energy while asleep, you do not need as much. If you have a large meal and fall asleep, the body stores this energy in fat deposits for later use. Larger meals also raise your core body temperature as your body works to digest the food you just consumed. This can disrupt sleep due to the body’s temperature lowering in the night for optimal sleep.

When it comes to the content of what is in the meal that plays a part as well. Sugar, caffeine and stimulants can keep your body awake and alert despite your urge to slumber. This can send the body into a strange distressful mix up for its sleep pattern. Spicy ingredients can also spell problems for a restful sleep as they can cause intestinal distress.

These are just a few tips for every person to keep in mind as they sit down for their last meal of the day. A much more comprehensive study was conducted and covered by this article in the Huffington Post covering the effects of nutrition during a person’s sleep duration, as well as what vitamins can benefit sleep efficiency.

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Football Nutrition

Throughout the course of the average football game a player can expect to run around 5-7 miles. Besides having great physical training and athletic ability it takes something far more simple to keeping them running at their peak level of ability. Coupling endurance with explosion football athletes need proper nutrition fueling to stay fresh for the 90+ minutes of competition.100616-N-1841C-045

How do you prep for your upcoming match? Here are some basics to get your body ready for 90 minutes plus extra time, maybe even a little extra.

The overview: Eat breakfast. It wakes the body up and sets you day in motion, do so in the first hour of rising. 3-4 hour prior to the clock starting eat a carb heavy meal with protein mixed in to keep as reserves. After warm ups have a snack to ensure you are ready to go.

Here is what your game day meals should look like:

Orange Juice
Cup of Yogurt

Mid day meal (3-4 hours before game time)-
Baked Potato with Butter
Fish or Chicken with Oil
Carrots/Broccoli/Small Salad
Cup of Milk

Snacks for pregame
Dry Cereal
Granola Bars

After the game it is imperative to refuel your body in order to recover properly. Be sure to get some type of carbohydrate into your body within an hour after the game ends. This is the time frame when your body is ready to absorb nutrients. For the core of the meal, load up on the protein, it is important for muscles to recover properly. Look to consume around 20 grams of protein after games. To quantify what you are aiming to intake for a football game, consume 1.5 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight on top of the protein intake. Two hours later consume the same amount of carbs again.

To read the original article click here.

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Pros and Cons of Almond Milk

We have all heard of almond milk, the imitation of that cow byproduct without the intestinal distress that often comes along with the real thing. It has caught steam as of late as more and more people are consuming almond milk but what do we really know about it? Does it, in fact, benefit the human body compared to drinking real milk? We are ready to find out what the experts have to say on the topic as we dive into a piece from Milk Lloyd Douaihy

Should we be drinking this?

The expert vote is in and it is a resounding yes! Four out of five experts say this should be in your refrigerator at home. Outside of its benefits for vegans and those with lactose intolerance, it holds half of the calories of regular milk. This is optimal for those looking to lose weight when filling in their smoothies, cereal, and oatmeal but it has its down-sides when compared to the real deal.

Soy and almond milk cannot stack up to the amount of protein that comes with an equivalent amount of milk from a cow. One glass of regular milk contains 8 grams of protein for muscle building. A glass of almond milk contains just 1 gram. if you are wondering why the milk from a protein filled nut has low protein content, that is because this product is mostly water. The protein content is lost during the transition. To cap it off, almond milk is lower in calcium as well, unless fortified.

To conclude this investigation, read the labels on whatever you are consuming, never assume that a product has the best of both worlds! Almond milk can have less calories, but also less of the great nutrients found in regular milk. Its a calorie for nutrient tradeoff.

To read the original article, click here.


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How to Eat Well and Keep Weight Off

Are you trying to lose weight, still hold a nutritious diet and enjoy the food you eat? Many diet plans offer ridiculous claims in order to do all of these things when you can do so on your own with a little self discipline and for a lot less money. Here are the 10 best ways to enjoy your food and eat less.right-size-portion-plate

Know what you’re consuming. Look up nutritional value using Google for the foods you plan to eat for your larger meals to plan accordingly the intake of each food group.

Eat slowly. It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain that you no longer need to intake food. About 15 minutes is the usual time frame for the signal to reach your noggin.

Portion control through dish size. Plates will fill up according to their size so you will most likely consume more if you have a bigger plate. Bigger plates= More food on them= more food in your stomach.

Eat the healthy options when eating out. Everyone knows what the healthy menu option is, it takes a bit of willpower to turn down the chili cheese fries, but we all can do it.

Looking for sweets? Choose fruits, they’re packed with natures sugar and have great nutritional value to boot!

Choose what fills your stomach. You should eat more fruits vegetables, whole grains, 1% milk and natural foods, and less fatty, salty foods.
Depending on what your activity level, and weight goals, you should identify the types of foods you eat and when to eat them.

Drinks matter too. Water, 100% juice, and tea all make up natural, healthy drinks. Stay away from sports drinks and other sugary alternatives when not exercising intensely.

Compare foods you consume based on what nutrients you need more compared to others.

Keep the integrity of the word “treat”. A treat is something you have on occasion, not everyday. It also makes the treat taste that much better!

To read more from where Lloyd Douaihy cited from see this infographic.


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Navigate The Holiday Eating Myths

How can one possibly eat clean through the holidays? It is a question that has been asked every year while buying a pair of pants a size bigger in anticipation. Common weight gaining and food myths swirl around the holiday season like nagging gnats you cannot quite swat away. Unfortunately the majority of those who hear these myths fall victim to them, being consumed by the unavoidable doom of the holiday hangover hanging by their waistline. Here are some myths and facts about holiday eating and nutrition.LLoyd

The myth: Expect to gain 5-7 pounds from the holiday parties and customs.
The reality: While it is very possible to put on close to 10 pounds, the average weight gain is just shy of one pound. A great way to avoid any gain is by eating the nutritious food that is present in moderation (sweet potatoes, fruit, turkey) and by trying to get some extra exercise in to account for the extra calories.

The myth: Turkey will put you to sleep.
The reality: L-tryptophan has been linked to inducing a sleepy feeling but for it to have this effect it would need to be eaten pure, on an empty stomach. The other contents that come in turkey and the meal as a whole inhibit this amino acid from producing this effect. What causes the sleepiness is the overeating, along with the amount of energy it takes to digest the contents of one’s stomach. An effective way to avoid the post-meal sleepiness is to eat normal meals prior to the holiday feast, it will help curb overeating by inhibiting a ravenous appetite.

The myth: We are helpless to the temptation of the festivities and great cooks.
The reality: It is not the food itself that drives us to eat more it is being surrounded by loved ones that leads us to consume up to 44% more than normal (Penn State study). They report that due to the socializing of festive parties, it is easier to lose track of what and how much one will eat over the course of a night.

To read more from where Lloyd Douaihy cited, click here.


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8 Best Foods For Muscles

We all would love to have the superhuman ability to eat whatever we want, still be healthy as a horse and as shredded as Arnold. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we all need to eat the right way to see our physical form come anywhere close to resembling the Vitruvian Man. Here are eight foods that help you pack on muscle for bulking season and remain healthy.Eggs and Coffee

Eggs: Packed with protein eggs can give you, pound for pound (k for k) you need less protein from the egg and its yolk than from other sources of protein. Eggs are also loaded with essential vitamins to keep you healthy and active.

Almonds: These little nuts are loaded with alpha-tocopherol vitamin-e, which in layman’s terms means its the easiest form for the human body to absorb vitamin-e. Vitamin-e offers the body an antioxidant that helps the body recover faster from lifting sessions. Take your chalky hands, grab a couple of handfuls daily and you should have enough of a serving to do the trick.

Salmon: We all were aware that fish was good for you, but how good exactly? Omega-3’s, protein, and fatty acids make up the fish, helping with muscle recovery. A quick way of ingesting, without having to grill up a filet, is to buy salmon jerky for easy access.

Yogurt: The probiotic has carbohydrates and protein as well as the added benefit of keeping you regular in your visits to the “throne”. Yogurt also has conjugated linoleic acid, which some studies suggest reduces body fat.

Beef: Containing Iron, Zinc, and being delicious, beef has the two nutrients that are very essential to building muscle. When searching for more bang in less calories, buy round cuts, or loins. They’re extra lean and super tender.

Olive Oil: This simple oil helps prevent muscle breakdown by lowering muscle weakening levels of cells in your body. Extra virgin would be the variety of choice due to its higher levels of vitamin-e.

Water: Often overlooked, water accounts for 80% if what makes us, us. Staying hydrated is not only beneficial to avoid cramping, it can hinder your ability to use protein for your benefit.

Coffee: In moderation of course, coffee can help extend your lifts with the boost of energy it provides. It has been proven for those performing anaerobic activities that it can prolong the exertion session for each exercise by up to 9% longer if drank a few hours prior to exercise. Added bonus: studies have found that regular coffee drinkers are at a 30% less risk of developing Parkinson’s disease .


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Fruit and Vegetables are Good for More Than Just Your Body.

Using data from the Health Survey for England, new findings from the University of Warwick’s Medical School show that it is possible that fruit and vegetable are just as good for mental health as physical wellbeing.  Their study focused on mental health and found that high and low mental health were consistent with ones fruit and vegetable consumption.

broccoli_blogThe study found that 33.5% of participants with high mental wellbeing ate more than five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  Conversely those who ate one or fewer servings in a day only made up 6.8% of people with good mental health.  Dr. Saverio Stranges, the lead author of the research paper said that this data points to the fact that the more fruit and vegetables consumed by an individual, the lower his chances of poor mental health.

According to Science Daily
, the survey was conducted on 14,000 individuals above the age of 16.  Of these participants, 56% were female and 44% were men.

This study was not limited to the two extremes of fruit and vegetable consumption either.  Throughout the study, the greater a participant’s fruit and vegetable intake, the lower the risk of poor mental health.  This is one of the first factors that unanimously has a correlation with a person’s mental health, other than smoking.

Mental illness and other mental health problems are strongly linked with low mental wellbeing, while high mental wellbeing is the state in which people are able to be productive and feel good.      One of the members of the team remarked that mental illness is a huge cost to society and that in order to mitigate the weight of mental illness, it is imperative that we as a race figure out the factors that contribute to mental health.  

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