Make Your Sleep Helathy

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Tips for a healthy, hygienic sleep:• Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day.
• Complete the last meal of the day at least 2 hours before bedtime.
• Cut down or avoid fluids at least an hour before bedtime.
• Avoid stimulating environments 2 hours prior to bedtime.
• Engage in exercise but avoid vigorous activity too close to bedtime.
• Use your bed for sleep (and sex) only.
• Don’t watch television in bed.
• Establish a bedtime routine.
• Give yourself time to relax before retiring and use relaxation techniques.
• Create a bedroom environment that enhances sleep.
• Think about your concerns and write them down before getting into bed.
• Go to bed only if you are sleepy.
• If you can’t get to sleep within 15–20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity until you’re sleepy; repeat if necessary until you’re sleepy.
• Get up at the same time every day.
• Avoid daytime naps.

Green Tea Decreases Abdominal Fat

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Green tea is a popular weight-loss supplement that also improves blood sugar regulation and influences fat cell turnover. While it is not a magic bullet that instantly improves metabolic health, it helps. Kevin Maki from the Provident Clinical Research, in Bloomington, Indiana showed decreases in total abdominal fat, subcutaneous abdominal fat (under the skin), and blood triglycerides (blood fats) in people consuming a green tea beverage containing 625 mg of catechins and 39 mg of caf¬feine for 12 weeks, compared to a placebo (green tea without catechins or caffeine). The people also did 180 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Green_tea

Caffeine and catechins— particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate— speed metabolism and fight fat. Other studies found that green tea extract increased the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in fat cells, which might have negative effects in body¬builders. Green tea is an effective fat fighter that complements the effects of exercise. However, bodybuilders should use it with caution.

Energy Boosters

 

Many athletes take supplements to boost energy, particularly ginseng, ephedra, and caffeine.

 

Ginseng functions as an adaptogen, or immune system stimulant, but it does not have an effect on athletic performance. (Athletes who choose to take ginseng should look for Panax ginseng standardized to 4–7 percent; ginsenosides, with the following dosing regimen: 100–200 milligrams per day for two–three weeks, then one–two weeks of no use before resuming).

 

Ginseng

 

Ephedra (also called Ma Huang, epitonin, and sida cordifolia) is a central nervous system stimulant that is sold as an energy booster or “fat-burning” supplement. Marketed as Metabolife, Xenadrine, Herbal Rush, Energy Rush, Thermoburn, or Thermofuel (among others), ephedra may delay fatigue by sparing the body’s glycogen reserves during exercise. However, it can also increase blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, anxiety, migraines, and irregular heartbeat, and it can cause insomnia, psychosis, and nervousness. Ephedra and caffeine are often present in the same product, which can be detrimental to the heart. The maximum safe level of ephedra is 24 mg per day, but many products contain over 300 mg per dose. This supplement is contraindicated in those with a history of heart disease or hypertension, kidney or thyroid disease, seizure disorder, or diabetes.

 

Ephedra

 

Caffeine is a stimulant that in certain athletes may increase free fatty acid availability to delay fatigue, improve reaction time, and reduce the perceived effort of exertion. It tends to be most effective in caffeine drinks, trained endurance athletes with a dose of 200 to 300 milligrams one hour prior to a sporting event. The legal limit of caffeine is 800 milligrams, but this level can cause nervousness, anxiety, irritability, headaches, increased urination, and diarrhea. In addition to products such as Vivarin, No-Doz, and Excedrin, caffeine can be found in herbal form in guarana and kola nut. Caffeine also augments the stimulatory effects of ephedra.

 

Caffeine