At Utzy we are dedicated to providing truthful, honest information that helps you to live a healthier lifestyle
Despite our best intentions, it’s easy to fall short on meeting our daily nutrient needs.
That’s why taking a daily multivitamin is so helpful (1).
While supplements should never replace a balanced diet, taking a daily multivitamin does a great job of filling in your nutrient gaps.
A popular trend is to take are one-per-day multivitamins, but there’s a variety of problems with these types of supplements.
We’ll dig into these below….
There are several problems with one-per-day multivitamins.
First, fitting all your nutrient needs in one small capsule is impossible.
A typical capsule holds 750 milligrams of powder. This is a tiny amount. How can every important nutrient fit into one small pill?
The simple answer is that it can’t.
Either you leave out important ingredients, or you under-dose every ingredient.
This leaves you with an ineffective supplement that you’d probably be better off throwing in the trash.
In comparison, a high quality multivitamin will recommend taking several capsules daily, up to 6 capsules per day.
Having multiple capsules allows you to get all of the needed nutrients at the optimal doses.
Second, one-per-day multivitamins are ineffective because you get all of the nutrients at once.
This is problematic due to the fact that your body needs time to digest and utilize each nutrient.
This is why it’s best to space out your multivitamin intake throughout the day.
For instance, take 3 in the morning, and 3 at night.
This allows you time to absorb each nutrient, without nutrient interference.
Third, one-per-day multivitamins don’t contain whole food ingredients, they rely on synthetic forms of the nutrients instead.
Cheap, synthetic nutrients are hard to absorb and do little for your health.
A better option is to go with a multivitamin that contains whole food sources.
For instance, our Essentially-U multi-vitamin contains a food-based blend of fruits and vegetables. This ensures that you get optimal nutrient absorption.
If you’re already taking a multivitamin, make sure to get the most out of it.
Most people fall short on meeting their daily nutrient needs, this happens for a couple of reasons.
First, Western Diet (common in the USA) contains high amounts of processed foods. Processed foods are stripped of important nutrients.
Even if you ate perfectly all the time, it would still be nearly impossible to get your required nutrients from food alone.
Second, gut health issues and stress can impact how well you body absorbs nutrients from the foods you consume.
If your gut isn’t working properly, your body won’t be able to digest and absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat.
Third, the nutrients in our soil have been declining for the past 50-100 years, which means there are fewer nutrients in the foods we eat (2).
For instance, the magnesium content in soil in the US has greatly declined over the last 50 years, leaving an estimated two thirds of the population deficient (3).
Taking a multivitamin with minerals (like our Essentially-U) is a great way to meet both your vitamin AND mineral requirements.
When choosing a multivitamin, there’s a variety of factors to consider.
First, look at what nutrients are included. The key nutrients that should always be included in a multivitamin are (4):
-Vitamin D: important for calcium absorption, brain health, and immunity. Look for one with at least 1,000 IU in the form of Vitamin D3
-Magnesium: needed for over 300 biochemical processes in the body including nerve and muscle regulation, and blood sugar and blood pressure support. Look for at least 200 mg in an easy to digest chelate form.
-Folate: plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells, and is especially important during pregnancy. Aim for at least 400 mcg in a fully methylated form (with Quatrefolic ® being the best form)..
-B12 : is critical for DNA formation, and keeping blood cells healthy. Look for a supplement with at least 200 mcg in the form of methylcobalamin.
-K2: involved in blood clotting, calcium absorption, and heart health. Aim for at least 50 mcg of MK-7 form of K2 (MenaQ7®).
Along with the nutrients a multivitamin provides, looking at the quality of the supplement is especially important.
Due to the lack of regulation in the supplement industry, it’s best to look for a supplement that has been 3rd party tested.
This means the supplement is tested for quality from an outside party, and is verified to contain the ingredients it says it contains, and nothing else (5).
Another important factor when choosing a multivitamin is to look for branded ingredients.
Branded ingredients are specialized ingredients that have additional research showing their effectiveness.
Research has found multivitamins are safe, as long as you take as directed and use a high quality supplement.
When it comes to taking supplements, more of a nutrient isn’t always a good thing. For example, taking too much of fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin A or E, can be toxic when taken in excess.
In addition, if you’re taking any medications or dealing with serious health concerns, it’s best to work with a healthcare provider to ensure certain nutrients aren’t interacting with medications or other supplements you’re taking.
Multivitamins should never replace a balanced diet, and taking a one-per-day Multivitamin is not the best option for filling in nutrient gaps.
When considering taking a multivitamin, verify the quality of the brand and whether or not it has the right amount of nutrients you need.
Summer is finally here.
It's time for weekend barbecues, warm and lingering nights under the stars, and odds are, a lot of sweating. Even a brisk walk from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned car is enough to start dripping.
Sweating is a natural and necessary process.
However, prolonged and heavy sweating can lead to electrolyte deficiencies, if you are not careful to replenish what you may have lost.
Beat the heat this summer and learn how you can keep your electrolyte levels in check.
Major electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and bicarbonate.
These tiny, electrically charged substances are essential for your body to function. The tightly controlled movement of electrolytes throughout your body keeps muscles contracting, neurons firing, and your heart beating.
In other words, electrolytes are vital for your health and athletic performance. Even if your athletic performance consists of sprinting inside to get out of the heat.
The human body is normally very good at maintaining appropriate levels of electrolytes. But with excessive sweating and urine losses during extreme heat or exercise, electrolyte imbalances can happen.
Certain medical conditions can also lead to excessive loss of electrolytes.
If you have been ill with vomiting or diarrhea, have high blood sugar levels from poorly controlled diabetes, or take diuretics, you might fall in this category.
Signs of electrolyte deficiencies can include:
*If you notice any of these more severe symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
Depending on how long you will be active, how hot it is outside, and how much you sweat, you may need to replenish your electrolytes during and/or after physical activity.
The electrolytes you are most likely to lose in sweat include sodium and chloride, which is why you will find these on the ingredients list in sports drinks and electrolyte salts.
While sports drinks are an easy way to replace electrolytes, fluids, and carbohydrates, think of them as an emergency option.
Don’t reach for them right away.
Generally speaking, supplementation with carbohydrates and electrolytes during exercise is only needed if you will be working out for longer than an hour.
If you will be doing a long or strenuous workout, get your electrolytes by adding electrolyte salts to plain water.
You can even add regular table salt, about ¼ teaspoon per liter of water.
If you are a heavy sweater but doing light activity, focus on staying hydrated during activity or active sweating, and then replace your electrolytes afterward.
Drink enough fluid while you sweat so that you never get to the point of feeling thirsty.
Don’t drink so much that you are over-hydrating.
After activity, you could replenish your electrolytes as mentioned above. Or if you’re dead set on a sports drink, choose a sugar free option.
Don’t forget to get in some whole food sources of electrolytes.
It is no accident that you can find them in nourishing foods that also contain the carbohydrates and proteins essential for recovery.
Choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt, and fresh meats.
If you know you are a “salty sweater”, don’t be afraid of adding some extra salt to your meals after a tough workout or a sweaty afternoon. Or enjoy a salty snack like pickles or pretzels.
Magnesium deserves a special mention.
This important mineral and electrolyte has been disappearing from our food supply and our bodies over the past century. As a result, many people are deficient in magnesium.
If you tend to sweat and urinate a lot, you are more likely to lose even more magnesium.
Having enough magnesium on board, particularly if you have low levels to begin with, can boost athletic performance, reduce muscle cramps, and even help improve sleep.
To replenish magnesium, focus on whole food sources like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
You can also supplement with one scoop per day of our delicious U-mag drink.
With the constant warnings about the dangers of sun exposure, most of us know the importance of sunscreen.
But sunscreens are often filled with toxic chemicals that we absorb right into our bodies (source).
Not only do these toxic ingredients affect us, but they affect the environment as well. The most common and dangerous chemicals include Oxybenzone, Butylparaben, and Octinoxate.
Oxybenzone, for example, is a popular ingredient because of its ability to absorb UV rays. But it has been shown to have a negative effect on our body’s endocrine system (source).
It is also proven to have a lethal effect on coral reefs by bleaching and poisoning the coral. Freshwater fish in lake and rivers can also be affected by the sunscreen that washes off swimmers.
The safest sunscreens for you, and for the environment, are mineral sunscreens.
These sunscreens contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These minerals work by reflecting UV rays off of your skin, and, as long as these minerals are non-nano particles, they are considered reef safe. This means they will not harm coral reefs.
So what are the best mineral sunscreens to use?
Thinksport was created with the intent to be the safest sunscreen possible. With sound science behind their product and sustainable, eco-friendly packaging, Thinksport is focused on safe, effective product for you and the environment.
We recommend Thinksport's Safe Sunscreen, SPF 50 for reef-safe heavy duty sun exposure.
Australian Gold is a brand created to protect the sun-loving outdoors men and women all over the world.
Australian Gold is focused on creating gentle and effective sun protection using both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It is also reef-safe, as well as Paraben and Phthalate free!
We recommend Australian Gold's Botanical Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30 as it contains antioxidant rich plants like Kakadu Plum, Eucalyptus and Red Algae.
Badger sunscreen is not only reef-friendly, but it’s also organic and GMO free! Badger is focused on keeping families, and the environment, happy and healthy.
We recommend their Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion - SPF 30 with it's moisturizing aloe and sunflower oil.
Many sunscreens contain pore-clogging oils that can cause breakouts.
Supergoop is an excellent option, especially for those who have acne-prone skin.
All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen is made from of zinc oxide and several skin nourishing ingredients including aloe, calendula, green tea, and rose hips. They recommended using after moisturizer for a smoother application. This product is reef-friendly too!
So you know which sunscreens to use, but how should you use them?
Try these tips!
- Follow the directions given by the sunscreen maker. Different brands have different recommended usages and reapplication times.
- Always do a patch test to make sure you don't react to any of the ingredients before applying all over. Apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow, and wait a few minutes. If burning, itching, or redness occurs, do not use the product!
- Test out sunscreen before major sun exposure! Should a brand not work for you, you don't want to find out halfway through your day! Try out new sunscreens on a day where you don't need to be in the sun for hours, should you start to burn.
- Pack a rash guard and a hat, you may need more sun protection around midday or if you start to burn.
- Don't forget your scalp, ears, and lips can burn too! Apply sunscreen or keep them covered!
Don't see your favorite brand? Let us know! We'd love your feedback!
Everyone experiences sore muscles after a workout, but for beginners especially, it can be discouraging.
Fortunately, you can reduce the soreness that comes with your workout by implementing the recovery tips below.
Anytime you engage in a physical activity, you are placing a demand on the muscles within your body. This is the process of “breaking down” muscle tissue. Once a muscle has been broken down, the body immediately begins to repair it, making it stronger than before.
Recovery means rebuilding the muscle you broke down during exercise. What you do during recovery will determine the condition your muscles will be in for your next workout.
Here are the 5 things you should do after exercise to improve your muscle recovery.
Tip 1 – Hydrate Correctly
Proper hydration is foundational for optimal health and wellness. But many people casually dismiss it.
Your muscles are made up of 75% water (source). This means that water is an important component to keeping your muscles healthy and getting them to work efficiently. In addition, there are hundreds of other cellular reactions in the body which also require water. Just by sweating alone, you lose both water and electrolytes.
According to a study, the average person (in the US) drinks about 3.9 cups of water everyday. This is woefully short of what your body needs.
You might be asking how much water should you really be drinking per day?
In general, for an active adult, the rough estimate is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day.
If you are wondering, the food, veggies, soda, and coffee you already consume do count toward your water total. The body just has to convert them to a more usable form.
Fish oil contains Omega-3’s, fatty acids that help to reduce workout-derived inflammation (source). This is important because as you exercise, you are causing your muscles to breakdown.
This muscle breakdown creates inflammation in the body (don’t worry, this is good inflammation). This inflammation cues your body to begin the rebuilding and recovering process. Omega-3’s help reduce that inflammation and reduce soreness during recovery.
Consider a high quality fish oil supplement such as Utzy’s U-Omega.
When buying fish oil, look for a high quality, natural triglyceride fish oil. This is the natural form of fish oil, and has the best absorption in your body.
Eating the right types of food can also help rebuild your muscles during the recovery phase. Good muscle recovery foods are those high in potassium.
High potassium foods include:
A study with tart cherry juice showed that cherries might be effective in aiding recovery and reducing muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress. Cherries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, which help with inflammation and muscle recovery.
In addition to the above mentioned foods, protein is also crucial for muscle recovery. Protein is the building block of muscle
High protein foods include:
According to a recent study, eating or drinking protein at night improves overnight muscle recovery.
In a 2012 report, researchers looked at 17 studies involving 400 people. It consisted of a 60°F ice bath for at least five minutes after exercise. This reduced muscle soreness by 20 percent compared to those who had not had an ice bath.
If a full body ice bath does not sound appealing, add a cold pack to sore muscles for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off to aid in recovery. Adding cold will constrict blood vessels to help with swelling.
Hot therapy increases blood flow to the area after swelling has subsided. Heat therapy generally consists of dry heat, using heating pads or packs, or wet heat, meaning hot baths and saunas.
This 1-2 punch is an effective combo. Limit the exposure time to 20 minutes at a time for both hot and cold therapy on muscles or joints.
One of the most under-rated activities for muscle recovery is self-massage. Use it as a supplement for those days you can’t make it to see your massage therapist.
You can always use your hands to massage sore muscles. However, another option is to invest in a massage aid.
The TP BuddieRx is an anatomical muscle recovery stick designed to help you maintain healthy muscles. Learning how to use it will help you to reduce muscle soreness and zone in on specific trigger points. This can be especially helpful if you have a knot in your calf.
Aside from all the technical information, you can use your body to teach you what to fix. Sore and painful muscles will lead you to the correct muscle groups to massage.
After you find a sore muscle, then massage with long strokes up and down the length of the muscle to isolate the place where the pain is originating.
Alternating pressure on this muscle knot for 5-15 seconds will improve soreness and lessen the pain. This is best done on lower body muscles where access is easy.
This only takes 15 minutes or less a day. Do it when you are winding down your day, it will help to relax your body and mind.
Exercise does amazing things at any age. Keeping your body and muscles healthy after exercise is a learning process. Muscle recovery is personal, but incorporate these fundamental tips to ensure you stay active for many more years to come.
Are you squinting too often because you forgot to wear your sunglasses, or staring at a bonfire for hours at night?
These habits can lead to damage to the eyes. Although eye health is not commonly talked about, it’s particularly important to focus on during the summer months. (1).
This article will discuss four ways to improve your eye health during the bright summer months to keep them healthy and safe all year long.
Let’s first talk about why improving your eye health in the summer is even important.
First, we’re exposed to much more sunlight in the summer, and sunlight gives us UV rays. When the sun reflects off surfaces such as water or sand, the UV rays can bounce back into our eyes.
This can lead to a painful condition called photokeratitis; a condition that is similar to having a sunburn on the eye.
Another problem that can happen is the development of cataracts (or the clouding of the lens of the eye). Unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays is a cause of this (2).
Lastly, eye cancer or uveal melanoma can develop with frequent unprotected sun exposure. Individuals who have light-colored eyes are at highest risk for developing eye cancer (3).
All in all, without the proper eye protection, we can become at risk for some painful health conditions.
Along with food, adding in supplements to get these nutrients can also be helpful. For example, taking our U-Omega supplement is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough Omega-3’s on a daily basis.
Remember that not all sunglasses block 100% of the UV rays. If you’re unsure of the level of protection of your sunglasses, get them evaluated through your eye doctor 6).
Eye health is something that’s often neglected, but the summer months can bring a lot of strain to our eyes.
It’s important to protect your eyes with not only the right sunglasses, but also good nutrition, rest, and taking a break from electronics.
Is it possible to get sun-kissed this summer and still skip the skin damage?
Learn how you can harness the benefits of sunlight and keep your skin healthy and radiant all summer long.
The first and most well-known benefit of sun exposure is the big vitamin D boost you get from even brief moments in the sun. The same ultraviolet radiation (UV) that we are often taught to fear helps your body produce vitamin D from sunlight.
The definition of a healthy blood level of vitamin D continues to spark debate. However, many experts recommend daily protected sun exposure and/or a vitamin D supplement to keep blood levels where they belong.
In fact, the further north people live from the equator, the more likely they are to develop certain kinds of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and mood disorders. Lower amounts of UV, often resulting in lower levels of vitamin D, are thought to be responsible.
Ever noticed how much better you feel when you step out to get some air?
Spending time in the sun can affect your body’s production of serotonin and endorphins. Elevated serotonin levels are linked to improved mood while endorphins may help your body manage stress.
People that do not get enough sunlight exposure tend to have lower levels of serotonin.
Some researchers believe that these lower levels may be responsible for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where people report lower moods during non-summer months when UV is the lowest.
The third and most surprising benefit may be the relationship between sunlight exposure and better sleep.
Keeping melatonin levels in balance helps you stay sleepy at nighttime and feel alert and energetic during the day. In one study of nursing home residents, daily sunlight exposure during the summer months had impressive results.
After just 6 weeks, residents reported improved sleepiness at night, elevated alertness during the day, and overall improved feelings about their health.
So if you want to sleep better at night, get enough of your sunshine vitamin, and have a better mood, spend a little bit of time in the sun every day.
A sunburn is the most obvious and painful sign of too much sun exposure.
But UV exposure without skin protection, whether it is from the sun or a tanning bed, can cause skin damage.
Early signs of skin damage include redness, age spots, loose skin, or a ruddy complexion. Too much UV exposure can also cause skin cancer.
Because the benefits of sunshine cannot be ignored, the World Health Organization (WHO) does encourage spending about 5-15 minutes in the sun with arms, hands, and face exposed about 2-3 times per week.
In addition to spending time outdoors, most people still need a vitamin D supplement to maintain healthy blood levels, especially outside of the summer months.
Get your level tested and talk about your Vitamin D needs with your healthcare provider.
Wear sunscreen if you plan to be outside for longer than 15 minutes or if you notice your skin starting to redden.
Whether dashing out the door on the way to work or sunbathing, sunscreen needs to be part of your daily routine. Due to some recent controversy, picking the right type has gotten a bit more confusing.
Most professional health organizations recommend a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. A broad spectrum sunscreen blocks both kinds of UV, which are UVA and UVB.
You should apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outdoors.
The active ingredients in broad-spectrum sunscreen often include one of about a dozen chemical UV filters.
These filters work by blocking harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin damage and skin cancer.
A recent study found that these chemical filters are absorbed all over the body when applied to the skin. This means ingredients found in sunscreen pass into the blood and may exit the body later through urine or even breastmilk.
If you are concerned about the potential risks of chemical UV filters in sunscreen, look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
These natural minerals also work as UV filters but they are not absorbed into the body the way chemical UV filters are.
Currently, the FDA also lists zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the safest and most effective UV filters on the market.
Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or sooner if you are sweating or participating in water sports. Remember to apply sunscreen on cloudy days as well.
2. Be Strategic About The Time You Spend in the Sun
Keep in mind that UV is usually the strongest between 10 am and 2 pm, so make sure to apply sunscreen if you will be outdoors for long stretches of time during these hours.
Long sleeves, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats are fashionable choices that also double as effective skin protection.
3. Look for Skin Products with Plant-Derived Compounds and Antioxidants
Skin products with plant-based antioxidants can also help protect your skin from sun damage.
For example, propolis, which is found in plants and collected by honeybees, has been shown to reduce inflammation and signs of UV damage on the skin.
Green tea, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts also have similar effects when applied to the skin.
Products that contain the vitamins ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and vitamin E are particularly effective at helping you block UV rays as well.
Please note: The words glyphosate and GMO’s are used interchangeably throughout this article.
Glyphosate (Roundup) is the most popular pesticide used worldwide. It has a broad spectrum of uses, but its most popular use is in crops in the form of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s).
GMO’s are living organisms that are developed from DNA from a plant and artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering.
This dividing of DNA to a new crop results in a new crop that would not exist naturally and is intended to supply the same desirable traits (1).
The role of GMO’s is to help crops become resistant to herbicides.
New technologies are also being used to help with other areas such as the resistance of browning in crops (such as in apples), and creating completely new organisms with artificial biology (1).
You may have heard that GMO’s are beneficial since they can help increase crop yield. The problem is, research is finding that they can do more harm than good (2).
A big concern is the association with glyphosate exposure and the frequency of cancer.
A study from the International Journal of Clinical Medicine concluded that high glyphosate pollution is associated with increased frequencies of cancer, and in March 2015, the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans” (5, 6, 7).
In fact, there have been three lawsuits just this year awarded against Monsanto, the company that created glyphosate claiming that glyphosate causes cancer.
One of those lawsuits was from a California man named John Barton who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015, and claimed that using glyphosate for decades was the cause of his cancer.
In addition to those lawsuits, there are 11,000 current pending complaints against Monsanto (7).
Whichever side you agree with, know that there is a lack of independent long-term studies showing the long-term safety of GMO’s on our health.
In my opinion, GMO’s should be avoided.
In fact, other countries such as France and Germany are currently banning the use of GMO’s on their crops (8).
In addition, supporting GMO-containing foods may decrease business for organic farmers, who provide not only nutritious food but may also support the environment and improve soil and water quality (9).
As with any area of health, it’s important to be your own advocate and and know exactly where your food is coming from.
There’s a variety of ways to avoid GMO’s.
One way is to buy products with the Non-GMO Project Verified or Non-GMO Certified logo on the package.
More companies are joining the Non-GMO Project, which is a company whose mission is to build and protect the public with non-GMO food supply. You can find companies that are Non-GMO Project Verified here.
Another way to avoid GMO’s is to choose organic for produce. Organic produce means there has not been any GMO’s used in the development of that crop.
If you’re unable to buy organic for all your produce, focus on choosing organic for the most popular GMO-containing crops such as
- Yellow Squash
- Sugar Beets.
Another way to avoid GMO’s is to look at the source of your meat and dairy products. Many animals are fed GMO-containing feed, so learning what animals are eating can also be helpful (10).
GMO’s have been around since the 1970’s, and there is still a lot of controversy regarding their health impact.
As a dietitian, I recommend to be your own advocate and learn where your food products are coming from, what the animals you consume are eating, and choose food companies that value your health.
Should you eat before bed? Unfortunately, the answer to this question varies based on who you ask.
Some experts blame bedtime eating for poor health and unhealthy weight gain. Others disagree, and research exists to support both sides.
But not so fast. Don’t put the snacks away just yet.
Keep reading as we dive into the science of eating before bed and whether or not you should have that snack.
Some research has linked eating before bed with increased body mass, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
However, bedtime eating itself may not be the culprit. Many times, other behaviors that often go hand in hand with bedtime eating can cause problems.
For example, let’s say you skip breakfast.
By dinnertime, you likely speed straight past hungry and into ravenous territory. Thanks to those powerful hunger hormones, your body demands pizza. That baked fish you were planning on having becomes a distant memory.
Many breakfast skippers develop the habit of eating very heavy meals late in the evening.
This can be problematic because of what's known as circadian misalignment.
Generally speaking, our bodies run on a 24-hour biological clock. The daylight hours are known as the active phase and night hours are the inactive phase. During the active phase is when our bodies are best prepared to digest and burn the food we eat as fuel.
The body has a greater tendency to store extra calories as fat and does not process carbohydrates as well during the inactive phase.
This is why some experts believe nighttime eating can lead to weight gain and altered blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Eating late may also lead to overeating simply due to being awake for long hours.
But the truth is, not everyone who eats late winds up gaining more weight or facing more health problems.
How bedtime eating will affect your body and your health differs based on your unique lifestyle.
Always talk it over with your doctor or registered dietitian before you make any major changes in your eating habits.
If you have a small snack before bed and usually eat most of your meals during the day, there are some potential upsides.
For some, having a small snack before going to bed might prevent waking up in the middle of the night to snack.
In one study, researchers recruited 84 men and women who reported nighttime snacking and instructed half of them to add a bowl of cereal for a bedtime snack.
After just four weeks, those who had the cereal reduced their nighttime snacking and actually lost a small amount of weight.
It seems that having a small snack before bedtime may help some people cut down on nighttime snacking that could be contributing to weight gain.
Another possible benefit of having a bedtime snack is improved muscle synthesis and strength.
In another study, researchers had 22 young men drink a protein shake every night before bed while they completed a 12-week resistance training program.
Researchers found that muscle strength and size increased more in the group that had the shake, compared to the group that didn’t.
Meal timing and bedtime eating is an area of research that needs further exploration.
But if you want a bedtime snack, go for it.
Just take care to select an appropriate snack.
Avoid having very fatty foods or large meals right before bed.
Try to have your largest meal no later than early evening.
If you do find yourself getting hungry before bed, a small snack is ok.
Most research studies that show benefits of a bedtime snack have provided participants with high protein drinks or snacks that contain less than 200 calories.
You can plan to have your bedtime snack whenever you feel like it!
There is not a magic window for most people, but there are a couple of considerations.
Those who are athletic should have meals and snacks within a few hours of working out. A replenishing bedtime snack contains both protein and a bit of carbohydrate.
Eating late can worsen acid reflux, so it may be wise for those with this problem to stop eating several hours before bed.
Choose snacks that contain a decent amount of protein but aren't too heavy. For example:
In conclusion, eating before bed can sometimes be bad, but it depends on what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat most of your meals.
With a few simple guidelines, your bedtime snack does not need to negatively impact your health or sleep. In fact, read our article on 10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep Better!
No matter how often you clean your house, there will always be pollen, dust, and dirt. And sometimes, these aren’t just minor annoyances, they can have a major impacts on your health.
That’s why it’s important to limit the amount of dust and pollen in your home as much as possible.
Here are a few good ideas to get started.
Below, we’ve written down 15 tricks for removing dust and pollen from your home.
Please share this post with your friends and family using the share buttons to the side – help us spread the word!
You spend a lot of time laying on your bed (a third of your day in fact). Making sure that your sheets are free of pollen and other dust contaminates is vitally important. Old, used sheets collect all sorts of dust and skin flakes. The solution to this is to wash your sheets (and pillowcases) on a weekly basis. Also, change into clean clothing before spending time on soft surfaces like beds and sofas, especially if you’ve been outside. You should also make sure that your sheets are made of natural fibers like cotton, linen, or even wool!
A dehumidifier helps to reduce the levels of humidity in your house. It is one of the best ways to help dust mite control, since dust mites are sensitive to humidity. Make sure to keep your dehumidifier tray clean and dry, and the air filters clear.
Use a microfiber and go over all of the furniture and surfaces in your house. Microfiber cloths have special fibers that are able to clean up even the smallest of dust particles. This is a great solution for removing those pesky dust mites!
This tip is a no-brainer! Make sure to regularly vacuum your house. This will eliminate a good amount of the pollen, dust, and contaminants present in your house. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner, make sure to go with one with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. These premium vacuums help to remove 99.9% of the pollen, animal dander, and bacteria from the air. Use the hose attachment to clean spots where dust tends accumulate such as on vents, ceiling fan blades, and floorboards.
Sweeping tends to stir dust up into to air, but giving your floor a good mopping afterward will pick up any of the dust that you missed. The longer you leave dust, the harder it will be to remove it, so use a mop!
Dust particles and other air contaminants can hide in cushions and rugs. When cleaning them, hang your rugs outside on a railing or clothesline, and place your cushions on a clean spot on your driveway or porch. You can use a broom handle or a carpet beater to beat them. Continue to beat them until you can no longer see dust fly off when you hit them. You may want to use a dust mask and protective glasses while you do this.
Keep an eye on your pet’s fur. Regularly brush and comb them. When grooming your pet, make sure to do it outside, or at least on a hard surface (i.e. not on your carpet). Thoroughly vacuum any soft surfaces your pet may shed on frequently. If you can, you should also give your pet regular baths. This will remove the dust trapped in their fur. Also, keep pets out of your bedroom! Pets bring in not only their own hair and dander, but dust and pollen particles can also hitch a ride in on their fur. Definitely not something you want on your pillow!
Go on the offense! Use an air purifier to trap all those nasty dust particles. Make sure to place your air purifier close to areas where dust can blow in (next to windows and doors are great options). Using an air purifier will help to prevent airborne contaminants from getting in and circulating around your house. You can also use plants to purify your air, to read more it, check out our article, 7 Air Purifying Plants For Your Home.
Dirty air vents contain dust particles. Making sure they are clean is an important step for improving overall air quality and improving ventilation. Just know, it is probably best to have your air ducts professionally cleaned. Professional cleaners have special tools that remove almost all of the bad air contaminants. You can’t get that level of cleanliness with a quick vacuum. The good news is that you only need them cleaned every 3-5 years, unless you live in a very dry, dusty climate, in which case you will want to get them cleaned more frequently.
If your child is sensitive to dust or pollen, then it’s a good idea to keep their toys clean and limit the amount of stuffed animals they have. Buy washable toys made out of materials like wood, rubber, or plastic, and store them in an airtight box to help keep out dust. You may also want to keep the toys of your child’s bedroom as an extra precaution.
Open windows on a dry day can lead to dust particles and pollen flying right into your living environment. Opening them on a damp day can result in mold. Keep them closed and stop air contaminants from entering your home.
Make sure to remove your shoes when indoors. Leaving shoes on will track dirt and dust from outside into your home. You should leave shoes on a hard surface near your door to avoid walking across any carpeting. If you don’t have a tile or wood floor entryway, look into getting a rubber mat to place near the door. Slippers are an excellent option for indoors!
Carpet holds a TON of dust. In addition to that, each time you take a step on carpet, it releases dust into the air. If you’re truly set on reducing the dust in your home, consider installing a wood floor, or another hard surface like stone, tile, or vinyl flooring. This will go a long way toward reducing the dust present in your home.
Prevent outside dirt and dust from invading your home by getting a doormat and leaving it outside your front door. Make sure to wash your feet before coming inside your house. Also, make sure to periodically clean your doormat, it too can collect dust and dirt.
Check the lint collector in your dryer and clean the dust from it. This will not only help to keep your appliance running smoothly, it will also prevent dust from flying around every time you open the door. Lint buildup can also be a fire hazard, so keep it clean!
So there you have it. Use these 15 tips and start breathing easier. If we missed anything, comment your favorite cleaning tips below!
Are you guilty of believing the common myth about exercise, “No pain no gain”?
For many of us, the word “exercise” brings to mind images of struggling through a punishing workout and then collapsing in exhaustion as we tell ourselves “well done.”
Well, the time has come to put this myth to bed.
In reality, exercise does not have to be painful or very intense for us to reap major benefits. For those of us who want to avoid high impact exercise (think jumping or running), low impact exercise works just as well.
Low impact exercise has the power to protect joints, boost moods, improve physical fitness, and keep our bodies and minds healthy for longer. Ready to learn how?
Low impact exercise describes any joint friendly movements where one foot always stays on the ground.
In addition to reducing risk of injury (as compared to high-impact activities), it may be a safer option for those of us who are pregnant, recovering from joint or spinal injuries, or just getting started with working out.
You can break up those 30 minutes into several 10 minute chunks throughout the day.
It still counts.
If you want to get your heart rate up without putting more stress on your bones or joints, increase the frequency, intensity, or amount of time you spend doing low impact activities.
To keep things interesting, incorporate several different types of activities and invite others to join you.
Walking is the simplest form of low impact exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a place to walk.
Add more walking into your day by parking a 5 minute walk away from your destination.
You added 10 minutes of activity each time you walk to and from your car.
Make walking more fun by getting together with some coworkers on your lunch break.
Consider getting (or borrowing) a dog to keep you company.
Did you know dog owners are much more likely to meet recommended daily physical activity levels? Hint hint.
Biking can be leisurely or intense, depending on your preference. Enjoy a ride outdoors, hop on a stationary bike with your favorite TV show or magazine, or join a cycling class.
You can even build biking into your daily routine by biking to work. Working up to an active biking commute can benefit your health, the environment, and your wallet.
Turn the music up, wherever you are, and dance. Dancing is an effective way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
There is even some evidence that dancing in your later years helps your brain function more effectively.
Up the fun by taking lessons with a partner or signing up for a Zumba class.
Taking the stairs can level up your fitness on your way up. Making the simple switch from the elevator to the stairs is a habit that will get you in shape before you know it.
If you don’t have an opportunity to climb real stairs, try using the stairmaster at the gym or walking up and down bleachers.
Water activities include a variety of options such as swimming laps, water jogging, aqua walking, aerobics, and more. As a bonus, you can do water activities year round without breaking a sweat. All the while, you get healthier and give your joints a gravity-free break.
One study found that swimming reduced joint stiffness and pain while improving strength after three months.
Depending on the pose, you may not technically have both feet on the ground all the time with this one. But yoga can help improve balance, flexibility, and be an effective stress reliever.
Join a group class or pull up some videos on YouTube to get started.
Gardening connects you with nature and can be a very rewarding form of activity.
You also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Many gardeners report benefits such as less stress, improved mental and physical health, and even better eating habits.
Get a plot at a local community garden or simply put some pots outside and get started.
Resistance training builds muscle, strengthens bones, and may improve stability around your joints.
Start with completing one set of 8-10 repetitions of exercises for each major muscle group, up to twice per week. Ask staff at the gym to make sure you have correct form.
Resistance training should be done in combination with other activities for optimal fitness and strength.
You can also supplement with Utzy's Vitamin K2 to help you build stronger bones.
Read more on how Vitamin K2 can help you strengthen your bones naturally in our article, "5 Natural Ways to Improve Bone Strength"