Real Health & Fitness Talk

The Energy Drink Scam -- Do Energy Drinks Help You, or Can They Actually Make You Fat?

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best-sellers:  The Truth About Six Pack Abs 
The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging

Today I have a little rant on energy drinks...

I receive a ton of questions about all of these new "energy" drinks that have hit the market over the last few years. They seem to be all the rage, and they promise you the world with outrageous claims of all of the super energy that you are going to have, and how you'll become the best athlete in the world, start lifting cars over your head, and get a perfect body.

So a couple questions arise:

Are these "energy" drinks really any good for you?
Do they actually increase your energy?
Do they really have some sort of magical energy formula?
Will they help you lose weight?

First of all, let's look at what most of these energy drinks are usually made of. Most of them are simply carbonated water loaded with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup (or other added sugars), caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and some crappy artificially-derived vitamins added for show to trick you into thinking there's something healthy about these concoctions.

Let's start with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Well, here we've got empty calories that will go straight to your belly fat, and that are possibly even WORSE for you than plain old refined sugar (although that's up for debate, but semantics in the big picture).  Some energy drinks use other added sugars instead of HFCS, but it doesn't really matter, because they are all gut-fattening empty calories with no nutritional benefit.

Ok, so you say that they also have low-sugar or sugar-free varieties as an alternative to the HFCS-laden energy drinks. Yes, but now you have the problem of the harmful chemicals in the artificial sweeteners which have their own set of health dangers.

Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that there are some research studies that indicate artificial sweetener use leads people to inadvertently consume more calories and gain more weight in the long run... in addition to having a negative hormonal effect in the body.  I won't go into all of the details on that topic because that would fill up an entire discussion by itself.
Just trust me that artificial sweeteners and artificial chemicals in food in general, are ALL bad news for your body!  It's never a good idea to try to "trick" your body with artificial tastes.

What about the caffeine?

Well, first of all, caffeine doesn't in itself provide "energy". Technically, the only substance that actually provides energy is calories (from carbs, protein, and fat).
However, caffeine can be an aid for livening or waking some people up, by means of stimulating the central nervous system.

Instead of caffeine artificially added to some carbonated "energy" drink, I'd rather get my caffeine from a natural source like green, white, or oolong teas (or my new favorite - yerba mate teas), which actually provide very powerful healthy antioxidants too!

Keep in mind though, if you're a regular daily coffee drinker, you probably have some level of addiction to caffeine and probably wouldn't receive too much benefit from the caffeine in an energy drink anyway.

Tip:  try to drink more tea and reduce your coffee intake to only a couple days per week max to reduce your dependency on caffeine.  Most teas contain much less caffeine than coffee, and some teas (such as green, white, and oolong) contain synergistic phytochemicals that work to slow the response of the caffeine that they do contain.  This means you get a milder response from the caffeine in green, oolong, or white teas compared to the harsher jittery response that some people get from coffee.

Now what about that so called magical blend of taurine and B-vitamins that they load into these energy drinks?

Well, big get taurine in almost any protein source. And the vast majority of those artificially added B-vitamins are simply coming right out into the toilet in your pee. Vitamins are best obtained naturally from a REAL food source, not artificially added to some carbonated drink. Your body just doesn't use fake sources of vitamins as readily as natural sources from real food.

So as you can see, in my opinion, I give all of these energy drinks a big time THUMBS DOWN!  Don't fall for the ridiculous marketing of all of these so-called "energy drinks".

Instead, here's my recipe for my own home-made energy drink:

1.  Make a big iced tea mixture using green tea, white tea, and yerba mate tea.  I like to add a little fruit flavor, so I'll use 1 tea bag of a raspberry or blueberry hibiscus tea, and then use 2-3 green and/or white tea bags, and 2-3 yerba mate tea bags, and make a gallon container of iced tea.  I just use a small amount of stevia to lightly sweeten the batch of tea.

2. I buy a container of organic coconut water from a health food store, or buy fresh coconuts to obtain the coconut water from the inside.

3.  For my healthy energy drink, I mix a half of a glass of the white/green/yerba mate iced tea mixture and fill the rest of the glass with the coconut water.

This is actually a delicious and truly healthy energy drink instead of the chemical-laden crappy energy drinks that everybody is getting suckered into buying these days.

The green, white, and yerba mate teas contain a small dose of caffeine along with a diverse mixture of powerful antioxidants and synergistic phytochemicals.  Plus, the coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes and a diversity of vitamins and minerals.  Coconut water is known to provide a good instant energy source, and also contains a small dose of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are healthy fats that are readily used for energy and also aid your immune system.

So enjoy this natural healthy energy drink, knowing that you're doing your body good instead of filling it with chemicals with normal store-bought energy drinks.

Want to learn surprising superfoods that help you to look and feel younger and leaner... The Top 10 Superfoods you need to know 

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Composition Of A Good Nutrient Rich Diet

 by: Michele Tamez

 For the human body to function well, it should be fed a good balance of vitamins and nutrients. There are three primary macro-nutrients which we consume namely protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Without these, our body won't be able to function properly. Since we cannot synthesize vitamins in sufficient quantities, they must be obtained from dietary sources. We also need several minerals for our body to function smoothly. Calcium and phosphorous, for example, aside from being important in the strengthening and lengthening of your bones are needed by your heart to pump efficiently. Salt, aside from adding flavor to your dishes, contain sodium and chlorine which help in maintaining fluid balance and producing digestive juices, respectively.
Mineral salts are ionic in nature, they help regulate pH levels in our blood and body. Maintenance of proper pH levels is crucial for the proper functioning of the body, a balanced supply of necessary mineral nutrients ensures that natural pH balance is maintained. There are also minerals which you require in lesser amounts of such as iron, iodine and zinc. While only minute levels are required, several ailments will emanate from not being able to meet the recommended dietary allowance overtime. You can get both macrominerals and trace elements from dietary sources. If your diet is deficient is essential nutrients, taking dietary supplements on a regular basis is recommended.

Beside mineral nutrients, the body needs water, you need to keep your body hydrated. 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is more than sufficient for the average person, if you have an active lifestyle, your requirement will be higher. Taking the adequate amounts of fluids is essential for the growth and maintenance of your body. It is also important in the elimination of unneeded and harmful substances from your system. Alkaline water, called so because of its slightly alkaline pH, is believed to benefit the body by reducing blood acidity.

This trend is brought about by the heightened awareness of the public to alkaline water benefits. The manufacturers of alkaline water additives claim that the regular consumption of alkaline water protects against cancer and may even slow down aging. Also called ionized water, this water preparation is mineral-rich and consequently keeps the blood pH at a neutral state. It is believed that certain food items, most notably carbonated drinks and junk foods, can make the blood acidic. When not neutralized, blood that is too acidic can have deleterious effects, like lethargy and abnormal heart rhythms.

Still there are those who do not believe in these alkaline water benefits saying further that these are overstated. The argument between believers and non-believers essentially fuels interest for the product. Ultimately, the users are the only people who can testify whether or not alkaline water works, and the present consensus is that it works.


Fat Loss Factor Book Review: Get the Body of Your Dreams with Fat Loss Factor Principles

Fat Loss Factor contains guidelines for a quick healthy lifestyle plan that can help anyone in any physical condition to lose unwanted belly fat. From the first principle of preparing for success to the last one, FLF implements a lifestyle of fitness, eating right for your body, and the mental attitude that it takes to reach your goal weight. The book is chock full of practical, down to earth advice.

Fat Loss Factor starts by measuring your basic statistics including weight, and body fat percentage. You are also asked to get photographs of yourself at the start so you can monitor your progress through the program. You're advised to check your clothing at the beginning too, because you'll likely find it to fit more loosely as you apply the principles of the program. Waist measurements are important too: women should ideally be around thirty two inches while a thirty five inch waist is ideal for men.

The program doesn't take a miracle approach to get what it promises: a lean, healthy body that you can be proud of. These goals are reached through the consistent practice of proven principles of fitness and health. For example, the book stipulates early on that a change in eating habits is essential to your physical goals. Eating healthy foods that promote fat loss, metabolism, and energy is equally important to following the exercise regimen prescribed in the book.

Once your body is cleansed and fueled by natural foods, you are introduced into some basic fat loss principles for exercise. According to the book, building muscle is essential to burning fat. That's right, you won't need any diet pills or other trendy supplements to get the body you want. The book explains how muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, giving you the ability to burn fat even when you're not working out. By working in sets and supersets, Fat Loss Factor guides you through basic exercises that will build the muscle you need without bulking up.

By the time you reach the fourth principle of fat loss, you will find out that traditional cardiovascular routines are not what you want to do for your exercise. Citing scientific research from around the world, Fat Loss Factor urges exercising in bursts or what is called burst training. By alternating between high intensity and low intensity intervals, your body burns more fat and your workout is much shorter!

Readers will find Fat Loss Factor an entertaining and informative read that will motivate them to avoid weight loss and fitness gadgets and gimmicks and steer them toward practical fat loss methods that work!

Hard to Lose Fat Secrets

I receive hundreds of questions every day from people all over the world, but by far one of the most frequently asked questions happens to be about the struggles that most people, especially moms, are having with losing that flabby stomach fat that doesn't seem to want to go away no matter what they try.
Just recently I had the pleasure of chatting with a fitness professional named Mike Geary of Now Mike is a well-known expert who deals exclusively with the most effective strategies for losing stomach fat so that you can finally uncover those elusive six pack abs that everyone desires.

Some of Mike's strategies deal with nutrition aspects and others deal with training techniques, but I was elated to see that Mike has put together one of the most extensive resources for dealing with all of the aspects necessary to finally get rid of that nasty belly fat for good.

The key is that Mike focuses on the REAL LIFE ( No pun intended ) techniques that are going to get you lasting results, and teaches you how to avoid all of these "quick-fix" scams and gimmicks that are all over the infomercials and the internet these days.

Several of the mistakes that Mike see's every day where people are going wrong in their fat loss attempts are:

1. Most people are wasting too much of their time doing hundreds of reps of ineffective crunches, situps, and other "abs pumping" exercises in their attempt at losing stomach fat.

Mike has discovered that there are certain highly effective exercises that stimulate your metabolism much better, and increase your fat burning hormone levels much more. These exercises that Mike outlines are the best of the best for getting a lean, chiseled body.

Surprisingly to most, the majority of these most effective exercises for stomach fat loss are NOT "abs-specific" exercises. Not only that, but Mike shows you how to combine and sequence them to get the best metabolic and fat loss results possible, changing the shape of your entire body.

2. Most people are wasting way too much time doing hours upon hours of boring monotonous cardio routines.

Mike has researched this topic extensively, including an entire course he's taken comparing different modalities of cardiovascular exercise. After all of this research, we've come to the conclusion that the majority of people out there are not doing the right types of cardio exercise. In fact, most people may actually be inadvertently decreasing their metabolic rate by doing too much of the wrong types of cardio! The strategies that Mike reveals in his program go beyond "interval cardio" too.

3. Most people are failing miserably with fad diets.

Mike reveals exactly why most low-carb or low-fat diets are actually working against what your body needs to become lean and ripped and maintain it for life! Mike shows you exactly how to stop falling for the gimmick diets and finally develop a truly healthy eating style that you can actually enjoy for life without being overly restrictive. It's actually easier and more enjoyable than you believe!

Go to Mike's Truth about Six Pack Abs site today and discover the exact system that Mike is using to help thousands of his clients from all over the world get leaner than they've ever been before. This system will help you to lose that stubborn stomach fat that has plagued you for years, so you can finally get that sexy six pack that you've always wanted. Here's the site:

Don't forget to visit Mike's site today, as he's giving away some great free bonus reports and other tools that might not be available much longer. 

To being lean, strong, and healthy for life!



If you're interested in taking your fat-loss efforts to an entirely new level, go to the following site and grab a free fat loss report which details 27 unique methods for boosting your metabolism and losing belly fat -Lose Belly Fat NOW!


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