1. Are Protein Bars Actually Good for You?
Or are they just glorified candy bars?
In the late 1980s, two distance runners who were living together in the Bay Area blended vitamins, oat bran, milk protein and corn syrup in their kitchen, concocting what would become a PowerBar, one of the first modern protein bars. By the mid 1990s, it was a phenomenon — what one writer for The New York Times called “a high octane snack for yuppies and fitness freaks.”
Today, though, protein bars are everywhere, and their branding has expanded far beyond exercise fanatics. They’re presented as healthy snacks for when you’re on the go or even as part of a self-care routine. Grocery stores, gas stations, bodegas, gyms and pharmacies now carry colorfully wrapped hunks of whey protein, marketed as energy-supplying health foods, despite coming in flavors like cookie dough and lemon cake. The global market for protein bars is growing quickly and expected to swell to more than $2 billion by the end of 2026, according to the financial analysis site, MarketWatch.
More...from the New York Times.
2. Dutch study: Two thirds of pro riders have poor bone health:
Research by a Dutch university has shown a high prevalence of low bone density in pro riders, putting them at risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.
A study by a Dutch university has shown a high prevalence of low bone density in professional cyclists, putting them at an increased risk of fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis.
The research conducted by the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen, Netherlands, concluded that two-thirds of professional cyclists had poor bone density. A total of 93 elite and professional riders, both male and female, took part in the study.
According to the study, low bone density particularly affected women early in their careers, while it impacted both men and women in the later stages of their careers. It added that density rates “may not fully recover” after a rider stopped racing with a “substantial prevalence” shown in retired professionals, too.
3. Garmin Forerunner 955 review: The best runner's watch, period:
Outside of the Forerunner 955 vs. 255 rivalry, you won't find another running watch this good. Though that isn't to say it's entirely flawless.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 provides a veritable ton of data for runners and cyclists, guiding you before, during, and after an activity with all the personal information and trends you could ever want. It's certainly more of a fitness watch than a health-tracking watch, and you can turn to the Forerunner 255 to get most of the same perks for cheaper. But if you're already spending hundreds on a watch that'll last you years, you'll absolutely want to consider spending just a bit more.
More...from Android Central.
4. Want To Live Longer? Study Says to Eat Like This:
It’s no surprise that what people eat has an impact on their health, but trying to pinpoint exactly what diet out of the hundreds out there is most optimal for a long, healthy life can be overwhelming.
It’s no surprise that what people eat has an impact on their health, but trying to pinpoint exactly what diet out of the hundreds out there is most optimal for a long, healthy life can be overwhelming. A new study reports that there is no one optimal diet for longevity, but several general eating patterns that can shift life expectancy.
Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the study found that one can reduce their risk of an early death by nearly 20 percent by eating foods from one of four healthy eating patterns: A Mediterranean diet, a plant-based diet, the Alternative Healthy Eating Index and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (more on those below). All four eating patterns emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Professor and chair of Harvard’s Department of Nutrition, Dr. Frank Hu, said in a statement, “It is critical to examine the associations between DGAs– recommended dietary patterns and long-term health outcomes, especially mortality.”
More...from Outside Online.
5. The five-minute fix: how to improve your fitness, strength and posture at super-quick speed:
In the time it takes to make a cup of tea, you can build your core muscles, increase hip flexibility and stave off the effects of sitting at your desk all day.
One of the toughest aspects of building a new year fitness habit is finding the time. Even in our hybrid-working world, it can feel like carving out just 30 minutes a couple of times a week is an impossible ask. But everyone has five minutes: it’s about a third as long as people spend looking for something to watch on Netflix. And although five minutes might not seem like much, if you keep your efforts focused, you will start to see results – as well as building the foundations of a longer-term habit. So pick an area to work on and get the egg timer going.
Desk jobs tend to build bad posture, and not everything you do in the gym will help – the typical “bench bro” routine can lead to a forward hunch that will set you up for problems down the line. “Posture is really about back strength,” says Helen O’Leary, a physiotherapist and clinical pilates instructor. “The more the muscles in the back of your body work, the more they will hold you up against gravity.” Use these three movements in a circuit, doing each once.
More...from The Guardian.
6. I found healing for my eating disorder in the most unexpected place: The gym:
For some people, the gym is a haven. Community. Release. Movement.
For others, the gym is a nightmare. The treadmills scream. Five more minutes. Turn the incline up a notch. Pick up the pace up, girl, it doesn’t matter that you might collapse.
The gym is full of people with bodies that look better, perform better and exist better than yours, and you can’t turn away because there are mirrors everywhere. Mirrors that seem to only reflect fat, dimpled skin and every other insecurity you’ve ever had.
It’s a veritable funhouse of distortion – a gateway to whispered conversations with yourself in the changeroom shower when you’re through. You suck. You’re stupid. Everyone hates you.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
7. How Sports Psychologists Define Mental Toughness:
A new model breaks down the ability to fight through adversity into its constituent parts.
It was the cruelest twist of all. The cyclists in Christiana Bédard-Thom’s research study were 11 minutes into an all-out 20-minute time trial when—horror of horrors—the screen displaying their power, cadence, and elapsed time went blank. The researchers urged them to keep pedaling, but they had nothing to gauge their effort except their feelings. Exactly two minutes later, the screen flickered back on, magically “fixed.”
How did the riders handle this disruption? That would depend, according to Bédard-Thom’s hypothesis, on how mentally tough they were. When things go wrong, that’s when you find out how gritty you really are.
Mental toughness is a hot concept these days, among both academics and athletes. Its rise reflects the growing recognition that performance depends as much on the brain as on the body, but it has proven to be a slippery concept to define. Bédard-Thom, along with colleagues Frédéric Guay and Christiane Trottier of the University of Laval in Canada, recently presented an updated model to explain what mental toughness is and how to improve it. Her new study, published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology, puts this model to the test.
More...from Outside ONline.
8. Are you experiencing irregular heartbeats? What it tells you about your cardiac health:
Arrhythmias can be caused by ageing, previous heart disease, high blood pressure, electrolyte imbalance and genetics. Sometimes they can be a crucial indicator of future events, says Dr Balbir Singh, Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology, Cardiac, Electrophysiology-Pacemaker, Max Hospital
Often you may be halted in your tracks by a fluttering of the heart. This is because of irregular heart beats or what we call arrhythmia. Normally, the heart contracts very regularly between 60 to 120 seconds in resting and active phases but when this rhythm goes awry, we classify the condition as arrhythmia. This happens because the electrical signals that coordinate the heartbeats don’t work properly. The faulty signalling causes the heart to beat either too fast, which we call tachycardia, too slow, which we call bradycardia, or irregularly.
Sometimes, the fluttering can be harmless. Most of us have a fast or slow rate with different physical activities. For example, the heart rate may increase with intense exercise or slow down during sleep. However, sometimes arrhythmias can become serious — the heart beat becomes so chaotic that it is difficult for the body and organs to adjust their responses to this unruly pattern. And oxygenated blood may not be pumped in a manner it should to all parts of the body. That’s when a person needs an electric shock.
More...from The Indian Express.
9. What Happens to Your Body When You Take a Multivitamin Every Day:
Adding daily multivitamins to the supplement stash is a popular path to take on the journey to better health and wellness. But should you?
Eating a healthy diet is the ultimate path to optimal nutrition. For those who may fall short on critical nutrients, multivitamins and multivitamin-mineral supplements (MVM) provide a means to fill in the gaps. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one-third of Americans include MVMs in their wellness routine.
According to the Nutrition Business Journal's Supplement Business Report 2022, dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, or both, grew to $59.9 billion in 2021. Popular kitchen cabinet staples are vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Yet, according to the CDC, MVMs are the top supplement choice for all age groups. MVMs earned $8 billion in sales, 37% of total dietary supplement sales in 2020, per the NIH.
More...from Eating Well.
10.How to Become a Morning Exercise Person:
Yes, it can be done.
Sports have always been a big part of Ciarán Friel’s life. Before he became an exercise physiologist at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in New York City, he was a physical education teacher and a Gaelic football coach. He has always been active. But now that he has a desk job, he said, it’s hard to find time to work out.
Like many Americans, “I have faced the same challenges of getting up in the morning or finding time to exercise,” Dr. Friel said.
It’s not clear when the ideal time of day to exercise is. Studies have suggested that the weight loss benefits are highest in the morning, but improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol may be best in the afternoon. Realistically, it’s most effective whenever you can do it consistently.
More...from the New York Times.
11. Should you run early or late? A new study has surprising findings:
New research concluded that exercising later in the day may help control blood sugar and prevent Type 2 diabetes.
It’s a common debate among runners–is it better to run in the morning or in the evening? A new study concluded that exercising between noon and midnight could significantly lower insulin resistance compared to activity earlier in the day.
While more research needs to be done, the study raised some interesting points for those looking to manage blood sugar and prevent Type 2 diabetes.
“Our aim was to investigate associations of the timing of physical activity and breaks in sedentary time with liver fat content and insulin resistance in a middle-aged population,” lead study author Jeroen van der Velde of Leiden University Medical Center told Healthline.
What is insulin resistance and why is blood sugar important?
Key to be aware of when it comes to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance occurs when cells stop responding to insulin.
More...from Canadian Running Magazone.
12. More running means better running…to a point:
This is an excerpt from Happy Runner , The by David Roche & Megan Roche.
Nearly every runner who probes the limits of their genetic potential has a story to tell about the "Trial of Miles."
The Trial of Miles is the superhero origin story of countless runners. In John L. Parker Jr.'s cult classic novel Once a Runner, the protagonist Quenton Cassidy is expelled from college, moves to the woods, and simply begins running lots. As described by his spiritual mentor in the book: "The only true way [to maximize your running potential] is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and (if you could finally come to accept it) years."
As Cassidy learns, the secret of running training is simple: it's the "process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes."
Spoiler alert! That book ends with Cassidy winning an Olympic medal. But the main theme is that what comes from the Trial of Miles is beyond the point. The Trial of Miles is the point.
When you think about it, every complex skill in life works similarly. You never read about a well-balanced piano prodigy with a flourishing social life. You don't want a surgeon who inconsistently wields a scalpel. Running is the same. Practice might not make perfect, but it makes better. And lots of better over time will eventually get you as close to perfect as you can possibly get.
More...from Human Kinetics.
13. What grip strength can tell you about how well you’re aging:
Grip strength is closely linked to mortality in people of all incomes, and may be a better indicator of life expectancy than blood pressure.
Want to know how well you’re aging? Check your grip strength.
A recent study of 1,275 men and women found that those with relatively feeble handgrip strength, a reliable marker of overall muscle quality and strength, showed signs of accelerated aging of their DNA. Their genes appeared to be growing old faster than those of people with greater strength.
The study, although preliminary, raises the possibility that visiting the gym or doing a few push-ups in our living rooms might help turn back the clock and make our cells and selves more biologically youthful, whatever our current age.
More...from The Washington Post.
14. Under Armour Scores Trademark Win Against Women’s Wear Brand:
Does Armorina look and sound a bit too much like Under Armour?
That was a core question for Baltimore jurors who last week sided with Under Armour in the sports clothing and accessories company’s trademark lawsuit against Armorina, a women’s activewear and lifestyle brand.
Four years ago, Under Armour sued Armorina in Maryland’s federal district court for infringement, dilution and unfair competition. Under Armour, launched as a brand in 1996 and headquartered in Baltimore, argued that the Armorina name/mark “misappropriates a core of Under Armour’s branding and combines it with the feminine suffix INA.” Under Armour also pointed out Armour used branding such as “Gameday Armour,” “Baby Armour” and “Armour Stretch” in products and services.
As Under Armour saw it, consumers were “likely to confuse” Armorina with Under Armour, in part because consumers “have come to associate the Armour portion of the marks with Under Armour.” To that end, Under Armour stressed that it has long “offered a variety of apparel and accessories for women under its Armour marks,” such as the HeatGear Armour Shorty and the Armour Bra Breathe. The company has also secured celebrity endorsements with prominent women athletes and entertainers, such as Gisele Bündchen, Misty Copeland and Lindsey Vonn, to boost the brand. Not only are consumers likely to be confused, Under Armour maintained, but Armorina’s actions “are likely to dilute the distinctive quality of Under Armour’s famous” marks.
15.More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success:
A recent article published in the European Journal of Sport Science aims to compare the volume of systematic training and different training activities undertaken by a group of elite-standard long-distance runners. The overall group consisted of 55 male runners, all either 5,000m, 10,000m, half-marathon or marathon athletes and an average age of ~29 years old.
The authors split participants into three categories, defined by competition standard and IAAF points. The lowest group were those at a Spanish national level (“Nationals”), the second group were the “Europeans”, including medallists from the European Cross-Country Championships and European Track Championships, and the top group were the “Kenyans” including medallists in the World Cross-Country, World Marathon and African Championships as well as Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Whilst not explicitly mentioned, we can determine that the Kenyan group included Leonard Patrick Komon and Wilson Kipsang.
The study used participant recall (predominantly from training logs) to determine the breakdown of a typical training week 10 weeks out from major competition and did this for each participant at 1, 3, 5 and 7 years into systematic training. The authors themselves acknowledge the limitations of using a single week of training and extrapolating this (this does not account for training periodisation or fluctuation) however as the protocol was the same for each group, comparison between the groups within the study is still useful but we should be cautious when comparing these values to any other assessment of training.
More...from Sweat Elite