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Tips to Stay Hydrated in the Summer HEAT!

Water is the most essential nutrient and substance after air for sustaining life. The human body is composed of approximately 60% water. Lean body mass (muscle) contains more water than fat, 70 to 75% versus approximately 40% for fat. Thus, men’s bodies, as well as athletes’ bodies, that have more proportionately more lean muscle tissue, contain more water than bodies with less lean muscle mass and more fat.

The functions of water in the human body are many. It is the medium in which all biochemical reactions occur, is essential for removing waste and transporting nutrients, maintaining blood volume and circulation throughout the body and maintaining body temperature. Regulating body temperature is particularly important in hot weather and during exercise (inside or outside, especially in hot weather).

During physical activity, your internal temperature raises. This heat travels through your bloodstream to your skin. This causes you to sweat, your bodies’ attempt to cool. Evaporated sweat cools your body…returning your body temperature to normal, which is important for optimal function. You must replenish fluids regularly. Once you feel thirst, you have lost approximately 1% of your body fluid. A 2% water loss can cause noticeable adverse symptoms, such as extreme fatigue. Fluid needs depend upon external factors as well – even the clothing you are wearing!!

Top Hydration Tips

  1. Drink enough fluids to prevent thirst. Hydrating fluids include: water, tea, coffee (try iced in summer), juices/diluted juices, milk and soups. Caffeine (in tea and coffee) was once considered to be a diuretic but recent research suggest that a slight diuretic effect doesn’t discount their hydrating properties. If you don’t enjoy plain water, try carbonated water or add natural flavoring to it (mint leaves, cucumber slices, citrus fruit wedges).
  2. Monitor your urine color and volume. It should be a pale yellow color. If it is dark yellow, cloudy or pungent (in odor) you may be dehydrated.
  3. Consume five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily. All foods contain SOME water, but fruits and vegetables are higher in water content than other foods and can help quench your thirst. Keep melons, citrus fruits, juicy pears, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, etc…
  4. Alcohol is very dehydrating and when consuming alcohol, your urine may indicate you are hydrated when in fact, you are not. Alternate sips of your alcoholic beverage with water; never exercise with a hangover and consume alcohol in moderation.


Calories etc: How many calories do I need?

If you have a calculator, then you can figure out how many calories you need. Sure, there are dozens of online calculators, but either of the following expert-recommended mathematical equations are super accurate for calculating your calorie needs. One (the Harris-Benedict equation) uses the metric system. Both formulas yield a similar result.

What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

The first step for either formula is to calculate your BMR. This is, quite simply, the minimum amount of energy (in calories) you need daily to sustain life. BMR factors in not only your height and weight, but your age. BMR declines every decade beyond age 30, some say up to 10%. This impacts your calorie needs – you need fewer calories daily to maintain your weight as you age. Calculating BMR is only the first step. You need to multiply that number by a physical activity level (PAL), also known as an activity factor. Choose this number based upon your exercise level and lifestyle (active or sedentary job).

Calculations for calories needed

Harris-Benedict Equation:
Men = 66 + (6.3 x weight in lbs) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR
Women = 655 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation:
Men = 10 x (weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 x age in years) + 5 = BMR
Women = 10 x (weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 x age in years) – 161 = BMR

The next step is to multiply your BMR by the most suitable physical activity factor (keep in mind that most individuals overestimate their level of physical activity):

Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
Light activity = BMR x 1.375
Moderately active = BMR x 1.55
Very active = BMR x 1.725
Extremely active/Athletic = BMR x 1.9 or more

Using the Harris-Benedict Equation, the BMR for a 40 year-old man, 5’10” and 164 lbs = 1,730 calories
Using the Mifflin St-Jeor formula, the BMR for the same man = 1,661 calories

Calories to lose or gain weight

Now, if you want to gain or lose weight, you need to go a step farther. To lose 1 lb in one week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. The best way to do this is to decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. You can do this by cutting down on the calories you consume and/or increasing the amount of calories you burn by increasing your exercise intensity, frequency and/or duration. The reverse is true for gaining weight.

Top Nine Ways to Slash Your Cholesterol

Why should I care about my cholesterol level?
High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can form plaque in artery walls. The cholesterol or plaque build-up causes arteries to become thicker, harder and less flexible, slowing down and sometimes blocking blood flow to the heart.

“When blood flow is restricted, angina (chest pain) can result. When blood flow is severely impaired and a clot stops blood flow completely, a heart attack results.”

So…take the following recommendations to heart ♥:

1.) Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains.

2.) Make the mainstay of your diet fat-free dairy products, fish, legumes (beans), skinless poultry and lean meats are the mainstay of your diet.

3.) Choose fats and oils with liquid/tub margarine, canola and olive oils and no trans fats.

4.) Balance the number of calories you eat with the number you use each day. (To find that number, multiply the number of pounds you weigh now by 15 calories. This represents the average number of calories used in one day if you’re moderately active. If you’re sedentary, multiply your weight by 13 instead of 15. Less-active people burn fewer calories).

5.) Maintain a level of physical activity that keeps you fit and matches the number of calories you eat. Walk or do other activities for at least 30 minutes on most days.

6.) Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks, and candy that have lots of sugars.

7.) Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, such as whole milk, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and egg yolks.

8.) Try to limit salt. Even if you do not have a heart condition, overdoing on the salt is never a good idea.

9.) Have no more than one alcoholic drink per day if you’re a woman and no more than 2 if you’re a man. Examples of one drink include: 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1 ½ oz of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz of 100-proof spirits.