The Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

The Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Professional sports are often very competitive and the need to win can be a serious driving force.  Not only do athletes have a sense of personal accomplishment, but most athletes are also pursuing their dream to break that record or win a gold medal for their country.  Performance enhancing drugs are a means to this end for some.  Using performance enhancing drugs come with risks.  These drugs include anabolic steroids, diuretics, creatine, human growth hormone and various stimulants.  Continue reading

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The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

Fitness First’s ‘Future of Fitness’ report

The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

There are a lot of technologies in the works at the moment, and each one is being developed to increase the average person’s general quality of life. From advanced artificial intelligence for the medical field to lab-grown organs, the world of technology is growing with each passing day. One sector of tech that has seen a massive surge of popularity in the last few years is virtual reality. The idea behind VR is that the user is given the chance to enter a computer-generated world, and while VR has mostly been delegated to the world of gaming, it’s now starting to see usage in other fields.

One such field is fitness and exercise, and within the next few years we could see more and more people turn away from the gym, and instead staying at home, using their VR hardware to provide the same level of exercise as they’d find at the weight machines. We’re even entering a time where players are able to play games like poker and blackjack in virtual casinos, and before long punters may even be able to bet on NRL premiership odds through the power of their VR gear at home.

The Beginning of VR Fitness

While the idea of integrating fitness into a person’s home without expensive exercise gear has been popular for decades, it didn’t begin to see real fruition until 2007 when Nintendo’s Wii Fit was launched. The idea behind the console was to provide a series of exercise games that were both healthy and fun, and it sparked the idea of a new type of home-exercise that matched even that of the local gym.

Fast-forward to about a decade later, and hardware such as the Oculus Rift began to make its mark on the modern world. For the first time in history, people had access to VR technology that actually worked as VR should, and while it’s still being developed, it opened an entirely new world of VR-based activities that could potentially dominate the market within the next few years.

Best Current VR Fitness Gear

While the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are great for gaming, other brands such as Samsung’s VR Gear have seen growth in other fields, especially in those of fitness. Armed with Google’s and special controllers, players are able to take part in a number of different sports, such as the Sports Challenge game, which involves catching American footballs that are throw at the player within the VR world.

Other activities include mountain climbing, exploring the world, and even re-enacting the Apollo space mission. Other more simple games, such as Fruit Ninja, provide a few hours of entertainment, which are both fun and perfect for the whole family. While there has been some doubt cast on the efficacy of virtual games as real exercise, tests completed using heart rate monitors and physical exertion have proven that VR really has the potential to change how we approach our daily exercise sessions in the future.

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10 High-Protein Foods to Improve a Plant-Based Diet

10 High-Protein Foods to Improve a Plant-Based Diet

Men require 50-60g of protein a day, while women require 40-50g, and even more is required if you’re active. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential to staying healthy and it’s a common concern of those who opt for a plant-based diet as opposed to a vegetarian diet which includes dairy products and eggs.

Tofu

Tofu is a staple addition to many meatless dishes and it packs a power protein punch at 22g of protein per ½ cup. When shopping for tofu, opt for one with a firmer texture, as the firmer the tofu the more protein it contains.

Beans

Not only will beans help you build muscle and keep you fuller for longer, but just 1 cup of beans contains 21g of protein. Beans will also aid in digestion as they’re packed with fibre and can be paired with rice for a completely vegan meal.

Spelt

Spelt is a largely underused grain and many don’t know that it has a higher protein content than quinoa and is an excellent source of iron and fibre. At 11g of protein per cup, its protein content is lower than that of tofu, but it will add a nutty flavour to salads and soups.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and sprinkled over salads or incorporated into a trail mix for delicious snacking. These underrated seeds contain 12g of protein per cup, are an excellent source of fibre, and are not as costly as nuts meaning more cash for Bendigo Cup betting.

Pistachios

If you’re looking for the perfect on-the-go snack, look no further than pistachio nuts. At 25g of protein per cup, pistachios can be used for a number of sweet and savoury recipes and are a delicious addition to curry.

Chickpeas

As one of the most versatile plant-based protein sources available, chickpeas are a staple food in vegan diets. With 9g of protein per ¾ cup, they make a delicious addition to salads, can be crisped in the oven for a healthy alternative to croutons, or blitzed to make hummus.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soy product which contains 16g of protein per 85g and is an excellent source of probiotics owing to the fermentation process – perfect for gut health. You also won’t have to eat a lot of it to get full thanks to the high protein content.

Seitan

With a meaty texture similar to chicken or beef, seitan is a wheat-based protein with a taste that may require some getting used to, but you won’t have to consume much to get full – just 75g contains 21g of protein.

Edamame

Known as a sushi appetizer and the perfect additional to salads, stir-fries, or even just steamed and topped with salt as a snack, edamame is tasty source of protein which offers 17g per cup.

Lentils

A popular substitute for traditional meat dishes such as meatballs or lasagne, lentils contain a good bite and can be used as both protein and grain in salads. With 18g of protein per cup, lentils are a versatile plant alternative to meat.

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How to Enhance Performance Before, During and After an Athletic Event

How to Enhance Performance Before, During and After an Athletic Event

When exercising, the body will often feel sore and this is normal and sometimes happens when doing things like weights, lifting or running.  To rebuild that tissue, your body needs to be taking in the right stuff to avoid damaging muscles.

Before a Workout

About half an hour to an hour before a workout it is advisable to eat a snack that is carbohydrate rich, which the body will burn up during exercise.  The snack may contain a little protein, but it’s best to avoid fibre and fat, which take longer to digest and may interfere with a workout.  Examples would be some fruit dried or fresh, small bowl of oats or toast with jam.  A simple snack is best!

After a Workout

Do not wait longer than half an hour after exercise to eat, even if you’ve relaxed and in the middle of enjoying some of the Blackjack online Canada has to offer.  The meal you eat should be both carbs that give the body glucose and protein where the amino acids are used to rebuild muscle tissue.  The carbs also help with increasing energy.  Eating soon after exercise supports a healthy inflammatory response.  If athletes wait too long to refuel their metabolism may slow down, resulting in a catabolic state.  The basic amounts necessary are about 3 to 5 grams of carbs for every pound each day.

Staying Hydrated

Being properly hydrated is very important.  Before exercise there are a few things athletes could drink.  Beet juice has shown that it supports both stamina and endurance and is full of antioxidants and nitrates.  It is helpful in promoting the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles.  Orange juice contains natural sugars, which offer fuel together with potassium, which supports a healthy blood pressure.  Vitamin C is good for heart health and is also known for developing a healthy inflammatory response.  Fresh orange juice is best if possible.

During exercise grape juice is an antioxidant and it is also thought to provide endurance and stamina.  Tart cherry juice offers a healthy immune system, which also develops a healthy inflammatory response.  Pineapple juice has bromelain, which is an enzyme that supports muscles and also develops a healthy inflammatory response.

Helpful Herbs

Turmeric contains antioxidants that are helpful in supporting the body especially after exercise and also provides support to the body’s response to pain and helps with normal inflammatory function.  The curcumins in turmeric help to maintain antioxidant support and studies have shown that they are involved in production of proteins.  These proteins regulate immune cell function.

Indian Frankincense or Boswellia comes from a tree and is widely used in Ayurveda.  It offers support for mild pain and develops a healthy inflammatory response.  It offers support for healthy joints by promoting blood flow to connective tissue.  It also supports digestive health.  It is usually found in chai spices and in some health drinks.  Great for high impact exercise.

Green Tea is thought to help with muscle building on a small scale and helps with healthy metabolism of carbs that give the body fuel.  It is also an antioxidant.

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Applying Sports Psychology to Your Daily Life

Applying Sports Psychology to Your Daily Life

Sports psychology involves the study of how your general thoughts and behaviour can affect your athletic performance, and how the latter affects the former. It is able to help athletes not only improve their performance, but increase their motivation as well.

Not only that: it utilises training and sports ideas to assist individuals in enhancing their lives and their overall well-being, as well. Here are some ways in which you can apply this mentality to your everyday life and reap the rewards! Continue reading

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