The Importance of Supplements for Your Child’s Development

Children needs to take on plenty of vitamins and minerals for growth and brain development. But for children that already has a balanced-diet, the need of supplements isn’t necessary. However, there’s a little portion of children around the world that is prone to nutrient/vitamin deficiencies, and taking supplements is the only option.

The Best Time for Your Child to Take Supplements

  • Vitamin B12 is only found on animal-based products, which means that vegan/vegetarian children must take a vitamin B12 supplement to fill in that nutritional gap. For those children who have celiac disease, they are more prone to nutritional deficiencies and the need to take a supplement must be a top priority. The same goes for children who are experiencing chronic medical conditions and certain medications.

Some Important Things to Consider

  • A well-balanced diet is essential for a child’s growth and development. That’s why parents must do their part by incorporating a well-rounded diet for their child to keep nutritional gaps at bay. A balanced diet includes dairy, fruits, veggies, protein-rich foods, and whole grains.
  • A survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that most children are lacking in iron and calcium. Iron is crucial for muscle buildup and for producing red blood cells. To let your child get the most out of iron, feed them iron-rich foods such as beef, turkey, beans, and spinach. Lack of iron will result to nervousness, infections, and loss of energy. Calcium, on the other hand, is needed for healthy bones. It’s mainly found in milk, sardines, plant-based juices, and spinach. Lack of calcium will lead to osteoporosis and poor bone growth in the later years.

Vitamins Galore

  • Vitamin D – produced by the body after exposure to sunlight. Also found in foods such as dairy and dairy alternatives like egg yolks and fish oils. Children lacking vitamin D must need to take supplements to meet recommended amounts.
  • B Vitamins – helps to boost metabolism and energy for our bodies. Mainly found in animal products such as meat, eggs, nuts, beans, and dairy.
  • Vitamin A – promotes healthy skin, eyes, immunity, and bone & tissue repair. Vitamin A is found mostly on yellow and orange vegetables, milk, eggs, and cheese.

Before Anything Else

  • It’s important to visit your child’s health care provider first so that they can give you advice about the right amount of dosage needed for taking such supplement. Taking excessive amounts of vitamins may lead to health issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. Lastly, always keep supplements out of reach from your child. There are several cases around the world where children are taken to the hospital because of taking supplements while unsupervised. It’s better to be safe than sorry so always practice caution and make safety as your top priority.

The Difference Between Whole Milk and Low Fat Milk

Long ago, whole milk was the thing where almost all milk stores have nothing but only whole milk into their shelves. Fast forward to our time, low-fat milk began to gain popularity, and a lot of low-fat milk options are showing up in various stores around the world. But what is the difference between both of them that makes them unique from each other? Let’s find out.

Whole Milk

  • Whole Milk is a standardized version of milk where it has a fixed specific percentage of fat and solids. The Codes and Federal Regulations in the US requires whole milk to be sold with a 3.25% of milk fat and 8.25% milk solids. This may change depending on what country you are living on.
  • Whole milk undergoes a standardization process where the skim and cream portion of raw milk were separated from each other. Afterward, the cream portion is then added back to the skim portion to yield the desired fat content for the milk itself since the cream portion has a higher fat content compared than the skim portion. Thus, creating a 3.25% of milk fat. Keep in mind that milk fat may vary depending on the animal breed, how they are fed, and among other factors.

Low Fat Milk

  • On the other hand, low-fat milk is a term used for milk with minimal fat content than whole milk. The fat content of low fat milk doesn’t exceed more than 1%. There are also others such as “reduced fat” milk with a fat content of 2% and “skim” milk that has 0.5% of milk fat.

Recommended Serving Content

Whole Milk

  • 1 cup serving = 150 calories and 8g fat

Low Fat Milk

  • 2% milk = 120 calories and 4.5g fat
  • 1% milk = 100 calories and 2.5g fat
  • Skim milk = 80 calories and 0g fat

Nutritional Value

  • Milk is rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, magnesium, and potassium. In the long run, whole milk and low-fat milk are both equal in terms of nutritional content. However, health professionals recommend low-fat milk because of its low-calorie content, perfect for those who are on a diet. But that doesn’t mean whole milk needs to be scrapped out of the picture overall. In fact, whole milk is the ideal option for toddlers over 12 months and above. Because of whole milk’s high calorie and fat content, it will help these kids for their bone growth and brain development.

How They Differ in Taste

  • If you’re used to drinking whole milk, then you’ll find that it is more flavorful and tastier compared to low-fat milk. However, low-fat milk can still be an acceptable alternative no matter what percentage of low-fat milk you choose. Skim milk, however, has that thin flavor paired with its blueish color making it unappealing, yet people don’t bother to care at all. Keep in mind that milk is not only produced from cows, but also from other animals as well such as horse, goats, sheep, moose, reindeer, camel, donkey, and more.

The Difference Between Organic Food and Conventional Food

The foods we eat today are mostly made from conventional methods. However, the rise of organic foods had steadily grown as the years go by. More and more people are opting for organic food because it is believed that it’s safer, more nutritious, and eco-friendly compared to conventionally-grown food. What sets it back is the hefty price tag for the sake of being organic. To help us understand what organic and conventional really is, let’s have a quick comparison between the two.

Organic Food

  • Organic food is produced without using any kinds of pesticides, growth hormones, bioengineering, preservatives, coloring agents, and the like. Which means that every organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products are naturally produced without the need of giving animals antibiotics. Organic means more labor and intensive management since it doesn’t rely on technology, which means it’s more environmental-friendly compared to conventional methods.
  • Once a product is sold as “organic”, it needs to be certified first before it hits our shelves. Which means that the products must be grown and processed according to the standards that are verified by your country’s government.

Conventional Food

  • On the other hand, conventional food relies on fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and the like for animals and crops to produce. Conventional farming existed since the 20th century and has been the preferred farming method by many up to this day.
  • But conventional farming is not bad after all. There are also instances where it overlaps practice of organic farming. One example is the Integrated Past Management (IPM), where it uses a comprehensive approach to keep pests at bay in an eco-friendly way. With the help of IPM, it reduces the amount of using pesticides for the crops to produce.

The Benefits of Organic Foods

  • Many of us choose organic over conventional because it’s known to be overall safer due to the fact that no chemicals, pesticides, or any harmful materials are used. However, there is still no conclusive evidence that organic foods are actually safer and nutritious than conventional-made ones. The National Research Council stated that there’s no problem in opting for conventional-farmed foods as long as it is washed properly before using it.
  • However, there is actually some evidence that made organic a healthier choice compared to conventional. One example is the study conducted by the Newcastle University in England where they showed that organic milk has 67% more vitamins and minerals than conventional-produced milk.
  • Lastly, the reason why a lot of people choose organic over conventional is because its environment-friendly nature. Organic farming reduces energy use and conserves our natural resources more effectively, keeping our soil, water, air, and especially, our food supply away from toxic chemicals and harmful pollutants.

Organic Food Disadvantages

However, organic food is not actually the holy grail of all healthy foods out there. Despite of its advantages, it also has its drawbacks such as:

  1. Pricier compared to conventionally-grown foods.
  2. Highly perishable since they don’t contain any preservatives/chemicals.
  3. Stocks are limited because some farmers are opting on conventional methods compared to organic.

Food Quality and Safety

  • Both organic and conventional foods must meet the USDA quality and safety standards before being sold on stores and supermarkets. The difference goes beneath how the food is produced, processed, and handled to distributors. Keep in mind that organic vegetables tend to spoil faster since they don’t contain any preservative or chemical of any kind.
  • In comparison to conventionally-grown vegetables, you will notice that it’s more uniform in shape and has fewer blemishes which looks almost perfect. This also means that it has higher traces of pesticides compared to organic produce. But as long as you thoroughly wash it to remove any single trace of pesticides/chemicals before cooking, then you’re good to go.

Omega 3 And How They Are Crucial for Your Kids Nutritional Needs

Known for its ability to improve eye health, Omega 3 is also an essential nutrient for brain function and keeping it healthy. In fact, it is crucially needed as it is a part of the process of building new brain cells, which is the key to developing the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, helping the body to absorb nutrients as we eat.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids also help in keeping the psychological and behavioral conditions of oneself stable as well. It is known to help tone down the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or “ADHD” for short, which includes emotional distress and anti-social behavior.

Various studies have also revealed that children lacking omega 3 have poorer reading abilities. Thus, taking omega-3 supplements is essential to help improve memory function of children. Further study shows that the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 can treat conditions such as obesity (if weight loss is your concern), asthma, and other respiratory-related health issues.

The Three Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

Both EPA and DHA are mainly found in fish, chicken, and beef. Animals that are grass-fed are said to have higher amounts of omega-3, and the milk and eggs they produce are also rich in omega-3 fats as well. Meanwhile, ALA is found in plant-based food sources such as chia seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts.

The Importance of Food Before Supplements

Before you let your child take omega-3 supplements, it’s best to let them consume a variety of omega-3-rich food sources first before anything else. If your kid is picky and treats fish like the black sheep of the meat family, then serve fish in a creative and child-friendly way that can make your kids say “YES” to everything about fish. Salmon cakes and baked fish nuggets are off to a good start.

Want to get more creative? Flaxseed oil is an omega 3-rich oil that you can put on smoothies or mix it up on toast and sandwiches. But it doesn’t end there; you can also add these flaxseeds to muffins, soups, casseroles, and even on bread crumbs on chicken breading.

Here are more food sources of omega-3 fatty acids for your kids:

  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Chia seeds
  • Soy Beans
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Fresh Tuna
  • Flaxseeds

Listed below is the recommended omega 3 consumption for kids:

  • 0 to 12 months: 0.5 grams/day
  • 1 to 3 years: 0.7 grams/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 0.9 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (boys): 1.2 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (girls): 1.0 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (boys): 1.6 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (girls): 1.1 grams/day

Meal Prepping Like a Pro: A Meal Prep Guide

For athletes and gym-goers, the real struggle begins when it comes to food choices. Being careful what food to eat, how much calories does it contain, and battling with food urges is what makes it hard if you want to maintain that body you’ve been working on for months or even years.

That’s why meal prep was created. It is the secret weapon on conquering your uncontrollable eating habits. But what are the benefits of meal prepping? Here are some:

  • Helps You Eat Healthier Food Choices
  • Of course, we all know that feeling of getting home from a tiresome gym session, opened up the fridge, and you suddenly see a barren wasteland right in front of your eyes. Your final option? Grabbing the phone and order a box of pizza instead. With meal prep, you will have a stack of ready-made healthy food choices minus the hassle.
  • Helps You Save Bucks
  • Thanks to meal prep, you now have a meal ready for you at home. Saves you time and money from going outside for a meal or from calling your favorite burger parlor for home delivery. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive!
  • Saves You Time
  • With meal prep, you can save time for other activities. Meal prepping involves cooking meals that you need to eat over the week and let it rest inside the fridge to prevent spoilage. That extra time will give you more chances of extending your workout sessions!
  • Meal Prep = Good Food Choices
  • When we meal prep, it will let you choose healthier food options, letting go of those unhealthy crap that rests on the top of your cupboard.

How to Meal Prep Like a Pro

Now that you know the advantages of meal prepping. It’s time to master how to do it effectively. Below is a thorough guide on meal prepping. But before we start, here are two crucial things you should keep in mind.

  • Simplicity is Key – For the first few weeks of meal prepping, always keep things simple. Don’t go overboard by prepping complex meals when you don’t have an idea of how it works just yet.
  • It’s Okay to Fail at First – The first time you will cook for the rest of the week, you will probably experience cooking too much and cooking too little. Treat these mistakes as a stepping stone to improve yourself better in meal prepping. The more how you understand how it works, the process will get more effortless in the long run.

With that said, let’s get it on to our meal prepping guide.

  1. Start with Meals That You Struggle with the Most
  2. Most of us struggle what to eat at dinnertime. So if you’re a person that has no time what to prepare for dinner, then it’s ideal to mainly focus your meal prep on this time of the day.
  3. Plan Ahead of Time
  4. Before you start this step, it’s better to get your personal dietitian first. With the aid of a dietitian, you can plan your meal prep efficiently depending on what food you want to eat. However, keep in mind that it’ll cost wads of cash for hiring a dietitian alone. But in the end, you get what you paid for.
  5. Create a Food Shopping List
  6. Before you head to the grocery store, it’s ideal to create a shopping list of all the ingredients you need for your meal prep session. This will help you save time from scouting the entire store without a list in hand.
  7. Cook All at Once
  8. The time for your meals to be ready depends on the equipment you had in hand and the way you planned it. It’s also worth noting that some foods cook longer than the other. Sweet potatoes, for example, takes an hour to cook. Rice, on the other hand, takes about 30 minutes.
  9. Or You Can Cook Whenever You Want
  10. Cooking them all at once is ideal, but if you’re more comfortable on cooking them a few days after another, then it’s okay. This is advisable, especially if you’re new to the meal prep scene. The more you get comfortable with the process, then this is the time where you can cook them all at once like a pro.
  11. Multitasking is Key
  12. When you opt on cooking them all at once, then this is where the fun part begins, well, as long as you can handle the pressure. Multitasking plays a vital role when it comes to meal prepping. Make use of all the equipment you had in your kitchen. Cut some veggies while the chicken is being baked, prepare the condiments while the stove is heating stuff up, and so on. As long as you utilize your multitasking skills, the more you will improve in the long run.

Four Supplements That Fills Your Infant’s Nutritional Gap

The day your baby starts eating solid foods is one of the most exciting things about being a parent. However, it’s not a walk in the park just yet, and it can become messy at its first try. Most babies can eat small amounts of solids at only 4 to 6 months old. And for about 9 to 11 months, you will notice that your baby prefers to munch on solids than drinking breastmilk and other baby drinks.

This huge transition can result in a nutritional gap. However, with the right supplements, you can keep this nutritional gap at bay and fill in your baby’s nutritional needs for their growth and development. Listed below are four supplements that are recommended for babies. Let’s check them out!

Iron

  • Babies are born with iron that can last for up to 4 to 6 months. Pediatricians recommended that babies who are exclusively breast-fed are needed to be given an iron supplement at 4 months of age. It’s also best to have a trip to your healthcare provider so that they can guide you how long should you be treating your baby with an iron supplement as your baby begins on consuming iron-contained solid foods along the way.
  • Children that are born with low birth weight is possible to have reduced iron stores. If that is the case, your healthcare provider will recommend iron supplements for your baby until it reaches 6 to 12 months old.
  • However, if your infant is now fond of eating solid foods, then serving them with iron-rich foods such as meat, beans, or iron-filed breakfast cereals will help meet their iron needs to fight off iron deficiency. It’s a different story, however, for babies that are over 6 months old and are exclusively breastfed. Your health care provider will probably recommend an iron supplement for that matter.

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is crucial for bone development and preventing chronic diseases from happening. Low levels of Vitamin D are common for infants. Thus, a vitamin D supplement is usually recommended days after labor. When your baby starts consuming solids, add a dash of vitamin D in purees or smoothies that he/she can consume quickly.

Fluoride

  • Before letting your baby consume fluoride, you need to check your local water supply on how much fluoride is present in there. There are fluoride prescriptions available on your local drugstores. But a trip to your baby’s healthcare provider is a must before anything else.

Vitamin B12

  • The primary purpose of vitamin B12 is preventing anemia and supporting healthy neurological function. Vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal-based products such as fish, eggs, meat, and dairy. If you opt on letting your child have a plant-based diet, then a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed. Vegan babies that are formula-fed can get their dose of vitamin B12 from soy-based products. For vitamin B12 supplements, there are several over-the-counter infant vitamin drops that you can buy from medical drugstores as well as vitamin B12- fortified breakfast cereals and milk substitutes.

After all, it’s still advisable to ask for help and guidance from your baby’s healthcare provider before letting your baby take supplements. Keep in mind that not all babies are needed to take such supplements when they take their first steps in consuming solid foods. Lastly, don’t just stick to one only. Let your baby eat a variety of healthy foods to meet his/her nutritional needs.

Essential Vitamins Every Athlete Needs

Our body is like a machine that needs fuel. In addition to food, vitamins and minerals are crucial for our bodies to keep it running throughout the day. It creates an impact on how our body performs to aid our day-to-day activities. However, there are still no official guidelines on how much vitamins athletes really need. That’s why nutritionists exist to help you determine what and how much of these vitamins athletes need to take.

Listed below are few of the most essential nutrients found in various food sources to keep yourself at the top of your health and conquer the day.

Vitamins for Energy Production

Plenty of vitamins are needed to help boost your metabolism. By taking the vitamins below, it’ll help break down food from bigger nutrients like carbohydrates and fatty acids into smaller ones for the body to use as a means of fuel.

  • Thiamin – This nutrient help break down carbs and amino acids and can be found on food sources such as grain products, pork, peanuts, and black beans.
  • Niacin – This vitamin needs to be adequately taken and not too much or too little. By doing so, it’ll result in various health issues such as dementia, rashes, liver damage, and diarrhea. It is found mostly on peanuts, poultry, brown rice, fish, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B6 – This one is needed for carbohydrate breakdown and is mostly found in pistachios, lentils, pork, bananas, tuna, and poultry.

Vitamins for Performance Enhancement

The vitamins listed below are essential to boost your performance to keep you going until the day ends. Keep in mind that taking high doses of supplements may lead to unpleasant side effects, so always focus on consuming food sources first before anything else.

  • Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is only found in animal-based products, which is a bad sign for vegan athletes. However, there are some plant and meat-based alternatives that provide “fortified” vitamin B12. But it’s still crucial to check the label first to avoid any regrets later on. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in seafood, meats, milk, eggs, cheese, and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Iron – Iron is used for oxygen transportation for the blood to flow throughout the body. Lack of iron will lead to fatigue and can negatively impact your overall physical performance. Good sources of iron are found in clams, beef, beans, spinach, oats, and turkey breasts.
  • Vitamin A – This vitamin is known for its eye-related wonders. But did you know that vitamin A can also act as in antioxidant? Especially during endurance training. Keep in mind that taking excess amounts of supplements may lead to toxic effects where the help of a health specialist is needed. Good sources of Vitamin A are found in cheese as well as veggies such as carrots, pumpkin, collard greens, spinach, and sweet potato.

Vitamins for Bone Health

Athletes are daring daredevils that use most of their body, which puts stress on their bones and joints. The following vitamins should be taken to improve bone health.

  • Vitamin D – This vitamin can be naturally absorbed when you’re exposed to sunlight. But it can also be absorbed by consuming these food sources as well; cod-liver oil, seafood, eggs, soymilk, and fortified milk.
  • Calcium – Popularly known for its ability to support bone health, calcium also helps in improving nerve function and hormone release as well. You can get calcium by consuming these food sources; milk, cheese, collard greens, orange juice, soymilk.

Sodium and Chloride

This dynamic duo is usually found on table salt and also, on sports drinks as well. Your diet won’t be complete if sodium isn’t part of it. Athletes are active for an entire day, and losing sweat means increasing the risk of sodium depletion. If water isn’t an option, a sports drink is a great alternative for fluid loss to get you back on track.

Differentiating Coconut Oil and Palm Oil

Tropical oils like the coconut oil and palm oil are both used for commercial food purposes. Both contain high amounts of saturated fat and lasts longer compared to traditional vegetable oils that we are used to. By comparing both, we can see how they differ and how they are used. Let’s begin.

Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil, as the name suggests, is an oil that came from coconuts harvested from coconut palm trees, a tree that can only be seen in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world. Most coconut oils are made from copra (the meat) of the coconut. It undergoes a series of processes starting from refinement down to purification, and lastly, bleaching. We also have the “virgin” coconut oil which didn’t come from copra, and also contains fewer chemicals compared to the standard coconut oil.

Where it’s Used

  • Coconut oil is mostly used in blended oils and shortenings to create a subtle coconut flavor on dishes. Popular snacks such as hash browns and popcorn are all made with the help of coconut oil. A coconut oil’s smoke point only reaches up to 351 degrees F which is below high temperatures of frying oils like the ones used in cooking peanut oil.

Palm Oil

  • Palm oil came from the fruit of the oil palm, a plant that can only be seen in Africa, but now expanded to tropical regions across the globe. Palm oil splashes a reddish color because of its high levels of carotenoids. And just like coconut oil, palm oil also has a high amount of saturated vegetable fat as well. Palm oil became popular because of its affordability, stability, and its ability to blend well with other oils, and lastly, its resistance to oxidization.

Where It’s Used

  • Palm oil is used for baked goods, margarine, and our favorite snack—ice cream. Almost all processed foods contain palm oil as part of their ingredients. It can also be used as cooking oil as well for frying noodles, donuts, potato chips, and more. Don’t have butter? Palm oil got you covered! You can use it on pastry dough and baked goods thanks to its solidity at room temperature mainly because of its high levels of saturated fat content.

Health Considerations

  • Coconut and Palm oil contains high amounts of saturated fat; 92% for coconut oil, and 50% for palm oil. However, nutritionists don’t see these oils as healthy alternatives compared to olive oil, but they are not harmful when used in smaller quantities. In fact, not all saturated fats are created equal. Take lauric acid as an example. It is the main saturated fat in coconut oil but doesn’t negatively affect the ratio of the low and high density of lipoprotein in our blood. Research also shows that both palm and coconut oil poses less of a health risk compared to animal-based fats. And most dietitians also recommend coconut oil and palm oil for a healthy balanced diet.

Life Span

  • Because of their high saturated fat content, coconut oil and palm oil can resist oxidation naturally. Which makes these oils perfect for high-temperature cooking and survive for up to 1-2 years on the shelf without turning rancid.

Aspirin and Acetaminophen: Which is Better?

When it comes to pain, aspirin, and acetaminophen is here to save the day. These two over-the-counter drugs are equal when it comes to pain relief. However, there are some circumstances where the former is better than the latter or the other way around. So how do they compare with each other? Let’s find out!

Aspirin

  • Also known as acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug that treats headaches, inflammation, pains, and minor body aches. It’s also used to treat heart attacks, strokes, and angina, but chances are low and maybe ineffective at some times. How it works is that aspirin inhibits the production of prostaglandins, a hormone-like body chemical that is the cause for blood clotting.
  • Acetylsalicylic got its name from salicylic acid, where it’s derived from the word “salicin,” a compound that is mostly found in a willow tree’s bark and leaves. In Hippocrates’ era way back 2000 years ago, willow bark and leaves are used as a natural medicine to treat headaches, pain, and fever.

Acetaminophen

  • This one is commonly known as paracetamol and is used to aid fever and relieve headaches. Back in 1953, the drug was marketed in the US by Sterling-Winthrop Co. and was promoted to be “better” than aspirin. It’s safe to use that even children can take it with no problem, let alone people with ulcers and other gastric conditions.
  • As time goes by, Acetaminophen gained popularity and has been widely used not only in the US but all over the world with lots of generic brands embracing the drug and making it accessible for people by pricing it right.

The Benefits

Now that we know the difference between the two, it’s time to break down its benefits.

Aspirin

  • Has anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Prevents cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack.
  • Prevents stroke.

Acetaminophen

  • Safe to swallow as it doesn’t irritate the stomach lining.
  • People with acid reflux such as heartburn and other digestive tract issues can take acetaminophen without any problems.
  • The overall drug of choice when it comes to fever relief.
  • Can be an effective alternative as aspirin.

The Side Effects

Aspirin may cause stomach aches, heartburn, and nausea for people with sensitive digestive systems. What’s even worse is that aspirin is an anticoagulant drug, which makes it a bad choice of medicine for hemophiliacs. It doesn’t even suit as a pain reliever for people after a successful surgical operation. And also, Aspirin shouldn’t be taken by a child or teenager to relieve fever. By doing so, it will lead to “Reye’s Syndrome,” a rare fatal condition that is present in children.

Acetaminophen, on the other hand, can cause severe liver damage if taken too much than the recommended dosage prescribed by your doctor. If you’re a person that likes to drink alcohol too much, combining this with acetaminophen overdose will harm your liver in the long run. Even though it’s renowned as the “safest” over-the-counter drug among many, it’s best to keep things minimal and follow what your health specialist says about taking acetaminophen.

A Thorough Hydration Guide for Athletes

Some of us tend to overlook water for nothing. What we didn’t know is that water is the most important nutrient to fuel our bodies. In fact, it is the main ingredient of our blood! Our parents used to tell us to drink water eight times a day in our younger years. However, as years go by, this simple rule of thumb is often forgotten where alcohol and other flavored beverages have taken into place.

For athletes, we have Gatorade bottles. But research shows that even the best among the rest kind of athletes aren’t staying on top of their hydration needs during the game.

The Harmful Effects of Dehydration on Athletes

Water is a fundamental nutrient that we must never forget. We are not like camels that can store vast amounts of water and just replenish as soon as we dehydrate. Dehydration can lead to:

  • Decreased performance: Athletes move around all day long to train and game. Once dehydration starts to kick in, it will lead to a performance decline, especially when there’s a 1-3% loss of body weight from sweat.
  • More prone to cramps and headaches: Everything athletes do in the field involves muscle and bone use. Once dehydrated, it will lead to muscle cramps and even worse, headaches. The importance of being hydrated should be a top priority, especially during intensive training.
  • You’ll be exerting too much effort: Of course, athletes will always do their best in the field and effort is a part of that. But once dehydration kicks in, that effort will feel more effort-ty. Those regular exercise routine will be more difficult than usual. What’s even worse is that it can negatively impact muscle endurance.
  • You’ll overheat: When you’re properly hydrated, your body’s temperature levels will remain at a stable state. Once dehydrated, your body enters survival mode by hoarding fluids and slowing your sweat rate and blood flow on your skin, which leads the feeling of being overheated.
  • Slow recovery: When you’re dehydrated, your body will be having a hard time recovering from pain after all that exercise and intensive training.

Steps to Properly Hydrate Yourself

Staying hydrated throughout the day comes in basic rules that you can do in minutes. All you need to do is just drink and drink to fuel up in preparation for your daily workout routine. Follow the steps down below to ward off dehydration.

  1. A glass of water after waking up is a must
  2. Always keep a bottle of water on your bedside that you can easily grab within arm’s reach as soon as you wake up. Note: our bodies lose water overnight as we sleep that’s why drinking water in the morning as you rise up is important. Want proof? Weight yourself before you go to bed and weigh yourself again when you wake up and you’ll see the difference.
  3. Drink water even on rest days
  4. Just because it’s rest day doesn’t mean that you won’t be mindful of your health. Always bring a bottle of water with you whether you’re at the mall or just chilling outside in the park.
  5. Bring a water bottle wherever you are
  6. Even if you’re going to school, or going to work, it is crucial to bring a bottle of water with you not only when you go to the gym. Always keep a bottled water inside your bag because you’ll never know when thirst strikes.
  7. Hydrate yourself before you pump some iron
  8. It’s always advisable to keep your hydration levels at its peak before you begin that intensive training. Keep in mind that water acts as fuel of your body. The lesser the fuel, the slower you’ll perform. Once you’re hydrated enough, you are now ready to rock and roll to the gym or field.

The Difference Between Water and Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are invented way back in the 1960s by the Gator Athletes in the University of Florida. That’s where the name “Gatorade” came from, which became the most popular sports drink to date that’s now dominating our convenience stores and vending machines. But how effective are sports drink compared to water? Does it have an effect on your hydration levels? The truth? It all depends on your workout length!

  • One hour or less – If you’re working out for an hour or less, then stick to drinking plain water. You will notice little to no difference at all when you opt for sports drink in this kind of length.
  • More than an hour – This is the time where you are really pushing your limits and intensively working that muscle out. A sports drink is a must to avoid fatigue. It’s ideal to aim for 30 to 60 grams of carb-filled sports drink to help fuel and pump your muscles during your workout session.

A Few Final Things to Consider

After all, consistency is all you need when it comes to hydrating yourself throughout the day. When you hydrate yourself, you can perform better, recover faster, and have increased endurance to tackle on those challenging exercises in the field/gym. Here are some few key things to consider to properly hydrate yourself over the course of the day:

  1. Drink water first thing in the morning before doing anything else
  2. Always carry a bottle of water no matter where you go
  3. Consume 16-20 oz. of water two hours before working out
  4. Drink 6-8 oz. every 20 minutes when you exercise
  5. Replenish and rehydrate yourself with about 20-40 oz. of water to avoid dehydration