Jasper Roberts - Blog

Friday, February 19, 2016

2016-02-19 The Three Bros

Had three Bro McBroensteins dominating  the pull-up bar in the gym today for 45 minutes. Wanted to tell them that doing 10 sets of 15 crappy half pull-ups wasn't going to do much but why waste my time?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2016-02-17 Some Notes on Sugar and Tricks of the Health Food Industry

This is primarily a guest post, but I'll add in a few of my own thoughts. The thing that scares me most about eating too much sugar isn't tooth decay, obesity, or eve diabetes. Rather it is chronic inflammation in the body and destruction of the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This is information I learned from Brain Maker, a book on the topic of the gut biome. There are of course many more cautions about sugar and sugary drinks, which is the topic of this guest post. I'll follow up soon as my life starts to gain some semblance of non-chaos post baby number two.

Health food companies want you to put your complete trust in them. But they're just most other food companies. They don’t want you to look too closely at the ingredients of their products.  If you’re just getting into healthy eating and exercise, it can be easy to be taken in by these products. They’re often ones advertised at gyms because of corporate partnerships. Another problem with the fitness industry.

Sadly, a lot of these products can do just as much damage as products that aren’t advertised as health products. They advertise the “healthy” ingredients on the front of the packaging. But quite often they’ll only have trace amounts of these substances in the product. Take a look at the full list of ingredients. You may find they’re still loaded with additives and emulsifiers.

Energy drinks seem like an obvious one. They are loaded with sugar, so stay away, right? It’s not quite as simple as that, but yes, you should stay away from most of them. There are two different products we refer to when we talk about energy drinks.

The first is the sugary, carbonated kind. Red Bull and Monster are the most famous examples. It seems obvious to stay away from these. They seem to take a sort of pride in being bad for you. But they’re an attractive prospect when you’re suffering fatigue. Don't fall for it! Not only are they loaded with sugar, but with substances like creatine, ephedrine and taurine. These all pose a threat to the heart, liver and kidneys. You also need to remember that taurine is an addictive substance. Your body already produces the taurine you need, so don’t load yourself with more.

The other drinks to look out for are the ones that are focused on sport. The most famous example is Gatorade. Remember: don’t just read “sport” and “health” then make your purchase. It’s important to read the ingredients and understand what they do.

A big deal is made about the restoration of electrolytes during exercise. It’s true that this is important. But Gatorade contains too much sugar and sodium to do the job right. Mix that with unholy amounts of sugar and artificial colouring and you’ve got the last thing you need when exercising.

Sports supplements often seem like a safe alternative. Many of them take the form of sugarless powders, with customers invited to add their own flavouring to them. But these things can also contain harmful substances. A few years ago, a massive bust of 84 products took place over dangerous ingredients. Dangerous ingredients are replete in supposedly healthy foods.

So how do you avoid this? The key is natural foods. This is old advice, but you really need to follow it. The best energy sources are the natural ones. Go to any organic whole foods store and it will be loaded with affordable fruits and vegetables. There are even natural food products tailored specifically to the physically active, like Gnarly.

Another step you can take is to arm yourself with knowledge. Brush up on your biology or, better yet, biochemistry. Understanding the chemistry of your body will help you make the right decision when you look at the ingredients of any product.