According to new research, heat may be much more beneficial for muscle recovery then ice. Researches at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden invited fit men and women to be tested on arm-peddling machines. The exercise was designed to exhaust arm muscles with periods of slow and intense intervals. Once the glycogen (carbohydrate fuel source) storage was depleted in the muscles they no longer had any strength. After which they slipped cuffs on their arms that were pre-heated to 100 degrees F or chilled to 5 degrees F by the coils within them. It turned out that the muscles recovered quicker with heat but only if it was accompanied with a resupply of glycogen. Because of this experiment researchers feel that after a long marathon it may be best to sit in a relaxing warm bath while eating a chocolate bar.
It seems that how one eats has become an important subject since nutrition is now a topic of discussion. I will try to break it down a bit. To begin with there are Vegans. Vegans restrict themselves to eating only what has grown from the ground. This is an extremely disciplined diet and these people usually have to be conscious of their Vitamin B12 levels. Vegans usually have very low cholesterol levels. Vegetarians go a step further. They are broken down into several categories. There are ovo-vegetarians who are vegan based but consume eggs. Next are lacto-vegetarians who will add dairy to their vegetarian lifestyle. That is not to say that an ovo-lacto-vegetarian doesn’t exist. There are also those who consider themselves pesco-vegetarians which add only certain fish to their vegetarian diets. Vegetarians on a whole usually have much less obesity and heart disease but again being conscious of well rounded vitamin intake is an important factor. An omnivorous diet is one that includes a wide variety of both animal and vegetarian foods. Care has to be taken with this diet since there are no limitations. A conscious effort has to be made to consume high quality in both categories of meat and vegetables. Carnivores are rare since their intake is basically meat. Although meat helps with muscle and tissue repair, existing solely on it can put a lot of stress on the digestive system. A macrobiotic diet is one in which only cooked foods are consumed. Raw foods are considered too hard on the system to digest and certain fish are included but they are only 5% of the diet. Last but not least is a new term which many people seem to be comfortable with, it is a flexitarian. This diet combines vegetables with smaller portions of fish and meat. Whatever way of eating you feel comfortable with make sure that it remains an enjoyable experience. Quality food is important but since we are in the Holiday season, enjoying what it has to offer in moderation is something to look forward to. Who can resist a piece of homemade pumpkin pie?