Healthy Baseline: Get a Baseline and Get Moving

Healthy Baseline: Get a Baseline and Get Moving by William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD

Often clients will ask how much physical activity is recommended to maintain and improve health? My response is essentially the same. There are two key questions that need to be answered first: Continue reading

Former Navy SEAL Stew Smith Shares Tips to Avoid Muscle Cramps when Running

Watch this excellent video by former Navy SEAL and fitness book author Stew Smith, to learn tips to prevent muscle cramps when running.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.

Water and Your Weight: What's the Connection?

Does Water Affect Weight? by Stew Smith

Most people do not drink enough water in a day PERIOD. The Mayo Clinic states, “Water is your body’s principal chemical component, making up, on average, 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.”

The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 quarts (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 quarts (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Total beverages includes water and other drinks as well.

As with most things in health / nutrition and exercise, there is always some study that disproves another study.

Many doctors agree that eight ounces of water – eight times a day (2 quarts) has no scientific backing. This is true!  Water intake does not and probably should not have a universal standard as water intake depends on the individual / environment / activity level, etc…

The explanation of this question has a few levels of details, so it is broken up in the following sections:

 

Daily Weight Gain

By drinking more water per day, you will have a series of weight gains throughout the day as a quart (32 oz) of water weighs two pounds.  So, while you read this article and sip from a 32 oz glass, you will gain two lbs in the next 90 minutes.  Now, you will also likely be interrupted by Mother Nature and lose 1-2 lbs from the previous 32 oz glass of water you drank. So, yes, drinking water does affect weight significantly enough to be seen on a scale immediately. Usually, in a 24 hour period, you will cycle through this process of gaining water weight and losing water weight and have either a net loss or stable weight for the day.

 

What About Weight Loss?

Remember this saying – “Want to Lose weight? – Just Add Water!”  Adding more water to your diet will help you lose weight a few ways. (1) You will not be as hungry when drinking water through the day because your stomach will constantly have something flowing through it. (2) When your body realizes it is getting enough water, it will allow you to release retained waters from your cells through digestion.

Have you ever felt bloated, hands and feet puffy, belly extended? This is your body holding onto water. It could also be a symptom of a variety of medical issues so alerting your doctor is never a bad idea when bloated for long periods of time with no relief. But it is easily removed by adding water if you are just bloated due to dehydration or high sodium diet.

 

Replacement of Water Lost

Humans sweat, digest and breathe. All three are processes that help our bodies to expel water. These fluids should be replaced and, depending on your activity level and environment, your replacement may be significantly different from someone with another lifestyle. Regardless, everyone needs water. The amazing thing about the human body is that it is capable of pulling water out of every piece of food we eat. So, by eating, you can actually survive and have enough water in your body to excrete toxins, sweat (some), and breathe. You can also lose significant weight through sweating (like wrestlers cutting weight). This is not healthy since you are also losing vital electrolytes that are not replaced and will negatively affect performance and could cause death. However, what performance fitness experts agree on is that additional water will help us perform better by staving off dehydration, overheating, and even heat stroke.  A common formula is to take 1/2 to 2/3 of your body weight in pounds and replace that many ounces of water in a 24 hour period. For instance, an individual who weighs 200lbs should typically get 100 oz. of water a day – especially after exercise.

 

How Much is Too Much Water?

A few years ago there was a water drinking contest on the radio that actually caused someone to die from water intoxication. The person had downed nearly two gallons within a short period of time (less than 2 hours). This forced her body to shut down, causing kidney failure as well as electrolyte imbalances that affected all organ function. Many endurance athletes have died from the same issues, however they sweat profusely and re-hydrated with ONLY water and had the same electrolyte imbalances that caused death.  When drinking water after sweating profusely, you should consider foods or supplements with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc) so that does not happen. You can also read more about hydration and how to recover from your workouts.

 

Does Water Affect Weight Loss? Take the 10 Day Challenge

Over the course of ten days, you can see significant weight loss by adding water to your daily intake. So, take this 10 Day Challenge and see for yourself.For the next ten days, chart your extra water consumption to show you that a few quarts of water a day will make you feel better, make skin look better, make you less hungry, and best of all help you release water that is retained in your body’s cells.

— Weigh yourself in the morning, after using the bathroom and in the evening after dinner.

— Try adding 2-3 quarts a day for men and 1-2 quarts a day for women and see what happens!

 

Note: If you are already consuming the above amounts there is no need to try this 10 Day Challenge or add more water to your diet.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.

Hydrate Your Skin All Summer with this Rosy Complexion Recipe

Summer is in full bloom. The grass is green, the air is crisp and nature is calling. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend some time outdoors and let the sunshine bathing your skin (But please don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!).

Do your skin a favor, and sweat out the toxins in your body while spending time outside in the warmth of the season. Exercising in the fresh air often motivates you to do even more than you typically would do inside at the gym. The sensory experience you get from working out outside plays into that. You hear the birds sing, enjoy the view, fill your lungs with new air, exhale the stale air, and feel your beauty. Nature is quite a motivator. So break a sweat for beauty’s sake!

After a brisk hike in the mountains or an outdoor workout of your choosing, refresh your skin and hydrate with this great, natural beauty recipe.

Rosy Complexion Recipe

Green Tea is an anti-inflammatory with healing properties.  Rose water is derived from the beauty of the rose.  It aids with circulation and digestion, and has value as a toning astringent.

Note: Rose water can be purchased at your local health food store in the body/beauty aisle.

Ingredients:

2 Green tea bags

1 cup rose water

Instructions:

Steep green tea and add to rose water in a 1:1 ratio. Place in a mister and use as an astringent on a clean face, before applying moisturizer.

 

ELIZABETH TENHOUTEN is an accomplished beauty expert and author of Natural Beauty: Homemade Recipes for Radiant Skin & Hair and Cooking Well: Beautiful Skin. She has devoted her career to bringing out the best in women, naturally. Widely known for her all-natural skincare recipes and holistic approach to beauty, TenHouten’s sough-after tips and expert advice regularly appear on television, online, and in national publications such as Health, Natural Health, Working Mother, Natural Solutions, Discovery Channel’s Planet Green, Your Health Connection, Young Hollywood, and US Weekly, to name a few. She has appeared on It’s Your Health TV and the KTLA Morning Show, and has been featured on Beauty Now Radio and Martha Stewart Living Radio, among others. TenHouten is the Editor-in-Chief of Celeb Life Magazine and also serves as Contributing Beauty Expert for DiscoverBeauty.com and ShareCare.com, the health and wellness social media platform created by Dr. Oz in partnership with Harpo Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

 

How to Recover Fast from Hazy, Hot and Humid Workouts

Hazy, Hot, and Humid Summer Workouts/Practices: How to Recover Fast by Stew Smith

Any person or team who exercises in the heat needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and even potential death from heat stroke. Fatigue is part exertion and part body heat so your hydration plays a huge part in your athletic and tactical performance. Dehydration can occur during excessively sweaty workouts no matter how well you hydrate prior to your workout, but you also need to add electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.) Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water/electrolyte loss. If you are not sweating profusely during your workouts, the need for these salts are less and you will likely get the required salts from your regular diet. However, if you are in an arid environment like the desert, you will dehydrate without sweating and all you will see will be salt stains and chapped lips as the air is evaporating the moisture right off your skin.

 

If you are doing multiple hours in the heat with long races, long days working outside, two or three a day practices preparing for Fall sports, you need to think of the meal in between your working hours as not only a post workout meal but also a pre workout meal. Adding more water, salts, protein, carbohydrates, will help you feel better and have more energy for training or working. Once the day is done, it is even more essential to prepare for the following day in hot and humid environments.

(NOTE: The same applies to dry arid environments but you will not be able to wring the sweat out of your clothes – your sweat evaporates too quickly. You will see salt stains on your clothes and that means you need water and salts in your recovery meals.

If you can wring out your shirt after a workout, it will be beneficial to add more of these “salts” into your post exercise diet. Sure, you can add sports drinks but stay away from the extra sugar and electrolytes if you are not sweating. Sports drinks with sodium, potassium, carbohydrates (sugar) are a safe bet for hydration during hard sweaty exercise. If you are not sweating profusely, there is little need for these sports drinks during exercise unless you are in a desert environment where you do not sweat as it evaporates immediately. Bananas, kiwi, coconut juice and water are some of the best natural aids in re-hydrating and replacing electrolytes. Here are some more ideas for hydration:

Before Workouts– Do not drink too much 1 hour prior to hard workouts if you are doing significant running since the bouncing will potentially cause cramping. Although, most would rather deal with cramping than dehydration so think about your effort level when sweating profusely and what will work for your level of exertion in the heat.

During Workouts– Sip water or a carbohydrate/electrolyte mix every 10-15 minutes to maintain high intensity performance training.

 

A ballpark equation for daily consumption of liquids for highly active person is: 50-75% body weight in lbs = oz per day of H2O

 

Finding the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, electrolytes and water all depends on your age, sex, weight, activity level, weather, and goals. Every day that you have a challenging workout with above average times and feel great afterward, make a note of everything you did that day. Often that is the formula that works best for you and your fitness performance goals.

After Workouts– If hot sweaty or covered in salt stains, you have a huge selection of post workout meals and drinks that will help you recover. Consider protein and carb replacement first, but if you are still feeling sluggish from the workout it is likely lack of fluids and salts in your post workout meal.

  • One favorite post exercise quick snack is a can of chicken noodle soup (Campbells Noodle O’s) because it is loaded with potassium, sodium, carbs, and protein as well. In fact, it has about 3-4 times the potassium of a banana and about 5-6 times the potassium of Gatorade. If you are not sweating much and you’re not in arid environment, water will be enough to hydrate you.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.