We don’t pay much attention to the water we drink. It’s not a concern to most people, which is strange when you consider that the body consists of roughly 69% water

More and more people are focusing on getting their fruits and vegetables from organic sources, so that they can limit the amount of chemicals on the food they eat.
However, when it comes to the water we drink the general idea is “tap water is fine”.
I mean, it’s just H2O right? –  2 parts of hydrogen and a part of oxygen.
Well… not really. Water has countless different forms and chemical structures. Since almost all of our systems’ processes run on water, both quantity and quality of out water matters.
tapwater

Fun fact: tap water has lots of chemicals like fluoride, antibiotics and other waste products. 1

Dr. Mu Shik Jhon, considered by the scientific community to be the top water expert in the world, writes that the best drinking water contains a balance of essential minerals.

In his book The Water Puzzle and the Hexagonal Key, Jhon says that from a biological and medical point of view, de-mineralized water is simply not healthy to drink.

In fact, Japanese water experts consider de-mineralized water as “deadwater, while mineral-rich water is referred to as “livingwater.

De-mineralized water is not found in nature. Nor does is it promote growth or health of living organisms.

Among the daily bottled waters we are drinking, there's a couple of common types which are the following

Among the daily bottled waters we are drinking, there’s a couple of common types which are the following

Spring water:
This is water from a natural source, or a “spring”. It has to be won straight from this source and has to contain the same physical properties during production as when it was bottled. It will contain a balance of trace minerals that are important to the human body. Depending on the location, the consistency of these minerals will be different and sometimes chemicals may also be present.
Purified water:
This is water that has been processed through reverse osmosis, distillation, deinozation or other processes that change the physical properties of the water. Must contain no more than 10 parts per million disolved solids and therefore has very limited nutritional value.
This type of water is often sold as bottled water but is very likely the same as tap water.
Distilled water:
This water is boiled to remove microbes (and this process also removes minerals) and afterwards recondensed from the steam. It’s water with a bit of a flat taste and significantly less (or none) micro-nutrients.
Mineral Water
Water from a natural source with at least 250 particles per million dissolved solids. When sold, the same type and amount of trace minerals must be present as they would at the source.
“Good” Water needs to have a couple of qualities, for example:
Contaminant free: Filtered of unhealthy substances, like toxic metals, bacteria and viruses, chlorine, fluoride
Mineral Rich: The natural occurring minerals should not be removed because of purification processes (like described above)
Alkaline Ph:  Ph level (acidity) needs to be between 7.0 and 9.5, which indicates a healthy level of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium
Good taste: Simply because otherwise there’s no incentive to drink enough of it 😉
With this in mind, check the label of your standard water source and see what kind of water you’re getting. You might be one single step removed from changing your quality of life for the better.
1 http://freshlysqueezedwater.org.uk/waterarticle_watercontent.php

Most workout routines reflect the experience and preferences of a particular fitness trainer. The Optimum Performance Training (OPT) method takes a scientific approach that involves collecting data on a client and using it to design a program that fits their needs and delivers results. Mark Chen, a physiotherapist and personal trainer at Physiotherapy Phnom Penh, provides details on how OPT training can help you achieve your fitness goals.

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1. What’s the difference between working out with a trainer at a gym and working out with an OPT trainer? What benefits does the latter offer?

 

The difference between training with an ordinary trainer and an OPT trainer is in the way that we guide the trainee through the process. OPT training is based on scientific insights, so the entire process is built on scientific evidence, which ensures that the training is effective. It uses practical knowledge and scientific knowledge, so there is no guessing. So we measure someone, and scientifically proven methods are used to help them get to their goal.

 

2. Does that mean they have to come into your center to receive the training?

 

It depends on their needs. I do training here at the clinic, but also sometimes at the gym, or, as requested, at the client’s home. So it depends on what the client wants.

 

3. What activities does OPT training include? How do they help trainees?

 

If we are talking about being fit, we don’t just want to be strong. We want to be strong but also to have speed, agility and coordination. We’d like to put all of these in the program so they have a complete picture of fitness. Activities such as weight lifting, cardio training for endurance, some jump training, some speed drills, depending on the client. So we tailor our program according to their needs and their goals.

 

If they want to be more flexible, no need to lift a lot of weights. Sometimes people just want to have a good body composition, so maybe less fat; in that case, we will use more weight training.

 

4. How long does it take to see results? 

 

That depends on how much of a difference needs to be made. For example, if someone just wants to feel fitter, that’s a fairly easy goal to attain. If you really do need to lose 30kg, it will take some time because it probably took you some time to gain that weight as well. So, how long it takes depends on how big your goal is.

 

5. Is it necessary for those who have been working out at a regular gym for a while to go through the first stage of OPT, Stability Endurance, as if they were beginners?

 

I always recommend that people do it, because the Stability Endurance phase has a lot of corrective exercises in there. Most people have an inefficient way of moving. Teaching people how to move, to have stability and good endurance of the body, creates a good foundation for people to go further.

This phase is done to see if there is any possible risk of injury. For example, is the knee moving in? Is the ankle weak? We then filter that out, making sure the knee is strong, the ankle is strong, the hip is strong, before we get into more difficult exercises.

 

Vitamin C: What, why and how much?

In a nutshell:

– Anti-oxidant
– Helps with absorption of iron
– cofactor in collagen formation

Antioxidants:

These protect cells and DNA against the vices of oxygen. Some oxygen-using processes such as the burning of fats and carbohydrates, by-products (free radicals) are released.
These materials can affect DNA, proteins, cholesterol and cell membranes. These substances are also found in polluted air, certain foods,drinks, cigarette smoke and sunlight (a surplus amount).
Antioxidants help to neutralize these free radicals. There are many different types but vitamin C and E are the best known.

There is a lot of evidence that consuming enough antioxidants help in fighting heart disease, stroke and many other chronic diseases.

Vitamin C also helps form collagen. This is a protein structure that forms the basis for our connective tissue, such as bones, teeth, blood vessels, skin, cartilage, tendons. This collagen also functions as a sort of “glue” if you have a wound.

RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) of vitamin C is 75 mg, although sometimes 1000mg doses are used.

Good sources of Vitamin C:

– citrus fruit
– tropical fruit
– Summer Fruit
– cabbages such as cauliflower and broccoli
– green vegetables like spinach and lettuce
– tomatoes

 

vitamin c example

Important Fact:

Vitamin C is sensitive to exposure to oxygen, heat and sunlight. If orange juice is pressed, there will be oxygen present. If then the juice is stored in a transparent bottle, it may well be that the bottle in the supermarket contains a hugely reduced amount of vitamin C compared to the orange where it comes from!

As a rule of thumb, try to get the vitamins from the full food rather than a processed product!

 

Mark Chen
Markchenmovement.com

After being on Ketosis with some of my clients for about 8 weeks, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good grip on what it is, what it does and how to decide it’s something for you.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • You’ll lose weight fast. I’ve dropped down from 83kg to 76kg in 6.5 weeks with a 3.5% drop in fat mass
  • Clients who were strict dropped around 5-8 Kg in 8 weeks, the ones that were not strict dropped significantly less
  • Cheat meals or “refeed” meals didn’t seem to affect weight loss
  • Energy levels were great and steady
  • No noticeable drop in performance during workouts

 

So what is the Ketosis diet ?

Easily put, Ketosis is a state in which the body prefers to use fat as an energy source. This state can be achieved by depleting the bodies’ storage of carbohydrates. Once you get into this state, your body will be running with fat as fuel. It takes around 3 days of strict dieting to get into this fat-burning mode but once you do, there’s lots of benefits. A lot of people, myself included, describe a feeling of being “on”. Having a clear and clean mindset, good energy and lots of motivation. No dips in energy that we know and hate from our carb-splurges.

Marnie Sablan has a great explanatory video on her Youtube Channel which you can see here:

By the way, I’m not familiar with the product promoted in the end nor do I have any type of affiliate connection with them. I just think it’s very well explained.

 

What to do if you’re interested in starting a Ketosis diet?

There’s some excellent sources that can help you on your way (Pm me for more info and I’ll gladly set you up), but it’s important that you start to practice some mindfulness to your eating. Try and analyse your diet and see how much or your daily intake comes from carbs. It will typically take you a week or so get a hang of it. From then, it’s a matter of doing the right kind of shopping.

Shop for meat, fish, eggs, nuts and greens. But be careful, there’s even some vegetables that are on the no-no list!
It’s important to be strict, because even a small amount of carbs can “kick” you out of Ketosis and that will hurt your progress.

 

Be strict and you’ll be amazed at how great it is!

 

Mark Chen

 

The Tubs scream for your attention with the promises of buffed up bodybuilders like Arnold, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler.

 

“This is my protein. It’s what gotten me this HUGE and will do the same for you.”

Usually this is because of some “patented-filtration-technique” or in this case a “Supreme multi-faceted protein complex” that makes the powder super absorb-able and pretty much turns it into instant muscle.

But is it really? In what way are these claims true and should you  invest money to get yourself some of the good stuff yourself?

SPOILER ALERT! 

All these guys -yeah that’s a massive generalization but it’s probably true-  worthy of promoting muscle building products are on (most times) excessive amounts of steroids. That’s most likely what helped them get to an almost superhuman size. No trying to discredit them here, there is still enormous amounts of hard work needed even with steroids. I’m just saying that most non-steroid using humans won’t be able to get to no matter how much tubs of protein you consume.

So lesson #1 : Don’t trust the labels.

Here’s some facts when it comes to Protein and how much you need:

The ISSN has investigated the amount of protein needed for individuals with variable training intensities.
As you can see in the figure below, for general fitness the required protein is around a gram for each KG of body weight.

I’m around 75KG, so that means that with around 75 grams of protein, I should be getting enough.
What does this look like in day-to-day food intake?

100 gram of chicken contains around 30 grams of protein
1 egg contains around 7.5 gram
A glass of milk contains around 5 grams

So as you can see, with 100 grams of chicken spread through the day, I’d already get enough protein.

This means that the answer to the Question “Do I need Protein Powder” is a pretty clear “NO”, if you’re willing to undertake even the most minor effort into organizing your daily meal plan.

Inline afbeelding 1

Does this mean you shouldn’t use it?

Not necessarily.

There’s good reasons to use protein powder as an addition to your diet and I’ll give you a couple of reasons of why I use it.

  • 1: It’s comfortable. Instead of going home and cooking up a piece of chicken I’ve got my perfect amount of protein needed down in around 20 seconds.
  • 2: It’s tasty! Depending on the brand of course, there are some pretty awesome flavors that turn a protein shake into a real treat!
  • 3: It’s a good snack. Especially when you’re trying to cut out some carbs or have a tendency to eat a more sugar-filled treat during your snacky moments

Bottom line: In contrast to popular belief, eating more protein does not lead to more muscle mass. The amount of protein needed for an individual can be easily calculated and usually the requirements can be easily met by diet design.
By doing this, a protein supplement is probably not necessary to meet your daily requirements. But this fact doesn’t mean it’s not worth buying. There’s plenty of reasons why it’s a good supplement to your daily food intake.

Hope this helps!

Happy shaking and catch you next time

Running is a big business. Impact Guidance system, Heel clutching, Fluidride Tech, Midfoot Thrust enhancer, hell, there’s even a 250$ microchip shoe that adjusts cushioning for every stride. (yes, for real)

adidas shoe

This 250$ shoe is equipped with a microprocessor

 

Technology in running shoes has been dramatically changed over the last couple of decades. There are literally millions of dollars being pumped into the research for new shoe-tech.

All this research lead up to amazing shoes that make sure your feet, ankles, and knees stay strong and cozy right?

hmm… not really.

Injury Statistics

In fact, statistics show that injuries among runners have actually gone up rather than down.

Nowadays, every year, 65-80% of all runners suffer an injury. That is almost all of them, every year. If that percentage of people gets the flu we’d call that an epidemic.

These types of statistics raise questions that science can’t seem to answer. In a research paper for the British journal of sport, medicine was revealed that er are no evidence, not-a-single-one, based studies that show running shoes decrease the chance of you getting hurt.

Dr. Richards, the man behind the revelation mentioned above, decided to contact running shoe companies with a couple of straightforward questions:

– Are you willing to claim that wearing your distance running shoes will decrease the risk on musculoskeletal running injuries?

– Are you willing to claim that wearing your running shoes will improve your runners’ performance?

– If you are ready to stand by these claims, where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?

The response he got from all the companies he tried to contact was all the same:

Silence.

Where does that leave you if you’re ready to get into running just now? It might only mean that you don’t have to throw down as much money as you thought.

Don’t fear. The takeaway from this article is not that you are going to end up hurt like everybody else. I suggest a different path.

A path of strength, coordination and smart planning. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts!

 

 

*Source: Born to Run, Timothy McDougal (great book!) 

Cholesterol is a part of fat which has a bad Rep. Actually it’s an essential building block for the cell membranes. Every cell in our body needs this in order to function. Aside from this, Cholesterol has a part in the creation of multiple hormones.

Cholesterol is also a precursor to Vitamin D which helps with the recovery of muscle tissue, regulation of inflammation and it supports the immune system …. so it’s pretty essential for us.

Some facts:

  • In the US, 73.5 million adults suffer from high “bad” LDL levels (30.1%)
  • 1 out of 3 has their situation under control, usually with the use of medication
  • People with high cholesterol have around 50% more chance of heart disease.

The Good, the Bad, The Ugly

We might need to acknowledge the good part of Cholesterol, not just the bad. Structurally, cholesterol is a fat particle bound to proteins and transported through the body. There are multiple kinds of these “transport wagons” but we’ll limit ourselves to the well-known LDL and HDL.

LDL is the so-called “Bad Guy“. It transports cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. A low amount of LDL is needed to help repair tissue damage but these parts can get “Stuck” in the arteries and have negative effects, such as high blood pressure and blockages, eventually increasing the risk of stroke.

HDL is the cholesterol “good guy“. It takes LDL away from the body and transports it back to the liver where it’s broken down.

If you ever get your blood checked (you should), these are the number to look for:

Total Cholesterol:

-Ideally, should be lower than 5.0 (mmol/l)
-5.0-6.4   Slightly increased
-6.5 – 7.9  Increased
-> 8.0       Strongly increased.

LDL levels: < 2.5 is optimal

HDL levels: < 0.9 is too low

Triglycerides (amount of fatty acids in the blood, often measured in the same package ) : > 2,1 too high

What actually matters: the Cholesterol Ratio

This is the relationship between the “good and the bad” of cholesterol.  If you have a high level of LDL with a low amount of HDL, that’s not good.
If it’s the other way around, there’s no need to worry, even if your LDL is slightly increased. The higher levels of HDL will take that away and back to the liver. Make sure your ratio is in check!

Calculation of the Ratio is done like this: HDL + LDL Divided by HDL. In most cases, however, it’s already calculated for you on the result sheet.

As long as the value is under 5, you’re fine. but the lower the better!

Below you can see my latest bloodwork. My results can be interpreted as this:

Cholesterol: slightly high. No need to worry yet, let’s take a look at the HDL and the Ratio, remember?

HDL: 97 mg/dl  = 2.50842 mmol/l. The value should be higher than 0.9 so this is a great level.

: 123 mg/dl  = 3.18078 mmol/l. The value is slightly high, but my HDL compensates for that.

Ratio: (2.50842 + 3.18078 / 2.50842 = 2.24 ) which is a great value

Bloodwork Feb 2017

Bloodwork Feb 2017

 

Cholesterol can be a silent killer and yet can be easily controlled through diet. Being aware of your levels and being proactive in managing them can increase your quality and quantity of life. Aside from that, it can save you a lifelong of statins, but more on that next time.

 

Let me know if this was helpful and any questions are welcomed!

And if you need some one-on-one time for me to sit down with you and help you out, book a session 

 

Mark