Drunk on Water

One thing that never fails in the “fitness world” is that there is an all too common belief from both uneducated trainers and fitness “newbies” that if a little is good/healthy then a whole lot more must be super healthy! An unfortunately this has happened with water consumption. Many years ago the general recommendation of water consumption was (and it still is) around 8-glasses a day. Believe it or not depending on your activity level even 8-glasses maybe too much. But fast forward to today and people are drinking ridiculous amounts of water. How many times do you see “dude/bros” carrying a gallon jug of water while lifting and forcefully drinking that entire gallon while doing their 2-hour muscle isolations workouts? Or want about the girl who can’t go anywhere without a Klean Kanteen and has to use the restroom at least once an hour? I feel like I am becoming the Fitness Mythbuster and I am here to tell you that the recommendation to drink a gallon or more a day is not only a myth, it is unhealthy!

They say drinking water will help you lose weight

They say drinking water will help you lose weight

If you look at the chart below, water consumption can be best described using a bell curve. Too little water is unhealthy (dehydration)and too much water is also unhealthy (dilution). Drinking too much water not only dilutes your electrolytes it can also dilute your stomach acid (pH) levels which will interfere with your digestion. The really crazy thing about drinking too much water is it becomes a slippery slope very quickly as it causes your electrolyte levels to become imbalanced and this imbalance triggers you to drink more water because your body thinks you are dehydrated (crazy, right?).  You have to remember that our bodies still have the same “programing” as our “caveman” ancestors and over-hydration was never even a real possibility until very recently as we now have basically unlimited access to water. We become thirsty when our electrolyte levels are imbalanced and until very recently, the only way electrolyte levels would become imbalanced is when we started to become dehydrated, however, our body can’t distinguish if the imbalance is caused by too little or too much water, it just knows our levels are off.

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Sadly I have been a victim of this failed fitness advice. Several years ago I used to try to drink at least a gallon of water a day because that’s what all the “dude/bros” where doing. I would use the restroom at least once an hour and my pee would be crystal clear. No joke, I was literally peeing straight water! Not only was I a slave to the restroom I would also get headaches in the morning. There were many a time I woke up feeling like I had a hangover from drinking so much water. Also the more water I drank the thirstier I became. I always felt like I could not get enough water. After about three months of this I became so miserable that something had to give, I did some research and found out that too much water was just as unhealthy as too little water. I then significantly cut back on the amount of water I consumed and felt great. In fact the two biggest dietary changes I made that had the greatest impact on my overall well-being was removing gluten and not force feeding myself water.

I'm sorry, what were we talking about...

I’m sorry, what were we talking about…Oh, yes water!!! 

How much water should you drink? Of course that depends on a lot of factors but the best way is to monitor your pee. I know it may seem weird but we need to know what is going on with our bodies and our pee gives us a lot of feedback. The ideal pee color is a very light yellow. Also take note of how often you need to pee. If you are going numerous times throughout day or you have to get up a few times a night (interrupting your sleep) you are drinking too much water.

The real goal is for you to become very in-tuned with your body and you only drink water when you are thirsty. Let me give you an example of my water consumption for a regular day and keep in mind I am active most of the day so my water needs are probably higher than most.

  • Morning – Right after I wake up I usually drink 8-oz to 16-oz of water. I am usually fairly thirsty in the morning and I believe drinking water in the morning is the best time to drink as you have been sleeping for many hours (not consuming any water)
  •  Before lunch – Unless I am really thirsty I never drink anymore than 8-oz before lunch. Usually it is a couple of sips as my mouth is dry from all the yelling during the morning classes 😉
  • Mid afternoon – By this time I have usually taught a class and done a personal workout so I am fairly thirsty so I will consume 8-oz to 16-oz over the next couple of hours.
  • Early evening – Usually during the evening classes I will have a couple of sips of water during the class and around 12-oz of water afterwards.
  • Before bed – Usually I drink just a couple of sips to wash down some vitamins. I don’t like to drink a lot of water before bed because I don’t want to interrupt my sleep.

As you can see that is not a lot of water but I feel great! Some days I drink more and some days I may drink less. I drink most of my water first thing in the morning and then between mid-afternoon and early evening. The other thing to note is I drink slowly. Just a few sips here and there throughout the day. There is no need to “slam” water.

Their you have it, start “listening” to your body and only drink as needed, there is no need to force feed yourself water just because some uneducated wanna be fitness professional says that you need to drink a TON of water to be healthy!

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How to wrap your hands

Protecting your hands is extremely important. In fact we highly recommend that you always warp your hands before you hit the bag. Hand wraps protect knuckles from both cuts, provide extra “padding” for impact, provide wrist support, and make your hand more of a “solid” object. So not only do hand wraps protect your hands believe it or not they actually improve your workout. Having your hands protected allows you to strike the bag much harder which then translates to more muscle toning and more calories burnt!

At CKO we prefer using MMA style gloves (fingerless) and because of the smaller gloves we need smaller wraps. We use 108-inch Mexican style wraps.

Now their is no one way to wrap your hands and this is just one method. The most important aspect of wrapping hands is to wrap your knuckles 3-5 times and get that criss- cross (x) 0n the back of your hand as that helps with wrist support.

While we are always more than happy to help you in the gym we recommend you watch the video and practice at home. After a few times you will be a hand wrapping pro! This video shows a very simple way to wrap your hands.

Are Protein Bars a Good Snack?

Losing weight I mean losing inches is no easy task, it takes lots of hard work and dedication, and to make matters worse, many so-called “healthy companies” do not have our best interests in mind! As we continue to eliminate sugar from our diet we need to be aware of all the health food tricks and believe me there is lots of trickery afoot.

It is always sad when I see someone trying to lose weight and eat healthy only to be constantly snacking on protein/energy bars through out the day. Let me tell you a big secret that these so-called “health food” companies don’t want you to know, these bars are not healthy, they are basically candy bars with some added protein and vitamins! We put way too much trust into “health” companies and we think because the product contains protien and is labeled sugar free/fat-free and/or endorsed by some famous athlete that the product is healthy.  These companies just like any other company are out to make a buck (nothing wrong with that, that’s their right!). But the truth is that if they made these products actually healthy they would most likely taste horrible and nobody would buy them, so they add lots of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and lots of crazy chemicals that neither I or you can pronounce just to make these bars taste somewhat decent. Lets look at some of the more popular bars that I see consumed on a regular basis:

  • Clif Bar (Energy) – 240 calories, 41-grams of carbs, 9-grams of protein, and 21-grams of sugar. First thing to notice is that there is a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, you better be working out really hard if you want to eat this and not gain weight. Ironically this is probably one of the better bars on the market and uses mostly natural ingredients (whatever that means) however these bars contain lots of soy and soy scares me (can you say man-boobs).
  • Clif Builders (protein) – 270 calories, 30-grams of carbs, 20-grams of man-boob producing soy protein, and 20- grams of sugar. Again there are better ways to get 20-grams of protein.
  • PowerBar Harvest Energy bar – 240 calories, 42-grams of carbs, 10-grams protein (soy), and 18-grams of sugar. Again lots of sugar, carbohydrates, and chemicals, oh but you get 5-grams of fiber, well I guess that makes it OK then (not).
  • EAS MYOPLEX strength formula bar – 280 calories, 35-grams of carbohydrates, 25-grams of protein, 14-grams of sugar, and 15-grams of sugar alcohols. Same story here.
  • Fiber One bar – 140 calories,  29-grams of fat, 2-grams of protein, 10-grams of sugar. This bar gets a lot of commercial time. At first glance this sugar content does not look too bad however it is half the calories of the other bars so calorie per calorie it has just as much sugar as the other bars. More “trickery”! This bar contains lots of carbs, very little protein, lots of artificial sweeteners, but hey at least you are getting your fiber!
  • Snickers bar (candy bar) – 280 calories, 35-grams of carbohydrates, 4-grams of protein, 30-grams of sugar. Besides lacking in vitamins and a little more sugar I don’t see much difference between your average candy bar and your average protein/energy bar!

I know there are lots of different protein/energy bars on the market and some are better than others, I picked the ones I see on a regular basis. My goal is to get you to read labels (another tip when reading labels is to look at the serving size) and don’t assume that it is a healthy snack option just because Jillian Michaels tells you it is healthy!

Seems like a legit product ;)

Easy weight loss! and Jillian Michales! Say no more, I am sold!

So what are some good healthy snack options?

  • Raw macadamia nuts (or any nuts except peanuts) – These are my favorite! They are delicious and high in monounsaturated fats (good fat).  I like raw because roasting can make nuts rancid.  Just a handful will satisfy you for hours. While nuts are a great snack, remember that a little goes a long way do not eat more than a handful.
  • Full fat Greek Yogurt – Yes you read that right. Fat is a good thing! Very rich and creamy. Add some berries or eat plain. A few heaping spoonfuls is all you need.
  • Fruits and vegetables – Fruit can be high in sugar but when you eat the “whole food”, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and the nutritional gains from a few pieces of fruit far out way the sugar content just don’t go overboard and eat 6 bananas a day. However the sky is the limit on vegetables…if you like it, eat it!
  • Sauerkraut or pickles – Be sure to get the ones that have been fermented naturally. They are usually found in the refrigerated section and the ingredients will only contain; water and salt. These are delicious and contain natural probiotics, which are good for gut health.
  • Hard boiled eggs – Eggs just maybe the most perfect food. At around 70 calories a piece, they are loaded with vitamins,  contain around 6 grams of protien, basically zero carbs and include all 9 essential amino acids.

Let me hear your favorite snacks!