Hasta la vista, afternoon crash

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • How to ditch afternoon coffee

  • A big supplement scam

  • Dinner, then FUBAR

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Hasta La Vista, Afternoon Crash

Afternoon coffee might give you a mini-jolt, but it’s also likely to disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling tired day after day.

Instead of caffeinating, challenging your mind, moving your body, or chilling out (literally) could help you come to life in the afternoon and rest better at night.

The "afternoon slump" can be caused by many factors (such as what you ate), but it’s also driven by something that happens to your body after lunch. According to Australian researchers, your brain releases less dopamine (a reward neurotransmitter) in the afternoon, leading to more tiredness and a drop in productivity.

When your body is sluggish, a few simple actions can trigger a dopamine boost and reboot your brain.

Listening to fast music, reading a book you love, watching a comedy, stepping outside, or even sticking your head in a freezer can all get you back on track without the caffeine. (You could do a cold tub, but we're not sure how convenient that is while you’re at work).

Exercise also does the trick, but you don’t need to head to the gym or do a complete workout. Scientists found that walking up and down starts for 10 minutes gives your body a better jolt than 50 milligrams of caffeine (about what you find in half a cup of coffee). Try any of these tips the next time you’re fading, and let us know how it goes!

Number to Remember

That’s how long the average person sticks to a diet. To avoid the same fate, ask yourself, "Can I realistically follow this plan for the next 12 months?" If not, avoid the trap and find a new plan.

Supplement Scams (And A Special Giveaway To Offset The Negativity)

Most supplements are not worth your time. But that doesn’t mean they are all a waste. Some products — such as protein and creatine — have enough evidence to feel confident that you’ll likely see benefits without much (or any) risk.

But, even when you buy the right ingredients, you might still get the wrong result. A recent study found that many supplements lie about what’s on the label. And it’s worse than it sounds.

The researchers reviewed 57 different supplements and found that 40 percent didn’t include any ingredients on the label. Nearly 50 percent listed inaccurate amounts, and 12 percent added illegal substances. Only 11 percent of the products reviewed had the correct quantity.

This isn’t a great look for the supplement industry, but there’s reason for hope. First of all, the sample size is relatively small. There are thousands of brands, so maybe others do a better job. More importantly, there’s a way to have peace of mind when you buy supplements.

Make sure you look for third-party verified supplements. Because of an act passed in 1994, supplement companies self-govern their labels. That means they can put anything on the label without verifying it’s true. It sounds crazy, but use that knowledge to save money on supplements that may or may not have what they promise.

Third-party verification — such as NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport — is expensive, so most don’t do it. But it’s the only way you know the ingredients and amounts are accurate and that it’s free of any banned substances or dangerous levels of toxins or metals.

GIVEAWAY: To celebrate those who do supplements the right way, we’re giving away two bags of Ladder protein (chocolate and vanilla) to five members of the village. All Ladder products are NSF Certified for Sport, which is why so many pro athletes trust the products. And, of course, I founded the company with LeBron, and we insisted on third-party verification from day 1.

Let me know on social media why you love Arnold’s Pump Club, and we’ll send you protein for spreading positivity with the world.

Dinner, Then FUBAR

TV dinners might be a great way to unwind, but they can also trick you into eating more than you want.

Research suggests that people who eat while watching their favorite shows consume significantly more calories than those who don’t.

Distracted eating makes it harder for you to recognize what you’re consuming. This mindless eating means your brain can’t do its job to help you know when you’re full, which can lead to overeating. Research suggests eating while watching TV can result in scarfing down 300 more calories than if you enjoyed a meal while not streaming your favorite show.

And that’s just the start of the domino effect. Other studies suggest that people who eat while distracted also increase how much they eat in the next meal by another 25 percent.

We love entertainment and fully support you enjoying FUBAR, Arnold’s documentary, or any of his movies. But first, enjoy your meal and be present, then relax and watch the show.