Do Pain Pills During Pregnancy Harm Newborn Development?

A new study on more than 2.5 million children helps clarify the potential risks of acetaminophen.

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Today’s Health Upgrade: Living Longer

  • Trending up

  • More energy, less crash

  • Are pain pills safe during pregnancy?

  • Recipe of the week

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Just because your workouts are shorter doesn’t mean you can’t build as much muscle or strength as someone with more time to train. 

A new study found that a specific method of super-setting exercises can lead to impressive results despite spending 36 percent less time in the gym. 

The scientists studied the effectiveness of “antagonist supersets,” which is training opposing muscles back-to-back with almost no rest between exercises and then taking a longer break. For example, you might do a set of biceps followed by a set of triceps and then rest, or work your chest and then your back muscles (a favorite Arnold combination). 

The participants trained for eight weeks, twice per week. One group did straight sets, resting 2 minutes after each set. While the superset group did one exercises, took a 20 second break, worked the opposite muscle, and then rested 2 minutes. Both groups performed full-body workouts and completed the same exercises.

At the end of the study, both groups built a similar amount of muscle, strength, and muscular endurance — even though the superset group trained for 44 minutes per day, while the straight-set group was in the gym for 70 minutes. 

It’s important to highlight that the method of supersetting matters. Pairing other exercises together is unlikely to be as effective as antagonist muscles. And if you’re going to superset, be aware that your workouts will feel more challenging and fatiguing because of the shorter rest times. 

More Energy, Less Crash

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Are Pain Pills Safe During Pregnancy?

Does taking a popular over-the-counter medication during pregnancy potentially cause health issues later in life for children?

A new study on more than 2.5 million children found that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) does not increase the risk of autism, ADHD, or intellectual disability.

Many headlines have suggested the opposite — that acetaminophen led to a slight increase, but that’s because they overlooked an important part of the study. The scientists included a sibling analysis, which includes the risk of siblings from the same biological parents. This helps remove variables that could skew results, such as genetic or environmental factors that increase risk. For example, the researchers found that parents who have neurodevelopment disorders (such as ADHD) are more likely to use pain medications during pregnancy. These disorders have a strong genetic link, meaning that it’s more likely the trait is passed down rather than caused by the use of acetaminophen. 

Acetaminophen exposure was more common among children born to parents in a lower socioeconomic class, with a higher early pregnancy body mass index, those who smoked during pregnancy, and those with diagnoses of psychiatric disorders or neurodevelopmental conditions. Once these conditions were controlled for — regardless of acetaminophen use — the link between the medication and the disorders disappeared.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have both deemed acetaminophen as safe during pregnancy and have labeled it as posing minimal risk as long as guidelines are followed. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you should work directly with your physician to determine what is right for you. 

Recipe of the Week

Who says there’s nothing healthy for breakfast but eggs and oatmeal? This French toast recipe is a favorite from You Can’t Screw This Up because it packs 25 grams of protein per serving and is loaded with the enjoyable flavor of a breakfast classic. Perfect for any day, it stores well for a quick grab-and-go breakfast that can be reheated in a minute. 

Cinnamon Raisin and Apple French Toast Sticks

Serving size: 4 sticks (Makes 4 servings, or 16 sticks total)

Ingredients

  • 4 slices sprouted grain cinnamon raisin bread, cut vertically so that each slice has four “sticks.”

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup liquid egg whites or 6 egg whites

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 scoops protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons unfiltered raw honey

  • 2 apples, very thinly sliced

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread a little butter on the inner edges of a 9x13” Pyrex pan using a paper towel.

  2. Line the bread on the bottom of the pan.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, egg whites, almond milk, vanilla, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and protein powder. Whisk until there are no more clumps. Pour the liquid mixture all over the bread and let it soak while you cook the apples. 

  4. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add the butter, cinnamon, honey, and sliced apples. Cook until the apples soften. Spread the cinnamon apples all over the top of the soaked bread.

  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until it is no longer wet to the touch and the top is golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes—try to resist the urge to stuff the whole thing in your mouth (because we struggled with that).

This stores well in a refrigerated airtight container for quick breakfasts throughout the week.

Macros Per Serving (4 sticks)

  • 285 calories, 7g fat, 30g carbs, 25g protein

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell