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Today’s Health Upgrade
Workout boost of the year
How to protect your brain from disease
The Pump Club nutrition guide
The 2024 Workout Boost of The Year
The best pre-workout might not be something you take right before you sleep. A recent review of 77 studies found that a good night's sleep might be the best way to boost your performance. (And if you’re wondering the best time to exercise when you’re tired, keep reading.)
The scientists found that sleep deprivation makes your workouts much worse. It might not sound shocking, but you might be surprised how much it affects what your body can do. Not getting enough rest caused poor performance in skill acquisition (a 21 percent drop) and significant decreases in endurance, strength, power, and HIIT-style workouts. In other words, any type of workout will be worse when you’re getting less than 6 hours of sleep.
And that’s not all. Prior research also shows that poor sleep affects fat loss. According to research on more than 68,000 people, those who slept less than 5 hours per night weighed an average of 5 pounds more than those who slept more than 7 hours per night.
We know that sometimes you won’t get as much rest as you want or need. So if you have to choose between going to bed later and waking up earlier, the most recent research suggests that burning the midnight oil is the lesser of two evils.
But here’s one thing you might not expect: if you’re sleep-deprived, your best bet might be shifting your workout to the morning. While all sleep reduction harmed workout performance, afternoon workouts were worse than those performed in the morning.
If you struggle to improve your sleep, you’ve probably heard the typical recommendations, such as cutting off technology and sleeping in a cool room. But, if you stop eating about 2 to 3 hours before you sleep, it can also help improve your rest, as can getting sunlight in your eyes early in the morning (to set your circadian rhythm) and going to bed at a similar time.
If you want to try a supplement, we don’t recommend using melatonin. The best product we’ve found is the Sleep Pack from Momentous. It’s a combination of three ingredients designed to help you wind down, relax, and help you fall asleep — and stay asleep — longer.
We love Momentous products because they’re a rarity in the world of supplements. Every product is tested by a third party, ensuring quality and purity. They are redefining the supplement category by doing things not typically done, including 10 contracts with the US Military to help develop high-performance supplements that work. As a member of the Pump Club, you get 20% off any product, including Momentous Sleep. Simply use the code PUMPCLUB at checkout.
How To Protect Your Brain From Disease
As you get older, you become more vulnerable to brain-related diseases, as well as breakdowns in memory and cognition. But, the time you spend in the gym could do much more than support muscle gain and fat loss.
A recent study found that exercise might significantly reduce the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
The meta-analysis reviewed 29 studies and included more than 2 million participants. While scientists are still researching how to prevent Alzheimer’s, they’ve been uncovering more clues on strategies anyone can take to reduce the likelihood of the disease.
They found that moderate-intensity exercise reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 15 percent, and high-intensity exercise led to a 44 percent reduction in risk. And “high-intensity” activities included lifting weights and running.
More research is needed to determine exactly why exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but current theories suggest it has to do with increasing the blood flow to the brain, which offers various health benefits. Exercise is also associated with improvements in learning and memory, which might also help protect your brain.
The Truth About Diets
From Arnold: I don’t believe in any of the fad diets. I’ve lived through low-fat, low-carb, and everything in between, and people just keep gaining weight.
I see all the stuff people try to sell on the internet. It’s designed to be sexy, cutting-edge, and grab your attention. And it does a great job at that — and a terrible job of delivering results.
The stuff that works tends to be boring but effective. I got tired of all the bad nutrition advice, so I worked with my team to create The Official Pump Club Nutrition Guide.
It’s a no-nonsense guide to explaining why most diets fail, how to build better habits, ways to overcome your biggest diet struggles, convenient recipes, more than 25 meal plans (and meal templates) to cater to any dietary preference, and so much more. I hope you love it!
The Lab: Hangover, over?
We love helping make sense of all the contradictory and confusing information on the internet. But sometimes, there are topics with limited research and a lot of interest. That’s why we want to test out a new feature called The Lab. It’s an inside look at popular discussions mixed with science-backed commentary to help you better understand the topic.
To kick it off, let’s discuss hangovers.
We recently read this post from Wired about “Miracle Hangover Cures.” If you drink alcohol, it’s a fun breakdown of different options.
Our take? If any amount of alcohol seems to leave you spinning the next day, it might not be all your fault. That's because a gene (ALDH2) makes booze hit extra hard for some people.
Researchers from Stanford University reviewed 21 studies and found that most over-the-counter solutions are a waste of money. Instead, your best hangover defense is eating a combination of protein and fat before drinking (research suggests about 700 calories can do the trick) and downing water and electrolytes before bed.
If that doesn't do the trick, research suggests Korean pear juice, red ginseng, Panax ginseng, and l-cysteine could help speed your recovery. If you want to do everything possible to kill your headache, have some caffeine and try consuming Vitamins B and C and zinc — all of which are depleted when you drink and could contribute to the pounding.
No judgment here, but there’s nothing to suggest any alcohol (even red wine) has health benefits.
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger