How To Quickly Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Most methods of calming down require a lot of time and practice. However, a childhood activity could help you overcome the stressors...

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips 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

  • Is it time to adjust your post-workout meal

  • More focus and energy (without the caffeine)

  • On our radar: probiotics and weight loss

  • A quick way to drown out stress and anxiety

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Rethinking Your Post-Workout Meal

Combining protein and carbs is the traditional way to refuel after a workout. While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, it might not be necessary. 

New research suggests you don’t need a significant amount of carbs (or sugar) immediately after your workout. 

The old recommendations for more carbs than protein were based on research focusing on long-distance endurance training, often lasting hours. But if you’re doing shorter workouts or focusing on strength, there’s no need for massive amounts of carbs.

As research evolved, it became clear that protein was important to help with recovery. However, some still believe that carbs are needed to help fuel protein synthesis, which is your body’s ability to put protein to work for your body.

The most recent study found that extra carbs — before or after a workout — do not support muscle protein synthesis or additional muscle growth. It also showed that sugar-based performance drinks won’t do much for short or average-duration workouts (think anything less than 90 minutes). 

This does not mean carbs are bad; you can include them in your diet or after a workout. For many, the combination feels right and gives you a mental boost. But it also means you don’t need to force-feed carbohydrates in the name of recovery. 

The type of exercise you perform — and how long it lasts — will ultimately determine how much you should refuel with carbs. If you perform longer-duration endurance exercises (think more than 2 hours) or combine strength and endurance training (activities like CrossFit), the extra carbs could help reload your glycogen stores, a primary energy source for exercise. 

More Focus and Energy, Less Caffeine

If you’ve been reading the Pump Club, you know that we’re big believers in the science of coffee. After all, research suggests drinking coffee reduces your likelihood of having a stroke or suffering from cardiovascular disease or dementia. Caffeine is also the most proven supplement to boost your performance. 

That’s the good news. Unfortunately, some people struggle with coffee, either because they drink so much (for the health benefits and energy) that they get headaches, or their body reacts poorly with jitters, anxiety, or an upset stomach.

If you want the benefits of coffee — without the potential side effects — research suggests combining a little caffeine with plant-based nutrients can get the job done. If you need a great coffee option with one-third of the caffeine, we recommend Beam Super Latte. It’s an upgraded approach to coffee — real arabica beans crafted with less caffeine but added benefits from creatine monohydrate and brain-friendly nootropics.

Super Latte includes phosphatidylserine, an amino acid mostly found in your brain that supports cognitive functioning, in high amounts in the brain, where it contributes to cognitive functioning, as well as functional mushrooms like cordyceps, which help fight fatigue. 

You’ll feel the energy of the caffeine, and the extras enhance focus, attention, and productivity. So whether you need a boost to help you push harder in the gym or want something to help you perform better at your job without the crash, this checks the boxes to help you elevate your lifestyle. 

Super Latte was sold out, but as a member of The Pump Club, you get first access to their restock. For the next 24 hours, you can receive up to 35 percent OFF Super Latte when you use the code “PUMPCLUB.

On Our Radar: Do Probiotics Help With Weight Loss?

The first rule of weight loss: no over-the-counter supplement will magically help you lose weight.

However, a recent review suggests that probiotics and symbiotics might play a small role in supporting healthy fat loss. 

More than 12,000 men and women were analyzed across 200 randomized controlled trials. While the results were not crazy, they found that probiotic and symbiotic use was associated with losing about 2 pounds of body fat. 

To be clear, weight loss won’t happen without a calorie deficit, but your gut health can influence how you process, digest, and use the calories you eat, which could affect how you metabolize food. 

If you’re overweight, prior research found that carrying extra pounds could change your microbiome and create bacteria not found in people with a normal BMI, which might affect your ability to lose weight.

Add it all up, and there’s reason to believe a healthier microbiome could assist a little with weight loss, assuming most of your focus is on a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep.

Recommending a probiotic specifically for weight loss is difficult because research is very young, and people react differently to probiotic strains. At this point, it might be more effective to focus on symbiotics and prebiotics, which are foods that support overall microbiome health and feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. Good sources include bananas, legumes (such as lentils), garlic, oats, barley, fermented foods (like sauerkraut or kimchi), asparagus, and yogurt. 

How To Quickly Reduce Stress And Anxiety

The next time you’re feeling a little too stressed or overwhelmed by the moment, take a deep breath and grab a pen, crayons, or markers. 

Research suggests that drawing or coloring can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and elevate mood. 

The magic of coloring might be linked to the ways that it helps boost dopamine as a way to shift your mood. Research suggests that increasing dopamine can help trigger changes that reduce anxiety and stress. 

While there are many ways to increase dopamine, from exercise and walks outside to cold plunges, sometimes it’s not convenient or easy to step outside, go to the gym, or hop in a tub. That’s part of why coloring or drawing can be so effective. 

Research suggests that being artistic — whether drawing, coloring, doodling, or painting — can trigger a dopamine release to make you feel better, help you de-stress, and improve focus and motivation.

And unlike other activities, there’s no expert advantage to drawing. That’s because a little art therapy boosts mood and reduces anxiety regardless of your level of expertise. The researchers found that art therapy boosted mood and reduced anxiety in similar ways for beginners and experienced artists.  

If you need a place to start, doodling or sketching both work. Or, print out a page of geometric figures (they are all over the internet for free) and color in the shapes. Research suggests it might have more mood-boosting benefits than free drawing.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell