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
Eat this, sleep better
A surprising supplement in the fight against Alzheimer’s
The recovery killer
The Surprising Link Between Carbohydrates and Sweet Sleep
Ever wonder why you sometimes wake up feeling like a zombie despite getting a full night's rest? According to a recent study, your fear of carbs could be one reason why your sleep doesn’t leave you feeling fully recovered.
A review of 27 studies found that eating enough carbs — and the right type — significantly enhances sleep quality. Participants who ate more carbs experienced up to a 25 percent improvement in overall sleep duration and a 30 percent decrease in sleep disturbances. This included waking up fewer times at night, contributing to a more restful sleep experience.
If you want to adjust your diet, make sure you eat more complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Those carbs positively affected sleep more than simple carbohydrates, such as sugar-loaded foods and baked goods. The complex carbs can help provide a steady release of serotonin, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter that can lull you into a peaceful slumber. If you’re looking for better sleep, add a serving or two fiber-loaded carbs to your final meal of the day, ideally at least two to three hours before your sleep.
What We’re Watching: A Surprising Ally in the Fight Against Alzheimer's?
Can a workout supplement hold the key to combating Alzheimer's? New research might reshape how we approach cognitive health.
A recent study found creatine — the popular supplement for strength and muscle — might play an important role in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
The fight against Alzheimer’s has focused on preventing plaques (amyloid-β, in particular) from building up in the brain. One potential way is to improve “brain energy metabolism,” which slows down before getting Alzheimer’s and is apparent in people with the disease.
Creatine supplies energy to your brain cells, aiding their proper functioning. As Alzheimer's progresses, brain cells struggle with energy production, and this is where creatine steps in, offering a potential lifeline. Two studies on mice showed creatine could help overcome this energy dysfunction to help prevent plaque build-up.
We don’t usually focus on animal studies, and it’s too soon to know how this will work in humans (animal models don’t always carry over, but creatine might be worth it. As we’ve previously discussed, creatine is one of the most studied supplements, and the past decade has revealed many promising cognitive benefits, such as improving learning and memory and fighting against cognitive decline. And that doesn’t even include the performance benefits for strength and muscle. It’s becoming increasingly likely that creatine is a great foundational supplement for almost anyone.
If you want to add it to your routine, research suggests taking three to five grams of creatine monohydrate per day. We recommend Momentous Creatine, which is NSF Certified for Sport. And, if you act now, it’s currently 25 percent off for members of the village.
The Recovery Killer
Do you use cold therapy after a hard workout? Prioritizing your recovery can make a big difference to help you bounce back faster, but it might not be your muscles that need to chill out.
Research suggests stress can reduce your training performance and recovery for up to four days after a workout.
But that’s not all. Higher stress levels also appear to increase fatigue and soreness and reduce your perceived energy levels. The study highlights the interconnectedness of mental and physical health and serves as a reminder that stress can impact your body in many ways.
While it’s hard to prevent stress, here’s a list of things that work like a chill pill for your mind (in addition to exercise) so you can help reduce stress, which will improve overall health and recovery
Deep breathing (4-second inhale, 4-second hold, 4-second exhale, repeat),
Walks in nature
Positive social interactions, including interacting with friends or doing an activity you enjoy.
If you know you’re under a lot of stress, consider incorporating lighter workouts or not pushing yourself to the extreme. While exercise is a powerful stress-fighter, when your body is over-stressed, intense workouts can increase the likelihood of burnout or injury.
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger