A Surprising Way to Reduce Sugar Cravings

If you can't control your desire for sweets, science suggests changing your sleep schedule could help more than you think.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The surprising reason you crave sugar

  • Sleep solutions

  • Unoptimized recovery

  • Healthier gut (hold the supplements)

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The Surprising Reason You Crave Sugar

Do your taste buds seemingly shift from wanting healthy foods to craving more sugar on the weekend? The reason could be your bedtime routine. 

Research suggests improving your sleep hygiene can help reduce the amount of sugar you eat (and reduce the total calories and fat you eat on a daily basis). 

Even more impressive, the researchers weren’t actively trying to get the participants to eat less sugar. They examined people who slept less than 7 hours per night, gave them tips on how to improve sleep quality (cooler room temperature, avoiding caffeine before bed, following the same schedule every night, limiting screen time, etc.), and then checked to see if sleep or behaviors changed. 

The tips helped people sleep 50 minutes to 1.5 hours more, resulting in them eating nearly 200 fewer calories per day and about 10 grams less sugar. And that happened without making any diet recommendations.

Other research suggests sleep deprivation triggers brain changes that increase your hunger hormones (ghrelin) while turning off the hormone that makes you feel full (leptin). This combination makes it easier to overeat and crave foods you might be trying to limit.

Sleep Solutions

Exercise and diet get all the attention, but solving sleep is easily one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. Just look at the last item we shared.

We don’t believe in magic pills, but some changes lead to undeniable results, and a better mattress is your best bet. 

Our recommendation: The Eight Sleep Pod. It’s scientifically proven to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and have a better night of sleep. It’s easy to make big claims, but much harder to have studies to back it up — and Eight Sleep has both. 

Eight Sleep created a mattress cover that goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet and controls the temperature of your mattress — anywhere from 55 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It allows you to set a different temperature on each side of the bed to terminate all the old arguments between couples about the room's temperature. It wakes you up by slowly heating up and vibrating when you use the alarm feature, which is much more pleasant than that phone sound from your nightstand. And it tracks your sleep, heart rate, and heart rate variability without you having to wear anything.

It works, and we have personally been paying customers almost since the beginning.

We know it’s expensive and not for everyone, but it’s also an investment in one of the most important aspects of your health. So when the opportunity to get a discount for the village came up, we jumped at the chance because we love the product and know it can make a big difference.

If you’ve struggled with sleep, this could be the change you’ve been looking for. On average, Pod users see their sleep quality improve by 32 percent after just one month on the Pod.

Go to eightsleep.com/pumpclub and use the code “PUMPCLUB” to save $200 OFF the Pod by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep currently ships within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and select countries in the EU.

Unoptimized Recovery

Does your post-workout routine include collagen? It might be time for a protein upgrade. 

New research suggests collagen does not support muscle recovery despite potential training benefits. 

Collagen is a popular supplement for hair, skin, and nails, but also for joint recovery. So, researchers tested whether it helps you recover from intense exercise. For 12 weeks, participants performed resistance training and cardio and supplemented with 15 grams of collagen peptides (7.5 grams before and after the workout) or a placebo. 

While the study found some improvements in performance, such as maximal force and countermovement jump height, the benefits you expect were non-existent. 

Those taking collagen did not see any improvements in soreness, fatigue, or recovery. And the collagen didn’t improve body composition (fat loss) either. 

If you want to improve training performance, taking whey or plant-based protein might be more helpful. Whey or plant proteins are a much cheaper alternative to collagen and have been shown to improve training, recovery, muscle gain, and body composition. 

Healthier Gut (Hold The Supplements)

If you're not a fan of pills and powders, the right foods can still take care of most of your bodily needs. 

Researchers found that fermented foods improve your gut health significantly. 

The microbiome continues to be one of the most studied aspects of the human body, and the supplement business is benefiting directly. Gut health and probiotic products are now a multi-billion dollar industry, even though we still have more questions than answers about how well some supplements work. The good news? Adding a few foods to your grocery list can help deliver the desired changes. 

The scientists found that fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, fermented vegetables, and kombucha improved microbial diversity, immune health, and lowered inflammation. The results were seen by those who ate a serving of fermented foods daily for ten weeks. 

Just another reminder that even though most health changes seem like a big hurdle, small changes — such as adding some new foods to your diet — can significantly improve your health.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell