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    LIVING LEGACY BLOG — vitamin

    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    People always look for magic recipes to have a better health, having more focus, recovering faster from physical activities or stress and, of course, for losing weight. But in reality, we have a very powerful tool from nature that will beat all those miraculous formulas:

     

    A nice and deep sleep night!

     

    A good sleep allows your body to recover and also to perform vital metabolic processes, such as getting rid of toxic proteins in the brain. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your “sleeping” brain is very busy consolidating short-term memories into long-term memories.

    It's no surprise that sleep deprivation has been associated with a lot of health issues, the ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. 

    Research shows that not getting enough sleep, or getting poor-quality sleep, also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.(1)

    So, as this is a very important issue, most of times overlooked, we researched proven factors to consider if you want to have a quality sleeping time:

     

    1. Turn the Lights Off

    Light helps to regulate the body biological clock, especially through melatonin, a hormone that indicates to your body that it’s time to sleep. When we turn all the lights off the body starts to produce melatonin. But the blue light, naturally produced by the sun and also by the TV screens, computers, and smartphones disrupts the production of melatonin. So the important tip here is to reduce the exposure to blue light in the evening.

    2. Try to be consistent on sleeping time

    Your body aligns itself with sunrise and sunset. Being consistent with waking and sleep times can improve the quality of your sleep dramatically. It's just like a computer program. That's why on Mondays it is always a hard day to wake up and you feel sleepy and tired all day long.  If that's sounds familiar for you, probably your weekend sleep pattern is not the same as weekdays.

    Studies show that an irregular pattern of sleep can also alter your levels of melatonin (2).

     

    3. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine during night time

    Alcohol is known to increase sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol before bed also can reduce nighttime hormone production. A study (3) shows that ethanol decreases nocturnal plasma levels of thyroid hormones, causing the disturbance of many other factors.

    Regarding the Caffeine, it's a very popular substance that has proven to bring many benefits, like focus enhancement and energy boosting. Many people use it for improving the sports performance. But people don't realize that taking this substance in the late evening, will stop your body from naturally relaxing.

    So, be careful on what you drink with your dinner. Sometimes that glass of wine, soft drink or the expresso after the meal are the bad guys behind your troubled sleeping!

     

    4. Exercise hard to sleep well or sleep well to exercise hard?

    Definitively exercising during the day leads to a better sleep at night. But this is a kind of controversial subject with regard to the potential sleep disruption that may be caused due to a hard workout done in the late evening.

    The findings here are that exercising lead to an increase in the production of adrenaline and also raises your body temperature. (both negative factor for a good night sleep). But those factors are temporary. So, unless you finish your workout and jump straight to bed, these effects may be compensated by a warm bath and a cool temperature bedroom.

    A study also shows that increased physical activity improves sleep and mood in inactive people.(4). But not everyone is the same. You will have to listen to your body and determine is the time you go to the gym is causing you a poor night sleep.

     

    Now, one thing to watch is regarding the muscles or joints pains that the workout may produce in your body. If you did workout too hard this may be felt during the night and disrupt your sleep. Also in the next morning you will feel tired and sore because your body needs more rest to recover. With this regard, it's important to have the correct nutrition and post training supplementation.  Glucosamine formulas taken regularly can help to improve a lot the joints discomfort, while BCAAs (amino acids) will support your muscles regeneration process.

     

    5. Try to Supplement with Melatonin

    Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that signals to your brain when it's time to relax and go to bed (5). Often used to treat insomnia, it may be the easiest and fastest way to fall into a deep sleep. It can also help fight jet lag, and that's why melatonin is especially popular among frequent travel flyers.

    Other natural supplements that combined with melatonin can help:

    Magnesium: Lack of magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in the brain, can result in abnormal neuronal excitations leading to a troubled sleep. 

    Valerian root: Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root is commonly used as a natural treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression and menopause. This root is backed by several studies that show it can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality.(6)

    L-Theanine: An amino acid, l-theanine can improve relaxation and sleep. (7)

    Tryptophan: Study reports that doses as low as 1 gram per day of this essential amino acid may help improve sleep quality. (8)

    And many other natural ingredients, such as Chamomile, Vitamin B6, St. John’s Wort, Gaba, Skullcap and Ashwaganda, are already being used in the best sleeping formulas that are available in the market.

     

    For athletes, a good night sleep worth as much as a heavy day of training. Recovery is very important to take you to the next level of performance of your sport. So, make sure to follow these tips and have a good night!

     

    Gracie Essentials Team

     

     

    References:

    (1) https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/sleep-deprivation

    (2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220314

    (3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8675588

    (4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25903450

    (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9556097

    (6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347389

    (7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15378679

    (8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715722/

    Couples That Roll Together ...

    Couples That Roll Together ...

    Well, after many years teaching martial arts and observing my students behaviour, I can complete the sentence of the post subject by telling you that couples that roll together stick together for a long time!

    Well, that's not hard to explain at all. Both of them are making a commitment to learn something together under the same umbrella of principles and values. In practical terms, that also means they’re always on the same page when it comes to training schedules, food choices and physical goals.

    By having a common desire to learn self-defense, get healthier or stronger, they have chosen to share the same journey (and of course, reach their destination) together in a teamwork.

    I believe that this bond is the secret to making relationship more solid, specially in a world of so many volatility when the matter is the heart.

    You can say that this would apply to any sports or activities a couple decides to embark together. But in the case of a martial art, there are several unique aspects that can represent a plus in a relationship:

    1) Training Jiu-Jitsu, MMA or any other martial arts, trains you to stay calm and optimistic, even in the toughest moments. Being optimistic drives their positive energy to support each other. Therefore, they are able to take on life’s challenges together. 

    2) They will be happy and stress free people. Apart from the fact they will earn more time to enjoy themselves together, an intense workout gives them lots of energy to power up the day! This is all thanks to the endorphins that their brains release. Besides giving them that boost of extra energy, these hormones have a deep impact in the mood, increasing your level of happiness reducing stress. It's really a physical thing.

    3) They will never run out of things to do or to talk about. Imagine sharing a passion for Jiu-Jitsu with your significative other! Your UCF nights are now so much more fun! You've got company! And even better, they can apply and practice the techniques they see on TV or Internet anytime, anywhere ... And most importantly, as they progress in the learning they will become even closer to each other, as they will have a deeper mutual understanding. They will know their strengths and weaknesses during the trainings. When they finally get to this point, supporting the partner whenever needed, out of the mats, will become even more natural.

    4) And last but not least, if things get real bad and they want to fight (sometimes it happens ...), there will be always an open mat nearby for them to do some sparring and maybe, who knows, fixing things up on the BJJ way (LOL).

    A special thanks to my friends, a real Jiu-Jitsu couple, Rafael and Sara Torres for the super nice picture! Hope you both love this post as well!

    And as this blog post is featured at Gracie Essentials website for the Valentine's Day, I can not finish without inviting you to enjoy the promotions we have for him and for her on all the supplements and vitamins that will keep your heart beating strong! 

    Hope you all LOVE it!

    Master Rilion Gracie

     

    Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

    "Butterflies" in your Stomach Before a Match?

    How the enteric nervous system role in our belly goes far beyond just processing the food we eat*.

     

    It doesn't matter how experienced athlete you are, I am pretty sure you already experienced that familiar feeling of "butterflies" in the stomach before an important race or competition.

     

    This sensation comes from an often-overlooked network of neurons lining your gut that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our "second brain".

     

    A more detailed understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, reveals that it does much more than merely process digestion.

    In fact, your gut is in direct connection with your brain and partly determines our mental state and plays important roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

    This whole system contains over 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. This enornous amount of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to "feel" the inner world of our gut and its contents.

    Much of this "intelligence" is used for complex daily tasks as breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and expelling of waste moving everything on down the line in a synchronized chemical process and rhytimic muscle contractions. This is a very complicated process and scientists found out that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around (!!)

    Besides that the "second brain" also informs our state of mind in many situations and a big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut. Butterflies in the stomach, signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response, is just one example.

    In fact 95% of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels. Antidepressant medications that increase serotonin levels, also provoke gut issues as a side effect. Irritable bowel syndrome—which afflicts millions of people —also arises in part from too much serotonin in our entrails, and could perhaps be regarded as a "mental illness" of the second brain.

    Researches are currently investigating how the "second brain" mediates the body's immune response. We know that at least 70% percent of our immune system is aimed at the gut to expel and kill foreign invaders.

    One way to help your gut to balance the system is providing more "good bacterias" to balance the loss caused by stress, fatigue, bad eating habits. A powerful probiotics complex with the right bacteria strains can be key to your health and wellness.

    So after all, whether you are a professional athlete or just an sports enthusiast, it is time to pay more attention to that so-called "gut feelings".

    OSS!

    Rilion Gracie

     

    * credits to Scientific American Magazine https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

     

     

    How Probiotics Can Boost your Fitness

    How Probiotics Can Boost your Fitness

    Research shows that probiotics can control the good and bad bacteria in the gut. It also protects the gut against digestive issues and inflammation. However, now research has shown that probiotics might provide more benefits than what was known before. Below are ways in which a probiotic supplement can help improve your fitness.

     

    Nutrient Absorption

     

    Probiotics can help maintain optimal health of the gut lining that leads to better nutrient and energy absorption. The gut lining is made of cells that control the absorption of nutrients, and at the same time gets rid of waste. That’s why it is important to keep the cells of the gut healthy at all times.

     

    Immunity

     

    Athletic activity and regular workout can put a stress on your immune system. Majority of the immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract or GI. By regularly taking probiotics pre and post-workout, you are able to maximize your immune activity without having to compromise your performance during workout. The good bacteria produce compounds that can help prevent oxidative stress, inflammation, and infection. These factors can help you recover faster, and get the most out of the workout.

     

    Diet and Weight Loss

     

    A good diet plan involves the balance of vegetables, hearty grains, and fruits. You might not know it, but the fiber from the foods is also raw material probiotics that can be utilized to make vitamins. Consuming at least 60 grams of fiber each day will allow you to get 10 percent of your daily caloric requirements without having to add more calories.

     

    Improves Mood and controls Cravings

     

    The good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract produce dopamine and serotonin. Over 75% of these hormones of our entire body are located in the gut. These are two hormones that help elevate the mood. By taking probiotic each day, you will be able to get into the “good” mood to workout.  But that is not all! With low serotonin levels, you will feel those famous cravings for carbs, especially during the night. That’s why when you eat that delicious chocolate bar you feel so happy and satisfied … your “mood” is fed by serotonin!

     

    Produce Nutrients

     

    Gut bacteria and probiotics produce various nutrients as a by-product of their metabolism. For instance, probiotic bacteria produce vitamins B, and K. Indigestible fiber is also metabolized from the diet into short chain fatty acids  (SCFA) that are used by the gut cells, and help in feeding other tissues and organs. With a healthy gut, you are able to generate 10 percent of the daily caloric requirement through the production of SCFA.

     

    Anti-Inflammatory

     

    Last but definitely not the least; probiotic can help prevent inflammation of the gut lining. It has been observed that strenuous workout can result to gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, because of the inflammation of the gut lining. Probiotic can prevent this from happening. It protects the gut, which allows you to exercise without worrying about problems with your gastrointestinal tract.

     

    Probiotic supplement can help in both recovery and performance. And that’s how it can boost your overall fitness. And through the right supplement, you’ll get a good dose of good bacteria that will help the body perform at its best. 

     

     

    Your Supplements Might be Killing You!

    Your Supplements Might be Killing You!

    Just like my father, Great Master Carlos Gracie Sr., I became an autodidact when the subject is healthy nutrition.

    And I cannot ignore the evolution of this market in the last few years, specially in a country like the US. We have seen a significant growth of interest in the topic, especially among the younger population.

    However, people quickly began to realize that keeping a natural, healthy, strict and disciplined diet it's not practical in the modern society, where everyone is in a kind of a "rush" for everything. 

    And that is where the supplement industry has found one of its main pillars by addressing the "need" for instant consumption of essential nutrients in a very convenient format: a capsule or a powder scoop.

    As getting the necessary nutritional value from the real food that we eat alone became nearly impossible nowadays, we then turn to supplements of different kinds.

    That was the main reason why I created Gracie Essentials. If you cannot fight them, join them. But in a way you can preserve your principles, values and beliefs.

    Mostly important,  I did not want to enter in my academy's locker room anymore and find my athletes taking supplements that represent a treat to their health. 

    But this was not their fault. I realized that a lot of people fail to comprehend that taking nutritional supplements from unauthorized and unproven ingredients with questionable health effects is a considerable gamble that may end up causing potentially devastating effects on their bodies. 

    Watch Fake Products 

    Not only there is an abundance of fake supplements and other types of nutrition on the market, but the trend is growing in popularity. Products of this kind are even sold by trainers and self-proclaimed nutritionists, coming from sources that cannot be trusted.

    Unfortunately, the consumer is unaware of the schemes as well as of the side effects, which can follow. 

    What to do? 

    My honest advice is to purchase your supplements, whey protein, pre-workouts, BCAA, Vitamins and all sorts of additional supplementation from renowned, reputable and established brands on the market. I take pride in also providing this possibility to you with Gracie Essentials. 

    This is absolutely critical. It’s true that proper intake of additional nutrition through different supplements could be particularly beneficial. It could significantly increase and enhance your performance

    Furthermore, it could also help you with different weight-related challenges. Whether you want to gain weight and muscles or you want to burn through excessive fat, proper supplements are absolutely necessary and paramount. However, you should make sure that you get this from reliable sources with established reputation. 

    So, a few things you have to check before buying supplements: 

    1. Make sure the company manufacturers the product in the USA. 

    2. Look for certifications from the manufacturer like GMP (good manufacturer practices)

    3. See if the products are manufactured in a approved FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) facility.

    4. Look the label of the supplement and check if everything is disclosed. Be careful with proprietary blends that do not tell you what is inside the formula. 

    5. Be sure there are no banned substances in the formula. FDA banned some harmful ingredients that even the big supplements and retail brands used to sell with no restrictions in the market.

    6. Make sure the company has a website and a real customer service. You have to be able to communicate with the manufacturer in case you have any doubts about the ingredients or the directions to take the supplement  

    7. And last, but not the least, we advice you to talk with your doctor in order to determine your compatibility and proneness to taking supplements of the kind. Remember, supplements are not medicines and are not supposed to cure any deceases. Always trust in your doctor's opinion.

    Hope this information helps you to navigate through this huge market of sports nutrition with so many options in the shelf. And do not forget to check our products at www.gracieessentials.com

     OSS!

    Master Rilion Gracie