How to Support Someone With Alcohol Addiction

The American Medical Association (AMA) defines alcoholism or alcohol dependence as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.

Research shows that while some people develop a dependence on alcohol due to family history, childhood abuse or poor self-esteem, a few others get into alcohol use because of peer pressure or to fit into a certain group of people. However, irrespective of the influences that persuade a person to use alcohol, the bittersweet truth is that the journey from “one drink” to “one last drink” is mostly not anticipated.

It is so because unlike the popular belief, once a person passes the threshold levels of alcohol abuse, dependence and tolerance, he/she tends to develop an addiction to alcohol. By this time, his/her brain chemistry gets altered due to substance use and it becomes extremely difficult for him/her to quit alcohol because of the discomforting withdrawal symptoms.

It is also important to know that alcohol addiction is different from alcohol abuse. Those who abuse alcohol usually drink heavily, but not regularly. Such people behave recklessly or have a tendency to mix substances of abuse, which can lead to alcohol poisoning. Further, abuse may lead to addiction, but not vice-versa. However, alcohol addiction involves all aspects-dependence, abuse and tolerance.

State of alcohol addiction in America

Alcoholism is soaring in the United States, the worst part being the fact that more than 80,000 people are losing their lives to alcohol every year.

Recent statistics by renowned research and analysis organizations like the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveal the current state of health of Americans.

Here are a few alarming statistics:

Alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation. (Source: NCADD)
Six people lose their lives due to alcohol poisoning every day; three out of four such people are men. (NIAAA)
Every day in the U.S., another 29 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes. (Source: MADD)
Around 4,700 teens are killed every year due to alcohol use, which is way more than the deaths caused by all illegal drugs combined. (NIAAA)
Men are twice as likely as women to overdo drinking, be intoxicated behind the wheel or be involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. (NIAAA)
Approximately one in two women of childbearing age drink, and 18 percent of women in this group binge drink (five drinks per binge, on an average).
Less than 8 percent of the 15 million plus people who struggle with an alcohol use disorder receive treatment. (NIAAA)
Up to 40 percent of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption. (NCADD)
Knowing the warning signs of alcohol addiction

Alcohol consumes the body and the mind of the person using it. While the warning signs of drug and alcohol addiction are many, the disruption in normal life caused due to alcohol addiction has serious effects on the afflicted person’s thoughts, feelings and actions.

Hence, even if alcohol addiction may not seem like a real thing, it is a big menace. To stay away from being trapped, you should be watchful of these red flags:

Resorting to alcohol for every celebration or sorrow
Preferring to drink alone than in someone’s company
Lying about the drinking habit and behavior
Binge drinking whenever and wherever possible
Negligent attitude toward own health and responsibilities
Reckless behavior or no fear of law or rules after drinking
Frequent blackouts, leading to impaired memory functioning
Weight gain caused due to slow absorption of nutrients from food
Development of tolerance to the substance
Discomforting withdrawal symptoms, severe than a hangover
Understanding effects of alcohol use on your body
Alcohol is not the solution to any problem. In fact, its dependence, abuse or addiction is a problem in itself.

The resultant alterations in brain chemistry caused due to alcohol addiction affect both physical and mental well-being of the afflicted person. When left untreated, existing issues aggravate and comorbid disorders develop. Getting an accurate diagnosis and undergoing proper treatment can often be a far-fetched dream if the consulting expert is unable to determine if the symptoms are present due to an addiction or a mental illness.

Here is a view of the short- and long-term effects of alcohol use on your body:

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

· Slurred speech, drowsiness, headaches

· Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia

· Difficulty in breathing

· Distorted vision and hearing, decreased coordination

· Coma, blackouts, unconsciousness

· Impaired judgment

· Hormonal changes

· Sleep problems

· Accidental injuries due to inebriation, violent behavior

· Fetal damage

· Loss of productivity, increased problems in relationships

· High blood pressure, alcohol poisoning, liver disease

· Nerve damage, stroke, heart-related diseases, permanent brain damage

· Ulcers, gastritis, cancer

· Sexual problems

· Depression, personality disorders, suicide

Supporting someone with alcohol addiction

If someone you know is experiencing the above mentioned signs and effects of an alcohol addiction, then your support can be a great aid.

It is with your support that attaining recovery can become a priority for them and everything they love does not have to come last. When that happens, the afflicted person learns to persevere and be remembered for his/her recovery and not his/her addiction.

Here are ways of helping someone with an alcohol addiction:

Understand the nuances of alcohol addiction by seeking guidance from published resources and qualified experts.
Encourage them to be open about the challenges faced so that you can help them find alternates or solutions to the same.
Tell them about the effects their habits are having on you/others so that they do not take you/others for granted.
Convey to them that you are by their side always irrespective of how bad or good the situation may be.
Convince them to join a support group or attend community meetings to learn from people facing similar battles.
Spare time to take them to detox or therapy sessions whenever possible so that they do not feel alone or demotivated.
Lead by example by making a no-drinking pact and rewarding each other for a sober lifestyle from time to time.
Be forgiving and avoid blaming them for anything wrong happening in their life, even when the same is true.
Avoid confronting them or getting into an argument with them when they are not sober.
Remember to keep a tab on your physical or mental health while trying to help them.
Refrain from drinking yourself to escape the stress or find an easy solution.
Convince them to seek a second opinion from another qualified expert when no favorable results are visible.
Ways to reduce alcohol addiction stigma
As alcohol addiction continues to claim more lives than ever, it is important to remember that the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction is a key contributor to the same.

Supporting someone with alcohol problem is possible. You can do your bit to reduce the deadly stigma by following the useful tips given below:

Remember that addiction is a disease and spread the word so that others too can change their outlook.
Practice the habit of not judging people with addiction and encourage others to do so too.
Talk statistics and proven facts instead of communicating personal opinions.
Offer help and support to people with addiction by convincing them to seek help.
Maintain your calm and composure when helping an afflicted person in denial.
Guide people who have little control over their situation to seek help.
Give your best efforts to help the afflicted person in identifying the root cause of his/her addiction.
Never allow anyone to treat a person with addiction in ways that can put him/her under undue pressure.
Lead by example and stay away from any form of addiction yourselves.
Be open about your shortcomings (read: addiction) if you have one and seek timely help.
Motivate people to share their own battles and recovery journey so that others can learn from them.
Join organizations and nonprofit agencies committed to such issues.
How to help a person with addiction who doesn’t want help
Living in denial or showing little or no willingness to talk about addiction is a characteristic many people with addiction have.

Should the same be a thing of worry? Not really! There are several ways of helping a person living in denial about addiction, including the following:

· Persuasion: The first step involves communicating how their habits are affecting the physical or mental health of the members of the family/neighborhood. To attain success, it is important to plan the conversation in advance, fix a mutually suitable time for the conversation and cite specific instances instead of personal opinions.

Further, confrontations and blame game should be avoided. You must do this over a few days. Additionally, you can simultaneously do the following things to ensure that your efforts do not go in vain:

o Telling them on a regular basis that you/others understand how difficult it must be for them.

o Convincing them to join support groups where they can learn from people facing similar struggles.

o Discussing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and what they are missing out on due to their habits.

o Joining activities that you can do together, such as a sport, dancing classes or anything else of mutual interest.

o Accompanying them to the doctor at least during the first few visits and when they are low or demotivated.

o Attending family therapy sessions to strengthen the bond between the two of you and other members of the family/loved ones.

· Setting clear limits and boundaries: While allowing the afflicted person to take some time to mend his/her habits through the aforementioned ways, it is also necessary to let him/her know that he/she does not have an indefinite period of time to think and act.

You can do so by conveying the eventual consequences of his/her habits. Further, you should also refrain from enabling him/her. It is natural for family members/loved ones to fall prey to the tantrums or the lies of the afflicted person. This can give the false impression to the afflicted that he/she has control over everything.

Taking a stance and sticking to it helps the afflicted person know that he/she is in a tight spot. This has the potential to convince him/her to at least seek professional guidance for his/her habits, if not the treatment in the first go itself.

· Medical intervention: If nothing seems to be working well to help an afflicted person in denial, it becomes extremely important to reach out to a professional interventionist or a certified medical practitioner. Their experience and expertise can help them reason with the afflicted person. However, you should plan this in advance so that there are no last minute issues. Doing so is possible by involving concerned family members and friends who know the afflicted person well and are ready to stand by him/her.

Further, you should also be aware of the concerned person’s habits and behaviors. This can help the interventionist have a backup team ready, just in case a medical emergency arises. You should also practice self-care by joining a support group or consulting a therapist yourselves. This is necessary because sometimes, in our endeavor to help someone else, we end up putting our physical or mental health at stake.

Alcohol addiction is treatable

Regardless of whether a person is an occasional drinker, regular drinker or a heavy drinker, the truth is that alcohol does not discriminate when it comes to affecting the user’s body and mind. It slowly crawls upon to become an addiction and with time, instead of the person abusing alcohol, alcohol begins to abuse him/her back.

But the good news is that alcohol addiction is treatable. With the help of a comprehensive treatment program that involves therapy, detox, self-care and a relapse prevention strategy, seeking a full, healthy and lasting recovery from alcohol addiction is possible. The key to the same is consulting a qualified addiction expert who has experience in dealing with patients with addiction as well as comorbid disorders. He/she can also enable the family members/ loved ones of the afflicted person with ways to help someone with alcohol addiction.

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The Real Truth About Marijuana

“So, what’s the big deal. It’s legal for God sakes!” It’s even used as medicine for all kinds of things. Why should I stop smoking? It’s fine. Stay out of my stuff; you just don’t know what’s real. Besides, why do we have a dedicated piece of furniture in this house called “the liquor cabinet?” Pretty hypocritical to me, don’t you think? You do yours, I’ll do mine. Yours is legal too, but it’s never used as medicine is it? I’m sure it does more harm than my pot. Everybody I know does it. It’s fine like I’ve said a million times. Get informed. I feel good, relaxed, creative and comfortable, so what’s wrong with that? There is no need to overreact and try to control everything. As a matter of fact, pushing me not to just makes me want to do it more. I don’t know why you don’t get it.”

Sound familiar? This debate/dialogue has been going on for several generations, but not like the last 10 to 15 years since legalization and medical uses have become more the norm and growing. Legalization alone hasn’t markedly increased cannabis use, but in general, there are seemingly more permissive attitudes towards cannabis where it’s legal. The perception of marijuana’s risks drops off sharply in these states and the use of the drug rises very quickly. The perceived risks have been steadily declining for more than a decade. In 2014, less than half of high school seniors thought that regular marijuana use was very risky; the lowest number in over 40 years.

Families and parents by and large are also not as well-informed about the risks of regular cannabis use or even what is legal and what is not. Their teens know much more, and many choose to ignore, refute or deny the serious risks and the large body of science warning of harm.

The advertisers in states where cannabis is legal are directly marketing to their youthful constituents in free print ads and via playful images. Of course, where there is a profit to be made, manufacturers, even state legislators will be swayed and have incentives to entice young users.

The potency of the current marijuana supply is markedly stronger than in prior decades. Thirty years ago, the THC concentration in marijuana ranged somewhere between 5 and 10%. Now, the potency is greater than 30%. This complicates and compounds the risk, harm and concerns associated with its use. Highly concentrated cannabis resins containing even higher levels of THC are now dangerously available as well

One very vexing issue is that some scientific studies have demonstrated the serious risk and harm of regular marijuana use while others have not. The anatomical and functional harm reportedly done to young brains includes impaired memory, attention, decision-making and learning. This leads to significant increases in poor school performance, increased drop out rates, dependence on public assistance, increased unemployment and much lower life satisfaction. Persistent use in teens has been linked to an 8 point decline in IQ which is comparable to what’s seen in lead poisoning.

During the brain’s neurodevelopmental years, it has greater sensitivity and vulnerability to marijuana’s toxic effects. The negative effects in gray matter density and the nucleus accumbens, an area in the brain central to “reward” and includes dopamine that effects desire and serotonin that effects satiety and inhibition. These areas are essential to motivation, reward, emotion, memory and pleasure for instance. In addition, repeated exposure has been shown to cause damage in the frontal cortex of the brain. This region of the brain is important for planning, personality, judgment, and decision-making. In addition, the brain’s own endo-cannabinoid system is altered and diminished by repetitive exposure. This internal system comprises the physiological mechanisms that respond to THC (tetra-hydrocannabinoid)- the psychosomatic component of marijuana that creates its signature high.

Adolescents in particular are therefore much more sensitive to these serious negative effects of repeated marijuana use. One study also found that “most of a small group of children treated for bronchiolitis,” had marijuana metabolites in their urine and therefore suffered from unintended harm. In this study parents who smoked told the researcher that they no longer smoked cigarettes, but now smoke marijuana. As a corollary, tobacco smoke at “very low levels is detectable in children… ” (MD magazine: Field Report: Colorado Marijuana Laws Hurting Kids; Karen N. Wilson; December 2016).

Some studies have not found neurological changes, but the risks are far too serious and damaging to just dismiss the potential. Longitudinal studies, which is when data is gathered on the same subjects over a long period of time, are being launched soon. The National Institute on Drug Abuse will conduct the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) that will follow 10,000 young people across the country for a decade. This study will try to determine the effects pre and post reported use on brain function. It’s not yet clear if there might be a safe level of use, if the brain can recover over time or not and does the brain have alternative compensatory methods to sustain adequate function.

No matter what is revealed in the future, the current neuroscience strongly points to marijuana as an addictive substance with particular damage likely to adolescent brains and function. Parents need to be well-informed and conversant with their children often. The medical uses for a variety of disorders are very beneficial to many. However legalization, which will likely include more states and medical uses, should not be construed and confused with safety and harmlessness.

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The Pros and Cons of Using Aloe Vera Supplements

Aloe vera supplements are taken to alleviate a number of ailments including constipation, digestive disorders, stomach inflammation and ulcers. Aloe vera uses also include immune system improvement and easing arthritis symptoms. It has also been shown to balance the blood sugar level and decrease body odor. The plant contains many substances such as enzymes, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins among others.

Even though only the leaves of the plant are used for medicinal purposes, the leaves are used for many different purposes. For instance, aloe vera gel is commonly integrated into creams, lotions and ointments and used to treat minor burns and cuts and to soothe lesions and rashes. Not only is it believed to speed the healing process of irritations such as these and insect bites, but it also relieves dandruff and itching. Aloe vera juice has been used as a laxative substance. The supplement has also been made into chunks, liquids and powders and is often made into soothing dairy-based beverages.

Aloe vera supplements may have various side effects. For example, when used as a topical treatment for itching or rashes, one can have an allergic reaction. Overusing the juice can cause imbalances in the electrolytes leading to diarrhea or severe intestinal cramps. People taking arrhythmia medication, diuretics, drugs causing potassium loss and oral or topical steroids should not take the substance. Furthermore, aloe in the form of latex rather than the gel can be dangerous, especially when taken orally.

Still, some may try oral dosages of aloe latex to treat asthma, bleeding, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, missed menstrual periods, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, varicose veins and vision problems such as glaucoma. However, aloe latex in high doses has been linked to cancer and kidney disease, so those who may want to try the substance should speak with a health professional first to discuss its safety.

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How to Make Your Penis Bigger Without Supplements? This Is How I Enlarged My Penis Naturally!

Do you want to learn how to make your penis bigger without supplements? The Internet is full of dishonest folks that may present offers and ideas in regard to penis enlargement, but they are just presenting solutions that don’t work and will only fill their bank account up with your hard earned money.

There is no doubt that the penis enlargement industry is very big, and for that reason, scam artists will try anything to get you to buy whatsoever they have to offer, only to leave you with a product or solution that will provide you with minimal or no results.

It is as a result of these scams that lots of people will opt for penis surgery, but there are lots of reasons you should avoid this as well. Many folks have come to their senses these days and now the elimination of pills, surgery, tools, and all other unnatural methods for making your penis grow larger. A lot of people are realizing that the natural approach is the best approach. This is because when you go natural, you get lasting results, better results, no pain or side effects to worry about.

So if you want to know how to make your penis bigger without supplements and you keep asking yourself “how do I make my penis bigger” without using enlargement pills or surgery. The solution could be found in this article but only if you are committed and determined to do the necessary things.

If you have wanted to increase your penis size ever since you realized that it is possible to do so, then let me just say welcome to the club! A good number of men out there are not happy with the size of their penis and hence, they try to do whatever they can to turn the situation around. The first thing they do is log onto the internet and try to find the most popular method out there and thinking that just because people are talking about it then it should work. You are wrong my friend!

Your research on how to get a bigger penis will lead you towards three paths- you can either make pills a part of your every day diet, make use of extenders or through surgery. Starting with pills, some people might have been able to increase their penis size with pills but there are a large number of side-effects that follows it. Don’t even talk about surgery here please. It is a no go area for me.

How to increase your penis size naturally using penis exercise:-

Step 1: Start by covering your penis with a warm, wet washcloth. Before ever performing any penis exercises, ensure to warm the penis. This should increase the blood flow to your penis.

Step 2: Grasp the head of the penis and perform a horizontal stretch, making sure that you do not cause yourself pain, and hold for anywhere between 5-10 seconds. Release the stretch.

Step 3: Stretch the penis vertically, pulling the head down between your thighs and making sure that you do not cause yourself any pain, and hold for anywhere between 5-10 seconds. Release the stretch.

Step 4: Stretch the penis vertically again, pulling the head up toward your stomach and making sure that you don’t cause pain to yourself, and hold for anywhere between 5-10 seconds. Release the stretch.

Step 5: Repeat the series of stretches until you have completed 10-15 repetitions of each.

Step 6: Grasp the base of your penis with your thumb and index finger (your hand should appear to be making the “OK” symbol). Firm the grip and slide your grasp forward until you reach the head of the penis. This movement should look as if you are “milking” your penis. Repeat this motion until you have completed approximately 100 repetitions to make your penis bigger without supplements.

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Trying to Conceive a Baby Boy – The Supplements You Should Take to Have a Baby Boy

When you’re trying to conceive a baby boy you’ll probably try many of the hints and tips that are around. There have been suggestions that taking various supplements can alter the cervical mucus in favor of the male sperm, whilst others will increase the health and number of sperm, etc.

Male sperm and female sperm are very different, in many ways. Male sperm are fast swimmers, but are weak and are easily destroyed if subjected to adverse conditions. Female sperm swim more slowly but appear to be much more resilient so they survive a lot longer.

Therefore in order to get pregnant with a boy, you need to do everything you can to help the male sperm reach the egg first and fertilize it.

The supplements that are recommended for the ‘mother to be’ when trying to conceive a boy are as follows: Evening Primrose Oil, Green Tea, Vitamin E, and Folic Acid. These are said to alter the cervical mucus and in some cases make it more alkaline, which favors the male sperm.

The supplements that have been recommended for the ‘father to be’ are said to have a beneficial effect on the sperm and are as follows: Zinc, Ginseng, Vitamin E, and Folic Acid. These are all recommended for raising the sperm count and also strengthening the sperm.

Whilst supplements are pretty safe under most circumstances, you should always read the information that comes with the product. If in any doubt at all, you should seek the advice of a healthcare professional before taking the supplement.

Taking supplements is just one thing that you may wish to try when you’re trying to conceive a baby boy.

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Pros and Cons of Equine Supplements

If you want to make sure that your horse looks and feels gret all year round then you will probably have to invest some money into equine supplements. The fact is that there are dozens if not hundreds of different types of equine supplements, ranging from more obscure ones such as coatshine supplements and fly repellents to joint supplements and calmers. It is quite clear that there are hundreds of different products for you to choose from and this massive choice could cause confusion and overwhelm. In today’s article I would like to share some pros and cons about using horse supplements.

Here are the pros of why you should invest in high quality equine supplements:

  • The fact is that grazing conditions are not perfect all year round and during certain periods of the year horses do not get as many different vitamins, minerals and nutrients as their bodies need. This is where horse supplements such as feed balancers come into play. They are packed with all of the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your horse needs to look and feel great. In short, by supplementing your horse’s diet with a high quality feed balancer you will make sure that your horse gets all of the essential nutrients.
  • Sometimes horses that are involved in competitive horse riding disciplines tend to get spooky and anxious, and this could negatively affect horse’s performance. If you want your horse to remain calm, you should invest in a high quality magnesium calmer. In short, horse supplements can help you to keep your horse calm.
  • It does not matter whether you and your horse are involved in competitive horse riding disciplines or if you simply ride because of recreational reasons, the chances are pretty high that as some point in his life, your horse will start to suffer from joint problems. To reduce the risk of joint disease you should invest in high quality joint supplements that will contain active ingredients such as glucosamine and MSM that are proven to strengthen and support joints. In short, horse supplements will help you to minimise the risk of joint disease.

Here are the cons of why you might want to avoid equine supplements:

  • First of all horse supplements are expensive and they can end up costing thousands of pounds every single year. Quite a lot of horse owners fail to realize how expensive horse supplements and other horse care products can be.
  • Secondly, horse supplements is a recent invention. The fact is that horses survived for thousands of years without feed balancers, calmers, joint supplements or any other modern equine product, which clearly indicates that horse supplements aren’t that important. Proper diet and good exercise regimen is key if you want your horse to be healthy and strong.
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How To Be Safe While Buying Supplements Online

Whether you are buying weight loss, muscle building, protein or any other supplements online, safety should always be your first priority. To help you out, here are tips on how to safely buy supplements online:

Be cautious of the company you buy from

There are many companies selling all manner of supplements. Just like any other company, no two companies are the same. When making the purchase, you should be cautious of the company that you buy from. As rule of thumb, you should buy from a company that is FDA approved. You should also carefully go through the customer reviews and identify any red flags that might suggest that the company isn’t reputable. One of the important features that you should check is whether the company is listed by the relevant government authorities.

You can easily do this by looking at the better business bureau. If you notice any signal that tells you that the company isn’t reputable, you should avoid transacting with it. The country of origin of the company is also of great importance. To be safe you should work with a company that originates from a country with safety standards for supplements. Supplement experts recommend that you buy from large and well-known companies. While the companies will sell their products at high prices, the products are usually of high quality as they often follow the good manufacturing practices.

Take note of the ingredients

Different companies manufacture their supplements using different ingredients. To be safe you should carefully go through the ingredients used in the manufacture and ensure that they are safe. If you aren’t sure of the safety of the ingredients you should ask your doctor for input. As rule of thumb, you should avoid supplements containing harmful ingredients.

In addition to checking the ingredients, you should also check for certifications from organizations that verify supplements. Such organizations include: NSF international, united states Pharmacopeia, and many others. If the supplement has made a medical claim you should look out for any medical research that might have been done on the product.

Carefully go through the return policy

There are many reasons why you might want to return a product: you might have received the wrong products, you might have changed your mind or you might have developed reactions from using the product. There is no company worth its salt that won’t offer a return policy; therefore, when buying the product ensure that you buy from a company offering the policy. The policy not only shows that the company is reputable, it also gives you peace of mind as you know that you can always return the product and get back your money.

Before you order from the company, first carefully go through the policy document and ensure that you fully understand every word. Some companies will allow you to return the supplements but it will deduct a 10% fee. Other companies will allow the return of the product but they won’t accept it if you have opened it.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to safely buy supplements online. To be safe, only buy from a reputable company.

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All Vitamin Supplements Are Not Created Equal

While getting all your essential nutrients from natural foods is ideal, it may not be practical in today’s society and many people turn to vitamin pills to supplement their diets. Make no mistake about it however, vitamin supplements are big business and not all manufacturers have your best interests at heart.

There are thousands of supplements to choose from and consumers spend billions of dollars each year – many never get even a small fraction of their money’s worth.

How do you choose a vitamin supplement that won’t just go down the toilet?

There are 3 types of vitamin supplement delivery systems. Capsules, Liquid, and tablets. The trick is to pick one that dissolves properly and does not just “pass through” thus wasting your hard earned money.

The liquid would be the best, but unfortunately there are not many choices out on the market. Plus, the can be inconvenient and they taste like cough syrup. But, they are great if you can’t swallow pills and are good for kids as well.

Tablets are the most common form of vitamin supplement. They are made by mixing in an organic or inorganic cement and compressing them into shape. For the pills to dissolve properly, an organic cement should be used but this costs more and as you can imagine, many manufacturers skimp on this stel. There are also coated tablets that resemble little candy-coated M&M’s. These are very commonly found in the one a day cheap drug store vitamins.

Capsules are gelatin containers that dissolve quickly and in most cases the best choice. Because they’re not compressed like the tablets, you will typically have to take two of them to equal one tablet.

One important thing with vitamin supplements is that you want to make sure you absorb as much as possible, otherwise you are just wasting your money. Studies have shown that individual vitamin isolates found in supplements are only about 10% absorbed while vitamins directly from a fresh plant source are 77% to 93% absorbed. Minerals have an even lower absorption rate – 1% to 5%. But, from plants like raw broccoli, the minerals are 63% to 78% absorbable.

The reason for this difference in absorption is that in nature, each vitamin and mineral molecule is attached to a protein molecule. That’s why you must take your vitamin supplements with meals – unless stated otherwise on the label. During digestion, only about 10% of the vitamin and mineral molecules, aided by enzymes, will attach to the protein molecules found in your food allowing them to be absorbed and used by your cells. Without these accompanying proteins, the body will see the vitamin isolates as a foreign substance and filter it out. That’s why you might have noticed bright yellow urine after you take a vitamin – that’s your bodies way of getting rid of chemicals it thinks it can’t use.

When selecting a vitamin supplement, make sure it has adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals you want. Remember only about 10% of what is in the supplement will be absorbed. Look for the BP (British Pharmacopoeia) or USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) designation on the label. You will find the USP or BP initials next the the vitamin and this designation means the vitamin isolates are of the highest quality and are easily dissolved in the digestion process.

When looking at the minerals section of the label, look for “chelate” or “chelated”. This indicates that the minerals are attached to protein prior to being added to the supplement. This increases absorption by 400% to 800%.

Look for a supplement with a “food base”. This is concentrated plant material to which the vitamins and minerals are added. Supplements with a food base will contain enzymes and nutrients that boost the absorption of the vitamins and minerals. This is probably the best type of vitamin you can buy but the tablets will be larger and you may have to take more of them.

Nutritional supplements can never take the place of food and should not be used as a crutch to supplement a poor diet. The best recipe for health is to eat a nutritious and healthy diet which can be supplement when necessary.

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Horse and Vet Supplements Are Helping Bodybuilders Just As Much As Vet Drugs

Most of us have had experiences with veterinary drugs… simply incredible drugs that generally are targeted towards horses or dogs… and the ensuing results have probably always been spectacular. However, when you first start, the concept of ingesting something intended for our four legged friends can be a bit jarring. You wonder if you’re going to take Winstrol and end up jumping 5 foot fences, or if you’re going to get on all fours, pee on your neighbor’s mailbox and chase a rabbit if you sample some of Fido’s hormonal medication – and haven’t we all had a moment on all fours where it’s been embarrassing? Scratch that.

Look, there’s definitely a reason that veterinarian drugs are desired by many and why taking the lead of race and show horse performance may be the best plan. Sport horses are insanely amazing athletes. Not just your typical race horses, but dressage horses, jumping horses, cross country and steeplechase horses, and so many others there are too many to mention. Basically, these capable athletes are not only as aesthetically pleasing and as muscle solid as you are as a bodybuilder, they tend to be really geared up for performance. They perform like well-oiled machines. Much of that is genetic predisposition and they have evolved over the years to become such powerful animals. But, a lot has been cultivated beyond the regular level of performance and conditioning by way of animal performance and growth drugs and equine specifically equine sports supplements.

Oh yes, these hooved homies are supplement junkies much like you! Alright, they aren’t, but their owners certainly are. As a matter of fact, the equestrian world is downright fanatical when it comes to “getting the edge”. It’s really quite astounding that trends in the equestrian world so closely resemble the main threads of bodybuilding supplementation. We tend to take creatine, horses take creatine. We take Gamma-Oryzanol, horses take G-O. Horses take Glucosamine and Chondroitin, and we take it, in addition to Hyaluronic acid (horses took it first) and the list just keeps going on and on.

The idea is, horses and people aren’t so different in regards to athletic needs. While bodybuilding may be considered an aesthetic-only pursuit, those of us who train all know that in the gym, it’s all about obtaining higher levels of performance! The most exciting thing is, there is a supplement that is based on horse performance principles that is like the supplement version of we have all enjoyed out of veterinary Anabolics over the years. It really is the equivalent in regards to supplementation – something that has up until now been very difficult to obtain in the bodybuilding world.

I used to think that having a supplement that was as good as Winstrol and Equipoise are as an AAS, would be an impossible dream. Based on pre-workout (energy), workout (anti-fatigue/ lactic acid blocking properties) and post-workout (recovery), it’s like vet Anabolics – you tend to get the most clear results for the fewest hassles. It’s a real “bang for the buck” supplement in the same way Winstrol-V and Equipoise is a damn good steroid cycle! And believe you me, the pre-performance and recovery aspects of the equestrian supplement world are vastly more advanced than the human side.

The human version of this equestrian supplement is called TridenosenH, I believe it’s still a littler hard to find, but maybe do some searching on the Internet to see what you come up with. Believe me, this marriage of the equestrian supplement world with the human one is an advancement that’s been long awaited, especially by me.

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High School Wrestling: Diet and Supplements

The nutritional plan that a wrestler follows can be a factor in his performance. Different foods supply different nutrients to our bodies. Although food is the most important element in your nutritional plan, supplements can also be a beneficial addition. Some wrestlers desire to lose weight. Some wrestlers do not need to lose weight. Regardless of whether or not a wrestler needs to lose weight, all wrestlers want to be strong and have sufficient energy.

Protein (4 calories per gram)

The body uses protein to perform many functions. I believe most of you know that one of protein’s main functions is building and repairing body tissues (e.g. muscle tissue). Proteins are composed of amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that the body cannot make and must be provided by one’s diet. A complete protein supplies all of the essential amino acids. Most complete proteins come from animal sources. We are talking about meat, fish, fowl, milk, cheese, and eggs. Why is protein important for a wrestler? Wrestling is strenuous and can be catabolic (i.e. break down muscle tissue).

How much protein do you need? Some studies have suggested that athletes require more protein than a sedentary person does. Your diet should get about 25% of its calories from protein.

Good Sources of Protein:

  • lean beef
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • lean pork
  • fish without breading
  • turkey
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • eggs

An Interesting Fact about Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese contains a large amount of the milk protein called casein. In fact, cottage cheese is almost 100% unadulterated casein. Casein digests slowly in the body. Casein supplies a slow trickle of amino acids after being ingested. Therefore, if you eat some cottage cheese before bed you can receive a slow trickle of amino acids (i.e. protein) into your body throughout the night that could be anti-catabolic (i.e. prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue) while muscle tissue is being repaired during sleep.

Regarding Eggs:

Eggs have a Biological Value (BV) of 100. Our bodies utilize the protein contained in eggs very well. Even egg whites have a BV of 88. I don’t recommend eating only egg whites even if they are lower in fat and calories. I think nature made eggs to be eaten with the yolk and white as a package. A large whole egg contains about six grams of protein. Eggs are nutrient dense. If you’re concerned about calories, you can poach eggs or fry them in a non-stick pan. There are liquid egg white products if you prefer. Remember that it’s probably not a good idea to eat raw eggs like Rocky Balboa.

Regarding Beans:

Beans are interesting because they can be a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Beans also supply fiber that can help you feel full if you are trying to diet. Beans and rice are a popular combination for supplying a meal that includes all or close to all of the essential amino acids. Some experts consider the combination of beans and rice to be a complete protein.

A guy named Tim Ferriss advocates something he calls a “slow-carb” diet for weight loss. Beans and legumes are an important part of this diet plan. For example, one meal might consist of beef, pinto beans, and mixed vegetables. Another meal might consist of eggs, black beans, and mixed vegetables. The diet doesn’t include carbohydrates like breads, cereals, and fruits so it’s not really a good diet for a wrestler. I just thought it was interesting as a weight loss option and because of its reliance on beans and legumes.

Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel. In other words, carbohydrates provide you with energy. Wrestling practice and competition obviously require a lot of energy. Therefore, make sure to include plenty of carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates get broken down into glucose and other sugars. Glucose is your brain’s preferred fuel source. Much of this glucose gets stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is then used as a source of energy. Your diet should derive about 60% of its calories from carbohydrates. There are complex carbohydrates like breads and cereals and simple carbohydrates like fruit. Educate yourself.

Good Sources of Carbohydrates:

  • breads
  • bagels
  • muffins
  • pancakes
  • cereals
  • rice
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • fruits
  • vegetables

When I wrestled in high school, I ate a lot of carbohydrates. For instance, I actually ate a lot of rice cakes. I figured I could eat five rice cakes for about the same number of calories in one can of soda. I know you probably think they taste like Styrofoam but I became used to them. I also ate many potatoes without butter, salt, or any other condiments. I ate many bowls of plain oatmeal. I became accustomed to eating a simple diet. Of course, I still had a Pop-Tart or candy bar occasionally.

In Regards to Fruits and Vegetables:

Why eat a candy bar when you could eat two large apples for about the same number of calories? That was my thinking back in high school when I was dieting for wrestling. Fruits and vegetables are often fat free, low in calories, high in water content, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients like antioxidants. I ate many servings of green beans back then. I had an apple or two almost every day. I could eat a large amount of food for a small amount of calories.

Fat (9 calories per gram)

Fats provide twice the number of calories per gram as proteins and carbohydrates. Therefore, you don’t want to consume too much fat. However, you should not eliminate fat entirely from your diet. Your diet should derive about 15% of it’s calories from fats. Fats do many important things in our bodies. Fats build healthy cell membranes. Fats help to make hormones like testosterone. Your brain is approximately sixty percent fat. Some fats can help make your skin smooth and healthy. Moreover, fat cushions your body organs.

You’ve probably heard about the many types of fats such as saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, and trans fats. Dr. Eric Serrano believes that saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats are all important. However, he recommends avoiding hydrogenated fats altogether. You may want to research fats and essential fatty acids. You may also want to perform an online search for Dr. Eric Serrano, Udo Erasmus, Dr. Bill Sears, and Dr. Joseph Mercola in regards to healthy fats.

Some Good Sources of Fat to Consider:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flax oil
  • fish oil
  • cod liver oil
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • virgin coconut oil
  • avocados

Don’t be afraid to eat whole eggs, lean red meat, salmon, tuna, and even a bit of butter occasionally. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. However, if you do some research regarding virgin coconut oil you will find out it that it has many potential health benefits. In addition, remember to limit or avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats.

I was advised at a wrestling camp to try to eat a diet of about 80% healthy food and 20% unhealthy food during wrestling season. I guess they figured nobody could eat healthy 100% of the time. That may be sound advice.

In the book Blood in the Cage, author L. Jon Wertheim writes about Pat Miletich, a former wrestler and former UFC champion. Pat and most of his fighters follow something called Miletich’s “fighter’s diet” when a competition is drawing near. This diet consists mainly of oatmeal, eggs, and skinless, boneless chicken.

Fast Food Tips:

  • Have water or milk instead of pop
  • Have grilled chicken in sandwiches and soft shell tacos
  • Have grilled chicken breast, lean roast beef, and lean ham on sub sandwiches
  • Have a garden salad with minimal dressing
  • Have a baked potato without butter, sour cream, or cheese
  • Have a small hamburger without cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise
  • Avoid deep-fried, breaded, and batter-dipped foods

Keep in mind:

  • One pound equals approximately 3,500 calories
  • If you cut 500 calories a day from your diet you will lose approximately one pound per week
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to lose weight is to take your current bodyweight times 10 (e.g. 150 X 10 = 1,500 calories)
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain weight is to take your current bodyweight times 15 (e.g. 130 X 15 = 1,950 calories)
  • A calorie-counting book and a food scale may be helpful; read nutrition labels
  • Try to avoid empty calories like you find in soda pop and candy
  • Keep your pre-competition meal light and carbohydrate based

I don’t recommend cutting weight or starving. You need food to fuel your body. In addition, drink plenty of fluids so that do not become dehydrated. If you choose to lose weight, do it slowly and carefully. You don’t want to lose muscle tissue and strength. In addition, you need energy for hard practices.

If you are Vegetarian or Vegan:

Strength coach Mike Mahler is a vegan (i.e. eats no animal products whatsoever) and yet he is big and strong. Some staples in his diet include nuts, seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, beans, lentils, vegetables, coconut milk, healthy fats like olive oil, and rice protein powder.

Pre-Competition Meal:

As far as your pre-competition meal goes, keep it familiar. That is not a time to try new foods. Keep it light and carbohydrate based so you have energy. A heavier meal with more fat will be slower to digest. On the other hand, your pre-competition meal should be something that you enjoy. I think I read somewhere that boxer Sugar Ray Leonard liked to have a cheeseburger before a big fight. I wouldn’t recommend that, but it seemed to work fine for him. Olympic champion speed skater Bonnie Blair’s pre-race meal was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had a friend in high school that had one of his highest scoring basketball games after a meal of several bowls of chili. Personally, I always liked to have pancakes before a competition. For some people that would probably sit too heavy in their stomach. I liked to have jelly sandwiches and Pop-Tarts at wrestling tournaments if I needed something between matches. Find what works for you.

Supplements to Consider:

  • Multivitamin – to cover anything you might miss in your diet
  • Meal Replacement Products (MRPs) – shakes like Myoplex and Met-Rx provide protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals if you don’t have time to eat a meal
  • Whey protein – whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body and is ideal for a post workout shake
  • Glutamine – may help you maintain muscle if dieting; improves immune function
  • Creatine monohydrate – supplies energy to your muscles; make sure you stay hydrated if you use this supplement
  • Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) – may help with recovery and repair
  • Inosine – may give you greater endurance by supporting the regeneration of ATP
  • HMB – may help slow the breakdown of muscle tissue (i.e. anti-catabolic)
  • Beta-alanine – may help improve your work capacity via it’s ability to buffer lactic acid
  • Caffeine – can increase energy and alertness

You probably don’t need to supplement at all. Eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods and stay hydrated. That will do more for you than any supplement ever can. In addition, supplements can be costly. Moreover, some supplements work for one wrestler and not for another. Therefore, if you choose to use supplements be cautious and be careful. Do some research about the potential benefits and dangers of any supplement before using it.

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. I am not an expert on dietary supplements. Read articles and books pertaining to nutrition and supplements. I have simply provided a rough guide to help you get started. Remember that you need fuel for your body to function well. That fuel is food. Therefore, make sure that make smart dietary choices on your path to wrestling success.

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