Alcohol detox 101 – What to expect, timeline, and natural detox methods 0 1907

Detoxing from alcohol can potentially be one of the hardest things somebody will ever go through. Symptoms of withdrawal can begin as early as two hours after the last drink and can last for weeks. The symptoms can range from anxiety, nausea, and tremors. The symptoms of withdrawal can worsen quite quickly, especially in heavy drinkers.

It’s highly recommended to detox from alcohol under proper medical supervision. However, there are also some natural methods you can use to aid with the process and help your body recover more quickly.

Four Reasons Why You Should Minimize Your Alcohol Intake

1. Alcohol consumption is damaging to your brain.

Alcohol can disrupt your brain whether you’ve only had one or two drinks or if you’ve been a heavy drinker for many years. Blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty walking, slower reaction times, and impaired memory function are just a few symptoms caused by the damage that alcohol does to your brain.

2. Alcohol consumption takes a toll on your liver.

Long-term, chronic alcohol abuse takes a tremendous toll on your liver. It can contribute to three main types of liver conditions: fatty liver, hepatitis, and scarring of the liver – known as cirrhosis. (1)

3. Alcohol consumption has a negative effect on your pancreas.

Alcoholics and heavy drinkers can cause progressive and irreversible damage to their pancreas (2). Excessive alcohol consumption causes your pancreas to produce a toxic substance that can lead to pancreatitis.

4. Alcohol consumption can increase your risk of cancer.

Many people are surprised to learn that drinking alcohol can actually increase your risk of developing certain kinds of cancers (3). Research has shown patterns that link alcohol abuse to the following types of cancer: head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Natural Detox Methods

For people with only a low to moderate dependency to alcohol, a detox regimen may be enough to reverse the negative effects of alcohol consumption. While it can be an unpleasant process, it’s entirely possible to quit alcohol either cold turkey or by tapering off on your own at home. Here are some tips:

Step 1: Eliminate any and all alcoholic beverages within your immediate environment.

You should obviously remove any and all alcohol in your home and workplace. If you’re not around it, it becomes a little easier to say no and can help you take your mind off of it. Stay busy and find other outlets to unwind and relax after a hard day’s work. Minimizing your exposure to alcohol is one of the most basic, yet most difficult aspects of quitting alcohol because for many people, there is a social aspect to it.

Step 2: Stay hydrated with detox beverages and supplements such as juices and smoothies made from whole foods.

Focus on making sure that you stay properly hydrated throughout your detox. By making something like lemon detox water you can stay hydrated while also providing some added assistance to your kidneys while they begin flushing the alcohol toxins out of your system. Liver support supplements such as milk thistle and cranberry juice may also help, especially during the most rigorous stages of the alcohol detox.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

The timeline of an alcohol detox can vary wildly. It depends on a number of factors, such as how long you’ve been drinking alcohol and how much. This should give you a good idea of what to expect:

Alcohol withdrawal and detox are generally broken down into three main stages. The symptoms of each stage vary, but most often begin within the first eight hours of refusing your next powerful urge to drink. Think of this urge as a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’. This is commonly referred to as stage one, and usually causes anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and abdominal pain. Stage two usually begins at the 24-72 hour mark and is marked by high blood pressure, an increase in body temperature, unusual heart rate, and in severe cases, confusion. At the 72+ hour mark or stage 3, the risk is highest for anyone who suffers from severe chronic alcoholism, as in stage three hallucinations, fever, seizures, agitation, and other withdrawal symptoms begin to appear.

Near the end of the first five to seven days, most negative symptoms begin to taper off and decrease in intensity. The goal during this first week is to monitor and keep the worst symptoms under control. As long as your blood pressure and withdrawal symptoms remain at safe levels, you can continue to detox on your own without too much issue.

As you enter your second week being free of alcohol, you should notice an increase in your energy levels and focus. It’s not uncommon for many people to already feel like a completely different person at this point. Your cognitive function will usually begin to improve at this stage as well, with memories all of a sudden coming back to you more frequently.

During the third and fourth weeks of a detox, some people experience a slight dip in energy levels. This is normal and to be expected. It usually only lasts for two to three days and then you’ll be back to feeling like a million bucks. At this point, it’s safe to say that physically, your body has made it through the worst of the physical aspects of the alcohol detox.

There may still be lingering psychological effects, however. Many people report feeling like life becomes somewhat bland and boring when abstaining from alcohol. It may be harder to keep in touch with certain friends. Indeed, many people end up finding whole new social circles altogether.

By the end of the first month of going alcohol-free, many people have a newfound confidence in themselves along with the belief that this is a lifestyle change they can permanently stick with. Even for people who don’t intend on giving up alcohol use for the rest of their lives, detoxing for a month provides incredible physical and mental benefits.

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What are nootropics? 0 70396

Nootropics, according to Corneliu E. Giurgea, the father of nootropics, are drugs that simultaneously enhance learning and memory, protect the brain, increase the efficacy of brain-related control mechanisms, should lack the pharmacologic structure of psychotropic drugs, and be devoid of side effects. Over time, the description has been expanded to include other non-drug substances.

Whether or not drugs are involved, the idea of nootropics is that they boost mental capacity, allowing you to accomplish goals that would be quite strenuous without them. They are used by various individuals, ranging from students wanting to get more studying done or turning in a paper on time, to engineers trying to figure out a problem.

What are nootropics made of?

Nootropics are traditionally made of naturally-occurring substances like ginseng, or synthetic substances in the form of chemicals not uncommon in drugs (like L-Theanine). Even though Corneliu Giurgea’s description referred to drugs, nootropics have evolved to include non-synthetic substances that can give similar outputs. Nootropics are sometimes called “smart drugs”.

Various nootropics

The large range of nootropics make it difficult to describe them with a blanket sentence other than “they boost brain performance”. So, instead of a generalization, here is a short list of popular nootropics, as well as their specific actions, and possible side effects.

1. Caffeine: Caffeine is without-a-doubt the most popular nootropic, being present in most nootropic substances available on the market. It’s effective in wakefulness, improved concentration, increased motivation, alertness, and focus.

The side effects of caffeine are as well-known as its usefulness. Excessive consumption of caffeine causes insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), and even muscle tremors.

2. L-Theanine: Unlike Guarana, L-Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in many tea leaves and herbs. It’s known to aid stress relief and reduce anxiety. Even though is also taken to increase focus and attention, stress relief is its most evidence-based function.

Its side effects may include nausea and irritability.

3. CPD Choline: CPD Choline is naturally-occurring in humans and animals and is an intermediate substance in a common biochemical process that involves converting Choline to Phosphaatidylcholine. Studies show that CPD protects the brain, especially in times of low oxygen supply. In addition, it also increases alertness and consciousness.

Being a natural substance in the body, CPD has no negative effects, except when it is taken in excess, where it can cause stomachaches and diarrhea.

4. Modafinil: As far as performance-boosting drugs go, Modafinil tops the list, having been shown to increase fatigue resistance, improve mood, as well as increase motivation and vigilance. It really is a wonder drug, often rumored to be used by sleep-deprived doctors.

Its side effects are abuse-induced, which means you may suffer things like chronic headaches, if you use it all the time to fight fatigue, without getting enough sleep.

5. Guarana: Guarana, also called Guaranine, is a plant with well-researched and documented effects of improved mental focus and alertness. It is also taken for various other purposes from weight loss to exercise tolerance, but these have not been proven.

Being a naturally-occurring fruit, it does not have severe side effects. However, users have been known to experience insomnia and fatigue when taken in high doses.

6. Panax Ginseng: Certain herbs are sometimes assumed to have positive, even performance-enhancing effects. One of the most popular is Ginseng. Common in East Asia and North America, the plant does not have any nootropic effects backed by strong scientific evidence. However, it has been said to increase energy levels and activity.

Ginseng does not have any known side effects.

7.Ginkgo Biloba: Also a leaf extract, it is wildly known as a cognitive enhancer, with weak scientific evidence to support it.

8. Vitamin B12: The controversy surrounding vitamin B12 is that it may not be a nootropic, as it does not have any noticeable, quick-onset effects. It is considered more of supplement and nutritional requirement than a nootropic. However, it’s on this list because some people still consider it a smart drug.

Nootropic tolerance

Overuse of many nootropics can lead to your body building tolerance, and needing more and more of the substance to get the same effect. It’s a little like what happens with regular alcohol drinkers. They often need more and more alcohol to feel its effects.

Things to remember about nootropics

Many individuals have their definition of nootropics, thus making it a controversial topic. The situation is made worse by substances that are claimed to boost productivity but have not yet been proven. Amongst all these controversies, here are some points for you to keep in mind about nootropics:

  1. They are performance-boosting substances and are often used to get an extra edge.
  2. They should be free of side effects, and should have low toxicity.
  3. They contain naturally-occurring substances.
  4. They work by interacting with receptors in the brain.
  5. Even though they are supposed to be side effect free, some supposed nootropics do have side effects.
  6. Some substances considered nootropics work, and some don’t.
  7. The adverse effects of nootropics can sometimes be avoided by keeping dosage low and cycling between usage and abstinence.

5 Yoga moves to add to your daily stretching today 0 53353

Introduction

It’s no surprise that the practice of yoga has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades. It has several benefits like core strengthening and improved flexibility. However, yoga has several poses and positions that can get a little confusing when choosing what poses to do to achieve your goals. Whether you are just starting out, or are looking to raise the bar during your yoga, this is the post for you.

A brief history on the origin of yoga

Modern yoga as we know it is a combination of different poses and forms, evolved over centuries and modified by different practitioners. Take the first ever recorded instance of yoga, which dates as far back as the 2nd century which, although it was not clearly described as yoga, involved a sitting posture described to require a steady form and comfort. The form was assumed for meditation, not unlike what we have today. In about the 11th century, there was a description of a non-seated pose in which the practitioner balances on the hands. As the centuries passed, yoga became more evolved, and more adapted to modern cultures like ours.

Simple forms

Even though yoga has changed over the years, there are simple poses that have remained relatively constant through the ages, retaining their simplicity and form.

Here are 5 of those simple forms that can be incorporated into your daily routine

  1. Lotus Position: The lotus is one of the most fundamental positions in yoga, with a long history like we discussed. The lotus has a special position among all the stretches and positions not just because it is the oldest, but also because it is key to meditation, which is a big part of yoga.

To enter the sitting position:

  • Sit on the mat with your legs and your back straight
  • Fold your legs so that your feet now rest under your thigh as you relax and let your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
  1. Cow position: The cow position is also a relatively easy position to attain. It is especially good for stretching and relaxing the back muscles as it involves stretching the vertebrae (back bone) and the spinal muscles.

To perform the cow position,

  • Start by kneeling on all fours (hands directly beneath shoulders, and knees directly beneath the hips)
  • Breath in and turn your head upwards as if to look at the ceiling, forming an upward facing curve with your back (the hollow facing upwards)
  • Breath out and return to the neutral position
  • Repeat as necessary
  1. Child Position: The child pose is different from the cow position, only because it stretches the back in the opposite direction, as well as the neck, arms, and legs. It also tones and strengthens the core muscles, giving a mild general body stretch. The child pose is especially good in situations where you don’t have a lot of time during the session. It is a great pose for stretching a lot of areas at once.

To enter the child position:

  • Kneel on all fours like in the cow position
  • Lower your hips so your thighs touch your calves
  • Lean forward, and extend your arms so your elbow and hands touch the mat
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat
  1. Bridge pose: So named because of the way the body resembles a bridge when done correctly. The bridge position can be considered the opposite of the child’s pose because here, the back is active and extended, with the hips and knees flexed and bearing most of the body’s weight. The bridge is good for stretching the abdominal muscles and the thighs.

To enter the bridge position:

  • Lie flat on your back and bend your knees
  • With your bent knees, elevate your body so your buttocks and lower back lift off the mat
  • Bring your arms forward so they are positioned directly beneath your body
  • Be sure to keep your upper back and head on the mat during the pose
  • Hold for as long as necessary and repeat as desired
  • Repeat
  1. Locust Position: The locust position is an intermediate level position, because of the core strength it requires to execute. It is very similar to the “superman” in resistance training. While the superman is for strength building, the locust is for stretching and relaxation. It concentrates on the arms, legs and upper back.

To enter the locust position:

  • Lie on your chest with your arms and legs stretched out on the mat
  • Lift your legs from the hip off the mat, while simultaneously lifting your head, arms, and upper chest
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat

Incorporate these stretches and positions into your daily routine to increase strength, flexibility, and improve inner-peace. Let us know what you think!

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