Is this the water you drink? 0 68531

Water is pretty ordinary when you think about it. Most of us drink it every day without thinking much about it, and most people don’t even know that it can taste different in different locations and based on the source. Many just think it has a uniform taste, well, it doesn’t! That is because there are elements in water that most people don’t know about. Water tends to vary in content depending on where you find yourself. It usually contains minerals like zinc, magnesium, sodium, or calcium, etc. The list is endless! These minerals are actually pretty important. Calcium, for example, makes your bones strong. Water can be a legitimate and effective source of minerals that our body can’t make on its own, yet desperately needs.

Water Faucet
Water Faucet

Contrary to popular belief, water that runs from a faucet is stocked with minerals. The presence of these minerals are so important that some governments regulate the “total dissolved solids” present in the water supply of certain regions. Although there are substantial deposits of minerals in tap water, they may or may not exactly agree with your body. For example, regional water might be rich in sodium, which could be pretty disastrous for individuals with high blood pressure. The concentrations of minerals across regions are random at best, there is always a chance that your drinking water could be bad for you. First World Example: Flint, Michigan, USA.

Well Water
Well Water

Aside from the minimal complications that could arise from the presence of certain minerals in tap water, there are far nastier possibilities. Governmental organizations like the FDA regulate the content of water to make sure it’s safe for consumption. Without organizations like the FDA there could be some major consequences. In more rural areas, people tend to rely on natural water sources like wells, streams, and rivers. Although these water sources are filled with some A-grade minerals (which are good for you), they don’t tend to remain pure, and often get easily contaminated. Unlike underground water deposits and springs, they are not preserved by their very nature. They are out in the open for animals to die in, for fertilizers and pesticides to contaminate. It is possible to have an uncontaminated natural water source like streams and wells but they are hard to keep pure and probably are not worth risking nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps over. So it’s always safe to stick with more regulated water sources. So if you’re drinking well water, you probably should stop drinking that and opt for some good ol’ fashioned tap water or mineral water (if you miss all those extra minerals).

Stream Water
Stream Water

Additional minerals like calcium and sodium is probably one of the reasons that people drink mineral water… well, that and the taste. Some people are just suckers for taste. Since drinking mineral water is actually much healthier than soda or juice people tend to go for it. However, some drink mineral water for that extra mineral boost that they contain. Certain regions could have low concentrations of minerals like calcium or zinc – and the right mineral water could provide that extra boost if you want it!

Bottled Water
Bottled Water

All mineral water is not identical or balanced. They are rich in some minerals and low in others. Since mineral water comes from natural sources like springs and lakes, it’s not really surprising that they don’t all contain the same minerals.

Spring Water
Spring Water

Mineral water is just like tap water in that it contains minerals, except it contains all the essential minerals and costs way more. People’s views on mineral water are conflicting. Some believe that it’s a waste of money because tap water provides similar minerals that some people pay lots of money for, and others think it’s a substantial source of mineral resources that the body needs and tap water just doesn’t have enough. Both sides have a valid point. No side is particularly wrong, but that’s not the issue…

Fresh Water
Fresh Water

The issue is which mineral water gives you your money’s worth – they aren’t exactly cheap after all. There are a lot of mineral water brands out there, so there’s a need to figure out which mineral water gives you your money’s worth in terms of its taste and its attributes. It’s also important to find out which affordable mineral water can provide all the essential minerals.

Fiji Water
Fiji Water

Fiji Water

If you’re looking for affordable (and tasty!) you should consider Fiji water. It’s pretty smooth-tasting and is actually from Fiji. Aside from its unimaginative name and high magnesium levels, Fiji water is absolutely spectacular. It contains essentials like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It also has a little bit of chloride, silica, bicarbonate, sodium, etc. It has a spectacular taste and does not linger in your mouth. It also has a standard pH level that hovers around 8 – which is not too bad. Too little pH, and the water would taste bland and you’d be drinking alkaline water, which surprisingly doesn’t actually have any medical benefits or side effects. Fiji water checks most of the boxes: it’s mineral rich, spectacular tasting so it doubles as a soda, the bottle is not weirdly-shaped, and it has a moderate pH level. The only box that this water doesn’t exactly check is the affordability box. Fiji water isn’t cheap, yet it’s not particularly expensive either. The average person could not probably stock up on this brand of water, which leads us to the next suggested water.

Crystal Geyser
Crystal Geyser

 

 

 

Crystal Geyser

Crystal Geyser isn’t the tastiest mineral water out there. It has what some describe as a slightly chemical or mineral taste. However, what it lacks in taste, it more than makes up for in quality and price. Crystal Geyser is FAR cheaper than Fiji water – it’s almost half of the price! This substantial difference makes buying in bulk conceivable. This particular brand of water is loaded with all the right minerals. It’s rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium. Admittedly, this brand is not as rich in minerals as other more exotic and expensive brands like Fiji or Resource, yet it’s cheap, local, and tastes better than other mineral water of the same price range and mineral content.

The two brands above are not necessarily the better of the two categories established. This review is strictly from a personal perspective and should be instructive in maximizing your experience. These brands fulfill all nutritional and taste requirements. While they don’t check all the boxes, they give you a great deal for your money. Regardless of whether you choose to buy these brands, it should be noted that before purchasing any mineral water brand you should a little research to find out if its contents are compatible with your health requirements. So be careful when choosing brands!

If you’re drinking a more expensive brand of mineral water you should probably consider Fiji. The odds are that Fiji tastes better than your current choice. And, if you don’t have much to spend on mineral water, you should consider a choice that you can stock up on without breaking the bank.

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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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