You need to ditch the male stereotypes. According to the BMJ, researchers found that bottling up even low-level anxiety and depression correlates with higher mortality rates. It’s time to talk, gentlemen.
THINK YOURSELF BIG
What’s going through your mind when you’re lifting makes a difference. In a study in the European Journal of Sport Science, one group of men was told to “squeeze the muscle” while doing biceps curls and leg extensions. A second group was told to “get the weight up.” After eight weeks, the men in the “squeeze the muscle” group (that’s called “internal focus”) grew their biceps 12.4 percent, compared with 6.9 percent for the latter (“external focus”) group. The findings provide more evidence of the nervous system’s ability to target a muscle, or “neural drive.”
HEED THE NEW PROTEIN THRESHOLD
You know that protein repairs and rebuilds muscle. But now researchers at McMaster University have determined there’s a limit to how much protein your body can effectively use for muscle growth. They discovered that people who took in more than 1.62 grams of protein per kilogram of weight daily didn’t build additional muscle. So how much is that? If you weigh 75 kilograms, that means a max of 122 grams of protein, or about eight large chicken breasts. Any excess will feed the toilet, not your biceps. Scoop your protein powder accordingly.
RETURN FROM THE DARK SIDE
Check your bag of coffee beans.
Light-roast coffee may contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than darker roasts, according to a Korean study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. When coffee processors roast the raw beans for shorter periods, achieving a light roast, more of the antioxidant compounds are preserved, the study found. Light, medium, and dark roasts have roughly the same caffeine, so switching won’t hurt your buzz.
BEWARE FOOD-LABEL TRICKERY
Some health claims on food labels aren’t policed as well as you think. Food companies may skirt government rules with savvy marketing that touts broad statements about the product’s disease-fighting power. So instead of “prevents osteoporosis,” a label might read “builds strong bones”; or rather than “cures your cold,” it might say “boosts your immune function.” That’s because the FDA states there must be strong scientific evidence to support a claim that a food prevents a specific disease. Parke Wilde, Ph.D., professor at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, says to watch out for these “hints” that can be made with weak evidence. A quality product will be explicit about the disease it fights.
FIGHT YOUR CORNER DON’T ROLL OVER IN AN ARGUMENT. ACCORDING TO A STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOGERIATRICS CONDUCTED IN RURAL ITALY, A CORRELATION WAS FOUND BETWEEN STUBBORNNESS AND A LONG LIFE. DIG YOUR HEELS IN.