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Things To Know About "Healthy Coke"

Things To Know About “Healthy Coke”

Several clients from Glen Cove, NY, showed me a TikTok video demonstrating how to make healthy coke. In the video, Amanda Jones, the creator, said her Pilates instructor gave her the idea for the drink and that it tastes just like regular coke. It’s made by combining seltzer water with balsamic vinegar. Many, many others disagreed with her and posted videos showing their opinion. While there’s a debate on whether it does taste like coke, with the “healthy coke” alternative losing, let’s look at whether or not it’s healthy!

The ADA—American Dental Association—warns of acidic drinks.

Not only were people outraged, probably because it didn’t taste good, but previous studies by the ADA might negate the benefits of this combination. Seltzer water or sparkling water is “sparkling” because of the bubbles in it. Those bubbles are created by a chemical reaction that forms carbonic acid. Like any acid, it can weaken the tooth enamel. Now add the fact that vinegar is an acid, which regardless of health benefits, can take a toll on tooth enamel. It increases the risk of dental damage. Like salad dressing with vinegar, the damage may be negligible, but you can have too much of a good thing, especially if your teeth are already weak or sensitive.

Can the balsamic vinegar make the drink healthy?

It’s actually better for you than sugary drinks, but not better than putting that vinegar to use as a salad dressing, where you get other nutrients from the vegetables. Just like people with GERD must be careful of the food they eat, especially ones that are acidic, this drink can make the condition worse by irritating the esophagus and stomach. If the vinegar is high quality, it probably has some benefits from antioxidants.

If healthy coke isn’t all that healthy, what is the alternative, besides plain water.

Infused water is one option that many people appreciate. For the healthiest option for your teeth and tummy, don’t add lemon to sparkling water or other high acid fruits or vegetables. Infused water is easy to make, slice up the fruits and vegetables into water, put it in the refrigerator for a few hours and remove the fruit or vegetables to serve. You can make your own delicious recipes and it’s an excellent option for people who simply don’t like plain water.

  • How long your teeth stay in contact with an acidic drink determines how badly they are eroded. It’s worse for your teeth to slowly sip “healthy coke” than to drink it relatively quickly.
  • Plain water is friendliest to your teeth. The damage from more acidic drinks can be reduced if they’re consumed through a straw, drank in shorter periods of time and if you make sure to wait an hour before brushing your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with plain water after an acidic drink can also help.
  • If you do decide “healthy coke” read the label of the balsamic vinegar you use. Some contain added sugar. Most quality balsamic vinegars come with a high price tag and so does better sparkling water, so “healthy coke” may not be healthy for your budget.
  • Rather than opting for the latest trend, following a nutritious diet that consists of balanced macronutrients, with little or no added sugar, is the best way to stay healthy.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Good Uses For Brown Bananas

Good Uses For Brown Bananas

It’s sad to have to throw out fresh fruit or vegetables because they’ve gone a few days beyond their freshest. How many times have you pitched an overripe banana? There are uses for brown bananas. Most people immediately think of banana nut muffins and banana bread. Why is the banana brown? The starch in the banana has turned to sugar, so the riper a banana is, the more sugar it contains. While there are benefits for consuming brown bananas, using it in recipes with high sugar content may wipe out many of those benefits.

Brown bananas provide a good source of antioxidants.

The riper the banana, the more antioxidants it contains. As with all bananas, brown bananas contain a high amount of potassium, are good sources of fiber, boosts energy levels, contains iron to prevent anemia and helps lower blood pressure. Consuming all types of bananas can lower the risk of heart disease, aid in preventing depression and anxiety, and boost the immune system.

Make a preworkout or post workout smoothie.

You can cut them in small pieces and put them in the freezer if you’re not ready to make a smoothie immediately. This high protein/carb drink is perfect for a preworkout or post workout snack. All you need is a blender and these ingredients: A large banana, a cup of ice cubes, ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, ½ cup of your favorite milk, including oat, almond or other type, a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and a dash of vanilla extract—approximately a half teaspoon.

Make your own banana ice cream, lactose free!

You can go simple or make a more complex version of banana ice cream. The simple option is to slice the banana in one-half to one inch coin style pieces, freeze them, blend them and enjoy. Another option is to add extras to the ripe banana. Cut four bananas into one half to one inch slices resembling coins and freeze. Soak ½ cup of raw cashews overnight, then rinse and drain. Measure out ¾ cup of almond milk and approximately a tablespoon of maple syrup (optional). First combine approximately ¼ cup of the almond milk with the cashews and blend, then add the balance of the milk and the rest of the ingredients. Blend for 3 minutes or until it’s smooth.

  • You can freeze ripe bananas for use later. First slice them in uniform size rounds, place them in a single layer on a baking tray lined in parchment paper and freeze for two hours. Then pack them in freezer bags. Freezing them first prevents them from sticking to one another.
  • You can make healthy banana pancakes. These are perfect for brown bananas and the darker the better. It combines milk, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla extract and butter.
  • Brown bananas are especially good for digestion thanks to the presence of the simple sugars it contains. However, because they’re of the high glycemic index, they should be consumed with care by diabetics.
  • Make a facemask from a mashed ripe banana. Apply it to your skin and wash off in 20 minutes. You can even make a dog treat with ripe bananas. Mix it with your dog’s favorite food for extra magnesium, fiber and potassium for your dog.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Should I Be Eating More Calories For My Workout?

Should I Be Eating More Calories For My Workout?

If you’ve ever played with a calorie calculator, you probably already have noticed that when you switch your activity level from sedentary, the calculator increases the amount of daily calorie intake. That means eating more calories to compensate for the extra calories burned while you workout or participate in a lot of physical activity. For weight loss, however, you don’t want to increase your caloric intake, since you attack the excess weight by eating fewer calories and burning more.

If you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle, it’s more about what you eat and the type of exercise.

If your goal is to build muscle and lose fat, body recomposition, cutting back severely on calories may help you lose weight, but it won’t help you build your muscle tissue. Cutting calories is the traditional route to take, but if they’re cut dramatically, and the type of exercise is cardiovascular, you won’t get the results you want. High amounts of cardio burns tons of calories, but those calories come from both fat and muscle tissue and a dramatic calorie restriction can also cause both fat and muscle loss. Instead, reduce your calories slightly, eat more protein and use both cardio and strength building workouts.

If you want to maintain your weight, you have to increase your caloric intake.

When you burn 3,500 more calories than you consume, you lose a pound. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do or what you eat. It’s all about the math. If you increase your caloric output with exercise, you’ll burn more calories, so you have to boost your food intake a bit to compensate for those calories lost. So, in this case, you do have to increase the amount of food you eat.

Likewise, if you want to lose weight, you don’t want to increase your calorie intake.

If you want to shed weight, don’t increase your calories. In fact, cutting the calorie count is more appropriate. The combination of the extra calories burned during exercise and the lower caloric intake will zap fat quickly and make weight loss easier. A lower calorie intake and more exercise is the time-tested combination that’s helped people shed weight and get the body they want.

  • Whether you increase your intake of food, decrease it or keep it the same, it’s all about your goals. If weight loss isn’t one of them, then eat if you’re hungry or indulge occasionally in a special meal that’s higher in calories.
  • One of the biggest problems people face when they first start working out is that they overestimate the number of calories they burn at the gym and feel they deserve a pizza or giant burger and fries at the end of each workout, which ends up packing on excess pounds.
  • It’s more about what you eat and when you eat. If your diet includes whole foods, like fruits and vegetables and a lean source of protein, you can eat more. It’s important to make sure you have a pre and post workout snack that consists of protein and carbs.
  • If you’re trying to gain weight or are training excessively, you may have to add extra calories to your diet. It can be important for muscle growth, recovery and repair.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Hydration Mistakes You Might Be Making

Hydration Mistakes You Might Be Making

There’s no doubt about it. Whether you’re working out or practicing self-defense moves at Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, staying hydrated is important. Your body is between 60 and 75% water and all parts of your body require water. It keeps all cells alive. While it may seem simple, just drink more water, there are some hydration mistakes that many people make that can impact your body negatively.

You might be thirsty but downing too much water at once isn’t the best.

If you’ve worked hard, sweat abundantly and overheated, you’ll be tempted to get a bottle of cold water and chug it. That could be a big mistake. When you drink too much water at once, it can flush through your system, overload the kidneys and cause cells to swell. Your kidneys can only handle 27 to 34 ounces every hour and putting this type of load on it can even lead to stomach issues. Sip on water throughout your workout and pay attention to when you’re thirsty.

Hydrate with water and avoid sugary drinks.

Whether it’s called a cola, soft drink or sports drink, if it has sugar in it, avoid it for hydration. In fact, it might actually make you thirstier and more dehydrated. The sugar in the drink can spike your blood glucose levels, so the body tries to rid itself of the excess by urinating more. That can lead to even worse hyperglycemia, which in turn leads to dehydration. In fact, one sign of excess blood sugar and diabetes is frequent and excess urination.

Too much water with no minerals can mess up your electrolyte balance.

Do you need more electrolytes? Is a sports drink necessary? Most of the time the answer is no. However, if you’re perspiring excessively or working out for over an hour and just drinking water, you could be in jeopardy of upsetting your cells’ saltwater balance. When it’s not in balance, either from too much salt or too much water, your cells aren’t getting the hydration they need. In this case, sports drinks work and you can make your own. Just make sure it contains potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium.

  • Remember, hydration is about more than just water. You can consume juicy fruits or sip on chicken broth to get both electrolytes and hydrate. In fact, the minerals in the food can help improve hydration to the cells.
  • Hydrate before a workout, but don’t overdo it. Don’t guzzle a bottle or two of water right before you start a workout but drink it at least a half hour before you start your exercise program.
  • Ice cold water on a hot day may sound inviting, but it isn’t necessarily good for you. It can overstimulate the vagus nerve, which can lead to several problems, including passing out.
  • Contrary to popular belief, coffee and tea are hydrating. You do tend to go to the bathroom more frequently, but they still provide more fluid than you lose. A study in 2014 found drinking coffee made no difference in hydration status compared to drinking plain water.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Strengthen Your Core With Muay Thai

Strengthen Your Core With Muay Thai

In order to be good at Muay Thai, you have to have core strength. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen core muscles for a number of reasons. First, it’s never boring. It’s an ancient martial art technique used to create fighters that could conquer new areas or defended their own, using nothing but their bodies as weapons. It’s called the Art of Eight Limbs for a reason. It requires a strong core and endurance to succeed.

If you don’t have core strength, you won’t succeed at Muay Thai fighting.

Muay Thai is all about conditioning the entire body and if you aren’t in prime condition, the chances of succeeding at higher levels are slim. Most of the moves in Muay Thai require a strong core. It takes core strength to both strike an opponent and protect your own body at the same time. Core strength is more than just the abs, it’s all the muscles of your midsection. Muay Thai training helps build those muscles to increase stability, balance and improve the power of strikes.

A lot of Muay Thai training is core training.

The focus isn’t intended just to build core muscles, they core training is used to improve fighting skills and strength in the ring. Many trainers use traditional core strengthening training, such as crunches, sit ups and planks. The core area takes a lot of abuse during a fight, so having strong core muscles can improve conditioning to provide more resilience.

You’ll get a full body workout just learning and training for Muay Thai.

It’s all about the training that prepares you for the ring. That training offers a full body workout, particularly focusing on core strength. Muay Thai fighting style demands a strong core, so the training must provide it. While the actual fight intensely uses core muscles, it’s all about the training to reach that point.

  • Unlike other types of training, gaining a strong core through Muay Thai is more fun. It’s learning a new sport, so you look forward to the training, instead of dreading exercise time if it’s stand-alone calisthenics.
  • Muay Thai burns tons of calories and helps you lose weight. You’ll get the ripped look that shows off your core muscles better. Not only will you get great looking abs, you’ll see the sculpting in the muscles of your back and waist.
  • A lot of the movements during sparring and grappling also work the core muscles, but it still all gets back to the training required to do Muay Thai. That training is what builds the actual core strength and lean cut appearance.
  • To be effective in the ring, you have to be strong and that requires strong core muscles. Strengthening your core muscles help strengthen all parts of your body and can improve your speed. It also helps you recover more quickly.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Are Running And Muay Thai Connected?

Are Running And Muay Thai Connected?

We focus on authentic Muay Thai at Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY. The authentic version of Muay Thai heavily involves running as part of training. People who are active in Muay Thai as fighters run twice a day, every day of the week but one. It normally consists of a long morning session and a short run in the afternoon or evening before they train. It warms the body up and prepares it for actual Muay Thai training.

Road work, or distance running, is an important aspect of training.

You need to build endurance and a great way to do that is to run distances for as long as possible. Road work is often suggested and running for 39 minutes to get the heart rate up, to increase your endurance and lasting power in the ring. As you get fitter, adding minutes to the run is part of training and conditioning your body to last longer without getting winded or exhausted.

If running isn’t your thing, try skipping rope for endurance.

Training is all about preparing your body and pushing it to the limit before you enter the ring. Running distances isn’t for everyone and not always possible, so many trainers use alternatives to build cardiovascular strength. Skipping rope is one of those. It’s a good way to warm up the body before you start with actual Muay Thai training. You have to make sure you have proper form and if it becomes too easy, make the sessions longer and more intense.

If you want to ensure you have a higher lactic acid threshhold, do high-intensity sprints.

You need to move fast in the ring and unlike running, that can be done at a more moderate pace, sprinting requires quick movements, which are similar to those used for moving about the ring or striking. They increase the strength and explosive power of the hamstrings and glutes, which is a huge benefit when you workout in the ring. In traditional Muay Thai training, both sprinting and running are used to train fighters.

  • Strength training should also be part of your Muay Thai training. It builds both power and endurance. You should focus on workouts for the whole body, since Muay Thai is the Art of Eight Limbs and all parts are used.
  • Don’t forget flexibility and balance training either. You need to improve your range of motion so your kicks are higher and you have more control. You can do stretching at home when you first wake up to prepare your body for the day.
  • While running is an integral part of traditional Muay Thai in Thailand, it’s not mandatory in most US training, particularly those who use Muay Thai as a hobby or to boost overall fitness. Instead, HIIT, interval training and other cardio that doesn’t take as long is used to boost cardio.
  • Running is used for cardio and to build legs and shins, but it’s also used in Thailand as a method of teaching discipline and dedication. Your trainer will help you build your cardio and endurance, so following the guidance should be your top priority.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


How Muay Thai Changes Your Body

How Muay Thai Changes Your Body

Watching the difference in people who have trained for a few months at Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, makes you appreciate how much each person can do to become healthier and fitter. Some people come to the gym just to get fit, others want to compete, either at an amateur level or professionally. Some came simply to learn a method of self-defense. No matter what the reason, Muay Thai changes your body.

You’ll get stronger.

Muay Thai improves overall strength, but especially core strength. You expect to have your arms and legs get stronger, but you’ll be surprised at the body area you’ll really work. That’s your core muscles. The kicks and punch strength all emanates from the core. Each session builds both strength and stability. The power and speed for strikes all start with stronger core muscles. It helps you stay stable and protects the spine.

You’ll lose fat and build endurance.

Whether you’re sparring or training, Muay Thai is high intensity and burns not only calories, but also calories from fat. It boosts your metabolism and keeps the fat burning for hours after your session. It builds lean muscle mass, not bulk, which makes you look lean and toned. It’s a great anaerobic workout, which means it builds your endurance fast. You’re constantly changing your speed and intensity, doing quick strikes in short high intensity bursts and then dropping back to a recovery period between and doing this for a considerable time.

You’ll get the lean, sculpted look.

You’ll build muscles with Muay Thai, but not the bulky muscles of bodybuilders. If you want that type of build, you need to split your time between Muay Thai and weightlifting. Instead, you’ll get the leaner, cut, trim appearance that makes you look sculpted. It tones all parts of the body and gives you flat, defined abs, with toned athletic appearance. Not only will you look your fittest, you’ll feel your fittest, too.

  • You’ll burn off the hormones of stress when you practice Muay Thai. That can make a lot of difference in your overall health and body. Stress can lead to serious conditions if you don’t find a way to burn off the hormones. You’ll be more than fit, you’ll be healthier.
  • You’ll look more confident, because you’ll be more confident. Muay Thai provides a mental workout and helps you anticipate your opponent’s next move. That builds your self-confidence and belief.
  • You’ll have improved posture, which also adds to the confident appearance. Improved posture helps prevent back pain by building core muscle strength. You don’t have to fight to get the benefits either.
  • Muay Thai builds discipline and improves focus. It’s as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one. You’ll also move with more grace and coordination with a fluidity to your every move.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Muay Thai Vs Boxing - What's Right For Me?

Muay Thai Vs Boxing – What’s Right For Me?

One look at the build of the boxers in a Muay Thai vs boxing comparison and you’ll see one big difference. The Mua Thai fighter has a leaner appearance. That’s because the training regimen is different, because the focus is different. Boxers go for strength and speed, while Muay Thai fighters want speed, but focus more on flexibility than strength. The training of Muay Thai fighters does include strength, but it’s not focused on muscle building like boxers undergo.

You’ll develop a far better street fighting self-defense tool with Muay Thai.

If you’re trained in either, you’ll be a force to deal with if you’re any good at all. Both boxing and Muay Thai training have their benefits. While you’ll have a small advantage initially with boxing, if you’re still standing, kicks can be extremely effective at keeping people at bay and give you more room to maneuver. Both are extremely good for self-defense. Both are focused on combat styles, but Muay Thai tends to be better for all types of street fighting scenarios, since you use all parts of your body to fight.

Both boxing and Muay Thai training will get your fit and help you lose weight.

There are differences in how each type of fighting train. You’ll find more strength building workouts for boxing training, including weightlifting. Both are hard work and both help you build lean muscle tissue. However, with Muay Thai, there’s not as much effort on building muscle, even though it’s a great workout. That’s what makes the Muay Thai fighters tend to be leaner and strong, rather than strong and bulky.

The actual fight is different and has different rules.

If you train to go in the ring, there’s a big difference in what’s allowed in boxing and what’s allowed in Muay Thai. Muay Thai is the art of eight limbs, which include the shins, knees, fists, and elbows. While boxing is limited to punching, you can kick, elbow or knee your opponent in Muay Thai. Both require skill and are grueling, but Muay Thai tends to be harder on the body of the opponent, since there’s more power behind a kick, than there is from a fist in a padded glove that is the weapon of boxing. With that said, boxing requires more finesse and precision movements, since you’re limited to striking the upper body and head.

  • Muay Thai fighting tends to be grittier, using more body parts for striking, while boxing focuses on more technical skills, such as foot work and evasive movements. Both require the same skills, but in different proportions.
  • Muay Thai is more difficult to learn the basics, since you have more weapons to learn to use, but to master either boxing or Muay Thai, it takes a lot of practice and time.
  • Boxing tends to be a bit faster paced than Muay Thai fights and has a different rhythm. Boxers bob and weave while they prepare for combination blows that can include several punches.
  • If you want a form of exercise and fighting skills that can take you into your senior years, Muay Thai is probably the best. It focuses on flexibility and total body strength.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Get Out Of The Workout Rut

Get Out Of The Workout Rut

The longer you workout, using the same machines or doing the same bodyweight exercises, the closer you come to getting into a workout rut. At one time or another, everyone has felt that, whether it’s a workout rut, a work rut or even a relationship rut where every minute is so predictable that it’s almost boring. You can solve those problems in a number of ways. For a relationship rut, people often take up a new activity together. At work, they may request a new job within the company or look for ways to change things and make them more efficient. How do you deal with a workout rut? It’s easy, find a new way to get exercise.

Why not consider kickboxing?

There’s so much to learn when you first start kickboxing that your mind will be so busy the time will fly quickly. That combination of moving in new ways and learning new skills will certainly hold your interest and make exercise fun again. That’s what staying in shape is all about, having the energy to enjoy everything life has to offer. It’s perfect for couples that want something new to do together or for the average man or woman that just wants a change.

Muay Boran/Muay Thai is the martial arts of Thailand.

Muay Thai offers even more opportunities to learn. Unlike kickboxing that offers 4-point striking system, Muay Thai has an 8-point striking system. The kicks are different, the footwork is too. Just like kickboxing, there’s a lot to learn. There’s also a wide variety of styles and methods for Muay Thai. You have to learn not only all the moves, but also how to anticipate your opponent’s moves, which makes the time fly. Once you start Muay Thai, not only will you look forward to classes, you’ll look forward to getting into better shape to execute what you’ve learned.

Using MMA to get fit is perfect if you want the skills but don’t want to fight.

Maybe you like the idea of learning self-defense and getting fit enough to grapple, but don’t like the idea of actually fighting. Taking classes that get you fit enough to fight can be a good way to break the workout rut you’ve experienced. It’s great for people of all ages and can burn calories like mad. You’ll build confidence while you learn this new activity. It’s a great change from moving from one machine to another that often happens in the gym.

  • Getting fit is all about having the energy to enjoy life more. If you dread your workouts and forcing yourself to go, it isn’t fulfilling that mission. Enjoying every minute means enjoying your workout, too.
  • MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai builds lean muscle mass. You won’t bulk up like bodybuilders, but build sinewy muscle tissue that gives the sculpted, but muscular appearance.
  • Other activities that can help reduce the doldrums of exercise include hiking, bicycling and swimming. Anything that gets you moving, leaves you breathing hard and builds strength provides a good workout alternative.
  • If you have specific problems, like fat deposits that simply won’t disappear or poor hand-eye coordination, focusing on alternatives like Muay Thai can help build those, as well as increase speed, stamina and strength.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


The Key Is Balance

The Key Is Balance

At Garcia Muay Thai & MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, we help clients balance their training. It’s the basics for any Muay Thai training. There are so many different variables in Muay Thai and MMA training. It’s as much about the mind as it is about the body. It takes all types of training to get prepared for the challenge with an opponent. You have to be mentally prepared, have endurance and cardio stamina, have muscle strength for your entire body, have impeccable balance and be flexible.

Each type of training plays an important role.

There’s no one aspect of training that is more important than another. If you aren’t strong, you won’t be able to successful accomplish many of the moves necessary to win. Agility, flexibility and balance help you win. Having the endurance to maintain a high level of energy can wear down an opponent and make you a winner, even if your skills aren’t as polished as an opponent. As you can tell, every aspect of fitness is important.

Focus is necessary whether it’s MMA, Muay Thai or any other sport.

Winners don’t pay attention to the crowd or worry about what others think. They focus on the task at hand and never waiver. They watch their opponent intently and anticipate his or her every move, so they can be one step ahead of them. Developing focus is just as important as learning other skills or developing fitness at all levels. In order to know what moves your opponent may use, you have to know the techniques available. It’s about learning your craft and putting that knowledge to work for you.

Full body workouts benefit the Muay Thai or MMA fighter.

All the parts of your body work together when you’re fighting. No one area should be the focus of your workout. Your upper body is as important for success in a fight as your lower body, so balancing your workouts between the two or doing full body workouts is important. Your opponent will have studied you and learn your weaknesses. He or she will find ways to overcome you using those weaknesses. If you have great upper body moves and upper body strength but lack the same degree of perfection in your legs and feet, your opponent will sense that weakness and use it against you.

  • Flexibility training is often overlooked and that’s a mistake. Not only does it help prevent injuries and decrease muscle pain, but it’s also necessary to win.
  • Both learning new skills and hours of practice are important and require balance. There’s so much to learn that even with years of experience, there’s always something new. Once a skill is learned, practice helps you maintain perfection.
  • Constant learning, practice, dedication and physical exertion are key components to success. However, you also need to have confidence that is balanced with humility. That combination of knowing you achieved much, but still have much to learn is important.
  • Balancing your workout ethic with your social skills is also important. Realizing others are here to help you and you are here to help them, while respecting each person is a balance everyone needs.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai