Proven Benefits Of Ginseng For Your Body

Proven Benefits Of Ginseng For Your Body

We have a wide variety of clients at Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY. There are people of all genders and all ages, so there’s also a variety of questions regarding health and fitness. One of the more recent questions has been about the benefits of ginseng, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. There are three classes of ginseng: fresh—less than 4 years old, white—4 to 6 years, and red—longer than 6 years. There are also many varieties, with American ginseng and Asian ginseng being the top two.

Many of the benefits of ginseng are not proven.

Ginseng sold in stores cannot make health claims, since most of those claims don’t have adequate scientific backing proving them true. However, it is proven to contain an antioxidant and does offer some anti-inflammatory properties. Test tube studies, such as the study using skin cells and the extracts from ginseng and compounds from the plant could inhibit inflammation, while boosting antioxidants. Human studies have shown ginseng lowered inflammatory markers.

Ginseng may help ED—erectile dysfunction.

The compounds in ginseng may help restore normal functioning of the penis by reducing oxidative stress in the tissues and blood vessels. It’s been shown to improve nitric oxide production, which promotes muscle relaxation and blood circulation. The Asian red ginseng, sometimes called Korean ginseng that has been shown to be more effective than a medication used to treat ED. Studies vary as to the effect on blood pressure, with some showing it raised blood pressure, while others showed it lowered blood pressure. Always check with your health care professional first before taking any herbal supplement or medication.

Your blood sugar levels may benefit from ginseng.

Studies show that ginseng may be beneficial whether you have diabetes or not. Both the Asian and American ginseng varieties have shown benefits for pancreatic health and improved the uptake of blood sugar. It also boosted antioxidant protection for people with diabetes. One study included red Korean ginseng in the protocol of 19 people with type 2 diabetes. Along with their normal medication or in conjunction with their diet, they showed increases in insulin sensitivity, a reduction of blood sugar levels and fasting insulin levels. A study in people without diabetes showed it improved blood sugar levels after a high sugar intake. Fermented ginseng may even provide more benefit by making the active ginsenosides easier to absorb.

  • Studies show that the longer you take ginseng, the less effective it becomes and to maximize the benefits, it should be used in cycles, taking it two to three weeks and not taking it the next week or two.
  • American ginseng is Panax quinquefolia and Asian ginseng is Panax ginseng, but not all products sold as ginseng is from the same genus, giving them different benefits and warnings. Siberian ginseng, for instance, is eleuthero coccus senticosus.
  • Studies following ginseng and the effects on the immune system have primarily followed the recovery of cancer patients. Studies have shown an improvement in the immune system. Studies also showed it could enhance the benefits of vaccinations.
  • The ginsenosides in ginseng may help regulate inflammation. It has the potential to help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, but adequate research hasn’t been done yet.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai Gym

Breakfast Recipes To Reduce Belly Fat

Breakfast Recipes To Reduce Belly Fat

Eating a healthy breakfast is important. It can set the tone for the day and help boost your energy level, but only if you eat the right type of food. What do the right types of food include? They’re a combination of protein, healthy fat and fiber, with lower carbohydrate contents. Most breakfasts are high in carbs, even some of those that may contain protein, fiber and fat. Here are some breakfast recipes that will start your day off right, while also aiding in burning belly fat.

Eggs in a nest are easy to make and versatile.

You can boost your breakfast benefits by making eggs in a nest. Start with two slices of bread and cut a circle in the center. You don’t have to have a fancy tool to do it either. Just flip a drinking glass and push the upper rim through the middle of the bread to cut out a round. Melt butter in a skillet and put in the bread slice and rounds. Flip the bread and rounds to ensure there’s melted butter on both sides. Brown the bread and rounds on one side then flip. Crack an egg in the middle of the bread and cook to desired consistency. If you like it well cooked flip one more time for a few seconds. You can sprinkle goat cheese on top, then place the rounds atop, slice avocado onto the nest or sprinkle bacon on top.

Hardy oatmeal provides plenty of fiber and peanut butter offers protein to keep you full.

Here’s another versatile recipe that can be made in the morning or can use overnight oats. If you’re using steel-cut oats that take longer to cook, opt for the overnight option. Make rolled oats, then add chopped almonds, two tablespoons of peanut butter, two sliced bananas and 2T of agave syrup for sweetness. It has a lower glycemic level than other sweeteners, like maple syrup. For more nutrition and lower fructose content, consider using maple syrup instead. If you use overnight oats, heat the oats in the microwave, then add other ingredients.

Make a breakfast smoothie and drink it on the run.

If you’re in a hurry, nothing beats a breakfast smoothie. You can even prepare the ingredients the night before and just toss them in the blender to prepare. A berry smoothie with acai fruit or puree, frozen mixed berries, yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, honey, blueberries, chia seeds and pecans can be added.

  • Make sure the yogurt is whole milk yogurt to get the healthy fat. Another simple smoothie is peanut butter, frozen bananas, ice cubes and milk.
  • Salad for breakfast? It almost sounds sinful. However, it can be a great way to start the day, especially when it’s topped with avocado, a spicy salsa with chopped cilantro, an egg cooked in that same salsa and red kidney beans.
  • Make a black bean and egg omelet and roll it in an omelet. Mix two eggs to make an omelet. Pulse or mash the black beans with lime juice, cumin and hot sauce. Place on top of the omelet and roll it like an enchilada. Top with feta, sliced avocado, salsa or pico de Gallo.
  • Make a breakfast hash from sweet potatoes, chicken sausage, onions, red bell peppers and seasoning, top with a sunny-side up fried egg and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai Gym

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