Can’t sleep? Stressed? Try L-theanine for mental clarity and reduce anxiety

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l-theanine_for_sleep_and_stressForget narcotics that might have you sleep-driving (ahem Ambien). If you can’t sleep, there are plenty of natural ways to battle insomnia and win.

A study in 2004 conducted in Japan concluded that taking L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, particularly green tea is an effective natural supplement for helping to slow the mind, ease anxiety, and sleep deeper. Subjects reported that they even had less nightmares when taking L-theanine.

Most of the studies seem to show that the major benefit of L-theanine is enhancing relaxation, with improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety being tied for second.

Try a 200mg dose half an hour to an hour before bedtime or the same amount throughout the day to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. The anti-drowsiness results are most effective when taken with caffeine. L-theanine reduces the jittery effects of taking high amounts of caffeine but you get to keep the mental focus benefits. People reported being more astute, being able to “think faster” and having a better memory when taking caffeine and L-theanine.

 

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Happy New Year and try THIS for a FITNESS resolution!

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Happy new year from 10in30! We hope 2017 is a great year for you and you reach all of your goals!

Did you make any resolutions? We’d like to hear them! Writing them down and making them public is a way to solidify them and help ensure you are accountable. Share your goals for 2017 in the comments below.

Are your resolutions health and fitness based? Financial? Social? Self improvement? Fun? All are valid and it’s great to have multiple goals in different categories.

High Jumps!If you are looking for health and fitness resolution ideas, here’s a reachable, simple, yet effective idea: Do the 10in30 “12 Minute HIIT” workout every morning! If you aren’t familiar with it yet, it is a simple 12 minute workout that is part of the Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days plan. You do this every day in the morning to jump start your daily fat burning.

Why only 12 minutes and what’s with the “high intensity” stuff? Studies show that performing high intensity exercise in the form of plyometrics, fast running or cycling or even weight training with heavy weights speeds up your metabolism and the fat burning continues far after you’ve stopped exercising. Here’s a great article from ACE with references: 7 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EXCESS POST-EXERCISE OXYGEN CONSUMPTION

In the article above, the author writes on his findings:

Exercise that places a greater demand on the anaerobic energy pathways during the workout can increase the need for oxygen after the workout, thereby enhancing the EPOC effect.

(the EPOC effects is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, meaning your body is still consuming extra oxygen after your workout in order to get back the oxygen you used up thus burning calories in the form of fat)

HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO STIMULATE THE EPOC EFFECT.

^ The 10in30 12 Minute HIIT is as high intensity as it gets! With 30 seconds of all out exercise through high jumps, squat jumps, and pushup rows separated by 30 seconds of active recovery, you will continue the fat burning throughout the day. Latest studies have shown that a low-energy expenditure recovery interval is crucial to prepare for the high intensity interval. In fact, you might want to do nothing during your 30 seconds of recovery instead of the light jog-in-place that the 12 Minute HIIT suggests.

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A study showed that subjects who recovered passively showed improvements in endurance performance compared to those who actively recovered. But the 12 Minute HIIT suggests “light jog in place” so that might be classified as “passive”.  Your choice; light jog in place or just stand around. See what feels best!

Another study on how HIIT raises your metabolism: Hormonal and Metabolic Responses to High Intensity Interval Training

We wish you the best in 2017 and thanks for being a 10in30 subscriber.

Yo-yo dieting might cause extra weight gain

bart_yoyoThis is what we’ve been saying all along here at 10in30 Fitness. Going on “crash diets” where you starve yourself is a terrible thing to do to your precious body. You are training your body and brain to hang on to fat in preparation for future starvation. And if you do this often as with yo-yo dieting, you are damaging your body over and over.

Our Lose 10 Pounds plan is not a starvation diet. We gradually lower your calories based on your specific body, weight, and fat percentage. The key is to gradually lower your daily calories and end up with the right number of calories to lose weight. You can’t just jump into a big caloric deficit! But you do have to have enough of a deficit for your body to get rid of body fat, so the numbers have to be just right.

Repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the person to store more fat for future shortages, new research by the universities of Exeter and Bristol suggests.

This may explain why people who try low-calorie diets often overeat when not dieting and so don’t keep the weight off.

By contrast, people who don’t diet will learn that food supplies are reliable and they do not need to store so much fat.

The study, published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, is based on observations of animals such as birds.

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Animals respond to the risk of food shortage by gaining weight, which is why garden birds are fatter in the winter when seeds and insects are hard to find.

The authors studied a mathematical model of an animal that knows whether food is currently abundant or limited, but does not know when things will change, so must learn about the changeability before deciding how fat to be.

The model shows that if food supply is often restricted (as it is when dieting) an optimal animal — the one with the best chance of passing on its genes — should gain excess weight between food shortages.

Fascinating stuff, eh? To read the rest of the article in Science Daily, click here.

 

Is diet enough to lose weight?

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A caloric deficit diet is the number one agreed upon best way to lose body fat and thus lose weight.

Some say you don’t even really need to exercise at all if you are sticking to your diet. Well, I agree that if you are sticking to your diet of a caloric deficit (eating less than your body needs to stay at the same weight) you will lose weight. It’s just a numbers game. If your body needs say, 2000 calories to stay the same day in and day out, then if you eat 1400 every day you will naturally lose weight because you are not feeding your body enough for a 2000 calorie person at your height/age/gender. Your body cannot make energy out of nothing and those 600 missing calories are just that—nothing. They are missing. You are now eating enough for a 1400 calorie person. You will turn into that 1400 calorie person.

Then why do I insist that you do exercise? Well for starters, doing exercise will burn additional calories on top of what your body needs for every day activity like walking, talking, breathing, heart pumping, sitting, smiling, etc. So you will essentially be in a deeper caloric deficit without having to eat less because eating less will make you miserable! Those calories you are burning with exercise will subtract from the total daily calories making our example 1400-200=1200. Of course, these are just random numbers and you wouldn’t go that low in calories, at least you shouldn’t.

Eating at a huge deficit doesn’t work.

It doesn’t? Whaaaat? This might come as a surprise, but you shouldn’t just drop calories like there’s no tomorrow because guess what—there IS a tomorrow! And when tomorrow comes, you will gain the weight right back and usually with a vengeance. Yep, your body will avenge the fact that you starved it by hanging on to fat and you will eat more in order to prepare for another famine.

“But you said a diet is enough to lose weight!”

Again, why do I insist on exercise? Doing the right type of exercise and the right exercises will ensure that your body goes into fat burning mode and not fat hoarding mode. That’s correct—doing the wrong type of exercise will actually train your body to hang on to fat! You need to assure your body that you are eating enough for what you are doing so it does not need to store fat. That’s also correct—eating more food will actually allow you to get rid of extra fat around your waist, thighs, and arms! Now, obviously I’m not saying that you should eat more food than you need to maintain your weight; I’m saying more as in more than a crazy-low calorie diet like many people do, especially women.

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You ever see someone—perhaps at work—that lost a lot of weight and everyone is high-fiving him and saying he looks great but something about him just doesn’t look right? He surely isn’t as big but he still looks crappy and you can’t put your finger on it? Well that’s because he lost a lot of weight, but not a lot of fat. He is probably rocking the same percentage of body fat but since the total weight went down, his size went down too. But it’s still a high fat percentage! He might now be at 25% body fat, which is slightly less or maybe even the same as when he was 50 pounds heavier. THAT, my friends, is what we do not want to do! We want to lose FAT and the weight will come off appropriately.

You do not want to become skinny fat. I’d rather be “fat and big” than skinny fat. Being skinny fat you lose in both worlds—skinny=no muscle, and fat=excess body blubber. YUCK! The big fat guy might have excess body blubber making him look soft, smooth, and walrussy but underneath that thick-ass coat of fat he has huge muscles. Trust me, big guys can lift a ton! Just go to the gym and see the big chubster doing leg press. He’ll load every 45 pound plate in the gym! The skinny fat person has no strength, and on top of that is carrying a high percentage of his or her total weight as fat. Sadness.

THEREFORE, in order to have a healthy, strong, useful, energetic, and—most important of all—SEXY body, you must workout the right way! I’ll give you a hint: YOU MUST LIFT FREAKING WEIGHTS! how’s that for a hint?

Click the link above on the word “healthy” to see why lifting weights is really important.

THAT IS ALL, MY BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS, THAT IS ALL.

Sincerely, your humble and loving servant in the world of health and fitness,

BUM MUSCLE

10in30.com

10 in 30 Fitness

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It’s on!

Get the official 10 in 30 book for only 99¢ today


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Price goes up every day ’til it hits the regular price of $9.99 so hurry up, don’t delay, tell a friend, have a life, bon voyage and anything other three syllable saying you can think of!

See it on Amazon

 

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This Friday: Huge Black Friday Sale

Forget paying $9.99 on Amazon Starting this Friday the 25th, get the book for a ridiculous 99¢

HUGE BLACK FRIDAY SALE

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Forget paying $9.99 on Amazon. Starting this Friday the 25th, get the book for a ridiculous 99¢. It will go up a buck every day to regular price so hurry. Click here

 

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^ — Don’t pay full price. Get it this Friday for 99¢ (shhh, it might go on sale sooner)

Already got the book? Get one for a friend. Or share on Facebook so your fans can benefit! 🙂

Cheers and happy Thanksgiving!

******************* Also have some silly fun and play the “What Kind of Gym Buff Are You?!” game!

 

 

Friday fun: What kind of a gym buff are you??

Take our fun quiz:

What kind of a gym buff are you??

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Are you Loopy Larry? Melting Melinda? Give it a shot and post what you got in the comments of the quiz page!

 

8 Ways To Get Good Sleep

Shhhhh I’m trying to sleep!

sleeping_catSleep quality is important when it comes to health and even more so when you are working out and building your body. The three important elements to reshaping your body are diet, exercise, and sleep. Without one, your efforts will be lessened if not wasted completely. It is during sleep that your body and brain repair themselves and your muscles begin to grow to be able to deal with the stress you have been putting them through. Without proper quality sleep, your muscles will not be able to repair themselves and your mind will suffer as well causing you to be stressed out during the day, irritable, or in a bad mood.

Here are some of the methods that I have used to help me get good quality deep sleep. You are welcome to try one or all of them and comment on what has worked for you in the past or what you will be trying.

1. Keep a regular schedule. Changing your bedtime every day will have your body guessing if it’s supposed to be asleep or awake, causing you to stay up when trying to go to sleep. I know it may be difficult to go to sleep at the exact same time every day, but that is the goal. Try to come as close as possible to going to bed at the same time every day. It can vary, like for example 9 o’clock one day 10 o’clock the next, but try not to make it too drastic of a change. Your body has biological clock that works with the circadian rhythm in order to know when you’re supposed to be asleep and when you’re supposed to be awake. This has lots to do with light and temperature which leads to number two.

2. Dim the lights. Our body’s circadian rhythm works with light to know when you’re supposed to be asleep or awake. Therefore, dim your house an hour or more before bedtime as bright lights represent wakefulness to our brain. When our brain sees that the environment is dark, it begins to make the hormone, Melatonin which is the sleep hormone. More on that later.

In contrast, make sure you get plenty of bright sunlight in the morning! This is important to ensure that your circadian rhythm is on track to make you sleep at night. Indoor lights are not bright enough to trigger our brain that we are supposed to be awake, so going outside for a brisk walk first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to get sunlight into your brain. Be sure to face the direction of the sun instead of walking with your back to it. Just don’t stare directly into it, ok? 🙂

3. Cool off before bedtime. Our bodies are programmed to get sleepy when the temperature starts cooling off and when it begins to get dark. This has been established through evolution as a survival mechanism. We need to sleep, and it’s safer to do so at night when you can hide in the dark from predators. During the day when the sun is out is when we’re supposed to go out and hunt for food because we can see our prey better so that is when we are programmed to stay awake.

You can ensure that you are not sabotaging your evolutionary programming by making sure that your room or your entire house is cool around an hour before you go to sleep—no hotter than 72°. When the brain senses that the body is cooling down it begins to make you sleepy. One good trick is to take a hot shower right before bed. When you walk out of the hot bathroom and into the cool bedroom your body will begin to cool down. This cooling down of the body is what will trigger you to become sleepy. The worst thing you could do is warm up your bedroom so that it’s somewhere in the mid to high 70s because that is associated with daytime warm temperatures and being awake.

4. Wind down before bedtime. Do not stimulate yourself with high-energy music, crazy action movies or TV shows, or physical activity that requires a lot of energy. You can wind down by doing a mindless activity like washing dishes or folding clothes; anything where your brain is barely required and you tend to let your mind wander.

Another good thing to do after you have cooled the house down and turned the lights down is to meditate. Now if you are not into meditation and think it’s a little goofy, that’s OK, you don’t have to do it in a goofy way where you are saying weird, unnatural things or sit in a weird, unnatural position. I simply sit in my desk chair and listen to YouTube videos about meditation and hypnosis as well as brain waves to make me sleepy. Here are two of my favorites:

^ This one is great. Relaxes me completely, prepares me for sleep.

^ This is Delta Waves music. If you’re not familiar with brain waves, I’ll do my best to explain or you could just click on the link in the sentence for a fantastic and more in-depth explanation.

Click to see largeYour brain emits electro-impulses resembling waves depending on what state it is in. Normally throughout the day we are in beta mode or alpha mode if we are in a relaxed state. That means we are awake and alert but relatively calm. You want to get into Theta or Delta brain wave mode so that your mind is quiet and calm and falling asleep. The video above emits Delta audio waves which your own bran will synchronize to while wearing earphones.

It is crucial that you wear earphones because that’s how brain wave therapy works. The left and right channels are given a different frequency so that the difference of the two is the target brainwave. In this case the target brainwave is Delta, the deepest sleep brain wave. Your brain will synch itself to this delta brain wave because it is separately receiving the two different signals in its left and right ears. I listen to this and then remove the earphones and go to sleep. you can try wearing the earphones to bed but I find them incredibly uncomfortable, specially ear plugs which tend to dig in when I turn to my side.

Other ways to wind down are playing Tetris or other highly repetitive games, crossword puzzles, or watching old black and white reruns of comedy tv, reading relatively boring stuff like science or history (lol don’t write me angry letters, I’m comparing these subjects to more stimulating subjects that may cause you to think all night).

 

5. Get plenty of tough exercise during the day. Walking in the morning is good for getting air, circulating the blood, and getting those sun rays in your brain but it’s not really going to tire you out for the night. Be sure to get a good workout in every day (you can take a couple of full rest days throughout the week). Lifting heavy weights where you really push yourself for half an hour, then doing some rigorous cardio where you are sweating bullets is a great way to make sure you’ll be tired and sleepy at night. If you sit at a desk all day like most of us do, chances are you’re not pushing your body to do very much throughout the day, so invest in the time to take care of your body and it will take care of you.

rowsWrongWorking out at a gym is great because of the selection of equipment and inspirational environment, but you don’t need a gym membership; you can work out at a park play ground, in your house with a pull-up bar or simply run upstairs or a steep hill. But it is important to get your muscles to do more work than they’re used so that your brain to feels the need to sleep deeply in order to recover from the workout. Be sure to finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime so that you’re not too energized.

 

6. Bedtime tea. Bedtime teas like Yogi Bedtime Tea and Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Tea contain passionflower, chamomile and Valerian, three herbs that are known to promote relaxation and sleepiness. A cup or two before bedtime relaxes you and helps keep your brain from overthinking.

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7. Supplements

theanineTheanine. Theanine is an amino acid that is found in teas and is pretty much the magic of why teas do not make you jittery like coffee does. Theanine counteracts the jittery, nervous feelings associated with caffeine causing you to get the positive effects of caffeine like alertness and higher cognitive abilities while not being nervous or anxious. This is why many people take theanine (100-200mg) with their morning coffee. Now, theanine does not promote sleepiness so that’s not the reason I’m suggesting it here. I’m suggesting it because it does however, promote relaxation of the mind and since you are not drinking caffeine before bedtime, taking theanine will help your mind begin to slow down and prevent you from overthinking when trying to go to sleep. 100mg or 200mg is all you need. Studies show that taking more than 200mg did not make a difference so save your money. Get Theanine here.

 

 

valerianValerian. This herb is derived from the root of the Valerian plant and is used for its calming and sedating properties. Valerian does make you sleepy, at least that’s the idea. It’s found in the teas mentioned above, but I take 2 pills (800mg) most nights. Great to have pills for when it’s too late to brew a cup of tea or you just don’t want that much water in your stomach which may cause you to awaken to go to the bathroom. Research shows that the effects begin to take effect after 2 to 3 weeks so it looks like your body has to get its fill before it begins to benefit but when it does, it appears to really work well. Plenty of Valerian supplements to choose from here.

 

 

melatoninMelatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is formulated naturally in the body at night. If you ruined your circadian rhythm by staying up late, sleeping during the day, not getting enough bright sunlight during the morning hours, or traveled and feel jet lag, melatonin is right for you. Taking melatonin at night will ensure that your body’s natural clock is where it should be; making you sleepy at night and awake and alert during the day. I take 3 to 6mg (1 or 2 tablets) depending on how bad my sleep has been lately. If I’m on roll of sleeping and waking at the right time for a few days I don’t take any at all, specially when I get plenty of sunlight in the mornings. Get melatonin here.

 

 

 

 

zmaZMA. Zinc, Magnesium, B6. Studies are mixed on the effects of ZMA with more of them leaning toward the conclusion that ZMA does not make a difference, but in real life (outside of studies) bodybuilders swear by it! Magnesium is known to make you sleepy and the proponents of ZMA claim that taking this combination and amount will help you get deeper and more REM sleep. It’s more of a bodybuilder’s sleep and recovery supplement and since this is a fitness site, I’ve included it here.

The other claim is that it fixes hormone imbalances and raises testosterone levels, probably due to the zinc and magnesium aspartates but also due to the deep sleep you may gain. I’ve seen friends begin taking it and blow up, increasing their lean muscle mass by a huge amount. It has not made much of a difference for my particular body, but results may vary. The caveat is that you should take it on an empty stomach and should not take this if you just drank milk since it will null the effects. This is not as important as the other supplements but if you are working out hard, whether you are male or female and want to tighten up by recovering from hard workouts with deep sleep, ZMA is good to try. I am currently taking it, let me know your results! ZMA can be found here.

 

Yes, I take all of those supplements to help me get a good night’s sleep. I consider sleep ultra important for everything from body recovery, testosterone and other hormonal balance, and specially mood and mental health so I really don’t mind taking all of these.

 

8. Rain sounds. I like to play Youtube videos of rain and distant thunder because it is very soothing to listen to while falling asleep. These are usually long enough to still be playing when you wake up in the morning. I make sure they are not too loud, but loud enough thta I can hear even if I cover my head with a blanket. Some of my favorites:

If you find the thunder too loud, there are others with lower thunder or no thunder at all.

Go ahead, give these a whirl. Aren’t they relaxing? Nice.

 

Let me know in the comments which of these methods you already use, or which you’ll likely be using and let us know how well they worked! I also welcome other suggestions. Have a great sleep!