Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

18 Feb

Dear Mark: Advice for Athletes

This question came from speedingwaif in the comment boards last week. We thought it was something everyone might enjoy.

Dear Mark,

I’d be very interested in reading about the different nutritional needs of average folk versus athletes. For instance do we need more protein or just more calories overall? Are there foods or nutrients that are especially beneficial to the athlete? What is a good pre-training or pre-competition meal? Should the diet of a female athlete differ greatly from the diet of a male athlete?

Thanks for the question. I really enjoy the post discussions that get going and appreciate the questions. As you may have noticed, Dear Mark has become a weekly post now, so feel free to drop me a line in the comment boards. I’ll try to answer as many questions as possible in future Dear Mark posts.

Keep reading…

18 Feb

A Pain in the Neck – and Back!

With the rise of obesity and the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in the U.S., it’s little surprise that back problems are common in this country. And, sure enough, health expenditures for these problems are going through the roof. According to a newly published research analysis, expenditures for neck and back treatments have risen a whopping 65% since 1997! But here’s the kicker: with all the extra money insurance companies and individuals are paying for back related treatments (surgeries, pain meds, etc.) patients are actually getting less relief. The research comes out of the University of Washington at Seattle and is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Keep reading…

17 Feb

Pharma Confidential

If you have ever experienced difficulty in finding the motivation needed to complete the most common daily tasks you may be part of the estimated 20% of the population that is burdened by a newly discovered debilitating disorder – Motivation Deficiency Disorder, or MDD. Luckily, there is a simple answer: Strivor.

No. We aren’t serious. But you can easily imagine hearing this sort of thing in the next Big Pharma television ad campaign.

This is at the heart of this parody video that provides biting commentary on the tactics used by Big Pharma and the state of the healthcare industry. It is put together by Consumer International, which, as they say, is “the world federation of consumer groups that, working together with its members, serves as the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers.”

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16 Feb

Magnificent Muscle

Strong CatA research study out this week indicates type II muscle mass associated with strength training not only helps reduce body fat but alters overall metabolism.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have demonstrated that in mice, the use of barbells may be as important to losing weight and improving health as the use of running shoes. The discovery builds upon the fact that skeletal muscle consists of two types of fibers. Endurance training such as running increases the amount of type I muscle fibers, while resistance training such as weightlifting increases type II muscle fibers. Using a mouse genetic model, BUSM researchers demonstrated that an increase in type II muscle mass can reduce body fat which in turn reduces overall body mass and improves metabolic parameters such as insulin resistance. These studies indicate that weight bearing exercise, in addition to endurance training, may benefit overweight people.

via Science Daily

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15 Feb

GMO Foods: Super Solution or Franken Future?

Close your eyes and think about genetically modified crops. Now what do you see? Green fields of lush, pest-resistant, hardy crops? A ghoulish cast hovering above insidious kodachrome orbs they call GM tomatoes? Hordes of protestors in t-shirts and Converse sneakers? Hungry children being fed? A Pandora’s Box?

Applaud or curse, the U.S. allows the planting of GM crops, while many countries do not. It also doesn’t mandate labeling of genetically modified food, as do Europe and many other countries. These circumstances have, experts agree, allowed food made with genetically engineered ingredients to be included in approximately 70% of food in typical grocery stores.

Keep reading…

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