Blog

Interview With Distance Runner Polina Carlson

 

Ultra Runner & Hawaiian Ola Enthusiast

My goal is to inspire people to keep dreaming,” says Polina Carlson, Hawaii based elite runner.  “If I know that my actions inspire others to dream more, do more, and become more then I’ll be satisfied.” This sentiment is what fundamentally drives Polina to push through her rigorous daily training schedule and continue to take first place in Half Marathons and Marathons worldwide.

Along with her motivation to lead by example in chasing her own dreams, she attributes much of her success to a combination of her health conscious awareness  and nutrient dense diet and her hard work. Hawaiian Ola Noni Energy and Immunity shots have become a staple to support Polina’s early morning workouts as well as to aid her recovery.  

Most recently, the runner and Hawaiian Ola enthusiast dominated in the Tokyo Half-Marathon followed by another victory at the Colvis, CA Half Marathon several weeks later.  She is currently working toward her next race, a full marathon in Sacramento, CA in the beginning of December, where she hopes to continue her first place streak We got a chance to catch up with Polina in Kailua, HI to get some insight on her training and what keeps her mind, body and spirit balanced and strong!

Hawaiian Ola: First of all, we just want to congratulate you on your career thus far in your professional running career! When did you start running. What attracted you to running as opposed to other sports?

Polina Carlson: Oh, Thank you so much! Well, I actually competed for the University of West Alabama in tennis, and it was there that my tennis coach noticed that I outran everyone in running drills, including the members of the men’s tennis team. He encouraged me to work out with the cross-country team to simply “stay in shape” for tennis. Eventually I decided to give up tennis in order to focus solely on my running dreams. I am incredibly blessed to live my dream and train as a professional distance runner. This sport continues to introduce me to new places, new faces and new experiences. Also, to give my all in something that I love is very rewarding. I love this sport because it is not just about winning or losing, it is about the journey. My journey so far has been amazing and I am thankful for how God has provided so many opportunities and supportive family and friends.

HO: Wow! So you have come quite a long way from your tennis running drills! Talk a little bit about running in Hawaii? Why did you choose Hawaii and what makes it a unique place to run/live/train?

PC: I’ve been living in Oahu for over two years.  While here I finished my Master’s degree, competed in cross-country for Hawaii Pacific University, and got married. Living in Hawaii is great! The warm climate allows me to run anytime I want to. It’s perfect for athletes and people who enjoy outdoor activities so I feel like I’ve chosen a right place. There are so many beautiful routes and different terrains, which makes it more exciting. I love the Kailua gravel trail, Tantalus and Manoa routes for my training.

HO: Yes. I bet it makes it a bit easier to train when you have all this beauty around you! From your perspective, how is healthy food intake and running related?

PC: As a professional athlete I choose the food, which is healthy and high in nutrients, because I know that this is my health and it starts with food. I try to eat real food: meat, eggs and lots of fruits and vegetables to get vitamins from natural sources. My lifestyle supports healthy eating and being active; that’s what I promote as a professional athlete. I’m passionate about using organic and healthy ingredients, which helps my body to replenish and recover quicker. After my runs I get incredibly hungry and I always try to look for nutritious food. My breakfast usually consists of Special K with linseeds (a good source of omega-3), strawberries, bananas, a hard-boiled egg, and a sandwich containing salmon and avocado. I’ve learned that eating healthy is a big part of being a professional athlete and I also try to choose food that I really enjoy!

HO: What are your thoughts on the organic food movement?

PC: I was raised on organic foods and try to eat organic whenever possible.  It’s better because it has more nutrients, more vitamins, and no processed chemicals or stuff that is harmful to our bodies. I try to eat locally, as fresh as possible, simple, and low ingredient.

HO: And as an athlete, it is so important for you to get the highest nutrient content out of your intake. At Hawaiian Ola, we focus a lot on putting our values back into our food. What values do you like to see in the food companies (and other companies) you support?

PC: I love supporting local farmers and businesses, and promote healthy living within the local community. I teach other women how to put an end to unhealthy cravings and relationships with food, so it can change their lives for the better. Some of the values that I’d like to see in the food companies are producing food sustainably using organic methods that are good for the environment and making food from scratch.

HO: That is great that you have been able to convey your knowledge on nutrition to a larger population! So, what is your history with Noni? Were you a Noni fan before trying Hawaiian Ola?

PC: Actually, Hawaiian Ola was my introduction to Noni, and I was a huge fan of Ola shots before I became a sponsored athlete by you guys. One of my good friends, who is a competitive triathlete, introduced me to the product as a natural caffeine source. I did some research on the benefits of noni fruit and decided to try it myself and fell in love with the product. I have an active lifestyle with more than two training sessions a day. Hawaiian Ola energy shot is a constant choice for me before my hard morning runs. I also love drinking Ola shots mixed with water during my gym workouts. It helps me sustain my energy and Noni fruit helps my muscles to recover quicker. I love using the product, because Ola shots are a small, handy source of vitamins, which is easy to carry around.  

HO: Definitely! Have you noticed any significant changes in your performance since using Hawaiian Ola products as opposed to other products you’ve used in the past?  

PC: I’ve never tried using other energy drinks in a past because I know that they tend to give a sudden burst of energy followed by a crash. Most of the popular energy drinks are basically just sugary water with some artificial chemicals. Noni energy drink is a healthy option for athletes, because instead combinations of multiple energy-inducing ingredients they use green tea and yerba mate, which are natural energy sources with many other benefits. The Noni fruit helps to speed-up recovery and reduce post-workout soreness!

HO: Well, it’s great to hear that both the Energy and Immunity shots have aided in your training and recovery.  I know you work and train extremely hard to reach your personal goals as an elite runner.  What is your daily regimen, and how many hours/miles do you shoot for daily/weekly?

PC: I usually get up around 5-ish and, after some bread and honey and a drink, head out to start training. I run about 100 miles per week; sometimes I run a little less during the week, but usually only when I taper for a race.On my return home in the morning, I will have run about 10 to 15 miles. After aiding my recovery with compression boots, I have a big mid-morning breakfast. Training is such an integral part of my life that it rarely seems like a chore, and my husband usually runs with me and pushes me during the hard workouts. When my breakfast has gone down, I do a core workout and various exercises to develop strength. After the morning strength/core session, I have a meal. The final run of the day is an easy local one of an hour. The total workout comes to about three to four hours a day. I never eat dinner after 8pm and I’m usually in bed by 9 or half past. I have a rest every eighth day and I take two weeks off at the end of the summer and winter seasons. At first it feels fantastic to be able to relax and sleep in, but within a week I’m itching to get out and run again.

HO: That is a lot of work! I think you are on to something with the well rounded training approach. Any tips for novice runners?

PC: Just enjoy what you do! And don’t give up if you have a failure. Set reasonable goals and work towards them.

HO: Nice. What do you enjoy when you are not running?

PC: Photography is another passion of mine. I love taking photos of the stunning nature and the ocean. I’m also learning Japanese; I’m a huge fan of Japanese culture!

HO: Definitely important to keep those other creative outlets flowing. What inspires you most? What revitalizes you and renews you?

PC: I’m inspired when I hear other runner’s stories of struggle and success. I’m inspired to keep running when I hear the stories about people overcoming serious medical issues, or those with a desire to run but are not physically capable of running.  I feel very fortunate to live in Hawaii and to continuously see, touch, and breathe the many beauties this island has to offer. It makes me feel happy, in harmony with nature, and invigorates my body and soul.

HO: What do you live for/What makes you the happiest?

PC: I believe God made me for a purpose: to shine His light and to bring people closer to Him. And, I am incredibly lucky that I get to do that through running. It makes me extremely happy to be able to train, be coached, and encouraged by my husband, who is also a competitive runner. I’m happy that my husband and I share the same deep passion for running. Besides that simple things make me happy. I love the ocean and find solace in the mountains; I also love traveling and exploring new places.

HO: What impact do you want to leave on the world?

PC: My goal is to inspire people to keep dreaming. If I know that my actions inspire others to dream more, do more, and become more then I’ll be satisfied.

HO: Polina, thank you so much for taking this time to talk with us. It’s been really great to get some insight into your daily life and flourishing running career. One last question. If you had the opportunity to give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

PC: Be grateful in life no matter what. Live in the moment. The more appreciative you are in life, the more present you become.  

Visit Polina on the web and follow her on twitter!

Read More

Too Cute. A Shout-Out To The Hawaiian Monk Seal

Meet Hawaii’s Official State Mammal

Naturally, Hawaiian Monk Seals are great friends with Sea Turtles

Naturally, Hawaiian Monk Seals are great friends with Sea Turtles

The lovable, laid back, Hawaiian Monk Seal has been a part of Hawaiian folklore and story telling for generations. Today, tourists and locals are lucky to catch a glimpse at what has become an increasingly elusive part of the Hawaiian biosphere.

Researchers say the Monk Seal came to the Hawaiian islands some 14 million years ago and adapted well to archipelago life in the tropics as an apex predator. In recent years however, the Monk Seal has been shown to be particularly sensitive to environmental shifts brought on by the introduction of humans and their pets. Now less than 1100 total Monk Seals remain from what was once a thriving species.

In this post we’ll learn more about the Hawaiian Monk Seal, including some of the things that are making life tough for them. We’ll also share four easy things you can do to help keep these most cutest of mammals alive and well for many years to come. Let’s start by getting to know the Monk Seal.

Likes Seafood, Sunsets, & Sandy Beaches

The Monk Seal loves to haul out on sandy beaches

The Monk Seal loves to haul out on sandy beaches

The adorable Hawaiian Monk Seal eats fish, octopus, squid, and lobster. A day in the life of a Monk Seal will typically involve resting, molting, mating, and rearing young in or around shallow lagoons, open oceans, and sandy beaches.

Monk Seal bodies have not evolved any unique adaptations for dealing with the hot tropical climates they live in, rather, they spend their days avoiding the sun in wet sand and shade, and leave most of their physical activity to the cooler times of day.

About hauling. Anyone doing research into Monk Seal lifestyles is bound to stumble on countless references to one of the Monk Seal’s favorite pastimes, hauling or hauling out. No, they won’t help you move your couch. The practice of hauling out refers to getting out of the water to loaf (and do other things) on dry land. Monk Seals are expert haulers, which can often leave them open to being approached and disturbed by human visitors.

So seafood, sunsets, and sandy beaches. Sounds like the Monk Seal has a pretty great life, right? Well, almost.

According to estimates from the Monk Seal Foundation over 90% of the remaining population could be gone in less than 50 years. They say that recent changes in Monk Seal habitats have triggered a decline in the population and unless steps are taken to intervene we could lose our friends to extinction.

Running In Rough Water

The Hawaiian name for Monk Seal is ‘llio-holo-i-ka-uaua’, which affectionately means, “dog that runs in rough water.” Today, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the two remaining Monk Seal species; the other is the Mediterranean Monk Seal and both are critically endangered. Until recently there were three species but sadly the Caribbean Monk Seal was officially declared extinct in 2008.

Monk seals are the only endangered marine mammals in the northwest Hawaiian Islands. According to biologist, Frank Parish, “adult monks today seem healthy, yet 8 out of 10 pups are dying before the age of two”.

The reasons for decline in Monk Seal populations are complex, but, we know that humans have a lot to do with it.

Reasons For Decline

Reports estimate that the remaining Monk Seal population is going away at the rate of 4.5% every year. Right now, the biggest threats to Monk Seals are accidental entanglement, disease promoted by environmental toxins or water pollution, and issues related to climate change.

Suzanne Canja, a Monk Seal biologist studying the reasons behind the species decline, says one big problem for the seals is accidental entanglement. In recent years she has documented over 150 accounts of seals getting tangled in fishing line and nets. Accidental entanglements are an unfortunate side effect of industrial fishing taking place in the habitats where Monks Seals live.

Another problem the Monk Seal faces is increasing water pollution. Currently industrial chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides, are being studied as likely threats to endangered seal populations. Whether it’s household chemicals or excess farming chemicals used in conventional agriculture, increasingly, we see new toxins entering the oceans where Monks Seals live which can negatively impact their health and wellbeing.

A third longer term issue for Monks Seals has to do with global warming. Sandy beaches are an important part of the Monk Seal habitat. The threat of sea level rising due to global climate change would reduce or even eliminate the available Hawaiian beaches on which the seals depend. As oceans warm, these beaches become less and less available to new Monk Seals, which makes it hard for them to survive.

Four Ways You Can Help

Monks seals need clean water and quiet naps to thrive

Monks seals need clean water and quiet naps to thrive

Stop Global Warming
This can be done by driving less or driving more fuel efficient vehicles. Vehicles account for about 13% of all human-created green house gas emissions—however, 51% are created from animal meat production. One way to seriously cut back on your greenhouse emissions footprint is by eating less animal products or by going vegan! For more on this check out the film documentary Cowspiracy and see how meat production and global warming are connected.

Buy Organic
When you buy organic, you support a kind of farming that avoids using herbicides and pesticides, which can run off farmland into ground water, streams, and eventually ocean habitats. Organic food is also grown without using synthetic fertilizers, such as nitrogen. Excess synthetic nitrogen used in conventional farming also runs off into Monk Seal habitats, which can cause algae blooms and can eventually cause ocean dead zones.

Keeping Distance
In recent years Monk Seals have become a spectator attraction for Hawaiian tourists and locals, alike. Tragically, the seals have not evolved any natural fear of humans, which makes approaching them very easy. If you see a Monk Seal, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Foundation urges you to stay at least 150 feet away. Monk Seals are disturbed easily. Hauling out on the beach provides them with a much needed sanctuary from yet another danger, sharks! And, if you bring a pet such as a dog, to the beach make sure it’s properly restrained and does not assault the resting Monk Seals.

Support These Orgs
These organizations have great information on Monk Seals and work hard to educate people about Monk Seals and their preservation. They can always use more support! Visit them online and learn more:

Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program
Save Our Hawaiian Monk Seal
Monk Seal Foundation

Stay Positive!

If you love Monk Seals follow the tips you’ve learned and have hope; it’s not too late to preserve Hawaiian Monk Seal populations! In 2008, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii James Aiona declared the Hawaiian Monk Seal as Hawaii’s official state mammal.

———

More Resources:

Monk seal cultural significance in Hawaii
General facts about the Hawaiian Monk Seal
Learn basic facts about the Monk Seal
Learn about the meat industry and global warming

Photo Credits:

1. Hawaiian monk seal research program https://www.facebook.com/HMSRP
2. We Live Mana http://www.welivemana.com
3. USFWS https://www.facebook.com/USFWSRefuges?fref=photo

Read More

The Debate Over Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Understanding The Pros & Cons Of Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

At Hawaiian Ola, we feel honored to share the many healing benefits of Hawaiian noni with the world and will always do our best to ensure that it is prepared thoughtfully and with good intention. Noni is our flagship fruit, the first and main ingredient in both of our products, and is, in many ways, the fruit that originally inspired us to launch Hawaiian Ola. Throughout our journey to fulfill our mission (to expand the demand for organically grown, GMO-free Hawaiian crops) and share noni with the world, we have had to make many difficult decisions along the way, such as whether or not to pasteurize our noni juice.

Why We Pasteurize

Putting Health And Safety First

When making products to share with our ohana, two of our highest considerations will always be health and safety, which is why we take every possible measure to ensure nothing harmful ever ends up in our products. We only source organic because we know pesticides in conventional foods are unsafe. We source GMO-free because we don’t believe untested GMOs belong in our food. And we heed the FDA’s strong recommendation to pasteurize our noni, because it is the best way to ensure Hawaiian Ola is made free of any harmful bacteria or pathogens(1,2).

Sharing Noni With More People

Aside from removing any unwanted bacteria from our noni, two additional benefits to pasteurization are an extended shelf life and the ability ship and store our Noni at room temperature without risk of spoiling. This is important to many consumers for whom the added costs of shipping refrigerated, raw noni are often too much to afford buying it on a regular basis. For these drinkers, pasteurization has made Hawaiian Ola noni easy to enjoy everyday without worry of spoilage or expensive shipping prices.

The Effects Of Pasteurization

Noni can often be seen growing wild along the coastline of Hawaii

Noni can often be seen growing wild along the coastline of Hawaii

Noni’s Beneficial Constituents

One of the things that makes noni (Morinda Citrifolia) such an amazing fruit is that it contains an unusually wide variety of beneficial compounds, some of which are known to offer anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and cleansing effects. While some of these compounds may be disturbed by pasteurization, fortunately, most of noni’s beneficial constituents are not. In order to understand why, it helps to think of all of noni’s constituents in two categories: stable, which are less likely to degrade in the presence of air, light, and heat, and unstable or volatile constituents, which are more likely to degrade from the same exposure.

Stable & Volatile Compounds

In the stable category, noni contains an abundance of antioxidants such as aucubin, as well as nutritive constituents like iron, fat, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Also stable are compounds such as damnacanthal, a novel anthraquinone that is likely responsible for noni’s cleansing or purgative effects, as well as NoniPPT, which has been shown to play a role in noni’s immunomodulatory effects. In the unstable category, compounds such as Eugenol, Scopoletin, and asperuloside are known antiinflammatories that can be categorized as volatile and are more likely to be impacted by the pasteurization process to some degree(3).

Measuring Positive Effects

While the extent to which both stable and unstable constituents in noni are impacted by pasteurization have never been specifically studied, we know that most of noni’s nutritional constituents are stable and that several studies have shown noni, in its pasteurized form, to be potent and effective in several areas related to human wellbeing. Two examples include a 2006 study that showed a protective effect on hepatic injury (protecting the liver from harmful carcinogens) and also a study where pasteurized noni showed positive results for current smokers by protecting those individuals from oxidative damage induced by cigarette smoke(4,5).

Understanding Heat & Health

The positive results we see in the clinical trials using pasteurized noni could have much to do with noni’s high concentration of stable beneficials, however, the results may also have something to do with a health boosting change that takes place in certain fruits and vegetables when they are heated. Cooking breaks down cell walls and in turn increases the abundance and bio-availability of certain compounds, most notably antioxidants.

Cooked tomatoes, for example, release more lycopene, an antioxidant linked to improved mood, heart protection, and even cancer prevention. Similarly, the antioxidants known to protect your eyes against disease, such as lutein found in corn and spinach, also respond to heat during cooking. A 2003 study that compared the carotenoid content — mainly lutein and zeaxanthin — of corn found that when processed with heat, contained more lutein than the raw form. Legumes appear to respond to heat, too. Boiling peanuts has been shown to boost antioxidant concentration by up to 400% that of raw(6).

Health, Happiness, & Noni Juice

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

For many consumers the question of ideal noni preparation is one of ongoing consideration. In the end, our choice to pasteurize was about health, safety, and making Hawaiian Ola noni affordable and accessible to our ohana everywhere. Along the way we learned that noni is packed with an abundance of stable beneficials, which are not likely to be affected by pasteurization. We also learned that pasteurized noni has been shown to positively support liver and lung health in clinical trials and that the heat from pasteurization may even draw out certain nutritional compounds such as antioxidants by breaking down rigid cell walls.

In the end, the consumer choice of what kind of noni to drink is a personal one. Whether you choose to drink noni raw or pasteurized, our advice is to be safe (source your noni from a provider you trust), support growers who cultivate noni organically (pesticides are bad for everyone), and above all enjoy your juice! The way we see it, noni is a pretty special gift from nature and no matter how you prefer it to be prepared, health and happiness are two things you should always get from your noni.

Mahalo for reading. Post your questions and comments below and if you would like to try a free sample of Hawaiian Ola noni, click here to order.

Additional Resources

1. (FDA Regulation)
http://www.noniisgoodforyou.com/beforeyoubuy.asp
Pasteurization In the United States, the FDA strongly recommends that all fruit juices be pasteurized. Currently 98% of all juices in the U.S. are pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria that may have grown during the harvesting and bottling process.
2. (FDA Regulation)
books.google.com/books?isbn=0970254466
Noni: The Complete Guide for Consumers and Growers By Scot C. Nelson, Craig R. Elevitch
Non-pasteurized, bottled noni juice that is sold in the U.S. must be labeled “for external use only” or “for pet use only.”
3. (Constituents Of Noni)
http://www.medicinehunter.com/noni
A thorough list of stable and volatile constituents in Noni, including a reference to many of their known effects on the body.
4. (Noni Effects For Smokers)
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/113/8/e301.full.pdf
“The Effects of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Juice on Serum Cholesterol and Triglyceride in Current Smokers.” Circulation 113, 301-381 (2006).
5. (Noni Protects The Liver)
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/7173228_Noni_juice_protects_the_liver
Article: Noni juice protects the liver.
Claude J Jensen, Johannes Westendorf, Mian-Ying Wang, David P Wadsworth European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 06/2006 – Source: PubMed
6. (Nutritional Value Of Cooked Foods)
http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/January-2014/Turn-up-the-Slow-Cooking-Heat-for-Health/
Turn Up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health – Hot Antioxidants

Read More

9 Ways To Be Healthier Every Day

Routine

With proper planning, better health can be yours.

Being healthier doesn’t have to mean radically changing your life. There are several choices you can make during your daily routine that can improve your nutrition, fitness, and overall well-being.

Good health starts with good habits, so we’ve constructed a schedule of small things you can do to be healthier each day. Try following it for one day, and see how much better you feel!

Morning

Exercise Before Eating

A handful of studies from the British Journal of Nutrition, Appalachian State University, and others indicate that exercising before 7 a.m. is best. For one thing, it promotes a good night’s sleep.

If you can exercise on an empty stomach, or after having only a small snack, it’s even better! You can burn 20% more fat that way. The idea is that if you work out before eating, your body burns fat rather than carbs for energy.

Morning is the best time for exercise for a lot of reasons, but if you’re not an early riser, you can exercise in the afternoon or evening. Making exercise a daily habit is more important than doing it at a certain time.

Track Your Measurements

A study from Brown University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that if you weigh yourself daily, you’re more likely to maintain your weight.

The best time to do this? Before breakfast.

Your weight can fluctuate by up to three pounds in a single day, so it’s important to get the most accurate read possible.

Weighing yourself on a daily basis, before you put anything in your stomach, will help you know whether you’re gaining or losing weight. Then, you can make adjustments based on this information.

Eat Fruit For Breakfast

Fruit-Sugar

Blend your favorite fruits together for an antioxidant-rich smoothie.

We believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is plenty of scientific data to support this. Breakfast provides you with stamina for the rest of your day, and it helps with weight management.

Of course, the benefits of eating breakfast only exist so long as you choose the right foods.

Start getting your daily recommended servings of fruit at breakfast time. Fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—but none of that will help you if you’re consuming pesticides at the same time.

Eat organic fruit whenever possible, taking special care to choose organic when it comes to fruits that have the highest incidence of pesticide exposure: apples, grapes, nectarines, and peaches.

Fruit smoothies are a great way to get the health benefits of several fruits at once. Blend in Hawaiian Ola’s energy shot, and you can skip coffee, too!

Afternoon

Maintain Steady Energy Levels

Have you ever noticed that your energy levels tend to dip later in the afternoon, after you return from lunch? If this happens to you, try shrinking your portion sizes but eating more frequently.

Three bigger meals per day can leave you feeling sluggish as your body tries to process what you’ve eaten. Eating less food more often can mitigate this effect, helping keep your energy levels more stable.

Take Breaks From Sitting

get-up-and-go-out

Leave your desk for a while to refresh your concentration and get your blood flowing.

If you’re mulling over the solution to a difficult problem, get up and walk around. If you can’t get away from your computer, stand up and lean over it for a little while. And try to avoid taking lunch at your desk—get outside, walk around, and soak up all the vitamin D you can!

Sitting for several hours at a time can wreak havoc with your posture, and avoiding sunlight can decrease your serotonin levels. Take every opportunity to get up and move, stretch, and take in some rays.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Staying hydrated throughout the day will bring you a multitude of health benefits. There are many drinks out there that claim to do the job, but don’t be fooled! The best hydrator is plain old water.

Many people are tricked into believing they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water the next time your stomach is growling. Your hunger may go away.

Evening

Seek Out Superfoods

Most people make dinner their biggest meal of the day, but sometimes it’s also one of the worst. When you’re tired from a long workday, the last thing you want to do is cook.

If you find yourself tempted to stop at the nearest fast food joint on your way home, stay strong! Schedule one day per week to prepare make-ahead meals for you and your family. Virtually every recipe site has a section for meals that you can freeze and reheat later.

Focus on meals that include “superfoods”, which provide the ultimate bang for your nutritional buck. They’re low in calories and are full of nutrients that fight disease.

Some of the most powerful superfoods available are avocado, fish, cabbage, garlic, and eggs. Find make-ahead meals that include them, or find recipes that you can throw together in less than 30 minutes.

De-Stress

Stress is one of the worst things for your health, but there are a number of things you can do to curb its effects.

Even if you can’t change your family obligations and work schedule, the “fake it until you make it” approach has some merit. Stay positive and be kind, and you may find yourself feeling better.

Try to find 30 minutes each day to do something to relax: take a walk, get a massage, or meditate.

Sleep Better

sleep better

Sleep is essential for maintaining brain function and metabolic processes.

Millions of Americans struggle with insomnia. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night – sleep is important for restoring the body’s immune function and maintaining the connection between brain cells.

It’s also when your body secretes growth hormone, which maintains healthy skin and muscles.

For better sleep, stop caffeine use four to six hours before bedtime. Make sure the room you’re in is dark and cool.

Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach, but don’t stuff yourself before lying down, either. A small snack two hours before bed will prevent the midnight munchies without giving you nighttime indigestion.

Image courtesy of Jason Matias

What are your daily health habits? Share in the comments.

Read More

Choosing the Right Antioxidant Supplement

If you are one of the many Americans who have grown hip to the anti-aging benefits of natural antioxidants and are already taking an antioxidant supplement on a regular basis—you can appreciate the value of antioxidant drinks like Hawaiian Ola’s Noni Energy and Noni Immunity. But for those of you who are still in the dark about subject, this post might be a great way for you to see what all the chatter is about, already. We’ll explore why antioxidants are important and we’ll also offer a few tips for choosing an antioxidant supplement that is healthy and will provide you with the natural antioxidants you’re looking for.

So, why are antioxidants important, anyways?

In order to conduct the many vital tasks that healthy bodes must perform throughout the day, cells require a constant supply of oxygen. The downside to our cellular relationship with oxygen is the creation of a harmful byproduct known as Free Radicals. Free Radicals are unstable, damaged molecules that want to attach themselves to more stable healthy ones. Free radicals that attach to stable molecules create, (you guessed it), more free radicals as a result. This chain reaction is called oxidization. When this reaction spirals out of control the effect is cellular damage and damage to the immune system which can make it easier for illness and disease to develop. This is where antioxidants become important. Antioxidants can bind to free radicals and neutralize them thereby reducing their harmful effects on the body. In essence antioxidants act as a blockade that slows down the damaging effects of oxidization.

The human immune system actually creates a certain amount of endogenous antioxidants via the immune system. The trouble is, our lives filled with a variety of taxing factors such as lack of sleep, stress, and poor nutrition that make it hard for our immune systems to keep up with the demand for antioxidant production and fending off unwanted disease. We know that antioxidants are a key part of protecting the immune system and guarding the body from illness, but in order for them to be effective you have to be getting enough of them. One way to ensure your body is getting the antioxidant support it needs is to supplement your diet with quality, organic, antioxidant rich foods and supplements.

Shop Smart. Know what to look for.

So lets refresh, antioxidants are good for you, they aid in slowing down the aging process and guard your body against illness, but there are many antioxidant supplements like Hawaiian Ola to choose from, which ones are best? Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right antioxidant supplement for you.

Efficacy: What makes some antioxidant supplements more effective than others? One important factor is the quality of ingredients. Among the variety of antioxidant supplements available today, only a few of them contain truly potent antioxidants made from healthy plant based sources. The ones you should avoid contain preservatives, pesticides (common in non-organic sources), gluten, and other additives such as food coloring agents—read product labels carefully and avoid products that contain these elements whenever possible.

Organics: In Hawaii, less than 1% of all designated Ag land is used for organic farming. Foods and supplements that are grown organically are farmed without using pesticides, GMO’s, and chemical fertilizers, which can be detrimental to your health. When looking for herbal antioxidant supplements in particular (some can be very potent), look for herbs that have been grown organically. Powerful examples of antioxidant rich herbs include: Indian ginseng, milk thistle, Huang Qi and Mistletoe. Integrating these herbs into your diet can strengthen organ function, reduce your risk of common aliments and boost your immune response.

Purity: Be on the lookout for purity. Many companies that produce antioxidant supplements employ a process known as standardized extraction in order to isolate active antioxidant abundant ingredients from herbs and other plants. The trouble is, this process involves the use of some pretty harsh chemicals. The result? The “natural” supplements produced by companies who employ standardized extraction are not exactly what folks are looking for when they’re shopping for natural antioxidants. Avoid exposure to trace amounts of potentially harmful manufacturing chemicals by only taking supplements that are certified organic by the USDA.

Efficacy, Organics, & Purity—Easy.

Hawaiian Ola Noni Energy and Noni Immunity shots are packed with antioxidant rich fruit juice and herbs such as yerba mate. Our ingredients are grown organically so there are no pesticides in Hawaiian Ola and our bottling process ensures that no preservatives, or food-coloring agents ever touch our products. The antioxidants in Hawaiian Ola noni energy and noni immunity come from herbs and a blend of organic fruits like mango, acai and goji. Next time you’re out shopping for the perfect antioxidant supplement, compare labels and remember to look for efficacy organics and purity—if the option you’re considering has them all, give it a try, your body with thank you.

Read More

Using Natural Caffeine To Boost Your Energy

Spinning

Caffeine not only increases stamina levels during workouts but also aids with muscle recovery.

There is no better way to start the day off than with a caffeinated drink to provide you with a boost of energy and help you to overcome that early-morning tiredness.

Usually people tend to view coffee as being a healthier choice than energy drinks because it contains natural caffeine as opposed to synthetic caffeine.

Synthetic caffeine is very highly concentrated and results in a sudden burst of liveliness followed by a crash characterized by feelings of exhaustion and deflation.

Natural caffeine is less concentrated than its synthetic counterpart.

It also contains plant-based nutrients that balance out the effects of the caffeine.

This form of caffeine results in a pleasant boost followed by a slow descent rather than a sudden drop in mood and energy.

Uses for Natural Caffeine

Noni-Energy-with-Green-Tea-and-Yerba-Mate

Noni Energy is made with Green Tea & Yerba Mate, which are natural sources of caffeine.

Hawaiian OLA Noni Energy differs from other energy drinks in that it contains the natural caffeine that is found in green tea and organic yerba mate in place of synthetic caffeine.

This makes it the perfect drinks to increase your get up and go.

It can be used for a range of different purposes including helping you to wake up in the morning, working out at the gym and giving you the extra enthusiasm that is required in order to meet a client at work.

Caffeine for Exercise

Caffeine has been proven to increase physical endurance and stamina, meaning that it can help you to keep going for longer when you are exercising.

Research conducted by Professor Robert Motl of the University of Illinois suggests that it can also reduce muscle pain. This makes it good for combating the discomfort that a vigorous gym session can cause.

Experts recommend consuming moderate quantities prior to exercise.

You can add Hawaiian Ola Noni Energy to ten ounces of water to provide yourself with a long lasting period of increased energy and endurance. It will also help you to remain hydrated.

The noni fruit helps to lower inflammation, further reducing post-workout aches and pains.

Its anti-inflammatory properties are so strong that it has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, which involve joints becoming severely inflamed.

Early Morning Boost

If you have trouble remaining focused during early mornings then caffeine might also be the answer.

Studies indicate that it can aid concentration and improve mental alertness.

It is advisable to consume up to three hundred milligrams immediately prior to the period when you most need to boost your focus.

Each Hawaiian OLA Noni Energy contains one hundred and fifty milligrams of caffeine so you should drink a maximum of two of these drinks in order to up your concentration levels and make sure that you are firing on all cylinders.

Meeting a Work Client

Perhaps you have a meeting scheduled with a work client and need to appear as if you are energized and enthusiastic despite the fact that you feel tired and drained.

Not only can caffeine make you feel more awake and alert but it has also been proven to temporarily increase brainpower, enabling you to remain on the ball.

This can ensure that you are capable of both delivering the correct information to your client and appearing to pay close attention to what he or she is saying.

Again, moderation is the key. Stick to three hundred milligrams or below in order to achieve the optimum results.

Sporting Events

Jungle Trail Running

Trail Running is one of the many sports that caffeine can increase performance in.

Research cited in the medical journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that caffeine can improve performance in a range of different sports, including endurance events, racquet sports and contests involving high-intensity, sustained activity that lasts between a minute to an hour.

The optimum dosage to take before taking part in a sporting event is approximately three milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

In addition to raising energy levels, caffeine has also been demonstrated to boost agility and speed and even improve the accuracy with which a tennis player is capable of hitting the ball.

This suggests that it can increase sportsman’s competency as well as their stamina and enthusiasm.

Become More Sociable

Caffeine can also give you more energy in social situations.

It has been proven to increase the amount that people talk whilst at the same time keeping them calm.

Studies demonstrate that it makes you more friendly, reduces aggression and increases tolerance of minor irritations.

Drink a bottle of Hawaiian OLA Noni Energy before meeting friends to ensure that you remain chatty, affable and on top of the conversation.

The Perfect Hangover Cure

Research carried out by Thomas Jefferson University indicates that caffeine is useful as a pick-me-up for people who are suffering from hangovers.

It can get rid of alcohol-related headaches, helping individuals who have drunk in excess to feel better again.

Caffeine’s ability to raise a person’s levels of enthusiasm and liveliness is good for curing the psychological effects of hangovers.

It can stop them from moping around and feeling sorry for themselves.

The next time you need to replenish your zest for life after having one too many beers, why not treat yourself to a drink containing caffeine? It could help you to get back on your feet again and minimize the time that you spend in bed nursing your sore head.

The Key to Lasting Energy

Using natural caffeine to boost your energy levels is far more effective than relying upon conventional energy drinks.

It has less negative side effects and provides more of a natural lift.

The key is not to over do it; consume just enough caffeine to give yourself the boost that you require.

That way, you will experience a lasting period of energy and increased focus followed by a mild dip when you no longer need the same level of stimulation.

Photo courtesy of: Jungle Marathon

Read More

Where Energy Drinks Are Headed In The Next Five Years

Noni Fruit

It is likely that there will be an increased use of fruit in energy drinks throughout the next five years. The noni fruit, pictured above, is a key ingredient in Hawaiian Ola Energy.

The majority of the energy drinks that are currently on the market are basically just sugary water.

The top two ingredients in our five main competitors’ drinks are all sugar and water.

Fortunately a change is occurring in the industry, with Hawaiian Ola Energy leading the way.

Companies are starting to produce drinks that are low in sugar and use other natural ingredients to provide a boost to drinkers.

No More Sugary Water

A report issued by researchers at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign suggests that one of the ways in which the energy drinks market could expand is by companies targeting the growing number of health-focused consumers.

The report indicates that this could be done by concentrating upon low-sugar beverages.

Hawaiian Ola Energy is ahead of the curve in this respect. Our drinks contain a mere 6 grams of sugar per two-serving container.

The main ingredients in Hawaiian Ola Energy are neither sugar nor water; they are organic, Hawaiian noni fruit and mango juice.

Perhaps within the next five years, other companies will follow our lead and reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks.

Natural Ingredients

The researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign also identified using natural ingredients as a step that energy drinks companies could take to expand the market.

Experts have stated one of the reasons that the industry has recently experienced a significant level of growth is that companies are beginning to put out a more diverse range of products, including drinks that have been created using natural products.

However there is still a long way to go with regards to this issue and the majority of companies are being slow to catch on.

Perhaps this could determine which companies sink and swim throughout the years to come.

More Transparency On Ingredients

Earlier this year, lawmakers released a report exposing the fact that many energy drinks companies are failing to prominently display all of the ingredients that are present in their beverages.

The report called for the implementation of measures to increase the levels of transparency in this area.

This is likely to result in energy drinks companies having to make the contents of their beverages considerably clearer than they are at present.

We not only display Hawaiian Ola Energy’s ingredients on the side of the containers but have also included them on our website.

It is likely that more companies will start to do the same over the course of the next five years.

Increased Focus Upon Sustainability

According to researchers at the Appalachian State University, there has been a recent trend towards consumers purchasing products from companies that they believe to share their values. This has led to an increased focus upon sustainability.

The fact that more consideration is now being given to this issue is likely to result in more energy drinks being produced in an ecologically sound manner.

An example of this is Hawaiian Ola’s use of the noni fruit, which grows wild on the Hawaiian islands and doesn’t require synthetic fertilizers or pesticides in order to thrive. This means that its benefits can be reaped without damage being caused to the environment.

The more socially conscious the world becomes, the more energy drinks companies will concentrate upon using ingredients that are not grown or created using techniques that destroy the natural world.

Increased Use Of Fruit

Noni Fruit and Dragon Fruit

More companies are using healthy ingredients like noni fruit & dragon fruit in energy drinks.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has identified incorporation of fruits as an area that energy drinks companies can focus upon in order to create a larger market for their products.

Some companies tend to concentrate upon synthetic products rather than using the fruits and berries that nature has provided for them.

They are missing out on a number of benefits that be gained from including fruit in energy beverages.

Not only does the inclusion of fruit result in drinks that are healthier overall but there are also a number of fruits that can be useful when taking part in activities that require an increase in energy. The noni fruit is a proven anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce muscle ache caused by vigorous exercise and mango can help to lower body fat, providing consumers with a better physique with which to take part in energetic, physical activities.

If energy drinks companies focus upon including more fruits in their products, they will increase the effectiveness of their products and facilitate the creation of fitter, more in-shape drinkers.

Organic Produce

Market intelligence company Transparency Market Research has predicted that demand for organic foodstuffs will increase both nationally and globally throughout the years to come.

The global market for organic foods is projected to have risen from 57.5 billion dollars in 2010 to 104.7 billion dollars by 2015.

This is another issue that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has highlighted as something that could be explored by energy drinks companies in order to push the industry forwards.

It is likely that there will be a marked growth in the number of companies that offer organic energy beverages within the next five years.

The Dawn Of A New Era

The nature of energy drinks is liable to change significantly throughout the years to come.

It is probable that there will be an increased focus on healthy ingredients, environmentally friendly products and low-sugar beverages.

Pressure from government bodies might also force companies to be more open about the ingredients that their energy drinks contain. This could be a catalyst for change, making them think more carefully about the content of their drinks.

A new era is approaching; the age of the ecologically conscious, socially responsible energy drink is slowly creeping in. Whether it will be fully upon us within the next five years remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts?

Share your prediction for energy drinks in the future.

Read More

Fall Harvest: 10 Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Immunity

Fall Harvest Boost Immunity

Are There Superfoods Hidden In This Autumn’s Harvest?

Fall is the season when appetites turn toward comfort food. A lot of the things you’d find on a Thanksgiving table aren’t necessarily good for you—and with winter coming, you need your food to do more than put meat on your bones!

Here at Hawaiian Ola, we believe that the things you eat and drink should provide energy, nourishment, and promote a healthy immune system. That’s why juice from the Noni fruit is the main ingredient in our immunity formula. With fall in full swing and winter on its way, you should choose fruits and vegetables to boost immunity and ward off illness.

One strategy for doing this is to make an effort to eat produce from each color of the rainbow. These ten, listed from red to purple, are some of the best fruits and vegetables out there for enhancing your immune system. They’re in season now, so you should have no trouble finding them!

Red & Orange

1. Apples

Fresh Apples

Apples: A Central Player In The Fall Harvest

Health Benefits: Apples contain soluble fiber, which a University of Illinois study revealed to have immune-strengthening properties. They also benefit the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. Apple phytonutrients, including polyphenols and flavanoids, can help regulate blood sugar.

How To Eat It: Apples are fantastic because of their versatility. They’re great in sweet as well as savory dishes. Drink apple juice, eat applesauce, or have a whole apple as a snack. If you go apple-picking, you can do all of the above—plus have enough left over to make pies, cakes, and slice up for sandwiches and salads.

2. Beets

Health Benefits: Beets are a great source of manganese, which aids in the production of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that supports the immune system by eliminating free radicals. They also contain iron and vitamin C, which are essential for fighting off infections.

How To Eat It: There are few better ways to prepare root vegetables than by roasting. It can be a lengthy process, but you can cut back on the time somewhat by cutting them into wedges, seasoning them with oil, salt, and pepper, enclosing them in a foil packet, and baking them in a 450-degree oven for 30 minutes.

3. Pumpkin

Health Benefits: Alpha carotene and beta carotene, which convert to vitamin A and contribute to immune defense, are both found in pumpkin. Half a cup of pumpkin puree contains three days’ worth of vitamin A, as well as vitamin C, iron, and fiber.

How To Eat It: Pumpkin pie is a classic fall recipe, but it’s also packed with sugar, fat, and calories. You can use pumpkin puree in all kinds of healthy recipes. Stir it into oatmeal with some spices, make a quick bread, or try out this recipe for pumpkin cranberry muffins!

4. Sweet Potatoes

Health Benefits: Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta carotene available. This phytonutrient helps the body absorb iron and raises blood levels of vitamin A, which improves eyesight and may reduce the risk of arthritis.

How To Eat It: You can use a sweet potato any way you’d use a regular potato. Steaming them is one of the best ways to retain their nutrients. To do this, cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices and steam the slices seven minutes. Adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves make steamed sweet potatoes into a great side dish.

Yellow & Green

5. Butternut Squash

Health Benefits: Squash is a fantastic source of antioxidants, like beta carotene, which protect from chronic diseases like cancer. It also contains high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, which bolster the immune system.

How To Eat It: Roasting butternut squash with olive oil and salt makes a delicious and savory side dish. You can take it a step further by pureeing the squash with broth and some roasted ginger and shallots. This fall staple, butternut squash soup, is a filling and comforting way to get your daily dose of immune-boosting butternut squash.

6. Kiwi

Kiwi

For Breakfast: A Delicious Kiwi Smoothie To Prevent Infection

Health Benefits: A single kiwi provides 100% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Kiwis also contain carotenoids, polyphenols, and dietary fiber. All of these have immunity benefits! One study found that consuming kiwi, or another high-vitamin C fruit, provided protection from respiratory issues like asthma and wheezing.

How To Eat It: Kiwis make great snacks, whether they’re fresh or dried. If you want to get a little more creative, you can combine them with a leafy green of your choice to make a healthy smoothie! Blend both ingredients with a banana, some strawberries, or even a few sprigs of mint for a refreshing zing.

7. Kale

Health Benefits: Kale is antioxidant-rich, and is also high in vitamins C, A, and K. It’s also a great source of fiber, but is low in fat and calories. It contains more iron than beef—iron is essential for cell growth, liver function, and hemoglobin production.

How To Eat It: Kale is delicious as a base for salads, either raw or tossed with some parmesan, salt, pepper, and olive oil and baked until crispy. Top it with toasted pecans, chopped apples, roasted butternut squash, and some whole-grain croutons for a super immune-boosting lunch!

Blue & Purple

8. Grapes

Health Benefits: Red grapes contain resveratol, a compound that an Oregon University study found had immune-boosting properties. Resveratol works with vitamin D to increase expression of the CAMP gene, known to play a role in the functioning of the body’s immune system.

How To Eat It: Grapes are easy to eat by the handful, but if you want to elevate them a bit, they make great salad add-ins. You can also roast them as a dessert topping or pair them with another savory vegetable, like parsnips, as a side for pork medallions.

9. Turnips

Health Benefits: To get the full nutritional benefits of turnips, eat the greens as well as the roots. Turnips contain several antioxidants, including hydroxycinnamic acids and iodine. They aid the immune system in preventing disease, eliminate free radicals, and protect against inflammation.

How To Eat It: You can get the benefits of turnips and their greens by sautéing them together with some olive oil and sliced garlic. Or, you can take advantage of the fact that they contain ¼ of the calories of potatoes, and mash them. Add some bacon, parmesan, and chives to make the dish more hearty.

10. Figs

Figs

Fresh Figs Make A Great Immune-Boosting Snack!

Health Benefits: Pathogens can enter the body more easily when its pH is out of whack. Figs help support proper pH levels, and the fiber they contain helps maintain healthy levels of blood sugar. Figs also contain potassium, manganese, and several antioxidants.

How To Eat It: Figs are delicious fresh or dried, in salads or paired with cheese and crackers. You can brush them with olive oil and broil them to serve alongside a protein, like steak, or with ice cream. If you’re in a rush, grab some fig newtons as a snack! Four figs a day can work wonders for your immune system.

What’s your favorite fall fruit or vegetable?

How will you add these immunity-boosters to your meals?

Images courtesy of George Alexander, olle svensson, Keith McDuffee

Read More

25 Ways Sleep Can Positively Affect Your Health

sleep

Making time for sleep is one of healthiest things you can do for your body

At Hawaiian Ola, we’re all about your health. All of our products are designed with your well-being in mind. For example, our energy drink is created to give you a boost without interfering with your sleep cycle. We know how a lack of sleep can interfere with your health—and conversely, all about the health benefits of getting enough sleep.

As you may have guessed, the lion’s share of sleep’s positive health benefits affect your brain. Getting enough sleep can help you:

1. Improve Memory

When you sleep, your mind engages in a process called “consolidation”. This is the process by which you strengthen memories and “practice” skills you learned while you were awake.

2. Work Through Problems

When you’re trying to work through a problem or learn something new, sleep on it! You might find yourself getting the hang of it when you wake up.

3. Beat Depression

A lack of sleep can contribute to depression. Getting a good night’s sleep can keep your mood stable.

4. Reduce Stress

When you miss out on sleep, it starts a vicious cycle. Your body will go into a state of stress, which in itself produces stress hormones. In addition to increasing your blood pressure, these make it difficult for you to sleep.

5. Keep Yourself Alert

Obviously, a good night’s sleep makes you more alert the next day. You’re less likely to make mistakes while at work, and you’ll stay safe while driving and performing other activities.

6. Stay Energized

Much in the way that losing sleep starts a negative cycle, getting enough of it starts a positive one. When you have enough energy to be active throughout the day, you’ll sleep better the next night. This will keep your energy levels

7. Improve Cognitive Function

The American Psychological Association found that people who don’t get enough sleep show “pronounced cognitive deficits”. Sleeping enough can improve memory and decision-making skills, and it can help you be more attentive.

8. Regulate Your Mood

Sleep helps with your emotional regulation. When you’re not carrying a large sleep debt, you’re less subject to sharp mood swings, like crying jags or irritability.

9. Think More Clearly

Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived have a harder time solving logic or math problems. You’re also more likely to make odd mistakes—like when you leave your keys someplace strange.

10. Promote Creativity

creativity

Getting a good night’s sleep can help promote creativity

The brain uses sleep as a time to reorganize and restructure memories. This may result in more creativity. If you’ve got a creative project to work on, make sure you pay off your sleep debt first!
There’s a reason they call it “beauty sleep”—and beauty isn’t just about vanity. A lot of the time, things considered aspects of beauty are tied to your health. Getting enough sleep can:

11. Control Your Weight

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat those who were sleep-deprived. The latter group also reported feeling hungrier, most likely due to decreased levels of the hormone that signals fullness.

12. Boost Your Metabolism

Sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates. If you start getting a good night’s sleep each night, your metabolism might be affected for the better.

13. Restore Your Body

During sleep, your body undergoes repair and detoxification. Have you ever wondered why sore muscles always feel better after a good night’s sleep? That’s because during sleep, damaged muscles are restored.

14. Repair Skin Damage

Skin cells sustain damage in your day-to-day life. If you want beautiful skin, get plenty of rest. You’ll avoid eczema and psoriasis, as well as premature skin aging.

Sleep isn’t just vital for your mental health and appearance. It has several benefits to your physical well being. Sleep can increase your quality of life in a variety of ways:

15. Boost Your Immunity

If you’re planning on getting a flu shot this season, plan on getting plenty of sleep to go with it! Getting enough sleep helps your immune system produce more antibodies in response to a vaccine.

16. Diminish Inflammation

An increase in stress hormones from lost sleep can raise the level of inflammation in your body. If you suffer from inflammation-related health issues, like arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes, getting enough sleep might relieve some of the symptoms.

17. Enhance Your Sex Life

In men, impaired sleep has been linked to lower testosterone. Combined with the fact that 26% of people said their sex lives suffer when they’re too tired, this makes getting enough sleep really good for your sex life!

18. Improve Athletic Performance

The key to kick-starting your athletic performance may be in getting enough sleep. According to a Stanford University study, college football players who slept 10 hours a night improved their average sprint time, had less daytime fatigue, and had more stamina.

19. Lessen Risk Of Injury

Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision-making. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to hurt yourself—or worse.

 20. Ease Pain

Many studies have shown a connection between lost sleep and a lower pain threshold. Getting enough sleep might ease chronic pain, as well as acute pain from injuries.

Getting adequate sleep won’t just improve your quality of life. It’s been found, time and again, to actually prevent and help fight life-threatening diseases. Making a habit of getting a good night’s sleep can:

21. Fight Cancer

It’s unclear why, but getting enough sleep may lower your risk of developing cancer. Troubled sleepers are more likely to develop prostate cancer, and women who slept less were more likely to experience cancer recurrence.

22. Increase Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular Health

Having enough sleep can be a great way to optimize your cardiovascular health

Sleep has an obvious relationship with the blood vessels. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to all kinds of cardiovascular problems. Your heart will be healthier if you get enough sleep each night.

23. Lower Risk Of High Blood Pressure

When the body is sleep-deprived, stress hormones trigger an increase in blood pressure. You’ll lower your risk for high blood pressure by sleeping enough.

24. Reduce Risk Of Diabetes

A healthy amount of sleep helps control cortisol levels. This hormone sends excess glucose to your liver, creating fat there and increasing omental fat. This deep belly fat bathes nearby organs with fat and inflammatory hormones, increasing your risk for diabetes.

25. Lengthen Your Lifespan

Too little sleep has been linked to a shortened lifespan, although it’s not clear why. What is clear that you won’t only live longer—you’ll live better. Sleep has an undeniable positive effect on your quality of life.

In order to reap all of these benefits, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you typically get less than that, try going to bed an hour or two earlier than usual. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!

How much sleep do you get in a typical evening?

How might your routine benefit from an extra hour of sleep?

Images courtesy of Sixand5 and iheartdr

Read More

The Hawaiian Ola Guide To Energy Drinks & Working Out

Hydration for a Healthy Workout

What’s the best beverage for your workout?

With all the conflicting data and anecdotes that are floating around, it can be hard to tell. Some people swear by them, and others tell you to stick to water. How do you know what’s true and what’s hearsay?

To help answer this question, we’ve collected all available information about what energy drinks do for your body.

If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s this: not all energy drinks are created equal. Some of them are great workout fuel, while others will only make you jittery.

In the following article, we’ve broken down what your body needs for exercise—and what it doesn’t. When you’re considering what to drink before and during your workout, evaluate based on these criteria:

Caffeine

Did you know that caffeine can boost your workout? It stands to reason that it would provide a slight energy boost, but energy drinks provide more than that. A 2010 study found that they can actually increase your lung volume threshold, improving the body’s response to physical exercise.

People still warn against energy drinks as workout fuel, though. This is because for all their benefits, most contain a large amount of sugar, which can spike your blood sugar. This will cause it to crash later on, effectively negating the effects of the caffeine.

Additionally, some energy drinks contain far too much caffeine, which can interfere with coordination and sleep. Find one that isn’t loaded with sugar, but contains a moderate amount of caffeine—between 100 and 200 milligrams.

Hydration

Stay Hydrated During Exercise

Your body loses fluids when you sweat heavily

You need to stay hydrated while you exercise. Physical exertion causes you to lose fluid through sweat, and if they are not replaced, you could end up with a headache.

Many energy drinks claim to be thirst-quenching, but there is no substitute for the all-time best hydration specialist: water.

Even energy drink companies that manufacture drinks with a higher volume of liquid specify that they are not designed for re-hydration. Some even advise combining these drinks with water in order to ensure proper hydration.

The bottom line is that water has to enter into the equation somewhere. You could alternate a 12- or 16-ounce energy drink with an equal amount of water, but then you risk having to interrupt your workout for a bathroom break.

You’re better off sipping an energy drink that isn’t designed to fill you up—something that’s only one or two ounces. Hawaiian Ola is a great example, and it can be added directly to your water so you can caffeinate and hydrate in one convenient drink.

Electrolytes

This is a word you often hear in conjunction with exercise, especially on television. This might lead you to believe that electrolytes should be included in anything you drink during your workout, but that’s not necessarily the case.

It is true that you lose electrolytes, which include sodium and potassium, when you sweat. However, most people get adequate amounts from food.

We’re a big proponent of noni fruit as a source of potassium. We combine it with several other organic fruit juices in our Hawaiian Ola line of energy drinks. They contain several important electrolytes, including calcium and sodium.

However, only time you’d need to worry about replenishing your stores of electrolytes is if you exercise for an hour or more.

If you’re not a marathon runner or a professional athlete, in other words, you don’t need to look for electrolyte replacement.

Calories

Fuel your Body with Healthy Calories

Fuel your body with healthy calories from fruits and vegetables

We usually think of calories as they relate to food, but they’re actually a unit of heat energy. Your body uses this energy to run, just like a car uses gasoline.

This why exercise is a key component to weight loss: you need to burn off the excess calories you’ve consumed.

Some of the drinks you’d sip while exercising have a certain caloric content, but that’s only necessary if you’re trying to provide yourself with extra fuel. If you’re eating enough, drinking your calories as you work out is counterproductive.

If you need extra energy for your workout but you don’t want extra calories, find a drink that contains caffeine but is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Sports drinks are your enemy, as are the many sugar-packed energy drinks on the market. Water won’t hurt you in this area, but it won’t help, either.

Sugar

Sugar is a main ingredient in several energy drinks, as well as many sports drinks. However, sugar is something to avoid during exercise.

Simple sugars cause a large surge in insulin, which causes a sharp decrease in blood sugar. Insulin also prevents you from being able to use fat for energy, which causes you to burn carbohydrates at an accelerated rate.

Why do sports drinks contain so much sugar, then? It turns out, for the same reason they contain electrolytes: they’re meant for athletes who are planning long, hard workouts.

If your exercise regimen is moderate, sugar will only slow you down. Find a drink that will boost your energy without causing you to crash—that means minimal sugar and a fair amount of caffeine.

Sleep

Overloading on caffeine can cause insomnia, which can wreak havoc with your fitness routine. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to skip your workout.

This can set off a vicious cycle. Science suggests that exercise affects sleep quality, so if you’re too tired to exercise, you might still find yourself wide awake when it comes time to sleep. The next day, you’ll be exhausted again, and so on.

You can prevent this from happening by avoiding drinks that contain too much caffeine. Exercising too close to bedtime is another bad idea, since it elevates your heart rate.

Getting plenty of exercise in general is great for your sleep habits, though. As long as you stay hydrated, don’t over caffeinate, and you choose a drink with minimal sugar, an energy drink is a great way to fuel your workout.

How do you stay energized while you exercise?

What’s your favorite source of workout fuel?

Image courtesy of Being808

Read More
Page 1 of 3123»