Category Archives: Diet and Nutrition

The perfect blend? Mix sports and coffee

Back in July of 2007, I started a habit. I drank. Not beer or Johnnie Walker or tequila or lambanog. I drank a brown-colored mix that’s available in carenderias and supermarkets, SM City and Ayala Center, our homes and offices. I started with San Mig Coffee. When I woke up in the morning, I tore open the blue sachet and poured the 3-in-1 on a steaming cup of water. I sipped. Next, I swallowed Nescafe Intense. It was, as it’s family name suggests, intense. I drank it two hours before running the Hong Kong 42K footrace. I drank it each morning at my Talamban home.

Today, I still drink. But thanks to Jourdan Polotan, who, to me, owns a doctorate in Coffeetology, I’ve learned to be more sophisticated. Mr. Polotan who? He happens to be the husband of Jingle, who’s the sister of Steve Benitez, who’s the owner of the outstanding Cebu brand named Bo’s Coffee.

Jourdan, who’s resided in Surabaya, Indonesia and traveled to Russia and Dubai and Italy and most of the corners of this round planet, taught me about this “French Press.” At first, given his all-muscle physique, I thought the “press” was his gym exercise: the leg press.

French Press, it turned out, was one excellent method of making coffee. And so, for the past 60 days since I’ve purchased that portable French Press gadget at Starbucks and a coffee grinding machine at Rustan’s, I’ve grounded various selections of beans.

When do I savor my coffee? Each morning, with no miss, at 6 a.m. What does one 8-oz cup do to my system? It stimulates my brain. From half-shut, my eyes amplify. From a funky state I transform into a punk. From being a wuss, I transpose into a revving Lamborghini. Coffee, as commonly said, “perks me up” and switches my just-awoken zombie skeleton into an Energizer bunny.

Which brings me to E: Exercise. And why, if you don’t drink cappuccino before you engage in sports or, worse, if you don’t involve yourself in any type of sweating, you should.

Needless to expound, Exercise is necessary for a robust and strapping figure. But here’s what I’ve uncovered is just as necessary prior to exercise: a brown cup. And this theory of drinking coffee before working-out is endorsed not just by me or Vice Governor candidate Glenn Soco, who owns the chain of cozy outlets named Coffee Dream, but by plenty of studies.

“Australian researchers found that even a small quantity of caffeine allowed athletes to exercise almost a third longer,” said the August 2003 article from BBC.co.uk entitled, Coffee ‘boosts exercise stamina.’ “A single cup of coffee may be enough to trigger these beneficial effects. The Australian Institute of Sport team found that caffeine triggers the muscles to start using fat as an energy source rather than carbohydrate sugars. Caffeine has been used by many endurance athletes as a way of eking extra energy out of their body’s reserves during an event. The researchers tested its effects on cyclists, who were allowed to sip on flat cola or coffee as they pedaled. Those who did were able to keep going longer than those who stuck to water.”

Believe it now? There’s more. In fact, hundreds of studies have validated the positive effect of coffee on athletes.

According to the Univ. of Michigan Health System website, “it makes (people) feel more alert, gives them more energy, improves their mood, and makes them more productive. Athletes often use caffeine to help them perform better, both in routine workouts and in competition.”

To me, it keeps me motivated to pedal that Trek mountainbike, sprint that 5K run, swing that Babolat tennis racket.

I hope you drink coffee. Not just to sleep awake, slumped in Seattle’s Best’s sofa set for 104 lazy minutes, but to use coffee to energize your senses and convince your physical self to move.

Do sports. Sip caffeine. What a one-two combination. That’s why I love the French Press. It’s the perfect mix prior to a bench press.

Who doesn’t want to be as sexy as Angel Locsin?

Everybody except Simon Losiaboi or Posh Spice wants to lose weight. This is a fact. Like longing to be as voluptuous as Iza Calzado or pleading to stand beside (says my wife) Derek Ramsey, we all want to look trim, lean and svelte.

How to do it? Simple: Do sports. (Like running a marathon?) But the even simpler and more balanced formula: Eat less and sweat more. Lessen the calorie intake plus engage in badminton smashing or 28-lap swimming or dribbling full-court in basketball.

How else can we shed off extra poundage? Scouring through the internet late yesterday, I found Reader’s Digest (rd.com) and this eye-catching title: “Easy Ways To Lose Weight: 50+ Ideas.” To all wanting an Angel Locsin figure, here are (from that piece) a few of my favorite tips…

Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table. One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.

Eat cereal for breakfast five days a week. Studies find that people who eat cereal for breakfast every day are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don’t.

Passionately kiss your partner 10 times a day. According to the 1991 Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex, a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute. Ten minutes a day of kissing equates to about 23,000 calories — or eight pounds — a year!

Brush your teeth after every meal, especially after dinner. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your body and brain that mealtime is over.

When you’re eating out with friends or family, dress up in your most flattering outfit. You’ll get loads of compliments, says Susie Galvez, author of Weight Loss Wisdom, which will be a great reminder to watch what you eat.

Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs. The Centers for Disease Control says that’s all it takes to help you shed as much as 10 pounds a year (assuming you don’t start eating more).

Switch to ordinary coffee. Fancy coffee drinks from trendy coffee joints often pack several hundred calories, thanks to whole milk, whipped cream, sugar, and sugary syrups.

Carry a palm-size notebook everywhere you go for one week. Write down every single morsel that enters your lips, even water. Studies have found that people who maintain food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t.

Eat slowly and calmly. Put your fork or spoon down between every bite. Sip water frequently. Your brain lags your stomach by about 20 minutes when it comes to satiety (fullness) signals. If you eat slowly enough, your brain will catch up to tell you that you are no longer in need of food.

Downsize your dinner plates. Studies find that the less food put in front of you, the less food you’ll eat.

Bring the color blue into your life more often. There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth.

Don’t eat with a large group. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Behavior found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people, most likely because we spend more time at the table.

Serve your dinner restaurant style (food on the plates) rather than family style (food served in bowls and on platters on the table). When your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds.

Get up and walk around the office or your home for five minutes at least every two hours. Stuck at a desk all day? A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day.

Clean your closet of the “fat” clothes. Once you’ve reached your target weight, throw out or give away every piece of clothing that doesn’t fit.

Read more here.

Going Bananas Over Bananas

Published in Feb. 28 of last year, here’s an article (and fruit) that all should consume…

Each morning for breakfast after I consume a cup of coffee and devour a bowl-full of cereal, I peel open fruits that are delicious, quick to digest, inexpensive.

Bananas. Are they good for us? For those who exercise? For athletes? I pose these questions because haven’t we all seen Lance Armstrong, midway through one of his Tour de France victories, snacking on a banana? Or Rafael Nadal, in between winning sets at the French Open, feasting on this yellow fruit?

I found the answers when an article, sent by Bobby Villareal, landed in my E-mail Inbox entitled, “A Banana A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.” A Banana A Day Keeps The Doctor Away? Wait, wait. Isn’t that supposed to be “an apple a day…?” Continue reading Going Bananas Over Bananas