Ever since I posted the nitric oxide dump exercise routine video, I have had a number of questions.
Some of them include; what is nitric oxide dump, why do a nitric oxide dump (the benefits of nitric oxide), why call it ‘dump’ and what does the nitric oxide dump do.
So, you are in luck because I am going to answer these nitric oxide related questions here for you.
I will also tell you about the surge in sales of arginine and citrulline supplements as possible substitutes for viagra.
Oh yes, there’s a relationship between arginine, citrulline and nitric oxide. I’ll explain that…and even link up nitric oxide with the popular viagra pill.
Are arginine and citrulline supplements worth your money? Are they the silver bullet for erectile dysfunction?
Plus you get to know if dark chocolate does boost nitric oxide levels in the body too, right here. A lot to cover.
But before then, I should say a ‘Big Thank You’ to you folks for giving my nitric oxide dump exercise video a nice leg up on the You Tube platform. It’s 11 days since I posted the video and at the time of writing, the video has garnered over 250,000 views. Awesome!
The purists will say, what’s there to shout about? After all, there are videos with 5 million views and counting…
Well, a lot actually…
…because my channel is a relatively new one on the You Tube platform with a small subscriber base.
So, over a quarter of million views in 11 days for this video, is something I am certainly proud of. As I write, the momentum of the views has decelerated considerably but I enjoyed it whilst the momentum lasted. Thank you all.
If you’re not sure what I am talking about, the video will be embedded on this page on the relevant section. Don’t worry.
Okay, let’s get back on track and talk about the nitric oxide dump exercise routine.
What is Nitric oxide?
It sort of makes sense to talk about the molecule of nitric oxide first; before we dive into what nitric oxide dump is. What is nitric oxide?
Allow me to take you on short walk on Geek Street. Don’t worry. It’s not going to be long. But it’s essential to our understanding of the concept of the dump and it’s benefits.
The substance, Nitric oxide has come a long way. It’s formula is NO. It is a gas molecule. A colourless gas. It’s journey of discovery ended in 1992 when it got the title of ‘Molecule of the Year‘.
Through years of intense research Louis Ignarro and Ferid Murad finally uncovered this beautiful nitric oxide as a signalling molecule for the cardiovascular system.
Inside the body, nitric oxide is a free radical. So, even though we always talk about getting rid of free radicals in the body, nitric oxide is one free radical you want to embrace and keep. For good.
Nitric oxide is a biologically active compound. It’s a mesenger molecule involved in a lot of biological processes in both mammals and plants. The main enzyme responsible for its synthesis is Nitric Oxide Synthase.
That’s the link between arginine and nitric oxide. You need arginine to make nitric oxide.
This is probably the reason why some Nutraceutical companies have now developed arginine supplements. The premise is to boost nitric oxide production by making the amino acid arginine readily available in the body, but the results have been very disappointing.
High arginine levels in the body through supplemental arginine does not appear to be an effective way of achieving high nitric oxide levels in the body. There’s something about synthetic arginine amino acid that doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Maybe the nitric oxide synthase enzyme doesn’t quite warm up to synthetic arginine. Which is just as well.
Because one has to be careful in attempting to over-promote the production nitric oxide in the body especially through the use of supplements. The reason is that there has been some research to suggest that nitric oxide in excess may play a role in cancer genesis.
This paper seems to suggest nitric oxide may be involved in some of the events mediating cancer origin like formation of new blood vessels.
But don’t panic just yet about the role of nitric oxide in cancer. Because the silver lining is that; this study tells us that nitric oxide actaully kills cancer cells. They used nitric oxide in the treatment of mouth cancer successfully.
Also this study talks about the power of nitric oxide to suppress cancer growth as well as the spread of cancer in the body. It’s role in cancer treatment and prevention appears to supercede any suspicion of it’s involvement in cancer causation. So, please don’t fret, okay.
Nitric oxide is very diffusible. Meaning it permeates cell membranes very easily once it is signalled to commence work, because nitric oxide is very water soluble.
Talking about oral supplementation to boost nitric oxide production.
Nutraceutical companies have gone a step further to make L-citrulline supplements to increase nitric oxide levels. L-citrulline is another amino acid. A non-essential amino acid.
Some have gone one more step to combine Arginine and citrulline together like this one here for convenience.
L-citrulline is converted into L-arginine by the kidneys. The L-arginine is then converted to nitric oxide. A lot of these supplements have been developed to serve as alternatives to the popular drug, Viagra.
Of course, we all know about viagra and blood flow and what it does to fix erectile dysfunction.
Feedback from people who have used citrulline supplements have been disappointing. No better than a placebo effect. Even this reseach paper here confirmed the futility of citrulline use and failure to increase blood flow.
Could the failure of citrulline substitution for arginine and failure to ignite substantial nitric oxide production be due to the low levels of glutamineas shown here? It’s difficult to say.
What’s the link between viagra and nitric oxide?
Viagra (Sildenafil) works by boosting the amount of nitric oxide’s signalling partner cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) available in the penile tissue.
Viagra does that by blocking the enzyme that promotes the breakdown of cGMP. This action relatively makes the job of smooth muscle relaxation easy for the available nitric oxide.
So, a small rise in nitric oxide level will go a long way (no pun intended).
Smooth muscle relaxation in the penis results in vasodilation and a rush of blood to the penis. Happy days!
Bottomline: Arginine or citrulline supplements are not suitable viagra substitutes. You’re not going to get the same results. You may use these supplements for workout purposes, if you like.
What is Nitric Oxide dump?
Okay, let’s depart Geek Street and talk about natural nitric oxide boosting mechanisms. Because that’s what the nitric oxide dump is about.
The nitric oxide dump is an exercise routine that is designed to trigger the release of the nitric oxide from the lining of the blood vessel walls. Nitric oxide is usually stored in the endothelium (the lining of the blood vessel wall).
Once released from the endothelium, it gets to work diffusing across cell membranes. This results in the relaxation of the blood vessel wall leading to to what we call vasodilation.
The net result: lower blood pressure amongst other multitude of benefits.
Why is the exercise routine called Nitric oxide dump?
I know ‘dump’ not a flattering name.
But the simple reason it is called ‘dump’ is because we are initiating a process that dumps nearly all of the available nitric oxide in the “storage tanks” into the blood circulation in one go.
Do this exercise and you empty the the nitric oxide tanks, if you like. Don’t worry, the tanks will be re-filled.
What makes up the nitric oxide dump exercise routine?
There are 4 exercises that make up the nitric oxide routine and they are:
1) The Squat 2) Circular Arm Swing 3) Static Forward March 4) Shoulder Press
To save me describing them and how to perform them, watch video below. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
I recommend performing 20 reps for each of the 4 exercises. That makes a total of 80 reps. Those 80 reps constitute 1 set.
I also recommend 3 sets. By the time you have completed the 3 sets, you would have done 240 reps in total.
And guess what? It only takes 4 minutes. Just 4 minutes to perform. Very time-efficient.
What does the Nitric Oxide dump do?
As explained above, the nitric oxide dump exercises trigger the release of the stored notric oxide from the lining of the blood vessel walls. That causes a surge in nitric oxide levels in the blood circulation.
Because of the solubility of the nitric oxide, it diffuses across cells. In particular, within the cells of the blood vessel wall, nitric oxide signals the muscle cells around to relax. That’s why nitric oxide is referred to as endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF).
This leads to vasodilation. The net result: lower blood pressure, better blood flow, better supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. Better health.
There’s more. Even though at the start of the nitric oxide dump exercise routine, the exercise is not involved in the production of the molecule, it actually stimulates the production of more nitric oxide.
Why…because as you use up the stored nitric oxide following the exercise routine, more nitric oxide production is stimulated. The used up nitric oxide has to be replaced.
So, performining the nitric oxide dump exercise routine boosts further production of this all-important substance in our body. Not a bad deal, is it?
Why do a nitric oxide dump?
You do the nitric oxide dump exercise routine for one principal reason. Release and boost your nitric oxide levels in your body. Simple.
I suppose your next question is; what does nitric oxide do or what are the benefits of nitric oxide?
Before I talk about the benefits of doing the Nitric oxide dump, I just want to say something about issue of dark chocolates boosting nitric oxide. Well, yes, you can achieve a boost with dark chocolate, within reason.
But you must ensure it is a 90% dark chocolate as opposed to anything below that. The reason is the higher the percentage, the more the cacao levels in the chocolate bar. Meaning less additives and less processed.
The more cacao in the product, the better the nitric oxide boosting potential of the dark chocolate product. I talk more about that here.
So, here are the benefits of boosting nitric oxide and also by implication benefits of the nitric oxide dump exercise:
Excellent for blood pressure control
Improves heart health
Enhanced oxygen delivery to your body cells
Improved mitochondrial (the power house of your cells) function
Improved blood circulation
Reduces stickiness of your blood, thereby preventing blood clots
Protects lean body mass
More benefits of doing nitric oxide dump exercise include:
Promotes fat loss
Reduces the risk of plaque formation on the walls of your arteries
Increases VO2 max thereby boosting oxygen utilisation during exercise
Improves exercise endurance
Slows down cognitive decline
Improves erectile dysfunction – a natural free viagra
Boosts immune system function
Reduces cell death
Calms down nerves
There are more advantages of having your nitric oxide levels boosted by performing the dump routine, but I’ll have to stop there for now.
Now, looking at all of these benefits, it’s time for me to do my evening session of nitric oxide dump routine. Won’t miss it for the world!
Ever wondered if you can use herbal teas for high blood pressure? On this page, you’re going to grab 8 herbal teas that will assist you in lowering your blood pressure. Drinking tea is beneficial for your health. It’s not just a pastime.
Of course, you can drink tea as an activity for enjoyment purposes. You may of course drink teas as an exercise of escapism, if you like; but you get so much more. Rather than go on social media for instance, you can drink tea to let the minutes slip by.
If anything you do both. Drink tea and be on social media, if that’s your thing.
But there’s something in the horizon in the world of teas. Herbal teas. Herbal teas are your new liquid foods.
Herbal teas have grown in popularity in the last couple of years. As we turn to alternative therapies for our health, herbal teas have taken a surge in sales and popularity.
Blood pressure management is no different. People with high blood pressure can use herbal teas to control their blood pressure. They work and some of them have been scientifically tested to prove their efficacy.
Conventional anti hypertensive medications work in different ways. So do these herbal teas for high blood pressure. They work differently. What does this mean?
It means to have the best results, you’ll need to drink different herbal teas to get your blood pressure under control. That is the best approach. We’re going to take advantage of the hypertensive reducing properties of these natural remedies for high blood pressure.
So, what herbal teas for high blood pressure?
Yes, let’s talk about the different herbal teas you can use to control high blood pressure. The idea is to use these herbal teas below as herbal remedies for blood pressure.
As I said in the video below, you shouldn’t rely on these herbal teas exclusively for your blood pressure control. You should use them as part of a wider strategy for your blood pressure control.
Below is a list of 8 herbal teas that you can use for blood pressure reduction.
Cat’s Claw Tea
This tea has a funny name. At first glance, you’d think it’s made from the claws of cats. Nothing could be further from the truth. I suppose it’s named cat’s claw because of the way the spikes project out of the Uncaria tree stem. There are 2 species of the plant from which cat’s claw tea is made.
One specie is called Uncaria Tormentosa and the other is Uncaria guianensis. Cat’s claw is a plant with powerful phytochemicals. Indeed, the phytochemicals are known to:
Have cancer fighting properties
Improve the filtering capability of our kidneys
That last function does have implications for our blood pressure. Because good filtration will contract our blood volume, getting rid of excess water and waste. This translates to lower blood pressure. So, cat’s claw tea is good for high blood pressure control.
Apart from that, cat’s claw tea has other medicinal uses. Cat’s claw tea is good for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthrits, chronic fatigue syndrome, shingles, herpes virus infection etc.
I should point out that cat’s claw may interact with some blood pressure medications like Losartan, Captopril, Enalapril, Hydrochlorothiazide, Diltiazem, Valsartan, Amlodipne, Furosemide.
So, if you are using any of these medications you should be careful with cat’s claw tea because a combination of cat’s claw tea and these meds can make your blood pressure drop too low.
Indeed, if you are taking cat’s claw tea and you’re going for surgery, it’s a good idea to stop using cat’s claw tea for 10 days prior to surgery. Otherwise your anesthesiologist may have problems stabilizing your blood pressure when you’re under anaesthesia.
This is a tropical plant. Its botanical name is Hibiscus Sabdariffa. I grew up with this plant and I can confirm that hibiscus plant and it’s flowers are a beauty to behold. Even more beautiful in the mornings. What I didn’t know watching this beautiful plant in my childhood is that; it has fairly good medicinal properties.
Yes, hibiscus tea has blood pressure lowering effect. And you should take advantage of this.
Hibiscus tea has a combined tarty and sweet flavour. This is coupled with an eye-catching lighter than beetroot red colour.
Does hibiscus tea reduce blood pressure?
Answer: Yes, it does. Hibiscus teas was put to the test in this study. Individuals with mild hypertension who were not any anti hypertensive medications were given hibiscus tea against a placebo group.
Over a 6-week period, the hibiscus group showed a reduction in both their systolic blood pressure (top number) and a reduction in their diastolic blood pressure as well.
The reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number) was more and the higher the blood pressure, the better the results they got. Bear in mind that the participants in that study consumed 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day.
The researchers concluded that daily consumption of hibiscus tea should be encouraged as part of our diet because of its blood pressure lowering effect.
Hawthorn tea makes the list of herbal teas for high blood pressure. Hawthorn tea is listed in the Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapy as one of the foods to consume for good health and for blood pressure control.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the concept of food as medicine is based on the classification of foods as being a functional entity and a nutritional agent at the same time.
This review talks about the 4 pinciples of foods that make up traditional chinese medicine. It says:
“Four principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapy including light eating, balancing the “hot” and “cold” nature of food, the harmony of the five flavors of food, and consistency between dietary intake and different health conditions, can be used to facilitate hypertension control”
As for hawthorn tea making the list, that is not surprising because the leaves, the berries as well as the flowers of the hawthorn plant are packed with phytochemicals that help to control blood pressure.
Apart from the fact that Hawthorn plant lowers blood pressure, it has also been used as a digestive aid, for menstrual problems as well as for anxiety.
Hawthorn tea has been shown to lower triglycerides and even cholesterol. With this protective effect on your circulatory system, the blood pressure reducing potential is not hard to see.
Talking of natural remedies for high blood pressure, chamomile plays a huge role too. This tea is made from the flowers of the chamomile plant.
There are 2 types. The Roman chamomile and the German Chamomile. Chamomile tea has flavonols and polyphenols.
Chamomile tea contains phytochemicals such as apigenin, quercetin, patuletin as well as luteolin. Some of these phytochemicals in chamomile tea provide anxiety-relieving effect on your body. Chamomile tea does have mild laxative effect and also exhibits anti-iflammatory properties too.
Apart from relieving anxiety, chamomile tea is a sleep enhancer. Anything that enhances your sleep is a boost for your blood pressure control.
The plant from which this tea is made originates from South Africa. For the most part, rooibos tea is still grown and produced in South Africa and exported worldwide.
Rooibos tea also called Red Bush Tea has nearly the same colour as hibiscus tea but hibiscus tea has a deeper shade of red.
Before the rooibos tea comes off the production line, it undergoes oxidisation and fermentation. The oxidisation is similar to black tea production process. Even though both rooibos tea and black tea are oxidised, they do not orginate from the same plant. And Rooibos tea is caffeine free whilst black tea isn’t.
Rooibos tea has polyphenols and flavones. In particular, rooibos tea contains aspalathin. This aspalathin phytochemical has anti-inflammatory properties. Aspalathin reduces inflammation on blood vessel wall.
Another reason why Rooibos tea counts as one of the natural remedies for high blood pressure is it’s anti-anxiety effect. Controlling anxiety has hypertensive reducing effects.
This is one of the oldest herbal teas around. It’s been used for centuries. Lemon balm tea has been used as natural remedy for all sorts of ailments.
Conditions like menstrual cramps, bloating, gas issues, gerd, vomiting, thyroid issues, ADHD etc have been treated with lemon balm tea with varying success.
Lemon balm tea has an exciting lemon flavour. The botanical name of the plant from which lemon balm tea is made is melissa officinalis. Drinking this tea produces a sense of well being. A sense of calm.
This lemon balm tea is ideal for anyone who has issues with restlessness, anxiety and sleep issues. If you sleep well, you’re giving your blood pressure a helping hand.
If there’s one herbal tea that has had the highest surge in popularity, it’s green tea. And if there’s any herbal tea that has been abused as well, it’s green tea.
Green tea comes from the plant, Camellia Sinensis. Green tea is not an oxidized tea. The oxidized brother is black tea. But green tea has less caffeine in it than black tea. Both green tea and black tea come from the same plant.
The active ingredient in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate. The flavonoids in green tea is what makes it a nice herbal tea for high blood pressure.
Here’s something you should know though.
If you’re going to use green tea for your blood pressure control, please make sure it is decaffeinated variety. Caffeine has a stiffening effect on your blood vessels, albeit a temporary effect.
Therefore, you don’t want the caffeinated green tea if you have high blood pressure. Decaffeinated green tea is what lowers blood pressure. Not the caffeinated variety.
As far as natural remedies go, the Arabs have used dandelion as a herb from as early as the 12th century. So, it’s got some pedigree behind it. The root of the dandelion can be used in foods as a root vegetable.
However, when not prepared fresh, the dandelion root can be dried up and used to make a refreshing cup of tea. This tea has a robust earthy flavour.
Dandelion root contains lots of phytochemicals like saponins, lutein, mucilage, coumarins along with minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese and iron. Dandelion tea also boasts Vitamin C, thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin.
So, what gives dandelion root its anti hypertensive property?
The high level of potassium in dandelion root tea is what makes it a good blood pressure lowering tea.
How should you drink these herbal teas for high blood pressure?
Well, drink them just like any other herbal tea. I drink them as they are – plain. All the herbal teas I have mentioned here are caffeine-free.
You should not be drinking caffeinated teas if you desire hypertensive reducing advantage from them. Fortunately, the herbal teas here are all caffeine-free.
Add boiled water to the tea and allow the tea to brew for at least 5 minutes. The idea is to allow the nutrients and active ingredients in these teas to seep out before removing the tea bag.
You should look to drink as many of these blood pressure lowering teas as possible every day. Aim to drink 5 different types of these herbal teas per day.
Because I get busy during the day, one of the things I do in the evenings is to add 4 or 5 different teas into one cup. Brew as explained above and I enjoy all of my teas in one go. I call it Combination Tea Therapy.
That Combination Tea Therapy works for me. That way I don’t miss out on my daily tea therapy from the different herbal teas on this page.
Can you add sugar to these herbal teas for high blood pressure?
Ordinarily, the teas should be drunk plain. But I realize that some people may not like the original taste of each of these teas. So, you may add a healthy sugar alternative, if you want to sweeten these blood pressure herbal teas.
Please do not use refined sugar. If you have high blood pressure, refined sugar is something you should be looking to avoid anyway.
In the same vein, if you wish to add milk, that would be your choice. Milk and a healthy sugar substitute will not reduce their efficacy. But I prefer not to use any milk or milk substitute.
One question that bothers quite a lot of people is whether coffee does raise blood pressure or not. If you drink coffee, this is something you’d like to know the truth about.
And I am here to clear the confusion about coffee (and acffeinated tea) and blood pressure. And as a bonus you get to know if coffee will raise your blood sugar or not as well. How cool is that?
This is very important because millions of people drink coffee everyday. And millions of people all over the world have high blood pressure. In fact, high blood pressure is leading cause of health problems in a lot of countries.
Is it possible that habitual coffee drinking may be contributing to the problem we have regarding high blood pressure worldwide? It is not impossible to think along those lines.
But I suspect such reasoning might lead us the wrong path.
Yes, millions of people drink coffee habitually. Yes, millions of people have high blood pressure. But so do non-coffee drinkers too. Occassional coffeee drinkers or those who do not drink coffeee at all for whatever reason; also do suffer from high blood pressure.
Oh, let’s not forget. There are those who do not drink coffee but drink lots of tea with caffeine in them. Caffeine is not only present in coffee beans but also in a lot of tea leaves too.
With many people turning to natural remedies for their health problems, it is not surprising that herbal teas like green tea and black tea have become a staple in many homes.
For instance, some people use green tea to help with their diabetes and sugar levels. There are claims that green tea can prevent diabetes and help control glucose levels, hence.
Green tea, oolong tea, black tea all come from the same plant. The plant is called Camelia Sinensis. What makes those teas different is the way they are processed.
What binds those 3 teas together is that they all contain caffeine. But these teas end up with different amounts of caffeine through the processing. You can try an experiment by drinking these teas at different times and see how their caffeine content gives you that psychoactive kick. Just like the kick you get from coffee.
So, if we are going to clear the confusion on relationship between coffee and blood pressure, we might as well include caffeinated teas.
How about we look at what the science is actually saying.
Does coffee raise blood pressure?
May be we should asking the question, does caffeine raise blood pressure instead of asking about coffeee only.
Here are some salient facts.
Caffeine present in coffee and some teas is a vasoconstrictor. What does vasoconstriction mean in lay terms?
A vasoconstrictor is a substance capable of making the blood vessel wall less stretchy or less relaxed. You want your blood vessel walls to be relaxed as the blood is coursing through them.
Relaxed blood vessels have lower blood pressure because the compliant wall decreases the pressure within. A vasoconstrictor does the opposite of this. It makes the vessel wall (in this case, the wall of the arteries) stiffer and less compliant. That’s what a vasoconstrictor does.
Which means a vasoconstrictor, by having that pressor effect on the blood vessel wall, will raise your blood pressure. That’s just scientific fact. We can’t escape that. And caffeine is a vasoconstrictor.
Which means your coffee because it’s got caffeine in it; will have that same pressor effect I talked about. So, coffee will raise your blood pressure upon absorption of the caffeine in it. Fact!
But by how much?
Yes, coffee or caffeine will raise your blood pressure but how high should we expect the blood pressure to rise?
Well, good question but, even this query is not easy to give a ballpark figure. Because there are other variables to come into the mix and these variables confound the results of research too.
So factors like:
Other lifestyle factors
All of these affect how we respond to caffeine in general and coffee in particular.
This Study for instance tells us a systolic (top number) rise of 4 mmHg and 2.4 mmHg for diastolic (bottom number) is exepected for caffeine and 1.2 mmHg Systolic rise (top number) and 0.4 mmHg rise in diastolic (bottom number) should be expected for coffee.
Whereas, in this study, caffeine produced a systolic (top number) rise of 8 mmHg and 5.7 mmHg rise in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).
Talking about caffeine means we can also talk about Green Tea and Black Tea because they both contain caffeine. In this study both the green tea and black tea produced a rise in blood pressure.
Black tea raised systolic blood pressure by up to 10.7 mmHg and 5.1 mmHg for diastolic compared to 5.5 mmHg systolic rise and 3.1 mmHg diastolic rise for green tea. This is not surprising because black tea has more caffeine than green tea.
So all in all, we should expect coffee to push up our blood pressure by around about 8 mmHg systolic (top number) and 4 mmHg rise in diastolic blood pressure.
It would appear that black tea will raise blood pressure more than coffee in comparison, looking at a lot of the studies I have examined. But of course, there are other factors to consider. Not least, being a habitual drinker.
Habitual coffee drinkers seem to develop some level of tolerance to the caffeine over time. This study tells us that the rise in blood pressure was seen in only non-habitual coffee drinkers when they looked at the effects of espresso on blood pressure.
Bottomline: Expect a rise in your blood pressure reading after consuming coffee or any caffeinated teas. The rise in BP is modest though.
How soon after should we expect a blood pressure rise with coffee?
Age, sex, habitual coffee consumption also need to be taken into consideration here. However, from the research the blood pressure effect begins at around about the 30 minutes mark. Certainly after 1 hour of coffee consumption, you should see the blood pressure effect of coffee quite vividly.
If you check your blood pressure at 30 minutes and 1 hour mark; you should know if your coffee has increased your blood pressure or not.
How long does the effect of coffee on blood pressure last?
The blood pressure effect of coffee will last an average of about 3 hours. It could be longer or less but it is exepected that the blood pressure rise initiated by coffee will last an average of 3 hours.
Does coffee have a long term damage on cardiovascular health?
Does drinking coffee produce any long term damage on your cardiovascular health? Not really. The blood pressure increasing effect of coffee (or caffeine) is in the short-term. When the subjects blood pressures were monitored over 24 hours in this study of tea, the caffeine effects on blood pressure were only seen in the acute phase but not in subsequent ambulatory BP readings.
This study also confirms the same theory too. It says that even though coffee does raise BP, there was “no association between longer-term coffee consumption and increased BP or between habitual coffee consumption and an increased risk of CVD”
In fact, this study tells us that coffee consumption is good for our cardiovascular health when drunk in moderate quantities. It says:
“Moderate coffee consumption was inversely significantly associated with CVD risk, with the lowest CVD risk at 3 to 5 cups per day, and heavy coffee consumption was not associated with elevated CVD risk”
So, we can safely say that in the long term, coffee consumption does not appear to cause any damage to our heart and blood vessels. Because the effect of coffee on blood pressure is temporary.
What is safe level of coffee (caffeine) consumption per day?
Safe level of coffee (caffeine) consumption levels is 300 – 400mg per day. Safe level of coffee (caffeine) consumption in simple terms amounts to 3 – 4 standard cups of coffee per day or 4 – 9 cups of tea per day
Does coffee raise blood sugar and insulin levels?
I know this topic is about coffee drinking and blood pressure but a quick word about coffee and blood sugar wouldn’t go amiss for completeness. The reason is most people who have concerns about their BP reading when they drink coffee also worry about the effect of coffee (caffeine) on their blood sugar levels too.
Not to mention that they may be concerned about coffee and their insulin level.
Truth be told, just like coffee and blood pressure studies, the results for coffee (caffeine) and blood sugar are mixed.
For instance, this meta-analysis tells us that caffeine intake increases blood glucose levels. Not just that, in majority of the studies they pooled together, the study results suggest that caffeine intake whether it be from coffee or tea prolongs the period of high blood sugar levels.
Some other reports like this one did not make any significant association either way, so long as the intake of coffee or caffeine was limited to 2.5 mg/kg body weight per day.
The same could be said for relationship between caffeine and insulin levels and insulin sensitivity. Some studies suggest caffeine (coffee) will raise insulin levels, other say coffee or caffeine has no effect on insulin.
Others like this one however indicate caffeine or coffee is good for type 2 diabetes. Meaning coffee has a protective effect and actually improves insulin sensitivity. So, consuming coffee means you need less insulin to drop your blood glucose levels.
Of course, what type of diet you’re on matters here. If you’re having a diet of refined carbs and refined sugar, I do not think drinking coffee is going to come to your rescue from spiralling blood sugars.
You can do a little experiment with coffee and your blood glucose levels. If you’re a diabetic, this should be pretty easy for you. Do the coffee-blood glucose experiment and see the effect of caffeine on your blood sugar.
I can tell you from my own personal experience that coffee does raise my blood gluose levels; even though I am no longer diabetic. I would imagine that there will be a corresponding rise in my insulin levels too when I drink coffee too.
If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re having difficulty with your diabetic blood sugar control, it may be reasonable to reduce your coffee consumption levels. Because everyone is different. The coffee may be sabotaging your glucose control.
High Blood Pressure and Coffee
Now, let me say a word about coffee and people with high blood pressure. Should you drink coffee if you have high blood pressure?
Of course, you can drink coffee if you have high blood pressure. But you need to be careful.
When your blood pressure rises with coffee use, the effect is not responsive to high blood pressure medications. It is a sustained effect that is not easily reversed with high blood pressure pills.
Secondly, the effect of coffee or caffeine on people with high blood pressure is much more dramatic compared to people without high blood pressure (non-hypertensives).
So, whereas, you may have a rise of 6 mmHg systolic in someone without high blood pressure, you who has high blood pressure may experience a systolic rise of 12 mmHg or higher.
Now remember, I said earlier on that BP increase with coffee does last up to 3 hours. Imagine, if you are one of those people who drinks several cups of coffee a day.
Imagine a situation where you’re constantly topping up your coffee fix when you are experiencing a caffeine crash every 4 hours or so. What do you think will happen?
Your elevated blood pressure reading will be sustained. Because whenever your blood pressure is beginning to settle, you spike it again with your top-up coffee.
Can you see how you can sabotage your blood pressure control efforts by your coffee drinking habits?
Here’s something else…
Everyone is different when it comes to coffee and blood pressure. How?
This study tell us that genetic differences play a huge role in how we respond to coffee. Some people will metabolise their caffeine very quickly. Others will deal with their caffeine load a lot slower.
Which one are you?
Obviously those fast metabolizers are at advantage because they can quickly off-load their caffeine and will have fewer adverse effects on their blood pressure.
A slow metabolizer (like myself) will have a longer and arguably more profound adverse effect on blood pressure. Now, you see why I said you need to exercise some care regarding blatant use of coffee and other caffeinated products, if you have hypertension.
What should you do if you suffer from hypertension and you are a coffee drinker?
1. Test yourself. Check yoour blood pressure 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours and 3 hours and even 4 hours after drinking your coffee. See how your blood pressure is behaving. If the effect on your blood pressure is still on-going over a 3-hour period, you’re definitely a slow metabolizer of caffeine.
2. If you experience blood pressure changes, switch to decaffeinated variety. This should apply to both coffee and tea. The more profound the caffeine effect on your blood pressure, the more drastic you should do this.
3. If you must drink caffeinated variety for whatever reason, limit yourself to just 1 cup a day.
Those tips should serve you well in your coffee and caffeine lifestyle journey. Hopefully I have successfully clarified the coffee and blood pressure confusion.
I’m going to give you the low down on the relationship between bang energy drinks and your fasting concerns right here. Your search is over.
And I’m going to tell you why you should not be worried, if my answer should surprise you because there’s a workaround.
I am also going to resolve the bang energy drink zero calorie conundrum for you. Plus you get to know if bang energy drinks will kick you out ketosis or not. Don’t worry, your time will be well spent here.
There is a new kid in town in the world of sports nutrition. It’s bang energy drinks. Now everyone is jumping on board. Snapping up these new bang energy drinks. Sometimes without thinking this whole new habit through.
Suddenly it occurs to you. Hang on a minute. You haven’t thought this whole thing through. You got caught in the heat of the moment. You realise you’re fasting to lose fat and build muscle.
And at the same time consuming bang energy drinks.
Now, you have to ask yourself the question: do bang energy drinks break a fast?
I’m glad you asked. Because if you’re doing intermittent fasting with or without keto diet, you need to know this.
And you’ll get your answer as to whether bang energy drinks will break your fast or not…right here.
Let’s get on with it then…
Do bang energy drinks break your fast?
Answer: Yes, they do. Bang energy drinks will break your fast. Period
Why is this?
Let me explain…
One selling point of the bang energy drink is that it doesn’tcontain the mountain of sugar that the pre-existing energy drinks seem to have. That’s all well and good. It might look like drinking bang energy drink is equivalent to drinking pina colada.
However, the other attraction of the bang energy drink is that it contains body fuelling ingredients in the form of Creatine, Caffeine, & BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids).
That sounds great.
But therein lies the problem…
…when it comes to fasting and bang energy drinks. Bang energy drinks have BCAA and Creatine.
The caffeine is not an issue as far as fasting is concerned, but the presence of the BCAAs and Creatine is significant when you’re fasting.
The BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids. Amino acids are the units that make up protein as we know it. These bcaas are essential amino acids which your body needs. The amino acids that make up BCAA are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.
It’s good you can get this supply of amino acids just by drinking your vpx bang energy drink.
However, these amino acids in the BCAA have calorific value.
1 gm of BCAA will give you 4 calories. In addition to that, creatine is also a protein made up of 3 amino acids. Namely Arginine, Methionine and Glycine.
1 gm of creatine will also deliver 4 calories for you.
So, by definition, if you consume bang energy drink during your fast, you’re consuming a drink that has 2 protein types in the form of BCAA and Creatine.
And because Creatine and BCAAs have calories in them (albeit a small amount), you’re technically eating. Oh yes, You’re eating technically!
Why does the label of bang energy say Zero calories, if the bang energy drink has calories?
The straight and simple answer is bang energy drink is labelled as zero calories because that’s what the law requires the manufacturer to do technically.
Yes, it is a technical issue. FDA insists products that do not contain the macronutrient as a whole cannot be labelled as having calories. What do I mean by this?
Bang energy drinks contain BCAAs. These are amino acids. Amino acids are the subunit of the macronutrient, protein. If the bang energy drink had the 3 amino acids making up the BCAA as a whole protein rather than the individual amino acids, then the manufacturer can place the calorie value on the tin.
But because it has the subunits i.e amino acids, the label has to be zero calories. Hope that clarifies the conundrum for you.
Seeing as you’re not drinking champagne or pina colada or indeed any other caffeine-free products because you want an effective pre-workout beverage, should the fact that you’re technically breaking your fast with bang energy drink be an issue?
Does it matter that VPX Bang energy drinks break your fast?
No, it doesn’t matter that your intermittent fasting is disrupted by bang energy drinks.
Because there’s a workaround.
Here’s what you do.
I always advise people to workout in the last hour of their fast. And as you know, bang energy drink is designed as a pre-workout drink to fire up your metabolism. It should give you that much needed energy boost during workouts.
If you delay your workout towards the end of your fast, then it doesn’t really matter that you break your fast in the last hour of your fast. I did do a similar piece on intermittent fasting and BCAAs here.
Drink your bang energy drink 30 minutes before your workout. The bang energy drink will get to work once absorbed.
Your muscles will be ready for the workout because they would have been fed with the much-needed nutrients (amino acids) from the Creatine and the BCAA.
Don’t forget that BCAAs help with muscle building by stimulating protein synthesis using the mTOR pathway.
Drinking your vpx bang energy drink means:
Your workout will be more intense.
You’ll have better endurance.
Your workout output will be better.
Your volume will be superior.
Overall, you’ll produce better workout results.
In the end, using the bang energy drink to break your fast becomes academic because this workaround I have suggested will work to your advantage.
The manufacturers of vpx bang energy drinks are striving to get a good market share of the sports nutrition world. So, they have a lot of flavours because taste preferences differ.
Just like we have different tea flavors. Teas have caffeine, remember? Some people use teas like black tea and green tea for as pre-workout drinks because of the caffeine in them.
Anyway back to the market share issue. The manufacturers know that a huge proportion of the sports nutrition niche is made up of people on ketogenic diet doing intermittent fasting.
They wouldn’t want to eliminate that market share, hence the bang energy drinks have been constituted NOT to kick you out of ketosis. The amount of the super creatine and BCAA in each can of bang energy is not enough to kick you out of ketosis.
To be kicked out of ketosis, you will have to consume a lot of the drinks which you shouldn’t be doing anyway.
Secondly, bang energy drinks are sugar-free. If they had sugar in them, then you’ll be out of ketosis pretty quickly but they are sugar-free. Consuming sugary products is the easiest way to be kicked out of ketosis because your body will revert to using up sugar in preference to ketones for its energy needs.
But a sugar-free product like bang energy drink avoids that.
So, yes, you can drink your bang energy drink in the prescribed way and you won’t be kicked out of ketosis.
If you enjoyed this article, please do leave a comment below. Speak your mind. Don’t be shy!
Does alcohol make you gain weight or is this a myth? And if so, how does alcohol make you gain weight. Let’s delve in into these 2 questions and get some insight right here.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could drink as much as we like and not gain a gram of weight? Sadly, that’s not the case. It is a wish but it’s probably not going to happen.
But the human body is an adaptive entity. Sometimes it succeeds. At other times it doesn’t. Hence, some questions are not easily answered with a Yes or No.
Does alcohol make you gain weight?
Common sense tells me alcohol leads to weight gain but the evidence is not quite as simple as you would imagine it to be.
Scientific research does sometimes lead to findings that will leave you bemused. Part of the problem with science is that there are vested interests. Scientists may pretend to be objective with their research but when you look closer with a microscope, you will find elements of bias.
These biases are either from long-held beliefs or interests overhanging on the shoulders of researchers from sponsors.
Hence when you look at systematic reviews like this one and this one you are left scratching your head as to what to believe when it comes to alcohol and weight gain.
Systematic reviews pool a huge number of studies together and tries to make sense of the subject. They don’t always resolve issues. Sadly.
The point I am making is; the research findings regarding the connection between alcohol and weight gain is quite conflicting. Some studies will tell us there is a definite link and others will tell you the opposite.
That’s the nature of science.
If you look closely though, regardless of the fact that, there is no clear trend, the association between alcohol and weight gain is not in doubt when you are talking about heavy drinkers.
It is light to moderate recreational alcohol users that a definite link to weight gain cannot be established without reasonable doubt.
Of course, the occasional drinker need not worry about piling on the pounds from alcohol. That has to be put into context though.
Would you describe the person who binges every now and again as an occasional alcohol user? Probably not…considering the level of consumption.
The research also appears to show that men are more likely to gain weight from alcohol compared to women.
And the weight gain from alcohol appears to affect the mid-rift more than the rest of the body. This is important because belly fat is a bad health indicator compared to fat elsewhere in the body.
If that beer, whisky, gin or wine is contributing to the bulge in your waistline, then you may want to reconsider. I will touch on what to do later on in this article.
Now, getting back to the question of whether alcohol consumption leads to weight gain. Well, it all depends on a number of factors.
In fact, the interplay of factors is one reason why the research into weight gain and alcohol produces mixed results. Consider these factors as confounders.
What are these confounding factors?
What type of alcohol you drink
The frequency of your drinking
How much you drink on each occasion
What type of food you eat when you drink alcohol
Additional factors will include:
Your level of physical activity
Your general diet
Your overall health
When you are young, you could get away with drinking (within reason) because your metabolism is on fire and you’ll burn off the alcohol very quickly.
You still had one thing to worry about though. The Hang Over. Oh yes, the dreaded hangover. Weight gain was not the overriding issue then.
But hangover does not respect age. If anything, hangover in later years gets worse largely because your body now finds it harder to process the alcohol compared to years gone by.
Also being older now means there’s a new concern in the horizon. Weight gain.
This longitudinal study looked at 7,941 participants who engaged in episodic heavy drinking in adolescence and the findings were quite astonishing.
They found that 41% of the participants transitioned from normal weight (using the standard BMI parameters) to overweight category.
36% of the participants who were overweight at the beginning of the study became obese at the conclusion of the study.
In that study, folks who were already obese, episodic binge drinking had a 35% chance of staying obese. Not just that, the obesity got worse over time.
This study measured only a short alcohol journey from adolescence to adulthood. It becomes obvious what kind of potential weight management issues can occur when alcohol is consumed for a longer period.
And most people who consume alcohol do it for years on a regular basis even in episodic fashion like these study participants.
So, how do you gain weight from using alcohol?
Like I said before, it’s not a given that you will gain weight just because you drink especially if you are a casual drinker.
The regular alcohol drinker though is at risk of piling on the pounds. Of course, the alcohol content of the drink matters too in all of these.
Creamy cocktails are the worst when it comes to calorie content. Beers might be low in calorie content but you tend to drink larger quantities. So, calories even out eventually.
Here are 4 reasons why alcohol makes us fat.
1. Alcohol prevents fat burning Whilst this piece is about weight management issues as they relate to alcohol use, need I remind us that there are other issues like pancreatic cancer, liver disease and even cancer that are attributable to alcohol.
Quite why some people will develop these medical problems inclusive of obesity and others don’t, when they use alcohol is difficult to understand. I would hazard a guess that these differences in outcomes for alcohol users must be due to genetics arguably.
Ultimately genetics dictate how our bodies deal with alcohol. Which means some people are genetically protected and other aren’t.
There are two main pathways for alcohol metabolism involving two enzymes. These two enzymes are aldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase.
These enzymes make carbon dioxide and water as final by-product from alcohol. Between the alcohol you drink and the carbon dioxide and water end products, there are two intermediate metabolites – acetaldehyde and acetate.
Acetaldehyde is a potential carcinogen but I digress there.
Let me get back on track…
Our bodies don’t like those two intermediate products – acetaldehyde and acetate. Your body will do all it can to get rid of those two toxic substances as quickly as possible.
Therein lies the problem.
In attempt to get rid of the acetate and acetaldehyde, your body ignores the fat you already have. Fat burning is ignored.
Not just that. Your body also ignores the calories from the food you ate with your alcohol. Calories from the food you ate earlier in the day aren’t seen as a priority either.
In effect, your body burns the acetate and acetaldehyde from the alcohol in preference to using up your fat stores or calories from your food.
This metabolic prioritisation of acetate and acetaldehyde burning as a preferred energy source is one reason why alcohol use may lead to weight gain.
2. Alcohol has calories and the calories in alcohol do matter It’s very easy to have a blasé attitude about the calories in alcohol. After all, it is liquid and it tastes nice.
It tickles our pleasure centres. It becomes easy to get carried away. Drinking just a little bit more than we need to.
Truth be told; alcohol has calories. You can ignore the calories in alcohol at your own peril.
In fact, ethanol which is what alcohol is, has been touted to have relatively high energy content.
The calorie value of alcohol (ethanol) is 7.1 calories per gram. This 7.1 calorie energy content of alcohol is higher than what you get from regular carbs and protein. Proteins and Carbs dish out 4 calories per gram.
The calories in alcohol are “hidden”. Not only that, drinking is a pleasurable pastime. How on earth are you supposed to keep track of the calorie input from alcohol when all you are after is; pleasure from your drink.
Can you ever remember ever picking up a bottle or can of alcoholic beverage and say to yourself “hang on, I need to check how much calories are in here” before drinking it?
Only the folk keeping an eagle eye on their calorie intake might do that. That happens within the context of a weight loss journey. For the rest of the population, that never happens.
For instance, did you know that:
5 oz of 12% wine will give you 120 calories
12 oz of regular 5% beer will provide you with 150 calories
Now, one other thing to remember is that; the alcoholic beverage may come with other added ingredients. These added ingredients will contribute to the total calorie output from the alcoholic beverage.
We are talking sugars and fats as you will find with creamy drinks like Bailey’s original Irish cream. Alcohol manufacturers are getting more creative by mixing and matching all sorts of ingredients to make their products stand out.
Examples are Bailey’s chocolat luxe Irish cream, Bailey’s strawberries & cream, the ever-present spirits mixed with sugary ingredients (alcopops) loved by the younger generation.
Just like 7 ounces of 40% rum mixed with cola will reward you with 155 calories. 57 calories out of the 155 is coming from the cola whilst the remaining 98 calories are derived from the alcohol in the rum mixture.
We are also bad judges of how much we are drinking. This problem of poor guessing of alcohol quantity is worse, the heavier we drink.
People who drink heavily underestimate alcohol quantity more than casual or light drinkers. This is a psychological problem and it arises because underestimation makes us feel better.
Why admit to yourself how much you really drink when a lie is so much more believable.
You might think this does not apply to you but it does. Sometimes you might do it unwittingly. For instance, 5 ounces of wine makes one serving, but who pours himself 5 ounces?
Most people I know will serve themselves more than 5 ounces at a time. But it is still easier to convince yourself that you are having one serving when you are indeed having a serving and half.
Here is something else.
The more often you drink, the higher the quantity you tend to drink in one sitting. Maybe your body develops tolerance to the alcohol or your body goes on a pleasure-seeking ride where it demands more and more.
The implication of all of these is that; you actually consume a lot of calories from your alcoholic beverage more than you think.
And because you are not accounting for these calories, they have to end up somewhere. Your fat stores unfortunately.
Alcohol stimulates hunger and appetite
I have been told that as far back as 6th century, drinking an aperitif was one of the in-vogue practices to stimulate appetite at the time. I have not been able to confirm it but it’s not hard to believe.
Well, think of what happens when you go to a restaurant for a meal. What’s the first thing you are asked to order once you are handed the menu list? Alcohol.
I supposed modern day restaurants borrowed the idea from as far back as the 6th century. Clever idea. Drink alcohol first and you will get hungrier.
This systematic review tells us that consumption of alcohol tends to lead to short term passive overconsumption of energy.
The reason behind that is; alcohol use makes us overeat in the short term because alcohol enhances the feeling of reward we get from eating.
Take 26 men, give them breakfast and ask them to come back for lunch after they have rated their hunger and desire to eat before lunch. Give some of them an alcoholic beverage and the rest non-alcoholic beverage before buffet lunch.
Now measure the amount of food consumed at lunch with alcohol and without alcohol. The researchers found energy consumption to be significantly higher when alcohol was consumed compared to without.
Similar results were obtained in this experiment . It was the turn of the ladies this time around. The women participants in this study also consumed more food when alcohol was drunk before lunch than when alcohol wasn’t drunk prior to lunch.
One conclusion from that study was that alcohol increased rated appetite once the women tasted the food suggesting alcohol does enhance the perceived reward from food.
One more experiment performed on mice that had been given wine over 3 days seeks to find a neurological explanation for how alcohol stimulates hunger and appetite, making us eat more.
Agrp neuronal cells are found in both mice and humans. That experiment which showed the mice to eat more following wine consumption tells us that the appetite-stimulating effect of alcohol is mediated via the hypothalamus where these Agrp neurons are located aplenty.
Once alcohol stimulates these Agrp cells in the hypothalamus, a short-circuiting neuronal pathway is activated making us to eat, and overeat, regardless of whether we are full or not.
There are lots more studies that seem to point the finger at alcohol as an appetite stimulant. Not just that there is also the suggestion that alcohol does suppress satiety leading to hedonic eating.
The net result is an excess of positive energy balance from alcohol use. The use of alcohol therefore makes weight gain and obesity more of a reality than a myth.
3. Alcohol makes us choose the wrong foods The issue of alcohol enabling us make wrong food choices stems from the neuronal stimulation I talked about earlier.
Talking about choosing the wrong foods when we drink, let me put a popular misconception to rest.
The popular idea seems to be that if you take caffeine with your alcohol, your tolerance level for the alcohol beverage will be a lot higher. Simply put, you won’t get drunk easily when you combine alcohol and coffee (caffeine), right? Wrong.
So, wrong the FDA has put out a warning about this. The FDA actually declared the presence of caffeine in alcoholic drinks as an “unsafe food additive”.
Manufacturers of such products have been forced to withdraw those caffeinated alcoholic drinks from the market.
This has wider implications.
Because there’s the popular belief that if you drink coffee with your alcohol, you won’t get drunk easily. Not only is this not true, it is actually a dangerous thing to do as the FDA has warned.
In fact, the opposite is true. You will probably drink more than you’d like to when you mix alcohol with coffee, getting more intoxicated and you are more likely to have alcohol-related accidents. Don’t do it!
Okay, back to the idea of alcohol making us choose the wrong foods.
I have a friend who goes out for drinks every now and again. She’s not an alcoholic, I should add. Her main complain to me was that, without fail, she will stop on her way home to buy some chocolate and get herself pizza too every time after the drinking session.
She feels guilty afterwards.
Well, there is a science behind it. It’s not her fault.
You remember I talked about how your body likes to metabolise alcohol first because your body wants to get rid of the acetaldehyde and acetate, right?
That same metabolic activity also stops the liver from releasing glucose from inside it. The net effect is that alcohol gradually lowers your circulating blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar levels lead us to make wrong food choices. We tend to crave high-calorie foods when our blood sugar is low. The pizzas, the chocolates, the cakes, the French fries, the doughnuts, the muffins, the bagels etc.
Sound familiar again?
This has been tested in research here. The study was MRI Scan-mediated. The researchers looked at the activity of the brain when our blood sugar is low and also when the blood sugar is normal.
Food cues were also tested to rate our desire for high-calorie foods when blood sugar is low and when normal too.
They found our desire for high-calorie foods to be higher when our blood sugar was low and our hunger ratings was higher too. Desire for low calorie foods like vegetables, fruits and tofu was low.
The researchers also found on MRI Scan of the participants that different areas our brains responded differently to food cues in low blood sugar states and normal blood sugar situations.
When blood sugar was normal, the brain areas that control impulses were activated. But when blood sugar was low, areas of the brain that trigger desire and reward were activated.
So, going by that research, it’s no wonder you want to reach for those processed high-calorie foods after a drinking session.
Of course, the story here is about how alcohol makes you gain weight. If alcohol pushes you to go for those high-calorie foods, along with all the other reasons, I have outlined, it becomes clear that alcohol is not as innocent as it looks or tastes. Alcohol can make you gain weight.
Alcohol can wreck your weight management plans. Alcohol can make you fat. Especially if you make it your best friend forever.
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