10 Best Ways to Stop Drinking Alcohol

The decision to stop drinking alcohol can be life-saving for individuals who feel they are falling into alcohol addiction. However, recovering from alcohol abuse, maintaining sobriety and managing alcohol cravings is a hard struggle. There are many ways to achieve sobriety. For a person wondering how they can stop drinking, here are the 10 best ways to stop drinking alcohol.

1. Make a Plan

Make a plan to stop drinking alcohol by setting a date. Post the date in a place where you can see it often. If you are a heavy drinker, you must first slowdown in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms which can be potentially deadly (in this case, involve your doctor in your plan in order to come up with a more appropriate date plan).

2. Identify the Triggers

The urge to drink alcohol is set off either by internal or external triggers. The key to quit drinking and maintaining sobriety is by identifying and avoiding the triggers. External triggers, such as places, people and things that are associated with alcohol drinking behaviors and opportunities can quickly lead to a relapse. High risk situations are more obvious, more predictable and are more avoidable compared to internal triggers.

Internal triggers are set off by thoughts, negative emotions such as frustrations, positive emotions like excitement, physical sensations like headache, anxiety and tension. Once you have identified the triggers, work on how to prevent them from leading you to drinking.

3. Avoid High Risk Situations

The best strategy to quit drinking is avoiding high risk situations. Avoid social settings where alcohol is served. Do not buy or keep alcohol at home as this will easily tempt you. Friends and family members can also assist by refraining from drinking alcohol in the presence of those in recovery.

4. Build a Strong Support Network

Ensure that you surround yourself with positive people. This will help you to build and improve your self-esteem and confidence. Without a positive support network, it is difficult to make changes that will completely lead to sobriety. An available social network support is particularly important during the early months of recovery.

5. Communicate Effectively

Having an effective communication with family, friends and workmates can help them to understand the different aspects and challenges involved in your road to recovery. Expressing yourself to them will help them to be much more supportive and assistive.

6. Incorporate a Nutritious Diet

A healthy diet and proper hydration are important to an alcoholic’s healing process. Proper nutrition, as well as hydration, helps to restore physical and mental health, improving the chances of recovering.

Macro and micro-nutrient deficiencies can cause low energy levels, depression & anxiety, which are triggers that can lead to a relapse. Your diet should incorporate food types that improve digestion, promote steady blood sugar throughout the body and improve brain chemistry. A healthy process of digestion optimizes the rate of absorption of vitamins, amino acids and minerals which help to reduce alcohol craving. An adequate intake of lean protein ensures that your brain produces optimal amounts of neurotransmitters which are associated with feelings of well-being.

Comprehensive nutrition education program and individualized nutrition counseling have been found to improve a 3-month sobriety success rate in people with substance abuse issues. If you wish to quit alcohol drinking on your own, here are a few nutrition tips you can follow.

Do not make major diet changes immediately. Gradual diet changes will lead to a better body compliance.
Eat foods that are low in fat and include adequate levels of lean protein.
Eat regular meals throughout the day
Water is the most important nutrient required for every body function. Adequate water intake helps to reduce alcohol craving.
Vitamins and mineral supplements such as vitamins A& B, zinc and B-Complex are helpful during and after the recovery phase.
7. Exercise

One way of replacing destructive behaviors is getting involved in physical activities. Exercise stimulates the same neurotransmitters and circuits in the brain as most addictive substances. Start out your exercise routine slowly and focus on strength training and cardiovascular exercises.

8. Engage in Healthy Activities

Alcoholics are known to give up on activities that they once found enjoyable. Part of the recovery process is rediscovering previous hobbies and developing new interests. This will help to alleviate boredom that can trigger a relapse and help you to pursue much healthier and fulfilling alternatives.

9. Evaluate Your Progress

Evaluate your sobriety progress by setting an evaluation date. A 30 day plan is more effective so that your new behavior can become a habit. Evaluate and review your reasons for quitting alcohol. Write down the benefits and, if you relapse, start again. An evaluation plan will help you to see how far you have come and motivate you to do better.

10. Treat Yourself

Once you have evaluated your progress and you have achieved a set duration of sobriety, treat yourself. The money which was used for alcohol can now be used to visit a spa, get a massage, join a yoga class, buy new clothing or furniture or even buy gifts for your family and friends. Maintaining sobriety is all about seeing its tangible benefits.

How to Support Someone With Alcohol Addiction

The American Medical Association (AMA) defines alcoholism or alcohol dependence as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.

Research shows that while some people develop a dependence on alcohol due to family history, childhood abuse or poor self-esteem, a few others get into alcohol use because of peer pressure or to fit into a certain group of people. However, irrespective of the influences that persuade a person to use alcohol, the bittersweet truth is that the journey from “one drink” to “one last drink” is mostly not anticipated.

It is so because unlike the popular belief, once a person passes the threshold levels of alcohol abuse, dependence and tolerance, he/she tends to develop an addiction to alcohol. By this time, his/her brain chemistry gets altered due to substance use and it becomes extremely difficult for him/her to quit alcohol because of the discomforting withdrawal symptoms.

It is also important to know that alcohol addiction is different from alcohol abuse. Those who abuse alcohol usually drink heavily, but not regularly. Such people behave recklessly or have a tendency to mix substances of abuse, which can lead to alcohol poisoning. Further, abuse may lead to addiction, but not vice-versa. However, alcohol addiction involves all aspects-dependence, abuse and tolerance.

State of alcohol addiction in America

Alcoholism is soaring in the United States, the worst part being the fact that more than 80,000 people are losing their lives to alcohol every year.

Recent statistics by renowned research and analysis organizations like the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveal the current state of health of Americans.

Here are a few alarming statistics:

Alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation. (Source: NCADD)
Six people lose their lives due to alcohol poisoning every day; three out of four such people are men. (NIAAA)
Every day in the U.S., another 29 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes. (Source: MADD)
Around 4,700 teens are killed every year due to alcohol use, which is way more than the deaths caused by all illegal drugs combined. (NIAAA)
Men are twice as likely as women to overdo drinking, be intoxicated behind the wheel or be involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. (NIAAA)
Approximately one in two women of childbearing age drink, and 18 percent of women in this group binge drink (five drinks per binge, on an average).
Less than 8 percent of the 15 million plus people who struggle with an alcohol use disorder receive treatment. (NIAAA)
Up to 40 percent of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption. (NCADD)
Knowing the warning signs of alcohol addiction

Alcohol consumes the body and the mind of the person using it. While the warning signs of drug and alcohol addiction are many, the disruption in normal life caused due to alcohol addiction has serious effects on the afflicted person’s thoughts, feelings and actions.

Hence, even if alcohol addiction may not seem like a real thing, it is a big menace. To stay away from being trapped, you should be watchful of these red flags:

Resorting to alcohol for every celebration or sorrow
Preferring to drink alone than in someone’s company
Lying about the drinking habit and behavior
Binge drinking whenever and wherever possible
Negligent attitude toward own health and responsibilities
Reckless behavior or no fear of law or rules after drinking
Frequent blackouts, leading to impaired memory functioning
Weight gain caused due to slow absorption of nutrients from food
Development of tolerance to the substance
Discomforting withdrawal symptoms, severe than a hangover
Understanding effects of alcohol use on your body
Alcohol is not the solution to any problem. In fact, its dependence, abuse or addiction is a problem in itself.

The resultant alterations in brain chemistry caused due to alcohol addiction affect both physical and mental well-being of the afflicted person. When left untreated, existing issues aggravate and comorbid disorders develop. Getting an accurate diagnosis and undergoing proper treatment can often be a far-fetched dream if the consulting expert is unable to determine if the symptoms are present due to an addiction or a mental illness.

Here is a view of the short- and long-term effects of alcohol use on your body:

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

· Slurred speech, drowsiness, headaches

· Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia

· Difficulty in breathing

· Distorted vision and hearing, decreased coordination

· Coma, blackouts, unconsciousness

· Impaired judgment

· Hormonal changes

· Sleep problems

· Accidental injuries due to inebriation, violent behavior

· Fetal damage

· Loss of productivity, increased problems in relationships

· High blood pressure, alcohol poisoning, liver disease

· Nerve damage, stroke, heart-related diseases, permanent brain damage

· Ulcers, gastritis, cancer

· Sexual problems

· Depression, personality disorders, suicide

Supporting someone with alcohol addiction

If someone you know is experiencing the above mentioned signs and effects of an alcohol addiction, then your support can be a great aid.

It is with your support that attaining recovery can become a priority for them and everything they love does not have to come last. When that happens, the afflicted person learns to persevere and be remembered for his/her recovery and not his/her addiction.

Here are ways of helping someone with an alcohol addiction:

Understand the nuances of alcohol addiction by seeking guidance from published resources and qualified experts.
Encourage them to be open about the challenges faced so that you can help them find alternates or solutions to the same.
Tell them about the effects their habits are having on you/others so that they do not take you/others for granted.
Convey to them that you are by their side always irrespective of how bad or good the situation may be.
Convince them to join a support group or attend community meetings to learn from people facing similar battles.
Spare time to take them to detox or therapy sessions whenever possible so that they do not feel alone or demotivated.
Lead by example by making a no-drinking pact and rewarding each other for a sober lifestyle from time to time.
Be forgiving and avoid blaming them for anything wrong happening in their life, even when the same is true.
Avoid confronting them or getting into an argument with them when they are not sober.
Remember to keep a tab on your physical or mental health while trying to help them.
Refrain from drinking yourself to escape the stress or find an easy solution.
Convince them to seek a second opinion from another qualified expert when no favorable results are visible.
Ways to reduce alcohol addiction stigma
As alcohol addiction continues to claim more lives than ever, it is important to remember that the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction is a key contributor to the same.

Supporting someone with alcohol problem is possible. You can do your bit to reduce the deadly stigma by following the useful tips given below:

Remember that addiction is a disease and spread the word so that others too can change their outlook.
Practice the habit of not judging people with addiction and encourage others to do so too.
Talk statistics and proven facts instead of communicating personal opinions.
Offer help and support to people with addiction by convincing them to seek help.
Maintain your calm and composure when helping an afflicted person in denial.
Guide people who have little control over their situation to seek help.
Give your best efforts to help the afflicted person in identifying the root cause of his/her addiction.
Never allow anyone to treat a person with addiction in ways that can put him/her under undue pressure.
Lead by example and stay away from any form of addiction yourselves.
Be open about your shortcomings (read: addiction) if you have one and seek timely help.
Motivate people to share their own battles and recovery journey so that others can learn from them.
Join organizations and nonprofit agencies committed to such issues.
How to help a person with addiction who doesn’t want help
Living in denial or showing little or no willingness to talk about addiction is a characteristic many people with addiction have.

Should the same be a thing of worry? Not really! There are several ways of helping a person living in denial about addiction, including the following:

· Persuasion: The first step involves communicating how their habits are affecting the physical or mental health of the members of the family/neighborhood. To attain success, it is important to plan the conversation in advance, fix a mutually suitable time for the conversation and cite specific instances instead of personal opinions.

Further, confrontations and blame game should be avoided. You must do this over a few days. Additionally, you can simultaneously do the following things to ensure that your efforts do not go in vain:

o Telling them on a regular basis that you/others understand how difficult it must be for them.

o Convincing them to join support groups where they can learn from people facing similar struggles.

o Discussing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and what they are missing out on due to their habits.

o Joining activities that you can do together, such as a sport, dancing classes or anything else of mutual interest.

o Accompanying them to the doctor at least during the first few visits and when they are low or demotivated.

o Attending family therapy sessions to strengthen the bond between the two of you and other members of the family/loved ones.

· Setting clear limits and boundaries: While allowing the afflicted person to take some time to mend his/her habits through the aforementioned ways, it is also necessary to let him/her know that he/she does not have an indefinite period of time to think and act.

You can do so by conveying the eventual consequences of his/her habits. Further, you should also refrain from enabling him/her. It is natural for family members/loved ones to fall prey to the tantrums or the lies of the afflicted person. This can give the false impression to the afflicted that he/she has control over everything.

Taking a stance and sticking to it helps the afflicted person know that he/she is in a tight spot. This has the potential to convince him/her to at least seek professional guidance for his/her habits, if not the treatment in the first go itself.

· Medical intervention: If nothing seems to be working well to help an afflicted person in denial, it becomes extremely important to reach out to a professional interventionist or a certified medical practitioner. Their experience and expertise can help them reason with the afflicted person. However, you should plan this in advance so that there are no last minute issues. Doing so is possible by involving concerned family members and friends who know the afflicted person well and are ready to stand by him/her.

Further, you should also be aware of the concerned person’s habits and behaviors. This can help the interventionist have a backup team ready, just in case a medical emergency arises. You should also practice self-care by joining a support group or consulting a therapist yourselves. This is necessary because sometimes, in our endeavor to help someone else, we end up putting our physical or mental health at stake.

Alcohol addiction is treatable

Regardless of whether a person is an occasional drinker, regular drinker or a heavy drinker, the truth is that alcohol does not discriminate when it comes to affecting the user’s body and mind. It slowly crawls upon to become an addiction and with time, instead of the person abusing alcohol, alcohol begins to abuse him/her back.

But the good news is that alcohol addiction is treatable. With the help of a comprehensive treatment program that involves therapy, detox, self-care and a relapse prevention strategy, seeking a full, healthy and lasting recovery from alcohol addiction is possible. The key to the same is consulting a qualified addiction expert who has experience in dealing with patients with addiction as well as comorbid disorders. He/she can also enable the family members/ loved ones of the afflicted person with ways to help someone with alcohol addiction.

You too can help someone overcome alcohol addiction. When you religiously follow the dos an don’ts of helping a person with addiction, it can be a blessing for the afflicted person and his/her loved ones.

The Inner Island Of Addiction

Addiction recovery is developing right now. New and older but still effective treatment plans are being researched and honed. Each type of addiction is studied to unlock the chemical hooks that entrap the user.

Prior research on the neurobiology of addiction has focused on the subcortical systems, such as the amygdala and mesolimbic/dopamine system, to understand the motivation to seek drugs. Recent evidence indicates that a largely overlooked structure, the insula, plays a crucial part in the conscious urges to take drugs.

The insula has been highlighted as a region that integrates bodily states into conscious feelings and into decision-making processes that involve uncertain risk and reward. It has been dubbed ‘the hidden island of addiction’ by researchers.

Addiction to drugs is at epidemic levels. Mobile morgues are handling overdose victims in some states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. By itself, cigarette smoking is the most common addictive behavior and is the largest preventable cause of death in the developed world. Some say nicotine is harder to give up than heroin. Its chemical hooks plunge that deep.

Drug addiction is a psychological imbalance that turns into a physical addiction. Compulsive use of drugs that persists despite negative consequences is the hallmark of addiction. Impaired driving is the awful choice many make.

‘Chemical use disorder’ is set of physiological and psychological processes, such as tolerance, withdrawal, constant urges and poor decision making. Each have distinct yet complementary roles in the development and maintenance of addiction.

For now, an addict’s best friend is knowledge. Choosing who to share information with is critical in getting actual help and not a damning lecture. Exposing an issue leads many to immediately shun the user. What has been described as ‘tough love’ has led straight to the cemetery or morgue for thousands upon thousands of families.

These ‘accidental addicts’ are the product of a profit-driven drug industry that is crippling our country. Oxycontin was introduced with a ‘low risk of addiction.’ My little sister ‘accidentally’ believed them and took what her doctor ‘accidentally’ prescribed. We buried her two years later.

There is no more time to blame the user until we preserve the innocent victims. Treat addiction as an imbalance, instead of a moral failing, that must be addressed by professionals. MAT-medication assisted therapy-is new but starting to prove effective in curbing active addiction.

Every addict tells the same story. Not one planned to get up, ingest a soothing chemical and completely destroy his life and everyone around him. It is a nightmare that is shared in recovery groups around the world.

Addiction treatment is like fishing in the boat with Jesus. If you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, cast your net again. This time, a treatment option that works may be within reach. Be ready for it.

Health Benefits of Calendula Tea, Oil and Flowers

Calendula tea is a remedy for a sore throat; in the event of a sore throat, you can gargle calendula tea three times a day to relieve the pain. Calendula is useful on sore throats because of its ability to reduce the swelling and the pain.

Calendula is used to alleviate acne; washing your face every night with calendula tea, helps relieve acne. Acne occurs as a result of swelling of the sebaceous gland due to bacterial infection. Calendula tea has active anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the swelling and powerful antibacterial compounds that kill the bacteria.

Calendula tea alleviates blisters in the mouth or inflamed gums; either bacteria or virus may cause these conditions. The anti-bacterial and antiviral activities of the calendula tea will heal the sores. Moreover, the ant swelling properties reduces the swelling of the gums.

Calendula oil has wound healing properties. It speeds up the process of healing cuts and bruises.

Calendula oil is highly effective in reducing inflammation in any part of the body. For instance, swelling arising from joint related gout or arthritis is very painful. In such cases, applying calendula oil the joints alleviates the pain and inflammation. In cases of ulcers, a cup of calendula tea will soothe the sores due to their anti-inflammatory effect.

Calendula is effective in treating infections. The herb has antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties.

Calendula has some anticancer properties. Calendula oil has anti-tumour properties. Together with antioxidants in calendula tea can stop oxidation and irregular growth of cells. Beta-carotene in calendula also helps cut down the risks of cancer, Improves the health of the heart.

Calendula extracts Aids in digestion; Calendula oil is vital in maintaining healthy digestive organs. The oil in the calendula energises the release of bile from the gallbladder which in turn hastens the breakdown of food within the duodenum. Moreover, calendula has an inhibitory effect against common gastrointestinal bacteria such as Campylobacter jejuni that causes diarrhoea in children. Note that this herb can control the prostaglandin-E1. As such it protects the lining of the stomach and the intestines. Also, it restricts the adverse impacts related to gastritis, stomach cancer, and peptic ulcer.

Detoxify the body; a dose of three cups of calendula tea is essential in cleaning the organs of the body especially the liver. The herb stimulates the proper function of the gallbladder.

Essential in oral health; Due to its antibacterial properties, calendula is an effective mouthwash. As such it can be an ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwashes.

Improves vision; Due to the antioxidants present in calendula, calendula treats eye infections and enhances vision. Beta-carotene, the anti-oxidant responsible for improved vision forms the bulk of calendula. Calendula flower extracts have been useful in treating conjunctivitis. In this case, it reduces the inflammation and redness of the eye. Moreover, consumption of calendula tea dramatically prevents the development of macular degeneration and development of cataracts.

Reduces pain associated with menstruation; Calendula tea is known to reduce pain during menstruation. Abdominal cramping usually causes this pain. At this time, a woman may experience headaches, nausea or may even vomit. A cup of calendula tea will alleviate the above symptoms in the shortest time possible. Moreover, calendula tea is known to regulate the whole menstrual process. In some animals, it has been used to start the menstrual process. Due to its estrogenic effects, it reduces menstrual cramps and relieving breast tenderness.

Reduce cramping; Calendula extracts have anti-spasmodic activities. Individuals suffering from nervous disorders and those that have severe cramping during menstruation are advised to drink at least three cups of calendula tea.

Prevents muscle spasms; Calendula extracts are effective in preventing muscle spasms as they relax spontaneous and K+-induced contractions, which depends on the calcium channel blocking along with cholinergic qualities of this herb.

Prevent premature ageing; Restorative properties of calendula make it a tremendous anti-ageing food. The oil is marvellous at healing wounds, hydrating the skin and making the skin supple. It is very vital to include calendula tea in your diet. Moreover, calendula oil can be applied around delicate parts of the body such as the eyes to prevent puffiness. The antioxidants in the calendula prevent the ageing of cells by stimulating the flow of blood into the skin cells. The result is that even scars and wrinkles will disappear. For more excellent results, applying organic compounds containing calendula oil will do fine.

Cures rashes; Calendula oil is useful in the treatment of any rashes. Applying calendula oil on affected areas twice a day will return the skin to its natural condition within a short period. Diaper rash a common occurrence in babies. In such cases applying calendula oil will heal the skin due to its anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.

Remove stretch marks; Calendula oil is a purely natural remedy to alleviate stretch marks. It is difficult entirely remove, but calendula oil is effective in healing and fading the damaged skin.

Skin issues; Topical application of calendula oil is effective in soothing the skin. Conditions such as eczema and dermatitis can efficiently be sooth by use of calendula oil. Moreover, calendula oil has been found useful in the treatment of ringworms and athletes foot.

Useful in treating insect bites; Most insect bites cause inflammation of cells. For instance, a bee sting may cause tremendous swelling. To alleviate such swelling, topical application of calendula oil lessens the swelling.

Antihaemorrhagic and antiseptic; Calendula flowers have extracts that stop bleeding as well as acting as an antiseptic.

Dye; Calendula flowers were used to make dyes that were used to colour fabrics. The flower dyes occur in brown, yellow and orange colours.

Culinary uses; Calendula petals were used to add colour to cheese and butter. In Germany, flowers were common ingredients in making soups and stew hence the nickname “pot marigold”.

Remedy for varicose veins; a varicose vein is the abnormal swelling of the valves in at the back of legs. The valves in the veins swell and become flabby. Calendula in the diet helps to alleviate the swellings of the valves.

Do Women Need To Take Collagen Supplements?

We, women, look for some magical potion that will work like wonders and make us look young throughout. Is there anything as such that women will drink and make their skin look young forever?

Well, even when magic does not happen in real life, but to some extent, science can help us. As per the cosmetic industry which will rise to a worth of £5 billion by the end of 2020, it seems there will be something. But right now collagen supplements are those potions and something where over 38% of the British women are investing to slow down the natural aging process.

Nowadays you can buy these supplements in various forms. As per the research, the only difference between sagging and plumped skin is the collagen matrix density. These are the structure that supports your skin. This is the reason why collagen supplements are now one of the most searched terms on Google as it helps to increase the hydration level and bounce back the skin.

Why Collagen Supplements:

Well, this is science and therefore you need to dig more into it.

The point is, our skin is actually made with 75% collagen which starts reducing by the rate of 1.5% every year after the age of 25. But after 45 years of age, the collagen levels in the body fall by 30% and which results in a significant level of aging signs.

Some of the most visible signs are the appearance of dry skin, wrinkles, and fine lines. Moreover, it can also result in physical ailments because collagen is the glue which holds bones, joints, and ligaments together. So just by having collagen supplements in your diet, you can keep your bones, hair, nails, and skin healthy.

Advantages of Collagen Supplements:

There are numerous benefits of collagen supplements and which is why these days women mostly prefer these products.

It improves skin firmness and moisture by reducing the wrinkle levels up to 13%
It improves the circulation
After having these supplements for at least 3 months, it helps to improve the strength and quality of the nails and hair
It helps in reducing the cellulite appearance
It enhances the hydration and moisture level of the skin
Women will observe lesser “age spots” on their skin
Other advantages:
It strengthens the joint flexibility and tendons
It helps to reduce joint pain
It ensures fast recovery from muscle repair and sport injuries
Increases strength in the bones
It ensures ligament flexibility and joint mobility
Within just a few weeks, women can observe a change in their condition like nails, hair, and skin along with other results that you can feel about your internal health. There are many active collagen supplements that can help you to maintain a young look and shower with other amazing health benefits. Moreover, in clinical research, it clearly shows visible results within a very few days.
So if you are stressing on your aged looks and looks for a solution that can reduce the signs, don’t wait but choose the collagen supplement today.

Lita Willem is a renowned author and is dealing with the cosmetic products. She herself is a regular user of the collagen supplements and so she recommends women to rely on the Lorna Vanderhaeghe collagen supplement available in Vitasave. This is an effective product offering uncountable skin benefits.

Activities and Brain Supplements to Improve Focus and Concentration Naturally

We live in a world where everything moves so fast. We are required to work at maximum capacity every day and at the same time, we strive to live our personal lives at maximum capacity without any distractions that may hold us back. With so many agents like social media, television and online shows that can derail us from achieving our goals, strong motivation and focus on the task at hand is a must. Some people get support from family (which ideally should always be existent) and others combine that support with a healthy nutrition plan and lifestyle.

A healthy diet consisting of the rights foods to eat on a daily basis as well as natural brain or focus supplements can do wonders to our well-being and happiness. However, sometimes a healthy nutrition is not the only factor for focusing on our goals. A healthy lifestyle full of activities that can increase dopamine levels (dopamine is the brain chemical directly linked to feelings of happiness, pleasure and mood) and make us feel ‘full of life’ will provide us with the motivation and concentration we need to live every day at its fullest.

In this article, we shall cover different activities that can improve our mood levels as well as brain supplements that will keep us focused on every task we may want to undertake.

Activities that can improve our Focus, Motivation and Mood Levels

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can deliver immense health benefits to both our body and brain. Several studies have shown that exercise can deliver positive results to our brain’s neurotransmitter by improving blood flow and oxygen circulation to the brain. Consequently this can aid in the production of new cell growth as well as the promotion of brain health and optimum mental performance. What this ultimately means is that by exercising, not only can we improve our physique and posture but also be able to better focus and concentrate when doing chores, working, reading or even studying.

Add New Experiences to your life’s canvas

Doing new activities or taking up on new hobbies cannot only allow us to learn and experience more in life but also promote a happy and healthy lifestyle. Doing new things will allow our brain to fire neurons which will in turn give us feelings of pleasure, joy and achievement. Different examples can be hobbies like learning how to draw, playing the guitar, going hiking and so one. You will see and feel more not only during the process but also afterwards which consequently make you perform and focus better at your work and even personal life.

Follow a Healthy Diet

A healthy nutrition plan is necessary to our brain’s well-being and our body’s performance. Not only it will allow us to focus better but it can have positive effects to our metabolism and body’s looks. When referring to a healthy diet, we actually mean avoiding unnecessary-bad fat and carbs while introducing and holding onto meals full of vegies and green leafy salads. There is a vast amount of posts and articles out there that can help you know all about the right foods to eat as well as how to use this in a delicious recipe.

Brain Supplements that Improve Focus and Brain Performance

L-Tyrosine

There is a big number of brain supplements or nootropics that can improve focus out there. However, the most well researched and promoted supplement for a healthy mental function is L-Tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an essential amino acid which delivers positive effects to our body while improving cognitive performance. There a vast amount of research, and research papers out there that support the fact that L-tyrosine supplements can maintain the healthy function of the brain areas that are specifically used to improve working memory. In addition, research suggests that the positive effects of L-tyrosine include improving focus and reaction speed, which refers to focusing and reacting better to social cues or signals.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also at the top of our list and a very popular brain supplement among athletes and professionals. ALCAR is an amino acid with brain enhancing abilities that is naturally produced in the body. Being the essential building block for proteins, ALCAR intake in the form of supplements is associated with fight against mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and depression as well as protecting the brain from the degeneration of cells that comes with old age. Put it simple, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a major factor for producing the energy our brain needs to perform and process information.

As a reminder, focus supplements or supplements in general, should only be taken as an addition to a healthy diet rather than a replacement. Make sure to always consult your doctor prior to taking supplements when already under prescribed medication.

How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?

A great question that’s difficult… Yet this will be easy to understand!

The human body is a complex machine on the inside. I like to use the term “chemical computer” because that’s exactly what it is.

You have a base program and upgrade it through nutrition and supplementation to make up for bad coding, or just refining the code to make it work 5x better.

If you’re asking: how do digestive enzymes work? Let me break it down…

Let’s say you’re supplementing with protein shakes — out of 40g you are only breaking down about 25-30g, excreting the rest.

Our bodies can only assimilate a smaller portion of food than you think!

The above example, though small is harmful to muscle-building, healing and more, in general.

There are many digestive enzymes (22+!), however this 2-part series covers the main base of enzymes. Some are plant-based (proteolytic), others are not.

The Enzyme Team:

Protease-Supports breakdown of all proteins except those of living organisms, it does this through hydrolysis.
Amylase-Breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, both slow and fast dieting sources. (Sweet Potato = Slow, Rice= Fast)
Lipase-Responsible to breaking down all fats within the body including CLA, ALA and Omegas.
Lactase- Assists in the breakdown of lactose sugars from dairy.
Sucrase-Facilitates the breakdown of sugars. Makes fructose and sucrose molecules smaller for the small intestine to absorb.
Papain-Derived from Papaya, papain is a secondary protein enzyme, it works in the same way as Protease, but more specific to tough meat fibers (Beef, Chicken, Fish, etc)
Bromelain-Not just for allergies! Bromelain is derived from Pineapple and contributes to further protein breakdown. Also a great anti-inflammatory when taken between meals.
Pepsin-Another protein enzyme that assists in breaking down amino acids like Papain/Protease
First of all, without this awesome team, your gut health suffers as do your goals and emotional well-being. Science has shown that gut health is linked to mental health, falling in line with Chinese Medicine teachings.
Considering the above enzymes; breaking down proteins, amino acids, fats and carbs becomes more efficient as a result.

Let’s say you’re out at your favorite Italian restaurant and you have their world-famous classic lasagna with a soup, around 1,125 calories…

The macronutrient ratio is most likely going to look a little something like this:

Protein: 55g

Carbs: 80g

Fat: 70g

Sodium: around 2,500mg

That’s actually somewhat difficult for the body to break down on it’s own and nutrients don’t get utilized. As a result, the intestines can only break down so much at once.

Like the internet, your intestines are a series of tubes…

if a packet is too large, it will be ignored/removed from the data sent across the internet.

Similarly, particles too large to breakdown simply exit as normal, at the cost of losing valuable nutrition that powers your life and goals.

Enzymes attack these large particles of proteins, fats, carbs, and sugars to break them down into easily digested particles for your gut to turn into fuel.

By taking digestive enzymes you actually make your body more efficient and reliable, sapping every ounce of nutritious goodness out of every bite you take.

That is only going to lead to higher performance, stable moods and better health. Who says the body wants to work hard 24/7?

By giving it some breathing room to do less work, you come out on top all around.

Can you see why choosing to use digestive enzymes is such an important aid to your dietary and nutrition goals?

Personally, I don’t go without them! I even take some with me if I’m dining out as I know I’ll be having a large meal.

Do you use digestive enzymes? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, as well as your experience taking them.

Josh Orion is a pro athlete, health copywriting and video marketing consultant focused on supplements and nutrition. Do you have a supplement product or general health product that needs a sales boost?

Maybe you need to stay connected to your customers with an e-mail series…

Or better yet, you want to cash in on the incredible power of video marketing to put your brand on the map.

Content is king… If it’s content you seek, I can write what your company needs and get your customers engaged, liking and sharing…

Are you ready to communicate your value to customers?

Visit Orion Media FX and schedule your 60 minute consultation today!

Dieting, Exercise and Supplements

Everybody wants to live a long, healthy life and in today’s day and age it is most certainly possible. People are faced with many difficult decisions when it comes to choosing the best supplements, diets, exercises and training gear – and who could blame them? Every day the list grows for the best way to lose weight, build muscle and get the physique you always dreamed of. Even now, more than ever there are emerging supplements marketed towards those intent on shedding the extra pounds and transforming their bodies into lean, sculpted figures.

With all this industry growth and all the reputable brands releasing new products, how can you really be sure what works and what doesn’t? I have spent a fair amount of time personally at the gym, pumping iron and pressing weights. I have spent countless hours training, exercising, trying new routines and learning many new workouts. During this time, I have also tried a variety of different supplements both for diet and also for training purposes.

When it comes to picking a solid pre-workout there have been many that have definitely held their ground. (Of course, any supplements mentioned are personal preference and may affect individuals differently) I am one who you could say loves caffeine. I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day starting at “double-shot” on the strength level and progressively work downward. When I am looking for a good pre-workout, one of the things I look for is something that has a higher than average amount of caffeine. While not getting into the nitty-gritty too much, I have found the strongest PWOs (I mean actually feeling the boost of energy) to be Bullnox, and the all-new reformulated Superpump 250 w/ DMAA. These 2 supplements definitely pack a bigger scoop and punch, but are also leaning towards the more expensive side. Another way I can personally gauge the strength is by how much of a tingling sensation I feel all over my body – and these 2 really give that sensation.

The pump that these PWOs bring is pretty substantial. I can see the difference in weeks I cycle off the PWO that my workout intensity not only lessens but the amount of time before I fatigue is also noticeably shorter. Not to discredit any other PWO as they all do the job to different degrees but I find that these give me the most focus and keep my drive higher in the gym – meaning focused intensity. After finishing a great workout it’s essential to get in some protein and possibly a meal to replenish and help rebuild muscle and refuel your body with all the nutrients it needs post-exercise.

One of the leading brands of protein for many years has been Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (100% Whey) This has been my go-to protein powder for many years. Although also a bit more expensive than other protein supplements, I feel the quality is outstanding and worthwhile. The many flavors they have are delicious and the scoops are nicely sized. The powder dissolves very even and easy and it absorbs into your body fairly quickly. This means faster protein-synthesis or your body building muscle quicker. There are many forms of protein with certain trade-offs, some which take longer to digest than others and some that break down much slower. In order to really understand what works best it is always a great idea to experiment and see which fits your goals and body best. If you are still unsure, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (100% Whey) Protein is a solid recommendation. Even after taking your pre-workout and your post-workout supplements, sometimes you may just not have the drive or energy to keep pushing through the workout… this is where intra-workout supplements shine.

I have not been too keen on intra-workouts as I feel the PWO does the job at least to the level that I need. When I did decide to take one though I went with Xtend by Sci-Vation. This stuff is pretty powerful and comes in this greenish/blue powder, we like to call it the “Hulk Juice” nicknamed after it’s color. This gives you more of that power/energy boost during your exercises which helps with explosive pumps and harder, more intense workouts. For me, I could surely feel a positive change while I was on this stuff, but my wallet felt the opposite. This stuff isn’t necessarily cheap, especially when you combine it with all the other supplements.

What Are the Exogenous Ketones? How To Get Ketones Supplements

You cannot deny it. The exogenous ketones are the hottest item in the market at present, particularly for people who are interested in the ketosis and ketogenic diets. They generally come in various forms and very importantly are used for many different applications. For example, reducing ketosis symptoms, fat burning, improving physical performance or mental performance are certain ways that the ketones are used.

What Are the Exogenous Ketone Supplements?

The Ketone supplements often are referred to as the exogenous ketones, it means they are made externally-outside your body. It is opposed to ketones that your body makes when carbs are limited and you are in the state of ketosis. Generally, they are made in the lab and then made in supplement form to ingest. There’re 3 ketones that your body makes when on the ketogenic diet: acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).

Ketone found in the exogenous ketone is BHB. That is because your body will use this very efficiently.
They are called fuel for energy forming mitochondria in your body cells. They’re the alternative source of fuel to glucose.
They are the simple compounds due to their weight and small molecular structure.
Why take Exogenous Ketones Supplements?
There are the times when eating a fully ketogenic supplement isn’t realistic and desired. It is very difficult and restrictive for many people to follow. There are people who will feel lower in energy with the complete ketogenic diet, thus they will use the exogenous ketone supplement as the targeted way of getting benefits of the ketosis in their meals. Suppose you’re an athlete who wants to have carbohydrates for the performance, then you will not get complete benefits from the ketosis as you will not be full in it. So, you will require carbs over the workout, but, you might want the ketones to power your longer workout. It is where the exogenous ketone supplement is beneficial.

Benefits of the Exogenous Ketone Supplements

The supplements are the huge help while transitioning in the state of ketosis and entering a fasted state. It is where they generally come in very handy. They will help you to get back in ketosis any time, than waiting for some days. They are taken in between the meals to give a quick ketones punch or before the workout for extra energy. Taking the ketone supplements or following keto diet means to reap several benefits in your life, including:

Enhancing the cognitive performance
Quick weight loss & reduced hunger
High mental focus
Regulated blood glucose
Less inflammation
Decreasing risk of any disease
The ketone supplements are divided into 3 categories commonly accessible for the consumption:
Ketone Salt
Ketone Ester
Ketone Oil
Buyer Beware: You will find some of the products that might have ” exogenous ketones ” in the name and may also suggest helping to maintain the ketosis, but are not what they sound to be. It is very important that you buy from the authentic ketone supplements store and get all the benefits of a Ketone Supplements.