Essential Summertime Tips
It’s summer! And with summer (especially this one) comes lots of sunshine, heat, and sweat loss.
With the help of the sun you can make plenty of vitamin D in your skin. When the sun makes contact with your skin it converts cholesterol into vitamin D. It takes about 24-48 hours for that vitamin D to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Here’s something you might be quite surprised about. I was when I first learned about this. If you go and wash your skin with soap after being in the sun, you will wash
away much of the vitamin D. The best way to avoid washing away all of our hard sun-bathing work is to only use soap “where it counts”.
Something to think about: In order to maintain adequate vitamin D levels to maintain healthy blood levels you need to be out in the sun for about 20 minutes everyday (can be up to 6x longer for people with dark skin), in shorts and a t-shirt, mid-day when the the sun’s at its highest. In this time it is possible to make between 10,000 and 20,000 iu of vitamin D. Makes me think, “then why is the (Canadian) RDA only 400-800 iu”. - J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec; 22 (Suppl 2): V28-33.
One of the biggest
dangers of sun exposure is the ability of the UV rays to cause damage to the DNA, thus promoting skin cancer. However, if sun-exposure was really the problem then humans would never have made it this far. We would have died out a long time ago when being outside in the sun was a daily necessity. In addition, the introduction of sunscreen would clearly decrease rates of skin cancer, which is not the case (see below).
We need to dig a little deeper to find out how we can protect our skin from the inside-out. For this we turn to antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect your genes from all sorts of harmful substances including pollution, tobacco smoke, synthetic building materials, radiation, physiological and physical stress, and of course sun exposure.
We get an abundance of antioxidants from bright coloured fruits, vegetables, berries, and superfoods. If you need extra support, there are many great antioxidant supplements on the market.
What comes to mind when you see Gatorade and Poweraid? Sports energy drinks? These should really be called “food-clouring-sugar-laden-flourescent-liquids”.
Sport drinks contain two main ingredients that make them beneficial. First, they contain carbohydrate, usually in the form of refined sugar. When you begin an exercise session carbohydrate is the main fuel source and gets depleted, and therefore the drink helps to replenish these. What most people don’t realize is that we only need a carbohydrate replacement drink if we’re exercising over an hour and sweating a lot. We have more than enough stored in our muscle and liver, and any extra carbohydrates (from drinks for example) gets converted into fat.
The second part of a sport drink is the electrolytes. We loose many electrolytes (minerals) when we sweat.
A great alternative to the commercial sports drinks is my Athletes Recovery Elixir. It is a formulation that works just as well if not better for many athletes and myself. The ingredients are pure, cheep, tasty, and health enhancing. If you can’t be bothered by making a drink, there’s always coconut water.
Enjoy the summer!