It’s summer! And with summer (especially this one) comes lots of sunshine, heat, and sweat.
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 know I was when I first learned about it. 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.”
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 colouring and 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, carbohydrates are the main fuel source and thus, get depleted. Therefore, the drink helps to replenish these. What most people don’t realize is that we only need a carbohydrate replacement drink if we are 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) get converted into fat.
The second part of a sport drink is the electrolytes. We lose many electrolytes (minerals) when we sweat.
A great alternative to the commercial sport drinks is my Athletes Recovery Elixir. It is a formulation that works just as well, if not better, for many athletes and for myself. The ingredients are pure, cheap, tasty, and health enhancing. And if you can’t be bothered to make a drink, there is always coconut water.
Enjoy the summer!