Click here for full article

No matter your preference for exercising (pilates, crossfit, yoga, traditional gym training, running, HIIT, functional fitness, etc.), adding at least 2-3 strength training days to your routine will benefit your overall health and performance.

According to this review, resistance training can benefit bone mineral density, lipoprotein profiles, glycemic control, body composition, symptoms of frailty, metabolic syndrome risk factors, and cardiovascular disease markers. It also points out that resistance training can improve psychosocial health, including sense of coherence, perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

…….One study shows that “chronic resistance exercise improves all aspects of sleep, with the greatest benefit for sleep quality,” and another says that “resistance training effectively attenuates cardiac dysfunction and hormonal imbalance induced by paradoxical sleep deprivation” (2,3). Moms, especially new moms, absolutely experience challenging days with interrupted sleep cycles. This is like killing two birds with one stone: lifting weights can improve sleep quality and help with symptoms induced by poor sleep hygiene, such as hormonal imbalance – a major trigger for many women’s health issues.

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AuthorBen Magnone

The fact is, the modern-day immunity marketplace is flooded with supplements and herbal formulas claiming to cure the common cold overnight or to make the human body heavily guarded to illness, but it is quite difficult to sift through the bold marketing and fake supplements. But you’re now equipped with everything you know to defy the odds of getting sick and create an unstoppable immune system via the use of movement strategies that can be employed immediately, stacked with research-proven but little-known supplement, food and lifestyle strategies.

Should your head be spinning with the wide variety of ways you can support your immune system, here’s a simple example of how to weave many of the strategies you’ve just discovered into a cold and flu season protocol:

Click here to read detailed information about the 11 ways

-Eat a wide variety of fermented foods. Introduce many of the new ones you’ve discovered in this article into your diet (I particularly recommend teaching yourself how to make the wonderful coconut yogurt from Dr. William Davis).

-Place several drops of Thieves into an essential oil diffuser in the office, home and bedroom and run the diffuser all day long.

-Supplement each morning with a handful of colostrum capsules, a teaspoon of mushrooms, a dropperful of oregano into a glass of water, or all three. Take a shot of Restore prior to each of your daily meals.

-Have a piping hot cup of organic bone broth with lunch or dinner. This is another beverage that is simple to add additional immune support to by stirring in medicinal mushrooms.

-If you’re exposed to sickness, continue using the strategies above, but also sip on elderberry juice or use elderberry tincture three times a day, along with daily use of zinc lozengesvitamin C, and echinacea.

-Whether you’re sick or not, don’t stop moving. Try to engage in low-level physical activity, even if it’s just an easy walk in the sunshine or a bit of bouncing up and down on a trampoline. If you’re too sick to move, consider resting with infrared blankets, an infrared sauna or a Biomat to keep lymph fluid circulating.

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AuthorBen Magnone

Strawberry season is here! The berries have been so sweet and delicious from the Farmer’s market. Dark chocolate and berries are two of my favorites so I thought this slight twist on a classic combo was postable.

Click here for recipe

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AuthorBen Magnone

Surprising problems caused by sleeping on one's side…

Click above for the full article on Dr. Peter Martone’s findings and research as to why sleeping on your side isn’t as good as once thought. I have always known that stomach sleeping wasn’t healthy, but I have never heard of side sleeping pitfalls. This was an interestig read……

  • 90% of Peter's patients have some type of damage to their cervical curve in the neck

  • We lose the curve doing day to day activities, and there's nothing to repair it at night

  • 98% of patients who lose the curve in their neck develop an unnatural curve in their lower back

  • This eventually leads to scoliosis in the lower back

  • The vermis portion of the brain: main function is to control the body's proprioception

    • 80% of proprioception into the brain comes from the spinal cord

    • The vermis atrophies due to loss of proprioception

    • It affects the pre-frontal cortex (executive functioning)

  • Decreasing the curve in the spine severely limits glymphatic drainage

  • Why we toss and turn at night:

    • Pain centers and nerve centers are very close together

    • When you fall asleep on your side, you can only stay in that position for a short period of time

    • Body should be in a “neutral sleeping position”

    • Alcohol inhibits pain sensors. You stay in the same position longer and wake up in pain

  • OURA ring

  • If you didn't get all that, get this: Loss of the cervical curve = degeneration of the spine. It also causes the vermis to atrophy, which negatively affects the pre-frontal cortex. Side sleeping causes pain and discomfort, which in turn affects the quality of our sleep.

  • The advantages of sleeping on the back versus the side or stomach…

    • Use a pillow for the neck rather than the head

    • Restore the cervical curve and decrease lumbar tension

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AuthorBen Magnone

How To Do A Ketogenic Diet The Right Way

(Click on heading above to view full article or listen to the full podcast at bengreenfieldfitness.com). It’s one of my favorite health podcasts to date!

So how can you beat these nutritional deficiencies and carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms? The following are seven tactics for getting the most out of a low-carb, ketogenic diet without experiencing significant reductions in physical or cognitive performance.

1. Consume Veggies & Take Supplements

As mentioned above, most vegetables are keto-friendly. There is no reason you can’t liberally consume kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and Swiss chard and moderately consume low-glycemic index fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You can also supplement the phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber you get from these whole-foods sources via prebiotics, probiotics and antioxidants like GSH (Glutathione) and turmeric extract (Curcumin), along with a quality multivitamin.

Interestingly, microgreens, which are the shoots of salad vegetables such as arugula, Swiss chard, mustard, beetroot, etc., picked just after the first leaves have developed, can help modulate cholesterol levels and lower inflammation. Microgreens are very simple to grow at home in a sunny window or under a LED grow light.

In addition to high vegetable and microgreen intake, you should also consider consuming the following supplements:

  • Choline, which helps your liver process fat and prevents non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
    Magnesium, which improves bone health, immune system function, and nerve and muscle function. It also helps minimize muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.

  • Potassium, which is necessary for proper cellular function (you can also get potassium from avocados and dark leafy greens). It also minimizes cramps, constipation and muscle weakness.

  • Sodium, which, as mentioned above, is dumped by your kidneys as insulin levels drop. If you are performing heavy training sessions, you need to maintain sodium levels since you lose a lot of sodium through sweat. Sodium also reduces fatigue, headaches, and thirst.

  • Creatine, which will allow you to perform high-volume, high-intensity workouts without relying on high levels of muscle glycogen (since these stores will be depleted as you restrict carbohydrate intake). This is known as a carbohydrate-sparing effect.

2. Consume More Fat, Especially MCT Oil

Consuming more of the right types of fat may accelerate your adaptation to a ketogenic diet. MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, which is derived from coconut oil, is particularly potent. Most fatty acids must travel through your lymphatic system to your heart, muscles and adipose tissue before entering the liver to be metabolized. But MCT oil goes straight to the liver to be immediately metabolized into energy, and this addition alone can allow many to avoid the keto flu altogether.

You can also add coconut oil to your morning coffee and eat more fat-rich foods, such as grass-fed beef, fatty, coldwater fish and eggs. Extra virgin olive oilcoconut oil, and MCT oil can also be drizzled liberally on almost any dish. Just remember to include plants too, as these can eliminate the potential for high intake of oils (particularly saturated fats) to become inflammatory.

3. Get Good Sleep

Sleep helps to regulate levels of cortisol, which, as you learned above, rise as levels of thyroid hormones drop in response to carbohydrate restriction. As you sleep, levels of the fat-burning hormones leptin and adiponectin rise, which further stabilizes appetite and improves your adaptation to a fat-based diet. Review my last big article on sleep for recommendations on figuring out how much sleep you need each night as well as how to optimize that sleep.

4. Perform Light Exercise For A Few Days

Hard exercise elevates levels of cortisol, which are already elevated from the process of adapting to a ketogenic diet. Since excessively elevated cortisol levels can signal insulin to shovel the food you eat into fat cells (which is the opposite effect of what you want to achieve with a ketogenic diet), until you adapt to burning fat, perform lighter exercise sessions.

Do some yoga, hit the sauna, go for a swim or paddleboard session, or embark upon an easy sunshine walk or hike. Incidentally, if you perform this activity in a fasted state before eating breakfast, it will boost your fat-burning capacities even more and make your shift into ketosis go more smoothly. Listen to my podcast, “The Benefits Of Fasted Exercise, Busting the Myth of the Pre and Post Workout Meal, Who Shouldn’t Fast & Much More!” for more information on fasted exercise.

While you don’t want to overdo any hard exercise sessions, lifting heavy weights can help prevent loss of muscle during a high-fat, lower-protein ketogenic diet. Lifting weights will send signals to your muscles to enter an anabolic, muscle-building state without taking you out of ketosis. Ideally, these initial weight lifting sessions should not be high-rep or voluminous, but instead short and intense.

5. Take Activated Charcoal

Adipose tissue can act as a storage depot for toxins like molds, BPA and pesticides. As you burn stored body fat during a ketogenic diet, these toxins can be released back into your bloodstream and, if left alone, can be reabsorbed into more sensitive tissues like the brain and other vital organs. Consuming activated charcoal, which binds to toxins, will help your body flush these toxins out.

6. Take Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Exogenous ketones are simply ketones, such as ketone salts and ketone esters, that are naturally produced by your body but that you can also exogenously mainline into your body from supplements. They can help reduce fatigue and boost energy by quickly raising ketone levels in your blood. While exogenous ketones aren’t a replacement for a true state of ketosis, they can help you get through the keto flu during the first few days or weeks of a carbohydrate-restricted diet. A few of my favorite ketones include HVMN ketone esters, KetoneAid ketone esters, Real Ketones ketone salts, and PerfectKeto keto salts.

7. Implement A Cyclic Ketogenic Approach

Unless you have a legitimate health condition, such as a neurodegenerative condition, that you are treating with a ketogenic diet, you don’t necessarily need to stay in an indefinite state of ketosis. Occasional and even regular dips into ketosis via strategies like fasting, occasional carbohydrate re-feeds and carb-cycling are sufficient for providing the benefits of a ketogenic diet without requiring you to eliminate carbs for months at a time.

While you can, especially if you’re aren’t a hard-charging athlete, certainly remain in a state of ketosis for years at a time without experiencing any adverse effects (assuming you follow many of the rules you have just read about), you can also get the same benefits by performing brief, frequent forays into ketosis. For example, you can consume all of your carbohydrates at the end of each day, especially if you perform a hard exercise session late in the afternoon or early evening.

This exercise session will ensure you are highly sensitive to glucose so that the glucose you do eat is stored as muscle glycogen. If you fast for 12 to 16 hours after this meal, you will still be able to enjoy the fat-burning and brain-boosting benefits of ketosis without depleting your energy. Many of my athletic clients perform daily evening carb re-feeds of up to 200 grams of carbohydrates, then spend the remainder of their time in ketosis. Most of my other clients perform at least a weekly carb re-feed, typically on their most physically active day of the week so that they reduce any excess glucose response.


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AuthorBen Magnone

It’s been a wet winter. Nothing better for your skin, hair/nails, joints, muscle tissue repair, and gut than BONE BROTH. Yes, you need to plan a head a bit (unless you have gotten on the Instapot bandwagon) but it’s super easy to make and so satisfying. I drink a cup of bone broth and Ben laughs but I feel my body and cells within it “Thanking me!” All you need is a crockpot and 24-48 hours.

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  • 4 pounds beef bones with marrow

  • 4 carrots, chopped

  • 4 celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 medium onions, peel on, sliced in half lengthwise and quartered

  • 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 5-6 sprigs parsley

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 18-20 cups cold water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a 10 quart capacity crock-pot. Add in water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce and simmer gently, skimming the fat that rises to the surface occasionally. Simmer for 24-48 hours.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill. Use within a week or freeze up to 3 months.

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AuthorBen Magnone

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Diets For Your Unique Body Type!

Click on the link above to read a GREAT and very thorough article written by Ben Greenfield about the best “diets” or ways to eat for your unique body.

Ben Greenfield is a Coach, Author, Speaker, ex-Bodybuilder and Ironman Triathlete. He holds a Master’s Degree is in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics. His science-based approach to discovering a potent balance between health and performance has revolutionized the way thousands of athletes and exercise enthusiasts around the world live, train and eat.

This article is JAMMED PACKED with information including book titles specific to the diet, science-based principles, and sample meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Give this article a READ or at least a browse. It’s got it all!

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AuthorBen Magnone

Ingredients:

3-4 tilapia filets (you can use cod, but tilapia is low in mercury. Alaskan cod is in the medium category for mercury levels. If you can find arctic cod, it is in the low mercury category.)

6 oz sweet potato chips (Sprouts and Trader Joes have these)

1.5 tsp oregano

2 T fresh lemon juice  

1/4 cup coconut cream or softened butter

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse sweet potato chips in a food processor until they are in small pieces. Do not overdo it or else they'll be more like a flour dust. Mix your oregano with the chips in a medium sized bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice and coconut milk. 

3. Cut your filets into rectangular strips. Dip them in coconut milk mixture and then coat them with the sweet potato mixture. 

4.  Place the fish sticks on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Dust with sea salt as needed. These are great dipped in homemade paleo ketchup or paleo tarter sauce or just plain lemon juice! 

*hint: if you want these to be extra crispy, try spraying them with coconut oil cooking spray before baking! 

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AuthorMatt Magnone

Ingredients: 

1 ten ounce frozen package of calamari (rings and tentacles) 

2 T butter

almond flour

Instructions:  

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Defrost calamari according to the instructions on the package. Place butter in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Fry thawed calamari in sauce pan and cook for 50-70 seconds. 

2. Remove calamari from pan and dust with almond flour. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 10 minutes or until almond flour is browned. Serve.

*Whole 30 approved  

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Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone

Ingredients:  

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 T olive oil

2 red apples, cut into chunks  

1 large onion cut into chunks

1 cup low-sodium, organic free range chicken broth (I used the brand Pacific because it doesn't have any yeast or sweeteners)  

2-3 T mustard

1.5 tsp ghee butter, softened  

1 T sweet potato flour (you can use almond flour here, but I prefer the sweet taste of sweet potato flour...I will post a recipe for homemade sweet potato flour later.  You can also purchase Heritage Camote Flour's sweet potato flour on Amazon.)

1-2 T. greens like fresh parsley or baby kale

1-2 T. shredded carrots  

 

Instructions:  

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet that can be transferred to the oven later. Cook chicken for about 10 minutes, or until it's lightly browned on the outside. Pour off all but 2 T. of the drippings from the pan. 

2. Add cut up apples and onions to the skillet and season with sea salt and pepper. Cook apples until softened. Add the mustard to the broth and mix until well dissolved. Add this mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. 

3. Place chicken back in skillet. And place in the oven for 15 minutes or until chicken is all the way cooked through.  

4. Mix the butter and flour to form a paste. Transfer the chicken, apples, and onions to a plate using a fork. (Do not carry the juices over.) 

5. Add half of the butter and flour mixture to the juices in the pan and boil to thicken (about 2 minutes.) Keep cooking while adding more of the butter/flour mixture as needed. It should make a gravy consistency. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and then pour over chicken. Garnish with fried carrots and fried apples and fresh greens. 

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Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone

Ingredients:

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1/2 c baby carrots

1/4 c water chestnuts

1/2 c mushrooms

1/2 onion

1/2 c snow peas

1/2 c bamboo shoots

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets (discard the core)

1 T minced ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

10 pieces bacon

2 eggs

1 lb grass-fed beef, cubed

coconut aminos to taste  

Directions: 

1. Place bacon in 12 inch sauté pan and cook over medium heat until crispy. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.  Pour off all but 1 T. of bacon grease from the pan into a glass. (You will use the bacon grease left in the pan and the grease poured in the glass later.) When the bacon has cooled, cut it into small pieces. 

2. Place the pan with 1 T. bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the beef chunks, ginger and garlic clove and heat until all the beef is almost cooked through. Cut and clean all other veggies in the meantime. 

3. When the beef is almost cooked through, add the two eggs to the pan of beef, ginger, and garlic and scramble the eggs in the pan. Heat until the eggs and beef are completely cooked through and slightly browned. Remove all the contents from the sauté pan (including the juices) by pouring into a dish. Place 1 T of bacon grease from the glass into the sauté pan and heat until melted. 

4. While the grease is heating, place cauliflower florets in a food processor and chop until they get to the consistency of rice.  

5. When the grease is melted, add all veggies, including cauliflower. Cook on medium high until veggies and cauliflower rice are browned. 

6. Add the beef, ginger, garlic, and eggs back to the sauté pan and heat with the rest of the ingredients for 2-3 minutes. 

7. Serve with crumbled bacon on top and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. You may also add sea salt and pepper before serving.

 

 

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Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone

Ingredients:

4-6 oz minced beef (grass-fed preferred)

15 oz can whole or diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or to taste) 

Olive oil

A few leaves of fresh basil (optional) 

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Roll beef into a ball and then roll out onto a baking sheet as thin as possible. Bake at 250 degrees until the beef is cooked all the way through. Leave it in longer if you want a crispier crust. (Low heat controls the shrinkage of the beef. Pour off any grease a few times while the beef is cooking.) Hint: You can brush the crust with Olive oil to make it crispier. 

2. While the beef cooks,  prepare the pizza sauce. Blend tomatoes with garlic, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of Olive oil, and basil (if using).

3. When the crust is browned, pull out and turn up oven heat to 350 degrees. Top pizza crust with sauce and any toppings you like: cooked chicken, homemade pork sausage, spinach, kale, pepperoni, cubed butternut squash, etc. 

4. Place pizza with topping back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  

 

 

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Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil (You can melt coconut oil by placing it in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees) (The taste of coconut oil is better than olive oil - it has a more neutral flavor.)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Blend egg at low speed for about 2 minutes
  2. While continuing to beat egg add lemon juice, dry mustard and salt
  3. Continue to blend and SLOWLY drip in oil. The mixture should reach the consistency of mayonnaise once you've added all the oil.

*Store in the refrigerator in a GLASS container. Try to keep the mixture away from light to keep the oils fresh.

*This is high in healthy oils (especially omega 3's if you use coconut oil) and is anti-fungal because it uses lemon juice instead of vinegar.

*This is great used in recipes that call for mayonnaise. It also works great as a salad dressing if you dilute it with water or lemon juice. 

*Anti-fungal

*Whole 30 Approved

Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone

Here is a list of borderline foods that need to be used with caution on the Whole 30 Challenge:

1. Almond flour (and other nut flours and coconut flour): These are allowed, but are NOT to be used to make muffins, cookies, pancakes, bread, pizza, tortillas, biscuits, etc. The idea of the Whole 30 Challenge is to break you of the habit to eat these "comfort foods". These flours can be used to dust "breaded" chicken and thicken sauces though. 

2. Nut milks and coconut milk: If these are used, they should be homemade to avoid the nasty thickeners that are added to store bought brands. 

3. Bacon: Only technically allowed if it doesn't contain sugar.

4. Potatoes: All types of potatoes are allowed as of August 2014!!!! However, if you're insulin resistant or overweight you should avoid this high starch food.

5. Dark Chocolate: Only if it's 100% with no sweetener. Cacao is allowed if it is 100%.  

6. Mayonnaise: Only if it's homemade. (Recipe in the next post.) 

7. Mustard: Make sure there's no sweeteners or white wine added. 

8. Peanuts: Nope. All legumes are off limits.  

9. Protein shakes: Nope, not allowed. The only exception is egg white protein with no sweeteners and no additives or thickeners.  

10. Smoothies: Technically allowed, but discouraged. Any food that's drinkable is not a good idea.  

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AuthorMatt Magnone

At the nutrition seminar, Ben and Matt challenged us to not only drink more water, but to drink water infused with electrolytes.  Electrolytes are minerals that have ionized (lost or gained electrons) so that they have a charge. Replenishing these electrolytes is key to optimum health because everyday we lose significant amounts of them in our body fluids (urine, sweat, and feces). In fact, the more stressed you are, the more electrolytes your kidneys will release. If you're like most Americans, your day starts with you rushing out the door to drive in traffic to work, where you rely on coffee to get you through the 8-10 hours of multi-tasking to juggle emails, texts, phone calls, meetings, deadlines, appointments, etc. Our days are historically much more stressful than they've ever been! This combination of stress and the usage of diuretics (coffee and other stimulants), will definitely cause your kidneys to release electrolytes at a rate that's much faster than ideal. Add a workout to this routine, and you're putting your body under even more stress and sweating even more electrolytes out.

Many of us are aware of the water loss throughout the day, so we make a point to replenish as much as possible. However, drinking plain water is an incomplete way to replenish what we've lost throughout our day. Think of it this way, if I took a salt water solution, removed some salt and some water, and then added just water back, I'd have a much more dilute solution than what I started with. That's the same thing we're doing if we only replenish with water. 

Two of the most important electrolytes are sodium and potassium. One reason these are so crucial to metabolism and energy is because they are the fuel for the sodium potassium pump found on the cell membrane of every cell in your body. The sodium potassium pump fuels the final phase of metabolism (the electron transport chain) and therefore is responsible for most of the production of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP, the primary energy carrier in our bodies). If you are low in sodium and potassium you will feel sluggish! The more energy you use (via metabolism, physical activity, stress, etc), the more sodium and potassium you need! 

Sodium and potassium are not the only electrolytes found in the  body. The main electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. Electrolytes affect the amount of fluid in your body, the pH of your blood, your muscle and nerve function, and many other processes. Signs that you are low in electrolytes include: low energy, water retention, muscle spasms, muscle cramps or weakness, headaches and migraines, food cravings, dizziness, dry mouth, dark urine, brain fog, and in extreme cases irregular heartbeat/blood pressure and seizures. 

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to replenish electrolytes is to add 1-2 tsp of sea salt to your water. Sea salt not only contains sodium and chloride, but it also provides a plethora of other trace electrolytes. Another way to replenish your electrolytes is through a product called "e-lyte". It can be purchased on Amazon. One bottle goes a very long way because you only add one capful to your water. Bottoms up! 

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Posted
AuthorMatt Magnone