Bad news for energy drinks

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

When you need a quick pick-me-up do you reach for an energy drink?  Think twice.  There are new charges that the popular drinks may not be everything they claim to be.  A study just published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that the drinks did not improve energy, boost weight loss or improve concentration; and they may actually be dangerous.

Those most at risk include children and teens, especially those with a history of diabetes, seizures, and mood and behavior disorders.  Most energy drinks contain between 70-80 mg of caffeine, double that of most cola drinks, as well as guarana – a plant that contains caffeine, taurine – an amino acid, vitamins, herbals supplements and sweeteners.  The American Beverage Association responds, “This literature review does nothing more than perpetuate misinformation about energy drinks, their ingredients and the regulatory process.”


Get more sleep!

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

New research suggests that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have a 50% increased risk of developing colon cancer adenomas or benign tumors.  This is compared to those who are lucky enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep time.  If not treated, adenomas can turn into cancerous tumors.  Sleep problems have also been connected to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.


Walk to lower risk of diabetes

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

A new study suggests that the more you walk, the more you can lower your risk of diabetes.  500 middle aged adults were followed with pedometers for 5 years.  After factoring in lifestyle changes like diet, alcohol and smoking, researchers discovered that by taking just 10,000 steps a day 5 days a week, they were able to lower body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and improve insulin sensitivity.  10,000 steps equals 5 miles.

Earlier recommendations were for 3000 steps per day, but this study contends that adding these extra steps can improve your overall health.


Tanning Salon Dangers

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

Winter is definitely here and so are those still determined to hit the tanning beds; this is despite the numerous warnings of the increased risk of skin cancer.  A new study from the University of Minnesota suggests that the numbers of people looking for that perfect glow, is rising.  Researchers surveyed over 2000 people between the ages of 18-64.  Many of the participants claim that they did not know about the increased risks of melanoma; and it seems that teenagers are holding onto the belief that “they can’t get cancer”.  Research shows that most sun damage that leads to skin cancer happens before the age of 18.

More proof that soda is bad for kids

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co Owner of The Academy

It seems that the majority of American children aged 5-12 years old are hooked on caffeine coming primarily from soda; and it’s keeping them awake at night.  According to the Journal of Pediatrics, kids ages 8-12 are consuming up to 109 milligrams of caffeine a day.  That’s the equivalent of nearly 3 cans of soda or one cup of coffee.  Unfortunately, researchers don’t know much about the health effects of caffeine in children since most studies have been done in adults.  We do know that caffeine is a stimulant and soda consumption is linked to childhood obesity, so it’s not recommended.  Parents are advised to limit their kids to an occasional cup of soda.

Soda tax = positive gains?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

A new report suggests that millions of people would lose about a pound or more a year if large taxes were tacked on to soda and other sugary beverages.  Researchers say a soda tax of 20-40% would generate up to $2.5 billion in annual tax revenue.  The forty percent tax would cost the average household about $28 per year.  Researchers say if the tax money was used to serve healthier foods in schools and build parks and recreation centers, it could lead to even more weight loss.

Quit smoking and boost your mood

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

Researchers from Brown University are suggesting that people who are trying to give up their cigarettes have never been happier.  They say the process of quitting can actually boost your mood and make you a happier person to be around.  One person involved in the report says the process of “packing up” actually relieved him of the anxiety and depression associated with cigarettes.  We have long known about the physical benefits of quitting, but this research suggests that even quitting for a little while can improve your mood.