Cherry Juice for Joint Pain & Recovery


cherry juice review

Selfie Wanker – with Cherry Juice Concentrate

If you live in the UK, there’s an excellent programme on Channel 4 (first 3 series are on the 4player app-thing) called ‘Superfoods the Real Story‘.

One episode looked at cherry juice and did a (non-scientific) experiment on American Football players and showed that those who drank cherry juice daily, showed a remarkable increased rate in recovery compared to those who did not.


Cherry Juice Research

Delving into Google.Scholar I found quite a few studies which outlined cherry juice’s remarkable anti-inflammatory properties

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874510/

Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial

Ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event can minimize post-run muscle pain.

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19883392

Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running.

The cherry juice appears to provide a viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function.

 

 

There’s also this press release from Eureka Alert, an authoritative science website:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-05/wsw-rst052912.php

Researchers say tart cherries have ‘the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food’

 


 

Cherry juice is also great for inducing sleep and reducing pain. With inflammation linked to everything from depression to cancer, it certainly shouldn’t do you any harm drinking it.

I’m only on day 2 of drinking cherry juice, so hard to report back on any amazing anti-inflammatory effects, but my DOMs does seem greatly reduced after yesterday’s workout.

This stuff, if it does work as expected, sounds perfect for MMA and grappling recovery. I’m currently using the concentrate & tablets from Amazon.

 

 

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Infographic – Beginner’s Guide to Photography


I was learning about photography and got a bit carried away and made an infographic:

InfographicPhotography2

 

So if you’re looking to do photography for an MMA or martial arts event you will probably want

  • A fast shutter speed to freeze movement
  • You’ll need a wide aperture to capture enough light in the indoors
  • A High ISO to make the most of the light & the aperture

Really good video for beginners here:

 

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Ketogenic Diet Diary – Weeks 3 – 4


Kind of a mixed bag this week but definitely feeling a lot more energetic and 10 times better than I did during weeks 1 and 2.

I felt full of energy all day Monday and Tuesday morning. Kinda hit a proverbial wall on Tuesday afternoon, went home and had 2 nettle tables (for allergies, I have loads of bloody allergies) and put 4g of pink salt on my dinner – you needs loads of pink salt whilst on a ketogenic diet.

Not sure which did the trick but I felt great afterwards and the next day. Had a few dips in energy Thursday & Friday afternoons, but generally feeling much better.

Strength is actually slightly up from week 1. Pretty tricky to measure as I mainly do bodyweight exercises but my lat pull down has gone from 5 reps with 107kg to 8 reps.

I’ve been doing ‘targeted ketosis’ on Mondays, which is my main day in the gym/longest & hardest session. I drink 50g of maltodextrain & 5g of creatine about 30 minutes before training. This kicks me out of ketosis for a couple of hours but allows me to train at a higher intensity.

During this session I do 4 rounds on the punch bag, 2 sets of 1 arm row, 2 sets of chin ups and 2 sets of box jumps. I had to bin-off deadlifts as my back went into spasm last time I attempted them 2 weeks ago.

I've link my Instagram to my fitness blog, so I'm going to start sharing annoying fitness stuff…sorry

A post shared by Drew Griffiths (@fitnessdaduk) on

ketofoods

I’ve lost loads of weight from around my face, although I’m not sure how much actual bodyweight I’ve lost (too tight to buy some scales).

 

I need about 3,000 calories per day, this is a bit of a challenge without eating any carbs or junk food. I tried adding a tin of coconut milk to my evening smoothie ( a tin of 60% coconut milk/40% water is about 600 calories) but this made me feel like shite for some reason – I think it must be mucous producing as it was making me wheeze and would bung my nose up. So I tried necking 500 calories worth of olive oil – this gave me terrible acid reflux; so finally I tried avocados for extra calories – this is working well so far!

As well as ketogenic, I’m trying to keep my diet alkaline. I’m making up a drink each morning with 500ml of filtered water, 5g baking soda, a 1/2g of pink salt and some lemon juice. I am peeing like a race horse though.

AlkalineFoods

nom noms alkaline goodness

I’ve tried MCT Oil in coffee a couple of times too, but so far it’s given me energy but also stomach cramps.

I’ve also had some issues with dry eyes – apparently you need carbs to make tears! This seems to have improved this week though

Ketogenic Diet & Mental Health

I started the ketogenic diet because I felt shite and tired and pretty depressed all the time. In fact I’ve gone down to 4 days a week at work mainly for this reason.

Like every good middle class office worker, I’ve had mental health issues since I was a child. I don’t resonate too well with the people that I work with and I think that this was starting to affect me quite a bit. I’d built up quite a bit of confidence in my last job – it was relatively stressful with an immense workload & more responsibility that I’ve been used to, but I think I handled it well and progressed lots & learnt a hell of a lot. My confidence was high but I wasn’t managing to get to the gym and I found it hard to shut off when I got home. So I left.

This new job is easier but for various reasons I lost a lot of confidence. Instead of having a pity party, I’ve rebuilt my confidence by learning a new skill – graphic design with Adobe Illustrator and I’ve spent time with ‘my tribe’ at the MMA gym, at least once a week.

So I’ve changed a few variables – learnt a new skill, spent more time with the family, spent more time with like-minded friends and moved onto the ketogenic diet. I can’t therefore pinpoint what’s had the most influence over my mindset, but I do definitely feel better, less anxious and depressed. Hope this continues!

Weirdly on the ketogenic diet, time seems to go faster! Maybe I’m just being nuts though…quite possible.

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Strong Supplement Shop Review


I have to say, I’ve ordered from Strong Supplement Shop 4 times and their customer service is bob on.

I’ve ordered HydroxyElite by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals each time.

BTW I don’t use this for fat loss or weight loss, I use it for my sinus problems.

The active ingredient is DMAA, was originally marketed as a decongestant until it’s fat-burning properties were discovered. I split 1 capsule into 2 (using an empty capsule – I buy these in bulk) and find that it’s the most powerful decongestant there is, and I have tried absolutely everything! I try only to use it once in the mornings, Monday to Friday and it’s not something that I recommend.

I’m hoping that this is something that I can discontinue once I’m through the first few weeks of my alkaline-keto diet. I know taking DMAA to treat a sinus problem seems a bit extreme, but it really does ruin my mood & cognitive abilities when I feel like my head is under water. I’m trying to treat the cause rather than the symptom by reducing systemic inflammation with probiotic & prebiotic foods, no sugar in my diet, no wheat, no dairy, very little meat, high amounts of turmeric, ginger, intermittent fasting, ketosis and alkaline foods and supplements such as sodium bicarbonate.

Anyway, in case you’re wondering, it’s a legit shop & company and I’ve found them very good so far. Even when the supplement that I ordered was out of stock in the UK, it only took a few days to arrive from the US.

More information on DMMA here.

 

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Beta Alanine Supplement Review


Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid, which when consumed increases carnosine levels in muscle cells, which in turn increases the muscle’s tolerance of lactic acid (a by-product of high intensity exercise which is often a limiting factor of athletic performance).


Beta Alanine Dosage

Standard dose is 2-4g taken pre-workout.

Research suggests that supplementing daily with 2-4g over 4 weeks or more produces the most significant benefits in terms of muscular endurance


Beta Alanine Benefits

  • Increased endurance
  • Increased number of reps performed in the 8-12 rep range
  • Some anti-oxidant benefits
  • Increased lean muscle mass (study here).
Conor Mcgregor Uppercut

Conor Should try Beta Alanine & Baking Soda for increased endurance


Beta Alanine Side Effects

  • Skin tingling
  • Reduced levels of taurine in the body

Taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, it is therefore suggested that beta alanine is only taken pre-workout or cycled with 4 weeks ‘on’ and 2 weeks ‘off’.


Is Beta Alanine Safe?

Although beta alanine does have a number of potential health benefits, the concern over its influence on taurine levels in the body remains in regards to long term & everyday use.

Take only pre-workout or cycle daily use if this is a concern


Beta Alanine Stack

Goes well with creatine or caffeine for bodybuilding. Goes well with baking soda for endurance and increased lactic acid tolerance.

test boosters

 

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Carb Cycling – Beginner’s Guide


Carb cycling involves days of eating a range of high carbohydrate foods, days of moderate carbohydrate intake and often days of low or no carbohydrate intake.

Carbohydrate / carb cycling is said to stimulate certain metabolic functions, such as insulin sensitivity, thyroid hormones and leptin* – which in turn has benefits for health, fat loss and potentially muscle hypertrophy (muscle-size).

In it’s simplest form, a carb cycling diet would involve eating a high amount of carbohydrate on training/exercise days and lower carbohydrates on rest days.

The basic concept is that having low carb days will make you more ‘insulin sensitive’ meaning that when you do eat a high amount of carbohydrate, more of it will be shuttled to the muscles for fuel and less will be stored as fat.

This is (kind of) the opposite of type 2 diabetes whereby constant high sugar consumption, effectively stops insulin from working as well, and blood sugar rises, more carbs are stored as fat and very little is stored in the muscles (especially if you don’t exercise).

Sports Nutrition MMA

Carb Cycling Shouldn’t involve eating sugary junk foods


Whilst on a carb cycling diet, a middleweight MMA fighter might consume 350-400g of carbohydrates on training days and 75-100g on rest days. On training days, the same fighter may aim to consume 3500 calories in total and 3200 calories on rest days.
For greater insulin sensitivity, he may also do a very low carb & high fat day, whereby he eats 30g of carbohydrate only.

Lower carb days might involve eating more vegetables, grass-fed organic meat, wild fish and healthy fats such as coconut oil. Typically protein intake remains fairly consistent throughout a typical week, however fat intake will increase on rest days/low carb days.

In theory, you could be ‘carb cycling’ and eat rubbish, low quality carbs on high carb days and still be adhering to the protocol, however, in order to gain the greatest health benefits from this diet, people will normally eat carbs on high carb days from sources such as:

High Quality Carbohydrate Foods

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Yams
  • Wholegrains
sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are one of the most nutritious sources of carbs

Benefits of Carb Cycling

  • Higher insulin sensitivity / reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes (as long as high carb days don’t contain high amounts of sugar)
  • Possible to enter ketosis if carbs are manipulated appropriately, which can have numerous health benefits
  • Some anecdotal evidence that it can help increase strength thanks to ‘carbohydrate super-compensation
  • Some evidence that it can increase lean muscle mass
  • Scientific evidence that it promotes fat loss to a greater extent than traditional method of calorie restriction alone. Study here.

Carb Cycling Diet Plan

High Carb Day 1

Breakfast

High Protein Porridge

Ground Almonds
Oats
Banana
Raisons
Raw Honey
Cinnamon to taste

Lunch

Egg salad with pasta and plenty of raw green vegetables

or

Chicken salad sandwiches using wholemeal bread

Dinner

Stir fry with brown rice

Snacks

Banana
Rice cakes
Oat Cakes

Low Carb Day 1

Breakfast
Low carb smoothie
Whey or hemp protein powder
20g coconut oil or cream
2 ice cubes
1 tbsp peanut butter
Handful of spinach

Snack
Whey Protein shake with flax seed powder

Lunch
Feta cheese salad with olive oil & lots of raw spinach & kale
Handful of nuts
Coffee with coconut oil

Snack
Hummus and carrot sticks

Dinner
Low carb Cajun Cauli Hash

Add smoothie if extra calories are required:

– Tin of coconut oil (check at least 50% coconut oil, cartons are typically 2-3% and tins which are 100% are more difficult to blend as they are solid at room temp)
– Raspberries
– Hemp seeds
– 10ml olive oil
– 10g peanut butter


*Leptin is a hormone which signals when you are full

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How I overcame Depression & Suicidal Thoughts


I’ve had some discussions with mates, usually when they’ve had a few beers, about mental health and related issues. I’ve explained my issues since childhood and how I’ve managed to overcome them; but I could never coherently explain how I went about it, so I thought it would be easier to write it all down.

Be Anti-Fragile

If someone of something is fragile, every time they get kicked, or put down, they weaken. If someone or something is ‘anti-fragile’, the opposite happens, they strengthen. Comfort builds weakness and suffering (to a certain extent) builds character. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, Victor Frankl survived the concentration camps by finding purpose (his family) and having a dark sense of humour and then survived the fact that all his family had died in concentration camps by finding meaning in his work.

He was anti-fragile because he found meaning and didn’t feel sorry for himself. If he endured a Nazi concentration camp and the death of his entire family, you can probably endure your own problems with a sense of humour.

Take Extreme Ownership

I became depressed after graduating university with a first class degree and an MSc. These qualifications that I had, coupled with zero relevant experience, effectively made me unemployable. I used to feel angry about it, having being pushed into academia by my family, I often blamed them for this, however, having a sense of humour about it and taking ownership of this allowed me to overcome any negative emotions that I had.

Once I accepted that it was my own fault, for not looking into the job opportunities in the local area and for not looking ahead 4 years to what I was going to do upon graduation and my own fault for not having any type of plan, or contingency plan, I no longer felt bitter about it. Maybe you made some bad decisions in the past but unless someone held a gun to your head and forced you to do A or B, then you really should take 100% ownership of those decisions, and quit bitching about where things went wrong and blaming others. Watching Jocko Willink’s video below literally changed my life:

Taking ownership empowers you and improves optimism and confidence, blaming others makes you bitter and promotes ‘learned helplessness‘.

Ownership stops you from making excuses when you do something wrong – whilst you judge other directly on their actions & have a special excuse for your own. It stops you from being judgemental, which is a great bonus.

Diet, Diet, Diet

Changing your diet, can literally overhaul your mental outlook and mental health. People can give you loads of abuse about it but it’s just something you get used to (be anti-fragile about it!).

Cutting out milk had a massive positive impact on me and also helped get rid of my asthma and 3 inhalers completely – then reducing and eventually quitting wheat and sugar also made my IBS vanish overnight. Using baking soda and making an effort to eat an alkaline diet reduced how much I was aching all the time and my acid reflux died down and let me stop taking omeprozole. Some people can get away with eating poorly, but if you look at the growing number of auto-immune diseases and IBS sufferers, it suggests that many of us should be looking at what we’re eating.

I can’t emphasise enough how important diet is for mental health. Mental health problems have been directly tied to gut issues and the consequential systemic inflammation that can result from a poor diet. If you have IBS, my best suggestion would be to read up on the FODMAP diet, consume some fermented foods each day and take things from there. Cutting out food groups like dairy and wheat, remains somewhat controversial in clinical nutrition, but I honestly think that making these changes in my diet, literally saved my life.

I’m currently on week 2 of the ketogenic diet – as their is plenty of research that it can help those with a range of mental health problems.

Supplements

Unless your diet is perfect, you may need to consider a few supplements. Those that I would recommend include:

  • Magnesium – daily
  • rhodiola rosea – daily (but take for 6 weeks then have a break)
  • CBD Oil – very expensive but worth trying
  • Kava Kava – every now and then. Research kava before using it, it works very well for acute anxiety. Don’t mix with alcohol.

You are the Average of the 5 People You Surround Yourself With

If you have issues yourself, you have to avoid negative people and highly judgemental people. Being around judgemental people, makes you anxious, because you’re always on edge and conscious about what you say and do, as you don’t want them to be bad-mouthing you as soon as you walk away.

If you are judgemental, you push yourself into a corner and can’t really laugh at yourself. For example, if you go ape-shit over someone making a silly mistake, you can’t laugh at yourself when you do the same. Those around you will also feel really ashamed if they make a mistake and are more likely to try and hide it, rather than to ask for help. More info on this here.

Emotions are contagious, so make an effort to be positive and associate with positive people. Fortunately my gym has a very positive vibe and anyone being negative gets proactively ridiculed (in a positive way).

Surround yourself with positive people who don’t take life or themselves too seriously. If you’re friends are all judgemental, get down to a yoga class or a BJJ Class, or join a decent MMA gym.

If you can’t find a group of positive friends to hang out with, try and constantly read and listen to uplifting people. Get some good audiobooks about Stoicism and wellbeing etc and listen to them in the car and in bed.

The Happiness Quadrant

Sometimes you have to endure voluntary suffering and discomfort, to be happy down the line. You need the self discipline to avoid the ‘instant gratification monkey’ in your brain who is telling you to adopt behaviour that feels great in the present, but may have pretty dire consequences in the near future.

Instant Gratification Behaviour

Drinking
Taking Drugs
Eating junk food
Bad mouthing People

These things are enjoyable at the time, but tend to have detrimental effects on mental wellbeing when they are consistently performed/done/carried out.

Future Happiness Behaviour

Fasting
Meditating
Exercising
Eating organic vegetables
Cold showers

These behaviours build character and mental wellbeing. Sometimes they will feel unpleasant when carried out, however the long term benefits can be substantial.

Be Stoic Not Cynical

Expect people to be out for themselves, expect money to corrupt, expect large organisation to be greedy…having a hissy-fit about these things is not helpful.

People are a product of their upbringing and their DNA, even the decisions that they make are effectively pre-determined by how their character has been formed. Stop judging, start understanding and you will feel a million times better.

For an introduction to Stoicism, the book the Antidote is pretty good. If you don’t have time to read books, get the audio book version and listen to it in the car.

Don’t Watch the News

You can’t take on the problems of the 7 billion people in the world. Negativity sells and scare stories about terrorism etc make us anxious and paranoid. Coca Cola kills way more people than terrorism, but people aren’t scared about soft drinks.

We’ve evolved whilst living in tribes of around 100 to 150 people, and our brains our only designed to care about this many people.

Seek Out Information Don’t Wait for it to Fall on your Lap

In all aspects of life, from MMA to diet, to business ideas, don’t just recite what you’ve been told in school, forward-think for yourself and seek our information, develop your own thoughts and ideas. With primary resources of information such as academic articles and journals available at our fingertips on the internet, self-help is, often the best course of action.

Never Ever Feel Sorry About Your Lot in Life

I’ve known street-children become millionaires (well, known of them), shit happens, every starts off from different starting positions, just don’t be bitter about it if your friend has a richer family or a slightly easier life.

In the grand scheme of things, now is the greatest time to be alive since civilisation began, we have a world of knowledge at our fingertips thanks to the internet and besides, feeling sorry for yourself is never helpful.

golightly

Psychedelics?

I’m in agreement that most people who take drugs like cocaine on a regular or semi-regular basis are not people to aspire to be like.

However my attitude on psychoactive substances such as those found in magic mushrooms changed thanks to Joe Rogan and videos like the amazing one below:

I’m not recommending going out, picking a load of liberty cap mushrooms and eating them, but the research conducted at Johns Hopkins university could certainly bring hope to millions of depressed and anxious people.

“The most interesting and remarkable finding is that a single dose of psilocybin, which lasts four to six hours, produced enduring decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms, and this may represent a fascinating new model for treating some psychiatric conditions,”

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