Learn more about good habits from the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s National Team, Dr Marc Bubbs, here.
In the Paleolithic or ‘hunter gatherer’ era 10,000 years ago, our ancestors woke up with the rising sun in the morning and rested for a good nights sleep not long after sundown. Scientists estimate that our Paleolithic ancestors averaged about 10 hours of sleep per night. Of course the absence of an external light source, television sets, and laptops made it a little easier to get to bed so early, but the benefits are deeply engrained in our DNA.
Your circadian rhythms are based on the light and dark cycles of the day and have a profound effect on your bodyweight, cardiovascular health, fertility, and well-being. Melatonin, your body’s sleep hormone, is secreted in the evening about 3 hours after your last meal. It makes you feel tired, drowsy, and prepares you for deep rejuvenating sleep.
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Your body’s ‘fight or flight’ sympathetic nervous system is constantly being taxed by hectic work schedules and intense training regimes. This ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline kick makes your heart pump faster, slows digestion, increases blood flow to muscles, and gives you an adrenaline boost to help get through the work day or a tough training routine. Did you know that all of these actions require magnesium! Every cell in your body depends on minerals for proper function and structure. Minerals are essential for the optimal muscle tone, proper nerve function, formation of blood and bone, and support cardiovascular health. Two ‘all-star’ minerals – magnesium and zinc – are especially important for athletes and active people because they are needed for hundreds of important chemical reactions and are consistently found to be deficient in most people.
Magnesium is an important mineral with widespread and profound health benefits. It’s involved in over three hundred different biochemical reactions in the body, which means the busier you are, the more magnesium your body will need! Magnesium is essential for keeping muscles relaxed, supporting a healthy nervous system, maintaining acid-base balance to ensure optimum pH balance in cells, and protecting the heart by keeping arteries strong and supple. Magnesium is also crucial for energy production as it assists in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats to keep athletes lean and fit.
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Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
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