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A Better Kind of Energy Drink

A Better Kind of Energy Drink

Energy drinks have become a staple at workplaces, campuses and homes nationwide. With different flavors, bright colors and grab-and-go portability, they’ve become an easy, legal way to keep the energy going…but that’s not always a good thing.

Between gulping energy drinks, sodas and coffee, it’s easy to see how anyone could quickly become overly-caffeinated. While straight-up brewed tea and coffee does have varying amounts of caffeine, what they (and even soda) don’t have – that many energy drinks do – is questionable ingredients. According to a Huffington Post article, because energy drinks “often contain plant and herbal extracts in addition to caffeine, they can choose to label themselves as dietary supplements rather than food, and aren’t regulated or evaluated for safety by the FDA.”

energy drinksIn addition to unregulated ingredients, energy drinks can also be incredibly dehydrating. “…[E]nergy drinks are [not] appropriate to consume while exercising,” the article noted. “The diuretic effect of caffeinated energy drinks can cause the body to lose water, dehydrating you in the process.”

Many energy drinks also are loaded with sugar (and calories), which accounts for part of the buzz and rush of energy many people experience. But as with anything featuring a high sugar content, that “sugar crash” is also bound to occur. Sugar crashes can actually have the opposite effect that students are wanting, making them irritable, hungry and fatigued.

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks has also gained popularity with young adults in the past decade. It’s become such a problem that Brown University dedicated a webpage that addresses the issue. According to Brown, the problem with mixing alcohol and energy drinks is that one is a stimulant (energy drink) and one is a depressant (alcohol); the combination of effects may be dangerous. “The stimulant effects can mask how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed. Research has [also] found that people drink more and have higher blood alcohol contents when they combine alcohol and caffeine. In addition, both energy drinks and alcohol are very dehydrating (the caffeine in energy drinks is a diuretic). Dehydration can hinder your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity, and therefore the hangover, the next day.”

It’s important to understand that in moderation, energy drinks can be fine. And not all “energy drinks” are created equal, which is why at Vollara, we created Re:Vive, a unique, natural supplement that significantly boosts energy, elevates mental focus and supports your health without the unwanted side effects found with most stimulants and drugs.

 

Re:Vive

 

A convenient, on-the-go supplement, Re:Vive comes in individually-packaged powdered form that you mix with water, creating a delicious and exhilarating boost for your day. It comes in a refreshing wild berry flavor, and contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and natural extracts to enhance mental focus, support the immune system and maintain overall well-being. It also doesn’t contain any sugar, so you won’t need to worry about “crashing” later on.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your health practitioner and/or pharmacist if you are using any medications.

 

 

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

Whether you’re traveling for work, vacation or during the holidays, it’s important to stay healthy. Getting sick or feeling under the weather when you’re away from home is no fun at all! The good news is, with a little extra thought, you can arm yourself with the tools and knowledge you need to protect yourself and your health when you travel.

stocksnap_c26e1dka02Lodging

One thing almost all hotels –whether they a motor lodge or a 5 star hotel — seem to have in common is that each room has housed hundreds or thousands of guests – and with that many guests, your likelihood of exposure to a host of germs, bacteria, allergens, and other contaminants increases.

In your average hotel mattress, you can find skin cells (humans shed about 1.5 million cells or cell clusters per hour they sleep), human hair, bodily secretions, fungi, bacteria, dust, dust mites, lint, insect parts, pollen, cosmetics … and more.

“Unless a hotel has impervious covers on their mattresses and pillows, they’re contributing to allergies and exacerbating them,” said Philip Tierno, Director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University, and author of The Secret Life of Germs. “Even if you don’t have allergies now, you can develop them over time. You don’t need to be breathing in this garbage from mattresses and pillows,” he told The Chicago Tribune.

Vollara Tip: You might consider investing in a small, lightweight air purifier like the FreshAir Mobile or FreshAir Focus which can help diffuse stale, lingering odors. Bringing along your own pillow (complete with dust-mite proof case!) can ease your worries as well.

Plane Travel

According to The New York Times, Charles P. Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, swabbed airplane bathrooms and tray tables on eight flights to see what contaminants he could find. Four out of six tray tables tested positive for the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and norovirus, the highly contagious group of viruses that can cause severe flu-like symptoms, was found on one tray. Most of the bathrooms he swabbed had E. coli bacteria. 30% of sinks, toilet handles and faucet handles had E. coli, as did 20% of toilet seats.

Vollara Tip: Carrying individually wrapped sanitation wipes or a small bottle of hand sanitizer can help keep your hands germ-free. As for the air circulating around your person, traveling with a FreshAir Personal can be a great idea. It creates an almost particle-free zone around the wearer by generating high intensity ion streams that add charges to nearby airborne particles. These charged particles then repel each other and adhere to surfaces out of your breathing zone.

stocksnap_svhf6muwvzHydration

According to EverydayHealth.com, some of the common health problems that affect airplane passengers are often the result of a lack of humidity in the cabin air, which can lead to dehydration. The air inside the cabin of a plane usually has a humidity level of 10-20% — much lower than a comfortable typical indoor humidity of 30-65%. So it’s really important to take measures to keep yourself hydrated while you’re on a plane.

Vollara Tip: Drink plenty of water days before you’re set to travel so your hydration levels are optimal. Forgo alcohol or sugary soda during the flight and continue to drink water throughout your flight. If you’re traveling by car, we love the H2Fuel Performance Hydration Bottle. If you can take a few canisters of water with you, fill up a few reusable bottles of LivingWater! Packing a good moisturizer for your hands and face can also help hydrate and plump up skin that’s a little dull from jet lag!

pexels-photo-143654Supplements

Did you know? Airline passengers are 20% more likely to catch the common cold. Infectious bacteria and viruses that circulate within an airplane cabin can attack an already-weakened immune system. A study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that colds may be more than 100 times more likely to be transmitted on a plane than during normal daily life on the ground. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body.

Vollara Tip: We love our supplement Re:Gain, which has 125% DV of Vitamin C. Re:Gain provides nutritional support that your body can use to function at its best. Re:Sist helps your body regulate and balance immune responses, and boosts natural killer (NK) cell activity by 40%.

5 Reasons You Eat When You’re Not Hungry

5 Reasons You Eat When You’re Not Hungry

If the swath of time between Halloween and New Year’s feels like a months-long grazing session, you’re probably not alone. During the holidays especially, most of us are guilty of eating something not because we’re famished…but because it’s there. And it’s Aunt Linda’s fudge, and you only get it once a year. And it’s delicious!

This phenomenon explains why many of us also pack on unwanted pounds during he holidays, and that’s never fun. One of the best ways to stave off gaining weight (and this goes for the whole year!) is to resist the urge to eat when we’re really not hungry. Let’s tackle the 5 biggest reasons people reach for something even if they’re perfectly satisfied.

Maybe it’s a special occasion.

It’s mom’s cornbread dressing she only makes at Thanksgiving. Or it’s your office Christmas party. Or it’s a NYE potluck at your neighbor’s house. The thing is, most of us don’t have 2 or 3 special occasions every year — we have dozens and dozens. Anything can turn into a special occasion: your daughter’s graduating from kindergarten, your spouse got a promotion, your friends just got engaged, your dog finally mastered the art of potty training. EVERYTHING can be an occasion. And if you use every one as an excuse to celebrate with food, you may find yourself shopping for new jeans by year’s end.

Maybe you’re bored.

You’re not hungry. Or sleepy. You just finished your book. And there’s nothing interesting on television. Might as well go stand in front of the fridge, right? Eating is definitely an activity, and there’s no question it’s fun (and usually pretty satisfying). But a restless, wandering mind often leads right to the pantry. Take a walk instead!

Maybe there’s pressure.

We’ve all been there: standing at a party, eyeballing a beautiful spread of treats, trying our best to forget it’s there. And then you’re approached by your lovely host. “You’d better go try that crab dip. Robert made it and it’s delicious!” Or maybe your colleagues decide after a long day to go grab a bite to eat at a restaurant. You have a perfectly good chicken breast at home you could fix…but you give in and go anyway. Finding yourself in these scenarios a few times a month can add up to a pound or two, and over a year that really adds up! Don’t feel too bad about declining events where food is the main feature.

Maybe it’s because you’re sad.

A pint of ice cream + a bad breakup is now just a cliche. Food can make us feel comforted, so it’s natural if we’re feeling anxious, stressed, or sad, we reach for a piece of chocolate pie instead of thinking about a better long-term solution. An article on Today.com posits that stress can lead to a release of hunger hormones, and once that response is triggered, your body will start looking for more nourishment — even though it may not need all those extra calories.

Maybe you’re really just thirsty.

Did you know? Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. According to this article, a hunger cue is the same as a thirst cue? “Because the signal your body sends when it wants a tall glass of water can be mistaken for the sign it sends when you need a snack, you have to react wisely to save yourself hundreds of calories. Your best bet: have a drink first, wait to see if you’re satisfied and then eat if you are still hungry.” Our pick is to have a glass of LivingWater, which provides acid-buffering alkaline water for drinking and cooking. LivingWater has an excellent negative Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) for increased antioxidant properties.

 

How to Stay Energized Over the Holidays

How to Stay Energized Over the Holidays

For a lot of people, the holidays (that crush of time from November to New Years) is at once wonderful…and potentially an energy drain. For every memorable meal, decorated home, sleigh ride and perfect gift is a person who ran themselves ragged to make sure it happened! So if you’re one of the architects of festivity this holiday season, be sure to take care of yourself and keep your energy at optimum levels. After all — you should be able to enjoy yourself too! So we’ve come up with some smart tips to keep you from burning out this year.

Watch Out for Sugar

What other ingredient (well, besides pumpkin) is as ubiquitous during the holidays as sugar? It’s everywhere — dusted over cookies, baked into pastries, whipped into that cranberry salad and calling your name from a platter at the office Christmas party. But after the initial buzz from your sugar fix wears off, you can end up feeling even less energized than before — and possibly worse, since sugar can cause sluggishness, fatigue and irritability.

Re:Sults + Re:ViveAnd if you’re eating a lot of sugar, you might be neglecting other key nutrients, which can leave you feeling run down as well. Make sure you continue getting the right amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, and if you need an energy pick-me-up, try something that’s healthy and sugar-free like Re:Vive, which is designed to be a natural source for energy, mental alertness, immune support and overall well-being.

Sugars can also be found in carb-heavy foods. Consider trimming some carbs from your diet…and try Re:Sults! Re:Sults gives your body the ability to burn fat for energy and helps you flip your own switch to a better fuel.

Take a Walk Outside

Although some fall and winter weather conditions can make it impossible, talking even a quick 10 minute walk outside can go a long way in helping you stay energetic and focused. The exposure to sunlight alone can provide much-needed Vitamin D — levels which can drop in colder months where people tend to stay indoors. A walk outdoors can help you clear your head, take a quick break from a stressful situation, and keep your blood flowing.

Be Mindful of Alcohol Intake

It seems like there’s a reason to toast every time you turn around during the holidays! From family dinners to office get-togethers, breaking out the booze seems to happen quite a bit this time of year. While we’d never tell you to turn down every flute of champagne that comes your way, it is important to sip slowly and follow each drink with a full glass of water. Alcohol can have dehydrating effects…which does nothing to help energy levels. You’ll sleep better (and have a better chance of keeping off extra pounds) if you stick to one drink. And what you drink can matter too — the calories and sugar in a 4 oz glass of wine is significantly less than a brimming cup of eggnog (sugar + fat + booze, oh my!).

Stay Hydrated

LivingWaterSince we’re on the topic, drinking water after an alcoholic beverage is a great idea…but then, so is staying properly hydrated all the time, holidays included! As temperatures drop outside, people sometimes don’t hydrate enough. They figure if they’re not sweating, they don’t need it. But proper hydration can boost energy levels like you wouldn’t believe, and can go a long way in preventing dry, flaking skin. We love our LivingWater, and keeping a refillable bottle with you when you’re on the go is a great idea. The alkaline LivingWater will help buffer acid, remove toxins, and is easily absorbed by your body. It’s a win-win!

Stay Active

Sticking to your regular exercise routine can be hard when you’re out doing last-minute shopping, cooking a feast for 20 or coordinating a party. But it’s important to keep moving, since exercise is a key component of maintaining healthy energy levels. It’s okay to get creative about how and where you squeeze in some physical activity: if you’re at the mall or our shopping, make an extra lap or two around the building. Opt for stairs instead of an elevator. Enjoy your favorite holiday movie, but promise yourself to do 10 push ups and 10 sit ups every commercial break. You might find you wake up with more energy than normal!

 

 

The Benefits of Healthy Fats

The Benefits of Healthy Fats

Conventional dieting wisdom from the last quarter-century has drilled into the heads of a generation that fat = bad. For most adults, it’s crossed our minds at least once to eliminate high fat foods from our diet — maybe at our doctor’s recommendation, or because an article in a health magazine convinced us it was in our own best interest. Fat has always been a controversial topic when it comes to diet, health and overall nutrition. It seems like fat goes through stages of being both maligned and exalted..and the truth is, it probably falls somewhere in the middle. The longer answer to the question of fat’s role in your diet is less about high-fat versus low-fat, and more about quality, healthy fats versus unhealthy fats.

To be sure, fat is an absolute essential in the human diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body makes its own fat from taking in excess calories. “Some fats are found in foods from plants and animals and are known as dietary fat,” they note. “Dietary fat is a macronutrient that provides energy for your body. Fat is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve so they can be used by your body.”

Fat can be put in two basic categories: saturated and unsaturated fat. As the Mayo Clinic points out, saturated fats are solid at room temperature (like butter or scoop of coconut oil). Unsaturated fats are in oil form (fluid) at room temperature (like olive and canola oils). Fats that are mostly saturated or that contain trans fat will appear solid at room temperature. This has earned them the nickname of “solid fats.” They can include beef and pork fat, butter, shortening and margarine.

When people drastically cut fat from their diets, it usually gets replaced with more processed, simple carbohydrates — many of which are high in sugar. Eating a lot of these types of refined carbs—like white bread and white rice—can actually increase triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart and blood vessel disease, according to Health.com.

abstract-1238248_640Healthy: Polyunsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fats can be found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. This category encompasses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t make them —we have to get them through the foods we consume.

Says the Mayo Clinic: “One type of polyunsaturated fat is made up of mainly omega-3 fatty acids and may be especially beneficial to your heart. Omega-3, found in some types of fatty fish, appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. There are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.”

olive-oil-968657_640Healthy: Unsaturated fat

Health.com tells us that healthy unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, while trans and saturated fats (which are pretty unhealthy) are solid, If you want to increase the unsaturated fats in your diet, consider replacing solids like butter with olive and vegetable oils, and opt for seafood and nuts over red meat. (Note: seafood and nuts also contain saturated fat, but usually less than red meat.)


Healthy: Monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (your good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Sources of monounsaturated fats include canola, olive and peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados. For snacking, using hummus (which is rich in olive oil) or guacamole instead of sour cream can give you a boost of monounsaturated fats. Peanut oil can also add great flavor when cooking, and avocado oil also supplies lutein, an antioxidant that improves eye health.

-oil-356102_640Grapeseed oil is great for cooking something where you don’t want to taste the flavor of the oil itself. Grapeseed oil has a clean, light flavor, and is a good source of both vitamin E and oleic acid — a fat that may help reduce stroke risk by up to 73 percent.

If you were wondering (or worrying): eating healthy fats won’t necessarily make you fat. While fat does pack more of a caloric punch per gram than carbohydrates and protein, fat also makes food more flavorful and keeps you feeling fuller quicker and for longer periods of time — which may mean that you don’t feel the need to snack as much or as often as before.

 

What Happens When You Carry Excess Weight

What Happens When You Carry Excess Weight

You know how it goes: a celebratory dinner here, an office party there, a few weekend barbecues and birthdays sprinkled throughout…and the next thing you know, a year’s gone by and you’ve mysteriously gained 10 pounds. Most people don’t intend to let excess weight creep on, but for many — year after year — it does. And it doesn’t take much for a few pounds to add up to some major health issues, especially as we get older. Maintaining a healthy weight is important not just for fitting into your favorite jeans, but because it can improve and prolong your quality of life.

If you’re carrying extra weight, chances are you’ve felt some of the side effects — ranging from physical to emotional. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Fatigue, which can range from mild to severe
  • Shortness of breath after sudden physical activity (feeling winded)
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased sweating
  • Joint pain (osteoarthritis)
  • Snoring and/or waking up for no reason during the night
  • Depression
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2014.
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2014.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most problematic places to store excess fat is in the abdominal area. “The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.”

Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Premature death from any cause
  • High blood pressure¹

Obese-related conditions cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US, according to Stanford Health Care. In addition to a decline in the quality of life you experience, carrying extra weight can also be costly. In 2008, according to the CDC, the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight people; the estimated combined medical cost of obesity in the US that same year was $147 billion dollars.

Stanford Health Care defines the top three most common factors for extra weight as genetics, metabolic and hormonal factors, and lifestyle. When you combine those with a lack of exercise and physical activity, it can be difficult to lose or even maintain your weight as you get older. Modern-day food choices are also part of the problem — since the convenience and low cost of poor-quality “food” can be difficult to pass up. An article at HealthDay.com noted: “In the simplest terms, Americans as a whole are eating more calories than they burn. And why not? Food is more plentiful and more convenient than ever before. We don’t have to hunt it or scavenge it or harvest it. We just have to pull it out of the fridge, pick it up at one of 170,000 fast-food restaurants, or order it over the phone. Everywhere, from coffee shops to restaurants, portion sizes have swelled beyond imagination.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the American diet has increased by about 530 calories a day over the past 35 years.

Eat real food! If you want to start a weight loss program, first schedule a visit with your primary care physician to make sure you’re in otherwise healthy condition. Choosing the right weight loss plan for you and your lifestyle is important. For example, a former athlete may find it easier to incorporate physical activity back into their daily routine than someone with physical limitations or someone used to a sedentary lifestyle.

Most nutritionists will agree that cutting out junk and opting for “real” food is a good start. Preparing your own meals can also help — letting you control the quality and amount of ingredients, which can help trim unnecessary calories. Another helpful tip? Forgoing starches and simple carbohydrates, which can leave you feeling hungry sooner, and even lead to cravings. So opt for vegetables and healthy fats instead. (Try mashed cauliflower in lieu of mashed potatoes — it’s delicious!) And decreasing your sugar intake can have a big effect — both calorically and in the way you feel energy-wise. If you’re craving something sweet, a fresh bowl of strawberries is a much healthier bet than strawberry shortcake!

 

 

Sources:

¹ The Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045685

 

All About Resveratrol

All About Resveratrol

Resveratrol started gaining a lot of attention in the early 90s for its possible health benefits, though many people still wonder exactly what it is. Resveratrol is a naturally-occurring micronutrient found in grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries and some antioxidant supplements. It belongs to a class of polyphenolic compounds called stilbenes.

Many studies have shown the effects of resveratrol in animals, and there’s quite a bit of anecdotal information available touting the benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol can support the cardiovascular system and may have some anti-aging properties as well. These health benefits have been reported by users, and so far, there have not been consistent reports of any negative resveratrol side effects.

Resveratrol may be found in supplements that contain several antioxidants. In general, antioxidants help protect your body from the damage that can be caused by free radicals that are formed as a natural part of oxidization (the process that makes a freshly-cut apple turn brown). Stress and poor diet can increase free radical production. Natural antioxidants and other nutrients that are found in muscadine grape juice make a powerful supplement that can help maintain healthy circulation, nervous system function and the elimination of free radicals.

The Mayo Clinic reports that resveratrol is a “key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.” They go on to say that “some research has shown that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease” but note that more research is needed before it’s known whether resveratrol was the cause for the reduced risk.

Vollara’s Pick

Re:Plenish by VollaraIf this sounds like something you’d be interested in incorporating into your diet, you can increase your intake by eating foods that are resveratrol-rich, such as muscadine grapes, peanuts, and some berries such as blueberries and cranberries. You can also add a resveratrol supplement like Vollara’s Re:Plenish to your daily diet to increase your intake. While conventional resveratrol supplements can be difficult for the body to absorb (those in capsule or powdered form), Re:Plenish is a liquid resveratrol supplement that’s quickly absorbed and used by the body much more readily.

 

 

 

11 Signs You’re Dehydrated

11 Signs You’re Dehydrated

With summer about to kick off and temperatures on the rise – with some Southern states looking at possibly 3 more months of 90+ degree days – it becomes even more important to make sure you and your family are staying safely hydrated. Even in cooler climates, it’s possible to become dehydrated – the symptoms of which will come on at a slower rate than in hot weather. But the heat, especially when combined with outdoor activities, can quickly take a toll if you’re not properly hydrated.

As a general hydration rule, you’ll want to take in 1 cup of fluid or water for every 20 minutes of exercise. But John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer, cautioned against drinking fruit juices or sugary drinks, such as soda. “They can be hard on your stomach if you’re dehydrated,” he said.

According to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), fluid should be consumed prior to, during, and after participating in physical activity or sporting events. It is recommended that 14 to 22 fluid ounces (oz) (just under 2 to 3 cups) be consumed 2 hours prior to an event or planned activity, and 6 to 12 oz be consumed every 15 to 20 minutes (as tolerated) during, as well as after, an activity in order to replace water loss.

Be vigilant about experiencing any of the following symptoms when you’re outdoors or being active this summer, as each is a sign of dehydration.

Increased thirst
“If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” says Dr. Batson. If you know you’re going to be out in the heat all day, start your hydration routine the night before, and drink plenty of fluids upon waking. This gives you a head start, making it less likely you’ll become dehydrated. 

Dry mouth
Simply, put, drinking too little fluid can cause thick-feeling saliva and a dry/sticky mouth. Without the lubrication of saliva, a dry mouth can cause a general soreness around the mouth and on the tongue. Your mouth might start to feel gummed up, and your dry tongue might stick to the roof of your mouth.

Weakness/muscle cramps
If your muscles are feeling weak, dehydration may be the culprit. “When the nerves that connect to the muscles aren’t surrounded by as much water and sodium as they need,” they become hypersensitive, causing the muscles to involuntarily contract or spasm, says Michael Bergeron, executive director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dizziness
“Suddenly, your body doesn’t have the capacity to get enough blood flow to the brain. At the same time, you’re exerting yourself and that increases your body temperature and breathing rate, both of which cause the blood vessels in your brain to dilate,” says Bergeron, leading to a dizzy spell. If you feel lightheaded after you stand up quickly it could be a sign that your body’s low on H20.

Palpitations and/or rapid heartbeat
According to Men’s Fitness, when dehydration decreases the volume of blood in your body, your heart speeds up as it attempts to pump out the same amount of blood it would if you were properly hydrated. As Dr. Batson points out, “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”

Confusion/trouble concentrating
AARP.com reports that researchers at the University of Connecticut Human Performance Laboratory “note that dehydration causes changes in electrolyte balances in the blood, which directly affect parts of the mind responsible for reasoning.” Changes in electrolyte levels also can alter brain levels of serotonin, which influences mood.

Sluggishness
Almost every cell in the body needs water in order to function, so if you’re lacking liquid, your body must work extra hard to carry out basic functions.

Dark urine and/or decreased urine output
If you’re properly hydrated, says Men’s Fitness Magazine, your urine will be clear or very light yellow. But when you’re dehydrated, your kidneys try to keep every last drop of water in your body and thus decrease the amount of urine that you produce. The less water that your body has to flush out, the less water there is in your urine, and the more concentrated (read: darker) it becomes.

Inability to sweat
If you’re out in the heat or working out, your body needs to sweat in order to prevent itself from overheating. To sweat, however, you need to be hydrated. Lack of sweating may create problems of temperature control and lead to steep rises in body temperature during hot weather.

Dry skin
“As you go through various stages of dehydration, you become very dizzy and you don’t have enough blood volume so you get very dry skin,” says Dr. John Higgins, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas in Houston, and chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital. “Because the skin is dry and not evaporating as well, you can also experience flushing of the skin.”

Headaches
Dr. Higgins explained to EverydayHealth.com: “The brain sits inside a fluid sack that keeps it from bumping against the skull. If that fluid sack is depleted or running low because of dehydration, the brain can push up against parts of the skull, causing headaches.”

 

Disclaimer: References herein to any third-party publication, author, company, university, or other organization does not constitute, and is not meant to imply, an endorsement, recommendation or approval by such third party of Vollara products and services.

 

How to Avoid Laundry Detergent Allergies

How to Avoid Laundry Detergent Allergies

Laundry detergent allergies are complicated because they can be caused by any number of chemicals used in detergents.  Because of this, there’s no allergy test that can be done to detect detergent allergies. Though doctors can’t give you forewarning about possible detergent allergies, there are things you can do after you discover that you’re allergic to certain laundry soaps to help prevent further allergic reactions.

If you plan on using detergent, try some of these tips to protect yourself.

  • Once you discover a detergent that you are allergic to, make a list of all of the chemicals used in that detergent, and try to avoid other detergents that have a similar chemical makeup.
  • Check any other household cleaners and soaps you might use for similar chemicals to make sure you won’t have a reaction to those, as well!
  • Choose detergents that are hypoallergenic because these are less likely to cause allergic reactions. It’s most often the chemicals or fragrances within the detergents that cause allergies to flare up, so try to avoid heavily scented laundry soap or ones that include dyes.
  • Be sure to keep your washing machine well maintained. This should help minimize the amount of detergent left on your clothing after washing.
  • It’s also a good idea to try using softened water, or water that’s treated with an in-home water treatment system.  This can help cut down on the amount of detergent needed to get your clothes clean. If you’r really sensitive, either wear gloves while doing laundry, or thoroughly wash your hands immediately following any contact with concentrated laundry detergent.

To avoid detergents all together, invest in a detergent free cleaning system that connects to your washing machine. Commercial versions have been used by hospitals and hotels, and they’re now available for residential use as well! The added benefit of a detergent free system is that they don’t use hot water which makes them energy-efficient — helping save money on electricity bills while also protecting your skin.

 

 

Water Conservation: A Job for Everyone

Water Conservation: A Job for Everyone

In most first-world countries, water seems like a plentiful resource. Even in times of drought, it’s still easy to walk into a convenience store and grab a bottle of water – a luxury many countries and people don’t have. And while 71% of the earth is covered in water it is still a sought-after and essential necessity. (Just ask the state of California right now!) By some estimates, the average person uses 50 gallons of water a day. If each of us made a concerted effort to conserve water, it could make a measurable, positive impact on our local and global environments. Are there actually ways to practice water conservation without dramatically altering our lifestyle? As it turns out, yes!

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, “Conservation is simply a protection from loss or waste. Therefore, water conservation activities reduce the demand for water, improve the efficiency in use and reduce losses and waste of water.”

Basically, there are two different approaches to conservation: short-term measures and long-term measures, and both can influence each other. Building better facilities and reconfiguring landscape design may require more water in the beginning to actually construct or institute the change, but over time, the long-term gain could be seen for years and years.

While individuals perhaps have lesser control over instituting larger-scale, long-term solutions, there are so many solutions that are available to persons and families looking to make a positive difference. For example:

 

The average person uses 10.9 gallons of faucet water a day.

You can help reduce this amount by incorporating small changes like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving and washing dishes.

 

A faucet leaking 30 drops per minute wastes 54 gallons per month.

A simple repair could lead to considerable savings, not only in water itself, but probably your water bill as well!

 

The average dishwasher uses 8 – 12 gallons each time its run, regardless of whether the machine is full or not.

Waiting until you’ve got a full load is a smart idea.

 

In addition to the actual gallons of water you can save, conservation is also about keeping the water supply as clean as possible. Pesticides, paints, gasoline, fertilizers, old medications and household cleaning chemicals can all leach into the water supply, which, as you might imagine, can pose quite a problem.

The good news is, there are ways to still tackle household cleaning without the use of harsh chemicals which can easily make their way into surrounding water and soil supplies.

Vollara launched a “Saving 1 Billion Gallons” mission as a challenge: just how much could be accomplished if we all took measures to conserve gallons and protect the quality of our water? As it turns out, over 286 million gallons have been saved so far…and counting!

One great tool that’s leading the way in water conservation is the LaundryPure.

LaundryPure by Vollara
LaundryPure by Vollara

A simple hook up to your existing washing machine allows the user to forgo detergents, bleaches, softeners and other added chemicals, and instead clean their laundry using only cold water and the bubbling power of oxygenated water. This technology has been around for a while, widely used in professional applications like hospitals and hotels.

The LaundryPure not only helps keep chemicals from leaching back into the water supply, it also keeps soap and softener residue from building up on your laundry and inside your washer, and from irritating your skin. This is great for babies, kids and people with skin sensitivities.

Being mindful of what you and your household are expending, water-wise, and what goes down your home drain, is a great way to do your part to keep Earth’s most precious resource available and clean for generations to come.

To learn more, visit www.saveonebilliongallons.com

 

 

Sources:
[2] http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5009.html
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] Ibid