Arterial Stiffness: Your Greatest Indicator of Cognitive Decline

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Blood pressure, blood pressure, blood pressure. Commercials, those doctor TV shows, those TV doctor shows, friends, family, real-life doctors, labels on health foods, they are all obsessed with blood pressure. That’s not to say that blood pressure isn’t important (it very much is), but our constant singular focus on blood pressure might cause us to overlook an equally important underlying factor: arterial stiffness.

Arterial stiffness is caused by the aging process and arteriosclerosis. It is dangerous because it forces your heart to beat harder in order to pass blood through stiff, unresponsive veins. As arteries become more rigid, demands on the heart increase, eventually damaging it.

That’s not the only bad that can come from inflexible arteries. A study published in Hypertension found that arterial stiffness was a better indicator of future cognitive decline in healthy people than high blood pressure was. Hypertension has been previously linked to mild cognitive decline and dementia, but by assessing the veins of nearly 600 healthy adults, the researchers were better able to predict which ones were at the greatest risk of developing cognitive decline. Unsurprisingly, those who suffered from both arterial stiffness and high blood pressure were at the greatest risk but that the danger might be more from their adamant arteries.

From the Press Release

“Our study suggests that cognition in hypertensive individuals is more likely related to the underlying functional changes in the arterial structure, rather than simply to the blood pressure level”, adds Hajjar.
What Can Be Done About Arterial Stiffness?

It can be summed up in the two words that nobody likes to hear: Diet and exercise.

Add Red Rush Beet Juice To A Healthy Diet

The cool thing about beet juice is that it slides right into a DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). Additionally, a study published in Clinical Nutrition Research found that high doses of dietary nitrate (the active ingredient in Red Rush) reduced post-meal arterial stiffness by almost 7 percent and systolic blood pressure by 5.9 mmHg. It improved the baseline indexes of both as well.

And Red Rush Can Help You Exercise!

Exercise has been shown in several studies to improve the health of your veins. There is even evidence that exercise can restore proper vein functioning in formerly sedentary people and/or older adults. Dietary nitrate makes exercise about 10% easier. (Wider, flexible veins boost performance by almost all accounts). This means that Red Rush will not only assist you diet-wise, it can also be employed to give you a kick-start in the exercise department as well.

Improved Blood Flow May Aid Weight Loss

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A 2015 study published in Diabetes has shown that dietary nitrate might contribute to weight loss by helping turn sluggish, old white fat into frenetic, energy-burning beige fat. For those of you unfamiliar with the science behind this rainbow-like spectrum of possible fats, most of the current research indicates that weight loss can be stimulated by changing white fat into beige fat. Basically the theory is (explained super non-scientifically) that brown fat which generates heat is easier to burn off when compared to white fat. So when you burn off that brown fat, your body moves white fat to take its place and, therefore, weight loss.

OK. So now you’re in the know. That means it is time to bring up the newest study that I know of published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Researchers tested to see if improving blood flow to brown fat would increase its activity, so they injected mice with a drug. The drug did not activate the beige fat, but researchers saw an uptick in glucose and calorie consumption by the brown fat and attributed it to the increased blood flow. Researchers plan to look at whether or not providing more blood flow to brown fat can help people with obesity.

Red Rush beet juice contains 500 mg of dietary nitrate in every shot, and dietary nitrate improves blood flow. Improved blood flow makes it easier to exercise. Exercising regularly is one of the key factors of weight loss. So drink Red Rush, improve your blood flow, exercise, lose weight and be happy.

Protein, Carbs Build Strong Bones after a Workout

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It’s quite common for exercise enthusiasts to guzzle protein drinks after a big workout, but they’re usually doing it to add muscle mass or to aid in recovery. Some may even be doing it to look cool!

A new study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that consuming some protein and some carbohydrates after exercise helped to strengthen bones.  During the trial, researchers asked male endurance athletes to run on treadmills until those athletes were exhausted. Afterwards, they either drank a protein/carbohydrate concoction or a placebo.

Those who quaffed the protein-carb mixture had smaller amounts of a specific biomarker that’s released during bone resorption (tissue breakdown inside bones).  Additionally, the scientists noted an increase in a second biomarker associated with bone formation! These effects were noticed if the athlete drank the protein/carbohydrate blend both immediately after exercise or two hours later.

The investigators believe that nutrition can be used to help mitigate the risk of fractures that are commonly associated with intense exercise. Athletes’ careers and training regimens are often negatively  impacted by such injuries.

If you’re an athlete in the market for a post-workout drink, then look no further than AIM’s Lean Team. The Lean Team is composed of our amazing, clean, vegan ProPeas protein. Made from the finest field peas this world has to offer, ProPeas can help your muscles get big! With 12 g of carbohydrates in every serving, fit ‘n fiber orchard peach provides 10 g of dietary fiber in every ten-calorie serving. Protein and fiber are also great for weight management because they team up to beat back appetite, like world-class champs.

Singing the Praises of Red Rush

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We recently received a letter from Preferred Member Ginny Dietrich.  She wanted to share her Red Rush testimony in the form of a song! Enjoy:

“The Red Rush Rap”

by Ginny Dietrich

  • Red Rush! Red Rush!
  • Say, what’s all the fuss?
  • I noticed the commotion
  • But never had a notion
  • Of trying this new drink
  • Didn’t think it was for me
  • Because I am not athlete
  • (Though often on my feet)
  • Because of all my walking
  • My calves would end up tight
  • They’d hinder me from sleeping
  • With their tightness in the night
  • I’m not from Lake Placid
  • But I’ve got that lactic acid
  • A buildup in my calves
  • And believe me, I don’t laugh
  • They ache by end of day
  • When I lay me down to sleep
  • Who would have thought the answer
  • Lies in the humble beet
  • So finally I conceded
  • That what I really needed
  • Was some dietary nitrate
  • ‘Cuz often I am up late!
  • A shot of Red Rush does the job
  • And soon the tightness leaves
  • I fall asleep easily
  • And fall into sweet dreams
  • Oh, Red Rush, Red Rush!
  • Now it is a must!
  • I’ll never be without you,
  • ‘Cuz nothing beets Red Rush!

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7 Reasons To Get More Potassium, K?

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The World Health Organization released a report last year, stating that nearly everybody (99.7% of US citizens and, surprisingly the number was somehow slightly higher for Mexicans and Brits) is low on potassium. Those statistics almost make this article superfluous, but let’s soldier on anyway.

Potassium is an important electrolyte. We need the stuff for proper hydration and to regulate sodium which is especially important if you’re gobbling down processed foods at all. It’s also vital for heart function and different types of muscle contractions.  But it’s also been linked to scads of health and athletic benefits. Here are a few.

Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that not getting enough dietary potassium has been linked to high blood pressure. Basically, potassium helps balance sodium levels in the kidneys. Having too little or too much potassium can throw your system and blood pressure out of whack.

Improved Muscle Mass

Adequate potassium intake has been shown to help maintain muscle mass, especially important for the aging and the aging athlete.

Healthy Bones

Potassium has been linked to healthier, stronger bones. Those who are at the highest risk for osteoporosis should take note.

Staves off Muscle Fatigue

One of the early warning signs that you’re heading toward full-on potassium deficiency or hypokalemia is muscle fatigue. The average person isn’t generally at risk for hypokalemia, but several conditions including malnutrition, over-training, excessive sweating, some medications and digestive ailments can bring on a potassium deficiency.

Athletes Need More 

After running a long race, you’re often greeted with a bottle of water and a banana at the end. The water is for hydration. The banana is for potassium. Your body uses a lot of potassium during exercise, so it’s important to load up on potassium before, during and after.

May Reduce Stroke Risk

A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that when test subjects increased their potassium intake by 1600 mg, it decreased their risk of stroke by 21%.

Potassium-Rich Diets Are Good For Diabetics 

A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has found that diabetics who had higher levels of potassium in their urine seemed to have a slower decline of kidney function and reported fewer heart problems and complications overall.

Try Red Rush 

Red Rush beet juice contains 20% RDI of potassium as well as 500 mg of of dietary nitrate. Both potassium and dietary nitrate are vital to overall health as well as athletic performance. Our beet juice shot is mixed with cherries and lemons and is the tastiest on the market. So if you haven’t tried Red Rush, then you’re missing out!

Vitamin D Puts the D in StrengtheneD

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Maintaining a healthy muscle mass isn’t just for bodybuilders and weightlifters, it’s important for everyone’s overall health and well being. Having a salubrious amount of lean muscle mass strengthens connective tissues, lowers the risk of osteoporosis, boosts mood, increases metabolic rates and bone density, lowers the risk of injury and improves blood-sugar control. Big muscles also look super cool, so there is that. As we age, we tend to lose some muscle mass, so keeping those muscles swole is of paramount importance.

One ally in our constant fight to be big, muscly so-and-sos is vitamin D. Vitamin D is theoretically one the easiest vitamins to get a hold of. Our bodies will produce it  when we stand in sunlight. However, it is, ironically, one of those vitamins  that people are most likely deficient in. So finding a decent vitamin D supplement (like CalciAIM, hint, hint) can be a great boon for achieving maximum nutrition. Furthermore, a recent study published in PLOS ONE found that high levels of vitamin D were associated with lean muscle mass.

The study looked 116 subjects. Researchers measured their body fat, lean mass and  vitamin D levels. Those with healthy body compositions  were less likely to display markers of vitamin D deficiency, and those with body compositions that were less healthy tended to have more markers of vitamin D deficiency. Those musclebound volunteers with high lean muscle mass had greater levels of active vitamin D. Also, previous studies have linked a deficiency in vitamin D to a lack of muscle mass. Researchers look forward to exploring this relationship further.

In the meantime, try AIM’s CalciAIM. It contains 70% of your daily vitamin D needs in every single serving. It’s also jam-packed full of other nutritious vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and zinc. It’s veritable cornucopia of bone-and-muscle-strengthening goodness.

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Flavonoids: The Unsung Dietary Heroes Strike Again

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When you see health foods being advertised on TV, the commercials tend to tout the product’s vitamins and mineral content. That’s fine. Those things are great. We all need those. However,  vitamins and minerals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nutrition. What we rarely see splashed across a two-page ad in a magazine that one might find a doctor’s office is an advertisement for flavonoids. That may be because flavonoids like kaempferol or anthocyanidin are hard to spell, but it’s also probably because they just aren’t as well known as vitamin C and calcium.

However, we should know about flavonoids. They are powerful antioxidants that protect cells and DNA from damage, and scientists are making many groundbreaking discoveries about them all the time. The latest one, a mouse study published in Experimental Physiology found that quercetin, a flavonoid in leafy green vegetables, may protect heart health, specifically in people with muscular dystrophy.

Scientists put a quercetin supplement into mouse food, and the mice that ate the food were healthier and had more energy.   Muscular dystrophy is genetic. Researchers used mice that had, to put it simply, the mouse version of muscular dystrophy. (Here’s the complicated explanation).  The data showed that the mice in the study that consumed the quercetin had better medical outcomes.

Sufferers of muscular dystrophy tend to see a decline in their cardiovascular health at a young age. The researchers believe that quercetin may be used to help protect heart health and improve survival outcomes in humans with MD.

You’ll find quercetin in AIM’s LeafGreens and CoCoa LeafGreens.  Cocoa, by the way, also contains flavonols and both products have other great unsung micronutrients like kaempferol and sulfurophane.