The World Health Organization’s definition of health, which I had to memorize in the first month of medical school, is, “The state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Personally, I think this is ridiculous because it’s basically tautological. The term “well-being” is essentially synonymous with “health”. In fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “well-being” as, “The state of being happy, healthy or prosperous.” Way to go, 1948 WHO’er’s. It’s like looking in the dictionary for the definition of “happy” and seeing “not sad” and then looking up “sad” and seeing its definition as “not happy.” (Flashbacks to being the child of immigrant parents inserted here. And yes, I was a weird kid and yes, my parents will tell you that.)
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When I was in physics class in my undergraduate degree, I remember doing an experiment to demonstrate the laws of momentum. I don’t remember the specifics of the experiment, but I do remember using an air-table (similar to an air hockey table, but smaller) and pucks (similar to air hockey pucks, but smaller) to demonstrate how conservation of momentum occurs in an almost frictionless environment.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a frictionless world. Those of you who live on air-hockey-table-like-environments, I can’t speak for you. And back then, I probably thought very similarly to the way some people think about research now: “If nothing on Earth is truly frictionless, short of air-hockey tables and mag-lev devices, why do we have to do this experiment?” The answer back then, was, “Because we’re telling you do it, so quit bitching already and push the friggin’ puck.” But I’ve tried that answer on people who ask, “We never use supplement X/training technique Y in tightly controlled situations, so how do the results of these studies help us?” and a) it doesn’t go over very well, and b) they’re really confused about some mysterious puck.
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The concept of progressive overload is a cornerstone to any weight-training program. Lifting more weight, or lifting the same weight for more reps is the goal that is theorized to produce muscle growth, or better performance (however you decide to measure that).
Citrulline malate has been an ingredient in a multitude of sport supplements. It is theorized to work through 3 proposed mechanisms: 1) malate is proposed to accelerate ammonium clearance and citrulline is proposed to facilitate lactate metabolism (these effects however, were noted in microbial models, i.e. germs in a dish); 2) citrulline malate has been noted to protect against acidosis which is proposed to counter fatigue; 3) Citrulline malate is proposed to increase nitric oxide production, which has been shown to have many potentially physiologically beneficial effects (though none of these effects may affect the stuff you’re concerned about like muscle growth, fat loss, or any performance benefit).
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There are many iterations to the famous story about some guy who fills a large jar with big rocks and asks other people if they think the jar is full. They inevitably say, “Yes” and then he puts pebbles into the jar that fall in the spaces between the rocks and asks the same question for the same answer. He then pours sand into the jar that fills all the space between the pebbles and the rocks. Same question, same answer. And then he pours a liquid (water or beer) into the jar, the moral of the story in my favorite version being, “No matter how full your life is, there’s always room for a beer.”
The very fact that you are reading this means that you are a person who is looking to improve yourself. Maybe you’re not quite started yet, or maybe you’ve been well on your way for many years; or maybe you’re trying to help other people.
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