Winter is Rough on Your Body by Tamara Paulsen

    Winter is definitely here, and we all know what that means. Dry skin, cold bodies, drinking less water, eating more calorie-packed foods, weight gain, and laziness due to being more lethargic during these cold winter months. Between average, to elderly, active and athletic people, we all go through the same things throughout this time of year. So how do we prevent, help, eliminate or even adjust to this time of year? Well, you're already doing it - but you're not doing it correct!

     We all know that coffee at Starbucks or a quick tea at 7-11, maybe even a latte at Dunkin Donuts are prime time contenders for winter, but with the cold climate, you are already more likely to be dehydrated. Hence dry skin, cracked lips, brittle nails. Now here's the little problem though; it's great to think you're drinking fluids even though they're hot, but you're actually doing more damage. Caffeine products like coffee and tea are stimulants and natural diuretics, which in turn actually make you more dehydrated. So next time you reach for these cozy warm morning kick-starters, grab a water as well. For every cup you drink throughout the day, be sure to have two glasses of water. And what most people don't even know is, a quick drink of COLD water will actually boost your metabolism!

     Now, let's move onto your hearty winter foods, along with weight gain. Most comfort foods like hot chili or all those winter crockpot meals, even your heart healthy soups, can be the devil. Most foods eaten in winter are loaded with calories, especially hidden ones. Also, I am pretty sure that there's more than one item on the menu for any given meal of the day. Some soups over winter are actually more caloric filled than what's on your plate. 

     Hearty winter comfort foods can also slow your metabolic rate. Most are loaded with dense carbs, some fats, protein and fiber all combined, which in turns fills you up making you feel full and warm, but leaving you not hungry for hours on end. Some may say this is not a bad thing, even when you're trying to lose weight. Unfortunately it's the exact opposite. When your body doesn't have time in between meals you're loading yourself up, but when you leave too much time in between meals your body actually thinks you're starving it, even if you had enough to fill you.

     Now the problem with this, is that now your body says to itself I don't know when I will be getting another meal because it has been hours since I was fed last, so now it holds onto all of those calories and uses it for reserve, aka fat, sort of like how a bear stores up before hibernating so that it knows it will be able to last through winter. How do we fix this? Eat smaller meals less dense foods, and add a protein supplement into your day to keep your metabolism going, burn more calories, and keep yourself from starving. There are plenty or low calorie shakes for any population interested, and plenty of flavor variety. Stop down to even sample some shakes at Max Muscle in Huntington, and be set up with the proper protein profile for your needs.

     Now let's move onto the effects of the cold weather cosmetically. I do not know of anyone who doesn't complain about dry skin, nails, maybe even dried out hair, cracked lips, dry eyes, feeling more lethargic, and having that "I do not want to get out of bed" feeling. You see in the summer, everyone tends to eat more fruits, vegetables, and better vitamin/mineral-filled beverages than the winter. The choices for foods are just more nutrient-filled over the summer than the choices we make over the winter. This is part of the problem of why we seem to have so many issues in winter as opposed to summer. Without all of your nutrient-dense foods like salads and fruits in our diet as much, we miss out on a lot of what we need to sustain a healthy body, including cosmetically.

     A good nutrient packed multi vitamin/mineral supplement will definitely do the job of picking up the slack where we seem to forget or fail to notice that we are depriving our bodies of their daily needs. Multi vitamins come in liquid or pill form and some even are formulated to target certain populations with different nutritional needs. So now that you have all of this winterized information, where do you go with it??

     MAX MUSCLE SPORTS NUTRITION, conveniently located on New York Avenue in Huntington village, (Across from Value Drugs and adjacent to the Bank of America ATM). Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer any and all questions. We have plenty of information on all of our supplements. Take the opportunity now to also sign up for the MAXFORMATION contest, the winner will receive $25,000!! Stop by for more information or call 631-423-MAX1.Max Muscle offers franchise opportunties in the New York, Long Island area. For more info, call or visit us online at MAXMUSCLE.COM.