Energy Boosters

Many athletes take supplements to boost energy, particularly ginseng, ephedra, and caffeine. Ginseng functions as an adaptogen, or immune system stimulant, but it does not have an effect on athletic performance. (Athletes who choose to take ginseng should look for Panax ginseng standardized to 4-7 percent; ginsenosides, with the following dosing regimen: 100-200 milligrams per day for two-three weeks, then one-two weeks of no use before resuming).

Ephedra (also called Ma Huang, epitonin, and sida cordifolia) is a central nervous system stimulant that is sold as an energy booster or "fat-burning" supplement. Marketed as Metabolife, Xenadrine, Herbal Rush, Energy Rush, Thermoburn, or Thermofuel (among others), ephedra may delay fatigue by sparing the body's glycogen reserves during exercise. However, it can also increase blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, anxiety, migraines, and irregular heartbeat, and it can cause insomnia, psychosis, and nervousness. Ephedra and caffeine are often present in the same product, which can be detrimental to the heart. The maximum safe level of ephedra is 24 mg per day, but many products contain over 300 mg per dose. This supplement is contraindicated in those with a history of heart disease or hypertension, kidney or thyroid disease, seizure disorder, or diabetes.

Caffeine is a stimulant that in certain athletes may increase free fatty-acid availability to delay fatigue, improve reaction time, and reduce the perceived effort of exertion. It tends to be most effective in caffeine-naive, trained endurance athletes with a dose of 200 to 300 milligrams one hour prior to a sporting event. The legal limit of caffeine is 800 milligrams, but this level can cause nervousness, anxiety, irritability, headaches, increased urination, and diarrhea. In addition to products such as Vivarin, No-Doz, and Excedrin, caffeine can be found in herbal form in guarana, maté, and kola nut. Caffeine also augments the stimulatory effects of ephedra.

lactic acid: breakdown product of sugar in the muscles in the absence of oxygen antioxidant: substance that prevents oxidation, a damaging reaction with oxygen cholesterol: multi-ringed molecule found in animal cell membranes; a type of lipid calcium: mineral essential for bones and teeth iron: nutrient needed for red blood cell formation absorption: uptake by the digestive tract

Getting to Know Anxiety

Getting to Know Anxiety

Stop Letting Anxiety Rule Your Life And Take Back The Control You Desire Right Now! You don't have to keep letting your anxiety disorder run your life. You can take back your inner power and change your life for the better starting today! In order to have control of a thing, you first must understand it. And that is what this handy little guide will help you do. Understand this illness for what it is. And, what it isn't.

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