Water Break: Get Fizzy With It
Sick of plain water? Here's your solution: New sparkling mineral waters by Arrowhead, Crystal Geyser and Perrier come in lemon, lime and orange flavors, but they've got no calories, caffeine or artificial sweeteners. The light natural flavors give your taste buds a kick, and the carbonation is a nice break from plain water. Plus, these products now come in convenient portable sizes and plastic bottles.
Sparkling mineral waters are an especially good choice when dining out, in contrast to calorie-heavy alcohol and soda. Restaurants may not have the flavored varieties, but most carry regular Pellegrino or Perrier that you can flavor with a slice of lemon or lime.
-- Beth Sonnenburg, MPH
Liquid Muscle: The Fastest Way to Absorb Creatine
Drink your creatine, don't suck on it or eat it, states a research group from University College Chichester in England. Their study examined the effects of creatine supplementation ingested (a) as a lozenge, (b) from meat (it's a natural source) and (c) in liquid form. Results showed that creatine taken in lozenge or meat form displayed a lower concentration than an equal dose in liquid solution.
The group concluded that the powerful muscle-building supplement is, in fact, readily absorbed in solid form, but may yield lower levels than when ingested as a drink. We suggest buying creatine in powder form and mixing about 5 grams once or twice a day with a beverage.
-- Source: Journal of Sports Science
Get Milk: A Dairy Good Fat-Burner
We know calcium is good for promoting strong bones and optimal muscle function - duh! - but it now appears to be good for burning fat, too.
A recent study at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver) showed that individuals who consumed high levels of dietary calcium in a 24-hour period had higher rates of fat oxidation that day than those who consumed lesser amounts.
This supports the prior notion that diets high in calcium protect against fat gain, so stock up on milk, yogurt and cheese; if you're lactose intolerant, choose dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes and almonds.