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The ABCs of Vitamins: What Do They Do for Your Body?

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
The ABCs of Vitamins: What Do They Do for Your Body?

We all know that vitamins are important for good health, but we might not totally understand why. What do vitamins do for your body, exactly?

Your body needs nutrients to grow, function, and fight off diseases. Since your body can’t produce vitamins on its own, you have to get them through food or supplements.

There are two kinds:

Fat and water soluble vitamins

Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) are stored in your body’s fatty tissue. They are more easily absorbed when consumed with dietary fat.

Water soluble vitamins (B, C) are not stored in your body. If not used right away, they are passed through urine, so they need to be replenished daily.

The body needs 13 essential vitamins to function properly. Understanding what each of them does can help you make better food choices to get the vitamins you need to feel your best.

Let’s take a look at these vitamins, what they do for your body, and where you’ll find them:

 Vitamin A (Retinoids and carotene)

Vitamin A (Retinoids and carotene): Promotes healthy teeth and bones as well as healthy vision and skin. It also helps support your immune and reproductive systems, heart, kidneys, and lungs. (Good sources: beef, carrots, dark-colored fruits, dark leafy vegetables, egg yolks, fish, fortified milk and dairy products, liver, pumpkin, squash, spinach)

 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Supports your heart, skin, hair, muscles, digestion, and nervous system. (Good sources: dried milk, eggs, enriched bread and flour, lean meats, legumes, nuts and seeds, organ meats, peas, whole grains)

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Good for your skin, hair, nails, eyes, and helps convert food into energy. (Good sources: cheese, fish, leafy green vegetables, liver, milk, yeast)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Helps maintain healthy skin and nerves and lower cholesterol. (Good sources: avocado, eggs, enriched bread and fortified cereals, fish, lean meats, legumes, nuts, potatoes, poultry)

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): Promotes metabolism and the production of hormones and cholesterol. (Good sources: avocado, broccoli, kale, eggs, milk, poultry, potatoes)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Plays a vital role in sleep, mood, appetite, and cognitive function, supports the immune system, and helps prevent heart disease. (Good sources: bananas, chicken, fish, legumes, pork, whole grains)

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7 (Biotin): Increases absorption of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and promotes healthy hair and bones. (Good sources: chocolate, egg yolks, legumes, milk, nuts, organ meats, pork)

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid, folate, folacin)

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid, folate, folacin): Helps your body make DNA and works with B12 to form red blood cells, which prevents anemia. (Good sources: asparagus, broccoli, beets, leafy green vegetables, lentils, oranges, peanut butter, wheat germ)

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Supports healthy nerve function and metabolism, and breaks down fatty and amino acids, which helps lower your risk of heart disease. (Good sources: meat, eggs, milk and milk products, organ meats, shellfish)

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid): Bolsters your immune system to fight infections and heal wounds, and helps your body absorb iron and maintain healthy tissue. (Good sources: citrus, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes)

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

Vitamin D (Calciferol): Promotes the absorption of calcium, which is vital for bone health, and helps reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. (Good sources: fatty fish and fish liver oil, fortified cereals, fortified milk and dairy products)

Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol)

Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol): Supports your immune system and protects cells from damage, which helps fight cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. (Good sources: avocado, dark green vegetables, corn and sunflower oils, mango and papaya, nuts and seeds, wheat germ)

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone, menadione): Promotes bone health and helps your blood to clot. (Good sources: beef, cabbage, cauliflower, cereal, dark green and leafy vegetables, eggs, fish, liver)

So the next time someone asks, “What do vitamins do for your body?” You can tell them!

Often, we aren’t able to get all the vitamins and nutrients we need through food alone. For example, it’s not uncommon for people who follow a vegetarian diet to be deficient in Vitamin B12, since it is mostly derived from animal products.

That’s where supplements come in!  The THRIVE Experience provides vitamins (as well as minerals, plant extracts, anti-oxidants, enzymes, probiotics, and amino acids) to help fill nutritional gaps and keep your body functioning at its highest level. Try THRIVE today!

How to Break a Workout Plateau

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
How to Break a Workout Plateau

It happens to the best of us:

You’re consistently grinding it out in the gym, seeing progress week after week, and it stalls.

Suddenly, you can’t seem to run any faster, or lift any heavier. Maybe you’re even lifting less than the week before.

What’s going on? You’ve hit a workout plateau.

Oh no, the dreaded workout plateau! Now what?

In this post, we’ll discuss why workout plateaus happen and what you can do to get back on track.

workout

What is a Workout Plateau and Why Does it Happen?

Workout plateaus are common, and the longer you train, the more likely you are to experience them. So don’t freak out!

Plateaus occur when your body adapts to the routine you’ve established, whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight, or master a new skill.

Our bodies are designed to adapt to stress, and that’s a good thing!

Nonetheless, it’s frustrating when you find yourself stuck in a workout plateau. It can totally kill your momentum.

The key to breaking through plateaus is to not only expect them, but to learn how to stay motivated and keep pushing until you’re on the other side of it. The worst thing you can do is give up!

workout

What are the Best Ways to Break a Workout Plateau?

The first thing to do when you think you’ve hit a plateau in your training is to take an honest accounting of your workouts. Have you really been pushing yourself? Or have you slipped into a comfortable routine of lifting the same weight or running the same distance?

If you’ve determined that you are in a true workout plateau, don’t just keep spinning your wheels. Take a deep breath, recognize that it’s temporary, and make one of these adjustments to break out of your fitness slump.

Switch up your workout: If you’ve plateaued because your body has grown accustomed to the stress you’re putting on it, a small change should kick start your progress.

  • Work the same muscles, but differently: If you’ve stalled out on your barbell bench press, switch to dumbells. If you’re working on your back squat, switch to front squats. If you’ve been working on a one-rep max, spend a day doing higher volume.
  • Focus on a new skill: If you just can’t get that 10th pullup, work on pushups, or dips, or even planks. Taking a break from the exercise that’s giving you trouble and winning at something can give you the boost you need to come back to it refreshed and with a positive attitude.
  • Micro load: Increase the weight you lift by a pound (or even a half-pound) at a time. Progress is progress, however small!
  • Add a rep: If you usually do 3 sets of 8 reps, do 3 sets of 9 reps. Again, progress is progress. Celebrate every win!
  • Intensify: If you’re struggling to break your 5k time, dedicate one day per week to just doing short sprints.

workout

Ask for help: If you can’t seem to break through your workout plateau, enlist the help of a trainer. A personal trainer will hold you accountable, help you improve your form, motivate you, and give you new ideas. If you can’t afford to meet with a trainer regularly, occasional sessions can help you make progress. If nothing else, a trainer can provide you a spot. You’re less likely to try higher weights without a spotter! (And if you really can’t afford a trainer, a working out with a buddy might do the trick.)

Take a break: It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the way over a plateau is with less exercise, not more. Your body needs rest to recover and rebuild your muscles after working out. Take a week off. Many elite athletes plan 4-7 days of recovery (no cardio, no nothing!) every 6-8 weeks. When you come back to the gym you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go!

Adjust your diet: Sometimes the key to getting over a workout plateau lies in the kitchen rather than the gym. Try changing up your diet. Are you eating enough calories? Are you getting enough protein? You might benefit from adding protein powder or supplemental vitamins to your routine, such as THRIVEFIT. THRIVEFIT is an ultra premium fitness performance line designed to help you crush your workouts, build lean muscle, and recover from your workouts faster. Be sure to track your food and your exercise so you can see what’s working (and what isn’t)!

Get more sleep: Sleep is crucial to your well-being, and most people simply don’t get enough of it. Not getting enough sleep not only takes away from your recovery time, it increases stress levels and saps your energy, making it harder to reach your potential at the gym (or sometimes to even make it there). Aim for 7-9 hours of shut-eye per night.

Adjust your goals: Take a step back and look at your goals. Are they unrealistic? It’s certainly possible. When you first start working out, you see a lot of gains quickly. But that pace can’t continue indefinitely. Say you’ve been increasing our split-jerk by 5 pounds per week. At some point, that progress has to slow down — or else we would all be lifting 1,000 pounds over our heads! There are limits to what your body can do. Respect them.

Above all else, don’t beat yourself up. Workout plateaus are not only normal, they’re to be expected. Just keep pushing, and celebrate every bit of progress — you’ll get through it!

How to Fight Jet Lag with Exercise

by Le-Vel 0 Comments

‘Tis the season for holiday travel!

Whether you’re visiting family across the country or vacationing with friends abroad, if you’re crossing multiple time zones, you’re likely to deal with an unwanted companion: jet lag.

jet lag

It’s hard to enjoy traveling when you’re walking around in a fog, struggling to keep your eyes open!

Fortunately, there’s a simple, natural way to fight jet lag so you can feel like yourself faster and get right to the fun stuff: Exercise.

jet lag

What is jet lag and why does it happen?

Jet lag occurs when there’s an interruption to your biological clock (also known as your circadian rhythm). This happens when you travel between time zones quickly — and the more time zones you cross, the more severe your jet lag can be (and the longer it can take to recover).

Your circadian rhythm originates in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates sleep, appetite, temperature, and other processes.

jet lag

People experience jet lag differently, but the most common effects are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • General confusion or feeling “out of it”

You may be tempted to head straight for the nearest bed, but resist the urge — especially if you’ve arrived during the daytime hours.

Don’t sleep it off… work it out!

work out

How does exercise help fight jet lag?

You may not feel like exercising first thing when you arrive, but you should. Here’s why:

  • Physical activity gives you an energy boost, which will help combat the sluggishness you feel with jet lag.
  • Exercising outdoors is even better — daylight sends your body the signal that it’s time to be awake and active.
  • Working out at the same time you normally would at home helps your body get back on its regular schedule and adjust to the time change more quickly.

Don’t just take our word for it — it’s been long proven.

A study by the University of Toronto in 1987 showed that exercise helps fight jet lag.

In the study, researchers put a group of hamsters through an 8-hour time change, then made half of them run on an exercise wheel while the other half slept.

On average, the hamsters who ran adjusted to the new time zone in 1.5 days. The sleepers took 8.5 days!

So plan on a 30-minute, light-to-moderate workout — such as a brisk walk, yoga, or simple body weight exercises — shortly after you arrive.

Tips for keeping up a healthy routine while traveling

The holidays are the perfect time to step back and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. But don’t let your vacation undo all the hard work you’ve put in at the gym.

Besides, the longer you go without working out, the harder it will be to get back into your exercise routine when you get home.  

Here are some tips for staying healthy and active on vacation:

pack clothes

  • Pack your workout clothes. This will help you create the right mindset from the get-go.
  • Don’t be deterred if you can’t maintain your normal exercise routine. You don’t need weight machines or special equipment to work out! Go for a hike or a bike ride, go skiing — get outside and enjoy your surroundings!
  • Treat yourself, but don’t go crazy. Any vacation is likely to include some culinary indulgences, and by all means, enjoy! But try to balance out those cocktails and desserts with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water.
  • Keep up your THRIVE morning routine. Meal planning goes out the window when you’re away from home, and healthy eating habits can be a challenge to keep up. The THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Capsules, Ultra Micronized Shake Mix, and Lifestyle DFT deliver the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids you need to feel your best throughout your trip!

Now go and enjoy your vacation — you’ve earned it. Happy holidays and safe travels!

30 Workout Terms to Know Before You Hit the Gym

by Le-Vel 0 Comments

The new year is fast approaching, and like many people, you may be starting to think about your new year’s resolutions.

If you’re new to the gym, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some common workout terms so you can hit the ground (or the treadmill) running. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the most useful fitness terms to know.

workout terms to know

Ready? Let’s go!

Aerobic exercise: The term “aerobic” means your body is using oxygen for energy, helping you keep moving for an extended period. Some examples of aerobic exercise are running, swimming, or biking (also called cardiovascular exercise, or “cardio”).

Anaerobic exercise: High-intensity, short-interval workouts, such as sprinting or lifting heavy weights, when your muscles break down sugar (or glucose) to use for energy because they can’t get enough oxygen.

BMI: BMI stands for body mass index, a way to measure whether someone is below, above, or at the ideal weight range for their age and height (a BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered ideal). BMI is widely used but has been criticized for not differentiating between body fat and muscle.

Calisthenics: Exercises that build strength using just your own body weight, such as push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and tricep dips (also called body weight workouts).

Circuit training: Moving quickly through different exercises with minimal rest in between, in a cyclical process. For example, a circuit might be 10 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 lunges, and 10 tricep dips. Once you finish the tricep dips, you would start the cycle again with 10 pull-ups.

Compound exercise: The word “compound” simply means to combine. Compound exercises work multiple muscles (these are also called compound lifts). For example, a bench press works the pectoral muscles as well as shoulders and triceps.

Cool down: At the end of your workout, you need to cool down to lower your heart rate and bring your body back to a resting state. This is often accomplished with light movements and passive stretching.

Cross training: Mixing different types of workouts to improve your overall performance. For instance, if you’re a runner, you might also do some weightlifting and yoga to increase strength and flexibility to reduce your risk of injury.

cross training

DOMS: DOMS is an acronym for delayed-onset muscle soreness, which you feel 24 to 72 hours after an intense workout. The pain is caused by chemicals that are released when your muscles rebuild themselves.

Electrolytes: Minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride that conduct electric signals in the body which help your muscles function properly. It’s easy to lose electrolytes through dehydration during a lengthy workout, which is why you’ll find them in some sports drinks.

Endorphins: The chemicals your body releases in response to intense exercise, believed to reduce stress, improve mood, and even relieve pain. If you’ve heard people talk about a “runner’s high,” they’re talking about endorphins.

Endurance training: Training that serves to increase your endurance or stamina, often done in preparation for an event, such as a marathon. There are several ways to do it: for example, exercising at low intensity for longer and longer periods of time leading up to the event.

Failure: Training to failure is when you repeat a weightlifting exercise until your body cannot complete another repetition. This practice, which is common among seasoned weightlifters, promotes muscle growth by increasing blood to the targeted muscle area.

Free weights: Weights that are not attached to a machine (such as barbells and dumbbells).

High-impact exercise: An exercise during which both feet leave the floor, such as running or jumping, causing the weight of the body to land on the joints when you hit the ground.

HIIT: HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, consists of short, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery periods. These workouts initiate excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (also called the “afterburn effect”), which helps you keep burning calories even after you’re finished working out.  

Isometric exercise: When the targeted muscle is in a contracted state, but there is no movement. For example: wall sits, planks, and holding weight in a fixed position.

Isometric exercise

Low-impact exercise: When at least one foot is always on the ground, so the joints don’t bear the full bodyweight.

Negative reps: To do “negative” repetitions is to perform an exercise slowly in reverse, starting halfway through the movement. For example, to do negative pull-ups, you would start with your chin over the bar and lower yourself slowly.

Plyometrics: Quick, explosive movements — like box jumps, broad jumps, and burpees — that work to increase power, build muscle efficiently, and burn calories.

Recovery: This is the time you spend not working out — when your muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger than they were before. It’s your rest day. “Active” recovery means doing yoga or jogging on your rest day to increase circulation and reduce muscle soreness.

Reps: Short for repetitions, which is a single complete movement. Doing 12 reps mean doing the movement 12 times.

Sets: A group of consecutive reps constitutes a set. For example, one set might be 12 pull-ups. If you do three sets, you’ll do 36 pull-ups.

Spot/spotter: When lifting weights, it’s sometimes helpful to have a spotter — someone who can help you if you struggle with the weight. For example, while doing a bench press, the person spotting you stands at your head, ready to help you place the barbell back on the rack if you can’t push it all the way up.

Strength training: This term refers to using resistance to work your muscles, whether it’s barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or your own body weight. Strength training increases muscle mass and improves metabolism.

Super set: Alternating between two different exercises with little or no rest in between. Supersets can work the same muscle groups to fatigue those muscles faster, or different muscle groups to get in a more complete workout in a short amount of time.

Tabata: Tabata (or Tabata protocol) is a type of high-intensity interval training. These workouts consist of 20 seconds of full effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, completed 8 times for 4 minutes total. It can be done with almost any movement, whether it’s rowing, lifting weights, or doing body weight exercises.

Target heart rate: This refers to the desired number of heart beats per minute during exercise. The higher your heart rate, the more intense the workout.

Warm up: Performing a series of movements and stretches prior to a workout to increase heart rate and muscle temperature to prepare the body and reduce risk of injury.

Work in: When people share gym equipment to make the best use of time. One person performs a set while the other rests.

Now that you know all the important workout terms, you can walk into any gym with confidence!

important workout terms

To make sure you optimize your workouts with proper fuel, add THRIVEFIT supplements to your diet to help you build more lean muscle, increase your stamina, and recover faster!

Where is the best place to put DFT?

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Where is the best place to put DFT?

If you’re asking this question, you understand that the THRIVE 3-Step Process is designed to make you look and feel your best. You’ve completed Step 1, Step 2, and are just about to apply the lifestyle derma-fusion technology (DFT patch) to clean, dry skin — Step 3. But where’s the best place to put your DFT so that you receive optimal and sustained benefits all day long? You asked the question, now we have the answers.

Best place to put your DFT

DFT is designed for increased bioavailability. Your body absorbs more of DFT’s premium ingredients, and you enjoy the benefits over an extended period of time.

Q: Where is the best place to put my THRIVE DFT?

A: On clean and dry skin, preferably on lean areas such as biceps (inside or outside), shoulder, inside forearms or top parts of buttocks.

Q: Should I place my DFT in the same place every single day?

A: Try to rotate application areas every day or every other day. For example, Monday shoulders, Tuesday forearms.

Q: Is there anywhere I shouldn’t place my DFT?

A: Areas of your body that aren’t lean. For example, your buttocks and upper thigh.

Q: How long do I wear my THRIVE DFT?

A: Leave your THRIVE Lifestyle DFT in place for up to 24 hours. Replace with a new one daily.
The tried and true answer is that just like the type of DFT you choose, where you put it every morning is a matter of preference. As long as you place it on a dry, clean and lean area of your skin, combine it with a balanced diet, proper water intake and regular exercise, you’re good to go!
DFT personal preference

Where you put your DFT every morning is a matter of personal preference.

For more information on the types of DFTs and ingredients in them, visit the THRIVE Experience page here.