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04/Jan/2023

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling groggy and exhausted? That’s because our bodies naturally respond to light. In fact, bright light upon waking is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle—not just for one day, but for days, weeks, and even months. In this blog post, we’ll explore why bright light upon waking is so important and how it can help improve your health and well-being.

What Is a Sleep Cycle?

A sleep cycle is the process by which our bodies move through different stages of wakefulness and sleep throughout the night. It’s made up of two main phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During NREM sleep, our bodies are getting ready for REM sleep, which is when we dream. Each night, we usually go through 4–5 cycles of REM and NREM sleep that last about 90 minutes each.

The Role of Light in Our Sleep Cycles

Light plays an essential role in regulating our circadian rhythm—our body’s natural internal clock that tells us when to be awake or asleep. When it gets dark outside, a hormone called melatonin is released into our systems to help us fall asleep. When it gets light out again, another hormone called cortisol signals to us that it’s time to wake up and get going. Without adequate exposure to bright light upon waking, our circadian rhythms can become disrupted—which could lead to poor quality of sleep over time as well as other negative health effects such as fatigue, irritability, depression or anxiety.

Benefits of Bright Light Upon Waking

Exposing ourselves to bright light first thing in the morning helps reset our internal clocks so that we can stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night more easily. This means we can get better quality rest overall! Additionally, exposing ourselves to bright light in the morning may also provide cognitive benefits like increased alertness and improved concentration throughout the day.

How much light is optimal?

A recent study published in Sleep Science and Practice found that exposing participants to bright light of at least 2500 lux for 30 minutes after waking triggered the highest cortisol response. This study also revealed that dim lighting of less than 500 lux did not produce a significant change in cortisol levels, meaning that it was not sufficient for resetting the circadian rhythm.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Oregon determined that conflicting with the body’s natural expectations can have serious consequences; exposure to bright light of more than 5000 lux after waking up in the morning disrupted cortisol rhythms, leading to an increase in stress hormones and a decrease in alertness and productivity. The optimal level of light exposure after waking appears to be between 2000-3000 lux, as this amount is both beneficial for circadian rhythm health and does not induce a stress response.
An experiment performed at Northwestern University found that exposure to bright light between 2000-2500 lux resulted in greater alertness and improved performance on cognitive tests as compared to regular office lighting levels. Thus, we can conclude that exposing oneself to bright light between 2000-3000 lux within thirty minutes of waking is likely most beneficial for resetting our circadian rhythms, improving alertness and productivity, reducing stress, and promoting overall wellbeing.

What is the best light source?

The optimal light source to be exposed to upon waking is one that mimics natural sunlight. By exposing yourself to a full-spectrum light therapy, ideally within the first hour of waking, your body will be more likely to respond positively. This type of light therapy helps regulate the body’s production of melatonin and cortisol.
The most effective type of full-spectrum light therapy involves artificial lights that mimic natural daylight and provide a bright white light similar in color temperature to the midday sun. For example, LED bulbs that have a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) are ideal for providing a balanced spectrum of light. Additionally, adjustable lamps can provide an even greater degree of control over brightness levels by allowing users to adjust the intensity according to their own preferences.

Conclusion

Bright light upon waking has been shown to improve both physical health (by helping regulate our circadian rhythm) as well as mental health (by boosting alertness). So if you want to feel more energized during the day and get better quality rest at night, make sure you give yourself some extra exposure to bright light first thing in the morning! Even if it’s only for a few minutes each day—it could make all the difference in terms of improving your overall health and well-being!

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28/Oct/2022

Any good rock climber knows that in order to perform at your best, you need to take care of your body. That means eating a nutritious diet, appropriate training, sleeping well and staying hydrated. But it can also mean supplementing your diet with the right things to ensure that your body has everything it needs to climb to new heights. Here are 10 of the best supplements for rock climbing.

CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cousin THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. Instead, it has been shown to offer a variety of health benefits, including reducing anxiety and pain. CBD is also being explored as a treatment for several conditions, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. CBD oil can be taken orally or applied topically, making it a versatile addition to any medicine cabinet.
For athletes, CBD oil has become an increasingly popular way to manage pain and inflammation. CBD is thought to work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation. In one study, rock climbers who took CBD before their climb reported reduced pain and inflammation afterwards. CBD is also being explored as a potential treatment for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), a type of muscle soreness that can occur after exercise. While more research is needed, CBD oil shows promise as a safe and effective way to manage pain and inflammation for athletes of all levels.

Dose: 60mg after training has shown benefit in muscle recovery

Theanine

Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in tea leaves. It is known to have a calming effect on the mind, and it has been shown to improve focus and concentration. Theanine has also been shown to reduce anxiety levels. For these reasons, theanine has become a popular supplement among rock climbers. While theanine can help to improve focus and cognitive function, it is not a miracle drug. Theanine will not make you a better rock climber overnight. However, it can help to improve your mental state while climbing, making it easier to maintain focus and avoid getting overwhelmed by anxiety. If you are looking for an edge while climbing, theanine may be worth considering.

Dose: 100mg has shown improvements in cognitive function.

Protein

Climbing is a strenuous activity that can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. Adding a protein powder supplement to your diet can help your muscles recover more quickly so that you can get back on the wall sooner. Protein powder is also helpful in preventing injuries since it helps to repair and build muscle tissue. For optimal effects, it is best to take a protein supplement within one hour after climbing.

Dose: 1.2-1.5 grams/kg or 30-33 grams when combined with athletic training.

Iron

Climbing takes a lot of energy, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough iron. Iron helps carry oxygen to your cells, which gives you the energy you need to power through a tough climb. If you’re not getting enough iron, you might start to feel fatigued more easily. The best way to get iron is through food sources like red meat, dark leafy greens, and beans. However, if you’re not getting enough from your diet, you might want to consider taking an iron supplement. Just be sure to talk to your doctor first, as too much iron can be harmful.

Dose: Depends on current iron levels. Blood testing may be required. Consult with your doctor or naturopath.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is critical for human health. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including the metabolism of energy, the regulation of blood sugar, and the formation of bones and teeth. Magnesium is also essential for muscle function, and it helps to relieve muscle cramps. For athletes and people who are physically active, magnesium is especially important. This is because Magnesium helps to maintain electrolyte balance and to reduce exercise-induced inflammation.
Rock climbers can benefit from taking magnesium supplements, as this can help to improve their performance and recovery from climbs. Magnesium can also help to prevent injuries by reducing the risk of cramping. For climbers who are looking to improve their results, magnesium may be a valuable addition to their diet.

Dose: Up to 350mg is generally tolerated well.

Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body that helps to supply energy to cells. It is popular among climbers because it has been shown to improve power and strength output. This can be helpful when you are trying to send a hard route or when you need to pull yourself up a steep wall. Creatine is also one of the most studied supplements on the market, so you can be confident in its safety and effectiveness.

Dose: 20 grams for 5-7 days has shown improvement in both aerobic and anaerobic performance

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is another amino acid that is popular among athletes because it has been shown to improve performance. It works by increasing the amount of carnosine in muscle cells, which helps to buffer lactic acid buildup. This can delay fatigue, arm pump and help you climb for longer periods of time without getting as tired. Beta-alanine is also relatively safe and has been well-studied, so you can be confident in its effects.

Dose: 2-6.4 grams for 3-12 weeks demonstrated improvements in exercise capacity and performance.

Collagen

Collagen is a structural protein that helps to give tissues their strength and elasticity. It is found throughout the body, including in the skin, bones, and tendons. Collagen plays an important role in rock climbing, as it helps to maintain the strength and integrity of the climbers’ hands and feet. Collagen also helps to protect against injury, as it acts as a shock absorber and can help to reduce the impact of falls. In addition, collagen aids in the healing process, helping to repair tissue damage caused by climbing. As a result, collagen is an essential component of rock climbing. without it, climbers would be at a higher risk of injury and would have a difficult time recovering from falls. Taking daily amounts of collagen through supplementation can help ensure that your body has all the required building blocks for collagen synthesis.

Dose: 10-20 grams daily has shown increases in performance.

Ginseng

Ginseng is an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Today, ginseng is commonly taken as a dietary supplement, and it is also said to have many benefits for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Ginseng is thought to improve stamina and endurance, and some climbers even swear by it as a way to boost their performance on the rock. Ginseng is available in many forms, including capsules, teas, and tinctures. If you’re interested in trying ginseng for yourself, be sure to talk to your doctor first, as it can interact with some medications.

Dose: 200mg up to 3 times daily for 12 weeks has been shown to be safe. Panax Ginseng can raise blood pressure so it is important to consult with your doctor or naturopath prior to supplementation.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a popular supplement among athletes in general because it has been shown to improve alertness, focus, and power output. This can be helpful when you are trying to maintain focus while climbing. Caffeine is also relatively safe, but it is important to not overdo it as too much caffeine can lead to side effects like jitters and anxiety.

Dose: 2-10mg/kg has shown improvements in athletic performance. Up to 400mg per day has been shown to be relatively safe for most individuals.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many different supplements that can be helpful for rock climbing. If you are looking to improve your performance, then you may want to consider adding some of these supplements to your diet. As always, make sure to consult with a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

References

Isenmann E, Veit S, Starke L, Flenker U, Diel P. Effects of Cannabidiol Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Regeneration after Intensive Resistance Training. Nutrients 2021;13(9):3028

Foxe JJ, et al. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task. Neuropharmacology. 2012;62(7):2320-2327

McAdam JS, McGinnis KD, Beck DT, et al. Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Physical Performance and Body Composition in Army Initial Entry Training Soldiers. Nutrients. 2018;10(9)

McNaughton LR, Dalton B, Tarr J. The effects of creatine supplementation on high-intensity exercise performance in elite performers. (abstract) Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1998;78:236-40

Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, et al. Effects of ß-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids 2012;43:25-37

Jendricke P, Kohl J, Centner C, Gollhofer A, König D. Influence of specific collagen peptides and concurrent training on cardiometabolic parameters and performance indices in women: A randomized controlled trial. Front Nutr. 2020;7:580918.

Sorensen H, Sonne J. A double-masked study of the effects of ginseng on cognitive functions. Curr Ther Res 1996;57:959-68.

Greer F, Friars D, Graham TE. Comparison of caffeine and theophylline ingestion: exercise metabolism and endurance. J Appl Physiol 2000;89:1837-44


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