Chris Johnson from Zeren PT and Performance plays around with movement more than anyone. Hip flexor weakness often manifests as perceived tightness. Here's a novel way to work on hip flexors plus some trunk rotation thrown in for good measure. Thanks Chris!


A post shared by Chris Johnson PT (@zerenpt) on

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Drinking coffee before a nap may seem counterintuitive.
However, many people endorse this habit as a way to boost energy levels.
This article provides a detailed look at the science behind coffee naps and whether they offer benefits.

A coffee nap refers to drinking coffee before sleeping for a short period of time.
This is thought to boost energy levels because of its effect on adenosine, a chemical that promotes sleep (1).
When you feel tired, adenosine circulates through your body in high amounts. After you fall asleep, adenosine levels begin to drop.
Caffeine competes with adenosine for receptors in your brain. So while caffeine doesn’t decrease adenosine in your body as sleep does, it prevents this substance from being received by your brain. Therefore, you feel less drowsy (123).
Scientists suspect that drinking coffee before a nap may boost energy levels, as sleep helps your body get rid of adenosine. In turn, caffeine has to compete with less adenosine for the receptors in your brain (1).
In other words, sleep may enhance the effects of coffee by increasing the availability of receptors for caffeine in your brain. That’s why a coffee nap may increase energy levels more than just drinking coffee or sleeping.
You may think that drinking coffee would prevent you from napping, but keep in mind that it takes some time until your body feels the effects of caffeine.
SUMMARYA coffee nap entails drinking coffee before sleeping for a short period. It’s thought to boost energy levels by increasing your brain’s capacity to receive caffeine.

Most experts propose that the best way to take a coffee nap is to consume caffeine right before falling asleep for approximately 15–20 minutes (45).
This timing is suggested partially because it takes about that long to feel the effects of caffeine(5).
Moreover, you may fall into a type of deep sleep called slow-wave sleep if you sleep for a half-hour or more.
Waking up during slow-wave sleep can lead to sleep inertia, a state of drowsiness and disorientation. It’s thought that limiting coffee naps to less than 30 minutes may prevent this (6).
The time of day that someone takes a coffee nap may also be important.
One small study in 12 healthy adults found that participants who had 400 mg of caffeine — the equivalent of four cups of coffee — six, three or zero hours before bed all experienced disrupted sleep (7).
This research indicates that it may be best to take coffee naps more than six hours before bedtime.
Finally, the amount of caffeine consumed before a coffee nap appears to impact its effectiveness.
Most research suggests that 200 mg of caffeine — about two cups of coffee — is the approximate amount you need to feel more alert and energized upon waking (458).
SUMMARYDrinking approximately two cups of coffee before sleeping for 20 minutes may be the best way to reap the benefits of coffee naps. To avoid nighttime sleep disturbances, caffeine intake should cease six hours before bed.

Though the logic behind coffee naps seems plausible, research to support the claims that they increase energy more than naps or coffee alone is limited.
However, the few studies that exist are promising.
A study in 12 adults showed that participants who took 200 mg of caffeine followed by a 15-minute nap before being placed in a driving simulator for two hours felt 91% less sleepy behind the wheel than those who didn’t have caffeine and a nap (4).
The study also found that those who didn’t completely fall asleep during the nap period still experienced improved energy (4).
A similar study in 10 people determined that those who took 150 mg of caffeine before sleeping for less than 15 minutes felt significantly less drowsy during their two hours in a driving simulator, compared to the control group (9).
Another small study showed that taking 200 mg of caffeine followed by a 20-minute nap is more effective at improving energy and performance in computer tasks than napping plus face washing or exposure to bright light (5).
Lastly, additional research suggests that consuming caffeine and taking naps together increases alertness and energy during night work more than caffeine or sleep alone (810).
While the results of these studies imply that coffee naps are effective at boosting energy, they’re small and use caffeine in pill form.
More research is needed to assess how liquid coffee before naps improves energy and alertness upon waking.
SUMMARYSome research suggests that combining caffeine with naps is more energizing than caffeine or sleep alone. However, more research is needed to determine whether these results apply specifically to drinking coffee before naps.

It’s not surprising that many people want to try taking coffee naps to boost energy levels or improve alertness.
However, research to support the effectiveness of coffee naps is limited.
If you’re interested in incorporating coffee naps into your day, keep in mind the type and amount of coffee you drink.
The dose of caffeine used in most studies is equivalent to approximately two cups of coffee. Consuming this amount of liquid coffee likely has the same effects as taking caffeine pills before a nap, but has not been tested.
Furthermore, drinking coffee with added sugars or flavors before sleeping may decrease the effectiveness of a coffee nap — black coffee is a healthier option.
Finally, excessive caffeine intake can cause restlessness, anxiety, muscle tremors and other issues in some people. Caffeine may also disrupt sleep if consumed less than six hours before bed (7).
Most health experts agree that up to 400 mg of caffeine a day — the equivalent of about four cups of coffee — is safe for most people (1112).
Remember this recommended maximum daily caffeine intake if you increase your coffee consumption to start taking coffee naps.
SUMMARYWhile coffee naps may improve energy levels, you still need to be mindful of the type of coffee and amount of caffeine you consume.

Coffee naps may increase energy more than coffee or sleeping alone, though research to support this effect is limited.
About 2 cups of coffee right before a 20-minute nap may be the best way to reap benefits.
To avoid nighttime sleep disturbances, stop drinking coffee at least six hours before bed.
Coffee naps may certainly be worth a try, as long as you don’t go overboard with your caffeine consumption.
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Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years.
Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea — it's also rich in beneficial probiotics.
Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.
Here are the top 8 health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.

Kombucha is thought to originate in China or Japan.
It's made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, then allowing it to ferment for a week or more (1).
During this process, bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid. This is why kombucha is also known as "mushroom tea."
This blob is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha.
The fermentation process produces acetic acid (also found in vinegar) and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated (2).
A large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced during fermentation (3).
Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.
For this reason, adding probiotics foods like kombucha to your diet might improve your health in many ways.
SUMMARYKombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. This makes it a good source of probiotics, which have many health benefits.

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
This is because green tea contains many bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body (4).
Kombucha made from green tea contains many of the same plant compounds and presumably boasts some of the same benefits (5).
Studies show that drinking green tea regularly can increase the number of calories you burn, reduce belly fat, improve cholesterol levels, help with blood sugar control and more (6789).
Studies also show that green tea drinkers have a reduced risk of prostate, breast and colon cancers (101112).
SUMMARYKombucha made from green tea may offer many of the same health benefits as green tea itself, such as weight loss and blood sugar control.

Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage your cells (1314).
Many scientists believe that antioxidants from foods and beverages are better for your health than antioxidant supplements (15).
Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have antioxidant effects in your liver.
Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70% (16171819).
While no human studies exist on this topic, it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.
SUMMARYKombucha is rich in antioxidants, and studies have shown that it protects rats’ liver from toxicity.

One of the main substances produced during the fermentation of kombucha is acetic acid, which is also abundant in vinegar.
Like the polyphenols in tea, acetic acid is able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms (20).
Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts (21).
These antimicrobial effects suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts, but they do not affect the beneficial, probiotic bacteria and yeasts involved in kombucha fermentation.
The health relevance of these antimicrobial properties is unclear.
SUMMARYKombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.

Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death (22).
Rat studies show that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of heart disease, “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days (2324).
Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease (252627).
In fact, green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that may also apply to kombucha (282930).
SUMMARYKombucha has been shown to improve “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol levels in rats. It may also protect against heart disease.

Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function (23).
Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels (31).
In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (32).
Further human studies are needed to investigate the benefits of kombucha for blood sugar control.
SUMMARYKombucha improved several markers of diabetes in rats, including blood sugar levels.

Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death. It is characterized by cell mutation and uncontrolled cell growth.
In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants (3334).
How the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work is not well understood.
However, it's thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and growth of cancer cells while also promoting cancer cell death (35).
For this reason, it is not surprising that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer (363738).
However, whether kombucha has any anti-cancer effects in people has not been confirmed. Further studies are needed.
SUMMARYTest-tube studies show that kombucha may suppress the growth of cancer cells. It is unknown whether drinking kombucha has any effects on cancer risk in people.

Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with many potential health benefits.
You can purchase it in stores or make it yourself at home. However, be sure to prepare it properly.
Contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause serious health problems and even death. Homemade kombucha may also contain up to 3% alcohol (2394041).
The safer option is to buy kombucha at a store or online. Commercial products are tasty and considered alcohol-free, as they must contain less than 0.5% alcohol (42).
However, check the ingredients and try to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.
SUMMARYImproperly prepared kombucha may have adverse health effects. A safer option is to buy bottled kombucha at the store.

Many people believe that kombucha helps treat all sorts of chronic health problems.
However, human studies on the effects of kombucha are few and the evidence for its health effects limited.
In contrast, there is ample evidence for the benefits of tea and probiotics, both of which are found in kombucha.
If you decide to try homemade kombucha, make sure it’s properly prepared. Contaminated kombucha may cause more harm than good.

Many times the perception of pinching/tightness in the front of the hips during squatting or other activities is due to weakness in hip flexors. This is a more advanced drill than the normal resisted open chain hip flexion variations with a band.

This works on single limb stance stability plus hip flexor strength, thanks again to Chris Johnson for coming up with deceptively tough drills!

A post shared by Chris Johnson PT (@zerenpt) on

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
In fact, a whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire chicken.
However, eggs have gotten a bad reputation because the yolks are high in cholesterol.
But cholesterol isn't that simple. The more of it you eat, the less your body produces.
For this reason, eating a few eggs won’t cause a high rise in cholesterol levels.
This article explains this process and discusses how many eggs you can safely eat per day.
How Many Eggs Should You Eat?

Cholesterol is often viewed as negative.
This is because some studies have linked high levels of cholesterol with heart disease and early death. However, the evidence is mixed (12).
The truth is that cholesterol plays a very important function in your body. It’s a structural molecule that is essential to every cell membrane.
It is also used to make steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.
Given how important cholesterol is, your body has evolved elaborate ways to ensure that it always has enough available.
Because getting cholesterol from the diet isn't always an option, your liver produces enough to meet your body’s needs.
But when you eat a lot of cholesterol-rich foods, your liver starts producing less to keep cholesterol levels from becoming excessively high (34).
Therefore, the total amount of cholesterol in your body changes only very little, if at all. What changes is its source — your diet or your liver (56).
Nevertheless, you should still avoid eating excessive amounts of cholesterol if your blood levels are raised. A high intake may cause a moderate increase in blood cholesterol levels (789).
SUMMARYYour liver produces large amounts of cholesterol. When you eat cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs, your liver compensates by producing less.

For many decades, people have been advised to limit their consumption of eggs — or at least of egg yolks.
A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). In contrast, the white is mostly protein and low in cholesterol (10).
Common recommendations include a maximum of 2–6 yolks per week. However, scientific support for this limitation is lacking (11).
A few studies have examined the effects of eggs on cholesterol levels.
These studies divided people into two groups — one group ate 1–3 whole eggs per day while the other ate something else, such as egg substitutes.
These studies show that:
  • In almost all cases, “good” HDL cholesterol goes up (121314).
  • Total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels usually remain unchanged but sometimes increase slightly (15161718).
  • Eating omega-3-enriched eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor (1920).
  • Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin increase significantly (212223).
It appears that the response to eating whole eggs depends on the individual.
In 70% of people, eggs had no effect on total or “bad” LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people — called hyper-responders — these markers do go up slightly (24).
Although eating a few eggs per day may raise blood cholesterol in some people, they change the “bad” LDL particles from small and dense to large (1225).
People who have predominantly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause mild increases in total and LDL cholesterol levels, it’s not a cause for concern (262728).
The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people.
SUMMARYEggs consistently raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. For 70% of people, there is no increase in total or LDL cholesterol. Some people may experience a mild increase in a benign subtype of LDL.

Multiple studies have examined egg consumption and heart disease risk.
Many of these are observational studies in which large groups of people are followed for many years.
Researchers then use statistical methods to determine whether certain habits — like diet, smoking or exercise — are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of certain diseases.
These studies — some of which include hundreds of thousands of people — consistently show that people who eat whole eggs are no more likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.
Some of the studies even show a reduced risk of stroke (293031).
However, this research suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes and eat a lot of eggs have an increased risk of heart disease (32).
One controlled study in people with type 2 diabetes found that eating two eggs per day, six days a week, for three months did not significantly affect blood lipid levels (33).
Health effects may also depend on the rest of your diet. On a low-carb diet — which is the best diet for people with diabetes — eggs lead to improvements in heart disease risk factors (3435).
SUMMARYMany observational studies show that people who eat eggs don't have an increased risk of heart disease, but some studies show an increased risk for people with type 2 diabetes.

Let's not forget that eggs are about more than just cholesterol. They're also loaded with nutrients and offer various other impressive benefits:
  • They're high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts (3637).
  • They're very high in choline, a nutrient that plays an essential role in all cells (38).
  • They're high in quality animal protein, the benefits of which include increased muscle mass and better bone health (3940).
  • Studies show that eggs increase feelings of fullness and help you lose weight (4142).
What’s more, eggs are tasty and incredibly easy to prepare.
The benefits of consuming eggs far outweigh the potential negatives.
SUMMARYEggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain important brain nutrients and powerful antioxidants that protect your eyes.

Unfortunately, no studies have fed people more than three eggs per day.
It is possible, though unlikely, that eating more than that could negatively impact your health. Consuming more than three is uncharted territory, scientifically speaking.
However, one case study included an 88-year-old man who consumed 25 eggs per day. He had normal cholesterol levels and was in very good health (43).
Of course, the way one individual responds to extreme egg consumption can’t be extrapolated to the whole population, but it's interesting nonetheless.
It's also important to keep in mind that not all eggs are the same. Most eggs at the supermarket come from factory-raised chickens fed grain-based feeds.
The healthiest eggs are omega-3-enriched eggs or eggs from hens that are raised on pasture. These eggs are much higher in omega-3s and important fat-soluble vitamins (4445).
Overall, eating eggs is perfectly safe, even if you're eating up to 3 whole eggs per day.
Given their range of nutrients and powerful health benefits, quality eggs may be among the healthiest foods on the planet.