A New Study is Combating the Idea That Poverty and Fast Food Intake Are Connected

Despite the popular myth, being poor does not increase your likelihood of eating fast food.

Fast food may be relatively cheap and unhealthy, but the link between poverty and fast food intake is no stronger than between any other economic class. In fact, a recent study confirmed that middle class Americans actually consume the most fast food.

An existing correlation between obesity and poverty supports the misconception that poverty and fast food are connected. Beyond that, fast food is a relatively cheap food source, when compared to other dining out sit down restaurants.

Still, don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon. The cost of fast food increased by six percent in 2016, while at-home eating dropped by one percent. Meanwhile weekly income, after accounting for inflation, has not shifted for the lowest socioeconomic class since the 1980’s.

So if income isn’t the biggest factor, then what is? The study actually found the strongest link was between fast food intake and higher work hours. Compared to other industrialized nations, the U.S works the longest hours, at just a little more than 40 hours per week. These busy days leave little time for people to cook home made meals. Instead, they opt for quick and fattening fast food meals.

The answer to America’s ongoing fast food problems is more based on finding the time and patience to make healthier meals than its availability to the poor.

A New Study Shows Listening to Music Could Help Physical Therapy Patients

Whether it’s dancing or working out, many people find music helps them better perform physical activities.

A new study published by the University of Edinburgh provides evidence that listening to music while performing basic physical tasks strengthens linked structures between brain regions that control the comprehension of sounds and understanding of physical movement.

Thirty volunteers split into two groups, both of which learned a series of finger movements during a four-week span—one group listened to music while learning the activity and the other did not.

By the end of the four weeks, scientists determined that each group was equivalent in performing the activity. Brain scans, however, revealed that the group that listened to music exhibited physical growth of of the connective structures between motor and auditory comprehension in the right side of the brain. The group without a musical stimulant showed no change in these links.

Researchers believe that this discovery can aid physical therapists in creating rehabilitation programs for patients suffering from motor function problems—individuals who have experienced strokes or other brain damage would benefit the most.

That being said, this isn’t the first study which has found that music builds bonds in various parts of the brain. One study found that musicians had more developed sensory and communication skills. Music also helps children learn and improve their memories.

Amazon Prime Day: Best Health & Fitness Deals

Amazon’s day of deals — “Prime Day” — is here. To help you make the most of it, we’ve rounded up some of the best deals on health and fitness products, both practical and quirky.

Weighted hula hoop: Add some fun to your workout with this weighted hula hoop. Made for adults, exercising with this hoop can help work the core muscles. This hula hoop currently sells for $30.85, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 10:25 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

Bocce ball set: Bocce ball is a fun game that people of all ages can play, almost anywhere, anytime. The game is not strenuous, but it will get you up on your feet. This set currently sells for $47.58, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 10:20 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

Nonslip yoga mat: For yoga experts, or people just looking to try out their balasana, Healthyoga offers a non-slip yoga mat made from eco-friendly materials. This mat currently sells for $29.98, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 9:20 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

Dumbbell set with rack: Strength training is exercise that works the muscles by using resistance, and can help maintain muscle mass. This set currently sells for $52.39, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 9:00 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

MIRA 17 Oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Hydration is key to a good workout, and good health in general, and a vacuum insulated water bottle can help keep drinks cold for longer. This water bottle currently sells for $17.95, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 9:00 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

Digital Body Fat Scale: Keep tabs on your body fat levels with this scale from GoWISE. It also measures your weight, water mass and bone mass. This water bottle currently sells for $37.13, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 9:00 p.m. ET, on Monday, July 10.

Cubii Smart Under-Desk Elliptical: Workout while you work, with this office-friendly exercise machine. The elliptical also connects via Bluetooth to a mobile app, which lets you track your exercise, set goals and share progress. This elliptical currently sells for $349.00, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 12:05 p.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

Polar M200 GPS Running Watch: Track your heart rate continuously throughout your workout with this watch from Polar. This watch currently sells for $140.00, but will be less tomorrow on Prime Day. This deal starts for Prime members at 6:30 a.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 11.

7 Workout Supplements That Actually Work

The fitness world is full of a lot of gimmicks and promises because, let’s face it, working out is hard work, and if there’s one thing human history has shown us, it’s that humans love a good shortcut. The truth is, there’s no real replacement for good old-fashioned hard work. When it comes to fitness, “hard work” means getting into the gym, banging weights around, laying down miles, not eating trash, and making the effort to cut fat and make gains.

That said, it’s not all bullshit. Our granddaddies (and mammies) got their strength from eating good and lifting big, but you bet your ass if they had the science and technology we have today, they’d have explored the world of supplements, too.

But in a space occupied heavily by nonsense wonder drugs and placebos, how are you supposed to tell the difference between useful supplements and nonsense? It’s difficult, to be honest, but the trick is to not buy into the magic pills or simple “programs” that make it seem like you won’t have to work hard to get the results you want. Look for the products that aren’t trying to sell you something that sounds too good to be true. In the fitness world – and every other world – if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

I’m not going to turn this into a brand-loyal buying guide for all the best supplements. At the end of the day, there’re literally thousands of options out there for you to consider, and there’s no point in me muddying up your water with my own opinions. Instead, we’re going to explore a couple tried-and-true supplements whose effectiveness you can bet your bottom dollar on.

So, without further ado, here are seven workout supplements that actuallywork:


When it comes to the whole “magic pill” aspect of workout supplements, creatine is about as close as it gets without being a load of bullshit. Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid that occurs in all of us. In its synthesized form, creatine is a performance-enhancing substance that helps boost the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which helps in muscle repair and growth under stress.

Essentially, creatine gives bursts of energy and helps with muscle repair during your workout, to help you run a little faster, put up one or two more reps, and push your muscles to perform their best. People have conducted literally hundreds of clinical studies on the stuff, and while results definitely vary from person to person and study to study, the facts are clear: this stuff works.

It comes in a lot of forms; powder, liquid, solids, etc. It’s also found in smaller doses in things like meat, fish, and eggs, but it’s obviously better and more useful in a concentrated powder.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs are awesome because they don’t just help you during your workout, but also after. In fact, they shine brightest in the post-workout stages. BCAAs are a mix of three vital amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine – that are essential to muscle repair and recovery. Their whole job is to help your muscles recover faster after a hard workout, which means you spend less days off from being sore and feeling beat to shit, and more time in the gym putting up the heavy stuff.

It even goes a lot deeper than that. Aside from helping muscles repair themselves, these amino acids also help provide much-needed energy in the gym, but also curb the production of certain hormones that actually work against your body’s attempts to build muscles – most notably, cortisol.

The trick about BCAAs is that you really have to remember to keep taking them throughout the day. Literally, you have to be eating these things in the morning, at night, before, during and after your workout, etc., in order to get the best results from them. Luckily, BCAA powders aren’t necessarily that pricey, so keeping them in your diet won’t be too hard on your wallet.

Fish Oil

I don’t really understand why, but it seems the more people I talk to about fish oil and its benefits, the more people I encounter who don’t really see it as necessary. The truth is, fish oil isn’t snake oil, and its benefits are absolutely real.

Fish oil contains a super high amount of Omega 3 oils, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that can really mean the difference between running a mile or being able to lay down five. It will help ease joint and muscle soreness, and is vital to the recovery process.

Hell, even if you’re not in the gym or training for that half marathon you’ve been eyeing up, fish oil is excellent for your lungs, blood circulation and heart health.

The largest issue people have is finding a reputable brand that isn’t cut with a bunch of other useless ingredients, but they’re definitely out there. Any way you slice it, this stuff is critical to your workout regimen.


Glutamine is another amino acid that’s produced naturally by the body, and can be drawn out of muscles during intensely stressful situations. Workouts are stressful. On the whole, glutamine helps maintain muscle mass. So, if your glutamine levels are depleting during a stressful workout, and glutamine is essential to muscle mass, it’s absolutely vital that you get as much glutamine back into you’re your body as possible following a workout.

Easy, right? Well, not quite. The problem is that, organically, glutamine is found in things like nuts, fish, red meat, beans and other intensely fatty foods. Since it’s not really advisable to run home and grill up a steak every time you step foot in the gym, a good glutamine supplement does all the heavy lifting you need to get your glutamine levels back up, without flooding you with a bunch of unnecessary fat and calories.

The more glutamine you get back in your body, and the faster you get it there, the more muscle you keep on. Period.

Whey Protein Powder

Protein powders are some of the most difficult supplements to discuss because everybody – seriously fucking everybody – has an opinion about them. There are literally hundreds of different brands, and every Instagram fitness model with over a thousand followers raves about this or that revolutionary brand.

The fact is, different protein powders serve different purposes. There are some out there that are very lean and are only for people trying to stay lean while building lean muscle. There are some that contain massive amounts of calories and more grams of protein because they’re engineered for people who are trying to bulk and get Hulk-like. I won’t sit here and make a personal recommendation, but I will say that when you’re looking for a good protein powder, look to make sure it’s whey protein. Whey protein is one of the most tried and true supplements because it contains a higher level of Leucine (remember that amino acid from the BCAAs?), which you now know is directly responsible for muscle protein synthesis (AKA growth).

As a base line, look for something that’s lower in calories, has very few ingredients, and is high in whey protein (anything in the 25 gram+ range per serving), and you won’t go wrong. Stay away from the sweet shit with sugar and all the other added nonsense.

Another common misconception is that people think only one protein shake a day – directly following a workout – is all you need. If you’re trying to build lean muscle, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink two, even three shakes a day. A lot of it depends on your bodyweight (the general rule of thumb is one gram of protein for every pound of lean bodyweight you’re working with), but also depends on your diet and workout routine. The most important thing to keep in mind is that protein shakes are supplemental to your daily intake. Your primary source of protein should come from actual food.


Probably the least well-known supplement on this list, beta-alanine is another natural amino acid that helps to drastically reduce muscle fatigue by boosting your body’s level of carnosine. Carnosine works in your body to prevent the build up of acids, thereby reducing muscle strain, fatigue and corrosion.

The problem is, your body only has so much carnosine, and it can only produce as much carnosine as you have beta-alanine. So, by taking concentrated amounts of beta-alanine, you’re allowing your body extra room to produce more carnosine, and therefore more resistance against fatigue.

The other problem with beta-alanine is that, like BCAAs, you really have to stay on top of your shit. Research from a team at Texas A&M noted that taking 800mg of beta-alanine a day helped boost carnosine levels by 66 percent. The only problem is that you have to take that dosage upwards of four times a day. It can get overwhelming, to say the least.

But if you stick to it and make sure you’re ingesting the appropriate dosage, the results are undeniable.


You’re confused right now, because for as long as you’ve been dieting and working out, people have told you that carbs are the enemy. If all you’re worried about is cutting fat and losing weight, that might be true. But if you’re trying to pack on muscle and keep burning fat long after the workout is over, you should be ingesting simple carbohydrates twice a day: once as soon as you wake up, and once right after a workout.

The rationale there is that once your workout is over, your body’s glycogen and glucose levels are completely trashed. Once that happens, your body secretes that cortisol stuff I talked about above, and begins eating away at all that valuable muscle you just spent time and energy making. Ingesting simple carbs (sugars) helps raise your body’s glucose level, prevents cortisol from being secreted, and helps save that muscle tissue you’re working so hard to pack on.

Carbohydrates in the form of supplements helps cut out all the extra crap that you’d normally get from ingesting it in food. You could eat a bunch of simple carbs in different foods, but having a supplement helps regulate your carb intake perfectly, giving you everything you need to keep that muscle where it belongs.


This Drug Promises to Extend Life & It Costs Just 5 Cents A Pill

In the last few years, anti-aging research has progressed dramatically, mostly thanks to interest and funding from Silicon Valley billionaires like Peter Thiel, Larry Ellison and Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The science fiction-esque research has explored everything from uploading your brain to an online cloud to “young blood transfusions,” but it looks like the key to (almost) eternal life could be a lot simpler than we think.

A recent Wired article profiles Dr Nir Barzilai, who is currently seeking FDA approval for the drug metformin to be used as an anti-aging pill. Metformin is synthesized from French lilac, a plant that has been used medicinally for centuries to fight things like the plague, measles and small pocks. Currently, the drug is approved to treat diabetes and pre diabetes, but Barzilai alleges that its real power is to radically fight aging.

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Preliminary evidence seem to back up his claims. Previous studies comparing diabetics on metformin and those on other drugs found that those taking metformin were much healthier overall. Not only did they live longer, but they were also less susceptible to diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Their cancer risk was 25 to 40 percent lower, and when they did get cancer, they tended to live longer than those not on the drug.

If metformin does turn out to be a wonder anti-aging drug, it won’t just be available to the uber rich. Metformin is generic, meaning that it’s cheap to make — each pill costs just 5 cents and no one company can have a monopoly on it, which ensures that prices remain low.

While that is obviously great for consumers, investors aren’t interested in funding studies into drugs with no huge commercial gain. Because of this, Barzilai himself has contributed some money towards research and he is currently attempting to raise $69 million to fund a large scale study. If the study goes ahead, he hopes it will prove metformin’s health benefits and secure FDA approval.

Why Weight Training Is So Good For You

When most people think about weight lifting, they picture greased-up Schwarzenegger look-a-likes whose muscles threaten to explode out of their clothes. But that’s an outdated image. Weight lifting can do more than just “pump you up.” In fact, adding strength training moves to your weekly exercise routine can improve your physical and mental health, prevent disease, keep your trim, and it may even keep you alive a little longer.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at some of the amazing benefits your can get by adding some iron to your workouts.

Promotes weight loss

Want to lose weight? Stop looking at the numbers on your scale and start looking at those weights collecting dust in your garage. Research shows that pound for pound, muscle tissues burn more calories than fat. And muscle fibers keep burning calories long after your workout is over. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who did a weight-training workout for an hour burned roughly 100 more calories over the next 24 hours compared to women who didn’t lift any weights.

Builds muscle

It probably goes without saying that weight training can help you build and maintain muscle. But if you’re afraid of bulking up, you shouldn’t be. The latest research shows that even light weight lifting can yield powerful results for your health. That’s good news for people who want strong muscles but don’t want to look like the Hulk. Think strong and lean rather than beefed-up and bulky.

Counteracts bone loss

Sadly, one of the not-so-awesome facts about aging is bone loss. When we’re young, our bodies keep everything in check by rebuilding bone as quickly as it’s reabsorbed by the body. But as we age, the body can no longer keep up and the result is a gradual decline in bone density each year. Weight training counteracts that bone loss by stimulating the cells that rebuild bone. In a three-year study of post-menopausal women, researchers found that regular weight training helped women increase bone density in key locations (spine, hips, and heels) throughout the body.

Improves insulin sensitivity

recent study of diabetic men found that twice-weekly strength training helped participants control insulin swings better than men who didn’t lift any weights. In another study, researchers found that women who lifted weights at least two times a week were less likely to develop type-2 diabetes over time than their peers. Experts at the World Health Organization currently note that 350 million people have diabetes worldwide and by 2030 they predict the disease to be the seventh leading cause of death.

Reduces inflammation

Researchers are narrowing in on inflammation as the cause of certain health conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even asthma and allergies. But weight training may help to counteract that inflammation. In a study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic, women who lifted weights had lower levels of inflammation than their peers who did not.

Improves balance

Weight training exercises such as squats or bicep curls strengthen the muscles we use to do things in our daily lives, like lift groceries out of the trunk or navigate an icy sidewalk. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of death by injury and the most common cause of non-fatal hospital admissions for older adults. You know what can prevent falls? Better balance. And that’s a direct result of greater strength.

Reduces anxiety and depression

Countless studies have shown that exercise in almost any form can help improve mood and stave off bouts of depression and anxiety. One study from researchers at Duke University found that patients who had been diagnosed with depression were able to manage their symptoms without medications after undergoing weight-lifting sessions four days a week for a four-month period.

Improves focus

Want to keep your brain in tip-top shape? Weight lifting may be the key. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers followed 155 women between the ages of 65 and 75 and found that those who lifted weights once or twice a week performed better on cognitive tests after one year than those who focused on balance or toning exercises.

Improves your chances of survival

This 2014 study from the University of California, Los Angeles, the more muscle mass a person has, the lower their risk of premature death. As Mark Peterson, an assistant professor of physical medicine at the University of Michigan, puts it, the addition of weight training to a person’s exercise routine “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival,” adding, “when we add strength, almost every health outcome improves.”

Bottom line – whether you want to lose weight, stay fit, keep your mind sharp, or prevent disease, it’s time to look beyond the cardio and pick up some weights.

Want to Be More Active? Getting a Dog Might Help

As if you needed another reason to adopt a new furry friend, research has surfaced showing that owning a dog can potentially improve your overall health, with dog owners walking about 20 minutes more each day compared to people without canine counterparts.

The study, published by BMC Public Health, looked at 43 dog owners and 43 people without dogs—all over the age of 65. Each participant wore an activity tracker that provided continuous tracking for three-week-long periods, with researchers studying the participants for an entire year in total.

It is the first study to compare dog owners and non-dog owners using activity trackers instead of the previously used—and often unreliable—self-reported data.

Ultimately, the study found that the dog owners walked an average of 23 minutes more each day, and took an additional 2,760 more steps. Further, the dog owners reported having fewer prolonged periods of sitting down.

What was more important, however, was the pace at which the dog owners walked. Much of the extra walking was done at a moderate speed and was vigorous enough to be counted toward weekly physical activity requirements. As the World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week for the average adult, an extra 20 minutes of moderately-paced walking every day could potentially have a huge effect.

Unfortunately, the study was not a true, randomized clinical trial—and therefore can’t accurately determine whether owning a dog makes a person more active, or if active people are just more likely to have a canine running buddy. Also, since the participants were all white, British and over the age of 65, these results can’t really be applied to the general population.

However, the study didn’t definitively show that owning dogs doesn’t improve fitness… and therefore, it’s just another reason to take the plunge on adopting a new pet.

The Latest In Obvious Studies Says Physical Activity Is Linked to Brain Health… Go Figure

Scientists studying Alzheimer’s have found that staying moderately active can lead to healthier brain functions in those at risk of developing the disease, potentially giving us another clue how to beat the condition.

In particular the research looked at glucose metabolism, the process that gives brain cells the right amount of fuel, and that also happens to break down with the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that study participants who spent at more than an hour per day taking part in moderate physical exercise showed greater levels and healthier levels of glucose metabolism than those who didn’t.

“This study has implications for guiding exercise ‘prescriptions’ that could help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease,” says one of the team, Ryan Dougherty.

“While many people become discouraged about Alzheimer’s disease because they feel there’s little they can do to protect against it, these results suggest that engaging in moderate physical activity may slow down the progression of the disease.”

The study used accelerometers to measure a week’s worth of physical activity for 93 middle-aged volunteers, all at high genetic risk of Alzheimer’s but so far showing no cognitive signs of the disease.

Physical activity was split into light (the equivalent of walking slowly), moderate (a brisk walk), and vigorous (a strenuous run). This collected data was then compared against glucose metabolism levels in the brain.

Using a special imaging technique called 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to trace glucose metabolism, the researchers found healthier patterns in moderately active patients in all areas of the brain under observation.

The link is enough for the researchers to suggest physical exercise is an “important contributor” to brain health for those at risk of Alzheimer’s, though they also stress that further research is required to establish how staying active might be connected to the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.

Plenty of previous studies have found associations between exercise and improved memory, and there’s a growing pile of evidence that exercise boosts brain power as well as other parts of the body. Now we just need to figure out how Alzheimer’s fits into all this.

A small 2016 study found that exercise could be one factor in reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s, alongside changes to diet and sleep habits, and a personalised program of vitamins and other drugs.

Everyday exercises such as gardening or walking are already recommended for those suffering from dementia – as well as just about everyone else – but scientists are still trying to pin down the details.

According to one of the researchers, Ozioma Okonkwo, ongoing research continues to take a closer look at how exercise could perhaps protect the brain from the onset of Alzheimer’s off the back of this new study.

“Seeing a quantifiable connection between moderate physical activity and brain health is an exciting first step,” he says.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here Is The Hype Trailer for the Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight

It’s been a little over a week since the blockbuster fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was officially announced, but one excited fan has already put together a trailer for the big fight. The fan-made trailer shows some of the things the two fighters have said about each other in the past, from Mayweather declaring “I’m an elephant, and elephant’s don’t beef with ants,” to McGregor warning that “this whole boxing world don’t know what they’re going to see when I walk in here.” With the moments ticking down to August 26, this trailer sets the scene for what must be one of the most hyped sporting events ever.

Even though Mayweather was the early favorite to beat the MMA star, there has recently been a slew of bets that show it isn’t just McGregor who’s so confident in his chances.

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Magic Ink Disney for Jersey Sponsorship

The Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves have become the seventh and eighth teams to sign a jersey advertiser for the forthcoming 2017-18 season. The Magic, in what can’t be a better fit, have partnered with the Walt Disney Company, while the T’wolves have inked San Francisco-based activity tracker, Fitbit. Although financials for each deal have yet to be revealed, reports suggest each will last for three seasons — the NBA‘s trial period for this new initiative.

You can see Orlando’s version above, however Minnesota will unveil their new jersey later this summer.