Stainless Steel vs. Plastic – Pros and Cons

If you look around today, there are many choices when it comes to reusable water bottles. Some well known brands include Camelbak, Nalgene or Dopper, here in the Netherlands. Sometimes it’s hard to make a decision with which bottle to go.

Let’s take a look at some of the bottles that are out there, and what the differences are between them. We will focus on three areas of comparison here:

  1. Material
  2. Functionality
  3. Price

Let’s start with the material, there is a lot of concern today about plastic. Is it safe to drink from? Where does it end up afterwards? How long will it really last? These are all important questions to address about plastic. But there is also an alternative, stainless steel. SIGG, Klean Kanteen and Chilly’s have been providing stainless steel bottles for some time now.

#1 Material

Stainless Steel

There is one big battle here: Stainless Steel v.s Plastic. At first sight it may seem obvious. Plastic pollutes our oceans and takes up to 700 years to deposit. Stainless Steel is the clear choice. But wait, let’s dig a little bit deeper. How is stainless steel manufactured?

Stainless steel is derived from Iron Ore, this means the ore has to be mined, shipped and processed until the precious stainless steel is derived from it. The production of stainless steel is very energy extensive. From mining the ore to having a finished product is a long process. Stainless steel is also heavier, it can be 6 times heavier than thermoplastics, meaning transporting stainless steel bottles adds to more fuel being burned. However, stainless steel is way lighter than glass on the other hand.

What type of stainless steel is there?

The quality stainless steel you are looking for is Food grade 304 or 18/8 stainless steel. The 18/8 meaning 18% chromium and 8% nickel. The biggest benefit of stainless steel is it’s ability to heal itself. Yes, you heard right. The other one is 316 stainless steel is similar to 304 stainless steel but with the addition of 2 to 3 percent molybdenum to increase resilience against chlorides, making it more suitable for meat products and foods with mild salt contents.

What does stainless steel have to offer?

It has X-men like abilities. In a process called passivation. When a chromium surface is scratched, in the presence of oxygen the surface rebuilds itself. This also prevents chemicals from leaching into your water. This is something that no other material can compete with.

Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable. Although there are very few stainless steel recycling plants. This is due to the fact the stainless steel is used for too long that usually it does not end up in the trash for a very long time. If it does, nothing to worry about.

How sustainable is it really?

As mentioned earlier, the manufacturing of stainless steel is much more energy extensive than stainless steel. However, if you use a stainless steel bottle about 500 times, it beats plastic in terms of energy consumption.

Plastic

Plastic is a great option if you want a durable and relatively durable water bottle. It is not a secret that plastic is causing many problems in our environment. About 14 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, 40% of which is single-use plastic. We are producing over 300 million tons of plastic every year and 150 million tons (half) of it is single-use plastic. 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in the U.S. in 2014, or 315 bottles per person.

What is actually recyclable?

Many people think that plastic is recycled but, according to the EPA, about 30% of recyclable plastic bottles and jars were actually recycled in 2015.

Tritan [TM] bottles for example, have the recycling code 7. This means that it’s a non-recyclable plastic. This means that although you might stop using single-use plastics, where does your reusable plastic bottle end up after it breaks or you replace it? Yes, that is correct.

BPA, BPF and BPS

Another factor to keep in mind is that plastic bottles do not repair themselves and when they are scratched or cracked, they leach out chemicals into your water. Even though most reusable bottles do not contain BPA anymore, some studies found that replacement chemicals could be just as dangerous as BPA. However, too little research has been done on this. BPA, an abreviation for Bispenol A is a chemical used to manufacture plastics. BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It can imitate the hormones such as estrogen and can interfere with the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones.

Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF) are now replacing BPA. Unfortunately studies have shown that BPS and BPF are related to obesity and weight gain. The results were published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society in 2019 [0].

#2 Functionality

When it comes to functionality, plastics can be molded into many different forms and are easier to work with than stainless steel. In that sense, you might find that plastic bottles are more functional than stainless steel bottles.

Even though some plastics such as Tritan are very durable, the average lifespan of a stainless steel bottle is 12 years. Stainless steel also has great insulating properties, keeping your water hot or cold for much longer than plastic.

What about cleaning? Stainless steel bottles are also completely dishwasher safe. Plastics may loose their shape over time and may leach more chemicals when heated to high temperatures.

#3 Price

Here is where a lot of people step back a little bit when they face the choice between plastic and stainless steel.

Some plastic bottles are sold for less than 5 Euros whereas the cheapest stainless steel bottles usually start at about 10 Euros. Clearly stainless steel bottles are more expensive. However, if you keep it for 12 years, an investment of double the amount is definitely worth it given all the health benefits and environmental benefits it offers.

So what would be your choice of bottles: stainless steel or plastic? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below, we would love to get to know what would be your end choice in terms of materials.

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My Journey from Germany to Kenya

Part 1

When I was 11 years old, an event was about to happen that changed the course of my life forever. The day was just another dull day in Germany. Sitting in the school bus on the way home I had already forgotten every single word that the teacher’s had spoken to me. I sucked at math and would again fail my next test making me hate life even more. Little did I know what I would be told by my parents in less than 20 minutes.

I walked into my house, my mum was home asking me: “How was school today”? The standard, kind of robotic and thoughtless response came out of my mouth, “Good”, while I was praying that she wouldn’t ask about my math homework. Suprise! She did not and said: We have thought about leaving Germany and moving to Kenya for two years for work. I knew she was serious. Kenya?, I thought, what is that? A country in Africa?

Later that day, my parents sat me down on the couch and started showing me all kinds of flyers and pictures of the hotel resort where we would be staying at. While they were pretty worried that I would not like it and would feel like I am leaving my home, my friends and my comfortable environment. I was sitting there and thinking:” Alright, please… I don’t want to wake up right now. Just let me dream for a little longer. To me it felt like we were going on holiday. My father said, “You will be going to an English speaking school”, with a serious tone. I was thinking to myself, I would learn Chinese to be going to school in a place like this.

In 2007 on Christmas eve, the 24th December, we left for Kenya. Arriving at the hotel resort was really strange. I was wearing shorts and T-shirt while it was 30 degrees Celsius outside. In the hotel lobby when we entered, soft Christmas music was coming from the speakers. A plastic Christmas tree with fake snow and lots of presents around it stood in the corner of the lobby. The next months were like paradise for a 12 year old, animators, swimming pools, buffet with unlimited pancakes and pizzas. Other kids to play with all the time. Music shows and performances. I was even allowed into the casino once and mad some big money at the slot machine (about 10 Euros).

It gets better…

After living in the hotel for a while, we were moved to the private residence of the owners of the hotel. We were to live in the guest house on the same plot. At that time I did not know how an owner of more than 10 hotels, one of the first Europeans do start in the tourism business in East Africa and Switzerland’s 4th richest man lived.

After a 10 minute drive from the hotel through pitch black dirt road with potholes as big as Africa itself, we arrive at the gate. As a kid I think, right behind this gate must be the house. No, the security guard opened that gate, did a small security check, and we drove on. But, there was no house. We get to yet another dirt road, without all the potholes though, and for another 200 meters we are in deep jungle area. It felt like the insects and animals were playing a welcome orchestra for us.

Suddenly, we stop. And I was freaking out a little, thinking Mufasa will come and attack us any second from the left or right. No, it was another gate. The driver said, do not step outside the car. There is a dog called Chilli guarding this property at night. Chilli turned out to be way worse than any Mufasa could ever be.

So we had now passed the double security check, drive on the property, and the next thing I hear is a loud ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooooooooooo’. There were 8 donkeys living there too. We keep driving down a little hill, when on the left I see something running in the bush, really fast. It was not Chilli, it was a full grown Ostrich. The feet the size of my whole body. Maybe the driver misunderstood and thought we were going to a zoo?

Later on I found out that the hotel tycoon who owned this property would drive with his lion on shotgun through the streets of Mombasa when he was younger. Then the Ostriches did not even seem so impressive anymore.

At this exact plot, we would stay in the guest house. We lived with 8 donkeys, 2 Ostriches, 15 normal dogs to guard the property at night…and Chilli. To be honest, Chilli would have been enough to guard to whole of Kenya! She was the devil put in a dogs body. Chilli was a Rodveiler, pitch black and big. My father had the honor to release her at night from her cage because her cage was right next to the guest house. But there was a whole procedure to that. If you would go to her cage it was very clear if you would simply open the door, you would be no more. Did I mention that she had killed one of the security guards before?

The procedure started like this: He had to go to her cage, with some special dog treats and make peace with her for about 5 minutes until she would even start to consider not to kill him. He would throw her food and when she was preoccupied eating, he would silently open her cage door, trying not to make the squeaking noise. If he moved too fast she would be hanging of the cage trying to consume his soul.

When the gate was open there was about a 20 meter walk to the backdoor of the house. It was like a horror movie every night watching that scene of my father walking those 20 meters.

This was my beginning in Kenya, and until today I still feel home there but after 2009, there were a lot of changes that happend in the country. The elections came and there was violence and unrest in parts of the country which would lead to a collapse of the economy and the hotel tycoon going bankrupt, my parents splitting up and me staying in Kenya with my mum until 2014.

What exactly happened ? I will write another part about my journey next week. Stay tuned.

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7 Great Alternatives to Whey Protein

The global plant-based protein market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2019 to reach $14.32 billion by 2025. [1] The demand for alternative protein sources is increasing all over the world. Companies are now responding, putting all kinds of plant based products on the market. Maybe you have heard about hemp protein or pea protein? Or are using an alternative to dairy sourced whey protein already?

Let’s dive into some alternatives to whey protein and take into consideration what expert have to say about them.

#1 Hemp Protein

Cannabis seeds are turned into protein powder. This is known as hemp protein. The non-potent part of cannabis is almost a wonder material. Hemp can be used for dozens of different things, clothes and even houses.

It’ s a great source of fiber, iron, zinc and alphalinolenic acid, the Omega-3 fatty acid found in plants.

Some research suggests that hemp protein can lower your blood pressure. One serving (20grams) contain about 6.3 grams of protein, 111 calories and also 9.75 grams of fat. Hemp protein is also a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids that we need from food. It is relatively low in lysine which is an important amino acid vital for the immune system and collagen production in the body.[2]

Hemp protein is also very easy to digest, research proves that it’s digestibility lies between 91-98%. This is because hemp contains the proteins edestin and albumin which are easily broken down. [3]

#2 Pea Protein

This high-quality protein also has all the 9 essenial amino acids. Although it is a little low in methione , it delivers great nutritional value. Just because it is low in one essetial amino acid does not mean that you will starve your body. You can easily get all essential amino acids from other sources. [3]

Pea protein is also an easy to digest protein. It has non of the allergens. It is lower in phytic acid, an anti-nutrient found in many other legumes. Phytic acid inhibits absorption of nutrients such as zinc iron and magnesium. If consumed with Vitamin C, these negative effects are reduced. [4]

Nutritional facts can vary but pea protein powder has about 80 calories per 20g serving, a high protein content of 15grams and a low fat content of only 1.5 grams.

#3 Brown Rice Protein

Brown rice is part of the whole grain family, unlike white rice, brown rice is not polished, it contains all parts of the grain, fiber (outer bran layer), the core and the middle layer made up of starch named germ. The protein is extracted by treating the rice with specific enzymes.

Just like pea protein, brown rice protein is a hypoallergenic, containing non of the allergens. Just like any other plant protein, it is easier to digest and not as tough on your gut compared to whey protein. Whereas pea protein has a rather strong taste, brown rice protein is also more neutral in it’s flavour, making it easier to work with. [5]

Brown rice may improve liver function with the peptides it contains. Per 30 gram serving, brown rice protein powder has about 110 calories, 0% fat, 2g of fiber, 24g of protein. It is nearly a complete protein, with a little low lysine content. [6]

#4 Soy Protein


Soy has been very torn by many experts and nutritionists. Some see it as a healthy option, others see it as an enemy to a healthy lifestyle. Soy protein powder does contian phytates whicch decrease mineral absorption. Unlike most plant proteins, soy is a complete protein with all essential amino acids.

Soy protein is not the most efficient source of protein when it comes to muscle synthesis [7].Other advantages of soy protein is the effect it has on cholesterol. Multiple studies have proven that soy protein reduces LDL cholesterol [8]. However, most studies regarding the effects of soy focus on soy foods rather than soy protein powder. Therefore, they should not be taken into consideration here.

#5 Collagen Protein

To clarify, collagen protein is not a plant protein. Nevertheless, it is a very potent type of protein with many benefits. It is a structural protein, important for healthy skin, bones, joints and connective tissue. Your body produces collagen naturally but that already slows down in your 20s [9]. There are 28 different types of collagen but type 1,2 and 3 form the majority.

One huge benefit fitness enthusiasts get form the consumption of collagen protein is the strengtening of your joints. Hydrolyzed collagen reduced joint pain and made joints more flexible. [10]

One huge plus for collagen protein is the effect that it has on the delivery of amino acids throughout your body. Because it is hydrolyzed, collagen is broken down into very fine powder, making it easier to digest and absorb. [11]

#6 Sacha Inchi Protein

A type of protein that is derived from a vine called the Schaa Inchi. It grows in the Peruvian Amazon. The star shaped fruits that it carries have a little hidden treasure inside them, also known as the Inca peanut. It has been used for traditionally for thousands of years. The seeds are dried and crushed and bear a powder rich in protein.

Like soy protein, Sachaa Inchi is a complete protein. The vegan protein powder is also easily digestible has high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid. In addition, it contains high amounts of vitamin A and e, calcium, zinc, potassium and fiber. [12]

#7 Chia Protein

Chia! Usually sprinkled on top of breakfast bowls to make them Instagram worthy. Yes, these little seeds can be found as a protein powder too. With a lower protein content of about 5g per 30g, serving, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. [13]

They have 140 calories per 30 gram serving to offer, 11 grams of fiber. They are also a complete protein. They are one of the richest plant foods in omega-3 fatty acids. Their high fiber content on the other hand, proves valuable for improving digestion. [14]


Which one of the whey alternative sounds most promising to you? Let us know about your experience per email or just leave a comment below.

Are you looking for a better way to have your protein after your workout? Take a look at the Fusion Kinetic bottle.

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Animal Protein v.s Plant Protein

One of the hottest debates at the moment is about protein. Which one is ultimately better for us? It is understandable that with our current meat production and mass animal slaughter, a number of people have become vegan or vegetarian. I did too for a while, but now I eat meat again. Let’s take a closer look at some pros and cons of both, plant and animal protein, and see if we can reach a conclusion.

The difference between plant and animal protein

First of all, what is a protein? A protein is a chain of amino acids that our body needs for dozens of function such as repair and growth. In total there are 20 amino acids, essential and non-essential amino acids. 11 non-essential that can be produced by our body, 9 can not be produced by our bodies and those are the ones we get from food or supplements.

If a protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, it is named a complete protein. If it is missing one of the 9 essential amino acids it is called an incomplete protein.

Here we start to see some differences between the animal and plant proteins. All animal proteins are complete proteins. They contain all the 9 essential amino acids. Animal proteins being all types of meat as well as animal produce such as eggs and dairy. Plant proteins, including beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are almost always incomplete proteins. Except soy products and quinoa.

While you can get all essential amino acids from animal protein, you can also get them all from plants by combining them. Grains are low in lysine while beans are low in methionine. This means, if you are eating only plants, you can easily get all your amino acids by combining different plants to balance each other out and make sure you get the full amino acid package.

Methionine on the other hand is also found plenty in meat. The overconsumption of methionin causes inflammation and aging when eaten in excess. When you eat a diet high in animal protein, you can expect a 75% increased risk of dying from all causes over 18 years, 400% increased risk dying of cancer, 500% increased risk of diabetes. [1]

The rate of body protein synthesis appears to be lower when plant-based proteins are consumed versus animal-based proteins

Whitney Linsenmeyer- Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

According to Linsenmeyer, animal protein might be aiding better with muscle repair and growth compared to plant protein. Animal protein also have a high amount of leucine, an amino acid essential for muscle protein synthesis.

What else do animal proteins offer? They offer the biggest natural sources of vitamin D, which is found plenty in fish and eggs. In addition. vitamin B12 is found only in animal proteins.

What do plants offer? They got fibre. Plants are a great source of fibre which you need for healthy digestion. Also, plants have some carbs to offer you. Most animal protein is almost carb free.

Animal proteins on the other hand contain saturated fats, the fat that can raise your bad LDL cholesterol and later cause problems, such as clogged arteries.

It also heavily depends on how you eat your meat, processed meat, fried meat and charred meat may give you animal proteins but also raise your chance of inflammation and cancer.

Sadly, there is a tendency to consume meat in a way that is causing more problems than good.

If you are getting your protein from animals, make sure you do not fry, grill or burn the meat. Processed meats should also be avoided as they contain many other additives that have been linked to cancer and other disease. Especially the consumption of red meat has been linked to disease. Read more about our post on Red Meat. If you consume your animal protein from gently cooked grass fed animals or wild caught fish.

When you get your proteins from plants, you do not face these problems too much. That is why it is easier to eat plant protein without worrying about all the different types of side effects related to how meat is prepared. When you read the China study, you will see what I mean.

Whereas plant proteins might be offering a healthier choice of protein intake, there are other factors to consider when eating plants.

What to keep in mind when consuming plant protein

Vegetable oils reduce thyroid function by preventing thyroid hormones from binding to receptors [2]. When you eat only plants, your thyroid hormones will start to increase at first to compensate, but that does not last forever. Eventually, it slows down your brain and your energy levels drop. When you are eating whole grains, watch out for gluten as it reduces blood flow to the brain, interferes with thyroid function and depletes vitamin D stores.

The other problem with grains, which is glyphosate. Crops are sprayed with glyhosate to kill weeds but it does more than just that. Glyphosate caused tumor growth and cancer according to the WHO. It is also highly toxic to mitochondria, as well as damaging proteins needed for kidney health. [3] [4] [5]

Cutting out animal proteins from your diet will not be sustainable in the long run, make sure you get enough but not too much protein as that is where the problems start. Try to avoid grains as a protein source as enough evidence suggest that gluten and glyphosate are causing multiple health problems.

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8 Reasons to add Brussels Sprouts to your meals forever

These weird looking little cabbages are an absolute winner when it comes to healthy meals. They are full of goodness and they taste absolutely delicious, especially when roasted with with some pancetta and olive oil, topped with some parmesan. Mine and my girlfriend’s absolute favorite.

Image result for brussel sprouts with pancetta
Recipe

Brussels Sprouts were first cultivated in ancient Rome, but now take the name of the Belgian city Brussels. There, they have been grown since the 13th century and became very popular in the South of the Netherlands in the 16th century.

Why should you have them on your plate? Probably they are the reason for Dutch prosperity. No, not really, but they are filled with numerous vitamins and minerals and their health benefits are almost godly. They are high in potassium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and iron.

#1 They are full of antioxidants

There is hardly any vegetable that beats Brussels sprouts in this category. A study carried out in the Netherlands in 1995 found evidence that the consumption of Brussels sprouts reduced cell damage by 28%. In other words, Brussels sprouts slow the oxidation of your DNA. This means you age slower. Have you started cooking yet?

#2 They are full of diabetes fighting alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic-acid lowers your blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. That’s not all, it also helps break down carbohydrates to make energy organs in the body. This makes Brussels sprouts a perfect food for diabetics or pre-diabetics who want to reverse their condition.

#3 They are overflowing with Vitamin C

You can forget lemons, one cup of Brussels sprouts is packed with more that 150 % of the daily recommended vitamin C intake, one of the most important vitamins the body needs for iron absorption, a strong immune system and the production of collagen.

Image result for nutritional table of brussel sprouts
Source

#4 They are full of inflammatory reducing compounds

Inflammation is what probably causes most disease. By reducing inflammation in your body, you are on a good path to staying healthy for a long time.

#5 They contain Omega-3 fatty acids

Most people associate Omega-3 with meat and fish. Fish especially is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetables are too, though you will have to eat them in a higher dosage for a significant effect. Omega-3 fatty acids are supporting healthy cognitive function and help reduce your LDL cholesterol and increase your HDL cholesterol.

#6 They may prevent cancer

Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. This activates a cancer-fighting enzyme system in your body.

The Journal of Carcinogenesis

#7 They are also a good source of plant protein

If you are worried that you are getting no protein when eating plants, this does not apply to Brussels sprouts. About 25 % of their nutritional value comes from protein, adding up to approximately 4 grams of protein per cup.

#8 They are high in fiber

A key ingredient in a healthy diet is fiber. As we talked about in previous posts, your gut health is key for holistic health. Fiber aids your digestion and takes pressure of your gut. When your gut is happy you are happy. Another benefit of fiber is that it makes you feel full longer, which in turn keeps you from snacking throughout the day.

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Is Impossible Foods™ is making it possible?

The fourth fastest growing brand in the United States is not in the Silicon Valley, even though you might think it is. It is Impossible Foods™, a product that is changing the way we eat, even fast-food chain Burger King has had a trial with the Impossible Whopper in more than 7000 locations in the US. Will the public accept the new alternative?

The impossible burger made from plants is a new trend that has been seeing rapid growth in 2019. Soy and potato proteins are used to give the product its nutritional value. Its flavour comes from the heme molecule, which is the same molecule that is containing iron in meat, responsible for making meat taste so good for us humans. It is also the molecule that holds on to oxygen in your blood and carries it around your body. The heme is won through soy leghemoglobin, the iron-containing molecule made with a genetically engineered yeast.

Impossible Burger plant based meat.

Impossible Foods™ has applied for the right to sell their meatless meat in the European Union last year in October.

“Our intention is to sell plant-based meat in every single region of the world.”

Rachel Konrad, Spokeswoman at Impossible Foods ™

We need to keep in mind that even though it sounds like a complete breakthrough, Impossible Foods™ is selling a genetically modified product, a.k.a. GMO. GMO’s have been criticized a lot and multiple studies claim that GMO’s cause cancer and people independently reported toxic effects caused by them.

But is this something new? Since the 1990’s, GMO’s have been sitting in the shelf of supermarkets. More than 60 % of all processed foods on U.S. supermarket shelves—including pizza, chips, cookies, ice cream, salad dressing, corn syrup and baking powder—contain ingredients from engineered soybeans, corn, or canola. It’s everywhere.

A biochemist from the Michigan State University, Dean DellaPenna, believes that GMO’s are the saviour for the next generation. He envisions tomatoes and broccoli with cancer-fighting chemicals and vitamin-enhanced crops of rice, sweet potatoes, and cassava to help nourish the poor. So peanuts and wheat without allergens and food containing vaccines. Something that sounds like heaven for some, sounds quite scary for others.

Even though many studies claim that GMO’s are completely safe for consumption, there are still a lot of critics that swear that genetically modified food has not been studied for long enough to fully understand the long term effects on our biology.

Saving animals from a life in mass held shelters for the sake of human consumption is a clear positive aspect of GMO’s, but what about the crops that can be sprayed with pesticides much stronger due to their modified DNA leaving all other ‘normal’ species vulnerable to its effects?

If Impossible Foods ™ wants to expand to Europe, they are better off using a non-GMO alternative as the EU does not really favor genetically modified food products. Whether GMO’s will be proven safe in the future or not, it is the big corporations that control the research and most of the studies published about the effects are funded by companies like Monsanto.

GMO foods may be more resistant to pesticides and disease but what about the environment around it? Will we start genetically engineering everything to keep it alive or is there another alternative?

Is Impossible meat really the future or just another hype? I have not tried it yet but if it is available in Europe I will. For now I prefer to have organic meat, vegetables from the farmers market and a great cup of coffee. But who knows how long this will be possible.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments or e-mail me: fusionamsterdam@gmail.com

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What will change in the world of fitness?

Since a few years we have seen a great number of innovations in the fitness industry. With wearable tech dominating the past few years, it has shaped a craze around measuring all kinds of performance metrics. Everyone is now a professional athlete. Will we need personal trainers in the future or will your PT be on your wrist or implanted as a chip?

Maybe we are not getting chipped just yet, but how about a suit that sends electrical impulses through your body while you work out?

#1 EMS Training

Personally I am a little scared of electricity, but if it could enhance the effectiveness of a workout by 50%, I might reconsider.

EMS training is what we are talking about here. EMS stands for Electro Muscle Stimulation. If you do not have enough time, with EMS you can cut your workout time down to 20-minutes. The EMS machine activates 80% of your muscles simultaneously, making it probably the most efficient way to workout ever.

Prediction: We will see devices in regular households that were until now only for physiotherapists or professionals.

#2 Tech-Abetted Home Gyms

Have you heard about mirror? Since training at home by yourself can be boring, Mirror can change that. If you want some tech in your house, this is the right option for you. Try Mirror on a subscription base and you can workout from the comfort of your home and watch yourself flex in the mirror without feeling awkward.

Prediction: Smart Home gyms will become more popular in our busy lifestyles, exchanging regular gyms to save user’s time and money.

#3 Mindfulness and Recovery

Not so long ago, in a land not so far away there was a saying: ‘No pain, no gain’. Mindless pumping day after day, expecting great results. Professionals are now realizing that former non-fitness related practices, such as meditation, are vital for good performance.

Recovery especially, has so many different varieties, but a shower and a protein shake doesn’t cut it anymore. There is Marc Pro for example, an electronic muscle stimulation device for self-use.

Foam rolling 2.0 is has arrived. HyperIce has brought a vibrating high tech foam roller to the market. They have used technology to make foam rolling even more effective.

Prediction: We will see more common devices such as foam rollers, yoga mats, weights and gym machines being infused with technology to make them more efficient and also personalized to individual needs.

#4 Cold Workouts

What about the warm up? Cold temperatures are really good for you as I have written about it in my earlier post, get cold now, thank yourself later.

The company Brrrn has taken initiative in this matter and started offering classes in New York City. So next time you go for a run in winter forget the long-sleeves.

Prediction: In 2020 we will see more variety in fitness and health studios, cold workout studios will increase around the Western world.

#5 Wearables

From a step tracker to a healthcare device, wearables have seriously leveled up. In addition to tracking your steps, they now also monitor your heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels, menstrual cycle, fertility windows and noise levels.

It is not just watches and wristbands anymore. The new Oura ring has made headlines this year. It is a sleep tracking device, helping you to optimize your sleep to increase your performance.

Prediction: Wearbales will become smaller and more efficient, tracking more metrics than ever before, giving us the power to take care of our health and avoid doctor visits by preventing problems from arising through technology.

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5 Highly successful people to follow in 2020

It’s almost time for those cheesy New Year’s resolutions that will last until the end of January, until we fall back into our old habits.

There are times in our lives where it seems easier to start a new pattern. Mostly these times happen when something emotional happens. A death of a close friend can be absolutely devastating or trigger the courage to do something with your life that you have always wanted to do, but never quite managed.

Have you heard about the stories where the person who almost died in a car accident completely turned their life around? Many times, this type of desperate moment would allow us to break out of our old ways of doing things.

A New Year on the other hand is not something very dramatic, yet we still feel the urge to change something. One thing a New Year does is that it gives you the illusion that all the failures and disappointments that you have experienced in 2019 are erased in 2020. This happens simply because we’re under the illusion that we’re dealing with a different number so the number we’re in (the year 2019) will disappear (and all the horrible things that come with 2019), right? How often do you not move ahead because you feel like there is too much baggage that you are carrying around with you?

Another factor that helps us change in the beginning of a New Year is marketing. Companies usually encourage the culture of New Year new me too. You see dozens of offers in the fitness industry. It works well, they get their members and still have space in the gym as most are already gone in February.

Why do we need a New Year, a perceived new beginning, to start? Because it gives the sense that everything is possible. When you start learning a new language in the beginning it seems possible, learning a new instrument it seems possible and then after a few days of learning it gets hard. If you are disciplined, you may be able to go for longer periods, but eventually you will give in.

What you you need is accountability. You need someone to hold you accountable for your goals. Somebody to ask you: How are you doing? What steps are you taking to achieve your goal?

If you want to achieve your goals it is helpful to have a mentor. If you don’t have one personally, then read our top picked people you can follow who put out great content to help you stay true to your goals.

#1: Daniel Di Piazza

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Daniel is a best selling Author and entrepreneur. He has some great content all over the web. He has been featured in Forbes, Time Magazine and Fortune Inc.

Next to the great business advice, Daniel has some great advice on life in general, especially when it comes to goal setting and accountability.

His book ‘Ditch your Average Job Start an Epic Business and Score the Life you want’ is also helpful in developing your passion.

#2: Tom Bilyeu

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Well known for his podcast show called Impact Theory, Tom constantly has the world’s most interesting and successful people on his show. Ray Dalio, John Travolta, Mark Manson, Simon Sinek and Steve Aoki have all been featured on Impact Theory.

Tom goes all the way to the core in his conversations by diving deep into the subject and analyze it from different angles. This is one of the most educational podcasts out there.

#3: Dan Peña

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If you are ever feeling sorry for yourself and need someone to kick your lazy ass out of bed, there is no better person than Dan Peña!

Known as the ‘50 billion Dollar man‘, Dan Peña lives in a castle in Scotland, from where he is teaching his Quantum Leap Advantage (QLA) Seminars.

If you have a problem with cursing, please do not listen to Dan. There is tons of free material on his website.

#4: Tony Robbins

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Tony is mostly known as a Guru. He has written numerous books about self-development such as  ‘Unlimited Power’ and ‘Awaken the Giant Within‘.

There is probably years worth lengths of videos from Tony online. He often focuses on the ‘why’ of things, which is why my girlfriend loves him! To get somewhere, your ‘why’ has to be big enough. If you do not know why you should do something, you will not do it.

#5: Gary Vaynerchuk

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Born in the former Soviet Union, Gary Vaynerchuck is now a very successful businessman. His no BS approach on stage and pretty much in general makes it very entertaining to watch him. He has built a big social presence through his #AskGaryVee Show.

If you are into digital marketing and the social media world, take a look at Gary’s website for free downloadable material.

The good part about the Internet is that you have access to many people who can inspire you and motivate you in 2020. Whenever you feel like you are stuck or you feel like giving up, think about one of your favourite entrepreneurs, athletes or maybe a family member that you respect and admire. Ask yourself what would they do in the situation you’re in and act accordingly.

Sometimes such a simple approach can help you much more than you would think.

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Get cold now, thank yourself later

It’s slowly starting to get cold in Europe. You stare outside the window and see the big shining ball of sun but when you step outside and take the first breath your brain shrinks into a small little raisin for a second.

Or if you are from the Nordic countries you simply just walk out and go for a swim in a lake barely above 0 degrees. And that’s what you should do. Often we wrap ourselves in warm clothes and make sure that not a single little blow of cold air touches our well protected skin. I am not saying you should walk around in shorts all the time when it’s freezing cold outside. I am saying expose yourself to cold temperature for a short period of time.

Cold showers are not a myth

I do not know if you remember this, but when I was a kid, I used to see adverts on the TV for a drink coled Actimel. Actimel is a probiotic drink which promises that if you drink one of their sugar loaded little drinks every morning, your immune system will be equivalent Superman’s.

Did I believe it? Of course. I was about 9 years old. I wanted to fight every disease and virus off like Superman.

What did they offer as an alternative to drinking Actimel every morning? Yes, COLD SHOWERS! Thinking back, this is such a great marketing strategy. It’s like offering you a bar of chocolate and saying this will cure your anxiety. As the human being is naturally always seeking the more comfortable option, I am guessing Actimel is still positioned as an alternative to cold showers in many people’s minds.

The easiest way to expose yourself to cold is a cold shower. Assuming all of you have running water at home. Why should you go through one of the most uncomfortable feelings there is? Let us tell you why.

#1: You take control of your emotions

Disclaimer: This is very hard to scientifically prove.

When you get comfortable getting uncomfortbable, your ability to do things that you usually don’t do will increase. Getting out of a cold shower, relesease an immense sense of satisfaction that you have accomplished something. It also gives you a sense that you are invincible, at least for a a little bit. The point is that your heart rate speeds up, you are super alert, and you have to push yourself to stay under that cold stream of evil.

This persistence that you develop when you condition yourself to stay under the cold shower, every morning, translates into every other area of your life too. Ask yourself this: Have you ever felt good, empowered, strong or invincible from doing something easy?

Most of us don’t much to get out of our routine every day. We repeat the 90 % of the same thoughts than the day before and do probably 90 % of the same things as yesterday.

However, a cold shower is something you NEVER really get used to. I have never looked forward to getting under the cold shower. It’s doing something hard everyday that makes doing the hard things easier. That’s when people start saying this guy just has higher drive, determination, energy.

#2: You feel happier

The effects of cold showers on your body is that it releases endorphins and serotonin. The same hormones released when you smoke a cigarette or eat good food.

#3: You get a stronger immune system

You can fight your cold with ‘cold’. Exposure to cold increases the amount of immune cells in your body. The ‘natural killer’ cells that are fighting off different diseases in your body are the ones that increase.

#4: You recover faster

Your muscles will thank you too. You have probably heard of ice baths? Athletes expose their muscles to extreme cold for recovery.

Exposing your muscles to the cold, alleviates inflammation and reduces muscle fatigue so that you can get right back to the gym.

#5: Your lymphatic system benefits

Your lymphatic system removes toxins form your tissues and organs. Lymph fluid is a fluid that is flowing through your body that removes these unwanted substances. When you take a cold shower your lymphatic system is activated. Your blood vessels contract and start pumping whereby the lymph fluid is moving toxins from your tissues and organs.

#6: Your brown fat is activated

Also known as brown adipose tissue, brown fat is responsible for bone health and bone density. This tissue causes our body to burn extra calories to keep warm. Your body actually activates a kind of survival mechanism. In this world we now do not need this response to keep us warm usually but we can use it to hack ourselves and burn some extra calories by stimulating the brown fat through cold exposure.

The Wim Hof method is also promising brown fat activation among many other things. He lives a few minutes cycle away from me on a houseboat in Amsterdam and is known as the ‘Ice Man’. If you want to take cold exposure to a new level, he is your guy. Especially if you want to do splits in the arctic with almost no clothes on.

#7: You may live longer

The most exciting benefit of a nice cold shower is your increased lifespan as a result. Multiple studies on animals have shown that exposing them to colder temperatures have increased their lifespans significantly.

The act of ‘Hormesis’ is putting small amounts of stress on the body that actually makes the body stronger. You do this when you work out and you tear apart small muscles fibres that will make them grow stronger. A cold shower has the same effect. It is ‘good stress’ for the body that makes it stronger.

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The end of humanity 2.0 – from ape to AI

We are evolving. Evolution for the past 50,000 years has been rather slow, with little change in the way humans behave. Yes there have been significant advancements and very advanced ancient civilizations. However, once electricity became a normal part of our households and computers too, there have been mind – blowing advances in science and technology. There seems to be no slowing down.

In the book Homo – Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, evolution of religions, ideologies and technology is well described. He argues that in the future the world will be run by AI and if humans do not combine their biology with technology, the normal humans will have no more place in society. Pretty depressing thought, right? There will be a new human super elite, enhanced with synthetic material, computer chips making them super intelligent. You think the gap between rich and poor is big now? There will be a gap between humans and super humans in the future. You better upgrade right now or be left behind.

The age of bio – hacking has arrived

We have come to the time were we can start to super optimise our own biology. Bio – hacking is known as the ‘do it yourself biology’. More people are starting to modify themselves into walking cyborgs as we speak. The extreme bio – hackers are called Grinders, who are actually implanting themselves with different things, such as chips that mimic contact less payment. They pay with their hands not a card anymore.

For me personally this goes way too far and I would not implant myself with anything. I want to talk about the normal kind of bio – hacking that anyone can do to improve their own biology. With that I mean enhancing cognitive performance, energy levels and avoiding dangerous diseases.

The easiest form of bio – hacking

Let’s start with a question. What do you do to influence your biology on a daily basis? Well the first thing you do is: you think.

When you think, your body secrets chemicals, mostly hormones. Which kind of hormones your body secrets depends on how you think. If you think powerful and positive thoughts, your body will secret hormones that make you feel good. If you think self depraving, negative thoughts, your body secrets hormones that make you feel like sh**. Basically we are bio – hacking ourselves constantly and the easiest hack you can do to change your biology is the habit of thinking only thoughts that get you where you want to be and any thought that does not serve you, drop it and re – frame it. Try watch your thoughts for 7 days and see how much good and bad you can find.

What else do you do to hack your biology? You eat or drink. Drinking coffee is probably the most common bio – hack. Smoking is probably the second most common one. Not recommended though. The best bio-hackers use research to watch exactly what happens when you eat certain types of food. The best part of bio – hacking is that with only your food intake, you actually are tackling the four most common diseases that humanity faces, such as Alzheimer’s heart disease, diabetes and cancer because they are highly related to diet.

Bio – hacking your body with food is already quite well known. Which foods are good and bad for you should be known to most people. Bio – hackers take eating clean to another level.

How to eat like a bio – hacker:

  • Eliminate sugar
  • Eat more antioxidants such as: berries, herbs&spices, coffee, tea and dark chocolate
  • Do not eat any fried food
  • No charred meat
  • Avoid eating grains
  • Do not eat after dark
  • Try intermittent fasting
  • Try consuming as many energy fats as you can

This is a good list for you to start with. It seems impossible for most people for us too. But we are trying to get better!

Take drugs

There are numerous smart drugs out there. Biohacking your biology also includes hacking your brain. There are many ways to do that with substances. The most affordable supplement out there is Coenzyme Q10. The body needs it to produce energy. It naturally exists in your body. Another very common substance is L-theanine. It is an amino acid found in green tea. It makes your brain more plastic, keeping it young. Another simple supplement is Curcumin. This simple substance often known through the spice tumeric used in curries has proven to reduce amyloid build – up in the brain. Amyloid is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Taking curcumin is also direclty linked to improved memory and attention abilities.

You might also want to look into:

  • Piracetam: Reduces cognitive decline
  • Modafinil: Performance enhancing
  • Deprenyl: Microdose Deprynil for performance enhancing effects

Detox

A lot of toxins are consumed on a daily basis. Most of them actually come from the food to eat. As more of our food is contimated we are also contaminaing ourselves. Industrially produced food in general should be avoided. Try to buy organic food to avoid the build up of toxins in your body. You might not feel anything now but in the long term you will feel the effects.

The most common toxins are heavy metals such as mercury. Most fish these days have a high mercury content and that can be taken out of your body by sucking it all up with:

  • Activated Charcoal: It absorbs, acting like a sponge, activated charcoal sucks up the toxins by binding to dangerous chemicals. Do not take this with other supplements as it also absorbs the good stuff
  • Chlorella: It absorbs Mercury very well
  • Gluathione: Another powerful antioxidant that deal effectively with heavy metals

Happy bio – hacking

Lastly, we wish you all the best with all the tips and tricks for bio – hacking. If you have any questions regarding the content, let me know. Maybe you already are a professional bio – hacker and want to share some insights into your knowledge in the comments.

Enjoy optimising yourself! Talk soon.

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