Author Archives: Hugo Almeida

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I’m sure most of us have heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” over and over again when we were children. Despite being lectured on this alleged truth, many of us skip breakfast anyway. Whether it is a lack of appetite in the morning, or simply not having enough time to make it to work or class, breakfast is a part of the day that often gets ignored. While some people claim skipping breakfast can have negatiImage result for breakfast bodybuildingve consequences on a person’s health, others argue that this phenomena has been over hyped. So, how important is breakfast really?

One of the main arguments for eating breakfast in the morning is that it will fulfill one’s satiety. This is argued to prevent a person from consuming more calories later in the day. I have heard people argue that people who skip breakfast tend to splurge during lunch time and consume excess calories. Intuitively this makes sense, however, intuition is not always correct. Studies show that people who skip breakfast might eat more calories during lunch. However, they don’t consume enough during their lunch meals to cause any significant weight gain compared to those who do eat breakfast.

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Despite the facts mentioned above, eating a meal in the morning does have its benefits. For example, it has been observed that breakfast eaters tend to be healthier, are less overweight, and have smaller chances of chronic diseases. However, it should be noted that correlation does not always signify causation. It could be that breakfast eaters simply tend to have healthier habits than those who don’t. For example, it has been observed that breakfast eaters tend to smoke less, drink less, and eat more fiber and mineral rich foods . Ultimately, it seems that their overal habits are just more health oriented.

athletes-nutrition_2Eating a meal in the morning has its benefits though, which can be backed up scientifically. In the morning, the stress hormone cortisol is at its peak. Cortisol puts the body into a catabolic state which is concerning, especially for athletes. Eating a meal that is filled with healthy carbohydrates and proteins can reverse this process which is essential for muscle health and repair. Athletes are not the only ones who reap the benefit of eating breakfast. People who eat in the morning tend to have higher energy levels, and it can even give you a mental edge. So if you want to perform better in the gym, or at school, think twice before you skip that morning meal.


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Rest is for the Weak

Sleep. It’s something that almost everyone has a love/hate relationship with. Whether it it enjoying time spent sleeping in on the weekend, or oversleeping for that 8 AM class you signed up for. Regardless, sleep plays an important role in all our lives, and it 6a00d8341bf67c53ef015432b6e622970c-800wiis especially important for students who need to balance an academic and social life. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health. But the question remains: how much sleep does an individual really need?

Much like food and water, sleep is essential for human survival. In today’s fast paced society, many people face chronic sleep deprivation. The Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep. This range goes down as an individual ages. Older adults aged 65 years and older only require about 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Getting enough sleep is important to be productive the next day, as well as for preventing illnesses and disease. However, it should be noted that the amount of sleep is not the only thing that is important. What truly matters, is the quality of an individual’s sleep.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can take on many forms and it can present itself through various symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: feeling the need to sleep in on weekends, having trouble waking up sleepdeprivationin the morning, requiring an alarm to wake up in the morning, and requiring naps to get through the day. I’m sure after reading these symptoms, a lot of people will realize they have fallen prey to sleep deprivation. This isn’t that surprising, considering that the CDC reports that about a third of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. If you think the symptoms listed above are not a big deal, you should consider that sleep deprivation can impair cognitive abilities. Sleep deprivation can have drastic effects on the brain. These effects can go as far as reduced blood flow to the brain and slowing down metabolism. Bad news for athletes and students alike.

How to Improve Sleeping Patterns

All this information begs the question; how can I achieve a better night’s sleep? For starters, it has become common knowledge that establishing a regimented sleeping schedule is crucial. This means going to bed and waking up around the same time every day4-step-diet. Additionally, one should avoid stimulus from electronic devices, such as cell phones or laptops before going to bed. Furthermore, exercising daily is not only good for one’s overal health, but it will also help you sleep better at night. Thus no, rest is not for the weak. In fact, a lack of rest will make you feel weak, tired, and prone to getting sick.


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Protein and Muscle Gain

Recreational gym goers and bodybuilders alike both ponder the same question: how much protein is really necessary in order to maximize muscle growth? Since the age of the bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, the accepted paradigm has usually been anywhere from 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. However, new research shows that this might not be the case after all.

At the moment, the recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein is .8g/kg or .8g/2.2lbs body weight per day. However, this is the RDA for healthy adults who do not engage in strenuous physical activity. In other words, this is the amount of protein that the average individual needs in order to maintain their health. When it comes to strength athletes, the RDA of protein goes up. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the RDA for strength athletes lies anywhere from 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that a 155 pound strength athlete should consume anywhere from 98 to 141 grams of protein a day in order to maximize muscle growth. However, it should be noted that over time, this amount may go down due to the body adapting and becoming more efficient at using protein to repair muscles.


According to one study, there was no difference in protein synthesis between strength athletes who consumed .6 grams per pound of body weight and those who consumed 1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Furthermore, it concluded that protein intake ‘maxes out’ after 1.8 grams/lbs of body weight. Thus, any protein consumed past this amount is just extra calories, and one runs the risk of it being stored as body fat. It should also be noted, however, that consuming protein above the recommended amount is not harmful to bodily functions. Some believe that excess protein intake can potentially damage the kidneys, which is actually not the case.

Overall, there seems to be a lot of conflicting information about protein needs for strength athletes. There does not seem to be an accepted paradigm on the matter as of today. I think the most important thing for athletes looking to build muscle is to focus on eating a healthy and balanced diet full of nutrient dense foods. While the amount of protein consumed is certainly a big part of muscle building, the type of protein one eats is important too. One should not rely on protein powders and supplements for all their protein needs. Instead, it is better to get most of the protein out of healthy sources such as lean meats, nuts, and eggs.


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Is LSD really that dangerous?

First synthesized by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, LSD gained both popularity and notoriety during the counter culture and flower power of the 1960’s. Today, LSD is most often associated with this time period and a heap of stigma surrounds the drug. Being classified as a schedule 1 drug that has no potential medicinal benefits, LSD is a difficult substance to study for the scientific community. However, recent studies carried out in Europe have revealed a interesting new perspective on the drug.

Your Brain on LSD

According to a study conducted by David Nutt, LSD causes certain parts of the brain that normally do no interact with one another, to communicate. This causes the altered reality that LSD users experience. Additionally, neurons that usually fire together lose their synchronization. This is what is responsible for the loss of ego that LSD users experience. The loss of ego is quite simply a feeling of euphoria that LSD brings on that causes one to feel more connected with their animate and inanimate surroundings. While this all sounds quite pleasant, LSD has been criticized for being able to induce psychosis and even schizophrenia in users. However, according to the science journal PLOS One, researchers found no significant increase in mental health problems in people who used LSD. Researcher debunked the claim that LSD use could cause mental health problems by stating that mental health problems and LSD use usually began around adolescence, which accounts for a correlation, but not causation.

A Tab a Day Keeps the Alcoholism away 

Besides inducing intense feelings of euphoria, LSD may have the potential to be used as a therapeutic agent. According to researchers in Norway, LSD has the potential to help alcoholics cut back on their alcohol consumption. In a case study of 536 adults, close to 60% of the subjects who were given LSD dramatically cut down on their alcohol use, while others quit altogether. More so, LSD was found to be just as effective, if not more, than t23eb11c600000578-2867599-lsd_is_used_widely_in_prominent_clubs_as_carrying_cocaineand_met-m-3_1418171982293-250x194he pharmaceuticals that are currently used to treat alcoholism. Besides treating alcoholism, LSD may have therapeutic benefits in treating people with depression. Scientists in England have already studied psycocilibin with good results, and they hope to achieve the same with LSD. If LSD proves to be effective, it could be administered in psychotherapeutic sessions in which the drug is administered under the control of a medical professional who’s aim is to work through a patient’s problems. While these scientific breakthroughs are certainly exciting, LSD remains a powerful drug that can have serious consequences. With any mind altering substance there is a degree of risk, so be safe and make smart decisions.


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Cardio Benefits Before vs. After

A large amount of todays society has ventured out to a gym at least once in their life and has attempted a shot at the treadmill, stepper or elliptical at some point during their workout routine. But the very controversial question is at what point exactly is cardio most efficient for the human body. As most people know cardio is an essential element to proper health and conditioning so the ultimate objective is to follow the correct procedure that produces the best results for oneself which is why this simple question is such a popularly debated topic. Without a doubt any method unknownof cardio is better than no cardio at all. Some of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise include weight loss, decrease risk of disease, strengthening of heart and lungs and much more.

The two theories are ether preforming cardio before you begin various forms of strength training or after preforming the same strength exercises. I personally am an avid gym-goer and a strong believer in incorporating cardio into your complete workout regardless of whether its normal sfullsizeoutput_dtrength training, bodybuilding or just athletic/sports training. Based off of my workout experiences, having tried both options, was that when i did cardio prior to lifting, I felt drained and fatigued when it came to trying to finish my workout. When i do it the other way around, I’m able to have the most productive wotkout because my energy levels are full and then I’m able to also receive the benefits of a cardio session after my workout. So personally I believe in cardio after your workout because you can accomplishment and receive benefits from each without compromising one another. As opposed to cardio before where I wouldn’t maximize my workout and only received full cardio benefits.

maxresdefault According to one of the most popular physical health companies, inquired that doing cardio before lifting weights is far worse than doing cardio after lifting weights. The main reason being is that glycogen is a form of energy storage for your body/cells and cardio depletes this source of fuel much faster than lifting weights does. Therefore lifting first leaves you with the most energy to get a more productive cardio session in, and vice versa doing cardio first leaves you with a lot less energy which prevents you from having a productive weight lifting session as well.


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The Risky Business of Drinking Coffee

Coffee! We all love it and America runs on it, but the real question is whether it’ll stain your teeth… Many college students need that extra caffeine to get them through their vigorous schedules, however are we potentially at risk of yellowing our teeth? I know I personally need a coffee almost every day to give me that boost in my morning classes but just how risky is it? A wide smile with pearly white teeth is the ultimate goal, whereas yellow, coffee stained teeth is nothing to ask for.cl_hero1 According to Wendy J. Woudstra from Colgate, if students don’t take the proper precautions after drinking dark fluids and acidic drinks some of which being soda, coffee and tea, they are at risk of causing yellow stains that are much harder to remove opposed to preventing them in the first place.

Many students deal with the uncertainty of stained teeth and no one wants to face the embarrassment of smiling and realizing your teeth are yellow. But also no one wants to arrive at their 8 am math class and feel like the they have 20 pound bricks pulling their eyelids closed. tired-after-eatingIn order to deal with this issue and prevent the yellow stained teeth, you must take the proper precautions. Still drink your coffee but brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water as soon as possible afterwards in order to wash away the pigments deposited onto the surface of your teeth from the hot beverage.

Every morning upon waking up I brush my teeth, pack gum to avoid coffee breath (another coffee factor), always carry a water to rinse my mouth, and re-brush my teeth as soon as I get the chance again after my day to day classes. Brushing your teeth after encountering dark fluids like coffee can diminish the possibility of stains that may arise if you don’t act accordingly. In addition to avoiding stains, a whitening toothpaste can also be a wise choice to reinsure white teeth. I want to avoid staining my teeth and prefer to keep my teeth looking white at all costs, and simply by taking some of these easy precautions you can still enjoy your daily cup of coffee while maintaining your teeth. A win win.

As we all remember the middle school days of braces we can also remember the orthodontists warnings for us. Pretty much that when we get our braces off it will be noticeable whether we too care of our teeth or not. Some kids and adults are left with spots from their braces after they’re removed. Many of them who drank dark fluids with high acidity levels, such as coffee, are responsible for those marks since they didn’t take the proper precautions. This is why orthodontists always advise their patients to avoid sugary foods or drinking dark colored drinks (coffee, tea, soda, etc) for the duration of the braces. There’s a chance that if an individual doesn’t properly brush their teeth after eating or drinking, stained teeth will be the end result.

teeth-300x214Moral of the story is to brush your teeth often after a coffee and take the extra precautions in order to avoid having any stains, yellow teeth, and even bad breath. Yes coffee can stain your teeth, but those stains can be avoided as long as you don’t let the leftover coffee pigments sit on your teeth all day long without appropriately cleaning them. Stained, yellow teeth and bad breath are not the most desirable look, so play it safe and take care of your smile before it’s too late. I hope now you can drink that cup of coffee without putting your teeth at risk!



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Intermittent Fasting vs. Traditional Fasting and Dieting

Millions of people struggle with weight loss and muscle growth around the world, often resorting to absurd diets and unhealthy fasting methods to reach certain goals. These actions can be damaging to the human body and are not the most effective strategy and can be at times actually counter-productive. Intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather an efficient eating pattern.


Fasting over long periods of time can be very dangerous. The main purpose for doing so is weight loss. Yes you’re going to lose weight since you deplete all of your glycogen in your liver which means your body reverts to another source in order for it to operate. This will most often be your bodies source of fat or protein which can be negative as its breaking down important muscles including your heart. A main concern is the weakening of the heart which can result in heart failure. Long periods without eating will also decrease an individuals energy levels and without receiving proper nutrition, you’re at risk infection and illness due to the weakened immune system.


Many unhealthy diets that people resort to can be quite harmful. Often times society gets an image of what they should look like and become so caught up on it that they are willing to try almost anything to achieve that, and thats where things can potentially become dangerous. According to clinical dietitian, Janet Renee, in order to have a proper and healthy diet, and individual must consume sufficient amounts of vitamins & minerals, protein, carbs, and even some healthy fats all from different food sources. Failure to do so will result in the weakening of bones, physical fatigue and a lack of muscle capacity. It can even lead to chronic issues which is why it’s so important to balance your meals and keep in mind a true healthy lifestyle and not an image of how society should look.

The overall reason behind weight loss or weight gain comes down to calorie consumption. Depending on each individuals age, height, weight, and activity levels, the required calories will be unique for whatever goal you’re looking for. If you’re looking into bulking than you will consume a surplus of calories and vice versa, if you want to cut weight than you’ll consume calories at a deficit. Looking to maintain your weight? Awesome, than simply reach the proper amount of calories in a given day based on your individual characteristics. This is where intermittent fasting comes into play.

As mentioned in the beginning, Intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather an efficient eating pattern. How it works is you will wake up at whatever time best suits you and then prolong your first meal anywhere from 4-7 hours upon waking up.1238657337834806415 By doing this you’re extending your fast from over night into the next day and virtually skipping breakfast depending on the time you wake up. Following this you will usually eat 2 meals and a snack or two throughout the course of the day. Fasting in this method not only has tremendous value mentally and physically.. but by not eating breakfast it saves room for more calories and makes it much easier to reach your desired calorie consumption intake. You can still eat what you want and actually feel full while still losing weight. You can also absolutely stuff yourself and still maintain or gain weight depending on what you’re looking for. Aside from incredible muscle growth and fat burning, Intermittent fasting brings even greater value to the table. Boosting your metabolism and increasing mental alertness provide for a great start to your day. According to Dr. Mattson, fasting in intervals such as these improve brain health. By doing so part of the brain releases special proteins that become active amongst important parts of the brain and overall increase the strength of the brain. The effectiveness of intermittent fasting is incomparable to any other diet or fasting method. It’s safe, extremely efficient, has numerous health benefits, and is very practical for everybodys lifestyle. Having Intermittent fasted for almost a month now, I can honestly say I feel better and really enjoy eating and planning my meals accordingly. It’s so flexible and I recommend it to everyone who’s willing to give it a shot!



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There’s More to Chewing Gum Than You Thought

Chewing gum is extremely popular throughout the globe and its purposes vary vastly for each and every individual. Some do it for the taste, some do it for the fresh breath, others as a stress reliever or for the simple need to just chew something. Its uses are endless but have you ever considered chewing gum for the benefits related to reaction time or mental alertness. That’s right, what if chewing gum can actually improve academic productivity or improve your effeciency in a sport. I think much more non-gum chewers would start chewing gum for these alternative reasons if they knew of the benefits.


Something as easy as popping a piece of gum into your mouth before a test or quiz or before completing an assignment can make all the difference. According to Proffesor Smith from Cardiff University, the action of chewing gum activates certain areas of the human brain that affects mental alertness which can help with focusing and reaction time. The actual motion of chewing itself boosts the heart rate of an individual, and in result this increases the amount of direct blood flow to the human brain. The combination of these results lead to a sufficient improvement in productivity in the classroom and even on a sports field.



Studies from the Brainy Journal, show results of comparison between gum chewers and non-gum chewers during standardized tests and homework time. Students who chewed gum during these periods earned higher grades than those who did not. Scientists and researchers are still investigating just what might be the reason behind the improvement in academic performance from gum chewing, however similar theories as mentioned before are continuously brought up. More blood flow to the brain from the chewing motion actually stimulates the area of the brain that is responsible for attention-span and other important factors that benefit academic scores.

So if its that easy why doesn’t everyone start chewing more gum? Regardless of any facts or data, should everyone be chewing gum….. yes? No, not actually thats solely a preference. But when looking at the benefits outlined the answer is yes. Something as effortless as moving your jaw in the chewing motion can boost your academic performance and possibly impact your future. I think a few sacrifices of stuck pieces of gum and an occasional bubble pop, is worth the academic scores that can grant you an entrance to a school of your full potential and dictate the beginning of the rest of your life. So buy a pack of gum and start chewing!



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Submerged In Science

Hello, my name is Hugo Almeida and I’m from North Jersey. I’m currently a DUS freshman with specific intentions of majoring in Finance. I’m taking this class because I wanted something that was real-world oriented and involved various current events that range from across the globe. I was looking to fill my schedule with one last science Gen ED course and after looking through just about every possible option, I stumbled upon, “Science In Our World”. The title itself immediately attracted me with the possibility that this could fit exactly what I was looking for, potentially making connections between science and different aspects of our everyday life and the world. So seeing it as my best option I enrolled hoping this was exactly what it turned out to be. I was not a fan of my high school science classes therefore I had absolutely no intention of being a science major. On top of that, the fact that my whole family is business may have something to do with it, but not complaining because numbers is much more my stronger suit. The important factor with this specific course that separates it from other science Gen-Eds is that it is aimed at non-science majors so that being said, I’m really looking forward to all that’s in-store with this class.


Something about me is that I have a real passion for the ocean and all of it’s content, so for me something interesting is this article here. I love learning of unique random facts and I’m excited to understand how science relates to such vast things that we overlook.