*Note, I am NOT trying to sell you this product nor am I an affiliate of it. This is an honest look at what it is, to save you from wasting money and effort if the product isn’t valuable.
What is the Alpine Ice Hack?
The alpine Ice Hack is another term for “Alpilean.”
Alpilean is a supplement for weight loss that claims to:
What’s in Alpine Ice Hack (Alpilean)?
As with any supplement that makes bold claims, your first move should ALWAYS be to examine the ingredients.
In this case, when I searched for this product initially, I came across a LOT of scam products on amazon.
So, warning #1, do NOT buy the product off of Amazon, as they are not the actual Alpilean product.
This is a list of the actual ingredients from the official Alpilean website (aka the Alpine Ice Hack):
Golden Algae (flucoxanthin)
Dika Nut (african mango seed)
Drumstick Tree Leaf (Moringa Leaf)
Bigarade Orange (Citrus Bioflavanoids)
Ginger Rhizome (Ginger Root)
Turmeric Rhizome (Turmeric Root)
Vitamin B12 and Chromium
Can these Ingredients Work for Weight Loss?
Let’s start with the main ingredient, which is the Golden Algae (flucoxanthin).
Flucoxanthin, which comes from brown seaweed, has shown some promise in battling obesity, but that isn’t the issue…
The issue is, first of all, that we have no way to know HOW MUCH golden algae is in the product.
As with many supplements, it is listed as part of a “blend.”
A serious supplement company will know the clinical dose of an ingredient (how much is needed for results), and will list it on the bottle, period.
“Blends” with no specific ingredient amounts stand out to me immediately as a scam.
In fact, I will not purchase any supplement that does not list the amount of each active ingredient, period.
Check out this study that looked at 10 products claiming to contain flucoxanthin (Golden Algae):
3/10 had no detectable amounts
5 had only a trace amount
2 had 2mg or less
You can buy the active ingredient (Flucoxanthin from brown seaweed) from Amazon. This brand is lab tested, at least lists the amount at 2000mg, and has great reviews. This would also save you hundreds of dollars.
Moving on to the next ingredient, Dika Nut (African mango seed).
There are a few studies showing that Dika Nut may assist with both weight loss and Cholesterol.
The studies are small and flawed, but they do exist.
The problem, though, is that once again the clinical dose (the amount needed) is not clear.
In one study, they administered 3 grams of the product, which is far more than the total ingredients in the Alpilean product combined.
(The “blend” in Alpilean is 250mg, all ingredients combined).
Combined with inconclusive research, we really don’t know if it works, on top of not having enough of it to begin with.
So, Does the Alpine Ice Hack Work?
Rather than continue looking at every angle here, I’m confident saying that this is just another trendy fad that won’t do you much good.
In other words, the Alpine ice hack is wack.
That is my opinion based on years of examining (and using) supplements.
You are of course free to decide for yourself.
The official Alpilean site is right here (I am not affiliated).
At $30-$40 per bottle, that’s not a cheap way to find out, though.
My reasoning for this conclusion is based on:
They do not list how much of each ingredient is present, but use a “blend.”
The clinical dose (amount needed for results) appears to be much higher than what they’re including, or is unknown.
The product is very expensive.
Many positive reviews are from people (affiliates) trying to sell the product.
Lasting Weight Loss Doesn’t Come in a Pill
Losing weight is never a hack. I will die on that hill.
A better alternative would be to try something like:
At the end of the day, you’re going to have to commit to lifestyle changes, or you’ll never get where you’re meant to be.
Join Forged Female
If you want to join a community of people with similar goals, plus a coach, all done remotely through the TrainHeroic app for the cost of a Starbucks trip, check out the link below, and never look back.
“Overconsumption of food with such eating patterns often leads to metabolic morbidities (insulin resistance, excessive accumulation of visceral fat, etc.), particularly when associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Because animals, including humans, evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, they developed numerous adaptations that enabled them to function at a high level, both physically and cognitively, when in a food-deprived/fasted state.”
Having constantly elevated insulin levels is NOT natural for the body and is highly undesirable and toxic.
Coupled with constant inflammation, our lipids get thrown into chaos and this environment within our body wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis and “hardening” of the arteries.)
Multiply this by 10-20 years of damage, and the stage is set for all things bad.
But I do recommend reading the whole article to get a full picture of the problem and solution.
I’ve searched through research and listened to many experts who are on the cutting edge of this topic.
I’ve also experimented on myself after discovering my lipids were a mess.
This article is what I’ve discovered to be most useful and important.
*Note, I am not a doctor. This article is my opinion based on what I’ve seen and experienced and is not medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements, making dietary changes, or analyzing lab results.
There are some affiliate links in this article. All are products I’ve tried and believe can benefit you
Ok, that’s out of the way. Now let’s move on.
Why I’m Passionate About this Topic
A while back, I got some deep bloodwork done through a company called Marek Health.
I’d never really paid much attention to my cholesterol before, and assumed I was in great health.
I eat well (I thought), work out all the time, and feel good.
By outward appearances, I looked perfectly healthy and strong.
The results from the bloodwork shocked me.
My lipids (cholesterol) were a mess, my glucose levels were high and by all measures I was at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and pre-diabetes.
This led me down a path of getting as much information as I could to fix the problem asap.
And that’s exactly what I did.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is essentially a type of lipid (fat). It is a waxy substance that is made by the liver.
Cholesterol is made by the body because it is extremely important.
It is used by the body for everything from making hormones, to creating new cells.
The first thing to understand is that cholesterol is not “bad.”
It is actually vital, and you literally could not survive without it.
In fact, there are studies showing that certain types of cholesterol can be protective against diseases like Alzheimers.
The Framingham Study
Most of the current beliefs surrounding Cholesterol come from what is known as the Framingham Study.
The conclusion of this study was essentially that high cholesterol is bad and is predictor of heart disease.
This is known as the “lipid hypothesis” of heart disease.
The study further divided cholesterol into “good” HDL cholesterol, and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Major Flaws and Ulterior Motives
As with any study, it is very important not to just take its conclusions as objective truth.
The Framingham study has many flaws.
A great critique of it can be found here in more depth if you want to go deep down the rabbit hole.
From how it was funded, to the bias of those carrying out the study, to the fact that it’s a purely observational study (which can never be used to prove causation).
Despite many shortcomings, this study is still the reason your doctor will put you on statin drugs with an outdated and misinterpreted cholesterol test.
Statin drugs are one of the best-selling drugs on the market, and one of the biggest money-makers for pharmaceutical companies.
So obviously, contradicting the notion that cholesterol is the boogey-man is going to be bad for business…
Unfortunately, statin drugs come with a host of undesirable side effects, such as:
CoQ10 Depletion, which can damage heart function (see here)
Neurophathy (weakness, tingling, pain in the hands/feet)
The point of this first section is to highlight two important things:
Cholesterol is not in itself bad and has to be analyzed deeper. Traditional tests do NOT do this.
Statins are handed out like candy to anyone with even moderate cholesterol levels. This is more due to profits and ignorance than actual benefit to a given individual.
Logic and Reason
When I say that cholesterol is not “bad,” what I mean is this:
First, your body would not produce something and place such a high priority on it, with such complex mechanisms, if it was not extremely important and beneficial.
Second, we need to look deeper into our cholesterol to understand which parts are actually harming us and which are beneficial or benign.
And last, it is our diet and lifestyle that cause our cholesterol to become problematic, and it is probably fixable for most people without prescription medication.
This is where an advanced lipid panel comes in.
Before we discuss diet to lower cholesterol, we need to get an accurate picture of what our cholesterol profile looks like.
Below is my original lipid panel done through Marek Health. It was not pretty, as I said.
Advanced Lipid Panel.
To get an accurate picture of your lipids, you have to get an advanced panel.
The way most doctors are using the old method is unacceptable, as we know that we can easily get a much more accurate picture with additional measurements.
In my opinion, the old panel is used as it continues to allow the prescribing of the statin drugs. It’s part of the profit machine.
Most doctors are probably just taking the safe route and following the “standard of care,” in which case they are free from liability by prescribing statins for “high” cholesterol, as it is the accepted norm.
They should be discussing a diet to lower cholesterol, including lifestyle changes, before handing out medications.
The Real Cause of Heart Disease
While we’ve allowed cholesterol to be deemed the boogeyman in relation to heart disease, there’s another monster lurking in the shadows.
That monster is insulin resistance.
It is estimated that over 10% of the US population is diabetic, and up to 2/3 are pre-diabetic.
This is NOT natural. It’s a symptom of a massive problem in our society.
At the end of 12 weeks, their lipid panels were dramatically improved.
The Large LDL particles (good) increased in size and number, and the small (harmful) LDL particles decreased.
This has incredibly powerful implications for improving your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are naturally full of monounsaturated fats.
Eating about 1 avocado a day (along with avoiding processed foods and sugar) can help raise your HDL cholesterol.
Avocados are one solid way you can replace carbs/sugars with healthy fats and see progress.
This discussion would not be complete without at least mentioning this.
Studies show that increasing cardiovascular fitness has a positive effect on lipid profiles.
It also has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality (higher cardiovascular fitness means you’re less likely to die from just about everything.)
By combining increased cardiovascular fitness with an improved diet, you’ll have a very solid plan of attack.
Final Thoughts on how to lower cholesterol naturally.
The overarching theme of this article is pretty clear.
Profits often dictate a lot in our current world. Reliance on pharmaceutical products and the widespread consuming of garbage foods is a symptom of that fact.
The root of much of our cholesterol and heart problems lies in what we eat.
Insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress are wreaking havoc on our bodies.
But, we can take steps to combat the problem.
Through eating the right foods, taking the right supplements, avoiding processed foods, sugar and chemicals, you can see dramatic improvements in health, which are likely to be reflected on your lipid panels.
For some people who have genetic disorders and simply cannot control their cholesterol, statins may provide enormous benefit.
But for the majority of us, it’s lifestyle changes that are long overdue.
Hope you enjoyed this one, leave a comment and let me know!
To lower your RHR, you need a high frequency of training, usually at least 4-5 days per week.
HIIT is a great training method, but should be used in a complimentary fashion with your higher frequency cardiovascular training.
1-2 HIIT sessions per week is plenty, according to most research and my experience.
The Best Overall Approach to a Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
The best overall approach to lower your RHR is:
Focus on cardiac output training, using moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise, 3-5 days per week, for 30-90 minutes per session. Keep the heart rate around 130-150bpm.
1-2 HIIT sessions/week can be added in to build aerobic power, strengthen the heart and possibly build muscle as well.
Yoga and other forms of active stretching and relaxation can also be used, as they improve our body’s ability to deal with stress, and promote an environment conducive to improved overall fitness and a lower resting heart rate.
Lowering your RHR has enormous upside: Improved fitness, more energy, lower risk of mortality and improved performance.
Using methods shown by research to lower your heart rate at rest will bring you results within a couple of months.
Cardiac output and Yoga are the two methods that, when brought together, can dramatically improve the function of your heart.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and as always… I hope it helped you get a little closer to that best version of you!
Please leave a comment and follow my blog for more great articles.
With Coronavirus causing a worldwide panic, many are looking for ways to boost their immune system in hopes of gaining an edge on the deadly virus. So how do you boost your immune system? Let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t.
*For official advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 Coronavirus, visit the CDC Website
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is a collection of billions of cells that flow through the bloodstream, hunting and destroying invaders like bacteria and viruses that could potentially make us sick. It’s important to realize that it is a system. It’s a complicated balance of many different components that are all affected by what we eat, think and do.
Exercise and Fitness Boost Immunity
While the exact mechanism remains unclear, studies have repeatedly shown that higher levels of fitness result in fewer incidences of getting sick. And, when you do get sick, a higher level of fitness will result in a less severe cold or flu.
A Study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at over 1,000 people over a 12 week period, specifically focusing on upper respiratory illnesses (like Coronavirus and Flu). The study found that those who performed aerobic exercise 5 or more times per week spent 43% less time being sick than those who exercised 1 or less times per week.
The study also showed that those with high levels of fitness had 41% less severe symptoms when they did get sick vs. those with low or sedentary levels of activity.
Fitness and Life-Span
Studies have also shown that aerobic fitness directly correlates to a person’s chances of dying from all causes. Basically, the higher your aerobic fitness, the less chance you have of dying. And the kicker; there’s no upper limit to the benefit. Improving your fitness levels can help you avoid getting sick, get less severe symptoms when you do get sick, and live longer.
Vitamin C: Does it Work?
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. It also plays a large role in the formation of collagen (think healthy, resilient skin).
Our bodies cannot make Vitamin C, and so we must get it from our diet. Severe Vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy. In the past, it was responsible for millions of deaths, until 1747 when a man named James Lind showed that lemons and oranges could cure the disease.
Many studies have examined the role of Vitamin C on the immune system.
A Review of 31 studies found that regular Vitamin C consumption can reduce the duration of being sick by 8% in adults, and 14% in children. It’s effects on preventing illness were not as clear, with no significant benefit observed.
It appears that Vitamin C supplementation can be most beneficial for those under extreme stress, such as marathon runners or those training with a lot of intensity, like military athletes. For people under heavy physical stress, Vitamin C was shown to cut their chances of getting sick in half.
It appears that Vitamin C can be beneficial for some. It can cut your cold short by about one day, and appears to have the ability to boost the immune system for those under heavy stress.
To reap the benefits of Vitamin C, you’ll want to take in about 200-400mg per day. It’s best to get it through your diet, from citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, as these foods also contain other nutrient and antioxidant rich compounds that can also lead to improved health and immunity.
Which food has the most naturally occurring Vitamin C? Kakadu plums! They contain 100 times the vitamin C of oranges!
Sleep and Immunity
At this point we know that sleep affects almost every aspect of our health. But what effect does it have on our immune system?
A 2019 study found that sleep improves the functioning of T-cells: cells in our body that fight pathogens such as a virus that has infiltrated our healthy cells. Without adequate sleep (experts recommend at least 7 hours), our immune system may not have the strength to fight off a cold or flu.
Studies have repeatedly shown that when exposed to a virus, those getting poor sleep, or not enough sleep, are significantly more likely to get sick than those getting the recommended amount.
Melatonin is an all natural, non habit forming supplement that can help you fall asleep faster:
If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, or frequently wake up feeling groggy and tired, chances are your immune system is struggling to keep up. Here are 3 things experts recommend you try to improve your sleep:
Consume caffeine earlier: The half-life of caffeine is 5-6 hours. That means half of that energy drink you had at 3:00 pm is still flowing through you when you get ready for bed.
Have a Routine: Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This helps the body develop a rhythm.
Don’t lie in bed awake. If you’re still up after 20-30 minutes, do something relaxing. Read, Take a shower.. and try again when you start to feel tired.
Quit Smoking (and vaping)
Smokers have a much higher risk of complications from respiratory illnesses like Coronavirus. According to the CDC, smoking harms the immune system and leaves the body less successful at fighting disease.
A 2017 Study concluded that smoking “interrupts immunological homeostasis, causes various diseases, and exerts paradoxical effects on immune and tissue cells”
Viruses like Coronavirus attack the body’s respiratory system. Lungs being over-stressed by harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are more vulnerable to the virus, and can have a more difficult time getting rid of the illness.
How to Quit
Quitting smoking is no easy task. Using nicotine substitutes like nicotine gum or lozenges can double your chances at success. Experts recommend setting a quit date, and slowly reducing the amount you smoke up until that date. Then, use a nicotine substitute. For more info, check out smokefree.gov
There’s no need to go into the multitude of health benefits of quitting smoking. Just know that for the purposes of boosting your immune system and avoid getting sick, quitting can give you a huge boost in immunity.
Watch Your Stress
Chronic stress can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system. When we’re stressed, our body releases a stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol suppresses the immune system by lowering the amount of lymphocytes we produce. Lymphocytes are immune cells needed to fight off disease. This effect an be magnified if we use alcohol and tobacco to cope with stress.
It’s important to realize that our body interprets stress in a similar way, regardless of where it comes from. The sympathetic “fight or flight” response to stress can happen as a result of fighting with your partner, stress at work or a really intense workout.
Learning to better cope with stress can limit this stress response. The body follows the mind. Take time out every day to relax and reflect. We get to choose how we interpret outside stress. Check out my article on Mental Toughness if you want more insight on how to better deal with stress.
It’s all in the Gut
Our digestive system contains millions of bacteria, both beneficial and harmful. The beneficial bacteria are referred to as Probiotic. These helpful bacteria assist the body in fighting disease and maintaining health.
Our relationship with these bacteria is known as symbiotic: A mutually beneficial relationship between two different organisms. These probiotic bacteria are intimately tied to our immune system. An imbalance in gut bacteria can have a negative impact on our ability to fight disease.
To cultivate a healthy gut, experts recommend eating nutrient rich foods, focusing on healthy grains like quinoa along with green vegetables. Processed foods and sugary carbohydrates hurt our gut bacteria, and can be detrimental to our immune system. Probiotic supplements or yogurt is always a good choice to make part of your daily diet.
Chronic stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise can all negatively affect our gut bacteria. Finding the right balance is key.
In this article, we discussed how to boost the immune system to avoid illnesses like the Coronavirus and Flu.
What we eat, think and do can all have a huge impact on our body’s ability to fight off diseases like the flu or most recently, Coronavirus. Keeping yourself healthy is the best defense.
We discussed how exercise impacts your immune system and life span. We discovered that Vitamin C can help shorten the amount of time you’re sick, but won’t help avoid the flu unless you’re under extreme physical stress.
We talked about smoking, stress and gut health.
Overall, it’s pretty clear that if you live an unhealthy lifestyle, no supplement is going to help you avoid getting sick. Exercising, eating a nutrient rich diet, avoiding smoking and managing stress are all ingredients to the recipe for boosting the immune system and warding off illness.
I hope this article was helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments! And please… Subscribe!