If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the daily grind, you might be tempted to lie down on the sofa and rest.But actually, experts agree that exercise is the key to relieving stress. Those who work out regularly reduce their stress levels, improve their mood, and enhance their mental health.In this article, we answer the most common questions on stress and list the best sports to soothe the body and mind.Where does stress come from?Strain at work, in the family, or in your free time – there are plenty of reasons why the body and mind react to stress. Since every person is different, how stressors (things that cause strain or tension) are perceived varies. That’s why some situations might be a threat for some people, while others consider them eustress (positive stress) that pushes them to a higher performance level. Take a look at what happens in the brain.In the prefrontal cortex……information that we take in is sorted, evaluated, and processed. When the brain is confronted with too much information, it is unable to process it. This leads to a sense of being overwhelmed and stress symptoms, which has, in the long run, a negative effect on our health.When stress occurs frequently or constantly, but the body is unable to manage it, it is felt as something negative. Stress hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are released, which make the body more efficient for a short time. It is preparing for fight or flight (just like our predecessors had to flee from wild animals). We want to survive, and this means running away in dangerous situations.Why Can You Relieve Stress With Exercising?The age-old physical reaction – running – still helps our bodies and minds regain balance in today’s world.(1, 2)Physical exertion and sports……are controlled by the motor cortex in our brains. When we move, this area is hard at work and requires much of the resources available to the entire brain. The result is that the prefrontal cortex, which controls our emotional response to stress, lacks resources – it simply cannot maintain the state of being stressed. Its activity level decreases, and the stress level is reduced. What Should You Keep In Mind When You Exercise to Relieve Stress?Exercising is a great way to reduce stress because when you move, your body produces endorphins, which elevate your mood. It’s important……to avoid pushing yourself too hard or trying to reach a new level of performance when you’re stressed out. This can be harmful to your health and even increase your cortisol level and therefore, stress.Keep your workouts shorter and stick with recovery runs or swimming. Low-intensity exercise is effectively lowering cortisol levels.(3) Look for a sport that’s fun for you and makes you feel good. Remember: make sure to take it down a notch on the days when your schedule is packed.What Are the Best Activities to Reduce Stress?There are a lot of ways to relieve stress with sports:Running:Many experts recommend running because it is one of the first skills that we learn. The important thing here is to stay in the aerobic range (your breathing speeds up, but you aren’t out of breath), in order to avoid putting too much strain on your body.Walks:In addition to endurance sports, regular, short walks can help reduce stress hormones.Yoga:Yoga is another effective way to clear your head. By concentrating on your breathing, you enter a meditative state.Team sports:If you spend a lot of time alone, either at work or in your free time, team sports like soccer are a great way to relieve stress. Don’t underestimate the support a social network can provide. In a team, you work together, which builds self-confidence and can reduce stress.Self-defense:Self-defense gives you a heightened awareness of your body, which helps your balance, and improves coordination. You’ll also be more self-confident—low self-esteem can contribute to your stress level.Climbing:Sports you do outside in the fresh air like climbing give you a greater sense of freedom. You learn to focus on the essentials and not get distracted. SummaryIf you want to reduce stress through sports, it’s important that you have a positive association with the activity you choose. In other words, you should enjoy the sport and not overdo it. A short workout that’s not too exhausting helps you feel good and regain a sense of control.There are no advantages to choosing a sport or training plan that just creates more stress because you are overly-competitive or push yourself too hard. The key is to find out how much exercise you need to relax. Your friend might run 10 km to relieve stress, but that doesn’t mean this is what your body needs.Is the stress getting to you? Sports can help! Try the adidas Running and Training apps, and make your workouts more fun.*** More
When you head out for a run, you expect to have tired legs, burning lungs, and general exhaustion — what you don’t often expect to have is lower or upper back pain during or after running.But surprisingly enough, back pain amongst runners is a very common thing, particularly in less experienced runners, those with improper running technique, or weak back and glute muscles (which is most of us!).So if you’ve ever experienced back pain when running, you know just how annoying and painful it can be.Important:Back pain is common and can have other complex causes unrelated to running (such as stress). Even though it’s often not serious, it’s smart to be cautious. Consult your doctor — especially if you feel unwell and pain spreads to the leg (numbness/tingling) or does not improve with rest. When in doubt, check it out!In the following article we’ll answer your most common questions:Why do we get back pain while running, anyway?If you think about it, your back has an enormous role to play when it comes to running. When you run, you have to hold your body upright — sometimes for a very long time. In order to do this, your back has to work with the rest of your body to keep you moving and upright. If your muscles are not up to the task, you may get upper or lower back pain.Why does my lower back hurt when running?When it comes to your lower back, leg and core strength, flexibility, and coordination all play an important role:Your core muscles have to work hard to support your spine and lower back.When running, your core, hips, glutes, and hamstrings have to join forces to keep you stable.What happens when one muscle or a group of muscles become fatigued?Your lower back has to work harder to keep you upright and on your feet, which can cause pain, or worst case scenario — injury.Why does my upper back hurt when running? If you’re experiencing more pain in your upper back instead of your lower back, it’s often a result of your head position:A lot of upper back pain is a result of having your head leading your body — jutting out in front of your body — causing unnecessary tension and stress on the upper back. Another likely culprit of upper back pain is your arms. If you’re holding your arms up too tight or maybe even too high, or tensing your shoulders up towards your ears (which is common when the body is fatigued), it can cause strain on your upper back.What can you do to prevent back pain when running? To prevent back pain when running, the best thing you can do is to work on your strength and flexibility.This is why cross-training — incorporating strengthening movements into your running routine — is so important! If you want to run for a long time, you have to protect your body by strengthening the muscles that keep your body moving and upright — it’s as simple as that. What are the best bodyweight exercises to prevent back pain during and after running? Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the stress on your back and make running a little more comfortable — well, unless you ask your legs, of course. As long as you are experiencing back discomfort, stick with easy, comfortable runs.If you’re asking yourself “how do I get rid of back pain when running,” try the following 12 bodyweight exercises:1. Superman[embedded content]2. Beetle[embedded content]3. Single Leg Balance & Reach (Shin) L/R)[embedded content]Challenging? Start with Single Leg Balance L/R!4. High Plank Leg Lifts[embedded content]5. Single Leg Bridge L/R[embedded content]6. Mod. Low Side Plank Lifts L/R[embedded content]7. Quadruped Limb Raises[embedded content]8. Superman Pull[embedded content]For upper back tension try Wall Lateral Pull-Downs, too.9. Single Leg Deadlift L/R[embedded content]10. High Plank Limb Raises[embedded content]11. V Ups[embedded content]If you’re struggling to control your form, try Single Leg V-Ups.12. Single Leg Jump Squats L/R(When outdoors, give Forward Jump Squats a try instead!)How to train:Exercises are sorted from basic to more challenging. Start from the top. Pick the first 4 exercises that you can do slowly without pain, and maintain proper form/technique. Do 3 sets and aim for 8-12 reps.Good to know:Some exercises might seem easy at first, but make sure to check coaching cues before moving on. Gradually build up to more reps and switch to harder exercises while maintaining good form.3 Bonus Exercises:Give these 3 flexibility exercises a try. If one or more makes your back feel better, do them before the above-mentioned strength training, after a run, or in your free time. Be gentle with yourself and repeat as often as you like – even every day.14. Cat Cow15. Lying Figure 4 Stretch L/R16. Supine Twist L/R*** More
Many runners wonder if they should eat carbs after a run at night. On one hand, carbs help your muscles recover so you can consistently hit your workout goals. On the other hand, eating after a run at night could disrupt your sleep, which compromises recovery. On top of this, sugar is carbohydrate, which can keep you from feeling sleepy despite having just gone for a run at night. To answer the question of what to eat after a run at night, keep reading to understand how your body processes the macronutrients (macros for short) of carbohydrates, fat, and proteins is necessary.Your body requires carbs to provide it with energy and it is good at using them efficiently. Fat, on the other hand, always requires plenty of oxygen. Plus, it takes twice as long for fat to provide the same amount of energy as carbohydrates. That is why we have to reduce our pace to burn fat while running, so that our body can keep up with the oxidation process and doesn’t get exhausted. You’ll notice that you’re in the fat-burning zone when your breathing slows down. If your breathing is fast and shallow, you’re body is not burning the fat it could. This is also when it starts to hurt. You might catch yourself thinking that the couch looks awful comfy right now. Or the question “What the hell am I doing?” keeps popping into your head. But once you have conquered these mental hurdles, things will start to get easier.Your body stores carbs in the form of glycogen in your liver and muscles. They are important energy reserves — especially for ambitious runners. The more glycogen you have stored in your muscles, the better and longer they can perform.In general, the following nutrient ratio is recommended for endurance athletes:Carbohydrates: 55-65%Protein: 10-15%Fat: 25-30% The Role of Carbs After A RunCarbs are your muscles’ fuel. The macronutrient is very important for runners looking to enhance their performance (for instance, for a marathon) – not only before workouts, but also after you finish running. If you refill your glycogen stores right after a run, your body will recover faster. This helps your body adapt better to a new or harder workout and builds up your immune system faster again after your training. The more often or intensely you train, the more important a diet rich in carbohydrates is for your recovery.ActivityCarb intakeLight< 1 hour/day3-5 g kg/dayModerate > 1 hour/day5-7 g kg/dayHigh1-3 hour/day7-10 g kg/dayVery high > 4-5 hour/day10-12 g kg/dayWhen and How Many Carbs to Eat After a RunThe best time for your body to replenish its glycogen stores is within the first 30 minutes after your workout. Consume about 0.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. For a 65 kg woman this should be about 30 g of carbohydrates.30 g of carbohydrates can be in the form of: one medium banana5 dates1 slice of bread with jam40 g of granola with 200 ml of cow’s milkThese carbohydrates (simple carbs) are easy to digest, and the body absorbs them quickly. After 30 minutes, the window starts to gradually close, and your body is no longer able to absorb carbs as efficiently and quickly.Keep in mind:You don’t need to eat carbohydrates after a short run (5 to 10 km), because the glycogen stores have not been depleted.What to Eat After a Run at NightAn hour after your run, you should eat a full meal with carbs, protein and fat. To be more exact, your meal should contain a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. Carbs are still important at this point, but your body also needs protein to build muscles. Too much of this macronutrient, however, can interfere with efficient absorption of carbohydrates and disturb your body’s fluid balance.A good post-run meal is loaded sweet potato skins.What to Eat After a Run at Night if You Want to Lose WeightRunners whose top priority is to lose weight should try to avoid eating too many carbs. This applies particularly to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs are necessary as part of a balanced diet, as we shall see below. Short endurance runs (like 5K runs) do not deplete our glycogen stores – so you don’t need to replenish them during your run (for example, with isotonic sports drinks) or right after the run. The best thing to drink after short runs is water. Eat a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, as described above one to two hours after your run. But at the end of the day, if you are looking to lose weight, what matters is a negative energy balance (approx. 500 calories/day). This means you should burn more calories than you consume.Eat Complex Carbs After a Run at NightRunners looking to lose weight need to pay attention to what they eat, as well as their training. The best thing for you to eat is complex carbohydrates (along with high quality protein and healthy fats). These not only keep you feeling full longer, but they provide you with plenty of additional important minerals and vitamins for your metabolism and immune system. Complex carbohydrates are found, for instance, in whole-grain products (like pasta and bread) and brown rice. Whole-grain foods include all the original parts (bran, germ, and endosperm) as well as all their nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are obtained by removing the outside and only keeping the endosperm. Other foods containing complex carbohydrates are potatoes with the skin on them, legumes, and vegetables.Where are different types of carbohydrates found?Complex Carbs to Refuel After a Run at NightComplex Carbs take longer to digest and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fiber that boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system:Whole grains and products incl. pasta, bread, and rollsPotatoes with the skin on themBrown riceBeans, lentils and peasVegetables, 100% vegetable juiceFruitAvoid Simple Carbs After a Run at Nightare a quick source of energy because they are digested rapidly. They cause your blood sugar and your insulin levels to rise:pastry flour and products, cakes, cookies, bread, and rollswhite pastasoft drinkssugar and sweetsalcoholDo You Need Carbs After a Run at Night?Yes and no. A high-carb snack will refill empty glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after a long run (over 10 km). The ideal ratio of carbs to protein in a post-run meal is 3:1 for optimal recovery.The bottom line: eat carbs after night runs to prioritize recovery. Minimize eating carbs after runs at night if that is part of your weight loss strategy.*** More
You don’t need any equipment or expensive gym membership to get the body you’ve always wanted. Your own body weight is all it takes to whip your body into shape. Would you like to tone your legs and strengthen your muscles? Then give these six effective bodyweight exercises a try. They are guaranteed to make you sweat.Leg exercises are important for building total body strength. The exercises below don’t just work your legs, they also work your glutes (butt muscles), strengthen your core, and promote a healthy back. Plus, these exercises are also great for runners!Curtsy Lunges[embedded content]Kneel & StandSide Lunges[embedded content]Single Leg Deadlift[embedded content]Jump Lunges[embedded content]Wall SitYou can also find all these and many more exercises in the adidas Training app.*** More
Workout scheduling is one of the most challenging things about fitness. Elite athletes have coaches and sports scientists telling them exactly how to schedule their workouts. While the rest of us aren’t so lucky, following some simple workout scheduling guidance can go a long way.Here are some answers to your most basic questions about workout scheduling!How Many Days to Workout Each Week? It depends on your fitness level, experience and goals. A very experienced athlete with a high fitness level can easily work out every day of the week and multiple times every day. A beginner athlete should strongly consider taking two or three days per week entirely off or focused on recovery. If you’re not sure how many recovery days per week you need, here are the signs it’s time for a recovery day.New runners are very strongly advised to take at least two days off from running per week. These recovery days are essential for your body to heal from the damage inflicted by running the other days.Strength-focused athletes might only work out three times per week. This is also to allow the body to adapt to the strength training stimulus productively. Realistically, your daily availability is the biggest limiter regarding how many days you can work out. Be realistic about your schedule and commitments. You will set yourself up for success if you commit to an achievable amount of days to work out rather than constantly missing the workouts you planned.When to Work out / Best Times to Work out?Morning workouts are likely best for most people’s schedules. As the day goes on, commitments pile up as energy and motivation decline. If you have no motivation, are tired, and didn’t focus on nutrition throughout the day, you will either have a bad workout or skip the activity altogether.Morning workouts boost your energy throughout the day. It may be hard to get out of bed, but give it a few weeks, and it will (probably) become easier. Morning workouts are also ideal for endurance athletes who do strength training (which is suggested for 40+ age athletes). These athletes are advised to do their strength training in the morning and, if time allows, cardio in the evening. This schedule decreases the chances of cardio workouts interfering with strength training adaptations due to the interference effect, as noted in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.Afternoon workouts or lunch workouts are also an option. Fitting in a quick run during lunch is great to start a running streak. The problem can be adequately fueling your workout and recovery. If you run during lunch, that means you also probably have to get cleaned up and feed yourself. This adds some time that could make it difficult to get in your workout.Evening workouts are very challenging. They can also be very rewarding. Some people may dread “having to work out” at the end of the day. Other people may look forward to working out in the evening because it is a moment they can destress from their day. Working out in the evening is also great because you can get cleaned up, have some nutritious food and then slip into bed for some recovery sleep.Still not sure when the best time to workout for you is? Read more about when the perfect time to run is.So, when should you work out? Whenever works best for your schedule. But you’ll probably have the most success if you work out in the morning.How to Create a Weekly Workout PlanCreating a weekly workout plan doesn’t need to be complicated. Just follow these simple steps:Decide how many days your schedule allows you to work out in a typical week.Decide how long you will work out each day.Decide when you can reasonably and most often fit in those workouts (morning/afternoon/evening).Plan your intensity days first. They should come after a recovery day. A day off or only cardio training should come after intensity days in most cases.Plan at least one to three recovery days per week (Mondays and Fridays are typical for most schedules).If you are focusing on running or other endurance sports, plan your long workouts for either Saturday or Sunday for typical schedules.Here is a sample weekly workout plan for beginner athletes:Days of the weekWorkoutMondayRecovery/light stretching TuesdayIntensity/strength trainingWednesdayRecovery ThursdayMedium duration cardio FridayDay-off. Focus on good nutrition.SaturdayLong workoutSundayMedium duration cardioHere is a sample weekly workout plan for intermediate athletes:Days of the weekWorkoutMondayRecovery/light stretching TuesdayIntensity/strength trainingWednesdayMedium duration cardio Thursday Intensity/strength training FridayDay-off. Focus on good nutrition.SaturdayLong workoutSundayMedium duration cardioCheck out our half-marathon running plan too!Workout Scheduling for CoreYou can read numerous posts on the adidas Runtastic blog about how important core exercises are. Many of those posts also say that you work your core is pretty much everything you do (if you’re doing the movements and exercises correctly). So, do you need to schedule core workouts?Yes. Schedule time to work on your core. It will make your everyday life better, pain-free, and a strong core will probably boost your self-confidence.You can add on a bit of core work after a run, when you have a few minutes during lunch, or on recovery days if you don’t focus specifically on your core during your other workout days.Not sure what to do for your core? Check out the 10 best moves to strengthen your core! Make sure to work your glutes too!Scheduling Workouts to Get Results and Progress as an AthleteYou build fitness by introducing a stimulus your body is not used to, letting your body recover from that stimulus, and then adding a larger dose of stimulus once your body is recovered. This cycle continues until you reach your athletic potential. Your workout schedule will most likely dictate how far you can push your fitness if you are not a professional athlete. You need to continually challenge your body if you have lofty goals of one day running a half-marathon or even a full marathon. Think about how you will introduce more challenging stimuli over the course of your training when making your workout calendar. For example, your most demanding week of workouts should probably come around two weeks before your marathon. Your previous weeks of activities should build up to that level of stimulus.It sounds more complicated than it is. For most athletes, just add a few minutes of working out each week. Eventually, you will max out how much time you can commit to working out before you start missing workouts. Once this happens, increase the intensity of one of your workouts. Once you max out on the intensity of that workout and you still feel like you can handle more, turn up the intensity on that second intensity day of your week.Keep it simple, don’t push too hard too fast, and listen to your body. Workout Schedule for WomenMost workout schedules are made for men by men. There is a general lack of understanding, research and empathy for how workout schedules for women should differ. Many workout schedules for women are simply the same as they are for men but with reduced intensity and training volume. This is insufficient and grounded in the flawed view that women “can’t handle as much” as men. Womens’ workout schedules should take into account biological factors as well as predominant cultural factors. For example, menstrual cycles should factor into workout schedules and event selection. Working out when one is pregnant is different than when one is not pregnant. Moreover, cultural factors influence how a large number of women will need to schedule workouts. Despite more pushes for equality, childcare and domestic responsibilities disproportionately fall on womens’ shoulders. Many womens’ schedules do not look like typical “9-5” jobs. This makes scheduling workouts very difficult.Should it be this way? Absolutely not. But for many people, it is the reality. If this is the case, be flexible, ask for support when you need it, and know that it’s okay to take time for yourself to accomplish your goals too. Workout Scheduling with Training Plan BuilderDid you know that the adidas Running and Training apps have built-in training plan builders for premium members? Whether you are a beginner athlete that wants to lose one or two kilos or an experienced athlete ready to take on your first marathon, there’s a training plan for you.Best of all, the training plan builder customizes your training plan based on your schedule. All you need to do is tell the training plan what days you can work out and for how long on each of those days. The training plan builder creates a training plan that is tailored to your level, goals, and schedule. It’s up to you to put in the work! Check out the latest features in the adidas Running and Training apps!*** More
Training plans help athletes set goals and achieve them. Creating training plans from scratch can be difficult and potentially dangerous if you don’t have the proper background or athletic knowledge. Our fitness experts put together their top training plan tips so you can decide what training plan is best for you.What is a training plan?A training plan is a useful companion and guide on your journey to get fitness results. Are you looking for exercises to build a bigger butt or shape your abs? Whatever your goal is, your training plan should always be tailored to you and your expectations. When setting a goal, make sure that it is challenging, but still realistic. A goal you think you can achieve helps to keep you motivated.Do you already have a fitness goal in mind? A workout routine is nothing more than a means to an end. It is geared towards your goal and is based on your current (physical) condition. Your 12-week training plan already has a clear picture of where you are going. It keeps presenting you with new challenges. But a good plan not only consists of a mix of exercises: It also includes useful tips on rest periods and intensity.Practical Training Plan tipsThere are a number of training principles that can help you reach your goals. Increase the effectiveness of your training with the following tips:The workout should push you – but not over the edgeEvery training session should push you to your limits, but without overdoing it. If the intensity of your exercises is too low, you won’t see any results. But if the training stimulus is too high, it can even be harmful for your body. If you want to improve your performance, the training stimulus must be adjusted to your (current) physical condition.Think long-termProgress doesn’t come overnight. Your muscles are not the only body parts that have to get used to regular training. Other body systems have to adjust to the increased activity, which takes time. In short, change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient!Push yourselfTo be successful in your training, you have to keep challenging your body. This doesn’t always mean doing more reps. You can add more weight, do an extra set or just simply be more focused and aware during your workout. The mind-muscle connection in itself can make a big difference.Listen to your bodyThe more personalized the plan, the better. Don’t keep overdoing it, and remember that nobody knows you better than yourself. Does your resting heart rate increase significantly after you get up in the morning? Do you lack appetite and feel completely exhausted and unmotivated? Or does your heart rate barely decrease during the breaks between exercises? All of these can be signs that you are overtraining and that it is time for a rest day. So pay attention and don’t ignore the signs your body is giving you. A training plan is not set in stone. It can be modified and adjusted to fit your condition. Don’t get frustrated if once in a while you have to take it a little slower. The next time you’ll be able to achieve even more.Set realistic goalsNo goals, no success: Clear goals help you keep up your motivation and enable you to monitor your progress.Mix it upSooner or later, doing the same thing over and over again will lead your performance to level off and you will cease to improve. You can break up this monotony by constantly mixing up your workouts. This doesn’t just mean including different exercises, but varying the intensity and rest periods between sets.Stick with itOnce doesn’t count: One training session is not going to produce any noticeable improvements. If you want to get the most out of your training, you need to keep repeating the exercises. Your body won’t start to adapt until you push it to and beyond its limits. This overload causes your body to adapt and helps you to reach the next level.Get the most out of each exerciseThere’s a big difference between giving 50% or 100%. The more you throw yourself into your workout, the more you will get out of it.Give your body time to recoverScheduling recovery time into your training program ensures a perfect balance of effort and recovery. Try to spread your training sessions throughout the week and plan your off days in advance. If the last training session was very intense and tiring, the next one should be more moderate, or you might even want to consider taking the day off.Training is just one piece of the puzzleTraining isn’t the only thing you need to reach your fitness goals. You also need a proper diet, as well as a mix of cool-down exercises, baths, massages, a good water and electrolyte balance, stretching and relaxation exercises and recovery periods. Until you put all the pieces together, you will never really see any major results.How to plan a sessionEvery training plan consists of a number of elements put into a systematic order. Imagine that each training session is a piece of a puzzle: Like a jigsaw puzzle, all of the elements have to fit together, so in the end you can celebrate your success. There are times when it is tougher, and sometimes you have to try something new. But when everything is said and done, you’ll have reached your goal. Each training session should include the following three parts:Warm-up: Warming up helps you prepare mentally and physically for the workout. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury. Use simple exercises that you have done before and know well.Main activity: The main activity is the actual workout part of your training session. The goal is to increase or maintain your physical performance.Cool-down: The cool-down initiates and speeds up the recovery process.If that all sounds too complicated, try one of the training plans in adidas Running or Training. They will help you set realistic goals and guide your training, tailored to your schedule, from start to finish.*** More
- in Beauty
Is animal testing allowed in the EU in 2021?
I’ve got some bad news guys. We already knew the EU animal testing ban wasn’t a complete ban. Many cosmetic ingredients have been tested at the chemical level under REACH laws, overriding animal testing laws. It has recently been brought to my attention that the situation is a lot worse than we originally thought. So basically, many cruelty free beauty brands (in the EU, US, and beyond) are not actually cruelty free, and the brands may not even know it.
I’ve been discussing this with Jean of Bunny Army. She is on the front lines investigating animal testing laws. She is the lead author of the peer-reviewed paper explaining the animal testing that has been hidden from us. This is her summary of what is going on:
Animal testing in the EU – 2021
What’s happening? Cosmetic ingredients in the EU are being tested on animals under the EU chemicals law, called REACH, even though a different law, the Cosmetic Regulation, bans animal testing of cosmetic ingredients.
Why is it happening? The Cosmetic Regulation has loopholes. The EU agency that enforces REACH says these loopholes require animal testing of cosmetic ingredients for ecotoxicity and for worker safety. The agency maintains that the Cosmetic Regulation ban applies only to tests for consumer safety.
Why am I just hearing about this now? The testing is buried in the REACH chemical files. Official EU reports on animal testing list the tests only as “industrial chemicals legislation” tests. There has been no public reporting of these as tests on cosmetic ingredients. An analysis of REACH dossiers, just published*, revealed the extent of the REACH testing on cosmetic ingredients.
How bad is it? A survey of products at two EU retailers, one high-end and one mass-market, found over 400 cosmetics that likely had ingredients tested on animals. The products included hair care, skin care, and makeup products. The brands probably do not know about the tests, because there is no current process in the EU to tell them.
Can this be fixed? Yes. It must be fixed by the European Commission/Parliament, by amending REACH and the Cosmetic Regulation to ban animal testing of cosmetic ingredients for any purpose.
A coalition of EU animal welfare groups will be launching a large campaign very soon. You can also write your cruelty-free brands to show your support for them and ask them to share any updates on social media so that we can all keep informed.
You can visit Bunny Army for more info on this issue.
*Continuing animal tests of cosmetic ingredients under REACH.
Leaping Bunny Statement
Here is Leaping Bunny’s public statement on the issue:
“We appreciate the research and analysis that went into this report and we fully support demands in the EU, from both industry and animal protection groups, for upholding the testing ban on cosmetics. The requirements for animal testing on cosmetic ingredients under REACH are clearly counter to the intent of the EU Cosmetics Regulation, and they represent a serious betrayal of consumers and citizens. Consumers in the US and Canada can be confident that Leaping Bunny certified companies are very much dedicated to making products free of animal testing. They submit to a careful and thorough vetting process to ensure compliance with our Standard, and we will continue to work with certified companies in the US and Canada to help them remain cruelty-free in this challenging environment.”
My thoughts about moving forward
Instead of going after individual companies, we really need to ban together as a community and get the lawmakers to change the laws that are mandating animal tests. Many brands have NO IDEA that the ingredients they are purchasing are being tested on animals.
The ingredients are part of the global supply chain, so this is not just an EU issue. Many large brands are sold globally, and many brands from the US and other non-EU countries are purchasing ingredients from EU companies. For example, there are a small number of fragrance and flavoring companies that almost every cosmetic company (and food company!) purchases essential oils and aroma chemicals from (Symrise, Firmenich, Givaudin, etc). These companies WANT to remain cruelty free but are at the mercy of the lawmakers.
I think it’s important to note that we don’t need to create hate for any particular country (China, EU, etc) or its citizens. We just need to change the laws. Side note: You can read more about Chinese animal testing laws here. The article explains why post-market animal testing in China is no longer a major concern – only pre-market testing.
And (you might ask), how do we maintain that chemicals are SAFE for ourselves and our environment? There are alternatives to most animal tests. Animal tests are often cheaper (less training, tech, and manpower needed), but they are not ethical.
As mentioned above, a coalition of EU animal welfare groups will be launching a large campaign very soon. As soon as this happens, I will let you know, so please stay tuned. And (nicely) let your favorite cruelty free brands know about this, and ask them to keep us informed.
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In a marathon, it’s the right training and preparation that gets you across the finish line. An important part of your training plan is your diet. But there is a lot more to it than just what you eat before and after you run. The right snacks and fluids during the race can help you run faster and boost your performance. You’ll see the best results if you start taking a closer look at your marathon nutrition weeks before the big day.Macronutrients for Runners: A BreakdownIf you’re an endurance athlete, you should get to know and love carbohydrates. They are the most important macronutrient and should make up about 60-65% of your caloric intake. Your muscles rely on carbohydrates for fuel. They are stored as glycogen in your liver for use later on when you need a quick burst of energy. Keeping carbs as a staple in your diet will help you maintain (and improve) your performance and help you achieve that goal time you have your mind set on.(1) Depending on the intensity of your workouts, 6 to 10 g of carbs per kilo of body weight are enough to keep your glycogen stores full. Everyone’s needs are, of course, different. Additionally, carbohydrates help your body recover post workout.2) Additionally, carbohydrates help your body recover post workout. Aim for complex carbohydrates like quinoa, sweet potatoes, whole grains, vegetables and legumes.Protein is the building block of muscle. It’s recommended that you consume 1-1.5 g/kg of your body weight – this is dependent on how intense your workouts are. If you’re doing more strength training, as opposed to running, then you definitely need more of this macronutrient than endurance athletes. Protein is found in both animal products (meat, fish, eggs, milk, and dairy products) as well as plant-based foods (soy and soy products, legumes, nuts, seitan, grain products). You can cover all your protein needs with a vegan diet if you choose. The focus here should be on including a variety of foods in your diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.Fat is an incredibly important source of energy and vital for your body! First of all, it acts as a protector for your organs, insulates your body (keeps you warm) and is necessary to absorb those critical fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). One gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy. This is twice as much as protein and carbohydrates. How much fat do you need? Around 30-35% of your daily caloric intake should be fats. Where can you find healthy fats? Avocados, salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds (like flax and chia). These fats provide tons of energy for your marathon training.Preparation is EverythingTraining isn’t the only thing to think about in the final weeks before a marathon. The right marathon nutrition will help you run faster. Get informed about the race set up beforehand: how many aid stations will there be along the course? Don’t try anything new on race day; only consume foods and drinks that you’ve tested during training. Try out different options in the weeks before the marathon.Are you feeling uncertain?A dietician who specializes in sports nutrition can answer any questions you may have and get you on the right track with marathon nutrition.The Final CountdownCarb LoadingSince the race will take longer than 90 minutes, it’s advisable to increase your carb intake in the days leading up to the marathon. The goal of carb loading is to fill up your glycogen stores. However, that does not mean that you should overdo it with carbohydrates. Gradually increase your carbohydrate intake in the week before the marathon to increase the amount of glycogen in your muscles. Do you have digestive problems? Fiber is important for athletes, but make sure to reduce your fiber intake to a minimum just before and on race day.HydrationMake sure you go into the race well hydrated. Start paying attention to your fluid intake 24 hours before the event. Marathon Preparation on Race DayBreakfast 3-4 hours before a run:You want an easy-to-digest breakfast to power you up for your race. Stay away from foods that are high in fat and fiber. These foods will sit in your stomach too long – not a good feeling while running. And, if you want that extra boost, go for a cup of black coffee to get you energized.Breakfast ideas:white toast with jam and a small portion of plain yogurtBircher muesli (soak oats overnight in low-fat cow milk, soy, or oat milk) with bananacereal (not the sugary kind!) with milkporridge with berriesDon’t forget to drink enough water before the marathon.Snack approx. 1 hour before:If you’re used to eating a small snack before your run, go for it! Remember, this is all about how you feel and how you have done it during your training runs.Snack options:bananacereal barTake sips from your water bottle regularly.During your run:There are two very important things to remember during your race: carbs and fluids. Getting the right amount of both is critical.CarbohydratesThe recommended carbohydrate intake for long endurance workouts is 30 to 60 g per hour.(3) That amount increases to 90 g of carbs per hour for races that last longer than 2.5 hours.The following foods are rich in carbohydrates:Banana (approx. 30 g)Energy gel (approx. 25 g)Energy bar (20 to 40 g) Fluid LevelRunners lose a great deal of fluid and electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) from sweating heavily during long runs. These fluids have to be replaced. The only way to know how much fluid you’ve lost is by weighing yourself before and after your marathon training. Try it to get an idea of how much you should drink on race day.Drink 600 to 1200 ml of fluid per hour of exertion.(4) Your beverage of choice should contain carbs, sodium, and potassium. Isotonic drinks are a great source of energy for your run. Isotonic means it has the same osmotic pressure as blood plasma, so it’s able to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This is the perfect solution for lost fluids and electrolytes during your long run. You can even make your own sports drink at home for your marathon! Immediately after the MarathonIn order to refill your glycogen stores, some recommendations advise you to consume about 1 to 1.2g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight in the first few hours after you finish the race. However, this is only necessary if you’ve got another race in 8 to 10 hours. That’s probably not the case, right? Don’t worry too much about what you eat after your marathon. Celebrate your achievement; you just finished a marathon and should be proud of yourself. TakeawayYour marathon nutrition should be well-planned. No matter whether it’s before or during your race, it’s important to choose the right drinks and foods to make you run faster and perform your best. *** More