What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses?

What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses?

What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses

It’s incredible how time flies; just like that, we are on our 100th episode before we even know it! We wouldn’t be able to do all of these without your support for Cup of Nurses. We owe it to our followers and supporters to let you guys know that our channel will make some changes. As we move along, we will tackle topics we are more passionate about.

The Changes

We are excited to announce that we will be transitioning to Frontline Warriors as we want to focus more on health, consciousness, and wellness. Today’s episode will also be the last one for Cup of News. We’ve enjoyed our time doing this show, but like the changing season, we also embrace the changes. And we are pumped to have you guys join us in this new chapter for Cup of Nurses! So, stay tuned and be on the lookout for our new episodes. We can’t wait to share them and help inspire you to become the best version of yourselves! 

Why We Started Cup of News

We started the Cup of News for one specific reason: to keep up with the C-19 surge and keep everyone informed about what is going on during the pandemic. We believe we kept our part. Covid-19 is still a thing. However, it has become more of the norm, and breaking news is not as “breaking” as it used to be.

Our Favorite Episode Topics

Over the last few years, we’ve covered several good topics in Cup of News. Today, we will talk about some of our favorites and why we enjoyed talking about them here in Cup of Nurses. Here are a few:

EP 54: Out in Nature episode

No show notes but what a great trip it was. A great episode about reconnecting with yourself and nature. We truly enjoyed being able to relax and be with nature in this episode. 

EP 72: Horoscope

We really liked doing this one. Even though we don’t fully believe in horoscopes we still find them entertaining. They do hold some benefit because it allows you to think about yourself and your actions in a way you may not have before. It also offers a focus for you for the month or year to help you grow. 

Aries 

  • Family matters will be of importance this month. You will face a lot of challenges with your career, but towards the end of the month, you will make things better. Your health might take a toll on you if you are not careful.
  • Trust that you are ready to meet your soulmate this month. You have been waiting for a while now, and the time has come for you to get out there. Your social life will be perfect.

Taurus

  • You will be okay financially. Your career will improve, and you will get that promotion that you have been waiting for. Taurus love life will have some challenges because you do not see eye to eye with your partner.
  • Your health will be perfect while your travel prospects are also bright. You will have to work harder when it comes to your studies to achieve all your goals and aspirations.

Gemini

  • To have a happy and fulfilled life, married couples should ensure that they stay away from conflict. Do not always pick a fight with your spouse. Fighting in the family can cause the children to feel unloved. Always strive to be a positive example to your children.
  • You will finally get that leadership position that you have been working for at your workplace. Your superiors will appreciate your leadership skills and your ability to mobilize your fellow coworkers.

Cancer

  • Cancer natives will have a positive month. All aspects of your life will be on the right track. As long as you keep doing the great things you are doing, all will be well with you. Do not listen to people who tell you that you are worth nothing.
  • Keep being you and live your best life. Focus on the things that bring light and positive vibes into your life.

Leo

  • Family life will cause you lots of problems that might affect your mental health. It will be a prosperous period for Leo natives who are in business. Finances will not be a problem for you this month.
  • Children will do well in their studies, and you will be extremely proud of them. You will also travel a lot with your loved ones.

Virgo

  • Health will pose no problems for you this month. Your career prospects are, however, not encouraging. You need to change the approach by which you handle your professional life.
  • Single Virgo natives should be careful to protect their hearts from hurt. Exercise due diligence before choosing to fall in love with anyone.

Libra

  • Be true to yourself and live an honest life. Also, be careful with your finances. Misuse of funds will cause you to regret it in the near future. Ensure that you develop a good habit of saving for rainy days.
  • All your travel commitments will bring in great profits. You will also be able to meet new people who will help you grow your business.

Scorpio

  • You should be serious about your marriage. Show commitment to your spouse, and you will enjoy lasting happiness and joy. Also, show commitment to your children and your availability in their lives.
  • Your love life will be exceptional this month. You will be able to find someone that fills your heart. As a Scorpio woman, you need to be careful with your reproductive health.

Sagittarius

  • Business people will have great financial flow. Invest in businesses that will assure you of great profits. Pursue your passions and work towards achieving happiness in all you do.
  • Your education will head to the next level as you will get a scholarship to study abroad and broaden your area of study.

Capricorn

  • Trust those great things will manifest in your life. Do not take anything for granted. You should also be patient with yourself. In your career, take one step at a time, and you will eventually get there. Also, make good use of your talents and gifts.
  • Be well-equipped to handle your children when they start misbehaving. Ensure that you bring them back on the right track.

Aquarius

  • Your health will be okay this month, but you need to make some lifestyle changes. You will face some challenges with your studies because of school fees arrears.
  • Business people will profit greatly from their businesses.

Pisces

  • Your marriage life will be exciting and filled with passion and romance. Always appreciate your partner and remind them how much you love them.
  • This month you will safely invest knowing that you are doing the right thing. Nothing should scare you from living your best life.

EP 86: Cannabis and C-19

As nurses, we enjoy learning and here at Cup of Nurses, we are happy to share what we have researched. Our goal is to spread information about health and how people can utilize this information so they can live a long and healthy life.

One of the best topics we’ve come across is Cannabis use and its effect on Covid-19. Here’s what we found out:

Lowering blood pressure 

  • A study conducted by JCI Insight in 2017 found that CBD lowered the blood pressure of human participants. It reduced their resting blood pressure as well as their blood pressure after stress tests including mental arithmetic, isometric exercise, and the cold pressor test. 

Reducing inflammation 

  • CBD has been proven to help reduce inflammation and the neuropathic pain it can cause, according to a study by the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research. 

Preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction 

  • A 2018 study discovered that CBD can be useful in helping people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. A preclinical trial with lab rats determined that CBD reduced the stress-induced cravings, anxiety, and lack of impulse control that often cause people to relapse. 

Treating anxiety disorders 

  • Anxiety is perhaps the most common affliction that people have used CBD for, and a preclinical study found that CBD could be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Treating gastrointestinal (GI) disorders 

  • A recent study found that CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids can effectively be used to prevent and treat GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and more. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are key to reducing and preventing symptoms. 

Preventing seizures 

  • Decades of research have gone into using CBD to treat epilepsy and other seizure syndromes, and a recent study showed it can have positive effects in reducing symptoms and seizure frequency. 

Fighting cancer 

  • Not only has CBD been used to help alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, but studies have also found it can prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines and it has numerous anti-cancer effects that can help prevent a variety of cancers, treat tumors, and benefit the immune system.

EP 85: Heart Health #1 Killer in America

In this episode, we’ve compiled facts about heart diseases in America and how it has affected many Americans over the years.

Fact sheet – Heart Disease

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  2. There are about 3 million deaths in the US
  3. Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for almost 1/4th of the total deaths in the US. 
  4. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  5. Heart disease costs the United States about $363 billion each year from 2016 to 2017. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

Coronary Artery Disease

  1. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 360,900 people in 2019.
  2. About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%).
  3. About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.

Heart Attacks

  1. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
  2. Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. Of these,
  3. 605,000 are a first heart attack
  4. 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack
  5. About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.
  6. According to heart.org, almost half of the US population has some type of cardiovascular disease. 
  7. According to 2017 figures, 116.4 million people had hypertension, almost half of the US population at that time, and that is just hypertension alone.
  8. Cardiovascular disease is such an issue that the AHA had to lower its guidelines for what hypertension is from 140/90 to 130/80 so that people can get treated sooner.
  9. 1 in 5 Americans reported having adequate aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity to meet the physical activity guidelines.
  10. Estimates for 2035 are showing that more than 130 million people will have some form of cardiovascular disease and the total cost to the healthcare system would be $1.1 trillion. 

EP 52: World Economic Forum Plus Political News

At Cup of Nurses, we don’t only tackle issues related to health but everything that is happening around us. In this episode, we gathered all information we could about what is going on around the world in terms of economy and politics. These are our 2030 Predictions for the world and general economy. 

Products will become a service

  • There are people that do not own a car, don’t own a house, don’t own appliances or clothes, they don’t own anything. 

Global price on carbon

  • China took the lead in 2017 with a market for trading the right to emit a tonne of CO2, setting the world on a path towards a single carbon price and a powerful incentive to ditch fossil fuels, predicts Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. Europe, meanwhile, found itself at the center of the trade-in of cheap, efficient solar panels, as prices for renewables fell sharply.

Drop-in US dominance into a handful of powers

  • Instead of a single force, a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India, and Japan chief among them – show semi-imperial tendencies. However, at the same time, the role of the state is threatened by trends including the rise of cities and the spread of online identities.

Less hospital care

  • The hospital as we know it will be changed, with fewer accidents due to self-driving cars and an increase in preventive and personalized medicine. Open organ surgeries and organ donors are out, and tiny robotic tubes and bio-printed organs are going to be developed.

Less meat

  • Rather like our grandparents, the meat will be a treat rather than a staple, writes Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds, UK. It won’t be big agriculture or little artisan producers that win, but rather a combination of the two, with convenience food redesigned to be healthier and less harmful to the environment.

Refugees will be CEOs and share the future

  • Highly educated Syrian refugees will be old enough to have an impact on the community by 2030, making the case for the economic integration of those who have been forced to flee the conflict. The world needs to be better prepared for populations on the move, writes Lorna Solis, Founder, and CEO of the NGO Blue Rose Compass, as climate change will have displaced 1 billion people.

Western values will be tested

  • We forget the checks and balances that bolster our democracies at our peril, writes Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.

Moving closer to Mars

  • What’s more, once we get there, we’ll probably discover evidence of alien life, writes Ellen Stofan, Chief Scientist at NASA. Big science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as open up practical applications for space technology.

To find out more about the changes we’re doing for Cup of Nurses, check out the full video here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:45 Plugs
03:28 Reminiscing how it all started
06:28 How we stood up for what we believe
10:34 A podcast that will help everyone
12:32 We are our only cure
19:09 Favorite Episodes: The Challenge
21:42 Favorite Episodes: Out in Nature
22:25 Favorite Episodes: Horoscope
25:47 Favorite Episodes: Cannabis and C-19
31:10 Favorite Episodes: Heart Heath #1 Killer in America
34:59 Favorite Episodes: What is The World Economic Forum?
37:22 Wrapping up the show

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

There is cancer-causing glyphosate in your diet. You might not know how harmful it is until it is too late. What is it anyway? And how can it affect our body? Read on for more.

What is Glyphosate?

A Swiss chemist working for a pharmaceutical company, Dr. Henri Martin, discovered glyphosate in 1950. Since no pharmaceutical applications were identified the molecule was sold to a series of other companies. and samples were tested for several possible ends uses.
Glyphosate is an herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. The sodium salt form of glyphosate regulates plant growth and ripens specific crops.
This chemical became registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. It is now one of the most used herbicides in the United States. People apply it in agriculture and forestry, lawns and gardens, and weeds in industrial areas.

How does glyphosate work? 

Cancer-causing Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It works by inhibiting the action of a plant enzyme. The shikimic acid pathway plays a role in synthesizing three amino acids. These are phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan.

Glyphosate lawsuits 

“Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe and effective use. The overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide … is that glyphosate is safe to use,” Monsanto said. He was ignorant of evidence building against the chemical.
 
the roundup-related lawsuits have dogged Bayer since it acquired the top-selling brand. It is as part of its $63 billion sales of agricultural seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto in 2018.
 
The company has spent billions of dollars to settle around 96,000 Roundup cases of about 125,000[1].

What do regulatory agencies in the USA say?

In 2015, a committee of scientists working for the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the WHO evaluated studies and reported that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.
 
The latest from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Food Democracy Now. The Detox Project tested various products for glyphosate. They found dangerous levels of glyphosate in everyday American foods.

Glyphosate Products to Avoid

  • Granola by Quaker, KIND, Back to Nature, Nature Valley
  • Instant oats by Giant, Quaker, Umpqua, Market Pantry
  • Whole oats by Quaker, Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, Whole Foods
  • Cereal by Kashi, Kellogg’s, including Lucky Charms and Cheerios
  • Snack bars by Quaker, KIND, Nature Valley, Kellogg’s
  • Orange juice by Tropicana, Minute Maid, Signature Farms, Kirkland
  • Crackers, including Cheez-Its, Ritz, Triscuits, Goldfish
  • Cookies by Annie’s, Kashi, and Nabisco (Oreos)
  • Chips by Stacy’s, Lay’s, Doritos, Fritos

An alarming study looked into Pesticides in Mississippi compared to air and rain between 1995 and 2007. Glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethyl-phosphonic acid (AMPA), were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007 [2].

How do you avoid glyphosate exposure?

The best way to avoid eating cancer-causing glyphosate is to grow your own plants, vegetables, and fruits.  If you don’t have time, source local produce from a farmer’s market you trust.
 
The Detox Project uses an FDA-registered food testing lab to test for toxic chemicals. Thye recently launched a “Glyphosate Residue Free” label. This way companies can apply to certify their products. Until it rolls out more, you are more likely (but not guaranteed) to avoid exposure by opting for foods labeled “Certified Organic.”

Products that are verified glyphosate free by the Detox project: https://detoxproject.org/certification/glyphosate-residue-free/certified-products/

The extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research articles from 10 leading nutrition-related journals in 2018

We all know that evidence supports the food industry’s involvement in nutrition research or agendas. However, food industry involvement in nutrition research has not been systematically explored. 

This study, published on December 16th, 2020, aimed to identify the extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed articles. It includes leading nutrition-related journals that are examined thoroughly. The goal is to find food industries that support the industry’s interests. 

No study has comprehensively examined the extent and nature of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research.

The study reviewed the top 10 most cited nutrition and dietetics-related journals. The evaluation of food industry involvement was evaluated based on author affiliations, funding sources, declarations of interest, or other acknowledgments. 

Principal research findings from articles with food industry involvement, and a random sample of articles without food industry involvement, were categorized according to the extent to which they supported relevant food industry interests. 

The Results 

Of 1,461, 196 (13.4%) articles reported food industry involvement. The extent of food industry involvement varied by journal, with The Journal of Nutrition (28.3%) having the highest and Pediatric Obesity (3.8%) having the lowest proportion of industry involvement.

Food industry involvement spanned several industry sectors, with processed food manufacturing, dietary supplement manufacturing, and dairy most often represented.

Processed food manufacturers were involved in most articles (77/196, 39.3%). Of articles with food industry involvement, 55.6% reported findings favorable to relevant food industry interests, compared to 9.7% of articles without food industry involvement.

The journals included in this study:

  • Advances in Nutrition
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • International Journal of Obesity
  • Nutrition Research Reviews 
  • Nutrition Reviews, 
  • Journal of Obesity  
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • The Journal of Nutrition.

Future thoughts

Future studies should investigate nutrition-related articles from journals with both nutrition and non-nutrition focus (including, for example, journals in medicine and public health)

Get to know more about glyphosate by watching our full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:41 Plugs
02:44 Episode Introduction
04:28 About Glyphosate
05:23 How does glyphosate work?
08:05 Glyphosate lawsuits
11:27 What do regulatory agencies in the USA say?
15:43 Glyphosate Products to Avoid
16:39 How do you avoid glyphosate exposure?
18:04 Glyphosate traces in soil, water, and air
21:16 Being vigilant in avoiding Cancer-Causing Glyphosate
23:56 The involvement of the food industry
8:58 Science and spirituality
31:07 The Results
35:25 Huge funding to influence an agenda

6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

A healthy workplace environment is possible, but it takes cooperation to do that. Our place of work should be something that we love going to. It should be a safe space where employees can communicate openly, discuss issues, and work together to keep the company moving. But sometimes, misunderstandings among coworkers or employers do happen. A toxic workplace can sometimes be unavoidable. It’s part of the work-life, but it doesn’t always have to be like that. 

Why a Healthy Workplace Environment is Essential

Keep in mind that the people you work with have different ideologies, points of view, and opinions. One way or another, someone will clash with somebody at work. But wouldn’t it be nice if we keep our work environment a healthy and happy place for everybody? 

As nurses, we have our fair share of ups and downs in our workplace. What makes a company a great place to work? It can be perks, locations, and incentives, but creating a healthy work environment will retain employees. And to do that, here are helpful tips that you can apply: 

Give your employees a real voice

  • Employers need to create a space where employees can express their feelings. After all, that’s how you identify pain points. Feedback is one of the most valuable tools you can get, to improve the workplace. There are tools such as annual surveys, but they don’t result in timely action. 
  • Feedback is excellent in real-time; that is why your charge or manager must have excellent leadership skills to honor your voiced opinion. Are there issues with other units or staff, and how are these problems addressed in real-time? 
  • There needs to be change implemented post feedback, just like in the surveys. If things continue, this leads to lower engagement, and ultimately your staff will fail to voice future concerns. 

Showing appreciation every day

  • When was the last time you got a shout-out from your manager when you least expected it? Sometimes those little words of affirmation can give you a big boost of confidence, instantly improving your mood. Recognition is essential to let employees know that their hard work is valued. 
  • Meaningful recognition can dramatically improve employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction. What is a simple way to show appreciation? Maybe something small like having a day off on your birthday. 

Create an environment of psychological safety and trust

  • Creating an environment of psychological safety is where employees are comfortable being themselves. When an employee feels safe, there is a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up. 
  • On the opposite spectrum, employees will be scared to speak up if they fear failure, judgment, or disrespect. 

Clean and functioning workspace 

  • Nothing makes life more complicated as a nurse than dealing with faulty equipment. Equipment includes things like computers, scanners, glucometers, suppliers, etc. Nothing grinds our gears more than not having the proper equipment to complete our tasks.
  • In every facility we worked at, this has been a reoccurring problem. It only added stress to the nurse who’s already dealing with patients’ lives. In the current facility we work in, we salute them for having proper lift equipment in every room.

Empowering your team members

  • This multifactorial approach requires managers, HR, and anyone else in the chain of command. No matter how capable your workforce is, they still need support to be their best selves at work. It is important to establish open feedback to show that your organization listens and encourages the team to keep voicing their wants and needs. 
  • Get to know your employees on a human level. Taking the time to do this will help uncover the best way to empower them and create an environment that makes them feel safe.
  • Empowering team members should also include building team-building skills. Often, nurses work individually within their role, but employers can encourage teamwork to make a better workspace environment. We all felt that unit where nurses and staff come to ask you if you need help with anything. 

Promote wellness through a healthy workplace environment

  • Wellness can be overlooked in the workplace, but psychological, emotional, and physical are essential to having a healthy workplace environment. Being a frontline health worker requires us to juggle between chill mode and fight-and-flight. The constant release of cortisol in stressful situations can inhibit rational and logical thinking.
  • A healthy workplace should encourage breaks for shifts and be mindful of workloads. Encouraging employees to rest is overlooked in most healthcare, but it’s crucial to take a break and boost energy to continue a busy shift. Randomly, imagine if a unit invests in apps like Headspace to help mitigate stress?

Do you want a healthy work environment? Follow these tips here 👇

 

SHOW NOTES:

00:00 Intro
00:47 Plugs
02:27 Episode Introduction
04:23 Tip 1: Give your employees a real voice
07:20 Does annual surveys work?
08:50 Tip 2: Showing appreciation every day
11:06 Difference between Professional and Genuine Appreciation
12:41 The power of giving and take
16:16 Money as the solution
19:09 Tip 3: Create an environment of psychological safety and trust
21:57 Compromised and abused nurses
23:09 Inadequate Ratio
24:28 Tip 4: Clean and functioning workspace
26:38 Additional protocols for additional profit?
29:06 Nurse’s safety being last on the list
32:29 Tip 5: Empowering your team members
37:32 Being considerate to other practitioners, races, and cultures
42:09 Tip 6: Promote wellness
45:54 Incentive program for nurses

The Top Five Personality Traits

The Top Five Personality Traits

The Top Five Personality Traits

There are five personality traits that we all have in common. Even though every one of us is different, ranging from our personality to our physical appearance, psychologists and psychoanalysts have been trying to predict behaviors and thought processes. 

Body Types

Look at the friends around you. Do you share any personality traits with them? When you think about it, we are not entirely nonidentical. Even though drastically different from one another, humans do have many similarities. On the physical level, when it comes to body type, the majority, if not all, fit into three main body types:

  • Endomorph
  • Mesomorph
  • Ectomorph

Each body type has its strengths and weaknesses. In the same way, there are general body types. We all share certain personality traits, for example, agreeableness. We are all agreeable but to a certain point. Some might be very agreeable and are ready to say yes, while others are less agreeable and will need some convincing to take your side. 

Background on the Top Five Personality Traits

Initially developed in 1949, the big five personality traits is a theory established by D. W. Fiske and later expanded upon by other researchers, including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).

It’s suggested that as early as the late 19th-century, social psychologists were trying to gain a more scientific understanding of personality. However, it wasn’t until the first official study in the 1930s by Gordon Allport and Henry Odbert that personality had some scientific acknowledgment [1].

They took 18,000 words from Webster’s Dictionary to describe personality traits and found adjectives that described non-physical characteristics creating a 4500-word bank of visual behavior markers. 

There was a hiatus from the late 1960s to the 1970s; the changing zeitgeist made publishing personality research difficult. In his 1968 book Personality and Assessment, Walter Mischel asserted that personality instruments could not predict behavior with a correlation of more than 0.3.

Social psychologists like Mischel argued that attitudes and behavior were not stable but varied with the situation. Indication of behavior from personality instruments claimed to be impossible.

The Paradigm of the Five Personality Traits

The paradigm shifted back to accepting the five-factor model in the early 1980s. During a 1980 symposium in Honolulu, four prominent researchers, Lewis Goldberg, Naomi Takemoto-Chock, Andrew Comrey, and John M. Digman, reviewed the available personality instruments of the day. This event was followed by widespread acceptance of the five-factor model among personality researchers during the 1980s.

By 1983, experiments had demonstrated that the predictions of personality models correlated better with real-life behavior under stressful, emotional conditions, as opposed to typical survey administration under neutral emotional conditions. 

Emerging methodologies increasingly confirmed personality theories during the 1980s. Though generally failing to predict single instances of behavior. Researchers found that they could predict behavior patterns by aggregating large numbers of observations. As a result, correlations between personality and behavior increased substantially, and it was clear that “personality” did exist.

Personality and social psychologists now generally agree that personal and situational variables are needed to account for human behavior.

In 2007, Colin G. DeYoung, Lena C. Quilty, and Jordan B. Peterson concluded that the ten aspects of the Big Five might have distinct biological substrates.

The FFM-associated (five factors model of personality) test was used by Cambridge Analytica and was part of the “psychographic profiling” controversy during the 2016 US presidential election.

The Big Five Personality Traits

Although a person’s personality and behavior are hard to predict, there are specific tools that we can use that can provide insights into it. These tools help us understand others and ourselves better.

The five personality traits are broad, but they will give us a good general understanding of how people behave [2]. So, what are these traits? 

1. Openness

By openness, it means open to experiencing a general appreciation for art, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, emotion, and various experiences. People who are available to new experiences are often intellectually curious, sensitive to beauty, open to feelings, and willing to try new things.

These individuals are known to be creative and aware of their emotions. They are also most likely to have unconventional beliefs. And because they are open to these new things, they are often unpredictable. They also lack the focus they need sometimes and are most likely to engage in behaviors that are against the norms. 

The Risk-taker Among Five Personality Traits

Very open people often pursue self-actualization by seeking out euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven, maybe even close-minded and dogmatic. 

*Some disagreement remains about interpreting and contextualizing the openness factor as there is a lack of biological support for this particular trait. Openness has not shown a significant association with any brain regions as opposed to the other four attributes, which did when using brain imaging to detect changes in volume associated with each trait.*

Creativity also plays a big part in the openness trait; this leads to a more significant comfort zone in abstract and lateral thinking.

It includes the ability to “think outside of the box.”

Think of that person who’s always ordering the most exotic things on the menu, going to different places, and having interests you would never have thought of. That is someone who has a high openness trait.

People who are high in this trait tend to be more adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking.

High

  • Very creative
  • Open to trying new things
  • Focused on tackling new challenges
  • Happy to think about abstract concepts
  • Curious
  • Imaginative
  • Unconventional
Low

  • Dislikes change
  • Does not enjoy new things
  • Resists new ideas
  • Not very imaginative
  • Dislikes abstract or theoretical concepts
  • Predictable
  • Prefer routine
  • Traditional

 

2. Conscientiousness 

Conscientiousness tends to display self-discipline, act dutifully, and strive for achievement against measures or outside expectations. It is related to how people control, regulate, and direct their impulses. 

A person with high conscientiousness is perceived to be stubborn and focused. Those who have high scores on conscientiousness are usually people who do not go without plans. They prefer a reliable method rather than spontaneous behaviors. 

The Planner Among Five Personality Traits

The best example of a person with this personality trait is when someone you know likes to plan ahead of time the next time you meet. They also keep in contact and check on your wellbeing. People with this trait often want to organize their dates and events. They are also focused on you when you do meet them in person. 

On the other hand, those with low conscientiousness are associated with flexibility and spontaneity but can also appear sloppy and lack reliability.

People low in conscientiousness tend to dislike structure and schedules, procrastinate on essential tasks and fail to complete tasks.

The average level of conscientiousness rises among young adults and then declines among older adults.

 

High

  • Spends time preparing
  • Finishes important tasks right away
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Enjoys having a set schedule
  • Competence
  • Organized
  • Dutifulness
  • Achievement striving
  • Self-disciplined
  • Deliberation
Low

  • Dislikes structure and schedules
  • Makes messes and doesn’t take care of things
  • Fails to return things or put them back where they belong
  • Procrastinates important tasks
  • Fails to complete necessary or assigned tasks
  • Incompetent
  • Disorganized
  • Careless
  • Indiscipline
  • Impulsive

 

3. Extraversion

Extraversion is a trait that many people will have come across in their own lives. It’s easily identifiable and widely recognizable as “someone who gets energized in the company of others.” The other traits of a person with extraversion include:

  • Talkativeness
  • Assertiveness
  • High levels of emotional expressiveness

All of which made them recognizable in many social interactions or settings. Have you noticed among your family members that there is always someone who is not afraid to express their feelings? They’re often loud and one who laughs the most audible among others. These people are also social butterflies and have the most friends or groups you know. 

Extraversion is characterized by breadth of activities (instead of depth), surgency from external activity/situations, and energy creation from the external environment. The trait is marked by pronounced engagement with the outer world. 

The Energetic Among Five Personality Traits

Extraverts enjoy interacting with people and are often perceived as full of energy. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented individuals. They possess high group visibility, like talking and asserting themselves. Extraverted people may appear more dominant in social settings than introverted people in this setting.

On the other hand, introverts have lower social engagement and energy levels than extroverts. They tend to seem quiet, low-key, deliberate, and less involved in the social world. However, do not mistake their social involvement as shyness or depression. They are more independent of their social world than extroverts. 

Introverts need less stimulation and more time alone than extroverts. But this does not mean that they are unfriendly or antisocial; instead, they are reserved in social situations. Generally, people are a combination of extraversion and introversion.

High

  • Enjoys being the center of attention
  • Likes to start conversations
  • Enjoys meeting new people
  • Has a wide social circle of friends and acquaintances
  • Finds it easy to make new friends
  • Feels energized when around other people
  • Say things before thinking about them
  • Sociable
  • Excitement-seeking
  • Outgoing
Low

  • Prefers solitude
  • Feels exhausted when having to socialize a lot
  • Finds it difficult to start conversations
  • Dislikes making small talk
  • Carefully thinks things through before speaking
  • Dislikes being the center of attention
  • Reflective

4. Agreeableness

Being agreeable or agreeableness refers to how people treat their relationships with others. Compared to extraversion, who like to pursue relationships, agreeable people focus on their interaction and orientation with others. 

The agreeableness trait also reflects individual differences in general concern for social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are generally considerate, kind, generous, trusting and trustworthy, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature.

Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others’ well-being and are less likely to extend themselves to others. 

Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative. Low agreeable personalities are often competitive or challenging individuals who can be argumentative or untrustworthy.

Since agreeableness is a social trait, research shows that this positively correlates with the quality of relationships with their team members. Agreeableness also positively predicts transformational leadership skills. 

The Strongest Among Five Personality Traits

In a study conducted on 169 participants in leadership positions in various professions. These individuals were asked to take a personality test and have two evaluations completed by directly supervised subordinates. The results showed that leaders with high levels of agreeableness were most likely considered transformational rather than transactional. 

Although the relationship was not strong, it was the strongest of the five personality traits. However, the same study showed no predictive power of leadership effectiveness as evaluated by the leader’s direct supervisor.

Conversely, agreeableness is negatively related to transactional leadership in the military. A study of Asian military units showed leaders with high agreeableness are more likely to receive a low rating for transformational leadership skills.

Agreeable people tend to find careers in areas where they can help the most. Charity workers, medicine, mental health, and even those who volunteer in soup kitchens and dedicate time to the third sector (social studies) are high in the agreeableness chart.

High

  • Has a great deal of interest in other people
  • Cares about others
  • Feels empathy and concern for other people
  • Enjoys helping and contributing to the happiness of other people
  • Assists others who are in need of help
  • Trust (forgiving)
  • Straightforwardness
  • Altruism (enjoys helping)
  • Compliance
  • Modesty
  • Sympathetic
Low

  • Takes little interest in others
  • Doesn’t care about how other people feel
  • Has little interest in other people’s problems
  • Insults and belittles others
  • Manipulates others to get what they want
  • Skeptical
  • Demanding
  • Stubborn
  • Show-off
  • Unsympathetic

5. Neuroticism

Neuroticism is characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. Often mistaken for anti-social behavior, or worse, a more significant psychological issue, neuroticism is a physical and emotional response to stress and perceived threats in someone’s daily life.

Individuals who exhibit high levels of neuroticism tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. Some individuals who share sudden changes in character from a day-to-day perspective could be highly neurotic and respond to high-stress levels in their work and personal lives. 

Anxiety, which plays a large part in the makeup of neuroticism, is about an individual’s ability to cope with stress and perceived or actual risk. People who suffer from neuroticism will overthink many situations and find difficulty in relaxing even in their own space.

The Skeptic Among Five Personality Traits

These problems in emotional regulation can diminish the ability of a person scoring high on neuroticism to think, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress. Lacking contentment in one’s life achievements can correlate with high neuroticism scores and increase one’s likelihood of falling into clinical depression. 

Individuals with high neuroticism also tend to experience more negative things in life. However, this also changes in response to their positive and negative life experiences. 

Of course, those who rank lower on the neurotic level will exhibit a more stable and emotionally resilient attitude to stress and situations. Low neurotic sufferers also rarely feel sad or depressed, taking the time to focus on the present moment and not get involved in mental arithmetic on possible stress-inducing factors.

High

  • Experiences a lot of stress
  • Worries about many different things
  • Gets upset easily
  • Experiences dramatic shifts in mood
  • Feels anxious
  • Struggles to bounce back after stressful events
  • Angry hostility (irritable)
  • Self-consciousness (shy)
  • Vulnerability
Low

  • Emotionally stable
  • Deals well with stress
  • Rarely feels sad or depressed
  • Don’t worry much
  • Is very relaxed
  • Calm
  • Confident
  • Resilient

 

The Five Personalities Traits and Their Influence

From nature and nurture to age and maturation, the big five personality traits have been widely studied where we can see what influences their impact on a person’s behavior and character. 

Personality has often been hypothesized as a question of nurture or nature. One particular study looked at 123 identical twins and 127 pairs of fraternal twins. The results suggested that the heritability for each trait is:

  • 53% for extraversion
  • 41% for agreeableness
  • 44% for conscientiousness
  • 41% for neuroticism
  • 61% for openness

It has also been widely recognized that the older we get, the more our behavior traits will change. We become less neurotic, extraverted, and less open to new experiences as we age. However, our agreeableness and conscientiousness grow as we get older. 

Five Personality Traits: Men vs women

The consensus is that men and women are more alike than what normative social science would have us believe. But as the title would suggest, there are some exceptions. 

Weinsberg and DeYoung 2011 studied the big five traits and, in particular, Gender Differences in Personality across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five. They concluded that women tend to score higher on Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism than men. 

Other studies have concluded that while the differences may be present, some traits are not extensively separate. Getting older will tend to align behavior traits such as agreeableness and extraversion, where both genders tend to score lower as time moves on.

To know more about Episode 97, click here 👇:

TIMESTAMPS: 

00:00 Intro
00:46 Plugs
02:07 Episode Introduction
03:55 Background on the Big Five Personality Traits
10:04 Big Personality Traits: Openness
15:04 Big Personality Traits: Conscientiousness
18:01 Big Personality Traits: Extraversion
21:50 Big Personality Traits: Agreeableness
27:34 Big Personality Traits: Neuroticism
31:18 Big 5 and its Influence
36:19 How the 5 personality traits play role in gender
40:25 Wrapping up the episode

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil degradation and retrogression are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of stable soil. So we think that soil degradation and human demise are the end results if this kind of soil condition continues. 

Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to its natural physical state. 

  • Soil is lost due to erosion from wind and water— for example, rivers washing upland or wind blowing dirt away.

Degradation is due to the replacement of primary plant communities by secondary communities. This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount and affects the formation of the soil. 

  • It is directly related to human activity. 

What is Soil?

The definition of soil is “The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the Earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.” [1].

Soil is one of the world’s most needed resources. We think about animals and this idea of going “plant only” but don’t understand that this might not be the best thing for ourselves and our environment. 

When was the last time, if ever, we thought about soil health? It isn’t something that comes to mind as necessary, even when we think about human survival. Ask yourself what do humans need to survive? Water and food.

Water is found in natural bodies of water, but where do you get food from? Soil is required for plants, animals require plants, and as humans, we need to eat animals and plants. 

The Soil Profile

As soils develop over time, layers (or horizons) form a soil profile. Most soil profiles cover the earth as two main layers—topsoil and subsoil.

Soil horizons are the layers in the soil as you move down the soil profile. A soil profile may have soil horizons that are easy or difficult to distinguish. [2]

Most soils exhibit 3 main horizons:

  • A horizon: humus-rich topsoil where nutrient, organic matter, and biological activity are highest (i.e., most plant roots, earthworms, insects, and micro-organisms are active). The A horizon is usually darker than other horizons because of the organic materials.
  • B horizon: clay-rich subsoil that is often less fertile than the topsoil but holds more moisture. It generally has a lighter color and less biological activity than the A horizon. Texture may be heavier than the A horizon too.
  • C horizon: underlying weathered rock (from which the A and B horizons form).
  • Some soils also have an O horizon, mainly consisting of plant litter accumulated on the soil surface.

The properties of horizons are used to distinguish between soils and determine land-use potential.

What is in the soil we use?

Soil contains air, water, minerals, and plant and animal matter, both living and dead. These soil components fall into two categories. 

  • In the first category are biotic factors—all the living and once-living things in the soil, such as plants and insects. 
  • The second category consists of abiotic factors, including all nonliving things—minerals, water, and air. 

The most common minerals found in soil that support plant growth are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen gas. Other less common minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The biotic and abiotic factors in the soil make up the soil’s composition.

Minerals

The most significant component of soil is its minerals, accounting for about 45% of its volume. The most common ones are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. While the less common ones are magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. 

Water

Water is the second essential component of soil. It makes up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. It is vital for transporting nutrients to growing plants and soil organisms and facilitating biological and chemical decomposition. Soil water availability is the capacity of a particular soil to hold water available for plant use.

Organic Material 

Organic matter is the next primary component found in soils at levels of approximately 1% to 5%. This matter is derived from dead plants and animals and has a high capacity to hold onto and provide the essential elements and water for plant growth. An organic matter has a tall “plant available” water-holding ability and CEC, which can enhance the growth potential of soils. 

Gas

Gases and air are the following essential component of soil. They make up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. Oxygen is necessary for root and microbe respiration, which helps support plant growth. 

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas are also crucial for belowground plant functions like nitrogen-fixing bacteria. If soils remain waterlogged (where gas is displaced by excess water), it can prevent root gas exchange, leading to plant death, a common concern after floods.

Microorganisms

Microorganisms are the final fundamental element of soils. They are present in the ground in high numbers but make up less than 1% of the soil volume. An estimate is that, one thimble full of topsoil hols more than 200,000 microbial organisms.
 
Earthworms and nematodes are the largest organisms found in soil. The smallest are algae, fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria. Microorganisms are the primary decomposers of raw organic matter. Many decomposers eat up organic matter, water, and air. This is to recycle natural organic matter into humus, rich in plant nutrients [3].

Nutrient Depleted Soil

Nearly 99 percent of the world’s daily calorie intake can be traced back to the soil. The plants and animals we eat require soil to grow. Soil is vital for human survival, yet modern farming and agricultural practices quickly destroy it. 

Worldwide, one-third of the Earth’s soil is at least moderately degraded, and over half of the land used for agriculture has some soil degradation.

Due to intense, mismanaged farming, soil nutrients are declining. 

  • Nitrogen stores have decreased by 42 percent
  • Phosphorus by 27 percent
  • Sulfur by 33 percent. 

Plants require these nutrients for photosynthesis, enzymes, protein synthesis, and more to grow optimally.

As a result of declining soil fertility and selective breeding, the nutritional contents of some fruits, vegetables, and grains have also been compromised. 

  • In a 2004 study using USDA data, 43 garden crops were analyzed to compare nutritional content in 1950 versus 1999. Some nutrients were unchanged, but calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C were lower in 1999 compared to 1950, ranging from a 6 percent to 38 percent drop [4].

The protein content in corn declined from 30 percent to 50 percent from 1920 to 2001, while the starch content increased [5].

The magnesium content of vegetables and wheat has declined by up to 25 percent. There are trace minerals in vegetable crops. Minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, and nickel, have decreased over the last decades. Toxic minerals like aluminum, lead, and cadmium have increased [6].
 
Grains, soy, and corn are low on the nutrient density scale. Far below organ meats, meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

Modern Agriculture and Soil

The current agriculture methods produce higher yields but deplete and erode soils. Currently, industrial agriculture is destroying the soil. It is being destroyed at 100 to 1,000 times the rate where it is replenished. It is according to the United Nations estimates. According to their report, we only have 60 years left of harvest in many farming regions.

What contributes to soil degradation and human demise?

Monoculture

Many industrial farms grow one single crop, year after year after year. This kind of practice depletes the soil and contributes to carbon loss and soil erosion. Agricultural farms must include perennial crops, legumes, and forages in rotation. This returns the organic matter in the soil, prevents decay, and replenishes nutrients.
  • For example, legume crop residues can be converted into nitrogen by soil bacteria, reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Additionally, monocropping can threaten food security. With a single crop species on millions of acres, one disease could potentially wipe out an entire food system.

Synthetic Fertilizers

Instead of using organic fertilizers, including crop rotations, cover crops, and manure, modern farms require massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers to grow crops continually. 

  • Nitrogen-based fertilizer production has increased by 9.5-fold since 1960. Fertilizer production consumes fossil fuels in a very energy-intensive process, with non-negligible environmental consequences. 

Not all the fertilizers applied are used up by the crops. Fifty percent or more of the nitrogen leaches into the environment. Many inorganic fertilizers destroy soil microbes that have roles in soil homeostasis.

  • Ammonia, nitrate, and other nitrogen residues make their way to groundwater, rivers, and eventually, the ocean. They reduce oxygen levels, increase algae growth, and damage or death to aquatic life. 

Tillage-Based Farming

Farms today till fields to remove crop residues, flatten the land, and generally mix up the topsoil. However, tilling reduces microbe populations in the soil, promotes soil erosion, and releases greenhouse gases. Today, 93 percent of the world’s cropland uses tilling-based methods for production.

Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides

Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides can help increase crop yield. By keeping weeds and harmful organisms under control. The benefits come with costs. And when this problem continues soil degradation and human demise is going to be our future. 
 
Pesticides destroy the microbial populations in the soil too. It can also disrupt honeybee and butterfly populations, impacting pollination.
  • Additionally, pesticide residues make their way into water systems and food. Many health problems have been linked to pesticide exposure, including asthma, neurological issues, and even cancer. 
  • The most well-known herbicide is glyphosate, which is applied to crops for hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Glyphosate has profound environmental and health consequences, covered in this article.

Mismanaged Grazing

Cows and other ruminants have the unique ability to convert grasses and other plants that are inedible for humans into nutrient-dense, edible animal products.
 
Best practices dictate that ruminants should rotate among different fields, allowing sections of grass to rest and regrow
 
But when cows graze on the same land as in many conventional farms, it contributes to soil erosion. It lowers soil carbon reserves. Overgrazing contributed to the loss of about one-fifth of the world’s grasslands

[7].

  • Unfortunately, the importance of ruminant animals has been almost forgotten. Due to rocky terrain, hills, and climate, much of the world’s land isn’t even conducive for growing crops. 
  • In contrast, cows, sheep, and goats can often thrive on these marginal lands. Yet these areas aren’t being fully utilized to raise ruminants for food and to sequester carbon properly. Instead, we have concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO, where grazing is limited, cows are fed grain residues from an outlying farm.

Unity Between the Human Body and Soil

Our body is from soil and water. Without those 2, there is minimal to no possibility of human life. The quality of soil impacts the quality of our physical, spiritual, and mental selves. 
 
Think about evolution or spirituality – if we stem from one at one point. We were the soil or some component of it, so now we are forever bound to the ground. In that soil, there is life, and from that life, there comes bigger life. Not only does it help in a physical sense but spiritual sense too.
 
When you eat bad food, you feel sick. This sickness manifests physically, mentally, and even spiritually. If you have food poisoning, how do you move? How does it then change your thinking? How does it influence your beliefs? Soil connects to us.
 
We are treating soil like some infinite disposable thing. Now take a look at how some humans treat other humans? How toxic people in power treat people below them.
 
The word human stems from the word “humus” in Latin, which means soil. As translated to “living soil” – as in the ground needed for growth. Less and less nutrient-dense foods can lead to the shunting of human growth and function.
 

To learn more about soil degradation and human demise, watch the full Episode 96 in this video 👇

SHOW NOTES:

00:00 Intro
00:52 Plugs
02:08 Soil Degradation and Human Demise
07:25 What is soil?
09:54 The layers of soil
12:35 The essential life-building blocks in soil
16:43 Nutrient Depleted Soil
20:37 Soil Erosion: Monoculture
21:58 Soil Erosion: Synthetic Fertilizers
24:21 Soil Erosion: Tillage-Based Farming
25:19 Soil Erosion: Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides
27:35 Soil Erosion: Mismanaged Grazing
30:14 Unity Between the Human Body and Soil
35:20 Wrapping up the episode

Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle growth and hypertrophy are essential when you want to stay fit. Everyone has muscles, but many want them to be a bit bigger. Did you know there are over 600 muscles in your body? Muscles are responsible for actions like movement, digestion, circulation, and respiration. There are different muscles for each job in the body. 

Injuries, diseases, and various disorders affect the way your muscles function. These issues can be muscle pain spasms or more severe like paralysis and cardiomyopathy. 

Living a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and adequate exercise prevents early deterioration of muscle and function and improves endurance, size, and strength.

Muscles

Muscles’ function is to contract and relax. It doesn’t matter if that muscle is voluntary or involuntary. It is going to contract in one-way shape or another. 

The somatic nervous system is responsible for the voluntary movement of skeletal muscle, while the autonomic nervous system is responsible for involuntary action like that of smooth muscle [1].

3 Different Types of Muscle Tissue

There are three different types of muscle tissues. Each type of muscle also functions differently within different areas of the body. These are: 

  • Skeletal: As part of the musculoskeletal system, these muscles work with your bones, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons attach skeletal muscles to bones all over your body. Together, they support the weight of your body and help you move. You control these voluntary muscles. Some muscle fibers contract quickly and use short bursts of energy (fast-twitch muscles). Others move slowly, such as your back muscles that help with posture.
  • Cardiac: These muscles line the heart walls. They help your heart pump blood that travels through your cardiovascular system. You don’t control cardiac muscles. The heart tells them when to contract.
  • Smooth: These muscles line the insides of organs such as the bladder, stomach, and intestines. Smooth muscles play an essential role in many-body systems. These include the female reproductive system, male reproductive system, urinary system, and respiratory system. Different types of muscles work without you having to think about them. They do essential jobs like moving waste through your intestines and helping your lungs expand when you breathe.

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscles consist of flexible muscle fibers that range from less than half an inch to just over three inches in diameter. These fibers usually span the length of the muscle. The fibers contract or tightens, allowing the muscles to move bones so you can perform lots of different movements.

Skeletal Muscles Structure

Each muscle can contain thousands of fibers. Different types of sheaths, or coverings, surround the fibers:

  • Epimysium: The outermost layer of tissue surrounding the entire muscle.
  • Perimysium: The middle layer surrounding bundles of muscle fibers.
  • Endomysium: The innermost layer surrounding individual muscle fibers.

Actin and myosin are both proteins that are found in every type of muscle tissue. Thick myosin filaments and thin actin filaments work together to generate muscle contractions and movement. 

Myosin is a type of molecular motor that converts chemical energy released from ATP into mechanical energy. 

This mechanical energy is then used to pull the actin filaments along, causing muscle fibers to contract and, thus, generate movement.

What does skeletal muscle look like?

Skeletal muscle fibers are red and white. They look striated, or striped, so they’re often called striated muscles. Cardiac muscles are also striated, but smooth muscles aren’t.

How healthy is skeletal muscle?

Although skeletal muscles typically make up roughly 35% of your body weight, this can vary from person to person. Men have about 36% more skeletal muscle mass than women. People who are tall or overweight also tend to have higher muscle mass. Muscle mass decreases with age in both men and women.

Hypertrophy

In simple terms, hypertrophy just means “to make bigger.” It is the opposite of atrophy which is to make smaller. When we talk about hypertrophy in muscles, we mean muscle growth. Muscle growth and hypertrophy is the primary goal of why people work out and train. 

When you talk about muscular hypertrophy, it is different from just gaining strength. Although with hypertrophy comes more strength, it is a different concept and different mode of work than strength training [2].

  • Hypertrophy is done to increase the size of a muscle
  • Strengthening is done to increase the ability to produce force

2 Different Types of Hypertrophy

1. Myofibrillar hypertrophy

  • This type of muscular hypertrophy involves increasing the number of protein filament bundles known as myofibrils. Myofibrils help the muscle contract and relax. Increasing myofibrils boost muscular strength. With myofibril hypertrophy, the muscle also becomes denser [3].
  • Growth of muscle contraction parts.

2. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

  • You can also increase the volume of fluid within the muscle. This is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. The fluid provides the energy the muscle needs during weight training. Similar to how adding water to a balloon makes the balloon grow, more fluid in the muscle makes it look bigger [4].
  • Increased muscle glycogen storage.

How to Build Muscle?

There are many ways to muscle growth and hypertrophy and strengthen muscle, but we want to focus on how to maximize hypertrophy. 

1. Diet and Sleep 

You need proper fuel and rest to build muscle. There has always been a debate between carbs, proteins, and fats.  With so many diets out there, you should not solely rely on one of them. 

The main thing to always keep in mind when it comes to the human diet is that we need all the macronutrients. It would help if you ate carbs, proteins, and fats. Neglecting any one of those will directly impact not only your muscle growth but your overall health.

Proteins get broken down into amino acids that are the building blocks of all our cells. Carbs are your body’s primary source of fuel. Fats are required for hormone function. Many studies show the benefit of eating a higher amount of protein when trying to build muscle. 

Research indicates that achieving muscle hypertrophy requires balancing muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. Additionally, consuming protein within 24 hours of weight training can provide a positive net balance. 

This net balance supports muscle growth. Follow your workouts with higher protein meals or shakes to give the body the nutrients to achieve maximum hypertrophy.

Carbs are beneficial for:

  • Carbs prevent muscle weakness
  • It can prevent muscle degradation
  • Carbs help muscles recover from exercise

Recommended Protein Intake for Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

  • Individuals in Energy Balance
  • Consume ~0.4 g/kg body mass (i.e., 0.24 plus 0.06 with protein added to account for the influence of other macronutrients in meals and protein quality), to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) following a period of rest or exhaustive resistance exercise.
  • Spacing protein-containing meals ~3–5 h throughout the day maximizes MPS rates over the course of a 12 h (i.e., waking) period.
  • Practice pre-sleep protein ingestion (1–3 h prior to sleep) to offset declines in MPS that would occur during an overnight fasting period.
  • To maximize muscle protein accretion with resistance exercise, daily protein intakes should be ~1.6 g/kg/day and up to 2.2 g/kg/day. This intake can be achieved by ingesting 3 meals, each containing ~0.53 g/kg protein, or 4 meals containing ~0.4g/kg protein.
  • Individuals in Energy Restriction
  • Daily protein requirements are greater than they are during periods of energy balance to promote the maintenance or increase in lean body mass.
  • Resistance exercise should be performed during energy restriction to promote the retention of lean body mass if desired.
  • For athletes cutting weight over an extended period, high-quality protein sources such as whey and casein, or a blend of each, should be chosen to optimize appetite control and ensure dietary compliance.
  • Protein intakes of ~2.3–3.1 g/kg/day have been advocated to promote leaner body mass retention during weight loss. Exercise-naive adults who have a more significant body fat percentage should aim to achieve the lower end of this range. However, leaner individuals with resistance-training experience who are more vulnerable to losing lean body mass during energy restriction should aim for the higher end of this range [5].

2. Exercise

With exercise, muscle growth and hypertrophy are induced. What causes it is “as calcium is released in higher quantities with each contraction induced by the neuron, calcium binds to calmodulin, which activates calmodulin kinases (CaMKs), and in turn, activates Akt, which activates protein synthesis via mTOR and the inhibition of glycogen synthase pathways.”

Muscle growth is achieved when a combination of things occurs: muscle damage and repair, mechanical tension through stretch and force, and the build-up of metabolites like lactate, hydrogen ions, creatine, and others. 

Metabolite accumulation can occur as lactate, hydrogen ions (lowering pH), and phosphate molecules accumulate within the cell. The collection of these, and likely others (like creatine), metabolites in the cell shows an increased expression of Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).

This increases the proliferation of satellite cells and increases protein synthesis via the Akt pathway. Also, the increase in growth hormone (GH) further increases the release of IGF and the release of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) for different effects on satellite cell recruitment.

How Muscles Work During Exercise

To be able to return for another bout of exercise, the trauma to the muscle leads the cell to release calcium (likely due to damage to the sarcoplasmic reticulum) into the surrounding extracellular area; this release of calcium leads to the activation of an immune response.

As soon as one hour after this event, neutrophils go through phagocytosis and clean up the debris of dislodged and broken organelle proteins caused by the stress put on the myocyte. 

24-48 hours after myocyte damage, macrophages are the dominant immune cells finishing phagocytosis and releasing cytokines and growth factors to activate other immune clean-up cells and the repair process.

These cytokines, Interleukin-1, 6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), are the regulators of inflammatory response and communicate more or less the need for further necrosis and inflammation between immune cells. 

Growth factors such as growth hormone (HGH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) are released to begin the repair process.

Main Concepts and Strategies When Exercising

To accomplish muscle growth and hypertrophy you have to induce some kind of physical activity. The main concepts and strategies to think about when creating a program or just in exercise are:

1. Engage in strength training regularly.

You can’t just work a muscle once and expect it to grow. It needs to be stressed repeatedly over time. Resistance training at least three times per week can provide the tension necessary for the muscle to adapt and grow. Constantly doing the same exercise over again is an excellent place to start. Over time repeating the same workout does lead to fewer results, so it is essential to switch up the routine.  

2. Increase resistance over time.

Starting with lighter weights gives the muscle time to adjust to a new weight training program. But once that weight becomes easy to lift, it needs to be increased if the goal is hypertrophy. The general rule is to increase your weight by about 5-10% to prevent injury.

3. Aim to overload the muscle or muscle group.

If you walk out of your weight training sessions feeling as if you could go through the sets and reps again, you’re not overloading your muscle enough. While you don’t want to go to the point of pain, growing muscle requires a certain level of overload. During your workout, aim to push your muscle as much as possible while still being safe.

4. Lift heavy for higher reps.

A hypertrophy workout involves lifting fairly heavy weights. You also want to shoot for higher reps than if your goal was strength. Again, you have to overload the muscles to a certain extent if you want them to grow [6].

5. Sets and repetitions.

Start muscle growth and hypertrophy with two to three sets of ten to 15 reps, completing repetitions at a manageable but challenging weight. So if you are doing three sets of 12 repetitions, the weight you use should be heavy enough that you cannot do more than 12 reps, but not so heavy that you cannot get to 12. If you know your one-rep max and have the basics of working out down, you should be looking to lift between 65%-75% of your 1RM for eight to 12 reps for three to six sets.

6. Reduce your rest periods.

The rest time between sets changes based on whether the goal is to increase muscle size or strength. The recommended rest period is generally between two and five minutes for strength increases. This period is shortened to 30 to 90 seconds to increase muscle size.

7. Allow adequate time for muscle recovery.

Getting enough recovery time is critical to building bigger muscles. It is during this recovery that muscle damage is repaired. Therefore, if you don’t allow enough time for this repair to occur, not only will muscles not reach their maximum size, but you also risk injuring them. Allow 24 to 48 hours before working for the same muscle group again [7]

Muscle Soreness

Many people have sore muscles after working out. The soreness results from tiny tears (microtears) occurring when you put stress on a muscle. Usually, muscle soreness sets in a day or two after vigorous exercise. This condition is why providers call this condition delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

The muscle tissue becomes inflamed as the muscles repair themselves and the tiny tears heal. Your muscles recover within a few days, and the inflammation goes away. With continued exercise, the muscle tissue tears and rebuilds again and again.

To watch the full episode on Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy, click here for more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:49 Plugs
02:11 Episode Introduction
06:05 Different types of muscle tissue
07:20 The skeletal muscle structure
11:48 What is hypertrophy?
15:55 How to build muscles and maximize hypertrophy?
18:43 Building muscles: Carbohydrates
20:33 Building muscles: Protein
24:42 Protein recommendations for building muscles
29:32 A Scientific explanation of how hypertrophy works
34:06 Things you can do to maximize hypertrophy.