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7
FEB

Natural Ways to Boost Energy Before a Workout

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Exercise and Fitness,Supplements at 7:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
EnergyDo you known when you need to get fired up for your workout but seems to have a difficult time finding different ways to do it? Yes, we all know that feeling but a few tips can be helpful to keep your exercise routine going. Some people opt to avoid hardcore energy boosters and strong pre-workout supplements and that’s absolutely no problem, as we present you a few natural ways to boost energy before your workout.

First, we tend to think about caffeine when planning a quick way to increase energy prior to a workout and there is a good reason for this way of thinking. Caffeine acts fast to promote mental alertness but only for a temporary period of time. Remember: caffeine doesn’t have to come from coffee or energy drinks as teas (hot and cold) and natural juices, such as acai, contain this popular energy enhancer.

Additionally, vitamins are essential for energy levels particularly B vitamins. Why not taking a B-Complex tablet or a multivitamin before your workout? The results may surprise you as B vitamins have the ability to disperse the energy from food throughout the bloodstream. Keep in mind that being deficient or at low levels of either vitamins or minerals has a direct impact to the inability to function at maximal efficiency.

Rounding up our natural ways to get fired up for a workout is a pretty easy one: rest. Working out when feeling tired is one of the most common mistakes people make on a regular basis. For example, after a long day, many people hit the gym directly after work, without proper nutrition and adequate rest. Don’t do that. Eat a well-balanced, not-heavy meal, ideally with carbs, take a power-nap, 15 to 30 minutes and then start your workout. These two simple tips can give you a rush of new energy for your workout.




31
JAN

3 Simple Ways to Switch to a Healthier Diet

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
B31Changing your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple, small changes can really make the difference in the way you eat. If you are looking for ways to make your diet a little healthier, but don’t want to follow any strict regiments, we present you 3 simple ways to make your diet a little heathier.

Popcorn

Instead of crackers with cream cheese, or instead of ice-cream, try popcorn. This whole grain easy-to-make snack contains fiber and, surprisingly, antioxidants. Considered by many nutritionist as the healthiest food snack (particularly organic products), popcorn is very filling, delivering long-lasting crunchy satisfaction.

Hard-boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a great addition to your diet as the boiling process removes heart-clogging saturated fats found in eggs when you fry them. Try a boiled egg on a whole-grain English muffin for breakfast instead of fried eggs, sausage and cheese on a bagel.

Chicken Breast and Whole Grain Bread

One of the most popular sandwich consists of a choice of meat, cheese on a white roll with mayo. You can make some small changes and have a much healthier product. For example, chicken breast instead of meat, no cheese, add lettuce or tomatoes (good source of phytonutrients and fiber), use mustard instead of mayo, and use whole grain bread, trimming down carbs and adding fiber. The result is a delicious meal with much less calories than the traditional one.




28
JAN

A Great Superfood Choice: Moringa

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Supplements at 2:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
B28Superfoods are an excellent choice for your diet but with so many options to choose from, it might be challenging to choose just one or two of these amazing products. If you are unsure about what superfood to choose, we present you a great, yet not so popular choice for your super source of nutrition.

Moringa is a superfood known for its high nutritional value. Originally from the Himalayas in India but also cultivated in Central and South America, Moringa contains 92 nutrients, 46 types of antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, and a multitude of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and much more. It also contain 18 amino acids, including all essential amino acids.

Nicknamed “The Miracle Tree” and “The Elixir of Long Life”, Moringa Oleifera superfood is a complete product that will not only provide you with the vitamins you need, but also improve your overall health as well. Moringa supplements are known to boost energy levels and improve mood but this exotic superfood may help to treat a variety of health issues too. Studies have shown that moringa may help improve digestion, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure, and treat stomach ulcers.

Moringa Oleifera was featured in the Dr. Oz talk show as he pointed out its energy enhancing properties. Many people have reported a boost in their energy levels after taking Moringa supplements.




25
JAN

BCAA: No Pain, Much Gain

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Sports Nutrition,Supplements at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
BCAAThe old saying has an updated version. No pain, no gain is a thing of the past as many supplements can help you gain muscle and support muscle recovery at the same time. BCAA supplements are one of these great products known to help increase muscle mass, speed up recovery, and enhance athletic performance.

Short for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, BCAA are known as the building blocks of muscle mass. Research suggests that continue use of BCAA can help individuals not only to build muscle, but also burn fat, and increase athletic performance.

Considered one of the best post workout recovery products, BCAA supplements contain three essential amino acids which play an important role in protein synthesis: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.  By taking BCAA’s, the breakdown of muscle, known as muscle catabolism, can be prevented quickly, especially for usage in high-volume cardio work.

The perfect supplement for endurance and strength training, BCAA has also the ability to prevent muscle loss at high altitudes and prolong endurance performance in the heat, a common condition for marathon or triathlon runners. A popular supplement in the bodybuilding and fitness community, BCAAs are useful for gaining mass and maintaining muscle mass even while on a calorie-deficit diet. BCAAs not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis.

Additionally, BCAAs might also help improve workout intensity as it competes with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where Tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin. During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can increase fatigue. BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced.




11
JAN

Need More Vitamins and Minerals? Try Yerba Mate

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Teas,Vitamins and Minerals at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
YBThe beginning of the year brings up a lot of questions regarding nutrition. Some people struggle to find a way to eat less calories without dropping the nutrition intake. Eating less food may lead to less nutrients including vitamins and minerals but how can you have a successful weight-loss diet without reducing your daily intake of vitamins and minerals?

Of course, the answer to this question depends a lot on your diet but one beverage can be very helpful during this very challenging time of the year.

Yerba Mate is a great source of not only vitamins but also minerals and other nutrients. This traditional South American beverage contains vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B5, niacin (B3) as well as important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus. All these important nutrients are necessary to sustain a healthy life and vital to promote energy, a key element for any diet.

Native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, Yerba Mate leaves contain caffeine and can promote a boost of energy as well as a variety of other health benefits. Research suggests that yerba mate can help regulate cholesterol levels, increasing HDL and reducing LDL. Researchers also believe that drinking yerba mate infusions may also reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Yerba Mate can be considered one of the healthiest herbs as researchers have concluded that it’s difficult to find a plant which can match mate’s nutritional value. Mate is more nutritious than green tea and studies have shown that mate can edge all the commonly used stimulants such as coffee, green tea, kola nut, cocoa and guarana, as it delivers more energy and nutrition.




9
JAN

New Year, New Brands

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Sports Nutrition,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
B9The New Year just started and Lucky Vitamin continues to add brands to bring something new to our customers in 2016. With a lot of people starting New Year’s resolutions, and many of these people taking weight-loss as a resolution for 2016, Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce two new brand of products that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals this year: NutraKey and SatisFive.

NutraKey

NutraKey offers a unique line of sport nutrition supplements created to make life better. The company believes the best way to improve quality of life is through health and wellness and manufactures over 100 products with the highest quality ingredients which are free of harmful items. With raw, pure nutrition in every bottle, NutraKey products can help you build muscle, lose fat and promote athletic performance.

SatisFive

SatisFive is an advanced, multi-action blend with fibers plus thylakoids designed to promote fullness, reduce hunger and cravings, and help you achieve your weight-loss goals. The patented Appethyl green spinach extract contains thylakoids that bind to dietary fat to reduce the rate of fat digestion, increasing your body’s satiety signals and decreasing hunger signals. Plus, a root fiber called LuraLean creates a gel in the stomach that can bind dietary fat and carbohydrate and further help in weight management. Taken before a meal, SatisFive helps control appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness for up to five hours.

You can save even more when you shop NutraKey and/or SatisFive products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code JAN16NEW16 at checkout to save an additional 15% of all items of these new brands.




7
JAN

Weight-Loss Helper: Boswellia

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Herbs,Supplements at 7:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
BoswelliaEvery January, thousands of people start a weight-loss diet and many people will be looking for a little help in a form of a supplement. Weight-loss products can be helpful as long as they are taking with a well-balanced diet and a good exercise program. If you are not very comfortable with some of the ingredients in weight-loss formulas, we can highlight a natural ingredient that may be the little help you need for 2016.

A common ingredient in over the counter weight-loss supplements, Boswellia (boswellia serrata) is a tree gum resin that offers multiple health benefits and can be used for treatment of arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, bronchitis, asthma, skin and blood diseases, along with the ability to lower cholesterol, prevent plaque buildup, and protect the liver.

Widely regarded as a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient, boswellia’s primary active ingredient, acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), inhibits the inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. Excess of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase is common in joint pain, allergies, respiratory conditions, and cardiovascular problems.

New studies have shown that the association of joint pain and obesity is a more complex process than just the extra weight resulting in mechanical wear and tear. Common inflammation mechanisms may cause both joint destruction and obesity possibly due to excessive amounts of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), generated as bacteria sheath off their outer wall. Overweight individuals typically have imbalanced digestive bacteria making higher amounts of LPS, which enter the general circulation and trigger inflammation. Boswellia can directly attach itself to toxic LPS, preventing the LPS from inflammatory reaction. As a result, boswellia can reduce inflammation particularly for individuals who are overweight and are experiencing joint pain.

Additionally, boswellia is a rich source of gugglesterones which stimulates the thyroid, leading to metabolic up-regulation. An increase in thyroid efficiency may lead to an increase in caloric burn, and possibly weight loss.




2
JAN

New Year, New Snacks

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
NutsNew Year, fresh start. If you are looking for changes in your life for 2016, switching from unhealthy snacks to healthy ones can be a great move. No more chips, candy, chocolate or anything high in sugar and low in nutrition. Go nuts, literally, as these natural, nutritional powerhouses are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats.

Considered by many the best nuts for your diet, pistachios, almonds, walnuts and cashews are loaded with a perfect combination of vitamins, protein, fiber and the important healthy fatty acids (omega-3s). All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and as long as you eat them in moderation, all nuts are healthy foods. Almonds are low in calories with only about 150 per ounce and pistachios have also the same amount of calories with only about 160 per ounce. The only red flag is some nuts’ amount of fat and calories if you are starting, or you are on a weight-loss diet. Macadamia nuts and pecans reach as much as 200 calories per ounce, but even that is not considered a very high amount of calories for snacks.

On the other hand, if you are not counting calories some nuts can be an excellent addition to your diet. For example, Brazil nuts are rich in mono-unsaturated fats and selenium and both of these compounds help prevent coronary artery disease by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, walnuts are considered the best nuts for your heart. Walnuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats as well as high amounts of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), known to promote a variety of health benefits.

Of course these amounts are based on raw nuts, not salted or covered with chocolate but with so many options available, as well as mix nuts packages, you should be able to find a healthy, delicious new nut-snack for 2016.




29
DEC

Slim Down With These Superfoods

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Nutrition at 2:21 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
slimsuperfoodsThe holidays are coming to an end which means it’s time to start your 2016 goals. For many of us that means thinking about how to shed those pounds we packed on late in the year. Losing weight the healthy way should be based on a combination of exercise and clean eating. As any nutritionist would tell you, adding superfoods to your diet is not only great for your overall health but can help you slim down, too. They are nutritional powerhouses loaded with vitamins, minerals and other good-for-you molecular compounds to help you on your weight loss journey.

Avocado – Healthy fats are all the rage, and with good reason, since the mono unsaturated fatty goodness (MUFAs) keeps you feeling full longer. This special fruit has a proven ability to prevent hunger pains and reduce belly fat. Swap out your EVOO for some avocado oil to decrease abdominal fat.

Almonds – Rich in flavonoids that protect against free radical damage, unsalted, raw almonds are a great stimulant for weight loss when eaten in moderation.   Almonds are also a good source of vitamins B and E, so-called “good” fats and fiber which have the dual benefits of staving off sugar cravings and helping you feel satiated.

Garbanzo BeansGarbanzo Beans, also known as chickpeas, may be tiny, but they pack a big protein punch. This delicious, edible legume contains more than two grams of resistant starch per half-cup serving, as well as fiber.

Oats – A carb that can help you lose weight? Yes! A study in Nutrition Journal found those who ate oats every morning for six weeks had a greater decrease in waist size compared to those who ate the same amount of carbs in pasta for the same duration. So you can have your carbs and eat them too!

Green Tea –Research has shown that the plant compound EGCG found in green tea boosts your metabolism by increasing thermogenesis by 84 percent. Here’s why: green tea contains molecular compounds called catechins which triggers the release of fat from cells, blasts adipose tissue and speeds up the liver’s ability to convert fat into energy. Now get drinking!

 




28
DEC

6 Natural Ways to Boost Metabolism

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Exercise and Fitness,General Wellness & Wellbeing at 1:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Meta1. Omega-3

Omega-3 is one of the healthiest ways to speed up the metabolism as it balances blood sugar and reduces inflammation, helping regulate metabolism. It may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which is linked to the fat burning process. Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as flaxseed oil and walnuts.

2. Workout Rev Up 

Increasing the intensity of your exercise or workout and then returning to normal pace is a terrific way to boost metabolism. This process helps the body consume more oxygen and make the mitochondria, the cell powerhouses, work harder to burn energy. Simple way to do this: alternate 60 seconds of fast exercise, running for example, with a 60 second rest period, and repeat it several times.

3. Green Tea

Green tea contains antioxidant polyphenols as well as an active ingredient called catechin which may rev up metabolism. Catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, the body’s production of energy from digestion. So, drinking a few cups of green tea daily, iced of hot, (instead of coffee for example) may increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories a day.

4. Spicy it Up

Eating spicy food is known to increase metabolic rate as capsacian, a molecule found in spicy peppers, has been shown to raise body temperature and speed up fat loss. Also present in foods like spicy mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, isothiocyanates may help activate fat and speed up the metabolism as well.

5. Morning Start

Getting a great morning start can also help to boost up metabolism. Eating a healthy breakfast, exercising in the morning hours, and getting exposure to sunlight can all help to increase metabolic rates.

6. Coffee Rules

If you don’t like green tea, no problem. Coffee is also another way to enhance your metabolism. Studies have shown that regular caffeine consumption may help increase metabolic burn, and reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. A cup of coffee in the morning hours is a great way to get that caffeine into your system but try to avoid sugar, milk, and cream into your morning cup.




25
DEC

Planning a Resolution…

Filed Under: Detoxification and Cleansing,Diet & Weight Loss,Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Resol2016 is almost here. For many people, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Some people say planning is (almost) everything and one has to agree that for every great project, a ton of planning is needed in order to succeed. It’s no different for resolutions.

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, or start exercising, start planning your resolution right now and you may increase the odds that this year, you will stick with your resolution until you accomplish your goals.

First, it’s important to focus on your goal and line up a few different methods to accomplish it. One of the reasons many people fail at resolutions is a lack of a “plan B”. So, right from start, having an alternative way to reach that goal can be helpful. For example, your goal is to exercise three times a week and you are committed to walking or running. After a couple weeks, your feet are sore, or your leg muscles are hurting. What most people do? They stop, or take a week off, only to never resume exercising again, and the resolution is gone. OK, if you do have pain from exercising on your lower body, have a upper body workout back-up plan, just in case this happens, you can still exercise your upper body for one week or until your lower body is healed and ready to resume your original workout.

Second, believe in yourself. Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest resolutions but it can definitely be accomplished. Many people have tried to quit smoking several times and fail at it every time. Why should this year be different? Time to believe in yourself, time to believe you can do it. One great tip is to spend time with family or friends who are very positive, who encourage you to achieve this goal. Find a little reward for every week, month, you have spent without smoking and perhaps this year will be the one.

Lastly, don’t give up. The most important advice for any resolution. If you fail, start over again, if it’s difficult, find ways to make it easier, if you can’t do it yourself, find help, but don’t give up. 2016 can be the year you finally stick with your New Year’s Resolution!!!




10
DEC

Healthy Holiday Gifts Suggestions: Fitness

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Exercise and Fitness,Sports Nutrition at 4:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
HealthyFinding the perfect gift isn’t easy. People often struggle to find presents around this time of the year but if you are running out of ideas of gifts for you loved ones, Lucky Vitamin is presenting an entire section of healthy gift suggestions for this holiday season.

Today, we focus on gifts for the fitness fanatics or for anyone who may want to start a New Year Resolution for a healthy, fit 2016. Finding a fitness gift may not be as easy as it sounds as you want to motivate your friends and family without actually saying: “it’s time to lose some weight”.

A gym membership is quite often a popular choice of holiday gift but keep in mind that if the recipient of your gift has never been to a gym, doesn’t like to go out of the house to workout at the gym, or have struggled in the past to use a gym frequently, chances are, this unfortunate trend will likely to continue.

So, perhaps a better option is to shop fitness gifts for the “stay at home” type. Support their exercise and fitness goals by finding the perfect gift for any exercise enthusiast.

Click here to find this special selection of Holiday Gifts presented to you by LuckyVitamin.com.




23
OCT

Discover the Health Benefits of Xylitol

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
XylitolIf you are looking for a sugar substitute but have yet to find the perfect one, it is time to consider one of the most popular choices of sugar subs: xylitol.

Stevia has been one of the most popular healthy alternatives choices for sweeteners but Xylitol has also made an impact on the sugar market. This natural product has being widely used not only as an alternative way to replace sugar in everything from baking to beverages but also by companies manufacturing products such as chewing gum or toothpaste.

Xylitol has been used as a sugar substitute for many years a this alcohol form of xylose has less effect on blood sugar or insulin levels compared with sucrose. A useful sugar substitute for diabetics, xylitol can also inhibit the growth of several types of bacteria, including those that cause tooth decay and ear infections.

Xylitol occurs naturally in straw, corncobs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, mushrooms, and some seaweed. For use in food manufacturing, xylitol is extracted from birch wood chips. Xylitol may be found in many foods labeled as “sugar-free,” including hard candies, cookies, soft drinks, and throat lozenges. Xylitol is recognized as a safe food additive by the U.S. government.

In addition, xylitol has been used in chewing gum products due to ts ability to help cleaning up teeth, decreasing tooth decay and dental plaque acid production. Scientific research has showed that regular use of xylitol may reduce dental cavities by as much as 80% and may prevent gingivitis as well. Most of xylitol sugar-free products will help keeping a fresh breath, and it will actually work whitening and protecting your teeth as you chew.

Natural toothpastes have also been utilizing xylitol to promote a cooling and moisturizing effect on a dry mouth, while natural ingredients, such as mint and cinnamon, may add a refreshing flavor.




16
OCT

Baking with Natural Sweeteners

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods at 1:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
SweetenersBaking is always fun. Some people avoid baking as it traditionally involves “not so healthy” foods and ingredients. Yes, baking goods are delicious and yes most people like them, but the amount of calories and artificial ingredients used in baking can scare many people away. Well, that’s not always the case.

Baking with natural sweeteners is a healthy, alternative way to create delicious baking items in your kitchen. Substituting sugar is easier than you think. So, we present you a few options of ingredients for healthy baking.

Stevia a very popular low-calorie sweetener often used instead of sugar in baking. This product is extracted from the leaves of a plant called stevia rebaudiana, grown for sweetness and medicinal purposes for centuries in South America. Likely the healthiest choice for sugar substitutes, stevia is very sweet but has virtually no calories and offer health benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics, improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing oxidized LDL cholesterol as well as plaque build-up in the arteries.

If you don’t like the taste of stevia, try raw honey. Honey can be used instead of sugar for most baked items. Honey offers plenty of health benefits as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help boost your immune system and protect your body from bacteria. Full of flavonoids, honey contains these antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, honey has a low hypoglycemic index and it won’t send your blood sugar into overdrive. As a basic rule, when you use honey in your baked goods, use a half cup honey for every cup of sugar.

Last but not least, agave nectar is an excellent choice as a sugar substitute. Many varieties of the agave plant produce a wonderfully sweet, low-calorie nectar which is a low-glycemic sweetener, helping the body metabolizes it slowly, preventing dramatic spikes and dips in blood sugar.




5
OCT

Nutrition Guide for a Health Breakfast

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Health Foods at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
BREAKFASTA strong and healthy breakfast is the foundation for a healthy diet. How many times have you heard this advice? Or something similar to that?

No doubt that breakfast is the best, nutritious way to start out your day but the two main questions are: what should be added? What should be avoided?

Let’s start with the add-ons. Fiber and protein are the essential ingredients for a healthy breakfast. If you can mix this two for your breakfast on a daily basis, you will get a great energy boost and likely feel less hungry until lunch and during the rest of the day. Good choices of high fiber breakfast include oatmeal, cereals, whole grains, whole-wheat rolls, and granola. For protein, eggs, peanut butter, and lean meats are great choices.

On the list of things to be avoided, sugars and carbs are leading the way. Carbs can be added with moderation. Keep in mind that even if you are trying to cut down on carbs, but you absolutely must have it, the first meal of the day is the best time to add it.

Sugars should not only be avoided for breakfast but for every meal, anytime, any day. A combination of these two, sugars and carbs, can really affect your eating habits. Take a look at doughnuts for example. An average donut contains between 300 and 500 calories as well as 30-50 grams of sugar. With such a huge amount of sugar in a small package, your body pumps out lots of insulin, and this huge blood sugar peak leads to an even bigger sugar crash. This extreme up-and-down leaves you hungry soon after your breakfast and you are likely to crave even more refined carbs.

Remember: eating breakfast refuels your body, enhances your mood, improves your concentration, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Eating a “healthy breakfast” can be quick and easy, and provide you with benefits that last the entire day.