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Exercise in space with Samantha!

The most important effects of microgravity on the human body are losing bone density and deteriating muscle strength. Each astronaut on the International Space Station exercises 150 minutes every day in the “space gym” to minimise the effects of living in space. Astronauts can use several exercise machines to simulate training on Earth. One of these is the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device or ARED for friends. We asked ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to show and explain how ARED works…ready?


Not rocket science


Vegetable proteins: health served on a plate

Variation, variation and more variation: this is the correct way to ensure we eay all the nutrients that our body needs. For this reason the one dish meal helps us make every meal as complete as possible: 50% of your carbohydrate intake should come in fruits or vegetables, while 25% of your carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains and the last 25% should come from protein. As a condiment you can use extra-virgin olive oil. Proteins can be of animal or vegetable origin. To make your diet as varied as possible it is good to alternate animal proteins with vegetable ones. Meat, fish and eggs bring all the necessary amino acids to the body for its proper functioning. Since meat and eggs are also high in fat, it is good to alternate them with vegetable proteins from greens. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and other vegetables, especially when dried, are important sources of protein as well as containing other properties such as a high fibre content. While it is true that plant proteins have a high biological value, but you can complement the intake of amino acids via the one dish meal scheme, accompanying  vegetables with whole-grain products that contain proteins. Let’s make greens a central component of our daily diet! Filippo Ongaro Read more: http://www.filippo-ongaro.it/

Not rocket science | Protein and muscles


Protein synthesis

The term protein synthesis refers to the biochemical process through which the genetic information in DNA is converted into proteins that perform biological functions in the body. A process called transcription froms a strand of messenger RNA from DNA  as a mold for the production of a protein. Protein synthesis is part of a complex series of metabolic reactions that, by consuming energy, form complex molecules from simpler ones to repair and rebuild damaged tissues. The opposite reactions that degrade complex molecules thereby releasing energy are called catabolic. Metabolism is characterized by a continuous succession of catabolic and anabolic reactions which vary depending on age, nutrition and environment . Because our bodies synthesis protein in a  regular and orderly manner it is necessary to provide the body with sufficient amounts of raw material, that is to say, dietary protein that will provide the necessary amino acids to turn into proteins. The amount of dietary protein varies according to the level of physical activity, and ranges from a minimum of 0.8 g per kg body weight for a sedentary person, up to 2 g for fit and powerful athletes. Furthermore, anabolic reactions are regulated by a number of hormones including insulin, growth hormone and testosterone which are influenced by food intake, type of physical activity and by the time between activity and recovery. During a long space mission it is essential to continue stimulating  protein synthesis to minimize catabolic reactions that load the muscle and bones. A balanced diet that ensures enough protein and a daily exercise program that offers intensive use of muscles with special tools to simulate weight training, logically impossible in orbit.

Dr. Filippo Ongaro

Read more: http://www.filippo-ongaro.it/

Not rocket science | Protein and muscles