Drink More Water! Benefits and Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Consuming H2O

glass of waterThe Most Overlooked Liquid

People simply do not get enough water in their diet. The majority of us will trade water for any other kind of beverage packed with unnecessary additives and sapping the health qualities of water on it’s own.

Water takes up around 60 percent of our body weight . This liquid contributes nutrients needed for cells, flushes toxins  out of vital organs and creates the perfect atmosphere for tissues in the throat, ear and nose. Every system inside your body relies on water. So what do you want your body running on? It’s funny to joke around and say “Yeah, my body runs on coffee”, but it’s an entirely different thing when your body is literally fueled by it!

Now it’s true that all liquids are comprised of some amount of water, but the problem is some beverages actually work against waters original capabilities. More on that later!

Does it matter if I lack water?

One of the most common conditions that people incur is dehydration due to a lack of water. Even a minor level of dehydration can leave you feeling sapped of energy since you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out it’s normal functions.

14 things water helps with:

  1. Digestion
  2. Weight loss
  3. Kidney health
  4. Headaches
  5. Replaces potential food so you feel full and don’t overeat
  6. Younger and healthier looking skin
  7. Relieves fatigue
  8. Preventing sickness
  9. Exercise productivity
  10. Reduces risk of cancer
  11. Work productivity
  12. Improves mood
  13. Preventing cramps and sprains
  14. Helps with regular bowel movements

Consuming an appropriate amount of water will aid your heart in pumping blood and deliver essential nutrients to your cells more efficiently. It also helps to transport oxygen in your blood.

Boosting your muscles and preventing cramps is also a helpful trait of water. This can be a fairly significant property if you find yourself always feeling tired while working out. You should be chugging back a couple cups of H2O around two hours before you exercise. Water will reduce fatigue during exercise and and activities  in addition to helping you keep more alert and awake. If you tend to work often and for long hours this can be one of the single best things you can do to keep in check.

different drinks in convenience store

Water vs. Other Liquids

Some companies try to sell the idea that their drink product can be better than water. This is not the case! There’s a major difference between drinking water and drinking something that contains water. Some positive effects of water on it’s own are masked because of added ingredients.

Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and pop are frequently chosen before water. Although it may taste better, the water contained in these beverages does not help the body as effectively as just drinking water on it’s own could. These processed liquids stimulate the adrenal glands in the body and act as diuretics. High amounts of phosphorus are found in soft drinks which could result with calcium depletion in your bones.

Even a lot of fruit juices that we associate with being healthy can have harmful effects on the body. Pop and fruit juices can stimulate the pancreas due to their high sugar content. Blood glucose is converted by your body to energy through a hormone called insulin. Eating too much sugar in one sitting isn’t too big of an issue as your pancreas can handle the extra insulin. However, if you frequently eat too much sugar, your pancreas may “age” faster than the rest of your body. Ultimately, this can result in pancreatic failure or diabetes. An average can of pop contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar, not to mention a decent load of calories. These particular beverages can therefore cause some undesired effects.

Some people like to consume sports drinks especially after an intense workout. Now this can be useful however they contain syrup and among several other ingredients that aren’t beneficial to your body in the long run.

There are a fair amount of people who don’t like drinking water because of the lack of flavour. Although it’s highly recommended to drink this precious liquid on it’s own, here are a few healthy ways to improve the taste of water if you really must:

  • Add some fresh lemon, orange slices, lime or mint to your water
  • Put a handful of frozen berries into your water bottle. As the day passes on the frozen berries will help keep the water chilly and infuse the fruit flavour.
  • Make natural herbal iced teas without adding sugar to use in place of plain water.
  •  Fruits on their own can be up to 90% water content so one of these suckers can boost your fluid intake on it’s own

dry cracking skin dehydrated

Lack of water?

Thirsty? You may already be dehydrated!

When your thirst mechanism kicks in, your body is signalling that you are already dehydrated. When exercising you ideally want to be drinking water before, during and after the exercise. This ensures that you don’t reach the stage where you feel thirsty.

Pitting edema is when a section of your body (usually a limb) is so swollen that when you press your finger down on their skin, the finger print hole stays for several minutes. It is an additional symptom that occurs with dehydration in some of the elderly and needs to be checked every so often if they are on prescriptions that might reduce this.

Signs and symptoms for dehydration in adults and teenagers:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Dry lips
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lack of sweat
  • Dark urine (orange/yellow coloured and an especially strong odor)
  • Inability to urinate

Dehydration signs and symptoms in children and infants include:

  • Crying without tears
  • Over three hours without a wet diaper
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • General fatigue
  • Irritability
  • High fever
  • Sunken eyes cheeks or abdomen
  • Pitting edema

glasses of water filled

How much water is needed per day?

You have probably heard  that you should be drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day. This isn’t necessarily accurate but is at least an easy thing to remember and to have as a base amount. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids per day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of fluids per day.

Every day you lose water from breathing, perspiring, urinating and bowel movements. For your body to function properly it’s important to replenish this water supply. If you spend time in hot or dry weather, exercise or consume a significant amount of caffeinated drinks you may need more water!

Can you drink too much water?

Realistically you can take in too much of any liquid or solid than your body can physically handle.

It’s pretty rare but there’s a condition called water intoxication. Drinking too much water will dilute the electrolytes in your body which can affect your heart. There’s even been athletes getting heart attacks because they consumed too much water, but it’s extremely uncommon. Don’t worry, your body won’t get over hydrated drinking 15 cups of water a day. You’d have to be drinking a ridiculous amount of water to reach that level of extreme.

Wrap Up

On average, people aren’t getting enough liquids in their body and even less are primarily consuming pure water on it’s own. This is a critical and essential asset to your health. Keep your body running on the cleanest liquid fuel around and it will do wonders. Don’t forget most fruits primarily consist of water so you can never go wrong with indulging in them!

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Coffee Vs. Tea Infographic

I stumbled upon a great fact sheet on coffee and tea. I thought it would be appropriate to post since we covered two previous articles on both Tea and Caffiene. This poster summarizes parts of the info we have already listed plus some fun facts that we did not mention. Hope you enjoy it and learn something!

coffee tea benefits

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Why Do We Get Headaches? Get Rid Of Them!

Graziella

Headaches can seemingly come out of no where or gradually build up. What caused this pain and how can you get rid of it quickly?

Everyone has dealt with one of these suckers at one time or another. For some, it’s actually a long term problem that has to be dealt with on a regular basis. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 people have chronic headaches which makes life a little bit more difficult and even lowers work productivity since it’s hard to focus when it feels like someone is hammering inside of your head.

Contrary to what most people might think, it’s not actually your brain that hurts. You don’t have nerves or pain sensors in your brain. Instead your feeling the pain picked up elsewhere such as from nerves and muscles around the head or neck.

Primary and Secondary Headaches

There are actually two types of broad categories that doctors classify headaches into. Primary headaches which are non relevant to a preexisting or underlying health condition and secondary headaches which are affiliated with various medical conditions such as head injuries, fevers, infections, dental conditions, tumors and pressure in the skull or sinuses.

There are three main causes for primary headaches:

  • Migraine – Migraine headaches can be brought on by lower blood flow to various spots of the cerebral cortex. If you get one of these, the pulsating pain can last anywhere between 2 to 72 hours! It is believed that migraines are due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. Around 66% of cases seem to run in the family. Symptoms of migraines include nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, vomiting and an intense throbbing pain usually found on only one side of the head. They will also tend to become aggravated with physical activity.
  • Tension – Tension headaches are caused by muscle strain in the head and neck or even emotional stress. Tension headaches are usually steady aching pains on both sides of the head compared to migraines which almost always on one side. Sometimes tension headaches can develop into a throbbing pain which makes researchers think that migraines are closely connected. Poor vision or eye strain can trigger frequent tension headaches.
  • Cluster – Cluster headaches are headaches that occur repeatedly over an extended period of time such as weeks or even months. Cluster headache pain usually occurs on one side of the head like migraines but is more focused and centered around the eye. The causes of cluster headaches are unknown but may be related to changes in blood flow because substances that affect blood flow, such as alcohol, can trigger cluster headaches.

Too much blood flow can also cause primary headaches. For example, if you’ve read How Does Caffeine Work, you know that caffeine reduces blood flow in the brain. Some pain relievers contain caffeine to take advantage of this effect. If you’ve been taking caffeine every day and you suddenly stop, you very well might be getting a visit from an incredible headache because of the increased blood flow in your brain and sudden change in your routine.

Secondary headaches result from some other problem with your body

If you’re sick with the flu or have a particular health condition, it can bring on headaches which would then be classified as secondary. Once you eliminate the condition, you eliminate the secondary headaches.
Most headache pain can be treated with over the counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If you experience chronic or frequent headache pain, see your physician as it may be caused by a underlying health problem.

man headache

How to get rid of a headache

1. The most well known cure- take some pain killers. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, and aspirin are some pain relievers that will give you a quick fix to an aching head. Usually it takes about 30 minutes for the pills to kick in, but it’ll save you the pain in the long run. Just make sure you don’t give aspirin to anyone under the age of 19, especially children. Also aspirin sometimes produces a deadly syndrome called Reye syndrome, so if you are worried about it try an alternative.

2. Make sure you drink your water! A headache can come on from dehydration. Dehydration can occur from simply being out in the sun too long or even vomiting. Also beverages like coffees, alcohols, and sodas-even though they are in liquid form-can dehydrate you as well. So just making sure you sip on a glass of water several times throughout the day  to avoid the dehydration headache. If the ache has already started, chug a tall glass and in no time you will start to feel better.

3. Lay down and tune out. What you may have heard for migranes helps headaches as well. Closing the blinds and getting yourself in a dark quiet environment to rest (try at least 30 minutes) can mellow out your head ache.

4. Soak a wash cloth with cold water and place it over your forehead. This might help the pain by constricting blood vessels, especially if you ache is coming from your sinus or temple area. As soon as the cloth starts to feel warm just wet it again. You can also try putting the wet cloth in a plastic bag and freeze it for a long lasting compress.

5. Everybody loves a massage, and in this case it could possibly relieve your headache. Start by gently massaging in circular motions near your temple and work outwards. It helps by relieving tension and improving circulation to hopefully relieve the pain. Another easy way to get this done and taking a little extra time massaging your scalp while shampooing in the shower. If you have someone else that can massage for you bribe them into doing it, it always feels better and more relaxing when someone else takes over.

Having the touch of someone else can definitely relieve a lot of tension. By getting someone to massage the back of your neck, bridge of nose and acupressure point on each hand where the thumb and index finger bones meet these can all relieve headaches depending where they are originating from. Another relief for sinus headaches can be done by putting two racket balls in a sock and lay on them at the back of your skull. It might hurt a bit at first but this pain should go away and start relieving the headache.

6. Have some fun in the bedroom! Sex releases oxytocin which then boosts endorphins in your body. Endorphins are a natural pain killer that’ll help out with that aching head of yours.

7. Do you have an activity or hobby that puts you in your comfort zone? Try doing some relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or whatever you like best. It might distract you long enough for the pain to go away.

headache

 

I’ve always found the biggest cause of headaches for me was from dehydration to the brain so unless you’re getting them from an underlying medical condition, it’s a great idea to try and prevent a headache by drinking regular amounts of water!

Hope you liked this post! Please feel free to like, share, tweet and comment. If you want to discuss your favorite interests and make money while doing it then click here.

I write about anything and everything that crosses my path and end up making money from it. Check out this video to find out how. Click here to watch the video.

For The Love Of Tea! – Health Benefits And Beyond

tea types octagon

Tea- it is the most consumed beverage in the world besides water. There is nothing better than curling up on your couch with a cup of this ancient brew. Not only is it comforting and tastes great, but it has many health benefits that are worth the drink.

People are told time and again that tea is great for your body, but why? All tea originates from the plant Camellia sinensis. This plant contains substances called flavonoids and polyphenols which contain antioxidants. The antioxidants are the important part that helps your body stay healthy. The concentrations of these antioxidants are higher in the tea plant than in fruits and vegetables. The most significant polyphenol is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG could be the markers to fight off Alzheimer’s (due to decreases in beta-amyloid plaques), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease (due to rises in dopamine levels). It prevents brain cells from dying and if damaged, promotes repair. It also binds with iron and blocks pathways that cause brain deterioration. Also if you’re looking for a new inexpensive way to have glowing, fresh skin, look no more. EGCG can regenerate skin cell growth for newer skin more quickly.

We all know the four major categories of teas- green, white, black, and oolong. Have you ever wondered what makes the flavours their own if they all come from the same plant? Each tea group goes through a different process to make it its own. Green tea leaves are steamed which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. Black and oolong tea are fermented which makes the EGCG turn into other compounds. White tea is said to be the purest in antioxidants due to its process of being steamed to inactivate polyphenol oxidation, and then dried from new growth buds and young leaves.

pouring tea

Due to the fermentation processes, the health benefits of tea are higher in white and green teas. This is because of the less EGCG that is taken away from the oxidation process. So if you are looking to get your maximal health benefits from tea go with the green or white before a black or oolong.

Research shows that antiviral and germ killers are higher in white teas than in green teas. Although green tea helps the metabolic system by getting rid of sugars quicker and not storing them as fat. Green tea kills cancer cells and inhibits growth of cancer cells. It does this without even damaging healthy tissue. Not only does this amazing brew fight off bad cells but it also helps you with weight loss!

Tea helps in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood vessels, fighting against cardiovascular disease. It is possible the reasoning why cardiovascular disease is reduced by tea is because flavonoids decrease inflammation and cholesterol which reduces the chances of blood clot formation. There is 11 times more flavonoid intake by tea drinkers than non tea drinkers. If you drink five or more cups of tea a day you are 31% more likely not to die from cardiovascular disease.

There are some things to keep in mind the next time you brew a cup. Decaf teas have less flavonoids so try to go for the natural blends. Iced teas have more sugars so either go with the naturally hot brew or try making your own so you can limit added sugars. The more processed the tea the less polyphenols present so try to go with a more organic and natural tea. Instead of added sweeteners try throwing in a slice of lemon, or a squeeze of some citrus juice, it boosts the absorption in the GI tract. Pepper does this as well if you want to add a little spice like a chai blend.

Overall you cannot go wrong with drinking tea. Even fitting a cup a day into your life will reward you with some amazing health benefits. From renewing your skin, to fighting off cancer and degenerative diseases, tea’s natural antioxidants are helpful and tasteful. So what are you waiting for? Go and make yourself a cup!

tea glass

Hope you liked this post! Please feel free to like, share, tweet and comment. If you want to discuss your favorite interests and make money while doing it then click here.

I write about anything and everything that crosses my path and end up making money from it. Check out this video to find out how. Click here to watch the video.

References

Schoenhals, K. (2005). Healthy indulgence: take time each day to sip this treasure from the orient — white tea. Better Nutrition, 67(7), 22-24.

Sinija, V., & Mishra, H. (2008). Green tea: health benefits. Journal Of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 17(4), 232-242.

Welland, D. (2007). The latest international research brews up more big benefits for tea. Environmental Nutrition,30(12), 1.

How I Replaced My Income Over The Internet

empower network

This past weekend I had the most eye opening experience at the Empower Network event in Chicago. The bottom line: Anyone can make $10K+ per month and the only person holding you back from it, is yourself.

When I first got started in this industry and more specifically with Empower, I was blessed to join a team of like minded individuals all striving for the same goal. Everyone supports each other, pools resources, tips and knowledge. The leadership is incredible and interactive. It’s one thing to be in a “team” with a major earner but never get to talk to them vs. being able to freely message them and actually get a real response. I began network marketing because I always knew there’s millions of dollars to be made over the internet, but the trick was finding the right vehicle that was genuine and legitimate.  I’ve found it. Not only the company/system, but the people AND the process.

For the people that think this is a “scam” or something illegal, STOP READING NOW! I don’t have time to waste with those that are going to sabotage their own success. Granted I know it’s hard to distinguish what is real or fake on the web, I can tell you from experience that this is 100% the real thing and is solely the reason why I make the money I do and can live the life I do. If, and only if you are truly serious about making money online and will do whatever it takes to succeed then email me, skype me, call me or just sign up and get started.

I’m a normal person, I didn’t come from a rich family and I certainly didn’t even have a couple thousand dollars saved up. What I did have though, was determination, dedication and desire (or the Three D’s as I’ll call it) to succeed in life and on my own terms. I didn’t want to have a boss that told me what to do while I slaved away for most of my life trying to potentially rise up the corporate ladder. I didn’t want to make someone else rich while I just fought to keep my J.O.B. (Just Over Broke). This is the single most important business opportunity I have and very well may ever come across in my entire life. I don’t know about you but I’m not one to let a possibility  this significant slip past, and I didn’t.

dave standing blue

Since starting four months ago, I’m now making more money than I did at my 9-5. I’ve met countless amazing, inspirational and more importantly successful people than I could have imagined. I’ve had the simple pleasure of shaking the owners of the company’s hand and saying, “thank you”. I’ve created freedom, opportunities and happiness all because of the small decision I made one day. The decision that I’m going to give this “internet thing” a shot. I’m going to give it my all, not just dabble here and there. Worst case scenario I learned how to market/promote any product or business better than I could have at any school. Best case scenario I started living my dreams instead of thinking of them as fantasies or unachievable feats. Guess what? I’m doing the latter, and in truth neither of those poles are “bad”. You win either way, it’s just up to you to decide how much you win.

I now have a recipe to replicate my results given you follow exactly in my footsteps. You don’t have to make the mistakes and waste years trying to find out what “works” like myself along with thousands of others did. The most important thing is, you don’t have to do it alone.

There are some massive things coming into play. The world, let alone this industry, is going to be turned upside down when they see what we’re doing. It’s not just me. It’s my team. What’s the point of being at the top when you are by yourself? Run with me. Don’t fumble behind. RUN with me. If a 12 year old kid that was at the event can make $12000 while going to school, doing homework and being a kid, then why can’t you? You can but the question really is: will you? I hope you do because my team and I are going to be succeeding more and more regardless. My goal is to help others transform their life just the same way that mine has, not “change” it. As Tony Rush basically said, “If you have some food and pour some spices on it you’ve changed it, but when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it’s been transformed”.

My team has put some ground breaking resources in place that are literally a first for this industry. We are the ONLY people that have a call floor dedicated to getting leads, converting them to sales and then delivering them to us, all WITHOUT talking to anyone or posting a single link yourself. The return on investment is extremely lucrative and the process is as simple as clicking a button. If that isn’t enough (and it really should be!) we’re actually going ahead and creating a TV show based on our team and our success. I don’t just mean a random YouTube video that we post on our own Facebook walls. I’m talking about a commercial quality show that’s currently in a bidding war between 5 different major networks. These are just two of the massive things we are exclusively doing and this is barely scratching the surface! Don’t be one of the millions of viewers that’s going to say, “I could have been one of those people…” once they see the TV show.

empower network logo

I’m going to put two links below here because I KNOW I’ll get hundreds of emails asking for more information anyway. The first will be an introduction into the world of Empower Network and the system that is proven to work, and the second will be a complete break down of network marketing and this opportunity. Watch these, sign up and get started right away.

Empower Introduction: Click Here

Project A.W.O.L. Break Down: Click Here

empower network chicago

The next event is in Denver, Colorado July 19-21, 2013 and I hope to see you all there. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this! I’m not going to try and convince or prove to you all the reasons why you need to get involved, I simply don’t have time for that. I’d rather spend my time working with the people that have already made a commitment to themselves and are doing whatever they can to make it happen. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given and I’m even more grateful for being able to work alongside of all of you. Let’s make waves and show everyone how life should really be. I don’t mean be a rich snob and flaunt it, I mean make a difference and live prosperous. Live in wealth. Wealth doesn’t necessarily have to be only monetary. It can be knowledge, abundance and intangible, but the money part is definitely a plus!

If you want to talk to me directly before you dive in give me a shout here and we can chat through email, skype or phone. Looking forward to your journey reaching utopia, and I’ll be right there to brush off the path.

-Dave W. Hunter

Hope you liked this post! Please feel free to like, share, tweet and comment. If you want to discuss your favorite interests and make money while doing it then click here.

I write about anything and everything that crosses my path and end up making money from it. Check out this video to find out how. Click here to watch the video.

Sleep Deprivation – Why Do We Get It And How Do We Get Rid Of It?

Sleep deprivation- It’s a big problem our western culture has. In our younger years, we’d have to fight to stay up all night and now we are fighting to keep our eyes closed to doze off. Forty seven percent of American’s are getting less than a 7-8 hour sleep. A quick answer to our sleep deprivation diagnosis is usually insomnia. Really we need to start thinking of smaller issues like that large cappuccino we downed before supper or maybe how hot it is in the house. Sleep is very important for our bodies to process the information we have obtained throughout the day. This is a time where our memories are being developed from things we have learned and also endocrine and immune system activity is in action.

There are many diseases or conditions that also have a toll on our sleep. Cancer, diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, and back pain are just some.

Caffeine can be a big reason on why we lose our sleep. It actually sends signals to our brains that block the sleep inducing hormones to our biological clocks. The best way to prevent this substance from affecting our zzz’s is to limit our intake- which should be about 16 ounces a day. Also ALWAYS drink in the morning or at least try to quit around lunch time. At least this will help to limit the amount of caffeine you still have in your system when it’s time to “hit the hay.”

Light, as no surprise, is another sleep killer. Melatonin is a hormone produced in our body that sets our biological clock and produces the initiation of sleep. Light stops the production of melatonin being produced, therefore blocking our sleep. So next time before you go to bed, try shutting off the T.V., laptop, and phone and wind down in a little darkness before you get into the covers.

Temperature is another factor to our sleep. Colder temperatures also stimulate a better production of melatonin to induce our sleep. Try taking a hot bath so when you come out, you have a cold rush that will help out this hormone. Or you could simply just turn down the temperature to that cool, medium!

group yawning

You know those times when you wake up in the middle of the night and start worrying you will never get back to sleep? The worries or stress may get the worst of you! By simply calming yourself, getting up to go to the washroom, or doing a small task like praying could calm your brain down and make you ready to go right back to sleep. Also try not to spend time in bed unless you are going to sleep, like the times when you’re sitting for a few hours in bed reading a book or watching T.V. The fact that you’re in bed and resting already may have something to do with your tough time getting to sleep. OH yeah, and as for the worries and depression, try to think positively and try some meditation techniques. This may help your ability to fall asleep.

Alcohol is known to help you pass right out, although it does have symptoms of disrupted sleep by waking up and having a hard time getting back to sleep. For the ladies, research has shown it’s worst for us! Try not to excessively drink, or drink earlier in the evening to avoid these effects.

Four random foods that surprisingly help well with activating your fatigue:

  • A bowl of cornflakes
  • Cherry juice, preferably tart
  • Trail mix with pumpkin seeds
  • White carbs; they can be good for something

Most of these foods have tryptophan or minerals that are melanin inducing. So give ‘em a try!

With the right amount of caffeine, light, temperature, alcohol, foods, and managing anxiety levels, you may have a good cure to your lack of sleep. Also check into any diseases or conditions you have been diagnosed for and see with your doctor what may help for your case.

Foley, D. (2013). Still awake at 3 a.m.?. Good Housekeeping, 256(1), 89.

Hope you liked this post! Please feel free to like, share, tweet and comment. If you want to discuss your favorite interests and make money while doing it then click here.

I write about anything and everything that crosses my path and end up making money from it. Check out this video to find out how. Click here to watch the video.

How Does Caffeine Work And Is It Good Or Bad?

caffeine coffee beans

A vast majority of people make or buy a nice cup of coffee as part of their ever lasting routine to “wake up” or get that boost of energy, but what’s the real deal with this drug?

It’s extremely common for someone to be tired and think that they need a beverage with caffeine because it will pick them up. This magical thing gives us a boost and makes our minds alert right? Actually it doesn’t! Caffeine in fact BLOCKS the receptors that make you feel tired. So all of a sudden you feel like you have all this energy when a moment ago you were tired, in reality you’ve just stopped feeling tired. Your brain has actually been tricked. There are some other side effects that the body endures but energy wise you’re not getting a real “boost” to your system.

Some effects that caffeine causes

  • Heart beats faster
  • Muscles tighten up
  • Pupils dialate
  • Breathing tubes open up
  • Blood flow to the stomach and some blood vessel slow down

How Does Caffeine Work?

Our brains produce a neuro-chemical called Adenosine which builds up throughout the day and finally gets to the point that you have to go to sleep to have it released. The trick that caffeine plays is that it resembles adenosine’s shape and size and enter the receptors without activating them. So instead of feeling sleepy those particular receptors are then effectively blocked. Once those receptors are blocked, your brain’s natural stimulants such as dopamine and glutamate can function more freely.

Stephen R. Braun, author of a 224 page paper in 1997 explained caffeine in an excellent metaphor. Think of it like a vehicle. Instead of hammering the gas, caffeine simply blocks the brake. This drug has many uses but it doesn’t boost your actual skill level but it can bump up your speed in certain abilities. For mundane tedious tasks you do everyday in the office, caffeine can actually improve your output and quality of work. On the other hand something more creative or complex doesn’t appear to have any benefit.

Offduty: Caffine Drinks

What products or drinks have the most caffeine?

  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Tea
  • Soda

How Does Caffeine Affect The Body?

Like many other consumables, you build up a tolerance. The first time you have coffee, tea or pop you might be feeling quite the “jolt”. After having these items for a while, the same amount doesn’t seem to give you as much of a boost. This isn’t that surprising really because that’s simply the way the body works. You build up a tolerance to anything that you continue to consume regularly.

Caffeine takes around 5 – 6 hours after ingestion before the dose wears off from the human body. Women who take oral birth control actually take around twice as long to process caffeine. Smokers take around HALF the time to process. This is actually a funny fact because all stereotypes aside, I tend to notice that smokers drink a lot of coffee and more often!

Something a little interesting is that you can feel withdrawal from caffeine fairly quickly. This can be anywhere between 12 – 24 hours after your last use. This is a huge indicator of why the first drink of coffee in the morning seems like such a big deal. It’s staving off that withdrawal in addition to the normal effects! Withdrawal is the same as with any substance. Your brain has become accustomed to functioning with this consumable and now all of a sudden things have changed.

Headaches are the most common side effect of killing off your caffeine intake. In fact you may have noticed that a lot of patients who come out of anesthesia after a major surgery feel a headache. This is usually because they’re not used to being without caffeine for so long. Depression, irritability, nausea, fatigue, lethargy, eye spasms and even vomiting can be a part of the caffeine cut off. This is something you’ll just have to deal with for around 10 days or so if you’re trying to quit cold turkey.

sad woman

What are the top health concerns from caffeine intake?

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Stress
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Blood sugar and Insulin problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Accelerated aging

When it comes down to it, caffeine seems a little more dangerous and undesirable once you know the facts. Sure all the drinks with it taste great and yes it does help with some fatigue but there is a cost. The cost isn’t all short term too. A lot of it is long term and can negatively impact you in a critical way. That being said, caffeine has it’s uses but should be taken in moderation and wisely. I’d recommend trying to limit your intake so that you can live a longer and healthier life, but I know it’s pretty hard to pass up a nice fresh cup of coffee!

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Why Do We Hiccup And How Can You Stop Them?

holding breath

These bad boys can be extremely annoying and come on at some very inconvenient times, but what exactly triggers them?

Hiccups are an involuntary activity of the diaphragm. The muscles used when you breath are the intercostal muscles located in the spaces between the ribs. Two things occur in rapid succession: first there is a quick and involuntary inhalation of air and second as the muscle contracts, the glottis (space between your vocal cords at the top of the larynx) quickly slams shuts which is what makes the “hic” sound.

Science doesn’t even know what the purpose is and there is no obvious function. This isn’t to say there is no definite function, but more so to say it hasn’t been discovered yet if there is one. Perhaps it is a remnant of some evolutionary function that is no longer needed in humans but still lingers. Maybe it is something that we need for development in our bodies when we’re young (fetuses hiccup in the womb after the 8th week from conception) but isn’t necessary later in life as we get older. Children tend to hiccup more often and in fact the chances to trigger this phenomenon declines with age.

One thing is that it is actually possible to hiccup for longer than most of us think. Imagine hiccuping for an entire day non stop? What about a week or even a month?! I remember a while ago when watching TV, there was a show talking about a man who’s be hiccuping for 68 YEARS straight. This poor man apparently hiccuped around 40 times a minute. Now that is tough.

So what on earth actually causes this series of actions to occur? There are a number of theories on why we hiccup with a few of the leading ideas listed below.

Drinking or eating too fast

This is probably the most common trigger. You are so pumped to gulp down that tasty beverage or food you’ve been thinking about all day that you can’t help but chug the sustenance as if there would be nothing left on earth in 10 seconds. You can also swallow air in addition to the intended “payload” to be delivered into the put of your belly. The stomach becomes distended and irritated. The diaphragm ends up contracting like it does when breathing.

Drinking or eating too much

This is especially true with fatty foods or of course drinking alcohol because you feel the need to consume ridiculous amounts proving to everyone how “awesome” you are. Same as above this is an action that can irritate the diaphragm.

Disturbance to the nerve pathways from the brain

Sometimes hiccups can be brought on by temperature changes or emotional situations. On the other hand this is also the reason why an abrupt shock can sometimes “cure” the attack.

A sign of disease or illness

Normally hiccups are just minor annoyances but persistent hiccups can be a sign of disease. Sources suggest that they can be brought on by many ailments including: brain trauma,  spinal cord integrity, infections, lesions, central nervous system conditions, metabolic disorders, peptic ulcers and even anesthesia.

cover mouth guy

So how can I get rid of these buggers once I start hiccuping?

  • Hold your breath (This is the one I use and it almost always works)
  • Breathing into a paper bag
  • Drink a glass of water quickly
  • Get scared or surprised abruptly

Some odd potential cures I’ve heard but have no idea on the validity of them:

  • Swallow a teaspoon of sugar
  • Sip on some lemon juice
  • Put your fingers in your ears to block the canals
  • Use smelling salts
  • Pull hard on your tongue

Conclusion

Even though you might be excited for that special drink or that meal you’ve been craving, take some time and eat slow! Also don’t overload yourself just because it tastes awesome. Try and do your best to drink in moderation.

Chances are those pesky hiccups are in fact going to show up from time to time and you can’t really avoid it until it’s too late but when they do my top 3 suggestions would be to hold your breath, drink a glass of water fast or if you happen to have one laying around you: breathe into a paper bag. If you’re like me you might not think much of the evil hiccups, but when they kick in it’s usually at the most inopportune time and you’re frantically trying to get rid of them!

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Want To Save Money At The Gas Pump?

gas pump

Did you know there are better times to buy gas than others and ways to actually stretch that dollar a little further?

Yesterday I came across some information from a woman who has worked in the petroleum industry for around 31 years. She was gracious enough as to give some helpful tips on how to get the most out of buying gas.

Her workplace works with special equipment and specific measurements using adaptive and precise tools but out in the wild (your everyday normal gas pump) these exact measurements are quite often a little different than what the pump tells you.

Now if you want to get every last drop that you’re already paying for, then here’s a some tips on buying gas the smart way:

Only buy or fill up your tank in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold

All service stations have their storage tanks buried underneath the ground so the colder the ground is, the more dense the gasoline is. When the temperature rises, gasoline expands so if you purchase your fuel in the afternoon or evening your gallon or litre isn’t exactly what it should be.

In the petroleum industry, the temperature and specific gravity plays a significant role regarding gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products. A simple 1 degree rise in temperature is actually a huge deal in this business because these seemingly small fractions end up adding up to big bucks.

The problem is that the standard service stations we go to do not have temperature compensation at the pumps so that’s why it’s best to gas up early in the a.m.

Do not squeeze the nozzle’s trigger all the way when pumping

You want to avoid holding down the trigger all the way even if it is the fastest way to get back on the road. If you inspect how the handle works, you’ll notice that there are essentially 3 modes: low, medium and high. You should always be pumping on low if you want to be efficient. The reason for this is to minimize the vapors that are created while pumping.

Every hose at the pump has a vapor return. When you pump at the fastest rate some of the liquid that goes into your tank ends up becoming vapor. These vapors are then being sucked up and returned back into the underground storage tank, thus you’re not getting as much value as possible.

Fill up when your tank is HALF FULL

Have you ever noticed that if you’re almost on empty and you put in say $20 worth of gas, that it seems to deplete way faster than it does when you have a full tank? I’m talking about the rate at which it drops, not the obvious full vs. quarter filled tank. The reason is because the more gas you have in your tank, the less air there is occupying the empty space.

Gasoline evaporates much faster than most people think. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof that serves as a zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere thus minimizing the evaporation.

gas truck

Do not fill up when a gasoline truck is refilling the storage tanks

Chances are that while this truck is pumping, the gasoline is being stirred up. The problem is that if you pump your gas while the service truck is pumping, you can end up getting some of the dirt that is normally settled on the bottom which then goes straight into your vehicles tank.

Conclusion

If you want the most bang for your buck: pump on the slowest trigger setting  in the early morning when your tank is half full and make sure the service truck isn’t there filling up the storage tank!

Our pumps don’t have compensation devices and technology like the trucks and service stations that the gas originally came from. So depending on if you followed the above advice, the measurements can and will be different than the specific gallon or litre that the pump says you’ve popped into your tank. Happy pumping!

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Don’t Use Q-Tips To Clean Your Ears, How Else?!

qtips pigtails

I’m sure we’ve all been told not to use Q-Tips or at least not to put them far into our ears but how else are we supposed to clean them?!

Ears are naturally developed to be protective and self-cleaning. The wax (cerumen) coats the ear canal and serves to repel water and help protect it against infection or injury. It also aids in keeping the skin inside the ears from drying out or getting itchy in addition to trapping dust, germs and other unwanted things from reaching into the depths of our ears.

In truth we should probably just leave our ears alone and let nature take it’s course. Maybe this would be okay for me if I wasn’t introduced to q-tips and what seemed like their ONLY function was. I mean when someone asks you what you’re supposed to do with a q-tip what do you think of? Maybe it’s cleaning your computer keyboard or using them as makeup brushes because that’s exactly what’s on the back of some of the boxes. Or maybe you’re like me and thought it’s sole purpose is for ear digging!

Now I’ve been scolded and told all the same by my mother while growing up and my girlfriend too, but let’s be honest: How can something that works and feels so good be so wrong?! Well it’s about the potential damage to your eardrum in addition to accidentally pushing wax further into your ear. If wax went too far down you’d have to get it removed by a professional and it might not be the most comfortable thing to do.

Regardless of it feeling good using cotton swabs, it is in fact dangerous and even Q-Tips themselves say not to use them in your ear canal. It’s all about being careful because the last thing you want to do is damage the lining or eardrum by accident. Even washing the outside of your ears is supposed to be avoided. If you must clean them, either use a soft washcloth with a tiny bit of soap or simply a wet q-tip. Make sure to dry the ears well as not to get them infected and attract the well known “swimmers ear” especially if you are in the water a lot.

qtips box

Personally I can’t help but carefully use the standard q-tips for my ears, but for those more adventurous and wanting a “safer” way to clean your ears, read on. I did some research on some alternatives and although it seems a bit silly, it would in fact do the trick.

Create A Wax Softening Solution

You can buy a carbamide peroxide cleaning solution from the local pharmacy or you can always make your own.

Combine warm water with one of the following:

  • A teaspoon or two of 3-4% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • A teaspoon or two of mineral oil
  • A teaspoon or two of glycerin

Lie on your side if possible so the ear is completely vertical and put in the solution with an applicator if possible or a small bowl. (Peroxide may cause popping or bubbling sounds so don’t be alarmed, this is normal)

Wait 5-10 minutes or if using peroxide, until the bubbling stops.

Take out the solution and use a rubber bulb syringe with lukewarm water to flush out the wax.

Pull on the ear lobe up and down to open the canal to release the last bit of wax.

You can repeat this process for a few days if necessary but shouldn’t do it more often than this.

ear doctor

See A Specialist

If you’re serious about cleaning your ears safely and are not interested whatsoever in using the home remedy route, then you should consult your doctor or get a professional to take care of it for you. In addition if you suffer from repeat problems, hearing loss or blockage you should seek help from a doctor.

When it’s all said and done, the point is to be careful and avoid causing any harm to your ear canal. The last thing you want to do is permanently damage your ears or have a hard time listening to words, sounds and music!

Do you use Q-Tips in your ears?

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