Six curiosity-inducing health tips

by Eléjha-zé Gengan

Are these bizarre health tips enough to leave you scratching your head?

We often find ourselves engaging with information that can be considered straight forward and we deviate away from the information that appears rather counterintuitive. This is particularly true in terms of our health. A study revealed that we are more likely to rely on information that makes sense to us logically.

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Health guidelines such as, to stay hydrated - we need to drink more water, to feel energised - we need to get more sleep and to lose weight - we need to eat less and exercise more. These aren’t necessarily misleading, however, being somewhat experimental or being a bit curious may just introduce you to something new.

Below are 6 scientifically proven health tips which seem a bit far-fetched at first but makes sense once you read over them again.

1. Take a coffee nap.

Caffeine is used to keep us awake and improve our overall performance in a working day. It is believed to work better when consumed before taking a few minutes to recharge and not afterward.

A study conducted in Japan examined how one can make the most of an afternoon nap. It revealed that individuals who consumed 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in two cups of coffee) before taking a 20-minute nap, felt more alert and showcased better performance on a computer test than individuals who took a nap without consuming any coffee.

This leaves one asking, why does it work?

It takes 20 minutes for caffeine to kick in and clear the brain of a molecule called adenosine, a byproduct of wakefulness and activity. This results in maximised alertness. We become more fatigued with an increased adenosine level. Taking a short nap decreases the adenosine level, and when combined with caffeine, a proven adenosine blocker - it further reduces its effects resulting in one being more alert and more productive.

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2. Get hot to cool down.

Which will cool you off faster on a summer day: an iced drink or a hot one? Instinctively, we grab a cold drink when warm. However, a study conducted by The University Of Sydney found that consuming a hot drink might just be the key to cooling off.

When one consumes a hot beverage, your body senses a change in temperature resulting in an increase in your perspiration production. An increase in the activity from your sweat glands results in evaporation, leaving you to cool off naturally.

Although strange, this concept is normalised in places such as India and Vietnam.

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3. Pack chocolate for the gym.

It's no longer a secret that dark chocolate offers a variety of health-enhancing benefits: It's an antioxidant powerhouse that reduces blood pressure, improving cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. Research shows it may also boost athletic performance.

A study conducted by Loughborough University revealed that chocolate or chocolate milk taken after a tough workout can actively aid recovery and encourage muscle growth.

Milk is a source of protein, alongside water and electrolytes, chocolate provides one with carbohydrates. The relatively high sugar content helps with restoring lost energy. It’s also cost-effective since it acts as an alternative for protein shakes.

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4. Replace paracetamol with apples.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, alongside many health benefits it turns out they can also reduce headaches.

A recent study by The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation discovered that the scent of a green apple helps reduce the severity of migraines. According to the researchers involved in the experiment, it may have to do with the ability certain fragrances have when it comes to relaxing and reducing tension from individuals and distracting them from any pain they may have.

It’s also revealed that apples are particularly beneficial to weight loss and lowering the risk of diabetes. Apples have prebiotic effects that promote good gut health. An apple is also scientifically proven to help when in situations where one feels trapped or confined.

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5. Drink more when bloated.

When in a state of being bloated, the idea of drinking more water sounds as if it could only make things work- but it may just help.

The water mixes with soluble fiber, resulting in a gel-like substance that affects the motility of the gut and reduces bloating. It’s also an indication of your hydration levels, when dehydrated your body clings to the water your body has which causes you to bloat.

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6. Workout when you're worn-out.

When exhausted, going out for a run or doing a work out is one of the last things you feel like doing. Recent studies have shown that sweating it out is a way in which you can boost your energy levels.

According to another study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” - fatigue, mood and depression can be improved after a single 30-minute moderate-intense session. The reason being that exercise helps oxygen move around the body more efficiently meaning you don't tire as easily.

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These seemingly strange health practices and tips could contribute to your health and wellbeing in unexpected ways. Perhaps try testing them out for yourself, the new found curiosity may just lead to you uncovering a few more for yourself.

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