Thursday, August 19, 2010


So I have this one friend -- we'll call her "Jesse" -- who had an unfortunate mishap the other weekend.

She was over at my place and got a headache so asked for some Advil. Innocent enough, right?

So I give her the bottle of ibuprofen. Tell her "Don't worry, it's the same as Advil, just the generic brand" and get back to playing a game with everyone.

As the night goes on, Jesse still has the headache so I give her the bottle and tell her to have at it.

She ended up staying the night and in the morning was complaining of reasons she couldn't sleep all night: restlessness, snoring, it was too hot, the futon wasn't comfortable, and that dang headache wouldn't go away! She took two more Advil and tried to go back to bed for a bit, crawling into my bed to see if she could get more comfortable.

By this time -- I'm getting a headache (from all her whining?) so I decide I need some Advil as well. I grab the bottle from her pop it open and pour out the drugs.

But wait, what are these? They're not the small orange circle pills I'd expect. No, they're HUGE, white, powder filled capsules that say Betastyx on the side in blue lettering. "What are these?"

Jesse shoots out of bed. "What do you mean 'What are these'" -- I glance at her face, eyes wide, lips pursed, shrug and say "These aren't ibuprofen... I think these are Deebs caffeine pills." Apparently my roommate had stored some of her diet pills in an ibuprofen bottle.

Chaos ensues. My roommate and I are cracking up at the mishap -- no wonder she couldn't sleep! And Jesse is balling because she thinks she's going to die from a drug interaction (we had been drinking a little the night before). Needless to say, we all survived (although I'd say my roommate and I were in more danger once Jesse discovered us laughing at the situation)

Anyways -- all this is to say this blog post is dedicated to you: Jesse

Crazy for Coffee: The Benefits of Caffeine

SKIN: Sure coffee is your usual morning pick-me-up, but did you know it can also perk up your skin? Coffee and caffeine are now being added to many popular beauty products because of their tightening and antioxidant effects on the skin. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, helping to reduce redness and under-the-eye puffiness. It also reduces the appearance of those pesky dimpled spots: cellulite. By dehydrating fat cells, caffeine can temporarily make the skin seem smoother. And now, recent studies suggest it may even prevent and repair sun damage!

WORKOUT: Caffeine speeds up metabolism. Taking caffeine before a workout can get to the root of your problem spots by targeting your stored fat. It breaks down the fat, turning it into fatty acids, which are then quickly turned into energy. Conversion of fat to energy is about 30% more efficient if caffeine is ingested prior to exercise. But you’ve got to feel that burn so have a cup and hop on that treadmill!

Caffeine works as an enhancer of performance and endurance during a workout. After studying the effects of caffeine on dozens of all different athletes, Researchers at Canada’s University at Guelph claim: “clear as a bell: caffeine works.” The study showed that those who ingested caffeine half and hour to an hour before their workouts resulted in longer endurance, faster times, less exertion, less fatigue, and more rapid recovery. One drawback: the caffeine tablet form works better than that extra cup of coffee since the caffeine in coffee is diluted.

HEALTH: First to debunk the many coffee myths. Caffeine DOES NOT contribute to any form of cancer, infertility or complications in pregnancy, high blood pressure or heart disease, or bone loss. In fact, Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies claims “Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful, than it is harmful.” What’s he talking about? Well, at least six studies conducted at his Institute and elsewhere suggest people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s; those who have just two cups a day reduce their risk of colon cancer up to %25, reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis by %80, and reduce the risk of gallstones by %50! And it doesn’t stop there. Evidence also suggests coffee may help to manage asthma (even control attacks when medication is unavailable) stop a headache, and even prevent cavities.

MOOD: It’s probably no surprise to all of us don’t-talk-to-me-until-I’ve-had-my-morning-coffee folks, but caffeine is a big mood booster. Research shows that taking just 100mg of coffee increases feelings of well-being, self-confidence, energy and motivation. Plus, it improves your brain function. Because fat is the first source of energy to be consumed, your body lays off your glucose and other blood sugars for a while. Your brain functions solely on glucose and other blood sugars to facilitate thinking. Less for the body, more for the brain!

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