Tag Archives: drink

Are you drinking enough water?



    Many people have heard of the generally accepted rule for daily hydration of being eight glasses of water a day. This also equates to 2 liters, which seems like a daunting amount of water to consume that many people are not able to drink daily. Are we really just chronically dehydrated or is this a fact we should question?

                Research has been done by nutritionists that do not correlate with the eight glasses a day rule. The reasoning behind the myth is that we lose about 2 liters of fluid a day, just from doing normal tasks like breathing, sitting, and walking. The downfall to the myth is that it does not take into account the amount of water we take in from food, rather than just drinking straight water. Dr. Monica Reinagle, a nutritionist, argues that the food we ingest from water equates to about a liter and a half, especially if fruits and vegetables are part of the diet.

                So if we don’t need to drink as much water as previously recommended, how much water is too much? There have been frightening stories of infants and athletes suffering from water intoxication. When the body has too much water, it suffers in the same way the body would drown in fresh water. The sodium levels drop and water seeps into the cells, causing an imbalance of salt outside of the cell. The cells then swell from excess water. In extreme cases, the cerebral edema and fluid in the lungs manifest. These factors can cause death if the sufferer is not medically treated. However, since the kidneys can process 15 liters of water daily, it is not likely for this to occur. Also, is not recommended for a person to drink more than 8 ounces in an hour, so the body has adequate time to process the liquid.

                So as a summary, drink water when you’re thirsty and don’t drink more than 8 ounces an hour. Also, don’t drink an excessive amount of water in a short amount of time. Do any of you feel you drink an adequate amount of water? Would you be willing to change your drinking habits based on this nutritionists’ recommendation? Do you believe the research  is accurate?

Are Water Bottles Worth It?

Early high school was when my addiction to Starbucks’ frappuccinos began.  During high school, I did satisfy my craving for Starbucks at least once a week.  Upon arriving at Penn State this semester, I have continued to purchase from Starbucks and other local coffee shops but I am also drinking more sugary drinks than I was while in high school.  The entries about sugary drinks have been a sort of wake-up call for me, and I have since been focusing on replacing sugary drinks with water as often as I can.

My recent concentration on avoiding sugary drinks has got me thinking about the different “qualities” of water.  Growing up, my mom would never spend money on water bottles.  She didn’t believe that the water in the bottle was any different than the water that she paid to have available at our sinks.  
An article from Fox News, titled Bottled Waters Vs. Tap: Pick One to Stay Hydrated, featured an explanation from Lou Savant, president of Kiwaii True Spring Water, “‘Bottled water is tested to the same standards as tap water.  Reporting regulations are different, but that does not mean that bottled water is less regulated when it comes to standards.'”  The article made a point to explain that if a water bottle company is claiming that their water is “natural,” they must provide proof that it does not simply come from the surface.

Alright, so maybe the water in water bottles IS different than the water that comes from our sink.  But how noticeable is this difference?  From what I have found, bottled water tastes better because we expect it to taste better; it’s all based on psychology.  In most blind taste tests, individuals are unable to tell whether the water comes from the tap or from a bottle.  The article Why Does Bottled Water Taste Better? from PsychCentral.com shared a test from Penn & Teller: Bullshit that revealed that “75 percent of New Yorkers preferred city tap water to bottled waters.”  The show hosts also conducted their own test in an upscale restaurant in Southern California to determine just how easily people could be convinced that it was necessary to pay high prices for what was actually just tap water:


So far, I have determined that bottled water is different from tap water, but is not different enough to be detected by our taste buds.  The final piece, then, is determining whether or not one is healthier than the other.  An article from ABC News, Study: Bottled Water No Safer Than Tap Water, claims that the lack of regulations on bottled water is to blame for it’s lack of nutrients.  This, however, entirely contradicts the argument made in the first article that I referenced, which defended bottled water companies based on the fact that there are so many regulations in place for bottled water production.  Overall, there are more articles supporting the argument that bottled water is not any safer than tap water.  Nonetheless, there is still a lack of solid evidence for this claim.
The value of bottled water will continue to be a source of controversy as long as people are making money from producing it.  After doing this research, I have become convinced that bottled water isn’t worth the cost.  I will continue to drink water instead of soda for my health’s sake, and for my wallet’s sake, I will drink tap water instead of bottled.  

Diet Soda?

As humans one thing that we almost always need is something to drink.  During every meal that we eat, we have a variety of choices for which beverage we would like to consume.  We all have a variety of preferences and tastes that we like and of course it varies from person to person.

Some of us drink water because we know we need it, and it is a lot better for our bodies than other beverages.  Others drink soda because they love the taste, no matter how bad the health consequences may be.  Then there are people who love to drink diet soda. 
According to a study done by UCSF a 12 ounce glass of soda every day for a year can equal more than 15 pounds in weight gain.  Statistics like this have made more consumers want to drink diet soft drinks. According to the article, research done by the American Journal of Clinical Studies, diet soda consumption has grown over 25%. 
But why?
 The reason for this is many believe diet soda has little or no health consequences compared to the regular version.  Many consider diet soda to be healthier than its regular counter-product due to the fact it usually contains little to no sugar.  
However is drinking diet sodas really that much healthier for you than the regular versions?  For all we know drinking diet soda may cause extraneous health problems that we do not even realize.  
In an article recently published on MSNBC.com , the news site detailed seven ‘awful’ things that diet soda is doing to your body. 
The one thing that many do not realize is that when all of the sugar and other main components are taken out in order to make diet soda, other additives have to be created and mixed into the drink to provide taste.  These additives cause problems that range from rotting teeth to kidney problems, and even reproductive issues.
As consumers many of us do not even realize what is being put into these drinks to make up for sugar and other ingredients which cause the sweet taste soda provides.  In another study done by the University of Miami, those who drank diet soda on the regular had a 48% greater chance of heart disease and or a stroke.
So what is so different about diet soda that would make it that much more harmful than a regular  soft drink?  Wouldn’t taking all of the sugar out of something be a positive?
One of the biggest downsides of diet sodas is they contain mold inhibitors which most regular sodas do not.  Also know as ‘sodium benzoate’ and ‘potassium benzoate’ these inhibitors were described in the MSNBC article as “Chemicals [that] have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it”  
Cell damage is just another problem that is caused by diet soda, and one many consumers do not even realize could be a potential issue.
So what is the better choice diet or the regular version?
I myself have always been a water drinker.  I do not prefer soda because of the health affects and the fact it is too sweet.  However if i had to pick i think i would choose the regular soda.  Although it has high amounts of sugar and fructose corn syrup, i at least am familiar with both of those.  On the flip side with diet soda i am not exactly too sure what i am putting into my body specially when it comes to the inhibitors.  
What is everyones opinion here on soft drinks?  Would you as a consumer rather go diet or regular?  In addition do you really believe all of these studies on both diet and regular soda or do you not think the affects listed above could really affect you


Does Drinking Water Actually Burn Calories?

Over the summer I worked with a kid who was a nutrition major, and he told me something about how for every ounce of water you drink one calorie is burnt.  Since I was trying to lose weight this summer I figured I’d try drinking just water and see how it goes.  Well it worked and I ended up actually losing a lot of weight (although I think a lot can be contributed to the fact of just eating healthier in general and exercising more).  But I was thinking of a topic to blog about and wondered if this was actually true and if so, why?

This site says that it IS true and does a pretty decent job of explaining why.  Basically what it says is that it’s the temperature of water that matters the most, as it takes one calorie to raise the temperature of one gram of water.

This also got me thinking that if water burns calories do other drinks burn calories as well?  Although I couldn’t really find any information about this on the internet, my guess is that every drink DOES burn calories, about one per ounce I’m assuming.  But since there are no calories actually IN water, and there are tons of calories in other drinks, the net loss of calories only comes from drinking water.  Get what I’m saying?

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

Being this is a college town I felt this would be a great topic to kick the weekend off with. It’s funny because Growing up both my father and grandfather were the perfect stereotypes for Irishmen. By its current definition they both were alcoholics, but neither ever displayed the negative effects. One of the most comical memories I have of my grandfather was when I was about 11. We were on vacation in Colorado Springs. This day we decided to go fishing early in the morning since in the afternoon it was supposed to rain. As we were leaving my grandmother asked my grandfather if he packed snacks and he pointed at his backpack and said everything I need is right here. Once we got to the stream my grandfather unfolded his chair and sat down. My brother and I were sitting closer to the stream as we actually were there to fish. He unzipped his backpack and began to pull out beer after beer. I found this odd as the sun was only just breaking the horizon.

My grandfather never showed signs of intoxication and rarely ever became impaired. I have hundreds of these stories and my wife can confirm quite a few from just encountering my family. Both my father and grandfather were very successful in life, in great shape, amazing family figures, active in the community, and smart. Everything I had ever been told about alcohol seemed to be negated just by observing them both. My grandfather was VP of MetLife and swam each morning. My father was Special Forces in the Army, owns part of a Canadian overlay company and power lifts still even though he is well into his 50’s.

My grandfather is actually on Budweiser’s delivery route. Every couple weeks a giant semi parks outside his house and brings in a pallet of Budweiser.

So, how do people like this sustain themselves when EVERYTHING I read tells me they should be abusive sloths who’s personal and professional life is falling apart?

I recently read an article that explains that making such rigid guidelines is actually a huge mistake. Each person is different and alcohol affects us all differently. Now, I’m not suggesting that going out and getting black out drunk every night has no consequences, but drinking in moderation (I use this loosely) could actually benefit you. This is something that is contrary to popular belief.

Excessive drinking (another term loosely defined by me) can have some very severe negative effects. Brain damage can occur, cirrhosis of the liver can happen, as well as a number of social effects. So where do we draw the line and what statistics or research should we deem valid.

From what I have read it is really I personal realization. You as an adult need to be cognizant of the effects and if it is affecting you negatively. Drinking has been part of human history for as long as we can track it. Egyptians actually paid their surfs in beer. Were they all unsuccessful raging alcoholics? Hell no, they built incredible structures that still fascinate us to this day.

Negative dependance should be taken seriously. I am not advocating heaving drinking often, but I am saying that because you have a few drinks throughout the week this does not mean your life will soon be in ruins. I am simply shining light on something often overlooked or ignored all together.

There are several things that drinking positively affects. Did you know that red wine actually helps raise red blood cell counts? Moderate drinking often will actually help reduce blood pressure and anxiety.

This is something I am sure no one even thought about. I was working a welding job once at a chemical plant. We were exposed to some chemicals in a gas cloud. My coworkers and I all had to go get blood test from a doctor. There were four different chemicals that the doctor could not identify in our bloodstream. His medical recommendation to help pass them out of our systems was to go get smashed. Apparently the alcohol would bond with the chemicals and help move it safely out of our systems. Crazy right?

Couple of links to support my rant:

Slate News
Alcoholism Test

Pass me another beer!


Good old college! Best years of your life! Worst regrets of your life! Your social life expands as well as you dependency on energy drinks. if you are a college student, there’s a good chance of you being a drinker of alcohol. If you attend Penn State, there is a 102.5% chance of you drinking alcohol. Trust me, I’m sure we have all felt the effects of alcohol. But we usually never remember it nor can we even comprehend what the hell is going on when it’s happening. So exactly what does happen when we are consuming alcohol?

Before I answer that, let’s ask a question relating to the consumption of alcohol. Why do we drink it? Unless you properly mix or drink fine wine, it tastes like complete and utter garbage. Rubbing alcohol that burns your chest causing you to make those intense faces of displeasure. The entire idea of it seems to base itself on basic human nature generated from our mental capacities. An article from a U.K blog that I picked up on, talks about drinking, in which we see it as a way to “escape” from ourselves. Escape from what? Sanity I presume but where are you leading yourself from this grand escape. I mean you are the same person, except you just become far more stupid. It’s like jumping out of a stranded boat into an ocean filled of sharks to save yourself from the idea of becoming insane by sitting in the damn boat. The article also suggests that by drinking, we “reduce associations”, generally saying that we stop worrying about the more rational aspects of life to “live in the moment.” How does that even make sense? It’s just not clicking as to why we would want defer from rational thinking just to live in the moment. Does that mean that I should irrationally decide while being drunk that I should jump in front of a moving train just so I can prove that life is worth living the moment. The greatest part about the mystery of our love of alcohol is, we keep going back to it. We keep wanting to create this idea of living freely while connecting social bonds with others. Matter fact, I actually want a beer as we speak. Funny how it charms you.
Getting on to the charm point, why do people tend to look forty times better than what they do. Now let me address this issue before hand, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in no way will I be classifying someone whose looks are displeasing to others as ugly. But I digress, hypothetically speaking…every girl I have ever hypothetically seen while being hypothetically intoxicated has hypothetically looked like a supermodel. I actually found a case of a blind experiment where 84 heterosexual college students were tested, half given a drink with alcohol in it and half given a drink without. These students were then asked to rate a sample of girls and guys .The results seemed rather obvious as there was a “10 percent increase” of attractiveness. Why!? Why am I more than likely to have a girl snog me if she intoxicated? I mean I prefer my girls sober, unless we are both drunk but it begs the question. It’s amazing how a shot of scotch can turn a 3 year refrigerator drawing into a Mona Lisa. That’s the way I see it. Seriously, what differs this disgusting taste drink from a Coca-Cola or a cup of water? Nothing but toxins. 
According to an article from BBC, alcohol basically screws up your entire central nervous system (CNS), brain, and kidneys. The alcohol corrupts your CNS, thus resulting in effects such as slurred speech and proper balance. You speak funny, you react slowly, you trip over the threshold. Your brain also becomes affected, hence why you tend to make much more “questionable” decisions during your wonderful time of drunken-ness. You feel absolutely no remorse in the fact that you are peeing on someone’s car door handle (I’ve seen it before). It serves as an excuse (not legally) to act belligerent or to spew our logic suitable for the feeble minded. There is praise in throwing your guts up into the toilet after a hardcore night of drinking. 
In a sense, you are poisoning yourself. Who knows why we do it, maybe God..maybe not? Might as well go find a black mamba and force it to bite us or submerge ourselves in a tank filled of boxed jellyfishes. Well I guess the body flushes out the toxics of the alcohol than the other two, so I guess that’s another reason as why we should just drink. On a fun note, I leave you with a video of a guy drinking everclear which is usually about 95% alcohol. Again I ask, WHY DO WE DO IT?!?!



Sex and a Redbull?

So I knew I wanted to write a blog post on different energy drinks, but then as I was doing research, I ran across the most bizarre article and decided that I needed to address it. There is a problem in this world ladies and gentlemen and its called “casual sex.”

According to this article about energy drinks and sex, you are more likely to “hook up” if you mix your alcohol with energy drinks because it causes you to crave more drinks so you end up drinking more than you intended to. According to the study, “Nearly one in three sexually active students (29.3 percent) reported using AmEDs(energy drinks) during the month prior to the survey.” From my own experience the reason people mix their alcohol with energy drinks is because it gets you drunk faster not because they intend to drink more than they normally do.But WAIT, theres good news too, according to the University at Buffalo, “consumption of AmEDs was not a significant predictor of unprotected sex.” Apparently people are actually MORE likely to use condoms in casual sex. And then they ended the article with my favorite line of all, “Previous Research indicates performance during sex is often worse when you’re drunk.”

I’m not sure if I actually believe this. I don’t really think that there is a correlation between energy drinks and wanting to have sex when you’re drunk. The survey says that 1 in 3 sexually active students say that they ingested energy drinks in the last month prior to the survey, but it never specifies when they drank them of if they were under the influence of something when they had ingested it. I think they should study the behavior of drunk students who got drunk with energy drinks and ones that got drunk without them and see how their behavior differs. Maybe people who got drunk without them are just as likely to have casual sex. I also believe it varies highly on the person. I think they really need to further this study before they come to the conclusion that energy drinks have anything to do with casual sex.

Also what they failed to mention was alcoholic drinks that were already caffeinated. For instance, are Four Lokos more likely to make you hook up with someone? They are the same as drinking a energy drink with an alcoholic beverage. I think it has a lot more to do with the caffeine in the energy drinks than they fact that energy drinks make you drink more. I found this article on caffeinated alcoholic drinks thats states that “…The caffeine masks the effects of the alcohol, keeping consumers from realizing just how intoxicated they are.” So it’s not that energy drinks make you crave more alcohol its that you don’t realize how drunk you are when your beverage has caffeine or an energy drink in it.

I’d like to know what you guys think, do you think that energy drinks mixed with alcohol cause you to crave sex more or that there is no correlation between energy drinks and sex. Also if you have any experience with mixing energy drinks with alcohol and how your behavior may differ than when drinking regularly.



A Sea Full of Lighters


As I was ‘stumbling’ the other day I came across an article about glowing ocean waves off the coast of San Diego.  After doing some further ‘googling’ I found that there are tons of other places where water actually glows;in the Florida Everglades, Leucadia Beach in California, the Maldives, the Lakshadweep Islands in India, and many more.  According to Aqua Views, an online SCUBA diving magazine, the ‘glowing’ effect is actually due to bioluminescent plankton.  More commonly than not, the specific type of plankton fall under the Dinoflagellates category. These organisms use their ability to glow as a defense mechanism.  The Dinoflagellates flash light when they feel threatened and ward off their predators (or kayakers or waves) because the predators get worried about their own predators because the flash of light would attract their predators by drawing attention to themselves.

Jorge Ribas, a marine biologist, referred to the bioluminescent plankton as the “red tide” or the “algae bloom” because during the day the plankton give off a red tint to the water.  According to Ribas, some of the red tides are actually extremely toxic to humans.  However, the plankton that also produce the glowing effect during the night are completely harmless to humans.

glowing pic 3.jpg

Also, in recent research done by the Nova Southeastern University scientists have found that about 90% of open ocean organisms have the ability to glow.  These researches also concluded that the bioluminescent plankton glow when they bump into something else since they can’t swim on their own.  When the plankton bump into things, they feel threatened, so they are glowing because of that, which goes along with the findings that Aqua Views reported.  In addition to this finding, the researchers from the Nova Southeastern University found that predators use the specific colors that different organisms emit as a way of figuring out of they are poisonous or not.

The Scripps Institute of Oceanography has a portion of their website that is dedicated to better explaining bioluminescence in general.  Here they explained, in terms that I could easily understand, how these organisms actually glow.  A chemical reaction actually occurs in the organism to make the light.  Luciferin and Luciferase combine together.  “The Luciferase acts as an enzyme, allowing the Luciferin to release energy as it is oxidized.” 

glowing pic 2.jpg

According to National Geographic, the glowing plankton are also present on the beaches in the wet sand.  As you walk along one of these beaches, your footprints will glow behind you!  Another interesting fact is that pilots have also noted that the glowing seas are bright enough that they can be seen from a mile high in the air!  

I think it is so cool that living organisms can glow like glow sticks and light up water so bright that it can be seen from miles away.  The images and videos are incredible and I know that I have added seeing this natural phenomenon to my bucket list!

**Excuse the language in this video 🙂


Smoke and a pancake?

Over the past few years and after being in college for those years I’ve noticed people smoking that I didn’t think would. They would say “I only smoke when I drink.” I didn’t get it. I mean.. I drink sometimes and I don’t get the urge to smoke a cigarette.  Apparently, these people are called social smokers. You know.. just a cig with some friends.. “meehhh” no big deal. Those people.

These social smokers are absent of the gene that causes many smokers to be addicted to nicotine. According to a CNN article, social smokers are either in denial or are on the brink of addiction to nicotine. Turns out, people can be addicted to other features of smoking rather than the nicotine that causes people to be addicted.  Social smokers can be addicted to anything about smoking: the sensation, the ritual of hanging out with friends, or the nicotine head buzz WITHOUT BEING DEPENDENT ON NICOTINE. Kick a Jesus in the face, that’s nuts. It was reported in the article that some people who smoke a pack a week for years never become dependent on nicotine. Social smokers don’t smoke because of nicotine withdrawal, but because they simply just like the activity of smoking.

Smoking in combination with drinking alcohol is said to amplify the effects of smoking. It makes sense I guess: ‘Alcohol buzz’ multiplied by ‘Cigarette buzz’ = Super wicked buzz. The Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University Medical Center conducted a double blind experiment that included placebo-like alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic drinkers. The cravings of a cigarette were due to the positively reinforcing effects of nicotine rather than craving a cigarette to fight stress or withdrawal.

So if you’re a social smoker and you want to quit.. it would be wise to slow down your drinking habits and also not to binge drink to avoid cigarette cravings. Social smokers do also have a chance to become addicted to nicotine, so don’t think that you are exempt from addiction!

Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker?

We’ve all heard “beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear,” but how true is it?

For me, I always find that drinking liquor after beer (even if I just had 1 or 2 beers) will make me sick. This, however, could be because beer in general does not agree with my stomach, which would be completely irrelevant.

People seemed mixed on the subject. Many of my friends agreed that beer before liquor does make them sicker. Some possible causes of sickness include the fact that beer is carbonated and increases the pressure inside your abdomen, making it easier for alcohol to be absorbed. Also, like I previously mentioned, carbonated drinks could irritate the lining of your stomach.

However, experts tend to disagree, saying that it is not the type of alcohol that matters, but how much alcohol is consumed. Most articles that I read credited the fact that people usually started off the night drinking beer, and then switched to liquor without realizing how drunk they were. This resulted in more alcohol being consumed, and therefore, a higher chance of getting sick.

So what do you think? Does beer before liquor make YOU sicker?