Science & Spirit: Caffeinated Shopping, Aging Your Act, and the Cost of Vitamins
Feel younger to recover faster, don’t buy vitamins, and think twice before shopping under the influence of caffeine.
Caffeine: Impulse Buying Culprit?
Have you noticed that many stores have added coffee bars just inside their entrances? There might be a reason …
A recent study from the University of South Florida found that shoppers who drank caffeinated coffee prior to roaming stores spent approximately 50 percent more money and bought nearly 30 percent more items than shoppers who drank decaf or water. Drinking caffeine before shopping can even influence the type of items you buy. For example, those who drank caffeinated coffee bought more nonessential items, such as scented candles and fragrances, than other shoppers.
“Caffeine, as a powerful stimulant, releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and body,” says lead author Dipayan Biswas. “This leads to a higher energetic state, which in turn enhances impulsivity and decreases self-control.”
So, if you’re on a budget, save the coffee for after the shopping trip!
Feel Younger, Recover Faster
Dig out your record player and spin your favorite LPs. Feeling younger not only enhances quality of life but can actually improve recovery for older adults. A recent study published in Gerontology found that elderly patients who reported feeling younger than their chronological age when admitted to a hospital were able to recover faster and become more independent than their counterparts.
In fact, subjective age was the strongest predictor of rehabilitation outcomes. This measure influenced a patient’s recovery even more than their chronological age or the presence of chronic health conditions. “Those who feel younger can maintain their health and functioning for longer periods … and can recuperate better from disability,” noted study leader Amit Shrira. “By perceiving themselves to age successfully, people may preserve a healthy and vigorous lifestyle.”
This Vitamin Research Shouldn’t Be Hard to Swallow
Are you taking your daily vitamins? Well, maybe you should stop. Researchers from Northwestern University are claiming that vitamins and supplements may be a waste of time and money for healthy Americans. Why?
There isn’t enough evidence to support the theory that the use of supplements prevents cardiovascular disease or cancer. Another reason to be leery of vitamins is that many Americans take a pill to help fill gaps in their diet or nutrition, but consuming key vitamins and minerals is not as impactful as simply eating foods that are naturally nutritious. Whole fruits and veggies, for example, contain a mixture of vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber, and other nutrients that can act synergistically to deliver health benefits.
This is not to say you shouldn’t take vitamins at all. And the recommendations don’t apply to pregnant women or those with vitamin deficiencies. Rather, the research might point people toward spending their time and money wisely.
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