We’re given a lot of rules about our bodies and health, many of which have been passed down through generations. The problem is, many of these rules have no basis in reality. The good news is that we now live in the information age, in which separating the truth from the fiction is easier than ever. This list dispels the myths that we all grew up hearing and definitely would have helped you to get in the pool after dinner, a lot faster. But it also clarifies the ones that just might have a little truth to them. Find out the truth on whether your knuckle cracking habit will give you arthritis, or if you really do use only 10% of your brain.
11. Cold Weather Will Give You A Cold
True and False. Humans can catch colds through contracting hundreds of different viruses. A germ is a germ and doesn’t care whether it’s cold or warm. But is it true that you can catch a cold by forgetting your hat and gloves at home? Not exactly. Being inside a warm house with someone infected with a virus will get you sick a whole lot faster than not bundling up. However, there are studies that have shown that a decreased body temperature can interfere with the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight against, therefore making you more likely to get sick.
10. Sitting Too Close To The TV Will Hurt Your Eyes
False. Another myth your mom always told you was that sitting too close to the television was going to hurt your eyes. Like any muscle, you can tire out your eyes. But looking too closely at an object like the television will not cause any permanent damage. The only light that can supposedly cause real damage is light from the sun or laser beams. So, instead of telling your own kids to back up from the television because it will hurt their eyes, you can just tell them the truth: watching farther back is just more comfortable.
9. Wait An Hour Before Hopping In The Pool
False. There is no evidence to support the claim that you should wait for full digestion before recreationally playing or swimming in a pool. Science shows that any kind of strenuous physical activity is more difficult to perform on a full stomach. So, if you’re planning on banging out laps in preparation for an Olympic swimming event, then sure, wait out the hour. Otherwise, you’re good.
8. Brain Cells Can Not Regenerate
False. As kids, we were taught not to do drugs for a myriad of reasons, but one of them was the fear that you would kill off valuable brain cells that didn’t have the capabilities of regenerating. This was a standard belief in the science community for years. But that changed in 1998, when scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered just the opposite. Their study concluding that the learning center and memory center of the brain can create new cells, which has become a huge motivator for finding a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease. So, there are still plenty of reasons to remind kids of the dangers of doing drugs. This just isn’t one of them.
7. Eating Chocolate And Greasy Foods Causes Acne
False. There is no correlation between chocolate or greasy food, and the onset of diagnosed acne. Grease could potentially clog a pore or two, and if not properly cleaned, could lead to a pimple here or there. But not acne, which is believed to be heavily related to hormonal shifts in the body. So, at least there’s one less reason to feel guilty for diving into that box of chocolates.
6. Your Body Takes 7 Years To Digest 1 Piece Of Gum
False. At one time or another, you’ve probably accidentally swallowed a piece of gum, only to be reminded that it’s going to be sitting in your digestive system for the next seven years. Luckily, there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim. In fact, your body doesn’t digest gum at all. It’s one of those things that goes right through you.
5. Cracking Your Knuckles Gives You Arthritis
False. Studies vary in just how many knuckle crackers there are out there, but it’s anywhere from 25-50% of the population, with more men than women likely to partake. For some, it’s a nervous tick, for others, it’s just a stress reliever. Cracking the knuckles displaces the air in between joints for about 15 minutes at a time, after which time they can be cracked again. But does it cause arthritis? Nope. All it does is irritate the rest of the people in your office.
4. Drinking Coffee Sobers You Up
False. When you’ve had one too many, and think you’ll be okay to drive if you just get a cup of coffee in your system, think again. Coffee does nothing to sober you up or change your blood-alcohol content. What it does do is counter the tired feeling that drinking can induce, making you feel slightly more alert. But definitely not more sober. So call a cab.
3. Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day
False. Breakfast lobbyists of the world must have a pretty strong grip because the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day just never dies. No, breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day.
2. You Should Drink 8 Cups Of Water Every Day
False. Well, kind of false. There’s nothing wrong with drinking eight cups of water every day if you want to. So, you’re certainly free to do so. But this long-held notion that you have to drink 8 cups of water daily to maintain optimum health isn’t rooted in any truth. Where did this number even come from? It turns out that the one study that lead the call for eight glasses a day was not a scientific study at all, and was, in fact, sponsored by a mineral water company. So, there you go. Drinking water and staying properly hydrated is important to your health, that much is certain. But you can get that water from everything including your tap, your cup of coffee, and the food that you eat. But the magic number of eight is just a myth.
1. You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain
False. Anyone who was enamored with the children’s movie Matilda, or more recently, the summer film Lucy, might be pretty disappointed with this last one. The idea that humans only use 10% of their brains is a widely-circulated idea, but it has no factual basis. Scholars have had trouble trying to even pinpoint the origins of this claim, or what it even means. Does it mean that humans only use 10% of each part of their brains? Or 10% as a whole? Or does it mean it only gets 10% of use at a time? The answer isn’t clear because there is no study that has ever concluded this information. During the course of the day, humans generally use most of their brain function. So, you can ditch the idea of learning how to bend a spoon with your mind, if only you could tap into just one more percentage.