9 / 12
True: Pickle juice alleviates muscle cramps
A 2010 study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggested that pickle juice may be better for resolving muscle cramps than water. In the study, the researchers induced cramps in 10 people who were already dehydrated. Those who drank about 74 milliliters of pickle juice (about 2.5 ounces) had a shorter cramp duration than those who drank water (49 seconds vs. 85 seconds).
The researchers aren’t clear on why this occurs, but they theorize that the pickle juice causes a muscular reflex when it hits the back of your throat that turns off misfiring neurons throughout the body and therefore, the cramp. The vinegar may be responsible for this phenomenon, and other researchers believe that mustard can have the same effect.
10 / 12
True: Exercise makes you smarter
It’s not just your body that benefits from exercise; it’s also your brain. A molecule called irisin, which the body produces during endurance exercise, is credited for the brain benefits of exercise. When levels of irisin rise, genes related to learning and memory are activated, and the expression of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) increases, creating new neurons, a 2019 study in Nature Medicine suggests. This may also lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as improve your critical thinking—not to mention your mood and stress levels.
(Be sure to read up on how mindfulness can help ward off stress.)
11 / 12
True: When it comes to your brain, use it or lose it
Constantly challenging your brain may help stave off cognitive impairment and dementia. A 2017 study in PLOS One suggests that playing video games may improve brain function and increase gray matter in the hippocampus—the area of the brain thought to be the center of emotion and memory in older adults, ages 55 to 75. Those who played on their game console 30 minutes every day, for five days a week, over six months experienced an increase in gray matter in their hippocampus and cerebellum, along with improvements in their short-term memory. (Also, check out these early signs of Alzheimer’s.)
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