5 Drinks to Boost Productivity

Everyone’s looking for another way to boost their productivity, and grabbing a quick drink on the way into work is usually how many people try to achieve this goal. Here are some of the best drinks to use to boost your focus and energy when your deadlines are drawing nigh.

1. Water

When you’re trying to make sure your body has enough energy to make it through another day, your first option is water. Your body will always need it to function, and if you aren’t getting enough water, your mind and body will both suffer. Making sure you have enough throughout the day is absolutely essential then.

2. Coffee

This is the most popular choice for people on the go who need an energy boost and need it now. Coffee is one of the best natural supplements to choose for a productive morning (and afternoon), so when you need to make sure you’re prepared to get things done, get yourself down to the local café and purchase your morning java.

3. Tea

An alternative for those who don’t like coffee, tea is always a great energy booster. Most teas contain caffeine, but certain herbal teas can also generate focus and pep. However, if you’re looking for the right tea to get you through a long day of work and to make sure you get stuff done, go with either black or green tea. The former increases one’s circulation and is full of polyphenols, which are great for brain health. The latter, however, can also improve memory and has more caffeine than the former.

4. Smoothie

A smoothie is a healthy, natural way to boost your productivity. Make yourself a smoothie with ingredients like blueberries, chia seeds, and pomegranates for a great, brain-healthy option. Smoothies that are rich in protein, including those that have protein boosts, can be great for your productivity as well and help you stay peppy long into the afternoon.

5. Wine

Believe it or not, alcohol can actually help boost your productivity. Having a glass of wine with lunch can increase your creativity and allow you to view problems differently than you would have if you were completely sober. You will naturally want to avoid drinking too much, but if you feel stuck or stymied in your daily work, one of the best cures is to take yourself out to lunch and order a glass of wine. When you’re ready to return, your productivity will be at a whole new level.

Why Drinking Together Is Good for Your Relationship 

In a rather strange study conducted over the course of several years, researchers found that baby boomers who were married experienced a decrease in negative martial quality over the years if they both drank. This just means couples who drink together are happier together. Go figure! 

The Research  

Based on a study of 4,864 husbands and wives, researchers were able to find that couples where both individuals drank seemed to experience fewer marital issues over the years than those couples where only one individual or neither individual drank 

The study involved interviewing these individuals (who were all over 52 and, at an average, around the age of 64 and 63), and the researchers asked them questions about their drinking habits, including who drank in the relationship and how much drinking took place. Then, the individuals were asked questions that showed their satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the marriage, such as “How often does your spouse criticize you?”  

Each individual involved in the study was asked the same questions a second time after a period of time went by. The study found that individuals who drank together saw a decrease in negative feelings about their marriage while couples who didn’t drink together did not see this decrease.  

Why Did This Outcome Occur?  

The researchers posited that the couples who drank together had a better relationship because they had something that brought them together, a shared activity they could enjoy. It’s also possible that these couples were more relaxed when together, as many know drinking can be a social lubricant, even with those we’re closest too. No matter what the reason, the outcome was overwhelmingly clear. 

What Does This Mean for Your Relationship?  

While it seems funny to say it—and completely against every PSA you’ve ever seen—drinking together could actually be good for your relationship. It gives you something to do together and it puts everyone on an equal ground. If one person drinks when the other doesn’t, it’s not likely your relationship will be happy, or in many cases, will survive.  

However, even those who both don’t drink don’t seem to be as happy as the drinkers who drink together. So, as crazy as it sounds, your glass of wine at the end of the day with your spouse or significant other could actually be making both of you a lot happier in the long run. 

How Red Wine Makes You Look More Beautiful

You read that right: a new study on the effects of red wine, and the antioxidant resveratrol in the grapes used to make it, has found that this particular type of vino may actually help slow the processes of bacteria that cause acne. In addition, your favorite red may also be able to strengthen the effects of your over-the-counter acne medication.

The Study

According to a study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, researchers studied bacteria that cause acne and how quickly these colonies can spread. However, when they applied resveratrol, which as stated above is often found in abundance in red wine, to the bacteria, the growth of the colony slowed. Then, the researchers applied benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient found in most over-the-counter acne drugs, and found that the combination of resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide was stronger than the latter alone.

The Benefits of Resveratrol and Red Wine

The researchers, though likely pleased with the results, will naturally need to spend more time studying these effects, but this definitely isn’t the first time the benefits of resveratrol have been pointed out. The antioxidant is also found in peanuts, pistachios, cranberries, and blueberries and has long been known to be a benefit for those who like to consume these foods.

This is one of the strongest reasons why red wine is considered to be a healthy option when used in moderation. Though doctors still recommend that people only have a glass to a glass and a half every day, the benefits of red wine have been greatly extolled recently—and most often—because of the health benefits associated with resveratrol. However, the ways in which this antioxidant may be beneficial for the treatment of acne have not been thoroughly studied as of yet, especially when associated with the daily intake of red wine.

What Does This Mean?

While it’s unlikely that your doctor’s office will start handing out prescriptions for a bottle of wine in order to minimize your signs acne, it is interesting to think about the repercussions of this study as well as what kinds of treatment options may be available to us in the future. After all, who doesn’t love the idea that their favorite glass of wine could potentially help keep acne at bay and make them more beautiful? We’ll drink to that.

Eating and Drinking in Moderation: What It Means

Everything in moderation. You have probably heard this advice more than once, especially if you are someone who likes to diet often. But what does this phrase mean and why is it so important when it comes to taking care of your body and your food and drink intake?

Moderation Is Subjective

Eating and drinking in moderation is good for you because it essentially means not binging on any one type of food or drink. However, the term itself is actually fairly subjective. Some people think drinking one soda a day is keeping with the concept of moderation, while others wouldn’t dare to drink more than one a week.

Still, the idea of eating and drinking in moderation boils down to being aware of the choices you are making when it comes to your intake and limiting yourself sometimes rather than eating whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Ways to Eat and Drink in Moderation

There are a number of practices you can take on in order to make sure that your intake is appropriate and that you are able to curb yourself from drinking and eating too much.

  • Counting calories: The average adult needs to consume about 2,000 calories a day to be healthy. Most of us know this, but many of the foods we eat contain almost this entire amount all in one meal, especially fast foods and restaurant foods. Making sure you know how many calories are actually going into your body is a good way to consume in moderation.
  • Portion control: For the most part, people hate counting calories. However, portion control is a great way to achieve moderation without having to take all the fun out of eating. When you control the portions you eat based on recommended servings, you can practice moderation easily.
  • Variety of foods: Another great way to practice moderation is to avoid eating large portions of the same foods over and over. Instead, create a meal with variety and that touches on as many of the food groups as possible.

When you learn some of the tricks that will help you eat more mindfully, you will be able to better control and moderate your eating habits. This is what the great phrase “everything in moderation” means: making sure you don’t overindulge and allowing yourself to enjoy your life while also being healthy.

Red vs. White Wine Drinkers

While we’ve never met a woman who would turn down a glass of wine, it is pretty much a given that most ladies have their preference: you’re either a white or a red wine drinker. But what does this distinction say about who you are as a person and does it really mean anything when it comes down to the nitty gritty (or the last sip in the bottle)?

You Prefer One or the Other

It’s true of most women. And though you’ll probably accept a glass of red when you really like white—or vice-versa—you won’t be wholly pleased if you don’t have your perfect option available to you. And while most of us have a preference when it comes to chardonnay or pinot grigio, cabernet or merlot, women can pretty much always be separated into white wine drinkers and red wine drinkers.

So What’s the Difference?

The difference is in the women in general and how they live their lives. We maintain that there is no wrong way to drink wine and that every woman should do what she wants in order to be her most authentic self. So here are our comparisons.

  • Red wine drinkers tend to be confident and outspoken while white wine drinkers may start off shy if they don’t know you well.
  • Red wine drinkers tend to look for love and end up in committed relationships while white wine drinkers like to play the field a bit more.
  • Red wine drinkers are often better talkers while white wine drinkers are better listeners.
  • White wine drinkers love to be the center of attention at a party while red wine drinkers tend to hang back and talk to a smaller group.
  • Red wine drinkers prefer old school devices like a pen and paper or a typewriter while white wine drinkers feel the newer the gadget, the better.
  • Red wine drinkers are studious and tend to peruse higher education. White wine drinkers like to consider themselves students of the world.
  • White wine drinkers love to go to the movies while red wine drinkers prefer to spend the night in reading.
  • White wine drinkers are dog lovers; red wine drinkers are cat lovers.
  • Red wine drinkers love texting. White wine drinkers would rather talk on the phone.
  • White wine drinkers enjoy eating seafood while red wine drinkers stick with steak. (Or maybe that’s just because they taste better with their respective wines…)

 

Study Shows Personality Dictates Wine Choice

There may actually be meaning behind which wine you prefer when it comes to who you are and what your personality is. A recent study commissioned by French Wines with Style seems to have uncovered the link between those who prefer a nice chilled white, those who stick with a room temperature red, and those who like to drink rosé.

The Skinny on Wine Personalities

According to Gerard Basset, spokesman for French Wines with Style, the study found red wine drinkers are “the more relaxed of wine fans,” as reported by the Telegraph.  White wine drinkers, on the other hand, “love the status quo.” Rosé fans differ from both and tend to be “itching for a change.” Since these three types of wines are so distinctive and wine lovers are very clear about the fact that one is their preferred choice, it’s not hard to see the connection between wine and personality.

Earnings and Career

Also according to the study, red wine drinkers tend to make more money and are more likely to be college or university graduates than red wine drinkers. 81 percent of red wine drinkers are also happy in their fields, but 65 percent admit to wanting to climb higher when it comes to their jobs. On the contrary, 42 percent of white wine drinkers say they wouldn’t consider themselves ambitious, and 55 percent of rosé drinkers leave school by the age of 18.

Love and Marriage

86 percent of red wine drinkers proclaim to be in happy marriages while 52 percent of them have gotten married. White wine drinkers are more likely to feel happy being single, with 85 percent saying they aren’t actively looking for a relationship. Rosé drinkers are most commonly found in happy but unmarried relationship.

How They See Themselves

Red wine drinkers tend to describe themselves with adjectives like strong, intelligent, and confident while white wine drinkers like to see themselves as practical, shy, reserved, and bright. Rosé drinkers, on the other hand, see themselves as warm, loud, and charming.

Red wine drinkers are also likely to take pride in their appearances, with 88 percent of them saying they do. 56 percent of white wine drinkers describe themselves as stylish.

Social Media vs. Reality

Rosé drinkers are the most likely to be found on Facebook, averaging 146 friends and visiting the site more than 10 times per week. Red wine drinkers especially prefer real friends and conversations versus virtual interactions.

Global Warming and the Wine Industry

Global warming is threatening another large industry: the wine industry. This issue that is causing many problems all across the planet has been recently studied for the effects of higher temperatures on grape picking, and the results are not favorable.

The Study

According to the Huffington Post, the analysis itself was published in the journal Temperature. It highlighted some of the serious issues associated with higher temperatures in Europe (caused by global warming) and the way these temperatures have affected the wine industry.

The study took place in the Mediterranean region where, during August, also known as the peak of harvest season, the mean maximum temperature has now increased to around 36 degrees Celsius. According to the study, “These working conditions would be considered a heat-wave in central European countries such as Germany.”

Grape Picking and Global Warming

Grape pickers were studied during this time period for their ability to perform the functions of their job. They were also studied in cooler weather during another point in the year. Overall, their ability to perform their job changed immensely during this time.

A 27 percent labor loss was recorded when the temperatures in Cyprus increased to 36 degrees Celsius. This was attributed to an increase of the exertion of the workers’ metabolic and cardiovascular systems, as perceived by the researchers. During this time, there was also a 15 percent decrease in the amount of time workers were actually working. Instead, they had to take more work breaks that were both unplanned and irregular, leading to less time actually being able to carry out their tasks.

Because the grape picking industry is still dominated by manual labor, the researchers hypothesized that the effects of global warming would intensely affect the industry itself. This seems to have been correct, as these decreases in labor and time will likely begin to cause issues for the industry if they continue in this fashion.

How Bad Is the Issue?

Because the researchers were only able to study in one area of the grape picking industry (and for a number of other reasons), they warned others against reading the study as an exhaustive explanation of the entire effects of global warming on the wine industry. However, there does seem to be a strong indication that potential issues could increase in the future, though a more exhaustive study is well in order if we are ever going to learn how extensive these effects truly will truly become.

How Wine Affects Your Sleep

Many people love to reach for a glass of wine before bed: it gives you a short and mild buzz, helps you fall asleep more quickly, and allows you to create a calmer atmosphere right before bed. Unfortunately, though, wine can actually affect your sleep cycle over all, and in many cases, a glass of wine (or three) before bed is likely to do more harm than good.

Wine’s Effect on the Sleep Cycle

According to the Mercury News, drinking right before bed may put you to sleep, but it will also cause quite a few issues that won’t allow you to stay asleep.

  • Drinking wine dehydrates your brain and body. When you are dehydrated, you won’t sleep as well, and you will also be more likely to wake up and reach for a water bottle, disturbing your REM.
  • Drinking wine before bed can also disrupt your sleep patterns, according to Shape. Though you’ll sleep soundly for a few hours, you’ll probably end up tossing and turning after a while.
  • Alcohol is a diuretic. While most of us know this, it does always come as a surprise after a night of drinking when you suddenly wake up in a few hours needing the bathroom…

How Can You Manage Your Drinking Before Bed?

The best way to get a good night’s sleep and avoid the issues a night of drinking can cause is to stop drinking a good amount of time before your head hits the pillow. For men, this can be about three hours for bedtime, and for women, about four. Making sure to do this will ensure that you do not go to bed super tipsy and that your body has had enough time to metabolize the drinks.

You can also…

  • Avoid champagne and other bubbly drinks, as they can increase bloating and gas, which will keep you up.
  • Drink plenty of water. Two glasses for every one alcoholic drink is considered the best way to manage your symptoms.
  • Make sure to eat while drinking. If you are eating, it will be easier for your body to process the wine, and you will not experience side effects as intense as you would when drinking on an empty stomach.

While drinking any time before bed is still likely to cause some sleep issues and potentially even a hangover, you can avoid the big problems by using these simple tricks.

How Best to Travel With Wine

A picnic isn’t a picnic unless wine is involved. And if you’re going to visit wine country or a similar area from which you know you’re going to have to bring some vino back, you’ll want to make sure your bottles survive the trip unscathed. No matter how far you’re traveling (or how you’re planning to get there), here are some great techniques that can make traveling with wine safer and easier.

Picnicking With Wine? No Problem.

If you’re going for a day trip and want to make sure you can bring along a bottle (or two), here’s a great tip for how to do so: take an ordinary messenger bag and use a bottle divider to make sure your wines don’t crack against each other while you drive or walk. You can usually carry two bottles this way, and if you do this often, a buying $200 bag and divider combo won’t seem too expensive at all.

Bottle Guards for Short Trips

A less expensive option is bottle guards, which usually run less than about $30. Bottle guards are sort of like koozies for beer cans except you put an entire bottle of wine in one in order to keep it from breaking. They don’t cover all the glass, though, so these are usually best for a short trip or if you’re in a vehicle that won’t knock the bottle around too much.

Taking Your Wine for a Plane Ride

If you’re returning home from somewhere on a plane, making sure your wine is safe, and let’s face it, legal to carry is extremely important. Here are some tips for flying with wine.

  • You’ll want to make sure you know the airline’s regulations about wine. In most cases, it can only be carried in a checked suitcase. However, if you do all your research beforehand, you won’t experience any surprises. Most airlines have a pamphlet you can print or get at the airport that will give you all this information.
  • One cool tip to make sure your wine won’t break is to wrap it in heavy clothing like pants or sweaters. If you pack the bottles tight, you will be able to avoid any chance of them rolling around inside your suitcase.
  • Lots of wine sellers will also provide a baggy in which to hold your wine, normally called a wine skin. This will protect your other luggage if it does break, as these have absorbent material inside.