Stretching Prevents Injury, and Other Misconceptions About Exercise

This does need a YMMV disclaimer unfortunately.  Cold static vs warm static pre workout stretch varies in terms of efficacy for many, and the six month rule shoe rule is in play for most marathoners, and may even be less depending on whether you rock a stability type of shoe, etc.

This Video Debunks 10 Misconceptions About Your Favorite Beverages

To be clear – tap water is more heavily regulated than bottled water, and the presenter makes sure to say that the actual water quality depends on location (obviously Flint and WV are outliers).

The Two Men (And the One Dinner) That Uncovered the Cause of Botulism

Today we bend Clostridium botulinum to our will, forcing it to make our faces smoother and our actors less able to do their jobs. Once, though, people had no idea what caused the “sausage disease.” It took two good men and one bad dinner to let the world know what was going on.

Source: The Two Men (And the One Dinner) That Uncovered the Cause of Botulism

Botulism is why we have expiry dates, even if they aren’t very scientific

How Much Ketchup Is Enough Ketchup to Kill You?

It’s a normal part of human life to wonder about whether or not eating an excess of condiments could be lethal—specifically about the amount of ketchup it would take to not only disfigure you but take you to the big tomato patch in the sky. Well, your nightly wondering is over, and we’ve got an answer.

Source: How Much Ketchup Is Enough Ketchup to Kill You?

I’ve covered how much vitamin K is in ketchup in the past, as well as how to use a condiment to get away with murder.  Just know that you’ll never love ketchup as much as this woman

Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

As Derek Zoolander wisely put it, wetness is the essence of life. Whether you like drinking water or not, it accounts for about 60% of your body weight, and plays a pretty darn important role in making sure your body functions normally. But statistics aside, there are a couple of myths about hydration that refuse to die.

Source: Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

You can read about my experience looking into myth #1.  I have never attempted to drink that much water since.

The blurb about myth #3 does not mention skim milk or chocolate milk as a recovery drink.   Providing you’re not lactose intolerant or have ideological issues with drinking cows milk, it’s hydrating, provides carbs and protein, and a good source of calcium and vitamin D (necessary for processing calcium).

There is also an argument that diuretics (coffee, pop/soda) can be beneficial because they will encourage you to drink more when most aren’t motivated to drink more water.  They can be more enjoyable than water – certainly understandable in places where filtration can’t do enough for water.  Hard water tastes horrible…

The World’s Most Carcinogenic Toxin Was Discovered Via Turkey Plague

It was May of 1960 when turkeys in England started dying of a mysterious disease. By August, over 100,000 were dead — in some places, the mortality rate was 100%. Although pheasants and ducklings were also susceptible, turkey populations seemed most vulnerable, and so the plague got the name Turkey X Disease.

Source: The World’s Most Carcinogenic Toxin Was Discovered Via Turkey Plague

Fun fact! Aflatoxin isn’t inherently dangerous, in and of it itself. The compound has to first be activated by enzymes in your liver before it has carcinogenic action, resulting in inter-individual differences in susceptibility. Also, because the active compound is made in the liver, that’s where it does the most damage, aka liver damage and liver cancer. Aflatoxin B1 in particular is the most dangerous to humans, and if I recall correctly may be because it is more easily activated by human enzymes.

How Does Your Stomach Know When to Vomit?

There are several ways to induce vomiting in humans. Without getting too specific, they are all linked through the “vomiting center” of the brain, also known as the area postrema. The “vomiting center” is capable of responding to many different types of poisons, toxins, conditions, etc. In the case of eating something bad, remember that the stomach is a highly vascularized zone that also happens to have a massive nervous structure called the enteric nervous system.

Usually food poisoning that involves vomiting is caused by organisms that have preformed toxins, including but not limited to B cereus and S aureus. That delicious looking potato salad is teeming with toxins that have been pre-made by the bacterial species to wreak havoc on whomever might eat it. These toxins work within hours, causing inflammation in the gut.  This information gets relayed back to the vomiting center.  Once the brain registers that something is not right in your tummy, it stimulates muscles to close the pyloric sphincter (bottom of the stomach) and open the cardiac sphincter (top of the stomach) before activating the abdominal musculature and diaphragm to propel the harmful substance out of the stomach via forceful contraction.

What about a “strong” vs “weak” stomach?  A lot of why people throw up is mental – you have incredible subconscious control over puking.  Or it could have to do with innoculum – give someone a large enough dose of toxin/bacteria, and they’ll blow chunks.

The funny thing about it, you need your brains “permission” to puke, but your gut doesn’t need your brains permission for diarrhea.  If for some reason you ate something wacky that managed to get past the brain’s vomiting center detection, your intestines will flush with extreme prejudice.  Sometimes, a group of people who eat the same bad food can experience either symptom – vomit or diarrhea.