1. Eating sugar will make you hyper!
This one shocked me too, but there’s no scientific proof that actually ties sugar to hyperactivity. Interestingly enough, sugar releases serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect. (That might explain the whole sugar crash effect, thing … )
2. Feeling a chill? Wear a hat when it’s cold, because you lose most of your body heat through your head.
Here’s the truth: You lose just as much heat through your head as you do through the rest of your body. It’s just that we typically keep other body parts bundled up, so our head often feels cold in comparison.
3. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
A 2011 study found that cracking your knuckles — whether it be once a day or every 15 minutes — made no impact on your chances of getting osteoarthritis. (Thank the stars, because I love cracking mine.)
4. If you have oily skin, you need to dry it out.
When your skin is oily, the assumption is that to stop the oil and breakouts, you need to dry out your skin, and avoid things like moisturizer.
But when you irritate oily skin by drying it out, you’re making things worse. When the oil-producing glands get dry, they think they need to help you get back to normal by producing even more oil. (READ: When you dry out your skin, it actually makes it more oily.)
Go with oil-free products, and you’ll be able to cleanse without over drying.
5. Drinking coffee will sober you up in a pinch.
It makes sense: Alcohol is a downer, caffeine’s an upper. This should work… but it doesn’t. What coffee will do when you’re drunk is make you a drunk person who is very aware that they are inebriated. Go for water and time to help flush the alcohol out.
6. Your body needs eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
We’ve all been told to drink eight glasses a day, but the actual amount needed varies by the person. In other words, if you sit at a desk all day, you’ll need less water than your coworker who takes an hour walk at lunch. Current research shows that the average person needs about a liter of water a day, or four glasses, to keep hydrated. (Plus, things like juice and milk help replenish your fluids as well.)
7. Men get heart disease more than women.
Contrary to what you might have heard, heart disease is the No. killer among… women. It kills more women than all combined forms of cancer, and women have a 50% higher chance of dying during heart surgery.
8. We only use 10% of our brains.
There’s a common misconception that there are parts of our brain that we could utilize… if only we knew how!
But if even a small part of our brain is damaged, it can leave us disabled. And there’s no physical way we could actually function with only 10% of our brain in use. Our brains are always active, and unless there’s brain damage, “there is no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning.”
9. It takes seven years to digest gum, SO DON’T SWALLOW IT.
To be fair, there IS a part of gum that’s indigestible, which is likely where this myth came from. And like any indigestible substance, it will eventually pass through your system. But it won’t take years.
10. Women are the only ones who have a biological clock ticking.
Sorry, dudes, but your junk ages the same way ours does. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that after the age of 45, sperm quality decreases, and men have a higher risk of fathering children with genetic abnormalities. While a study at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York discovered that men over 45 have double the damage to their sperm as men under 30.
11. Eating after 8 p.m. will make you more likely to gain weight.
Survey says: not true! The reason nutritionists and any diet company tells you to stop eating after 8 p.m. is because that’s the time of day you’re more prone to blindly snack while watching TV, and not listen when your body is full. In other words, there’s no specific metabolic difference about that time of day. What will make you gain weight is eating too much, regardless of the hour.
12. Your hair and nails continue to grow after you die.
If you’re worried that your hair and nails won’t be as fab after you pass, fear not: They stop growing. However, your cuticles and skin will shrink after death, which may make it seem like something has grown.
13. Different parts of your tongue can only taste specific things.
Contrary to the rumors that different spots on your tongue correspond to sweet, salty, sour, and so on, it’s actually false. Every part of your tongue can taste everything you put on it. Way to be awesome, tongue!
14. We have five senses.
This has to be true, because there was that movie The Sixth Sense, and he had an EXTRA sense, so .. truth.
Except humans are way more complex than five senses give them credit for. There are a lot more senses than that, though the exact number is still up for debate. But there are things like nociception, or the ability to sense pain, and thermoception, which helps detect temperature differences. So, yeah, we’ve got way more than those five measly ones.
15. Drinking too much alcohol kills your brain cellzzzz … sorry, drunk.
Unless you’re drinking disinfectant, alcohol doesn’t kill your brain cells. Of course, if you have a problem with alcohol you might face some neuron damage, but that’s largely reversible, and a host of other health issues. But your brain cells won’t be part of that.
16. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker.
This theory was first debunked in 1928, because cutting your hair at the skin surface has no actual effect on the hair growth. But you’re not going completely crazy, because new hair appears darker, since it hasn’t been exposed to light.
Shave on, shavers!