Is Alcohol Classified As A Stimulant ?

Alcohol is categorized as a CNS (central nervous system) depressant, yet explaining why alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant is slightly more complicated.

Alcohol, dependent on how much is consumed and the person’s reaction to it, can result in both stimulating and sedating effects. For example, aggressive behavior and an increase in heart rate and a sudden boost in mood or energy are some of the effects linked with stimulants, yet cognitive and motor skill impairment is characterized as depressants.

When most people think about consuming alcohol, it makes sense that most people assume that it is a type of stimulant. However, it is actually a depressant and this has to do with the way that it works.

Alcohol works in the way of mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). These are the neurotransmitters that send specific messages to your brain that results in relaxation, mood improvements, and sedation. These are effects can be compared to depressant medications like benzodiazepines, that operate in a very similar manner.

What You Need To Know About The Depressant And Stimulant Effects Of Alcohol

When an individual is inhibited, then they might become more open to doing things they usually wouldn’t do like dancing or doing something slightly crazy. This is when many people may assume that alcohol is, in fact, a stimulant.

Studies have displayed that the “stimulant” effects associated with alcohol might be linked with a dopamine “reward” system. When a person consumes alcohol, they might start to experience feelings of euphoria, happiness and wellbeing.

These types of effects often occur due to an increase in dopamine neurotransmitters inside the brain.

Research has indicated that the euphoric and stimulant effects may occur as BACs (blood alcohol concentrations) rise, which usually happens after one to two drinks. As the BACs increase to higher levels, the sedative effects become more prominent.

The stimulant effects linked to alcohol include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Talkativeness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Excitatory behaviour
  • Euphoria
  • An improvement in mood
  • The Depressant effects linked to alcohol include:
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Sedation
  • Lack of coordination or motor skills
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Reduction in anxiety

How Is Alcohol Described As A Stimulant?

Overall, alcohol is more of a depressant than a stimulant due mainly to the inhibitory effects it has on the brain. However, studies have revealed that alcohol might affect other types of neurotransmitters inside the brain, like dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin.

An increase in dopamine levels has been known to result in typical stimulatory and euphoric effects that become apparent after the person has had a few drinks. These are effects that can result in the behaviors that other stimulant medications are influenced by. For this reason, alcohol actually does exhibit a few stimulant effects which will depend on the individual and the amount they have had to drink.

When a person drinks a couple of alcoholic beverages it can cause this individual to become more social. However, after consuming multiple drinks, depressant effects linked to alcohol will become a lot more obvious. The depressant effects may become dangerous or severe in the case of an overdose or alcohol toxicity.

The symptoms and signs of overdose and toxicity can include extreme sedation, slowed breathing, and slurred speech. In cases that are more severe, this can even lead to death or a coma.

In the majority of cases, when alcohol has been consumed in a responsible manner, the person will usually experience a mild stimulating effect when their blood-alcohol concentrations start to rise or depressant effects when higher blood-concentration levels are reached. Based on these activities, alcohol is able to produce both sedative and stimulant effects.

7 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home.

Teeth whitening offsets the effects of aging. It offsets tooth discoloration, which is caused by oral health concerns such as plaque, tartar, etc. Also, teeth whitening brightens your smile, so it can help you maintain a beautiful and healthy smile. Having a beautiful smile boosts your self-confidence.

However, whitening your teeth is challenging. Here are 7 simple ways to naturally whiten your teeth at home.

1. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide whitens stained teeth. How? It bleaches the teeth. To use hydrogen peroxide, brush your teeth with hydrogen for 1 to 2 minutes twice every week. However, hydrogen peroxide increases tooth sensitivity. So, it is not perfect for people with sensitive teeth. And it is not good for long term use.

2. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda has natural whitening properties. Baking soda polishes away stains on the surface of the teeth. Baking soda is the safest way to remove stains. Because it does not grind away enamel. And it is not harsh. Additionally, baking soda can help fight bacteria. Therefore, it is perfect for preventing tooth decay and reducing plaque, which causes tooth discoloration.

3. Use Oil Pulling

Oil pulling not only improves oral hygiene. It also removes toxins from the body. How do you practice oil pulling? You just swish oil in your mouth. Oil pulling reduces inflammation and removes bacteria in the mouth. Removing bacteria in your mouth stops the spread of plaque, which causes teeth to look yellow. The perfect oil for oil pulling is sesame oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil. Oil pulling is safe because it does not erode the enamel.

4. Change Your Diet

Some foods and beverages stain the teeth because they contain tannings. For instance, tea, coffee, dark sodas, juices, and wine can stain the teeth. Also, acidic foods wear down the enamel. Eliminating these foods and beverages prevent further staining. Alternatively, brush your teeth 30 minutes after having these foods. A simple change in your diet can whiten your teeth.

5. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which kills bacteria. So, apple cider vinegar is perfect for cleaning the mouth and whitening teeth. However, apple cider vinegar softens the teeth because acetic acid erodes the enamel. For this reason, do not use apple cider vinegar every day. To use it, dilute apple cider vinegar in water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes.

6. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are good for the body and teeth. Crunchy and raw fruits and vegetables remove plaque from the teeth while you are chewing. So, they can help clean your teeth. Pineapple and strawberries are perfect for whitening teeth. Pineapples contain bromelain, which removes tooth stains. And strawberries contain malic acid, which removes discoloration on the teeth. Also, strawberries can help exfoliate the teeth. So, it makes your teeth appear whiter.

7. Brushing and Flossing

Want to keep your teeth white and keep your beautiful smile? Brush and floss your teeth daily. Use whitening toothpaste daily. They do not bleach the teeth. Instead, they gently buff out stains from the teethโ€™s surface. Flossing helps to get rid of bacteria and foods, which can harden into plaque. Plaque makes the teeth look dull and darker. Plaque buildup is the main cause of tooth discoloration.

These are simple ways to naturally whiten teeth at home. Whitening your teeth boosts your self-confidence. You know you have a beautiful smile, so you feel good about yourself. However, plaque buildup discolors your teeth, which can negatively affect your self-confidence. It is easy to keep your teeth white. Brush and floss your teeth after every meal.

The Benefits And Dangers Of Water Fasting

Water fasting has become a popular way to lose weight quickly. If you are considering water fasting, you need to carefully weigh the benefits and dangers. Fasting of any type is not ideal for everyone and the dangers could outweigh the benefits for some people.

The Benefits Of Water Fasting

Water fasting in humans and animals has been linked to a number of health benefits. The first is the potential promotion of autophagy. This is the process where old parts of cells are broken down and recycled. Studies have suggested that this process could protect the body against certain diseases including heart disease and cancer.

The link between water fasting and autophagy has been noted in animal studies. As there are few human studies on water fasting and autophagy. More research is needed to determine if this fasting does help humans in this way.

Another potential benefit of water fasting is a reduction in blood pressure. Human studies have found that medically supervised water fasts have helped those suffering from high blood pressure lower this. One study of 68 people found that after 14 days, 82% saw their high blood pressure fall to healthy levels.

Insulin and leptin sensitivity may also be improved through water fasting. Leptin and insulin are important hormones affecting the metabolism. Research indicates that water fasting can make the body more sensitive to these hormones which makes them more effective.

The last potential benefit of water fasting is its potential to lower the risks of certain chronic diseases. A study of 30 healthy adults found that after a 24-hour water fast, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly lower. These are the two risk factors for heart disease. Animal studies have found that water fasting can also protect the heart from free radical damage.

The Dangers Of Water Fasting

While there are many benefits provided by water fasting, it is important to know what the dangers are. Only when you understand both sides will you be able to make an informed decision about whether you should fast.

The primary danger is that you could be losing the wrong type of weight. The fast restricts the calories you ingest and this helps you lose weight quickly. However, the weight loss could come from water, carbohydrates or muscle mass.

Another danger that seems strange considering the fast is that you can become dehydrated. Many people do not realize that 20% to 30% of water intake comes from food and not drinking. During the fast, you may drink the same amount of water, but not eating will reduce your total water intake. This will result in dehydration, but it can be overcome by increasing your water intake during the fast.

Another danger of water fasting is the potential of orthostatic hypotension which is the drop in blood pressure when you suddenly stand up. This will leave you lightheaded and at risk of fainting. If you experience this during a water fast, you need to stop.

The last potential danger is the worsening of certain medical conditions. While the fast is short, it can aggravate certain conditions such as diabetes and gout. If you have a medical condition, you will need to talk to your doctor before you undertake any type of fasting.

Water fasting can offer a lot of benefits from weight loss to lowering blood pressure. However, these benefits have to be weighed against the potential dangers including dehydration, the aggravation of medical conditions, and the loss of the wrong type of weight. If you have any medication conditions, it is important that you talk to your doctor before attempting a water fast.

The 7 Most Anti-Inflammatory-Rich Foods You Can Have

Inflammation is one of the leading causes of chronic health conditions today. While inflammation is the bodyโ€™s natural way to react to toxins, infections, and injuries, prolonged exposure to the same can have a devastating effect on your health. The proteins and antibodies produced (naturally) can be overwhelming to healthy body cells, a condition that leads to chronic inflammation. Many of the major diseases known today, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimerโ€™s, and depression, have commonly linked to chronic inflammation.

Following a healthy diet plan can however help fight off chronic inflammation, hence good for your health. Discussed below are 7 of the most anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your diet plan.

1. Berries

Donโ€™t let the small fruits fool you. These fruits are a potent source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and most importantly, antioxidants. Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries contain loads of anthocyanins that come in handy in fighting inflammation. Adding these to your diet plan will see your health and immunity improve significantly.

2. Oily Fish

Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are some of the richest sources of long-chain DHA, EPA, and omega-3 fatty acids. The human body metabolizes these fatty acids into protectins and resolvins; compounds believes to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Having a meal of oily fish at least 3 times per week should supply the body with enough of these anti-inflammatory compounds.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the most nutritious veggies you can ever have. It is loaded with inflammatory fighting properties, including sulforaphane. You can also add brussels sprouts and cauliflower for a more powerful antioxidant punch.

4. Nuts

Nuts also pack potent anti-inflammatory properties, hence always welcome for anyone watching his/her health. Almonds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds can also be used for the same purpose as well. all you need is to sprinkle these nuts and seeds to your veggies and salads for the best results.

5. Avocados

Avocados are one of the best natural sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. They are particularly rich in tocopherols and carotenoids, potent antioxidants known to reduce the risk of cancer. Simply add a few slices of avocado to your daily diet plan to experience these benefits and more.

6. Green Tea

Green tea has been around for thousands of years and considered one of the healthiest drinks you can have. Green tea is believed to contain potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that come in handy in fighting chronic inflammation, as well as slow down the rate at which cancerous cells grow. Green tea particularly contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), a compound believed to reduce damage to fatty cells and cytokine production.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a good source of curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a common ingredient in many Indian and Asian dishes. It is loved for its rich taste and nutritional profile. Adding turmeric to your meals, and especially during the preparation stage. The rich color also defines its potency too.

These are just but some of the best foods for inflammation. While adding these foods to your diet plan does help fight chronic inflammation, you still need to be mindful of your health. One way to do this would be by avoiding foods responsible for causing the same. These include factory processed foods, French fries, deep-fried foods, pastries, white bread, soda, margarine, processed meats, and pasta. Avoid any foods known to cause inflammation, and also focus on leading an active lifestyle to remain healthy. Going to the gym, walking, jogging in the morning, and even taking on strenuous activities can help fight most of the conditions caused by chronic inflammation.