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25 Unexpected Uses For Sugar

25 Unexpected Uses For Sugar

Sugar has a bad rap, which it rightly deserves. In a 58-week study by University of Utah, the mice fed a diet containing 25% sugar were twice as likely to die than the mice fed a similar diet without sugar. A diet high in sugar has been linked to health problems, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, and more. Since sugar is in almost everything, especially processed foods, it’s easy to indulge to excess.
If we shouldn’t be ingesting it, what are some of the uses for sugar?
Here are 25 ways for sugar to be a part of your day without endangering your life:

Sugar for the body (external)

1. Tongue Burns

Burn your tongue from sipping hot coffee or tea? Sprinkle a few granules on your tongue and the pain should dissipate.

2. Hair Gel

A teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a cup of warm water makes great hair gel. Dissolve the sugar, then dip your fingers in the mixture and style your hair. It works swell for spiky-hair looks.

3. Lipstick Extender

Apply your lipstick as usual, then sprinkle a bit of sugar on your lips, let it sit, and then dip your finger in a little water and dab off the remaining sugar. This should extend the wear of your lipstick.

4. Body Exfoliant

Put a teaspoon of sugar in a shot glass and add your favorite shower gel. Mix together and scrub away. The coarseness of the sugar will exfoliate your dead skin, helping to reveal newer skin.

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5. Face Exfoliant

It’s also important to exfoliate your face, but not with shower gel. Shower gel is too strong for the delicate skin on your face. Instead, take a pinch of sugar and a few drops of olive oil and gently scrub your face. Daily exfoliation will aid in your skin’s renewal cycle, remove dead skin cells that may clog your pores, and prevent breakouts.

6. Pedicure

If you want to remove the hard skin on your heels and feet, there is nothing better than adding a pinch of sugar to any gel soap, and using a pumice stone to work it in.

7. Self-Tanner Fixer-Upper

To repair self-tanner mistakes,  mix 1 tablespoon sugar with ¼ cup coconut oil, and then scrub your hands, elbows, knees, and other areas where the self-tanning lotion accumulated strangely. The sugar will exfoliate the excess self-tanner while the coconut oil nourishes, moisturizes, and makes your skin smell like you just came from the tropics!

8. Remove Unwanted Hair

To remove unwanted hair, mix 2 cups of sugar, ¼ cup of lemon, and ¼ cup of water in a stainless steel pot. Cook until it’s a dark amber color, and has taffy-like consistency. This substance can be used with waxing strips or without to naturally remove unwanted hair. Cool before using.

9. Heal Cuts

Sprinkle sugar over minor cuts. The antiseptic qualities of sugar act as a mild disinfectant and help prevent infection while aiding the blood clotting process. This use was documented in the early 80s when Dr. Richard Knutson, MD, created a formula mixing 4 pounds of table sugar, 1 pound of Betadine (iodine) antiseptic ointment, and 6.50 ounces of Betadine solution in a double boiler over low heat which he used to heal “hard-to-treat” wounds. (Southern Medical Journal, Nov. 1981)

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Sugar Uses in the Home and Garden

10. Fresh flower food

Mix 3 teaspoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of vinegar for each ¼ cup of water. This mixture helps to keep flowers fresh and restricts bacteria growth.

11. Grass stain remover

Make a paste-like solution, combining warm water with sugar, and then apply on the stain. Let it soak for at least an hour, and then wash normally.

12. Ant Killer

Combine equal amounts of sugar, water, and borax. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and place in areas where ants enter the home.  The sugar attracts them and the borax kills them.

13. Wasp trapper

Make syrup combining water and sugar, pour into a tempered jar and set outside to attract wasps.

14. Worm slayer

Sprinkle 2.25 kilograms of sugar for every 250 square feet of garden patch to prevent nematodes from invading your garden.

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Glenda Gregory, Flickr

    15. Cockroach exterminator

    Combine equal parts sugar and baking powder and pour over infested areas. Sugar attracts the roaches and the baking powder kills them.

    16. Fly strip

    Create syrup by mixing equal parts sugar, honey, and water. Let cool. Cut strips of brown packing tape, punch holes, and tie a string on one end. Dip strip in the syrup mixture, let excess syrup drip away, and then hang where the flies like to collect. Make sure you hang the strips in places where people will not walk into them.

    17. Melt ice & snow

    Everyone knows about using salt to melt ice, but sugar works just as well.

    18. Clean coffee & nut grinders

    Pour ¼ cup of sugar into the grinder to eliminate excess oils and odor.

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    Sugar uses for the artist

    19. Make fake blood

    Create syrup with coffee water, sugar, and corn starch. Cool in the fridge and then add red and green food coloring to find the right blood-red color you desire.

    20. Make breakable glass

    Create syrup with 3 ½ cups of sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 2 cups water, and ¼ cup of cream of tartar. Bring to boil slowly. Chill a cookie sheet and spray heavily with cooking spray. Pour syrup into sheet and let it cool. Remember, even if its fake glass you might still cut yourself.

    21. Make sugar skulls

    Sugar skulls are traditional folk art from Southern Mexico used to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  The skull molds are made of sugar, meringue powder, and water. They are dried overnight and decorated.

    22. Make art

    Sugar cubes can be dyed, stacked, glued, and formed into different objects like igloos, buildings, bridges, and more.

    Sugar uses for the adventurous

    23. Make charcoal

    Mix equal parts sugar and concentrated sulfuric acid in a beaker to make charcoal.

    24. Create a sugar snake

    Use more of the mixture and make a sugar snake.

    25. Make a chemical fire

    In a fireproof container mix a small amount of sodium chlorate and sugar. Initiate the reaction by adding a few drops of sulfuric acid.

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    Published on November 14, 2018

    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

    With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

    For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

    In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

    Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

    Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

    It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

    For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

    Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

    Symptoms of Fatigue

    Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

    • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
    • mental blocks
    • lack of motivation
    • headache
    • dizziness
    • muscle weakness
    • slowed reflexes and responses
    • impaired decision-making and judgement
    • moodiness, such as irritability
    • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
    • reduced immune system function
    • blurry vision
    • short-term memory problems
    • poor concentration
    • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

    Causes of Fatigue

    The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

    • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
    • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
    • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
    • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

    Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

    Medical Causes of Fatigue

    If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

    Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

    Anemia

    Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

    Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

    There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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    This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

    Diabetes

    Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

    Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

    Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

    Thyroid disease

    An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

    Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

    • Lack of sleep
    • Too much sleep 
    • Alcohol and drugs 
    • Sleep disturbances 
    • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
    • Poor diet 

    Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

    • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
    • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
    • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
    • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

    Psychological Causes of Fatigue

    Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

    • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
    • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
    • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

    How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

    Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

    1. Tell The Truth

    Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

    To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

    Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

    The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

    One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

    • How you feel
    • What time of day it is
    • What may have contributed to your fatigue
    • How your mind and body reacts

    This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

    2. Reduce Your Commitments

    When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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    If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

    When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

    Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

    3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

    If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

    Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

    If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

    Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

    Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

    4. Express More Gratitude

    Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

    It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

    Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

    5. Focus On Yourself

    Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

    There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

    But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

    We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

    6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

    Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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    Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

    The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

    Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

    7. Take a Power Nap

    When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

    Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

    This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

    8. Take More Exercise

    The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

    Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

    The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

    You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

    9. Get More Quality Sleep

    To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

    Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

    My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

    10. Improve Your Diet

    Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

    Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

    On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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    To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

    Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

    Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

    11. Manage Your Stress Levels

    Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

    When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

    Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

    My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

    12. Get Hydrated

    Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

    Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

    If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

    The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

    The Bottom Line

    These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

    If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
    [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
    [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
    [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
    [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
    [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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