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Tonic Water: The Must-Know Facts

Tonic Water: The Must-Know Facts

The girlfriend and I spent the last couple months getting to know a refreshing summer drink: gin and tonic. A half dozen handles o’ gin later, we began a discussion on tonic water. I thought it was no different than sparkling water, but it turns out this mixer has a bit more going for it. If you’d like to join us in partaking in the iconic G and T cocktail, here are a few must-know facts about tonic water.

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    #1 Tonic Water Was Originally A Prophylactic

    Tonic water is made by dissolving a natural white crystalline alkaloid called quinine, which has been used for centuries (and as recently as the 1940s) to prevent malaria and treat fever, pain, inflammation, lupus, and arthritis. Because of the low-cost, quinine is still used as a medicine today in many impoverished countries. It’s available with a prescription in the US as well. In tonic water, the dosage of quinine is minimal, only used to provide the signature tart flavor. Even so, many of the healing properties are still intact — you’re just taking a fraction of a children’s dose instead.

    #2 Gin Makes Tonic Water Palatable

    We’re used to thinking of a mixer as something you add to alcohol to make it taste better. The G and T was invented in reverse: troops of the British East India Company in India drank tonic water to prevent malaria, but the taste was too bitter and unpleasant. Gin (along with lime and sugar) was originally added to tonic water by the army in order to make the tonic more palatable. These days, the sugar is already added to tonic water, and limes are sometimes replaced by lemons (for Beefeater gin) or a cucumber slice (for Hendrick’s gin).

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    #3 Tonic Water Today Can Be Hard To Find

    Over-the-counter tonic water these days isn’t always easy to find — many grocery stores carry it in their mixer section, and some occasionally carry it in their soda and soft drink section. Liquor stores that carry gin will often carry tonic water as well, although this isn’t always the case. While there is a variety of tonic water makers, you won’t see much competition in stores.

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      #4 Tonic Water Is as Bad For You as Soda

      Although it sounds like it’s only water, a 12-oz can of tonic water contains 44 mg of sodium and 32g of sugar. Many sodas (pop, Coke, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) contain around 33g of sugar in the same 12-oz can. The calorie count in tonic water is 124 versus 138 calories in your average can of soda. Even still, a gin and tonic has less calories and sugar than a Cuba Libre (rum and coke), since rum is derived from sugar itself.

      #5 Tonic Water is Fluorescent

      Quinine is fluorescent, meaning it will glow under UV (black) light. The active ingredient is so sensitive to UV light that it’ll even glow under direct sunlight (although this is a bit harder to notice since the sun is out). The girlfriend and I have been trying all summer, but thus far, we have been unable to glow in the dark ourselves, regardless of how many G and T’s we drank. We’re no quitters though… to be continued…

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      #6 Tonic Water Nutritional Facts

      Percent Daily Value*

      *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

      Nutrition Table

        Original Source: USDA

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        Last Updated on November 11, 2019

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

        To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

        Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

        1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

        Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

        Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

        To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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        2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

        Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

        If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

        Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

        3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

        Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

        Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

        4. Feed Your Brain

        Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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        This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

        Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

        Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

        5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

        According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

        Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

        Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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        6. Write it Down

        If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

        It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

        You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

        7. Listen to Music

        Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

        8. Visual Concepts

        In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

        Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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        Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

        9. Teach Someone Else

        Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

        Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

        10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

        Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

        So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

        Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

        More About Boosting Memory

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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