Let's all detox

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Let's detox (seriously)

  • Liquid fat loss

  • Improve your sleep quality

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A Detox That Works

Herbal teas and liver or kidney detoxes are a great way to waste money. But that doesn’t mean all forms of restriction are worthless.

Recent research suggests that reducing screen time significantly improves your well-being. You don't need to go cold turkey, but it's worth changing.

While too many people speculate that social media and time on your phones aren’t good for your mental health, this study provided new insight into what’s happening. The scientists measured mood, happiness, and biological changes by collecting daily stress biomarkers (salivary cortisol).

Maybe somewhat surprisingly, those with more screen time did not show physiological differences, as their cortisol didn’t change compared to those who cut their screen time.

But, those who spent less time attached to their machine (as Arnold loves to call them) felt better about life. Their mood was better, they were happier, and they felt less stressed.

While more research is necessary to know why, the researchers suggest a few reasons based on other studies. It could be that the need to be connected at all times increases feelings of stress, depression, or guilt. It might also be that constant self-comparison (via social media) reduces overall well-being. And another study found that those who spent more time on screens spent less time doing other healthy activities such as exercising or sleeping.

Whatever the reason, it’s worth giving less screen time a try. The group who found more joy in the study reduced their phone time to three hours per week.

If you want to cut back start, start simple. We spent time in our writer's room trying to figure out where you’ll see the most impact, and we developed the 30-30-30 anti-screen rule: No phones 30 minutes after your wake up, 30 minutes before a meal (don't scroll while you eat, either, as it's a key habit for lasting fat loss), or 30 minutes before bed.

Let's all spread the 30-30-30 approach and help each other feel better.

While the goal is to spend less time on your phone (such as avoiding technology 1 to 2 hours before sleep), unbreakable habits start with small changes that become routine. Once you master the 30-30-30 approach, you’ll experience a positive impact on your life, and then you can build toward bigger goals.

Liquid Fat Loss

There is no such thing as a fat loss pill. But there could be such a thing as a fat-loss drink.

Research suggests that moderate coffee consumption is associated with losing more body fat.

Scientists looked at nearly 1,500 participants who took DXA body scans (the gold standard for body fat) and filled out food questionnaires at the start of the study, and then again at six months, 12 months, and three years after the study began. The researchers found three general trends: coffee haters (our term, not theirs) who had less than 3 cups per month, moderate coffee drinkers (about 1 to 7 cups per week), and coffee lovers (more than 1 cup per day).

When you shift from low to moderate coffee consumption or start drinking about a cup of coffee per day, you see a reduction in body fat. But no benefit was seen when moving from low coffee consumption to the high group.

There are many plausible reasons for the study results. Research suggests that caffeine can help burn more calories and reduce your appetite. And other research shows that bitter foods (coffee beans definitely qualify) also help reduce intake. Coffee has also been found to help boost workout performance.

So why don’t you see the fat loss in the high coffee condition? It might be less about coffee and more about how people use coffee to offset other lifestyle behaviors. In the high coffee condition, there was a higher incidence of unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, having a poorer diet, and exercising less -- all of which can lead to more weight gain. So, it's possible that those in the study who drank more coffee were using caffeine to help them get through life, rather than as a healthy habit. We don't know for sure because the study was merely observational.

While we don’t have answers, we’ve previously shared that most research that isolates lifestyle behaviors shows that coffee positively impacts health. And, if you’re trying to support fat loss, the magic number appears to be about 100 to 150 mg of caffeine once per day, which is why we love this coffee.

Chill Out, Sleep Better

We like to joke about influencers who feel the need to share their deepest motivational thoughts from the (dis)comfort of their cold tub. But that doesn’t mean chilling out doesn’t have any benefits.

New research suggests that chilling your body before you go to sleep can make it easier to fall asleep and lead to higher-quality rest.

The study wasn’t big (only 15 people), but it certainly got our attention by focusing on people who struggle to get enough sleep and have better quality sleep. The participants swallowed a sleep temperature pill, and then scientists measured the sleep quality.

Those who had lower core body temperature had lower heart rates during their sleep (this is a good thing), and — most notably — more time spent in stage 3 sleep (your recovery sleep) and better heart rate variability (HRV).

A little pre-bed cooldown might be worth your time because lower heart rate in sleep and improved HRV are associated with long-term health outcomes.

Different options for reducing your temperature before sleep include using a cooling mattress, turning down your thermostat about 60 minutes before bed, or even taking a hot shower. This might seem counterintuitive, but when you get out, your body will cool off and naturally lower your temperature.