All posts by Neha Prathivadi

Does plucking gray hairs cause more to grow in its place?

If you’re looking in the mirror and see a lone gray hair, it might be tempting to pull it out. However, there have been warnings that plucking out strands of gray hair can result in multiple more appearing. Is that true? Should we avoid pulling out the gray strands?   

Hair gets its color from melanin, a pigment in our hair, eyes, and skin. The amount of this pigment decreases as we age, and less melanin is produced. Once these pigment-producing cells in the hair follicle die, our hair displays no color, which we interpret as gray. Plucking one gray hair does not impact the hair follicles around it since the surrounding cells are still alive and will maintain our natural hair color.  

There may be another reason not to pluck gray hairs.  Each time you pluck a hair, it grows out thinner or may not grow back at all.    

 It may seem like plucking on gray hair leads to others, but that’s probably just your head aging.  Plucking a gray hair does not affect the other hair follicles, but it does damage that one follicle you pluck. Embrace the gray or choose to dye your hair, but don’t fret about plucking.    

Links: 

UAMS Health 

Huff Post 

Should You Consume Pre-Workout Supplements?

Best Pre Workout Supplements

Image from www.thesportreview.com

Pre-workout supplements are advertised to increase energy and improve exercise performance. TikTok trends claim that “dry scooping”–taking supplements without water–helps the body absorb them faster. What is the evidence for or against such claims?

Because these supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it’s difficult to be certain exactly what they contain. Pre-workout supplements typically consist of protein building blocks (creatine and beta-alanine), vitamins, nutrients, and a notable dose of caffeine. Creatine is theorized to increase focus and beta-alanine to an energy boost. Caffeine can increase heart rate and blood flow. On the basis of a few low-quality studies, claims are made that these three main ingredients slightly enhance performance in extreme athletes but may not significantly impact individuals who exercise moderately (Ghose, 2015; Spillane, Schwarz, & Willoughby, 2014; Duncan et al., 2012).

Dry scooping is associated with a risk of inhaling the powder, with a potential for inflammation or infection. There may also be a risk for overconsumption of caffeine.

Used as directed, some of these supplements have as much caffeine as three cups of coffee. This high amount of caffeine, combined with a person’s daily coffee and soda consumption, can lead to nausea and shakiness. There may also be a small risk of heart rhythm problems.

An alternative to consuming pre-workout supplements may be healthy sources of energy such as whole, natural foods. Bananas and other fruits have carbohydrates that break down quickly and give us energy. Coffee is a familiar, safe, and readily available source of a caffeine energy boost. It’s healthy to develop good habits of diet and activity in all aspects of life, not just at the time of a workout.

It’s not clear whether consuming pre-workout supplements has more potential for benefit than for harm. If it holds some appeal for you, ensure the supplements have familiar ingredients and be cautious about your daily caffeine intake. 

 

https://www.livescience.com/53095-do-preworkout-supplements-work.html

https://blog.nasm.org/pre-workout-guide

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/dry-scooping-tiktok-trend/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-taking-a-pre-workout-actually-work/

 

Should You Whisper After Losing Your Voice?

image from wfuv.org

 

How many of us have lost our voice after a live concert, sports game, or a medical illness like laryngitis? The answer is likely the majority of us. Therefore, we are familiar with the struggle of trying to communicate with a hoarse voice.  Without vocal cord function, one can only whisper.  And some people might think that whispering rather than trying to make use of our vocal cords might speed recovery. It might feel like we need to exert less force and strain on our vocal cords. Does this idea stand up to the facts? Research shows that whispering can actually be as hard on your vocal cords as shouting. 

Our vocal cords consist of three layers, and we experience hoarseness when the middle, gel-like layer becomes swollen or inflamed. When we whisper, we squeeze our vocal cords more tightly, which might contribute to strain, especially when they are inflamed. This squeezing, combined with the fact that whispering does not vibrate our vocal cords, can also lead to vocal cord irritation from dryness.

The idea is that resting your voice and vocal cords helps speed resolution of the inflammation. One to three days of not talking can help you regain your voice a little more quickly. Some other things that can help your vocal cords are drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier to moisten the air you breathe. Alcohol, caffeine, and smoking all have drying effects and might delay recovery.

We use our vocal cords frequently in our everyday lives, for working and socializing. To speed recovery, limit attempts to communicate vocally, including whispering, and keep your body hydrated and your vocal cords moist!

 

https://uscvhh.org/share/why-you-shouldnt-whisper-with-a-hoarse-voice.html#:~:text=That’s%20not%20true%3A%20Studies%20have,they%20actually%20cause%20more%20damage.

https://utswmed.org/medblog/vocal-cords-care-qa/

https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2020/feb/5-reasons-for-losing-your-voice-and-tips-for-getting-it-back/