Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mint for the drive

It was a long post-eclipse drive home from Utah, and, as the driver, I had to rely on some mental stimulation. Since I don't drink coffee, and I don't like most sodas, I decided to try something else.

I recently read a Tufts Health & Nutrition email update which described how scientists in Cardiff had shown that chewing flavorless gum doesn't help with cognitive tasks; therefore, "chewing gum is only considered a performance enhancer as long as flavor lasts." Did that mean that mint flavor was a mental stimulant?

I loaded up on wintergreen Altoids, Tic Tacs, and Lifesavers. The Altoids had enough of a sharp flavor to jolt me into hyperawareness, the Tic Tacs made me laugh as my 4-year-old kept asking for "tic tac toes," and as an added benefit, I could let my kids chew the Lifesavers to make sparks in the dark. Perfect driving aids!

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