Green Tea and Humor

Green Tea and Humor
Researchers at Kao Corp (Japan) found that the equivalent of about four cups of green tea a day resulted in up to 24% increase in endurance performance. The proposed mechanism is stimulation of fatty acid use for energy during exercise. Interesting stuff, but there’s reason to be somewhat skeptical. The rate of improvement being so high suggests that not-particularly-fit subjects began the study. (Do you believe that with no changes in your training other than drinking green tea, you’d be able to run an extra 6+ miles past the end of a raced marathon?) Still, green tea is good, so… Something to consider. Original research reported in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 27 January 2005 (from ScienceDaily).
Meanwhile, at Texas A&M, David Rosen and collegues found exposure to a 15-minute comedy video caused subjects who subsequently filled out a questionnaire to show significantly higher levels of hope. The proposed mechanism here is the competitive inhibition of negative thoughts with positive ones, which sounds nice and is so vague as to be kind of amazing. (Think about trying to come up with a non-circular definition of “negative thoughts.”) But what the heck – maybe negative thoughts are like art and (famously) pornography – we know them when we see them. In any event, these two guys walked into a bar – the third guy ducked. Original research in Intl. J. Humor Research. (2/11)

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