Dehydration can affect your brain, make it tough to perform simple tasks

Dehydration,Health,Wellness

According to a recent study, dehydration alters the human brain shape and activity and even slackens task performance. A Georgia Institute of Technology study suggests that when dehydration strikes, part of the brain can swell, neural signalling can intensify, and doing monotonous tasks can get harder.

The researchers also found that even without dehydration, exertion and heat put a dent in test subjects’ performance, but water loss made the dent about twice as deep. “We wanted to tease out whether exercise and heat stress alone have an impact on your cognitive function and study the effect of dehydration on top of that,” said Mindy Millard-Stafford, the study’s principal investigator.

In the experiments, when participants exercised, sweated and drank water, fluid-filled spaces called ventricles in the centre of their brains contracted. But with exertion plus dehydration, the ventricles did the opposite; they expanded. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed the differences. Oddly, the ventricle expansion in dehydrated test subjects may not have had much to do with their deeper slumps in task performance.

“The structural changes were remarkably consistent across individuals,” said Millard-Stafford. “But performance differences in the tasks could not be explained by changes in the size of those brain areas.”

“The areas in the brain required for doing the task appeared to activate more intensely than before, and also, areas lit up that were not necessarily involved in completing the task,” said the study’s first author Matt Wittbrodt. “We think the latter may be in response to the physiological state: the body signalling, ‘I’m dehydrated’.”

The task the subjects completed was mindless and repetitive. For 20 straight minutes, they were expected to punch a button every time a yellow square appeared on a monitor. Sometimes, the square appeared in a regular pattern, and sometimes it appeared randomly. The task was dull for a reason.

“It helped us to avoid the cognitive complexity behind elaborate tasks and strip cognition down to simple motor output,” Wittbrodt said. “It was designed to hit essential neural processing one would use to make straightforward, repetitive movements.” The study has been published in Physiological Reports.

[“source=hindustantimes”]

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 4 reasons to never skip it

Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal,Breakfast,Benefits Of Breakfast

Know someone who’s the first one to get on a fad diet? Whether it is intermittent fasting, low carb, high fat, and no carbs at night – you name it and they are the first ones to try it. Well, that person is me.

I feel like I have been on this perennial quest to find out what’s healthy eating really like? With exercise, it is pretty easy. Workout, burn calories and follow a routine that you love. But with food and nutrition, there are way too many options, aspects to consider and obviously not enough clinical evidence of what works.

But if there’s one thing that I’ve realised (after many mistakes) is that breakfast is the indeed the most important meal of the day. You may hear of people who like to skip it or people who can survive on a bowl of fruits, but an ideal breakfast is a lot more than that. When you skip breakfast a number of things happen to your body.

Low energy

Skipping breakfast may work for you for a day, but it is not a sustainable choice. A good breakfast gives you that much needed fuel to function through the day. By skipping it, you’ll likely suffer from a drop in energy – if not on day 1, but definitely by day 7.

Weight

For people following intermittent fasting for weight loss, skipping breakfast helps to maintain their fasting window without compromising on an evening out. But according to a study, when you skip breakfast you’re low on energy and are more likely to crave for fatty foods and crave sugar.

Mood swings

Hangry is indeed a real condition. Opting to not eat breakfast can make you irritable. And if you pick coffee over breakfast to remedy that, you’ll end up with a caffeine high. But once it comes down, you’ll again experience moodiness.

Metabolism

Skipping breakfast can lead to slower metabolism. According to a study, skipping breakfast can increase inflammation. In fact, skipping breakfast or dinner can both have adverse effects.

[“source=hindustantimes”]

Google is testing shopping tab, here’s what it may and may not mean for users

Google is testing shopping tab, here’s what it may and may not mean for users

BENGALURU: Search engine giant Google will soon launch its ‘Shopping’ tab in India, allowing users to search for products to buy and directing them to merchant websites or ecommerce platforms for product listings, two people familiar with the company’s plans told ET.

In the works for several months, the Shopping tab will be piloted soon, prior to a fullfledged launch before the end of the year, one of the persons said.

Confirming the development, a Google spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We are always exploring options to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants.”

Google is already in talks with ecommerce players such as Flipkart, Paytm Mall and Snapdeal to partake in the company’s shopping tab initiative, according to one of the persons cited earlier. ET could not independently verify the same. To be sure, multiple sources ET spoke with clarified that Google will not, for the moment, fulfil online shopping, either through its payment product or otherwise.

Likely to Tap Into SMEs
Besides large ecommerce websites, Google is also expected to tap into its large network of registered small and medium enterprises or SMEs — from neighbourhood kirana stores to high-end handicraft stores — to help users discover products they want. These merchants need not necessarily list on platforms like Amazon or Flipkart.

“They (Google) will partner with retailers of all sizes — it can tell the user where the product is available, is it available online, etc.,” said another person in the know. For now, this service is being provided free of cost.

Some experts see the Google shopping tab as a precursor of the internet giant eventually setting up an ecommerce marketplace.

“It is like how Amazon launched price comparison website Junglee.com before foraying into ecommerce full-fledged after they got consumer data,” said one of the persons cited above. “Google will also first understand Indian shopping trends through the Shopping tab.”

DECLINING AD REVENUES
Google’s foray into product search comes at a time when the tech giant is said to be losing market share to Amazon on product searches in the US, which translates into declining ad revenues.

The US online retail market is dominated by the powerful network built by Amazon through its Prime programme, which analysts believe is difficult to overcome by any other tech company.

“In the US, 50-60% product search begins at Amazon, bypassing Google and cannibalising its market,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. “Google is losing online shoppers because of this and it is taking a hit at their advertising revenue.”

Earlier this year, media reports said that Flipkart and Amazon had reduced their ad spending on Google by as much as 30%.

Google’s annual ad revenues are over $40 billion. Amazon’s annualised ad revenue is much lower at over $6 billion, but it’s growing at around 132% quarter-on-quarter.

PRODUCT SEARCH
Akin to the ‘News’ or ‘Images’ tabs on Google search page, the ‘Shopping’ tab allows users to sift through different merchant listings of the product they are looking for.

At present, online shoppers generally go to an ecommerce website directly to search for a particular product.

While Google already lists products through its ‘product listing ads’, the Shopping tab will give users a lot more control. For instance, users can filter the product they are looking for based on price or any other attributes, while also getting more details of the product by going to the ‘details’ page.

On the merchant side, anyone with a product feed can plug into Google’s merchant centre to be listed on the shopping tab, said the second person cited earlier.

“The idea is that of an open ecosystem. Google wants partners of all sizes and shapes — offline, online, pureplay, omnichannel,” the person said.

[“source=pcworld”]

If your iPhone battery needs to be replaced, do it before December 31

After last year’s fiasco about Apple slowing down iPhones with old batteries, the company decided to make amends by offering discounted battery replacement for all handsets ranging from iPhone SE and iPhone 6 all the way up to iPhone X. But that period will soon come to an end.

So if you are in need of a new iPhone battery, there’s no better time than this month, because Apple is currently charging just $29, down from $79 and prices will go up after that. Most older iPhones will be repaired for $49 in 2019, but the iPhone X battery swap will set you back $69.

And if you are wondering about the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, they aren’t included in the program since they were launched long after the debacle. And besides, they are still under warranty.

[“source=gsmarena”]