1. The original Bulletproof coffee was actually butter tea.
Yak butter, to be precise. The traditional Tibetan morning drink is a combination of fermented pu-erh tea, barley powder, salt, and butter or milk from local yaks. This brew is meant to sustain locals through cold days and boost their energy by providing lots of healthy organic fats and minerals from the salt. (Eater)
2. Never doubt the healing properties of music.
A new study found that music therapy (namely, a mom or dad singing a lullaby) can help stabilize premature newborns' breathing rates. (HealthDay)
3. Youth isn't the key to happiness.
Research shows that not only are older people happier, but their happiness actually increases with age. Guess it's not really downhill after 30, after all. (NYT)
4. Humans easily trick themselves into thinking humanely raised meat tastes better.
A recent study found that people who were tasting identical samples of meat thought that the one labeled "humanely raised" tasted much better. It turns out our brains are wired to think that things taste better according to a lot of other factors besides, well, taste. (Quartz)
5. Infrared saunas are everyone's favorite new wellness trend.
At HigherDOSE, a popular new infrared sauna center in New York — the caps stand for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins — patrons withstand a 60-minute session of heat hovering around 157 degrees. Infrared saunas have been known to relieve stress and even lower blood pressure in clients who make them a weekly habit. (NYT)
6. How much coffee you drink might be genetic.
Scientists are now thinking that DNA might play a role in the way the body processes caffeine, with a certain gene variant slowing the metabolism of coffee. People with that genetic variant have a longer-lasting buzz from the same dose of coffee than someone without it. So, if you can't handle your caffeine, you might have a great excuse. (Guardian)
7. Pregnant and worried about labor? Exercise.
A small new study found that women who did water aerobics while pregnant were less likely to need an epidural while in labor. Their water aerobics sessions didn't seem to make labor any shorter, unfortunately, but hey — anything to lessen the pain! (NYT)
8. Our meds are now swimming with the fishes.
Amphetamines from medications and illegal drugs are finding their way into our waterways, a new study finds. These stimulants end up there via human consumption and excretion, manufacturing processes, and improper disposal and can alter wildlife habitats for the worst. (HealthDay)