April 23, 2009

Carbohydrate-rich processed foods (such as cookies, bread and pasta) can relax some people, although how this works is a subject of debate. Conventional wisdom holds that eating simple carbs allows tryptophan -- the amino-acid building block of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin -- into the brain, resulting in a higher level of serotonin, which induces a calm feeling. The problem with this theory, however, is that even a small amount of protein in a meal severely restricts passage of tryptophan into the brain. Some experts attribute the positive feelings you may get from eating quickly metabolized simple carbs to boosts in blood sugar or the release of endorphins in the brain.

Regardless of the mechanism, carbs from processed foods are nothing more than a quick fix. "You might experience a temporary calm feeling after eating a high-carb, low-protein meal and perhaps get a boost in serotonin," says Eva Selhub, M.D., medical director for Lighten Up, a -stress-reduction program in Chestnut Hill, Mass. "But effects could just as easily be due to changes in blood sugar. At any rate, it's short-lived."

Sweat and makeup aren't really friends, at least that's what our white towels tell us. There have been plenty of times where we've cycled with mascara-enduced raccoon eyes (at least the room is dark!) and dripped bronzer onto the treadmill belt during a run. Will makeup ever past the sweat test? Extreme sports athletes Hannah Teder, Roberta Macino, Julia Mancuso, and Kelia Moniz find out by filming themselves for Bobbi Brown's latest campaign, Long Wear, Life-Proof. Each athlete dons their eye collection and braves the elements with a Go Pro. Because, if the makeup can survive the crazy conditions of the mountains and the ocean, it can survive our cycling class right?