7 Things to Do Tonight to Make Sure You Are Your Best Self Tomorrow

Something that can be easier said than done is waking up and feeling your absolute best. You might wake up feeling groggy, tired, and unmotivated to start the day. However, being just a little more proactive every night can help prep you for a successful morning ahead. Here are some easy tips and tricks to wake up feeling refreshed to make sure you’re the best you can be!

Prep and pack.

Getting together all that you need for the next day will help you to wake up feeling ready to take on the day! Try to pack your bag for work, your gym bag, get your lunch ready and in the fridge, and you’ll be good to go the next morning without having to think about any of it.

Make some time for tea.

Have a cup of chamomile tea, or any herbal tea for that matter, at bedtime. If it’s caffeine free, it won’t keep you up! In addition, you’ll feel calmer and less anxious before bed, so that you can wake up feeling ready to take on the day.

Unplug to unwind.

Although it’s easy to get in the pattern of not looking at your phone, or any screen for that matter before bed, it can be affecting your sleep patterns negatively. By not looking at those screens before bed, you could wake up feeling way more refreshed!

Try to get some exercise in.

Even if you didn’t have time to hit the gym, going for a long walk or bike ride could help you fall asleep quicker, get more restful sleep, and have you wake up feeling better! Just make sure to do it no later than two hours before bedtime, so that it doesn’t keep you awake.

Hydrate throughout the day.

You probably hear this all the time, but water is so important for your body (for real). Drinking water throughout the entire day can help your sleep by getting rid of toxins while you’re asleep and aiding in your digestion. In addition, dehydration can be disrupting your sleep, so drink up before bed, and as soon as you wake up!

Jot it all down.

Journaling at night can help you sleep better by giving you a sense of clarity. Whether it’s things on your mind that are making you anxious or stressed, stuff you want to get done tomorrow, or writing down what you’re grateful for, journaling could be a huge help to both your sleep and mental health. Journaling can help you focus on your goals, better understand your emotions, and give you a sense of calmness before bedtime. When you wake up, you may be in a much better state of mind!

Eat light.

Eating a heavy meal before bed isn’t good for your sleep and digestion, but snacking on something light and healthy like yogurt, granola, or some fruit (especially bananas) can be good for you. Try finding foods that have tryptophan, as these can promote restful, healthy sleep!



Waterfront Workouts in Sarasota County

Hit the beach for an exercise session in a postcard-worthy setting

There’s nothing wrong with spending an afternoon lounging on one of Sarasota County’s beautiful beaches, soaking up the sun while lying on the sand. But our beaches also make for great places to get active. Here are four ways to get your daily workout in within eyesight of the Gulf of Mexico.

Strike a Pose

Yoga on the beach

Don’t be surprised to find a small crowd gathered at Venice Beach most mornings. They’ve come down on the sand with towels in hand for Elin Larsen’s popular free yoga sessions, which take place Monday through Saturday at 8 and 9 a.m. and on Sunday at 8 a.m. from November through early March.

“It’s quiet that time of day,” says Larsen, who also offers sunset yoga sessions Monday through Thursday at 5 p.m. “We’re usually the only ones on the beach—though sometimes we’re 300 strong.”

The classes are suitable for all ages and ability levels, with attendees ranging from dedicated retirees to moms positioned on the group’s outer edge so their kids can play nearby on the sand. And Larsen has found that there’s nothing like working on strength and flexibility steps from the Gulf.

“Being right on the beach, you get wonderful fresh air,” she says. “We listen to the water and the birds and watch for pelicans, dolphins, and tarpon jumping. In a room you always have the same environment; out on the beach you never know what you’re going to see.”

Shake It Off

Peace, Love, and Hoopiness on Nokomis Beach
Peace, Love, and Hoopiness on Nokomis Beach

A 1950s-era craze is alive and well on Nokomis Beach, where folks gather on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 9 a.m. to shake and swivel their way through a workout. Peace, Love & Hoopiness runs these Hoola-Fit classes, which incorporate elements like dance and mindful movement.

Hula hoops are provided for attendees, who can burn some 400 calories during a 60-minute session. “It’s a whole-body workout,” says Peace, Love & Hoopiness owner Heather Kirkendall. “And it’s a brilliant form of fitness for any age, because it’s low impact.”

Don’t know if your hips have what it takes? Go ahead and give it a try. “The classes are geared for any level,” says Kirkendall. “So you can be a brand new hooper or someone who’s been hooping for many years and feel like you belong.”

The drop-in rate for each class is $15, with sunset sessions also offered on Wednesdays. “It’s a cool way to meet some people and have a good time,” says Kirkendall. “It’s a beautiful location and really gets the happy hormones flowing in your brain.”

Get on Board

SURFit USA.  Photo credit: SURFit.

What’s better than working out near the water? How about working out on the water? SURFit USA offers standup paddleboard fitness and yoga classes that add an extra element of exercise to the popular sport.

The fitness classes include cardio and strength work and set off from Sarasota’s Turtle Beach on Tuesday mornings and South Lido Beach on Thursday mornings, both at 9:30 a.m. The difficultly level is tailored to attendees’ abilities. “The classes are fun, because everyone loves to be out on the water,” says Karla Gore, SURFit’s co-owner. “And it’s a really good workout.”

Paddleboard yoga classes take place on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. and on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. and depart from Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach. “Beginners are welcome and encouraged,” says Gore. “The water there is really shallow and calm.”

The cost is $25 per class (advance registration required) and includes all needed equipment. “You don’t have to bring anything,” says Gore. “You just come and the board is waiting for you, then you go out and do your workout.”

Make a Run for It

Running on the on Siesta Beach at Dusk can be a beautiful way to burn calories
Running on the on Siesta Beach at Dusk can be a beautiful way to burn calories

Tired of just pounding the pavement? Runners visiting the area from more landlocked parts of the country might want to lace up their sneakers and hit the sand for a jog along the shoreline.

“I would say the best beach to run on is Siesta Beach,” says Kimmy Collister-Sterns, president of the Manasota Track Club. “Especially if it is low tide—it’s a lot easier to run on the hard-packed sand by the water’s edge.”

Runners have options here when it comes to distance. Head south from the main public beach area and back for a three-mile route. Running the entire length of Siesta Beach ups the distance to about six miles.

Casey Key, which straddles the communities of Nokomis and Osprey, also makes a great spot for a run. You can head down to the sand at Nokomis Beach. Or you can run along the barrier island’s winding main road, which meanders for several miles and offers stop-you-in-your-tracks views of the Gulf and an impressive array of waterfront mega-mansions. When you’re done, you can kick off your shoes, dive into the water, and reward yourself for your exercise efforts with a little relaxation.

By: Beth Luberecki

Tips to Help Save Money on Prescription Medication Costs

(BPT) – Modern medications can work wonders, improving quality of life, curing illness and even saving lives. However, those miracles can come at a high cost, as anyone who’s had to pay for branded prescription medication knows. In fact, spending on prescription drugs has increased 73 percent in the past seven years, according to a new report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

What’s driving the increase

The Health of America Report found prescription drug spending by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) members increased 10 percent annually since 2010. High costs of patent-protected drugs account for the lion’s share of the total increase.

Generic drugs account for 82 percent of total prescriptions filled, but account for just 37 percent of total drug spending. By contrast, patent-protected prescription drugs comprise less than 10 percent of all prescriptions filled but account for 63 percent of total drug spending, the report found.

“Experience and past price trends suggest drug costs will continue to rise in the future,” says Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer for BCBS. “The need for more affordable generic alternatives to costly patent-protected brand-name pharmaceuticals is urgent. As prices continue to rise, more consumers will be looking for ways to curb the cost of their medications.”

What you can do

It is possible to lower your drug costs while still taking the medications your doctor has prescribed to help your health. BCBSA offers some guidance:

* If your doctor prescribes a costly name-brand medication, ask your physician or pharmacist if a generic version is available. Generic drugs are identical to their brand-name equivalents in dosage form, safety, strength and quality, how you take them, performance and intended use, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Generics typically cost less than name-brand medications. The BCBSA report shows how costs for medicines like Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Avapro (irbesartan) plummet when generic alternatives become available.

* It may be possible for your doctor to prescribe a higher strength than you need of a particular medication and allow you to split the tablet or pill to get the lower dose you need at a lower cost. In fact, many pills that can be safely split come pre-scored with an indentation that makes it easier to cut them in half. However, not all prescription medications can be safely split, so be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether it’s safe to split your medications.

* Ordering prescription medications through the mail could lower drug costs, but it’s important to ensure you’re buying from your pharmacy benefit manager, typically listed on the back of an insurance card. The FDA recommends you only purchase drugs from organizations located in the U.S. and licensed by the state board of pharmacy where the company operates (find a list of state boards of pharmacy at www.nabp.info). The mail order pharmacy should have a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions, require a prescription from your doctor in order to sell you medication, and have someone you can talk to directly if you have questions or problems.

* Another way to reduce drug costs is to ask your doctor to write your prescription for a 90-day supply so that you will get a three-month supply of the medication for the price of one co-pay.

* Finally, review your prescriptions with your doctor at least every six months to ensure you’re not taking any more medicines than you absolutely need. However, never skip doses of medicine, avoid refilling a prescription or stop taking medicine altogether without first consulting your doctor.

For more information about prescription drug costs, and to read the full Health of America report, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica.

All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.

NFL Concussion Settlement!

The NFL concussion settlement gives former NFL players a chance for a better life

(BPT) – After years of waiting, the NFL concussion settlement affecting thousands of retired NFL players is now open for registration, which means former players, their family and their representatives can begin to take advantage of the benefits the settlement provides. To be eligible, all retired players and their representatives must register by Aug. 7, 2017 by visiting www.nflconcussionsettlement.com.

The NFL concussion settlement provides benefits to thousands of retired NFL players who joined the league because of their unrelenting “love of the game.” However, after a career playing in the NFL, many of these retired players left the game with lifelong devastating brain damage due to the many concussions, “dings” and other hard hits they sustained while playing on the field.

Today, these retired NFL players suffer daily from neuro-cognitive illnesses that often leave them bedridden and unable to recall some of their most sacred memories. At the same time, their loved ones are forced to watch them suffer from these debilitating brain injuries while simultaneously grappling with significant medical bills. Unfortunately, even though these retired players dedicated their blood, sweat, and tears to the game, most do not have the financial support or assistance they need to deal with these conditions.

Though it is too late to reverse what happened to these retired players, the NFL concussion settlement provides a lifeline to those who suffer from neuro-cognitive illnesses today. It provides immediate compensation for those who are struggling or those who had struggled with conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS without having to prove their diagnosis was a result of NFL football. Family members or representatives of deceased retired players who suffered with such conditions may also be eligible to submit a claim.

The settlement will also help and give peace of mind to those who are currently healthy but fear they may develop symptoms decades into the future. For instance, eligible retired players will be provided with a free “baseline assessment,” which is a battery of tests to see how they are doing so they can keep tabs on their neurocognitive health and better understand if symptoms start to emerge. They will be eligible for compensation if they develop a qualifying condition within the next 65 years.

Those who may remain skeptical after enduring other benefits programs can find comfort in the fact that the settlement is not run by the NFL. Instead, the settlement’s benefit programs will be run by independent administrators and qualified doctors, working under the court’s supervision. The NFL will not decide who is eligible for benefits under this agreement.

If you are a retired NFL player or a relative of one, remember that registering for the settlement is a required first step to receive any benefits at all. Registration is a requirement to submit a claim for a potential monetary award or receive a baseline assessment. Failing to register before the Aug. 7, 2017 deadline will make you ineligible to receive any settlement benefits. Again, to register for the settlement with step-by-step instructions, or to learn more about its benefits, please visit www.nflconcussionsettlement.com.

Drinking Four Cups Of Coffee Before The Gym ‘Helps You Burn MORE Calories’

Scientists have long noted that coffee boosts performance, however it was thought that you’d need to abstain beforehand in order to benefit.

However, the study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology claims sipping coffee everyday will still produce positive results.

Researchers at the University of São Paulo quizzed 40 competitive male cyclists about their regular caffeine intake and split them into groups.

The men were asked to ride as hard as possible until they had burned 450 calories – a task designed to take about 30 minutes.

An hour before they cycled the group were asked to swallow a tablet containing 400mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to about four cups of coffee.

Afterwards they found the riders had completed their ride 3.3 per cent faster on average compared to when they had no pill.

In another trial they were asked to take a placebo and in that instance they performed 2.2 per cent faster.

For athletes these results could shave seconds of a race time that could lead to a world breaking record.

Also, the results found the cyclists who normally consume large amounts of caffeine had the same boost as the light coffee drinkers.

Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition who carried out the research, said: “No matter the habitual caffeine intake in the diet, acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance.”

Dr Gualano noted that the study sample only involved young fit men and women would still need to be tested.

The findings also contradict recommendations by doctors who say that more than one cup a day can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attacks.

However, the general advice is that four or five cups of coffee a day is safe, around 400mg of caffeine and half that for pregnant woman.

The Food Standards Agency says there is no limit set for healthy individuals and recommend a balance of drinks and a sensible, moderate approach to coffee-drinking.

It comes after recent research found that drinking five cups of coffee a day could slash the risk of liver cancer in half.

While the research found coffee will boost your workout, it’s worth noting the nutritional benefits of protein before you ditch the shakes altogether.

Protein helps make up the structure of every cell, tissue and organ in the body and are important for muscle production.

Without an adequate amount muscles don’t heal as quickly and could lead to injury, according to bodybuilding.com.

What Artificial Sweeteners Do To Your Health

My mother used to joke about my “drinking problem.” But before you think I have a problem with alcohol, know that my issue had nothing to do with wine. It was the 2-liter bottle of diet soda that I went through almost daily that she saw as an issue.

I kicked my diet soda addiction several years ago after I started paying attention to what I was putting in my body. I stopped buying anything with artificial sweeteners in it. Although I didn’t know at the time that artificial sweeteners aren’t particularly effective in achieving weight loss or can increase your chances of getting diabetes, I knew I didn’t want so many artificial foods in my family’s diet. I initially went with my gut on that decision, and now my gut has a reason to thank me.

A recent scientific study suggests that the reason artificial sweeteners may be a factor in diabetes, even though they don’t contain sugar, is because they mess with gut bacteria. Rodale News reports that scientists found that when mice drank water that contained the artificial sugar substitutes saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, the mice developed glucose intolerance — something that can be linked to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Mice fed plain water or water with regular sugar didn’t develop the glucose intolerance.

When scientists manipulated the gut bacteria in the mice’s stomachs and killed most of it off, they found that the glucose intolerance disappeared.

Based on what they found in mice, scientists conducted a small trial on humans that measured the gut bacteria of healthy people who consumed artificial sweeteners. They found that after just one week, participants started showing glucose intolerance and their gut bacteria composition had changed.

Do artificial sweeteners make us fat?

No sugar and fewer calories make artificial sweeteners an attractive choice for those looking to keep the sweet taste but lose the pounds. A study presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s annual conference in April, demonstrated that some sweeteners encourage the accumulation of fat, particularly among the already obese.

Researchers first took the common low-calorie sweetener sucralose — you know it as Splenda — and placed roughly the amount of sucralose from four cans of diet soda on stem cells from human fat tissue. The cells were placed in a petri dish for 12 days, and the results weren’t all that great for sucralose consumers. There was an increased expression of genes that mark fat production and inflammation and an increase in the accumulation of fat droplets in cells.

Based on these results, a second experiment was conducted, this time using biopsy samples of abdominal fat from those who consumed primarily sucralose. Four of the people were obese and four were a healthy weight. The first group demonstrated a higher increase in sugar (glucose) transport into cells and an overexpression of fat-producing genes compared to those at a healthy weight. Additionally, the first group’s sweet taste receptions were 2.5-fold higher than those who didn’t consume sweetners. The abundance of such receptions may play a part in allow glucose to center the cells.

“Many health-conscious individuals like to consume low-calorie sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that these sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction,” said Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, an associate professor of medicine and endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the study’s principal investigator, said in a statement.

The study was, as Sen noted, very small, and needs to be replicated on a much larger scale to confirm the findings. “However, from our study,” Sen said, “we believe that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals.”

Diet sodas and stroke and dementia

An April 2017 study found a link between diet sodas and a higher risk of stroke and dementia. The research didn’t show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, only causation, and the researchers point out that the study had many limitations. Yet, because people who drank diet soda every day were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia, researchers suggest that they may not be the healthiest alternative. The study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

“Our study shows a need to put more research into this area given how often people drink artificially-sweetened beverages,” Matthew Pase, Ph.D., a senior fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

And don’t swap your diet soda for a regular soda or other sugary drink, the researchers caution.

“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option,” Pase said. “We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.”

It’s important to remember that artificial sweeteners aren’t only found in diet sodas. They can also be found in other low-calorie treats like yogurt, ice cream, bakery products and candy.

Scientists Conduct Yet Another Study That Suggests Coffee Can Combat Cancer

Researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh have found that it’s possible that the more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC) — the most prolific form of liver cancer. Analyzing data from 26 studies, which involved more than 2.25 million participants in total, they concluded that people who drink 1 cup of coffee per day have a 20% reduced risk, 2 cups per day reduces risk by 35%, and 3 cups per day decreased risk by 50%. These findings showed that decaffeinated coffee also affects your risk, but the team could not deduce the precise amount.

Lead author Dr. Oliver Kennedy, a member of the Primary Care and Population Sciences Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, told The Guardian: “Coffee is widely believed to possess a range of health benefits, and these latest findings suggest it could have a significant effect on liver cancer risk.” Coffee has also been said to have painkilling capabilities and the potential to prevent heart attacks.

The main consequence of this study is that doctors may be able to use coffee to help in the prevention of liver cancer.  It’s a step that is both inexpensive and easy for people to incorporate into their daily lives, if they haven’t already. These benefits are also present in decaffeinated coffee, meaning that this means of prevention would also be accessible to those who can’t or do not drink caffeinated coffee.

The study authors wrote “It may be important for developing coffee as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, as decaffeinated coffee might be more acceptable to those who do not drink coffee or who limit their coffee consumption because of caffeine-related symptoms.”

Now, this development is not necessarily an encouragement to drown yourself in Starbucks. There are dangers in consuming too much caffeine, and much more research still needs to be done before coffee can be used medically with certainty. There is not enough existing research into the possible repercussions of consuming large quantities of caffeine over time, especially as a preventative medical measure. Hopefully in the future, preventing liver cancer will be cheap, easy, and delicious.

Up Your SUP Game With The BigSup Board

No matter how you slice it, summer is here for the majority of the country. And thanks to Supflex, summer 2017 has arrived in a big way. So whether you’re spending the day by the bay or river, or looking to catch some waves with friends, you’d best check out their 18-foot-long BigSup board.

With this giant stand-up paddleboard, you and several friends can experience the joys of wave riding all from the same vessel. The board boasts a weight capacity of up to 1,550 pounds, is constructed of military-grade PVC, and can inflate in just about 10 minutes. The board can also accommodate up to ten people at once, making for one fun and exciting afternoon at the beach, but can also serve as a floatable home base while out on the water. Bring a cooler full or cold ones, a couple fishing rods and a significant other and you have an aquatic afternoon unlike any other. Comes complete with 11 carry handles, removable fins, two hand pumps, and deflates in a matter of minutes to a storage-friendly size.

Florida Department of Health Moves Forward With Medical Marijuana Initiative Despite Political Discord

After state lawmakers failed to act, health officials on Thursday laid out a framework for adopting regulations required by a voter-approved constitutional amendment that could make Florida one of the nation’s largest medical-marijuana markets.

The Florida Department of Health on Thursday issued a “Notice of Regulation Development Procedure” establishing the process the agency intends to use to carry out Amendment 2, given a thumbs-up by more than 71 percent of voters in November.

The amendment gave doctors the authority to order marijuana for a broad swath of patients with debilitating conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Doctors also have the power to order marijuana for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”

During the legislative session that ended May 8, lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a measure to carry out the constitutional amendment. A key sticking point involved a cap on the number of retail outlets the state’s licensed medical-marijuana operators would be allowed to run.

Currently, Florida’s seven medical marijuana operators can open an unlimited number of dispensaries. That’s based on a 2014 law, intended to provide non-euphoric cannabis treatment for children with severe epilepsy. That law paved the way for the state’s medical marijuana industry.

The industry is expected to explode after the passage of the constitutional amendment, under which at least 420,000 patients in Florida could be eligible for medical marijuana, according to the most recent health department estimates.

The regulation-creating process proposed Thursday by the Department of Health is a shift from typical proceedings, governed by Florida administrative law.

The constitutional amendment gives health officials until July 3 to craft rules to implement the amendment and until Oct. 3 to put the rules into effect.

But typical administrative-law procedures include timelines for challenges and revisions that could push finalization of the department’s regulations far beyond the constitutional deadlines.

Under the process proposed by the agency on Thursday, health officials would give notice 15 days before adopting a new rule. The public would have three days to weigh in on the proposal.

The framework, which would do away with the administrative-law process, lacks guidelines for how to challenge or appeal agency decisions about the pot regulations.

The implementation scheme also apparently does away with a proposed rule that health officials floated earlier this year to try to implement the amendment.

The proposal comes amid bipartisan demands that lawmakers revisit the medical marijuana issue during a special session. The could be unlikely to happen unless Gov. Rick Scott vetoes portions of the budget, forcing the Legislature to come back to Tallahassee for issues other than pot.

In a telephone interview Thursday with The News Service of Florida, Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who was instrumental in passing the state’s 2014 non-euphoric cannabis law and who remains a major player on medical-marijuana issues, credited the health department’s attempts to move forward with regulations to meet the July deadline.

But Bradley said he feared the department would develop regulations built on current Florida law — finalized before the constitutional amendment went into effect — while awaiting guidance from the Legislature.

If so, agency officials likely won’t revisit key issues such as a required 90-day waiting period before doctors are able to order marijuana treatment, something patients have strenuously objected to because they say it creates a significant barrier to treatment for dying or extremely ill Floridians.

“I don’t see the department doing anything bold. My sense is they are going to preserve the status quo until such time as the Legislature acts. I support the department’s desire to remove any legal cloud over people’s ability to receive this medicine pursuant to the current provisions that are in place,” Bradley, a former prosecutor, said. “We need to do more than that, though. And that’s the Legislature’s job.”

Even if lawmakers don’t take up the issue during a special session this summer, committee meetings will begin in the fall in advance of the 2018 session, which begins in January.

“The Legislature is going to be in Tallahassee no later than around 100 days from now, and possibly earlier if the governor vetoes all or a portion of the budget,” Bradley said. “There are opportunities for the Legislature to deal with medical marijuana.”

Beer Can Be a Better Pain Reliever Than Tylenol

As if you needed another reason to grab a cold one, a new study suggests having a few beers relieves your pain better than popping some over the counter painkillers.

The study, led by Dr. Trevor Thompson from the University of Greenwich, and published in The Journal of Pain, found that raising your blood alcohol content to the legal limit of .08%, or about three or four beers deep, elevates your pain threshold significantly. This was according to a meta-analysis of 18 different studies looking at the effect of different dosages of alcohol on subject pain response.

Based on the research, Thompson says alcohol is an effective analgesic (or pain reliever) that “delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity,” which probably isn’t too surprising if you’ve ever been in a bar fight or taken a drunken tumble. Not much hurts when you’re three sheets to the wind. What is surprising, however, is that the pain relieving power of alcohol was actually shown to be more powerful than paracetamol, or what’s more commonly known as acetaminophen or Tylenol.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should knock back a six-pack every time you have a headache, but it does highlight an oft-overlooked positive aspect of alcohol consumption. Of course, if you drink too much, you’re really just postponing pain until the next morning.