We’re trying to be a bit more mindful here at The New Potato, and in continuing with our “To take a break from superficial things” series, this week we decided to share ten super scientific facts that actually affect your day to day life. 

Ever think about the amount of bacteria on your Chloe bag? Or if coffee is actually dehydrating you? Edify yourself, then break out these facts the next time you need an ice breaker, or just a break from superficial things…

Fact: Being inactive for too many days in a row decreases blood flow to the brain.

One of the best benefits of working out is increased blood flow to the brain; it’ll make you feel less stressed and can improve brain function. We all need a rest day, but be careful – not working out for multiple days in a row is proven to decrease those benefits. Moral of the story: commit to a routine and stick to it to see benefits.

Fact: Meditating is proven to expand gray matter in the brain.

Meditators have thicker cortical walls than non-meditators. What it means for you? Meditators’ brains are proven to age at a slower rate; cortical thickness is also associated with decision making, attention and memory. Take our advice: seriously start meditating.

Fact: Coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you.

Recent studies have shown that coffee is just as hydrating as water. The belief that it’s a diuretic? Not accurate; a daily coffee won’t lead to dehydration. But it’s best to limit caffeine to moderate levels to steer clear of jitters and interruptions to sleep.

Fact: Not getting enough sleep shows directly on your skin.

Forty percent of all Americans are sleep deprived, getting less than the recommended 7 hours a night. That shows directly on your skin, according to a study coming out of the UK. They found fine lines and wrinkles increased by 45%, blemishes increased by 13%, and redness increased by 8% after just five nights of poor sleep.

Fact: The antioxidants in red wine & chocolate aren’t enough to prevent aging.

We love a good glass of Merlot, but the key antioxidant in red wine, resveratrol, isn’t enough to counteract aging. Combined with a balanced diet, it has been shown to benefit heart health, but isn’t strong enough to balance out eating too much processed food. So drink your red wine with a plate of veggies tonight, instead of with popcorn in front of the TV.

Fact: There are 50 grams of sugar in a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The American Heart Association recommends a woman should eat no more than 25 grams of added sugar in a day. We’re not talking natural sugar: the kind that comes from carrots or grapefruits. We mean empty calories, added sugar, like in a doughnut or sneakily hiding in your daily coffee fix. Drop the PSL; we know it’s delicious, but the sugar crash simply isn’t worth it.

Fact: Anywhere from 30 to 100% of Americans are estimated to be Vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to fatigue, restless sleep and poor concentration. Anyone else feeling those symptoms on a near daily basis? With 30-100% of Americans deficient, it’s highly likely that you’re experiencing more than just a 4 PM slump at work. Get outside, expose yourself to 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, and talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

Fact: Your bag likely has more germs on it than a public toilet seat.

Our bags go through a lot: subway floors, desks, grocery stores, bathrooms. Leather bags particularly are the best place for bacteria to grow and multiply. So make sure to keep your bag far from where you eat, and wipe it down with antibacterials and disinfectants.

Fact: Working long, sedentary hours is bad for your health.

It’s click-bait to write that sitting is as bad as smoking….but it might be true. A study in Australia found that sitting for too long at your desk (more than eight hours) combined with stress increases your risk of premature death by a whopping sixty percent. Exercise for an hour every day to combat the affects of sedentary office life; we know it’s hard to spare that much time, but your life is worth it.

Read our favorite full body workouts and how to stretch at your desk; your body will thank you.