afternoon health mistakes

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3. The mistake: You down an energy drink the afternoon before an evening of partying.

We've all heard about the danger of blacking out when mixing alcohol with energy drinks (which is why premixed alcoholic energy drinks have been largely banned by the FDA). But now, a new study at the University of Michigan finds that drinking a caffeinated guarana-ginseng-sugar spiked beverage in the midafternoon—even hours before a night of boozing—can also put you on the fast track to intoxication. The stimulant kept users jazzed up well beyond happy hour, so they felt less tired and tipsy than they actually were—leading them to down more rounds than they would otherwise.

The solution: In lieu of anything caffeinated for a midafternoon energy boost, spring for low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese (a small protein snack increases alertness and motivation, explains Judith Wurtman, PhD, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet). Alternatively, spring for any of these unexpected vending-machine pick-me-ups.

Next: Stupid health mistakes you didn't know you were making