Did your ma ever tell you to drink eight glasses of water every day to stay healthy and hydrated? Or did some wise guy trick you into believing that we only use 10% of our brains? Well, guys, it’s time we debunked those myths…

How about the claim that you shouldn’t swallow gum because it takes seven years to pass through your digestive system? Right, so it is indigestible, but that just means that it will come out the other end intact. And it won’t take seven years either – twelve hours to three days is usually enough mouth to toilet transit time.

Coming back to the water theory, although it’s a fine plan to down plenty of water, there is neither a scientific nor a medical basis for the specific amount of eight glasses per day. Water intake requirements differ from person to person, depending on age, size and amount of physical activity. Also, the human body requires nearly four litres of water a day, and almost half of that comes from food. Instead of drinking more, how about a trip to Portland for some meal-card fun?

Looking at my computer, I’m reminded of the tale of keyboards harbouring more germs than toilet seats. Unfortunately for me, this one is true! According to an academic study, a work-station is much dirtier than a bathroom; a keyboard can harbour up to 3,295 microbes per square inch, whereas the average toilet seat contains only 49. I don’t know if I am convinced, but hey – how often do you clean your toilet vs. your keyboard?

Ever heard this one from your parents: “you can’t have any more sugar, you will be bouncing of the walls”? To their credit, they probably didn’t want you to get hyperactive and reenact your favourite fight scene from the latest summer blockbuster. But they also gave you the idea that you could be spiderman if you had more sugar, so you ate the entire bag of Haribo. And the only superhero you became that day was ‘Vomit-His-Stomach-Contents’ man. Well, your mum was wrong on this one. Firstly, gravity is unaffected by sugar, and secondly, despite the common belief, there is no evidence to suggest that a high-sugar diet induces hyper-activity. Oh yeah, but the part about sugar destroying you teeth is still true.

And finally, in my opinion one of the most popular myths states that your hair and fingernails continue to grow after you death. That’s entertaining, but not accurate! What actually happens is that dehydration makes the skin shrink back, making your hair and nails look longer.
That’s five myths debunked for you!

Ruby Kassam

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