It's 7-Eleven Day! Celebrate With a Free Slurpee

7-Eleven
7-Eleven

7-Eleven is once again inviting you to celebrate July 11 with a free small Slurpee, which you can grab at any participating store across the nation today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (See what they did there?)

This year’s featured flavor is Blueberry Lemonade, and the Slurpee Lite flavor is sugar-free Cherry Limeade. The Slurpees come in bright, festive cups optimized for social media posts: They're decorated with a hammerhead shark who is not only wearing a birthday hat, but also carrying balloons and a banner that reads “#SLURPLIFE.” The cup also includes “#TFW,” which stands for “that feeling when…,” as in “TFW you get a free Slurpee on #7ElevenDay.”

Along with those three hashtags, you can also add specialized GIFs and digital stickers to your Slurpee-related posts on Snapchat and Instagram, including cheerleader squirrels and hula skirt-clad oranges. 7-Eleven will also give away physical stickers in the store with your free drink. A $4 Twist & Slurp Bottle and a $2 Super Flexy Straw can take your free Slurpee to the next level.

Happy 7-Eleven Day image with Slurpee
7-Eleven

If you’re a member of the 7-Eleven loyalty program 7Rewards, be sure to scan your app or card (or enter your phone number) when you pick up your free Slurpee today. You’ll get a coupon for another free small Slurpee, which you can redeem any time in the next 30 days. If you’re not a 7Rewards member, today may be a good day to sign up.

For those of you who might like dinner before dessert—or at least with dessert—there are also 7-Eleven Day food deals: Big Bite hot dogs and hot pizza slices are $1 each, and 7Rewards members can open their app to reveal a $1 Nashville hot chicken tender offer. If you just want dessert with your dessert, freshly baked cherry Slurpee-flavored cookies are also $1 each today.

The convenience retailer estimates that it will give away 9 million free small Slurpees today, and has sold over 7.5 billion Slurpees since the drink was officially introduced in the 1960s.

If you can’t make it to 7-Eleven today, there’s hope for you yet: Tomorrow, July 12, you can place an order in 7-Eleven’s delivery app 7NOW and receive a free medium Slurpee.

Happy slurping!

[h/t 7-Eleven]

The Great Tryptophan Lie: Eating Turkey Does Not Make You Tired

bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

While you’re battling your cousins for the best napping spot after Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to use this as a diversion tactic: It’s a myth that eating turkey makes you tired.

It’s true that turkey contains L-Tryptophan, an amino acid involved in sleep. Your body uses it to produce a B vitamin called niacin, which generates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which yields the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate your sleeping patterns. However, plenty of other common foods contain comparable levels of tryptophan, including other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs.

Furthermore, in order for tryptophan to produce serotonin in your brain, it first has to make it across the blood-brain barrier, which many other amino acids are also trying to do. To give tryptophan a leg up in the competition, it needs the help of carbohydrates. Registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer tells WebMD that the best way to boost serotonin is to eat a small, all-carbohydrate snack a little while after you’ve eaten something that contains tryptophan, and the carbs will help ferry the tryptophan from your bloodstream to your brain.

But Thanksgiving isn’t exactly about eating small, well-timed snacks. It’s more about heaps of potatoes, mountains of stuffing, and generous globs of gravy—and that, along with alcohol, is more likely the reason you collapse into a spectacular food coma after your meal. Overeating (especially of foods high in fat) means your body has to work extra hard to digest everything. To get the job done, it redirects blood to the digestive system, leaving little energy for anything else. And since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it also slows down your brain and other organs.

In short, you can still hold turkey responsible for your Thanksgiving exhaustion, but you should make sure it knows it can share the blame with the homestyle mac and cheese, spiked apple cider, and second piece of pumpkin pie.

[h/t WebMD]

How Mammoth Poop Gave Us Pumpkin Pie

MargoeEdwards/iStock via Getty Images
MargoeEdwards/iStock via Getty Images

When it’s time to express gratitude for the many privileges bestowed upon your family this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be grateful for mammoth poop. The excrement of this long-extinct species is a big reason why holiday desserts taste so good.

Why? Because, as Smithsonian Insider reports, tens of thousands of years ago, mammoths, elephants, and mastodons had an affinity for wild gourds, the ancestors of squashes and pumpkin. In a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Smithsonian researcher and colleagues found that wild gourds—which were much smaller than our modern-day butternuts—carried a bitter-tasting toxin in their flesh that acted as a deterrent to some animals. While small rodents would avoid eating the gourds, the huge mammals would not. Their taste buds wouldn't pick up the bitter flavor and the toxin had no effect on them. Mammoths would eat the gourds and pass the indigestible seeds out in their feces. The seeds would then be plopped into whatever habitat range the mammoth was roaming in, complete with fertilizer.

When the mammoths went extinct as recently as 4000 years ago, the gourds faced the same fate—until humans began to domesticate the plants, allowing for the rise of pumpkins. But had it not been for the dispersal of the seeds via mammoth crap, the gourd might not have survived long enough to arrive at our dinner tables.

So as you dig into your pumpkin pie this year, be sure to think of the heaping piles of dung that made the delicious treat possible.

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