Sugar rush is just a myth, says study

People justifying their craving for sweet by calling it a ‘sugar rush’, take note! A recent study has revealed that the idea of a ‘sugar rush’ is a myth without any truth behind it.

According to the research published in the Journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral, sugar does not improve mood and in fact, it can make people less alert and more tired after its consumption.

“The idea that sugar can improve mood has been widely influential in popular culture, so much so that people all over the world consume sugary drinks to become more alert or combat fatigue,” said, Dr Konstantinos Mantantzis, who led the study, said.

The research team set out to examine the myth of the ‘sugar rush’: can sugar really put you in a better mood?

Using data collected from 31 published studies involving almost 1300 adults, Dr Konstantinos Mantantzis, Dr Sandra Sunram-Lea, and Dr Friederike Schlaghecken and Professor Elizabeth Maylor in the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology investigated the effect of sugar on various aspects of mood, including anger, alertness, depression, and fatigue.

They also considered how factors such as the quantity and type of sugar consumed might affect mood, and whether engaging in demanding mental and physical activities made any difference.

The researchers found that sugar consumption has virtually no effect on mood, regardless of how much sugar is consumed or whether people engage in demanding activities after taking it.

While debunking the idea of a ‘sugar rush’ saying there is no truth behind it. The finding also revealed that people who consumed sugar felt more tired and less alert than those who had not.

“We hope that our findings will go a long way to dispel the myth of the ‘sugar rush’ and inform public health policies to decrease sugar consumption,” commented, Elizabeth Maylor.

Mantantzis commented, “Our findings very clearly indicate that such claims are not substantiated – if anything, sugar will probably make you feel worse.”

Explaining further, Dr Sandra Sunram-Lea added, “The rise in obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in recent years highlights the need for evidence-based dietary strategies to promote a healthy lifestyle across the lifespan. Our findings indicate that sugary drinks or snacks do not provide a quick ‘fuel refill’ to make us feel more alert.”

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First Published:
Apr 12, 2019 11:31 IST

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