What you eat can play a huge role in how you feel and think throughout the day. And when it comes to sugar, it can either support cognitive function or impede our thought processes. Researchers found that the so called “sugar coma” is a real thing, and it could explain why it’s hard to focus after you’ve indulged in a sweet treat. Read more about sugar coma below.
In a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, 49 participants had a drink that contained one of four different sweeteners: glucose, sucrose (white processed sugar), fructose (sugar from fruit) or sucralose (artificial sugar).
Then, the individuals completed three cognitive tasks. What the researchers found is that people who drank glucose and sucrose usually did worse on their tasks. On the other hand, people who consumed fructose performed better.
One of the researchers rebaked that “levels of attention seem to decline after consumption of glucose-containing sugar”, and if participants had fasted before this study, their attention spans suffered even more.
What does this mean for you and me? Basically, if we start our day with a glucose- or sucrose-heavy breakfast – the first meal after a long fast – we could be setting ourselves up for cognitive challenges.
So, perhaps instead of eating a sugar bowl of cereal or a baked good, consider having whole foods.
For example, whole grain toast with peanut butter and apple slices is a yummy breakfast option. Or, a warm bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries and butter. As you can see, there are many tasty ways to get your body and mind off to a great start and prevent concentration and cognitive difficulties.