A recent study suggests that eating sugary food can make people feel more tired. TUCHONG
It happens from time to time that after a whole morning of studying, you are tired in the afternoon. It’s then that you might want to eat something sweet, perhaps a Coke or a chocolate bar to lift your mood. After all, it’s popularly believed that a “sugar rush” gives us energy.
But a study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews in April suggests that sugar can make us feel worse rather than boost our moods.
The German and UK researchers collected data from 31 studies involving nearly 1,300 adults. They studied the effect of sugar on various aspects of mood, including anger, alertness, depression and tiredness.
They found that people who have too much sugar become more tired and less alert within an hour, and that these feelings become more intense over time.
According to the researchers, when people take in sugar, their blood sugar levels rise rapidly, leading to a burst of energy and a short “feel good” period. However, as they begin to digest the sugar, their blood sugar levels decrease quickly, leading to a bad feeling.
To remain on a “high”, people are likely to eat more and more sugar until they become addicted to it. As with caffeine, this prevents the body from relaxing, leaving people feeling tired and less alert.
But the study findings needn’t make us think we must give up sweet food altogether. According to the World Health Organization, it is healthy to have the sugars found naturally in fruit, vegetables and milk, so long as these make up less than 5 percent of daily total energy intake.
So the next time you feel tired and can’t concentrate, perhaps you should think twice before you bite into a chocolate bar. Maybe a spot of exercise at midday would be a better idea!