The Idea of a Sugar Rush is Actually a Myth
Have you ever had a “sugar rush?” You eat or drink something super sweet and then feel a bit more alert or wired than usual? It’s a pretty common phenomenon. Most parents will commonly blame their kids’ hyperactive behavior on the concept of a sugar rush, too. However, according to a new study, sugar rushes aren’t actually real.
“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,” says. Konstantinos Mantantzis, Ph.D., from the Humboldt University of Berlin.
Researchers at the University of Warwick, Humboldt University of Berlin and Lancaster University set out to examine this myth and found the opposite: sugar tends to worsen moods.
The authors used data from 31 different published studies involving around 1,300 adults. They investigated various aspects of mood such as anger, alertness, depression and fatigue. The authors also considered the type and quantity of sugar and the amount of physical and mental activities participants had.
“Our findings very clearly indicate that such claims are not substantiated—if anything, sugar will probably make you feel worse,” says Mantantzis.
They found that sugar consumption has little to no effect on mood. People who consumed sugar were more prone to feeling tired and less alert than people who did not, essentially finding that the “sugar rush” is a myth.
“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,” says Professor Elizabeth Maylor, from the University of Warwick.
So, next time you’re feeling a crash, opt for something without all the sugar, and you might just feel better.