There is no such thing as "sugar rush," according to a new study suggesting that sugar has no beneficial effects on mood.
Researchers at the University of Warwick, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Lancaster University analyzed 31 studies to determine if sugar consumption can improve mood.
The results of the study published in the journal Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews showed that sugar worsens the mood rather than improving it. It increases fatigue and lowers alertness within an hour after its consumption.
Sugar Rush Is A Myth
The team led by Dr. Konstantinos Mantantzis, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin, looked at data of approximately 1,300 adults. They investigated the effects of sugar on alertness, anger, depression, and fatigue.
They concluded that sugar rush is a myth with no scientific basis. The amount of sugar consumed has virtually no effects on mood regardless if the person engages in physical activity after its consumption.
Prof. Elizabeth Maylor from the University of Warwick said their aim is to dismiss the belief about sugar rush and to encourage the public to decrease sugar consumption.
Mantantzis said sugar consumption has been influential in many cultures. People in many parts of the world believe that drinking sugary beverages would make them feel less tired and more alert.
"The rise in obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in recent years highlights the need for evidence-based dietary strategies to promote healthy lifestyle across the lifespan," said Sandra Sünram-Lea, co-author and senior lecturer at the department of psychology in Lancaster University in Lancashire, England. "Our findings indicate that sugary drinks or snacks do not provide a quick 'fuel refill' to make us feel more alert."
Worldwide Increase In Sugar Intake
Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks increased by 135 percent, while milk consumption decreased by 38 percent from the late 1970s to early 2000s. The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported that reducing soft drink and fruit drink consumption could be an effective way to reduce obesity in the United States.
In the new study, Mantantzis and his colleagues said individuals with mood disorders are likely to have higher sensitivity to carbohydrates. Future studies can also look into the interaction of sugar to other nutrients that could affect mood and emotions.